Guitarist Timo Tolkki published a message on Facebook addressing the recent information that he was at risk of being arrested in Finland. The former leader of Stratovarius was sentenced in the Helsinki District Court to 45 days in prison for fraud and forgery. The sentence relates to the musician having unfairly requested income support worth more than €3,000 (approximately US$3,200 or R$15,700) in 2020.
To this end, Tolkki allegedly hid income and funds in his bank account at Kela, the Finnish Social Insurance Institution. The conviction for fraud was based on the fact that the instrumentalist had falsified his bank statements in order to obtain benefits. Among other things, the court points out that he deleted transactions and changed balances to hide his true income.
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The note published by the musician says:
“Throughout the day I have been reading news about a legal case I have been having with KELA, a Finnish institution. It was very sad to see how eagerly all these magazines here in Finland and even Blabbermouth reported this as ‘news’. None of these magazines wrote about my previous album ‘Renaissance Acoustica’.
Normally I don’t comment on these things in public, but this was started by the Finnish tabloid Seiska, whose only interest is to publish articles about gossip, paparazzi stuff and other nonsense, to make money from people’s misfortunes. It is true that there is a legal process, but I have not received any information about any sentence. I have responded to the claims in this case and, like any legal citizen, I will obey the laws of Finland. I respect this country.
But based on what I read, the ruling is not final. Naturally I will appeal when I finally get the papers. And it is possible to sue magazines that publish information before it becomes legally binding. I don’t know if it’s against Finnish law to publish information before the sentence is final, but I’ll find out one of these days.
Things are not always black and white. And if the final sentence is based on Finnish law, I will accept that and the consequences. I am completely fed up with all the rumors and gossip and also with Facebook, which I consider to be anti-social media. It’s fake, without real human interaction and communication.
I’ve even thought about going back to that old Nokia cell phone without Internet. I like quiet moments with my loved ones. I spend a lot of time in nature.
For me, that’s where real life exists.
Have a good day, Timo”
According to press reports, Tolkki did not appear in court. In a letter, he argued that he was going through a “bad time” when the crimes were committed. He also used his diagnosis of bipolar disorder in his appeal, however, it did not obtain the expected result. The sentence can still be appealed.
In April 2023, Timo Tolkki opened crowdfunding for an album of acoustic reinterpretations by Revolution Renaissance, his post-Stratovarius band. The fundraising was just under R$4,500, which led him to make a frustrated outburst on social media, announcing that he would no longer record songs.
As had happened before, the guitarist returned shortly afterwards, announcing Timo Tolkki’s Strato, a reunion between him and drummer Tuomo Lassila and keyboardist Antti Ikonen — musicians who played on Stratovarius’ first four albums. Bassist John Vihervä joined the band shortly afterwards.
About Timo Tolkki
Born in Klaukkala, Finland, Timo Tapio Tolkki started playing guitar at the age of 7. At 12 he went through the event that marked his life in every aspect, reflected in his artistic work: his father’s suicide.
He joined Stratovarius in 1985, taking over the creative front line. Initially he combined the roles of guitarist and vocalist, remaining only with the former. He left in 2008.
In addition to solo albums, he released albums with the projects Revolution Renaissance, Symfonia, Avalon and Chaos Magic. He has also been featured on albums by Avantasia, Allen/Lande, Edguy, Thunderstone, Infinity and Ring of Fire.
Diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2004, after a nervous breakdown, Tolkki goes through periods away from the musical world, having already interrupted several projects due to the emotional instability he faces.
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