Loudness drummer Masayuki 'Ampan' Suzuki has suffered a stroke; Upcoming Tour Dates to conti
According to a message on the official Loudness Facebook page, "drummer Masayuki 'Ampan' Suzuki has suffered a stroke and is recovering in hospital. He is doing well under the circumstances. Loudness will do their announced March tour with Ryuichi Nishida as a fill-in. Nishida has performed with Marty Friedman and Gackt in the past."
Suzuki replaced original Loudness drummer Munetaka Higuchi following his passing in November 2008 due to liver cancer, making his recording debut with Loudness on the band's King Of Pain album. Frontman Minoru Niihara commented on Suzuki joining the band in a conversation with BraveWords scribe Carl Begai:
“Masayuki was discovered by Akira (Takasaki / guitars). I didn’t know anything about him until we met at the rehearsal studio. There was a festival a month after Munetaka’s passing, the gig had been booked one year prior. We had an option to cancel the gig but we decided we’ll play because we knew Munetaka would be disappointed if we cancelled. So, we urgently needed a drummer to fill in and that’s when Akira brought Masayuki to the band. He’s very different from Munetaka in terms of his style of drumming but superb in both technique and power. On top of that, we love his sincere and passionate attitude towards rock music.”
“He’s a dedicated drummer who practices with enthusiasm, a world-class drummer who has brass balls. We toured with him several times and came to the conclusion that he’s the guy. After Munetaka’s passing, we feel blessed to have met such an amazing drummer. His drum sound injected new life into Loudness. There wasn’t much difficulty in recording or in live shows. Seemingly, our fans like him as well. It sure does make me feel weird without Munetaka, though.”