BLIND GUARDIAN are utilizing the services of RHAPSODY drummer Alex Holzwarth for the duration of their Brazilian tour due to a tendon infection suffered by regular BG skinsman Thomas Stauch which is preventing him from performing live for the next few weeks. The following is a statement issued by Stauch to the Brazilian fans explaining the reasons behind his absence from the tour:
"First I want to let you know that it breaks my heart not being present in Brazil right now. I know, that you all have been waiting for four years to see BLIND GUARDIAN live, again. Knowing that you all are such loyal fans, you at least deserve following explanation: Due to pain in my left hand that got harder day by day since the Wacken Festival, I finally had to go to hospital yesterday, only one day before leaving to Brazil. There the doctors told me, that I have a tendon infection and that they have to plaster my arm to prevent me from moving my fingers and hand for at least 2 weeks. They were convinced that I must have had overstrained my tendons during playing drums on our previous shows and strictly advised me to rest for at least the next two weeks, because otherwise I could expect even not being able to play for the next couple of months anymore. I hope, you all can understand, that under these circumstances I don't want to risk my health, or even my job. Additional I'm still suffering under fever and an infection of my sinusitis, which momentarily totally prevents me even from traveling. Although I would have liked to join the trip to Brazil with the rest of the band, only to see you loyal fans after 4 years, again, or even some of you for the first time! It would have been a pleasure for me, to give my best in drumming for all of you on each show. I'm really sorry, friends!!! But one thing not to forget, Bards: Thanks Alex Holzwarth (RHAPSODY), who will give his best to practice our songs as good as possible in a minimum of time, we at least didn't have to cancel the whole Brazilian tour in the end. In my opinion, this guy is a fantastic drummer and more than a worthy replacement for me, but I think you all know it already. One thing is for sure: it wouldn't make sense to complain about this situation, now, because we all can't change it anymore. Try to make each show the biggest party for all in the band, because don't forget it isn't their fault, that I'm not present. They're only there for you, friends! So, sing as loud as you can!! Thanks a million to all of you for paying attention to my explanation, which hopefully was clear enough to understand and has put your minds at rest. See you hopefully all again, soon!!! I love you all!!! With best wishes and huge greetings, Yours, Thomen."