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Nightwish drummer Jukka Nevalainen announced on Nightwish‘s facebook page today that he is stepping aside from the band for an undetermined amount of time to deal with sever insomnia.  He said he’s been dealing with this for some time and that it’s getting the better of him these days.  Kai Hahto will be replacing Jukka on the upcoming album.

Here is Jukka Nevalainen‘s video explanation & the response from the band and Kai Hahto:


From Nightwish‘s Facebook Page:

How to begin telling something that you wouldn’t want to have to tell, although you know that the decision you made is the only (at least the only right) one you could make at the moment? I face this dilemma now, and will do my best to find the right words.

For a number of years, I have suffered from occasional but very difficult insomnia, something that has been my unwanted companion during many of our tours, too. I’ve done my best to try to control it or at least to cope with it. Still, we don’t even really know why we need sleep, so unfortunately there’s not much information available on why some of us suffer from sleeplessness. There is no 100% cure for the problem.

During the last month, it has become evident for me that due to my insomnia, I can’t fulfill my duties as a musician in the way that I’d want and with the precision that the music deserves. Thus I have decided to step aside from my duties as the drummer of Nightwish during the recording of the forthcoming album and the subsequent tour. I will still be involved in managing the day-to-day affairs of the band, but the dearest and the most important thing, playing, is, for the time being, not possible. Time will tell what the future holds.

On a personal level, my decision obviously feels indescribably sad. Fortunately, looking at it with some distance, it is “just” part of the constant, inevitable ebb and flow of life. The sad things are part of it as well as the beautiful, unforgettable experiences and adventures that I’ve already had the pleasure to experience in spades. Surely, there will still be many adventures ahead, too.

My good friend Kai Hahto will play drums on the forthcoming album. I’m extremely grateful that he didn’t hesitate for a minute when he decided to help us in this challenging situation. What comes to touring, everything is still open, but we will let you know as soon possible what the line-up will be.

If beginning this was hard, so is ending it. So maybe I will just quote something fitting.

“You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot losesomething that you are.”― Eckhart Tolle

Best regards, Jukka Nevalainen / Nightwish


The Wintersun Facebook page also added:

We are very proud to announce that Kai has officially joined Nightwish, filling in for their drummer Jukka Nevalainen who has had to step down because of serious insomnia. 
A long time friend of the group and having already worked as a drum tech for previous Nightwish albums, Kai will be now sharing his drumming skills live and in studio with these legends of female-fronted symphonic metal.

Being used to pulling double duty from playing previously in multiple other bands (Swallow The Sun, Rotten Sound, Max On The Rox etc.) Kai stays as a full-time member of Wintersun continuing to record and tour with band. Right now Wintersun is preparing for the Summer Breeze festival happening in Germany next week.

We wish Jukka Nevalainen all the best and a successful recovery!


So the metal titan Kai Hahto will take over as the backbone for Nightwish for the foreseeable future.  I’m not exactly sure how I feel about it, but my first impression is that Nightwish is very lucky to be gaining one of the best drummers in the world.  Let’s see how this record turns out!