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Dear Stratovarius Fans.doc

Dear Stratovarius Fans.doc

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Published by: Mario Martín Sánchez on Jun 10, 2014
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06/10/2014

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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  ust a very genereli!ed, 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. #ll the time, since T$ and %&rg oined the band, there have been tensions and negativity flying around. This has been concentrating on me, T$ and %&rg. The reasons %ari $ainulainen was fired some years bac' were so absurd that I am not even try to e(plain them here. If I write a boo' one day, maybe then. #nyways, I thin' the seeds were planted already bac' then, something li'e )* years ago. There were many confrontations, %&rg has been complaining to me about T$ and T$ complaining to me about %&rg. #t a times it was a mess, although of course, it never would show outside to the fans. It is not my intention to disrespect T$ and %&rg here. They are both fundamentally good guys. Things ust sometimes happen and relationships go to directions we don+t want them to go. It+s li'e a divorce, nobody wants it to happen but sometimes it is best for all so everyone can continue their own lives. lus I want to tell how things have been behind the curtains. -ou always only see the good side anyway, you don+t really 'now what is going on.e had ama!ing years, )/ records, 0 world tours with over a thousand shows all across the 1lobe, 2 gold discs, a Finnish 1rammy and almost 2 million records sold. I have arrived to my decision after careful, long and rational thin'ing of over a year and I 'now it is the right way for me. I ust 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 *334. #t that time the atmosphere in the band was e(tremely weird. I had spent most of *33/ recovering from my nervous brea'down in #pril *33/ when I was hospitali!ed. It was at this point when things started to change. %ens supported me immensely during *33/ with his phone calls. e then did that "Stratovarius" album, which I thin' is an awful album and went for the subse5uent tour production. 6y that time it was apparent to me that things really were bad. 7obody seemed to care about anything. I had the idea to use proection screens and for that, you need to produce graphics. I
 
planned those and basically the whole show. 7obody seemed to have any interest in it. It was more li'e, the less the better. The atmosphere at the rehearsals was awful. Lauri orra who had ust oined the band was wondering what is going on with this band. %&rg 8ichael came straight from Sa(on to this tour wearing a Sa(on shirt during most of the shows. 9is attitude for most of the tour was e(tremely arrogant, pretty much towards everybody. 6ut especially towards me and T$. #nd T$+s attitude towards me was lu'ewarm 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 thin' T$ 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 too' me many years to learn to simply tell him that I don+t li'e 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 $otipelto songs, which means they belong on a $otipelto record. It is not easy to say to someone that you don+t li'e his music. -ou guys and girls dont li'e all music, neither do I. 7either does T$. I am not anyone to tell what is good and what is bad music, but I do can tell what 'ind of music I li'e. #nd T$+s stuff ust doesn+t do it for me. I do have to say that I thin' he has written many great songs as well during his solo career. lus he probably would say the same things about my songwriting. e are ust very different. 9e has a very different sense of humor than I have. 8aybe the weirdest thing in Strato was that we never really were friends in the band. I visited T$ in )* years perhaps 4 times. To me %ens was the closest in the band and lately Lauri orra, who is a wonderful guy. 6ut none of use was really ever real friends. It might be surprising to you but that is the truth. The tour continued and %&rg+s drum roadie told me drun' that %&rg is leaving the band after the tour but he is doing the tour cause "he is a businessman". I guess you could say that %&rg+s attitude pretty much culminated what he said to me in Seattle on that tour. 9e told me that he thin's the band is over. e tried to record, 2rd time, a live D;D in Sao aulo but could not use the shootings because we played so badly. It was  ust plain awful. #lthough we roc'ed lot of crowds on that )*3 date world tour, still the overall vibe was very much li'e "going to wor'". 7ot for me though. 7ot still at that point. 6ut it felt to me that nobody+s heart was in the band and it was ust for the money.The tour came and went, we survived and %&rg didn+t leave the band. 6ut it was the weirdest tour I have ever done. ;ery succesful, but still it felt li'e forcing something. It was not fun. It was sad.The ne(t thing I had in mind was to write a really fresh good old fashioned ower 8etal album in the vein of ;isions. I felt our fans deserved it and I
 
felt it was the right thing to do. This was the infamous "<<" album. The songwriting was flowing and the songs sounded really nice and melodic and very much li'e old Strato. I was all the time on my toes because of the situation in the band and I was anticipating difficult recording sessions. #nyways in late *330 we completed a demo tape
 
containing )3 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 boo'ed )* days from Sonic ump studio in 9elsin'i for 8arch *33=. This was the weirdest session I had ever had. %&rg was all the time tal'ing about that we have to get the ";isions hunger" bac', although I don+t thin' he himself had that hunger. 7obody had. The session was nothing li'e the recording sessions before. 7obody had rehearsed the songs really and everything sounded pretty awful. I twea'ed the drum trac's for a wee' and gave up. It was around this point when I really was starting to thin' why am I 'eeping this alive when it+s so difficult. I remember how much time, energy and money we put to >lements ). There was nowhere to go after that anymore without ust repeating the past. I do 'now that T$ didn+t li'e that album at all, which yet again shows the difference between him me. It doesn+t mean that he has to li'e it of course, but to me >lements ) represents the pea' of the Strato evolution and perhaps I should have stopped the band already then.Last year, *33=, 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. # lots of fights. # lot. I had to use a lot of energy to try to get merch to Stratoshop, which was on the shoulders of %&rg and T$, 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 e(pired a year ago, I tried to get that fi(ed, could not do it because I wasn+t authori!ed to do so. The most popular items from the shop were sold out and %&rg refused to print more. I could not understand any of the things that were going on. #t the same time, I was having more fun than in years with my roc' opera Saana. hen I was ma'ing that, I reali!ed what was lac'ing in Strato? the enthusiasm, creativity and fun. It wasn+t li'e 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. lus I 'new I had some really cool new 8etal songs in the wor's.e did have @ festival shows during *33= and it was then, when I was standing on stage in ac'en 1ermany before /4 333 metalheads , when I fully reali!ed 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 loo'ed around and I felt li'e I am part of a play that has a script or machine and that there is nothing fresh and e(citing happening anymore. The band sounds awful.

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