Finland's STRATOVARIUS have announced the addition of a new singer and drummer to the group's ranks.
The following is the band's official statement on the matter:
"New vocalist for STRATOVARIUS is called 'Miss K' (photos).
"The vocal talents of this sultry Finnish lady vary from raunchy rock to classical operatic. Her voice range is over 3 octaves and she is capable of transforming STRATOVARIUS sound to something unique, something that has never been heard in Metal before.
"She is 30 years old and has a background in gymnastics, where she has twice become a Finnish Champion, and in acting.
"She has until now been singing in some local bands and has done over 200 gigs.
"Drummer for the next album will be Anders Johansson, the brother of [keyboardist] Jens Johansson.
"After selling over 1 500 000 copies of their previous records, STRATOVARIUS is now ready to take the next step in their career.
"The band will enter the studio, a secret place, in May to record 11th studio album, which has a working title 'PopKiller'.
"The album is due February 2005 followed up by massive World Tour.
"In legal news, Sanctuary Records is asking Timo Tolkki to pay back 1 Million Euros from the recording agreement advance. Tolkki refuses to pay it, and comments: 'They have sent me a notification and are asking me to pay that amount back. Their position is that the agreement was for the old line up. My legal staff doesn't interpret the agreement this way, and have advised me not to agree to this demand. It means that we might be going to court in Berlin, but I am confident I will win this case and that justice will prevail.'
"The old line up of STRATOVARIUS are still supposed to play the following festival dates, which were confirmed earlier before the line up change took place:
Feb. 28 - Piorno Rock – Granada, SPA
May 21 - Tavastia Klubi - Helsinki FIN
May 22 - Rotonde Festival - FRA
May 23 - Transbordeur - Lyon FRA
May 30 - Rock Hard Festival - Dortmund GER
Jun. 05 - Gods Of Metal - Bologna ITA
Jun. 06 - Dynamo Festival - NETH
Jun. 24 - Raumanmeren - Juhannus FIN
Jun. 25 - Nummirock - FIN
Jul. 02 - Masters Of Rock Festival - Senec SLO
Jul. 03 - Masters of Rock Festival - Vizovice CZR