TIMO KOTIPELTO: I Am Relieved I Am Not In STRATOVARIUS

Former STRATOVARIUS frontman Timo Kotipelto spoke to Pitriff.com earlier today about the recent events in the STRATOVARIUS camp and his upcoming sophomore solo album, "Coldness". The following are some of the highlights of that interview:

PITRIFF: Have you heard about [Timo] Tolkki's condition lately?

Timo Kotipelto: "I just heard from a webmaster friend of mine that Tolkki is in a hospital right now. Of course, that's not a very good thing. Even though I don't consider him as my best friend, but then again I wish him all the best. He's manic depressive or whatever that sickness is. It's obviously quite bad. He's on very heavy medication. Maybe that's one of the biggest reasons that caused what happened between him and me. At the moment, I'm relieved that I'm not in the band."

PITRIFF: If everything worked itself out, and Tolkki got himself mentally healthy and stopped drinking like a maniac, do you think you might want to go back to STRATOVARIUS?

Timo Kotipelto: "At the moment, I'm not that interested in going back. And they have a singer, so I haven't even thought about that. I'm concentrating on this album, and touring and promotion. I've also been getting some good offers from some bands; especially some nice project offers. I will first have to see those."

PITRIFF: Everything about that trip to Spain [for the Piorno Rock festival] just seemed crazy. From the antics on stage, to the stabbing, it really seemed like it just all fell apart. From the beginning, it just seemed doomed. I won't dwell on it, but what happened?

Timo Kotipelto: "Well, a lot of things happened. It's a funny thing that you mentioned that it all started from the beginning. I think this is the first interview that I'm saying this, but I was in the rehearsals, even though I told Tolkki that I wasn't interested in going. Of course, Tolkki twisted my words again, and he put it on the homepage that I refused, which I never said. I told him on the email that I wasn't interested in going to the rehearsals, but I did. The trip...even the fucking first flight, we had a problem with the Airplane. It was the engine. We had a two engine, Canadian model, and the other engine was shut down, so we had to return to the airport in Helsinki. That was the first part of the nice trip. Well, in Spain... Hmmm...a lot of strange things happened. I was doing some interviews about my solo project, so I didn't really see everybody else except for our tour manager and some journalists. We had two different dressing rooms. I remember that there were two Finnish journalists, and the other one picking up some beer from our dressing room. I thought that was a little bit weird. But later, I found out that the other guys only had straight vodka there. Probably that was why Tolkki was so fucking drunk — because they were drinking vodka instead of normal beers. Whatever! Maybe that's how it started. I noticed when I went on the stage that there was something weird. Then, after the first song, one of the guys disappeared from the stage completely, and left everyone else on the stage. That wasn't a normal thing, because normally after the first song I greet the fans and the next song continues. That didn't happen. Then he came back completely drunk and holding a vodka bottle. He spoke something in Spanish, something like 'What the fuck is going on?' I suppose. Then some people threw some ice cubes at him, and probably he got more pissed and more drunk. Actually, in the middle of the set, I went to the monitor guy and said, 'There's something wrong with the guitar. Maybe you can do something about it.' He told me that the problem was that the guitar player...he's so drunk that he can't play. I told him, 'Please raise the level of the synth so that I can hear some tuning.' It's sad because there were a lot of people, maybe 4 or 5 thousand, and they paid for the tickets. The band comes there and the fans are expecting to hear good music and good songs, and have fun. Then there is one or two guys in the band that want to ruin the whole thing. That's not nice because we tried to give our best and it just wasn't nice for the fans. I think this is so stupid. It doesn't matter if you've decided that you are going to do five or 10 last shows. You should just do them instead of being all trashed from drinking too much. That's just my opinion."

Listen to Kotipelto's entire interview with Pitriff.com at this location.

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