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Blog from 02. March 2013
Big Band Theory – On The Road Again
Finally! I am sitting in a plane heading south from cold cold Helsinki with the band & crew guys. The wakeup was quite a shock this morning. On Friday it was still sunny and a couple of Celsius above zero. The morning was bright today too, but the temperature had fallen down to -15 in the night. I slept bad because the tour thoughts didn’t let me sleep too much but the walk to my car in the morning really woke me up.
We started the Big band shows in Finland already a few weeks ago and I must say we were very positively surprised. The first shows (in Lahti & Turku) were for seated audiences but still I was amazed how much fun it was. Especially those two nights I was super nervous. We all were. Even though we had rehearsed pretty well, there are so many things we all need to remember on stage and even for the sound guys and other crewmembers the night is a double challenge. And of course I had nightmares of the crowd reacting to the new arrangements. Helsinki was the third show and also the first “standing audience” and I must say it worked even better. It’s always a stress playing in your hometown because all your friends and family are there. But that was the night I fell in love with the set 110%. I have sometimes complained about Finnish crowds being passive and not too loud, but this time, in all three cities, we were blown away by the reaction.
So… Now we hit our first European dates in Germany, Holland, Austria, Switzerland and Czech Republic. It’ll be a month driving the caravan of two double decker busses and trucks all over the place. The first show is already today in Kiel, in northern Germany.
A lot of folks and fans have asked me if there’s a dress code at the shows. We should have thought about that earlier, so no, you come as you are. Sure it’ll make us happy if we see some cool gangsta suits in the crowd.
The crew and our support Finnish band Superscar travel with one bus and we share the (better;) bus with musicians only. This trip will be a total excursion to Tero’s, Jay’s, Markus’ and Aleksi’s soul. If there’s one great way of getting to know a person, it’s spending time with them on tour. You’ll know exactly who snores, who stays up the latest, who steals your shoes when they go out for a cigarette and who always forgets to close the bathroom door and it bangs annoyingly when the bus drives at night.
Between the shows we have been actually pretty active in studio too. I just counted that we have 32 songs already fully or half recorded with the guys and it wouldn’t be a miracle if there’d be an album out late this year. There’s some very cool stuff. I juts played Osmo a new song called “I Can Break Your Heart” and by the look in his eyes and his moshing head we are on the right track. Actually I’m listening to it now myself and damn it ROCKS!!!!!!!!!
Last week I was in Stockholm writing songs with a few trusted friends Peter, Carl and Sharon. We actually wrote “Angels On A Rampage” with Sharon and Carl three years ago and I gotta say I am very happy again for what came out at the sessions. Sharon is finally coming to see our show, for the first time, in Berlin and that makes me nervous in the good way.
I love to write songs mostly alone, but these joint sessions are a very great way of challenging yourself and of course you learn a lot from every person you work with. The day usually starts with a quick coffee at 10 AM and then we just write a song. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s just something you can listen to later on for fun, but it’s always fun and you never know when a hit could happen. Usually after we write the lyrics and melodies down, we have lunch and afterwards I stay with the “tracker” making the “one day demo” so there’s something to listen to. This is very much fun too. I can play all the guitars, bass and stuff I want and actually even some drums. Electric drums though… And if anything sounds and feels good with me performing the instruments, it’s a good sign. Then you add Raul, Riku and Sami in studio to the track and VOILA!
I was first against these sessions but especially after doing full three weeks of them in Los Angeles in 2010 I have started to like them. When you co-write, I guess it kind of awakes your creative part of the brain. Last week, after working in the studios for the whole day, I had this strange mood in the evenings for writing lyrics. Good.
After the Berlin show tomorrow, I will stay in Berlin for our day off to meet the Universal folks together with our management. I know some of the UNI-guys already but it’ll be great getting to know who we’re gonna work with on the next steps of Sunrise Avenue. It’s kind of nice being with only one label now. The last album was shared between EMI and Universal, but now that Universal bought EMI, it’s gonna hopefully be even easier for us since we’re handled through one office. I do miss the Emi folks a lot and I really hope many of them will find new jobs at the Universal organization or somewhere else. It’s so bad when you’ve been working with some people for years (us since 2006) and you gotta leave some of them behind. We would not be here without the determined work and the huge hearts of Uli, Julia, Daniel, Kerstin, Andy and all the others. But we gotta move on and look ahead. Business is business.
But now it’s time to dress up and get ready for the night. Tonight is our first chance on this trip to prove our Theory. The Big Band Theory.
PS. Remember we record all the shows again. The loudest crowd might end up on an album, a Big band Theory Album. Muahahhahha ;)
Blog from 10. March 2013
Big bang Amsterdam
Someone smart told me once that the feeling on every tout should be that it’s the best tour ever. That’s definitely the mood in this bus of ours right now. And that has actually been the case from the very beginning. I don’t know if the four month live show break we had made all this even better, but who cares. This is just great!
Everything we do on stage has been pretty much new for us even though we played three shows in Finland before starting the European part. I gotta say that now we’re getting used to the set and the new arrangements and everything we do on stage is getting more and more relaxed. I thought about the songs and arrangements today on stage in Amsterdam and for me, actually the show works super great. Actually we have all been amazed how well the crowds have taken the new show. There has been ONLY ONE negative feedback from someone who came to the show. She said she hates the new Sunrise Avenue and she’d rather see the traditional stuff we do. Damn ;) Sure there are others who probably didn’t love what they saw, but most of the feedback has been great from the fans, media, industry people and friends. The only question in my mind is that how the hell do we get back to our boring rock / pop stuff someday when all this is over. Just kidding ;)
We have already “big banged” the crowds in six cities in Germany and The Netherlands. And the journey goes on for the next few weeks in Germany, Luxemburg, Austria, Switzerland and Czech Republic. I already now hope there will be more some day.
I love our new band members Jay, Tero, Aleksi and Markus and I am so happy we selected and got these very guys to travel with us. There’s always a tiny risk when you get in a tour bus for a month and you don’t know the people. We all know how tricky relationships can be when there’s just two people, but now we’re nine musicians living 24-hours a day together. Sure they’re great on stage with their horns and percussions, but when we pack the bags to get to the next city, it all feels like a big family. Feels like I’ve known the guys forever. I know, already now, I’m gonna miss those little hairy asses like hell when we go home at the end of March. Not their asses. You know what I mean.
