Can’t say that the announcement just posted by Dianne was unexpected after the one posted by the band yesterday, but it’s still sad… It is somewhat refreshing to see her state her side so clearly though, unlike those hiding behind more or less generic or formal statements that attempt to mask the real reasons and the events leading to something like this when it’s obviously a matter related to their professional life and therefore something the interested public is entirely justified in wanting to know the details of.
What struck me was that she’s the second Xandria vocalist of the three I know of clearly stating that the stress caused by being in the band was too much, after Lisa. Doesn’t seem to have been the case with Manuela, but that was one of those frustrating situations when the reasons weren’t clearly spelled out, while Kerstin is the reason why I said “the three I know of”, because I wasn’t looking up these things when they split ways with her, and in fact that quite short period with her went completely under my radar, so no idea what was said then.
But, to return to Dianne’s statement, wouldn’t call the fact that they already have a replacement suspicious in itself, because she replaced Manuela immediately too, so it seems to be how they operate, or perhaps how their label does. Not sure how Aeva will fit their sound from what I’m hearing now, but I was rather wary when Dianne replaced Manuela too and Xandria always seem to land on their feet after such changes. Most notably, remember how pleasantly surprised I was by Neverworld’s End, as in their one album with Manuela, and while I still consider that to be their best moment overall, what may have bothered me a bit in their more recent releases was maybe getting somewhat rougher, plus perhaps some other elements of the overall sound that are harder to precisely identify, definitely nothing about her vocals.
On the other hand, speaking of being wary about their new vocalists, the other projects of any of their past ones, whether before or after their stint in Xandria, never got on my radar, and that goes for Dianne’s Ex Libris as well. That’s rather weird, what all of them came from, moved on to and/or did on the side being rather different and not something I could be noticeably interested in, while Xandria is one of the most notable bands I kept an ear on, to put it that way, ever since seriously diving into the genre, and into music in general really, after Andra left. Recall telling a now-former friend once, probably after the release of Salomé: The Seventh Veil, that they’re probably fourth in my personal classification, after the three I was listing as favorites, for different reasons. And while I now know far too many to rank, they’re still up there, and I did say that their best moment in my view came after that period, and their more recent releases aren’t below that level either… Which I guess is the reason why I took enough interest in this to write this post.
Whatever they’re doing to stay up there may not be worth it if it makes for so much pressure on members though.
Later edit: Manuela weighed in as well, meaning to be quite balanced about it, but overall pretty much saying the same thing regarding why she left when she did. The main problem is how the industry works, which is no news to anybody, and the fact that art, or in fact anything, has to pay, that people still need to “earn a living”. But that’s a different discussion…
Even later edit: Lisa also posted a lengthy statement, and you should seriously read it. It’s the first post on her Facebook page in 11 months and there are great comments in it, and it’s written in style, not that anybody should have expected anything less from her on either count. There are a few annoying bits, but the worst part for me is that about her being a mother and that has nothing to do with the matter at hand. What does have to do with it is the part about the management working for the band though, as with contracts and labels I’m not sure how true that is, what freedom bands still have, how much they can override the management. Of course, there is the choice to not get in such an arrangement in the first place and I’d be the first one to advocate for it, but this just goes right back to the “different discussion” I mentioned above.