Formed in Finland in 1984, Stratovarius has released 16 studio albums, four DVDs, and three live albums. Alongside German bands Helloween, Blind Guardian, and Gamma Ray, they are considered one of the most influential groups of the power metal genre. We spoke with bassist Lauri Porra prior to the band’s upcoming visit to Japan.
Last year saw the release of the band’s 16th studio album, Eternal. With the line-up changes over the years, would you say that Stratovarius has changed musically at all since the 1989 debut Fright Night?
For sure there have been developments in the sound of the band. Each new member brings in a new set of influences to add to the classic sound of Stratovarius. The band has been active during three decades and also the surrounding world has changed. Music is always a reflection of the times we are in, so that is also a factor. I believe that over the course of time, Stratovarius has proven to be a band that can survive great changes and turmoil. The result is more than the sum of its parts.
Will the Japan set list be mainly new material or a wide mix from the Stratovarius discography?
Stratovarius has a great history with Japan, and we are very excited to come back to play in this beautiful country. Stratovarius always tries to create the setlist to fit the country we are playing in. We will be presenting some songs from our latest album Eternal. But also we will bring a nice selection of the old Stratovarius classics. Maybe we will also add a couple of songs that the fans in Japan haven’t heard in a concert for a long time.
Outside of Stratovarius, each band member has been involved in other musical projects. Would you say that Stratovarius is just now one of those projects or is it the central core that is kept fresh and alive by the other interests and projects?
Stratovarius is a combination of very talented and versatile musicians, all of which sometimes also do other musical projects outside the band. For instance, our keyboard player, Jens Johansson, will be performing with Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow next summer. I believe that all this variety in the band members’ musical lives brings more musical possibilities to the band, but I can assure that when the band is together doing Stratovarius shows and albums, everybody is putting in 100 percent.
Finnish power-metal band formed 1984 • Club Quattro, Osaka • Jan 30 • Metal • 6pm • ¥7,500 • Tel: 06-6311-8111