SINERGY have fired bassist Marco Hietala and have hired session musician Lauri Porra to assist them in fulfilling their touring commitments for the remainder of the year. Vocalist Kimberly Goss issued the following statement via the group's official web site explaining the reasons behind their decision:
“We had to make the very tough decision to fire Marco from the band. This is a sad day for all of us in the SINERGY camp. There are several reasons for this. We'll try to explain them here the best we can to be completely open and honest with YOU the fans...
“After [Marco] made a strict promise to us to reserve this whole year (2002) to tour with SINERGY, [he] changed his mind and decided he would tour with NIGHTWISH instead. At first the 'reason' was because these were suppose to be the last gigs for NIGHTWISH since [NIGHTWISH vocalist] Tarja decided she will leave the band in the autumn when her studies resume. We in SINERGY were very understanding to this matter and decided that we'll go ahead and take a session player with us so Marco could have this one last chance to tour with NIGHTWISH. He said to us 'I don't want to kick them (NIGHTWISH) while they're down'. Today (May 5th, 2002) I (Kimberly) spoke with Tuomas from NIGHTWISH and he told me that they are trying desperately to convince Tarja to stay in the band, but that even if she doesn't continue with them they will keep the band going with a new singer. This news changed everything for us. Now that NIGHTWISH will continue (even if it's with a new singer) we asked Marco if he could please tour with us now, and let NIGHTWISH be the ones to bring the session bassist instead. Marco declined. Naturally we were upset by his decision, especially since NIGHTWISH could easily get a replacement on the bass and put Marco's vocals on mini-disc (like they do for Tarja's harmonies, several keyboard parts, and even some guitar parts). Toumas suggested to me that WE buy a mini-disc for Marco's backing vocals in SINERGY. We can't do that for 2 reasons. First of all it's not exactly like we just have money being thrown at us to afford these things, and secondly we prefer to play everything live. Marco told us that the main reasons for him choosing the NIGHTWISH tours are: a) better money b) he gets to sing more parts with them c) when they have this upcoming 'break' he will have time with his children. He has also stated on several occasions that MUSICALLY his heart belongs to SINERGY, but as the old saying goes, 'money changes everything'. For the record, Marco DID however say he does like the NEW NIGHTWISH album that he recorded with them. In conclusion, we decided that if we cannot rely on him to follow through with his promises, we can no longer keep him in the band. We wish him and NIGHWISH the best of luck in the future.
“On a side note: NIGHTWISH's manager [Ewo Rytkönen, to whom Kimberly has 'affectionately' referred as an 'asshole' on the band's official message board] called me laughing and screaming with joy about this whole situation saying, 'Hahaha.... now you don't have a bass player'. He has been waiting for this day to come a long time now. We extend our congrats to him!”
At this time, there is no official word as to whether Porra will become a permanent replacement for Marco. According to SINERGY's official web site, “Lauri has played on many albums as a hired musician as well as doing several tours with various bands. Kimberly met him when the 2 of them both performed on the WARMEN albums together. He already knows how to play all the songs and even Marco himself said he was an excellent player. Over the next 3½ weeks Kimberly will train both Lauri & Alexi to sing the backing vocals required for the tours before leaving for Korea. In the words of QUEEN, 'The show must go on.'
"SINERGY will leave on May 31st for Korea and will go directly to Japan from there and won't be returning to Finland until June 26th. In Korea they will play 3 gigs. The Busan Rock Festival, one headliner in Seoul, and one gig opening for DEVIN TOWNSEND in Seoul. On June 9th they go to Tokyo, 10 days before their first Japanese concert. They will live in an apartment for those 10 days (rented just for the band) and during this time Alexi and Roope will be giving 2-3 guitar clinics at the ESP Music Academy in Osaka & Tokyo. Meanwhile, Kimberly will be doing lots of promotion (interviews, special events, ect...) in Japan before they hit the stage on June 19th in Nagoya. There will also be special contests arranged for fans to get a chance to meet SINERGY before the tour with ANGRA begins."