Tony Kakko and Elias Viljanen
By: Sabine van Gameren
A lot of things going on for Sonata Arctica, Touring all over the world with
their latest release Unia. Tempelores prepared some questions for them.
– How are you?Tony: “Pretty ok, it is really hot in here. I hope that cloud gives us
– With the latest release Unia, it seems like you have chosen a new path for
Sonata Arctica. Slower songs. Are you satisfied with the results?
Tony: “Actually, the whole band is! We slowly took the speed down and
it is a process which is going on for a while. Now we started with doing something
we like ourselves. I am really, really excited about the album. ”
Elias: “I like the older stuff very much, but this new album is for my
taste really good.”
– Where did you get the inspiration from for the Lyrics on Unia?
Tony: “I just dropped the speed. At some point I realized I didn’t had
any takakata *makes fast movements with his hands* songs in there. I did not
want to go there anymore. We don’t do things for the sake of things we have
always done. I think that is wrong. I just wrote the songs as they came. Most
people accept it.”
– A lot of people have been labeling you to power metal. With every release
you have made you seem to have made a step further away from power metal. How do you think about labeling music like this in general?
Tony: “Well it really get things easier for some people. But there are
bands which like to use a wide span of styles in their music. Labeling us powermetal
would be wrong, although we have quite some powermetal songs. Especially the
older albums. They are powermetal! But we have been moving away from that and
I think I would call us rock, or maybe metal. Rock/metal. It is making more
sense, at least to me, I think. But labeling us powermetal would be wrong”
– But you won’t mind if people are doing it?
Tony: “No.. I don’t really care.”
– Do you see the release of Unia as a new start in the career?
Tony: “Yeah maybe… There are a lot of things changing. We mostly
please our self with what we are doing. We must think of songs which we are also
able to play when we are older. *laughs*”
– Where is the name Unia coming from?
Tony: “It is a Finnish word meaning Dreams. There was another title which
I already thought of, but people could have understood it in a wrong way. Same
thing with the word gay. In English language it is happy, but where are you
thinking of when hearing the word gay?… So it’s not this… but same idea.
Most of the graphics were already done. We did not have time to do all the graphics
again and we needed a title that kind of make sense. The Finnish word Unia was
perfect. Because just dreams would sound stupid.
– You released a video “paid in full” from the Unia album. Are there
more video’s planned?
Tony: “We don’t have any straight plans to do that, but it is good that
you remind me because I have to ask about it.”
– In this upcoming tour, you are going to do some shows together with Epica…
Tony: “Yeah, it is going to be cool! It is good to have them as support
act there. It is still a long way, we are playing Mexico and America before.”
– Do you think that Epica fans will like the music of Sonata arctica?
Tony: “Hopefully! And I hope our fans like Epica as well.”
– Is the music of Epica closer to where Sonata arctica will come musically
in the future?
Tony: “I have no idea. After releasing Recknoning Night people asked me
the same question. Maybe we’ll do the same sort of thing, maybe it radically
– Besides Sonata Arctica I have heard you have done several side projects,
Like writing a song for the idols winner. Can you tell us more about your side projects?
Tony: “yeah I have some small projects… the one I am working on…
is a little bit secret.”
– And the rest of the band?
Elias: “I am having my guitar instrumental band. And I am in a progressive
– I saw on several forums writing about a sonata arctica game (winterhearts
guild). Is the game already released?
Tony: “No not at all, I haven’t heard of the guys for a few months. We
suppose to record some stuff over summer but have not heard of it. There is
a lot of work in the game.”
– So, what kind of game will it be?
Tony: “I don’t know… You know World of Warcraft???”
– Yes I know
Tony: “will be running around and shooting. I don’t know exactly…
I have only seen the pictures and moving demo. I don’t want to read much about…
I want to play the game!”
– That was going to be my next question.. Do you like playing games yourself?
Tony: “Yeah.. Grand theft auto, world of warcraft… some similar games…”
– With having so many international fans around, do you still have contact with fans who already know you from the start?
Tony:”Of course we recognize them when we see them at our shows. Also,
I try to answer as much as emails as possible, but it’s impossible to answer
every mail. When there is a short mail with one or two questions, then it is
pretty easy but sometimes… people write like novels. There is no way I
can do that! Business mails, of course, come first.”
– Brings me to the question: How do you think of media as myspace.com and forums…?
Tony: “well.. I don’t know. I have nothing to do with myspace. I am not
sure if we have a myspace… If we have… at least the band is not controlling
it. Youtube… in a way is good, but then the downside is that people uploading
copyright material. They should not be able to use the songs. I saw a video
from Power of one. The compiled the music in the scenes from their movie. It
is beautiful, but still it is wrong!”
– How do you feel about downloading?
Tony: “Well if you download it for free.. of course that is wrong! How
would you feel if you have a garden full tomatoes and your neighbor is secretly
taking your tomatoes. It is exactly the same thing! Only, what we do… is
so easy to steal.”
– Do you have any goals, which you would like reach?
Tony: “well… we would be very happy to continue doing this thing
on the level we are. As long as we are able to tour all over the world, then
everything is perfect.”