||Swiss folk metal pioneers Eluveitie have announced the departure of their long-time guitarist Simeon "Sime" Koch. The new guitarist will be Rafael Salzmann, who will play on the upcoming tours with Eluveitie as a live session guitarist.
The band released this statement: "Sime was thinking about this since quite a long time already and finally decided to take this step after 8 years in the band. He will set about some new goals in his life - both, vocational and familiar - 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's personal statement: "A couple of months ago I informed my band mates, that I'll leave Eluveitie in September 2012 for familiar 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: on September 20th at the show in Solothurn, Switzerland, and on December 29th in Winterthur, Switzerland, at the Eluveitie & friends festival, where he will appear as a special guest.
On a related note, Patrick "Päde" Kistler will have to take a short leave for personal reasons as well and will rejoin our tour with Sabaton in the beginning of October.