"It's [true], Joanna Nieniewska [vocals] was forced to leave the band a few weeks ago! The reason is a health problem which should not be specified more detailed, but makes it impossible for her to complete a whole show on stage without risk. But because of the grown big friendship within the band during the last months, the band is not willing her to leave totally and so we came to the point that at least Joanna has to be on the road with us when she can't sing with the band anymore and so in future she'll be on tour with us, helping us backstage and doing other important things to bring her support and energy into the band, although it's another way now!
"There are no other reasons besides that, although we already had to read different stories on the Internet which are simply not true. As long as you can't read it on the official Visions Of Atlantis homepage or MySpace, it's absolutely not official and does not come directly from the band or the nearest band environment!
"But now to the good news: The good news besides all that is, that we were able to find an absolute suitable substitute for Joanna within the extremely short time! Her name is Maxi Nil [pictured below]; she's from Greece and she has already worked with Moonspell, for instance, and brings fresh energy and enthusiasm into the band! She was very fast in practicing the material for the shows on Metalcamp and with Tarja Turunen and we are already looking forward happily in doing future shows and tours with her!
"Because of all those things, the recordings for the new Visions Of Atlantis album are delayed a bit at the moment, but we did much work between the live shows now and so we're very optimistic to finish pre-production very soon. Afterwards we'll finally enter the studio to record our fourth album.
"We hope that you all welcome Maxi Nil warmly as the newest member of Visions Of Atlantis and that you can understand us and our decision, which is the best for everyone involved!"
For more information on Maxi Nil, visit her MySpace page.
Visions Of Atlantis in 2007 parted ways with the group's Minnesota-based vocalist, Melissa Ferlaak, and her now-husband, guitarist Wolfgang "Wops" Koch, due to "musical differences." As a result, the band's previously announced participation in the Kamelot European tour was cancelled. Koch has since been replaced by the returning guitarist Werner Fiedler, who was responsible for much of the songwriting on the group's first two records.
Visions Of Atlantis's latest album, "Trinity", was released in May 2007 via Napalm Records. The CD was recorded at Dreamscape Studios and was mastered at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki, Finland. The CD's cover artwork was created by Anthony Clarkson, who has previously worked with Blind Guardian, Hypocrisy and Exodus, among others.
Visions Of Atlantis (featuring new singer Maxi Nil) performing at Slovenia's Metalcamp festival on July 3, 2009: