Thursday, September 29, 2016

SA:The “Summer” part 4: September

2.9. Friday - Travel Day

Allrighty folks, we’ve been here before, and now for the last time this summer:
We flew to Helsinki and went to the Hilton Airport to spend the night, as we
always seem to do.

3.9. Saturday - Travel / Hell Rock, Spain

This time around we actually got to sleep until 0530 which sometimes is a luxury
during these festival runs. A flight to Munich and then onwards to Madrid and we were
ready for a new adventure. Took a van ride to Ciudad Real, I think it was called. A small 
festival in the middle of nowhere. Our “hotel “  this night was a villa-type of thing which was really nice. We went to the festival real quick to get some dinner and then drove back to the villa for a couple of hours of sleep, since the show tonight was gonna be
rather late. Just before midnight it was back at the festival and some 25min late (because of technical reasons) we got to start the show at 00:25… about 80min later the show was over and it was time to pack it in. Well back at the villa we had some showers as well as some drinks and celebrated the end of the summer. It was however  a rather lame party by our standards, due to the fact that we had to get up again at 0530. Somehow I didn’t manage to get to sleep but didn’t worry too much about it since
I knew I could sleep in the car on the way back.

4.9. Sunday - Promo Day / Madrid

….Most of us slept in the van to the airport and at around 08 we were there. The thing now was that the rest of the guys went home and Tony & I were left behind for a week of promotion-stuff. Namely interviews. Since we knew which hotel we should go to, we felt a bit adventurous and took the metro instead of the obvious choice of getting a cab.
…We didn’t get lost and soon found ourselves in the hotel lobby. The check in wasn’t however until 1400 so we spent around 4 hours just trying to stay awake and waiting for the room. Once we got our rooms we went to bed….there was a slight mishap since Tony’s room was for some reason booked under Tommy’s name so we did have a really hard time finding it…..well…shit happens, I guess. Some hours later it was time to get
up and start with the interviews. We were supposed to have around 2,5 hours of inties but somehow ended up doing 4,5 hours…when we were done we met up with the Epica guys for some food and drinks which were very good indeed. Some time later it was time to go to bed, quite exhausted.

5.9. Monday - Promo Day, Madrid & Travel

The day was spent doing interviews at the hotel and then going to a couple of radio stations as well…straight from the last intie we headed towards the airport at around 1800 to board our flight towards Paris…a few hours later we were being picked up at the Charles the Gaulle - airport and headed towards the hotel and some sleep.

6.9. Tuesday - Promo Day, Paris & Travel

The thing on these promo-trips is like it’s somehow feels like Groundhog day, first you talk to people for 6-8 hours and then you go to the airport and fly somewhere, arrive in the middle of the night to be there for the same thing the next day. The scenery changes but there’s no chance to see much more than the hotel and the way to and back from the aiport. Anyways, did interviews the whole day at the hotel and then headed for the airport and  Milan….got picked up in Milan and went to the hotel to get some sleep. I knew that the Epica guys where there as well so I called Marc but since they were at a different hotel and I felt really tired (for a change ;-) ) we decided to leave the evening beers for another day. Which was a good decision.

7.9. Wednesday - Promo Day, Milan & Travel

More of the same ;-) The exception here was that our lunch at the hotel wins the “the best food of this trip “ - award. We also had a meet and greet and got some gifts as well as got to sign a bunch of stuff. Again the day ended around 1800 with a ride to the airport, two flights, first to Copenhagen and then to Stockholm. Upon arrival we did only have the hotel adress but no other info so we took a cab there only to find out that the hotel was fully booked and there was no rooms for us….interesting. Anyways at 0130 in the morning we didn’t have the stamina to start to figure out what was wrong so we just took a cab to another hotel and went to bed. Let’s see what tomorrow will bring.

8.9. Thursday - Promo Day, Stockholm & Travel

Had a nice breakfast and no rush ;-) Eventually we found out that there had been some miscommunication and our promo stuff here were scheduled for Friday,  our local rep
was very quick in rearranging some stuff and we managed to make around 5 hours of work before it was time to head towards the airport and the regular evening flight,
this time towards Helsinki and the last day of the promo-tour. Just to let you know, these are not the only inties we’ll do, but the rest of the stuff will be done via e-mail, skype and phone from the comfort of our own home. I do however prefer to speak with people in person, so this has been a nice thing to do….more stuff will be done during the tours so be sure to keep your eyes open online if you’re interested in hearing us blabbering about our new album and touring and other stuff.

9.9. Friday - Promo Day, Helsinki & Travel

The last day of this promo tour started a bit later, around 1130 which was nice of course so we could finally get some more sleep ;-) Spent the day at some radio stations and doing some extra interviews as well. Afterwards we met up with Masi before it was time to head towards the airport and fly home. All in all it was a nice trip and I think we had a whole bunch of great interviews on the way. On a personal note though: I think it’s a lot more exhausting than doing the touring stuff, plus of course, on tour we get to do the main thing which is playing our music. 