On Monday, after the Berlin show I stayed in town and met some folks from the Universal Music Office. We also listened to some new songs and they really seemed to enjoy the session. Or maybe they were just friendly to me ;) I gotta say the first impression on the UNI organization was super positive. They seem to be professionals. This was just the very first meeting and also the very first show they saw from us, but something inside me tells me there’s something good going on. Of course when it’s time to release new music and stuff, it’s gonna be hard work. But fun the same time. I’m gonna send them some new songs tomorrow for their feedback. One of the guys in our team is Mr. Daniel Shmidt, the guy who originally signed us to EMI Music in 2006. He believed that Fairytale Gone Bad would be a massive radio and sales hit and he wasn’t that wrong. So he works for Universal now and it’s great to have one guy in the team we already know.
Two of my Finnish friends Miikka & Hanky came to see our show in Bremen last Wednesday. Miikka Jouhkimainen is a former Ice Hockey player, who used to play for our favorite team HIFK, but after a few injuries he started doing the Red Bull Crashed Ice skating competition. It’s this thing where they build an ice track in the center of as city and the guys come down this tricky ice track as fast as they can. Miikka is a two-time world champion.
He’s competing again in Canada World Cup next weekend. The other Guy Hannu Pikkarainen still plays Ice Hockey in Finland. He used to play for HIFK too but now after few years of Russian and Swedish leagues, he’s playing for TPS in the Finnish league again. The guys took a four-day trip to Bremen, Essen and Amsterdam with us and they said the tour bus experience together with everything they saw on the road was the best thing ever. Hannu “Mr. Hanky” was the guy making a show for you guys outside the arena in Essen, just in case someone was wondering ;)
Actually almost every city’s backstage has been packed with friends, family and music industry folks. It’s so cool seeing your sister or your family when you’re on the road. I guess they kind of come to check if you’re ok. I loved the way my sister hugged me tonight after the show in Amsterdam at the backstage. Nearly brought tears in my eyes. Makes you feel safe in the middle of all the rock and roll life. Really brings on down on the ground in the good way.
So…Mr. Hanky and Miikka and the others are gone from the bus and all the other boys are sleeping after their “rest” in Amsterdam. I’m alone in the front of the bus again, finally! Only our driver Frank and me, my laptop and a glass of wine. I have been missing this. Frank lets me smoke. He told me it’s more than 600 kilometers tonight. That means after posting this blog, I’ll have some time to fall asleep before the bus stops. I just love to sleep in the moving bus. Our 25-ton cradle.
Thank you everyone for being there for us every night. You have made these nine big-bang-guys more than happy!!
Big Love & Good night & See you soon!
PS. Raul found a place in Munich where they rent M-series BMS’s short-term with pretty OK prices. He got me a brand new BMW M5 and X5M for himself. Watch out Munich. Next Friday we’re gonna be fast!!!!!!!!!
Blog from 12. March 2013
Big Band Gang On The Road
Here we go again!! It’s amazing how this trip just gets better and better. We’re right now driving towards Nuremberg, Germany to play a show near the city in Furth at the Stadhalle. We’re already over half way the tour and already today in Heilbronn I started kind of missing this trip and our little show on stage. Gotta enjoy it while it lasts. It’s all perfect even though the weather today was totally bad and I wasn’t able to go jogging. Snowing and stuff. You faces every night in front of us keeps the sun shining in this bus.
The boys are feeling way better now and everyone has recovered from the early tour’s party stuff and Amsterdam’s bars & cafes. Well, Sami had his birthday yesterday and of course we had to celebrate him in the night with Riku. The other guys were sleeping. We just drank a few bottles of wine (Sami vodka), ate some cake and we listened to Brad Paisley’s whole career through. And hugged each other half naked the whole time. Sweet <3 I LOVE Brad Paisley. We listened to his music every day when we did our road trip in the US with Sami last year. Today I bought Brad’s “American Saturday Night” album to Riku too. His face was smiling so big last night at the guitar parts so I wanted to surprise him with music. It’s so cool you can so easily gift albums on iTunes.
Now the boys are listening to some deep deep jazz in the lower lounge of the bus. Iäm sitting in the back of the lounge writing my little words for you and behaving here as if I understand the challenging jazz chords and stuff. They’ll buy me jamming along ;) (See picture, only on SA Facebook)
Tomorrow is the last show of our Saxophone player Aleksi Ahoniemi. Roope, a guy from Finland will come to Zurich on Thursday for the show and this means we need to train the new kid fully to the set. He’ll be fine. It’s so sad that one of the soldiers is already leaving the battle. I love my job and this band more than words can describe and one of the main reasons are the great folks you meet on these trips. It’s gonna be as bit touchy on stage tomorrow on 6-0 when he blows his last solo for us this spring.
I guess we’ve had almost ten cakes already from the fans among all other great presents. You should realize that if we are super fat in a few weeks, it’s also your fault.
We just can’t stop eating all these goodies. YUMMYYYY ;)
Thank you all for the great moments again and see the rest of you soon! I will have a glass of wine now and smoke one last cigarette next to driver-boy Frank. I hope they can fix me a gym tomorrow in Furth on Nuremberg. I’d need that.
Good night everyone.
Dr. Haber and his Big Bad Big Band Boys!
PS: Tomorrow our ice hockey team Helsinki IFK have the most important game of the season. Cross your fingers, toes, parents, kids, animals and what every you may!!!! I’ll have an ice hockey studio with live feed from Finland somewhere with at least Riku, who is also HIFK fanatic and believer. A great soul ;)
Blog from 19. March 2013
Big Band between Prague & Dresden
Here we go again. We’re enjoying the last bus drive between the shows this time. Tomorrow is the last show on this trip with these 9 guys on stage and I’m not sure if I’m happy about it. Today at the back stage in Prague I felt like hugging everyone around me because I can feel the farewell close.
Riku, Raul, Jay, Osmo, Markus, Roope and Tero are talking about food additives in the lower lounge. About all the stuff they put in our food and drinks to make them last longer in our fridges. Earlier we talked about the international oil companies and how they destroy countries and populations all over the planet only for their profit.
The change is huge from two weeks ago. Everyone was partying half naked and running around the bus singing Sinatra songs. I liked that too but I guess these serious discussions on the “last drive” work too. A few bottles of wine and deep stuff ;) The great show and the great crowd in Prague Czech Republic made the boys sentimental.
Manager Mikko, Photographer Anna, Tour manager Basty and Sami are sleeping in their bunks already. I don’t know the situation in the crew / Superscar bus. Guess their discussions are closer to the belt level. I’m alone with my laptop in the front with driver Frank.
I just wanted to thank you all for the great evenings again before getting on stage tomorrow for the last time with this setup in Dresden, Germany. I heard the show is also sold out!! After Dresden we’ll drive to Frankfurt for a few days to rehearse our “even bigger band set” together with the full HR3 Big Band orchestra. We’ll have Wednesday off, rehearsals on Thursday and Friday and on Saturday we’ll play two shows with the super-size-big band. That’ll be fun! I don’t know how dead I will be after two shows in one night, but who cares. After that we’ll have a few days off before we hit the studio hills in Hollola Finland.
