Reflections on 2012

I am writing this in Prague, they call this “a golden city”. I have wondered its streets reflecting back the year 2012, which in many ways has been a very good year for me.
I published my ebook “Loneliness of a 1000 Years” as a free download and it was downloaded over 30.000 times. I was stunned about this figure because I wrote this book first to help myself and secondly to help others. I did not feel I could take money from it. The response to the book was overwhelmingly warm and positive. It really seems to have touched many people. It makes me very happy.
In the music world, from the beginning of 2012, I was still suffering a heavy depression over the failure of Symfonia. I put all my heart and knowledge to that band and it just was not succesful enough. We might have been able to do a second album, but the news from Uli Kusch were that he would never play live again, which was not what we agreed in the beginning, poor sales and the lack of financial support made it impossible to continue the band. I know the badmouthing regarding that, but the decision was rational. And the feelings were bitter.
Around May I heard about the idea of Pledgemusic and crowdfunding, which seemed to be a great idea. I used a lot of time composing an album called “Credo” and I achieved the 120% target as well. But I did not feel right about this way of doing music.Yet. I think it could be the future of music, but it still has flaws in it. So I cancelled the campaign and put “Credo” on the shelf to wait for another time. It is not metal anyway, it is music that cannot really be cathegorized.
Much has been written about “Project Strato” and everything that I have written about it, is true. We have had and still have plans to release something together. But it probably, again, would not be metal. When me, Tuomo and Antti recorded “Dreamspace”, this was 20 years ago. So understandably none of us are in the same place anymore neither as humans, nor as musicians. We will have to see if we do something together. We do not have a need to release something. But if we feel like we do, then we will. Time will tell.
I have been in the music business for almost 30 years and everything in it has changed. What constantly makes me wonder is the critisism I receive about my ex band Stratovarius. I am not really fully aware of how extensive that is, but perhaps it is hard for (some) people realize that I will always be emotionally attached to Strato.And I think it is only natural that I care about what happens to it. After all, I spent 22 years in the band. After my departure in 2008, 5 years ago, we have been able to patch things up and shake hands.I am sincere, when I wish my old buddies all the best and luck they deserve as hard working musicians and cool guys. I am aware that what have come across in the press hasn’t always been appropriate. I have to apologize that. I can be a very moody person and some questions are quite provocative at a times. Still I take responsibility for my words and if they have offended Timo,Jens or Joerg, I sincerly apologize. And they know this. But they have a job to do. To take Strato further where they see it should go. My recent remark of “one tour and album with Visions line up was from my heart. It was not meant disrespectful to the current Strato. It is something that is not up to me to decide. I left and they have to continue. I only wanted to tell that if they one day feel like that, then I am up for it.
As to my personal life, after 2 very gloomy years, finally the sun started to shine and I noticed I was feeling happy. As I am writing this, I don’t think I have been this happy since I was 8 years old. I learned which people I needed to shut off from my life completely and who were my true friends. It was an invaluable lesson. It was priceless.
Next year, 2013, I will be 47. It is hard to believe how fast the time has gone by. I feel like it was just yesterday when I was 14.
But life goes onwards and not backwards and I have learned to listen to it.
I have grand plans for 2013. I will open a new mixing and mastering studio “STUDIOTOLKKI” in January with some cool people and I have some nice surprises coming as well. Overall feeling is very positive and I feel that every year will be better than the last one.
I also wish that for you, 2013 will be full of love,happiness,health,prosperity and all the positive things life is able to give you.
At the end of the day, it is up to you. Take care of yourselves and see you soon!