Stratovarius Biography

Stratovarius biographies:
Jens Johansson:

Jens is son of the well-known Swedish jazz pianist Jan Johansson and brother of the heavy metal drummer Anders Johansson. Highly influenced by classic Rock keyboardists like Don Airey, Eddie Jobson and Jon Lord. In 1982, the classically trained Johansson left the jazz fusion band Slem and joined the Swedish metal band Silver Mountain, which also included Anders. In 1983 he left Sweden for California and joined guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen as a member of his band, Rising Force. Numerous records and world tours ensued and he stayed with Yngwie until 1989. Jens also played with the band Dio between 1989 and 1990. Like Anders, he began an ongoing collaboration with Jonas Hellborg in 1989 which has resulted in several well-received progressive and avant-garde recordings, including Dissident, Silent Run (an acoustic piano trio record with Ginger Baker on drums) and the hard core progressive fusion record, E.

In 1993, Jens co-founded a progressive blues metal project, The Johansson Brothers, and recorded a self-titled record. In 1996, with a different line-up, they recorded another album, Sonic Winter, this time under the name Johansson with Yngwie Malmsteen guesting on guitar. The last Jens record, The Last Viking, a more 'European metal' oriented album, was released in 1999 with special guests Michael Romeo and Göran Edman.

Jens has released several instrumental solo records such as Fjäderlösa Tvåfotingar, Ten Seasons (a piano solo album improvised in the Mark Kostabi gallery, New York), Heavy Machinery (with Anders and Allan Holdsworth) and Fission (with Anders, Shawn Lane and Mike Stern) and many collaborations with other artists, metal compilations and Berends Brothers' band Mastermind.

He co-founded Heptagon Records to distribute his own recordings and that of other musicians, such as guitarist Benny Jansson and bassist Magnus Rosén.

Since 1995 he has been a member of Power metal/Neo-classical metal band Stratovarius, and he is still releasing solo albums and appearing as a guest or session musician in other projects.

Timo Kotipelto:

Timo Kotipelto studied vocals at the Pop/Jazz Conservatory in Helsinki, briefly singing for an amateur cover band named Filthy Asses. In summer of 1994 he applied to Stratovarius, who were looking for a singer at the time, and was accepted. His arrival corresponds closely with the band's rise to international fame. The first album he recorded with the band was Fourth Dimension, in 1995. Stratovarius has then become a top name in the European heavy metal scene, recording eleven more albums and performing in numerous notable rock festivals.

In late 2003, he split from Stratovarius after intra-band disagreements, notably with guitarist Timo Tolkki. After much turmoil throughout 2004, he rejoined the band in January 2005, recorded the album Stratovarius, and performed live on a tour that covered North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

In 2002 he started his solo project, called Kotipelto. So far he has released three albums: Waiting For The Dawn, Coldness and the last one, released 20th April 2007, Serenity. He performed with Rod Kresp (Lead singer) of The Vault in Brazil.

Aside from Stratovarius and Kotipelto, he has also provided backing vocals to Sonata Arctica's Silence album, and lead vocals for the song Out of the White Hole, on Ayreon's 2000 release Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator.

Lauri Porra:

Lauri Porra is a fourth generation musician; he began studying music at age 6, when he started to play cello in a local music school.

In 1993 he switched to bass guitar and continued his studies in the Helsinki Pop Jazz Conservatory (1994-2004); additionally he has taken lessons on piano, double bass, trumpet and male vocals. During 1997-1999 he sang with the renowned YL male choir performing for instance with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Lauri is well known for his versatility to work within a wide range of genres. He is renowned for his work with such bands as Stratovarius, Emma Salokoski Ensemble, Kotipelto and Crazy World. He has also released three solo albums: the critically acclaimed Lauri Porra (2005), All Children Have Superpowers (2008) and Flyover (2015).

He has also composed music for Films and TV-series.

Some Bands Lauri Has Played and Recorded With:
Emma Salokoski Ensemble
Crazy World
Ben Granfelt Band
Peter Lerche
Juice Leskinen & Mikko Alatalo
London symphony orchestra
Uusinta chamber orchestra
Oulu symphony orchestra

Rolf Pilve:

Rolf Pilve is a drummer Stratovarius, legendary Finnish metal band spanning over two decades. Rolf is known for his musical playing and versatility as a drummer with bands like Miseration, Solution.45 and The Magnificent. He has played in 16 different countries and over 500 shows so far and on over thirty albums, demos and singles.

His musical journey began at the age of seven and his first professional break was in 2005 with Dreamtale and Sightless. He recorded an album for both bands and started to emerge in a freelancing scene in Tampere, doing every gig possible from wedding and cover gigs to jazz gigs still staying true to his roots in metal music.

In 2006 only 18-year old Rolf joined Essence of Sorrow featuring names like Mikko Härkin (Sonata Arctica), Mats Léven (Yngwie Malmsteen) and Jani Stefanovic, who would also be a long-time collaborator with Rolf. They played few shows and recorded the album "Reflections of the Obscure". This was also his first international break as he got to play a tour in Europe with Essence of Sorrow.

His collaboration with Jani Stefanovic in 2007 led him to Miseration and Solution. 45, featuring respected singer Christian Älvestam (ex-Scar Symmetry). Both bands have got amazing reviews in media. At the same time Rolf joined Status Minor, one of the leading progressive metal bands in Finland.

At the moment Rolf is living in Helsinki, where he studies music in Pop & Jazz Conservatory while gigging and recording all over Finland. He also teaches privately at Helsinki, Tampere & Jyväskylä. Besides Stratovarius, he is an active member of Reversion, Status Minor and Code For Silence while keeping really busy as a freelancer.

Rolf has played and worked with: Stratovarius, Solution.45, Miseration, Reversion, Timo Tolkki, Code For Silence, Status Minor, Beyond The Dream, Dreamtale, Sightless, Pulse - Tribute to Pink Floyd, Rock-It-Launcher, Crystalic, Section 8, Heikki Malmberg, Sweet Jeena & Her Sweet Hearts, Nousu, Kalevi Louhivuori, The Magnificent.

Matias Kupiainen:

Matias is a guitarist and producer. He started playing guitar when he was 4 years old and produced and mixed several albums. He works at his studio MinorMusic and since 2008 he is the new Stratovarius guitarist.

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