Finnish heavy metal monsters LORDI have released the following statement:
"It is our unfortunate task to inform that Kita [drums] is no longer a member of LORDI.
"Kita has made a decision to pursue his own career publicly as himself, without his alter ego Kita. This is in direct conflict with one of the cornerstones of LORDI's image. Therefore it is not possible for him to continue as a member of the band anymore.
"LORDI will continue as always, masked and costumed, consisting of monster personas. Also, the upcoming tour will happen as planned.
"We thank Kita for the years he has been an important part of the band and our successes and wish him all the best in his future."
As previously reported, STALA & SO. (formerly SO.), the Finnish melodic rock band which features in its ranks Kita (real name: Sampsa Astala) on vocals and ex-LORDI bassist Kalma (real name: Niko Hurme; also known by his current stage name Nick Gore), is competing to represent Finland in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. There will be three weekly semifinals in January 2011, each featuring five artists. From every semifinal, three songs will proceed to the final. Finnish broadcasting company YLE will then pick a wild card among those artists who were eliminated in the semifinals to complete the final lineup of ten songs. During the final, three songs will be selected to proceed to the superfinal (to be held on February 12), where the Finnish entry for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest will be chosen.
Formed in 1997, STALA & SO. consists of the following musicians:
Stala (real name: Sampsa Astala) - Vocals
Nick Gore - Bass
Sami J. - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Pate Vaughn - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Hank - Drums
STALA & SO.'s new album will see the light of day sometime in early 2011. The CD was created by the power trio of Stala, Sami J. and Nick Gore, with a little help from a few carefully selected "hired guns."
For more information, visit www.myspace.com/showbyso.
LORDI won the prestigious 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with the band's "Hard Rock Hallelujah" anthem. The song swept Eurovision with 292 points, the highest score in the competition's history.
"Babez For Breakfast", the fifth studio album from LORDI, sold around 1,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 43 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
LORDI's last album, "Deadache", opened with 1,700 units back in November 2008 to debut at No. 13 on the Top New Artist Albums chart.
Kita as a member of LORDI:
Kita (real name: Sampsa Astala) as the frontman of STALA & SO.: