lauantai 21. marraskuuta 2009

Day 31 - Essen

And we're done! Did our last 40 minutes of rocking together in 2009 in Essen, where this mighty fine tour ended. No last date pranks on this tour (we were adviced to behave if we wanted to live to see home again), just solid, killer gigs from all three bands. We sure had a blast on stage during this last show, which ended way too fast. After the show I had this weird, empty feeling for a while. That's it? How could this tour go by so fast? Still, nothing but good times and memories, everyone got along great and things ran smoothly night after night.

Amorphis invited Ari on stage to join them for "House of Sleep", which was way cool. All three bands plus most of the crew stayed up all night celebrating the end of the tour together (the venue stayed open untill the wee hours, they had a "metal disco" going on), and after just a couple of hours of sleep it was time to head to the airport to catch our flight home.

So, dear readers, that's pretty much it! The tour was great and we had fun keeping you guys updated on our journey. Now it's time to write some songs for the fifth album. Keep checking and our Myspace for updates!


Day 30 - Munich

Woke up with little bit hangover-feeling after drinking with Julf late last night, but good breakfast with exeptionally good latte from coffee machine solved out the weak condition so I was sharp as always. Venue was good. There was enough room to fool around the stage, which is good for us. Backstages were nicely furnished, no suprise according to the fact that venues name is ”Backstage”.

Second last gig on this tour and there was no sign of tiredness of anybody at least not looking from outside. Now it was just time to do the last boost of this tour and concentrate all energy to the show. Don't mean that I had played softly on this trip, but try to do everything just better and better.

When I got on stage to play I was pleased to see good amount of people watching for our show and seemed that they liked us. We played nothing special, just the basic setlist and rocked out like crazy horses, as usual.


Day 29 - Karlsruhe

Today's venue is pretty cool: and old subway station underground turned into a rock club! The entry is on one side of the street while the backstage and loading doors are on the other. Funny stuff... Me and Joe wake up a bit too early (read: venue not open yet), but luckily there's a Media Markt ( a big German CD/DVD/Elecrtonics chain) next door, so we can spend our hard-earned cash money. I end up buying the new Beatles box set, which is 85 euros cheaper here than yesterday in Milan!

At the venue, one of the nicer breakfast caterings awaits us. Scrambled eggs, fresh muffins, cereals... you name it, we ate it! It's the little things in life that you tend to appreciate on the road, like a minibox of Honey Puffs. Threw a fresh pack of strings on my main geetar, sat online for a while, and what do I know, it's showtime!

Show was good and fun, we didn't let the small stage get to us. A typical German crowd, meaning not too enthusiastic at first but little by little we won people over. Man, I can't believe we only have two more to go!


Day 28 - Milan

I woke up that morning, na naa na naa na, I saw the venue, na naa na naa na... So much for the blues, although this day was pretty much as close to blues as we got on this tour, cold everywhere, crappy catering, when we played there was about 40 headed “crowd” BUT there were some finnish friends so we rocked like we always do, not depending on how many people are watching. The gig was actually mighty fine and we had a good time on stage, after all we went on the whole tour to have a good time on stage and give every people in the crowd even better time with our rock n’ roll circus.

At the same time we were going to the stage we heard that we need to drop one song from our set and that is never good news. Well as I said, the gig went fine after all and back to the “backstage” (meaning catering area because the backstage rooms were so small that we just used the showers there) to struggle with our common enemy, the internet connection. After all we are all a bunch of nerds :D

After BTD show we packed our beloved home, that I’ve heard some people calling "van", and start rolling towards Germany. Lot of borders to cross so no one could go to sleep before we were at the venue. On the way we saw the longest tunnel in Europe and I must say that was probably the most exiting 14 minutes of my life. NOT! However now I’ve seen that too... Finally we parked our home right by the subway station that’s going to be our next venue. Good night, sleep tight and better luck for tomorrow!


maanantai 9. marraskuuta 2009

Day 27 - Rome

After the ferry-trip to Italy we still had a 6-hour drive to Rome. The atmosphere in the van was pretty serene – everyone was just chilling out and looking at the cool landscapes.

When we arrived to the venue we saw Lemmy. Or at least a very similar looking guy who was working there. The venue was the same where we played with Finntroll in 2005. Nothing special happened in the afternoon… we were just hanging around the venue and getting little frustrated because we were running late of the schedule. So, we had just a couple of minutes to do our soundcheck (nothing new to us, though).

The gig wasn’t our best, but it went ok. The audience was kinda tough though, so we had some difficulties to get the rock n’ roll –vibe going. Well, I guess every night can’t be BANGIN’ (like Joey would say).


Day 25 - Athens

Ahh, another great day! Even though I'm a bit bummed out that we get to see pretty much nothing of Greece (both shows were located in the middle of nowhere and most of our free time was spent travelling), the shows themselves have been really cool, with Anthens maybe winning over Thessaloniki by just a bit. The venue was packed, with a great mix of enthusiastic metal dudes and super hot Greek chicks. Nothing like having insane rockers screaming in your face AND cute girls smiling at you at the same time while rocking out...

Juffi taking over the WHOLE backstage of ours...

The fun would not end with the gig tonight though, oh no. Me, Walley and Joey had one of Joey's friends hook us up with tickets to a late night screening of "This is It", which was fucking killer! As a huge MJ fan there was no way I'd miss this on the big screen, and since it's only running for two weeks and won't be playing in Finland once we get back, we had to see it in on tour. Man, the production that they had planned for those shows was CRAZY! The band was tight as hell and Michael seemed to be in great shape... Ok, enough with the movie review. Afterwards we went to have a beer with Joey's friends, just easy hanging and talking about the movie. Good times.


Tomorrow's yet another day off, which I'm not looking forward to in the least: a couple of hours driving, then 15 hours in a boring-ass ferry and then another four hours of driving in the morning. Oh well, I'm taking my guitar to the cabin, gonna try to work out some new riffs.


lauantai 7. marraskuuta 2009

Day 24 - Thessaloniki

You can see it's wintertime because it was cold in Greece too! Actually it was so cold that some worms decided to warm up at backstage. And I'm not talking about these bandmembers now, I mean actual WORMS!

We were in a middle of nowhere but venue was big and we had much space on the stage so we made a plan: there's nothing else to do that rock this town tonight! And we did. Gig was fun and crowd was diggin' more and more after every song. That's how it should be.

After the show we went to hotel and every one of us headed to bed straight away. Well, I took a bath before that. Good times.


tiistai 3. marraskuuta 2009

Day 23 - Sofia

All the signs were there for an amazing night. The day is a friday. The venue, Blue Box, with the capacity of 800 people, is completely sold out in advance. There are fans in front of the venue waiting for autographs and pictures even before we wake up. We have a couple of TV interviews lined up before the show. This should be good...

After a quick breakfast (hummus! Bulgarian cheese!), me and Wall-E decide to go for a walk. Never been in Sofia before, and it's not raining, so we might as well explore other things than just the cracks in the backstage ceiling. The fans in front are kind enough to point us to the direction of the city center, which turns out to be a really cool and good-vibed place. It's cool to see posters for tonight's gig everywhere. The poster itself is actually pretty cool and different from the usual, as it has a huge picture of just Esa from Amorphis on it, and not the whole band (”Well, I guess this is Esa's solo gig tonight, we're just gonna leave him on stage by himself to wank on his guitar”, jokes the band's bassist Niclas). Walking past a book market, I almost end up buying a Guns N' Roses book in Bulgarian, but finally come to my senses and understand that maybe I don't really need to get every single GN'R item that comes my way... We only get so far before we have to rush back for the interviews.

Interviews done and lunch eaten, we start getting ready for the show. Juffi bangs on his practice pad, me and Valde jam by ourselves on our pocket Pods, Pexi is already changing into his stage clothes. Ari is somewhere near, I hope. Come 8pm, the intro starts to roll. We climb up there and are greeted with enthusiasm not very common for an opening act. It looks like every single ticket owner is already in the venue and ready to rock! We burst into ”Gave Up Easy” and the vibe is just electric. We are having an awesome time, and the loud-as-hell audience pushes us to give our very all. The 40 minutes fly by way too fast, as ”Sex N' Satan” ends our set and it's time to take a bow.

We all gather on the backstage sofas after the show, huge grins on our faces. Everyone is still high on adrenaline, and we all agree that we had just played one of our very best, most fun show ever. The crowd was just too fucking great!

After watching most of Amorphis' great show (during which the crowd is actually louder thn the band), we all head down to the merch booth to hang out, take pics, sign CD's and personally thank the audience for making us feel so welcome. Sofia, we cannot wait to get back over there to play for you again!


Day 22 - Bucharest

After long, nine or ten hours drive from Budapest we finally arrived to Bucharest. The venue was changed to a small arena (capacity about 7000), which had a big tent built in middle for this show. The weather was quite cold, but luckily we got a warm backstage and the tent was also warmed up so no problem with that. The locals were kind to us and made sure that we had everything we need.

All of us were tired and late from schedule 'cause of long drive. Even more frustrating was the thing with the nightliner, which couldn't fit through the gate so all the gear had to be packed into a smaller truck that could get closer to the stage. After some time we got all our stuff to the stage and started doing somekind of a line-check, because there wasn't any time for proper soundcheck. Of course there were problems with PA-system and it took some time to get anything out for the audience while the doors opened and people started to roll in and we were nowhere near ready with our stuff on stage.

