R13: First of all, I've read that you've been quite unwell and had to cancel some of the shows on your current tour. Are you well again now?

Tony: yeah, we cancelled two shows because of the cold I got in Paris...during the show, which is....impossible in theory, but apparently very possible....But I'm fine now.

R13: You have just finished up touring with Nightwish, how was this?

Tony: It was the best tour we've had. Absolutely fantastic! Great big venues and intimate smaller venues on our own shows. We in a way got everything you can get on one tour. Perfect.

R13: How did the crowds react to your new material?

Tony: Very well, as usual. :) The new stuff seems to blend in just fine.

R13: You are about to do a tour of your own in Finland. Will this involve you playing smaller or similar sized venues? Which do you prefer to play?

Tony: In Finland the venues are from 400 to 1500. Something like that. So it's pretty much the same as on our own shows in Europe. But we do play much more shows in Finland! On this tour we have around 20 shows here.

R13: You recently played at Bloodstock here in the UK. You had some sound problems but from what we've heard everyone still really enjoyed your set.
Can we look forward to the band returning to the UK again soon?

Tony: Hopefully as soon as possible. The fans were so great and we felt really welcome. Much more so than we anticipated.

R13: What does 2005 hold for the band? Will this involve more touring / recording?

Tony: We might record something for the unavoidable collection, but that's it. Oh well, we might record a live DVD as well when we tour Japan in February, but THAT's it. :) For the recordings, I mean. The touring, Japan, maybe USA, summer festivals etc..then a break and new record, but that won't be before 2006.

R13: What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Tony: There are many, really. This European tour was one of them. AND well, we received last week gold discs for selling 15.000 copies of "Silence" in Finland! That was something I've been waiting for!

R13: Which do you prefer, writing and recording or touring? Do you find that you can write whilst on tour?

Tony: I like both, you get tired of either one after a while, and can't really concentrate on writing on tour. I need my own space and peace.

R13: I read in another interview that you write your lyrics in English as if you wrote in Finnish you'd understandably be limited to a Finnish audience. Is it hard for you to write / sing almost exclusively in English?

Tony: I used to write in Finnish years ago, before Sonata, but I don't know how easy that would be today. Naturally my Finnish is 100x richer than my English, so in that way writing in Finnish might be easier, but maybe because of that it's also so much more demanding. Any ways, I rather sing and write in English.

R13: I've read that 'My Selene' is the first song that was written by another member of the band. Is it intentional that you write most of the material or does it just work out that way?

Tony: I've asked the others to write since 1996 but this is the first song by anyone. So it just has been that way. I think it's very cool Jani came up with a real Sonata song! I want more!

R13: We know you've worked with Nightwish in the past. As a band would you like to collaborate with anyone? If so, who?

Tony: Hmm, Nightwish. I really like the most working with them the best beside Sonata naturally. I really haven't thought of this...

R13: You've cited the likes of Stratovarius and Queen as big influences for yourself on a personal level. Is this still the case? Are there any other bands that influence you to the same degree?

Tony: It will always be. Naturally there are always new things that affect your thinking and musical taste, but the roots remain always. But then, I would not say that Stratos are still influencing my song writing the way they did, but some anyway.

R13: And lastly, which is your favourite Sonata Arctica song / album? Why?

Tony: Aaargh, difficult! Maybe "Silence" at the moment, cause of the gold disc! :) I'm pretty happy about it. I like all the albums we've made, but I think "Silence" has the warmest feeling to it. The recording process was also really nice.

R13: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and we hope to see you in the UK again soon :)

Tony: Hey, no problem. My pleasure. We hope to play UK soon!