Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS have reportedly enlisted bassist Lauri Porra (SINERGY, KOTIPELTO, BEN GRANFELT, TUNNELVISION, WARMEN) as the replacement for longtime member Jari Kainulainen, who left the group a few weeks ago.

In a recent interview with the Brazilian magazine Rock Brigade, STRATOVARIUS drummer Jörg Micheal spoke about the reasons behind Kainulainen's departure shortly after the completion of the band's latest, self-titled effort.

"The truth is that Jari had other priorities," Michael explained. "He never became as involved with the band as the other members. It's sad for me to think about the fact that he is no longer in the band, because he and I formed one hell of a rhythm section, even though he wasn't really interested in developing something bigger with the band. I mean, he showed up for the gigs, he was in the band pictures, and he was part of the recording process, but he never showed he was really interested in STRATOVARIUS. Can you believe that the guy has been there for 10 years and I never even once visited him at his house?

"Jari's departure has nothing to do with the other band problems," Michael continued. "STRATOVARIUS has never been his priority, he never got involved in the process of creating songs and with the creative development of the band. Now he's married and the family became more important than everything else. As a result, we will go our separate ways."

STRATOVARIUS' new self-titled album is scheduled for release on September 5 via Sanctuary Records. A video for the album's first single, "Maniac Dance", was shot on April 15 in Helsinki by director and guitarist Timo Tolkki's old schoolmate Antti Jokinen (BEYONCÉ, WYCLEF JEAN, KORN, MISSY ELLIOT, NIGHTWISH, SHANIA TWAIN, CELINE DION).

STRATOVARIUS will be teaming up with INTO ETERNITY for a North American tour beginning in mid-September.


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