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.