STRATOVARIUS Members Defend Change In Direction

In a recent interview with Metal Temple magazine, STRATOVARIUS frontman Timo Kotipelto and keyboardist Jens Johansson spoke about the band's new, self-titled album which sounds quite different from all their previous releases. Here's an excerpt from the interview:

Metal Temple: I have to say that the new STRATOVARIUS album doesn't sound like anything from the past. It’s really different...

Johansson: "The thing is that [Timo] Tolkki [guitars] wrote most of the songs. Actually, he wrote all the songs. How did he manage to write them? Don't ask me because he was really unstable at that time. I'm pretty sure he wanted to get away from the direction we had in the 'Elements' albums with all that orchestra stuff. I think he made a right choice. There was no point going for an 'Elements Pt. 3'. He was always was good with the music in his head. I always trusted the vision he had for STRATOVARIUS. We had other problems... but to come back to the 'Elements' albums, I wouldn't have a problem doing a third part. I do listen to a lot of classical music... but what's the point?"

Kotipelto: "There was no reason, actually. I can sing high but it is only a technique, you know. When he [Tolkki] played the demos for me in September, I was surprised by them. There were no vocals in them but the songs were obviously different than anything else done in the past."

Johansson: "Lots of people complain that we are playing the same thing over and over again. This is not true. Listen to the first three albums before we joined the band. Back then STRATOVARIUS had a more obscure progressive direction, like QUEENSRYCHE meets PINK FLOYD or something. The next couple of albums were more direct power metal. Then the 'Elements' albums had this deep symphonic approach. I think that Tolkki always tries to change the sound of the band. He has a good instinct and in the end, you know, if all this was not successful we wouldn't be here right now talking to you."

Kotipelto: "I think that mostly the first two songs sound really different than what we have done in the past. 'United' or 'Just Carry On', I think they could easily fit in one of our previous albums. The first song is more rock, I think, modern rock. I was surprised myself at how the album actually sounded. Timo said he's gonna mix it and he had a lot of energy but I didn't know how this was going to sound since he hadn't mixed any album for many years. I think he mixed 'Twilight Time'."

Read the entire interview at Metal-Temple.com.

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