Exclusive phone interview with Snowy Shaw of Dimmu Borgir (now back in Therion) - Part 1
By Mikhail Madnani
August 24th 2010, Mumbai, India
Note: This interview was done when the news of Snowy Shaw joining Dimmu Borgir was confirmed.
Mikhail: Hi Snowy. We're glad to have you at MA for another interview. How are you?
Snowy: I'm fine thank you.
Mikhail: We've all heard the rumours that leaked out some time ago which not only came as a very pleasant surprise but also resulted in much speculation in the metal world.
Now that it's official, I 'm sure thousands upon thousands of fans are now delighted, excited and relieved that those rumours were in fact true that Snowy Shaw is the new bassist of Dimmu Borgir. How does it feel to be in a band that has inspired countless other bands?
Snowy: Oh thank you, I'm so happy to hear that and that's the impression and vibe I've gotten so far from every single one for the last six months. According to them I'm the ultimate choice for Dimmu Borgir and if I may be so bold and skip all the false modesty they are right (laughs) I mean, I'm certainly not going to argue with them about it.
But honestly I'm perfect for this band, and I have so much to offer and bring to the table in every aspect, if I may that is, that is the big and essential question here. In a way it seem to me like Dimmu is to this decade what KISS was in the 70s, and that I love of course.
Mikhail: I'm convinced the majority of Dimmu Borgir fans will welcome you with open hearts and minds and see that Snowy Shaw is the perfect guy for the slot. Do you feel any concern filling the shoes ICS Vortex left behind?
Snowy: Relevant question, Of course it is always tough trying to step into someone else's shoes, and I have had some previous experiences with that. I hope you're right, but there will always be a few hardcore fans being critical, sceptical and negative about the new guy. I was no different myself when I was young, more stupid and basically just didn't understand any better. When my favourite band changed a loved member, I was very sceptical and thought: Who the fuck is this fucking guy who thinks he can replace Ace Frehley, Bruce Dickinson or whoever it might have been. And as much as I can still understand those feelings, it just proves how clueless you are and little understanding you have for how the politics can sometime work behind the surface in a band situation and in this filthy stinking rotten music business & industry.
I know Vortex and he's just the nicest guy, he even called me up after he'd heard inside info on the news and wished me the best of luck and jokingly offered his condolences, so I guess you can say I have his blessing.
And I mean, I most certainly had nothing to do with neither him nor Mustis getting fired from Dimmu, and as the last guy in I was hired to fill his void or position.
As I was saying, I've experienced that before several times, taking over after Mikkey Dee in King Diamond, and then when Mercyful Fate got back together and picked me over the original drummer Kim Ruzz and then many years later as a singer in Therion. No matter what, it's bound to be met with a bit of sceptism and suspicion from some fans. But I've always done a great job, won them over and have never ever heard of any complaints.
If I may speak frankly, I'm pretty aware of my own capacity, qualities and assets, and so I can't say I have really reflected or worried too much about it to be honest, and besides the Dimmu guys wanted me for the slot. It's more a question of whether the Dimmu organization is going to let me it to their inner circle and let me be me.
Fans may sometimes honour you and pay respect by staying loyal to a beloved previous member. That's exactly what goes on right now with me after I quit Therion. People keep telling me all the time that since I quit the band it sucks, and that I should go back to Notre Dame, Dream Evil, King Diamond, Memento Mori, Mercyful Fate etc. As flattering as I might find those nice comments, I have to take it with a grain of salt and don't pay too much attention to it.
Mikhail: Can you tell us a little about the whole recording and writing process for Abrahadabra?
Snowy: Yeah sure, from what I understand it's been a long and hard process, but I came in as the last man right before the recordings and by then most of the music and arrangements were already done in the pre-production.
I recorded some additional vocal arrangement and suggestions in my home studio and we ended up adding one or two vocal parts for me, since they hadn't really calculated or hoped to be able to find a fitting replacement in the singing/bass player department when writing the album, which might explain the use of guest singers. I must say I totally love the witch-like vocals this Norwegian girl Agneta did on the single Gateways, just fantastic!
Abrahadabra was recorded in a few different studios. We did the drums and all mine and Shagrath's vocals with Daniel Bergstrand in Uppsala, Sweden. All guitars, bass and keyboards were done in Oslo, Norway with Russ Russell as the engineer and then the whole shebang was mixed and mastered in England by Andy Sneap, and I must tell you it came out sounding fantastic, in case you expected anything else. (Laughs)
Yeah that's right, a tiny little detail accidently slipped my mind. Norwegian conductor/composer Gaute Storaas brought in over 50 members of The Norwegian Radio Orchestra and a choir of nearly 40 members to spice things up and to further enhance and achieve that very specific, symphonic and epic Dimmu Borgir sound. I fucking love it!
As for my own performance, it went pretty easy. They had set off a week to record the bass tracks in the studio, but I nailed it in about 2-3 days time. First I showed the guys my own bass arrangements, ideas and shit and then we worked on it together back and forth to get the perfect well balanced result in the end.
I did 5 songs in 3-4 hours in the studio in Oslo right in the middle of a big party going on with all their friends and people just dropping by Friday evening. We decided 5 songs were enough for one day and went to check out a show or more correctly the aftershow with our friends Kamelot who ended their European tour at a venue a few blocks away. Then the next day we changed bass which had a lot thicker strings and a fat ass neck which made it a lot harder and physical to play but it came out sounding way better so I had to redo the first 5 songs again.
But that's ok, anything just to make the final product the best possible, that's my motto and mentality.
Mikhail: What about the tour supporting the album?
Snowy: What about it? We start out the Darkness Reborn world tour September 18th touring Europe and the UK with Korn and do headline shows in between that with Enslaved and Sahg as support and continues in Scandinavia, then I think we head straight to tour North America before we take a short break over the X-mas holidays and then get right back at it, and continues like that for another 18 months or so.
Mikhail: This album has a return of Shagrath to the keyboards. How do you think this has affected the general writing style and sound of the band?
Snowy: Naw, Dimmu have had a new phenomenal keyboardist for over a year now and he has contributed and put his own unique touch and skills on the new material, but I'm sure Shagrath came up with ideas and parts for the keyboard arrangements as well. I wasn't there so I can't say for certain, and I don't know how the actual writing process takes place in Dimmu Borgir yet. People in general often seem to be under the false impression that the musician playing the part did in fact come up with and wrote that particular part too, as if the singer always writes the lyrics and vocal lines. Nothing could be farther from the truth, since there are as many ways of making music as there are bands.
Mikhail: How did this come about? (you becoming the bassist of Dimmu Borgir)
Snowy: I knew the Dimmu guys from before and had been working with them on various occasions and situations like designing and building custom-made stage props and decor for their videos as I was working with my friend Patric Ullaeus' Revolver Film Company, so we kept some sporadic contact every now and then. Apparently they were contemplating hiring me as a designer and visual supervisor of some kind before I even came into the picture as a musician.
At the time Therion had taken an extended sabbatical year off after the 20th anniversary tour and I spent a lot of time, effort and my own savings on my band XXX and eventually I had to find myself another source of income while Therion was in this inactive period. So when the opportunity presented itself I jumped to it and for the first time in my life I began playing on a semi-regular basis in this covers band doing classic rock / metal songs as the bass player and 2nd singer.
To my surprise it was a lot of fun and a good and well paid experience, we'd play all over Sweden, Finland and occasionally various ski resorts in Norway. I had heard some vague rumours about them firing Mustis and Vortex in a nasty way but I didn't pay any attention or think too much about that. One day I read on Blabbermouth that Dimmu was working on pre-productions and from I could see they had not yet replaced their former bassist or keyboardist, and the next day Silenoz sent me some funny link and message on Facebook and as I responded and the moment I wrote to Silenoz that I'll be going to Lillehammer, Norway the following week to play bass and sing with this covers band, right then it suddenly hit me - Hey! Why the hell not!? I want to play with the mighty Dimmu Borgir! - I'd be absolutely perfect for this band and to put it mildly, Dimmu would be quite a step up from what I was currently doing (laughs).
Although for the Notre Dame live shows I had been playing bass and sang but I guess it had never occurred to me before, and in fact those were the almost exact words the Dimmu guys used when replying to my idea or proposition in that second mail I dropped to Silenoz.
They'd seen me as a drummer first and foremost and singer so it just never crossed their minds that I played bass as well, but said right off the bat that I might be ideal for it, besides we already knew each other and Gothenburg is just 3 hours away from Oslo and all.