As always we will have our little voting of the best show, audience, venue / arena, catering and backstage. We’ll definitely have difficulties selecting them this time since every day has been like a dream come true, but we’ll do our thing anyway. I’ll announce the results in my blog.
I am so tired but so happy. Thank you all for the whole treat!!! Love & Hugs & Kisses!!!!
PS: Our horn players Jay and Tero have found a brand new life…
Blog from 13. April 2013
Musical Downhill Mega Tour 2013
Welcome ladies and gents to Sunrise Avenue “Musical Downhill Mega Tour 2013!” Well it’s actually just one show in Samnaun in Switzerland. The tricky thing is that we haven’t played a single traditional rock show for the last 6 months and that means we all need to learn the songs again. I’m listening to the shows from late 2012 and it’s the 4th song and already my 5th “aaah, that’s how it goes…” We’ll see how lost we are on stage tomorrow. I heard the stage is somewhere 2,5 kilometers above the sea level and it can be cold. We’ll after the winter we had this year in Finland, anything above zero will feel like a Caribbean Cruise. The best thing about this trip is that some of us have our snowboards with us and we can enjoy the slopes a bit too.
No matter how super amazing the Big band Theory tour was, I must admit I have been missing these versions. It’s “Sweet Symphony” on my headphones right now and I didn’t remember the song is this good. I just hope it’s not too cold tomorrow. Last time we played at a festival at an alpine center, it was minus 15 degrees Celsius and I broke one guitar and damaged my throat. And the set tomorrow is 90 minutes long… We’ll see. I’ll fight ;)
The Big Band Theory Tour
What a trip and what a gang! Especially since we were honestly very nervous about the crowd reaction and the feedback we’d get from you guys, the tour topped all expectations. I can’t describe how much fun it was. And getting to know those fantastic new souls, Tero, Jay, Aleksi, Roope, Markus and Pete on the road was one of the highlights of the last years. A huge thank you to Tero once more for the fantastic arrangements on the horn section. The more I play with real front line musicians from outside the band, the more I respect them. I love the fact that we’re doing these full acoustic and big band etc. tours outside the “real” Sunrise Avenue tours. It feels like a holiday from the band life and the rock’n’roll duties. And it also gives a totally fresh and new outfit to many of the songs. The only downside is that I have to go through the arrangements now for at least a dozen times to get my mind set to the original stuff again. But it was so much fun that none of us complain the extra work. We even had to
learn new versions for the HR3 Big Band session at the end of the BBT tour. That we managed in one day so this can’t bee too hard either.
Thank you everybody at HR3 and the HR band, especially Mr. Ed Partyka for the outstanding arrangement and devotion to the project. Quite a tour ending ;) You can find the traditional results of the tour voting at the end of this blog. Seems to me that the same winners are there tour after tour…;) It was great everywhere, but only one can be the winner.
So we have this one show tomorrow in Switzerland and then next week we finally head to Russia and Ukraine. Finally! We have booked many trips and small tours to Russia in the past years but every single time some problem appeared on the Russian side and the trips were cancelled. It’s very annoying planning a one-week trip to some country and then you just end up sitting at home because the trip didn’t happen due to some business bull shit. Anyway. I guess this time we’re really going. We have even bought the flight tickets and booked the hotels and all ;) The Russian crowds have been extremely loud and this is exactly what we’re expecting this time too. The trip to Ukraine will be our first, so we‘ll get a new country to our band’s “played-there-list.” The 28th country if I counted right. Can’t wait! I heard Kiev is a beautiful city.
We don’t call our album Yellow Snow anymore. Now the baby’s name is UNHOLY GROUND. That is one of the songs that’ll definitely be on the album. It was a pretty soft acoustic thing in the beginning, but in studio it started rocking like moose (as we say in my country). I have a gut feeling this will be the final name too. We’ll see. The first things we’ve done together with Universal regarding the next album and all have felt very goo and very professional. It’s so nice to know some key folks from the Universal machine from the past.
I hope you all are enjoying the spring fully and hope to see you tomorrow on top of a mountain and next week closer to the ground level in Russia and Ukraine.
Thank you once more for the unforgettable moments on the BBTheory tour. We gotta do that again some day ;)
Hugs and love!!
Big Band Theory Tour Best Of Voting Results: The jury has spoken.
Best Venue: Gasometer, Vienna (AUT)
Best Crowd: Akropolis, Prague (CZ)
Best Show: Tonhalle, Munich (DE)
Best Catering: Gasometer, Vienna (AUT)
Best Backstage: Del Atelier, Luxembourg, (LUX)
Best Rock and Roll Moment: Eh Nimittäin J-Kortehisto Experience (bad insider)
Blog from 27. March 2013
(To get the most out of this blog, listen to “Night Train” from Amos Lee)
We are in a train?
I didn’t remember it’s this easy traveling by train. Normally we drive to the airport with ten taxis in the morning traffic, go through check in, security check, boarding, safety demonstrations and if you happen to sit on an exit seat, you gotta pack all your belongings up in the lockers. Train is so easy. It was sunny and very warm in Helsinki in the morning. The taxi to the central station took 8 minutes, and after total 20 minutes from my home door, I was sitting in this iron tube with a warm café latte in my hand. Not bad. The trip to St. Petersburg takes three and a half hours. We drive (do you “drive” with a train or is there some special word for it?) through Lahti and Pick up Timo, our lightning engineer from there. He really lives in Spain but today he comes from Finland’s Chicago.
The ride is so smooth. You have a lot of space around your seat and you can walk around as much as you want. And you also see many things though the train window that you would not see flying. And there’s a restaurant.
We play in St. Petersburg today and tomorrow we head to Moscow. I guess the train thing makes it easier to get into the country too. Russia is like USA in the matter of getting into the country with a lot of musical gear. When you fly in to Russia, you obviously need to go through Moscow no matter what’s your final destination. I heard that this time it should be easier because of the train. In Moscow airport we usually wait for some stamps and papers for our travel documents for hours, now it should be quick & smooth.
Mr. Heikki Puhakainen is with us on key-boards on this trip because Osmo is attending the final TV broadcast of the Voice Of Finland. He’s not competing – he’s in the house band. It would be pretty cool if Osmo would be there as one of the contestants. I bet they’d declare him as the winner after the first episodes ;) I love watching Osmo on TV. He’s always so funny and cool especially when they’re playing a rock show. There he’s allowed to do all the circus moves and other things we always tell him not to. The stage is his ;)
Heikki has obviously started a new life some time ago. I have not seen someone losing weight and getting in shape that fast. I remember taking him to a kettle bell training last summer and honestly I didn’t believe in his efforts too much. Now he looks like a model boy. He doesn’t drink at all anymore. I kind of miss the old party Heikki, but the same time I am super proud of him!! Changing your life is never easy and we all usually slip after a few weeks and start to find excuses why we can’t make it. Not Heikki. Super Hessu! (Super Goofy in Finnish)
I’m gonna have to start filling in the Russian entry forms now. It’s so cool that the little tour in Russia is finally happening!!!!
