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Stratovarius logo

Formed: 1984
From: Helsinki, Finland
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Stratovarius News

Below is our complete Stratovarius news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Nocturnal Rites New Album And Tracklisting

Swedish power metallers NOCTURNAL RITES have set "Grand Illusion" as the title of their new album, due in Europe on September 19 via Century Media Records.

The follow-up to 2004's "New World Messiah" was recorded and mixed at Toontrack Studioin Umeå, Sweden and features guest appearances by Stefan Elmgren (HAMMERFALL), Jens Johansson (STRATOVARIUS), Henrik Danhage (EVERGREY), Kristoffer W. Olivius (NAGLFAR) and Swedish cross-country skiing world champion, Per Elofsson.

"Grand Illusion" will include a bonus DVD featuring three videos from "New World Messiah", the brand-new "Fools Never Die" video, a "Making of Grand Illusion" segment and extra footage from the "Demons of the Opera" show.

"Grand Illusion" track listing:

01. Fools Never Die (3:54)
02. Never Trust (4:43)
03. Still Alive (4:02)
04. Something Undefined (4:08)
05. Our Wasted Days ((5:17)
06. Cuts Like A Knife (5:10)
07. End of Our Rope (5:26)
08. Never Ending (4:29)
09. One by One (4:23)
10. Deliverance (5:00)

NOCTURNAL RITES will support NIGHTWISH on their Swedish tour in September. The dates are as follows:

Sep. 08 – Stockholm, SWE @ Arenan
Sep. 09 - Göteborg, SWE @ Lisebergshallen
Sep. 11 - Umeå, SWE @ SkyArena

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Into Eternity to Open for Stratovarius

Into Eternity will be opening for Stratovarius in September and October. Dates are as follows:

09/19 Jaxx- West Springfield, VA
09/20 The Trocadero- Philadelphia, PA
09/21 BB King’s- New York, NY
09/23 Medley- Montreal, QC
09/24 Le Capitole- Quebec City, QC
09/25 The Opera House- Toronto, ON
09/27 House of Blues- Cleveland, OH
09/28 House of Blues- Chicago, IL
09/29 Fine Line Music Café- Minneapolis, MN
09/30 Pyramid- Winnipeg, MB
10/02 Starlite Room- Edmonton, AB
10/03 Warehouse- Calgary, AB
10/05 Commodore Ballroom- Vancouver, BC
10/06 Studio Seven- Seattle, WA
10/08 The Pound- San Francisco, CA
10/09 Galaxy Theatre- Santa Ana, CA
10/10 Key Club- West Hollywood, CA

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Stratovarius Vocalist Defends Band's New Direction

In a recent interview with BW&BK, Stratovarius vocalist Timo Kotipelto defended the band's decision to tone down their trademark high speed, high-end vocal sound on their forthcoming album, simply titled "Stratovarius."

“To be honest, the feedback is more postive than I expected it to be," says Kotipelto. "We’ve heard only good things about this album. But, I’m prepared for people not to like it because it’s different. It was a good thing for me especially that Timo (Tolkki/guitars) composed these songs, because if he would have suggested in December doing songs that were the same shit like on Elements Part 1 and 2 I would have told him ‘Fuck you, I don’t need this.’ I wanted to do something different.”

"Some fans are going to be pissed off, sure,” he concedes, “but we’ve done this power epic whatever-you-want-to-call-it metal for 10 albums and we’ve taken it as far as we can. There was no way. The next thing would have been Elements Part 3 with a 1,000 piece orchestra, extremely fast songs and dog-whistle vocals, so what would be the point of that? We’re not 20 year old kids anymore, so we don’t have to prove anything.”

The new album comes in the wake of a year long feud between Kotipelto and Tolkki following the singer's dismissal in 2003. Differences were patched up following Tolkki being diagnosed as a manic depressive. Watch for the full story in BW&BK #91.

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Stratovarius Announces New Bass Player

In a posting on Stratovarius' official website, the band announces that they have found a new bass player:

Long-time bass player Jari Kainulainen has left Stratovarius. There is no drama or bad blood. Jari just doesn't have it in his heart to tour this heavily anymore.

Jari is not dropping out of the scene, he will continue to play metal.

The new bass player is Lauri Porra. He is 27 years old and a native of Helsinki, Finland. He looks like this. He has previously played with Sinergy, Warmen and Kotipelto.

Says Lauri: "I'm very honored to be invited to play with Stratovarius and follow in the steps of such a great bass player as Jari. I'm really looking forward to going on the road with Stratovarius, to meet some old friends, and to hopefully make lot of new ones."

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Stratovarius' Long-Time Bassist Departs

Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS have parted ways with longtime bassist Jari Kainulainen. In a posting to the band's official forum, STRATOVARIUS mainman/guitarist Timo Tolkki writes, "Some of you have heard rumors that Jari Kainulainen has left STRATOVARIUS. Unfortunately I have to tell you that they are true. This is due to personal reasons. We will release official statement regarding that soon."

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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More Hammerfall, Stratovarius Tour Dates Added

A few more dates to the Hammerfall / Stratovarius co-headline tour have been added:

Oct. 26 Helsinki, FIN - Kulttuuritalo
Oct. 28 Tampere, FIN - Pakkahuone
Oct. 29 Turku, FIN - Caribia
Oct. 30 Umea, SWE - Skycom Arena
Nov. 01 Oslo, NOR - Rockefeller
Nov. 02 Stockholm, SWE - Arenan
Nov. 04 Köln, D - Palladium
Nov. 05 Antwerp, B - Hof Ter Lo
Nov. 06 Tilburg, NL - 013
Nov. 07 London, GB - Koko
Nov. 09 Lille, F - Splendid
Nov. 10 Hamburg, D - Docks
Nov. 11 Osnabrück, D - Halle Gartlage
Nov. 13 Paris, F - Elysée Montmartre
Nov. 16 Barcelona, E - Razzmatazz
Nov. 17 Murcia, E - Sala Gamma
Nov. 18 Madrid, E - La Riviera
Nov. 19 Pamplona, E - Pabellon Anaitasuna
Nov. 21 Lyon, F - Transbordeur
Nov. 23 Pratteln, CH - Z7
Nov. 24 Fürth, D - Stadthalle
Nov. 25 Pratteln, CH - Z7
Nov. 26 Kaubeuren, D - All-Karthalle
Nov. 27 Milan, I - Alcatraz
Nov. 29 Ljubljana, SLO - VPK Mediapark
Nov. 30 Wien, A - Planet Music
Dec. 01 Budapest, H - Petöfi Dec.
Dec. 03 Zlin, CZ - Vanue Novesta

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Hammerfall And Stratovarius To Co-headline Tour

Sweden's Hammerfall will embark on a double headliner tour with fellow Scandinavians Stratovarius in the fall. Here are dates:

Oct. 26 - Helsinki, FIN @ Kulttuuritalo
Oct. 28 - Tampere, FIN @ Pakkahuone
Oct. 29 - Turku, FIN @ Caribia
Nov. 01 - Oslo, NOR @ Rockefeller
Nov. 04 - öln, GER @ Palladium
Nov. 05 - Antwerp, BEL @ Hof Ter Lo
Nov. 06 - Tilburg, NETH @ 013
Nov. 07 - London, UK @ Camden Palace
Nov. 09 - Lille, FRA @ Splendid
Nov. 10 - Hamburg, GER @ Docks
Nov. 11 - Osnabrück, GER @ Halle Gartlage
Nov. 12 - Paris, FRA @ Elysée Montmartre
Nov. 13 - Paris, FRA @ Elysée Montmartre
Nov. 16 - Barcelona, SPA @ Tba
Nov. 17 - Murcia, SPA @ Sala Gamma
Nov. 18 - Madrid, SPA @ La Riviera
Nov. 19 - Pamplona, SPA @ Pabellon Anaitasuna
Nov. 21 - Lyon, FRA @ Transbordeur
Nov. 23 - Pratteln, SWI @ Z 7
Nov. 24 - Fürth, GER @ Stadthalle
Nov. 25 - Pratteln, SWI @ Z7
Nov. 26 - Kaubeuren, GER @ All-Karthalle
Nov. 27 - Milan, ITA @ Alcatraz
Nov. 29 - Ljubljana, SLO @ Vpk Mediapark
Nov. 30 - Wien, AUT @ Planet Music
Dec. 01 - Budapest, HUN @ Petöfi Hall

