Swiss New Wave of Folk Metal pioneers ELUVEITIE have issued the following statement regarding the departure of their long-time guitarist Simeon “Sime” Koch: “We regret to inform you that Sime is leaving Eluveitie. Sime was thinking about this since quite a long time already and finally decided to take this step. He will set about some new goals in his life – both, vocational and familial – which will make it impossible for him to play in a touring band. Sime was part of Eluveitie for 8 years now, part of our little, crazy family – and we will dearly miss him. But at the same time we’re thankful for the awesome time we spent together. We wish him and his family all the best for his personal and vocational future!” Sime states: “A couple of months ago I informed my band mates, that I’ll leave Eluveitie in September 2012 for familial reasons. It was a very tough call, it was difficult to make this decision – in a way the band is part of the family too, after all. I will dearly miss Eluveitie. But fortunately the world (or rather Switzerland) is small: I will still play the upcoming shows in Solothurn’s Kofmehl and the Eluveitie & Friends festival with full commitment! I wish the band all the best and accident-free upcoming tours!” Those of you who’d like to see Sime on stage with ELUVEITIE one last time, will get two chances, namely on the 20th of September at the show in Solothurn, Switzerland, and on the 29th of December in Winterthur, Switzerland, at the “ELUVEITIE & friends festival”, where he will appear as a special guest. At the same time the band announces Sime’s successor: “His name is Rafael Salzmann and he will play the upcoming tours with us as a live session guitarist. Rafael is a gifted musician and very skilled guitar player and he also already has been working together with Anna in the Soundfarm Studios. Now we’re looking forward a lot to rock the stages together with him!” On a related note, Patrick “Päde” Kistler has to take a short break due to personal reasons and will rejoin ELUVEITIE’s upcoming “Swedish Empire Tour” as support of SABATON in the beginning of October. Make sure to catch ELUVEITIE & SABATON on one of the following occasions: Swedish Empire Tour with SABATON and Wisdom 07.09. D Hannover - Capitol 09.09. NL Tilburg - O13 10.09. D Osnabrück - Hyde Park 12.09. LUX Luxembourg - Rockhal 13.09. D Saarbrücken - Garage 14.09. D Berlin - Metal Hammer Awards (without Wisdom) 15.09. D Gießen - Hessenhalle 17.09. CH Lausanne - Rocking Chair 18.09. CH Pratteln - Z7 19.09. I Milano - Alcatraz 21.09. D Geiselwind - Music Hall 22.09. D Munich - Backstage 23.09. D Lindau - Club Vaudeville 26.09. A Vienna - Arena 27.09. A Wörgl - Komma 28.09. D Leipzig - Hellraiser 29.09. B Torhut - De Mast 30.09. F Paris - Alhambra 02.10. F Lyon - CCO 03.10. E Barcelona