STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki has issued the following update regarding the group's search for a new singer and drummer:
"Since the rumours are wildly speculating about the new STRATOVARIUS singer and drummer I have decided to tell you how things are going at the moment. First of all I have not been in contact with Michael Kiske about being the replacement for Timo Kotipelto. I know Michael well enough not to suggest anything like that to him and I have enormous amount of respect to him and his musical career. He knows what he wants and I am sure it is very different from what I want.
"I have received lot of interest from lots of different singers and drummers, some of them have been quite surprising and some of them are even singing/playing in quite big groups at this writing. Thank you for your interest.
"Also 3 female vocalists have sent me their tapes and I must say that 1 of them sounds unbelievably talented and she has the looks that kill as well. I hope I can give you some news about the replacements as soon as possible.
"I am still writing new songs and it is going very smoothly. New songs seem to have completely different direction compared to those 10 songs that I wrote first. Even I am very surprised about the songs and how different they sound compared to the previous STRATOVARIUS songs. It seems that I am more positive now, since we found the solution that we all can live with. It's not about FUCKING money by the way.
"I have quit the anti depressives and therapy at the moment and I am feeling really good. I was drinking with Jari last weekend and we had a really good time together. We did pass out from drinking too much, but hey, YOU LIVE ONLY ONCE!!!
"The old line-up will play a Spanish Festival [Piorno Rock] on 28.2.2004. I hope we can act civilized there, although the situation is a pain in the ASS. Nevertheless we will try our best to give a good STRATOVARIUS show to the Spanish fans. SEE YOU ALL THERE!!"