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Timo Kotipelto To Begin Writing New Material

STRATOVARIUS frontman Timo Kotipelto has posted the following message on his official web site:

"I am sorry that I haven't been updating the page lately. I've been busy/lazy...

"We [the band KOTIPELTO] will do only one gig this summer and that will be Sauna Open Air in Tampere, Finland June 10th.

"The European tour went well! We had lots of fun on/off the stage. I do hope to do the next tour in a couple of years.

"I will start composing some new material with Lauri [Porra; TUNNELVISION; bass] and Tuomas [Wäinölä; HEARTPLAY, NYLON BEAT; guitar) in the next few weeks. We shall see what will come out of those sessions."

KOTIPELTO's sophomore solo album, "Coldness", was released in Europe in April 2004 through Century Media Records. The follow-up to 2002's "Waiting for the Dawn" was recorded by CHILDREN OF BODOM keyboardist Janne Wirman at his Beyond Abilities Studios as well as by Tero Kostermaa at High and Loud's ELK Studios and Finnvox Studios in Helsinki, where the mixing (Mikko Karmila) and the mastering (Mika Jussila) also took place. Matthias Norén, who has previously worked with bands like INTO ETERNITY, LOST HORIZON and EVERGREY, designed the album's artwork.

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New Stratovarius Video Directed By Antti Jokinen

Megastar video director Antti Jokinen has directed Stratovarius' brand new video for "Maniac Dance" (also the first single). Jokinen is most famous for his work with artists like Beyonce, Nightwish, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, among others.

The video was shot in VR:n Konepaja in Helsinki, Finland on April 15, and will be edited in Los Angeles next week.

"Maniac Dance" comes from Stratovarius' forthcoming self-titled album. "Stratovarius" marks the band's eleventh full-length studio album and will be released on September 5.

A brand new band photo from the video shoot can be seen here, as well as a photo of Timo Tolkki and Antti Jokinen here.

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New Stratovarius Album Details Revealed

Finnish metallers STRATOVARIUS will release their brand-new self-titled effort in late August/early September via Sanctuary Records. The track listing for the effort is as follows:

01. Maniac Dance
02. Fight
03. Just Carry On
04. Back To Madness
05. Gypsy In Me
06. Götterdämmerung (Zenith of Power)
07. The Land of Ice and Snow
08. Leave The Tribe
09. United

A video for the album's first single, "Maniac Dance", was shot last week by director and guitarist Timo Tolkki's old schoolmate Antti Jokinen (BEYONCÉ, WYCLEF JEAN, KORN, MISSY ELLIOT, NIGHTWISH, SHANIA TWAIN, CELINE DION).

"The songs are a few years old," Tolkki told Sonera Plaza. "I didn't plan the album to be like this. The songs wrote themselves. I just compose and later see what I have come up with... All music on the album is done by me, but Jens (Johansson, keyboards) and Timo (Kotipelto, vocals) have contributed some lyrics.

"Every artist praises their new album, but I just really like this CD," Tolkki continued. "And of course I'm very happy that we managed to make it in the first place!"

One track that has made it to the album's final track listing over objections from the group's record label is "Götterdämmerung (Zenith of Power)" (formerly "Hitler"), which features a sampled speech by Adolf Hitler. Tolkki has previously described the track as "as strongly against Hitler as a song can be."

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

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New Stratovarius Album Tracklisting Revealed

Translated from an interview that a band did:

Stratovarius will release their new studio album in late August or early September. The Album is called simply Stratovarius (in other words you can forget about Popkiller) and it has the following tracks:

01. Maniac Dance
02. Fight
03. Just Carry On
04. Back To Madness
05. Gypsy In Me
06. Götterdämmerung (Zenith Of Power)
07. The Land Of Ice And Snow
08. Leave The Tribe
09. United

The album will surely be a surprise for Stratovarius fans. For example, you won't hear any double bass songs, for the Album is mainly in 4/4 and hte song are thoroughly produced mid-paced heavy rock songs. Especially the first part of the album is very "un-Stratovarius" (in proportion to previous albums) and some fans' faces may be worth seeing, when they hear the Atari-intro to the album single Maniac Dance.

A video has already been filmed of the forthcoming single, which was directed by Stratovarius guitarist Timo Tolkki's old schoolmate and the director of Celine Dion's, Eminem's and Nightwish's music videos, Antti Jokinen. Maniac Dance's lyrics leave little to be guessed, they tell about the twister gone around Timo Tolkki during the last few years More...

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ProgPower USA VI Sells Out In 3 Days

ProgPower USA VI has officially sold out just three days after tickets went on sale to the general public.

“I don't think my attendees realize how truly grateful I am for their continued loyalty and support,” said promoter Glenn Harveston. “This is the fourth consecutive sell-out thanks to them. I don't think anyone had a clue that tickets would move so fast this year. My heartfelt thanks to the public for allowing me to continue with what I believe is the best concert experience in North America.”

This year’s stellar lineup will host Angra, Conception, Orphaned Land, Circus Maximus, and Manticora on Friday, September 16. The festival’s second night, Saturday, September 17, will feature Stratovarius, Therion, Pink Cream 69, Symphorce, and Stride.

ProgPower be held at Earthlink Live in Atlanta. Doors are scheduled to open at 4:30 p.m. on both days.

A ProgPower USA VI Pre-Show Party will be held Thursday night at The Loft. After a great experience performing at last year’s ProgPower, Germany’s Dreamscape is returning to headline the pre-party. Orphaned Land will perform an acoustic set with material different from their Friday set. Avian, featuring Lance King (ex-Balance of Power, Pyramaze) on vocals, and Outworld, featuring guitar virtuoso Rusty Cooley, will also perform. Ticket information for the pre-party will be released in the coming weeks.

ProgPower USA is one of America’s most highly praised festivals. There is currently a three-year wait on the Gold Badge waiting list. Last year ProgPower USA drew fans from 32 states and 12 counties including Japan and Australia.

ProgPower USA is sponsored by Pacific Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Shure Microphones, Planet Waves Gear, J.’Addario Strings, and Evans Drumheads.

Earthlink Live is located at 1375 Peachtree Street NW in Atlanta.

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Into Eternity Resume Canadian Tour After Sickness

Canadian progressive death metal band INTO ETERNITY resume their Canadian tour today in Winnipeg. Although members of the band are still ailing from prolonged bouts with strep throat and pneumonia, they have vowed to bring their intense live show to dedicated audiences.

INTO ETERNITY was forced to cancel several of their late March appearances supporting Amorphis after guitarist Rob Doherty sought emergency medical treatment in Atlanta. Diagnosed with pneumonia and advised to enter the hospital, the band immediately returned to Canada where Doherty, vocalist Stu Block, and guitarist/vocalist Tim Roth (who played shows with fevers topping 104° F) were all treated for pneumonia. You can read Rob’s full account here.

