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Sonata Arctica switch guitarist

2007-09-03
Guitarist Jani Liimatainen left the band and is substituted by Elias Viljanen.
Therefore Sonata Arctica wants the following to be known: "During fall of '06 and spring of '07, Jani's personal matters and actions drove us to a situation where we had no option but to ask Jani to leave the band. Jani was notified of this in May, and the separation was amicable. We wanted to give Jani the chance to get his life together before making this public, which is why we didn't make this announcement earlier.
We wish Jani well on his chosen path.
"Show must go on", so, facing the facts, we hereby humbly announce that Elias Viljanen is from this day forward a full and official member of Sonata Arctica. Throughout this summer, on many occasions, Elias has shown himself to be able to fill the big boots Jani left behind.
We hope our friends and our fans understand that this was the only choice left for us to make so that our band could continue. Sonata Arctica has always been, and always will be, more than the sum of its parts. The band has become for us a way of life, a lifeline that simply can not be cut off. A long "Unia"-tour lies in front of us. We extend Elias a warm welcome to the SONATA family, and we hope the fans will, too. Sonata Arctica is whole again. See you on the road!"
 
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