Former STRATOVARIUS Singer Blames Split On Alcohol Abuse, Non-Communication

STRATOVARIUS' split with singer Timo Kotipelto was the result of years of alcohol abuse and non-communication, the vocalist has revealed in an interview with Holland's Lords of Metal. "It lies in the Finnish mentality not to openly talk about problems," Kotipelto said. "That is what ultimately ended STRATOVARIUS. For all those years we never spoke about our problems but kept them to ourselves, which allowed trouble to build up."

According to Kotipelto, problems first arose when STRATOVARIUS mainman Timo Tolkki started drinking heavily during the "Destiny" tour. In the years that followed, the resentment between bandmembers intensified, made worse by Tolkki's insistence on keeping Kotipelto out of the creative process. "Everybody could see the split coming from miles away," the singer admitted.

The tension within the band was largely to blame for the group's decision not to support the "Elements Pt. 2" album with a tour and to take a break instead. "Well, we sure managed to do that," Kotipelto added rather cynically.

The alcohol abuse of various bandmembers contributed to the explosive situation within STRATOVARIUS. Concerts where Timo Tolkki would be drunk onstage, such as the recent Piorno Rock appearance in Spain, complicated matters. The fistfight that eventually ended the co-operation between Tolki and Kotipelto was shrouded in an alcoholic haze. "I do not remember anything of that night," Kotipelto said. After the disastrous performance at Piorno Rock, guitarist Timo Tolkki is contemplating abandoning the remaining festival dates that were booked by the old lineup. "I personally would not mind if those concerts got cancelled," Kotipelto concluded.

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