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Timo Kotipelto – Singer for Stratovarius, solo artist

Date: 10/06
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. How have things been going with Stratovarius since the band has gotten back together and released the self titled album in 2005?

TIMO: Slowly better. Thing were still a bit difficult a year ago when we started touring after the release of the album. The main reason was that Timo didn´t feel so good but since his condition has been getting better also the band is getting better. Nowadays it´s really a pleasure to be on the stage with him again and that has not been the situation over the last few years. I am happy to see him enjoying playing live and as a band we are player better than ever.

2. How is guitarist Timo Tolkki feeling and what type of future does he see for Stratovarius?

TIMO: He´s doing good! He sees the future bright. I got 10 new songs from him and I have to say that they are excellent! I am looking forward to the actual recordings of the next album.

3. The first time the band ever played New York was in September 05 at BB King Blues Club and as I type these questions you played the same venue just several days ago at the beginning of October.

Tell us about those two shows and when Stratovarius plans on returning to tour?

TIMO: We did our first US tour a year ago and were positively surprised to see that we have fans over there. That´s the reason to return to play a few shows linked to our festival appearance in South-America. We are also planning to do a longer tour in the States for the next album. Probably 2008.

4. Since these two shows were the first time the band played New York , why were there no songs in the set from the first three albums?

TIMO: We have done so many albums that it´s always difficult to play all the songs that are requested. Maybe on the next tour.

5. How was the reaction from both the fans and critics to the self titled Stratovarius album?

TIMO: Some fans liked it and some didn´t. I see it as a small miracle that we were even able to make the album. In my opinion it´s not the best album but at least Timo wanted to try something new. With the next album we can go back to the more "Stratovarius-style" or go somewhere further...

6. Has the band started writing for the next record and can you tell us what that is sounding like? Song titles?

TIMO: Timo Tolkki has composed some new material. We are exited about the stuff. No comments about the title etc yet.

7. How is work for your latest solo album coming along? Does it have a title and release date yet?

TIMO: It´s going quite good. When typing the answer I am in the middle of recording the vocals. The mixing will start in the beginning or November. Release date should be around Feb-March 07. No title yet.

8. Who is playing on it and are there any plans to do some touring behind it?

TIMO: The line up will be: Janne Wirman - keyboards, Lauri Porra - Bass, Tuomas Wainola - Guirtars and Mirka Rantanen - drums. I have some plans to tour in Europe next spring. More info later.

9. What do you try to do differently with your solo albums that you might not get to fulfill with Stratovarius?

TIMO: Well...I want to get my songs on the album. I have a bit more freedom compared to Stratovarius when I do the solo thing. I would say that my stuff is probably more simpler compared to Tolkki´s songs. Melodic metal anyways.

10. Have Stratovarius recorded any shows professionally for DVD and if so what is the plan for its release?

TIMO: We did record a couple of shows a few years back in Milano with the old line-up (Jari Kainulainen on the bass) and a year ago in Sao Paulo . But the quality of the DVD is not good enough so we are not planning to release anything right now. Maybe later.

11. What are some of your favorite Stratovarius songs to perform?

TIMO: There are many. Of course I like “ Hunting High and Low ” , “ Forever ” , “ Black Diamond ” but I also like “ Eternity ” , “ Season of Change ” and “A Million Light Years Away ” .

12. What are your plans for the rest of 2006 into 2007?

TIMO: 2006: Recording my 3rd solo album, Stratovarius demo session some cover gigs for fun. 2007: promoting my album, touring with Kotipelto, recording the next Strato album.

13. After doing some touring in America , do you think the American Heavy Metal market is starting to embrace the sound of European Power Metal?

TIMO: I think European Power Metal is getting slowly becoming more popular in America . It has been very strong (at least for us) in South-America already for many years. It will never be main stream (which is only a good thing). Hopefully more people will find the style appealing and come to see the shows.

14. I am curious…..what do think of this Dragonforce phenomenon because honestly Stratovarius should be getting the kind of attention they are? They obviously have become successful by ripping off many elements that Stratovarius have been doing for many years.

TIMO: Who ?

Official website: www.stratovarius.com , www.kotipelto.com

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