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Blog from ??. March 2009
I have been waiting for the day I get to write this blog for almost a half a year. And now when I finally have my
MacBook open for it, I don’t know what to say…;) I’ll try anyway… They say the second album is the hardest
one for any artist. I really hope they are right. It has been one hell of 12 months building the puzzle
that never seemed to get there, but now looking back at the stuff we did, I would not do anything
different. Probably there are a few lessons to be learnt for the future anyway…
We had barely any pressure recording the first album in 2005. We just had the dream of a real album in stores
some day and we made all the decisions together with our producer Jukka Backlund. This time it was all
very different. And of course it’s great that every one in our team wants to make the best out of
us, and it’s actually very special to have a team working for you as hard and passionate
as they do, but the fact that you suddenly have 30 people telling you how the
song should sound and what the lyrics would be, makes
focusing very hard. There was also an additional challenge since Jukka (our former keyboardist-producer)
decided not to be a band member any more. Finding the same “great 1st album mood” in studio seemed
impossible. And… To make it even harder we decided to build our own studio. Building the place
took longer than we expected and when we started recording the first tracks for POPGASM,
we were already 4 months late… Well done boys, nice start ;)
We recorded almost 40 songs for PopGasm. That´s a lot. And there are many versions of many of the songs
since we didn’t feel good with the outcome. For example “Bad”, the song we have already played
live many times, was recorded 5 times.
I think it’s good that we lived and grew up for three years in between the 1st and 2nd album. I must admit the
3 years were quite a roller coaster and if we had tried releasing anything earlier, it would not have
been something we would have liked. We needed the time to really stop for a moment after all
the good and all the challenges that came along with the career. I have a feeling
that if all goes well, we’ll be able to deliver new stuff a bit
faster in the future.
Anyway. We like pretty simple music, stuff almost anyone can sing along as you can hear on the first album.
That goes again with most of the songs on POPGASM. And I love that. We also wanted to try new things
and to really challenge ourselves. In the beginning we almost took one step too far from our
roots, but as time went by we realized that we are actually steadily on the Sunrise Avenue
tracks. What I really like about our music is that it’s so normal in a way and you
can tell that we are just normal guys doing what we love the most.
There is nothing too fancy about Sunrise Avenue.
Hope you get what I mean.
Now looking at the 14 tracks on PopGasm, I am very proud of us all. It’s suddenly exactly as I dreamed.
There are many songs that could be on our first album and also many new fresh surprises. And some
things the critics will probably hate us for, but life is not fun if it’s too safe. For us,
music is not about being credible or following the rules of a certain genre. Our job is
just to entertain the people who want that from us, so we wanted to take things even
more relaxed this time. We wanted to be very brave. Be prepared ;) There’s
even a full 24-person string orchestra (ahhhh) and we made them also
do something they probably don’t do every day ;)
The only thing that I really wanted to get better for the 2nd album, were the lyrics. Sure we come from Finland
and you can’t expect us to write brilliant stuff in English like Coldplay or the Foo Fighters do (being
from UK / USA), but I guess I just wanted the stories to be a bit deeper and more personal.
And I think we made it. It’s still no poetry, don’t worry.
Wouldn’t fit to my simple half German mouth…
So now they are all asking me if POPGASM is better than the First one…? If I ask my mom, if my little brother is
better than her first son, I know she has no answer. Well, I hope she doesn’t… ;) Or try asking your girl /
boyfriend if the second kiss was better than the first one. We all know there’s nothing like the
first kiss, but if you kiss a bit deeper and really let go with the second one,
it can be as special as the one you started with.
Then it can lead to something great.
POPGASM is a better second album. Even though it sounds better (technically) than the 1st one due to better toys
in studio this time, there’s still a lot of emotion and the gang feeling there all the way. The things that
should be done by the book and well are definitely done so, but the things that should be relaxed
and simple are so too. We had to make some of the choices 2 minutes before the deadline
and that is always good. It’s just music, you don’t need fly passengers with it.
I must say I am very excited (and a bit nervous, but don’t tell anyone;) about the thought that soon many of you
will be listening to what we baked with the boys. I feel confident, but of course you are all free to think
and feel what you really do. We wanted to skip the thought of keeping the fans and album buyers we already
got with the first one. The only thing we can and should do is to make music as well as we can and
straight from the heart. Not thinking about what the world expects us to do. The ones who want
to join the ride this time are all more than welcome. And the ones who want to leave the
POPGASM train are free to leave. But sure I will delete them from my Facebook friends.
Muahahaha - Just kidding ;)
Every day we have spent at home or in studio has made us miss you all more and more.
Sure it’s nice to make music with the cool toys and the nice gang, but honestly the best moments in our lives what comes
to music have been together with you all on tour. I remember my feelings playing the last song (Nasty) at the show
in Luxembourg last year. The thought of that being the last show with the band really hit me hard.
I mean nothing is never for sure. Especially in the music business. I remember sitting behind the stage after the show
feeling like the smallest creature on the planet and only hoping you all know how thankful we really are for what you have
done for us. Some of our crew guys came to us in tears after all we had been through together.
That was one of the most emotional evenings in my life.
We have the best crew on the planet. Even though they force us to join all the partying. Without them we’d be total angels,
now we’re only 99% ;) I really hope as many of the crew guys join us again on the POPGASM tours.
Yes guys, this is a job offer for ALL OF YOU if the management hasn’t approached you yet.
The salaries go down, the workload is double. And for you the tours will be sugar,
alcohol and cigarette free. Start behaving like us ;)
I must also say that one of the biggest things that kept us going through the pretty hard recording process was the support
from all you little angels. I really don’t know what you get from building the cool websites and fan clubs for us but
I hope we get the chance to give you a little payback soon on stage with our new songs.
I mean you didn’t get any news or any new music from us and you still kept on believing and standing behind us.
You don’t know how much that means to us. So I hope we can see you all very soon. And I hope you are as loud as before ;)
The first single THE WHOLE STORY
Choosing the first single for any album is very hard. Why I like “The Whole Story” very much, is because it’s pretty simple
and also it’s one of the last tracks we recorded. The song is an up-tempo love song, but in between the lines it’s about
the feelings I had for the new album and all the pressure and lost hope I was able to feel around me every now
and then on the way. Even in myself. The chorus starts: “Wait, we can’t fall now. We can not leave all we have…”
That’s how I felt a few months ago. It’s produced by these two great guys in Gothenburg, Sweden (Nickey and Robin),
who were a huge help getting POPGASM together in the end. I love the song.
I’d be bullshitting saying I am not nervous putting the 1st single out. But on the other hand I have full faith in our team,
all the way from producers and mixing engineers to mastering, promotion and the business folks.
And in all of you, so I actually sleep quite well. Yea right, me sleeping well…;)
I really wanted to share the moments in studio with you all the way but I must say it was all too messy and complicated
to be spoken out loud. We had to use producers and stuff from the outside and I kind of had to walk over Jukka a few times
and I didn’t feel good doing that all the time. Jukka is still probably the biggest reason I am living my life this way
now and I can never thank him enough for what he’s done. No matter what happened,
we are still very great friends and all is ok now but it wasn’t easy. The friendship was tested and we didn’t fail.
That is extremely important for me. There were a hundred nights I felt like POPGASM will never happen and actually I
started writing stuff for you many times, but I just felt too bad and confused to get anything descent out of myself.
It’s all much better now.
But we are finally there. Our second album, POPGASM, is pretty much done and the album will be released before the
summer (Mostly in May) in most of Europe. I don’t know the countries and dates yet.
I guess they will start with Central Europe and Scandinavia and then move on from there,
but I am sure there will be more info on that soon. All that is in the hands of the record companies and managements
and they definitely know what they are doing and they are doing a great job.
I personally hope that they deliver the stuff available for as many as possible and as soon as possible.
Please check the local websites and stuff for the release dates and shows.
THE WHOLE STORY (1st single) will be given to radios in March and I am praying for some of them to play it.
The single will be out with a few extra tracks in April (as far as I know).
We have had very good feedback, but you never know. There goes my sleeping again ;)
If you want to help us getting the song played on your local stations,
you can tell the radio chief that if they don’t play it, we will release Raul from his cage ;)
So this is it ladies and gentlemen!!!
See you all very soon and cross your fingers for us!
Samu and his lovely sweet heart boys
(Legal notice: Even though the blond singer is blasting about POPGASM this and POPGASM that,
The record companies, agents, managements etc. do not guarantee an earthquake level POPGASM for everyone every time listening
to the album. If you have problems getting your POPGASM, please call 555-GET-POPGASM.)
Blog from 26. March 2009
Getting my PopGasm
I am sitting on my sofa (The most comfortable one in the world) again and now I am listening to the mastered PopGasm.
Well actually I must wait for the German EMI Boss to approve it but I guess it’s pretty much there.
I got the CD earlier today and have tried the sound in many different places. Of course I can’t hear the obvious things
anymore because I know the songs so well and therefore I decided to ask my trusted Tech guy Karri to join me for a ride
in my car and to go through the whole PopGasm. And he said yes ;) Probably because he’s afraid I’d kick his ass ;)
It’s funny how I get so nervous every time I play the new songs to a new person. I kind of wanna say stuff about the
songs and the stories behind them but now I have been able to be (almost) quiet for the last few times.
It was very encouraging how he said after every song ”This is my favorite track” all the way to the track number 6 “Bad,”
and then he decided not to mention it anymore. Maybe he really loves the album.
Or then he want to cheer me up with all my panicking ;)
It was quite a moment as we drove on the highway and the last track “Something Sweet” ended.
I honestly couldn’t breathe ;) Just the sound of the German built engine. One of the coolest moments ever…
Can’t say more. I am so happy that we had this chance to work with these pro folks and with all the support
from all you people all the way. I will be worried and sweating like hell the day before they release this stuff
for you fully, but I am feeling quite confident. AAAAAAAAAAtrjmytAAtAAAAA ;)
The Track Listing For PopGasm looks like this:
1.Dream Like A Child
2.The Whole Story
4.Welcome To My Life
8.Bye Bye (One Night Kind)
9.Kiss ‘N’ Run
11.Birds And Bees
12.Sail Away With Me
13.My Girl Is Mine
I will go deeper into the songs and the stories & how we recorded thjem before the release.
The Whole Story Video
We were in Berlin last week shooting the video for “The Whole Story”
The whole planning and selecting the idea was a huge workload because we got so many offers from so many places.
We ended up working with a German KTAPULT team and Sandra, our lovely Director (who admitted by the way that women
have smaller brain than us men;). I just saw the first cut of it last night and I am very very happy.
We have never looked that good and I wonder what they did with us. I heard the camera guy also did some
Rammstein videos (And they all are diamond great) and maybe that is one of the good stuff too.
Sandra was the first woman to direct us and after the shoot (And the after party where RAUL made us all very drunk)
we decided to seriously consider involving more ladies in our business in the future. Maybe the small brain is good ;)
Anyway. I guess the whole video will be done next week and I hope they air it as soon as possible.
It’ll also be on the websites so you all can judge Sandra and us no matter where you are.
On Friday we have our first show with the new guy who will stand behind the Key-boards this year.
Mr. Osmo Ikonen is joining us to Lappeenranta (FIN) to this private party of the universities 80-year anniversary party.
Exciting. We will not play new songs yet that much, sure Bad, Rising Sun and The whole Story,
but nothing else from the album yet. That will be the thing for the release parties. Where ever they arrange some.
So wish us luck with Osmo on stage and let’s hope ULI, the EMI boss approves what we have done.
I would be quite bad to go back to the studio ;) 14 months was enough and there’s no toilet paper left after that.
(I didn’t really write that…?) I bet we’re fine.
Good night everyone.
That’s all folks! Period.
Blog from 02. April 2009
Above Water with Riku
I love the Brazilian made Embraer 170 aircraft. It’s so small, only 70 seats, but there’s so much space.
I am sitting on 16 F, Riku on 15 F, both got a window seat this time since the plane is half empty.
We are on our way to Cologne, Germany to do some promotion for our little baby PopGasm
and its 1st single The Whole Story.
But let’s go a few days back first….
Last Friday we finally got on stage again. We had been invited to the Lappeenranta University 40th anniversary.
Lappeenranta is a small city 250 Km east from Helsinki and all I know about the city is that they
have a Finnish League Ice Hockey team SAIPA and one of my best ice hockey friends Miikka Jouhkimainen plays there
(Number 11). He got transferred from HIFK one year ago but seems as if he has settled down there fine.
Actually it’s quite funny how they just sometimes get to know that “Hey, you will play for the team on the other
side of the country for the rest of the season…” Imagine if our manager told me that I am the drummer of Metallica
for this year. I’d have to move to L.A. to this 5789 m2 house. Would be awful ;)
Anyways… It’s sure fun being in studio and all but we had all missed the stages so much.
Actually sometimes you get a bit annoyed packing bags and preparing yourself for trips if you travel a lot,
but this time I tried at least 6 different tops and jeans with different shows for stage.
I was so happy getting on stage and to travel again. With a real tour bus. It’s the smell that makes you happy ;)
That show was also the very first show with the new keyboardist Osmo Ikonen.
We all knew he can play and he sings like an angel. And sure we had all the rehearsals with him,
but I must say I was a bit nervous how he’d do on stage. It’s always so different with the real thing.
But no worries. After the show we shook hands and decided to go on until the end of the summer for starters.
Osmo is very talented and skillful and I hope Sunrise Avenue will offer enough challenges and experiences
for him and I must say we made the second bull’s eye discovery in a row. First Riku then Osmo.
I should start doing the lottery….:)
The show went well and even though it was a bit strange playing the whole story live for the first time,
we were very happy how the full hockey arena took us. I was a bit worried that everyone has already forgotten us,
the hit band from 2007, but seemed as if there still are a few believers ;) No honestly,
thanx for the great evening everyone.
Aaaand… As we got to the backstage before the show I met the couple who used to “nanny” me when I was 5.
“Ippa & Eki” were exactly the same as then. Shouldn’t have those surprises before the shows.
It got pretty emotional. They said I look like a healthy living smart boy… If they only knew…;)
After the show we decided to have a few beers downtown together with the crew and our Finnish agents Elina & Minna.
And Hank Pikkarainen from Hifk (#48) & Miikkka Jouhkimainen from Saipa (#11).
We went to this bar where this cover band just ended their show. We couldn’t resist asking the band if we could play
a few songs with their instruments. I mean there were maximum 20 people in the bar that time and we’d do no harm.
So Sami got a (wrong side) drum kit, Osmo took the bass and I got the guitar and a microphone. Just a few songs, right…
I guess it was after 2 hours of rocking when we tried to quit for the first time but the crowd (that grew) shouted
us back time after time. We played all the cheesiest cover songs and classics from Highway to hell & Enter Sandman
to Barbie Girl & Finnish 80’s super hits and the crowd was wild. I saw some videos that on our crew guys’
phones the next morning and well… it felt better in the night. We decided to establish a new cover band
with Riku and Sami. Riku played most of the guitars at the end but I was allowed to play 4 SOLOS!!!!!!!!
Our new band will be called The Pentti Hirvonen Band.
After playing 3-4 hours (I honestly don’t remember) we asked the bar owner if it’s ok to have a vodka shot per guy
as salary and he said yes. What a nice guy. And then we went to the after party. Actually the great mood ended at my
place on Sunday since we had a sauna session at Karri’s place when we got back to Helsinki and went out again with no
sleep in between on Saturday. So as I cooked my chicken&pesto&Rucola pasta for everybody 10 AM in my kitchen and
I didn’t know their names when I asked if they want parmesan cheese or not, I though it’s time to get some sleep.
But it was great. The night between Friday and Sunday.
The week went pretty fine trying to stick to my new gym program and healthy diet and now we are on the way to do
something with PopGasm again. We have many interviews in Cologne and on Friday we go to the Frankfurt Musik Messe
as guests of Gibson Guitars.
It’s gonna be so nice to see the radio promoters again after a 2 year break.
This is how I will celebrate my Birthday ;)
Blog from 03. April 2009
On the train to Frankfurt
We are on our way to the Frankfurt Music Expo with Riku. We’ll be there at our sponsor’s Gibson’s stand doing something
(I don’t know what, hopefully not selling amplifiers….)
and we’ll sure have some interviews and stuff as well besides exploring the new musical toys for big boys.
The 2 days in Cologne were so damn cool and it felt so nice to start the promotion again after a long break. Kerstin,
our new product manager (Lieutenant Zimmermann) is doing a brilliant job taking care of us and making PopGasm
happen more and more. We also met the EMI head of A&R Daniel Schmidt who originally signed us 3 years ago and Julia,
Our former Product manager last night. They don’t work for EMI anymore but I still must say they are among the top
people who made Sunrise Avenue happen in Europe during these years and it’s always great to meet the folks who help
your dreams roll forward ;)
The promotion days were very hard ;) We sat on the roof top terrace with Riku and the journalists came in one by one
and the sun was shining and it was more than +20 degrees. I actually burned my arm and nose just a bit ;)
Next time I must bring sun cream to the promotion trips.
We just saw the finalized video for The Whole Story. I must say I am very satisfied and happy with the final result.
You’ll see it soon, since they release it within the next weeks. In Finland I guess they start showing it already next
week and after that it goes to other countries as well. The director Sandra and her Katapult team had done a 10+ job.
And I must almost give the same 10 + points for Marleen, the girl on the video. She can express the wanted feelings
on the video very nice. We are thinking of using them for the next singles & Videos as well. I would love that.
I will get a beer for Riku and myself and enjoy the last 30 minutes of the train trip. I love my life again ;)
Monk bay, SAT (Home)
We had so much fun at the Music Expo on Saturday. I was actually a bit amazed how many people came to get our autographs
and stuff. It’s still a few years ago since anything happened in Central Europe. The day started at 10 with an interview
and Riku (Ricardo) came back to the hotel from partying with the Gibson guys at 7 AM. I must say I have seen a fresher
Riku before but still he pulled through the day as a real fighter. We also met the President of Gibson.
I wonder if the guy flew in from USA with Gibson air force 1….
