STRATOVARIUS Leader TIMO TOLKKI: 'My Life Has Been Threatened'

A brand-new interview with STRATOVARIUS members Timo Tolkki (guitars), Jari Kainulainen (bass), and the group's latest addition, vocalist "Miss K" (a.k.a. Katriina Wiiala), has been posted online at the band's official web site. The following are a few select excerpts from that interview:

Question: The new line up was announced on Thursday (Jan 15). It's all over the media and quite surprising for many people it seems. How do you feel about the reaction?

Timo Tolkki: "It is quite surprising. I have received about 20 emails, where my life has been threatened directly. Be them real or not, it surely doesn't feel nice. I am sure the amount of hatred doesn't feel nice for Miss K neither, who has just joined STRATOVARIUS."

Miss K: "Well, I don't care about those. It's my career that I am thinking about here. I see this whole thing from an entertainer's point of view. I am an entertainer.

"I was asked by Timo Tolkki to join this band after we had met many times, talked about life, music and all. We have made lots of demos together and the new songs sound really really promising. It was me who contacted him however, when I heard that Timo Kotipelto left the band. I saw my chance and I took it and here I am!! To stay, like it or not!!"

Timo Tolkki: "What makes me wonder is the amount of hate that this line-up change has generated among the fans. It seems I will be crucified, no matter what I do. I personally feel that I have given STRATOVARIUS fans a lot of music along the years, organized lots of tours and done thousands of interviews. I think I have given them a lot! And still they say I don't respect them and that I should respect them more? I say that respect is a mutual thing. All the outbursts from my side have only been reactions to very violent and arrogant reactions from people who call themselves 'STRATOVARIUS fans'. And now when people see a bit of blood [referring to the new photos of Miss K — Ed.] (it's real blood by the way), they freak out."

Q: How are the new STRATOVARIUS songs?

Miss K: "We have been singing some old songs that Tolkki has selected carefully. I can sing all the songs though, with my range it is no problem for me to sing 'Father Time' and songs like that. The new songs I haven't tried so much, because Tolkki has this new psychological producing style where he doesn't really tell the band in advance how the songs are. We just get some guitar riffs and that's all. I guess they are doing some recordings already."

Q: Miss K, your vocal performance in your previous band [AURORA K] has been criticized among the STRATOVARIUS community.

Miss K: "I can understand that. They were recorded years ago and I always told the guitar player of that band that the songs are written in the wrong fucking key for me!! Too fucking low! He never listened. It is an amateur band really, it's not even a band you know. Just one guy."

Timo Tolkki: "I never based my choice of Miss K to those soundclips. Frankly, they are quite horrible. What people think? I was convinced about Miss K when we met several times and talked about life and music and played together. She is truly an amazing performer, everybody will be surprised in the end when they will hear it! The songs in that old band of hers were quite poor, in my opinion, with horrible production and completely in a wrong key for Miss K. Her talent was wasted to death and now she has the chance to prove what she is really made of." Read the rest of the interview here.

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