26.9. Monday - Tour Rehersals

Sometimes I wonder who makes up these crazy schedules, sometimes the blame is to
be found in the mirror though….anyways we got on the train at 0700 in the morning and headed for Tampere and a couple of days of rehersals. Today was a “band” day, meaning we only checked through the new stuff as well as the older songs we’re bringing back amongst ourselves with only Tero from the crew being present. Tuesday and Wednesday will be full rehersals with the whole crew, and we’ll more or less run through the show as a whole….or at least that’s the plan. One of the songs that we will play on this upcoming tour…that I can reveal, since Tony & I already gave it away at some interviews is: The power of one. We played it in Kemi this summer and since it worked quite well and people seemed to enjoy it very much, it’s back on !!! As for the other older stuff I better keep my mouth shut….This time around we’ve built a setlist that has some changing parts in it but the core will remain the same for this autumn, unless we get bored, which happens from time to time…let’s see how this turns out, at the moment it feels very interesting, to say the least.

Nevertheless, we got to Tampere around 1300 and headed for the hotel and lunch before gathering at the rehersal facilites and starting to work….it took us some hours to set everything up and at some point we even got around to actually play. We did run through all the stuff we haven’t played in years except for 2 songs. We’ll check them tomorrow. Anyway, sometime after 22 we were done, got some pizza somewhere and headed for the hotel and sleep.

27.9. Tuesday- Tour Rehersals
Got up and had breakfast around 10 but didn’t go to the rehersal place until just after noon. Our crew needed some hours in the morning to set up the rest of the stuff that was needed to for the complete stagesetup. The afternoon was spent playing through the setlist…which we realized didn’t quite work so we changed it around a bit. We ended the day with some snacks and beers before heading to bed.

28.9. Wednesday - Tour Rehersals
Went to rehearsals after breakfast and run through the re-adjusted setlist. This time it worked ;-) Let’s see how things progress but I think we pretty much figured out how these autumn shows will be. At the moment around 2/3 of the setlist are songs that we haven’t played before or in the last 9-14 years, so it sure will be something different from the last world tour. Anyways, we spent the evening at our drumtech Pekka’s house waiting for the train and playing NHL13. The next morning we were back home to enjoy the last week before the tour starts.

Allrighty then, we’re ready for the tour, hope you are too !! Let’s see what happens, see you in a few days, Trondheim: You’re up first !!!

cheers,

Henkka

Friday, September 2, 2016

SA: Picture update from the Summer Festivals 2016


Random pics with random stuff...enjoy ;-)



@the Steve Vai show, my first ever...and one of the shittiest loudest sounds
I've ever heard...the band was of course excellent.


Backstage view in Loreley...


...more of the same.


Driving, somewhere in Germany, I suppose.


Never noticed that the floor @Hilton has a definite Minecraft-vibe to it.


Driving...in Germany I think.


Still the same...or maybe somewhere else, not in Finland though.


Spent a few days in Budapest with my gf, doing tourist stuff, 


...still in Bp..


....and still...


...this time on a river boat...


...and one more ;-)


The view at Pyhätunturi, where we played an acoustic show in August.


Some pics from the video-shoot for the 2nd single....


...which will be out before the end of September....I think...
Shh, don't tell anyone, ok ?


Flying to Geneva, just about to land.


Pic from the Hotelroom part 39284 or something.


...and the most expensive burger this summer, almost 30e . It was however really
amazing.

That's all I got, I realized I should maybe take more pics of people and not just buildings,landscapes 
and stupid airplane pics. Is there something in particular you'd like me to shoot ? Let me know in the comment section and I'll try my best to do it....and NO I won't take any nude pics of anyone..

cheers,
Henkka







Sunday, August 28, 2016

SA:The Summer part 3: August

5.8. Friday - Pyhä Unplugged, Pyhätunturi, Finland

I went to the woods in Pyhä with my gf, already on wednesday to hang out at my friends cottage and have some R & R. On Friday the rest of the guys arrived. I reckon you saw some pics on FB or Instagram, the place called Aittakuru was probably the most special “venue” we’ve ever played. The show itself went really well but it was a surreal experience indeed. Afterwards we went to the hotel where there was a jam going on. Me, Masi, Ari Koivunen & Erkka Korhonen joined the house drummer for an
epic version of (don’t blame me here) Smoke on the water….well at least I got to play a
real hammond. The night didn’t do on too long after that since we had a 4 hour drive the next day.

6.8. Saturday - Satama Open Air, Kemi, Finland

Spent the afternoon driving and when I got home it was time for a nap. Satama Open Air in our hometown originally started as Sonata Arctica Open Air back in 2006, we did another festival some years later called Sonata Arctica Open Air 2 from which a few songs can be seen on the Live in Finland - DVD as bonus material. Nevertheless, the festival now turned 10 years and we were there to headline Saturday and end the festival. One specialty that we did was that we let the fans vote on songs they wanted us to play. A lot of stuff was the basic Fullmoon, Tallulah, Don’t say a word etc etc but a couple of surpises made the top 10. We played the Misery which we haven’t played in a couple of year….and then The Power of One…we opened the show with that and a lot of people seemed to stunned with a WTF? look on their faces…well you get what you ask for…however I suspect that a lot of the people that voted weren’t there so…
..anyways, hometown shows are always a bit special and we had a really good time.
Next up is re-uniting with our friends from Nightwish, supporting them on their only
Finnish show this summer….it’ll be awesome.

20.8. Saturday - Himos, Jämsä, Finland

Started the morning with a 6 hour drive to Himos. Well upon arrival it was time to check out the cabins that we were staying at. Nice ones, I must say ;-)  Managed to check out some songs from Delain before it was our time to hit the stage. The second to last acoustic show this summer was performed in bright sunlight, and was once again really fun. Afterwards we checked out Arch Enemy and got ready for the Nightwish show. It was once again something special, this time Jukka and Sami joined the band on stage. A truly special night.

21.8. Sunday - somewhere in the woods, Finland

The next morning the band & tero headed for a secret location near Jyväskylä where we spent the day shooting the music video for our next single. It should be out in September sometime. The stuff that we filmed turned out very good, it’s gonna be great to see how the video turns out. We ended the evening with a late-night swim and sauna. Great stuff !!

22.8. Monday - Driving home…

Another 6 hours in the car with Tony & Tommy and we were back home. More shows next weekend ;-)

25.8. Thursday - Travel Day

As so many times before, the Kemi gang (Me,Tony & Tommy) flew down to Helsinki in the evening. Later on the rest of the boys joined us there for a short sleep before the weekend shows. We had to wake up at 0330 to go to the airport.

26.8. Friday - Octopode Festival, Switzerland

Two flights later we were in Geneva, Switzerland at around 12 local time. Directly to the hotel and time for a nap ;-) It was really unfortunate that we didn’t get a chance to sleep enought the night before, today would have been a beautiful day to explore the city. Anyways I managed to sleep around 5 hours and woke up in the evening, went for a burger downstairs and at around 22 we headed for the festival. The crew had been there for a few hours already setting things up. I did an interview and then got ready for the show. Some 90min later we were done. The crowd seemed really into it and we had a good time going through the setlist and just kicking ass ;-) The show ended at 0115 and as soon as the crew got the gear packed we headed for the hotel. Since I was still amped from the show and we only had around 90min before it was time to go to the airport, I didn’t get any sleep. I think it was the same for most of the other guys as well.
Neverheless, we knew this was gonna be one of these weekends.

27.8. Saturday - Travel / Tampere-talo

After 2 flights (once again via Munich) we arrived in Helsinki at 12 just 7 hours before the show. Around 2-3 hours later we were in Tampere at the Tampere-talo, a really nice concert hall. Got some food and took a nap backstage. In soundcheck we rehearsed two songs that we didn’t play so far on the acoustic shows: Deadskin and The Misery. Tonight was gonna be a special one since it was the last show of the Acoustic Summer Tour 2016. We played two sets, the first one around 45min and the second one a bit longer. Our friend Ari Koivunen stepped in on vocals during Fullmoon, but for the other songs it was the usual suspects: the band with our additional guy Masi on guitars. The show went really well and the audience seemed to enjoy it a lot. We ourselves had  a great deal of fun, in a way it was a bit sad that these acoustic shows are over for now.It’s been something really special for us as well as a challenge to perform the songs in a format that isn’t too familiar for us. Anyways, thank you & goodnight from the Acoustic band !!!

After the show we had a couple of drinks at the terrace somewhere, which was cold as hell so I guess the summer has ended here in Finland. The Kemi gang took the train back home and slept very well while doing that...

In September we will have one last festival show in Spain. After that Tony & I will do about a week of promotion in Europe before heading home. At the end of September we’ll rehearse for a couple of days (yeah we actually practise about once a year for 2-3 days ;-) ) in order to be ready for the start of the next World Tour. It’s gonna be really nice to play some new songs as well as changing some of the older stuff we’ve been playing. If I’m not totally wrong, we’ve played over 200 shows since our last albums: Pariah’s Child & Ecliptica re-visited. Anyways, rock’n’metal and all that stuff !!

cheers,

Henkka

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sonata Arctica: First single from the upcoming album & lyric video

Hola,
as you've all probably seen already the first single from the upcoming album 'The Ninth Hour' is out. It's called 'Closer to an animal' and below you can check out the lyric video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN1D5SFw2ZE

You can also buy it on itunes etc etc... The Album will be out on October the 7th, the same day we'll play the first show on the next World Tour, in Norway !!