It’s definitely not my day. My car has been smashed while I was away. It’s the first time I borrowed my car to my sweet
little brother and the very first night he had it parked outside his house, some ass fucker had smashed all the windows
and doors and stolen my iPod and my bro’s bag from the back seat. Great. I must start my week visiting the insurance
company & the cops and I obviously gotta go car shopping… I have also lost my bank / credit card and I can’t find my amex…
So I have no cash. And just as I thought that’s all, I realized that I forgot my MacBook charger in my hotel room.
F-U-C-K. I have 6 % battery left so I better read my mails before it goes off…
All fine. I got a new charger and my money problems were solved as well. Tomorrow I will go see my crashed baby ?
in Karri’s garage where my little brother had arranged it. She must be so sad with all the broken glass and scratches…
Thanx everybody for amazing time this week and thank you so much for all the great birthday presents ;)
Because of you it’s not that bad getting older at all ;)
That’s all folks. Period!
Blog from 03. Mai 2009
Getting ready for single release
We are on our way back home with Riku. Actually we were supposed to fly back to Helsinki yesterday but since there was
a huge traffic jam on the way to the airport in Vienna, we missed our flight and had to take rooms at the airport
hotel and celebrate the labor day’s eve there with a very great Douro area red wine from Portugal.
Unfortunately they had no standard rooms available, so we had to take junior suites. Life sucks ;)
We started our trip on Tuesday. We did this TV show (RTL Charts show) in Cologne together with Snow Patrol, Ronan Keating
& Silbermond and the whole thing was about “Women’s / Girls all time favorite songs. We were # 10!! I don’t remember
how high Snow Patrol got with their “Chasing Cars” but for me it’s one of the most beautiful songs ever. beautiful
songs ever. I was so tired the whole day since the flight from Helsinki took off at 7 and therefore we had to
wake up at 5 AM. It’s always very hard to sleep well with mornings like this. I actually went to bed the
night before around 12 o’clock but I just didn’t make it with the sandman. Finally I slept 2 hours and since
I had a few bad-sleep-nights before that already, I was D.E.A.D. Luckily the afternoon before the show was very easy,
but as I walked to the makeup (yes, the do this powder and stuff even for guys for TV)
I didn’t like how I looked in the mirror ;)
But the show & the performance went well and actually I have been a bit worried that people have forgotten about
us after we have been so long away from the radios and stuff, but again I was very very very happy how the
crowd took us. Thanx so much again ;) The only thing that went wrong that evening was that we got stuck
in an elevator right after the show on our way to the dressing rooms. Yes it said max 6 persons and
we were 7 but hey…? ;) Karri felt a bit uncomfortable since he’s a bit Claustrophobic. It gets
so hot in a few minutes in such a small space and you feel that there’s no air.
But it was good to lose a few kilos in the heat ;)
On Wednesday Sami & Raul & Karri (Our tech super director;) flew home and we flew to Vienna with Riku to do a few
acoustic performances and a lot of interviews. And I have to mention that we saw the most beautiful Stewardess
on that flight. Her name was Martina Something and it was the Austrian Airlines flight from Cologne to Vienna
that morning. We sure slept almost the whole way, but she was so nice, gave us the pillows & Blankets and
smiled so sweet that it made the tiredness go a bit away ;) Actually I like the stewardess uniforms in
general because I think they make a woman look feminine and sure hot but The Austrian Airlines
uniform is one of the coolest.
In Vienna we did a lot of radio, TV and other interviews and the second place we went to was the radio 88.6. Mr. Bernhardt
Feichter, the guy doing the interview had Check Republic roots and sure we had to bet one EURO for the Check Republic
- Finland ice hockey game that evening. And of course we won and now I am rich!!!! I can’t wait to be there
at their station again to collect my winnings. The Finnish team has been actually pretty good this year.
We have won all the games so far and seems as if we’d have a chance to fight for the medals this year.
Sure it’s a long way to go but still.
It’s been surprisingly great talking about POPGASM with the journalists and the feedback on the album has been very good.
Sure it’s sometimes hard to say if they just say good things about the songs having us in front of them,
but I have a feeling that most of them really mean what they say. And even though some rock
folks say it’s very dangerous to call the album POPgasm instead of Rockgasm
(Please grow up ;), I love the name and the whole thing. I just can’t
wait to have it in the ears of all of you so you folks.
I am sure there’s someone who will like it ;)
But anyway… I am back home now and I don’t know why, but I am feeling extremely tired. It was probably the short sleeps
the last 7 nights and also the skipped gym sessions since there was really no chance to do
anything healthy on the road.
THE WHOLE STORY was released yesterday and everyone in “our organization” seems to be a bit nervous how the song will hit
the single’s charts. For me the album release is the thing that will take my sleep away, but sure I hope the
1st single and its possible successful results will let the EMI folks sleep better and also to allow
them continue the whole POPGASM launch with full hearts. I am sure everything will be fine
in the end, it’s just exciting times now and sure it’s better to have the whole
team a bit on their toes instead of them just doing their jobs with us just
like with “any other band.” It’s cool how they also are just human
and so fantastic how closely they work with Sunrise Avenue.
We are very lucky.
Raul will come to my place soon and we will finalize all the tech stuff for the shows today. We have final
on-stage-rehearsals next Monday – Wednesday and we go through the whole show 10 times to see
that all the sounds and sound levels are good. I JUSRT CAN’T WAIT!!!
So be nice and enjoy the early summer and sure go get you copy of our new baby “The Whole Story”
I will have a shower now so I am fresh for Raul ;)
Blog from 08. Mai 2009
Berlin Viva TV – Köln Popgasm TV
Home sweet home.
There were great shops at Düsseldorf airport on the way home so I went shopping. I bought so many clothes, a huge sack,
and the stuff was actually pretty cool. I even bought my very first Ed Hardy shirt ever. Normally they don’t fit
me but this new collection was a bit taller / longer and I didn’t look as ridiculous in them as
normally do with my long legs. Anyway… when I started unpacking at home just an hour ago,
I realized I left the big bag at the toilet at Helsinki airport. I slept the
whole way in the plane and I was still half way with sandman before
getting my bags at the belt and I forgot the damn shopping
bag in the toilet. Well, I called the airport and
this very sweet guy went to find it and there it was,
right where I thought it would be and I’ll get my stuff tomorrow ;)
That was a close one. 7 shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, one hoodie.
I would have cried…? Airport guy, if you read this: Thank you!
Anyway…. We were in Germany with Riku for 2 days. First we did the VIVA TV live in Berlin on Thursday with this girl,
Annemarie Eilfeld, from The “POP IDOL” program in Germany. I had to kiss her (well… she HAD to kiss me…)
on air because we played this truth or dare thing and I really hope se is feeling better by now ;)
No tongue ;) and then we just hung out in Berlin by the river that used to be the boarder
between the east and the west. Our promoter in Berlin is Moni, this sweet grandmother
who has been in the business for ages. She is just so cool with all her stories
of living in the east behind the Berlin wall some 20 years ago
(she’s like 50 + sorry Oma if I got it wrong…;) and it’s
always so cool being with her because she tells us stories about her grand children
and stuff happening with her family. Showing photos and stuff ;)
It’s people like her who help you stop for a moment in this busy busy world made of financial crisis and all the bull shit and realize, it’s actually more important to stay close to your loved ones and to take good care of them and yourself than running after money, careers and all that shit. It’s funny how we never shake hands with her; she always hugs us so warm. And still she has all the passion to get our songs to the top. Unser Oma ;)
She took us to the coolest spot in the morning on Thursday before the TV stuff to have breakfast (Restaurant Tomasa in Kreutzberg) and a promotion trip could not have a better start. During these 3 years she has shown us all the historical spots of Berlin where the eastern forces (with Russians) used to switch agents with the western guys (with the Americans etc) and she has such a cool view on life and all that’s happening in the world. And she forces us to eat our vegetables but she smokes cigarettes & has beer with us. What a cool grandmother. We call her “Oma” (Grand mother in German) and sometimes the people at radios / TV stations think that we’re insulting her, but she loves being OMA and it’s so damn cool. She’s working with Rock bands and she is so happy with what she has. I kind of envy her and I hope I could be like her some day. Maybe even I grow up someday…;)
After the afternoon with Oma, we flew to Cologne in the evening to rest in a nice hotel and to get ready for the next days interviews and stuff. Leutnant Zimmermann, our Product manager was out of town this week so we had to survive the jungle with the other Emi guys and girls. We went to the gym before the dinner to swim a bit and to enjoy the Finnish sauna they had and that was sooooo relaxing. I don’t have a sauna at home anymore, since I never used the one I had in the house I sold to Karri (Our Show manager). I didn’t remember how damn good it feels. Usually when we go to sauna with the band guys, I am the pussy who sits the lowest and runs out when the tough guys start making it hot. I can be a man in other ways…;) A nice dinner at their restaurant and there was no problem falling asleep.
I stayed in the same room at the hotel (Intercontinental) where all the musicians like Tokio Hotel, Take That etc and athletes such as German football team members had stayed and there was a cool guest book on my table with a kind request from the hotel to sign it. Sweet. That was good stuff to read before falling asleep. I put a few POPGASM stickers and a few words in German in there just to do our part.
We did all kinds of TV and radio stuff the next day with our host Nils, a young smart EMI representative / Spare Kerstin, and the last thing before we drove to Düsseldorf airport to fly home, we filmed this thing for POPGASM TV. I can’t tell you yet what it is, but it was very cool. I can just say I have never seen Riku dressed that funny and I laughed the whole time at the studio. Riku has been working with our Pre-Show-Tape the whole week and he’s slowly getting there ;) His ideas are just sometimes so damn out of the space ;) But it’ll be cool.
I CAN NOT WAIT for Wednesday when we get to play the first PopGasm show in Helsinki. We had our PA / On Stage rehearsals last week in Helsinki and the whole package just feels so right. I can’t express how great our crew guys are working day and night to get the stuff ready for us and for you and I know we are really lucky having these (drunk, stinky) fellows with us. And Raul has also been working his ass of with all the technical stuff together with the guys fixing every damn cable right for the shows. It’s his passion and sometimes I don’t understand how he has the time, patience and strength to do all that small detail stuff, but I have nothing against the free work force ;) I will reward him with some extra beers when we get on the road again. I think he loves his cables more than anything ;) I must say the mental balance in the band has never been this great. Everyone has a clear role and everyone seems so damn happy. That is good for the challenges we will have soon.
I am just a bit worried about the audience. If the people remember us anymore and if people will come to the shows. I know that I probably should not worry, but it has been 3 years from the release of the last album and I honestly feel as if we must start from the beginning pretty much again. And maybe that’s good.
Aaaaaaand. The album was released in Finland last week. MY GOD. I really didn’t sleep well the night before. The thing is that I love the album, but I have had it already for 3 months mastered and finalized on my iPod and of course my weak mind had all the time to let all the doubt get into my head if the whole thing is good enough or not. I must say I have felt so happy reading the feedback from people after the release. It really means so much to me if someone likes what we have squeezed out from our hearts. Thank you! And I am starting to realize how genius Jukka Backlund really is as a producer. It’s so cool what he did under very tricky circumstances this time. It’s gonna be so cool when Jukka will join us for the shows when Osmo, our new guy can’t make it.
I’ll empty my Gin-Tonic now and go to bed. I have to wake up for this video thing pretty early tomorrow. Again, I can’t tell you what it is about, but it’s something even the record companies don’t know about. We arranged a small budget to have a little fun with the next video and Jukka and his brother will be there too (meaning it will be a disaster;). You’ll see it soon and we really hope you like it. And Sunday will be interview day for me and on Monday I fly to Zurich Switzerland to do 2 days of interviews and stuff and Wednesday is the show. Finally ;) AAAAAAaaaaaaaa!!!!!
It’s actually funny. Some girl asked me when we are in Tokyo, Japan. And I didn’t know. They always just send me the schedules along with the flight tickets from our management. There is a car waiting at the airport and a hotel booked…. Riku just told me today that I have no days off really until June 15th…;) Great ;) So don’t ask me about trips and show, check the website or ask Riku, my personal secretary.
Right now I love you all and my life very much and I hope you all sleep well tonight, where ever you are. Or party as hell or what ever.
Thanx for a great week again everyone!
See you soon.
PopGastic Operations Specialist
Blog from 12. Mai 2009
Helsinki - Switzerland – Helsinki
It’s heavy turbulence. I kind of like it when the plane jumps heavily between the clouds and air streams. Jukka, our Producer has told me everything about aviation and it’s cool to see how the pilot is doing all the things Jukka has told me they would do in such cases…
Anyway ;) I was in Zurich for 2 days doing interviews and talking about the glory of POPGASM and now I am on my way home. Again I must say we are really lucky with the EMI gang. It’s true that they haven’t been able to release our music in all the countries so far, but where the action is on, we have such a family feeling with the folks.
The record industry has suffered a huge change within the last decade. At Emi Switzerland office, for example, used to work 36 people and now they’re 8 (!!!) but the amount of releases are not down much. Meaning they have at least double amount of work. It’s actually pretty sad that they still have a huge and a very nice office for all the 36 people but there’s only 8 people filling the space. I spent my days with our Promoter with Flo (Whatta name ;) driving me around for the meetings and stuff. I must say the whole thing is a bit different than with the last album. Now they know the band name and we can get deeper into cooler conversations. Not only telling them who plays what and where does my dad come from ;)
Last night we also has a nice dinner with EMI boss Carlo and Product Manager Sandro at a nice Italian restaurant. I promoted Finland for them a bit and promised to take them to our new summer cottage if they come to Finland. It’s so beautiful. You only have to drive 80 minutes from the center of Helsinki and you are surrounded by all the nature and sweet drinkable water. Finland is as big as Germany but we are only 5 million there, so there’s a lot of space and even untouched land. You should experience the quiet summer evenings in my country once in your life. You can all come to our summerhouse. My mom can make pancakes for all of us by the lake at our grill house and we can all swim in the lake naked ;) Just be careful that the fish don’t swim up your “arschum” like what happened to this little boy in Thailand. It was in the news everywhere, right? I am a bit worried if Carlo comes because that would mean partying heavily. He is a very nice and cool guy but I can sense a little party devil in him ;)
He gave me a ride back to my hotel yesterday with his convertible Porsche. Financial crisis my ass ;)
I must also say I have been a good boy following the diet made by my and Raul’s personal Trainer, Nora. It’s been 6 weeks now choosing the healthier stuff instead of the burgers and pizzas and I must say I feel better. It was actually pretty cool getting her to help us. First I had to write down everything I put in my mouth and everything I do at the gym / jogging for a week and then she made her analysis on my behavior. When I knew I’d have to report everything to her, I realized I skipped the Pizzas, Burgers and all the unhealthy shit and ate soups, salads, and a lot of fish instead. I changed the butter I have used for ages for a healthier one and actually the small things matter a lot. Nora says it’s ok to have a beer or a glass of wine EVERY EVENING!!! Jeeee ;) But I have had only one Pizza since, zero burgers and zero kebabs.
I love to eat some snacks in the evening with a movie and my bad habit has been the microwave popcorns. I replaced that with the mini carrots, yes I know it sounds very gay and stupid and all, but actually I am now so addicted to them that I must have a few 1 Kg bags of them per week. They taste so good and they are so healthy. Laugh if you want ;) Carrots make me happy!
Next week we have the first control check at Nora’s gym and it’ll be interesting to see the results. She also made me a new gym program containing 3 different muscle days and 2 aerobic days, but it has been impossible to follow that totally with all the traveling. The control thing is so great. Every time I feel a bit tired and would want to skip the gym, I have the thought of meeting her soon and her kicking my ass ;)
Of course the trips can be exhausting and all, but even yesterday after a long promo day I had to go swimming a bit before the dinner. You sleep so well after that. A full stomach and a few glasses of wine and welcome Sandman! My Finnish friends Jenni & Kati who were also in Zurich joined us for the wine after the dinner but even though they had the party mood on, I was in bed before 2 AM. And that is early for me.
Note! If there’s something good about Finland, it’s Finnair. The lovely flight attendants just came and asked if I want to eat more than the usual portion. And you know, they serve carrots and dark healthy bread today ;) Go Finnair. Everyone else in the plane is a businessman going back home from a business meeting. I am the only one with a t-shirt and jeans.
But now to the point why I started writing this blog. Tomorrow we play the 1st POPGASM show and I don’t remember waiting for anything in a long time like tomorrow evening. We will do many many interviews in the afternoon and one of them is the music TV where we will hear how our new album has entered the charts in Finland on the first week. I must say I am not worried. It would be very nice to have it in the top 5, but it doesn’t change anything if it’s 16. Maybe there will be a little panic meeting at the record companies everywhere, but I’ll be fine with my boys. We get to go on stage again and that is the main reason for doing this. There are a few other pretty big releases last week too, so we’ll see.
The live set / the show is just so good. We were amazed how well the new songs fit together with some of the hits from the previous album and as we played it through last Sunday for the last time before the show, I had my mouth smiling all the time. Apart from the moment we had a little fight about guitar stuff with Riku, but we were all just tired and no harm done. (Riku, I am bringing you something sweet from the chocolate country, so you can forgive me the spontaneous fast reaction…; My little sweet mouth ;)
I heard that the tickets have sold great and seems as if we’ll have a nice evening. There is no support band tomorrow, so we’ll have the whole day / evening for our sound checks and stuff and that is good since our crew is also doing the POPGASM thing for the first time. I am so happy that the crew we had before wanted to continue with us. Karri is the boss of stage, Aki (Akinator, the sex robot sent from space) is on lights, Gorilla-Mikko does the sound for you / FOH, Heavily religious Tuomas in monitors and MP is Riku’s and Sami’s little assistant. I guess my little brother will also be at the Follow light, the spotlight on the action. I might take him in more shows in the future too. On Thursday we have pretty much nothing and that means there will probably be a party after the show. No matter if the chart position is 34 and the show is half empty. There’s a lot of folks who deserve a glass of something relaxing after all the work they have done for the POPGASM show.
Friday we fly to Sweden, Stockholm with Riku to do some acoustic stuff there, then to Austria, or was it Germany… Don’t remember. I’ll have more flight tickets from the management anyway. The next day off at home now is June 16th. I love it ;)
So keep your fingers crossed for our chart entry and see you at the show tomorrow. I’ll start my “Ketonen & Myllyrinne” comedy DVD now. I bought it at the Helsinki airport on the way. It’s so great, I wish all the world understood their jokes ;)
Blog from 16. Mai 2009
Helsinki - Stockholm - Helsinki
It might sound as if I am always sitting in a plane on the way somewhere, but the thing is, this is the place where I have most time for my little blogs…
We were in Stockholm doing interviews and a short acoustic show with Ricardo and the day was very very relaxing. Even though we all had a tiny hangover from the release party in Helsinki, we all felt better than ever. The evening in Helsinki was just so fantastic! I mean I was pretty nervous if any people would come to the show and how things would roll on stage since we did it for the first time for real with these songs. But it was so cool. And the surprise with the Gold award in Finland after the show… It’s not nice to have tears on stage, but it was worth it ;) And it was so cool that Jukka was there too to have his applause too. Jukka is the best!
The party on Wednesday night was long. We went all over the city and ended up at Elina’s, Our Finnish Tour agents place (Sorry and Thanx Elina) with a huge gang and I remember being on my way home around 10 in the morning. I just remember this taxi driver, a young guy who also told me he has his band and I promised to have a look at their stuff…;) I sure will if he sends something, but maybe I was not the most credible Music manager that moment…
Anyway, Sweden was great as usual. We went shopping with the boys ( I have Riku, Management Mikko & Karri with me) and in the evening we had dinner at my friend’s place at the Texas Long Horn Steak Restaurant. 300 g filet beef per person and sandman had an easy job in 4 hotel rooms right after.
So… we’re on our way home now and I will have to wash clothes for the next trip starting tomorrow. I will be on the move all around for a week and then just drop by at home for a few hours and fly to Tokyo for almost a week. And we decided to go to movies with Karri to see the new Angels & Demons (A kind of part 2 of Da Vinci Code, one of my favorite movies). I just hope we won’t go out too hard with the little party animal. You all know how he is ;)
So enjoy your weekend everyone and thank you for yesterday Bonnier Sweden and Thank you all so much for the show in Helsinki last week. You don’t know how happy you made us. Can’t wait for the release show in Berlin and the Dome and everything next week ;)
Blog from 26. Mai 2009
Thursday, May 21st 2009 On Air
Hello everyone and welcome on board from Leipzig to Munich.
We have been here in Germany for this week with the guys, actually with Riku all the way from Sunday, and the journey goes on. Sunday and Monday we visited all the radio stations in the Berlin area with Oma (our radio agent ;) and it was so cool to see all the familiar faces we got to know on the promo trips of the first album. There are actually some reporters and radio presenters etc you become almost friends with and it’s cool to see them at the after parties.
On Tuesday we played the first POPGASM show outside Finland, in Berlin. It was this pretty small (Frannz Clob) but very intimate and VERY HOT club, so the conditions were as good as they can be for the presentation of our new baby on stage. It was a great thing that we already did it once in Finland, so we had 3 % routine there already ;)
I have missed the live shows. I don’t remember feeling that good on stage. It was damn hot and sure we were a bit extra excited that evening, but it just felt so amazingly natural all the way. The temperature was so hot for us on stage that I was worried a few times that I might pass out. But didn’t. My little sessions with Nora, the personal trainer had helped a bit ;) I also felt a bit sorry for the audience because it must have been damn hot for them too and the place was packed. Great that you stood the heat so well. I heard that the sound was not that good that evening and we are sorry for that if it really was so. Our tech guys(Especially FOH Mikko) said that there was a problem with the PA and there was nothing they could do. But listening to the feed back, the sound wasn’t that bad ;) Our crew is just so passionate with their work that sometimes the show’s technical stuff is not enough for them and they feel sorry for us & you folks, but I think that‘s only good. It’s good to have these pro boys with
us who know what to do.
And it’s so great that you all took our new guy Osmo so well. I mean he is cool on stage sure, but I know how great Jukka is on stage and it’s not easy for anyone to fill his boots. Great work Osmo San.
After the show EMI (Our record company) had arranged this garden outside the venue with a barbecue / Burger grill, drinks and a lot of folks who have been helping us on the way. And also there were some fans / people waiting for autographs and I was very happy to realize that there are some people who haven’t forgotten about us.
Damn.. We’re landing…. I will continue later. Stay tuned ;)
May 26th 2009
Ooookay. I broke my MacBook on the promotion trip and I am using the last functional corner of the screen to write my blog on the way home. I have a new MacBookPro waiting for me at homew and I can’t wait to put my little fingers on it ;) Yammmy ;) So we are flying home now to Helsinki to sleep one night in our own beds and then we take off to Japan tomorrow. The other guys have left to Japan already today to prepare everything there.
The 9 days in Germany were so damn cool. On Friday the 22nd we had our album release of course and also we did the DOME TV show for the 7th time in the Sunrise Avenue history. It’s this show with big international stars and smaller local acts and I think we fit there pretty well in between ;) This time the biggest acts were The Black Eyed Peas, Pet shop Boys and A-ha. It’s a shame we never have time to meet these other acts that much because the time after and before the stage is filled with interviews and stuff. But it was fun and very encouraging to hear 10.000 people singing our new single “The whole story” together with us. And we had the green lasers on stage ;) The only down side is that most of these shows are playback and that is never 100 % great, but as an experience and as a promotional move it is a great thing.
One thing about The Dome that is great, are the after parties. It’s a real red carpet thing with everything for free inside. You meet all the media folks and all the local celebrities and it’s just so much fun. We prepared ourselves for the after party with the band by drinking one liter of whiskey-coke and watching “Ketonen & Myllyrinen” DVD in my room. They are just super great. This Finnish comedy – you should all see it ;) For me it’s better than “Kummeli” at the moment and that is a lot said.
After getting boozed in my room, we were definitely ready to party. And as the EMI folks were also relieved with the reaction of the audience at the show, they were as well, so the night was long ;) Actually I must apologize my behavior in case I did something unsuitable. I have a few blackouts that night. It was just this great warm summer night and all these happy people around us. And everything for free. Blame yourselves, who told you to invite us ;)
After the party there was this kind of after after party in my hotel room, but if I remember correct, Riku was the last one who left my room at around 7 AM. And sure I was so wasted that I couldn’t sleep. The first interview was at 12 the next day and I set my alarm at 11:58 ;) I was still so wasted when I arrived at the hotel lounge for the reporter. I was glad she / he never showed up. That almost never happens but that journalist let me off the hook and I was able to sleep one more hour ;)
To make the hang over day perfect, we had an acoustic session at the local record shop called Media Markt, the worlds biggest MM in the world. We looked at each other at the backstage before the show and we all thought it’s better to have shades on the whole session. We were supposed to play 2 songs, but since the atmosphere was relaxed we decided to double that with Riku ;) It was the first public performing of 6-0, our wanna-be-classical pop song. After that we signed autographs for 2 hours and they had to cut the line so the next one, Germany’s next top model, could go on stage. It was so sweet that all you people came there that day and you made us so happy. Thank you. And thank you for being so ok with the old booze smell ;)
I must also thank a local guy in Munich (who’s name I don’t know) who saved us by loaning his PERSONAL GUITARS for us, since the ones that came from Gibson had no microphones. If you read this, the custom 165-bodied guitar is the best acoustic guitar I ever had in my hands and I realize how valuable that piece is for you. Huge respect for borrowing them and the tickets are free for you forever to our shows if you wanna come. Just contact EMI or management.
After the signature session we drove to the airport and Sami, Raul & Karri took the flight home to Helsinki and Riku, Kerstin (EMI) and myself flew to Hannover. It’s been funny to see how human Kerstin and the other EMI folks are with Sunrise Avenue project and how they treat the whole thing as their baby. If we had been on any other label in the past, we would have been dropped far before Fairytale became a hit and the same long-term commitment seems to be there this time too. And it’s so cool to be friends with the people who work with you. Even though some times it also means that it’s hard to remember the roles we have (Somebody is artist and somebody is the record company), it’s something I would not change to anything. It’s funny how they also feel the excitement with the release and the songs and the videos and how they sometimes seek comfort in us too. But that means they are not faking anything towards us and they play the game 100 % open and real. I respect that. I am sure if we don’t succeed with
PopGasm as we did with the one before, they will have hard time accepting that and forgetting about the success with us, but they will say that kind of things straight too. So hang in there Platten Firme ;)
On Sunday we had a day off in Hannover and we planned to all the stuff, to see the city and go to movies and stuff. We were just so tired, both of us, that we barely got out of our rooms and we just had a little walk near the railway station and the red light district. No, we didn’t go to the strip bars ;) In the evening we found the fitness section at the hotel and they had a Finnish Sauna and a Turkish bath. You sleep so well after that.
This week we have been driving around northern Germany (Hannover, Hamburg, Kiel, Bremen) with our pal / driver Jörn (Jörkka) from Berlin. I am sure one part of Jörn’s job is to have an eye on our fitness & diet stuff. Jörn is in shape and he might have been hired as the driver on EMIäs request. Still we made him smoke and drink last night. Muahahahah. (Note: In Finnish slang the word “Jörniä” means to have sex)
Tomorrow we fly to Tokyo. I really don´t have any clue what will happen there, but I guess not that many people know us in Japan. I have done a few interviews on phone and I met the guy from our Japanese record company, but I am sure the work has to be started from the zero there. Raul, Sami & Osmo are there already today with the crew and they will do the interviews tomorrow when we rest with Riku after the flight. And its their turn, we must have answered 10.000 questions these last 6 weeks. And on Friday we play a short show there for the local people. I hope someone comes to see us since we fly that far. If the room is empty before our show, we will walk out to the streets with Riku (we are tall) and tell everyone that the tall human beings will play music soon. That should be exotic for them ;) I have my new camera, video cam and stuff ready for the trip. Makes me so happy that I have a job that takes me to Japan ;) Aaaand. We stay at the same hotel where they filmed “Lost in Translation” and I am reall
y gonna try to smell Scarlet Johansson on my sheets, mmmmmm ;)
The Japan trip is also the first time we get some governmental financial help on our mission. So far they have been avoiding us or claiming that our applications haven’t arrived ;) but maybe there could be light at the end of the tunnel now. It is a super great thing that now we got the support. We always fly in economy class because in Europe it doesn’t count, but tomorrow I am going to have a business seat. I upgraded the seat with my Finnair-Points. It’s a seat that turns into a bed ;)
I had a message this week that the court case regarding the name Sunrise Avenue will happen in August. It’s actually very great that we finally get an end to all the unnecessary waste of time and heartache on both sides. I am pretty sure we will be able to continue with our name, but if we lose, we will call our band something cooler. One-hit-wonder-boys????? ;)
But anyway. We will start landing in Helsinki soon. I have my new MacBook Pro waiting for me at home and I will upload this blog as soon as I get it registered and started. Someone needs a second hand MacBook in good condition??
PS: I just heard that “The Whole story” is number 1 in all German radios!!! You don’t know how thankful we are for the support from all you people. Fairytale Gone Bad was number 3 at the highest, so a super great start for the album’s 1st single. Thank you!
PPS: Everyone, Get A Mac!!!!!!!!
Blog from 28. Mai 2009
Finnair Airbus A 340-300 (A tiny commercial ;)
Ooookay. We usually fly the economy class, but this time for the trip to Seoul and then to Tokyo we have business seats with Riku. I have never been to the new big airbus A 340-300 planes before and I must say it’s the best thing in flying since someone invented the jet engines.
The seats are so huge. You have a full multi media system just for you and you can watch movies, play games and stuff and actually you can even make phone calls up in 10 Kilometers. Me like ;) I might call mom just to say “Hi mom, greetings from higher than Mount Everest.
The seat also turns into a bed and as surprising as it is, it’s even big enough for my super long legs. Probably due to the financial crisis, the business class is half empty. There are 30 seats and only 7 passengers. So we both have a “sofa” and the way to Seoul couldn’t be more comfortable.
The most beautiful (Asian) flight attendant just brought us appetizers, shampagnes and diet cokes in Real Iittala Ultima Thule Glasses (Iittala is one of the most successful Finnish design brands ever, check it out at www.iittala.com).
In the toilet, there is a window. So you can view all the 100.000 beautiful blue lakes of Finland or the mountains of Ural over Russia while you are doing your “things” there. And of course there’s different perfumes and stuff in the toilet to make the trip cool all the way.
And even if we have 8 stewardesses for us 7 business passengers, the coolest thing in the plane is the power supply for Mac Laptops. I mean any lap tops sure, but that is what you don’t get in normal planes. I just got my new MacBookPro last night and I sure have a lot to do with it on the way. I got it from Riku’s brother who works in this computer store. He had delivered it to my mom and my mom had brought it to my place while I was away. The cool thing about Macs is that when you get a new Mac, it automatically copies the whole thing, all setting and all files and everything from your old one with a press of one button to the new one and as I was sleeping in my own soft big bed, my two little babies did the dirty job in my studio room. So I have everything with me in Asia and I am able to post the entire stuff fort you people as normal.
So exciting to go to Tokyo. I guess we have 5 fans there so far, but if nobody comes to the show, we will focus more on enjoying the city and all the shops and stuff. There must be so much to see. The roots of their culture are double as old as ours in Europe, so it must be cool. I will try to get everything I can during these few days. Sami, Raul & Osmo are there already with the crew and hope they are not partying too much. We all know how Raul has been lately ;)
So… We will start watching “Ketonen & Myllyrinne with Ricardo now. Wish you all could be here. I love Finnair.
3 hours later….
Mmmm whatta dinner. Never before I had such a good starter this high above the sea level ;)
Fresh warm bread straight from the oven, a green salad, 3 different tapa plates, a cray fish salad and sparkling wine with it, naturally. As main course they served salmon, steak or pasta. We both took salmon with potatoes because Nora (the PT) has told us it good for us. It also tastes great. And red wine. And a tiny chocolate cake and some ice cream as dessert and coffee and amaretto sure as well.
So now Riku is already sleeping his stomach full and I will join him soon. I will start watching James Bond / Quantum of Solace and since I have seen it already, I will fall asleep…. 5 hours to the landing in Seoul. Good night ;)
6 hours later…
Here we are at Seoul Airport in South Korea. 2 hours until our plane leaves to Tokyo and I really hope the North Korean crazy dictator Kim Yong Ill keeps his head cool behind border with his napoleon complex and nuclear weapons. Would be pretty bad luck if we were here when he decides to hit. It’s so crazy that these things still exist in 2009. Looks peaceful though. South Korea is the newest country on my “Countries where I have used the toilet ;)
Blog from 07. June 2009
On da road again
Riku is sleeping next to me inside the Austrian Airlines Fokker on the way to Vienna / Austria. We are flying there with Karri, our tech chief, to play this very special little show at someone’s home. There had been a competition in the internet and this girl has won us to her home to play at her party or something. I guess the audience will not be that loud today ;) It’s naturally acoustic.
We’ll also do plenty of interviews in Vienna and obviously other parts of the country as well and then tomorrow evening after the interviews we fly to Zurich, Switzerland. We play our release show there in Zurich and sure meet the media as well. From SUI we go to Germany (Don’t know where) to do 2 TV shows and we fly back home on Sunday. Then one Day at home and off we go again. That time to Sweden and Greece. Before this flight we were home for one day after coming back from Japan. I am playing in a traveling band ;)
Japan / Tokyo
I have never ever been to Asia in my whole life before and I was expecting pretty much from the trip. And I must say I fell in love with the people and the place. It’s amazing how friendly they are and how clean, safe and well organized the whole city feels. Nobody really knows the real population of Tokyo, but if it’s close to 30 Million people walking the streets every day, it’s just amazing how they all fit there. No cigarette ends on streets and no trash or dog shit.
The Japanese culture is somewhat twice as old as ours in Europe (for example in Finland, there were only forests and wolfs 150 years ago) and that really shows over there. The respect they have for one another is really something us westerns should import to our daily lives.
We arrived in Tokyo with Riku one day later than the other guys and sure the jet lag hits you pretty bad no matter how great seats you have on the plane. We still forced ourselves to join the guys exploring the city and we saw all the shops and stuff, even if we had been up for 36 hours in a row. We had a super great diner in the evening at around 9 PM and there was no problem falling asleep. I guess we slept for 13 hours. Like little babies. It was actually the first time in years we had to share rooms, but it wasn’t that bad. It’s nice to have someone there who you can talk to if you can’t sleep ;) Muahahahaha. Poor Riku ;)
The “Liquid Room” club was a big surprise. It was maybe a 1000 capacity rock club with Germany level of equipment and back stages and stuff. There were 7 bands from Finland, bands that try to get their way to Japanese market and actually the Finnish government supported us all by paying a little share on the costs of the trip. That is really important, you know that only the extra bags & gear we had to fly back from Tokyo cost 3.600 €. Just the extras, just one way.
Not many people in the audience knew us, so we had to play this kind of an introduction show of Sunrise Avenue. And that is always very much fun. It’s cool when the people don’t expect anything and they don’t know the songs and in the end you have them jumping hands up ;) I will have to learn a lot more Japanese for the future shows.
After the show they had arranged this party in a bar that plays only Finnish music. I actually didn’t wanna go there because you know what happens when you mix a lot of Finns and alcohol. And for me it’s not a Finnish rock club I want to visit when I am in Japan! I had an early interview wakeup the next day and gladly I had left the bar at around 5 AM before the mess started.
Two crewmembers of this new Finnish band destroyed the whole bar. Must be really nice to drag some staff to work for you on the other side of the planet and then to pay all the costs of destroying a bar afterwards. There’s also a chance the governmental support will be taken away from other bands too. It’s sad but so typical. First our band got the blame for the whole thing, but gladly there were a lot of witnesses at the bar and someone had even taken mobile videos, so we will be safe and the ones responsible will pay for the damage. Sami had a black eye and other bruises in the morning. While this moron had been kicking our Sami in the ground, Riku had jumped on him to get him down and he had some hits there too. But you don’t leave your pals in that kind of a situation, do you? But everyone’s ok now and hopefully the laundry is been done soon.
