THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

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TimoTolkki
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THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by TimoTolkki » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:31 pm

Due to the unfortunate events around Saana during the last days have made me to issue a more clarifying statement regarding this.
To start with, I have put 5 legal documents to http://www.timotolkki.com for those who are interested to see how things really are legally. You might have to press ”refresh” to see the new content.
I signed the contract with Frontiers in good faith . I had and have a very strong belief that Saana is the most important work that I have ever done. I went into the composing process with free hands, like I always do. I cannot write music if somebody is trying to impose restrictions to it. This is what has happened all the time during the last 4 months. It has been one constant fight about everything possible from graphic designs to the music. It is very difficult to work under those kind of circumstances and I have always had the principle that nobody tells me what to do regarding my art. Now I believe that this principle has been under constant and systematic attack from Frontiers Records.
Those who are interested can read my arguments for terminating the contract with Frontiers from www.timotolkki.com, but I sum them up here:
Frontiers REJECTED the production master that I sent them and sent them back to me. This is exactly the same record that they are now ”proudly presenting” and selling on their homepage. They tried to get me to go back to the studio to write more ”Metal songs” and to quote them ”just insert them in between somewhere there”. Needless to say after 2500 hours of work and a clear concept of 2 album storyline including a filmed format doesn’t allow anything like that and neither would I do it because for me, freedom of expression in art is a necessity to be even able to create any music plus that both parts of Saana represent a whole and a concept that is evolving up until the ”Finale” in part 2.
Frontiers presents in their letters things like the music is not what I ”promised” them. I cannot ”promise” any music, I am not a jukebox. The music style in the contract is detrmined as ”Rock Opera”. I first wrote the story and then the music around it. I have never written music for anyone else but myself. I appreciate and honor the support of my fans greatly, but at the end of the day, I am expressing myself through my music, not through Frontiers Records.
They go on stating that the album has ”drum loops” and drum machines which they don’t tolerate. The album has real live drums played by Mirka Rantanen of Thunderstone. It hasn’t got any drum machines and it has one loop that lasts 20 seconds.
My production company Goldenworks is responisble for producing the sound production master (you manufacture cd’s from this) and graphic master (you manufacture the booklet, cd design from this)
I have since last October numerous times asked Frontiers to deliver me the cataloque number of Saana and a barcode, which are both necessary elements for any record store to take the cd for sale. Frontiers have insisited that it is them who is doing it, not Goldenworks. Contractually I pay for the graphich master and am therefore resposible to produce the graphic master. But I havent been able to do so because of abovementioned facts. I also suspected that they would alter the artwork because I sent an early version of the cover to the director of Frontiers, who freaked out and said its horrible. He also SENT the jpeg to some people including some journalists, which was an insane thing to do at that point of production.
They claim that the album should not contain any instrumental music and that the album is ”mostly instrumental music”. Keeping in mind the storytelling nature of a Rock Opera or musical, I challenge you to find a piece that doesn’t have instrumentals. Out of 16 tracks , 11 tracks contain vocals.
Frontiers continues by stating that the album should be 45 minutes long according to the contract. The album is 44:10 long. This doesn’t really need any comment…
Frontiers claims that I delivered the master late. This is true, but I notfied them about this already in August 2007 and they approved it and were systematically preparing for a May 2008 release. I can prove this by email traffic.
Frontiers also claims I was unavailable for discussions for compromise. This is also not true. After some email exchanging they proposed a settlement compromise, which I gave to my lawyer to check. Frontiers was hurriying me and my lawyer to sign this document to the point that my lawyer became very irritated and said to me that I should always be very careful with any company that is hurrying you to sign. After reviewing what my lawyer said I terminated the contract by his recommendation.
Despite of this, Frontiers Records seems to be releasing Saana according to their website. I know most of their distributors personally and none of them has this album in their release schedule.
Frontiers Records hasn’t got the necessary parts to be able to produce a cd in the way that it is of high quality. Yet, they seem to intend to manufacture cd’s out of MP3 files and booklet from 2 low resolution jpegs they have. They don’t have lyrics or any information regarding the album details.
I have designed Saana’s 24 page booklet in the way that each page has its own graphic layout and is very necessary for understanding the unfolding story. Only the booklet took 1 month to make.
We shot 25 hours of footage for the bonus DVD videos and the sales DVD story.
Therefore it is really sad to see that they are doing this and I think it says a lot about this company what it is willing to do.
There is a touch of irony in first rejecting the master because of the things I have explained and then when I terminate the contract, instead of taking Goldenworks to court, what do they do? They ”proudly present” the new rock opera from Timo Tolkki. Needless to say, Goldenworks will take legal actions against Frontiers Records if they will release the Saana album. I doubt they are able to do that, at least via their normal distribution channels. Maybe only through their online shop, but the quality of that product will be less than adequate. The ”cover” they have sent to some media is an early version of the final cover.
I rest my case, I have spent one year of my life working this music and I believe it is a truly unique and innovative concept. I never wanted any of this fuss, but I will defend my art against a corporate attack if I have to and I am not afraid to stand in court and say what I have to say about my artistic right to express myself.

All the best, Timo

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by NeonVomit » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:47 pm

So I guess releasing it through another label is out of the question then?

What a pain in the ass. And another reminder that people in the music buisiness are just out to screw the artists over.

I admire your dedication to your art, and I and probably every other Stratofan will support you and certainly not purchase an album made out of mp3 tracks! I can't believe they're serious about that, what amateurs!
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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by AMBR@BEC » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:54 pm

Thank you for the clarification. The situation was a bit confusing for fans on the outside of it all and more than a little disconcerting with conflicting statements being published.
Frontiers REJECTED the production master that I sent them and sent them back to me. This is exactly the same record that they are now ”proudly presenting” and selling on their homepage. They tried to get me to go back to the studio to write more ”Metal songs” and to quote them ”just insert them in between somewhere there”. Needless to say after 2500 hours of work and a clear concept of 2 album storyline including a filmed format doesn’t allow anything like that and neither would I do it because for me, freedom of expression in art is a necessity to be even able to create any music plus that both parts of Saana represent a whole and a concept that is evolving up until the ”Finale” in part 2.
That sounds ridiculously ignorant on their part, though unfortunately very much like too many people in the corporate end of the music industry.
I also suspected that they would alter the artwork because I sent an early version of the cover to the director of Frontiers, who freaked out and said its horrible. He also SENT the jpeg to some people including some journalists, which was an insane thing to do at that point of production.
Another point that seems remarkably unprofessional.

From everything written here, it appears that Frontier is acting in a foolish and counterproductive manner to all parties concerned. I had regarded them as being a more ethical, intelligent company, but this seems to prove otherwise.

Well, I hope it all turns out favorably for you in the end and Saana gets the released the way it should.
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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by miditek » Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:00 pm

It seems to me that if the MBA execs (Masters of Business Administration) at Frontiers were actually real businessmen, then they would do whatever is necessary on their end (promotion, distribution, etc.) to ensure that the Saana project is a success.

Doubtless that they have money invested as well, and trying to dictate creative content to the artist seems counterproductive, at least to me. Also, attempting to release a sub-quality product (MP3 vs. CD) would probably come back to haunt them, and would alienate consumers (fans) from wanting to purchase other products by other artists on this label.

If anything, if I were them, I would do whatever is necessary (within reason) to actually work with, rather than against the artist, to ensure that the project is as successful as it can be for an independent release. Squibbling over 30 seconds or so of content length just does not seem like good business to me. They should worry about how to market this product worldwide, and to coordinate their marketing and promotional plans with the artist to ensure the maxiumum return on everyone's investment in time and money.

I wonder if they would consider arbitration or mediation, in lieu of going to court? The only people that are likely to win in court are the attorneys, but unfortunately, sometimes litigation is the only recourse.

I am sorry that you are having to go through this, but I am certain that your longtime fans and listeners will legally purchase the product via your preferred channels.

I would love to hear this project in SACD (Super Audio CD) format someday.

Good luck-
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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by attila87 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:20 pm

And what about Stratovarius? Should we really forget about them forever? Why don't we get any official information about them? Do we, the fans matter at all? Or should we just be sitting quietly? The summer festivals start in two months, and the last update happened much more than half a year ago! It's revolting for me, and I can tell you that so is it for many of my friends, and I know a lot of fans, and they all are looking forward for something new, or at least two lines, saying "Sorry guys for disappearing. Don't expect us to return until xyz!" Some months ago I sent a message on this forum, and I said that I had no problem at all with Tolkki's new project, and I also stated that that album would surely be a masterpiece, and now I still maintain my views on it. But I miss strato, and so do x million people, so we should really deserve to get some info.
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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by browneyedgirl » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:32 pm

As music fans, we all should boycott the Frontier label, because its obvious TT is getting a very raw deal.
I'm sure word will circulate very quickly about Frontier business practices.
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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by IceBreaker » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:56 pm

attila87 wrote:And what about Stratovarius? Should we really forget about them forever? Why don't we get any official information about them? Do we, the fans matter at all?
Hey please calm down. If you read these threads carefully you understand Timo has enough to handle with all this mess around Saana-project. It´s no time for Strato right now.
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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by antoineronquentin » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:44 pm

IceBreaker wrote:
attila87 wrote:And what about Stratovarius? Should we really forget about them forever? Why don't we get any official information about them? Do we, the fans matter at all?
Hey please calm down. If you read these threads carefully you understand Timo has enough to handle with all this mess around Saana-project. It´s no time for Strato right now.
That's true. As fans we should wait until all this mess is solved.

Those contract and legal things are awful. Because it's very difficult to define the relationship between art and business.

So, I hope this awful things may be solved soon. Also, I guess that an artist should be focused on his art, and in the case of a great songwriter like Timo, he should be busy writing music and lyrics and not with this sad and ridiculous things.

The songs of the preview of the Opera are great, and thinking about all the music that Timo has written I guess that this new work is gonna be an amazing album.

And yes, all the Strato-fans would like to hear and read about Strato, but now it's time for the Rock Opera.

Long life for Strato! :headbang:

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by attila87 » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:18 am

I know he's got enough trouble with Saana, but I and I think millions of fans expect any new release from the Strato itself. For example a live album would perfectly do, what's more, that would be fucking great, as they haven't released any live stuff since the Visions album. Since then they have done the Destiny, which is I think among the grteatest albums of the '90s! And the Infinity, the two Elements and the last album are also worth taking a look at to choose some records made during any of the tours of the last 8 or 9 years. I totally agree with Tolkki, he's been deceived quite cruelly, I regret him for having spent such a long time writing this gigantic album and, and for before he could release it, he has to take those ...-s to court, and I hope he will manage to defeat them,l and I wish him good luck!
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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by Mormegil » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:02 pm

Hmm... Would this be an appropriate time to bring in the discussion about Intermission Pt. 2? :P

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by Beast_Pete » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:25 pm

@Timo: when you are finally selling Saana, just let us know about it here on the forums or on the main page, and we will surely buy it/order it. Thanks for sharing this info with us, we are on your side!

@attila: Elvileg a Saana után fog foglalkozni a Strato-val, tehát ezév második felében, ha jól sejtem. Nem kell aggódni. ;)
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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by exe knight » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:34 pm

Mormegil wrote:Hmm... Would this be an appropriate time to bring in the discussion about Intermission Pt. 2? :P
Yes!

I think they should cover a CoB song there, Kissing shadows would be sweet played by a powermetal band :P

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by Beast_Pete » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:37 pm

Why would they cover a band that is around 10 years younger than them?
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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by Mormegil » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:46 pm

I really, and I mean REALLY, think they should do a Queensrÿche-cover. I've understood they've been a great inspiration to the band. Especially Geoff Tate to Kotipelto as a singer.
I nominate Eyes Of A Stranger, which is very Strato-like song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlPiLkO004I

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by black death » Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:01 pm

Eyes of a Stranger is one of my fav Queensrÿche songs :luv3: and I guess it would be a great cover (by Stratovarius), but covers sucks...better are own songs. Why do all these covers exist?? :roll:
exe knight wrote:
Mormegil wrote:Hmm... Would this be an appropriate time to bring in the discussion about Intermission Pt. 2? :P
Yes!

I think they should cover a CoB song there, Kissing shadows would be sweet played by a powermetal band :P
Every COB song would be sweet & nice if played by someone else :P :P :P
OK, I'll shut up.

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by Mormegil » Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:50 pm

That might be true. :D
black death wrote:Eyes of a Stranger is one of my fav Queensrÿche songs :luv3: and I guess it would be a great cover (by Stratovarius), but covers sucks...better are own songs. Why do all these covers exist?? :roll:
It's one of my favourite songs of all time. <3
Obviously own songs would be better, but now that we aren't getting any, we need something to fill Intermission Pt. 2 with. :wink:

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by TimoTolkki » Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:49 pm

Beast_Pete wrote:@Timo: when you are finally selling Saana, just let us know about it here on the forums or on the main page, and we will surely buy it/order it. Thanks for sharing this info with us, we are on your side!

@attila: Elvileg a Saana után fog foglalkozni a Strato-val, tehát ezév második felében, ha jól sejtem. Nem kell aggódni. ;)
Thank you. You can start buying the MP3 version on 3.3 and in the same day to make preorders about the CDs from www.theground.com
Thanks for your support. It's been quite heavy week...

All the best, Timo

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by nefertari » Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:09 pm

Most certainly I will preorder it as soon as possible :)
Take care Timo !

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by dirge » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:20 pm

exe knight wrote:
Mormegil wrote:Hmm... Would this be an appropriate time to bring in the discussion about Intermission Pt. 2? :P
Yes!

I think they should cover a CoB song there, Kissing shadows would be sweet played by a powermetal band :P
Oh god, please no, that would be awful!

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by exe knight » Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:33 am

dirge wrote:
exe knight wrote:
Mormegil wrote:Hmm... Would this be an appropriate time to bring in the discussion about Intermission Pt. 2? :P
Yes!

I think they should cover a CoB song there, Kissing shadows would be sweet played by a powermetal band :P
Oh god, please no, that would be awful!
Not with kotipelto singing, and Tolkki guitaring. (not mentioning the other guys...)

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by dirge » Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:41 am

exe knight wrote:
dirge wrote:
exe knight wrote:
Mormegil wrote:Hmm... Would this be an appropriate time to bring in the discussion about Intermission Pt. 2? :P
Yes!

I think they should cover a CoB song there, Kissing shadows would be sweet played by a powermetal band :P
Oh god, please no, that would be awful!
Not with kotipelto singing, and Tolkki guitaring. (not mentioning the other guys...)
Oh dear! :roll:

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by Mormegil » Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:49 am

It's the idea of Stratovarius lowering themselves to play song made by n00bs half their age that's awful. At least to me. :roll:

Usually the idea of covers is (besides €€$€$$$€$) to pay respect to artists who inspired the band when they were younger. In Stratovarius' case that would probably be Maiden, Priest, Rainbow and friends.
Knowing that they've already covered Priest, Scorpions and Rainbow (twice), I second my wish about the 'rÿche-cover.

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by exe knight » Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:18 am

Mormegil wrote:It's the idea of Stratovarius lowering themselves to play song made by n00bs half their age that's awful. At least to me. :roll:

Usually the idea of covers is (besides €€$€$$$€$) to pay respect to artists who inspired the band when they were younger. In Stratovarius' case that would probably be Maiden, Priest, Rainbow and friends.
Knowing that they've already covered Priest, Scorpions and Rainbow (twice), I second my wish about the 'rÿche-cover.
If it has to be something they "respect" or something, then ofcourse not, but in other cases yes.
(AND Laiho is almost as good, maybe almost better guitarist than Tolkki, he just sucks at songwriting, and lacks the ability to make anything as epic or long in general as TT :roll: )

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by browneyedgirl » Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:36 am

I get Google Alerts about Strato.
This one stumps me. ???

http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbe ... emID=91006

??? Weird. I don't understand this at all! ???
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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by black death » Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:18 pm

What don't you understand about it?? This was written at TT's myspace and also here before...

exe knight wrote: (AND Laiho is almost as good, maybe almost better guitarist than Tolkki, he just sucks at songwriting, and lacks the ability to make anything as epic or long in general as TT :roll: )
Half of quitarists I know are better than Laiho.
Queensrÿche for Intermission Pt.2!!! :P

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by dirge » Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:06 pm

Mormegil wrote:It's the idea of Stratovarius lowering themselves to play song made by n00bs half their age that's awful. At least to me. :roll:

Usually the idea of covers is (besides €€$€$$$€$) to pay respect to artists who inspired the band when they were younger. In Stratovarius' case that would probably be Maiden, Priest, Rainbow and friends.
Knowing that they've already covered Priest, Scorpions and Rainbow (twice), I second my wish about the 'rÿche-cover.
Couldn't have put it better myself.

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by IceBreaker » Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:57 pm

browneyedgirl wrote:I get Google Alerts about Strato.
This one stumps me. ???

http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbe ... emID=91006

??? Weird. I don't understand this at all! ???
Ignore the comments on blabbermouth. Those are usually disgusting rubbish. :roll:
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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by Equinox » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:42 am

Frontier Record's all messed up.

Besides, I wouldn't buy a low-quality CD for mainly the same price of a better one.

Anyway, hope everything goes ok.

We'll be waiting to get the album. I just hope we can order even though we aren't near Europe and can get it, in sooner than one month.

'Cuz if you said that the booklet is so important I'd like to buy the actual album instead of only the MP3 files.

Please answer this Timo!
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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by TimoTolkki » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:58 am

Equinox wrote:Frontier Record's all messed up.

Besides, I wouldn't buy a low-quality CD for mainly the same price of a better one.

Anyway, hope everything goes ok.

We'll be waiting to get the album. I just hope we can order even though we aren't near Europe and can get it, in sooner than one month.

'Cuz if you said that the booklet is so important I'd like to buy the actual album instead of only the MP3 files.

Please answer this Timo!
Yeah, you will be able to order from anywhere in the world.
MP3 version contains the same booklet in digital format "digital booklet".
The shipping costs are 3 euros outside Europe and I think it takes about a week to arrive to USA.

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Re: THE LATEST REGARDING SAANA AND FRONTIERS

Post by exe knight » Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:57 am

Now now, what do you have against Children of Bodom? :roll:

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