No time to relax, intro started to roll and we just have been running all over the place, taking care of things such as changing stage clothes etc. It's not always beer drinking and hellraising playing rock'n'roll, haha! Well, time to put some fire to the fuel and go rocking. During the gig we had big problems on stage with monitoring and microphones. The worst thing happened in this pile of problems; all electricity suddenly shut down from left side of the stage, where Ben played so he was muted for awhile. You know what? Fuck that. Again, we kicked some ass on stage nevertheless the problems. Everyone played well and I was very satisfied with the gig. The crowd seemed to like our show also and that's the main thing.

After our show I just went to merchandice stand to chill out, drink beer and watch the other bands, which played very well also. Summa summarum: this night was great and it was cool to play for big (about 1000 people) audience. It's always nice to go to "bed" in a good mood.


Day 21 - Budapest

We arrived to the venue before the nightliner, so we got the first taste of the awesome hospitality of the local crew. The catering and dinner were very good, and people seemed to be very concerned about our well-being. Nice! There was also this pretty cool sofa-area backstage which was perfect for resting and checking out the amazing world of the internet.

Me and Valde still had some not-yet-dry laundry (all the way from Switzerland!), and we started to get little frustrated with the situation. So Valde got this major idea to use one of the stage-fans for drying them! The sight backstage was pretty funny: we had our socks and underwear hanging at the wall and the fan was blasting air at them in full volume.

I had some technical problems yet again; I was at the stage up until 5 minutes before the gig started, trying to figure out what was wrong with my little mixer (through which I run the backing track). I thought it was the phones -output, and Kimmo the stage manager tried to help me with it. After the gig we realized that it was the cord leading from the iPod to the mixer that was the problem. Luckily I had bought a spare one from Finland before the tour.

Anyways, I got through the gig without much problems. The gig wasn’t our best, but not the worst either. There wasn’t that much audience when we started, but the place was filling steadily during the show. There was enthusiastic faces towards the end, and we got some compliments afterwards, so it was a job well done I guess!

After BTD:s show we had to pack the van and leave immediately, since we had an ”easy going” 858 km drive ahead. The number sounded kinda scary, but it turned out to be a no problem for us soldiers! 10 hours later we found ourselves in Bulgaria.


torstai 29. lokakuuta 2009

Day 19 and 20 - Day offs

Well, there's not much to tell about these last days. Everybody were just sleeping or hanging out in this beautiful city of Prague. I love czech beer and drank my stomach full of that fine liquid.


I just spent three nights in bed and next time I will see sheets at home in Finland. Fancy restaurants, sushi, walking, torture museum, instrumental gig, forced day-off, waiting. I also had a second chance with Ben & Jerry's and that was a great success! That's basically what happened at Prague this time.


Yeah, well… After our short instrumental gig the other day, our crew spread out around Prague. Some of us were smooching around with our honey bunnies that had flown over for a few days, others got a hotel about 7km from the center, and Joey crashed at a friends' place. To keep the group spirit high, we had a nice dinner together yesterday night. Other than that it's been pretty much just hanging and waiting for tomorrow, as we're all just aching to get this tour back on track. Hanging out in a city like this is cool and all, but I'd rather be playing a show, no doubt. Hopefully Amorphis and Before the Dawn are kicking some Polish ass tonight and tomorrow will be business as usual.


Day 18 - Prague

Yo dudes it’s me, the slippy sloper :D As you all know I fell down the stairs and hurt myself and realized at the soundcheck that I wasn’t able to sing at all ‘couse my rib was hurting like hell so I went to the doctor and everything is fine now. I’m as good as new! The guys were awesome and did a couple of songs instrumentally and Tuomas from Before The Dawn was kind enough to go and do a song with half an hour practice with iPod so big up to Tuomas. I came from the doctor just at the same time guys started and had a chance to go to the stage and tell everybody what happened and everyone took the sitsuation very well so big thanks again for understanding!

From my point of view the gig was actually very interesting and it was so weird to look at the boys play our thing on the stage with me just standing aside. People really seem to like it and maybe we got some symphaty points as well :D Also Amorphis dudes were kind enough to give us some yells from the stage so thank you Tomi and guys! After the gigs there were some hanging around and chatting with all the guys. I love each and every one from every band and also maybe even more the awesome crew we have on this tour! The crew members are so easily forgotten, although they have the hardest work of us all and the longest days.

Peeps, watch out the wet stairs!


Day 17 - Lichtenfels (Hellflame festival)

I woke up to the sounds of a football match that was going on just next to our van. On the other side was a big hall that was today’s venue. This was the only festival gig on our tour, and the first bands had already played when I stepped in.

Ensiferum and Tracedawn were playing at the same festival, so there was plenty of familiar faces walking around (and a total of 5 Finnish bands). We shared the backstage room with the Tracedawn guys and everyone was in a good mood. There were some other friends as well, like Samu from Finntroll and Audrey, it was nice to see you again!

