Friday, June 23, 2017

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Latin-America 2017 part two

The Limeira show went ok, some problems with lights not working but that was about it. 
After the show we left at 0200 for Sao Paulo to fly to Lima. A bit tired we arrived there in the morning. I took a 4 hour ‘nap’ and then I went for a nice evening run. Our promoter had a birthdayparty in the evening so some of us joined for some good food and drinks.
The show the next day went well, we got some Peru-shirts as well. In the morning Tommy & I went to the Inka-Market to buy some stuff to bring home. In the afternoon after the show we had lunch at the hotel and then flew to Bogota. We arrived so late that I skipped dinner and went to bed. The venue was across the street from the hotel so that was really convenient.

After the Bogota show I went for a run in the morning just to see how it feels to run in 2500m above sea level. It was quite hard ;-) We were supposed to fly to Honduras for an off day but got problems with the connecting flights and ended up spending the night in San Salvador. The next morning we flew to Tegucigalpa and spent the rest of the day just relaxing. Elias and Pasi did a live interview of some kind. Nice weather and really nice hotel but going anywhere from there was more or less a no no. Pasi and Pekka our drumtech tried to go to the mall but when you see armed dudes at every gas-station and in front of the Burger King, you know it’s not safe….this was of course in the middle of the day. We played our first show in Honduras on the parking lot of the hotel and at 0300 after the show we left for the airport. When we arrived there it was really quiet and we had to pry open the door. Pretty ghostlike feeling….eventually people started showing up and we got to do the check-in and fly to Obregon in Mexico. 3 flights later, we arrived there in the evening and went to dinner. A truly exhausting day with flights delayed and a 6 hour layover in Mexico City. You can imagine how it feels to stay up the whole night after a show and then spend the next day traveling.

In Obregon, we spent the showday swimming in the pool a couple of times and walking to the nearby Wallmart, because…why not. It was around 35 degrees celcius so some guys burned themselves. After a nice show we got up quite early in the morning to drive to Hermasillo and fly to Chihuahua from there. Arrived at a decent hour and went to the Buffalo Wild Wings across the street from the hotel for some hot wings, and managed to watch the Stanley Cup Finals game 1. On the show day it was pretty much the usual, resting at the hotel, going to soundcheck, back to the hotel, then back to the venue for the meet & greet…and finally the show. We had a huge stage so it was really fun to play. The morning of the Chihuahua showday was the last time we get to sleep propery on this tour. For the rest of the days we’ll be doing back to back shows with flying every morning.

After the show we were back at the hotel around midnight but of course it took a couple of hours to calm down and fall asleep, woke up at 0630 to get downstairs and leave for the airport and the flight to Monterrey. Once again the venue is across the street so that makes it easy  when we don’t have to spend time driving back and forth. At the moment it’s 3 hours to showtime and I still don’t know at what time everything will be ready for soundcheck and then the meet & greet. Well this is how it is in Latin-America, the schedules never work ;-) After 5 weeks we’re pretty used to it but I can still bitch a bit, right ?  

…and what a show it was, Monterrey rocked and so did we. It was hot as hell on stage but that’s how I like it. Got back to the hotel just after midnight but had a hard time calming down and getting to sleep. At 0500 the alarm rang and we headed towards the airport and Guadalajara. After that show we again had to get up really early and fly to Mexico City where we finished the tour, the next morning we headed home for a couple of weeks off before it was time to start the festival season, we’ll be playing shows every weekend from the beginning of July until September so there’ll be plenty of travels to write about. I try to get some pics uploaded from the Latin-American Tour at some point.

Thank you all , this was a great but exhausting tour !!! Cheers !!


The last shows on the tour were:
21.5.  Bar da Montanha, Limeira, Brazil
23.5. Mangos, Lima, Peru
25.5. Revolution Bar, Bogota, Colombia
28.5. Hotel Clarion, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
30.5. Auditorio del Cum, Ciudad de Obregon, Mexico
1.6. Expo Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico
2.6 Escena, Monterrey, Mexico
3.6. C3 Stage, Guadalajara, Mexico

4.6. Circo Volador, Mexico City, Mexico

Sunday, May 21, 2017

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Latin-America 2017 part one:

Here we go again:

We left home on the 2nd of May, flew to Buenos Aires via Helsinki and London. As usual the long flights were just spent watching movies and trying to sleep. Our first two shows on this tour were in Argentina, and both were sold out so it was a really nice start to the tour. Even though I do remember how entousiastic our audiences are down here, it still amazes me every time. From Argentina we went to Chile for a one off-in Santiago, this one was also packed with about 2000 screaming fans welcoming us back, we filmed the show, let’s see what will come out of it once we get the material and we can figure out what to do with it. It will however not be a full DVD show from that concert. We’ve also been recording our shows in Europe and Finland and have a bunch of other live material collected as well but we’ll see how these things progress….at the moment we don’t have a definite plan for the next live-cd or DVD.

