TIMO KOTIPELTO


MetalKings.com: Hi! How do you feel?

TK: Hi! Pretty good! It's my last interview that day, and I think after the talk I'll have some beer.

MetalKings.com: It's rather pretty perspective. And what are you doing right at the moment (except of talking with me)?

TK: Oh, it's hard to say. So, right at the moment my friend behind my back is repairing my PC (actually, it was the main reason of delayed interview). If speaking more widely, now I'm recording demos, you know, just studying to compose music.

MetalKings.com: Is it hard to work by yourself, reflecting only your own musical vibe, or your musical comrades are helping you at the every moment of your work?

TK: Actually, now I'm working on my own. So, when you work alone it is twenty times more work to do. Sometimes my old groupmates help me: for example, Timo Tolkki worked as a producer on my last album. My good friend Tuomas Painalla helped me to do some arrangements. However, working alone requires a lot of work sources and calls many stresses.

MetalKings.com: Have you released the sense of creator's freedom when you'd left Stratovarius?

TK: Actually, at the moment I'm back. But these two years I spent "outside" the band I really felt freedom. Even too much of it. I had a chance to work on my vocals independently, and also I've released some self-experience in composing.

MetalKings.com: You've been always recognized as one of the world's most charismatic and outstanding vocalists. Are there any plans to master any musical instruments?

TK: Though, I'm not a good guitar player. As I was younger I had to play drums for a little time. And nowadays I can do something too, I suppose. My skill of playing other instruments is helping me to compose music correctly, especially when I'm using some computer musical programs.

MetalKings.com: I know that you've recorded a song with Finnish punk-rock band Klamydia. How can you comment this event? Was it a kind of experiment for you?

TK: You know, I only sang vocals on this record. And only in one song. This recording was not a part of my entire plans. These guys, Klamydia, are my friends. And they actually compelled me to do it - they were so-o-o big! They've pressed me hard. :) There were no metal in this music, only something alike punk-rock, or something around. I am a melodic vocalist, so this kind of singing is not one that I like, and it was rather difficult for me to work in this stream.

MetalKings.com: Nowadays many frontmen and other musicians of the top-leveled power metal bands are eager to record their solo works. What to you think about this tendency? What are, from your angle, the main reasons of this movement?

TK: I really haven't paid attention to this problem. If sincerely, many problems are lying in the foundation of this occasion. And I think that the main of them is an eager to create - actually, that's the reason why personally I wanted to do it. In this situation it's silly to plan any career, because everybody will firstly compare you and your art with your main band. And it's hard to release more than one album, even if you're working hard and following your own course. It's not connected with so-called "all-star" projects; it's the problem of musicians, who are going to work on their own.

MetalKings.com: From your point of view, who are the most perspective young power-metal bands in the world? (if speaking about bands, which mainly appeared in recent 10 years)

TK: I think that the most gifted bands are Finnish! :) The first band I personally met was Nightwish - they are truly talented guys, and Thomas is really brilliant composer and musician. We've supported them in Helsinki on their great show. Also we've been working with Tarot of Marco (Marco Tapani Hietala), which was playing on bass for our recordings, before he joined Nightwish. Than, I think, Sonata Arctica is also a great band. I worked a few times with them, singing on back-vocals.

MetalKings.com: Who is your favorite singer?

TK: Oh, there are too much of them. Ronnie James DIO, Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford and Jan Gillan - they all are great vocalists and it's impossible to decide who is the best of them.

MetalKings.com: Do you know what kind of vocal do you have?

TK: Everybody knows, that I sing like tenor. I have rather wide possibilities - from the highest volume to the medium and even first octaves of low tenor vocal.

MetalKings.com: High tenor not falsetto

TK: Oh-ha, thanks God, not!

MetalKings.com: You're so happy 'cause you don't need to cut your dick off?

TK: (laughing) Yes! It will be too big sacrifice for music! Moreover, I'm fully enjoyed with my vocal and I don't need highest sound.

MetalKings.com: What to you think about taking part in any metal-opera projects? What about your recent skill in such things?

TK: I think my favorite work was Aina. In fact I'm not a fan of big musical projects. I always have many offers and suggestions, but I simply always refused them. I hate when hundred artists are bounded together and are "working" for the label's representation. Projects like this are boring and extra-commercial, and only a few of them are produced with a part of a real talent. It's like recording an album full of cover-songs. I can agree with such proposal only if musicians will show me something special. But in any other case I won't accept it.

MetalKings.com: You are professionally performing on stage for 12 years, and now you became one of the power-metal icons. Do you have now your own vision of power-metal as a self-caused musical being? And have you mentioned any similarity in nowadays power?

TK: Oh, sincerely to say, I'm not following power-metal course so much. I have some friends who are not thinking that all power is actually power. I'm trying to realize myself as wide as I can. I've got some albums and I'm trying to be independent from label commercial strategy, just realizing what I really want. And what about similarity - I think this is a problem of a numerous bands. I think that the only law here is that only the strongest one will survive. And I think that many bands will release one-two albums in upcoming 5-10 years and will approximately die. Talent, eager - everything plays role.

MetalKings.com: What direction have you chosen in your solo career? Are you following the conservative power-metal line, or you're trying to integrate any progressive or extreme elements?

TK: I don't know what will be my next step. I'm certainly back in melodic power metal and I will try to carry this line through all my music. I think that the only way to stay respectable and really good musician is to work with your own uniqueness. This is the key.

MetalKings.com: Do you have any stable conceptual line in your works?

TK: No. I'm trying to make every album different from the other. My first album, Coldness, was a sad one. And even in spite of its success I'd like to release something more "optimistic". I always wanted to reflect my own life in connection with world's history.

MetalKings.com: So, you're trying to bind closely these two conceptions? Rather unusual.

TK: Mainly it was so. Now I have a great interest in ancient Egyptian history. You know: pharaons and magical calendars are crossed with love and other emotions of a usual man. And it was a major line in a new work. By the way, during my work on history and religion of this ancient civilisation I began to believe in reincarnation. And do you believe in it?

MetalKings.com: Huh an interview finally encircled! (laughing both). If seriously, I believe in reincarnation according to its prehistoric sense.

TK: Great! That's so. I was always trying to compose fantastic motives from the both sides of my being - global and personal. And in the end the reality appears somewhere in the middle. This is my only conception.

MetalKings.com: What was your biggest sacrifice to music?

TK: Personal life.

MetalKings.com: So, now you don't have any girlfriend?

TK: No comments. Touring and musical work takes too much time, and I don't have any time. Even to have meal. This is a great sacrifice - my private style of life.

MetalKings.com: Do you know that in Russia you have rather thankful and really numerous fan-club?

TK: Yes, I know. It's really great! Russian fans are the most valiant of all! If they really want to help me - everybody is invited on my Myspace site!

MetalKings.com: Any plans of visiting Russia? You are living too close!

TK: You know, I've just twice visited Russia with Stratovarius, but I hope one day to play there with my solo program.

MetalKings.com: And now - some greetings to all our readers and your Russian fans!

TK: HI! It's Timo Kotipelto! Stay metal, and I hope some day I will meet your again! Rock and metal!

Nicolai "Harald" Andreev
MetalKings.com
(July, 2007)

The interview was made with the informational support of CD-Maximum

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