Festival gigs are always a bit of a hassle, because you don’t have much time to prepare your gear, do a proper soundcheck etc. So, given the circumstances, I think we pulled off a pretty good show. The audience seemed to be little too grim for us though, but we didn’t let that bother us.

Since everyone else were about to meet their girlfriends in Prague and wanted to leave as soon as possible, it was just me and Ari who were in no hurry to go anywhere. So, we had managed to talk to Gerrit the tourmanager to let us stay in the Amorphis nightliner for one night, so that we could hang around and see the rest of the bands playing in the festival.

In addition to the Finnish bands, there was some KVLT stuff going on such as Shining, 1349 and Belbhegor. The singer from Shining seemed to be a very.... ”interesting” person on stage (doing the whole black metal thing, cutting his arms etc). Tony Laureano was playing with 1349, and everyone who knew anything about drumming was pretty amazed by the hyperspeed tempos he pulled off. The last band of the evening was Belbhegor, and we got to see only the beginning of the show. It was pretty much ”in your face” stuff as well.

We continued the party at the nightliner with the Amorphis guys until late hours. Finally I crawled to one of the free bunks and slept like a baby.


tiistai 27. lokakuuta 2009

Day 15 - Pratteln

We spent our night at Z7's backyard. It was nice to see that venue after all that hype. "Best venue ever! Everything is just fantastic there." Yeah, it was nice. Huge stage, good sound on stage, tasty food and last but not least, possibility to do some laundry! Unfortunately everybody else was also thinking the same way.

Soon we noticed that the washing machine wasn't only very occupied but also broken. So we had a shitload of awfully wet clothes, full of detergent. I spent like 5 hours by hurling, squeezing and trying to dry those clothes with no result at all. That's not cool.

Enough laundry. It's time to rock n' roll! We had great expectations about this gig, plenty of people, plenty of room on stage to goofy around. We decided to play Vivid first time at this tour and that sure is fun to play! Couple of first songs were just fun. Sadly the end part of this show was maybe the worst for me on this tour and we also had some technical difficulties with our clicktrack and we were forced to change the song on the fly because of that. That's not problem for those other pro-musicians who have played these tunes plenty of times, but that's quite hard for me to play a song I've only played maybe two times before with these guys.

Some more laundry after the show and some sleep in van. Nothing special.


Day 16 - Andernach

You know those days when nothing feels right and you're irritated about pretty much everything and everybody? Well, today was exactly like that. The day was off to a bad start anyway after a painful night in the van with very little sleep. Juffi and Ari were partying harder than usual, making A LOT of noise and being obnoxious in every possible way, while me and Valde were trying to sleep in the same small space. Those two fuckers have no idea how close they came to an ass whoopin'...

In the club, our way-too-tiny dressing room had been transformed into the official room for everyone to hang up their still wet laundry from yesterday, which a) made sitting down or leaning anywhere impossible b) made the room tropical and c) got the whole place stink so badly of washing powder it was impossible to breath. Nice! Just to maximize the misery, the stage was really damn small and we were left with about 2 minutes to do our soundcheck. Add to this the sore throats many of us have at the moment (hinting about the upcoming, inevitable flu), and the lack of an ever-crucial WLAN, the vibe backstage was anything but friday night, party night-ish.

I know all of the above is nothing but unnessessary bitching an whining about small stuff, but I think it's important to document also these kinda feelings and thoughts that EVERYONE on tour goes through every now and then, and not just the upsides. Especially since we try our hardest to not complain to each other, as it does no good whatsoever and only brings others down too. So we might as well get this shit off our chests on you, our beloved diary readers, haha...

But anyway, there were a couple of really cool things about today. The dinner was top notch, just delicious. We were spoiled with steaks, creamy potatoes and a quality salad. The cheese crust on the potatoes was fantastic. The orange juice was rich in pulp, just like we like it. The complexion of the dessert vanilla mousse was perfect. You get the point. A nice dinner all around!

But what really made this a killer day after all was the show itself. Friday night and a club packed with peeps ready to rock. Thats a recipe for a good fucking time, right there. We get up there at 8pm sharp, and start pounding into Gave Up Easy. The crowd is immediately with us, and only gets wilder as the show goes on. We try out Vivid again, which is fun to play. The stage is the hottest one on this tour so far, everyone's sweating their asses off. Good thing we have those fans blowing in our faces full blast! And to think some people actually claim we only have those for the looks... Definitely one of the best shows for us during these last couple of weeks. It was worth getting up today after all!

Sitting in the van now, on our way to the next town. Juffi, Pexi and JoJo went stright to sleep in the back, Valde and Ari watched Back to the Future for a while but are now passed out. I'm just about done too. Deep Insight's brilliant new CD is playing in my ears as I'm writing this, while the combination of the Sprinter's wheels and German highway provide the low end hum. Living the life baby!

keskiviikko 21. lokakuuta 2009

Day 12 - Graz

Heyy, it’s me again! I’m gonna keep this short and simple because I’m a slow writer and I actually don’t have that much to tell about this night. I woke up much later than other dudes as usual and bla bla bla, you know the rest :D I went in to get a look at the place and it was HUGE! Too bad the show was moved from other location just weeks ago so there wasn’t as much audience as there could have been. From my point of view the gig was good and everything went smooth. The place was awesome and even at the backstage there was enough room to put up a football match but we decided not to :D Actually the night after me and Juffi played foozball for about three hours at the hotel. It was some bloody and sweaty gameing!

So we packed our shit in the van and headed for Vienna. We thought that everything would be easy and we’ll just go to the hotel we booked but it wasn’t that easy... Finally we took a room and people chilled out for some time, me Pexi and Peki laughed at some youtube clips and everyone fell asleep one at the time. I decided to stay up, watch a movie and try to settle the hostel things in the morning. At 10AM I fell into sleep for couple of hours and tried to get that day off relaxation feeling going which was pretty hard with a big group of kids making a lot of noise in the hallway.

Over and out to Ben!


Day 14 – Vienna

We slept as long as we could at the hotel, and made the short drive to the venue. It was a funny feeling to be at the same place were we just had been watching the Deathstars gig the night before. Nothing special happened in the afternoon – everyone was pretty much attached to their laptops and making the bad jokes as usual. Everybody also felt little weird after the dinner, so there must have been some strange ingredients on it. Mysterious.

Well well, the intro rolled in once again, and we rocked. There was some technical difficulties though; Ben’s guitar didn’t come through the sound system sometimes, so a cable had to be changed during the gig. The lights were also pretty dark for the first half of the gig, it seemed like they started working at about the fourth song or so. Anyways, I think we performed pretty well, and the audience seemed to like what they saw and heared, so it was all good in the end.

After the gig we hanged around at the venue until Amorphis was done. There were some very enthusiastic Amoral fans to talk with, big up to you people! It was also nice to hear positive comments from people who saw us for the first time!

Later in the van we started playing the legendary ”Day of the Tentacle” on my laptop (everyone except Ben, who fell asleep first), which brought about some hilarious discussions:

Ari: ”Give him the dissappearing ink!”
Juffi: ”Nono, that’s gonna be used for the constitution.”
Valtteri: ”Yep, that’s right. Damn, we’re such a bunch of nerds!”
Peksi: ”Give him the left-handed hammer!”
Peki (our driver): ”A left-handed hammer? What the fuck are you guys doing back there??”


Day 13 – Day off in Vienna

So, another monday, another day off... We're not the biggest fans of off-days on tour, for a few reasons. One, we like to rock out. Every night. Two, on days off, you have to worry about stuff like accomodation, food etc, whereas on normal show nights all that's been taken care of. Third, you usually end up spending stupid amounts of cash on days off, walking around town all bored and hungry.

But hey, enough complaining! You could do a lot worse than spend a day off in a beautiful city such as Vienna, Austria. After fighting with the hotel staff about charging us extra for sleeping late (even thought we're staying for two fucking nights! Just have to change rooms for the second day), me, Joe and Valde head out to the center while the rest go back to sleep in our new room. We walked around, searching for something to see, and something to eat. Of course, with our luck, we manage to miss pretty much EVERY SINGLE Burger King or Subway in the center of Vienna. Finally we find one, and we run into the whole Amorphis crew there. In Finland we have this thing called Burgers for Breakfast... After a few hours Wally gets tired of random walking and heads back to the hotel. Me and Joe are in no hurry to get back to that boring place, se we keep exploring the streets. We thought we were walking in the direction of our hotel, but after an hour of walking and the streets getting shadier, we decide to ask for direction. The nice lady informs us that we couldn't be further from our destination. It appears we've walked in the exact opposite direction. The next three hours were spent looking for home, asking for directions every now and then. Everyone we asked had a different direction to point us to. It was getting dark, we were getting cold and tired. Slowly we started realizing the fact that we are never gonna find our way back, ever. Joey called one of his local friends, who kindly came to pick these two hobos from a gas station. Quite embarrassing...

As for late night fun, most of us went to see Deathstars play at the same venue we'd be playing tomorrow. The music wasn't our favourite but we had fun nonetheless. Still, I'd rather play a show than just hang out. Vienna, we're gonna rock you tomorrow like it's 1986!


sunnuntai 18. lokakuuta 2009

Day 11 – Zlin

”Wake up, we have to empty the van.” I crawl out and see a familiar venue yet again: The Masters of Rock Cafe! We were here on the Dark Funeral tour a couple of years back. The stage is pretty big, so we could fit the two backlines there without any problems. I couldn’t get the wlan-connection to work at all on my laptop, and it was raining outside, so I spent the afternoon reading a book & chatting with the Amorphis guys.

At the backstage before the show I was testing out the Pearl Demon Drive double pedal that Tuomas from BTD was carrying around. He has to practise a bit on the road because after the tour he’ll be recording drums for his solo project Black Sun Aeon. So, the pedal felt nice but I can’t say much yet because playing on a practise pad is very different than a real bassdrum. I had a pad for the sticks too, so I had a nice little warm-up setup going on.

The intro starts rolling, and we walk on stage. I can’t see anything, it’s pitch-dark. Luckily I knew exactly where I left the cord for my in-ear monitor, because it would’ve been impossible to find it otherwise. The intro ends, the lights go on, and what followed was probably the best gig we’ve EVER done! The place was pretty much packed already, and the crowd was frigging insane!!! Damn, I’m still stoked about those 40 minutes on stage. I think we haven’t had this active crowd even on any of our headlining shows! And I was even satisfied with my own playing. Big thanks to everybody in the audience!!!

After the show we were hanging out at the merch table, chatting and taking pics with the locals. Everybody was in a good mood because the gig went so well and the place & the people were very nice. The Amorphis guys, being the cool dudes they are, gave us some whiskey and sparkling wine for the road, so some of us ended up being in very... eh, ”high spirits” (or ”seipäässä”, as we say in Finnish).


Day 10 - Glauchau

There's not much to tell about this day at Glauchau, because the venue was everything we saw there. That was nice though. Big stage and monitoring was great if I remember correctly.

After a whole day of e-mail-checking-skype-calling-youtube-video-fun-laptop-time (yeah, we are a bunch of nerds at backstage) it was time to prepare to the show. Ben broke his guitar string just about 20minutes before we were about to start, but luckily that was just enough for him to change it.

Gig went well I think, even though the crowd was standing pretty far away from stage at first but they came closer after every song.

Quick load-out after Amorphis gig and straight to the "King of Burgers". Angry whopper is a great invention...

perjantai 16. lokakuuta 2009

Day 9 - Hannover

Yo everybody! It’s my time to print some thoughts and I guess this is actually the best day to do this because I caused some bad looks and misunderstandings with my T-shirt on the stage. But I’ll get back to that later...

When I woke up I was, as usual, pretty dazed and confused and the first thing I saw was huge piles of wood and I really didn’t even realize we were at the venue. A quick load in and some coffee and lot of breakfast stuff at the backstage which was awesome! Soundcheck was nice and easy, although the monitors were kinda crappy. The stage was 12 meters wide so there was a lot of room to clown around. After the soundcheck we had some time to chill and meet the guys from Drone (a band that toured with Amoral and Norther) and eat.

The gig was awesome and we had a great time, BUT, right after the gig I heard that I had some very bad looks from the audience, because I was wearing this Burzum T-shirt that I bought from Norway as a part joke. I have nothing to do with any nazi bullshit and nether has any other member of our band so my biggest apologize to all of you in hannover and everybody else! I actually had no idea that there even was a nazi connection...

So, the gig was cool and people were nice, all in all we had a blast!

- Ari

torstai 15. lokakuuta 2009

Day 8 – Paris

”Ari! Wake Up! The Eiffel tower!”

Our beloved lead singer - who is easily capable of sleeping for 16 hours straight no matter where he is – had specifically asked us to wake his sleepy ass once we're in Paris so he'd get to see something else than backstages on this tour. So we did. He took a quick look at the famous tower, said ”cool” and went back to sleep...

We played La Loco in 2006 with Dark Funeral, so we knew what to expect. I wasn't gonna let the smallest stage ever bum me out, but instead head out to see the beautiful and sunny Paris with the boys. The area the venue is located on is ”Rock N' Roll”, to say the least: Moulin Rouge next door, and nothing but lingerie shops, strip clubs and guitar stores everywhere. So it was easy to keep ourselves busy. One guitar store had a kickass life-size Slash cardboard standee, which I thought would've looked cool in my hallway. This is how the short bargaining went:

”Excuse me, how much do you want for that Slash standee?”

”Oh, it's not for sale.”

”Well, how about I start piling 50 euro bills on the table and you tell me when we're even?”

”Sorry, it's not for sale.”

I guess it wasn't!

Besides shallow window shopping, we climbed up to the Sacre Coeur church, from which the beautiful landscape of all of Paris opened up. We stayed around for a while to watch some street artists do their thing, got some delicious chocolate & banana crépes and coffee, and started to head back to the club.

Now, this is where the day starts to get ridiculous. First, we get to hear that, because of a fucked up curfew, our showtime has been reduced from the already short 30 minutes to 20 minutes! Twenty friggin' minutes! How the hell are we supposed to put on a decent rock n' roll show in 20 minutes, might I ask? Well, we figure out which five songs to play, and hang around to wait for our soundcheck. Our showtime is 7.15, and at 6.30 we're still waiting for Before the Dawn to finish their check (not their fault though, everything was running late that day). We finish our soundcheck about 10 minutes before our show starts, so we have just enough time to put our stage clothes on, some new eyeliner on top of last night's, and get out there.

