Awa, the longtime keyboardist for Finnish heavy metal monsters LORDI, has announced her decision to leave the band. She will be seen on stage for the last time on August 11 at Simerock in Rovaniemi, Finland where LORDI will celebrate its 10-year anniversary.

Awa joined LORDI in 2005 and made her recording debut with the band on the breakthrough album “The Arockalypse”. She has played on three LORDI studio CDs.

Awa’s replacement has already been found and will join his or her new bandmates in the studio this fall when they begin work on their next album, tentatively due in early 2013. The characters and character names of the new keyboardist and the drummer will be unveiled, along with the band’s new masks and outfits, before the release of LORDI’s next CD.

Awa states about her decision to leave LORDI: “Playing in the band has been an incredible experience and clearly one of the best times in my life. I have always been very fond of LORDI, its music and image, and will surely be following news about it closely. The band and the crew were and will always be a second family to me and I will be missing them and our fans greatly. However, seven years in the band has been physically and emotionally very demanding. You have to be in a band like this 100 percent. If you are not able to do that anymore, you have to let go and give space for something new.”

She adds: “I want to emphasize that I am not going to leave music or making music, because music is the most important thing to me in life. I am on a creative break now, but have several new ideas already. You will hear about them if and when the time is good. I also believe that I can still be seen behind the keyboards some day.”

LORDI’s leader, Mr. Lordi, states: “We have been discussing this behind the scenes for quite some time, but nobody knew that this year would be this kind of a year of changes for LORDI. Of course, you always believe and wish your current lineup would be permanent and final, but these are not issues of faith. Situations change, things happen and plans are renewed. All the rest of us in the band wanted her to go on with us, but we also understand her decision and respect that. We know that this decision was not easy for her either. It took a long time to come to this conclusion. We agreed already earlier, that she will not participate our next album studio sessions. In this case, she would have had to hang out with us for the next couple of years. Naturally it would have not been fair to her, to the band or to our fans.”

LORDI will enter WireWorld Studio in Nashville, Tennessee in September with renowned producer Michael Wagener (METALLICA, OZZY OSBOURNE, SKID ROW, DOKKEN, RAVEN, MEGADETH) to begin recording its new album.