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Stratovarius Break Up

Stratovarius’ Timo Tolkki issues the following statement on his website:

“Dear Stratovarius Fans,”

“It is time to stop the silence and announce what some of you have already been speculating. Stratovarius is no more.”

“Last October I told the guys that I am stopping the band and told them the reasons why. This letter is addressed to you, Stratovarius fans, who have supported the band for so many years. I first thought that I would write just a very generelized, typical ”music business” statement that basically never says anything. Then I decided that you deserve to hear at least parts of the truth what has been going on behind the scenes so you will be able to understand my decision better.”

“All the time, since TK and Jörg joined the band, there have been tensions and negativity flying around. This has been concentrating on me, TK and Jörg. The reasons Jari Kainulainen was fired some years back were so absurd that I am not even try to explain them here. If I write a book one day, maybe then. Anyways, I think the seeds were planted already back then, something like 12 years ago. There were many confrontations, Jörg has been complaining to me about TK and TK complaining to me about Jörg. At a times it was a mess, although of course, it never would show outside to the fans. It is not my intention to disrespect TK and Jörg here. They are both fundamentally good guys. Things just sometimes happen and relationships go to directions we don’t want them to go. It’s like a divorce, nobody wants it to happen but sometimes it is best for all so everyone can continue their own lives. Plus I want to tell how things have been behind the curtains. You always only see the good side anyway, you don’t really know what is going on.”

“We had amazing years, 14 records, 6 world tours with over a thousand shows all across the Globe, 3 gold discs, a Finnish Grammy and almost 3 million records sold. I have arrived to my decision after careful, long and rational thinking of over a year and I know it is the right way for me. I just felt so bad being in Stratovarius. Something was terribly wrong in there and nobody seemed to care.”

“The countdown really started from the last Stratovarius album in 2005. At that time the atmosphere in the band was extremely weird. I had spent most of 2004 recovering from my nervous breakdown in April 2004 when I was hospitalized. It was at this point when things started to change. Jens supported me immensely during 2004 with his phone calls. We then did that ”Stratovarius” album, which I think is an awful album and went for the subsequent tour production. By that time it was apparent to me that things really were bad. Nobody seemed to care about anything. I had the idea to use projection screens and for that, you need to produce graphics. I planned those and basically the whole show. Nobody seemed to have any interest in it. It was more like, the less the better. The atmosphere at the rehearsals was awful. Lauri Porra who had just joined the band was wondering what is going on with this band. Jörg Michael came straight from Saxon to this tour wearing a Saxon shirt during most of the shows. His attitude for most of the tour was extremely arrogant, pretty much towards everybody. But especially towards me and TK. And TK’s attitude towards me was lukewarm and polite, but I could sense the hostility. Of course we as professionals put on very good shows but it was more craftmanship and rehearsed performance than a great united band playing emotionally from the heart. I think TK was always very bitter about that he could not get his songs and/or lyrics on Strato records. I did not understand this really cause he had/has his solo band where he could do what he wanted. It took me many years to learn to simply tell him that I don’t like his songwriting and lyrics and that the main difference between me and him is that I am writing songs that end up being Strato songs while he is trying to write Strato songs that end up being Kotipelto songs, which means they belong on a Kotipelto record. It is not easy to say to someone that you don’t like his music. You guys and girls dont like all music, neither do I. Neither does TK. I am not anyone to tell what is good and what is bad music, but I do can tell what kind of music I like. And TK’s stuff just doesn’t do it for me. I do have to say that I think he has written many great songs as well during his solo career. Plus he probably would say the same things about my songwriting. We are just very different. He has a very different sense of humor than I have. Maybe the weirdest thing in Strato was that we never really were friends in the band. I visited TK in 12 years perhaps 5 times. To me Jens was the closest in the band and lately Lauri Porra, who is a wonderful guy. But none of use was really ever real friends. It might be surprising to you but that is the truth.”

“The tour continued and Jörg’s drum roadie told me drunk that Jörg is leaving the band after the tour but he is doing the tour cause ”he is a businessman”. I guess you could say that Jörg’s attitude pretty much culminated what he said to me in Seattle on that tour. He told me that he thinks the band is over. We tried to record, 3rd time, a live DVD in Sao Paulo but could not use the shootings because we played so badly. It was just plain awful. Although we rocked lot of crowds on that 120 date world tour, still the overall vibe was very much like ”going to work”. Not for me though. Not still at that point. But it felt to me that nobody’s heart was in the band and it was just for the money.”

“The tour came and went, we survived and Jörg didn’t leave the band. But it was the weirdest tour I have ever done. Very succesful, but still it felt like forcing something. It was not fun. It was sad.”

“The next thing I had in mind was to write a really fresh good old fashioned Power Metal album in the vein of Visions. I felt our fans deserved it and I felt it was the right thing to do. This was the infamous ”RR” album. The songwriting was flowing and the songs sounded really nice and melodic and very much like old Strato. I was all the time on my toes because of the situation in the band and I was anticipating difficult recording sessions. Anyways in late 2006 we completed a demo tape containing 10 brand new songs. I wasn’t too happy about the demo, but it did serve its purpose, to present the songs to the record company. I then booked 12 days from Sonic Pump studio in Helsinki for March 2007. This was the weirdest session I had ever had. Jörg was all the time talking about that we have to get the ”Visions hunger” back, although I don’t think he himself had that hunger. Nobody had. The session was nothing like the recording sessions before. Nobody had rehearsed the songs really and everything sounded pretty awful. I tweaked the drum tracks for a week and gave up. It was around this point when I really was starting to think why am I keeping this alive when it’s so difficult. I remember how much time, energy and money we put to Elements 1. There was nowhere to go after that anymore without just repeating the past. I do know that TK didn’t like that album at all, which yet again shows the difference between him me. It doesn’t mean that he has to like it of course, but to me Elements 1 represents the peak of the Strato evolution and perhaps I should have stopped the band already then."

"Last year, 2007, was the turning point for me in many ways. I felt better, but regarding Strato I felt worse. There were fights about everything, even about trivialities, which really annoyed me. A lots of fights. A lot. I had to use a lot of energy to try to get merch to Stratoshop, which was on the shoulders of Jörg and TK, because there was no merch for people to order but still they were ordering cause the items were on the page. The SSL certificate that proves the site is secure was expired a year ago, I tried to get that fixed, could not do it because I wasn’t authorized to do so. The most popular items from the shop were sold out and Jörg refused to print more. I could not understand any of the things that were going on. At the same time, I was having more fun than in years with my rock opera Saana. When I was making that, I realized what was lacking in Strato: the enthusiasm, creativity and fun. It wasn’t like that in years. Saana gave me hope that there still could be something new for me to learn at this age and it gave me a whole new world of things and a start for something new. Plus I knew I had some really cool new Metal songs in the works."

"We did have 8 festival shows during 2007 and it was then, when I was standing on stage in Wacken Germany before 45 000 metalheads , when I fully realized that this band is over. I remember clearly playing those same old songs we had played so many times before and a feeling came to me that told me: this band has no soul anymore. I looked around and I felt like I am part of a play that has a script or machine and that there is nothing fresh and exciting happening anymore. The band sounds awful. Nobody’s heart was in it. It was just the same old song. Jörg worked at this point full time in artist production company doing tourmanaging and he was working at Wacken too. He literally came to play from production office and returned there after. Everybody was polite, on the surface, but there was no friendship, all I could sense were the underlying tensions of relatioships that had come to an end. I had felt during that year that the band existed only for one reason and that was the money. I had felt that this was the main motivation what kept Jörg and TK in the band still despite of the underlying tensions. While standing on Wacken stage to my absolute horror, I understood that also for me that had now become a reality. I was keeping this alive for money. It was then when I decided that I must stop the band."

"So it was during this show, I decided that it’s over. I was still thinking about everything but I felt that for my future, it was the only logical thing to do. I did not want to fire TK and Jörg because they are and have been as much part of Strato as I have been and it would not be fair to the fans. I then decided that it is best to lay rest what is already dead. I informed guys by email in October 2008 about my decision and explained in detail my reasons hoping they would see my points and agree what is real. Only Jens and Lauri answered. TK and Jörg did not even answer to that mail. Jens understood my decision, Lauri did not. I understand him, he got a taste of what it is to be in a succesful rock band touring the world. It is not easy to give that up. He did fail to see my side of the story. That TK and Jörg did not comment anything really speaks for itself. I did want to finish the Stratovarius saga with style and naive as I am, in February 2008 I wrote a mail to the band and proposed that we would say goodbye to our fans with style and do one more tour. I won’t go into details here, but this time I did get a response from TK and Jörg. I wished them well and wrote back that I can see there cannot be any more tours with this band because of the hostile reactions.. So that was that. I felt good about my decision, but not good that out of legal reasons I have had to wait for this announcement for so long."

"Then I thought that since I have all these great songs in my hands, I wanna put these out somehow. So I contacted a few friends, we laid the basic tracks in the same place where the Strato RR session had taken place a year ago and it was just flowing. There was happiness. There was energy. The songs sounded great. My friends Michael Kiske and Tobias Sammet agreed to sing on the album. I decided to form a new band called ”REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE” which would continue the legacy of Stratovarius. In this first album I just wanted to release these songs finally so I did not have time to search for a permanent line up. I am now, so if you are interested, drop me a mail! The album comes out 6.6.2008 through Frontiers Records."

"I am excited and happy…for the first time in years. I can hardly wait what the destiny has in store for me with my new band, projects, songwriting. I am living a very creative times. I have my production company and I am doing lots of different projects and not only metal but basically anything that moves me."

"First I would like to, despite of all, thank Jörg, TK, Jens, Jari, Lauri, Tuomo, Antti and Jyrki for these 22 years. It was a quite a ride. I wish Jens, TK, Jörg and Lauri the very best with whatever they decide to do in their life and success with it."

"Last but most importantly, I want to thank you Stratovarius fans for your love and support and for the great life. We will be seeing each other in some ways, somewhere. You will always remain in my heart."

"With Love, Timo"

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41 Comments on "Stratovarius Break Up"

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Anonymous Reader
1. EpicNeckbeard writes:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

# Apr 2, 2008 @ 11:38 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. EpicNeckbeard writes:

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Thanks for ruining my whole day stratovarious. i really appriciate it. worst news ever. Terrible. Damn, I'm seriously baffled right now, im so bummed. this sucks. I don't think i can say anything else to illustrate how bummed out i am right now. lame... its just lame.
excuse me while i go jam some eagleheart in memory of one rad band.

# Apr 2, 2008 @ 11:43 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. rk writes:

good one less shiitty power metal band to worry about.

# Apr 2, 2008 @ 12:14 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
4. Jrizzle writes:

One of the few power metal bands i liked. R.I.P.

# Apr 2, 2008 @ 12:24 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. iEATbabies writes:

Not a fan of power metal but thats one hell of an explanation. At least he didn't just say "it's in everyone's best interests to disband" and thats it. That came from the heart.

# Apr 2, 2008 @ 1:20 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Kalis_wrath's avatar

Supporter

6. Kalis_wrath writes:

That has to be the longest break up statement in the history of music! I hope that he is o.k and can find another band that works out for him.

# Apr 2, 2008 @ 1:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. EpicNeckbeard writes:

You can usually get a sense for how much a band actually cares about their fans when they decide to call it quits. If they give you a bare bones explanation like, "we decided to go our separate ways because of personal reasons" then they usually couldn't care less. But if they lay out an explanation for you, something like the one above it shows ya that they maybe do care a little bit about the people who made them who they are... either that or they want they're next project after the band to have more original fans than any of the other members new projects. either way detailed explanations are nice.

# Apr 2, 2008 @ 2:11 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
8. Txmetalhead writes:

This band was legendary. I heard about them when I was in high school. Sad to see them close shop..so to speak.

# Apr 2, 2008 @ 2:42 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
kallah's avatar

Supporter

9. kallah writes:

A very sad day for metal...

# Apr 2, 2008 @ 7:24 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Terminator's avatar

Reviewer

10. Terminator writes:

as a fan, its nice to recieve some honest insight instead of the usual generic bs response. it's too bad stratovarious is no more, but it sounds as though its for the better. gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em i guess.

# Apr 3, 2008 @ 12:26 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
11. Colony writes:

Never liked them.......then again I can't stand many power metal bands except Kiuas, 3 Inches Of Blood and believe it or not, Sabaton.

# Apr 3, 2008 @ 8:41 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Red_Chord's avatar

Member

12. Red_Chord writes:

I agree with Kalis, the statement was sooooooo long. Please be concise, precise dude. Here's an example of what you could have done : we f***ing hate each other, I want to punch hem in the head and kick them in the mouth so f*** it, peace out motherf***ers...

Here's the way to do it...

# Apr 3, 2008 @ 9:01 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
13. darenloster writes:

great band - terrible loss

# Apr 3, 2008 @ 9:18 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
ibz2570e's avatar

Member

14. ibz2570e writes:

well... pretty sad isnt it...
to be honest i always find old Strato things r epic but new ones r just normal power metal, i guess Timo tells the reason too
altho im not a big fan, just got some songs nd find them good, but i feel that they do care about the fans, with this long thing saying how it was, im sad for them nd for their fans

# Apr 3, 2008 @ 11:14 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
15. Txmetalhead writes:

I dig Katatonia..that band is awesome. European metal kicks major a$$.
Power metal is cool - I like Helloween and old Hammerfall...among others.

# Apr 3, 2008 @ 11:57 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Red_Chord's avatar

Member

16. Red_Chord writes:

I don't really like power metal, it'"s too high pitched for me, especially the vocals...

# Apr 3, 2008 @ 3:28 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
ibz2570e's avatar

Member

17. ibz2570e writes:

i like power metal coz of the high pitch vocals lol
i also like Gamma Ray and Helloween, still finding some other cool power metal bands!!! coz there's no more Strato T_T

# Apr 3, 2008 @ 3:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
18. Metal-Music-Videos.Com writes:

For me Strato was a great power metal band and I do like their albums very much, especially the few first ones. I find this news sad as well. It would be nice to see them making music, but form Timo's message we can see it's not gonna happen anymore. I wrote about this also yesterday in my blog. You can check my thoughts in my blog (link above) if you're interested. Would be nice to hear your feedback and opinions.

# Apr 4, 2008 @ 7:08 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
19. Jamez writes:

Quite a statement from Tolkki. And who said Finnish people are quiet??

# Apr 4, 2008 @ 11:39 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
20. MetalFan420 writes:

Thats too bad.I liked Strato. atleast there is still Kotipelto

# Apr 4, 2008 @ 8:22 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
21. Emanuel Postigo writes:

Que lastima que se separe Stratovarius, para mi siempre fue la mejor banda de power metal desde que escuche Black Diamond de "VIsions" marco ese estilo musical para mi vida.

Saludos desde Argentina

# Apr 5, 2008 @ 12:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
22. Erin. writes:

Aw. These guys were pretty good.
They'll remain on my ipod for quite awhile.

# Apr 5, 2008 @ 2:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
23. RedrumSyndrum writes:

:( they have one of the best keyboarders too...

# Apr 5, 2008 @ 5:14 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
24. vale writes:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ='(
well, at least i had the chance to see them, but i would definitely missed them. f*** another great band who dies, but thanks!!!! you gave me such great times and i would still enjoy mi beloved albums. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I LOVE STRATOVARIUS

# Apr 6, 2008 @ 12:17 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
25. Andrew writes:

CRAP, I LOVE THESE GUYS!!!!!! WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS???? The world would be a better place if everything was Power Metal, hahahahaha!!!! Im saddened, great band, but they can't go forever.

# Apr 6, 2008 @ 3:14 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
26. Naro writes:

DAMMMMMNNNNN WHYYYYYY DOES THIS HAPPENS TO ME!!!!?¿?¿ AAAAAHHHH

# Apr 7, 2008 @ 4:37 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
27. Anonymouse writes:

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH one less great band in the world and by the what is wrong with rk and red chord come on really you go to a post just to say something is bad way to go.

# Apr 7, 2008 @ 7:15 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
28. Ironchilean writes:

i think this is a great decision, i've been listening to stratovarius since the fright night and its actually one of my favorites albums, timo kotipelto's solos work sucks, his lyrics are awful and the music is horrible, i just wanna let know that timo tolkki was stratovarious, and i completely agree with his decision because the last stratovarius album was awful, definetely the worst album of the band. timo tolkki im with you in whatever u do. f*** Kotipelo's gay a$$ music. My email is Ironchilean@hotmail.com if u wanna leave a comment.

# Apr 7, 2008 @ 8:03 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
29. Anonymouse writes:

I agree although i love them and will still listen to them but they cant be anything if they dont play well anymore together its probably for the best i hate TK solo stuff too. By the way my favorite song by them is anthem of the world just thought id throw that in there

# Apr 8, 2008 @ 9:53 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
30. stratovariusfan37419341973 writes:

It is terrible news. In my opinion they were one of the greatest metal bands of all time, but their newest songs from their self titled are the worst ones. They were all so talented. I think albums like Fright Night, Dreamspace, Fourth Dimension, Episode and Visions up to the Elements saga will always remain on my I-pod. It's so ashame that they had to break up, they will stay as one of my favourites. Surely ”REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE” is something we can all look forward to. Maybe there is a way they could release the 10 demo songs for the original RR somehow, just for the fans of strato.

# Apr 9, 2008 @ 4:44 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
31. Kain writes:

Great news, the band has been such a burden to TT since his nervous breakdown, I remember when they got that lady singer and everything. Keeping up Strato was like beating a dead horse, and now TT can start fresh again. Wish the best in his new band. Anyone who says this is terrible news are clearly selfish so-called "fans" and would want Strato to stay "alive" even though all the band members would be miserable, possibly ruining the remainder of their lives.

# Apr 10, 2008 @ 3:06 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
32. jose_carlos writes:

terrible news indeed ... but, according to Tolkki's letter, he had his own reasons (and so the rest of the guys too) and I hope that his new project RR continues the legacy of Stratovarius .. unfortunately, i've never seen them in a concert .. but i surely enjoyed their albums .. and i know that RR will be a great band .. i mean, come on!! Kiske and Sammet!! .. two of the most powerful voices in the power metal scene .. i'm sure these guys would not let us down and will give us some real goods songs and, most important, some real power metal ... only one thing to add: Let the Stratovarius legacy go on!!!

# Apr 10, 2008 @ 3:25 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
33. bckflp_dan writes:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

# Apr 10, 2008 @ 4:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
34. Txmetalhead writes:

Power Metal is not my favorite metal genre, however, the guitar playing is pretty badass. It is obviously melodic, and has an epic feel to it. The singing is solid too. People have called Iced Earth power metal, and I love that band. I think Iron Maiden has some power metal in it, as does Judas Priest...just my thoughts, though.

# Apr 10, 2008 @ 6:43 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
kallah's avatar

Supporter

35. kallah writes:

*we f***ing hate each other, I want to punch hem in the head and kick them in the mouth so f*** it, peace out motherf***ers...*

I could see Corey Taylor saying this the day when Slipknot breaks up. But I'd be pretty mad if Tolkki said sh*t like this for real...

# Apr 11, 2008 @ 10:19 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
51-50's avatar

Member

36. 51-50 writes:

I am going to miss their gorgeous album covers. Amazing exhibits of psychedelic visuals.

# Apr 11, 2008 @ 9:23 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
37. KoRNBoY writes:

e'Erb0Dy brEaKiN uP ;D

# Apr 13, 2008 @ 12:12 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
38. SpawnHellraiser writes:

I just got into them and now they are no more? Sad day.

# Apr 15, 2008 @ 2:18 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
39. metalthunder writes:

This is a sad day indeed but also im glad timo made the right descision and is now happy ill always remember strat

# Apr 15, 2008 @ 7:04 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
40. Metalmilitary writes:

Stratovarious is no more...Power Metal is no more.Sadly.

# Apr 17, 2008 @ 11:34 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
41. bckflp_dan writes:

..its like taking black sabbath and iron maiden away from heavy metal. very unfortunate for power metal

# Apr 20, 2008 @ 1:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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