TRISTANIA's male vocalist Østen Bergøy has issued the following update:
"On behalf of TRISTANIA, and myself, I would like to apologize for the silence from our camp these last few months. It has not been our intention to keep you in the dark, or to hide from our responsibility to inform you about what is really going on. We also apologize for the lack of updates on Tristania.com, it has been neglected for too long. Both the band and the webmaster promise to make sure that the site will be updated more frequently for the future.
"Vibeke's [Stene, former singer] departure from the band obviously came as a shock to you, as it did to us when she told us she intended to leave. The fact that she didn't write you a few lines before she took off might seem strange to us all, I don't want to raise any speculations about why. It was her decision to make. But I think it was the wrong one.
"A couple of months ago, we had all these rumours about Vibeke and NIGHTWISH. Where all those stories came from, we don't know, and frankly we don't care. The cold facts are that she is not a part of TRISTANIA anymore, and that is what we have to relate to.
"It has been very frustrating for us that we have been unable to tour with 'Illumination'. A summer without playing festivals has been difficult. Except of a couple years where we have been busy in the studio, TRISTANIA has done summer festivals every year since 1998. Obviously something has been missing.
"The songs from 'Illumination' suit the live format very well. They have got this special energy that makes many of the songs perfect for the stage. We experienced this during the last gigs we did last year, even though the songs were yet not released, the crowds did respond very well to them. Now we can't wait to continue with touring. Day jobs are boring. At least mine is. I know I am not the only restless member of the band.
"Despite the frustration with not being able to tour, we have used the spring and summer well in the search for the new singer that can fill the shoes of Vibeke, and also take TRISTANIA to the next level.
"We have been looking for something fresh; a voice with character and identity. An imitation of the former singer is the last thing we want, but this special someone also must be able to sing the classics. We take our past with us in the future.
We have received demos from many candidates from all over the world. Some of them were asked to send more material, and a few of them have been invited to Norway where we have been working with them in our studio.
"It is with great relief we are announcing that this search is now over, and we will bring you more details around this soon. We would like to thank each and every person that contacted us and sent material. It has been deeply appreciated. Anders [H. Hidle, guitar] and Einar [Moen, keyboards] are working on new stuff, the engines are still running. I am eager to hear it.
"I am doing a lot of writing these days, working on numerous projects in various areas. Kenneth [Olsson, drums] has had surgery on his knee, and hopefully he will be fit for some heavy touring soon.
"Well, that is about it. We hope you are all well. We will try to update the 'news'-section on a monthly basis.
"Big news will be revealed soon…"
TRISTANIA's new album, "Illumination", was released in January via SPV. The CD was recorded at Woodhouse Studios in Hagen, Germany with producer Waldemar Sorychta (LACUNA COIL, TIAMAT, GRIP INC.).
Watch TRISTANIA's video for the song "Equilibrium" (from 2005's "Ashes"):