Despite having heard my singing before, making a voice sample would save us a lot of time and embarrassment if I by any chance couldn't pull it off or it wouldn't fit. So Shagrath mailed me a sample of one of the new songs which they wanted clean vocals on and I recorded my voice in my home studio based on the little piece of vocal line he'd recorded. Naturally I assumed they wanted clean vocals in a similar way that Vortex had done so I did that and mailed it back. Shagrath called me later and said it was very good and that they liked it but they had expected me to sing an octave or two lower and with my own style of voice which they'd heard with Therion and Notre Dame. So I did a new recording with that instead, and then they were thrilled and totally satisfied. We then agreed I should come to Oslo and rehearse with them and learn the vocal parts and bass on a few songs in advance, which I did. But when I showed up, they were in the middle of arranging the drums and rehearsing the new songs for the album recording, and I had obviously never heard any of it before but I just had to tag along the best I could. Despite these rather weird conditions they were just amazed with my playing, saying Dimmu had never ever sounded as good and tight before.
Fortunately I'm a real fast learnerÉ at least when it comes to music, if it'd be computer games I'd be dead meat (laughs)!
Mikhail: On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your overall happiness with the way the album turned out?
Snowy: Then I must say 11, to quote the classic Spinal Tap comment, (Laughs!)
Mikhail: Give us a few updates on your other band XXX.
Snowy: Well, what can I say; the guitarist has been vanished from the face of the earth for over 18 months now. He might be dead for all I know. My dear friend, tattoo artist and bass player Rob just recently had his second child so understandably his priorities has shifted to that of a family man these days.
Suffice to say so it's been rather difficult for me to keep this dysfunctional three piece band active when gigs and touring's been no option under these terribly fucked up circumstances. Apart from running all the business with my own little label Snowy Shaw Productions, setting up license deals for various territories and dealing with distributors and doing promotion for the release of Heaven, Hell or Hollywood? I've also written the bulk of the material for the next album. How and when that will be recorded and released remains to see though, your guess is as good as mine.
Mikhail: How has it been working with Andy LaRocque at Sonic Train Studios?
Snowy: Andy is the sweetest guy you could ever imagine and he has a very nice studio. Andy and I we go way back.
Prior to the mixing of the XXX album and apart from doing various smaller odd jobs like session or guest musician there with him over the years, we hadn't really been working together on a full length production since we had Ill will, and that album we did in the early to mid-90s. Working with Andy went really smoothly and was a real pleasure.
Mikhail: What can you tell us about Therion and why you quit the band after only 2 studio albums?
Snowy: Therion have had vast array of line-up changes over the years, which makes one think they must be very hard to work with.
I had been involved with Therion since autumn 2006 and it's been a terrific and wonderful journey for the most part, one which I'm eternally grateful for.
Yeah quite a few have come and gone in Therion over the past 23 years and even in the years I was in Therion. On this new upcoming album besides Mr Therion himself Christofer Johnsson, I was the only one left from the previous album Gothic Kabbalah, so I guess from the outside it must seem like he's hard to work with, not them, because Christofer's the only original member left from the start in 1987 and it's basically his band. Of course we don't see eye to eye in everything all the time but I honestly think he's a terrific, fair and hard working leader, and what lot of people don't seem to understand is that it's very tough being the boss in charge with all the responsibilities. When I see the work load and efforts he puts down in Therion I most definitely wouldn't want to swap with him.
During my years in Therion I've heard people talking shit and due to all the constant line up changes in Therion I hear people accusing him of being this difficult slave driving Gestapo-figure, but I really must defend Christofer here, because that's just complete bullshit and coming from clueless people who have a very warped view or at least little understanding and insight in how the music biz works.
Of course he's a little odd and eccentric but who isn't? Christofer and I got along exceptionally good and developed a great friendship, nobody is perfect but I think he's an excellent and fair band leader. I have nothing but the deepest respect and admiration for the Christofer's integrity, conviction and accomplishment and longevity with his band, although we may certainly not agree on everything or share opinions, taste and views on a lot of things. But one got to remember that after all it's his band and he's the one calling the shots, I can't say I was too crazy about the direction in which the band was heading and some of the decisions that was made, and gradually I had begun to feel that maybe it was time for me to move on.
Mikhail: Many have speculated in the fact that you left Therion to join Dimmu Borgir instead, any truth in that assumption?
Snowy: Let me tell you, it's just so typical, a classic Heinz ketchup effect. Therion had a year break that eventually turned into almost 2 and a half, 3 years and while I was waiting I was keeping busy as always in the meantime, but things weren't really going anywhere fast enough for me. Then in comes the whole Dimmu Borgir thing. So first happens nothing, and then nothing and again nothing, and then - Ka-Blam! Everything happens at once, and I have two major three month tours at the same time, two albums released the same month by two different bands and on the same record label even.
Needless to say, whether I liked it or not, eventually I simply had to make a choice.
Mikhail: You're still featured and have written and co-written material on the latest yet to be released Therion album Sitra Ahra. What can you tell us about it and will it ever see the light of day?
Snowy: Yeah I am, and of course it will be out, it is scheduled for release in late September for Europe and October for USA through Nuclear Blast.
It was recorded during January-February-March partly in Polar Studio in Stockholm and in Christofer's private and temporary set up home studio in the outskirts of Stockholm, with himself as engineer and producer. It was mixed at the legendary Polar Studios (ABBA, Led Zeppelin) by Lennart …stlund. By request I wrote 3 songs for the album of which 2 was used and the third one got dropped for being too much metal for the concept and style at hand according to Christofer. I also co-wrote by contributing with vocal lines and arrangements and melodies for a couple of his songs.
Mikhail: You have so many different bands of varying styles under your belt. Which would you say has been the most fun to be in?
Snowy: Almost every band I've ever been with have been a great learning experience in one way or the other, some more rewarding and stimulating than others but I've enjoyed them all. If I should emphasize on "fun" without a doubt I must say Dream Evil. Never before or after have I had so much fun or laughed as hard, and that was the main reason I had a change of heart and decided to go from a session drummer to become a full member after only 3 shows. You see, the first time all 5 of us ever met in the same room was when we shot the pictures before the release of that first album Dragon Slayer.
Touring with Dream Evil was more like being on a fieldtrip with your best pals from school. The magic formula or key to success for this band was, besides the fact that we were all very capable and qualified musicians that it was never that serious and we basically just wanted to have fun making good easy listening heavy metal with a tongue in cheek attitude and an orgy in silly metal cliches.
The world tour of 2007 with Therion was just fantastic and I had a lot of fun too.
I also loved playing with King Diamond and especially my first US tour with them in 1989, because it was a first for me on so many accounts and King Diamond was at the very height of his career then. It was totally mind-blowing and great.
Mikhail: And the one you regretted?
Snowy: Of all the hundreds of bands and projects I've gone through in my life, and of which you've never even heard about for obvious and logical reasons, there are a couple of dozen I wish I could have saved myself the trouble and headache and stayed the hell away from, of course.
Mikhail: You have done some artwork for the Indian horror metal band, Albatross. How did that come about?
Snowy: I've done quite a lot of graphic design, photography and artwork over the years for a bunch of artists and bands, like
Wolf, The Crown, Hardcore Superstar, Falconer, Aggressive Chill to name just a few, as well as for my own stuff like Notre Dame for example.
One of the Albatross guys named Riju initially contacted me on Facebook being huge fans of King Diamond and Mercyful Fate, and we chatted a little from time to time and became like facebook friends. They wanted me to make an album cover painting for them later on but due to the humongous economical differences between India and Europe it simply wasn't doable. And then some time later when they asked my opinion and advice about a painting they've had someone make for them, which I wasn't too crazy about, I simply volunteered to help them out a little, making some changes to improve and refine it in my own taste, and they were happy with the result. That's all. I think in the end their record company disagreed by some weird principle to use a cover in mostly black and white the way modified it and forced them to go back to the colourful ugly original painting claiming black and white wouldn't sell.
Mikhail: What do you think of their music?
Snowy: I heard a few songs Riju sent me and I thought it sounded very good. But I made him promise me to consult me from scratch next time or at least have a better album cover next time around. I guess it's supposed to be horror metal, not horrible metal (laughs)
Mikhail: We're all big king diamond fans so can you please give us a funny KD / MF story.
Snowy: There are tons of weird and amusing anecdotes and stories to choose from that it's hard to pick out just one.
But I remember a funny thing when Metallica had invited Mercyful Fate to support them at Gentofte Stadium in Copenhagen. It was the first show since the reunion and the new album. In the shadows hadn't yet been released.
So King went on speaking Danish of course and introducing our latest song and video to the crowd, so far so good.
When we had lunch at the hotel the next day and checked the reviews in the newspapers. One review in particular stood out among the rest, reading something like " Mercyful Fate are back and their show last night sounded great, King hits all the notes of his signature high pitched vocals perfectly, and their brand new song Eat shit! It's a killer tune!"
Eat Shit!? - I've always had problems understanding because of the way the Danish language is spoken, and apparently I'm not alone...
The song King introduced was of course, Egypt
Mikhail: What can you tell us about "Them Sluts" and why it was put on hold?
Snowy: Eh, well, there's not much to say about that band really, lots of water under the bridge since then, but it's a perfect example of what you just asked a few moments ago, Them Sluts! is one of those many projects that I regret ever wasting precious time and energy on over the years.
It's just a little piece in a bigger puzzle and one hell of a story but it's also very long since Them Sluts! was the continuation of another a little more well known band and consisted of me and a sissy studio producer wannabe that I was working with off and on for various projects for a number of years, but I feel this isn't the time and place so I won't bore you with all the dirty details and miserable shit here and now. Our collaboration ended abruptly in 2006 when I had had enough of all his bullshit after he completely destroyed a mini-album recording for me and I got so furious I told the pussy to do the world a favour and go back home to Norway and drown himself in a fjord (laughs)
I haven't seen him since, so maybe he did, I don't know,
Mikhail: Who is the best guitar player that you have worked with so far?
Snowy: I've had the fortune to play with a lot of fantastic guitarists in my life, so it's hard to pick just one out.
The ones who immediately stick out, and are the most all-round, technically advanced and tasteful are Gus G and Kee Marcello.
I also love Michael Denner's melodic and melancholic solo style. I had Matthias "IA" Eklund briefly in one of my bands and he's obviously just otherworldly and phenomenal and he was replacing a lesser known guy named Jan Strandh, who was by far the best rhythm guitarist I've ever played with, Dimmu Borgir's Galder is an impressively sharp rhythm guitarist too. Kristian Niemann from Therion is fantastic too.
Yeah fuck! I've surely played with a lot of great guitarists.
And since you call yourself huge King Diamond fans, here's a little footnote: throughout my first couple of years as a young aspiring musician I was always playing in bands together with another great guitarist named Michael Moon...
Mikhail: Which other musicians would you like to work with in the future?
Snowy: How about Elvis? Or David Byron maybe, In a far off future (I hope) I'm going to join the greatest band ever, on the other side.
Mikhail: How was it touring with the Deathstars when they opened for Korn?
Snowy: I like Deathstars and think they're a cool act with visions and ideas that appeals to me. This was the second or third time Deathstars asked me to tour with them but previously I had already been booked for other tours during the period in question and had to decline, but on this occasion it seemed that I would be free to do it, so I said yes.
Then things intensified even further and my personal life was extremely turbulent and chaotic at that time, with lots of shit I don't want to get into. But the hectic schedule and amount of stress was devastating, having been out touring all around the world for the better part of a year straight, writing and recording albums in breaks between tours while dealing with a couple of girlfriends simultaneously.
So all in all I was literally at the verge of a breakdown, and to go straight out for 2 month tour after a short X-mas break would have been a disaster and my death. I really had no choice but to pull out of the tour and take care of all the shit that went on in my life and recharge my batteries. Everything was a big fucking mess, I was moving out of one house and renovating a new house, and in the midst of it all I tried finish recording the XXX album which despite its light and easy listening approach wasn't a walk in the park at all. My friend Adrian Erlandsson ended up doing the tour, so no harm done and I had a chance to get all my shit together.
Mikhail: Korn also announced that Dimmu Borgir is opening for them since Jonathan Davis was a fan. how does it make you feel to be opening for Korn again?
Snowy: Yeah, It's kind of funny the way things turn out sometimes. Seems I got a new chance to tour with Korn after all.
Mikhail: Whatever happened to your project entitled "METAL FUR ALLE"?
Snowy: Hahaha! That was just a fun little project I formed together with a couple of friends with the intention that whenever our schedules would allow it to get together and play smaller clubs and parties, have a few beers while doing our favourite covers from the last 4 decades since birth of heavy rock or heavy metal. But somehow I always seemed to be so busy that I only think we did 3 gigs totally, too bad, it was fun and very appreciated too.
