Dave Smiles of Full Throttle Rock recently conducted an interview with former STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Full Throttle Rock: What was the inspiration for the story behind [the debut TIMO TOLKKI'S AVALON album] "The Land Of New Hope"?
Tolkki: For the story, it was mainly from my own observations of where this world and mankind are heading. I hope I am wrong, but it just seemed to be a good idea to do a trilogy about this subject. I wrote the whole story at one go, chunked it in three pieces and "The Land Of New Hope" is actually the end of the story so the first album is kind of last at the same time.
Full Throttle Rock: What are some of your favourite memories from your time with STRATOVARIUS?
Tolkki: 2500 shows, 24 years, 300 written songs, 2 million albums sold and insane amount of work in producing all the albums. I was there all the time cause it was my artistic vision. I was lucky to have good musicians and I think I was right there in the beginning to create this musical format called power metal. Lately, I have gotten some recognition about that and it feels good because I really worked hard on the music, arrangements and the production. It was 24/7 job, really. For me, STRATO pretty much was dead after 2004, regarding all aspects. Something weird just happened there and there are quite a bit misinformations about that in the media and Internet, but there is nothing I can do to that.
Full Throttle Rock: Jens Johansson [STRATOVARIUS] is on "The Land Of New Hope". Do you see yourself working with any more of your former bandmates in the future?
Tolkki: Well, it's possible. In fact, just last week I got a bit weird e-mail from their management regarding something that sounded quite interesting. I have to give it some thought first before I can talk about it.
Full Throttle Rock: What's your opinion of the current state of the music industry? Where do you see things going with the development of downloading music?
Tolkki: It's the question, and I believe it varies from one music style to another. Metal fans are still buying CDs. But it is true that there is a major shift taking place right now and it's gonna get harder and harder to be a professional musician. CD will be obsolete in 10 years, I think, and vinyl is not the savior. The quantities are very small. I think we will see more and more music going to streaming services and artists getting paid less and less, which might force them to direct interaction with their fans. This is very difficult if you are a starting band. In any case, it seems that it’s gonna go completely to Internet and I think it will be all streamed in the end. Unfortunately. This forces anybody from not taking any risks which might contribute to some interesting music being recorded and released and results more to just very formalized and perhaps not so interesting music.
Read the entire interview at Full Throttle Rock.