Finnish symphonic power metal band Stratovarius announced that long time German drummer Jörg Michael has left the band for “personal reasons.” It was announced in late 2010 that Michael was diagnosed with cancer, but there was no indication as of yet that the diagnosis was related to his departure.
Stratovarius issed the following statement:
“Stratovarius, one of the most successful Finnish acts with over 2.5 million albums sold, says farewell to longtime drummer Mr. Jörg Michael who will leave the band after 15 years for personal reasons. Jörg will play all the remaining tour dates until the end of January, and will celebrate with a special Finnish “Farewell Jörg” tour in Finland November 18th – 26th.
“Jörg joined the band in 1995 and the first Stratovarius album he played on was Episode (1996). He played on nine albums and nearly 1000 shows with the band.
” ‘The rest of us just has to accept Jörg’s decision with a lot of sadness and wish him all the best for the future. But we can also assure that the band will still go on’, says the singer Mr. Timo Kotipelto.
The band and Jörg are not going completely separate ways though, since Jörg will still be working for the band with his booking agency Twisted Talent Concerts. ‘Our long journey of over fifteen years together has not ended yet, as Jörg remains among our background forces – and we couldn’t be more happy about that. Not only has he been a great drummer but also a close friend and a true professional. We’re honored to have Jörg by our side for this farewell Tour. We can’t wait to rock with our ‘German Steamroller’ one last time! These shows will be unforgettable for all of us’, Kotipelto continues.”
In other Stratovarius news, the band posted the new music video for the song “Under Flaming Skies” taken from the 2011 release “Elysium.”
The video can be seen here: