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.