EPICA, whose lead singer was recently infected with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), has 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."