There’s no cigarette lounge in the train?? Well, we’ll survive.
Blog from 28. April 2013
Spasibo i do svidanija Rossiya!!
We are on Aeroflot flight SU1411 from Yekaterinburg to Moscow. Everyone made it to the flight even though the hassle at the airport was pretty bad again. The thing is, we need to get to the second plain from Moscow to Kiev, Ukraine and someone should make sure all the instruments and technical gear are on that plane too. It’s a good thing it’s Sunday. We’re gonna drive like crazy to the venue when we land in Ukraine to make everything ready for the show in the evening. It’s gonna be one hell of a day for our crew boys.
Tonight is our first show in Ukraine ever. Finally!!! Getting to the venue in the afternoon traffic would have been a mess if it wasn’t Sunday. Someone has thought this whole trip through pretty smart. The only thing that wasn’t too smart was that someone planned the day-off in Yekaterinburg on Friday. Some of the boys looked pretty “crispy” on Saturday morning after all the well-known Russian hospitality…;) Boys are boys. I slept 11 hours like a baby tiger.
We played three shows in Russia this week and the only thing I can say is WOW!! We’ve had some difficulties in the past with the little Russian tours we did, but this time everything has been as easy and pleasant as ever. In every city (St. Petersburg, Moscow and Yekaterinburg) the crowd, staff and the clubs have been just amazing and we have felt very special the whole way. I don’t know why it was so hard arranging this trip for us and it even got cancelled a few times, but now looking at it afterwards, the work was definitely worth it.
I don’t know if it’s the long break we had between the rock shows, but it felt like the crowd was as loud and great as ever! I had some strange thoughts during the Big Band Theory Tour if we should change our style just a little bit towards that. Nope. Rock is the thing we’re born for and there we shall stay. The Big Band and Acoustic things are like nice little holidays from our day jobs, but the old school stuff is still where we feel like home ;)
It’s a shame we can’t get to know the cities too much on these trips. Especially I have to rest my throat on the off days and prepare myself for the next day’s show. There’s nothing worse than singing with a broken throat. Just try to sing 90 minutes very loud next time you’re sick. Ok, don’t try it. Anyway. In Yekaterinburg the band guys & crew took a visit to one of the clubs and I went shopping to one of the malls with Heikki but that’s about it. We knew that Moscow is cool and St.Petersburg is a bit like Stockholm but even Yekaterinburg felt really nice. Of course the slowly coming spring helps all this too. When it’s dark and cold, nothing is pretty. I heard it’s close to +30C and sunny today in Kiev. I didn’t bring my shorts. But I have my sun glasses, unlike Heikki…
Everyone in the band and crew are playing the Hill Climb mobile game. It’s pretty cool and FREE and you should check it out if you haven’t yet. Usually I suck at games, but this time it finally seems as if I’m one of the best. It’s very addictive. The monster truck is my favorite vehicle in the game. The game is developed by two Finnish guys - Go Finland!! Sami is fun to watch when he plays. He really moves with every muscle even though he just has a tiny iPhone in his hands and when he dies in the game, he releases these amazing sounds of disappointment. It’s so annoying how good he is in NHL13 with Play Station. I just can’t beat him!!
Anyway. I just wanted to thank you all for the great trip and the fantastic moments on stage. We really hope we can come back soon!
I’ll take a nap now. It’s gonna be a long day until I lay my head on the hotel bed in Kiev tonight. And my mother will be there too checking us and the show out, so I better look fresh ;)
PS: Thanx & sorry to the staff at the Dom Pechati club in Yekaterinburg. I heard some of the boys were there quite late on Friday night and their dance moves weren’t exactly what you’d call cool ;) Oppaa, Sunrise Style!
Blog from 14. June 2013
Helsinki – Kassel - Minsk
We just took off from Helsinki and it really doesn’t look like summer too much today. Actually the whole week has been more like October in Finland. But hey, it’s gonna be green everywhere when the really hot days hit us again.
We played our first official summer festival this Wednesday in Helsinki at the official Helsinki day. The whole city is celebrating all over and the biggest happening that day is the Radio Aalto festival in the center. The weather was as warm as a bad bride, but that didn’t stop the crowd from rocking like hell. It’s so hard getting on stage in your hometown. All the families, friends, and neighbors in the crowd make you nervous. I was at my gym just a few hours before driving to the back stage and some guys came to tease me that they’d “Come and check us out, if we can play at all” in the evening ;)
It’s way easier flying somewhere away from your country. If you screw up, nobody will remind you of it at your own backyard.
So much has happened after my last blog. I went back to Hollywood to find even some more ideas and inspiration for the new album and of course some new guitars too. I went to the same hotel (Standard Hollywood) where I wrote Hollywood Hills three years ago, but I didn’t get the same room as last time. Damn…;) I wrote Hollywood Hills on that very balcony. I will keep the room number a secret but I have to say I kept staring at the balcony from the poolside with our manager Mikko and even asked if I could have had it for one night, but it was taken… Well..
Musically the trip was worth it anyways, so if the balcony is so damn important to someone else, keep it!!
We’ve also gotten pretty far with our new album. There are still some songs we need to figure out how to finish them or whether they should be on the album at all, but we’re getting there. Today we will get the first final mix. The first song is called “A little bit love” and it’s one of the first one’s we recorded for this album and if I remember right, I wrote it already two years ago. It’s definitely one of my favorites right now. Modern rock. Me like!
It’s so great we’ve had all the time we’ve needed to finish the music and when the big record bosses at Universal decide to press the “release button” we should be happy with the results. So this summer will be about festivals, sure, but most of the time we’ll be putting the studio knobs into the right position together with our producer Jukka. Seems as if Mr. Immonen will produce the whole album this time. Mostly because he has a cool boat and I like to drive it ;)
We’re also already planning the next album’s tours and if all goes as planned and the album (We’ve been calling it Unholy Ground so far) will be out in October as planned, we would then have a pretty long tour in the spring 2014. Jeee ;) And the festivals in the summer. So at least another year our lives will go on.
Normally I don’t wear no tie, but today we’re wearing adult clothing for the one last time on stage. We’re playing the last (so far) Big Band show together with the Frankfurt HR3 Big Band in Kassel, Germany at the Hessentag Festival. It’s already three months from the last big band show and we’re all listening to the last show of the spring tour. I didn’t remember the tour and the show were this much fun. And damn all the details we have in the songs…;) It’ll be fun tonight!!! After the Big band experience, we will most definitely do something like it in the future too. I love the fact that we do festivals, arena / club tours, acoustic tours and Big Band stuff. Never gets boring. But now it’s time to bury the horns and flutes for a while. Can’t wait for tonight’s show, though!
Tomorrow we visit Belarus, a new country for us again. Belarus in the 29th Sunrise Avenue country and everything we’ve heard about the festival tells us it’s gonna be great. It’s always a little challenge in a good way to visit totally new places. We can only give the first impression one time, so we better rock like real rockers tomorrow too. It’s like the first kiss. If you kiss bad, the girl will never love you…
On Sunday we fly home very early (I guess the wake-up was at 5 AM (what bad have I done???) and we get back to the new album’s world. The weather forecast looks pretty bad for next week too in Helsinki, so nobody will mind being inside in the studio.
So, see you all tonight and tomorrow. It’s been too long again.
PS: We heard there’s huge floods in Europe, especially where we’re going today. Sure we don’t mind if our shoes get a bit wet, but the pictures looked pretty bad and I hope the local folks have been able to get back home.
Blog from 14. June 2013
Sjungausta Stadissa Skeidat Bögissä
(Only in Finnish)
On se kumma miten mä olen aina ihan paskat housussa ennen Helsingin keikkaa. Sama tuttu perhoslauma valtasi mun vatsan taas ennen Radio Aallon Helsinkipäivän konserttia, mutta tavallaan mä olen jo tottunut kotikaupunkikeikeikkajännitykseen. Se on oikeasti eri juttu vetää tänään Kasselissa Saksassa Big band festareilla tai huomenna Valkovenäjällä rokkifestarereilla kuin omassa kotikaupungissa perheiden, frendien ja muiden tuttujen edessä. Jo Elixia-kuntokeskuksessa aamupäivällä muutama kundi tuli tökkäämään olkapäähän että ”Hei tullaan sitten illalla tsekkaamaan osaatteko mitään ;)”
Mulle kaikista pahimmat on jostain syystä mutsi ja systeri. Vaikka mä kuinka koitan olla ajattelematta asiaa ja oikein keskityn siihen että “Äiti ei ole täällä,” huomaan mä viimeistään kolmannessa biisissä oikein etsiväni sitä yleisöstä ja jos löydän, koitan tulkita mamman kasvoilta onko hyvä vai huono meno. Onneksi se yleensä hymyilee.
Äitejä ja siskoja tai ei, olipahan taas huikea ilta! Vettä satoi kuin Esterin pepusta ja kun ajelin keikkapaikalle Rumpali-Sami kyydissäni, oltiin varmoja että kenttä on tyhjä kun me soitetaan. Mitä vielä… Okei, olihan koko konsertin kattaus aikamoinen. Omat kohokohdat oli tietenkin J.Karjalainen ja superkova Haloo Helsinki. On jotenkin niin siistiä että kotimaassa alkaa olla ihan samanlainen meno yhteislauluineen ja muine sähellyksineen kuin muuallakin Euroopassa. Varsinkin Keskiviikkoisen keikkaorgasmin jälkeen mua ottaa päähän ettei ole tänäkään kesänä Suomessa enempää keikkoja, mutta ehkä sitten taas ensi vuonna.
Mä istun nyt lentokoneessa jossain Itämeren yllä matkalla Saksaan Big band festareille. Huomenna matkataan Valkovenäjälle rokkifestareille ja sitten taas kotiin valmistelemaan uutta levyä. Näyttäisi että jos kaikki ”tikat osuu edes lähelle taulua” voisi uusi levy olla jouluksi kaupassa. Katsotaan nyt. Oon jo nyt tosi ylpeä siitä mitä ollaan saatu parissa vuodessa kasaan ja tykkää ihan hulluna uusista biiseistä. Joulusta voi tulla aika jännä tänä vuonna kun ei poikien kanssa jännitetä pelkkää joulupukkia vaan myös sitä mitä te kaikki tykkäätte meidän uusista kipaleista ;)
Mutta anyway. Halusin vaan kiittää teitä kaikkia ihania ja etenkin Radio Aaltoa Kaisaniemen keikasta keskiviikkona. Vaikka soitetaan harvoin Suomessa, on se aina meille suurta herkkua.
Olkaa kiltisti juhannuksena ja älkää tehkö ihan kaikkea mitä mä tekisin. Sepalus kiinni jos putoatte veneestä.
Blog from 26. July 2013
My throat is very tired and my voice is not too clear. I was only 8 hours at home between the Voice Of Germany trip and the festival today in Czech Republic. But I must admit it’s super nice getting back to my original day job with my boys. I just wrote the set list and I didn’t remember we have all these cool songs. I hope I still remember how we have arranged them…
The Voice Of Germany 2013
What a week & And what an experience! I have done a few things in my life but the last 8 days went straight to the top 3. The past weeks before the trip I have been working in studio like a maniac but also the “Learn German Fast-” book has been my by desk every day. They asked me after the cancelled Energy in The Park show in Berlin, would I be interested being one of the coaches at the VOG this year. I met the director Karsten at the hotel on the show day and that time I really didn’t think it would happen. After that I took a language test in Helsinki on Wednesday and as my dear teacher Professor Viktor kind of recommended me to the show, it was all up to me. They had interviewed tens of folks and I was super amazed and touched by the opportunity.
I first said NO. I thought with all the work with the new album and all and of course the language barrior would be too much. Then I thought, what the hell… This might be a one-time chance and I’d regret skipping it for the rest of my life. It would kill me being a happy grandfather some day with all in life that I need, but still wondering some times how it would have been. We all have just one life and we must live it. NOW!
So, I took the challenge. We booked 3 sessions with a private teacher and I watched the old episodes of VOG online and I also watched old Derrick, Marienhof and Der Alte episodes (German super cool entertainment ;) online.
So, now we’re done with the blind auditions and all the coaches have their team ready. I can’t tell you much about what went on because I have signed this paper that says they can send me a big invoice and spank me if I go public wit the details. All I can say is that I was amazed with the quality of the singers and I am super excited of my own team. It’s funny sitting on the red chair and thinking “I wish I could sing like that.”
Us coaches, Nena, Boss Hoss, Max Herre and myself we all come fro pretty different backgrounds. Nena is the biggest and most successful of us with her US #1 hit and the everlasting super career. The Boss Hoss are Germanys own entertainment super cowboys and Max Herre is one of the coolest and most credible artists there has ever been in Central Europe. I was a bit worried how they’d take the tall blonde Finn, but I gotta say I made 4 new friends last week and with the experience we shared these people will always have a place in my heart. Same goes to the crew and staff around us. I have done a couple of TV shows in my life but it has never ever been like this before. Honestly.
