Alexander Andrésen of GetMetal.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist Matias Kupiainen of Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.GetMetal.com: With Timmo Tolki being in the band for such a long time, how was it to fill those shoes? Did you feel any pressure? Matias: In the beginning, of course. I felt a lot of stress and pressure when we first started rehearse the old songs, and at the beginning of the "Polaris" tour. But now it's a piece of cake, it's easy. We've now done two records together and proved that we still can compose great songs, so it's all good. GetMetal.com: So how was it to enter the studio for the first time? Matias: Well, you have to remember, when we first started to record the "Polaris" album, we had no material at all to work with, and I had just began to play with STRATOVARIUS, so we were basically just a bunch of guys putting some music to the table to see if there was something to make an album out of. The results of that later became the "Polaris" album, which was that kind of album we were able to do at those circumstances. But now the new album is coming out soon, which I think is much, much better. GetMetal.com: Yeah, about that new album, what can we expect? And What makes it different from the other albums? Matias: Well, now we had so much more material to work with. We had almost 18 tracks composed and did a whole lot more rehearsals before the recording sessions began. You certainly get a feel that this is an album we have put much more work into. So more time together as a band and more time in the studio is obviously one of the key ingredients. GetMetal.com: I see that you've written the title track for the album which lasts for about 18 minutes. How do you write and record a song like that? Matias: Well, the song itself took me about a 8 months to write. The whole writing process happened while we were on tour, so it took a little more time that planned. But after that we recorded a demo, and then a second demo [laughs], and then we just went in the studio and recorded it like any other track. We are machines! GetMetal.com: You certainly did a lot of writing on the new album. How do you approach the songwriting? Matias: Well, I don't know actually, hard to say. Of course when you have cool riffs or melodies in your head you try to write it down so it will, in the end, develop into real music. But I prefer to maybe get hold of a singable melody first, and THEN put some riffs together and work my way from there. But I'm not that kind of guy that comes up with a couple of chords and has a song ready in ten minutes, It takes usually a few days, weeks or even months. GetMetal.com: And when it comes to lyrics? Matias: That's hard to say. Sometimes ideas pops out from nowhere when we are out on tour traveling. So I tend to write about things that I see or experience. Everything makes an impact in some way, so that makes the writing process much easier. Read the entire interview from GetMetal.com.