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Interview with Sonata Arctica | Tony Kakko



Hello Tony and thank you for your time. I do hope you are healthy and safe. How are things over there? Do you think we will get back to normality soon?

T.K: I certainly hope so but I fear it might take this year for things to get better. Unfortunately this is something that I said one year ago so you never know (laughs). Eventually we will go through it. People will be vaccinated and things are bound to get normal one way or the other. Better soon than normal.





What did you do with your spare time during quarantine?

T.K: Best thing was spending time with my children. I’ve been away a lot and there are still on that age that staying with them would make a difference. They are in preliminary school. It’s really important and it was fantastic to be home. Also resting was a healthy breather. It was sort of sabbatical to me. For twenty years, I was working for Sonata Arctica, write songs, going to studio, finish the album, getting ready, releasing the album, doing interviews and then touring. Even if I had the opportunity to take some time of when I am relaxed, I have great song ideas. That’s how my life has been before covid. This situation gave me a chance to rest and rejuvenate. I am gonna be 47 this year and in that age a lot of people starting questioning what they doing with their lives, starting changing their careers. I also have that idea but what will I want to do? Became a carpenter?



What did you miss the most?

T.K: The atmosphere of the touring. Go from one place to another, seeing people, learn new cultures. That’s the thing you miss a lot. When you do all that thing a lot you don’t appreciate it because you are constantly on the road. I am a house mouse but doing this so long became part of my genetics.




How tough is it for a band to have to stay away from their audience, away from their and fans?

T.K: The audience and the fans make everything possible for a band. We would not be here without the fans. It’s been almost a nightmare in that sense. We are a band and we have to play in front of an audience and spend time with the fans.




Sonata Arctica are releasing “Acoustic Adventures – Volume One”. What was the idea? Why acoustic? And why now?

T.K: The original idea was came early 2001 when we recorded the song “Mary Lou” acoustically and I thought wow that will be a larger scale for an album. Later we had some acoustic songs in our shows with Sonata Arctica. I think in 2014 we had summer acoustic festivals in Finland and that was fun.IN 2019 when we went on tour acoustic adventures was born. Our label Nuclear Blast then, Atomic fire now wanted to record in a studio those acoustic ideas. We change a lot of things, not just playing the songs in a acoustic form and we kept open minded. They are completely new songs in many ways now. We actually recorded the two volumes, one and half year ago. The volume one was supposed to be released in January 2021 and we were supposed to go on tour. We postponed everything for a year so things will be different (but they have not)and will have the chance touring for the new album. So we thought we can’t postpone the albums further more and we will releasing now the volume one and later this year, I think October, the Volume two.



If I asked you to choose only one Sonata Arctica album, which would that be and why?

T.K: In Finland I’d say Tallulah from the Silence album has been a big hit. It’s one of the most meaningful songs of our career. I think I will choose “Tallulah” song. The “Ecliptica” album was our first but Silence was composed, recorded to be an album, Ecliptica was a collection of songs that we had.




What you love the most? Singing or songwriting?

T.K: That’s a really difficult answer cause it’s part of my nature to compose, it comes naturally. If I had to choose, I would say composing. It’s a tough decision but I want to be able to compose new songs, to let them out and... That’s an impossible question to answer (laughs).




How do you create new songs for your albums? Where do you get your inspiration from?

T.K: I don’t know, it’s a flame inside, it’s something I need to get out; Let’s say inspiration is life, people, nature the world. Anything and everything around it.




Why do you believe power metal has made it to the top of the metal genres over the last 10-15 years?

T.K: The name of the genre, power, in a sense, the songs will make you better/powered in your life. The puss through the hard place and also power metal is melodic metal. It’s almost like pop music but not pop. Pop music is popular music meaning the form of the songs is often easy to sing along, to engaged. Even if you are not in metal with power metal you will find something to love in power metal. Usually this would be a powerful ballad. As Sonata Arctica we are far from power metal, we have some elements but we are not a power metal band in the pure way of power metal. Our previous album, you can’t label it as power metal. I mostly think we are a melodic metal band.



How come we haven’t seeing you live in Greece yet? You have a big fanbase here.

T.K: That is a very good question. I’ve been in main land once at 2004 in the Olympics promoting our “Reckoning” album. I have no idea why we haven’t came to Greece and we know that our heroes Stratovarius had share great stories about live performances in Greece. Nobody had invite us there and we know we have a strong fanbase. Suppose it’s working with the right people to make this happened. Hope to fix this in the future.




Do you have any plans for 2022 and how do you believe they will proceed?

T.K: Yes we do, we are supposed to have a Latin American tour in April. It doesn’t look too good cause of the covid situation. Later this year we will do an Acoustic Adventures tour in Europe. All of these unfortunately can change over a night but let’s hope the autumn shows will happened at least.




Thank you again Tony for the interview.

T.K: Thank you Mary I had a lovely time.







Chris Mouskos, Mary Zarakoviti

Black Velvet Radio

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