Sunday, February 16, 2014

SA:On the road:Finland 15th anniversary part 3 11.2.-16.2.2014

Wednesday 12.2.2014 Lutakko / Jyväskylä

Rolling Rolling Rawhide. Some of the shorted drives of this trek and after a stop at a truckstation
for coffee and cigarettes we finally get to Jyväskylä. The band headed out for dinner and when we got to the point where nobody was hungry anymore it was time to take a nap. Around 1800 we walked to the venue where our crew had set up the stuff for soundcheck. The only ”out of the routine”-thing today was a quick photoshoot at 1900 before the doors opened. A quick dinner at the venue and the I took a walk with our new drumtech Suikkari. I run out of deodorant so i needed to get some….which I managed to do. After that I tried to watch the Sweden-Czech Rep. icehockey game and actually was able to watch some bits of that before it was time for work ;-) Tonight was a really hot show (which I like) and some excited people enjoying or performance, so all was fine and dandy. Throw in a quick aftershow sauna with Elias and you have a happy dude. Ended the night with a couple of ciders in our room while watching the classic Dinner for One and Roadhouse. Easy going, for a reason that you’ll see below.

Thursday 13.2.2014 Kylpylähotelli Rauhanlahti / Kuopio

Was pretty tired when I woke up to the alarm clock at 0930, nevertheless Tommy joined me for breakfast and then, finally: Finland-Austria olympic ice hockey. Jiiihaaa. Of course we had to leave before the end of the game but I think it ended 8-4 to Finland. Another short (around 2h) busride later we arrived in Kuopio.Tonight we’re playing in a spa/hotel so this might be interesting. I plan on catching some Ice Hockey games during the day and early evening. We’re gonna start to play very late I think it was around 2230. I’ll let you know how this works out, now it’s time to do some e-mail interviews before we arrive in Kuopio.
Watched the Slovakia-USA and Canada-Norway hockey games, took a nap, some lunch and dinner later on, how was your day ? We played at the hotel night club which was a bit interesting, having to walk through the audience to get on and off stage etc. but it was entertaining that’s for sure. Midway through the set some old timer started to yell out his lifestory which was really weird, he even wanted to tell his story in Tony’s microphone when given the chance but just in case you get some ideas: Our shows are not open mic or amateur hour even if we sometimes play in nightclubs. What an idiot. Other than that the fans seemed to enjoy the show and everything went well. Our backstage was in one of the conference rooms downstairs so naturally we ended the night with evening drinks, watching crap on youtube on the big screen that was featured in the room.

Friday 14.2.2014 Rytmikorjaamo / Seinäjoki

Up at 0930 and the bus started moving towards Seinäjoki @ 1000. Some coffe & cigarette breaks later we got there and as usual it was straight to the hotel for the band. I had a really good nap on the bus so it was easy to just focus on hockey and dinner. Punky our trusty Production Manager / Light designer, hooked up the big screen in the dressing room so we could enjoy our great hockey team beating Norway. During the show my M3 melted down for awhile, as I looked down on it the screen just showed some random commodore 64 graphics, luckily it worked after rebooting. This was during the end of W & R btw. I remember that we had some problems with the midi wireless here last time so it might be connected to that somehow since the M3 totally jammed and was non responsive to anything else than turning the power off. After the show I met my one of my sisters and her friends before it was time to go to the hotel.

Saturday 15.2.2014 Logomo / Turku

One of the better venues in Finland and  a really nice way to end this part of the 15th anniversary tour. Started from Seinäjoki at 0900..etc etc…arrived…since we were going to drive home after this we canceled most of the hotel rooms of course it helped knowing that the backstage here @ Logomo is great so no worries about not being able to rest or even worse, not being able to watch hockey. Spent the day doing basically nothing, but by this time you already know this is how I prefer to spend the showdays. Somehow playing for about 2 hours every night requires a bit of an effort so you need your rest to keep the energy level up. With the brutal schedule in Latin-America I know that’s gonna be one big sleepfest when we’re not on stage ;-) One of my other sisters showed up for the gig and my main concern was of course about the M3, but it worked fine so hopefully that’s the last we hear about that crap. My plan was to renew my setup after this world tour so I’d need the damn thing to work for another 2 years…please….pretty please ?

Aftershow we took some quick showers and packed ourselves into the bus and the long ride

…and finally in the morning we arrived back home, having dropped Elias  & Tero off
at Tampere (with the gear for the Latin-American Tour), and Pasi @ the trainstation in
Oulu. Now we have 2 weeks to enjoy what’s left of the Olympics and enjoy domestic life
in between interwievs before it’s time for the next adventure which will last almost 4 weeks
during which we’ll get to see 6 countries and the ever so lovely Frankfurt Airport ;-)

until then, 
I remain,


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Silent Voices: What the fuck is this ?

To shed some light for those of you who have checked out mine and Pasis other band Silent Voices
( and wonder whatta hell this is, here’s a brief subjective story about the band.
Enjoy, or Don’t ;- )

In the spring of 1995 I was repeatedly harrassed but this longhaired dude, which whom I played with
@ the rock school in Kokkola. Whenever I saw him drunk somewhere, he was going on about this band of theirs and how they needed me to play the keyboards etc. At some point when I actually saw him outside of the rock school, sober, I decided to put an end to it by letting him have his way and
just pay a visit to their rehersal place. It really backfired since the music they played was awesome
and I had to join the band. Timo Kauppinen (Pasi’s older brother) was the dude in question and appeareantly he’d applied the same sort of guerilla tactics on getting our drummer J-P to join. Effective dude, that’s all I can say.

The summer of 1995 was spent rehersing and writing stuff, for some reason we did write sheet music of all the songs (yeah, nerds, I know) and at some point we had over 40 tunes written out. To be honest, most of it was pure shit but you’ve gotta start somewhere, right. By the end of the summer we thought we where ready to record our first demo, so we did. Since we didn’t have a vocalist we recorded 4 instumental songs and were ready to take on the world. Unfortunately…or maybe it was fortunate, the world didn’t listen. Not the people and not any labels.  We did however find a great singer called Kaj or Kai, he was really into it and things started to look a bit more positive, however he disappeared at some point….and I mean literally we couldn’t find him anymore. He was from out of town so it wasn’t to hard for him to pull a Copperfield but he was never to be seen again. Not our choice.

Nevertheless we started playing some occasional pub gigs whenever we could find them and a few years later we recorded our second demo, an EP titled Nothing Lasts Forever. Yours truly did sing on that and still has a hard time listening to it.No regrets though…just shame ;-)

After a few more gigs in the Bar circuit, supporting Waltari in our hometown being the highlight, our next singer Michael Henneken appeared. Killer voice and an attiude to move mountains. Got him into the studio asap and recorded and released the EP Memory and the Frame, I think this was around 1998 or something. We got to play some festivals, Nummirock 1999 being the coolest one and continued to play for empty bars every now and then. We did some shows with another Finnish progmetal band Malpractise and as the years passed we finally got a deal and did our debut album Chapters of Tragedy (2002, Low Frequency Records). Life went on, we did some horrible videos, some ok ones…every single one of them on a 0 euro budget…got around to do our second album INFERNAL (2004, LFR). That one actually had a lot of bite to it. Fast tempos and we got Michael to sing his ass of by just shouting at him and being mean.It worked and I still like that album to this date.
More empty bar shows and our third album Building up the Apathy (2006,LFR) This was actually around the time that Silent Voices played their first shows without me and last ones so far. I was really busy touring with Sonata and I didn’t want to hold back the guys who really wanted to play shows (like any rock musicians do) so our good friend Jukka Hänninen (of Winterborn fame) filled in for me on a few shows…I think it was in 2006. It was a weird time in my life so I don’t remember it too well.

After Building up the Apathy we had some shows in France lined up but they fell through, which had nothing to do with us but the disappointment was the final straw for Michael who decided it was time to move on. By this time the band was more or less a hobby for everyone else, me filling up my time with Sonata, Pasi already had his studio and Timo and J-P and their own businesses to attend to. Everyone else were happy with the situation but for a dude with high  ambitions this was not the place to be in so….goodspeed dude. At this time our label also seized to exist, however our label dude Kasanen told us to make the next album and payed the bills since his belief was that good music shouldn’t be stopped. Holy shit, what kind of person does that ? There is still good things in life and keep the faith and all good love happiness and whatnot stuff to everyone, if this kind of action doesn’t make you believe that good things might happend then you’re doomed. Anyways I’ll take it a bit easier, but a huge thanks to mr.K.

Having said that, our 4th album proved to take a bit of time. Around 7 years in fact. Since nobody was pushing us, we just wrote and recorded stuff when we felt like it. Appeareantly it wasn’t too ofted but eventually we got the tracks down.We didn’t have a singer so we choose to just ask people to sing on the album. First we tagged our friend Teemu from Winterborn to do the demovocals to all the tracks with the promise of ”letting” him sing one song on the album. That’s how nice we are ;-) Next up, it took some time to get all the vocal stuff done but eventually we finished the album. Sending it out and waiting for a reply took a looong time and no one seemed to want it. Sounds familiar ? Eventually we hooked up with Miro a manager in the UK, taking care of Ripper Owens amongst others and he managed to get us a deal and to become the first manager of Silent Voices (after our first roadie/manager Hannu, Pasi and Timo’s cousin from next door who we wanted along but since he didn’t play anything he mainly wrecked things, drunk the booze, partied like hell and occasionally did carry some equipment or drive the van…ancient history anyway, this was in the ’90’s).

Just before the deal with Ulterium that Miro hooked up, Pasi decided that the album had to be mastered in NYC by Ted Jensen, so he swiped his visa and did it….and it turned out absolutely amazing. Now last summer we did our first shows outside of Finland. In May 2013 we did two club shows in the UK. More or less empty clubs but it was fun as hell and some of the few that showed up actually came for the band which was highly appreciated by us. Thanks guys ! Oh, the singer thing…yeah, we first asked Teemu to do the UK shows, that was the easy solution and we had so much fun and we’re so lazy that it was the easiest way to just make him join the band and voila, we have a singer. On the other hand, it was kind of an obvious choice, great voice, amazing work ethic and a friend from many years…what’s there not to like ?

The other trip we did last summer was to the Czech republic to play on Rockova Ostrava. The organization of the festival was a bit so and so but after a lot of hassle our slot was finally set between Kreator and Ripper Owens….perfect for an unknown band, and so in the evening we got to enjoy the biggest SV audience ever with a couple of thousand people wondering where these guys came for. By the end of the set most of the people seemed to actually enjoy our stuff (or at least that how I wanted to see it): An interesting trip and a bit hard, since I just played my last show of the tour (and last show with Marko) on the 15.8.2013 in France, flew to Helsinki the next day, changed gear and played in Ostrava on the 17.8….Since then Silent Voices have done….nothing !!! That’s not entirely true, Teemu did re-record a couple of old tracks from Infernal and Building up the Apathy. At the moment we’re planning to do a video at some point but now, with both me & Pasi in Sonata, I don’t know when we can do it….we’ll fit it somewhere, I’m sure. Until then Silent Voices takes it easy and hopefully we’ll be able to do some shows next summer.

…that’s about it, regarding to SV, now you know what’s going on and you can check us out at



SA:On the road: Finland 15th anniversary part 2 7.2.-11.2.2014

Friday 7.2.2014 Travel Night

Our dogs seems to go crazy when I leave late at night and they keep the rest of the family 
awake for half the night so I was more or less kicked out from home early in the evening. As
the local bar was my plan B, I was happy to get a hold of a friend of mine and I spent some 
hours at his house drinking beer and hanging out before I got a ride to the trainstation. The
basic drill, a nightcap in the restaurant car and then many blissful hours of sleep until the
0830 wake up call and the 0900 arrival in Helsinki.Easy…..for now.

Saturday 8.2.2014 Radio Rock Cruise / Helsinki-Tallinn-Helsinki

In Helsinki we had booked a day room to take showers and rest, yeah we do sleep ALL the time when we have the chance. Actually the most important thing on the road is always eat, sleep,shower and go to the toilet when you have a chance, you never know how long it will be before the next time.
Knowing that we had a 1 o’clock showtime (that would be in the middle of the night) also motivated us to try and rest as much as possible. I wonder who’s gonna be awake at that hour except for us and (hopefully) most of our crewguys. Since this is a festival of sorts we had to cut down our almost 2 hour set to just 75min…hopefully we cut the right songs. At around 1500 the bus picked us up from the hotel and then we boarded the ship, in the hotel we also had time to checkout our new music video of the wolves die young, it looks really fucking great !!! Can’t wait for you all to see it as well, don’t know when it will be out but it should be any day now. As soon as we got our ”rooms” it was time to rest some more and watch tv….how exciting ;-)

Sunday 9.2.2014 Surprise Birthday Party @ Tavastia

Had a few drinks to cure the hangover, watched some stand-up stuff and did some shopping at the tax-free shop. At 1600 the ship arrived in Helsinki, our bus dropped us off at the hotel and then after a quick change of clothes we headed to the legendary rock club Tavastia to participate in our friends surprise birthday party. We jumped on stage as well and played a My Land, Replica & Fullmoon. All kinds of crazy stuff took place but since it wasn’t our party I think it’s better to just shut up about any shananigans that occured, our boys did behave but some others…oh my…..

Monday 10.2.2014 Business-day @ the hotel in Helsinki

zzzzz, zzzzz, breakfast, zzzzz, zzzzz….and in the afternoon we went to our management office and signed around 500 singles for the webshop and did some other business things as well. Later back at the hotel Tony, Elias & I had a bunch of interviews to do via skype to Latin-America. Ended the quite productive ”office” day with a couple of drinks with our dear merchandise king Larry. Thanks for the headache dude !

Tuesday 11.2.2014 Sibeliustalo / Lahti

The final stretch of the 15th anniversary shows in Finland conveniently started in Lahti, which has the best backstage in the world !!! Mainly because of the sauna which we always enjoy straight after the show….that’s just so great I can’t even begin to find words for it….anyways we’re not there yet, got up just after 0800 in the morning, got some breakfast and jumped in the bus. A short drive later we were in Lahti and got some lunch at the venue right away. The day was spent chilling and enjoying some peace & quiet since we all had our own backstage rooms ;-) As usual when we play in concert halls it’s a bit of a workout to get the crowd going, and it was tonight as well but eventually we got it working. All in all a nice night and we’re now on our way again. At the moment we’re about to leave for Jyväskylä so I’ll be wrapping this up. Meanwhile check out our new video:



Monday, February 3, 2014

SA:On the road:Finland 15th anniversary part 1 28.1.-2.2.2014

Oooh shit, here we go again…great to be back btw. We decided to play some 
15th anniversary shows before the album was out and the Pariah’s Child World Tour
got started. The first part will consist of two short stints in Finland totalling 10 shows,
the second part will take place in Latin-America and we’re doing 15 shows there. How
fitting ;-)  Anyways, here’s how the the first part of the Finnish tour went. 4 shows, debuting
our new bass player Pasi, playing the first single off Pariah’s Child for the first time. We also
threw in a bunch of stuff from the past as well as the European bonus track from The Days of
Grays: In the Dark. I’m not sure wether I should post the setlist here, I think I’ll skip that since not
everyone wants to know in advance what they’re gonna hear. Sorry for the spoilers above.
Anyways enough of this an off we go:

Tuesday 28.1.2014 Full Production Rehersal @ The Circus / Helsinki

We wanted to have a rehersal with all the crew guys present and on stage
with lights and shit just to make sure the show was presentable. Last time we did this
rehersal thing at the same time with the videoshooting in Kemi, this time we rented the
venue for the first show one day earlier as well. The Kemi gang, me, Tony & Tommy took
the afternoon flight to Helsinki. At the venue you’re not supposed to make any noise before
1700 so there was no hurry for us to get there, the crew set up the gear, we did a short sound-check
around 1900 after which we run through the whole show. My new keyboard system that we figured out with Tero, was finally put to a test and it didn’t work. Appeareantly there was something wrong with the new MIDI merger that I got. Nevertheless, we got it working enough to play the show but our grand designs needs some re-thinking.I think this made Tero more upset than me anyway….poor guy. In the evening we had a few beers at the hotel and then it was time for bed.

Wednesday 29.1.2014 The Circus / Helsinki

Had to get up earlier than I wanted to ’cause I needed to go to the doctor to get some papers in order
to apply for a pyro-license. Basically they had to make sure I was sane enough to handle show-explosives and such. Run some errands after that and the afternoon was spent doing interviews with Tommy. There is such a huge excitement and a great deal of nervousness, at least for me. How will it feel ? Will everything work out fine ? What about the actual playing ? etc etc. ..and of course the introduction of Pasi to y’all, so let’s see how this one turned out. 
post show:
Pasi did a great job and overall I think this was a good first show for us all. Of course little things
happened here and there but as a whole, this is a good way to start out and it’ll only get better
from here on. Naturally we ended the night with some beers in our room but nothing too crazy,
I guess we’re gettin old…er… or something.

Thursday 30.1.2014 Tampere-talo / Tampere

Elias hometown, jiihaa, since yesterday went ok tonight is gonna be a more easygoing affair,
at least I hope so. Everyone was more or less nervous last night but most of that will be gone
today. Upon arrival in Tampere we went straight to the hotel for a short nap before it was time
for dinner and soundcheck. Tonight was an early show, already at 1900. My brother came to see
us so it was nice to hang out for a while….and we got the first technical shit for this tour, actually
it was my own fault, I forgot to re-program a knob on the shoulder keyboard so in the middle of
White Pearl, Black Oceans I got some unwanted pitch bends going on…and in the heat of the moment it took me awhile to get it working right…..(I figured it out the next day before soundcheck
as I was testing my gear to find the actual problem).

Friday 31.1.2014 Verkatehdas / Hämeenlinna

As always you get sick on tour, so far I’ve had a fever since Tuesday so it’s been a bit of a struggle. Last night I took some stronger pills for the night and slept very well, I probably sweated out most of the shit so tonight will be better than the first couple of shows. In the morning me & Punkki took a walk to get some paperwork filed and then it was time to drive to Hämeenlinna. At the hotel I found out that the restaurant was closed so I went to the venue with the crew to get some food. Which was
really excellent. As soon as Tero got my stuff set up I spent some time re-programmin the shoulder keyboard since it was causing some problems for me yesterday….nevertheless it’s ok now so we’re
back on track.(crossing fingers).

…nicely enough no technical problems today ;-) After the show we had some red wine and chilled out
before heading to the hotel. Got some Italian chocolate as a gift from the Kauppinen Mafia - fans. Thanks it was delicious !!

Saturday 1.2.2014 Kerubi / Joensuu

SOLD OUT. Need I say more ? Ok, I guess I do. First off was a 400km drive to Joensuu. We started at 10 in the morning and it went quite smoothly. Watched some VK goes wild videos on youtube during the ride, amazing stuff ;-) As always the food @ Kerubi really rocks, we signed some stuff for our webshop as well. I was feeling rather good but it was Pasi & Tony who were the next victims of the flu bug. We did however pull off the show and everyone seemed satisfied.

Sunday 2.2.2014

Even though I love Joensuu, it’s really a pain in the ass to get home from there. This time the smartest/easiest play was to ride with the bus to Helsinki and then Fly home. So most of the day
in the bus and then a 1 hour flight home. Basic traveling stuff, finishing up this blogpost and so on.

The next trek will be 6 shows in 9 days, including the infamous Radio Rock Cruise as well as some additional weirdness. Until then, I will rest….or work on something else…whatever…