Multinational melodic metallers MASTERPLAN have revealed their new band lineup. Joining recently announced new drummer Martin "Marthus" Skaroupka (CRADLE OF FILTH) are vocalist Rick Altzi (AT VANCE, SANDALINAS, THUNDERSTONE), who replaces Jorn Lande, and bassist Jari Kainulainen (STRATOVARIUS, SYMFONIA, DEVIL'S TRAIN).
The band is currently recording the follow-up to its 2010 album, "Time To Be King", for a March 2013 release via AFM Records.
Commented MASTERPLAN guitarist/leader Roland Grapow: "The last years have not been easy for MASTERPLAN. Because of several factors, we have been unable to play festivals and tours — even though we had plenty of offers. But this will definitely change now.
"I'm very happy to welcome Rick and Jari on board now. Beside their undoubted musical qualities, they both fit perfectly into our team.
"We feel a huge motivation to get things going now.
"2013 will be see a new MASTERPLAN album, several festivals and a tour! It's time to return with full force."
First confirmed MASTERPLAN gigs for 2013:
* Wacken Cruise
* Rocknacht Tennwilm (Switzerland)
* Norfest (Portugal)
* Masters Of Rock (Czech Republic)
MASTERPLAN's new lineup:
Rick Altzi - vocals
Roland Grapow - guitars
Axel Mackenrott - keyboards
Jari Kainulainen - bass
Martin "Marthus" Skaroupka - drums
Back in March, Grapow revealed that he had 15 songs written for MASTERPLAN's next album. He added, "We are looking for a more powerful album this time... still with great melodies and feelings, but also with more orchestration and faster stuff again… just more metal."
In an August 2011 interview with the Czech web portal Kultura21.cz, Grapow stated about the status of the songwriting sessions for the next MASTERPLAN album, "This time we tried not to make demo productions, which have a poor sound — so we wanted to make really nice pre-production [recordings] which sound very close to the album sound, which is very easy [to do] in my studio now. I think we have many, many new ideas which, I guess, are a little bit more modern and more aggressive as well. So we try not to follow any trends of MASTERPLAN — I'm not saying we're reproducing the first album or the third one or the fifth one. I think we always have to try to make some surprises for the people. The 'Time To Be King' album is great, but this new album sounds a bit different again. I always want to do this, because I'm not that kind of guy who wants to make every year the same album."
On the topic of MASTERPLAN's numerous lineup changes, Grapow said, "I think it's always difficult in this band, I guess. If you see, the first album just came out after a big turbulence — leaving HELLOWEEN, Uli [Kusch, drums] and me. I think this band always needs some very bad moments to some great songs. [laughs] And it looks like MASTERPLAN, basically, is my main band, and whoever will sing and whoever will play in the band, I'm happy with. But, basically, at the moment, I'm thinking the main songwriters are Axel now and me. So whatever happens, this band will continue. It's very important for me to show that we still have the power and the ability to write beautiful melodies and some aggression and rock and metal songs. Whatever we do, we want just to make good-quality stuff."
MASTERPLAN's last CD, "Time To Be King", was released on May 21, 2010 through AFM Records. The CD's first single, "Far From The End Of The World", was issued on April 16, 2010.