‘This matter, and everything that goes with it, caused a split between Jani and the other band members. This split was impossible to mend without Jani's help and co-operation,’ the statement continues.
Liimatainen was one of the founding members of Sonata Arctica (back then called Tricky Beans) in 1996. He had been absent from the line-up this spring and summer. During those periods Elias Viljanen filled in for him.
Liimainen was asked to leave the band already in May. His departure from the group was only announced publicly this week (6.8.2007) ‘to give Jani the chance to get his life together’, according to the statement
Elias Viljanen will now be a full and official member of the band. Earlier, he released two solo albums and played with metal bands Mess and Arched.
Sonata Arctica is currently one of the biggest names in the international metal scene and enjoys great popularity especially in South America and elsewhere in Europe and manages to play sold out arena concerts in bigger markets like the United States and Japan. After a short break, the band will head to North America for a tour through Mexico and the United States this autumn, which will be followed by a European tour at the end of the year. The group’s latest album, Unia, was released on 25 May.
A piece of Artic Metal Music
– FREE! Magazine's interview with Sonata Arctica's Toni Kakko (vocals) and Henrik Klingenberg (keyboards)