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 was really shit :-) ...unlike the audience in Barcelona who kept chanting for us to come back, long after the show was'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 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 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 ( 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. 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 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 the charts, so to speak.