AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen (ex-BODINE, VENGEANCE) has confirmed the final three vocalists confirmed to appear on the new AYREON CD, "The Human Equation", tentatively due in May 2004 through an as-yet-undetermined label.
According to a post on Arjen's official web site, "an odd chain of events brought a premature end to the guessing game, but we are going to give you the final three names of the singers... and they are: Arjen Lucassen, Devin Townsend and Irene Jansen.
"No, your counting is not off... the current number of singers for 'Ayreon- The Human Equation' is down from 12 to 11.
"Arjen Lucassen himself, the exception to the rule of singers previously not having appeared on AYREON, is singer number 9.
"Arjen orginally wrote only one song that would feature him on vocals in a small cameo-role. But as time went by, a big problem arose with one of the roles that had been written for a specific singer. When this singer had to cancel his appearance due to unexpected work-related issues early on in the process, Arjen searched everywhere for the perfect replacement. But despite the fact that one singer after another was eager and willing to play the emotional role, it just did not work out. In the end Arjen realized that he was the only suitable singer left who could do it. However... few fans will recognize Arjen on this album as he immerses himself in this role on a previously unparalelled level.
"Devin Townsend told his fans earlier this week he agreed to appear on the new AYREON, so we thought we would confirm him officially on the site to put all your minds at ease.
"When Arjen heard TERRIA over a year ago, it blew his mind! Original and innovative, the amazing production, the impressive choruses and screams and the incredible emotion of Devin's voice really made Arjen want to feature Devin on AYREON. However, he was not sure he could write a part for Devin that would showcase all the various aspects of his voice. But when he had finished writing the music and the lyrics for this album, Arjen knew: he had the perfect part for him in mind! Right away he contacted Devin, who was absolutely intrigued by the whole idea. Devin Townsend will write his own lyrics and vocal arrangements for his part and record them in his own studio.
"And the final singer we announce to be on AYREON is Irene Jansen (KARMA) who made her big onstage debut on tour with STAR ONE in 2002.
"On the 'Intergalactic Space Crusader' tour Irene sang backing-vocals together with her older sister Floor Jansen (AFTER FOREVER). On the tour bus Irene played some of her own demo-material to the band and everyone was amazed to hear her powerful voice on its own in a different setting. Arjen knew that someday, when the time was right, he would work with her... and little did anyone know - it was sooner than expected because Arjen has the perfect part for her power voice on this new AYREON album. Irene is extremely excited to be part of this recording and cannot wait to start recording!
"We have yet to reveal the names of the solo instrumentalists for 'Ayreon: The Human Equation'. Stay tuned for more information!"