Matias Kupiainen, Jens Johansson: discuss stratovarius

Super cool interview by Ultimate Guitar: Stratovarius: 'Keep Fighting In The Face Of Disaster'

Lauri (Porra), our bassist, actually bumped into him in a club I think, where he had conducted some guitar clinic. We discussed what we should do, as we obviously needed to recruit a guitarist. I listened to some videos he had uploaded to Youtube, and was like "Holy fuck. This is really good". He was a really good musician, so we talked a little. Matias seemed to be a nice guy, and then like I said, we went to a cottage to write some songs. Everyone got along pretty nice, so we just decided what we would call the group following that. It wasn't clear that 'Polaris' would be issued under the name Stratovarius. Eventually, the songs possibly turned out to be more progressive, as a lot of the songs that we stopped working on were the more progressive ones.

Will Stratovarius possibly work upon these more progressive songs for future releases?

Could be, yeah. We discussed this yesterday. Some of those songs were really good, I thought. Of course, I'm a little bit of a freak, and like all the weirder material. I'm a big Meshuggah fan. In writing Stratovarius' next album, everyone will know each other better. Like I said, we won't be recording an album under siege. Last time obviously, Tolkki peppered us with statements. He threatened to sue us and so on, until he kind of apologized last month - Tolkki was very hostile towards us. It wasn't completely easy all the time, though I think in writing for our next album, we'll have a clear view of who's in the group. Everyone knows each other better, and Stratovarius also has record company deals, something which we didn't have in recording 'Polaris' of our own accord. Our next album will be very interesting, I think.... Did having new songwriters to contribute to 'Polaris' in the form of Matias Kupiainen and Lauri Porra help?

In the past, Timo Tolkki wrote roughly ninety percent of the material. When he left, there was a songwriting vacuum somewhat. I was very curious to hear what everyone would come up with, and was very happy. That was one of the reasons why I was interested in travelling to Finland during May, or whenever I initially went over. Four people contributed material towards 'Polaris', whereas only one person used to contribute. As a result of that, you obviously attain more diversity, and some of the album's directions are quite interesting I think. I like Matias' material, as like I said, he's slightly more into progressive music too as I am. I wrote some material too, but the material I contributed to 'Polaris' was perhaps slightly more singular than the other songs.

Would you like to write with Matias in future? The songs you wrote for 'Polaris' you wrote alone.

That's usually how I write, though I'm usually quite picky about a lot of aspects, such as general structure and things of that nature. I'm slightly wary, but that'd be great. Let's see. It's possible I think, now that we've cleared the hurdle of what the group will be called, and what's the framework for what we intend to do. We already talked about Stratovarius' next record yesterday, since everyone has written a batch of material. There's way too much material to use, which amounts to roughly thirty songs or something similar. Matias said "I only have two songs, but one of them is thirty minutes long", so I said "Ok. Sounds good already" (laughs). I don't know what will happen, but it certainly sounds interesting.

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