Timo Kotipelto of Stratovarius - Back
1. How did the band get started? How did you meet and how long have you been together?

Timo Kotipelto: The band was founded 1982 but nobody from that lineup is still in the band. So I would say it started when Timo Tolkki joined the band 1984 and started to compose some song for the guys.

2. How would you describe your music?

Timo Kotipelto: I´m not the right person to do it but I have words like Epic, power metal, progressive influences, classical influences, heavy metal...the list continues...

3. What are your biggest influences?

Timo Kotipelto: For me as a singer the biggest influences are singers like: Ronnie James Dio, Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Tate. And the bands like: Rainbow, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple...

4. What influence do you think your bands has in music and metal today?

Timo Kotipelto: Well the roots are in the 80´s...

5. What made you want to be in the band? And if you weren’t in the band what would you be doing now?

Timo Kotipelto: I started playing drums when I was 12. I changed the drumkit for a microphone at 16. I wanted to be in the band coz I loved the music and wanted to do it. I don´t know what would I be whithout it or what I will be doing after my musical career.

6. Are any band members in side projects? If so what are they, and explain a little about them.

Timo Kotipelto: Jens is doing some weird project with and without his brother Anders. Tolkki is gonna do another solo album. Jörg played drum on some South-American release, Jari and me have a cover band called Episode. And I am planning to do an solo album next year.

7. How would you feel if a band took their sound from yours and became very well known?

Timo Kotipelto: Well, it´s already happening...There´s a young finnish band called Sonata Artica. The guys said that they started to play metal when they heard Visions. I have nothing against it. The guys will be the opening band on out forthcoming tour.

8. What current bands do you like or respect?

Timo Kotipelto: The same old bands from the 80´s...

9. How many demos/albums do you have? Tell me about them!!

Timo Kotipelto: Not that many. I don´t listen to that much music anymore. Maybe 300-400. My top five is:
Queensryche: Operation Mindcrime
Rainbow: Long Live Rock ´n´ Roll
Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind
Van Halen I
Black Sabbath: Heaven And Hell

10. What demo/album do you like the best?

Timo Kotipelto: See above.

11. What is the meaning behind the songs?

Timo Kotipelto: It differs...We write about common themes. Basically about our own lifes and what´s happening around us. Unfortunately we don´t have any fantasy lyrics.

12. What are the bands favorite songs?

Timo Kotipelto: Ask our fans...

13. What does the future hold for the band?

Timo Kotipelto: Touring, touring, touring, festivals, touring, touring...

14. If you could play with any band who would it be and why?

Timo Kotipelto: Old Rainbow lineup would be cool! Or Deep Purple with Blackmore...

15. Who writes the majority of the music?

Timo Kotipelto: Timo Tolkki. Then it´s Jens Johansson and me.

16. Who has been the favorite band you’ve played with and why?

Timo Kotipelto: This one.

17. Where did you get the band name from?

Timo Kotipelto: Combine Strarivarius (the violin) and Fender Stratocaster (the guitar). It describes our music quite well.

18. Describe what the band is like live?

Timo Kotipelto: Bombastic songs, great sound, good performance (I hope...!!!) a lot of energy. It´s pretty stupid to describe something that you have to see before you realize what Stratovarius live is about.

19. If you are gonna do any kind of video what would be in it?

Timo Kotipelto: We´ve done several music videos (for one song each) and we are planning to release a kind of home video at the end of this year. The video will have a lot of interesting material from the tours, studio and the rehearsals.

20. Are there any touring plans made; if so tell me about them?

Timo Kotipelto: Please, take a look at our homepage: www.stratovarius.com there´s a sections TOURS!!!! The first gig is tomorrow.

21. Where do you think the band will be 20 years from now?

Timo Kotipelto: In Helsinki, Finland.... ;)