Drummer Uli Kusch will be unable to join his SYMFONIA bandmates at the group's debut concert this coming Friday, February 18 at the Finnish Metal Expo (part of the Helsinki Metal Meeting) in Helsinki, Finland.
Commented Kusch: "Over a month ago I started to feel pain in my left hand while rehearsing for the first show of SYMFONIA. At first I thought it was just temporary, normal pain that sometimes comes with intensive rehearsing. But it got worse very quickly.
"I have been seeing two specialists and they have done all kinds of tests to locate what the problem is. They both agreed it is some kind of nerve damage and that I absolutely should not play drums in this moment.
"I am very sorry about this, since I have been waiting to play this show in Helsinki very much. But I have to think about the future of SYMFONIA and the possibility of the permanent damage I would do to my hand if I would now play. In fact, the pain is so strong that I cannot even hold a drumstick in my left hand at the moment.
"I hope you understand the situation and that I am doing everything I can to get better as soon as possible.
"Regarding Finnish Metal Expo, I have told the guys to play the show nevertheless, with a substitute drummer, because many people are waiting to see SYMFONIA's debut live."
Added the other members of SYMFONIA: "When we received the sudden news about the hand injury of our bandmate Uli Kusch, we felt very concerned about his situation. Given the wonderful results with our new album, 'In Paradisum', we have been impatiently waiting to play live. After talking with Uli, we all decided together to go on with our previous plans. Therefore, as a temporary replacement for Uli, we have agreed to invite the renowned German drummer Alex Landenburg (AT VANCE, ANNIHILATOR, MEKONG DELTA, STRATOVARIUS), who is prepared to take the stage at Finnish Metal Expo on Friday the 18th at 11 p.m.
"This is a moment of great concern about our drummer, and we are giving him all support and help, so that his treatment can bring him back on stage as soon as possible."
SYMFONIA recently inked a worldwide deal (excluding Asia) with Edel Germany GmbH for the release of the band's debut album, "In Paradisum". Due on April 1, the 12-song CD was Studiomega in Varberg, Sweden.
A press release reads as follows: "They are all legends among the melodic metal community. By sheer coincidence, they all found themselves living on the same continent, in Scandinavia. They decided to join forces and express their talents in the form of a new melodic metal project: SYMFONIA.
"Honoring the heritage of their previous bands STRATOVARIUS, HELLOWEEN, ANGRA and SONATA ARCTICA, SYMFONIA continues their superb melodic metal tradition with an incredible musicianship that is a match made in heaven. This is a force that no serious melodic metal fan will be able to ignore."
* Timo Tolkki (STRATOVARIUS, REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE) - Guitar
* André Matos (ANGRA, SHAAMAN, VIPER) - Vocals
* Jari Kainulainen (STRATOVARIUS, EVERGREY) - Bass
* Mikko Härkin (SONATA ARCTICA, KOTIPELTO) - Keyboards
* Uli Kusch (MASTERPLAN, HELLOWEEN) - Drums
For more information, visit www.symfonia.fi.