“The biggest difference is that we wrote this album together, in the same room”

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This whole trip was chaos“, confides a visibly exhausted Timo Kotipelto. The reserved but charismatic Stratovarius the leader and I are tucked away in a corner of the Sonesta Midtown hotel lobby, walking distance to popular spots United States The Silver Skillet breakfast venue. The pair and their bandmates are around twelve hours away from their blistering headlining spot on the second night of the festival, which is back in full swing after a series of Covid-related delays. Placed in the unenviable position of following pain of salvation full performance of “The Perfect Element”, Stratovarius did the impossible and invigorated a crowd that their Swedish neighbors had reduced to a talkative, crying mess.

Not a soul in that rabid audience would have thought for a second that the band’s high-octane performance was fueled by nearly zero sleep. “We were supposed to fly on Wednesday, but our flights were canceled and we had to leave the next day.”

Think about it a bit. Timo, bass player Lauri Porraand drummer Rolf Pilve left Finland the same day they were due to close one of the most prestigious metal festivals in the United States. “I can’t sleep on planes“, Timo told me earlier.

“And we had jet lag,” adds Timos longtime teammate Jens Johansson (Rainbow, ex-Dio, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen). “It was around midnight for us...”

No, it was actually around 4am in Finland when we were on stage“, Timo the corrected. He had been awake for nearly twenty-four hours by the time they were to begin.

This scenario is a damn good illustration of the Stratovarius work ethic. While the group has certainly endured quite a bit of turbulence, their dedication to their craft and consummate professionalism prohibits them from backing down, backing down, or giving less than 100% to their profession. Even as they made the transatlantic journey, news leaked out about their upcoming new album, “To survive,” and both Timo and jens eagerly discussed it, the performance rush they’re still getting after decades of performing and being among the first metal bands to break into the Latin American market, all between sips of Hartwall and a surprise appearance of freshly minted ProgPower alumni. Mindmaze.

Listen to Finns chat comfortably with our contributor Gonzalo Pozo below and remember that for more interviews and other daily content, be sure to follow Sound Perspectives on Facebook, Flipboard and Twitter and subscribe to our Youtube channel to be informed of new interviews and content that we publish daily.


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About Eileen W. Sudduth

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