Again, a kickass french crowd welcomes us warmly, but technically the gig was a nightmare: none of us could hear anything from the monitors, my amp was way too quiet (apparently because of some electricity problem) and - my personal favourite – my mic stand kept sliding downwards, so I had to shout my parts at about my knee hight by the third song. Oh, and the whole show (plus 15 minutes before and a few hours after) Ari was sure that his laptop has been stolen. Luckily he finds it before we leave town. Spinal Tap, anyone?


Day 7 – Rennes

France, it's good to see you again! We have some great memories from our gigs in France from previous tours, so it's nice to be back. Tonight's venue is quite small but still cool and intimate. We go through our ”breakfast/load-in/walking around the area/waiting/sitting online/soundcheck” -routine, and before we know it, it's showtime yet again. We get up on stage and are greeted by the smallest but also the loudest and most enthusiastic crowd on this tour so far. I mean, these French mofo's we ready to get it on! And so were we: we've played better before, but the show was intense and a lot of fun. It was truly a pleasure to play in front of such a crowd, and talk to fans (old and new) after the show. I hope we get back to Rennes soon!


keskiviikko 14. lokakuuta 2009

Day 6 - Antwerpen, Day Off

After five days of serious rockin' and rollin' we had our first a day-off. We decided to spend it in Antwerpen. Some of us had a long night so they basically slept whole day while me and Ben went to see the city.

We found plenty of cool recordshops and Ben actually put a fortune in those but I decided to save my cash for something that's really worth buying...

Then I saw it. Ben & Jerry's dessert emporium. Nothing is better than belgium woffel with best ice-cream in the world. Some chocolate on the top and I'm in sweet heaven, baby.

Too bad I couldn't get a single bite of it because it went all the way on the floor. “Wanna have a piece of paper to clean that up?” F*ck my life.


tiistai 13. lokakuuta 2009

Day 5 - Vosselaar, belgium

Biebob club in Vosselaar, Belgium, is one of those venues that we old-school Amorallers have been playing in before.The first thing everyone recalls from this place is the cool record-shop next to the venue. Even though I’m not the biggest Behemoth fan, I just had to grab one of their t-shirts because the designs were so cool!

At the venue I realized that my other in-ear monitor is dead, which sucks big time. So for the rest of the tour I’ll be getting the click & backing track to my right ear only. Actually I hate playing with metronome live, but I have to do it in the 4 songs that have backing tracks. It’s more fun to just let go and have the tempo ”move” a little during the songs. I can’t get that rock’n’roll vibe with a click-track...

Well, enough technical babbling for now. We hit the stage and do our thing. The gig went ok. Yep, just ok, nothing fancy... actually I don’t know why, we just weren’t ”feeling it” like the night before. I was also dropping sticks left and right during the gig, my bad. So, after the gig we decide we have to take our game to the next level and put 150% into it from the very first second on stage. We’ll see how it goes in France...


sunnuntai 11. lokakuuta 2009

Day 4 – London 10.10.2009

You know, the difference between a 40 minute set and a 30 minute set is bigger than one would think. With 40 minutes, you can actually build a set that has a beginning, a middle part and an end. Whereas with 30 minutes (which in our case means leaving two songs out), it feels like a chowcase where you rush through 6 tunes. Just when you're starting to break a sweat it's time to get the hell off the stage.

Well, unfortunately yesterdays gig at the Underworld, London was one of those with crazy-tight schedules, so both us and BTD had to cut 10 minutes off our set. We cross over A Shade of Gray and Hang Me High from the setlists and go show London how we roll. Our showtime was really early (6.30pm), so we were worried if anyone was gonna show up, but luckily the was a nice-sized crowd when we went on. The whole band feels like it was a good show for such a baby set. Every single show so far has been so much fun, I just hope it stays like that. Man, with the way things are going, by the last third of this tour the band should be one tight unit!

This was the first time in London for the newer guys in the band, and everyone was walking around Camden after the load-in, doing some shopping (especially Ari, who seems to come back from his little walkabout with so much crap it's ridiculous) and checking out the area. We all got money for dinner, as there was no warm food at the venue. Me and Valtteri decide that we can eat another day, and spend all our food money on cab rides to Abbey Road and back. The decision between a Meatball Sub and walking across that legendary cross walk is really no decision at all. I just hope some of that Beatle magic rubbed off on me and that we end up with our own ”Something” or ”Because” on our next album!


Day 3 – Uden (09.10.2009)

I woke up in a proper bed after about 10 hours of sleep, so I felt great! We were sleeping in Joey’s place in Amsterdam because it was on our way to tonight’s venue in Uden. So, a 1 hour drive to the venue, a warm shower, and I feel better all the time! I didn’t go walking around to see the town, just stayed on the venue, tried to get the wireless internet connection to work and read a book. That’s some glamour for ya, eh?

