These days the first solo album of Stratovarius singer Timo Kotipelto hit the stores. It’s called Waiting For The Dawn. A good reason to talk to the Finnish vocalist. We had an appointment at the office of Century Media in Dortmund for late afternoon. Luck wasn’t on our side, our luggage was still in London-Stanstedt and so we had to do this interview without a recorder, etc.

We explaint the situation to Timo and that we just returned from the U.K. shows of Annihilator & Seven Witches to do this interview. Timo offered us a coffee and we ask him to fill in the the profil which you can now find in the section “Specials/Profiles”. That gave us the chance to calm down and to think about the questions…. While he was filling in, he didn’t want us to read it, so we joked a little about it. It was fun from the very beginning.

First I wanted to know, if he had the idea to do a conceptual album about Egypt for quiet awhile or if it just came up while working on the material. “I had the idea to do a solo album for awhile, but we were busy with Stratovarius and there wasn’t enough time to realize it.” The story is based in Egypt and even if the protagonist isn’t a real character most of the story is based on historical facts. Unusual…. “In school I always was better in history then in music! I’ve been interested in historiy, especially in the Egyptian history ever since, but really thought about writing about after I visited Egypt in fall 2000 on holidays. It was amazing and after I got back home I started reading about it. During my research I read about 25 books about this subject!” In Mr. Kotipelto’s opinion everybody should visit Egypt once, but due to the political situation in the Middle East he can’t recomment to do it these days. We promised him to visit Egypt one day… At least when he’ll play there! But what to expect musically from Timo Kotipelto’s solo album? What are the differences musically between Stratovarius and his solo album for Timo Kotipelto? “What do you think are the differences? Sorry, I have to askt this question! *smiles* Actually I tried to write the kind of music I was listening to before I started my musical career. Music from the 80’s, partly from the 70’s, but in todays’ sound. Kind of nowadays Rainbow and Iron Maiden. That there are similarites to Stratovarius, coz I’m the singer in Strativarius. A mixture of my influences and my main band….” The solo debut is released on Century Media Records, while he’s signed to Nuclear Blast with this main band. “I got several offers, some companies offered more money, but they wanted to control everything. Century Media offered less money, but I have more control about everything.” To have more control about everything Timo Kotipelto founded his own record label. ”One reason to sign with Century Media was that I have more control and also can learn a lot about the business form the labels point of view.” Somethings are easier to understand if you can take a look behind the scenes and to have the label in the same building as Stratovarius management and booking agent is another positive effect. Another reason for this decision was to make it clear that this is not Stratovarius, that this is independent from his main band. Even if it would be easier to arrange schedules while working with one label instead of working with 2 different companies. And the schedule is focused more on the main band than on the solo stuff these days. “I’m not happy that I’m here a week before the release and that I can’t do the signing session when the album is in the stores. But this was the only possibility, coz tomorrow I have to head back home to do a photo session with Stratovarius.” Even if for the fans the band is still taking a break they already recording the next album. “Later this year a single will be released in Finland and probably in Germany. But I’m not sure about this. The album will be called Elements Pt. 1 and shall be in the stores early next year. A tour will follow, starting in March / April 2003. Most of the shows are already booked and soon the dates will be announced!” Sounds like there won’t be a chance to see him live with his solo stuff, even if there were plans in the beginning… “I’ll do a few club shows in Finland as well as a festival there. Beside that we will opene up the Wacken open-air on Thursday at 18:00! We will be the first and the last band, coz I’ll burn the stage after our performance and bring down the whole festivals!” *laughs* Live the Finnish singer will work with some of the musicians who appeared on the album. “Live Jari, Janne Wirman and Mirka will be with me. Unfortunately Roland and Mike will be too busy to join us.” These guys been with him in the studio, but how came? “Most of them are friends for quiet awhile. They offered me a helping hand. Others called me up and wanted to be part of it.” The songs were written, but everybody had the possibility to add his own sound, to play it his own way. Perhaps that’s part of the magic, that all this contributers add their own sound to the music written by Timo Kotipelto…. Anyway, our time was almost over, even if there were a few things we hadn’t talked about… But after the show in Wacken there will be a chance to continue….But the last 5 min. we wanted to use to do some assossiation. Timo looked a little puzzled and we explaint that we will give him a word and that he should tell has what comes to his mind. He took the pen he was playing with up to his head, he turned the cap and it was squeezing… “See, there is nothing insie!” *smiles* But we started anyway…

  • galaxy: stars
  • politics in general: monkey business, playing games
  • frigerator: cold
  • nature: still neat and clean in Finland
  • music: my life!
  • September 11th: a catastroph, a lot of hatred and consequences. I won’t tell my opinion about it, even if I have one, but prefer to keep it secret…
  • travelling: Just boring! To travel by bus or plane is just boring. But it’s cool to see different places and to meet people…
  • Egypt: Still developing… Great nature, not that much living cultur these days. Great history….
  • angels: Do they exist?!
  • home: Very important!
  • nightfall: Part of the day… End of the day, almost… Okay, sometimes day ends when you crawl out of a pub… *laughter*
  • independency: Very important for the Finnish! (a short lesson in finnish history from 1900 ‘til today, in a nutshell…) Finland was ruled by Sweden and Russia several times until 1918 when they became independend.
  • pride: I’m not proud about what I’ve done, but I’m proud of my friends and what they did.

Then it was time to leave for the signing session. It was a very pleasant talk and we are looking forward to meet the sympahtetic singer again and to talk a little more then… Finally we have to thank Timo for this unusual interview and for the chance to continue later this year persoanlly as well as for offering us to send a few questions by email!

Claudia Ehrhardt & Nadja Meyer

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