Mikhail: Since you have worked with a huge number of bands in the past, do you still get royalty checks from all of them?
Snowy: No. Not from all of them. that's not how it works, you know.
Unless I have written or co-written music and lyrics on the albums I normally don't, but there are exceptions in which I have a cut of the mechanical royalties and sales anyway, but like I said for the most part one gets a flat fee for recording an album and the ones who wrote the material are the only ones earning from the royalties, that's the standard procedure.
Mikhail: What happened to your website, Snowyshaw.com?
Snowy: After that my former webmasteress moved to New Zealand in 2006, due to lack of time and knowledge in the field I wasn't very active and didn't maintain it properly, not at all as a matter of fact, except for paying all the fees yearly.
I had the guestbook removed from the site because of all the spam shit with Viagra commercials and crap.
After MySpace was introduced and exploded, it seemed kind of pointless to have a website, I basically just lost interest in keeping it updated I guess. Perhaps I'll have it up and running again within shortly.
if anyone knows of a really good webmaster, let me know, ok.
Mikhail: Are there any updates you can give us about White Trash Records?
Snowy: You could say I put that label in the trash (laughs)
Thing is after I released the Notre Dame live album Creepshow Freakshow Peepshow on my own label and soon after I got it distributed in North America, I received a mail from another record company named White Trash Records in USA, by business advisers told me to just ignore it, but in the second or third mail they threatening to have their lawyers sue my ass off if I didn't pull back the album and stopped using the company name immediately. The distributors chickened out and consequently the album was pulled back from circulation and/or got confiscated.
I hear it's considered a rare collector's item in the underground scene these days. That's nice and all, but I can probably dig up a copy or two of Creepshow Freakshow Peepshow by Notre Dame as well as vinyl, posters, T-shirts and lots of other stuff. If you want XXX CDs, merchandize etc as well of course, Just drop a mail and order it from: Snowyshawproductions@gmail.com
You see, Three years later, in 2008 I reformed my little independent record company as a branch in my other company Snowy Shaw Productions and out of convenience I went with the same name for the record company.
Mikhail: We all know you play guitar, bass, and drums and also do vocals. What is your favourite out of the lot?
Snowy: I like to alternate, diversity is good. But the truth is that my biggest passion is to create and write music, lyrics and the whole thing.
Playing the individual instruments is secondary and of much less importance to me. Some people seems to think that all I do every day is playing and practising, but sadly nothing could be further from the truth. It feels like all I'm doing is handling business, taking care of mails, negotiating and taking care of administrative crap like some goddamn office worker.
I rarely find time these days to actually play any instrument besides on recordings or shows. I seldom reflect on it
until I actually get to play and realize how much I've missed it, but also how rusty I am and how much I suck because of it (laughs!)
For instance I played drums on Ralf Scheeper's solo album in late June, and I hadn't touched the drums for months before that and I haven't hit a single stroke ever since.
Mikhail: If you had a dream band to form, what would you play and who would you pick as your band mates?
Snowy: I don't know. That depends entirely on the direction of the music and visual concept and what my aim for that would be, of course.
Mikhail: A final question and one that I know that thousands of your hardcore fans are waiting for, when can we expect a Snowy Shaw solo album and career?
Snowy: That's very nice to hear. As soon as possible, that's all I can say at the moment. From what I can see now I'm going to be touring the world with Dimmu Borgir for the next 2 years ahead, so after that I hope.
Mikhail: Thank you for your time Snowy. If there's not anything else you would like your fans to know about your current projects, I just want to say We love having you at MetalAssault.
Snowy: Think I pretty much covered most of it now, can't think of anything else right now anyway.
Just keep your eyes and ears open for an album I've been working on with this French band called THE CNK AND SNOWY SHAW, and the Ralf Scheepers album I play drums on, and this quite spectacular thing called Opera Diabolicus that I've been deeply involved with for years. I think we can expect a release of the album sometime during this autumn. That's about it. Thanks you so much for having me and thanks a lot for your support.
talk to you later.
COMING SOON : Part 2 of the interview with Snowy about why he left Dimmu Borgir and rejoined Therion a day after the news was confirmed. Stay tuned.