Tuesday, December 6, 2016

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: North-America 2016 part 2

Still alive !!
Some more days has passed and everyone is still alive and in good spirits. We still have a bit over a week to go before heading home for christmas. The rest of the Canadian part went really well after Calgary. We had an off-day in Kamloops and were invited to a really nice dinner at some relatives house. It was really nice to spend some hours away from the bus. After that we ended the Canadian part in Vancouver before heading back to the US. In Portland most of the band went to the apple store to check out some stuff. Later on I met up with some relatives of mine for a nice dinner before the show. Once we got down to San Fransisco a friend of ours had arranged tickets to visit Alcatraz. What an amazing experience that was, really nice to spend some hours there during the day….and happy to be able to leave as well ;-) 

In Anaheim my wireless midi was not working properly so I had to switch to wire which sucked since we had a big stage and it would have been great to run around. The next day in Tempe I managed to somehow open the batterycase at the back of the keytar during Abandoned so that caused some hassle, luckily it was only for half a song.
Tonight we’re in El Paso, Texas. Pasi, Tommy & I went out for burgers and a short walk and we just got back. In a few minutes we’ll do the soundcheck. After tonight we still have 8 more shows to go. I’ll post some pics when I get around to it….as usual.

Here are the shows we did since Calgary:

26.11. Edmonton, Canada
28.11. Vancouver, Canada
29.11. Seattle, USA
30.11. Portland, USA
2.12. San Fransisco
3.12. San Diego, USA
4.12. Anaheim, USA
5.12. Tempe, USA

…and last but not least, Have a great Independence Day Finland !!



Friday, November 25, 2016

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: North-America 2016 part 1

Heading out again !!

Allrighty then, we’ve been out for 3 weeks now and I’ve been too lazy to jot down some lines so let’s see what I can remember:

On the 4th of November we did the usual drill: Flying to Helsinki, having some beers and sleeping at the Aiport Hilton in order to catch the morning flight towards the USA.
This time around we managed to check in all our gear and stuff in the evening so the morning was a lot easier than usual. We flew to Charlotte via London, UK so that took awhile. The travel was mainly uneventful with the usual crap of watching movies and trying to sleep as much as possible. Well upon arrival we went to watch Ghost perform at a club nearby in order to try to stay awake as long as possible and avoid the jetlag or at least minimize it. We did stay up but it didn’t really help, got up early in the morning and had breakfast. The next day we had totally off, since Hillary Clinton “stole” our venue forcing us to cancel the show. That was a major bummer. On the 7th of November we played our first show in Silver Springs….and we were officially on our way. A couple of the first shows on this tour were combined with the Dark Tranquillity one so there was a lot of bands on those nights. On the 8th we played in Clifton Park and some people showed up even though I think most were at home following the Presidential Election. We did also check it  out, interesting times I must say. From there on it’s been the basic stuff, playing shows, trying to entertain ourselves during off-days and shopping at Wallmart. Some of us have been watching a lot of hockey since back home it’s on in the middle of the night. So far we’ve played the following shows:

7th, Silver Springs, USA
8th, Clifton Park, USA
9th, Philadelphia, USA
11th, New Jersey, USA
12th, Hartford, USA
13th, Montreal, Canada
14th, Ottawa, Canada
16th, Kitchener, Canada
17th, Columbus, USA
18th, Westland, USA
19th, Pittsburgh, USA
21th, Milwaukee, USA
22th, Minneapolis, USA
24th, Regina, Canada

Tonight we’re in Calgary and tomorrow in Edmonton. So far it’s been going good, somehow the airport people managed to break the last 3 keys of my Kronos so I had to do some programming to get around that since so far we hadn’t have the time or energy to open up the damn thing with Tero and check if we can fix the problem. Apart from that our gear is mostly working so no big concerns here. I’m thinking that I could sell one of my keytars during these last shows…not sure though, whadda think ?

We’ve been getting to know our support bands a bit as well, mostly hanging out with our Finnish friends from Omnium Gatherum…a great bunch with the same sense of humor as we have.

Anyways, the Jets-Predators will be on in a few minutes so I’ll have to check that out. I drop some more lines when I get around to it…as well as pics at some point.

cheers & see you at the shows !!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Pics from Europe 2016

Here are some random pics from the European Tour 2016, enjoy:

Setting up the first show in Norway....

...checking the smoke...

...and playing in front of a Sold Out crowd !!

Backstage, somewhere...I don't even know why we took this pic ;-)

Our home for this tour !! Same bus as we had on the Ecliptica over Europe tour...

Healthy snacks backstage.

A nice setup for the dinner somewhere in Sweden. Good food as well.

Elias rockin' out backstage !

Smoking booth backstage in Tilburg.

...same place...

...and we even got a cake to celebrate the Sold Out show !!

Another backstage in Holland, the view from the balcony.

Hanging out with our friend Kristian, who took some awesome pics
from our shows, once again.

This is how I connect my keyboards, or actually Tero does since I'm not allowed
to mess with the system.

Outside of the backstage in Mannheim, cool wall !

Merchbooth pic 1

Merchboot pic 2 , don't ask where these were since I have no clue.

Took a pic from the Eiffel Tower during my off-day in Paris...

...found this painting in a Museum...

...fooled around outside...

....and another pic from the Tower ;-)

Pekka being foggy, and blurry as well...

The setlist in the beginning of the tour, sorry if I spoiled it for someone.

Fooling around on the ship on our way to London...

The cliffs of Dover, I suppose...

....more posing...

...and a nice night-shot to end these pics.

As usual I've been quite lazy taking pics so these are just random shots from here and there. Maybe I get a bit more active on the North-American Tour....but probably not. See you in a bit !!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Europe 2016

Hi There,
since I was to lazy to write on a day to day basis on this tour, I’ll have to pick up the pieces and try to remember at least something ;-) I try to be more, on it during the US tour…but let’s see…I guess old age is kicking in…haha…nevertheless, let’s see what I can remember:

We left from home on the 6th of October, despite the afternoon flight from Kemi we didn’t have to stay the night in Helsinki but continued straight to Oslo, Norway,  where we got ourselves and our stuff on the bus and headed towards Trondheim and our first show of the tour, actually the first two shows: 7.10. & 8.10. in Trondheim and Borlänge, Sweden were sold out so it was a very nice way to start the tour. As always it’s really exciting to start a new tour with lots of new songs in the setlist but thanks to the tour rehersals the beginning was really kinda smooth. After our next show 9.10. in Huskvarna we headed to Copenhagen, Denmark for our first off-day. It was pretty much the usual, hanging around and going to eat and drink, as well as trying to beat the support band guys at NHL hockey. On this tour we were sharing a but with our friends from Sweden: Twilight Force which was of course a lot of fun. Anyways, after the off-day we played in Copenhage on 11.10. and from there it was 12.10. Hamburg, Germany and 2 shows in Holland: 13.10. Haarlem and 14.10. Tilburg, which was Sold Out no.3 on this tour. So far so good. At some point we dropped a couple of songs from the setlist, let’s see if they make a comeback, as always our setlists seems to have a life of their own to some extent even if we try to keep it static sometimes.

After the Sold Out show in Tilburg, we had to get up in the middle of the night to get out from the bus when we crossed over from Calais, France to Dover, UK. A few hours of sleep on the bus and then it was time to get dropped off at the 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. I really don’t like the drop and go’s , those are the ones where the bus can’t park close to the venue so it has to go away. That always means that we don’t have a chance to go and take a nap in the bus if we’re tired…and when you have to cut your sleep into pieces like last night (getting off the bus at the ferry)…that sucks. Well, whiny whiny…and on with it. The show in London on 15.10. was allright and then it was time to do the whole ferry-thing again….and once in Paris we had another drop-off ;-) . We have played the Machine du Moulin Rouge before but I think it was called La Locomotive at that time, the crowd was really loud and we sold the place out so it was a great night. For the off-day on the 17.10. the bus picked up the rest of the guys and headed for Strasbourg. I stayed behind in Paris with my gf but that’s a whole other story. On the Strasbourg showday I took the TGV from Paris and arrived there a bit before soundcheck.The show on the 18.10. there and the next day in Pratteln went on without any troubles. In Alcatraz, Milano on the 20.10.  we had a signing session at a record store during the day, the crowd was as always, loud and after midnight I could start to celebrate by birthday a little bit. In Mannheim on the 21.10. we continued the celebration after our show. Our TM Merle had arranged to get a cake and the guys got me a nice little gift that you’ve probably seen on instagram already. We didn’t really go that crazy since we had the last show of this tour coming up in Zeche, Bocum the next day. As I remembered the food was excellent there and of course it was nice to end the tour with another Sold out show. We pranked each other a bit with Twilight Force since it was the last show of the tour, if you find some pics you’ll get it, i’m not gonna try to explain it in words…I simply just can’t…

On the 23.10. we were dropped off at the airport in Dusseldorf, Germany to fly home. This was a nice little run to start The 9th Hour World Tour which I have a feeling, will be a long one. Now next up is some time back home before we head out again in little over a week. Keep your thumbs up that we get our equipment back in time and our visas to the US delivered without a hitch. I’ll post some pics when I get around to it….as usual.

Thank you all for a great bunch of shows !! It was fun, we’ll do it again in the spring of 2017 !!



Thursday, September 29, 2016

SA:The “Summer” part 4: September

2.9. Friday - Travel Day

Allrighty folks, we’ve been here before, and now for the last time this summer:
We flew to Helsinki and went to the Hilton Airport to spend the night, as we
always seem to do.

3.9. Saturday - Travel / Hell Rock, Spain

This time around we actually got to sleep until 0530 which sometimes is a luxury
during these festival runs. A flight to Munich and then onwards to Madrid and we were
ready for a new adventure. Took a van ride to Ciudad Real, I think it was called. A small 
festival in the middle of nowhere. Our “hotel “  this night was a villa-type of thing which was really nice. We went to the festival real quick to get some dinner and then drove back to the villa for a couple of hours of sleep, since the show tonight was gonna be
rather late. Just before midnight it was back at the festival and some 25min late (because of technical reasons) we got to start the show at 00:25… about 80min later the show was over and it was time to pack it in. Well back at the villa we had some showers as well as some drinks and celebrated the end of the summer. It was however  a rather lame party by our standards, due to the fact that we had to get up again at 0530. Somehow I didn’t manage to get to sleep but didn’t worry too much about it since
I knew I could sleep in the car on the way back.

4.9. Sunday - Promo Day / Madrid

….Most of us slept in the van to the airport and at around 08 we were there. The thing now was that the rest of the guys went home and Tony & I were left behind for a week of promotion-stuff. Namely interviews. Since we knew which hotel we should go to, we felt a bit adventurous and took the metro instead of the obvious choice of getting a cab.
…We didn’t get lost and soon found ourselves in the hotel lobby. The check in wasn’t however until 1400 so we spent around 4 hours just trying to stay awake and waiting for the room. Once we got our rooms we went to bed….there was a slight mishap since Tony’s room was for some reason booked under Tommy’s name so we did have a really hard time finding it…..well…shit happens, I guess. Some hours later it was time to get
up and start with the interviews. We were supposed to have around 2,5 hours of inties but somehow ended up doing 4,5 hours…when we were done we met up with the Epica guys for some food and drinks which were very good indeed. Some time later it was time to go to bed, quite exhausted.

