AVANTASIA, the metal opera pioneer band from Germany formed by Tobias Sammet (EDGUY) announced that guitarist Oliver Hartmann will no longer play with them due to concentrating more on his solo music, as his bride, to fill the vacancy in this position, an old friend has returned, he is Arne Wiegand.
Tobias Sammet says:
“With a heavy heart we’d like to let you know that Olli Hartmann will not play with AVANTASIA next year. Life is full of changes, personal plans and different expectations are sometimes difficult to bring together, sometimes we all have different ideas about how things should be done. I thank Olli from the bottom of my heart in the name of the whole team and wish him nothing but the best for his own projects.
And I’d like to introduce an old new old (but young, compared to most of us) familiar face who’ll shred the guitar on stage next year AVANTASIA: Arne Wiegand.
This year he played bass for us in Latin America. He also played guitar for us in the past and now he’ll get back to real, proper, distorted, amplified six string HEAVY METAL guitars, his legs apart, his Terry Cloth Sweat Wristband firmly protecting his precious arms while soloing Paganini’s 25 seasons in F-sharp minor at 350 beats per minute while painting the Mona Lisa with one of his other 5 hands. Besides that, his other hobbies are pretty much what other creepy prodigies do, like astro physics.
And probably stuff like memorizing the phone book of Cologne and investigating the evidence of beaver activity in the Swedish Tundra.”
On the other hand, Olli Hartmann (Oliver Hartmann‘s nickname) said:
“Now that it’s official I’d also like to share the news with you that I won’t be part of the upcoming AVANTASIA tour. Even though I’m looking back on 23 great years where I started out as a singer in hymns as ‘Sign Of The Cross’ and have been guitarist of the live line up since the first tour in 2008 – and always since then – I simply had to draw this decision. Of course I will deeply miss these ‘grown up people’s school trip tours’ and all of those unique great personalities that became friends, but I will also give me the opportunity to concentrate a bit more on my other musical things that deserve a bit more time and space.
By the way: A new video clip for the HARTMANN track “Just drive” will be coming out on Nov 3rd – so don’t miss it!
Soooo: Good luck for you Avantasian boys and girls and I’m sure we’ll meet on one of your festivals here or there next year!!! And Arne: Please, take your time to practice the riffs right, ha ha.”
AVANTASIA is a side project of Tobias Sammet, vocalist of the power metal band, EDGUY. The project was originally intended to be just a concept double album, but was later reformed into a new group of musicians and continued as an ongoing project.
AVANTASIA went on a festival tour in the summer of 2008 which was planned to be the only performance of the project, however they have continued to perform with various guest vocalists since 2011.