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Stratovarius logo

Formed: 1984
From: Helsinki, Finland
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Stratovarius News

Below is our complete Stratovarius news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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New Stratovarius Video Directed By Antti Jokinen

Megastar video director Antti Jokinen has directed Stratovarius' brand new video for "Maniac Dance" (also the first single). Jokinen is most famous for his work with artists like Beyonce, Nightwish, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, among others.

The video was shot in VR:n Konepaja in Helsinki, Finland on April 15, and will be edited in Los Angeles next week.

"Maniac Dance" comes from Stratovarius' forthcoming self-titled album. "Stratovarius" marks the band's eleventh full-length studio album and will be released on September 5.

A brand new band photo from the video shoot can be seen here, as well as a photo of Timo Tolkki and Antti Jokinen here.

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New Stratovarius Album Details Revealed

Finnish metallers STRATOVARIUS will release their brand-new self-titled effort in late August/early September via Sanctuary Records. The track listing for the effort is as follows:

01. Maniac Dance
02. Fight
03. Just Carry On
04. Back To Madness
05. Gypsy In Me
06. Götterdämmerung (Zenith of Power)
07. The Land of Ice and Snow
08. Leave The Tribe
09. United

A video for the album's first single, "Maniac Dance", was shot last week by director and guitarist Timo Tolkki's old schoolmate Antti Jokinen (BEYONCÉ, WYCLEF JEAN, KORN, MISSY ELLIOT, NIGHTWISH, SHANIA TWAIN, CELINE DION).

"The songs are a few years old," Tolkki told Sonera Plaza. "I didn't plan the album to be like this. The songs wrote themselves. I just compose and later see what I have come up with... All music on the album is done by me, but Jens (Johansson, keyboards) and Timo (Kotipelto, vocals) have contributed some lyrics.

"Every artist praises their new album, but I just really like this CD," Tolkki continued. "And of course I'm very happy that we managed to make it in the first place!"

One track that has made it to the album's final track listing over objections from the group's record label is "Götterdämmerung (Zenith of Power)" (formerly "Hitler"), which features a sampled speech by Adolf Hitler. Tolkki has previously described the track as "as strongly against Hitler as a song can be."

STRATOVARIUS will be teaming up with INTO ETERNITY for a North American tour beginning in mid-September.

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New Stratovarius Album Tracklisting Revealed

Translated from an interview that a band did:

Stratovarius will release their new studio album in late August or early September. The Album is called simply Stratovarius (in other words you can forget about Popkiller) and it has the following tracks:

01. Maniac Dance
02. Fight
03. Just Carry On
04. Back To Madness
05. Gypsy In Me
06. Götterdämmerung (Zenith Of Power)
07. The Land Of Ice And Snow
08. Leave The Tribe
09. United

The album will surely be a surprise for Stratovarius fans. For example, you won't hear any double bass songs, for the Album is mainly in 4/4 and hte song are thoroughly produced mid-paced heavy rock songs. Especially the first part of the album is very "un-Stratovarius" (in proportion to previous albums) and some fans' faces may be worth seeing, when they hear the Atari-intro to the album single Maniac Dance.

A video has already been filmed of the forthcoming single, which was directed by Stratovarius guitarist Timo Tolkki's old schoolmate and the director of Celine Dion's, Eminem's and Nightwish's music videos, Antti Jokinen. Maniac Dance's lyrics leave little to be guessed, they tell about the twister gone around Timo Tolkki during the last few years More...

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ProgPower USA VI Sells Out In 3 Days

ProgPower USA VI has officially sold out just three days after tickets went on sale to the general public.

“I don't think my attendees realize how truly grateful I am for their continued loyalty and support,” said promoter Glenn Harveston. “This is the fourth consecutive sell-out thanks to them. I don't think anyone had a clue that tickets would move so fast this year. My heartfelt thanks to the public for allowing me to continue with what I believe is the best concert experience in North America.”

This year’s stellar lineup will host Angra, Conception, Orphaned Land, Circus Maximus, and Manticora on Friday, September 16. The festival’s second night, Saturday, September 17, will feature Stratovarius, Therion, Pink Cream 69, Symphorce, and Stride.

ProgPower be held at Earthlink Live in Atlanta. Doors are scheduled to open at 4:30 p.m. on both days.

A ProgPower USA VI Pre-Show Party will be held Thursday night at The Loft. After a great experience performing at last year’s ProgPower, Germany’s Dreamscape is returning to headline the pre-party. Orphaned Land will perform an acoustic set with material different from their Friday set. Avian, featuring Lance King (ex-Balance of Power, Pyramaze) on vocals, and Outworld, featuring guitar virtuoso Rusty Cooley, will also perform. Ticket information for the pre-party will be released in the coming weeks.

ProgPower USA is one of America’s most highly praised festivals. There is currently a three-year wait on the Gold Badge waiting list. Last year ProgPower USA drew fans from 32 states and 12 counties including Japan and Australia.

ProgPower USA is sponsored by Pacific Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Shure Microphones, Planet Waves Gear, J.’Addario Strings, and Evans Drumheads.

Earthlink Live is located at 1375 Peachtree Street NW in Atlanta.

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Into Eternity Resume Canadian Tour After Sickness

Canadian progressive death metal band INTO ETERNITY resume their Canadian tour today in Winnipeg. Although members of the band are still ailing from prolonged bouts with strep throat and pneumonia, they have vowed to bring their intense live show to dedicated audiences.

INTO ETERNITY was forced to cancel several of their late March appearances supporting Amorphis after guitarist Rob Doherty sought emergency medical treatment in Atlanta. Diagnosed with pneumonia and advised to enter the hospital, the band immediately returned to Canada where Doherty, vocalist Stu Block, and guitarist/vocalist Tim Roth (who played shows with fevers topping 104° F) were all treated for pneumonia. You can read Rob’s full account here.

INTO ETERNITY are touring in support of their critically acclaimed album Buried In Oblivion. In addition to their tour with Amorphis, the band will be touring the U.S. this summer with Hate Eternal, Krisiun, Incantation, and All Shall Perish and this fall with power metal masters Stratovarius.

INTO ETERNITY tour dates: More...

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ProgPower Fest 2005 Line-up

This years ProgPower Festival will be held in Atlanta, Georgia on September 1-2. Bands preforming are:
Orphaned Land, Therion, Stratovarius, Angra, Conception, Symphorce, Pink Cream 69, Manticora, Circus Maximus, and Stride.

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Stratovarius Checks In With Album Update

Taken from the official Stratovarius website:

After a lot of listening and editing, the basic structure of our 11th album is getting together slowly but surely. After the turbulence of the last year, none of us has known what to expect when going into the studio.

We have used the drums Jörg recorded alone at Soundtrack studio about a year ago. There was about 70 gigabytes of drums, so that took a while to listen to. And bit of tough decisions, and editing, cutting and pasting. New lyrics and vocal melodies have been written, and also some new songs.

Says Timo Tolkki: "I recorded all my rhythm guitars during one evening. God, my fingers still hurt!! There is a construction project going on under my studio. They are building a parking hall and are exploding huge bombs twice a day. Also there is lots of drilling. I am sure that this is the first time in the history of metal that an album has been recorded under circumstances like these."

It has indeed been very hard to record vocals and acoustic instruments. But we are finally getting there, slowly but surely. It's flowing and the feeling is really good. The vocals will for sure be finished before Timo Kotipelto's solo tour embarks. Then of course, the mixing... the mixing... the mixing. Stratovarius has never made a compromise when it comes to the sound and this time with TT in his own studio.. my God, anything under two months of mixing and we'll be lucky. Anyway we would like to thank you, the fans, for your patience and hope that you enjoy this progress report and some new pictures.

With very best greetings, STRATOVARIUS

The new band picture is at http://www.stratovarius.com/pictures/stratovarius-2005-photo-by-alex-kuehr-normal.jpg

The 2004/5 photo gallery is at http://www.stratovarius.com/pictures/2005/

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Into Eternity Excited To Tour With Stratovarius

Currently on tour with Amorphis in support of their 2004 release, "Buried In Oblivion," Canada’s Into Eternity have been added to Stratovarius’ fall tour package.

Vocalist/lead guitarist Tim Roth commented:

We are really excited to be touring with Stratovarius and see this as an ideal package. We will be playing in front of a completely new audience, one for which we haven’t had the opportunity to play. All of us have been Stratovarius fans for years. We are fans of Tolkki’s guitar playing, Kotipelto’s voice, and also of Jens Johansson (keyboards) ever since he played with Yngwie Malmsteen. We met Kotipelto at ProgPower USA V last year and we begged him to take Into Eternity on tour, and now it’s a reality.

For complete dates check here.

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Into Eternity To Support Stratovarius On Fall Tour

Currently on tour with Amorphis in support of their 2004 release Buried In Oblivion, Canada’s INTO ETERNITY have been added to Stratovarius’ fall tour package. Vocalist/lead guitarist Tim Roth commented, “We are really excited to be touring with Stratovarius and see this as an ideal package. We will be playing in front of a completely new audience, one for which we haven’t had the opportunity to play. All of us have been Stratovarius fans for years. We are fans of Tolkki’s guitar playing, Kotipelto’s voice, and also of Jens Johansson (keyboards) ever since he played with Yngwie Malmsteen. We met Kotipelto at ProgPower USA V last year and we begged him to take Into Eternity on tour, and now it’s a reality.”

After the Amorphis dates, INTO ETERNITY will play headlining shows across the Midwest and Canada. The complete list of Into Eternity's tour dates follow: More...

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Stratovarius Confirm More U.S. Dates

Finland's Stratovarius have announced two more tour dates in addition to their performance at ProgPower USA 2005. Here are the dates:

Sept. 16-17 - Atlanta, GA - Earthlink Live (ProgPower USA VI)
Sept. 19 - Springfield, VA - Jaxx
Sept. 21 - New York, NY - B.B. Kings

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Vote For Your Ideal Stratovarius Setlist

In the Forum section of their official website, Finnish power metal giants Stratovarius have offered their fans the chance to vote for their favorite Stratovarius songs as part of their "ideal setlist". The announcement also reads that the results are "sure to influence the choice of material for the upcoming Stratovarius world tour." Fans may submit up to 18 songs.

To vote for your Stratovarius dream setlist, go here (you must register as a user before you can vote).

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Stratovarius/SaxonDrummer Offers Statement

Stratovarius/Saxon drummer Jörg Michael has posted this message on his official website:


this is Jörg Michael speaking!

Wow, a lot of time passed by since I posted the last statement here and so there is a lot of things to tell.

Probably you guys have heard about the tragic accident of last weekend when Biff's house burnt down in the north of France. It's very hard to cope with a tragedy like this but on this way I like to send best supporting regards over to Biff and his family and hope they will recover soon! Good news are that nobody got hurt, that is the the most important thing I suppose! Let´s cross our fingers that Biff's life is going back to normal as fast as possible!

Hot news since a couple of weeks is the reunification of Stratovarius. Yes, this is very big news in my life and especially the fact that Timo Tolkki is doing much better, and is able to work again. We are working on the new material, of course I am very excited about what will come of it! At this point I'd like to explain that Stratovarius means something very special to me. I have been together with these guys now for about 10 years. We started really at the bottom and lived a dream together, seeing the band growing and also developing the relationships. I wouldn't lie if I say that we all became friends in this band. We have a saying in German that you need 11 friends to be successful with a football team, but I would say it is very hard even to meet 11 friends in a lifetime.

I also saw some confusion about this on the Saxon web site and I would like to tell the things from my point of view. I hope it will clear all the fog away and give everybody an understanding about my situation! Stratovarius was in a big crisis at the beginning of last year, and I got a call out of the Saxon camp asking me to do their new record. That was a great honour for me and I packed my drum kit in the van, drove to England and auditioned 2 days and the boys liked what I was doing! Also we were talking about touring at that time. I already said at that point that I don't know what will happen with Stratovarius, but I promised Biff that I will be there for the whole Lionheart tour and we got a deal! For me it was an absolute great pleasure and almost a dream to play an album and a tour with one of my all time faves. The Saxon tour was an absolute blast for me, after starting the first shows in a kind of safe mood the whole band got more and more beserk so I really enjoyed every single second being on stage. I mean, playing masterpieces like Solid Ball of Rock, Motorcycle Man, Crusader, Dogs of War, 20.000 feet, etc., only to name a few... and I am not even mentioning the Lionheart stuff yet... made my evil little heart jump up and down and blew me away. Everybody knows the heart breaking skull cracking riff blasting guitars, solid pumping pounding iron bass with Nibbs going insane on stage, but I have to say one more thing: Biff on stage as a front man and singer is bloody fucking brilliant and asks for all my respect, bloody English... -:). This is no put honey around Biff's mouth or put my head into Biff's ass, this is my honest opinion! Also I haven't forgotten the metal maniacs visiting the shows who gave me great support all over Europe and a fantastic feel playing in Saxon, thank you very much for that. A that point I shouldn't forget big thanx for every single road crew member as everybody gave me support and all the help I needed to feel a part of the family since the first day. Very special thanx go to Django and Duce, both are supermen and probably the best drum technicians in the world!!! Muriel and Emile my friends who run the web page put a couple of photos of the tour on the site, check them out and enjoy them! And as everybody know the Lionheart tour didn´t end yet so I am still part of that! I think there will be still a lot of rockin' to do.

I'll watch out to see you all around!

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Kotipelto to Perform with Stratovarius

According to ProgPower USA, Stratovarious will be headlining the September 16th date of the festival. Stratovarius will be accompanied be Kotipelto who is also touring with Kamelot in Europe in March through early April.

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Stratovarius Mainman Refuses To Drop 'Hitler' Song

According to an article in the Finnish daily newspaper Iltalehti, STRATOVARIUS' record label is refusing to allow the group to release a newly recorded track featuring a sampled speech by Adolf Hitler.

The song, entitled "Hitler", was recently recorded by the group for inclusion on their next album. However, some of the executives at the German branch of the band's record label, Sanctuary, are objecting to the song's lyrical content and are threatening to pull the song from the album's final track listing.

"I won't give up on the song," Tolkki told Iltalehti. "This is a matter of principle.

"The German Interior Ministry has formed a branch dedicated to preventing youth from being exposed to the Nazi ideology. Our manager sent this special branch the lyrics to the song and the intro to be used in the beginning of the track [containing Hitler's speech]. It is up to them to judge if it is acceptable for release or not. If the Ministry sees this song as inappropriate, I will, of course, refrain from releasing it, and I will record a new version of the track that is acceptable. If, on the other hand, the song is found to be 'legal,' the record company should not have the right to limit my freedom of expression."

Tolkki says that he is certain the Ministry won't have anything against the song.

"It's as strongly against Hitler as a song can be," he claimed.

To prove this, Tolkki read the song's lyrics to the Iltalehti reporter. In the song, Hitler is described as a monster who spread fear across the world.

"These issues have to be discussed," Tolkki explained.

Tolkki said that he has been interested in Hitler-related literature for a long time.

"I have been interested in Hitler since I was a teenager," he said. "As far as I can tell, every child is innocent when born into this world. I'm interested in finding out what happens to turn an innocent child into a Hitler-type figure."

Tolkki said that he doesn't know yet how long it will take for the German Interior Ministry to make a decision regarding the song. However, he believes that it won't delay the making of the group's new album.

"This shouldn't affect that [the recording process for the new album]," he stated confidently. "I believe that we will get the clearance to release the song as it is. [This subject matter is something] that you must be able to talk about."

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New Stratovarius Song Suspended In Germany

A new song from the forthcoming Stratovarius album has been suspended by the band’s own record label, Sanctuary Music German Division. The opening intro of that song was supposed to start with the speech of Hitler. According to Timo Tolkki who points out the song is completely anti-Hitler and therefore appeals to the freedom of the art. Tolkki adds that he has always been interested in Hitler and what made Hitler become such a monster, the song is as anti-facist as possible. The lyrics of the song has been sent to the censorship department of the Ministry of the Interior Of Germany, which will make a decision about the legality of the song.

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Stratovarius, Circus Maximus On ProgPower USA VI

ProgPower USA VI (www.progpowerusa.com) is scheduled to take place on September 16th and 17th at Earthlink Live in Atlanta, GA. The latest acts confirmed for the festival are STRATOVARIUS and CIRCUS MAXIMUS.

Confirmed acts now include: STRATOVARIUS, CIRCUS MAXIMUS, MANTICORA and THERION. More acts will be announced soon.

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Finnish Attack Tour To Feature Strarovarius

The reunited Finnish metallers STRATOVARIUS, complete with vocalist Tim Kotipelto, will launch their first North American tour in September. It is not planned to be the usual handful of dates, but a full-blown club tour, from Atlantic to Pacific.

FINNTROLL, the dark metal outfit who mix native humpa rhythms and Finnish-only lyrics into a death metal approach, will engage in their own tour, in September.

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Metal Musicians Comment On Violence In Metal

Imhotep Zine from Norway have issued an extensive report asking a long list of hard rock/metal musicians these two questions: "Can aggressive music led people to kill others?" and "Is there any connection between heavy music and violence / killings / crimes against humanity?". Here are some of the reponses:

Jens Johansson (Stratovarius):

I think the connection is not a useful one to make. This was just one of those freak things that no amount of planning, forethought or "self policing by the industry" could have prevented. I would blame it more on the state of health care (psychiatric health care in particular) in the USA and of course on the gun control laws! But I would not put much blame on those things. It's simply not useful. I also wonder a bit why the US Marine Corps take a schizophrenic guy and teach him how to use a gun. But maybe they need people like that, what the fuck do I know. Such a sad thing what happened. I only met Dimebag very briefly once when we played this Randy Rhoads benefit together in LA many years ago. He seemed a cool guy, surprisingly quiet for playing such aggressive music. :) Everyone I've spoken to who knew him say that he was one of the sweetest people they met. It's so typical somehow. Why don't they ever kill the assholes??? :)

Jonas Björler (The Haunted, ex-At the Gates):

No, I don't think brutal music causes violent behavior. The violence I've seen in pits during metal concerts have been all about 'friendly violent fun'", like EXODUS said. I really don't see a clear-cut connection. But there will always be exceptions to a certain rule, and in the case of Dimebag's killer - that was a really sick & troubled young man who dealt with his frustration & anguish the wrong way.

Gene Hoglan (Strapping Young Lad, Dark Angel, Death, Old Man's Child, Testament):

These people are VERY misinformed, and, by the looks of their articles, really have it in for heavy metal and anyone who listens to it or plays it. How could anyone seriously lay the blame back on Dime for some psychopath's delusional breakdown? No one came out to blame John Lennon for Mark David Chapman's murder of him, and he was under FBI scrutiny for years! Had he been in a metal band (or merely an avid fan), it would have been, "Oh, he got what was coming to him", and his death could have possibly been made fodder for some of the true haters out there.

Music only becomes an issue when it can be used to enflame a story. When Charles Whitman climbed to that bell tower in Texas and gunned-down dozens of people, no one questioned his musical tastes. Chances are, him being from Texas, the 1960's, ex-military, he was into country/western music. Did that drive him to kill a ton of people, with its discussions of how "I'm gonna take a gun and shoot my wife", or "I shot a man in Reno/ just to watch him die"? Sure it did. Is this this uninformed conjecture on my part? Of course it is. But it sure is easy to do...

Now, some factions of Black Metal seemed to embrace violence against others...that's a subject I don't know what to do about... RIP Dime. You are loved and missed...

Read the entire list of reponses from other musicians here.

Read the full article at Imhotep Zine.

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Stratovarius Vocalist Named #1 Go-Getter

Stratovarius Vocalist Timo Kotipelto has been deemed "the number one hardest go-getter in metal" by one of the biggest Germany's Metal Hammer magazine, far ahead of such greats as Bon Scott, Glenn Danzig and James Hetfield. Metal Hammer refers to the incident at Wacken where Timo kept on singing for an hour and finished the show after a stage bomb burned his hand into a crisp. "What's a 2nd degree burn if there is 40000 fans expecting a show?"

Despite the reunion of Stratovarius, Timo's band, Kotipelto, will be heading out on the road in the spring as planned.

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Headline News

Stratovarius Reunites

The following message has been posted on Stratovarius' official website:

After all the turmoil of 2004, we are happy to announce that Stratovarius has reunited with the classic line-up: Timo Tolkki, Timo Kotipelto, Jörg Michael, Jari Kainulainen and Jens Johansson.

Since his breakdown in April, we have patiently been waiting for Timo Tolkki's health to improve. It has been, and since about 6 weeks he has been strong enough to go back to work.

Also during the past months, after much talk, soul-searching and reflection most of the damage within the band has been repaired. The rest of us now understand Timo's condition, and have slowly come to terms with it. There has been forgiveness, and everyone has a good relationship again.

Many of the immense problems we were facing have now found concrete solutions.

Lastly, we can announce that work is already in progress on completely new material.

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