5.9. Monday - Promo Day, Madrid & Travel

The day was spent doing interviews at the hotel and then going to a couple of radio stations as well…straight from the last intie we headed towards the airport at around 1800 to board our flight towards Paris…a few hours later we were being picked up at the Charles the Gaulle - airport and headed towards the hotel and some sleep.

6.9. Tuesday - Promo Day, Paris & Travel

The thing on these promo-trips is like it’s somehow feels like Groundhog day, first you talk to people for 6-8 hours and then you go to the airport and fly somewhere, arrive in the middle of the night to be there for the same thing the next day. The scenery changes but there’s no chance to see much more than the hotel and the way to and back from the aiport. Anyways, did interviews the whole day at the hotel and then headed for the airport and  Milan….got picked up in Milan and went to the hotel to get some sleep. I knew that the Epica guys where there as well so I called Marc but since they were at a different hotel and I felt really tired (for a change ;-) ) we decided to leave the evening beers for another day. Which was a good decision.

7.9. Wednesday - Promo Day, Milan & Travel

More of the same ;-) The exception here was that our lunch at the hotel wins the “the best food of this trip “ - award. We also had a meet and greet and got some gifts as well as got to sign a bunch of stuff. Again the day ended around 1800 with a ride to the airport, two flights, first to Copenhagen and then to Stockholm. Upon arrival we did only have the hotel adress but no other info so we took a cab there only to find out that the hotel was fully booked and there was no rooms for us….interesting. Anyways at 0130 in the morning we didn’t have the stamina to start to figure out what was wrong so we just took a cab to another hotel and went to bed. Let’s see what tomorrow will bring.

8.9. Thursday - Promo Day, Stockholm & Travel

Had a nice breakfast and no rush ;-) Eventually we found out that there had been some miscommunication and our promo stuff here were scheduled for Friday,  our local rep
was very quick in rearranging some stuff and we managed to make around 5 hours of work before it was time to head towards the airport and the regular evening flight,
this time towards Helsinki and the last day of the promo-tour. Just to let you know, these are not the only inties we’ll do, but the rest of the stuff will be done via e-mail, skype and phone from the comfort of our own home. I do however prefer to speak with people in person, so this has been a nice thing to do….more stuff will be done during the tours so be sure to keep your eyes open online if you’re interested in hearing us blabbering about our new album and touring and other stuff.

9.9. Friday - Promo Day, Helsinki & Travel

The last day of this promo tour started a bit later, around 1130 which was nice of course so we could finally get some more sleep ;-) Spent the day at some radio stations and doing some extra interviews as well. Afterwards we met up with Masi before it was time to head towards the airport and fly home. All in all it was a nice trip and I think we had a whole bunch of great interviews on the way. On a personal note though: I think it’s a lot more exhausting than doing the touring stuff, plus of course, on tour we get to do the main thing which is playing our music. 

26.9. Monday - Tour Rehersals

Sometimes I wonder who makes up these crazy schedules, sometimes the blame is to
be found in the mirror though….anyways we got on the train at 0700 in the morning and headed for Tampere and a couple of days of rehersals. Today was a “band” day, meaning we only checked through the new stuff as well as the older songs we’re bringing back amongst ourselves with only Tero from the crew being present. Tuesday and Wednesday will be full rehersals with the whole crew, and we’ll more or less run through the show as a whole….or at least that’s the plan. One of the songs that we will play on this upcoming tour…that I can reveal, since Tony & I already gave it away at some interviews is: The power of one. We played it in Kemi this summer and since it worked quite well and people seemed to enjoy it very much, it’s back on !!! As for the other older stuff I better keep my mouth shut….This time around we’ve built a setlist that has some changing parts in it but the core will remain the same for this autumn, unless we get bored, which happens from time to time…let’s see how this turns out, at the moment it feels very interesting, to say the least.

Nevertheless, we got to Tampere around 1300 and headed for the hotel and lunch before gathering at the rehersal facilites and starting to work….it took us some hours to set everything up and at some point we even got around to actually play. We did run through all the stuff we haven’t played in years except for 2 songs. We’ll check them tomorrow. Anyway, sometime after 22 we were done, got some pizza somewhere and headed for the hotel and sleep.

27.9. Tuesday- Tour Rehersals
Got up and had breakfast around 10 but didn’t go to the rehersal place until just after noon. Our crew needed some hours in the morning to set up the rest of the stuff that was needed to for the complete stagesetup. The afternoon was spent playing through the setlist…which we realized didn’t quite work so we changed it around a bit. We ended the day with some snacks and beers before heading to bed.

28.9. Wednesday - Tour Rehersals
Went to rehearsals after breakfast and run through the re-adjusted setlist. This time it worked ;-) Let’s see how things progress but I think we pretty much figured out how these autumn shows will be. At the moment around 2/3 of the setlist are songs that we haven’t played before or in the last 9-14 years, so it sure will be something different from the last world tour. Anyways, we spent the evening at our drumtech Pekka’s house waiting for the train and playing NHL13. The next morning we were back home to enjoy the last week before the tour starts.

Allrighty then, we’re ready for the tour, hope you are too !! Let’s see what happens, see you in a few days, Trondheim: You’re up first !!!



Friday, September 2, 2016

SA: Picture update from the Summer Festivals 2016

Random pics with random stuff...enjoy ;-)

@the Steve Vai show, my first ever...and one of the shittiest loudest sounds
I've ever heard...the band was of course excellent.

Backstage view in Loreley...

...more of the same.

Driving, somewhere in Germany, I suppose.

Never noticed that the floor @Hilton has a definite Minecraft-vibe to it.

Driving...in Germany I think.

Still the same...or maybe somewhere else, not in Finland though.

Spent a few days in Budapest with my gf, doing tourist stuff, 

...still in Bp..

....and still...

...this time on a river boat...

...and one more ;-)

The view at Pyhätunturi, where we played an acoustic show in August.

Some pics from the video-shoot for the 2nd single....

...which will be out before the end of September....I think...
Shh, don't tell anyone, ok ?

Flying to Geneva, just about to land.

Pic from the Hotelroom part 39284 or something.

...and the most expensive burger this summer, almost 30e . It was however really

That's all I got, I realized I should maybe take more pics of people and not just buildings,landscapes 
and stupid airplane pics. Is there something in particular you'd like me to shoot ? Let me know in the comment section and I'll try my best to do it....and NO I won't take any nude pics of anyone..


Sunday, August 28, 2016

SA:The Summer part 3: August

5.8. Friday - Pyhä Unplugged, Pyhätunturi, Finland

I went to the woods in Pyhä with my gf, already on wednesday to hang out at my friends cottage and have some R & R. On Friday the rest of the guys arrived. I reckon you saw some pics on FB or Instagram, the place called Aittakuru was probably the most special “venue” we’ve ever played. The show itself went really well but it was a surreal experience indeed. Afterwards we went to the hotel where there was a jam going on. Me, Masi, Ari Koivunen & Erkka Korhonen joined the house drummer for an
epic version of (don’t blame me here) Smoke on the water….well at least I got to play a
real hammond. The night didn’t do on too long after that since we had a 4 hour drive the next day.

6.8. Saturday - Satama Open Air, Kemi, Finland

Spent the afternoon driving and when I got home it was time for a nap. Satama Open Air in our hometown originally started as Sonata Arctica Open Air back in 2006, we did another festival some years later called Sonata Arctica Open Air 2 from which a few songs can be seen on the Live in Finland - DVD as bonus material. Nevertheless, the festival now turned 10 years and we were there to headline Saturday and end the festival. One specialty that we did was that we let the fans vote on songs they wanted us to play. A lot of stuff was the basic Fullmoon, Tallulah, Don’t say a word etc etc but a couple of surpises made the top 10. We played the Misery which we haven’t played in a couple of year….and then The Power of One…we opened the show with that and a lot of people seemed to stunned with a WTF? look on their faces…well you get what you ask for…however I suspect that a lot of the people that voted weren’t there so…
..anyways, hometown shows are always a bit special and we had a really good time.
Next up is re-uniting with our friends from Nightwish, supporting them on their only
Finnish show this summer….it’ll be awesome.

20.8. Saturday - Himos, Jämsä, Finland

Started the morning with a 6 hour drive to Himos. Well upon arrival it was time to check out the cabins that we were staying at. Nice ones, I must say ;-)  Managed to check out some songs from Delain before it was our time to hit the stage. The second to last acoustic show this summer was performed in bright sunlight, and was once again really fun. Afterwards we checked out Arch Enemy and got ready for the Nightwish show. It was once again something special, this time Jukka and Sami joined the band on stage. A truly special night.

21.8. Sunday - somewhere in the woods, Finland

The next morning the band & tero headed for a secret location near Jyväskylä where we spent the day shooting the music video for our next single. It should be out in September sometime. The stuff that we filmed turned out very good, it’s gonna be great to see how the video turns out. We ended the evening with a late-night swim and sauna. Great stuff !!

22.8. Monday - Driving home…

Another 6 hours in the car with Tony & Tommy and we were back home. More shows next weekend ;-)

25.8. Thursday - Travel Day

As so many times before, the Kemi gang (Me,Tony & Tommy) flew down to Helsinki in the evening. Later on the rest of the boys joined us there for a short sleep before the weekend shows. We had to wake up at 0330 to go to the airport.

26.8. Friday - Octopode Festival, Switzerland

Two flights later we were in Geneva, Switzerland at around 12 local time. Directly to the hotel and time for a nap ;-) It was really unfortunate that we didn’t get a chance to sleep enought the night before, today would have been a beautiful day to explore the city. Anyways I managed to sleep around 5 hours and woke up in the evening, went for a burger downstairs and at around 22 we headed for the festival. The crew had been there for a few hours already setting things up. I did an interview and then got ready for the show. Some 90min later we were done. The crowd seemed really into it and we had a good time going through the setlist and just kicking ass ;-) The show ended at 0115 and as soon as the crew got the gear packed we headed for the hotel. Since I was still amped from the show and we only had around 90min before it was time to go to the airport, I didn’t get any sleep. I think it was the same for most of the other guys as well.
Neverheless, we knew this was gonna be one of these weekends.

27.8. Saturday - Travel / Tampere-talo

After 2 flights (once again via Munich) we arrived in Helsinki at 12 just 7 hours before the show. Around 2-3 hours later we were in Tampere at the Tampere-talo, a really nice concert hall. Got some food and took a nap backstage. In soundcheck we rehearsed two songs that we didn’t play so far on the acoustic shows: Deadskin and The Misery. Tonight was gonna be a special one since it was the last show of the Acoustic Summer Tour 2016. We played two sets, the first one around 45min and the second one a bit longer. Our friend Ari Koivunen stepped in on vocals during Fullmoon, but for the other songs it was the usual suspects: the band with our additional guy Masi on guitars. The show went really well and the audience seemed to enjoy it a lot. We ourselves had  a great deal of fun, in a way it was a bit sad that these acoustic shows are over for now.It’s been something really special for us as well as a challenge to perform the songs in a format that isn’t too familiar for us. Anyways, thank you & goodnight from the Acoustic band !!!

After the show we had a couple of drinks at the terrace somewhere, which was cold as hell so I guess the summer has ended here in Finland. The Kemi gang took the train back home and slept very well while doing that...

In September we will have one last festival show in Spain. After that Tony & I will do about a week of promotion in Europe before heading home. At the end of September we’ll rehearse for a couple of days (yeah we actually practise about once a year for 2-3 days ;-) ) in order to be ready for the start of the next World Tour. It’s gonna be really nice to play some new songs as well as changing some of the older stuff we’ve been playing. If I’m not totally wrong, we’ve played over 200 shows since our last albums: Pariah’s Child & Ecliptica re-visited. Anyways, rock’n’metal and all that stuff !!



Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sonata Arctica: First single from the upcoming album & lyric video

as you've all probably seen already the first single from the upcoming album 'The Ninth Hour' is out. It's called 'Closer to an animal' and below you can check out the lyric video:


You can also buy it on itunes etc etc... The Album will be out on October the 7th, the same day we'll play the first show on the next World Tour, in Norway !!

A couple of festivals still to go and then it's time to play some new songs ;-)


Thursday, August 11, 2016

SA:The Summer part 2: July

8.7. Friday - Travel Day
We started mastering the album yesterday, Pasi went to the Chartmakers studio in Helsinki and this morning Tony joined him…by the end of the day the album was finally done. Tommy & I flew to Helsinki in the evening were we met up with the other guys and the crew at the hotel next to the airport.

9.7. Saturday - Rock Hartz, Ballenstedt, Germany
Got up at 0530 for a quick breakfast and then we headed to the airport and towards our
flight to Berlin. When we arrived we met up with Ensiferum and Finntrol and took the bus together to the festival, which was a couple of hundred km away. At the festival we unloaded the gear and then took a van to our hotel to chill for about an hour before it was time to head back. Interestingly enough there were 6 finnish bands performing here on the same day. Us, Children of Bodom, Ensiferum, Finntroll, Lost Society and Omnium Gatherum, who will be joining us on our North-American tour this fall. Anyways, we did a signing session and then started to prepare for the show…I did one interview with Pasi as well. The 60min that we had went by rather quickly and then it was time to get our stuff together and go back to the hotel and sleep. I did check out a few songs from Finntroll, Ensiferum and CoB during the day.

10.7. Sunday - Out & Loud, Geiselwind, Germany
At around 0730 the bus with the Finntroll guys picked us up from the hotel and we headed towards Geiselwind. I took us quite some time to get there and most of us slept a bit on the bus. The Out & Loud festival was a bit confusing since it’s partly inside the hotel which was more or less a labyrinth but after getting lost a few times we managed to figure out where our rooms are and where the backstage was. A quick signing session and some resting in the rooms before the show. Today it was really really hot and of course the sun was blasting right onto the stage as we went on. I though Tommy was gonna die after the show since he was so dehydrated….but he didn’t. Spent the rest of the evening at the hotel patio and shared some drinks and laughs with the Finntroll guys.

11.7.Monday - Travel Day
Up at 0630 and I grabbed some sandwiches from the breakfast room on my way to the bus. Slept through most of the ride and soon enough we were at the Frankfurt airport.
In with the gear, boarding passes for everyone and off we went towards Helsinki where
we had a short layover before finally getting on the plane to Kemi and arriving home
at around 1725.

15.7. Friday - Travel Day
Arrived in Helsinki at the evening and had a couple of beers at the hotel before it was
bedtime. Just found out about Turkey just before I fell asleep, all kinds of shit going on
it seems.

16.7. Saturday - Rockmaraton, Hungary
Up at 0630, breakfast (which btw is really nice at the Hilton Airport) and after the usual check-in stuff and a quick stop at the Oak Barrel we got on the plane towards Budapest. Upon arrival we got to the hotel and had lunch. There was some minor hassles but finally at around 1530 we left with the van towards the festival. Last night
Megadeth cancelled their headlining show in front of a sold out audience, you’ve probably read something about it online already. Anyways, after some time of waiting around it was time to hit the stage. The show went well, we tried to do a facebook live - thing during DSAW but the connection failed…well shit happens, we’ll try again sometime. After the show we drove back to the hotel and that was about it. In the morning the guys went home and I stayed behind with my gf for a few days off in Budapest.

22.7. Friday - John Smith Festival, Laukaa, Finland

Stayed at Elias house last night, which was nice…in the afternoon we headed towards the JS festival. Upon arrival we did the check-in at the hotel and started the loooong wait for the show at night. Eventually it was time to hit the stage at 0:30, Since this was an acoustic show it was once again interesting to see what weird things will happen.Not
too many mishaps and a good crowd !! Took it really easy after the show since there was an early wake-up call to drive back home.

30.7. Saturday - Qstock, Oulu , Finland

One of my favourite festivals in many ways, great music , very well organized and of course…close to home ;-) In the afternoon we drove to the festival since I had promised to fill in for Jukka at the Thunderstone gig. I spent this week practising the songs and
I think I pretty much had them all in my head. I don’t remember the last time I was this nervous before a gig but in the end it all worked out quite well. The 50min long set was over rather quick and then it was time to focus on the Sonata show. Our acoustic set went over really well and the crowd was loud as hell. After the show we even managed to watch the Prodigy for a few songs before it was time to drive home and sleep.



Saturday, July 16, 2016

SA:The Summer part 1: June

9.6. Thursday - Travel Day
We flew to Helsinki in the afternoon, just swung by the hotel to get the rooms and then we proceeded towards Kultuuritalo and Steve Vai. We had a quick pizza before the show and managed to get there just in time. Vai was on his Passion & Warfare 25th anniversary tour so we got the chance to experiance the whole album live. The sound however was really crap and loud as hell, other than that the show was great. Afterwards we went to the hotel and the lobby bar for a few before heading to bed.

10.6. Friday - Rockfels Open Air, Loreley, Germany
Have I ever told you I love early mornings ? Got up at around 0400 since our lobby call was at 0430. The Flight went by rather quickly since most of us were sleeping and upon arrival we went straight to the hotel, had some breakfast and took a nap. At around noon we headed towards the festival site. I did some programming for my new Vortex and loaded the sounds into the rental Kronos before the show. As usual the first summer show(s) are always a bit nervous but this one went down rather well. After the show it was time to head towards the hotel and get some sleep.

11.6. Saturday - Vaakuna Piknik, Kouvola, Finland
We had the chance to sleep a bit longer this morning which of course was nice since we had our first acoustic show later this day. After flying to Helsinki we boarded the bus and headed towards Kouvola. Because of scheduling conflicts we didn’t have the chance to practise with our additional member Masi for the acoustic stuff so once again, nervous dudes coming in ;-) The acoustic show went really well though and the audience was really into it. On our way towards the festival we did a live FB thing and we might do more in the future…funny stuff. After the show we left more or less right away in order to make it in time for the train from Tampere at 0115. We did make it in time and woke up the next day in our hometown Kemi.

17.6. Friday - Tuiskula, Nivala, Finland
Drove down to Nivala to play some metal ;-) We all came a bit from different directions since Tommy had been in the studio etc etc . The album is nearly done btw… Anyways in Nivala we had a headliner show, nice to play a full show in the middle of the festival season….usually on festivals we play for an hour or so, which is really short. We rehearsed some “new” older songs that we’ll be playing in Kemi during the soundcheck. Other than that the show went well and we had a good (and hot) time on stage. Afterwards we drove to Ylivieska and went to sleep. This show was really late so we didn’t get to the hotel until 3 or something in the morning….

18.6. Saturday - JääliCityRock, Jääli, Finland
Spent the day in Oulu, dining and chilling at the hotel. During the day there was a really heavy rainstorm in Jääli which ripped up some tents etc but luckily the weather settled down before our show. This was quite the typical weather for finnish festivals, a bit rainy and a bit cold ;-) Nevertheless we did the show and then got our stuff together and headed home. Some of the crew and band stayed in Oulu overnight and drove down
south the next morning. Now we got a few weeks without festivals so that we can finish the album.



Monday, June 6, 2016

SA:Recording the new album week 5

30.5. Monday
After a week of doing other stuff at home, we’re back in the studio. Not too much for me to do I suspect but we need to get together and rehearse for the summer festivals, the acoustic stuff in particular….and we might still have one or two more songs to record, who knows ? Spent the day practising and arranging stuff for the acoustic shows this summer. All kinds of surprises coming up, songs we’ve never played live before etc…
I think we ended the day around midnight….

31.5. Tuesday
Pretty much continued where we left off last night. We also started to record the rehersals without vocals, so we’ll have some background stuff to practise with if needed , when we get back home. We also decided to record a cover song as a bonus
track for something down the road…let’s see how it turns out ;-) Surprisingly enough it’s been really hot here which not usually the case here in Finland….so we’ve been trying to enjoy that but it’s a bit hard when you’re stuck inside….well…it’s our own choice so no reason to bitch too much ;-)

1.6. Wednesday
We all slept kinda late, since last night was a bit too much, nevertheless once we got awake we were  back at the acoustic stuff, checked back at the cover song and did some minor fixes but for the most part it was ok already. Today we also recorded most of the acoustic songs just to have something to rehearse with back home if needed. In a bit over a week we’ll start the festival season, it will be a bit challenging since the first weekend is back to back shows, one electric and one acoustic, hopefully all goes well.

2.6. Thursday
Got up in the morning and headed home. This week was a bit short since Queen is playing in Helsinki on the weekend and I’m gonna go and check that out with my g/f ;-)
Hopefully it’ll be a great show…. I just realized that the Recording the new album week count doesn't really add up since we've been working on stuff at home as well...anyways for my part the studio-thing is over and I'll do the rest that needs to be done from home, some of the guys will be back at the studio and some don't...anyways the bulk of the album is done so we still got time to finish it until our deadline....it'll probably be really tight anyways but that's how it always goes.



Secret Rule: Music Video online

Hi guys,
Secret Rule just released their first video from the upcoming album, check it out :



Thursday, May 19, 2016

SA:Recording the new album week 4

16.5. Monday
Here we go again, week 4. This week we’ll be going through the stuff we’ve done so far, making fixes…maybe some singing, solos and such,  let’s see how everything pans out. On top of that we have the hockey game FIN-CAN tomorrow and the Quarter-finals on Thursday. Those games will probably show the direction of the new album more or less. Well, if Finland bows out on Thursday there’s nothing to watch on the weekend so let’s hope for the best. I’ve been keeping an eye on the NHL playoffs as well and there will be a new Finnish Cup winner again this year, let’s see from which team it’ll be ;-)  Played a couple of solos and did some fixes, pretty much the stuff I’ll expect we’ll be doing all week…

17.5. Tuesday
More soloing done, actually at this point I’ve run out of solos to play on this album,
cheers to that ;-) Let’s see if I redo something later but for now I’m done…and just in
time for the FIN-CAN hockey game which was really interesting. I can’t believe how good Finland played once they got their shit together, 4-0 against Canada is really excellent….the hope still lives on to be the first nation ever to win 3 world championships during the same season. We already won the U18 and U20 so this one
is all we’re missing….Anyways, we’ve been taking it easy this week and just trying to
get the songs we already have into shape. We still have to do a couple of more tracks before we’re done but most of the album is in really good shape for now.

18.5. Wednesday
Didn’t doo too much , just some fixes. Elias did a bunch of solos, I guess he’s about done as well…or will be pretty soon. Since I don’t have too much to play at the moment I’m probably heading home tomorrow. No point wasting time just chilling and watching netflix ;-) , I can do that at home as well. Nevetheless, next week we’ll be working from home and the week after that we’ll do the rest of the stuff and practise some acoustic stuff as well, just to be ready for the festivals that will start really soon.

19.5. Thursday
Decided to go home…..and did just that. I’ll be back ;-)



Sunday, May 15, 2016

Secret Rule: album details !!

Secret Rule have revealed the details of their new album 'Machination'. The tracklist is as follows:

  1. Ex-Machina
  2. The Saviour
  3. I Have The Sun
  4. Dolls
  5. I will
  6. The Image
  7. You're The Player
  8. Your Trap
  9. Foolish Daisy
10. Short Stories
11. A Mother

Secret Rule was formed in 2014 with the intention to create a powerful, melodic and rhythmically challenging sound. They released their first album 'Transposed Emotions' the following year and toured Europe extensively in support of it, building a solid fan base in countries such as Belgium and the UK especially. The band is fronted by powerful singer Angela Di Vincenzo and includes notable musicians such as keyboardist Henrik Klingenberg (Sonata Arctica) and drummer Sander Zoer (ex Delain).

Secret Rule's new album 'Machination' will be released this summer on Scarlet Records. The album has been produced, mixed and mastered by Tue Madsen (The HauntedMoonspellDark Tranquillity) and features special guest appearances by Stefan Helleblad(Within Temptation), Timo Somers (Delain), Fabio D'Amore (Serenity) and more. A full European tour will follow the album release, with additional dates to be announced throughout the year.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

SA:Recording the new album week 3

9.5.  Monday
Back in business after a week off. We got some new songs to learn and record so in the afternoon we started off with a late lunch and then it was time to start working again. I did the piano parts for two songs and then it was Tommy’s turn to play some drums. We ended the day just in time before the FIN-USA hockey game at the World Championship….you have to make sure you’re priorities are straight ;-) After a 3-2 win it was easy to just relax with some netflix and fall asleep.

…and then there was the next day ;-) Tommy first played the drums for another fast song and then it was time for some guitars. Elias played the tracks for two songs and the rest of the day was spent finishing those songs with bass & keyboard tracks. So, two days and two songs….we’re still keeping the pace. At this rate, next week will be spent doing the last songs and then there are only some minor fixes and vocals to be done before the mixing begins…..unless something happens, and it usually does ;-) Nevertheless…another day of hard work done !! Watched some diving competition on tv at night…not really that interesting ;-)

11.5. Wednesday
More of the same ;-) Today’s song was quite different from anything we’ve done before, it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out at the end. In the morning Tommy did the drums and Pasi layed down the bass. Then we decided to drive to Pietarsaari and check out a burger place there called Friends & Burgers…really excellent idea. Once we’d stuffed ourselves with some really great burgers it was time to head back and do the guitars and keyboards. We worked at a frantic pace to make sure we’d be ready before the hockey game Finland - Hungary. 

Having recorded 10 songs so far we only have 1 or 2 more to go + some additional fixes etc…and then of course the vocals, mixing and mastering. We decided to cut this week short since we didn’t have anything more to play for the time being. I did a piano track and a couple of solos in the morning and then we all headed home.



Friday, April 29, 2016

SA:Recording the new album week 2

25.4. Monday
Back in business after the weekend, which seemed oddly short. I guess it was as long
as they usually are but….well, whatever. We arrived in the afternoon and by the end of the day, the first song this week was recorded….we ended quite late so it was bedtime right after that.

26.4. Tuesday
A new song for this day. We actually worked on the (probably) longest song on the album, clocking in at around 10min. It took us the whole day and we didn’t make it all the way through…almost though…does that count ?

27.4. Wednesday
I started the day by playing a solo for one of the songs we’d done earlier, before it was time to work on the next one. As you can see my entries start to repeat themselves, that’s mainly because the days do that as well. A typical day in the studio so far has gone more or less like this: Wake up, breakfast etc , then listen through the song of the day, when Tommy is tracking the drums , I figure out what to play in the other room and by the time he’s done it’s usually time for lunch. Next up is then Elias and/or Pasi and after they’re done, I track the keyboards….by the time all that has happened it’s already evening…sometimes early and sometimes late. The rest of the day is spent watching TV or Netflix and just hanging out….and that’s about it, a typical day in the studio.
Oh, the glamour ;-) It is however nice to see how the album starts to take shape, little by little, piece by piece….I wonder how it will turn out…but in a couple of months, we’ll know…and you guys have to wait some more before it’s out…

28.4. Thursday
Slept a bit longer than usual, woke up around 10 which is really late for me unless I’m on tour. Anyways, another day and another song…pretty much the standard thing as described above. In the evening I played a couple of piano parts to some of the songs we’d done earlier when I didn’t have my piano here…so at the moment we have the basic tracks for 7 songs down….not too bad for 2 weeks in the studio, when you take into account that Monday and Friday are travel days so we actually only work 4 days a week ;-) In the evening we had the time to watch some ice-hockey and then it was time to pack our bags and be ready to go back home tomorrow.

29.4. Friday
Up and about at around 0900 and after the usual morning routine we headed towards the train and a week off. So far we’ve recorded 7 songs so the album is well on it’s way, it’s really taking shape faster than ever before which of course is nice since we’re on
a deadline here ;-)

Have a nice weekend & we’ll be back in a couple of weeks.



Friday, April 22, 2016

SA:Recording the new album week 1

18.4. Monday
Just a bit less than two weeks ago we came home from the North-American Tour but
no rest for the wicked. Got on the train in the morning with Tommy and headed towards
Kokkola and Studio57. Upon arrival we had lunch and then headed to the studio and started to setup our gear. Tero our trusty backline man had sent out the stuff we had with us on tour so it was just up to us to set it up the way we wanted. The rest of the evening was spent learning the first song that we’ll be recording, a slow one seemed the best way to start these sessions.

19.4. Tuesday
Woke up rather early and managed to check out the final minutes of the SJS-LAK game. After breakfast it was time to check out some stuff on the slow songs before Elias and Pasi arrived and we started to rehearse with the full band. The way we plan to work on this album is that we learn one song, then record it before proceeding to the next one. At the moment Tony is still in his home studio writing more stuff for us to play, meanwhile we’re arranging and recording the basic tracks for the songs we’ve got. It’s really fun to try this new method of working, personally I think that one should change the process a bit with every album so one doesn’t get bored or stuck doing the same thing over and over again. Anyways, we spent the day rehearsing and recording the slow song and got pretty much everything done. I still have to do some piano overdubs since my piano is still at home, gotta get it here next week or something. Ended the night with some TV stuff, ice-hockey etc….Tomorrow it’s time for the next song !!

20.4. Wednesday
Still waking up early but I don’t mind ;-)  Checked the NHL scores from last night and after breakfast and showers etc we started to work on the next song. Things are progressing really fast at the moment, which of course is nice. Before noon we already had the drums recorded and then proceeded to do the guitars, bass and keyboards. By the end of the day, all the basic tracks were done and it was time to focus on TV, netflix and what have you. A nice day at the office, once again ;-) As for the direction of the new album or the style of the songs, I’ve learned from my mistakes and won’t try to describe them too much. You’ll hear the stuff in the fall when the album comes out, it
will be great though….

21.4. Thursday
Another day, another song ;-) Today we started working on a more artistic thing, the drums were done around noon and then it was time to get some lunch. In the afternoon we tracked the guitars and bass and early in the evening it was my turn to lay down some keyboard tracks….by the end of the evening we had all the basic tracks done and it was time to watch some more ice-hockey and have a few beers. Tomorrow we’ll leave towards home and relaxing for the weekend. 3 songs down on the first week, not too shabby  I must say. Next week we got some more songs to do as well as some piano overdubs.

22.4. Friday
Up in the morning, listened through some stuff and then headed to the train up north
with Tommy. Have a nice weekend !!



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sonata Arctica: Pictures from the North-American Spring Tour 2016

Here are some random pics from the tour, enjoy !!!

Some last minute programming in the hotel on the first morning of the tour, 
should have done this at home but...shit happens.

My first breakfast on this tour....

The container, 2016 never forget , never repeat ;-)

I think this is the venue in Pittsburgh but I'm not sure.

I slept here for 48 nights...the coffin.

Some venue somewhere ;-) , maybe in Canada.

Got a new toy, didn't use this too much on this tour though,
better try again next time.

Backstage somewhere, this was a bit freaky but a really
great echo !!

Upstairs @The Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee..shitty picture but maybe
you get the idea...

Off-day in Minnesota, going to the game.

Pre-game selfie with Tuomas.

Panthers @ Wild ....

Checking out the "backstage" , and NOT standing on the logo.

With #64, Mr.Granlund.

...just about to enter...

Tony getting exited, soundchecks are the best !!!

Driving through Canada, this pic could be from Finland...really...

Mikko controlling space in Canada.

Just to keep me warm, I'm a Rangers fan...really.

Time to read before going to bed.

Testing Merels guitar backstage, aftershow.

A nice drawing that I got from a fan.

Fish and Chips during the extra off-day we got when NW canceled
a show due to severe illness.

Reno, Nevada.

...going backstage in Reno.....

....and finding this popcorn-thing there ;-)

Nightwish playing in Reno.

Elias getting ready for the photo-shoot in Los Angeles.

We drove up to the mountains from Pasadena...

....or something.....nice view though....

Pasi posing for his single shots...or at least getting ready...

...my god it was beautiful...and cold, for some reason
it's always cold when we take promo-pics.

Meeting new friends, H-P from the Dudesons checking
in aftershow in Anaheim, CA.

No idea where, it's seems like a good morning though, maybe
it was in Tucson, AZ.

Albaquerque or however it's spelled. Breaking Bad off-day......

Ready for dinner during the off-day....actually this was before lunch, I think.

Guitar-techs unite during the tourdinner !! Tero & Antti.

Colorado Springs, walking around with Tony in the afternoon.

...and he lured me into this antique shop....

...where I got totally excited about these Tesla Lamps.

Being mysterious in the container...the only way to be, really !

Finally got my new keytar, which eventually was lost ;-)

Another venue somewhere....

...and NW playing, hey now I know, this was in Kansas City.

I can't explain this, just wanted to make sure I don't lose the pic,
so I post it here as a failsafe.

I found a new shirt ;-)

A really old custom built organ at the venue in San Antonio, TX.

NOLA, going out....

...to Bourbon street, like all the other tourists ;-)

Nightcap of the day...which day you ask ? No idea.

Panama City Beach, FL, off-day, walking around...

...taking photos of Pasis and Mikkos asses.

...and some local houses....

....more beach....

....and more....

...and more....

...and then some pics from the pier....

...and another one....

...and another one...

...heck, I'll just show you the video instead ;-)

Afterwards we needed this, because naturally some of us got sunburn,
actually all 3 of us...

NW in Tampa, last show of their tour !!

We switched sides on stage, so I got a new position...
...to watch Tony's ass from.

Hotelroom in Buffalo during the off-day, are you sure there's enough
shampoo and soap for everyone ?

The pool at the same hotel...they also had a sauna...or
something they called a sauna....never mind.

We found this place in Toronto close to the Opera House,
really great food !!!

Somehow this ended up on the wall of the container...WTF ?

Deep Purple redwine, always a winner !!

Going for breakfast in NYC.

Backstage toilet in NYC...I think I'm gonna have to hold it.

With #15 of the Devils, Tuomo Ruutu. Aftershow in NYC.

Waiting for the last flight back home @ Finnair Lounge, Helsinki.

That's about it , on Monday we'll be back in the studio, I'll post something from there !!


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