Stratomail allows you to send a question to a band member.
Every fan has to write the only question in ENGLISH necessarily and then a choice will be made among the best, which the group will answer and will be published on the site within one month approximately.
Stratomail is closed now.
July 2014 - Band
Name: Rede Question: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Jens: All the recorded music and gigs, and all the happiness that they have brought to people. But this is the normal and most obvious answer.The highlights are not so much the interesting thing, it's the keeping the ball rolling and the music flowing long term which is the most important thing actually.Often what you might call highlights" have not so much to do with music. One typical example, i was happy with the way Jörg left the band. He left by his own will and it was a very orderly and organized thing. Of course it was also sad since we have done so many fun things together. But if you can not be 100% happy, at least you can be a bit sad while things are not chaotic or angry. I have been in so many bands and seen so many different "ends" -- people are fired and/or quit and/or the whole band just collapses or disintegrates.
Name: Saul Martinez Question: Hi Jens, First, Thanks for be an Inspiration for maybe all the Keyboard Players around the World I play the keyboard thanks to you! Well my question is about how is the environment in your Family having a Famous Musicians (You & Anders)?
Jens: It's very nice being in a musical family, because you have an understanding about the issues and about the life, immediately. You never quite run out of things to talk about. Also me and Anders have often played together in bands or in other projects and we have also worked together on many other things. It always gives an interesting spin on the dynamic we had as we were growing up!
Name: Kevin Ossa Hi Master Jens, my question is, why always get two rubber ducks on your keyboard?
Jens: It started with our tech Django gluing a plastic piece of dog shit to the keyboard. Then it sort of evolved. The crew kept glueing things to the keyboard, maybe they were looking for some sort of funny or even angry reaction. Django didn't, I think he knew i would just think it was funny even with the dog shit! The first ducks were from a hotel bath tub in Stuttgart if i remember correctly. Every room had a few rubber ducks. The lights in the ducks came a year later or so. It's a bit nicer than dog shit but the idea is the same. Nobody hates rubber ducks! Maybe i should put something even weirder there.
Name: Gerson Alexander Question: When you begin to prepare your next album?
Jens: Right now, with the song writing!
Name: Bradley Question: Hello from Canada Jens! Hope there are no hard feeling over the Olympic gold medal hockey game. Sweden is a powerful team and always performs well in big competitions, so Canada may have gotten lucky this time :-) My question... It's been a pleasure hearing Stratovarius' sound evolve from album to album. Has the evolution been intentional, or has it been a natural progression? As an artist, how do you manage to keep your sound fresh after so many years?
Jens: It's a completely natural progression. I can say that with confidence based on the crazy system we have set up to make albums since "Polaris". Everybody just writes what they think is good and then we decide collectively if it should go on the album. It sounds like it would be impossible that this would work, but so far we created three albums. It's a natural selection of ideas, only the fittest songs survive the brutal opinions of the rest of the guys. Regarding keeping it fresh, well it probably hasn't hurt having younger people in the band than 10 years ago, with a little bit different musical history, taste etc... But of course this wouldn't matter if they could not have their voice heard as composers. That's why our crazy collective song writing decision process has been very important too. Everyone feels free to experiment and contribute ideas. There is no "gatekeeper" in the band really who might resist change when it comes to what albums we make. The only small problem with this system is that it would be very difficult to make a concept album with a "red thread" going thru all the songs, but as for me it's a price I'm willing to pay. I'm like...... I know what stuff i usually write and frankly I'm getting a little bored with myself. So, surprise me!! Regarding hockey ... it's probably the sport i follow or care about the most. But that doesn't really mean that I follow it or care much. Congratulations on the medal! Canada usually kicks all sorts of hockey ass :-) I think Canadians even invented hockey or do I remember this wrong?
Question: I was wandering how you became the drummer for Stratovarius? I've been playing drums since 2005 just about every day but I have never been able to find anyone willing to create a band. What are your tips for networking and finding bands and getting involved etc? Oh and btw Stratovarius rules. They've been an excellent influence on my life since 2009 when I first heard the song Pheonix.
Rolf: Hi Eric! Thanks for your questions! I got message from Matias, if I would be interested in taking apart of the audition process. The catch was that I had to do a video, where I played one ofthe original audition songs. I chose Deep Unknown as it felt most challenging technicallyand it was my favourite one from those audition songs. After I did the video I got call forthe actual audition session with the band, where I was supposed to play four songs withthe band. I also learned nearly all the songs from the latest set lists in case they wanted tocall for some other songs. Things worked out quite smoothly and that’s how I became amember of Stratovarius. How I got involved in different bands have been quite a long journey. I never really did anyserious networking or ”hanging” with people, as my practice regimen kept me busy all thetime :) Basically I got into my first real band in my teens by accident, and from thereeverything else just came naturally over time, playing a lots of gigs, meeting new peopleduring those gigs, and playing my ass off every single time. One thing that really helpedwas that most of the guys were usually a lot older and experienced so I learned a greatdeal in the process. Also location is quite crucial for being a musician, bigger city = morepeople to do music with. I would say that the most important thing is to practice yourinstrument as much as possible, concentrate 150% on music, do always your homework, benice to everybody and eventually people will get to know you! Keep on drumming!
Name: Patricia Question: Hola Timo! First of all I want to say you are the best metal singer i've ever heard. There are many good singers but your voice has for me something special that i can't discribe... I would like to know in your opinion what are the most important requirements for being a good metal singer? And who's your favourite(s) and why? Viva Strato!!
Timo: Hi Patricia ! Thanks for you kind words. My all time favourite singer was probably Ronnie James Dio. His way of expressing emotions was something spectacular. Also as a live singer he was brilliant. He made a big impression on me the way he treaden the fans – always polite ! The most important thing of being of good singer is to have your own sound that sticks out from the rest. It’s not easy but a singer should try to find his own style and color to his voice. A good singing technique is a big help of course.
Name: James Howe Question: Hello Timo! What is your take on current power/progressive metal bands these days? Some sound great and some sound like they are a bit lost.
Timo: Hello James! There are not as many bands around nowadays as 10 years ago. But then again I am very happy to see the classic power metal bands like Helloween, Gamma Ray, Sonata Arctica and of course Stratovarius are still making new albums and touring. I have not followed so much what´s going on with the new bands. What comes to more progressive bands it seems Dream Theater are still going strong!
Name: Val Question: Hei Timo! Question: I noticed that some of the Stratovarius songs seem to have a connection to history, mainly mythologic history. Nemesis, for example, is a myth I read about an angel of justice, as it were. Did the album cover of Nemesis, the idea behind the album, and/or the song Nemesis have any basis with that? I'm also curious about the meaning behind Elysium, Visions (Southern Cross), and especially Papillon (every time I look it up I get the French dog breed.) Do you know they're meanings? I've always been curious as to what they mean.
Timo: Hi Val! I think it was Matias who came up with the Nemesis title at one airport. It’s not a theme album at all. It seemed just like a good title for the album. Later I wrote the lyrics for one song which is loosely based on the Nemesis myth, just a modern version of it. Actually we never had any real theme album. Just songs which had the same name as the album. Papillon means a butterfly in French. So basically it’s about the life of a butterfly.
Name: Sarah Lintakoon Question: Greetings Timo! I was wondering, will Stratovarius have a USA tour? If it ever happens, you guys should come to Seattle (that's where I live).
Another thing: this isn't a question but a little while back I did a sketch of you and a sketch of Jani, I was hoping you could take a look at them both and if it's not too much trouble, I'd be overjoyed if you could show Jani the one I drew of him. The links are here:
this is the one I drew of you: http://strato-cat.deviantart.com/art/Timo-Kotipelto-Fan-Sketch-378205245
and this is the one I drew of Jani: http://strato-cat.deviantart.com/art/Jani-Liimatainen-Fan-Sketch-378208966
Timo: Hi Sarah! Cool pics! In September we are gonna play in Atlanta on the Prog Power USA-festival but that is exclusive show in the US this year. We have played in Seattle in the past and I would love to come back. Hopefully we will do more gigs in the US with the next album.
Name: Martin Question: Hi timo i`m a big fan of your band stratovarius!
when will you release a new album or a single from stratovarius
your old album as infinite, polaris, elysium nemesis and have incredible popularity is that your new album could beat `s album
Timo: Hey Martin! The plan is to release a new album next year. Right now we are still writing songs for it and then it will take a couple of months to record it. And yes – it´s always a challenge to make a better album compared to the previous one. But I have high hopes! J
Question: Hi, Timo. How arr you? Which Stratovarius´ songs make you feel touched at the moment of singing? As far lyrics, what would be your favorite album as well as most difficult to write?
Timo: Hi Nicolás! There are many songs that give me goose bumbs while singing them. It also depends on the situation. Very often it happens with some classic songs that we have not played for many years and when singing them live again it feels great. This happened to me last time with the song called We hold the key. I like the song a lot and I did not sing it for many years. Then I thought to give it a try and now we have played it a couple of times in the past 6 months. I do like Nemesis a lot. Lyric wise the most difficult album to write was my first solo album Waiting for the Dawn. It’s a theme album and it took a lot of time to write it.
Name: Carlos Question: Hey Timo, big fan of yours here. Is there any Stratovarius song that you can't/couldn't stand to sing live due to how demanding it is for your voice? Cheers.
Timo: I believe that my voice right now is in a very good shape (it’s not always like this for a singer) so I might be able to sing everything. I remember that some epic songs were kind of difficult to sing live since there are really no place to rest my voice. A song like Anthem of the World for example. But then again I used to think that We hold the key is difficult to sing live but nowadays it´s been very easy. Of course some songs are vocally more interesting that others.
Name: javier Question: How can you remember all of the words from the songs?
Timo: Hola Javier! I can´t! J Before every tour I just need to sing those old songs (and new ones too) again quite many times. Then the lyrics will come back to me. But of course sometimes I forget some lyrics.
That’s just fun and it belongs to live singing. Of course it’s also more difficult to remember all of the lyrics the more albums I have done. It’s easy to remember 10 songs if you have made one album but if you have done 15 (like me) it means I have recorded close to 200 songs. And if I had to sing them all right now I would not remember the lyrics. That´s why I am rehearsing before every gig or tour.
Name: Janeth Question: As Finland is listed as one of the countries with the best educational system in the world... how this help kids to foster their abilities in music? do you have less homework and more time to practice instruments?
Timo: Hi Janeth! We do have an excellent school system in Scandinavia. You still need to do your normal homework. But in some schools you can choose to be on the music class where you can have a bit more music education. If you are talented enough you can later on apply for special music schools. In the end it’s all up to you. How much you rehearse your instrument and how talented you are.
Name: Brenda Question: Through the years your voice has been developed better, also you grew up as an artist you are. And your voice is. in some way, part of the Stratovarius personality.. Could you tell me how you still keep healthy your voice? Do you have some diaries exercises, a routine?
Timo: Hello Brenda! Oh, thanks a lot! I do sing quite a lot. But not everyday. I believe that the voice needs to rest as well. Similar to practising sports. I do vocal exercises and of course sing a lot of gigs in a year. I have found out that singing acoustic show (mostly with Jani Liimatainen) has helped my voice a lot what comes to singing Strato songs. It’s a bit different style of singing but it has improved my range, control of voice and also expressing emotions. I try not to drink too much alcohol while on tour, try to get a lot of sleep, drink lots of water and try to keep my body in a good shape.
Name: Vojta Question: Do you and Jani L. plan an European duo tour, or any new Cain'S Offering material in the future?
Timo: Hey Vojta! We have been discussing about doing gigs outside Finland. But so far we have been too busy with gigs over here and of course me with Stratovarius and Jani with some other projects. But we still wan to do some also in Europe!
Jani is planning to compose some new stuff for CO. But when we find the time to record them, I don´t know. It would be nice to do the second album. I really loved the first one!