Tommy Lindal, one of the founders of the Norwegian band THEATRE OF TRAGEDY, is leaving the music scene after a 16-year struggle.

In 1996, Tommy suffered a stroke in Germany while recording THEATRE OF TRAGEDY’s “Velvet Darkness They Fear” and “A Rose For The Dead” albums and has since tried to fight his way back, but his physical limitations have prevented him from doing so.

Commented Tommy: “It has taken me more than 16 years to finally realize and more important to me personally, to admit that the day back in the studio of 1996, did change my life as a musician forever. That is how deep my passion for my guitar and the love for making music was to me that I have been fighting all this time. Since that day, I have been trying to find my way back to where it all started, so I could be able to ‘continue’ my walk on the path I was so lucky to have found.

“It has been a difficult journey, both personally and professionally, where I have met many new people and have got many different experiences. It is with a very heavy heart and tears in my eyes, that I have to admit that the path got more and more distant all along, and now has faded away. My battle is over.

“There are different reasons for my decision to call it off, but the accident 16 years ago still make it impossible for me to continue. As a side-effect from my stroke, it has made my left arm lose its precision, [caused] short-term memory loss and my balance is low. I cannot make any fast movements with my arm, and that is very limiting for my ability to play as I want to. I have tried it all, therapy, training, even acupuncture, but nothing helps. The last few years I have tried to play my way around it, but I am not satisfied with the result of my own work.

“Even though, I do acknowledge how lucky I was to be a part of the gothic/doom metal scene for some years, and maybe I was one of those responsible for setting some new standards in the genre. I was so fortunate that the work got spread out all over the world and it really does move me when people say that it has made a big impact on their life.

“Over the recent years , my interest in music has minimized. I guess it was making me realize my closure nearing. I do not listen daily to music anymore, I hardly play my guitar at all, I don’t even make the effort to listen for my favorite bands’ new releases. I still love to watch concerts, but it is in a different way than before. Today, I go to the shows to have a great time, meet friends, enjoy the show, and to not get inspiration, look at techniques and think like a musician. Yes, there is a difference in an artist and fan, I think. As an artist, we do hear the music differently, so today I feel more closer to a fan rather than an artist. I guess that I am tired. Burned out…

“Also I think that most of today’s music is so artificial, surgically precisioned, and full of electronics. I don’t see the true soul of music. Well, it sounds cool, it rocks, but that is my own opinion.

“I remember when I recorded my parts for ‘Theatre Of Tragedy’ and ‘Velvet Darkness They Fear’, it was all made of feelings. We were just the guys with the drums and the guitars making our music in the rehearsal room, without machines and blinking lights. We used a keyboard, but mostly for piano and some weird sounds. We made the music according to our true feelings, and loved it because we thought it sounded brilliant. It all started when we did not care if anyone would like it or not.

“Please do not get me wrong, I have had a lot of beautiful moments and there is hundreds of brilliant bands out there. My love for music as art will never die, nor the flame burning inside me. I will always fall in love with music, only this time it will be like a fan.

“I also want to tell all you who did believe in me, who understood my message, my way of playing, I am forever grateful for all your support. Thank you.

“This took me 16 years of blood sweat and tears to realize, but it feels good to finally admit. I did my best.

“You have just read my closure…”