"Gathering of "April fools" in the year of MMIV"

RockUnited was invited for an interview in Kotipelto's home on a nice spring evening. There was new life growing everywhere around us with energetic, sanguine breeze of tomorrow, whispering now's the right time for new adventures. And that is exactly what Kotipelto would need right now after the recent events, but he's got only one way to go and that's up. The single off the "Coldness" album, "Reasons", has already given hope for tomorrow for him, reaching the number one spot on the finnish charts. Only future will show us the place for his full album. As we walked the final steps to Kotipelto's door, I was sure this guy is on strong ground, he's got a strong grip on his work and sure, we all love his music and voice. And suddenly the door opened for us, a butler inviting us in to Kotipelto's humble castle, taking our coats and offering us drinks...nah, dream on. Eventhough it wasn't a castle in question, Kotipelto and his amazingly skilled father had done nice work with his place, the Egyptian theme and finnish mentality giving nice atmosphere to the place. And as the nice guy Timo is, he took our coats and offered us drinks. But all work and no play, this was the game for now. Enjoy the interview.


RockUnited - The past few months have been treating you quite badly. Among the crisis in your personal life and band problems the final nail to the coffin was about to be hit during one flight, where the world almost lost one of the best metal singers. Tell us about that.

Timo - It wasn't a dangerous situation really. It was a little Canadian Jet Air plane that flew from Helsinki to Düsseldorf. I was trying to sleep, 'cos I was so tired. We had flewn about 20 minutes when suddenly you could hear this sound like a motor shutting down. Then the airplane started making a turn to its other side and I thought we're going back to Helsinki. They informed us about having technical problems, so we had to go back. But they can still fly with only one motor. But this was my first bad experience with airplanes during the ten years I've been flying a lot. When we landed to Helsinki there were the police, ambulances and fire-brigade waiting of course. But it was a situation that could've been close to a catastrophe, sure.

RockUnited - Lately you haven't been going to the local clubs in Helsinki. Has it something to do with the recent media fuss, are you afraid of the reaction coming from the fanatics ?

Timo - No, I wasn't up to it in the beginning of the year and was too busy too, making the album and doing interviews. And when someone did an article about me or the band I just didn't feel like going out and start explaining about it to everyone. But I haven't been to the clubs much lately, except the past week. I only had one day that I didn't drink any alcohol then.

RockUnited - There's all kinds of messages in your guestbook on your homesite. I'm sure it doesn't feel nice to read some of those insults. How much do they tear your insides, you can't always please everyone after all ?

Timo - Not much really. I don't care if someone says my music or I suck. It doesn't matter really, those people don't know me after all. It's just an indication that I've touched someones feelings who in turn wants to show his/her feelings. It just shows that they have a need to tell me how they feel. But I cannot understand people bashing other people on my site and criticizing the music according to the late happenings. But if people write things such as he/she's this and that, those mails will be deleted. You can criticize my music there, but not other people.

RockUnited - The average metal fan is usually quite young. Do you have any guidelines in life you want to share with those on the serious side, who have only little of life experience behind ?

Timo - I haven't got much experience in life either, hah. I can understand that some people take music as a religion or too seriously, 'cos when I was still in school there were girl/boy camps, where girls listened to this and boys something else. We liked Iron Maiden and AC/DC. But when you grow up you get more tolerance and even start listening to other kinds of music as well. I still listen to the same kind of stuff too. But if you listen to something else, go ahead. But when you're young you're trying to find your place in this society. About 20 years ago when I wasn't yet so sure about my opinions I was sharing them with others all the time. But you're just trying to find your place like that. Music means a lot to some people. I was talking about murders and such in the headlines with someone recently. My opinion about it was that music doesn't effect people as much as watching a horror movie, but this person told me that music effects even more, subconsciously that is. But who knows.

RockUnited - Do you think all this Stratovarius-fuss will promote your solocareer and the sales of "Coldness" ?

Timo - It has had its effects to my private life. But I don't know. I suggested using two of my songs in Stratovarius, but that didn't pull through. I wrote two of the oldest songs when I was still in the band. But there was no intention while writing these songs that when I'm finished I won't be in the band anymore and the album will sell great then. But if someone gets interested in my album only because I'm not in the band anymore, I have nothing against that. But music is music and other things aside. Of course I can't deny anything if someone asks me things about this band.

RockUnited - But surely this sensation will increase the album sales and it's all for good. And congrats from the number one place in the charts with your single recently, all this metal coming back again only helps you along the way.

Timo - Thank you. I'm not sure if it's still on the same place though, must be third now or so. But it was a positive surprise. Eventhough that was only the single in question. When the album comes out it will get interesting. But metal is really popular in Finland when comparing the sales to the population.

RockUnited - Couple of finnish fitness magazines you've been in lately were Bodaus and Fitness. Have you gotten any surprising feedback about the articles from the fans ?

Timo - Nothing much. My friends who go to the gym have had some positive feedback from them. I even asked one of the journalists why would they want to write about me, aren't there any other people who work out more seriously. But they specifically wanted a rock star. As the old cliché goes, a rock star doesn't work out, you have to have a beer in your hands all the time. I do that too, but working out is something I want to do in turn to keep myself in shape. My work isn't too physical, it isn't that straining. It's more straining mentally and vocalwise. But it's a way of taking out possible aggressions and keeping myself fit so I'll be able to do this work. I also play floorball and other things. I don't get any muscles in floorball though, so I always have an excuse ready for not getting muscles in the gym...

RockUnited - You've got all kinds of sports as a hobby, but how's the excercise been going lately ?

Timo - I didn't have much time for anything while doing the album. I was in good shape about a year ago when we started touring, but during the tour it was mostly lost. When we ended the tour and I started working out again, I had the accident with my knee and again had a break. Then I had a sore back and trouble with my hand and I went to the chiropractor. There was three months that I didn't do anything. I was supposed to wait for two months to get myself in shape to go to the gym, but it wasn't progressing at all. So I went to another doctor and got a permission to go to the gym to try it out, so I did. But I haven't gotten myself in the best possible shape yet. My goal for that is May, but which year, that is still open...

RockUnited - Like this well-known finnish person Jörn Donner once said, when you turn 35 you have to quit excercising. Most people only then start doing that, but that's when your body starts aging and breaking down. You've got all kinds of sports on your list, like rollerblading, mountain-biking, but where did you come up with the shooting hobby ?

Timo - I haven't been going mountain-biking in a long time. Maybe this summer though. But shooting isn't my hobby, that person who wrote the article took it the wrong way, it just somehow came out in that interview. I don't have a gun, but some of my friends shoot and I tried it a long time ago. And when I was in the army I did that.

RockUnited - But you've never been interested in scuba diving ? You get to make your private investigations in the history department, which you love, while diving. At least while shooting the "Reasons"-video you tried out a regulator.

Timo - Yeah, I tried it a little, a few minutes underwater, only in about one meter though. But it felt like running out of time there. It was pretty exciting, my first experience. I chatted with the diver Ari Arvola who was with us in the shoots and he was trying to get me to go to the courses. But I think I don't have the time for that, you need to fully concentrate on it. But I think it must be a fun hobby.


RockUnited - It must've been hard to record the album among the recent events. Even the title of the album and the songs point strongly to what's been going on. How did the recordings go then ?

Timo - It was the most difficult album I've ever sang in. At one point I had to change the mixing to the end of January. I changed it all for earlier schedule, and still it seemed like I didn't have the time to sing it all. I was in the studio most of the Christmas 2003 and the New Year. It wasn't an easy job at all, and you can hear it from the album.

RockUnited - How long did the process take you exactly, did you count the hours ?

Timo - I didn't count them, I have no idea. The vocal parts took loads of time. We used one weekend recording drums, then bass for a couple of days and the guitar for three-four days. I wasn't working with Janne's keys, I was only listening to them. But I started this project a year ago and I'm still not finished if you think about all the promo stuff still coming up. I wasn't working every week though, but it's still on your mind every day. You're not having a day off during the process.

RockUnited - In the "Making of"-video part it seems like you're having a hard time getting the vocals down right. You're banging the walls there, or a door. Was it really this difficult at times or did you just want to include some theatrical stuff in there ?

Timo - Well, it was quite hard there sometimes. But that was supposed to be a joke, but since the door got smashed for real, we left it there. We left all kinds of other stuff there too. We watched "Kummelit" (finnish comedy) with Max, played a right-handed flipper, etc. It was pretty tough. We could've put all the stuff on DVD, but it would've cost a lot then. Next time we'll be recording the album in Caribia...if the record company pays the costs, I'll go.

RockUnited - How did the rest of the guys do with their parts ?

Timo - They did well, some parts took more time of course, but they're so good musicians that it goes pretty easily. I don't know how long Romeo (Mike) took time for his parts, but I'm guessing not much. I only got the files from him.

RockUnited - Now that the album is done, do you notice any relief from finishing it, like you blew some steam out of your system, or is there still something bothering you ?

Timo - You've got great questions. Well, I'm never fully satisfied with my work, but considering the circumstances it's finished now. But it's good that I worked with it. It was a lot easier for me at the time to work, than if I didn't have anything to do.

RockUnited - Like you said, you're never fully satisfied with your work. But when you've got a whole bunch of musicians on the album who bring in their own influences, do you feel that the outcome is the perfect match to the feelings which you wanted to bring out in your music ?

Timo - Absolutely, concidering the crap that Karmila received from me. He did good with the sounds. Of course the album sounds a whole lot better when the other guys are playing, than if it was me...I'm really satisfied with the guys who are playing there.

RockUnited - So you had no desire to play everything yourself then. But have you found something on the album already that would've needed improvement?

Timo - Well, I can't play. Of course if I was someone like Prince who plays everything by himself, maybe then. Maybe I'd write even better songs then...but I doubt I'd ever be as good as these guys.

RockUnited - There's already been some reviews in the net from the songs the fans have heard. Some Stratovarius fans have said "Coldness" to be a lean and too soft album, but these fans of course like the faster material from Stratovarius. My take on the album is it's pretty lean, but it works like that. Was this the way it was meant to be, or did your feelings unconsciously make you write such music ?

Timo - There would be no point in doing another Stratovarius album. And then again those fans are still waiting for the same kind of material from me. I don't understand why I should write the same kind of songs that Tolkki does. And also take the commercial side into concideration as well, write music that sells well right now, having double bass there and stuff. When I started listening to music I didn't listen to that stuff. I want to write music that has its roots to the eighties heavy rock music, not in power metal. Not that I don't like that music, but it's not my thing and I couldn't even write songs like that. And this album isn't only meant for the fans who like the fast Stratovarius songs. It doesn't matter who likes the album.

RockUnited - Do you think the late happenings and being under pressure effected your writing, so the outcome was like this ?

Timo - They didn't effect the melodies and the music, but the lyrics might've taken some influence from there, though they were written already a year ago. But who knows, something might've happened already back then. You should hypnotize me to find out what happened then.

RockUnited - You've got at least one song there that is quite Stratovarius-like.

Timo - That's probably "Can You Hear The Sound", and "Seeds Of Sorrow" maybe. But I've been in the band for ten years, so of course it has influenced me. And there would be no point in trying to write something really diffent, I've never said that I hate the songs Tolkki has written. But in my opinion Elements-albums aren't the best ones from Stratovarius.

RockUnited - When the radio played the solowork from Joacim Cans (Hammerfall), there was some hesitation in the air whether it's Hammerfall or Cans' solo, it was so much alike to Hammerfall songs. So goes to show how much people get influenced by anything they come across with.

Timo - But he writes some of the Hammerfall songs. I just recently met him and he told me he wants to write music he isn't able to write in Hammerfall.

RockUnited - Since we're on the subject of melancholia, do you feel that you're more the typical finnish type of pessimist or an optimist ?

Timo - Of course I'm more of a pessimist, that's characteristic to the finns. But I'm trying to learn optimism all the time. But I'll always be a pessimist when it comes to my own work. But when some of my friends have problems I'll try to be optimistic about it, even when looking at some of my own things. The common problem with finns is that we're pessimists, we're always jealous at everyone and no one should ever have success in life. And when you're doing great, even then you can't be happy about it. We're taught that we have to be like everyone else and you shouldn't be exceptional.

RockUnited - Now to the songs. Tell us the closest thing where the song refers to, what does it mean to you personally. No one ever wants to open their hearts about the songs what they truly mean.

Timo - Neither do I...Though I'll tell you what they come close to.

1. Seeds Of Sorrow - This songs doesn't straightly reflect my life. This is about that anger that has been in us humans for decades. We're supposedly more educated and advanced than people before and have all the technology, media and television programs where we can learn to understand other nations and people, but we still have wars going on and stuff. There are certain conflicts that will never find the solution. So this song is about that anger that will be and has always been present in us.

2. Reasons - Sometimes it's quite hard for me to understand women, but I guess it works the other way round too. This has nothing to do with Stratovarius.

3. Around - I've been around the world with the band, so sometimes I've seen things that have made me wonder why people behave like this. And I've seen these things happening a lot, so you get quite fed up about it, to the point where you don't care what's happening and there's no humour left in it anymore.

4. Can you hear The Sound - Imagine being in a new city, country or environment where sunset is setting and suddenly you can hear strange music. It captures your mind, and you have to find out about it, it moves you so much. This has its roots to South America and Brazil, where I've been in places with local friends. It's about this moment when you realize it's good to be alive.

RockUnited - Do you like brazilian rhythms, samba etc ?

Timo - I've never really listened to that. But any music reflecting to a certain moment is fine. But I can't dance.

5. Snowbound - This is a metaphorical subject. You could imagine being snowbound, but this has two sides to it. You can imagine being in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, when it starts snowing so hard you're surrounded there, you have no way out. You can imagine this also as being a prison of your own thoughts, you can't get rid of your head...well, it wouldn't be a good thing to get rid of your head anyhows, hah hah...but you've got this feeling your head is about to explode.

6. Journey Back - I'm originally from Pohjanmaa, so this is about me not having the chance to travel there so often. This is about going back to your roots, meeting your family, friends and relatives. It's about that trip you take to get back to your roots. This is my blues.

7. Evening's Fall - This is about a moment also. I was home again, standing by the lake looking at the sunset, when I found out what it feels like to be complitely alone. But you can also enjoy that melancholic moment. It's kinda sad, but you still get a good feeling from it.

RockUnited - The truth is you got drunk in your underwear and threw up in the garden. (just how finns spend their summer holidays on their cabins, drinking being a part of it).

Timo - Exactly, hah hah. Rolling in the lawn too. But I wasn't sober there all the time. Next summer I'll be wasted the whole time...what good promotion for myself !

8. Coldness Of My Mind - This is about bad feelings, coldness of my mind.

9. Take Me Away - This is the ballad of the album. When my relationship ended, I wished for some charming person to come and take me away, make it all better. But if someone came along, it wouldn't be easy for her either, hah.

RockUnited - But you weren't wishing for the grim-reaper to take you away then ?!

Timo - Hey, we're not dropping down heads all the time here !

10.Here We Are - This is a Black Sabbath-kind of a song. A statement about an old, cliché subject. You don't have to be like everyone else. Be an individual. You'll be much happier that way.

RockUnited - You sing all the background vocals by yourself. Why's that ?

Timo - We were in a really tight schedule so I didn't ask anyone. Some of the songs had more tracks for vocals. It would be great to have someone doing those when the next album comes out. I liked the backing vocals in Stratovarius, though I sung the Elements albums by myself.

RockUnited - How does your singing differ in your own material from the way you sing in Stratovarius ?

Timo - Not much really, it's one range lower on my own albums. But I wanted to sing in a more traditional way. I had to sing really high on some of Tolkki's songs, there's no sense in that really. You can't get much feeling into it like that, it's just a task you have to perform.

RockUnited - Is it nicer to sing your own songs instead of Stratovarius ?

Timo - Yes and no. Recording sucks though. But my voice suites much better for my own songs. I think my voice even sounds better when I sing from a lower range. It's always the same thing when a male person sings high, they all sound the same, 'cos it's hard to get your own sound there. Of course it depends how your voice resonates in the head.

RockUnited - What was the idea to end "Here We Are" in a terrible noise that almost breaks your speakers and ears ?

Timo - It sums up all those fucked up feelings. But it's a joke really, and it doesn't break anything or come out in any higher volume than the rest of the stuff. But it was meant to shake people, wake them up if they slept through the whole album, hah.

RockUnited - Mattias Norén illustrated the album. How far did his ideas carry, did you share your opinions about how the mood should be there, other than the photographs you sent to him from the countryside ?

Timo - I got the idea about the visual side somewhere in August-September and told him about them and he was really interested about the subject. I sent him a few pics and told him it should come close to these, with a lake scenery and coldness in them and a person rowing away from the platform, leaving something behind him. Eventhough I've seen his work earlier, I was really surprised to see what he did. He's really talented. Who knows maybe I'll use him in the future also. It was also very important for me that he is from Sweden, so he knows what's the deal here. So I didn't have to explain him about the ice, since there's snow in Sweden too, than if it was someone from South Africa working for it for example.

RockUnited - Now to the "Reasons"-video. Who came up with the idea for the video and tell us about the whole project.

Timo - When the diver Ari Arvola who worked with us, heard that we're going to do a video, he offered some people for it. I told him I'm probably not going to do anything, I can't afford it. And Century Media doesn't want one either. But Ari told me about his friends who would be glad to shoot it, not as a day job, but otherwise. So we talked about it. I didn't know the guys, but the producer was Daniel Kuitunen and director/cutter Mikko Riikonen. When they had heard the song we met again and they told me the ideas they had. They thought it wasn't a good idea to shoot a video with the band playing in it, there's just too many of them. And it costs even more to get the guys in it and takes more time. It didn't cost that much in the end though. I paid most of it, but Century Media helped me out a little. When we started shooting the video I told them it's not going to be like those costly Aerosmith/Metallica/HIM videos, it's only a video and doesn't have to show off anything really. I was really pleased with the water scenes. But there's no sense for me to pay tons from a video. It's a complitely different thing with the bigger bands. But if I had lots of money, then I could do a bigger video. And if Jokinen (Antti, last work: Nightwish: "Nemo"-video) shoot it for free...The guys came up with the car idea also, I'm singing in the backseat of the car. I would've wanted to drive a German car though, but they wanted it to be American...And the face I'm having in the video is that I had to look like being really pissed off at the relationship, I hope it came out well there. Damn women, I tell you, hah...but that woman in the video wasn't too pleased with me either, trying to break the mirror etc.

RockUnited - What's the story with the woman in the water, is she drowning herself after a relationship has ended or what ? Or is the water and everything a metaphorical thing ?

Timo - There's something to think about. You have to figure it out yourself, it's like watching a movie, you have to use your own head.

RockUnited - Why weren't you seen in the water, since you were in the swimming hall while shooting those parts and otherwise playing there ?

Timo - They wanted to shoot a video that looks good. So they didn't need me there...I didn't want to be in the video in the first place...next time we'll only have turtles and stuff.

RockUnited - Do you already have new stuff in your recorder for the next album and do you have any picture about where next ?

Timo - I have all kinds of ideas already, but I'm not sure will I ever use them. I've got some of those ideas in my cell phone. Many journalists have been asking me about the next album, but I just released this album. Even the thought of the next album makes me feel distressed. It took a year to work with this album, so I don't want to work with that just yet, I also want to have some vacation.

RockUnited - Stratovarius was supposed to have a DVD out this year. Would you like to comment what it's about ?

Timo - It was already supposed to come out in January, but I heard there were some problems with how they will cut it. In my opinion they shouldn't even release that, since that gig was the worst on that tour. The crowd was probably the best on that tour, but there was all kinds of bad things happening otherwise. The bigger bands have the possibility to record more shows from the tour, but with smaller bands it's usually just one show and of course it's the worst show on the whole tour then. But I have no interest towards it. Don't you watch it either ! But I'm the wrong person to tell you if they'll release anything, maybe they will.


RockUnited - There's no information on your site about the forthcoming shows, except Wacken and an Iron Maiden cover gig in Italy.

Timo - I have more shows than that, for instance a few charity projects. (Timo performed in YAD's Rock Against Drugs-event on 18th of April and played in an icehockey game in Vaasa). But I've tried avoiding playing games, I don't know if I'll play there. But I'll probably do both own and cover songs later that evening. I like doing charity shows because of the good vibes you get when helping others. I'm not sure yet, but there might also be shows in Tammerfest and Tavastia. But I'd like to do as many shows as possible. I was also asked to some festival in Brazil in July. I might also have a tour around Europe for some weeks in the fall. I hope that happens. I don't care where the shows are, as you noticed me live in that small Kurki-club earlier.

RockUnited - What can people expect from the shows, Wacken will probably have fire and thunder as usual ?

Timo - Actually last year was great in Wacken with Stratovarius. But yeah, one time I burned my hand in Wacken and the next time the roof of that stage almost crashed on us. Actually I was joking about this earlier. Something like we should have something new next time, like snow, and it should be a natural disaster then. Maybe it'll be an earthquake next or snow or something. But when we started playing with my band there the last time, the sun was shining really nicely, but near the end the sky suddenly turned all black. The fans said it looked amazing, like this guy from above or down below was taking over. But it was an unforgettable experience, not musically though, but otherwise. We had to wait like 45 minutes to go on stage and when we were finally playing, Mirka (Rantanen, drums) was gazing the roof all through the show if it falls down or what and I was wondering what the hell's going on. They actually told us there was a storm in Hamburg at the time and it was heading towards us, but we couldn't believe that.

RockUnited - We'll probably see a different band live than on the album. Do you have any information yet who's going with you ?

Timo - It's still open. It depends who's free to go with me then.

RockUnited - Recently we saw the show from you in Kurki Club, Finland where you sang Whitesnake, Rainbow, Bon Jovi. How do you like doing shows like these and how was the experience since the place was packed ?

Timo - Before I joined Stratovarius I did about 150 cover shows with my old band. We played our own songs too, but it keeps things in balance to do these sometimes. And since I want to sing it's ok. But I won't take part in everything. In this case I knew the guys in the band and since Kimmo (Blom, Urban Tale, Mr. C) asked me about it, I did it. My band was really good and they were nice guys. But these shows aren't for money, it's just the good vibes you get from it. The guys also asked me to join their show in Hanko this summer. I'll go if it's in the middle of the week, but not during the weekends. But Kurki club in Helsinki was packed, though it was so small and the stage was so low I could only see the first row. People said the band and the music was great, but complained about not being able to see anything. But it was fun anyway. The set could've gone better though.


RockUnited - You sing a few songs on Disney's "Brother Bear"-movie soundtrack. Was the job challenging enough, at least you had to sing there in a different way than usual ?

Timo - It was more than challenging, that's why it was interesting. But it was quite difficult when the finnish and danish producers couldn't decide what they wanted from me. And since Phil Collins sings the original songs, my voice isn't like his. But they weren't looking for a same kind of voice either. But it was hard to find out what they wanted me to do. I've sang musicals like these back when I was still in school, but it was difficult. Singing any other genre than your own is difficult. But it was interesting and hopefully I'll have more offers like these in the future. I've even thought about doing songs for kids before, even though I don't have my own, but they get more out of the music than people like me.

RockUnited - What has the feedback been about it ?

Timo - I knew there were people who'd go see the movie only to hear the songs, but there were also people who didn't know about the whole thing and went to see the movie and were wondering who's singing there, 'cos he sounds so familiar...but I've gotten only positive feedback about it. It's totally different than what I normally do and there's not much sense in going to see the movie only because of my voice. I went to see the movie with Mirka's family and his son kept his eyes on the screen all the way through. I felt kinda awkward about my part in it. Later on Mirka sent me a message and told me he had to buy the soundtrack for his son, 'cos he immediately wanted it. And Mirka's heard the songs already for like 700 times...But I think it's great that he enjoyed the songs. Mirka may have other opinions though, hah...I watched cartoons when I was a kid, but not anymore. The moose in the movie were great though, joking with Turku's dialect (finnish version).

RockUnited - Do you think you'll do more projects like these in the future and what motivates you for a different kind of work what you're used to doing ?

Timo - I think this wasn't that different from my other work after all. I still like the old heavy rock from the eighties and Sarah Brightman, though I don't know if she's as good live as on the albums, I've never seen her live. But I got interested in her, 'cos back in school days I sang a few songs from The Phantom Of The Opera, 'cos my friend was praising the album for me. I was wondering how he can listen to something like that, it ain't Iron Maiden or Kiss, but somehow I started liking her voice. We also did Jesus Christ Superstar back in school, I think I was Judas...but there are people who think you shouldn't try doing something out of your own league. But I will never start doing certain music only to please some person, I'll only do it if I like it. And if someone doesn't like it, you don't have to listen to it. I'm not forcing you to it. Then you don't have to download it from the net either. You've got the freedom of choice.

RockUnited - You've had some offers from other bands. Can you name any of them ?

Timo - I can't. But there's been some bigger ones and some projects with famous musicians. But I'm not doing things like these for now.

RockUnited - When you're not singing yourself, what has been in your cd-player recently, anything new you've found ?

Timo - I haven't been listening to music much lately. But my albums have started sounding way better since I got my new speakers. But when I've listened to something, surprisingly it's been Maiden, Rainbow or Whitesnake. But when I listen to music it's usually because I have to learn some songs. Or then I listen to radio, though not at home. I've also been listening to the new Thunderstone, which I got from Mirka in exchange for my album.

RockUnited - Do you get much demos from new bands trying to get some help from you, since you're a famous musician ?

Timo - Just the other day I got one. Some are asking for the supporting band spot on my shows. I get some through the internet and the record label I have, but I don't always have the time to check them out.

RockUnited - We've heard before that you like the movies "Star Wars" and "Blade Runner", but you're also interested in war movies based on real facts from the history. Name a few favourites.

Timo - The last one which got me really hooked on it was the mini-series "Band Of Brothers", directed by Tom Hanks. And the historical ones that have strategy in them, like "The Guns Of Navarone". Then there's the finnish "Tuntematon Sotilas" (The Unknown Soldier), which is really good. I'm interested in how they film them, the history and of course the entertainment involved. I've watched "Ben-Hur" too and I also like the old Hollywood movies with huge sets. I watched the "24" series for a while. Another series that's also good is the news...Then I watch movies where my friends act in and I might even go to a theater if there's friends involved. "The Godfather" is also good.

RockUnited - Have you watched "The Sopranos" ? There's an episode with David Lee Roth in it, but I'm not sure when we'll see that in Finland.

Timo - He's in there ? I've watched some of the episodes.

RockUnited - Being a musician you have to have certain qualities like endurance and other trades of nature to carry on in your career. Did you ever get any basic message from home you keep in your heart, which keeps you going strong and on the road ?

Timo - I guess it's the basic stuff. Well, at first they were scared about my career as a musician, what's going on in there, and so on. But I think you're doing fine as long as you've got your old friends and I don't want to change a bit. It doesn't matter what others think or say when they don't know you. I think you have to use your common sense. I think I ain't turning into an asshole at this point anymore. It's a complitely different thing if you're 20 and sold million albums with your debut. But I'm 35 and selling some few thousand...

RockUnited - How do you see the future, is there any light at the end of the tunnel ?

Timo - Hopefully so. I'm looking forward to my shows and having fun. And I'm anxiously waiting for summer, I hate the winter.

RockUnited - Now tell me, did you take some downers to pull this disastrous interview through with decency ? (We adviced Timo to get some Red Bull, 'cos this wasn't going to be a short interview, and he joked he'll take some downers instead...)

Timo - I ate chicken wok and a few bananas. They've helped me well enough, hah hah.

Well, it wasn't all work and no play. Timo was playing with my mike, lucky he didn't erase the whole interview, that would've been a catastrophe for all of us. But we also checked his stereosystem which sounded amazing. Thunderstone sounded good, but his neighbours kids didn't. Then he showed his place for us more closely and boy, does this man have class. But so does his music, so off you go, get your copy of "Coldness" now, I'm telling you ! It doesn't leave you cold the least bit.

Interview by Satu Reunanen, satu@rockunited.com
Pictures by Kari Helenius, kari@rockunited.com
(c)2004 RockUnited.Com