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SONATA ARCTICA's TONY KAKKO: "I'M A NOSTRADAMUS"

SONATA ARCTICA's: "I'M A NOSTRADAMUS" - 2012-06-06 00:00

2012-06-06 00:00 - SONATA ARCTICA frontman / songwriter Tony Kakko has plenty to be happy about. The band’s latest album, Stones Grow Her Name, achieved “highest 1st week sales” status for the band in North America and debuted at #9 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart the week following its May 22nd release. In Canada, the album debuted at #74 on the Top 200 and #7 on the Top Hard Music Albums chart. Outburn Magazine’s recent 10 out of 10 review praised them for molting out of their influences and becoming a true original.

In a recent interview with Blistering.com, Kakko talks about the new album, reminisces about the band’s career-launching tour with Stratovarius, and how a back-catalogue SONATA song predicted Facebook.

You’ve stopped doing fast songs, which is a big to-do with your fanbase. For you, how much of a challenge is it to stay in the mid-tempo mode and not deviate from the course?

Tony Kakko: I feel like an underachiever [laughs]. When I work, I have a piece of paper on my desk saying “KISS,” meaning “Keep it simple, stupid” . . . The majority of these songs are in the range of four minutes and it makes the whole album rock, I think. I wanted to pay a lot of attention to the fact we want to play these songs live and the melody should be sang by one singer, and not a choir. We can grab an acoustic guitar, go into a bar and sing these songs. And that’s the point.

The song that has grabbed me the most is “Shitload of Money.” Anyone can sing along with that song, so that lends to the point you just made.

Kakko: On the demo, I had lyrics that went [makes humming noise] and “Shitload of Money!” When Henrik [Klingenberg, keyboards] heard the demo, he said “There’s no way this song is going to be called ‘Shitload of Money,’ you have to change the title.” That was the exact point, so I was like, “No! That’s exactly what it’s going to be called.” If someone was starting hassle within the band already, then the general public will either love it or hate it, and that’s perfect.

I wanted to write a song about you cannot sell something you cannot buy back. A lot of people, especially on Facebook and other social media and they should consider this – they are putting their face and privacy out there and you can’t get it back.

You were ahead of the game with “Blank File,” which you released in 1999. Did it ever dawn on you that were at least, slightly prophetic with how strong of an influence computers would have on the world?

Kakko: Yeah, on the last tour I realized that. We put “Blank File” in the setlist and it was about Facebook. I had a vision of how things would be in the future [laughs]. Now that we’re in the future, it’s not as horrendously bad, although people are being really bad about their privacy. If you upload your family pictures online somewhere, even if you think you’ve erased them from the server, they’re still there. “Blank File” is all about that. I saw it happening… I’m a Nostradamus [laughs].

Read the entire interview at http://www.blistering.com/fastpage/fpengine.php/templateid/26934/menuid/3/tempidx/5/catid/4/restemp/N%3B/fPpagesel/1.

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