Anyways, from Chile it was off to our 2 weeks in Brazil. We’re doing 10 shows and a lot of them are done in the way that we fly in the morning and play in the evening, which of course is quite exhausting, especially when you have several shows in a row. It’s a lot harder than touring with a bus, when you just go to sleep and wake up in the next place. Even a short 1 hour flight takes us up to 6 hours, with all the gear and the driving from hotels to airports etc. Be that as it may, we signed up for this and it’s not our first time doing hectic tours. At the moment we’ve done Porto Alegre and Curitiba with a 17 hour travel day before that ;-) Today we’re flying to Recife via Sao Paulo and that will basically take this whole day for us. Next up is Recife, Fortaleza and Belem, with the latter two having morning flights on the showdays. So far the weather here in Brazil has been a bit on the colder side but tonight when we get to Recife it should be warm enough. Yesterday here in Curitiba there were some problems with the PA breaking down but in the end we managed to finish the show.

Well, Recife, Fortaleza and Belem where hot as hell and really humid as well. Nevertheless it was some great shows and in Belem I think we’re one of the first if not only European Metal band who has played here, correct me if I’m wrong. From Belem we flew to Belo Horizonte to start our next stretch of 4 shows in a row. For this part we have a couple of busrides so instead of flying in the morning we just drive. Even though we have to get up really early it’s still a lot easier this way ;-). 

In case you wondering why I’m bitchin about this travel + show thing just as an example: 
When the show starts in the evening around 2200 that means it’ll be ready by midnight
at around 0100 we might be back at the hotel, if we’re lucky. Then you try to get to sleep which will happen around 2 or 3 in the morning since you’re still worked up after the show. The alarm will ring about 3 hours later and it’s time to get up and get going…and of course the next evening you have a show as well ;-) …just in case you wonder why grown up men try to take afternoon naps, here’s the reason…
At the moment I just finished watching Canada beat Finland in hockey and I’m waiting to get the call to get downstairs and go for soundcheck here in Belo Horizonte. There have been some tech problems, that’s why we’re still at the hotel even tough it’s around 1800 in the evening. Usually we do the soundchecks in the afternoon. Luckily we have an excellent crew and I think they’ll sort this out, whatever it is. I’m trying to think about stuff that has happened on this tour but it’s all a blur of shows, airports, vans hotels and dinners. I did manage to go out for some runs and did some swimming as well. Finally I got the word, have to be downstairs in 20mins. Later.

After Belo Horizonte we drove to Juiz de Fora, another new place for us. It was an interesting show and the venue was quite good actually…from there we continued by bus to Rio de Janeiro where of course we’ve been many times before. The place we played at was partially outdoors and we had to postpone the beginning of the show since the was a protest of some kind and the police shot some teargas-stuff or something so we couldn’t go outside for awhile. Well, we did hear some loud bangs from crowd-control grenades but that was about it from our part. The next morning we flew to Sao Paulo. Because of the horrible traffic jams we missed our soundcheck, the drive that was supposed to take around 60min took about 2,5 hours. Be that as it may the show was good and it was really nice to end the 4 shows streak with a great crowd.
In the morning we drove to Limeira, watched Finland lose against the Swedes in hockey and then went for the nearby mall to get some food. Tomorrow is the last show of the Brazilian part of this tour and then we’re off to Peru, Colombia, Honduras and Mexico before heading home.



The shows played so far:
4.5. Teatro Vorterix, Rosario, Argentina SOLD OUT
5.5. Teatro Vorterix, Buenos Aires, Argentina SOLD OUT
7.5. Teatro Cariola, Santiago, Chile SOLD OUT
9.5. Teatro Amrigs, Porto Alegre, Brazil
10.5. Music Hall, Curitiba, Brazil
12.5. Clube international du Recife, Recife, Brazil
13.5. DS Club, Fortaleza, Brazil
14.5. Botequim, Belem, Brazil
16.5. Gran Finos, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
17.5. Cultural Bar, Juiz de Fora, Brazil
18.5. Circo Voador, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
19.5. Aquarius Rock Bar, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Friday, April 21, 2017

SA:On the road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Pictures from Europe 2017

Allrighty, here we go with some random pics in random order as usual ;-) Enjoy:

Driving through the alps......

...still driving....

....and the last one.

One of the venues on this tour, in Switzerland.

...same city....

Off-day in Marseille.

Driving through Spain.

Lissabon, Portugal.

...still the same place, went up to the fort and took some pics...

...what a beautiful day ;-) 

Pamplona during the off-day. This is some kind of bull running statue I think.

The cathering in Bordeaux is always a bit special, the food was excellent though !!

Besancon, France, Off-day walking up to another fort.

...more of the same.

Same city, walking back to the hotel and found this nice little house.

Running somewhere in France.

A nice cemetary somewhere in the UK, no I didn't run inside the walls.

Still in the UK, running somewhere....

...and finding some cityswans ;-)

The Caves of Nottingham, went there with Larry & Toffe. Kinda small.

Got myself a minibar for my bunk, from one of the ferry-rides.

Running somewhere, I think it was in Cardiff...

...yeah, it was, this is from the same place.

More running, Belfast waterfront and really nice weather... you can see ;-) 

I think this is still from Belfast but I'm not sure.

Setting up the show somewhere, impossible to remember which one of the
41 shows this was.

Off-day outside of Aschaffenburg...this was the view from in front of the hotel...

....and then I went walking to the city....

...and saw this thing.

Greek dinner during the off-day in Bochum...guitar players are crazy.

More running somewhere... I think I remember...

...these pics were from Bochum, I went out in the morning on the showday.

Cool SA tattoos part...something.

The Castle in Ludwigsburg...

...still the same, went for a morning walk on the showday.

...and finally, one of the many gifts I got during this tour. A keytar-playing Koala - magnet for the fridge.

That's about it, in a week or so we head out to Latin-America for 5 weeks. Until then...actually there'll be some KS2 news next week but the SA camp will remain silent until we head out.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Europe 2017 week seven:

Monday 3.4. Off-day / Bochum, Germany
Since two of the shows on this tour got cancelled, the promoter went bankrupt, 
we did manage to book an extra show in Bochum to try to somehow make it up
for the fans, furthermore we managed to make the deal in such a fashion that
you could use the already purchased tickets for the cancelled Cologne and
Herford shows to get in. It was a really shitty situation and we did the best we
could to sort it out. It’s really frustrating when something like this happens.

Anyways, we spent the Off-day in Bochum at a hotel we’ve been to a couple of times
before. They have a nice sauna and swimming pool so it’s the perfect spot to relax.
I just took it easy and rested and in the evening a whole bunch of us went to a Greek Restaurant for a long dinner. It was really good and after that I was really ready to

Tuesday 4.4. Bochum, Germany
Woke up really eary and then went for a run and breakfast. It was really interesting
to see if anyone would show up since we announced this show on such short notice
but in the end we got a good crowd and played a very hot show. Now we’re on the final streak with 6 shows in a row. 

Wednesday 5.4. Ludwigsburg, Germany
I went for a long walk and checked out the local palace from the outside and did
some shopping before heading back to the venue…then it was business as usual,
after the show we hung out on the parking lot for awhile since someone had opened
a bar from the back of their car. We didn’t have that much time before it was time
to leave for Leipzig.

Thursday 6.4. Leipzig, Germany
Today I managed to lose my shoes, I went into the wrong backstage and then when I went to our, it seems that I left my shoes behind ;-) …at the time I didn’t know it but these shoes will resurface later. Anyways, today our bus went to the get some service since it wasn’t working properly, the part that they needed had to be sent from Belgium or something so that ment that we’d get a new bus tonight to get us to Sweden in time. I left some stuff on our bus that I neede so me & some of the crew took the support band bus and drove to the service place to pick up said stuff from our bus. The place was so far away that when we came back we missed dinner….while starving our TM did order us some food and about an hour later everything was alright. Except for the fact that I was getting sick. As usual on tour the flu starts somewhere and then in begins to circulate among the tourparty…now it seems it was my turn. I decided not to take any pills or anything if I could avoid it, in order to let the fever rise and get me well asap….I have no idea how these things work but it has before so let’s see….on stage I felt kinda shitty….. In the middle of the night the new bus came to pick us up...and off we went towards Sweden.

