MAtW – Hello, Timo! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us!
Hey, no problem at all! How are you?
MAtW – Great, thank you! A new Stratovarius album is scheduled for Spring. Can you share some details regarding this next album?
We have been working on the album since the last spring. The actual recordings started last august and the album is almost ready. Matias is currently mixing it at his studio and everything looks cool. There will definetely be some new elements on the album but it will sound
Stratovarius for sure. Of course with a new drummer, Rolf, something has changed. His playing style is a bit different to Joerg´s but he is a very good drummer. Also the songs are maybe a bit different, at least some of them. I can´t reveal the name yet… I know it but you have to wait a bit.
MAtW – You have a full month ahead, touring with Jani Liimatainen,
supporting your collaborative acoustic album, “Blackoustic”. How is the tour going? Any feedback from the fans?
Its been going very good! We didn´t really expect any chart position for
Blackoustic because it´s not really that commercial album. But onthe first week the album was number 13! The first 3 gigs that we did have been awesome! The fans come to see us and and sing along to the songs. It is amazing; after all we are not a band but an acoustic duo. The reactions from the fans are excellent. I am really looking forward to the shows we have left this year.
MAtW – The Nordic Nexus Nemesis Tour will take off in March,
Munich being your first date. Stratovarius and Amaranthe are on for
quite a journey. Any expectations?
Amaranthe are a very talented new band from Sweden. I bet we will get along fine and have excellent tour together. Their music is not exactly similar to us but I think it´s a nice package for the fans. So I am expecting a great metal party together with the fans!
MAtW – Could you name one or few songs that are demanding live as far as vocals go?
All of them need a very good singing condition. The new songs are of course more difficult because they are also new to me. The more I sing the songs the easier they get. I got cambylo backteria from the tour just before Christmas 2011 and I completely lost my voice. It has been slowly coming back. But I still need to rehearse quite a lot to make it better. But I am on the right path. To sing power metal is very demanding for a male vocalist. The melodies go very high and you can’t party every night and not take care of your voice.
MAtW – Speaking of vocals and frontmen, is it a trend among vocalists to split with the band at some point, in order to take on solo projects?
Or is it a matter of “too many ideas”, “misunderstandings with other members”?
I don’t think it is a trend but it just happens. Very often other players have their projects but not so many people know about them. When a frontman/singer is doing something his/her voice is very recognizable and it becomes “his project” even though he would just be one of the players in the band. For a bass player it’s easier to play whatever gigs since their part may not be that dominant. Of course their role is also important but normally it’s not the first instrument you listen to when listening to the new song. Also if the singer isin’t the main composer in the band he has more time to do something aside his band.
MAtW – Your style, voice and approach have been honed down to something unique. What are some of your influences?
My greatest influences have been Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan, Bruce Dickinson and David Coverdale. Dio was pronably the best what comes to singing but they are all great and have unique voices!
MAtW – Do you go back and listen to old Stratovarius albums? Or your solo
I do listen to the albums when they are fresh and new. Or when I need to rehearse for the tour. But I really don’t listen to my own music every day.
MAtW – Any favourite female singer/s?
Sharon den Adel has a very nice voice. But I also like some musical stuff
sang by Sarah Brightman.
MAtW – Can you name your best onstage memory or your best ever live show?
There have been so good onstage memories through the years! One highlight was when we played in Caracas, Venezuela for the very first time. We didn’t know what to expect. When we were in a van going to the venue we saw people queueing for hundreds of meters. And I was like “there has to be some big band playing here tonight as well!”. When we arrived at the venue I realized that all of those people came to see us! 6000 people in a country where we have never been before knew our music. The show was amazing, people knew all of our songs and sang along!
MAtW – Your label, “High&Loud Records” is all about promoting new talents. After Ancara’s “Beyond The Dark” back in 2007, are there any new bands you are working with currently?
The label activity is in the ice right now. I don’t have enough time
because of Stratovarius and the duo-thing.
MAtW – You have countless collaborations: Cain’s Offering, Ayreon, Warmen, Socata Arctica, Amberian Dawn, Tarot, Klamidya. Any chance you will try something akin to the metal opera project by Aina?
There are so many “metal operas” nowadays. Sometimes some musicians who would like me to sing on their album approach me but very seldom I have time to do that. Mostly I have done something if a friend of mine has asked me to do it.
MAtW – Thank you very much for your time and quick replies! Now, for our final random question: Mika Häkkinen or Kimi Räikkönen?
Both! Häkkinen at the time and Räikkönen now. I am hoping that Heikki Kovalainen would get a better car so he could show how good driver he is!