German prog-metallers SCENES have parted ways with vocalist Nektarios Bamiatzis. "Collaboration with [Nektarios] the past few months had become more difficult and complicated to schedule due to his engagement at 'German Idol' as well as his solo career," the band write on their web site. "As a result of Neki's meteoric rise after he reached 8th place on the casting show it ultimately became more and more difficult to coordinate rehearsals as well as concert dates, which increasingly obstructed the band. As a result, this step, which we are all very sorry about, became necessary. SCENES thanks Neki for two and a half interesting and extremely productive years, and wishes him the success of which he has always dreamed and which he can realize through 'German Idol'. Neki remains loyal to SCENES and can be heard on 3 tracks on the upcoming album scheduled for 2004, and will also appear as an occasional special guest at concerts.
"The new man at the mike is no less than Alex Koch (ex-SPIRAL TOWER, POWERGOD)! Alex is not only a longtime friend of the band but also a secretly hoped-for candidate since the earliest beginnings of SCENES. Says Chris (guitar): 'We always thought that Alex would be the best fit for us - not just us, but also many friends and musicians from the area thought so - but he was rather constrained because of SPIRAL TOWER and POWERGOD. The first time he rehearsed with us, we all thought, 'This is it!' Working with Alex is a lot of fun and he brings a lot of cool ideas to the table.' Alex has already recorded vocal tracks for the album, which will be available soon."