It’s just pretty embarrassing to give this kind of an image of the Finnish bands to the locals but what can you do.
The Japanese can cook! What ever you eat where ever in Tokyo, you just jump when you taste the food. Some of you know how excited I sometimes get with tasty food, I mean I always get these FoodGasms and the EMI team in Germany sometimes laugh at my reactions(Julia & Kerstin, you should have seen me;). In Tokyo, I nearly had heart attacks. It was so damn good. Everything was so fresh. And I love sushi so there we were in Heaven ;)
One thing that reminded me a little bit of London there was the amount of different clothes and hair styles you see on streets. You can have someone entering a subway / underground wearing almost a shower curtain and nobody even notices it. Everyone’s accepted as they are. All different colors of hair and seems as if you are allowed to be whoever you are and look the way you want in Tokyo. That is cool. So even my long legs & non-existing ass didn’t confuse people that much…
The last day I just did interviews at our local record Company’s PONY CANYON’S office and in the evening we had dinner with our local A&R Yusuke and his Boss Mr. Cat. The whole Pony Canyon team was super cool.
When we were outside the Record Company building, Yusuke was carrying this pocket size ashtray (like a lot of people there). You are not allowed to throw cigarette ends on the streets. He collected them from us and then emptied the stuff in a garbage can.
You ARE allowed to smoke almost everywhere inside bars, restaurants etc., but you are NOT allowed to smoke outside on the streets. There are these smoking areas in the city, where all smokers gather together around these huge ashtrays. In some places they are cabins like at airports.
When the reporters entered the interview room, they first changed business cards with the local record company people and sure our Mikko from Bonnier Finland. They hand the cards for each other and bow a few times. Our Mikko was sometimes a bit funny looking following the tradition. With his hangover…;)
They say New Your never sleeps. I have been there too a few times and I can say that it’s Tokyo that never sleeps. New York does take a short nap.
The trip home was pretty hard. I was an idiot and bought a bottle of Santori Whiskey (The one that Bill Murray was promoting in the movie “Lost in Translation”) and sure we had to empty it in the night in my bath tub with Sami and Riku. We slept only for a few hours. I was able to sleep only for an hour of the 9-hour flight, so I was pretty tired when I got home. Yesterday I woke up at 7 AM because the rhythm was so twisted… And today I am feeling really tired but hopefully the tiredness goes by. I don’t know if I’m feeling a bit ill or just tired but we’ll see.
We will land in Vienna now so I must put Riku’s seat belt on (he is sleeping) and switch off my laptop….
Uuu and the Austrian Arrows stewardess just asked for my autograph. She is so sweet with her uniform - uuuuumamamaaa ;)
Linda Landbauer’s Garden Party!
There had been a competition at the KinderMaxiKing.at and the competitors had to make a short video with our song “Choose to be me.” The video made by Linda Landbauer won. There were some 30 people including her parents & some media at the garden of her parent’s house and drinks and food and stuff. And Jägermeister.
I was actually a bit worried before the party because I still feel so tired after the Japanese trip (the jet lag) but as we started playing and singing, the whole atmosphere was just so relaxed and nice. And we made Linda sing with Riku a bit too ;)
Thanx Linda for the coffee and the toilet!
So now we will have dinner with the Austrian EMI and go to bed early so we don’t get ill. We do more promotion tomorrow and a flight to Zurich in the evening.
Hope we don’t miss our flight from Vienna again tomorrow…;)
Oookay… It’s been a while. I got this most annoying flu after the garden party in Austria and I have just been so exhausted after the days that I was not able to write or nothing. I felt this strange thing in my throat & nose actually already in Helsinki but I thought it was just being tired.
I was a bit worried when Carlo, our EMI Boss Switzerland told me a few weeks ago that the capacity of the venue is 1.300 people. I just thought the room would be half empty. I was wrong. They had done such a great job in Switzerland promoting the event and making it happen big time again.
The venue was this old theatre kind of a place with a balcony and all and it was packed full. I felt really ill before the show and I was just trying to keep myself warm and to drink as much warm stuff as possible. My secret flu medicine is hot water, rum, honey and squeezed lemon. It does work a bit but sure it can’t make miracles happen. As we got to the stage, I felt just great. Sure I had a bottle of rum there all the time and I sang half of the songs with a Vick’s Blue in my mouth but it worked. The show was the 4th show with PopGasm songs and definitely the best one so far. Now were getting the PopGasm stuff working on stage bit by bit ;)
The party after the show was a PARTY!!!!! It actually got a bit out of hand but probably the fact that Sami’s and Osmo’s toenails were pink in the morning describes the session well. The guys were totally masked in the morning. It was pretty cool to sit in the sauna at Intercontinental Köln the next day with Sami and Riku and their lady-look feet. I was so proud of the guys.
If I remember correctly, we were a pretty huge gang all the way to the last hours, so thanx to everyone for the party and company, Especially EMI folks, and sorry for my sayings and doing if I did something stupid, can’t really rember. I think I danced a bit, so if someone has that on video, please delete them. I don’t dance ;)
So Friday was the hangover day and we spent that shopping in Köln. It’s actually sometimes hard to star a shopping session, but now when we were still a bit on a boogie mod with Sami & Riku, the shopping was so easy. We all found tons of stuff we liked & needed. Especially Sami. He spent his future salaries from 2009 & 2010. For shopping, Köln is super cool.
On Saturday we made a performance at this pretty strange TV show where these teams are competing against each other about who gets the most long-lasting domino effect (or something, didn’t quite get it…;) with all different kind of obstacles. We were inside this small office room and as our song started, all kinds of stuff started falling on us and that’s it. Leutnant Zimmermann says that TV time is always good so I bet it was worth it. And today we did this kind of a garden TV morning show. It was very cool performing to all the families, grand mamas and grand papas. They actually were very well with us the whole way and they rocked good ;)
So now I am home and will go downtown to get something to eat. I might call Karri if he wants to join (if I pay) so I don’t have to eat alone. It’s actually funny and kind of sad how I don’t meet my friends from outside the music industry that much. Apart from the band & crew I don’t know who to call to now if Karri will not join me. I have been away for so long… Maybe I should go through my phone and see if I still have some non-pop/rock friends….
Thanx everyone for the fantastic trip again. It’s pretty hard every now and then with the traveling and all, but you know you all make me / us very very happy.
PS: I will get my car tomorrow (about f**ing time). Just got a call from the shop. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (wrooom wrooom wrooom) I have a full day to wroom tomorrow until the next trip - wroom wroom wroom ;)
Blog from 13. June 2009
Stockholm – Athens – Home
I had one full day off at home on Monday and I must say that I have started liking my own bed more and more during the last weeks. Well I did a few phoners (interviews) to Russia, but the rest of the day was off. I FINALLY got my car back from the garage. It had been there for 2,5 months after some friendly face had destroyed the windows from both sides and smashed the door. So I got my SRA-1 back on Monday and we were totally in love again. Just like a fresh couple. Newly married ;) The sad part is that I will have to give HER away tomorrow because I will get a new one. I hope she finds a good home for herself. Someone who will wash her and keep her warm in the winter. Someone who kisses the wheel every now and then and says “Hey baby, U R looking good today” when walking to her at the parking area and opening the doors with the remote. Everybody does that, right???
They have been pretty active in Sweden. The record company I mean. Last week there were 2 competition winners in Japan from Stockholm who had won a trip there on a magazine or something to see our show. They flew 2 Swedish girls all the way to Japan and we got to meet the ladies after the show. Cool. We also have a new promoter / Product manager Emilia, who is crazy in a good way and very happy all the time. These trips can sometimes be a bit hard but she is a great example how to treat the artist right. She is the kind of a person who hugs you the very first time you meet and it still feels natural.
The kingdom of Sweden had organized some interviews for Tuesday and I did most of them in my room, but the biggest reason for being there was the TV4 morning show on Wednesday. The morning shows are great and it’s obviously good promotion, but the wakeup at 4 (!!!) is not that nice. We had an evening off with Riku before. Riku had a massage and I had a haircut and afterwards we had dinner in this Greek restaurant Axela at Gotagatan. Very good! And I still was feeling ill. Not badly but you know how it is when you don’t get to rest the illness away, you don’t really get over it.
However, the morning was super great even though we only slept like 4 hours and I woke up every 30 minutes just checking the clock. I sleep very restless if the wakeup is sick early. We did 2 interviews during the morning and also performed The Whole Story and 6-0. I love the way Riku arranged the guitars for 6-0 acoustic. It works so damn god.
We also met the Finnish minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Alexander Stubb. He is a great young guy who will definitely do god for the image of Finland out in Europe and the rest of the world. He is this kind of a politician of the new wave. He is sporty, friendly and cool and speaks 6 languages, I guess, and above all, he says he likes our band. So his music taste is perfect too ;) I gave him my vote to the European parliament 2 years ago. They have a great team together with our Cultural minister Mr. Wallin and they are planning some very great stuff right now to make music business roll a bit smoother tax wise in Finland. I read it in the paper, hope it’s true.
Anyway… After TV4 we went to Expressen, one of the biggest daily magazines, to play a few songs and to do a few interviews and I must admit that we were dead tired by that time. As we sat in the taxi after the Expressen on our way to Arlanda / Stockholm airport, Riku fell asleep as soon as the car started moving and I did my last phoner on the way biting my lip not to fall asleep. We flew to Athens through Munich and I was prepared to fall into my hotel bed in Athens around midnight…
We landed and got our bags and I had this dream of a cold beer and a shower and a bed. Sami and Raul had arrived earlier that day. Before going through the customs, Raul sent me a message that there will be a camera team waiting for us and we will start doing some TV stuff immediately in the night. I must say I was a bit shocked, because we looked like pigs with Riku and I was so tired. I had to bite my lip again. I mean it’s really great to have a TV station doing stuff with you, but there are just times when you really don’t feel like having the cameras on your face. Bite the lip, doctor Haber ;)
The nice surprise was that Lydia, my favorite Greek TV hostess was there waiting for us with her crew and actually all went pretty well. We met her already at the MAD TV Awards a few years ago when we were in Athens for the first time and she is the coolest.
I had my shower and my beer and didn’t have problems falling asleep. Our manager BOB had postponed the start in the morning to 10 AM so actually I had 6 hours with sandman.
The whole trip’s idea was this MAD TV (Like MTV) live show in association with Vodafone. They present one artist for free every summer and the location is the coolest ever. It’s right next to Acropolis, the birthplace of all western philosophy, culture and languages.
We started the day by going to the harbor with the TV crew and Lydia and the sun was super hot. The MAD TV guys had brought us these “sombrero” hats, but I chose my own one ;) Actually I was very tired the whole day and it was pretty exhausting walking in the sun still being tired from the few last days and the early wakeups. The afternoon ended with a brilliant lunch at a Greek restaurant. The food is just so super good. The only problem is the amount of stuff they carry for you. You die if you eat it all ;) The restaurant is called Kuzina (www.kuzina.gr) and I can warmly recommend everything there. They mix Greek stuff with world stuff and it rocks. After the lunch we had a 3-hour siesta and that saved the show day.
I am actually never that nervous before the shows anymore. I have found the confidence in our team and the music, but the only thing that still makes me a bit nervous is the thought if there will be no audience. Ok, we sold gold in Greece with the last one, MAD TV is supporting us, but you can never know. Bands and music comer and go these days and you can never know how fast the people forget you. There is nothing worse that playing for an empty room / field.
After the sound check I started believing the night would be perfect. The lovely Girls and guys were already there and they were actually quite many. The best sound check feeling in a long time. It felt like a little show. ;)
Our crew had a lot of technical issues before the show. Some of our tech equipment didn’t arrive all the way to Athens and the airline found some of our instruments and other things in Copenhagen. So the crew had to go shopping with Raul. The lovely Greek EMI folks helped us. Would have been a mess without them. They found pretty much everything but still it was like walking on a wire through the show. But since we have the best crew on the planet, they pulled it through. I only had to yell at them once. I didn’t hear my vocals in the first song and since there was a huge hassle behind the stage, nobody noticed me and my needs. I even tried throwing water bottles and stuff at them but it didn’t work. Usually the monitor guy (the one who does the sound for our ears) can see us all and has his eyes steadily on us if there’s something we need. Finally I had to shout into the microphone “Laittakaa nyt vitun homot se mun laulu lujemmalle….” That wasn’t nice ;) And everyone in the audience heard it. Gladly not man
y of them speak Finnish ;) Hope they don’t have it on TV when they broadcast it. But I need to hear myself.
El, Ela Ela !!!
The show was the 5th show with the new songs and it seems to get better and better. I mean it has been fun all the way with popgasm but now that we have a few shows behind, we get a little routine for the stage. And I must say I have NEVER heard any audience anywhere sing that loud. I had to close my ears in Forever yours because it hurt ;) And that is a great sign. There was so much people! Thank you all so much for the great evening & night and you have no idea how happy you made us. The stage was on the street and there was so much people even behind the stage, so we were surrounded them. The night was dark and it was maybe +35 degrees Celsius and no wind. So romantic. And the acropolis hill behind you. Welcome to my life….
I don’t know if it’s a local habit, but many of them kissed us on the signing session. Nice. Mom, I was a nice boy. Only cheeks ;)
In the night the two beautiful MAD TV hostesses Laura & Evelyn tried to kill us again with a Greek food mountain, but we survived and got to bed after midnight. I am so in love with Saganaki cheese.
This morning we went to the MAD TV studios for a few acoustic songs and an interview with Lydia and Evelyn. My throat was really bad with the early wakeup but I am not the one who has to listen to the recordings, muahahaha ;)
We really must have some club shows in Greece too. It was the 3rd visit there and it’s only getting better and better and the people are so damn nice. Managers and agents, vink, vink ;)
So now we are flying home. Tomorrow I will first pick up Sami to join me for the new car ceremony and then I’ll try to go to gym. It’s been more than a week without sports and I feel so stuck everywhere…. In the evening I will pick up Osmo from this church concert where he’s performing and we’ll drive (wroom, wroooooooom) to Seinäjoki (Sami’s birth place) to play our very first PROVINSSI ROCK show on Sunday. Provinssi Rock stage is one of the things I have been dreaming about all my life and on Sunday it finally happens. On Wednesday we have our second club show in Helsinki at Virgin oil and then we fly to Nova Rock at the end of the week. That is also one of the absolute highlights this summer. I don’t know if there will be anyone at Virgin oil. Metallica play Monday & Tuesday (and I am actually invited;) and AC/DC play the same day with us. I don’t know if there will be any audience in the holiday season Helsinki for us that night because of the big international bands playing the same time. My mom will co
me so that’s something ;)
So we will be home for almost a week. It’s cool. Hope the weather is good for my new car-baby ;) Wish us luck so we don’t crash my new baby at the first curve with Sami.
Thank you all for a super fantastic week again and see you very soon.
Blog from 14. June 2009
Provinssi Rock. Seinäjoki, Finland
It all started so well. Ok, I was pretty tired after the 7-week promotion trip but I was waiting for the Provinssi show for weeks. Especially because that together with the Athens show this week would start the new era for us after the promotion period. Now we’ll focus more on festivals and other stages instead of the early wakeups for TV morning shows. Even though this time the whole promo mess was actually very pleasant and we barely never got on each other’s nerves even though we were face-to-face 24/7.
Provinssi Rock is not exactly a Sunrise Avenue festival. It’s more for the cooler kind / alternative bands. We are a bit too pop for that event. The headliner yesterdays was Manowar and that describes it pretty well ;) I actually checked them out and well… I better say nothing. I mean they had requested 126 decibels for the sound system and as they measured it at their sound check and it was ONLY 124, they messed up the whole festival and the festival guys had to drag all the subwoofers from the whole country there. Only 124, that is how loud a hornet fighter plane is…;)
We had our stage time today at 2:30 PM, so an afternoon slot after the Lucifer stuff the night before and sure half of the festival guests were still asleep (or trying to get to their tents) and the field was pretty empty. But we expected that so no worries.
The real downside for us was the fact how lousy we performed. I mean everything went quite ok, but first of all, my throat was very dead and that for me is always pretty challenging since there’s so much vocals in our songs. But also the technique stuff just all broke this time. Guitars & cables didn’t work (no sound), or the tech guys forgot to switch them on. And after we battled through the pretty heavy circumstances I decided to smash my face. I was trying to give my guitar away to make the final bow as we always do, and of course it slipped as I took it off and it hit me in the forehead very hard. I bled all the way to the back stage and they had to call the doctors to fix me. So I have two stitches on my face, my hair red from blood and I am not allowed to shower today. Imagine, after a show. I’m feeling fresh ;)
Anyway, thanx to all you lovely people who were there for us today and we are truly sorry for the way the show went today. Seems as if when things start to go wrong, everything goes “against the ass” like we say in my country. (Päin Persettä)
Tomorrow I should see Metallica, but I will decide in the morning. If the painkillers help or not. Metallica is nothing I wanna listen to if my head hurts. Especially since there won’t be a chance to wash my bloody hair. I have some cool photos, I will upload them later ;) We have a show on Wednesday in Helsinki @ Virgin Oil. I will have a shower before ;) But you can’t win every time and every show can’t be a blast and 110 % enjoyable for us either. All we can do is put some “new warm on the hook” as we say in my country ;) (Uutta matoa koukkuun)
So have a nice weekend everyone and hope to see you at Virgin oil and also at Novarock in Austria next Friday.