INTO ETERNITY are touring in support of their critically acclaimed album Buried In Oblivion. In addition to their tour with Amorphis, the band will be touring the U.S. this summer with Hate Eternal, Krisiun, Incantation, and All Shall Perish and this fall with power metal masters Stratovarius.

INTO ETERNITY tour dates: More...

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ProgPower Fest 2005 Line-up

This years ProgPower Festival will be held in Atlanta, Georgia on September 1-2. Bands preforming are:
Orphaned Land, Therion, Stratovarius, Angra, Conception, Symphorce, Pink Cream 69, Manticora, Circus Maximus, and Stride.

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Stratovarius Checks In With Album Update

Taken from the official Stratovarius website:

After a lot of listening and editing, the basic structure of our 11th album is getting together slowly but surely. After the turbulence of the last year, none of us has known what to expect when going into the studio.

We have used the drums Jörg recorded alone at Soundtrack studio about a year ago. There was about 70 gigabytes of drums, so that took a while to listen to. And bit of tough decisions, and editing, cutting and pasting. New lyrics and vocal melodies have been written, and also some new songs.

Says Timo Tolkki: "I recorded all my rhythm guitars during one evening. God, my fingers still hurt!! There is a construction project going on under my studio. They are building a parking hall and are exploding huge bombs twice a day. Also there is lots of drilling. I am sure that this is the first time in the history of metal that an album has been recorded under circumstances like these."

It has indeed been very hard to record vocals and acoustic instruments. But we are finally getting there, slowly but surely. It's flowing and the feeling is really good. The vocals will for sure be finished before Timo Kotipelto's solo tour embarks. Then of course, the mixing... the mixing... the mixing. Stratovarius has never made a compromise when it comes to the sound and this time with TT in his own studio.. my God, anything under two months of mixing and we'll be lucky. Anyway we would like to thank you, the fans, for your patience and hope that you enjoy this progress report and some new pictures.

With very best greetings, STRATOVARIUS

The new band picture is at http://www.stratovarius.com/pictures/stratovarius-2005-photo-by-alex-kuehr-normal.jpg

The 2004/5 photo gallery is at http://www.stratovarius.com/pictures/2005/

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Into Eternity Excited To Tour With Stratovarius

Currently on tour with Amorphis in support of their 2004 release, "Buried In Oblivion," Canada’s Into Eternity have been added to Stratovarius’ fall tour package.

Vocalist/lead guitarist Tim Roth commented:

We are really excited to be touring with Stratovarius and see this as an ideal package. We will be playing in front of a completely new audience, one for which we haven’t had the opportunity to play. All of us have been Stratovarius fans for years. We are fans of Tolkki’s guitar playing, Kotipelto’s voice, and also of Jens Johansson (keyboards) ever since he played with Yngwie Malmsteen. We met Kotipelto at ProgPower USA V last year and we begged him to take Into Eternity on tour, and now it’s a reality.

For complete dates check here.

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Into Eternity To Support Stratovarius On Fall Tour

Currently on tour with Amorphis in support of their 2004 release Buried In Oblivion, Canada’s INTO ETERNITY have been added to Stratovarius’ fall tour package. Vocalist/lead guitarist Tim Roth commented, “We are really excited to be touring with Stratovarius and see this as an ideal package. We will be playing in front of a completely new audience, one for which we haven’t had the opportunity to play. All of us have been Stratovarius fans for years. We are fans of Tolkki’s guitar playing, Kotipelto’s voice, and also of Jens Johansson (keyboards) ever since he played with Yngwie Malmsteen. We met Kotipelto at ProgPower USA V last year and we begged him to take Into Eternity on tour, and now it’s a reality.”

After the Amorphis dates, INTO ETERNITY will play headlining shows across the Midwest and Canada. The complete list of Into Eternity's tour dates follow: More...

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Stratovarius Confirm More U.S. Dates

Finland's Stratovarius have announced two more tour dates in addition to their performance at ProgPower USA 2005. Here are the dates:

Sept. 16-17 - Atlanta, GA - Earthlink Live (ProgPower USA VI)
Sept. 19 - Springfield, VA - Jaxx
Sept. 21 - New York, NY - B.B. Kings

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Vote For Your Ideal Stratovarius Setlist

In the Forum section of their official website, Finnish power metal giants Stratovarius have offered their fans the chance to vote for their favorite Stratovarius songs as part of their "ideal setlist". The announcement also reads that the results are "sure to influence the choice of material for the upcoming Stratovarius world tour." Fans may submit up to 18 songs.

To vote for your Stratovarius dream setlist, go here (you must register as a user before you can vote).

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Stratovarius/SaxonDrummer Offers Statement

Stratovarius/Saxon drummer Jörg Michael has posted this message on his official website:


this is Jörg Michael speaking!

Wow, a lot of time passed by since I posted the last statement here and so there is a lot of things to tell.

Probably you guys have heard about the tragic accident of last weekend when Biff's house burnt down in the north of France. It's very hard to cope with a tragedy like this but on this way I like to send best supporting regards over to Biff and his family and hope they will recover soon! Good news are that nobody got hurt, that is the the most important thing I suppose! Let´s cross our fingers that Biff's life is going back to normal as fast as possible!

Hot news since a couple of weeks is the reunification of Stratovarius. Yes, this is very big news in my life and especially the fact that Timo Tolkki is doing much better, and is able to work again. We are working on the new material, of course I am very excited about what will come of it! At this point I'd like to explain that Stratovarius means something very special to me. I have been together with these guys now for about 10 years. We started really at the bottom and lived a dream together, seeing the band growing and also developing the relationships. I wouldn't lie if I say that we all became friends in this band. We have a saying in German that you need 11 friends to be successful with a football team, but I would say it is very hard even to meet 11 friends in a lifetime.

I also saw some confusion about this on the Saxon web site and I would like to tell the things from my point of view. I hope it will clear all the fog away and give everybody an understanding about my situation! Stratovarius was in a big crisis at the beginning of last year, and I got a call out of the Saxon camp asking me to do their new record. That was a great honour for me and I packed my drum kit in the van, drove to England and auditioned 2 days and the boys liked what I was doing! Also we were talking about touring at that time. I already said at that point that I don't know what will happen with Stratovarius, but I promised Biff that I will be there for the whole Lionheart tour and we got a deal! For me it was an absolute great pleasure and almost a dream to play an album and a tour with one of my all time faves. The Saxon tour was an absolute blast for me, after starting the first shows in a kind of safe mood the whole band got more and more beserk so I really enjoyed every single second being on stage. I mean, playing masterpieces like Solid Ball of Rock, Motorcycle Man, Crusader, Dogs of War, 20.000 feet, etc., only to name a few... and I am not even mentioning the Lionheart stuff yet... made my evil little heart jump up and down and blew me away. Everybody knows the heart breaking skull cracking riff blasting guitars, solid pumping pounding iron bass with Nibbs going insane on stage, but I have to say one more thing: Biff on stage as a front man and singer is bloody fucking brilliant and asks for all my respect, bloody English... -:). This is no put honey around Biff's mouth or put my head into Biff's ass, this is my honest opinion! Also I haven't forgotten the metal maniacs visiting the shows who gave me great support all over Europe and a fantastic feel playing in Saxon, thank you very much for that. A that point I shouldn't forget big thanx for every single road crew member as everybody gave me support and all the help I needed to feel a part of the family since the first day. Very special thanx go to Django and Duce, both are supermen and probably the best drum technicians in the world!!! Muriel and Emile my friends who run the web page put a couple of photos of the tour on the site, check them out and enjoy them! And as everybody know the Lionheart tour didn´t end yet so I am still part of that! I think there will be still a lot of rockin' to do.

I'll watch out to see you all around!

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