STRATOVARIUS members Timo Kotipelto (vocals),Jrg Michael (drums) and Jens Johansson (keyboards) have issued the following open letter to guitarist Timo Tolkki, who drew up and signed an official waiver on May 20, 2008 giving up all rights to the STRATOVARIUS name.
"Dear Timo, we thank you for the waiver of your rights dated May 20, 2008 in the name STRATOVARIUS, and the gift of your share of the income from the back catalog.
"Technically and morally, none of us was in the position to alone give or withhold the name STRATOVARIUS. So, this certainly clarifies the situation, and we three thank you for that.
"Good luck with your projects in the future!"
An excerpt from Tolkki's original statement regarding the waiver follows:
"There will never be another STRATOVARIUS. It was a unique band and the name itself doesn't mean that it would bear the trademarks of STRATOVARIUS. It means more to me than money. It means the very essence of the message it has carried in my songs for 23 years. That is a very long time. My new band cannot replace STRATOVARIUS. Neither can any other band. My dignity prevents me from using that name without my ex-bandmembers. This is the contrary regarding the other guys and what they are intending to do. At this writing, they are most likely preparing all kinds of STRATOVARIUS releases that I blocked, out of the reasons that they did not have enough quality.
"Since I consider this a devastatingly disappointing and utterly disrespectful move, I am going to do something people don't probably expect from me.
"First of all, in my life philosophy, this kind of act is evil. And I do not want to have anything to do with evil. Although both moral and legal rights I own would easily grant me the rights to prevent the guys using the name STRATOVARIUS, I am going to do the opposite. I am going to give them full perpetual rights to the name and also I do not want to receive any money regarding record sales of the back catalogue or possible new products in which I am involved. Ever. You will find this letter that has been mailed to the STRATOVARIUS management with this statement. Simply, I dont want to have anything to do with that name in its present form, Jrg Michael, Timo Kotipelto and Jens Johansson ever again. The old records and their message speak for themselves. So the guys are free to use the name. I am doing this with a clear mind that everything that you put to the universe returns to you. And above all, I refuse to co-operate, negotiate or have anything to do with what I consider to be evil. And here is the very corporate money making machine in its full force exploiting the name, like it could really have the same meaning without me.
"I hope this letter clarifies some things from my side and I promise that this will be the last statement from my side. From now on I will let the music talk with my new band REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE that carries that spiritual essence of the Fleur de Lys. That's why it's in the logo. And, of course, we will play lots of STRATOVARIUS songs in the shows too.
"I wish you nothing but good things, blessings and much happiness. I thank you for a great life and I hope to see you somewhere along the road. Take good care of yourselves and I am very sorry that it had to end this way. When the curtain falls at the end of the day, it's only the music that counts. And you will get that from me in the future too."
Video footage of STRATOVARIUS performing a "new" song, "Last Night on Earth", during the band's appearance at last year's Wacken Open Air festival in Germany can be viewed below (the track eventually made it to the debut album from Tolkki's new group, REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE).