tiistai 25. joulukuuta 2012

North-America: On our way home 22.12.

A couple of days of partying in Vegas really took it out on me, nevertheless I sat in on a jam at some weird little bar, we met Vinnie Paul and took some pics.This was actually during the Sin City Sinners show on the 18th @ The Hard Rock Casino, which we hit totally by accident. By the time we got to L.A. the whole bunch didn't look to fresh anymore. Did the last show @ The Whisky (Which was sold out btw) and started to get our shit together for the long way home. Gene Simmons popped in during the evening before the show and said hi which was mighty nice I think. We pretty much left as fast as possible after the show, straight to the hotel and quick showers, from there it was time to drive to LAX and get checked in. Made it in time, without any panic...and around 5 and half hours later we're landing in NYC. I managed to sleep the whole flight so that was nice. In NYC we had some hours so there was time to eat etc. At the moment we have around 1 hour left before Helsinki, didn't sleep that much on this flight but checked out The Bourne Legacy and the new Total Recall, both were kinda ok I guess. We still have one more changeover in Helsinki and then an hour of flying to Oulu (for some reason there were no flights to our hometown today, weird ) and about an hour and a half by car to get home.......let's hope we make it, at least for now the world has not come to and end.....

cheers & Happy Holidays,

tiistai 18. joulukuuta 2012

North-America: Las Vegas 18.12.

Survived Detroit, and after that we did Joliet. Before the show me & Tommy went out for dinner.....afterwards I hit a local bar with Marko and a bunch of people, it was just for an hour or so before we had to leave for the bus and a looong drive towards Denver. Had a short stop in Omaha, went shopping and eating and most of the guys managed to go bowling in the evening as well. Well over in Denver, Marko & I decided to go to the hotel for showers just before the show. Screwing around with the local taxi-dudes we almost got lost but luckily we managed to get back just in time for the show. Weird shit, dude. The audience in Denver were very much into it despite it being a Monday night. From Denver we started our long drive to Las Vegas, it's abit over 700 miles, so with the bus that would mean around 16 hours. I pretty much got straight into bed when we left so consequently I got up around 8 in the morning. Which puts us here. I'm the only one up and we still got about 500miles to drive. I'll probably go back to sleep at some point but right now it's time to enjoy the solitude and as I'm watching out the window over Utah, I think I should make me some breakfast.

Tonight and tomorrow we'll be in Las Vegas for our final off-day and on the 20th we'll be in L.A. playing thelast show this year. Then it's time to head home and spend christmas with our families. The tour picks up again by the end of January and goes on until next fall....unless the world comes to an end before that.


perjantai 14. joulukuuta 2012

North-America: Detroit 14.12.

What a great day for a hangover, don't you think ? Since Toronto we've been to Pittsburgh, where I spent most of the day in front of the computer doing business....quite boring I might add. At the moment everything is pretty much worked out except for some final edits for our 3:rd video from this album. And no, I won't tell you which song it is but it'll be out in the forseeable future. During Losing my insanity in Pittsburgh, Elias guitar went out of tune and when he run to the side of the stage to change it, he stepped on my soundswitching pedal and made me fuck up as well....haha, we almost got lost which was interesting for a change :-) Other than that I don't remember any major mishaps during these past few shows. In Cleveland we played at the Peabody's for the 4th or 5th time, I don't remember.....and I'm too lazy to check it online, so there you go: the bloody truth :-)

At the moment I'm waiting for the soundcheck, just ordered dinner and thinking about going across the street to get some white wine for tonight. I'll probably do it a bit later....or have someone do it for me yeah !!


...just read about the shootings in Connecticut. What the fuck is wrong with people ?

torstai 13. joulukuuta 2012

North-America: Picture update

A big thanks to Tommy once again....here we go:  

Punky, tourmanager from ....., I don't even know

It's hard to quit smoking when you have the monkey on your back......

Just a little detail from the bus....yeah we're not good at math....

A nice card and a gift....thanks a lot, that was sweet :-)

Late night massage for the tired bass player.......

Tero is really happy, this was the second time in his life that he got a fan-gift,
thanks for making him a happy dude !!!!


keskiviikko 12. joulukuuta 2012

North-America: Toronto 11.12.

Wassap ?

Still alive and we even managed to get across the border to Canada. Last Sunday we got to play at the Empire...formerly know as Jaxx.During the day I went shopping for wine with Tony and later I did some programming, fine tuning some keyboard shit. Appeareantly I was a bit tired because during the show I realized that some of the sounds were in the wrong key...shit. It was a quick fix to edit about 10 sounds, the first ones during losing my insanity which made me stop playing for about 12 bars or something. The rest I fixed during Tony's speech about....actually I have no idea what he was talking about....anyways, interesting things happend when you least expect it :-) ...at the moment everything should be working ok, I just checked it during the soundcheck. Yesterday we had an offday, we just drove across the border (got some Baileys and Chivas from the duty-free shop :-) ) and stopped somewhere at some mall...I still don't know where it was...somewhere in Canada....after having drinks and dinner and trying to avoid to shop too much crap, some of us managed to do it, others didn't.....we had a couple of ciders at an Irish Bar. Later we drove the bus to our hotel parking lot and spent the rest of the night drinking, dancing and listening to music. In the morning we drove to the Opera House where we're right now. Just finished doing an interview with Marko and soon it'll be time to get changed and ready for the show. For those of you who have been missing the tourdocumentaries from Tony, don't worry...he's on it and has many episodes done already...just waiting to be uploaded when we find some internet that actually works :-)

Anyways, business as usual and we now have 5 shows in a row before the chaotic end with driving days...an off day in Vegas and the grande finale in LA. Let's see how this goes and remember to have a good time all the time !!!!


tiistai 11. joulukuuta 2012

North-America:A couple of stupid pics

Hola,finally some decent internet :-).....so here we go some pics from Tommy:

Hey babe, I'm a rockstar !!!

 Our home for this part of the world tour..........

Appeareantly Tommy has a thing for buses...hmmmm...

The Awesomes do NYC on the arrival day......

sunnuntai 9. joulukuuta 2012

North-America: Springfield, 9.12

Nothing changes but the name !!

So at the moment we're somewhere on a closed down mall parking lot. How exciting ;-)  In Worcester (
yeah I learned how to spell it now) we had a really cold show, during which I checked the temperature
with our guitar tech and movie star Tero. The readout was 12,5 degrees celcius (54,5 fahrenheit) during the intro of Replica. Just before soundcheck a CO2 fire estinguisher (...how the hell do you spell that anyway ?) tipped over, broke down and shot all over the room, triggered the fire alarm and all of a sudden we had no power and the place was crowded by firemen. Interesting. After the show and showers we headed on towards West Chester. It was the smallest stage on this tour but the crowd was very into it and it turned out to be another great night on tour. Showers at a nearby hotel and off we go, which brings us to this moment.


Got a couple of pics from Tommy I'll upload them if I get a decent connection someday :-)

perjantai 7. joulukuuta 2012

North-America: Worchester, 7.12.

What's up ?
Managed to get off the plane and into the US without too much hassle. Naturally our busdriver was at the wrong airport so we had to wait for a couple of hours or something before we got to board our home for the next two weeks. The first night was spent in Manhattan, food...drinks...the whole 9 yards. Woke up in the bus in New Jersey so appeareantly we got home ok. After some breakfast and showers it was time to drive back into NYC and go to the venue. Our day was spent walking around in the city, having dinner, exchanging money and whatnot. In the evening we played the first show on this tour. As it was the Finnish independence day we used Finlandia instead of our usual introtape. Being that it's about 7 minutes long it was a bit much but whattahell, it only happends once a year if we have a show on that day so, you'll live with it right ?

There were no showers at the venue so as you can imagine we're a smelly bunch at the moment. Luckily there are some showers here at the Palladium so as soon as I get this done I'll hit that. During the busride last night we got pretty hammered for a change but I guess it's just something we can't change.....and why should we ? So as said, at the moment we're in Worchester and tonight will be the second show of this tour, we changed the setlist a bit since Europe because we couldn't take our acoustic guitars with us. Last night we played The Last Amazing Grays and Last drop falls instead of that.....and Elias had a solo thing as well. We'll see if there will be further changes along the road but as it looks now, those are the songs we'll be using for this tour....blah blah......gotta go. Keep it real...or something along those lines...


European Tour: The last days, getting home and back out

Hola chicas,
So we did two more shows in Europe, first off was Vienna and then Munich. In Vienna  they served some traditional type-christmas food thing....whatever it was it didn't really work for me and subsequently I felt a little powerless during the end of the show. Well, nevertheless it got done and the audience was pretty excited so I guess everyone was happy at the end of the day. Munich of course being the last show on the tour was a bit out of hand. Before the Battle Beast show, Janne their keyboardist did a dance show dressed up at Darth Vader, with a couple of his friends  joining in as well. Funny as hell, I don't know what's wrong with those keyboard players ? During our show everything went quite ok, at the beginning of Replica Tony decided to sing this penis-song that he picked up online some time ago and during my keyboard solo in Cinderblox, I was suprised to see that Janne and Pyry from BB were dancing behind me, dressed only in their boxers. Good times :-)

We spent a few days at home, enought to wash the dirty laundry and show my face to the kids....and soon it was time again to head out to what will be the last tour this year. As you all know we'll be in the States until Christmas. Put your thumbs up and let's hope that we survive ;-)
Last night we flew into Helsinki and after a short meeting with our manager it was time again for Bäkkäri Bar and getting smashed.Done.Great. At the moment I'm on the flight from Helsinki to New York and we have about 1,5 hours left. I'll post this whenever and try to get some pics from Tommy if there's some left from the European Tour. I'll also try to keep this up during the tour but as it looks now yours truly is getting a bit tired and you never know what will happend...I might even take some pics myself :-) However I'm pretty sure that Tony will be doing his daily tour-soap-opera-documentaries......at least I hope so.

Anyways, let's find out what kind of drinks they have left in this fucking plane, at least the red and white wines are out. Wonder who's been drinking it all, it wasn't me.....I think.


maanantai 26. marraskuuta 2012

European Tour: In Budapest 25.11.

Hi There,
we're still alive in case someone is wondering. The show in Pratteln was my show no.600 withSonata Arctica. Unbeliavable how fast time flies. Other than that the show was cool,as most of the shows have been on this tour. In Milano the next day, we once again got to enjoy the unbeliavable loud Italian fans.Next up was another travelday, riding on the bus for about 16 hours or something before we arrived in Zlin for the Masters of Rock Festival. On the night of arrival we went out for dinner in a local mexican steak house. Somehow it seemed impossible to get the orders right, or at least get something for everyone. You know that something is fucked when some of the party are eating dessert and someone else didn't get any food at all for the first 2 hours. The food was great for those of us who got it but the service was horrible.
...anyways, nothing a few drinks couldn't fix so......

At the Masters of Rock, I wanted to watch Cradle of Filth but they stopped their set after about 30min appeareantly their keyboard player had foodpoisoning and was rushed to the emergency spot or something, puking and whatnot....get well !!!  Right now we just finished soundcheck and are waiting for dinner and the the show tonight, I have no clue how many times we're been to Budapest but it must be over 10 by now.

Anyways, as you can see we're all pretty much starting to get ready to head home and get some rest,as we have 5 days off before the US tour which will last until Christmas. Nevertheless, our spirits are
still high and we're looking forward for tonight.


tiistai 20. marraskuuta 2012

European Tour:In Stuttgart 20.11.

So what's been going on ? It's been a week since I last posted something so I'll have to check my calendar. We played in La Bataclan in Paris where Dream Theater filmed part of their 5 years in a Livetime DVD which was cool. During the day we went out for dinner and managed to come across somekinda gun-shop which was very interesting indeed. The following night and day we drove straight to Madrid and spent part of the evening underground at a Parking Place....evetually it was too much and we found some kinda crazy rock bar and went nuts. On the 16.11. we played in Madrid, as Dragonforce were also playing there on the same day we talked about meeting at some point (or I talked with Vadim about it at Loud Park Japan)....anyways we failed to do it and I went out to eat with Marko and Kapanen instead. Just a couple of hours before the show I started to feel "normal" again, appeareantly our party last night was a bit too much.....or a lot too much in fact. Barcelona the next day was our shopping day for this tour and our merchguy Larry took us out to a shoppingmall were we picked up stuff to bring back home. Me and Tommy managed to eat at a local pub or something....3,90 for a hamburger with fries is not much but I wouldn't have paid more...it was really shit :-) ...unlike the audience in Barcelona who kept chanting for us to come back, long after the show was over....you'll see it in the latest episode of the tourdocumentaries:


As soon as we had driven to Lyon it was time again to enjoy the off-day. This time around it was a bunch of confusing taxi-rides, and too much wine as well as to monkey-suited drivers. After a short visit at a bar it was time to end the evening with some red-wine at the bus. The morning was not as shaky as after the last off-day so maybe I'm learning something. The show in Lyon went on withouth any bigger confusion and at the moment we're in Stuttgart and waiting for the show to started.

Tomorrow in Pratteln it my 600th show with the band.I can hardly wait :-)


ps.I'll get some pics from Tommy later to show you guys.

keskiviikko 14. marraskuuta 2012

European Tour: Photo update from the past few days...

The revenge of the Radiator !!!

Inside jokes between the camperdriver from hell
Kapanen and our truckdriver Peki

How do your spell your name....??

The ESP brothers enjoying their off-day in Bochum !!

Our Father's Day cake in Bochum...or at least the package.

The walkabout in Aschaffen...how is it spelled....?

The first time in my life that I've been scared of something pink !!

Pics by Tommy and Cheers by Henkka

tiistai 13. marraskuuta 2012

European Tour: In France 13.11.

Still alive it seems. At the moment we're in Lille,France...appeareantly Tony & Tommy were here 12 years ago on the Stratovarious tour.....laying the groundwork. Let's see how tonight will turn out. Since my last entry we did a killer show in Tilburg and consequently checked out Europe at the Matrix in Bochum the next day and...yeah you guessed it...got totally blasted. Europe put on a really good show and it was really amazing to hear some of my old favourites as well as their newer stuff. The next day it was Fathers Day (at least in Finland) so we celebrated it by getting a cake. (actually our TM Lars got it....thanks man !!!). The shows in Bochum and Ashaffenburg were cool. In Bochum we also had time to talk a bit to Ralf who did our monitors on the South-American Tour back in....2010 I think ? You've probably seen him in the South-Am. Tourdocumentaries....Masa an old friend and star in the new European Tour Documentaries also showed up and spread his joy to all of us. That pretty much brings us up 'til tonight and were we're at right now. After tomorrows show in Paris we'll be halfway through the tour.....time flies it seems like. By the way in addition to the old 80's party music and this falls hit Lana Del Ray I've also been enjoying a tv-series called Eastbound & Down...might not be for everyone but if you're not too sensitive..check it out. We also played a couple of games of NHL12 in the front Lounge with Ville our MON guy a couple of nights ago so the entertainment part of my days are starting to take over. I brought some Bukowski books out as well but so far I've only looked at the cover....and I think it might stay that way.....nice cover anyways :-)

.....gotta go and have dinner now, just back from dinner, at some point a friend of mine suggested that I'd make comments about our dinners during the tour...well, since 90% of the time or more there's chicken and pasta or rice so....eventually it ends up being too much :-)

Got a bunch of pics from Tommy, will upload them tomorrow if the internet is faster than today. Keep
your thumbs up !!!


torstai 8. marraskuuta 2012

European Tour: In Belgium 8.11.

Almost one week into the tour. So far most of the things have been smooth, the shows are rocking and everyone is happy. We've actually been able to walk around every now and then as opposed to just sleep all day like it used to be before. I'm sure you all have seen the tourdocumentaries that Tony is making, keep on checking them out (youtube.com/sonataarctica) those will pretty much give you an idea about what goes on. Our first off-day in Hamburg was a bit on the wild side and we actually managed to check out a band called The Coronas...which was cool. I just got a bunch of pics from Tommy, so here you go:

Our mixing dudes: Mikko-FOH and Ville-MON

Tapsa the Drumtech going for Pizza in Warsaw

Peki the truckdriver chilling with his clothes on.

Some of the other bands that have played at the Progresja Club

As an old DT fan this warmed my heart (Warsaw)

Finnish inside jokes part 1: Onko Kahvia ?

Walking around in Berlin: Tempelhof

...and then there was a Police museum of some kind,
which of course was closed....(Berlin)

Finnish inside jokes part 2: Hausmylly ?

Aus Berlin......

So that's pretty much were we're at right now, I'll post some more pics from Hamburg, Cologne and so on, as soon as I get them....if there's anything worth publishing....or decent enough......just crossed my mind that I might have some stuff on my phone as well.........I'll be right back, cheers and beers and tonight we'll rock out at the Trix.


keskiviikko 7. marraskuuta 2012

European Tour: Marching Out !!

Friday 2.11. -  Travel Day
Flyday, Kemi-Helsinki-Warsaw....Ya wanna hear about how we got on the plane,
had a few drinks, waited for the luggage and took the next plane, got to the bus
had some drinks...dinner...sleep....Fucking Hell, at least I'm bored already....and it's 
not of the touring, but the storytelling in this blog is starting to repeat itself. Maybe 
because that's how our days are on tour. Always different but still the same. To
make it clear, this is what the next month will look when we have a showday:

10:00-16:00 Wake up, hangover or feeling great,eating. chilling backstage
or taking a walk...hell there might even be some physical excersises.
around 16:00 soundcheck
after that dinner
and then... interviews or a nap 
showtime 21-23 or something ....then some drinks, aftershowfood and meeting fans. or
0200-morning the bus leaves for the next show

Anyways what I'm getting at is that I really don't want to tell you the same fucking story 20 times for this tour....the offdays are of course and exception. They'll probably look like this

0900-1500  got up and checked into a hotel
1500-midnight rested had dinner and drinks.

...so what should we do ? There will absolutely be a lot of amazing moments on this tour. There'll be some downers as well. Waiting for those moments between I ate and I took a shit is a waste of everybodys time so I think we should go a different route this time. I'll be sure to mention any anormalities to the days but otherwise, let's focus on honouring the late Dr.Thompson, Hunter S. that is. Let's go deep down into the pain and explore something else, the world bubbling underneath. Scared ? Yeah,me too, let's see what happends......the tickets are free but the ride is not. I hereby declare the hunting season opened. What ? Exactly. Duck motherfucker :-)


Loud Park, Japan 23.10-28.10.

                                                   One of Elias new guitars, he's with ESP now :-)

Tuesday 23.10. - Travel Day, Kemi-Helsinki
So by taking the nightrain to Helsinki we started this weeks work efforts which are mainly everything else than playing. Which of course sucks ass. Had a few beers but nothing spectacular.

Wednesday 24.10. - Spending time in Helsinki
The reason why we left already last night, was that we had to go to the US embassy to do interviews in order to get our visas for the upcoming tour. That task took all morning and for the rest of the day we had no plans. Until we discovered that some of the gold albums were still at our managements office, so we headed out to catch up with some of the dudes involved with the making, in order to give them their albums. Which of course led to the Bäkkäri Bar and too many drinks.

Thursday 25.10.-Travel Day, Helsinki-Tokyo
We left for the airport in the afternoon so there was enough time to get proper sleep which always is nice.I used my flightmiles to upgrade my ticket to business class for the first time ever. That of course was totally awsome.....the grass was greener and I managed to sleep for quite some time on the plane as well. 

Friday 26.10. -Jetlag Day, Tokyo
We arrived in Tokyo just before 0800 in the morning. The catch is to try to stay awake the whole day and thus get right into the correct rythm. So, during the day we went to some music stores, mainly ESP guitar related ones....I guess it was ok but a bit on the boring side... Dinner and a stop at the grocery stores where also on the to do list. Later a party-patrol went to Roppongi and ended up at the Lexington Queen (actually the name has changed to Lex-bar or something like that). Sometime around 0200 it was time to get back to the Hilton Tokyo hotel and sleep.

Saturday 27.10.- Loud Park, Tokyo
Again a chance to sleep long, except for the fact that since your biological clock is totally fucked up so I woke up several times during the early morning hours. Finally around noon it was time to get up but of course I was dead tired by that time. It's funny how these jetlag-fixing-scemes never work out no matter how hard you try :-)  Nevertheless we went to the festival, met up with label people, promoters, merch people and a whole bunch of familiar faces. At 1640 it was our time to fire it up for a 60min festival show. We naturally had a blast and afterwards we did a quick signing session before we had the time to catch up with our friends from Dragonforce. Checked out some songs from COB and talked to a million people it seemed. When we got back to the hotel it was time for dinner and drinks, once again.

                                          Tokyo by night.....watch out !!!

Sunday 28.10.-Travel Day, Tokyo-Helsinki-Kemi
So up at 0800, far to early for a change :-) Pretty much straight from the hotel to the airport and a few quick beers with the COB guys before we invaded the aircraft. No business class this time but I still slept some good hours. Back in Helsinki we had a nice 5 hour wait for the late flight to Kemi and home. This trip was a quite exhausting one but enjoyable nevertheless. Of course when you're away for almost a week and just get to play 60min it feels a bit crazy.

On Friday we're leaving for the European Tour so we have 4 whole days at home to try to get into some reasonable sleeping pattern before we leave again. I doubt it works but it is what it is and as long as everything goes well, our next show is on Saturday in Poland. Until then......silence.

The couple of pics used in this post are the only ones we could use since the rest of the pics were a bit.....hmm....off the charts, so to speak.


maanantai 15. lokakuuta 2012

Finnish Club Tour: Kuopio, 12.10.-13.10.

Friday 12.10.- Kuopiohalli, Kuopio
So here we go probably the last show on home soil before the festivals next summer. The day started out really great, got picked up at my house around 0520 in the morning. Didn't sleep too well before that so it wasn't hard at all to pass out in my bunk in the bus. We arrived in Kuopio around noon, chilled downstairs in the bar with Tommy, waiting for Elias to arrive. At around 1500 we're leaving for the venue and soundcheck and after that it's time for another signing session at the local Levykauppa ÄX. 

                                              Just got done signing stuff :-)

I'll let you know how it goes in a bit. btw just listened through Devin Townsends Epicloud, some great shit ideed. Wasn't too surprised though, after all the man is a genius. Lately it's been a lot of Lana Del Rey, I really like the Born to Die album.... :-) Anyways I'll continue this a bit later when something happends, right now it's me, Lana and my computer with Marko sleeping in the other bed in our room. Maybe not a bad idea to charge up for the night....well.... The signing session was cool, on all of these occasions we've had a really great turnout so it's been nice.

Appeareantly we're the Home Team tonight !!!

After the signing stuff we went back to the venue for dinner. Somebody had realized the beauty of black pepper. OMG. It was good nevertheless. Before long it was time to hit the stage in front of around 1500ppl. In a 6000 capacity hall it does look a bit weird but whatta hell. We had a really good time and enjoyed playing in Finland for the last time this year. Naturally we had a hell of a tourending party in Henry's Pub.

Tommy with his favourite drummer Twist Twist (Los Bastardos Finlandeses)
                                                                        Aftershow smoking at the appropriate spot.

Saturday 13.10.-Travel Day Kuopio-Kemi
Nice fucking headache !!! Sleep, food, jäger.....you do what you can to get in shape. Left Kuopio at around 0900 and was home just before 1600. Thank you Finland. Next up Japan,Europe & America before christmas. We're ready, how about you ?


pics by Tommy

maanantai 8. lokakuuta 2012

Finnish Club Tour: Seinäjoki & Oulu, 5.10.-7.10.

Friday 5.10.- Rytmikorjaamo, Seinäjoki

According to my itenenary I was picked up from home at 10:15, picking up the guys, occasional food stops and some 3 hour nap were the main events during the ride down. Chilled in the hotel for some time with the guys before heading towards dinner & soundcheck, my favourite combo :-) 
I don't remember how many times we've played here but it's been a couple at least. Pretty cool venue, nice people and so on...we'll see what happends tonight, goddamn I can't wait to get onstage !!! A couple of our friends from Studio57 are coming down to the show as well, it'll be nice to catch up and have some....you guessed it: beers. Alrighty, friends arriving, some hours to showtime. I'll get back on this later....maybe tomorrow or whatever.

Kinda great night, the band clicked and the audience was responsive. A happy day at work so to say. The only minus is that I just got back to the hotel and it's 0230 and we have to get up and going at 0700. Doesn't sound too bad but I'm not feeling a slightest bit sleepy....shit. Good luck then and let's see what happends. Tomorrow Oulu, signing session at the Levykauppa ÄX and whatnot. It'll be great....I think.

btw we found out that our tape, marking how to play the Ameriikan Juna-DVD-menu song were still taped onto the piano backstage, so if you're ever there check it out !!!

Saturday 6.10.-Club Teatria, Oulu
What a nice little nap, wasn't it ? Be that as it may, we had some breakfast with marko before heading to the bus and sleeping most of the drive to Oulu.At the moment we just got in to our hotel and in a few hours it's time for the signing session.

...The signing session was smooth, like they have been on this whole tour. We went straight to the venue for soundcheck and dinner. I can't remember how many times we've played at Teatria but it's a very familiar place and naturally the show was really cool. During fullmoon my keyboard got caught in one of the stagelights and I tipped it over, trying to get free.....well sometimes these things happend, no biggie.
Afterwards we made a quick stop at the hotel before heading out for some drinks and dancing (haha, as if...)
This is our Bell of Doom, when you hear this sound
you'll know it's time to get the fuck up !!!!!!

Sunday 7.10. - Travel "day" Oulu-Kemi (meaning just 1,5h on the bus)

Got a bit drunk yesterday but was is shape for the 0900 breakfast and the 1000 lobby call for the ride home..... next Friday we'll have the last show of the Finnish Tour and the last show in Finland for quite some time. We're all really looking forward to get on with the "proper" touring, these weekend shows are somehow a bit confusing. It's a bit hard to get into any groove with just a few shows in a row and at home it's hard to get into any decent rythm in just a couple of days. Blah blah, as said, one more and then we'll go and play for everybody else :-)


pics by Tommy & Henkka

keskiviikko 3. lokakuuta 2012

Finnish Club Tour: Helsinki,Tampere & Lahti 24.9.-30.9.

Monday 24.9. Travel Day, Kemi-Helsinki
...just jumped on the train in the evening for an overnight run down to Helsinki. Marko
joined me from Oulu. Pretty uneventful ride since we slept most of it.

Tuesday 25.9. Tavastia, Helsinki
We go lucky with the hotel and could check in just before 10 in the morning. Most of the day was spent sleeping and watching movies. We did a signing session at the Levykauppa ÄX in the afternoon and before long it was time to do the show. The acoustic thing is starting to work better and better by the night but during the last song Tony cracked me up and I spent the rest of the song trying not to laugh the whole time. Well, we're a bunch of clowns anyway.  Since we were going to have an early show the next day we headed straight to the hotel after the show.

Wednesday 26.9. Tavastia, Helsinki
Went to the gym with Tony and Marko in the afternoon, other than that I pretty much stayed in my room and rested. The show was an all-ages thing and started already at 1900. It's still a bit weird to play that early in a club but somehow we got ourselves going and in retrospect I think that this was the best of the three Tavastia shows as far as the band playing tight and everything running smoothly. Somehow we managed to take a detour via the Bäkkäri bar before the hotel, which might not have been the best idea. 

Thursday 27.9. Tavastia, Helsinki
Since we had a late show, I could sleep most of the day and thus get rested and ready. Our manager caught us off guard by not telling us that we were going to get our gold-albums for Stones Grow Her Name during the show. We had a business meeting in the afternoon but he didn't say anything about it then so....just as we were starting Shitload of Money, the stage was invaded with people that had worked on the album and we were given our gold-albums. Lots of pictures were taken and it took a while before we got to continue the show. Afterwards we got champagne and of course got detoured to the Bäkkäri bar again and this time it was definately not a good idea...or was it ? Can't remember. Anyways we spotted Neumann and Tuksu two finnish celebrities, famous for very different reasons though.
Welcome back to Tampere, I give you the 
judgemental lamb....with Elias of course..

Friday 28.9. Pakkahuone, Tampere
What a horrible hangover all day....I guess we're not 20 anymore :-) Anyways, in the evening when it was time to get onstage I was already feeling pretty close to normal. Sturm und Drang was our support band for tonight (haven't had openers before this on the tour), I managed to catch a few of their last songs. Since this is Elias hometown it's always kinda special to play here. That and the amazing crowd who definately were out to have a good time. Btw almost forgot that we had a signing session again at Levykauppa ÄX, it went smoothly so nothing special about it. Went straight to the hotel after the show since we had one more show on this part before taking a few days off.

Signing session @ Levykauppa Äx in Tampere.

Saturday 29.9. Sibeliustalo, Lahti
Woke up in time for breakfast for the first time this week :-) , A short drive later we're in Lahti. The venue today is a concert hall, meaning numbered seating and balconies and whanot.....and of course an early show (1900). The backstage is as you can expect with separate rooms for all the bandmembers and mine and Tonys even had pianos in them in addition to the private shower and beds....unbeliavable. Well, being that all the circumstances were excellent, we of course had to work our asses off during the show to get the crowd into it. I guess most of them were standing by the end of the show but it took us a while to get there.

Properly marked private dressingrooms
quite a bit different from your basic backstage

Afterwards we went to the sauna upstairs, had some food and drinks and packed ourselves into the bus. Some 600+km later I get dropped off at home, just in time for breakfast....for the second time this week.

Some crazy fans or something that joined us on
the bus from Lahti and back home...very weird guys.


Pics by Tommy

Finnish Club Tour: Jyväskylä, Savonlinna & Turku 20.9.-23.9.

Thursday 20.9. - Lutakko, Jyväskylä
We start the fall touring in Lutakko, I just counted and this is the bands 9:th time playing here so you can say we're quite familiar with the venue. We have some new songs in the setlist and we're also doing a signing session during the day at Levykauppa ÄX so there'll be plenty of stuff going on today. We'll see how long it takes to get into the touring groove....the show was a bit on the shaky side, at least from my point of view...I doubt anybody noticed though.. This was the only show on the Finnish tour that we didn't do the acoustic thing...why ? The stage was too small for that and a couple of technical issues played their part as well. We played Breathing and Last amazing grays instead which you probably won't hear on the other shows. Left for the hotel about an hour after the show and spent the night watching movies and relaxing.

Friday 21.9. Savonlinnasali, Savonlinna

Backstage in Savonlinna....

Some hours in the bus and it's time for Savonlinna for the first time for us (as far as I remember). The venue is a concert hall more suitable for classical music than rock'n'roll but that doesn't stop us. The showtime is already at 1900 so there wasn't much time to do anything except the usual soundcheck/dinner/getting ready for the show. Afterwards we hit the local pub for some drinks and pool. Btw,this was the first time on this tour that we did the acoustic thing and the plan is to do it on the rest of the Finnish shows as well as on the European Tour. The songs might change but at the moment we're doing Tallulah, Dead Skin and Wanted. In addition to the new songs we introduced in the setlist during the summer we're also playing The Gun and The Day as part of the set. These things might change and you never know what will happend but at least our aim is to keep this setlist for the fall and then check it again in January and see what we come up with for the spring season.

Walking from the hotel to the bar :-)

Saturday 22.9. Logomo, Turku

Overslept again, shit. Anyways we got kicked out of bed and headed towards Turku. A nice little 500km morning drive. As we were in a hurry we went straight to the venue instead of going to the hotel. About an hour later we were picked up for our signing session at the local Levykauppa ÄX. Again everything went really smooth and we signed a whole bunch of stuff, took some pictures and chatted a bit with the people.Back at the venue we did our soundcheck and had dinner (stop me when this starts to sound familiar, ok ?)... and then it was time for me & Marko to get our hair cut :-)
The show had a couple of memorable moments like when we stopped to play Tallulah and the crowd kept on singing it....another thing happened during Wanted that led me & Tony to burst into laughter during the latter parts of the song, making it hard to perform it correctly. Well, we'll try to do it with a straight face next time....I think it's important not to take everything so fucking seriously all the time....relax goddamit !!! Met up with some relatives after the show and took a quick few drinks at the bar across the street from the hotel before heading to bed in order to wake up on time to catch the train up north in the morning.

Sunday 23.9.  Travel day Turku- Kemi
There's something going on with the universe, trying to prevent Marko & I to wake up in the morning, I have no clue what it is but I'm started to get convinced that there are some dark forces operating. You might think that's funny....well go ahead and laugh out loud but this next thing I'm about to reveal might make you a believer. Here's what happened:

In order to be sure that we we'll wake up on time I did the following preparations:
-set the alarm on my phone to 0555
-asked the hotel to have the wake-up thing set up at 0600
-told the receptionist to call me at my room at 0605
-reminded Marko to set his phone alarm on
-agreed that our mixing guy Mikko who also was going to come to the train 
would call me around 0630 ...we would then meet in the lobby and take a cab
to the trainstation and catch the train leaving at 0700

I know these measures might sound a bit too much but here's what happened. I woke up at 0645, I didn't hear mine or Markos phone go off. The TV-alarm thing that the hotel had set up was not making a sound. The receptionist didn't call. (I think somehow he was trying to wake up the wrong room). Anyway I throw my stuff in my bag, run downstairs and ask for a cab. While I'm waiting I call Mikko up, he's a bit surprised since according to his phone the time is 0550. (later it turns out that his phone had decided to put him on Istanbul time for some unknown reason). At 0655 I get the cab, no Marko in sight, I just make a run for it and made it to the train. Normally it wouldn't really matter if we're a bit late and of course I would never run out on any of the guys like that but it just so happends that my daughter has her birthdayparty today and I want to make it back home in time. So, tomorrow night I jump back on the train with Marko and we head for Helsinki and the shows at Tavastia. We'll see about how the dark forces will operate next week but I'm prepared to take them on and I'll be taking some old school waking up devices with me in order to win this battle.


pics by Tommy

keskiviikko 5. syyskuuta 2012

The "Holiday" Sessions 20.8.-23.8.

Hola !
You didn't really think that we have 5 weeks off between the last summer festival and the first club show in Finland, did you ? We did had a week off and then met up to rehearse some stuff for a couple of days. We managed to get 4 songs together and during the next two days we went to the Tico-Tico studio in Kemi and had a hilarious recording session. What we recorded and how will be revealed during this fall.  The next couple of weeks will be spent fixing equipment, rehearsing some new songs and trying to get the show together for the fall tours. We'll change the setlist a bit from the summer and try to throw in some surprise-things as well (of course it will only be a surprise for the first show before it's all over the internet :-) ). As far as the schedule goes we will play 11 shows in Finland, then we'll do the Loud Park festival in Japan before heading out to Europe for the whole month of November and 20 shows there. We still have one more trip before Christmas after the European Tour , it will be revealed next weekend..if I'm not completely wrong.

Next spring there will be a shitload of tours as well, we'll hit most of the places we don't have the time to cover during this busy fall. So folks, keep your thumbs up and chill, sooner or later we'll be playing somewhere near you.....at least that's the plan.


Pics by Tommy

tiistai 14. elokuuta 2012

Kerubi, Joensuu & Jurassic Rock, Mikkeli, Finland 10-12.8.

Friday 10.8.- Kerubi, Joensuu
The last trip for this summer, it actually already feels like fall but what the hell. Entering the bus at around 10
in the morning and starting to pick up the rest of the pack....nothing new here.Some 500km, a foodstop and some cigarette breaks later we arrive in Joensuu (or Joe's mouth, as it's translated in the Lonely Planet Guide....well maybe not..). This remainds me of a couple of hitch-hikers we picked up somewhere in Finland like almost 10 years ago or something. They had this travelguide-whatever to Finland with them and of course we had to check out our respective hometowns at the time and what it said about them. About Kemi there was something like: Small Industry town by the sea, nothing to see there and if possible please skip it....my laughter ended when it said something pretty similar about my hometown back then, Kokkola. Their book may have been right but what the hell, it went out the window anyway....in conclusion, don't believe anything you read.
                                          This is what our techs do in the bus. What ???

...back to the task at had: 
Hotel arrival, afternoon nap...you know the basic drill. When I went to the venue everything was as I remembered, totally excellent food, really friendly staff...I mean this place is really great. We worked up a good sweat for about 90min and the sold out crowd seemed to be really into it so, allez gut as they say.
After the show we had a couple of drinks (why does this sound soo familiar) and I really enjoyed watching Marko and Elias sign a whole bunch of autograph-cards. (I did my part during the busride :-) ). We also met Samuli from our webshop and talked about some future merch-ideas....it'll be great !!.

Saturday 11.8. - Jurassic Rock, Mikkeli
I didn't really have it in me to go for breakfast when I woke up but Marko made me do it. Thanks man it was
totally worth it. Jumped on the bus at noon and headed for Jurassic Rock in Mikkeli. Some hours later we check in to the hotel and take a nap. Waking up just before 1800, I was starting to feel a fever rising, what the hell, I was just sick for a couple of days some weeks ago, what is this shit ? Anyways we headed off to the festival site to get something to eat. Not to put anyone down but this was the worst dinner this summer. The backstage snacks and drinks were however really good so no harm done. By the time we went on stage the temperature was around 5 degrees celsius, which is not that cold, except for when you try to execute fast passages on your instrument :-). We all managed to survive and next time I'll be sure to always have a long-sleeved shirt as backup....just in case. After the show there was some warm chicken-soup waiting for us backstage, this again tasted bloody amazing !!!! Thanks a lot !!. About 30min after the show we had a sauna ready as well and it was time to start celebrating the end of the summershows. From the sauna we went to the hotel, just got get rid of our bags before we headed across the street to a bar where a cover band (which appeareantly were Elias buddies) rocked out. Enjoyed the music and overall noise.....eventually we all faded into our beds. This summer went by really fast, and it was quite easy...the schedule was very light and everyone in a good mood....during the fall we have a lot of work so it's nice to have a couple of weeks off before we start the rehearsals for the fall tours.
                                          The summer boys, new supergroup !!!!

Sunday 12.8. - Travel Day (Mikkeli-Kemi)
The sauna & drinks didn't appeareantly help me get better so I slept the whole way home, Got off the bus
just after 1700 and was back to sleep some 3 hours later :-) Next up is the Finnish club tour. See ya.


Pics by Tommy

maanantai 6. elokuuta 2012

Kokkola Rock & Sotkamon Syke, Finland, 3-5.8.

Friday 3.8. - Kokkola Rock
Got picked up around 1430 in the afternoon to head out to the town that I grew up in. Some hours later we arrived in Kokkola and checked in to the hotel. Since our showtime was rather late (2345) I spent the evening at my friends house playing ps3 and catching up on things. Good times indeed. A bit later when I  went to the rainy festival area, I checked out Matti Nykänen's performance for a couple of songs. For those of you who don't know, he was the most successful ski-jumper ever....and after doing that he's been a tabloid hero in Finland. Divorces, fights, jail....he's pretty much done it all. Anyways, the show went ok, no big issues and we were all enjoying it. Personally it felt really special since this was the first time we played in my former hometown with SA....after all I've been in the band for almost 10 years now so it was not a moment too soon. Had a few drinks after the show and met up with some people, nothing major though.

This is Tommy's Corner before the show....

...and this is his corner the next morning. Go Bananas :-)

Saturday 4.8. - Sotkamon Syke
Breakfast at 10:30 and the straight to the bus. Spent the ride playing bass and fiddling with the computer. Quite boring actually. In Sotkamo we went to the hotel and I started watching the Olympics but passed out for a couple of hours. Later on I met up with a friend of mine and we checked out Battle Beast together. In fact I used to be in a band with Nitte the singer like 5000 years ago or something, playing Deep Purple and Whitesnake. I enjoyed the show and then it was time to get ready for ours, listened to Finntroll a bit while getting ready.Hell Yeah !!! Our own show went along just fine until the intro of Fullmoon where I somehow lost my train of thought completely and fucked it up. I realized that I dropped the ball when Tony started laughing. Well, we're not a fucking Ed Sullivan show so I just gave it another shot and we were back on track. Rock'n'roll baby !!!  We had the sauna at the hotel ready after the show (the gig started at midnight btw) so we had a late night Sauna before heading down to the bar, just in time to have one drink before the last call. I hate playing these great slots in the middle of the night but what can you do ? I think the last two summer shows have decent showtimes so I'll stop whining right now. At least about that.

                                          Somewhere in Sotkamo a dude is missing his pants....

Sunday 5.8. - Travel Day ( Sotkamo-Kemi)
Almost missed the bus, I pressed the snooze button on my phone one time too many. Once in the bus I slept the whole ride home....guess I'm getting old :-) Next up is Joensuu and Mikkeli and then we're done for the summer.