Finnish power metallers KIUAS have issued the following update:
"As our loyal followers (that's you!) are well aware, Ilja [Jalkanen, vocals] left the band to pursue other interests. However, it is not only Ilja who has been pondering the balance between KIUAS and other areas in their lives.
"Markku's [Näreneva, drums] duties as a parent and medical doctor have grown to the point where it is impossible for him to continue giving his total dedication to the band.
"Atte [Tanskanen, keyboards] has found his passion with flying and after graduating from the Finnish Aviation Academy he has spent most of his time in the mile-high club (and steering the aircraft as well every now and then).
"Both guys made the choice to move on themselves and although this stirred up some emotion at first, these changes were inevitable and neccessary for the band to evolve and...well, to excel and ascend.
"Atte and Markku send their thanks to everyone who's been with KIUAS throughout the years and will continue to act in the background following the band's career and helping out in some ways.
"As for the new members...they are passionate musicians first and foremost and people with whom I've already shared the road more or less in the past with great joy and the obsessive urge to ROCK...just as I have with the old members of KIUAS.
"Our new official keyboard player Jari has already played over 30 gigs with KIUAS and has practically been a sixth member of the band since the 'New Dark Age Tour' in 2008, standing in for Atte when he was busy soaring the skies. Jari is a virtuoso player with a history of professional musicianship behind him and his knowledge and expertise is so extensive that he has been used as a consultant in the studio for the likes of LORDI.
"The new vocalist Asim Searah is a young gem luckily discovered by a certain bald guitar player and has already displayed his talents with KIUAS on four gigs. Asim's clean and powerful vocal range can easily cover the world's metal and hard rock repertoire and he can shift convincingly from classic Dio-esque melodies to brutal death growls. He is also a competent guitar player and thus future shows will partly feature some serious twin guitar bombardment!
"The new drummer, Rainer 'Raikku'Tuomikanto is a well known figure in the finnish metal scene, an artist and a technical phenomenon in the highest league. He has performed on dozens of records and toured with many finnish bands and has now finally found his right place with KIUAS.
"So, what's GONNA happen?
"The new KIUAS will throw a mini-tour starting in May to get the feel of the sweat, the booze and the decibels. The dates are as follows:
May 19 - On The Rocks, Helsinki, FIN
May 20 - Puijonsarvi, Kuopio, FIN
May 21 - Nuclear Nightclub, Oulu, FIN
May 28 - Kolhorock, Mänttä, FIN
June 19 - Myötätuulirock, Vantaa, FIN
"'Lustdriven' was the last album in the record deal KIUAS had with Spinefarm Records, so another important move is signing a new deal. Negotiations are already underway, but this is something that shouldn't be rushed. A new record deal will most certainly be signed within 2011, with Spinefarm or another company.
"The creatives juices are flowing wildy, and everyone who's close to the band has huge expectations of new lineup and its capabilities.
"Throughout the year the band will spend some serious quality time in the basement working with new music.
"As you can surely understand, at this point it's hard to give any exact time for the next release, but the aim is to put a new record out sometime in 2012, depending on all factors such as the new record deal, songwriting and touring.
"People have been asking about a possible DVD release of the last gig with the old lineup. Yes, the gig was recorded and captured on camera. And we also have hours and hours of footage — onstage and offstage — from the years gone by. SO, we ARE planning to put out something sooner or later."
KIUAS 2011 is:
Asim Searah (THE NIBIRUAN) - Vocals
Mikko Salovaara - Guitar
Teemu Tuominen - Bass
Jari Pailamo (ex-TWILIGHT GUARDIANS) - Keyboards
Rainer Tuomikanto (AMARANTINE) - Drums
(Thanks: fireangel and Melica / Night Elves)