torstai 29. lokakuuta 2009
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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??”
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
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.
torstai 15. lokakuuta 2009
”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?
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
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.
sunnuntai 11. lokakuuta 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!
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
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.
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...
maanantai 5. lokakuuta 2009
We (Amoral) are about to leave to Berlin this wednesday, where the "Forging Europe tour" will start. The lineup consists of Amorphis (the headliner), Before the Dawn and us. We know most of the guys from both bands from previous gigs together, so we know how cool the company is gonna be on this tour.
Last friday was the "warm up" show at Nosturi, Helsinki, where we met the bands and crew, went through the backline and kicked off the tour in front of a sold out audience. In other words, a killer start to a killer tour!
We'll be updating this blog from the road as often as possible, with thoughts, comments and random bs, as well as pictures from around Europe. So keep checking back every few days to see if the boyz are still alive...