Finnish “battle metal” warriors TURISAS have announced that Jukka-Pekka Miettinen (ex-ARTHEMESIA, ENSIFERUM) will be joining the band on bass for forthcoming shows, and Robert Engstrand (ex-KOTIPELTO, THE FLOWER KINGS) will be coming into a completely new role in the band — as keyboard player. This change is in response to the sad news that current bassist Hannes Horma and accordionist Netta Skog have decided to leave the band due to personal and motivational reasons. This announcement will NOT affect TURISAS‘ tours this fall in any way: the band will perform as advertised at this year’s Heidenfest tour in Europe, and afterwards will take part a full-length headlining tour in the U.K., Ireland, Spain and Portugal.
Commented the group in a statement: “A band is not something that can be kept together by force. If someone wants to quit, there’s not much the rest of us can do about that. Both for Hannes and Netta, it came down to the same thing: a choice between the band and other personal interests had to be made. We tried to find a compromise where both could be combined, but unfortunately in both cases it didn’t seem possible at their end. Neither Hannes or Netta played a critical role in the creative process and studio work of the band, so in this sense not much will change. Still, they were always great onstage and we shared many memorable moments together.
“We would like to make it very clear that there is no drama here, and thankfully no hard feelings. Both Hannes and Netta made their decisions completely independently, based on their own personal reasons. Their departures are not connected in any way, it was just that this short quiet period between the Euro festivals and the forthcoming touring was the only meaningful time to make a smooth changeover to the new members.
“We’d like to thank Hannes and Netta for all the good times we had together over the years, and wish them both the best of luck in the future.
“As far as Jukka-Pekka and Robert go, these guys are both very talented musicians, and we are very excited about hitting the road with this new lineup.
“Please welcome our newest reinforcements; this is the beginning of a new era!”
Hannes Horma, who joined TURISAS right after the release of the band’s debut album, “Battle Metal”, says, “My career with the band started 2004. At the time I was only nineteen years old. It felt like a dream come true and since then, we’ve had some amazing time and unbelievable shows during these years.
“For the past couple of years I’ve been studying orchestral composing, arranging and classical singing and with the touring responsibilities, I haven’t had a lot of free time and couldn’t pursue my other interests. Lately, I’ve also felt that the ‘flame’ is not there anymore for me personally: it was time for me to move on to do the things I feel most passionate about.
“I love playing concerts with TURISAS but I cannot be on tour for six or more months a year and try to study at the same time — no one can.
“I would like to thank everybody I’ve met during the years, all the fans around the world, the bands we’re toured with and our crew — you rock! I also hope all the best for everybody in TURISAS: thanks for letting me to be a part of this for all these years. It’s been a hell of a ride but now it’s my time to jump off. Hopefully we’ll meet again, someday, somewhere.”
Netta Skog, who has been with TURISAS since 2008, was only 16 years old when she first joined the band as a last minute stand-in player for a European tour in 2007, subsequently becoming a full-time member. Earlier this year, she was forced to leave the band’s U.S. tour because of personal issues, but returned for summer festivals. She says: “I sadly announce that now is the time when I have to say goodbye to TURISAS. I’m going to start my studies in college soon and also need to focus on my personal life; thus, I had to make the decision and this is the final result.
“These almost four years with the band have been amazing. I’ve got a lot of new friends and seen the world all around. I’m so lucky I was the one the band wanted to have as their accordion player and there are definitely no regrets. All the good memories will stay in my heart forever! Of course, it’s sad to leave but still, I have to think that this band was one chapter in my life, and now it’s time for me to turn the next page. I’m more than thankful to all of you for your amazing support and just for being amazing fans! I’ve had so much fun and I will never forget you. Thank you for everything.”