Doctor Haber in need of a doctor
Blog from 18. June 2009
Virgin Oil, Helsinki
After the disaster at Provinssi Rock, we decided with the guys not to expect any audience and we also decided to do a good job on stage no matter what. The pressure was double since some of the folks would come straight from the AC/DC concert to our show and sure we can’t even compete with the papas of Rock, but sure we don’t wanna look & sound too lame after them ;)
I must say last night was absolutely the best show in Finland ever! I have never felt that great on stage in My country and I was so damn surprised how much people there were and how well they rocked with us. It was just like in Berlin, Athens or Zurich. You know Sunrise Avenue is not the hottest act here in Finland right now and I understand the fact that after the long break between the albums, we will have to start the work again almost “from the zero” to find the people who like this kind of stuff & music. But last night all the pressure on the whole thing dropped to 1% in my head. We are all super thankful for everyone there last night. Now I am really waiting for the Finnish festivals too. Rain or shine, it’ll be fun ;)
And 10 points to our lovely crew too. It’s funny how at some shows everything can go wrong and sometimes everything is just so damn right.
After the show we went out the whole gang, first to Molly Malone’s and then the traditional after party at Elina’s (Our Tour agent) and whatta night… I hope you got the huge gang out of your living room by now, Elina…. I felt kind of sorry for you on the way home in the taxi. I went home already at 5 AM because I don’t wanna party myself dead now. We have the NOVA ROCK show tomorrow and I wanna be in shape on stage. Can’t wait ;)
Thank you everyone so much!!! I will TRY to eat something now…;)
PS. And damn Osmo… Can you all please be really nice to him so the guy will want to keep playing with us for a long time. He is just so damn good ;)
PPS: Miikka, my arm hurts still a bit after the arm wrestling (you call it that?) with you after the show. I should have understood not to battle with the ice hockey pro’s. I am glad I didn’t go in with Hank the mussukka after you;) Yes, you won; I’ll go to gym….
Blog from 19. July 2009
I just came home from a Nepalese dinner with Karri and I am feeling well… great but tired and full. We had two festival shows in Finland this weekend and it was super cool. Weather was great. First one in Vaasa (by the western coast) on Friday and yesterday in Hämeenlinna @ Wanaja Festival. Especially yesterday there were a lot of folks and the atmosphere was just fantastic. It really amazed me how many of the festival guests came to see us and how many had the cool PopGasm shirts and stuff on them. It’s so super cool. I have said it before that I have been wondering how many people really still remember us but again this weekend it was so great hearing all of you singing the new and old songs with us.
And I also finally bought a real camera (Nikon D90) and some good tubes for it and the best thing after performing at the festivals is to have the photo pass everywhere and to take pictures of other bands ;) I will become such a pain in the ass to all my musician colleagues ;) I will upload the stuff on Facebook & Myspace as soon as I manage to get some good ones. Watch out world, a new paparazzi is born ;)
It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog. I must admit that I was very very tired after the 7-week promotion tour with only a few nights at home. There were days when we woke up at 4 in the morning with Riku in Stockholm for the morning TV and the same day ended at 2 in the night in Athens filming the last shots for MAD TV behind the scenes stuff. It took a while to get some energy back in me. I thought of writing stuff many times in the airplane or in the bus, but I have honestly been so damn tired that it’s been more important to sleep or to just think about nothing. It’s amazing how there has been no fights, hassle or complaining in the band even if the promotion has been even harder than with the first album. I just love the harmony in the band and the crew and I could hug every one of the guys every day. Actually I do that almost every day. Sorry guys! My sweet hearts ;)
It’s funny how it’s easier to share all the stuff happening to us with you people when thing are going great and when you have slept ok. When you are dead tired, you just feel like hiding from the whole world. I guess that is natural and it’s ok to be a bit selfish sometimes. The shows are still the number one thing because of you people and we need to ensure the energy there ;)
The summer has been very nice. We have played some festivals in Germany, Austria and Finland. NovaRock in Austria was probably the one that I waited for the most, but I must admit that all the shows have been so damn great because of your tremendous support. I remember thinking on stage in Stuttgart a few weeks ago that “Now I remember why you go through all the political b-shit and sweat in studio, this is what you get when you work hard!”
We also did a few acoustic shows in Germany for 100-200 listeners (in Kiel and Hannover). That was so super cool and a great way to show the fans and people what we really can do just with the acoustic guitars and no stage tricks. We will do more of these shows in August-September and I just can’t wait! Now it was just Sami, Riku, Raul and I but we might bring Osmo also on the next ones.
Jukka also played a few shows with us and it was so great how the audiences took him after Osmo has stolen everyone’s hearts. It was one hell of a party for 3 days since for him it was a sort of a holiday and a one-off thing, but we had nothing against a little after party ;) Jukka will put his producer hands on the new songs very soon and therefore it’s pretty convenient that he is not in the band anymore. Now we can have tours running and the new music produced the same time. I guess the next album will come out very much quicker than PopGasm after OTWTW. Next year, I would say. But let’s see. We have already some very great songs and I bet we’ll have something final already before the Christmas.
Anyway… Now we will just play all the festivals everywhere and also gather strength for the tour starting in September in Finland and Ending later in December in Switzerland. I guess they will announce more tour dates, I really hope so ;) We have already started planning stuff for the tour and it seems as if Osmo will join us all the way. It’s a pity there are no shows in some countries but I really really hope that will change soon. One of the biggest reasons for that is the fact that PopGasm came out so close to the summer and many festivals were already fully booked. But I am sure well get everywhere sooner or later. Thank you so much for all the support also from the areas & countries where we haven’t been to yet. I will kick our management’s ass if something doesn’t happen soon…
We will release two singles before we hit the road. First “Not Again” pretty much now and later “Welcome to my life” somewhere in September/October depending on the country. We filmed videos for both of the songs in Island a few weeks a go and the whole week in Reykjavik felt as if the material should be really good. But let’s wait and see.
Now I will have a glass of wine and watch the movie “Airforce one” on Finnish TV channel 4. It’s silly enough to fall asleep ;) I will also send a request to our travel agency if they could book Karri and me somewhere south for the next week until we get on stage in Halle on Saturday. Italy, Greece or something. The weather has been super great here for a few weeks but now as my free time started again, it started raining and it got very windy. Gotta get away ;) I would have taken my car and driven to northern Italy / Switzerland but we must be back in Finland at this TV show in Tampere right after the Saturday show and there would not be enough time to get back home.
See you all soon and have a great summer where ever you are,
PS: My head had healed ok after the hit on stage last month. I am as crazy as before ;)
PPS: I had to delete all facebook friends who I didn’t know personally. There is a limit of 5000 friends maximum and I deleted almost everybody just to get rid of the people who are not real or who don’t use facebook anymore etc. This way we can get more folks there who are active with the site sharing all their stuff with us. Don’t feel insulted. It is just a facebook friendship, not a real friendship. I will add everyone again. If you wanna check out the blogs and stuff, you can also add me (myspace.com/haaperi) / sunrise avenue (myspace.com/sunriseave) on Myspace and sure you find the stuff on our home pages too.
Blog from 26. July 2009
We are flying back to Finland from Berlin and Riku and Sami are snoring next to me. I can’t sleep but I am glad I got the window seat. Yesterday we played at this very cool spot somewhere near Halle in the Eastern part of Germany. It’s this old mine called Ferropolis (you know where the guys dig out stuff from the ground) the Germans used to have there some years ago. Now they have the same spot for all kind of events and yesterday there was the Jump Community party festival. It was very cool to play in between these HUGE cranes and machines, I mean huge. The big truck-kind of things were a hundred meters long. Size does matter ;)
The audience was great again. They were actually a lot more than what I expected, since the way to the Ferropolis was very long and they had to leave their cars miles away. And poor people, it had rained that day and there was really no shelter for them. The only downside was the cold air that really gets to your throat. It hasn’t been that warm the last few days and when it’s cold and wet, it’s a bad mixture.
So we ended our show around 2 AM and we drove to Berlin after our crew had packed the stage stuff. No time to sleep really because we had to take the morning flight back home. I slept 90 minutes. Today we are doing this TV show in Tampere (160 Km north from Helsinki) with Riku. We are performing our new single “Not again” with the house band and that will probably feel a bit strange. I will not even have my guitar, I will only sing. The throat is never great after the short sleep but I will kick my own ass before the stage time to make it happen.
The action plan at the airport
Since we are in a hurry, we have planned a waterproof system how we (Riku, Karri, Aki and Me) get to Tampere as fast as possible:
a) I have my car at the Helsinki Airport and as soon as we land, we drive to Tampere with Riku to do a couple of interviews and the rehearsal.
b) Karri and Aki take a Taxi to Riku’s place to take Riku’s car and they follow us right after. They are doing the tech stuff for that Tv show. They don’t get their bags from the belt. They broke their own car last week. Wonder what happened ;)
c) While Karri and Aki are making their way to Riku’s place, Raul will collect two guitars at the airport and the boys’ bags. He will meet Karri and Aki half way to the city (he lives on the way) after the dynamic duo have got Riku’s car ;)
d) Aki and Karri get the stuff and follow us to Tampere.
Quite a plan, eh? We are not as stupid as we seem. I only hope the “Mission Impossible” soundtrack could be played loud at the airport during our super plan. Sami and Osmo & the rest of the crew just go home…
I just got a few text messages that the Helsinki airport is burning or that there’s some kind of a fire emergency. I hope it’s nothing bad and I hope my baby car is safe ? Poor thing…
Tomorrow we have some interviews and a TV show with Raul (So it’s Raul’s turn to enjoy my company;) and the first one is already at 9AM at the swimming stadium. We will take part at this water sport contest or what ever,. I hope we get home early enough today to get some sleep. I know the TV show starts at 8 PM today and I am afraid I will not be home until midnight.
Aaand on Tuesday we fly to Germany again to do some more acoustic shows. And on Thursday we have a day off in Germany before a festival show on Friday. We will probably rent a fast car with Karri and just drive around Germany after the acoustic show on Wednesday. That’ll be fun. You can drive as fast as you want at the autobahn ;) Muahahahahahaha.
Enjoy the sunshine everyone.
Tired singer from the Aur Berlin Airbus
A bit more….
Now I have seen it all. I am sitting at the backstage in Tampere and Danny (one of the coolest bangers from my country) is just doing his sound check on stage. He is around 60 years old and has had a huge career with all possible ups and downs. He even represented Finland at the Eurovision contest once. Anyway, I met him after a huge party one morning at this petrol station 4-5 years ago. He was filling his tank and buying some stuff for his two pretty ladies he was obviously taking to an after party. I walked to him and the next conversation happened:
Samu: “Hi, you’re Danny.”
Samu: “Man, you’re gonna hear about me someday!”
And here we are performing on the same stage ;)
Now I am back home. I must wait for my washing machine to finish the stuff because I will need some of the stuff again tomorrow when I pack for Germany again. I am dead tired but very happy. I must say I have been feeling a bit low lately probably because of the hard 14 month recording process followed by the huge load of promotion. I spoke about it to the guys, how it’s just a bit too much of everything and nothing seems to feel like anything.
Anyway, the shows this weekend brought a little smile on my face again and I honestly feel happy. I can never tell you how much I appreciate the support from you all, I could not do all this without you being so super nice to us and me!
Now I just need a good night sleep and then off to the swimming contest tomorrow with Raul ;)
Good night planet Earth, where ever you are…
Blog from 01. August 2009
Freude Am Fahren
I just got home from the airport and I have 2 hours to kill before my dear friend Mr. Karri Soilamo will be ready for our little “tour-planning-dinner” in the city. So I thought sharing what happened with you the last few days would be a good idea.
We flew to Hamburg on Tuesday morning for these acoustic shows with Riku, Sami, Raul & Karri (as the stage chief / slave) in Bremen and Munich. We have done a few of them already and I must say it has been super great to get so close to the audience and the atmosphere has been fantastic at all shows. It’s usually 100-250 people who have won the ticket to the show and we usually play more than an hour. The set includes very much interaction with the crowd and therefore also we get closer to the audience than ever. And sure I love the “real” on-stage-shows more than anything, but when you just sit on a bar chair 50 cm away from the people, you feel much more as part of the group in the room. We just happen to have the guitars ;) That is actually the way I started performing with SUNRISE when I was 16 years old with my dear friend Jan Hohenthal when we established the band. Back then we played all kinds of places, pubs, company events, birthday parties, even a funeral… Anything we could get. Just like now ;)
After the acoustic show we always have a small break to change the t-shirts and stuff ( it usually gets VERY hot in the room) and then we have a signing session with everybody there.
The acoustic setup is also good for trying different stuff and enjoying our songs in new ways. We have, for example, played country versions of “Happiness” and “Kiss and Run” and the crowd has taken them very well. It has been fun. The thing that has made me really happy is how full the rooms have been. The guy in Munich said that some 3200 people wanted to join and they had only 160 tickets to share. How cool is that!
On Thursday we had a day off in Munich and what is a better way to spend it than going to the BMW factory to see how the toys are built. Our dear driver & local promoter Werner arranged an exclusive tour to the factory with the coolest guide, Mr. Rein. He took us all over the places and explained how the most beautiful metal creatures are born. In Munich they build the 3-series sedan and touring so Sami’s new car, the one he will get in a few weeks had just got it’s birth there some days ago.
It was amazing how there was first just some pieces of metal in the beginning and then the Robots put their oily hands at work and 7 hours later you got a brand new BMW.
We also went to the BMW WELT (BMW WORLD), this kind of futuristic show room next to the factory where they have all the driving simulators and stuff for kids (us;) and all the BMW models to be drooled at. And sure the BMW fan shop ;) I didn’t spend ALL my money there but sure I had to support the place a bit. There was also a BMW camera crew following us all the way, so I bet there’s a chance you can see some of the stuff later. We had a very heavy party the night before (Karri running naked around the hotel wearing only a Pringles can over his family jewels) ending at Burger King at 6 AM so I am sure we look as fresh as always. Karri is THE guy to have at the parties. I have no idea why he disappeared from my room for a while at one point and then he came back naked (wearing the Pringles stuff) and hands full of glasses full on booze. I wonder what the other clients and hotel staff have been thinking…
We ended our day off in Bad Westernkotten, this lovely little village / town. It’s a place where senior citizens go to fix them selves, you know, bones and stuff, and the atmosphere was just as peaceful as in a Disney movie. We just relaxed at this spa the whole evening and nobody had a problem falling asleep and having sweet BMW dreams the whole night.
Yesterday we played the BIG DAY OUT festival at Anröchte. I just love to start the set when the sun is still slightly up and then it gets darker towards the end. The crowd was very very cool and it was the first time I saw that many mosh-pits in front of me. We played a full 75 minutes, a normal festival set for us is 60, and I had no single drop of sweat in me after the show. But it was sure worth every jump.
Before the show our tour agent gave me his convertible Porsche Carrera for a while and I am even more in love with German cars. Damn it goes fast. He seemed a bit nervous on the passenger seat ;) Vrooom Vrooooooom!
We all went to bed pretty early last night, but somehow I slept really bad again… Too many thoughts I guess. But now we have time off until I do some interviews on Wednesday and on Thursday we fly to Vienna with Riku for this Ö3 Radio station acoustic show.
“Not Again” video will be out soon. I am not sure how they finalized it and there were some problems with the shots and stuff but I really really hope they made it right. But no matter what happens with Not again, the “Birds and bees” video is ready now. I guess they will serve “Not Again” first and then go with the “BB” in a few weeks.
The Birds and bees video is fully our own project. We paid and planned the whole thing together with the guys. The music videos these days seem to be planned very conservative and the teams are not willing to take too many risks in them. It’s always about this band playing on a rooftop and a girl running in a forest away from the monster or something. This time we really wanted to have fun and give something extra for the lovely people who have been supporting us all the way and enjoying our trip together. I am very sure many people will like it but sure there will be those who will say we’ve lost it totally now too. But our job is to entertain you and to give you emotions. Not to play it safe. Only the song was something that brought panic into some people in our team before the release of PopGasm and that shows there is something special in the track. I just can’t wait to show you the tigers ;) Daddy tiger, Mommy Tiger…;)
So… I will upload some pics to Facebook and Myspace now and then have a shower and drive to Karri’s. He wants to talk about something regarding the tour and shows. Hope it’s not more money again…;) Actually it’s Saturday today, I hope he won’t force me drinking and partying again. He always does that.
Thank you all for a very fantastic week and see you all very soon.
Blog from 16. August 2009
Videos, Singles and stuff
Hello everyone. I am back from Berlin and just made super delicious pasta for myself and decided to watch a movie. But then while eating I red tens of worried messages on Facebook about my condition, single releases and video stuff, so I decided to skip the movie and write a few words instead.
First of all, Berlin was nice. The show, if you can call it that, went ok apart from the microphone being on during the playback and me losing the focus because I was only thinking “damn I don’t even hear my singing and now everyone around the world can” but hey, that’s life and shit happens. The main thing with these TV shows is to be there and to show your face and honestly, let’s forget about that. It was a great honor for us to be there on such important evening. I just hope the Finns can get a few medals there. I trust Tero Pitkämäki, the javelin thrower next weekend. Tero, don’t let me down ;)
Not Again Video
I have had at least a hundred messages about the video being boring and about especially me looking bad there. I agree. And so does our team. There is no story and honestly, I personally had to go through the clip many times to ask for changes and “broken-glass-effects” to make myself be able to live with the clip and to make it at least a bit more interesting. What is done is done. The whole video was a quick idea of our record company to get something out for the summer before we release “Welcome to My Life” and I think it all makes sense. The budget and the schedule for the video wasn’t that great and therefore there are no story or super effects. The video was shot in Island on the same trip we did “Welcome to my life” and sure the focus was on “WTML.” When I heard about the video being only about playing, I had to suggest them the Broken-glass stuff and the jump and all to make it a bit interesting. I really want to believe and I hope “Welcome” will be much better. We had some cool stuff there and the h
elicopters and all and it should be great. I guess we will see the first cut in late August and move on from there. In case it’s bad, I have a plan-B. But let’s wait and see.
We still have had some very good response from major TV stations and stuff and they play it, so it can’t be all that bad. It’s out and finalized, so I better stop thinking about it and rather look forward. I am definitely not thrilled with it but it’s not the end of the world. It’s just a video and there will be more. Many more ;)
Not Again single
Not Again will only be released in digital stores. It’s a shame but… You know, the world of distribution is changing rapidly towards digital buying. And I think that is good. More and more people will be able to buy the real original stuff easier and there will be no need to print and distribute that many plastic discs in the future. For example, in Finland even our first single “The whole Story” was only released digitally. I was actually amazed when I saw the amount of folks who had bought the first single from digital stores and the number was way higher than I expected. Thank you all.
Anyway. The record companies, who still need to make profit with their artists, might sometimes decide to release stuff only digital. Even I buy 99% of my music online because it’s just so damn easy, you get it right away and you don’t have to drive to a shop to get it. The CD single will be sold on our tour, so anyone who still wants to feel the booklet and the disc in their hands can get it at the shows. There will be other cool stuff we make available then as well.
I am still waiting for my real holiday. It’s gonna be the first real time off after starting the recording of our 1st album in 2005 and I have started to feel the need to get away from everything for a while. I just booked a trip somewhere south with a good friend for a week before the tour, just to get the batteries full again. I mean I am fully ok and would be fine for a long time going on like this, but I really wanna give all of you the 100% on tour once we start it in October. And to enjoy the trip myself too, of course. There have been a few days off during the summer but it really doesn’t get your thoughts away from everything if there’s something small to do every day when you’re at home. This one little interview or a session to save a video. And after the tour, I think I will go somewhere very far for a longer time. 7 years in Tibet ;)
Looking at the ticket sales for the tour has made me / us very happy. That is the way for us to measure how well we are doing and you have no idea how warm it feels in our hearts knowing that we will have fun together so many nights on the road together with you all. Sure the album hasn’t sold as much as the record industry wanted during these first moths, but we already have a big single (number one in many countries) and a tour soon sold out, so things could be a lot worse. And the strongest singles were left to be released later and just as you have voted on our websites, I also think “welcome to my life” is THE song. I don’t know how much further it will take us but I am sure we will be very happy in the end. If everything would go by the book and just as planned in this crazy world, it would be too easy and you would not feel you have earned what you get in the end. You need blood, sweat and tears before you can be happy for what you get. There’s been all of those already but not enough. I don’t believe
in winning the lottery. I never do it. Well my mom sometimes fills a few rows for me, but I never won anything ;)
Birds and Bees
I had a good chat with our dear manager Bob last night. First I just let the steams out for the first hour and I felt a bit sorry for Riku and him having to listen to my blasting…;) Sorry guys. Anyway. There are some cool plans with B&B and I just can’t wait to release it to all of you. Many of you mentioned the lack of relaxed mood and humor in our videos so far, the stuff we also have on stage, but with the B&B video you’ll get it. I don’t know if it’s too much fun and crazy, but every guy in the band, crew and management love it very much. I hope it becomes a success because then I can stop singing and focus more on my photography and video director’s career ;)
By the way… Thank you for your encouraging comments on my photos. I have totally fallen in love with my Nikon camera now and I have bought all the flashes and extra stuff for it and it’s just so damn great! And it’s great that Riku is so new in the band. He has to follow my orders whenever I get a feeling “this would be a perfect wall…” And he’s great looking too and makes my job easier that way too. You know, he used to do modeling. I just saw this great jewelry advert with his face. Sexy motha fukkaaa ;)
Taking photos is a hobby I have been missing for a while after music stopped being just a hobby. It’s so cool. No pressure, just have fun and compete against Jukka and his shots. Jukka is still ahead of me, he bought his Nikon 2 years ago and I got mine a month ago. But I am getting there, so you better watch out, you skinny little blondino.
We have also written some new songs with Jukka and Riku and I must say I am very happy with Riku’s input. I have a guy there who is really talented in writing melodies and he is willing to drive to my place anytime I get the inspiration. Usually in the middle of the night ;) I have a very good feeling about the future songs and I actually have some demo stuff on my iPod already and that is what I listen to when the world gets on my nerves with the sales numbers or other unnecessary court case shit.
I just wanted to write these lines to tell you I am doing just fine and I am not dying because of the workload or nothing. And actually even mentally I feel better than in years. Probably this messy blog made you all even more worried, but no need. Messy is the thing and that is what I am. And I will never change. Muahahaha ;)
Thank you all so much for being there for us. It’s not always easy to show the appreciation every time, but I want you to know I feel very blessed to have you on our side.
Good night everyone, where ever you are. I will empty my red wine glass now and dream about Helsinki IFK winning the ice hockey game against Lukko on Tuesday in Helsinki. Or about BMW’s and sunshine but nice dream anyway…
PS: Osmo will join us on the next two acoustic shows. Just so you know. Will be so cool to rearrange the songs that already worked super great with him. It will be fun so see you there and be nice to Osmo so he stays with us for a long time.
PPS: Thank you Puma for the greatest shopping experience ever so far. We really felt like super models / rock stars ;)
Blog from 28. August 2009
One fantastic week
We are on our way home from Zurich and we will have the whole weekend off. I am sitting next to Sami and we are both waiting for the moment we land in Helsinki. We both get to see our cars at the airport garage again. Sami got his new BMW last week and sure he’s got a pretty high driving fever.
We started this trip 9 days ago flying to Cologne for the DOME. The Dome is this TV show with a lot of bands and artists and a super huge media circus. It was our 8th dome already so some of the press folks are already calling us “the dome house band.”
Usually the day at the dome is pretty stressful. I mean you must run from an interview room to another and you must stay really awake the whole day. This time we flew in already the day before and did some of the interviews and the stage rehearsal the day before. It made the actual show day very easy. I guess we had to be at the arena at around 4PM and it was all smooth, just like silk. And we met Shaggy of course, one of the acts. Yes, we took a picture ;)
We knew that we had two festival shows the next day so too much partying at the after party would not be a good idea. Still the atmosphere was so great and the club was so nice, we had to stay until 4 AM. No harm done.
The head quarters of EMI music, Our continental European label is also in Cologne and it was very cool to meet all the people who make all this possible for us. We also had a few meetings of “welcome to my life” video because we will have to shoot it again. Just as I thought. The video was not as we had thought and in a way the whole trip to Iceland was worthless. Shit happens and no panic. The current ideas feel right. I sent the video team my own / the band’s thoughts and ideas and the EMI people will do the same and we see what comes out. I love treatment we wrote with the band and I really hope the EMI folks will understand what we are after there. It’s just sometimes hard to write down an idea for the video, it would be easier to explain with pictures and face to face. But we’ll see…
While waiting for the “Welcome to my life” video you are all allowed to enjoy our handwork at “Birds & Bees.” It’s been great to get the feed back on that one. I was sure not everyone would like it, but I also thought people would understand the fact that we are not serious there. The song is funny so the video is funny too. Maybe “BB” is not a great reference when I try to sell my own ideas for “WTML” but we’ll see. The “BB” will run exclusively first on a few channels in different countries (RTL2, Voice, etc) and later we will give the green light for any TV stations who wanna play it.
I was a bit worried playing 2 full festival shows the same day. Our songs have so much vocals and there are not that many breath breaks. And if the weather is cold at all, the throat muscles might get tired. Just like going to gym 2 times in one day. Not good. However, the shows were super great. All the 3 shows last weekend go to my personal top10 and the one in Mainz was the best one ever. We have played for bigger audiences many times, but the night was just super magic. Of course the catwalks at both shows on Saturday help too. I love to run the catwalk or to jump there from the stage if they have stairs like in Mainz.
My throat was very bad on Sunday morning in Aach. Even our monitor guy Tuomas said “oops, that sounds serious” when he heard me trying to talk earlier that day. Of course it was because of the two shows on Saturday (My throat was DEAD after the 2nd show and people told me not to try to talk) but also because we had a photo shooting session with some 30 girls on the streets of Mainz in the night. Until 6 AM ;). I will go through all the pictures as soon as I have some time at home, probably this weekend. I will upload only the good ones, the ones I think are good. If there are some. I bet there are.
So anyway my throat was dead and I had to take all the pills, hot drinks and stuff to make it work before the show. It’s actually very annoying when you feel unsure of how the voice system might work. Usually it helps after singing a couple of songs if you have warmed up properly, but sometimes it just makes it worse. Luckily my mom and the people from our Finnish record company were there to comfort me ;)
The push-ups, hot shower and the magic helped and the show went just perfect and the audience was again super great. I remember telling this story to the audience in between the songs about something and suddenly I realized that every pair of eyes were looking at me totally silent. I lost my topic and said “I actually don’t remember what the point here was…” and we started playing the next song. I had never experienced such total attention and great behavior from the audience before. Thank you.
I must also say the 3 shows last weekend felt more natural being on stage than ever before. I guess the pressure on PopGasm, painful things around us and other stupid shit is finally getting behind and a bit easier. I cannot tell you how good you made us feel again. So thank you again ;)
After the Aach show we drove to Zurich airport hotel. Some folks flew to Finland the next day and Riku, Karri, Sami and me we went to Lucerne for a few days just to relax. Raul stayed in Zurich because he wanted to play golf every day with our manager Bob. Usually rock bands have whiskey bottles and guitars when they come to the festival back stage. WE have a golf bag and a camera bag with Raul. Muahahaha ;)
Anyway. You should check out the Radisson Blue hotel at Zurich airport. The hotel, the restaurant and the rooms are very nice but they have one thing cooler than any other hotel. In the very spacey lobby area there’s this huge glass tower filled with wine bottles. When you order a better wine, this girl with a kind of a ballet costume with feathers and stuff goes up with this special equipment and gets the bottle for you. I guess it’s some 10-meter high. While she’s getting the bottle, she is making these theatrical moves and dancer stuff in the air. I was thrilled. We had to order one of the more expensive ones to get her really high for my camera ;) So a great dinner with boys, mom and Finnish label folks and a good night sleep.
I love Lucerne. There is just something magic about the place. Nobody seems to know what the population is, but I’d say 200-300 thousand. It’s this very old and beautiful little town built some 1000 years ago in the middle of the huge mountains and by a super clear sweet lake. Sure there are tourists but many of them are not “the typical Mallorca travelers” but after something a bit deeper. Mikko from our Fin Record Company had booked us to this Romantic (!) hotel very close to the city center and the river. We basically just went to the beach by this beautiful grass area behind the harbor with a lot of young people. Riku brought his guitar with him and it was so cool falling asleep in the sun after swimming in the 24 degree sweet water and listening to Riku play his Martin “toy guitar.”
In the evening we just had a long dinner and we all were ready for bed. The second day we repeated the same stuff and we needed nothing more.
Wednesday we had a wakeup at 8 AM for the Radio Pilatus in Lucerne. The early morning was a bit of a shock after sleeping long two mornings. Lucerne looked very pretty even in the morning. If only I had a chance to wake up in a place like that every day… After the radio we slept for another hour and then we went to the little Lucerne airport. There had been a competition in a Swiss newspaper where two people could win a helicopter flight with us.
I had my helicopter ride in Iceland already but this was something way cooler. The pilot really made us scream and cross our fingers. I was quite sure the pilot had decided to end his days. The curves were just so crazy. You gotta try it!
In the evening we had the rehearsals for our performance at the ELITE supermodel finals in Zurich. It’s this contest they have in many countries and finally all the winners of all the countries compete against each other in China later next year, I guess. None of the models were professional but I think they did it very well. I was able to take my first catwalk shots ever. That is difficult but I guess I have a few good ones. The show was good even though it was really hot. I mean these TV shows where music is only something that fills in the blank spots, the whole setup is always built “music-comes-second” but yesterday was good. They also had an after party with all the local super models but we were all so sleepy that even Karri decided to skip the party. With the models..? He must be sick…;)
Now we are flying home and we have the whole weekend off. Next week we will perform at the stars for free in Berlin and I heard that the Back Street Boys might be there too. I WILL have a picture with them if they’re there.
I also think I will have to fly back to talk to the new director of “WTML” video. I really don’t want to leave it too much in the hands of outsiders this time. It’s super great that we all felt the same way about the WTML video provided to us. I would have died if it had gone out the way it was presented to us. The song is too important and it deserves a great video.
Anyway. Thank you all for the great time and I really hope to see you all soon. I don’t remember feeling this happy, confident and balanced in a long time. I have a good feeling about the future. Let’s see ;)
Blog from 05. October 2009
Welcome To My Life
I am sitting at home with the 99 % finalized version of the new video. I can tell you that I have never ever been this happy with anything we have done with a film camera before.
The song is the most personal one from all the songs I have ever written and actually now I just realized how honest and naked the story actually is. When you record and perform songs, you sometimes forget what you are really singing there because you just get in the right mood and now with the video the whole feeling and lyrics came across to me for the very first time. Even though I wrote the story myself. Funny. I don’t know why, but it brought me tears. But the good kind, the ones that make you feel good. For me WTML is my best song ever. Jukka Backlund (poroducer), Visa Mertanen (string arrangement) and Jesse Vainio (mixing engineer) made the track perfect with all the wonderful people playing their instruments and helping in other ways. Sometimes when you record something in studio, there can be this magic feeling in the room. This time we had it. We were lucky.
The song is about my life. How it’s ups and downs, just like all the 6+ billion lives on this planet. And even though it sometimes rains like hell on me, it’s also one side of life and you just gotta take - that too – as it comes
As you might know, we were in Iceland this summer shooting a video for WTML and the plan was great and all but something just went really really wrong. I guess the record companies are sitting in courtrooms in Germany at the moment with the original production team and that brought very dark clouds on WTML release and promotion. I really hope the court case could be settled, the people behind the project were very nice and they did their best. It just didn’t work. Anyway, if any song in the world, WTML needs a video, a cinematic story to support it and to make the song stand taller.
One thing that made the re-shoot challenging is our tour start in a few weeks. We all know that usually having not enough time for something is not good at all.
After “Fairytale Gone Bad” video I have not been a fan of Sunrise Avenue videos. They have been ok. There have been some cool moments in them or great stuff but they all felt like someone else’s videos or they even looked bad. Not like SA videos anyway. I can’t explain this. It’s pretty much the same thing if someone would propose us a song like Pink’s “So What.” It’s a super great song and I like it very much, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable performing it as one of our own. Doesn’t fit us. Well, maybe that song would fit but anyway. It’s a deeper emotional thing.
I am more than happy that EMI Germany finally decided to give me a chance to do the whole video project in Finland with a Finnish team. We already had chats with Finnish director Mr. Misko Iho when we were planning the video for “The whole story”, the first single of PopGasm, but then the trust in Finnish video forces was not there. Misko had a very great idea then too.
So I called Misko from Frankfurt Germany a few weeks ago and told him we need a GREAT video FAST and with low budget because a lot of money had already been spent in Iceland from the video budget. Actually the money left was so low that we decided to invest a bit into this project with Sami, Riku and Raul too. It was worth it.
Misko has directed a lot of videos mostly for Finnish artists (check out miskoiho.com) and commercials and stuff. There is no question that he has this certain kind of an eye for creative and cool looking stuff. Look at the image quality and feeling in all his clips. They look like little movies. I love it! Misko is extremely talented. He also works very hard, passionate and humble. That is one hell of a combination. He did a man’s job with his whole crew with WTML.
The video has a story. I will not write it here, you can all see it by yourselves very soon. The story is written by Him and me. There are real Finnish actors (11 of them) doing the acting part and sure we play the song there too ;) We are making final changes in the edit tomorrow and at the end of the week the whole thing is finalized. Then it’s up to the TV stations. I really hope that out of all SA videos, this is the one they would give the chance.
I have a studio session with Jukka tomorrow evening recording and writing new stuff. So there is no early wake-up, Jukka never gets there in the morning anyway ;) I am out of red wine, so I will have a beer instead and just sit on my balcony for a while thinking about this amazing and wonderful up ‘n’ down life of mine. I love you all very much right now.
Blog from 17. October 2009
On The Road Again
Mä istun pitkästä aikaa yöllä keikkabussin keulassa ja katselen vilisevää keskiviivaa. Voi että mulla on ollut ikävä tätä. Syyskuun alkuun asti me soitettiin paljonkin festareita Suomessa ja muualla, mutta nyt me ollaan pari kuukautta lähinnä tehty haastatteluita, videoita ja akustisia keikkoja, jollaisia saadaan toivottavasti pian myös Suomeen. Siitä kun ollaan oltu ”bändikokoonpanolla” lavalla on vierähtänyt pari kuukautta. Festarit on kesällä sikasiistiä aikaa, mutta jotenkin näin rundilla on paljon yhtenäisempi olo jätkien kanssa kun kaikki eivät mene omaan hotellihuoneeseensa keikan ja illallisen jälkeen.
Me startattiin eilen meidän ihka oma Euroopan-kiertue Tampereelta opiskelijabileistä. Odotukset oli toki kovat koska moisissa karkeloissa on aina siistiä soitta. Porukkaa oli paikalla ihan helvetisti ja halli oli hieno paikka ja järjestelyt hoidettu ihan kympillä – veti vertoja mille tahansa suomifestarille.
Yleisö oli ryypännyt (niin kuin noissa karkeloissa kuuluukin) aamusta asti ja se näkyi ja kuului. Siitä on itse asiassa todella kauan kun me ollaan viimeksi soitettu opiskelijabileissä, taisi olla viimeksi joskus 2004 Helsingin AMKn karkeloissa ravintola Feverissä. Mä olin silloin meidän keikkamyyjä ;) Mä kelasin eilen ennen keikkaa että kannattasi laittaa settiin pari coveria, mutta ajateltiin että mennään omilla. Meidät biiseinemme oli tilattu ja sillä päätettiin mennä. Rundin ekalla keikalla on aina kuitenkin niin sikana sähellystä ja räpellystä teknisten juttujen kanssa, että kaikki turha extra kannattaa karsia pois.
Me soitettiin Tampereella selkeästi surkein keikkamme ainakin pariin vuoteen. Crew (meidän valo- ja ääniporukka) teki hommansa hienosti ja nyt meni ihan omaan piikkiin koko floppi. Se on itse asiassa aika jännää kuinka silloin kun niitä pieniä lipsahduksia alkaa tulla joillekin, seuraavat muut perässä. Herra Haber itse ryssi kakkosbiisin ”Rising Sunin” c-osan pitkin seiniä ja siitä se alamäki jatkui koko setin. Jopa Osmo soitti päin helvettiä pari kertaa ja Osmo ei ikinä soita väärin. Vaikka keikassa oli paljon hyviäkin hetkiä, meille jäi kaikille sellainen maku ettei oikein saatu itsestämme mitään irti. Oltiin oikeasti aika masentuneita keikan jälkeen. Onneksi bäkkärillä oli sauna. Se jeesasi vähän. Wanna-be rokkitähdet palautettiin kertaheitolla härmän kamaralle. Mentiin kaikki suoraan hotelliin nukkumaan ja se siitä. Näitä tulee välillä. Onneksi HIFK-voitti (taas) himassa Kärpät. Se lohdutti vähän. Ja Ahtolan Hattutemppu, WOW! Jerry on iskussa. Oon Jerrystä ylpeä. On hienoa kun joku tekee kovasti töitä ja
uskoo juttuunsa ja menestyy.
Tänään me esiinnyttiin Kouvolan kuntotalolla ikärajattomassa ja alkoholittomassa tapahtumassa. Me ei olla just nyt sitä kuuminta hottia bändinä, mutta porukkaa oli todella ilahduttavan paljon paikalla. Me vedettiin sound checking sijasta ”treenit” lavalla iltapäivällä ja sovittiin että keskitytään tänään enemmän ja että ei mennä niin takki auki lavalle kuin eilen.
Oli ihan helvetin siistiä. Rehellisyyden nimissä sanottakoon että ollaan totuttu vähän suurempiin saleihin etenkin Euroopassa, mutta vaikka paikalla oli vain joitain satoja kuuntelijoita, niistä lähti ääntä kuin areenasta ja tunnelma oli jotain aivan ihanaa. Me soitettiin myös tänään ekaa kertaa liveverso ”Welcome To My Lifesta” ja mä en muista koska mulla on ollut noin vaikea pidätellä kyyneleitä lavalla. Pakko sanoa teille kaikille jotka olitte siellä tänään huutamassa, että olette ihaninta mitä maa päällään kantaa just nyt. Oli aivan upea ilta. Olisin voinut halata ihan jokaista. Mekin vedettiin kyllä jo aika hyvin. Me noustaan tästä ;)
Se että aluksi homma menee vähän sekoiluksi on tyypillistä rundeille. Tänäänkin mulla oli tokassa biisissä jo viides kitara kaulassa kun tekniikka tökki ja signaali ei vaan kulkenut piuhoissa oikein, mutta kun tunnelma on oikea niin kuin tänään oli, se ei haittaa. Karri sai laukata lavalla kuin aropupu tuomassa mulle aina uutta banjoa. Tekee sille hyvää kun kalorit palaa.
Mä olen sanonut tämän ennenkin ja sanon taas: Kaikkialla – etenkin Suomessa – pitäisi soittaa vain ikärajattomia keikkoja. Sellaisia konsertteja minne porukka tulee nimenomaan keikalle eikä vetämään viinaa. Mä tulen tekemään kaikkeni että suomessakin kaikki keikat olisivat aina sallittuja kaikenikäisille. En muista ollaanko me ikinä soitettu ulkomailla kuin sallittuja keikkoja. Miksi siis täälläkään pitäisi.
Me siis ajetaan nyt Huittisiin (mulla ei ole mitään hajua missä se on;) ja huomenna me esiinnytään Huittisten Seurahuoneella. Se voi olla taas vähän haastavampi yleisö kuin tänään, mutta tulee varmasti kivaa. Huomenna on myös SM-liigan kärkiottelu HIFK-Lukko. Mä meinaan seurata sitä netistä ja mun keikkailme riippunee paljon matsin lopputuloksesta. Pakko sen Lukonkin on joskus taipua. Ois kivaa olla matsissa huutamassa. Bändin jätkät pitää mua hulluna jääkiekkojuttujeni kanssa. Kai mä vähän olenkin. Mutta ehkä mä olen kuitenkin mieluummin täällä näiden maailman parhaiden jätkien kanssa.
Kiitos tästä päivästä. Mä oon ihan sikaonnellinen.
PS: Meillä on koko reissun mukana Tortsu, Voice TV:n PIDETTY kuvaaja/toimittaja. Käykää tsekkaamassa sen videoita ja juttuja voicen netistä. Kerrankin joku reissutoimittaja tuntuu osalta porukkaa eikä sen mikit ja kamerat haittaa yhtään tekemistä. Se on selkeästi ennenkin nähnyt pukuhuoneellisen alastomia miehiä...
Blog from 18. October 2009
On The road again
As you might know, we have started our tour in Finland. We played 3 shows this weekend (Tampere, Kouvola, Huittinen) and I am slowly starting to remember how damn great this band life can really be.
I am super dead at home. We arrived in Helsinki at around 6AM and we jumped off the bus with Sami at Monk bay main street and Sami took his taxi home Monk bay taxi station. Monk Bay sounds like a huge place, it’s not ;) I used the last drops of energy climbing my stairs up to my door and fell asleep right away very happy my ears still ringing.
The first show (Tampere) was quite challenging for us and we made all the mistakes in the world on stage but the last two were much better. So seems as if the tour-start-nervous-behavior is mostly behind and now we just keep on adjusting things better and better through the whole tour.
I gotta fly to Cologne, Germany tomorrow to make some plans with our record company and management for Welcome To My Life since we finally have the video and all for it. I guess we will have the “Making of WTML” stuff ready with Jaakko (from Clark Kent) until Wednesday and you will also be able to see how the whole thing was made. Jaakko is a part time video editor and he is super nice helping me with the wicked stuff I have filmed with Karri and the Video team. I will also upload some making of pics soon.
Next weekwend we play two shows in Helsinki area and I just can’t wait. If the audiences were that great in smaller towns, we should have a lot of fun at out home arenas too.
So see you all soon and keep your fingers crossed for welcome to my life.
PS. I am totally confused with this kind of a “treasure hunt” thing that some fans have put up for us. I am sure it’s something cool ;)
Hei vaan iskän pikku pallerot!
Olipahan taas ihan sairaan siistiä Huittisissa. Juuri kun olin mollannut baarikeikat suomessa ja vaatinut että kaikkien keikkojen pitää olla ikärajattomia ettei jengi vaan kisko kaljaa ja örvellä, Huittinen opetti mulle taas jotain uutta.
Huittisten Seurahuone on ehkä eksoottisin hotelli missä ollaan asuttu koko urallamme. Käytävistä tuli mieleen Psycho-elokuva mutta fiilis oli sikaupea. Meillä oli käytännössä käytössämme koko oma kerros saunoineen jne, ja jaettiin hotellihuoneet todella pitkästä aikaa keskenämme. Osa nukkui jopa kolmenhengenhuoneissa. Bonnierin Mikko joutui mun kainaloon. Tykkäs kuitenkin ;)
Olipahan helvetin kova meno seurahuoneen keikalla. Mä olin ihan romuna ennen keikkaa. Tai jotenkin kun oli kaksi keikkaa alla ja ollut kylmässä ja kosteassa bussissa jen. pari päivää, kurkku oli vaan tosi tukossa. Tai itse asiassa sattui edes puhua. Vedin muutaman jekku shotin ennen keikkaa ja teetä. Sillä se ;) Ei lapsille! Alkukeikasta laulelu kuulosti vähän murrosikäisen pojan vinkumiselta, mutta ei se näyttänyt menoa haittaavan. Oli ihan sairaan siistiä ja kerrankin saatiin samalla keikalla soitettua sekä ”aikuinen nainen” että ”Paranoid.” Okei, mulla oli vähän alaston olo kun olin tulossa takaisin lavalle Destinyn välikohdan jälkeen ja Riku alkoi rokkaamaan Paranoidia. Parasta ;) Muutenkin pakko sanoa että ihan mieletön fiilis koko henkilökunnan touhussa Huittisissa. On kivaa tuntea olonsa tervetulleeksi ilman turhaa pokkurointia ja keikkaa on kiva vetää kun kaikki on hoidettu just niin kuin pitää. Kiitos vielä (Ravintolapäällikkö?) Riku oluista yöllä kun saavuttiin. Tarjoan takas jos joskus nähdään. ;)
Nyt heti Livenationin tytöt buukkaamaan lisää Suomikeikkoja. Tää on ihan sikasiistiä!!!!!!!!!
Mä lähen huomenna Saksaan Kölniin palaveroimaan Managerien ja levy-yhtiöiden kanssa sotasuunnitelmia loppuvuodeksi nyt kun ”Welcome to my life” saatiin raavittua kasaan ja palaan keskiviikkona. Me vieraillaan ensi viikolla sekä Ne-Salmiset TV showssa (soitetaan siellä pari biisiä) ja myös Rikun kanssa IRC-galleriassa joka on yksi Nosturin keikan yhteistyökumppaneista. Perjantaina soitetaan elämämme ensimmäistä kertaa Vantaan Tulisuudelmassa jossa on tunnetusti hurja meno ja sitten lauantaina vihdoin Nosturissa Helsingissä. Ihanaa ;)
Nosturin jälkeen on heti aikaisin aamusta lento (en muista minne) DTM autokisoihin. Me esiinnytään siellä (varmaan aika pahasti silmät ristissä väsyneinä) ennen DTM autokisoja ja illalla kotiin. Ja seuraavana viikonloppuna Mikkeli ja Kotka.
Alkaa taas tää oma elämä maistua aika mukavalle. Nähdään Tulisuudelmassa ja Nosturissa.
Blog from 11. November 2009
On Da Road!
Yeeehoooo!!! Here we are in a double-decker bus with the boys. We are driving from Frankfurt to Kiel for the tour start and only Karri, Aki and me are awake even though the night is still young on our scale. Nobody feels like having a drink, everybody is just waiting for the shows and now they’re recharging batteries in their beds. That’s good. I must say I have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. Sure it’s nice to be in the radio and on Video channels and all, but live shows and especially touring is the reason I do this at all. I heard the tickets have sold very well everywhere, so we will have a good bunch of people in every town. Some are even sold out already. And that means if you people are as great & loud as you have been before – we will have loads of fun!!!!
We are playing shows all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland first and then there are a few one-off shows in a few countries and even we don’t know yet where the trip will take us until we get home. There are still a few new countries and cities our management is trying to set things up for a show before the Christmas. I have the same bed I had on the tour 2007. Ok, sure it’s not even the same bus, this one is brand new, but when I put my things on the shelf next to by bed at the sleeping department, I felt like coming home.
Yesterday we performed at the World champion boxing title game again. We did the same thing a few years ago when the Russian Gigant Mr. Nikolai Valuev won his game against his American challenger, but this time the luck was not on Nikolai’s side. We performed “Not again” as he walked into the ring and we were told some 100.000.000 people were watching. I didn’t have the best hair day, but I can blame the huge Russian fighter for getting my hair up the wrong way. We stood 1 meter from him before getting on stage. And he had his (Scary!!) hood & gloves on. You just think “what if I look him in the eyes in the wrong way…” Honestly, he seemed like a very nice and friendly guy, but when someone is the world champion in boxing and is 212 tall and weights 120+, you better not annoy him right before his big performance. And they gave me a photo pass right next to the ring. Got some pretty cool shots ;)
Anyway. Tomorrow is the 1st day of this tour for us all. It will mean long sound checks and probably double times checking many things just so everything goes right in the evening for you people. We still have a few new things to go through with the guys at the rehearsals. We have played many shows in Finland and we learnt that some parts could have even more energy, stuff and action. We will also get the first touch with the “Black Sheep” girls. They are the band supporting us through the tour and at least I haven’t heard one single song so far. Hope they’re good ;) Sure we will have our dear friends “Clark Kent” from Finland with us on stage in Köln. But that is still a bit too far away now. My thoughts are in tomorrow ;)
We have been advised by our management and high-level doctors to avoid any unnecessary contacts with big groups because of the swine flu. And we have decided to follow that advice. We don’t want to make a big thing out of it, but sure this is something we need to look at seriously. This means that we will not be able to join people before or after the shows as we normally do. The reason we are on the road are the shows and we need to make sure that we stay as healthy as possible. And also make sure that we can do our best every night for the people who have paid the tickets and traveled to the venues for us. If one of the band members would get sick, we would have to cancel all the shows for a week or so. At the worst case. We will not take that risk and we will make no exceptions here. We hope you all understand that we can’t take time off from this now if we get ill, the dates are booked. It’s also for your safety. The less people get infected, the better it is.
I will sink into my “´home for the next weeks “ now and watch one episode of “24” and fall asleep. Tomorrow I have a short Girya-training with Sami at 12 and after that I am married with my guitar for the rest of the day. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be right here right now with these guys.
Rock you soon ;)
Blog from 11. November 2009
Samu "Haba" Haber
Germany – Kiel & Hamburg
Okay ;) The first two shows are behind and what can I say? I have never ever experienced anything like this. Even though the first shows of the tour are always a bit challenging with technical stuff and the song arrangements, I must give huge credit for the crew guys and everyone around us how super great things have rolled during the shows. And the audiences… I really do not know what has happened but there has been this special something in the rooms both nights. It was already there at the Finnish shows but now the whole set has been better than ever before.
Yesterday in Kiel we had the “smallest” crowd looking at the ticket presale results and we didn’t expect that much from the show. But even though they might have been able to fit a few more people in the room, the mood was just amazing. And the same today at the sold out Hamburg show at the legendary Grosse Freiheit 36 club. We still tried a few new things today, like playing “Choose to be me” after a years break and it felt so good. We have always planned to play a different set every night and I guess now we will keep the whole show more interesting by changing a thing or two every night. It’s so great that we have all the songs of the two albums to perform. Every night we need to skip some of our favorites to keep the time close to the agreed 90 minutes.
I must say I am very happy for the understanding we have gotten from the most of you for the efforts we take to stay healthy through this trip. I have felt a bit strange walking straight into the bus from the venues just waving at the ones waiting outside but the fact is, this is something we need to do. Sure we can still get sick and of course I / we have played shows before with flu, even fever, but at least we try to secure the upcoming shows. And the shows are the reason we are here.
I always have had this kind of a “stay-away-from-flu” stress on tour. It’s really hard to do anything when the fever gets you, but singing is just something you really can’t do if the throat does not work. And with the sweating on stage, it’s really not smart to do it when you are ill. You can get really sick. We tried to get the swine flu shots in Finland, but we are not important enough to get it yet. And I agree, the babies and people who have permanent deceases are in the risk group number one and therefore they should get it first. I knew some of you would not understand our decision. We are all selfish. Just like me trying to stay away from the flu. I can have it in January if it needs to come. But that’s enough about negative stuff ;)
Tomorrow is the first day off. Usually I feel great knowing there is a little break after a few shows, but right now I would give a lot to get on stage tomorrow. It has been so great. But anyway… We will do our Girya-training with Sami tomorrow at the hotel and after that we have a little camera meeting. We are 4 guys REALLY into shooting photos and we need to share experiences. Osmo just bought the same Nikon d90 that Karri (our stage boss) and I have and our tour manager Basty has his Canon set with him. Very “rock credible” I know, but it’s fun ;)
We are also trying to arrange a carting car race for tomorrow evening for the whole gang. There is a place in Bremen where you first do a warm-up for 20 minutes, then the qualifying and then the 20-minute race. I am SO going to be in top 3. I guess Aki is my worst enemy, not because he’s experienced. Just because he hates losing. Just like me. Boys with toys ;)
Some of the guys also want to spend their night in the bus instead of the hotel. I know after a few more days everyone will respect the privacy of the hotel room instead of the bus, but now it’s too early. It’s amazing how much space you have in this 2-floor bus with 10 guys.
There’s always food in the bus when we drive to the next town. This time we asked for healthy food like soups and salads for the night, but it really is not enough after the shows. Last night I could not sleep well because I was hungry and today our crew asked how long they’d have to eat the “rabbit shit.” I guess we will tell our tour manager tomorrow to arrange some pasta, wok or Chinese food for the rest of the nights if possible. We had to stop tonight at this gas station to get sandwiches because our stomachs were making this “hungry sounds.”
I will take my blanket and my pillow now and get to the front lounge upstairs with Riku. We will watch the “Death Proof” movie even though I have seen it already. But it’s just so good. I can recommend it warmly for everyone. Rose McGowan went above Scarlet Johanson on my “Top 10” list after that movie. Such a neighbor girl ;)
Good night everyone and thank you so very much for the wonderful two nights. You have made us / me feel more than happy. These events are the reason I really wanna give my life to this up ‘n’ down circus. I love you all right now. I hope Thursday comes soon….;)
PS: Raul measured his show “exercise” today with a calorie / pulse meter and he burned 780 calories in Hamburg!!
PPS:I finally met one of my biggest Ice Hockey idols ever, Mr. Jere Karalahti yesterday. He is THE defenseman of all times and has given me Goosebumps at the Helsinki IFK games a hundred times. He was at the Kiel show with my other ice hockey idol-friend Mr. Kimmo Kuhta. They both play for the Hamburg Freezers this season. Imekää kaikki jormaa, Jere on äijä!
Blog from 15. November 2009
Samu "Haba" Haber
Bremen – Berlin – Leipzig
I am sitting alone at the lobby bar in Neu-Isenburg (Near Frankfurt) on a day off. The rest of the guys are sleeping and getting ready for the Go-Cart race we have arranged finally for this evening. The whole band & crew & Drivers and Toby (merch man) Basty (tour manager) will join and I am already thinking about my tactical stuff. I hate losing and I must be in good shape mentally in a few hours to kick their asses.
I have been on tour before, but I must say now this is something better than ever before. All the shows have been so super wonderful. Of course when you travel a tour like this, there will always be evenings when everything does not go exactly by the book, but even these little “mistakes” haven’t taken one percentage of the feeling away. And I have seen many kinds of audiences but now you have no idea how happy you have made me / us. It is an amazing feeling when you have to fight against tears to continue the song at some part of the show. Yesterday the group hug after the show with the guys lasted for a minute. You were so super great!!!
