CELTIC FROST mainman Tom Gabriel Fischer has responded to former FROST guitarist Ron Marks' recent press release announcing that he "would certainly be interested in discussing" the possibility of rejoining the band following the departure of Erol Unala.
In a message that was released on Marks' behalf by Alex Zander of MK Magazine (who is also Ron's publicist), Marks wrote, "I've been flooded with emails and phone messages about the current situation with CELTIC FROST. I'm quite flattered that so many are thinking of me and I thank you all. As I'd said previously, I still hold a very warm spot in my heart for the band and for Tom [Fischer, guitar/vocals] and Martin [Ain, bass] as friends. Should they be willing to have me back, I would certainly be interested in discussing it with them. I have no idea if they're at home or out somewhere doing promo but Tom has my phone number and email address should he choose to contact me."
Responding to Marks' statement — which was also forwarded to Fischer by Zander — Tom wrote the following on his (newly relaunched) official blog:
"Thank you very much for your message, the contents of which we have read and noted. I would like to take this opportunity to write a few words from all of us in the group.
"With all due respect (and I do mean that sincerely), isn't it perhaps time for Ron to finally move on? After all, it will be 20 years next year since he was a member of CELTIC FROST for what was a mere few months, and he left the band at that time by his own wish, at the end of the 1987 U.S. tour. And it will be 17 years this fall since Ron was a guest on the 'Vanity/Nemesis' album, at the end of the sessions for which he declined our offer to rejoin the group. Both times, Ron obviously felt that the destructive element inherent in the group's configuration outweighed the constructive aspect. He was doubtlessly right in this assessment. This really is CELTIC FROST, and if anything, the group as it is now has become far more radical and uncompromising.
"The times with Ron (and us!) were sometimes difficult, sometimes good, a few times even fantastic. Below the line, we moved on remembering Ron for all of these times and with respect for his technical abilities. Over the years, Ron has showered us with (mostly unsolicited) demos. We listened to every one of them. I found some of the music on the initial demos to be alright; in fact, I proposed recording a cover version of 'Just hit Pomona' to APOLLYON SUN (it was voted down, AS was a group and not my solo project). Eventually, however, we felt Ron's music became rather constrained and repetitive. Perhaps we moved into another direction. Perhaps tastes are simply different. Whatever the case, he has every right to do what he pleases, as do we. The fact is, the music Ron continuously sent us is further removed from what CELTIC FROST has become than it has ever been. And, if Ron looks at it as candidly as we try to do it, it had already been hugely dissimilar when he first played with us, no matter how determined his efforts were to sound like CELTIC FROST.
"We do not seek a mercenary to play with us, nor somebody who acts like he is one of us but isn't. We entered into the situation of playing without our longtime guitarist not least for these reasons, among others. You have approached us with one direct goal, and Ron's message as sent to us is even more clear. So we must be as honest in response. The thought of asking Ron to rejoin us has never even crossed our minds. The group as it is now is, as one befriended English journalist has put it, a 'chocking miasma.' It is as dark and radical as Martin [Ain, bass] and I were many years ago, in HELLHAMMER. Probably much more so, in fact. This is not an act. Each one of the three of us not only had a very challenging youth, the effects of which we carry with us whether we wish to or not, but we all lived through exceptionally difficult and incisive personal events in recent years, not least during the four years (!) of recording this new album. It has left its marks, and drastically so. Even if we all were musically compatible, I don't think Ron would enjoy a single minute within our ranks. Would he still stay, it would be purely to be in a group that can provide opportunities for as long as they last. But we do not seek a freeloader either.
"None of the above is meant to be patronizing nor judgmental. It also refers solely to musical and creative compatibility, not to personal issues. But let's face it, we all are simply at different places in life.
"Erol Unala and CELTIC FROST separated already in late November 2005. We are continuing as a three-piece, as in the classic CELTIC FROST. We have since been playing with a variety of guitar players, one of which will become a tour guitarist and, eventually, our fourth member. His or her two-year trial time will be utterly remorseless.
"One final thing in closing. Even if there had ever been the hint of a chance for Ron to rejoin CELTIC FROST, his recent open letter to Blabbermouth, which included personal remarks regarding me, has for all times rendered such possibility obsolete. Also, it might be of interest to you that Switzerland is a landlocked country [referring to Ron Marks' previous statement that he would 'practically swim to Switzerland to be in CELTIC FROST again.' — Ed.].
"In light of all of this, we must admit to finding it a tad bit desperate and pathetic if you are going to post yet the umpteenth message that Ron is 'ex-CELTIC FROST' and that he 'would certainly be interested.' Will you and him continue to promote his actually truly considerable abilities with the ex-CELTIC FROST tag for the next 50 years, based on a few months some two decades in the past? We don't think this will do him a service."