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Interviews : “I think that it’s been really good, really great” – An interview with Pasi Kauppinen (Sonata Arctica)

By on March 5, 2018

Sonata Arctica – Pasi Kauppinen

Sonata Arctica is one of Finland’s best-loved Metal exports, with a style that touches on elements of Power, Progressive, Symphonic and more. Taking time out of playing the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, bassist Pasi Kauppinen reflects on fan responses to the band’s latest album, ‘The Ninth Hour.’

“I think that it’s been really good, really great, at least what I’ve heard directly from fans. We have been touring a little over a year now with ‘The Ninth Hour’ album, and we have played in Europe and North America and South America, now home in Finland, and all the responses have been positive, at least so far, so I think it’s been good.”

Kaupinnen goes on to reveal his view of the songwriting process in Sonata Arctica. “Our singer Tony [Kakko] writes all the music and basically it goes that he makes demos of the songs, and then either we go to the rehearsal place and play them as a band before we go to the studio, but last time we had a really tight schedule and the others went to the studio and Tony was writing songs at home. Every time he sent us a new song, we’d just record it basically fresh for the album, so that time it was like that.”

Sonata Arctica has a lot of diversity in their music, and Kaupinnen shares his thoughts on where it all comes from. “We have classical elements but that’s not as obvious as in some classical and neo-classical Metal bands. In my opinion, Tony writes music like what he writes, so everything he writes sounds like Sonata Arctica and it doesn’t matter what kind of song it is because he has a really personal style of writing music. I think it’s melodic Metal with lots of solos.”

Thinking back to his reaction to setting foot on 70,000 Tons of Metal for the first time, Kaupinnen says, “When we left yesterday from the harbour it was a really, really great moment. People were so excited at the top deck. It was like a big festival feeling from the beginning. It is going to be really great. Yesterday I went to see a couple of bands, and this morning I woke up really early and took a cup of coffee and went to the sun deck and enjoyed the sun and the sea. It’s really great.”

As for who in the band was most excited about the cruise, Kaupinnen points out, “I’m the only one in the band who hasn’t been here before, so maybe it’s me!” with a laugh. And when it comes to seasickness, “I think it’s me as well,” he chuckles. “But this time it’s been really well so everything’s okay, but usually I feel a little bit seasick.”

If Kaupinnen had to choose between beer and cocktails, it wouldn’t be a difficult choice. “Beer.” As for what kind, he clarifies, “Beer.”

Thinking about which band on the 70,000 Tons of Metal line-up he’d like to tour with, Kaupinnen muses, “I saw Masterplan play today. Of course, Jari Kainulainen from Finland plays in that band, we know him. That would be awesome. They have really great music. I really liked their show today. So I’d say that. Or Cannibal Corpse, of course,” he suggests with a wry grin. “That could be the second option.”

From playing together to hiding out alone, Kaupinnen suggests the biggest recluse in Sonata Arctica is, “Maybe me,” with a laugh. “Maybe me again. Or Tony. Tony or me, but we really both have been around, we went to play golf today. I don’t know. This is just such a great place to be, you don’t want to stay in cabins.”

So perhaps Kaupinnen would head out to the karaoke bar? “I have never sung karaoke, but if I had to start today I think it would be,” he pauses to consider, “it would be… I don’t know.” He develops a distant stare. “Maybe Holy Diver or something. I can’t do that, but I should try!” he laughs.

It’s hard to choose one best thing from 70,000 Tons of Metal, however. “So many best things. Of course, there’s the sun, the sea, excellent food, really great bands, and the audience is so amazing. I think it is perfect.”

Speaking of excellent food, when it gets to 3:00 am and a bite is in order, what’s Kaupinnen’s poison? “Pizzas,” is the simple answer. As for where he would sail the ship to if he could take control, he suggests, “I think what it already is because when we came here I didn’t know where we were going, and I had to see from the map where Grand Turk is. That’s maybe the best place to go, because I haven’t heard about that island before,” he chuckles.

And coming up next for Sonata Arctica, “Last year we toured a lot, and we went around the world, but this year is dedicated to the new album, so we just toured in Finland just before we came here, and now our next task is to write new material when we go back to Finland, and then we have the Summer festivals before we start to record the album.”

In closing, Kaupinnen simply says, “Rock on!”

Head to the official Sonata Arctica website:

To find out more about the 70,000 Tons Of Metal Crusie, head to the official website: