Dutch symphonic metallers EPICA whose lead singer, Simone Simons, was recently infected with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA),also known as the hospital bacteria have issued the following update:
"The extra weeks of rest, as a result of the cancellation of most of this month's shows, have helped Simone a lot in recovering from her MRSA infection. Three out of the four aspects in her latest test already showed negative, which is a major step forward! Unfortunately this also means that one of these still showed positive. As optimistic as we may be about these final test results, we just cannot risk her health by having her go on tour this soon already.
"We have come a great way already and we must continue this way to overcome this. Therefore we have decided to ask our good friend Amanda Somerville to substitute Simone on our upcoming USA tour. As you all know, Amanda has been involved with EPICA from the beginning as a vocal coach and can also be heard on every album as backing vocalist as well as part of our choir.
"We are very happy that Amanda is willing to help us out on this and we are most positive that these extra weeks of rest will give Simone enough time to fully recover from this infection so that she can join us on stage again during our Dutch club shows.
"If you want to find out more about Amanda, please visit her MySpace."
A Michigan native, Amanda has resided and worked mainly in Germany and the Netherlands since 1999. She's worked with several bands in the metal scene (EDGUY, AFTER FOREVER, EPICA, KAMELOT, etc.) along with producers Sascha Paeth and Miro, and co-wrote the rock opera "Aina". Her own music is of the pop-rock genre and she is currently focusing on her solo career.
Commented Amanda: "Simone and the guys of EPICA are very good friends of mine. I have worked with them since their first album and on every album / DVD since their beginnings as the band we know and love that is EPICA today. It is for that reason that Simone and the rest of the band have asked me to accompany EPICA on the tour while Simone is ill. We all realize that this is a delicate matter and that EPICA fans will be disappointed not to be able to see their beloved Simone, however I hope that you can understand the special circumstances and recognize that this is the only alternative to canceling the tour completely.
"It's important to me that you know that is in no way the band's nor my intention to replace Simone. She is one-of-a-kind, invaluable to EPICA and indeed their front woman and the face of the band. I assure you that I will do my very best to do justice to the performance you have come to expect from EPICA and give it my all. Since I co-wrote many of the songs and was Simone's vocal coach during the recordings of the albums, I feel as comfortable performing the songs as if they were my own."
According to WebMD, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA),like all staph bacteria, can be spread from one person to another through casual contact or through contaminated objects. It is commonly spread from the hands of someone who has MRSA. This could be anyone in a health care setting or in the community. MRSA is usually not spread through the air like the common cold or flu virus, unless a person has MRSA pneumonia and is coughing.
EPICA's North American tour with SYMPHONY X and INTO ETERNITY:
April 04 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East
April 05 - New York, NY - Nokia Theater Times Square
April 06 - Philadelphia, PA - The Trocadero
April 08 - Quebec City, QC - Imperial de Quebec
April 09 - Montreal, QC - Medley
April 10 - London, ON - Embassy
April 11 - Toronto, ON - The Opera House
April 12 - Cleveland, OH - Peabody's
April 13 - Mokena, IL - The Pearl Room
April 16 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon
April 17 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
April 18 - San Francisco, CA - Slim's
April 19 - West Hollywood, CA - House Of Blues
April 20 - San Diego, CA - House Of Blues
April 22 - Santa Ana, CA - Galaxy Theatre
April 23 - Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse
April 25 - San Antonio, TX - White Rabbit
April 26 - Houston, TX - Meridian
April 27 - Ft. Worth, TX - Ridglea Theater
April 29 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Culture Room
April 30 - St. Petersburg, FL - The State Theatre
May 01 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade
May 02 - Charlotte, NC - Tremont Music Hall
May 03 - West Springfield, VA - Jaxx
Amanda Somerville's "My Song for You" video: