Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Here you can talk about Stratovarius and related bands. Language used is English.
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Lurdi
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Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Lurdi » Sat May 09, 2009 2:52 am

Timo Kotipelto’s brand new interview made by Rafa Basa. Wow, hard work by the way…The interview is not fully translated, it is very long and I am so sleepy, don’t worry tomorrow I finish it, I am so sorry. I loved the interview, enjoy it!
Here's the link to the full interview in Spanish.
http://www.rafabasa.com/modules.php?nam ... e&sid=7414


We talked with TK about his new activity in the band without Timo Tolkki, new album Polaris, performance in Metalway, stormy past that sorrounded the band.

TK was very sincere and honest and told us his version of the breaking and the future of the band without fearing polemic and thinking about the present and future.

RB – Hello, Timo, it’s such a long time we have not talked…

TK – Hello, Rafa, it is true and it is a pleasure to see you again.

RB – After several years, long tours, fans and critics’ appreciation, many amazing albums, others not that amazing, there was a crisis in the beginning and apparently motivated by Timo Tolkki’s foolish acts, who lost his bearings and also went into a deep depression sorrounded by alcohol and grotesque performances just like the one we lived in the Piorno Rock Festival in Granada (Spain) I suppose you still remember that performance, don’t you?

TK- Of course! How to forget it…?

RB – There were people who believed it was all a set-up, that his illness was a lie, and that the band only wanted polemic to gain popularity to be again in the limelight. What was true in all that situation that led Stratovarius to a deep crisis?

TK – Well, the truth is that Timo had and has a serious illness besides several mental problems, that is the truth. Furthermore he had at that time very strange ideas that I never shared with him or became part of. It all began 5 years ago and I just wanted him to stop doing all those things, although then we didn’t know that he was ill or what was making him feel like…How to say it? Like being two-faced.

Unfortunately there was nothing we could do for him, and we tried to help him many times, listening to his problems, going along with him, but nothing could help him. I suppose it was then when he started to think about all those strange ideas and nobody could stop him. Anyway, I don’t want anybody to misuderstand me because my intention is not to demoralize him at all, I wish him the best from the deep of my heart and I hope he gets over from his illness as soon as possible, but it’s true I have not kept in touch with him. Actually, I have not seen him since September 2007, our last performance together in Alcorcón, Madrid.

RB- When TT said you were completely out of the band and that there was a girl replacing you, Miss K What did you think? How did you feel?

TK- Oh, God! I couldn’t believe it. In fact I was devastated because I told him I didn’t want to play his game and he told me that there wasn’t any game, that I was actually out of the band, so I felt very upset and fucked with that. I still don’t know whether it was true or not, but I have never wanted to play those stupid games. The thing is that I think he only wanted to attract attention and I didn’t want to go with it cause I thought it was all bullshit.

RB – How much would you say that crisis influenced the breaking with Sanctuary Records after its decline as a record company, after they had charged royalties in advance? Did that share out have to do with the breaking of the band?

TK- I don’t understand your question very well because the fact is that we only had prepayment for the first album we recorded with Sanctuary. The thing is that TT lost his struggle with Sanctuary and actually we all lost Money in it, the band and our lawyers, but TT didn’t give a shit at all. The biggest problem was that we were supposed to get all the rights of the Stratovarius catalogue by the end of 2008, the thing is that we couldn’t make use of it until 2015, and it was a huge problem because at that time we couldn’t do anything in terms of compilation, mixing etc that could be done in those years since we didn’t have any right over the material. It was quite stupid so we couldn’t accept that agreement.

RB- After that crisis, Stratovarius releases a self-titled album in 2005, but things inside the band were not going very well…
TK- Yes, you are dead right because everything was going on but not very well. Some times Timo was at the hospital and the rest of us were in the studio without any interest in the band, at least I didn’t have any. Imagine, Timo was out of the hospital and everybody tried to record or rehearse but as you know, it’s not easy. In fact I acknowledge I am not a fan of this self-titled album at all, in spite of the fact that there are really good songs, but in my opinión it is not a Stratovarius normal album. I don’t know, I suppose it is so because the songs are very deppressive in general, clearly motivated by the slumps of Timo Tolkki, who was not at his best. Obviously when somebody is writing and composing he is expressing his own feelings, although I also think that he was somehow looking for a change and didn’t want to compose that typical Stratovarius songs anymore. I don’t know it for sure, but it does sound different from the old Stratovarius albums.

RB- What made him claim in March 2008 that Stratovarius was not anymore and what makes all of you many months later continue with the band and keep the name? After many problems between Stratovarius and TT , he finally accepts everything. How would you sum it up?

TK – Well…How much time do you have? (laughs) The truth is that we would need two hours but I am gonna cut it short. The first thing is that Timo Tolkki had a contract to record a solo album, it was in September 2007, but the Stratovarius songs belonged to Sanctuary at that time, so we paid for the demos and as I suppose you know, we actually recorded those songs for the next Stratovarius album. Suddenly, Timo Tolkki decided he didn’t either want to make this kind of music anymore or continue with the band, but of course he didn’t tell us he had already sold those demos behind our backs, and then we realized that everything he had told us to dismember the band, that he didn't want to continue with it was just a big lie. In his contract for his solo album there was a paragraph in which the new record company, Frontiers, said that his own album would be released at the same time the Stratovarius album was supposed too to be released, and that is why he wanted to leave the band, so he could only focus on his solo album, and he was also prepayed. At that time Stratovarius didn’t exist, and the lawyer of Sanctuary told us that there was no band, no contract and no album.
We lost the trial, our rights over the songs, and Timo didn’t even want to pay the lawyers. The rest of the band decided to make a statement at the end of May 2008, the only one we made at that time, explaining how everything had happened, while TT was making a lot of them, and then he said he would leave everything to us so we could continue with the band, I suppose for everyone to like him, I don’t really know. The thing is that neither that catalogue exists nor all those rights he talked about cause all of them belong to Sanctuary and it doesn’t sell them.
However until the end of August we had not decided to keep the name. It was when we were rehearsing and we realized everything was right in the band. We decided to compose some songs before taking a decision and see if it was still being Stratovarius. If the music we have composed had nothing to do with Stratovarius, there was no reason for us to keep the name, but when we played those songs we realized it was absolutely Stratovarius, so it wouldn’t be logical to change the name and call the band ‘’Metal Warriors’’ for instance, because in fact everyone who listened those songs would say it is Stratovarius and there are 4 members left from the previous line-up.

RB- Wait a minute, TT gives you the right to keep the name, but who was really the owner of it? We must not forget Stratovarius was founded many years before TT was a member of it, so I don’t really think it was him who had originally registered that name...

TK- That is true, because there are many people who don’t know TT is not the original founder. In fact the name belonged to the first drummer but now it is ours.

RB- Honestly, don’t you think that keeping the name is a double-edged sword that can even damage your future? On the other hand it’s easy to see it is easier for your fans, promoters etc to identify you and pay you attention…

TK- I don’t think it is a double-edged sword at all because it’s not just the name itself, because we also asked our fans, what they thought about it and if it was a right solution, and more than a 95% agreed and asked us to keep it. This is the only reason and not the money, and of course because we know it is a 100% Stratovarius album. I have spent 15 years in the band, Jens and Jörg 14 so we think we have the right to continue with the legacy and in this case I don’t really care people’s opinions, just our fans’. I mean, nobody can tell us if it is right or wrong, but I tell you once again that if the music had not been Stratovarius, we would have changed the name.

RB: I suppose there is a feeling of peace and relax in the band, is it so?

TK- Yes, that is the situation cause we are good friends and we are having fun in every moment. In fact, when Jens and Jörg come to Finland they stay at my home, and Matias is a very talented guy. There is a positive chemistry among us from the very beginning. Everything is ok now, that is true, and I actually feel like 16 years ago when I joined the band. Furthermore, we had then a very similar feeling to the one we have right now, and we don’t really know what people expect from us, and that is very exciting, because now I feel I can do my thing freely, and it is such a brilliant prospect. There isn’t anybody in the band complaining and saying he doesn’t want to tour or he hates playing live, and everybody is yearning to play live…There are really good vibes in the band!

RB- Well, after these questions, I think necessary, about the stormy recent past, let’s talk about the present: ‘’Polaris’’is the first musical sign of this brand new Stratovarius. How would you define this album in general terms?
TK- I think it is a combination of the old and the new…I think there are several songs that could perfectly fit in the Episode album, but there is also fresh and new material, specially in the song Deep Unknown. For me this album is like the true and real beginning, furthermore we have that hunger and renewed energy to make music, fortunately this has come back to the band, when the last years have been too much crazy and depressive. This time we have left all that shit behind and we have totally focused on the music , and that is a great feeling, I can assure you that. For the first time in a long time we could only focuse on a great album, when there was not even a band, songs, guitarist, nothing. Somehow there was no future, but I suppose this is one of the reasons why the album has turned into something really positive, because we have been able to leave all that shit behind and it is something you can feel while listening to the album. Furthermore, in my opinión this a quite better album than at least those 2 or 3 last albums of Stratovarius, and of course everyone has his own opinion, but this is the way I see it.

RB- I think this new album is a very good work, it perfectly links those legendary Stratovarius Episode and Visions albums with a new Stratovarius where we can find in my opinion too many mid tempo songs, songs with a very symphonic style and very few hit singles if we compare this new album with the previous ones where there used to be those representative and ‘’must’’ songs in a Stratovarius album. I don’t know if you agree with it…

TK- Well, I don’t know, there are some mid tempo songs but then you also have those fast and speedy songs such as Higher We Go or Forever is Today. It very much depends on how you wanna see it, anyway there are more speedy songs in this album than in our last two or three ones (laughs) although we are not a speed metal band, I wouldn’t even label it a ‘’power’’ metal band. I prefer to see it just as a metal one. I partly agree with you in the sense that there are more epic songs in general, and there are also slow songs, but anyway, that is the style of this album, nothing else, furthermore I find very interesting to know different opinions about it.
RB- I would stand out Winter Skies, for its epic atmosphere in the melody of the voice, Forever is Today that slightly reminds us of Legions, Paradise, and Higher We Go with that very energy of Hunting High and Low…

Tk- In fact I completely agree with you because certainly those are the songs which have a Stratovarius classic style. I specially like Winter Skies, I don’t know exactly why but I love those good vibes that it transmits, and yes, you are right because those kind of songs are the ones which best represent the past of the band.
RB- In this album you don’t sing with those impossible high tones that sometimes could even be quite irritating. In fact you yourself assured me in some previous interviews that it was Timo Tolkki who obliged you to sing like that and you were quite sick and tired of that way of composing. Now in Polaris you sing a lot better, with more quality in your voice, you seem to be a lot more comfortable singing in this way.

TK- Yes, that is right and I agree with you in that too. I still sing in high tones and that is something I really like. The difference is that it is not something constant or I don’t do it as much as I used to, and it only happens when it is necessary. It is something I like and I will keep doing, but it’s just that I don’t have to be killing cats all the time (laughs). Nevertheless, I have to admit my voice sounds a lot better in high tones, and now in this album I feel that my tones are a lot more powerful, in that R.J. Dio or B. Dickinson’s style that I like so much, you know, singers with a wide range of tones who not only do falsettos like many others. Yes, of course Timo Tolkki composed all those songs and made me sing very high in the past, and despite I can do it, mainly singing live, there were always certain songs quite difficult to sing. Anyway, in this new album there are very high songs and I think it is even more difficult to sing them than doing only falsettos. I suppose it’s just a matter of tastes, and I am personally not very much tempted by falsettos.

RB- Now you have a new guitarist, Matias Kupiainen, talk me about him, please. It is inevitable to compare him with Tolkki, but how is he as guitarist?
TK- He is a very talented guy and in my opinion he is the best guitarist I have never seen, seriously. Something really good about him is that he is a very down-to-earth guy and has our same sense of humour. Of course he can perfectly play Timo Tolkki’s stuff without any problem, but he doesn’t want to copy him, you know, and it wouldn’t have any sense because Timo is a brilliant guitarist and nobody can replace him. We needed someone who could play Timo’s stuff, his scales, melodies etc but at the same time someone who could provide his own personality and solos, of course.
Something really interesting is that we didn’t have any audition or something like that, we didn’t even see videos on the Internet. We didn’t want any famous guitarist since in that case there could always be the possibility for him to take this as a parallel project, you know, or be hired to play in an important band and that’s all. No, we wanted to be a band again at 100% and fortunately that is exactly what we have again. One last thing I want to say about Matias is that he is a very good guy working in the studio, very rigorous and he can also play the keyboards, what makes him a versatile guy to work with. For me it is very good to have someone in the band like Matias. We know he can perfectly yield live or in the studio. We both have worked together quite a lot in the album, he was helping me with the arrangements and melodies in my songs, and I was writing lyrics for his, and we work very well together, I like it.

RB- You are gonna tour and play in the Metalway Festival in June. What can you tell us about this reunion with all your Spanish fans?

TK- Yes, although we are gonna start in the middle of May in Great Britain and next I think we are going to Germany, Poland, Russia and Finland before going to Spain. And I am longing for this concert because we have always had an amazing audience in Spain and specially in this concert we are going to coincide with fantastic bands, although I have to check yet which bands play the same day, but the event lineup in general is really good and it will be fantastic to play again in this festival in Spain. I am longing for this concert to meet again with our dear Spanish fans in person before or after the show.

RB- Last but not least, Timo Tolkki says he is going to have a meeting with the ex-Stratovarius members Tuomo Lassila and Antti Ikonen to record a farewell album for the Stratovarius fans. It is expected to be released this fall. More controversy?

TK- Do you think it is really going to happen?

RB- Well, I have no idea, what’s your opinion?

TK- That is my doubt, although I suppose it is me who has to answer your question (laughs…) I don’t know, the thing is that summer is just round the corner and nothing has happened yet so it seems a bit strange, but anyway, as I told you before, I wish him the best, I do still respect him as a composer, producer and guitarist and I hope he gets a lot of success in everything he gets involved in.

RB- Ok Timo, thank you very much for you time and to finish with this interview, you take the floor.

TK- The first think I wanna say is muchas gracias for having supported us in this long journey and I hope you like the album. I personally want to come back soon to Spain with the band and drink a good red wine. No, seriously, we are looking forward to make a meet&greet with our Spanish fans and chat with them… Oh! By the way, before I forget I’d like to mention we are having an European tour by the end of this year or at the beginning of the next one, but before that there are gonna be some shows and several summer festivals and I hope to see you on tour! Greetings, my friend!

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by GageClawson » Sat May 09, 2009 3:00 am

Thank you for posting, and translating this. It must have been hard work indeed.

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Re: New Timo Kotipelto interview

Post by TimoTolkki » Sat May 09, 2009 4:19 am

Timo Kotipelto’s brand new interview made by Rafa Basa. Wow, hard work by the way…The interview is not fully translated, it is very long and I am so sleepy, don’t worry tomorrow I finish it, I am so sorry. I loved the interview, enjoy it!
Sigh. Well I see that I need to tell my version if this once again has to go on.
I know Rafa Basa very well and he is prone to more sensationalism and it seems TK went for that although we all are in good terms with each others.
I even refused an interview with him cause I knew what kind of questions he would ask and as I believe most here would like to continue forward rather than remember things that happened 5 years ago.

TK – Well, the truth is that Timo had and has a serious illness besides several mental problems, that is the truth. Furthermore he had at that time very strange ideas that I never shared with him or became part of. Ita ll began 5 years ago and I just wanted him to stop doing all those things, although then we didn’t know that he was ill or what was making him feel like…¿How tos ay it? Like being two-faced.
Unfortunately there was nothing we could do for him, and we traed to help him many times, listening to his problems, going along with him, but nothing could help him. I súpose it was then when he started to think about all those strange ideas and nobody could stop him.
As I have explained, the whole band including management and Sanctuary was part of this stunt. There was a script for the whole thing and there are over a hundred emails to prove this thing. I do refuse to take the blame alone for this since everybody was part of it. It is just sad that so far only me and Jens have done that. TK here is sticking to the "official story".
RB- When TT said you were completely out of the band and that there was a girl replacing you, Miss K ¿What did you think? ¿How did you feel?
TK- ¡Oh, God! I couldn’t believe it. In fact I was devastated because I told him I didn’t want to play his game and he told me that there wasn’t any game, that I was actually out of the band, so I felt very upset and fucked with that. I still don’t know whether it was true or not, but I have never wanted to play those stupid games. The thing is that I think he only wanted to attract attention and I didn’t want to go with it cause I thought it was all bullshit.
Of course the only reason to do such an idiotic thing was to gain publicity.
TK was all the time well aware of what is going on and what will happen and played along with the rest of the band. I dont understand why he is just not refusing to answer questions like these but goes on on the other hand "not wanting to demoralize me" but on the other hand blaming me solely about the whole thing. He told me when the Stratovarius server crashed from 75000 visitors that "I am a genius".
The thing is that TT lost his struggle with Sanctuary and actually we all lost Money in it, the band and our lawyers, but TT didn’t give a shit at all.
I did give a shit. I waited for seven months before going public with Revolution Renaissance. The whole lawyer negotiations lasted over 2 years.
And I lost money in it too.
RB- After that crisis, Stratovarius releases a self-titled album in 2005, but things inside the band thing were not going bery well…
TK- Yes, you are dead right because everything was going on but not very well. Some times Timo was at the hospital and the rest of us were in the studio without any interest in the band, at least I didn’t have any. Imagine, Timo was out of the hospital and everybody tried to record or rehearse but as you know, it’s not easy
.

The only thing that was true in the stunt was that I really had a nervous breakdown. I was in the hospital for 4 days in April 2004. We played summer festivals and did not start working on the self titled album before October 2004.
The first thing is that Timo Tolkki had a contract to record a solo album, it was in September 2007, but the Stratovarius songs belonged to Sanctuary at that time, so we paid for the demos and as I súpose you know, we actually recorded those songs for the next Stratovarius album
.

Sanctuary did not "own" any songs. The whole argument with them was that they did not want to pay the insane amount of advance for the next album. I composed those songs in the summer of 2006. And they are of course my songs, not Sanctuarys or even TK's or anybody else's in the band.
And I paid for the demos too.
Suddenly, Timo Tolkki decided he didn’t either want to make this kind of music anymore or continue with the band, but of course he didn’t tell us he had already sold those demos behind our backs, and then we realized that everything he had told us to dismember the band, that he didnpt want to continue with it was just a big lie.
Here we just have to agree to disagree. I did have my reasons to leave Stratovarius and they were many and varied. I did not "sell any demos", I simply founded first a new project and then a new band and shopped for a deal.
In his contract for his solo album there was a paragraph in which the new record company, Frontiers, said that his own album would be released at the same time the Stratovarius album was supposed too to be released, and that is why he wanted to leave the band, so he could only focus on his solo album, and he was also prepayed.
This is simply not true. And Jens has a copy of the agreement because I gave it to him. There was only one paragraph about Stratovarius and it was that as long as Revolution Renaissance releases records, Stratovarius cannot release records. This was demanded by Frontiers to protect them. I of course had no problem with this since I thought that nobody wants to continue Stratovarius anymore because the vibes were so incredibly bad. That the guys even wanted to continue together came to me as a total surprise. This explains the paragraph.
We lost the trial, our rights over the songs, and Timo didn’t even want to pay the lawyers.


Actually most of the rights belonged to me since I wrote most of the songs.
I have asked several times to send me an invoice about my share of the lawyer costs. In vain.
The resto f the band decided to make a statement at the end of May 2008, the only one we made at that time, explaining how everything had happened, while TT was making a lot of them, and then he said we would leave everything to us so we could continue with the band, I súpose for everyone to like him, I don’t really know.
I think there were numerous statements and this was a very bad mistakes from all of us because these should not be none of the concerns of the fans.
It is sad to see that this thing is apparently continuing in the press interviews. I myself in doing the Revolution Renaissance interviews have refused to talked about any negative stuff and wished my ex bandmates nothing but well.
The thing is that neither that catalogue exist nor all those Rights he talked about cause all of them belong to Sanctuary and it doesn’t sell them.
In principle at least the catalogue does exist and the copyrights of the songwriters for sure exists.
RB- Wait a minute, TT gives you the right to keep the name, but who was really the owner of it? We must not forget Stratovarius was founded many years before TT was a member of it, so I don’t really think it was him who had originally that name registered…
TK- That is true, because there are many people who don’t know TT is not the original founder. In fact the name belonged to the first drummer but now it is ours.
I was in Stratovarius 11 years before TK joined the band and later Jens and Jörg. With all of them I had individual contracts, which they all signed and in which was clearly stated that I own the name. I joined Stratovarius 2 years after it was founded from which 1 year it was called Black Water.
My initial reason to give the name and the back catalogue rights 7 months after I left was that I was so dumbfounded that they were going to continue as Stratovarius. And yes, they did know this before than TK is saying here, but that doesnt really matter.
According to his logic then, the name is still owned by Tuomo Lassila because how could I give away a name that I do not own? This doesnt make any sense.
I have spent 15 years in the band, Jens and Jörg 14 so we think we have the right to continue with the legacy and in this case I don’t really care people’s opinions, jets our fans’. I mean, nobody can tell us if it is right or wrong
This I agree with 100%. I have said this many times that the success of the "golden Strato lineup" was due to hard work and touring, not just my songs.
It is of course ultimately the fans that will decide the fate of the new Stratovarius. I have since long gone stopped thinking about these things, but it seems I have once again been a bit naive thinking these interviews would be done in good spirit and kindness. I guess I have been wrong and that is why I am typing this.

RB: I suppose there is a Keeling of peace and relax in the band, is it so?
There isn’t anybody in the band complaining and saying he doesn’t want to tour or he hates playing live, and everybody is yearning to play live…There are really good vibes in the band!
The complaining part was really one of the reasons I left. I dont complain.
But I was constantly been complained to. And I have during my career refused to do only one show: one off gig in India supporting Iron Maiden.
30 minute slot before Lauren Harris. Whats the point? I said, if you guys wanna go for holidays to India, then go. But its pointless to do gigs like that.
because we have been able to leave all that shit behind
It doesnt really look like but I really hope this is the case. Because I think we all want to look forward to the future and not back. All these things have been discussed to death already in so many places that it is time to let them be.

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by NeverendingAbyss » Sat May 09, 2009 5:30 am

Sheesh again with this? Come on for fuck's sake!
So it is my understanding that TT and JJ are good, but not with the rest of the band maybe?
What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch?!

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Texidor » Sat May 09, 2009 5:43 am

:( I really understand both points of view but I REALLY just wish it would be laid to rest. I think the focus of the parties involved would be in the promotion of their new albums. Stratovarius and Project Strato........ I think by putting energy into this will take away from the impact of both albums. Let peace reign!
SHINE ON!

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by browneyedgirl » Sat May 09, 2009 6:16 am

There are probably going to be many interviews in the future.......

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by robocop656 » Sat May 09, 2009 7:42 am

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by icecab21 » Sat May 09, 2009 8:29 am

I think the last 2 questions were good. It would be nice if more questions were a about the current band and the current music.

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Irinia » Sat May 09, 2009 8:45 am

icecab21 wrote:I think the last 2 questions were good. It would be nice if more questions were a about the current band and the current music.
I agree with Icecab here.. I wanna hear about Matias, the new music, the new album, how the band are TODAY.
Leave the past behind, nothing good can come out of it anyway.

I wish the best to both Timo Tolkki and Stratovarius (and I chose to remain loyal to music, not persons).



Edit: Thanks Lurdi for taking all the time to translate the interview :)

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by hiro23 » Sat May 09, 2009 8:59 am

I agree, too many questions were dwelling on the past, I really hope that TT and TK are able to work things out.
metal feeds the beast

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Irinia » Sat May 09, 2009 9:08 am

hiro23 wrote:I agree, too many questions were dwelling on the past, I really hope that TT and TK are able to work things out.
Or at least leave things be..

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by hiro23 » Sat May 09, 2009 9:45 am

That would be nice too, however I really would like to see them as friends again.
metal feeds the beast

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by rikkertje » Sat May 09, 2009 11:00 am

I don't think they will ever be friends again. But they can at least put it to rest. Just don't answer questions about 2007/2008 anymore. Only talk about the future.

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Lurdi » Sat May 09, 2009 2:57 pm

Second and last part is already added. Sorry for making you wait, it is so long. Enjoy it!
I personally liked the interview, I think there are some things that should not have been said, but he was asked, what else could he do? I like everything he says about this new album, that is an excellent omen and they look at the future in a very positive way. This Polaris era has just begun!

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Ragehead91 » Sat May 09, 2009 3:14 pm

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by stratodan1990 » Sat May 09, 2009 4:35 pm

I don't think the fans deserve to hear about the turmoils all over again. And yes, the future of Stratovarius should be talked about, because it will be positive :)

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Irinia » Sat May 09, 2009 4:49 pm

Thanks so much Lurdi for translating the rest of the interview! I really liked the second translated part much better than the first ;)
I'm so glad to read what TK says about Matias, it sounds really promising and I am happy they found such a perfect guitarist to join the band after TT left. Makes me look forward to Polaris even more now :D
RB- In this album you don’t sing with those impossible high tones that sometimes could even be quite irritating. In fact you yourself assured me in some previous interviews that it was Timo Tolkki who obliged you to sing like that and you were quite sick and tired of that way of composing. Now in Polaris you sing a lot better, with more quality in your voice, you seem to be a lot more comfortable singing in this way.

TK- Yes, that is right and I agree with you in that too. I still sing in high tones and that is something I really like. The difference is that it is not something constant or I don’t do it as much as I used to, and it only happens when it is necessary. It is something I like and I will keep doing, but it’s just that I don’t have to be killing cats all the time (laughs). Nevertheless, I have to admit my voice sounds a lot better in high tones, and now in this album I feel that my tones are a lot more powerful, in that R.J. Dio or B. Dickinson’s style that I like so much, you know, singers with a wide range of tones who not only do falsettos like many others.
YAY!!! I am so excited about this! And I laughed my ass off by the comment of killing cats :lol:
I absolutely love Timo's voice, and I think this is exactly what I'm hoping for. Quality singing - the way TK himself wants to sing it.
Okay, I'll stop ranting now :roll:

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Lurdi » Sat May 09, 2009 5:17 pm

You're welcome guys, I found interesting this interview in the sense it talks about the new album,that is why I decided to translate it. I agree with you, there are some things that shouldn't be touched and discussed anymore, least of all now that things are ok in both sides.

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Aldaron » Sat May 09, 2009 5:17 pm

Good interview. Thanks for all the work. Obviously the perspective is all TK's and he's entitled to give his view of things. I don't think it's necessary to rehash point for point the different versions of events from each one's perspective. We've heard all sides, now lets be done with it.
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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Verdades Parias » Sat May 09, 2009 5:51 pm

This reponse of TT is Ok with me...Since the music is starting to raise from a mountain of crap.
I know exactly how to read this shit from both sides, so fuck it. Polaris will rule anyway, also RR and Project Strato.

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by hiro23 » Sat May 09, 2009 9:04 pm

I am sorry that TT and TK still haven't found that middle ground, however give it some time and I'm sure they will talk with each other again.
metal feeds the beast

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Polaris » Sun May 10, 2009 5:01 am

Thank You for this nice interview!

Is so good to know that are really good vibes in the band now! :)

Can't wait for the new Strato tour!

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by finnlandia » Fri May 15, 2009 12:51 pm

Lurdi wrote:Timo Kotipelto’s brand new interview made by Rafa Basa. Wow, hard work by the way…The interview is not fully translated, it is very long and I am so sleepy, don’t worry tomorrow I finish it, I am so sorry. I loved the interview, enjoy it!
Here's the link to the full interview in Spanish.
http://www.rafabasa.com/modules.php?nam ... e&sid=7414


We talked with TK about his new activity in the band without Timo Tolkki, new album Polaris, performance in Metalway, stormy past that sorrounded the band.

TK was very sincere and honest and told us his version of the breaking and the future of the band without fearing polemic and thinking about the present and future.

RB – Hello, Timo, it’s such a long time we have not talked…

TK – Hello, Rafa, it is true and it is a pleasure to see you again.

RB – After several years, long tours, fans and critics’ appreciation, many amazing albums, others not that amazing, there was a crisis in the beginning and apparently motivated by Timo Tolkki’s foolish acts, who lost his bearings and also went into a deep depression sorrounded by alcohol and grotesque performances just like the one we lived in the Piorno Rock Festival in Granada (Spain) I suppose you still remember that performance, don’t you?

TK- Of course! How to forget it…?

RB – There were people who believed it was all a set-up, that his illness was a lie, and that the band only wanted polemic to gain popularity to be again in the limelight. What was true in all that situation that led Stratovarius to a deep crisis?

TK – Well, the truth is that Timo had and has a serious illness besides several mental problems, that is the truth. Furthermore he had at that time very strange ideas that I never shared with him or became part of. It all began 5 years ago and I just wanted him to stop doing all those things, although then we didn’t know that he was ill or what was making him feel like…How to say it? Like being two-faced.

Unfortunately there was nothing we could do for him, and we tried to help him many times, listening to his problems, going along with him, but nothing could help him. I suppose it was then when he started to think about all those strange ideas and nobody could stop him. Anyway, I don’t want anybody to misuderstand me because my intention is not to demoralize him at all, I wish him the best from the deep of my heart and I hope he gets over from his illness as soon as possible, but it’s true I have not kept in touch with him. Actually, I have not seen him since September 2007, our last performance together in Alcorcón, Madrid.

RB- When TT said you were completely out of the band and that there was a girl replacing you, Miss K What did you think? How did you feel?

TK- Oh, God! I couldn’t believe it. In fact I was devastated because I told him I didn’t want to play his game and he told me that there wasn’t any game, that I was actually out of the band, so I felt very upset and fucked with that. I still don’t know whether it was true or not, but I have never wanted to play those stupid games. The thing is that I think he only wanted to attract attention and I didn’t want to go with it cause I thought it was all bullshit.

RB – How much would you say that crisis influenced the breaking with Sanctuary Records after its decline as a record company, after they had charged royalties in advance? Did that share out have to do with the breaking of the band?

TK- I don’t understand your question very well because the fact is that we only had prepayment for the first album we recorded with Sanctuary. The thing is that TT lost his struggle with Sanctuary and actually we all lost Money in it, the band and our lawyers, but TT didn’t give a shit at all. The biggest problem was that we were supposed to get all the rights of the Stratovarius catalogue by the end of 2008, the thing is that we couldn’t make use of it until 2015, and it was a huge problem because at that time we couldn’t do anything in terms of compilation, mixing etc that could be done in those years since we didn’t have any right over the material. It was quite stupid so we couldn’t accept that agreement.

RB- After that crisis, Stratovarius releases a self-titled album in 2005, but things inside the band were not going very well…
TK- Yes, you are dead right because everything was going on but not very well. Some times Timo was at the hospital and the rest of us were in the studio without any interest in the band, at least I didn’t have any. Imagine, Timo was out of the hospital and everybody tried to record or rehearse but as you know, it’s not easy. In fact I acknowledge I am not a fan of this self-titled album at all, in spite of the fact that there are really good songs, but in my opinión it is not a Stratovarius normal album. I don’t know, I suppose it is so because the songs are very deppressive in general, clearly motivated by the slumps of Timo Tolkki, who was not at his best. Obviously when somebody is writing and composing he is expressing his own feelings, although I also think that he was somehow looking for a change and didn’t want to compose that typical Stratovarius songs anymore. I don’t know it for sure, but it does sound different from the old Stratovarius albums.

RB- What made him claim in March 2008 that Stratovarius was not anymore and what makes all of you many months later continue with the band and keep the name? After many problems between Stratovarius and TT , he finally accepts everything. How would you sum it up?

TK – Well…How much time do you have? (laughs) The truth is that we would need two hours but I am gonna cut it short. The first thing is that Timo Tolkki had a contract to record a solo album, it was in September 2007, but the Stratovarius songs belonged to Sanctuary at that time, so we paid for the demos and as I suppose you know, we actually recorded those songs for the next Stratovarius album. Suddenly, Timo Tolkki decided he didn’t either want to make this kind of music anymore or continue with the band, but of course he didn’t tell us he had already sold those demos behind our backs, and then we realized that everything he had told us to dismember the band, that he didn't want to continue with it was just a big lie. In his contract for his solo album there was a paragraph in which the new record company, Frontiers, said that his own album would be released at the same time the Stratovarius album was supposed too to be released, and that is why he wanted to leave the band, so he could only focus on his solo album, and he was also prepayed. At that time Stratovarius didn’t exist, and the lawyer of Sanctuary told us that there was no band, no contract and no album.
We lost the trial, our rights over the songs, and Timo didn’t even want to pay the lawyers. The rest of the band decided to make a statement at the end of May 2008, the only one we made at that time, explaining how everything had happened, while TT was making a lot of them, and then he said he would leave everything to us so we could continue with the band, I suppose for everyone to like him, I don’t really know. The thing is that neither that catalogue exists nor all those rights he talked about cause all of them belong to Sanctuary and it doesn’t sell them.
However until the end of August we had not decided to keep the name. It was when we were rehearsing and we realized everything was right in the band. We decided to compose some songs before taking a decision and see if it was still being Stratovarius. If the music we have composed had nothing to do with Stratovarius, there was no reason for us to keep the name, but when we played those songs we realized it was absolutely Stratovarius, so it wouldn’t be logical to change the name and call the band ‘’Metal Warriors’’ for instance, because in fact everyone who listened those songs would say it is Stratovarius and there are 4 members left from the previous line-up.

RB- Wait a minute, TT gives you the right to keep the name, but who was really the owner of it? We must not forget Stratovarius was founded many years before TT was a member of it, so I don’t really think it was him who had originally registered that name...

TK- That is true, because there are many people who don’t know TT is not the original founder. In fact the name belonged to the first drummer but now it is ours.

RB- Honestly, don’t you think that keeping the name is a double-edged sword that can even damage your future? On the other hand it’s easy to see it is easier for your fans, promoters etc to identify you and pay you attention…

TK- I don’t think it is a double-edged sword at all because it’s not just the name itself, because we also asked our fans, what they thought about it and if it was a right solution, and more than a 95% agreed and asked us to keep it. This is the only reason and not the money, and of course because we know it is a 100% Stratovarius album. I have spent 15 years in the band, Jens and Jörg 14 so we think we have the right to continue with the legacy and in this case I don’t really care people’s opinions, just our fans’. I mean, nobody can tell us if it is right or wrong, but I tell you once again that if the music had not been Stratovarius, we would have changed the name.

RB: I suppose there is a feeling of peace and relax in the band, is it so?

TK- Yes, that is the situation cause we are good friends and we are having fun in every moment. In fact, when Jens and Jörg come to Finland they stay at my home, and Matias is a very talented guy. There is a positive chemistry among us from the very beginning. Everything is ok now, that is true, and I actually feel like 16 years ago when I joined the band. Furthermore, we had then a very similar feeling to the one we have right now, and we don’t really know what people expect from us, and that is very exciting, because now I feel I can do my thing freely, and it is such a brilliant prospect. There isn’t anybody in the band complaining and saying he doesn’t want to tour or he hates playing live, and everybody is yearning to play live…There are really good vibes in the band!

RB- Well, after these questions, I think necessary, about the stormy recent past, let’s talk about the present: ‘’Polaris’’is the first musical sign of this brand new Stratovarius. How would you define this album in general terms?
TK- I think it is a combination of the old and the new…I think there are several songs that could perfectly fit in the Episode album, but there is also fresh and new material, specially in the song Deep Unknown. For me this album is like the true and real beginning, furthermore we have that hunger and renewed energy to make music, fortunately this has come back to the band, when the last years have been too much crazy and depressive. This time we have left all that shit behind and we have totally focused on the music , and that is a great feeling, I can assure you that. For the first time in a long time we could only focuse on a great album, when there was not even a band, songs, guitarist, nothing. Somehow there was no future, but I suppose this is one of the reasons why the album has turned into something really positive, because we have been able to leave all that shit behind and it is something you can feel while listening to the album. Furthermore, in my opinión this a quite better album than at least those 2 or 3 last albums of Stratovarius, and of course everyone has his own opinion, but this is the way I see it.

RB- I think this new album is a very good work, it perfectly links those legendary Stratovarius Episode and Visions albums with a new Stratovarius where we can find in my opinion too many mid tempo songs, songs with a very symphonic style and very few hit singles if we compare this new album with the previous ones where there used to be those representative and ‘’must’’ songs in a Stratovarius album. I don’t know if you agree with it…

TK- Well, I don’t know, there are some mid tempo songs but then you also have those fast and speedy songs such as Higher We Go or Forever is Today. It very much depends on how you wanna see it, anyway there are more speedy songs in this album than in our last two or three ones (laughs) although we are not a speed metal band, I wouldn’t even label it a ‘’power’’ metal band. I prefer to see it just as a metal one. I partly agree with you in the sense that there are more epic songs in general, and there are also slow songs, but anyway, that is the style of this album, nothing else, furthermore I find very interesting to know different opinions about it.
RB- I would stand out Winter Skies, for its epic atmosphere in the melody of the voice, Forever is Today that slightly reminds us of Legions, Paradise, and Higher We Go with that very energy of Hunting High and Low…

Tk- In fact I completely agree with you because certainly those are the songs which have a Stratovarius classic style. I specially like Winter Skies, I don’t know exactly why but I love those good vibes that it transmits, and yes, you are right because those kind of songs are the ones which best represent the past of the band.
RB- In this album you don’t sing with those impossible high tones that sometimes could even be quite irritating. In fact you yourself assured me in some previous interviews that it was Timo Tolkki who obliged you to sing like that and you were quite sick and tired of that way of composing. Now in Polaris you sing a lot better, with more quality in your voice, you seem to be a lot more comfortable singing in this way.

TK- Yes, that is right and I agree with you in that too. I still sing in high tones and that is something I really like. The difference is that it is not something constant or I don’t do it as much as I used to, and it only happens when it is necessary. It is something I like and I will keep doing, but it’s just that I don’t have to be killing cats all the time (laughs). Nevertheless, I have to admit my voice sounds a lot better in high tones, and now in this album I feel that my tones are a lot more powerful, in that R.J. Dio or B. Dickinson’s style that I like so much, you know, singers with a wide range of tones who not only do falsettos like many others. Yes, of course Timo Tolkki composed all those songs and made me sing very high in the past, and despite I can do it, mainly singing live, there were always certain songs quite difficult to sing. Anyway, in this new album there are very high songs and I think it is even more difficult to sing them than doing only falsettos. I suppose it’s just a matter of tastes, and I am personally not very much tempted by falsettos.

RB- Now you have a new guitarist, Matias Kupiainen, talk me about him, please. It is inevitable to compare him with Tolkki, but how is he as guitarist?
TK- He is a very talented guy and in my opinion he is the best guitarist I have never seen, seriously. Something really good about him is that he is a very down-to-earth guy and has our same sense of humour. Of course he can perfectly play Timo Tolkki’s stuff without any problem, but he doesn’t want to copy him, you know, and it wouldn’t have any sense because Timo is a brilliant guitarist and nobody can replace him. We needed someone who could play Timo’s stuff, his scales, melodies etc but at the same time someone who could provide his own personality and solos, of course.
Something really interesting is that we didn’t have any audition or something like that, we didn’t even see videos on the Internet. We didn’t want any famous guitarist since in that case there could always be the possibility for him to take this as a parallel project, you know, or be hired to play in an important band and that’s all. No, we wanted to be a band again at 100% and fortunately that is exactly what we have again. One last thing I want to say about Matias is that he is a very good guy working in the studio, very rigorous and he can also play the keyboards, what makes him a versatile guy to work with. For me it is very good to have someone in the band like Matias. We know he can perfectly yield live or in the studio. We both have worked together quite a lot in the album, he was helping me with the arrangements and melodies in my songs, and I was writing lyrics for his, and we work very well together, I like it.

RB- You are gonna tour and play in the Metalway Festival in June. What can you tell us about this reunion with all your Spanish fans?

TK- Yes, although we are gonna start in the middle of May in Great Britain and next I think we are going to Germany, Poland, Russia and Finland before going to Spain. And I am longing for this concert because we have always had an amazing audience in Spain and specially in this concert we are going to coincide with fantastic bands, although I have to check yet which bands play the same day, but the event lineup in general is really good and it will be fantastic to play again in this festival in Spain. I am longing for this concert to meet again with our dear Spanish fans in person before or after the show.

RB- Last but not least, Timo Tolkki says he is going to have a meeting with the ex-Stratovarius members Tuomo Lassila and Antti Ikonen to record a farewell album for the Stratovarius fans. It is expected to be released this fall. More controversy?

TK- Do you think it is really going to happen?

RB- Well, I have no idea, what’s your opinion?

TK- That is my doubt, although I suppose it is me who has to answer your question (laughs…) I don’t know, the thing is that summer is just round the corner and nothing has happened yet so it seems a bit strange, but anyway, as I told you before, I wish him the best, I do still respect him as a composer, producer and guitarist and I hope he gets a lot of success in everything he gets involved in.

RB- Ok Timo, thank you very much for you time and to finish with this interview, you take the floor.

TK- The first think I wanna say is muchas gracias for having supported us in this long journey and I hope you like the album. I personally want to come back soon to Spain with the band and drink a good red wine. No, seriously, we are looking forward to make a meet&greet with our Spanish fans and chat with them… Oh! By the way, before I forget I’d like to mention we are having an European tour by the end of this year or at the beginning of the next one, but before that there are gonna be some shows and several summer festivals and I hope to see you on tour! Greetings, my friend!

Lurdi thans !! :D Kiitos paljon!!

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Irinia » Fri May 15, 2009 1:37 pm

My God, that was a long quote :shock:

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Babylon » Sun May 17, 2009 6:13 pm

Irinia wrote:
hiro23 wrote:I agree, too many questions were dwelling on the past, I really hope that TT and TK are able to work things out.
Or at least leave things be..
Yes please. And I agree, would have been nice to have more questions about the new album, the upcoming tour, etc.

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Noxica » Sun May 17, 2009 7:04 pm

Babylon wrote:
Irinia wrote:
hiro23 wrote:I agree, too many questions were dwelling on the past, I really hope that TT and TK are able to work things out.
Or at least leave things be..
Yes please. And I agree, would have been nice to have more questions about the new album, the upcoming tour, etc.
Funny you should say that actually...




...I'm transcribing a Tolkki/RR-free interview from the Wolverhampton gig right now :P
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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Luna » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:13 pm

Very sad.TT is seemingly always being so aggressive to any oppinion about him. Actually I do think most of the classic works were fruits of co-operation of two Timos,the doubled talents,of which neither is replacable.I wish one day in the future they would be co-operative again,but probably it's just a dream. :cry: :cry:
It's a far,far better thing that I do than I have ever done;It's a far,far better rest that I go than I have ever known.

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by HinatAArcticA » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:50 am

I have a message for all the people in the media and for all the interviewers.

STOP ASKING ABOUT TT AND WHY HE LEFT, THOSE DARK YEARS AND ALL OF THAT CRAP.

I'm really sick!! I'm tired of this!!!
Both Timo T. and the Strato members keep
reciving quiestions about "What happened"
I know they must be tired about that too...
Really, what's done is done. Who cares anymore?!
It only creates more controversy between fans and a negative feeling on everything.

Seriously, STOP THOSE QUESTIONS.
I even get to think some interviewers are like morbid or something about it. There are old statments and old interviews. There's more than enough info about the subject so seriosuly...
STOP THOSE QUESTIONS!

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I'm here for my favorite band and it's music, not a bunch of negative info about a past nobody should care about anymore.
No need to feel so afraid, colors last a lifetime and fade to gray...
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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by Ragehead91 » Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:59 pm

They won't stop asking what happened. And why should they? The guitarist that was in the band for 23 or so years and wrote nearly all the songs left. If I was journalist I would ask those questions too. And apart from us here in the Stratoforum no one cares anyway.

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Re: Timo Kotipelto's new interview

Post by hiro23 » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:55 pm

HinatAArcticA wrote:I have a message for all the people in the media and for all the interviewers.

STOP ASKING ABOUT TT AND WHY HE LEFT, THOSE DARK YEARS AND ALL OF THAT CRAP.

I'm really sick!! I'm tired of this!!!
Both Timo T. and the Strato members keep
reciving quiestions about "What happened"
I know they must be tired about that too...
Really, what's done is done. Who cares anymore?!
It only creates more controversy between fans and a negative feeling on everything.

Seriously, STOP THOSE QUESTIONS.
I even get to think some interviewers are like morbid or something about it. There are old statments and old interviews. There's more than enough info about the subject so seriosuly...
STOP THOSE QUESTIONS!

Image

I'm here for my favorite band and it's music, not a bunch of negative info about a past nobody should care about anymore.
I don't care anymore, I'm just glad I'm now getting great music from two bands that I love, I completely agree that we shouldn't dwell on this subject.

Ragehead:That my friend is also true, however since these questions do tend to bring up a lot of negative feelings I guess the best thing we fans can do is pay no mind to the drama(yes I know I should take my own advice as well :D )
metal feeds the beast

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