Joey's place, Amsterdam.

The first night in the van wasn’t too bad, so I’m sure this tour will go just fine! Of course we’ll try to get a room in a motel whenever possible, so that people can actually rest in a bed every once in a while. But sleeping in the van wasn’t so bad as I feared beforehand, so I’m pretty much relieved.

The gig went fine I think, we we’re rocking like the animals that we are! These first gigs have actually been pretty nice. At first the crowd looks like ”what’s this band and what are they doing??”, and towards the end of the gig everyone seems to be diggin’ our show with a big smile on their face. So it’s all good! I’m looking forward to play alot of more gigs with this lineup!


perjantai 9. lokakuuta 2009

Day 2 - Leeuwarden

I tried to get one of the other guys to do some writing for a change, but these coco-drinking, PSP-playing goofballs are apparently too busy to help out with the tour diary. Bastards...

Ari trying to find out what country he's in.

Yesterday was another good gig, even though the ingredients for a catastrophy were there. The soundchecking of the first too bands went on and on, and some of the house staff weren't all that co-operative. When we finally got up on stage to do our little check, the house engineers had gone for dinner, as apparently they didn't know there was a third band playing tonight! So the soundcheck was a joke, but we didn't let that get to us. In the words of our old pal John Goss, who was the stage manager on the 2005 Finntroll tour : we're fucking professionals.

The gig was cool, a lot of people kept coming in during our show, and again, as Sex N' Satan closed the set, it looked like the audience had been properly warmed up. We'd be leaving to Amsterdam as soon as Before the Dawn were done so we could take our mutual gear on board. For some reason there's no gig in Amsterdam on this tour, but since it's pretty much on the way to the next gig in Uden, and Joey has an apartment there, we decide to head there to sleep at his place.

We get to 'dam around midnight. Some of us decide to call it a day, while me, Ari and Pexi go to a club nearby to meet up with a cousin of mine. It's nice to meet friends and family around the world while touring, and it just so happens that my cousin was working at a club right next to Joey's place! A few hours of catching up, bad jokes, beer and bourbon, before we agree that a few hours of sleep might be a good idea.


Day 1 – Berlin (07.10.2009)

Alright, here we go! Early wake-up for everyone to catch a flight to Riga, and from there to Berlin, where the first show was to take place. Our designated driver Peki picks us up from the airport with the Mercedes Benz Sprinter that is to be our home for the next month, and we start rollin'. We get to Columbia club around 3pm, where the crew is already setting up the backline, and the guys from Amorphis and Before the Dawn are already hanging out. Nice big venue, capasity 800 people. We get some food into our systems (biggest selection of cereals we've ever seen backstage!), load in our gear and chill. Not long after, Joey, our personal tour manager / helping hand shows up. We met Joey on our first European tour ever (2005, with Finntroll and Naglfar), where he was tour managing. The tour was awesome and we got along great, so we've kept in touch over the years. We were psyched that Joe was able to join us on this tour to help us out.

Quick soundcheck, a couple of interviews and it's showtime! We go out guns blazing, taking no prisoners and rocking out like the crazy horses that we are. Great first show, lots of people inside already by the time we start, with more coming for every song. We seem to win the Berlinians over by the time we're done, lots of happy faces in the crowd. Or maybe they're just happy our set is over... Nah, that can't be it.

We quickly make room for Before the Dawn (10 minutes changeover, whew!) and chat for a while about our set. We all feel it went good for a first show. Valtteri, our rhythm guitarist for this tour (Silver wasn't able to join us for this one becuse of his studies) is also satisfied: ”I didn't fuck up as much as I thought I was going to!”.

After the show it's business as usual: hanging out, a few beers, chitchat, watching the two other bands, and finally packing the gear in the trailer. Then we start going through the sleeping arrangements. We're doing this tour old school, back2basics, punk rock style: no fancy nightliners, Playstations, capuccino makers, leather sofas or private bunks for us! No, fuck that. It's all about throwing a cheap-ass matress in the cargo space and spooning with your friend in the middle of suitcases, guitars and plastic bags. We've been spoilt early on in our career, as all our previous tours we've done in cosy nightliners that cost a ton. So it's about time we experience the true touring facilities of an opening band. This is how all the big bands have done it in their early days, so how hard can it be? Well, we'll get back to that in a couple of weeks...

As I'm writing this, it's the morning after, 11.30am. I woke up in the back of the van about an hour ago, I actually slept well in there! I get out and make room for Pexi to jump in to try to sleep. The poor bastard got the short end of the stick and has spent the last eight hours sitting in the front, which is no picnic when you're tired. The rest of the guys are still sleeping. Just drove in to Holland, we're about an hour away from the venue. It's been raining hard all night, but finally the sun is out. This is gonna be a good day, I can feel it...