Wednesday, October 26, 2016

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Europe 2016 (part 1)

Hi There,
since I was to lazy to write on a day to day basis on this tour, I’ll have to pick up the pieces and try to remember at least something ;-) I try to be more, on it during the US tour…but let’s see…I guess old age is kicking in…haha…nevertheless, let’s see what I can remember:

We left from home on the 6th of October, despite the afternoon flight from Kemi we didn’t have to stay the night in Helsinki but continued straight to Oslo, Norway,  where we got ourselves and our stuff on the bus and headed towards Trondheim and our first show of the tour, actually the first two shows: 7.10. & 8.10. in Trondheim and Borlänge, Sweden were sold out so it was a very nice way to start the tour. As always it’s really exciting to start a new tour with lots of new songs in the setlist but thanks to the tour rehersals the beginning was really kinda smooth. After our next show 9.10. in Huskvarna we headed to Copenhagen, Denmark for our first off-day. It was pretty much the usual, hanging around and going to eat and drink, as well as trying to beat the support band guys at NHL hockey. On this tour we were sharing a but with our friends from Sweden: Twilight Force which was of course a lot of fun. Anyways, after the off-day we played in Copenhage on 11.10. and from there it was 12.10. Hamburg, Germany and 2 shows in Holland: 13.10. Haarlem and 14.10. Tilburg, which was Sold Out no.3 on this tour. So far so good. At some point we dropped a couple of songs from the setlist, let’s see if they make a comeback, as always our setlists seems to have a life of their own to some extent even if we try to keep it static sometimes.

After the Sold Out show in Tilburg, we had to get up in the middle of the night to get out from the bus when we crossed over from Calais, France to Dover, UK. A few hours of sleep on the bus and then it was time to get dropped off at the 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. I really don’t like the drop and go’s , those are the ones where the bus can’t park close to the venue so it has to go away. That always means that we don’t have a chance to go and take a nap in the bus if we’re tired…and when you have to cut your sleep into pieces like last night (getting off the bus at the ferry)…that sucks. Well, whiny whiny…and on with it. The show in London on 15.10. was allright and then it was time to do the whole ferry-thing again….and once in Paris we had another drop-off ;-) . We have played the Machine du Moulin Rouge before but I think it was called La Locomotive at that time, the crowd was really loud and we sold the place out so it was a great night. For the off-day on the 17.10. the bus picked up the rest of the guys and headed for Strasbourg. I stayed behind in Paris with my gf but that’s a whole other story. On the Strasbourg showday I took the TGV from Paris and arrived there a bit before soundcheck.The show on the 18.10. there and the next day in Pratteln went on without any troubles. In Alcatraz, Milano on the 20.10.  we had a signing session at a record store during the day, the crowd was as always, loud and after midnight I could start to celebrate by birthday a little bit. In Mannheim on the 21.10. we continued the celebration after our show. Our TM Merle had arranged to get a cake and the guys got me a nice little gift that you’ve probably seen on instagram already. We didn’t really go that crazy since we had the last show of this tour coming up in Zeche, Bocum the next day. As I remembered the food was excellent there and of course it was nice to end the tour with another Sold out show. We pranked each other a bit with Twilight Force since it was the last show of the tour, if you find some pics you’ll get it, i’m not gonna try to explain it in words…I simply just can’t…

On the 23.10. we were dropped off at the airport in Dusseldorf, Germany to fly home. This was a nice little run to start The 9th Hour World Tour which I have a feeling, will be a long one. Now next up is some time back home before we head out again in little over a week. Keep your thumbs up that we get our equipment back in time and our visas to the US delivered without a hitch. I’ll post some pics when I get around to it….as usual.

Thank you all for a great bunch of shows !! It was fun, we’ll do it again in the spring of 2017 !!



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 !!!



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. 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

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..


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 !!



Sunday, August 14, 2016

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

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:

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 ;-)