There are 2 shows on this tour where we have extra pressure. The first one was in Berlin because our families were there. I don’t know why, but somehow you still wanna show the moms and dads & sisters that this is really a serious thing we are doing, not just fooling around and drinking beer. I was very relieved after the great show. And who the hell said folks in Berlin are too cool and that they can’t have fun??? The crowd I saw there on Friday was one of the warmest, loudest and relaxed crowds ever. It was great to play there on such a historical week.
The next extra pressure show is in Cologne. There we have our fellow countrymen “Clarkkent” supporting us and also many record company people. The challenge with these shows sometimes is that you start thinking about one person, your sister for example and how she feels about the show, and you may lose the focus. But if it went well with moms and stuff in Berlin, I am sure a few record professionals won’t make it any more difficult.
I must say our support band “Black Sheep” has been the nicest band ever to be on tour with so far. They really just do their job every night and give us the space we need. They have been a positive surprise all the way. And their show is great too. Go check it out!
But now… I will have shower and get ready for the race. Today my name is Samu Hasbermacher ;)
PS: Releasing the live album early next year looks good. We have recorded every show and we will keep on recording. So just remember to make some noise to make sure your hometown get’s on the album ;)
PPS: If you don’t hear about the go-cart from now on, I am sure there was a problem with my car. And it’s Karri’s & Aki’s fault. Karri said yesterday that if his race doesn’t look too good, he will concentrate on destroying my race. WTF????? This IS serious...;)
Blog from 21. November 2009
Samu "Haba" Haber
49 Kilometers to go
Neu-Isenburg – Köln – Dortmund – Saarbrucken
We have a problem with the weight of the technical gear we travel with. Sure the crew guys made all the calculations and all before we hit the road a few weeks ago, but when our crew guys started packing the trailer behind our bus in Kiel, they realized there’s way too much weight. We had a few different options. Hiring onwe more truck with drivers was one, but we decided to rent a van for the extra things and drive it ourselves. This is also cool when we have days off because we can use the same car for city trips and shopping instead of the big bus. The bus is really hard to park in the cities and we’d also need to have the driver with us. This van we can drive ourselves with normal driver’s license. The crew guys mostly drive the extra van from the show cities but we decided that nobody drives alone. So there are always two guys in the car. It’s in the middle of the night and we don’t want anyone falling asleep on the dark roads.
So tonight, after the Saarbrucken show, it’s my turn to be in the van. “Gorilla” Mikko (our FOH guy) is driving and I am trying to keep him awake by talking bullshit to him ;) Imagine all the ice hockey stuff he has to hear tonight ;) It’s only 259 Km to Ludwigsburg so I bet he’ll survive. The best thing about this van driving is that you can have a break whenever you want. With the bus it’s different.
We survived Cologne, one of the “extra pressure” shows. It’s funny how you do all the things on stage following your instincts every night and many of them very much the same way no matter where you are, but when there are “important EMI people” in the crowd, you get this extra beat inside you. Ok, I must admit that the super warm welcome in Cologne, like every evening so far, made it a lot easier and took a lot of the pressure away, but still.
The tour is half way. Already???? Well, it might get a bit longer because we heard about some new shows for 2009 today. We will let you know as soon as we know. It’s funny how you first wait for the trip for 6 months and when you get on the road, the days go by so so so fast. It has been just amazing this far. The audiences have been bigger and louder than ever before on our tours and also the feeling on stage has felt better than on any of the past tours. And the thing we have with the guys in the bus, back stage, on stage, etc. it just feels so right! Even though you spend every day with each other, there hasn’t been one single fight or stupid misunderstanding so far. For the very first time. And that feeling of friendship is something that follows us on stage every night. I haven’t felt this good about any group I have played with before. It feels so good when you look into the eyes of the guys on stage and the feeling is 100 % warm no matter if someone plays wrong or something unexpected happens with the
tech stuff. Same goes with the crew. They are working their asses off every day to make the shows go great for you people and I have felt sorry for some of them sneezing through the day but still sweating the night with us. I will reward them with a big hug after all this is behind.
We have been able to avoid major sickness, even though today Karri, Riku and Osmo felt really sick. I have felt this kind of tiredness too, but I am NOT going to let it get me. Yesterday in Dortmund I felt very strange the whole evening and I was sure I was gonna be sick today, but no. At least now I am feeling very ok. Being tired is normal on tour. The first week usually goes in this kind of tour-hype and then when you forget to be nervous and excited 24/7 the lack of sleep gets you. This “4 shows in 4 days” is a pretty heavy load especially for the crew guys who have to be there from morning until the night, but I bet we will make it. Then we have a day off after the Munich show and then we start the Austrian part of the tour.
We play 6 shows in Austria. All the shows are organized by this Austrian bank and I guess you can only win tickets to these shows. I am actually still not sure how the whole thing went but I am sure it will be fun. The clubs will be smaller and I really like that idea. Even though I have felt very much connected with the audience every night, it’s even easier to get the feeling in the smaller venues. We will finally also perform in Salzburg, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and I will sure make my camera very busy there on our day off before the show.
I must say getting straight to the warm bus after the shows has been great, even though it would be nice to meet some of the loyal people who have been there fort us for so long. I think one of the reasons we are not all ill at the moment is that we have been able to eat pretty soon after the shows and the bed has been available too if you feel like it. I remember the last tour 2007, there were nights when I stood out for 2 hours in cold and that can actually do bad stuff to your throat. I am very happy we decided to play it a bit safer this time.
I hope they are following our van with the bus and we get to dive into our beds soon after arriving in Ludwigsburg. I have skipped the training three days now because I felt I have no energy, but tomorrow I might do the sweating in the afternoon again. If I feel like it when I wake up. If my bed arrives in town early enough. In the afternoon I will go shopping. There must be something in the city worth buying ;)
I will keep Mikko awake now. He is coughing pretty badly and we will stop at a gas station soon and I’ll buy him some stuff for the throat. Last night on the road I medicated Osmo at the upper movie lounge of the bus with hot drinks and medicine because he was feeling bad. I am becoming a real doctor.
Good night every one, whereever you are, and thank you so very much for the super fantastic evenings so far. There are more to come ;) We are listening to Seal Soul. Great album. “I was born by the river….”
PS: My absolute # 1 single from PopGasm and my personal # 1 song of all SA songs “Welcome to My Life” is released today (Finally…….). Go get it!!!
Blog from 23. November 2009
Samu "Haba" Haber
Thank You Germany!
Ludwigsburg - Munich
Sami, Riku, Osmo and MP (our tech guy) are getting totally wasted downstairs in the bus and I just watched “The Lord Of The Rings” for the first time ever. It was actually pretty good. There were a few interruptions when Osmo had spilled drinks on Sami and he had to report to me (??) and also when Riku had been in a difficult situation with his Mc Donald’s order during the stop. That was also reported to me, I guess I needed to know these incidents. Nice ;)
I am having problems getting the pulse down after the Munich show. Tomorrow is the first day off after a straight 4 show days and I’d like to do something nice in Innsbruck instead of just sleeping in my hotel room. And I rather not join the monkeys downstairs, they are way too deep in their “get-rid-of-reality” rituals and I also like being alone after so many days face to face with the guys. Quality time…
Music business is pretty tricky to predict. We knew that the tickets had sold well all through the summer, but since we are not the “hottest” act out there right now, we weren’t sure what to expect from the shows. We have felt a very strong connection with many of the fans, or should I call them friends / people, and with their little campaigns and stuff I am sure the SA train moves a little faster than it would without them. But still you never know. And of course we knew we would need to earn the applause every night by proving the folks that it was worth to come rock with us.
So putting all that together with the typical tour tiredness and the illness that always gets the travel party sooner or later, we really were just hoping for the best when we got ready for the tour. We only swore to give everything we have for you every night. Every one of us, crew and band. And we did.
I must admit we expected quite much from the German audiences, but you people just blew us away every night. We must have done something right in our lives to be allowed to stand on these stages with such warm crowds in front of us. We have seen some great audiences before but this time it was magic. We have always wanted to perform just as guys with no rockets and circus tricks, but this time every night on stage felt more natural than ever. And that is mostly because of your hands in the air during the show. You can’t have any idea how good you made us feel every single night. Thank you!
It’s funny how I look back at the 11 shows now and I realize that there was no need for being nervous and worrying about empty venues. Even yesterday the whole club was packed even though Pink had her show the same time just a mile away.
The Munich show was a perfect ending for a perfect two weeks in our lives. It’s funny how again the show there was the last one in Germany on the tour and as we did the last minutes of the show, I remembered feeling the same kind of relieved sadness before on that very same stage. Last time we ended the German part there too. But life will go on ;)
Also huge thanx to our great support band BLACK SHEEP. In our point of view, they are far the best tour support we ever had and these little girls did their job 110 % professional every night. There are some support bands who, after a few nights together, think they are on a joint-tour with the headliner and things can get complicated. Now there was nothing but great time with the rock-chicks. The ladies are young and very talented and if they only keep up the good work and give all they have for music and their dream, I am sure we will all hear from them sooner or later. Thank you & Good luck girls!
We are on our way to Innsbruck where we play the first Austrian show on Tuesday. I heard the clubs are a bit smaller and it will be very intimate with the crowds. I love it! I really hope the bank’s ticket system / lottery has worked out and that there will be a club full of hungry folks ready to be popgasmized every night. I swear we are ready for you ;)
Good night now and thank you once again!
PS: We took our van today with Osmo & Riku and went to BMW welt. The mission was to buy BMW underwear for Osmo but the shop was already closed. “You see it is not easy…”
Blog from 29. November 2009
Samu "Haba" Haber
I am sharing a hotel room with Riku, who is sitting at the other end of the room playing his guitar. Very nice actually. We have a couple of songs “almost” ready and we are trying to find solutions for the chorus ends and stuff. A little blog writing break might bring in some new ideas.
It’s only three shows left of this road trip and I don’t know… It makes me feel kind of sad. Only three left and I could do a million more. Sure there are more shows this year, but the trip with the guys in the bus is always something extra special.
I must admit the first Austrian shows were really really hard. Sami was very ill with high fever ( in Innsbruck & Linz) and you know the drummer is the back bone of the band. He did a really good job, but when you know someone on stage is really sick, you can’t have the gang feeling as good as on the days when everyone is fully up. And even though I love the small club feeling, we had problems fitting our stuff on stage. In Innsbruck I hit the drum over head microphones with the back of my guitar a hundred times and one of the mics fell. And so did my own microphone since I started worrying about moving too much ;) Club-phobia ;)
Now that even Sami has been feeling better, the shows have been 100 % fun again. I guess we had one of the best evenings of the tour in Graz. Great audience! And the legendary Flex-club yesterday in Vienna was super cool too. I was very worried if the clubs would be empty because of the lottery system of the local Bank (Reifeisen Club), but no, the mood has been super great every night.
We stayed outside the Flex club last night and sleeping was a bit hard. First because we had a Play Station Ice Hockey tournament FIN-SWE. And after that the asshole idiots who left the club in the morning had to bang our bus windows on their way home. A gang of these smart-ass window bangers almost got their asses kicked at 5AM by our crew guys when they almost broke the windows. But they managed to run away. Aki & Tuomas run half a kilometer after them. Pussies!!!!!!!!! I don’t mind, but our driver sleeps in his own little sleeping quarters and he has to wake up at 8 to drive us to the next city. Well… now we are safe in Salzburg and the hotel rooms can’t be entered.
I have been here once before. It was Christmas 2007. We had performed at this TV thing in Zurich with the guys on the 22nd of December and instead of flying home, we took a flight to Vienna with Jukka (our former keyboardist and the guy who’s produced our both albums). It was really cool. We stayed the first two nights in Vienna and then we just drove all around Austria (once we even ended up in Munich because we were just talking and talking and didn’t realize the time and kilometers passing by). Anyway. It was here in Salzburg where we had our Christmas dinner with all the other lonely people who didn’t celebrate the family evening with their own ones. There is a special mood in the restaurant.
And sure this is also the place where W.A. Mozart grew up. I will try to keep my songwriting ears open and my mind clear in case there are some good melody vibrations floating around in the air.
So tomorrow we play here and then the last Austrian show in Dornbirn. I just hope there will be people in the clubs even though the towns are a bit smaller than Vienna and Graz. I heard a rumor that there might be a go-cart-race in Zurich on the day off so I must start getting ready ;)
Good night everyone,
PS: Now we will start watching Indiana Jones (The newest). I wanted to watch Rambo (The new one also) but Indiana won… John Rambo is da man!!!!!!
Blog from 14. December 2009
Samu "Haba" Haber
Home sweet home
Welcome on board to Lufthansa flight LH/5C4HZS from Munich to Helsinki. We have a strong tail wind and we will land in Helsinki in 65 minutes. The weather in Helsinki is like a perfect winter evening. Snowing, -5 Celsius. No wind.
I get “post-tour-depressed” every time I go home after a longer trip. I love home for sure, but it’s just the way you have been whipping your own ass for the whole trip and then it finally doesn’t matter if you have any clean stage pants or if you get a bit ill. You suddenly don’t have to worry about your throat or cleaning your hands like an idiot after every door handle. I heard some artists sleep with their TV on after the tours just to have some noise as they’re used to the crowd around them in the night. I have tried it a few times. It helps. It’s amazing how I actually didn’t get ill during the whole tour even though almost everyone else did.
You’re also so used to the guys around you from wakeup until the nights last cigarette and it’s hard to be alone in the huge bedroom tonight. Sure we had a soft-landing-period from the tour by traveling a week in Greece, Albania, Russia and Germany. Actually it was everything but a soft landing. The time goes by so slowly when there’s nothing to do. We had only 3 shows this week and still we had to travel 7 days. A lot of time for nothing.
Last shows of the tour
Even though the first two shows in Austria were a bit of a shock for us, it got better the further it went. Of course Sami was really sick the first two AUT shows, but the better mood started in Graz (mostly because of the great crowd) and all was super good in Vienna, Salzburg and even the small city (it’s a city??) of Dornbirn rocked really great.
It was a bit difficult to adapt to the smaller shows after the huge German crowds. The stages were also very much smaller and there was no support band either. Sure even the first two the nights were ok, but my point here is that we could have done better. But I hope everyone thought it was worth coming to see us.
Then the Swiss show was the only one left before we took off home for one day. The night in Zurich was a perfect ending for a perfect tour and if I had emotions taking control of me a few times on the tour before, that night was very very emotional. I could not sleep at all the night before and I just had a short nap before the sound check. The Zurich club was super cool and the audience was just so damn loud.
After the show we had a little party with the guys around & inside the bus. We actually didn’t sleep at all with Riku & Sami and we must have looked fresh on TV in Athens the same night ;) But it was worth it.
You know we recorded all the shows from Helsinki to Zurich and we will release the stuff one way or the other early next year. The samples we already listened on the way sounded really good. I didn’t know you really sing SO loud. On stage you can’t always hear it but on the recording it really comes across well. I’ll let you know when / how the live stuff is available.
We started this week on Monday by flying to Tirana, Albania. We performed at this political event where the biggest star was the Albanian prime minister himself. We also met the minister of culture at his office and he told us that Albania is now actually one of the new candidates for the EU and they are really trying to join the Schengen countries next year to make their tourism business easier. If I am totally honest, they still have a lot to do and there are many walls to break. But it’s nice that they flew us over and we got to perform to the supporters of the big guy.
The strangest thing was that there were some young people gathered in front of the stage before our show and the security people dragged them away. The focus was on the political things but still I have never seen anything that before. The stage was full of the minister’s balloons and stuff and I really felt strange swimming in all the campaign promotion stuff. And sure it started raining and the stage had no roof ;) When we started, there must have been 100.000 listeners. I guess there were 10.000 left after the last song. I partly blame the rain ;)
At the airport we were treated like diplomats. We’ve been at the diplomat lounges and private airport vans before, but this time nobody checked our bags and we just walked into a van that took us to the plane. As the metal detectors beeped at the security control, they said, “it’s ok” to us all. Cool ;) I hope our trip to the Tirana rock festival works out next year.
On Thursday we played in Moscow. This time we had no problems getting our gear (the instruments and stuff) into the country. Last time it took hours as they wanted to check every cable and mark it so we really bring it back too. The Moscow show was the last club show on the tour and even though the club was not sold out, I must say the night was very enjoyable and fun for us. And the ones who were there, rocked like hell. I actually don’t remember being that relaxed on stage for a long long time.
I don’t know what it is with Moscow, but the after party was rough again. I remember in 2008 when we were there, we didn’t sleep at all and we had this huge wrestling thing through the night. And the next day I had to enter the German Big Brother house with my hangover. I felt like dying…;)
Same wrestling championships took place again with no winners and no medals. Just a very tired gang flying away the next day. The crew and Osmo flew to Helsinki. The crew is off for the rest of the year from our dities and Osmo had a show in Turku (Fin) the next day. Karri and band flew to Munich where we got ready for an acoustic show at the Mediamarkt Christmas party. It was actually quite ok. They had A-HA as headliner and we played after them at this easy lounge.
Our set ended at 2:45 AM (In the night!!!) and poor Osmo had to leave to the airport right after to join this song-writing session in Poland today. The rest of us went to bed and now we are on our way home. I must say it feels very good. My mom is waiting for me at the airport because my car (my sweet sweet baby) is in her garage. I think she also wants to make this “mother check” on how I am doing. I will try to look healthy and well slept ;) Even though I am just the opposite.
Next week I will be really busy with interviews and some rehearsals Finnish TV show and stuff. On Friday and Saturday we will be in Zurich again for this TV show and an acoustic performance for charity.
The thought of my own bed, my own coffee machine, my own gym (only if I feel like it) and racing with my car against the falling snow fakes makes me happy.
Remember, You still need to be nice. Santa Claus can still abort all your presents if you lose it now!!!!
PS: My ice hockey team HIFK won almost every game when we were on tour. As soon as the tour ended, they only won one game. I am not superstitious, but hey..????
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