Given To Fly: Hammerfall guitarist quits band to become a pilot

Guitars or aeroplanes

: it's a debate that has troubled mankind for thousands of years. We choose guitars, but this man doesn't…

Stefan Elmgren

, guitarist with Swedish power metallers


has announced he is leaving the band. Here's his official statement on the matter:

"I have decided to leave Hammerfall. The reason is that I have been offered a job as a pilot within an airline.

"My interest in aviation has been growing very strong, and now I feel its time for me to take a step and be a pilot on a professional level.

"We have been discussing the possibility of combining the work with Hammerfall and both me and the rest of the band realized that it would be very hard indeed.

"It has been a great journey with lots of great memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

"I would like to give a big thanks to all the wonderful fans; it's has truly been a pleasure to meet and perform for you all during these 11 years.

"I still love to play the guitar so you might hear from me again someday somehow.

"I would like to wish who ever is taking my place and the rest of the band good luck in the future."

Hammerfall has yet to announce a replacement guitarist.