Thomas Caser, drummer for the Austrian symphonic metal band VISIONS OF ATLANTIS has issued the following statement regarding the recent announcement that the group's Minnesota-based vocalist, Melissa Ferlaak, and her boyfriend, guitarist Wolfgang "Wops" Koch, were leaving the band:
"In the past seven years, I have dedicated ALL my energy into VISIONS OF ATLANTIS. I have been responsible to bring the band up from scratch — got all the record deals, shows, tours, did ALL the work there is besides the music and put all my personal interests aside so I can focus on the band. For this time I also put my professional career behind in order to focus on the band... I have seen people join and leave the band, understood all of their personal/musical views and have never had any hard feelings about them. But if you commit to something where other people are involved with, may it be bandmates, fans, record label, then you also have some sort of responsibility towards them. That's my (our) point and that is why we are upset with this situation. Or should we be happy??? I cannot go out and say, 'All the best to you, and thanks for leaving us before such an important tour.' This was crucial for VISIONS OF ATLANTIS, we could have hit a bigger audience, the tour we have always dreamed about... If it was 'only' Wolfgang leaving, we could live well with the situation, but it is our singer — our 'face' — who has left. And she left because he left, that's a fact. Fearing that the musical direction could become more 'Cast Away'-orientated.
"KAMELOT tour is cancelled [for VISIONS OF ATLANTIS], they are already looking for a replacement. So to all who have been looking forward to see VISIONS OF ATLANTIS live — please don't blame it on VISIONS OF ATLANTIS. VISIONS OF ATLANTIS will continue and we hope that you all stay with us!
"BUT we have some good news for you — our friend Werner Fiedler [guitar] is back in the band! He was mainly responsible for the songwriting of the first two records and we are happy that he's back!!!"
VISIONS OF ATLANTIS's latest album, "Trinity", was released in May via Napalm Records. The CD was recorded at Dreamscape Studios and was mastered at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki, Finland. The CD's cover artwork was created by Anthony Clarkson, who has previously worked with BLIND GUARDIAN, HYPOCRISY and EXODUS, among others.
Watch fan-filmed video footage of VISIONS OF ATLANTIS' September 28, 2007 performance at The Clubhouse in Tempe, Arizona: