After the turbulent events of the year 2004, Stratovarius have found together again.
Concerning on the new album, Timo Kotipelto answeared some questions.
Because of limited time, the interview was done with together with another one, so the statements of Claudia Ehrhardt are marked with C.E..
But now have fun while reading!
How was the tour so far for you?
So far very good actually.
What about the Johannson brothers? Any
damage so far?
Well we've been on this tour together hm... about two weeks and ...
because Jens broke something at all backstage. There are some table and
some plates and somethings which are broken and there was something
else as well hmmm... I can't remember where it was, but they are
behaving pretty nicely because Anders, he has his kids, two sons on the
C.E.: So they behave a little bit
Well, a little bit
C.E.: A little bit...
Yeah, well they are funny guys...
C.E.: mhm About touring, how was the
show or how were the shows in Russia? I mean this is not the usual
place you go everytime.
Well that's the second time we played there...
You are right, the thing is nobody sells really many albums there, as
C.E.: Sure, all getting copies...
Yeah, but it's people knew out songs and they were a very loud audiance
and so it's good and I also ehm of course the guy who did it last time
the same tour and it worked last time and now it was even better, but
it was pretty well organized everything at least for us as a band
everything worked so well he's pretty good.
C.E.:Yes, seems I don't know if he's the same
guy but at the moment it looks as more bands going to Russia, so
something is workng good there, otherwise you ... wouldn't go there at
the moment it looks more frequently bands going to Russia
Yeah, I mean of course Russia they have as a country of course ....
easier to get .... and of course if you go there from Finland it's so
easy because you take a train you go there... except I actually flew
there and I flew back, because of my back, So I didn't want so sit 13
hours on a train.
C.E.:Who wants to?
It's a sleeping cabinet there. I took the train from St. Peters. to
Moskau but that was nine hours.
Why is the title of the album
"Stratovarius"? Because many bands only take it for the first album.
Why not? It's a very good name for an album. It's just because it feels
like it is a new start for the band after everything and I think when
Timo came up with the idea, that it should be named as Stratovarius
everybody agreed cause...
I mean you can only coose this title ONCE on your career and that was
the time and that means Stratovarius second like the second album was
named "second" but then our Japanese record label, they changed the
title to "Twilight Time" or something, I think so we almost tried
Stratovarius but that was called second.
Is it really the same as before with
It's different, especially we have a new bassplayer.
You have a song called "United" and so on and Tolkki once said,
Stratovarius only exists with this Line-Up and now Jari has left...
Yeah, well the thing was that Jari played the album and when the song
was recorded and when it was composed and the lyrics were written, but
then he didn't feel like touring cause he got married about two years
ago and he felt that touring was to much so... and then we had to
choose another bass player and... Lauri was playing in my band so it
was so easy...
Was it only the next one who was there
or did you say like "he is very good and I like him"...
C.E.: Will you continue work with him
or is he only temporaly in?
No I mean, he is an equal member cause that's the way it should be
cause there's so many ... I don't know maybe you know about some
bands... but it's like one guy is getting like 15 persons and then one
is getting like 10 persons blablablabla well we do't have that much
money so we have to share if we have some money with five so... he is
so nice guy, so nice player, so...
C.E.: There are so much bands which
have worked together for yeas and if they have to replace somebodey, so
four guys who worked together for years and if there's someone new,
they often say, ok let's see how it works... Like Rolling Stones for
example... and after a long period working together, they say ok, you
get an equal member
Yeah, of course that's normal but this guy is so talented and
it's just fair, that he is like part of the band...
C.E.: he is in your soloband, so you
know how to work with him so it's an easier decision making him an
equal member if you have some auditions...
C.E.: so I think it's a little bit
It's different... cause it's the same thing in my band in my own band,
from the very start I didn't .... it's my soloband in a way a made
clear we did some festivals and some you know european tour and so I
told the guys it should be like fair if they become the same as me well
actuallly I got less beause I payed... I promised them some little fee
from the european tour so I was the one who lost some money but then
again it was fair, but It's so stupid, I'm trying to pretend to be some
rockstar and then you know the gueys dont't get any money...
C.E.: If you talk about your solotour,
how is it now being together with Stratovarius on tour again after you
did your solo, I mean it's a different band from the touring aspect...
Well doing my own tour was sort of... course a long time dream and I
didn't even expect to have that one ever but finally when... gueys
connected me and they made a nice offer, very nice, so I thought if I'm
gonna do it, I'm gonna do it NOW and that was very good. I actually
like today I just told the gueys, I love that support position cause
basicly youhave nothing to loss... you just try to give your best and i
you succeed then you are happy cause then if you are like headlining,
we have been headlining with Stratovarius like ten years... it's like
then you get used to it an now it's nice cause in Germany and Sweden,
there's one, two gigs in Sweden I thing maybe in... I don't know but we
are supporting Hammerfall like in eight of the gigs and they are
supporting us, well supporting, it's not supporting but...
C.E.: just the first slot
exactely, so the rest of the gigs we gonna play the last, it's nice and
actually of course I have ery good but even if I can say it myself as a
Kotipelto band, te singer is what it is but the band is good so it's
C.E.: I saw you on that tour
I lke the guys and but then,.... I had this problem that I couldn't get
the drummer or the guitarplayer so I had to get this new gueys for the
tour, hpefully for the next tour there could be Jonda and if Jonda
can't do it, maybe Jens can do it, Jens actually did some gogs with me
in South America and in Finland.
The song "Götterdämmerung"
why did you choose this German title with an English subtitle? And
there should hevae been a part of a speech of Hitler at the beiginning,
The text didn't change, just the title, if you name a song "Hitler" it
wouls be just stupid.
It was Timo's idea and there should be speech. But of course it's a
sensitive subject so I understand that but then again the song.... and
it's just about that one character of history so why can't wwe write
about some people cause it's also it's meant to be for the people who
don't know what happend about 60 years ago...
But why did you choose....(brakes in)
Cause the record label said we can't use "Hitler" and then it was
Jörg's or Timo's idea to choose this "Götterdämmerung"
so I don't knw anything about that ... to me because I even don't hknow
how the pronounciation is...
C.E.: It was not so far...
C.E.: I think it was to Wagner...
Jörg told me that it's an old legend.. (blabla)
But it's good to have a German title, next time a finnish title...
I think that will be harder to
pronounce than a German title...
Not for me...
"Götterdämmerung" is hard
enough to most of the fans I mean.
It's too hard for me...
I think there are many personal things
of Tolkki in the lyrics, how is it to sing about his feelings?
It's difficult. Very difficult, not anymore but in the very beginning,
the first tourdays when we went to studio of course and when I decided
that I'm gonna sing this album then of course I was thinking that,
wehen I read the lyrics I was like "hmm what the fuck is he meaning
with this" and it was very difficult. not the singing, the singing was
sort of easy but to express his lyrics that's very difficult. I tried
to get into his head first, we didn't we couldn't record anything, I
just tried to sing then...
Well it are his feelings anf you have to express then...
Well, I'm a singer...
...yes but perhaps, some people don't
know and think it would be your feelings....
Noooo I mean if people are intelligent they can read through the lines,
C.E.: ... it's always harder to sing
what someone else wrote...
Yes, but I've been doing it with him for about ten years so...
C.E.: ... the lyrics are much darker
He never really thought that he has to compose some certain kind of
songs but it's more like he's composing how he feels and that's why the
darkness is there a sort of depressive as well...
What about the song "The land of Ice
and Snow" is it only a song about Finland or is there another meaning
It's about Finland, it's like of course it's a sort of national anthem
it should be national anthem
No other message?
Well, it's about Finland and how we are as persons as the people then
it's quite direct and there's like this one word which is in finnish -
Koskenkorva - it's the finnish not so good vodka and it's also because
very often we have a drinking problem so...
How were the first reactions on the
First reactions, well some are good, some are bad, it's a little bit
different so, some people don't like it some people like it it's like
it's a bit different
C.E.: I think it's because it's a
different record not what the people have expected from Stratovarius
some people can't handle this change
some metal people are... most of the people if you used to AC/DC or
Rolling Stones than you expect something sort of style and then if
Rolling Stones would do some you know... country music or whatever than
of course the people would be like "what the fuck is that?" well that's
of course a little bit to extreme but than again if there wouldn't be
like changings in the music it would be very boring for us but now we
took a little step somewhere and we almost go left or right or whatever
so I don't know what kind of album the next album will be maybe Timo
doesn't even know, he is composing the songs, well I hope the lyrics
will be more positive... we'll see...
Why did you play only a surprise gig
at Wacken Open Air and not a full set?
Well, why not? They asked us, would you like to play and then of course
we were like "hmm we are not ready tour" but then they said it's just
three songs and then it was ...
C.E.: And this time no storm
Well yeah, but it was fine, I think it was propably my fifth time in a
row that I have been there so like Stratovarius, Kotipelto,
Stratovarius, Kotipelto, Stratovarius, but it's a nice festival
But lot's of mud this year...
Yeah, this year it was not so good. But the year before it was so
fucking hot, 32, 35 degrees and then before the storm...
You were at Sanctuary then at Nuclear
Blast and now back to Sanctuary again. Didn't you like the work with
Nuclear Blast or why was that?
Well there are not so many good metal labels there's like Blast,
Century Media, Sanctuary and then of course these big labels, but if
you are on EMI or some whatever bigger label you are like number 30020
It was just that the deal with Nuclear Blast ran out...
C.E.: and then it depends who makes
the best offer...
Yeah... I don't know where we gonna go next time, we'll see
Will there be a DVD in near future?
Yeah we actually recorded it in Sao Paolo but the thing is that Jens
was supposed to edit it and of course now we are on the tour so there
is not enough time to do it. So hopefully in february when there should
be more off-time he could be... you know editing it and then Timo will
mix the sound so I don't know when it comes out.
What about your solo-project? Will
there be something new?
Well I have some songs already. I've been composing, no lyrics yet, but
I have some songs, propably eight or something. I was composing some of
the songs with Lauri and Tuomas who are playing in my band so they will
play on the next album as well but ehm if we are lucky, because the
problem is, Janne will be touring with Children of Bodom, so the plan
is that IF I get the songs together we might start doing something in
february so MAYBE the album is out next year's September, Oktober MAYBE
C.E.: It always depends on the
And if I get the songs done... and of course it looks like there should
be two monthe off with Stratovarius so... I could start working and
then again we will start propably working with the next Stratovarius
album next years so but when that comes out that's difficult to say
It seems to me that you would prefer
your solo album coming out!?
Well it should be coming out before Stratovarius anyway because of
course Stratovarius just came out so it would be time for MYSELF to do
...and go touring again?
I would love to but let's see, it's a little bit open it depends on the
scheudles. I really liked this European tour the money wasn't that good
but it was fucking fun it was no stress...
I would loved to be a support act on this tour...
It would be funny to have Kotipelo and
I think the best Billing would be like there would be first, well not
in any particular order but there would be like Thunderstone, Warmen,
Stratovarius and maybe Children of Bodom and Kotipelto and cause the
players are sort of mixed it would be fucking fun
Or two bands on stage at the same
Well we were thinking about it because I've been singing on Warmen
albums with Janne, Lauri playing some bass and Mirka he's playing in my
album some drums and also on Warmen that would be like Kotipelto and
Warmen together just you know changing players and... maybe we do it in
Children of Bodom... it was a joke, they would steal the show anyways,
I like the band...
Tonight it was very good but it's friday and it is this ruhr-area,
people here are always very good, so...
If you tell the Cologne-guys, that they are ruhr-area, they will kill
Well then I'm lucking I didn't say it...
(ended up in talking about traditons and so on)
Interview: Nathalie Mohr (& Claudia Ehrhardt)
Fotos: Stratovarius / S² Marketing / Sanctuary
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