A couple of festivals still to go and then it's time to play some new songs ;-)

cheers,
Henkka

Thursday, August 11, 2016

SA:The Summer part 2: July

8.7. Friday - Travel Day
We started mastering the album yesterday, Pasi went to the Chartmakers studio in Helsinki and this morning Tony joined him…by the end of the day the album was finally done. Tommy & I flew to Helsinki in the evening were we met up with the other guys and the crew at the hotel next to the airport.

9.7. Saturday - Rock Hartz, Ballenstedt, Germany
Got up at 0530 for a quick breakfast and then we headed to the airport and towards our
flight to Berlin. When we arrived we met up with Ensiferum and Finntrol and took the bus together to the festival, which was a couple of hundred km away. At the festival we unloaded the gear and then took a van to our hotel to chill for about an hour before it was time to head back. Interestingly enough there were 6 finnish bands performing here on the same day. Us, Children of Bodom, Ensiferum, Finntroll, Lost Society and Omnium Gatherum, who will be joining us on our North-American tour this fall. Anyways, we did a signing session and then started to prepare for the show…I did one interview with Pasi as well. The 60min that we had went by rather quickly and then it was time to get our stuff together and go back to the hotel and sleep. I did check out a few songs from Finntroll, Ensiferum and CoB during the day.

10.7. Sunday - Out & Loud, Geiselwind, Germany
At around 0730 the bus with the Finntroll guys picked us up from the hotel and we headed towards Geiselwind. I took us quite some time to get there and most of us slept a bit on the bus. The Out & Loud festival was a bit confusing since it’s partly inside the hotel which was more or less a labyrinth but after getting lost a few times we managed to figure out where our rooms are and where the backstage was. A quick signing session and some resting in the rooms before the show. Today it was really really hot and of course the sun was blasting right onto the stage as we went on. I though Tommy was gonna die after the show since he was so dehydrated….but he didn’t. Spent the rest of the evening at the hotel patio and shared some drinks and laughs with the Finntroll guys.

11.7.Monday - Travel Day
Up at 0630 and I grabbed some sandwiches from the breakfast room on my way to the bus. Slept through most of the ride and soon enough we were at the Frankfurt airport.
In with the gear, boarding passes for everyone and off we went towards Helsinki where
we had a short layover before finally getting on the plane to Kemi and arriving home
at around 1725.

15.7. Friday - Travel Day
Arrived in Helsinki at the evening and had a couple of beers at the hotel before it was
bedtime. Just found out about Turkey just before I fell asleep, all kinds of shit going on
it seems.

16.7. Saturday - Rockmaraton, Hungary
Up at 0630, breakfast (which btw is really nice at the Hilton Airport) and after the usual check-in stuff and a quick stop at the Oak Barrel we got on the plane towards Budapest. Upon arrival we got to the hotel and had lunch. There was some minor hassles but finally at around 1530 we left with the van towards the festival. Last night
Megadeth cancelled their headlining show in front of a sold out audience, you’ve probably read something about it online already. Anyways, after some time of waiting around it was time to hit the stage. The show went well, we tried to do a facebook live - thing during DSAW but the connection failed…well shit happens, we’ll try again sometime. After the show we drove back to the hotel and that was about it. In the morning the guys went home and I stayed behind with my gf for a few days off in Budapest.

22.7. Friday - John Smith Festival, Laukaa, Finland

Stayed at Elias house last night, which was nice…in the afternoon we headed towards the JS festival. Upon arrival we did the check-in at the hotel and started the loooong wait for the show at night. Eventually it was time to hit the stage at 0:30, Since this was an acoustic show it was once again interesting to see what weird things will happen.Not
too many mishaps and a good crowd !! Took it really easy after the show since there was an early wake-up call to drive back home.

30.7. Saturday - Qstock, Oulu , Finland

One of my favourite festivals in many ways, great music , very well organized and of course…close to home ;-) In the afternoon we drove to the festival since I had promised to fill in for Jukka at the Thunderstone gig. I spent this week practising the songs and
I think I pretty much had them all in my head. I don’t remember the last time I was this nervous before a gig but in the end it all worked out quite well. The 50min long set was over rather quick and then it was time to focus on the Sonata show. Our acoustic set went over really well and the crowd was loud as hell. After the show we even managed to watch the Prodigy for a few songs before it was time to drive home and sleep.

cheers,

Henkka