Friday 7.4. Malmö, Sweden
Got woken up quite early, we took a ferry from Rostock to somewhere in Denmark and I hit the tax free shop on the boat. Still feeling sick but somehow managed to survive, the rest of the day I spent sleeping and resting whenever I could. The show in the evening was once again a bit of a struggle. Tonight we had to wait until 0400 for our "old" bus to catch up with us and after that it was straight to bed for me. Great to be back "home".

Saturday 8.4. Örebro, Sweden
More resting, I think I sweated most of the crap out last night when I was sleeping, let’s see…I was feeling closer to normal during the show, still not a 100% but close.

Sunday 9.4. Göteborg, Sweden
Back in business, apart from a bit of a runny nose I was more or less ok. The usual 3 day tourcold was gone. Spent the day packing up my stuff etc. In the evening the shows featured a bunch of pranks as usual. The Striker show got invaded by a bunch of dudes working out, Thunderstone had Tony brushing his teeth…On our show, we had a pervert wolfman showing up during Among the shooting stars….Tony totally lost it  since it was so funny….during Don’t say a word a table was brought in to the middle of the stage with our support bands taking a seat and drinking beer. There were also some huge balloons flying around….it kinda got out of hand a bit. At the end of the show all the band took a bow together and then that was it. The tour was over. Actually one more thing happend, Elias played guest guitar on Until we touch the burning sun, the last song in Thunderstone’s set.
…After the show we hung out and had some beers and wrapped the tour up. The Triosphere drummer and FOH also showed up btw.

A really huge thank you for our brave support bands, Striker, Triosphere & Thunderstone…and of course to all you crazy fans showing up at the shows and supporting us !!!  41 shows in 7 weeks , that was a tough one.

Monday 10.4. Travel Day, Göteborg-Helsinki-Kemi
Since we live in the middle of nowhere it took all day to get home. We were at the airport at around 10 in the morning or something….flew to Helsinki at 1300 and then we hung out in the lounge until 2345 when the flight to Kemi left…arriving at 0115 on what was technically Tuesday morning. Now we have 3 weeks to rest and do other things (like recording the final 3 songs for the new Secret Rule album). Before it’s time to hit Latin-America with 5 weeks worth of shows. I update some pics from Europe when I get around to it…



Thursday, April 6, 2017

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Europe 2017 week six:

Monday 27.3. Off-day / Manchester, UK
Started the week with an off-day. Spent most of the day just resting in my room,
went out to eat at some point but that was about it. Luckily there’s only 2 off-days
left on this tour because most of the time, these are just plain boring and pointless, 
at least for me. We got 3 stretches left. First 2 shows in a row (with a lovely ferryride in between) and then 3 in a row…and the last one will be a streak of 6 shows which will end in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Tuesday 28.3. Wolverhampton, UK
On this last day in the UK we headed out to a pub for dinner, hang around the venue
and eventually got around to do the show. One of our fans proposed to his girlfriend
during the show, everything went well and I wish them the best of luck…and she said
yes , how could she not ?  After the show it was time to head to the ferry.

Wednesday 29.3. Lille, France
I thought I was going to be woked up to get out of the bus but that didn’t happend so I just slept right through the ferry-ride, of course I woke up for some minor bumps and what have you but not enough to actually get out of bed. Anyways, back to the mainland and the last show in France on this tour. This was a rather normal day, in a place we’ve been to many times before.

Thursday 30.3. Off-day / Aschaffenburg, Germany
Stayed at a nice hotel outside of the city. Really great weather and nice views, I walked down to the city and around for a bit. The rest of the day was just spent chilling and enjoying the sun.

Friday 31.3. Aschaffenburg, Germany 
During the day I went to the media markt and got some new headphones, then just hung around until the show. We could get to the venue with the buses so I tried to take a nap on one of the couches backstage and it kind of worked ;-) The show was a very hot one but it went rather well.  

Saturday 1.4. Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Once again , old places and new faces ;-) I went out for a walk with some of the TS guys in the afternoon, got some stuff for my kids and then spent the rest of the day
at the venue. We had a short meet & greet in the afternoon and I did an interview as well. Nice and easy….of course I had to prank the guys a bit since it was April fools day so just before Fairytale I whipped out a Donald Trump - mask and used it during the song, it was a bit difficult to play the tune since I couldn’t see shit but it was totally worth it.

Sunday 2.4. Utrecht, The Netherlands
Another really nice venue and an easy day….quite uneventful actually. I had a massage in the afternoon which was really relaxing…and the food was amazing as