So… Now the teams are built and in the end of the month we will have the battles between the team members. I’m going to pair my team members next week together with my co-coach Mr. Brix. I hate the feeling already that we’re gonna have to send every second singer home on the next phase, but that’s the name of the game and everyone knows it.
They gave me a DVD with all the performances of my team. I’m gonna enjoy them one more time before we land in Prague. I feel so great having you all and my biggest dream in all this is that I could help a couple of you a bit closer to your dreams. It’s naturally mostly up to you, of course. And please do remember, you got through two very challenging tests already. That means you have something very special inside you and you are great and beautiful as you are. Nobody knows who’s gonna win the whole thing and nobody knows who will gain most out of it. So as I said to you after the show backstage, just try to enjoy what you achieved already and try to enjoy the ride. We’ll have a fun trip together anyways!!!!
But now we’re going down fast and I gotta close my laptop soon.
Thank you all for the superb experience (and also for the feeling of survival;)
I wonder if I see four red chairs in front of us tonight at the festival stage. It’s so great to get back to the boys and to be surrounded by all my guitars after a little break.
Mala Skala here we come!
I love my life!
Samu, Der Finne
Blog from 20. August 2013
First Baby Out!
They say it’s always difficult to present new music after a successful album or single and I can definitely agree on that, once again. I remember after “Fairytale Gone Bad” back in 2009 how hard it was for us band members and also for the music industry around us to chose one song from thenew album as the 1st single. Everyone is just comparing everythingwith the past hit you had.
I guess all mothers know how hard it is to deliver new babies into the world and we got pretty close to that painful feeling with this one. There was something very magical in the track from the very beginning, but for some reason finding the right melody, production and lyrics was very, very difficult. There have been at least fifteen different versions of the lyrics and also the song and the production have changed many times until the track was finished. Actually the last sound changes were made on the very last day right before we sent thesong to the radios.
Thanx Universal guys for being tough and honest until thevery end. Before the track was done, we needed help from some outsider writers /lyricists and usually that is a sign that there’s something wrong with the track. But we still felt like fighting for this one and I am very glad we did.
At some point we spotted some similarities in “lifesaver” withthis song of our fellow band, The Pusher from Sweden. So we sent it to the Swedish guys too and luckily we were able to figure out a way to make it work. So there are many writers from different countries behind the song this time, but this time more chefs in the kitchen made a better song. Actually I see no reason why we wouldn’t work with the Swedish Pop Mafia boys even more in the future.
The song was called “O My Saint” for a long time. The story is like an anthem that two friends could sing to each other in a bar after a victorious football game in a bar. And of course hugging each other after a few beers. Two hairy men sweating and hugging drunk. Sweet ;)
We almost ended up keeping the title, but then we got the brilliant “Lifesaver” idea from a Finnish songwriter Teemu Brunila (You might remember his band, The Crash), who solved the chorus. It all goes very technical, I know, but when you’re just not satisfied with something in the song, it’s better to turn all the rocks for the prefect solution. We think it just sounds and rocks better now.
So “Lifesaver” is out now and I guess the official radio date for Finland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland is today. Have no clue about the rest and who will play it and won’t… Sorry. We really hope you like it as much as we do. And I have no clue when the track will be released, soon I guess. Honestly, I’ve been so deep in the album production and The Voice Of Germany planning and German language school that I didn’t even know it was my name daytoday. They told me in the morning at the Radio interview. Thanx for the cookie ;) I’ll share the dates as soon as I know.
As I wrote earlier, usually it’s very hard to choose the first single from the potential album tracks. A record company guy might likeone and the publisher another one. And the band’s favorite might be the third and actually the opinions change usually very much as long as the production process is on. After the first recording you might feel that some song is not good enough for the album, but when you produce it to the final form, it sounds like a killer to everyone.
For the first time in Sunrise Avenue history our management, live agent, publisher and record company guys were all convinced that “Lifesaver” is the first song to go with. We played it to everyone involved in our little family a thousand times. If everyone picks it including us, it can’tbe wrong.
Unholy Ground – The album #4
For the whole spring it seemed as if it’s not going anywhere. And I must admit we had the thought of delaying the release to spring 2014 in the early summer. I don’t know if the problem was that we had too much time with the guys and we were able to try too many things and record too many songs. Obviously you need to have a hundred sleepless nights for every album no matter how much time you have. And there’s always a panic in the end. I guess that is what makes you squeeze the best out of everyone. Then they asked me late June if I wanna do the Voice Of Germany this autumn and I felt like I’d explode if we’d also have to make the album ready until the end of September. All this in just three months…
Now, it seems as if the VOG brought in some new energy into the recording studio too and now we’re in a very good situation with the complete album. If nothing bad happens and we all stay more or less healthy, the album will be out in October. I hate describing music too much but it’s, for me, the best Sunrise Avenue Album ever. Not just saying this because Universal guys told me to ;) Some of the songs are rockier than ever, with cooler and longer guitar solos and the band is big and tight. I know guitar solos are out of style, but so are we ;) The way Riku plays his solo in “I CanBreak Your Heart” makes my balls shake! All of them ;)
We decided to record most of the stuff playing live together in a huge studio with the guys and that you can hear on the album too. It brings in this special kind of band mood. Of course there are also some surprises and different vibes on the album too, as we always had. And actually there are still, even for us, some question marks about how some songs will be in the end. But anyway, we can’t wait to play the new stuff live with the boys as soon as the album is out.
I just came back from my German lessons after the radio visit in the morning and I must sink deep into the homework my teacher Dirk gave me again. Imagine that they fly this private teacher in for me in Helsinki and we chat in German and drive around our beautiful city with my German car. Top down in the sunshine, of course. He knows a lot about Finnish history and Icehockey now ;)
German is not the easiest language and the word order gives me nightmares. But luckily everyone understands that you can’t get the language perfect in a few months. I just do my best and just go with the flow. And it’s not me giving a speech to the German parliament, it’s f***ing music show!!
The whole Voice Of Germany has been super fun all the way. Can’t tell you much about it or they’ll send me a HUGE invoice ;) I guess it starts in late October and you can all laugh at me pronouncing the language of love a bit wrong<3 Did you know that “album release” in German is “Album Veröffentlichung!!!!”” Waaaassssssss????!!!?????…..;)
Hugs everyone and keep your fingers and toes crossed for us!
Samu and his boys
Blog from 08. October 2013
Unholy Ground 11 days, and counting
I don’t know how many times I have been on a plane to Berlin this year, but here we go again. The last dozen times the reason for sitting here has been The Voice Of Germany, but now we’re finally on the road promoting our new soon-to-be-born baby “Unholy Ground.” The promotion and interviews really start tomorrow in Berlin and we go on and off all over Europe until the Christmas Eve.
I can’t believe the album is done now. As I’m sitting here with my beer and some (obviously microwave) Thai food, the factory guys somewhere in Holland (where they manufacture all the albums of Universal Music) have sent the first albums to the stores. It’s so cool. After literally sweating, losing sleep, celebrating and also almost dying a few times for this Sunrise Avenue baby #4, now the albums are traveling through Europe to their final destinations. Sounds like a Coca Cola Christmas commercial, I know.
Tomorrow I am alone in Berlin doing the press & newspaper stuff and then the band boys fly in for the live performances this week. We have been blown away how well the media and folks have taken our next step. I don’t know if being a Coach at the VOG helps, but the people want to talk to us and me more than ever before. We don’t mind. We have a new story to tell with a new album and new songs.
There won’t be too many chances to play real live shows this year. There aren’t any free dates due to the promo and my VOG, but as soon aswe’re done with the cold January next year, we’ll get back on the road. The first live dates are already online, so go check them out!
Unholy Ground will be out in eleven days. Cheeses!!! This soft fear & excitement seems to hit me every time we release an album. I mean first you have all the time in the world to listen to the songs on your own. In you car and at the gym with headphones etc. And then suddenly all the little moments you’ve been working with for the last 18 months are available for everyone… I’m so gonna lose my sleep on the 17th in the night. But I also love this feeling. Our deal we signed in 2006 with EMI Music was for four albums and someone very smart said to me then “If your fourth album ever comes out, you have been very lucky.” Agree. It’s amazing that we’re still here and there’s a new chapter about to start in our lives.
We will land in Berin/Tegel soon and there’s nothing to do until tomorrow morning. Luckily the most successful Finnish band ever HIM is playing at the Huxley’s in Berlin tonight. I hope we can make it to the hotel and then to the venue in time with Manager-Mikko. Our flight was a bit late and I know Ville and the boys won’t wait... I’ve never seen a HIM show. We tried to see them last time (also with Mikko) in Los Angeles in May, but then their sold out tour got cancelled due to health issues. We already stood in the crowd then. I cross my fingers that tonight is the night.
Anyways… See you all very soon and keep your fingers crossedfor a successful band-baby delivery in a few days.
Blog from 20. October 2013
Back to work
I really like these small Bombardier planes. They take speed much faster than the big ones but of course there’s not too much space inside. But it feels like a little school trip flying with them. Sure my favorite plane is the old school MD82, the rocket that goes almost straight up from the runway, but due to environment regulations, those planes are not that popular in Europe anymore. Ok, that’s all about planes….
It was so nice being home for two nights. I first thought I’d skip Finland and I’d stay in a hotel somewhere in Germany over the weekend, but actually it was really nice going home for 36 hours. It’s getting cold in Finland already but just to have your own sofa and your own bed feels so safe. And I finally watched the first two episodes of the Voice of Germany last night. It took a full bottle of Baron De Ley- red wine, but actually the show wasn’t that bad. I usually don’t like to watch myself on TV, but this time with the help of the wine, it was ok. It’s amazing to see all the stories from behind the stage and all the family stuff and all. What you see on the show from the chair, are just the performances and that’s all. I really gotta take more time with my German now. As the live shows start on the last weekend of November, I gotta do better than that! But I must say I love The Voice show and I am so happy I decided to take the job even if I hesitated in the beginning. It’s been one of the best experie
nces in my life.
The other top experience in my life has been the release and the launch of the new album. Pooohhhhh… It’s finally out and I am so damn proud of it. This album was a very tough ride again, as it should be, but as I drove in Helsinki yesterday and listened through the whole album, I felt super good. Usually I need at least a month or two before I can listen to the whole album without shaky hands, but now it worked. Or maybe that’s a bad sign, who knows.
Anyways, I gotta say that even if the moments in studio were sometimes tricky and especially in the last weeks we had to make decisions in ten seconds, I feel it went pretty right. The last mix was approved at our brother band Bead Sirius 3000’s backstage with Apple headphones. Not the pro way but it worked.
It’s so nice to see that there are many favorites and it’s not only one track that hits the heart of some listener. Of course we can’t please everybody, but hey, everyone listens to what they like. Honestly, for me, Unholy Ground is the best Sunrise Avenue album ever. I am one proud papa.
The last two weeks we have been promoting the album in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Gladly Riku joined for some of the days for some acoustic performances on the way so our manager Manager-Mikko didn’t only have to look at my boring face on the road. Actually now were flying to Cologne with Riku and Mikko. We will play at this morning TV show tomorrow VERY early (I am Not a morning person and the pick up is 05:45!!) and I just hope we can fall asleep tonight. It’s always quite easy getting up early, but when you have to wait, wait and wait for your stage time at the very warm TV studio, you get sleepy. But usually adrenaline does the job for you, so we should manage.
Usually we have this rule that I don’t sing before 9AM because it’s hard for the throat especially with all the traveling, but now we must make exceptions because we’re promoting the new baby.
After the morning TV we will continue our promo trip somewhere with Manager Mikko for the rest of the week. I haven’t seen this week’s promo program yet, but I bet the days are as full as the last two weeks. I counted one day last week that I did eight interviews but the same day I sat 9 hours in the car and in the plane. So I finally actually have a sitting job ;) I must say I am very happy how things are going with Universal Music. There’s always a tiny risk when almost the whole team changes, but this time everything is going smoother than ever. We’re usually always in a hurry to the next city or the next place, but at least the going doesn’t get too boring.
Riku will fly home tomorrow after the TV and we will do the last German promo week with Mr. Manager. Poor Mikko. I’ve been so tired some afternoons that I can’t be too good company. It’s all about choices. You decided to be a manager, muahahhahha ;) Next week we’ll al be back in Finland with the band boys and we can start planning the small acoustic and other performances we’re gonna make this year. And of course we’re also planning the tour starting in February. I hope our dear bass player Raul found some cool new stage toys in London at the live show expo where they went together with our lightning designer Timo.
Anyways. Thank you everyone for all the great support and feedback. Even though we’ve released albums before, there are still the same excitement butterflies in our stomachs with the new baby. It’s nice to be a bit nervous. It makes you feel alive ;)
Hugs & See you soon,
PS. My favorite ice hockey team Helsinki IFK are doing so bad right now. But since I am a true fan, I will support them until the end of time, no matter how bad the numbers are on screen. I really hope it gets better or we all know heads will start to fall. Soon…
Blog from 22. October 2013
I heard last night that some people are pretending they are me or some other band member of Sunrise Avenue on Facebook and they are answering the people’s questions and messages as if they were us. That is not the end of the world of course, but I also heard that some guy is asking girls out on a date with my name and picture. That is not the end of the world either, but I just want you to be careful out there. You never know what kind of a person is on the other side of the Internet and what they really want.
Just so you know, I don’t have a personal “Samu Haber - Facebook artist page”, so if someone is answering your emails or asking you out for dinner on these pages, it’s not me.
And all this has nothing to do with the fan pages that some lovely folks have put up for us. These people are doing a good job and helping us a lot actually, but even there, it’s not us band members behind the daily activity.
Have a great day everyone and thank you for the great support and love on the way. It means the world to us!
Hugs and real profiles ;)
Samu & Boys
PS: If you are operating a fan page, would be cool if you share this blog to your readers in your own language, thanx <3
Blog from 14. November 2013
Holy Night in Hamburg (Nov 13, 2013)
It’s so cool that all the journalists and folks always assume that rock bands live this sex & drugs & rock & roll life and they’re super disappointed when I say we just had one glass of wine last night and then we went to bed.
Boring?? Actually Sami & Raul didn’t have wine at all. Good boys! Honestly, if you start drinking and partying after every event, you don’t survive in the business. I love the after parties after the last show on the tour or after the last show of the Voice Of, but the rest you should try to enjoy life and the experiences pretty sober. One glass of wine in the evening is only good for your soul. But that’s another thing ;)
When I get home tonight, I will take my kettle bells and do my training outdoors. I love the feeling when it’s only +5 in the evening and you do your workout at the backyard. I always seem to listen to the music from the Finnish group “My First Band.” Maybe the boys give me adrenaline with their great tunes… Or maybe it’s the fact that Heikki, their keyboard player, is in better shape than I am and I get the blood taste from that… Damn you Heikki!
I did my second German talk show on Wednesday at the Markus Lanz talk show and I still must say it’s super hard following the conversation. At the voice of Germany I don’t have a translator for the show, but at these talk shows I must get some language help. Yesterday they spoke about politics and stuff so I must say it would have been tough even in Finnish, even though I am into politics. I also joined the Stephan Raab show a few weeks ago and that was easier. Stephan actually spoke English to me in the show and that was a nice surprise.
My German is getting better, slowly, but still if the topic is far away from the Voice of concept, it’s super hard to follow the conversation. There was a lady in the plane when we flew to Hamburg this week and she came to me super excited talking about the Voice of shows and our new album too. After she had blasted for about two minutes I had to tell her that I didn’t get anything she said… I felt so bad for her and she felt bad too. Obviously when people see me doing my little German on the TV show, they forget that especially if you talk fast, I fall off the conversation. My brain is a bit slower than normal folks’ brain. But anyways, I think it’s so cool to learn the language bit by bit. I will always speak it wrong, though. The grammar is just so damn tough, but who cares.
I’ve been promoting the new album pretty much alone the last months and it was very cool having the guys with me at the show finally. We haven’t actually even seen each other that much the last 4-6 months, but maybe that’s cool since we’re gonna spend most of 2014 together looking at all the touring plans. I must say I was amazed when I saw the ticket sales a few days ago. I heard that already, in Stuttgart (GER), Vienna (AUT) and Zurich (SUI) the show would be moved to a bigger place because of the huge sales. WoW! Check out our website for details. It’s gonna beee soooooo cool!!!!!!!
Since there are good things happening around us, we will definitely put even more gas into tour planning and making it the biggest and best Sunrise Avenue show ever. I was just planning the set list for the tour and I had a few new ideas on top of all the new things we have already planned. I really hope the production guys can make these plans work. There will be no flying elephants or stuff though. Or should there be..?
I have been super busy since the summer with the Voice Of – recordings, learning German, album production, promotion and stuff and I honestly could have had more time to work with my talents from the TV show. I am super lucky having my co-coach Brix in Berlin doing a great job as the second papa of the team. We were able to organize the first song writing sessions for some of the talents before the live shows start, so there will actually be some chances for some of the talents to get in touch with the international song writing and even some stuff from famous Nashville ;)
We land in Helsinki in a moment so I better close my laptop now. My new baby car <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 is waiting at the airport garage (thank you again BMW <3 ) and I will take Sami home. Wroooom <3
Take care and hugs everyone,
Blog from 20. December 2013
Tomorrow is the final show of the Voice Of Germany 2013. I have pretty mixed feelings after all the fun we had this year on Sunrise Avenue stages and at the TV studio. On the other hand I am very happy all the work in 2013 is done at midnight tomorrow. One of the craziest years in my life. In 2013 we did the Big band Theory Tour, we signed a new worldwide record deal with Universal Music, recorded and released our 4th album and the last six months, in between all the shows and promoting the new album, I have been sitting in the jury of The Voice Of Germany. Quite a year.
From tomorrow on, I’ll be off for six weeks. It’s time for our yearly “summer holiday” until the end of January. I must admit that I’m a bit tired after everything that’s happened, but the same time I feel very blessed and happy for being a part of all that went on the last 12 months.
Looking at the results, the Universal folks have done an amazing job with the new album. I have to say they’re all super pro & nice and they really know their business. The change from the EMI Music family was a bit sad after all we went through together but life and business must go on. “Unholy Ground” was now only released in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Finland due to the fact that I & we had no time to promote the whole thing anywhere else with all the Voice Of duties. We know already many new countries that will start their work with us early next year. We will actually have the last business strategy meeting tomorrow morning with Manager Mikko, Live agent Contra Promotion boys and Universal about the rest of the planet.
In the summer I took the one of the biggest professional challenges ever by joining the Voice Of Germany as one of the new coaches. I loved the Voice already a few years ago in Finland but joining the German version... In German!!??! They gave me a private teacher, Mr. Viktor from Austria, for the two weeks and that was the start for me.
It wasn’t too easy and nice in the beginning and I even lost my temper a few times with the roller coaster around the show and especially with the German language I wasn’t able to speak. There were many nights I wouldn’t have survived without a sleeping pill or red wine or both, but I survived.
After the blind auditions things got a bit nicer and easier. I also got a second teacher Dirk from Konstanz, Germany and things started to roll nicer and nicer day after day. Dirk is coming to the show tomorrow to see how his student is doing. Now the last weeks with the live shows have been super pleasant and I must admit I’ll think about this beautiful trip after Christmas with a smile on my face. An amazing experience & a super memory. The feeling of survival in the end and all the great talents and folks I met the last months was just amazing.
I guess I am trying to thank every one of you for making this trip and the whole year so cool after all, so…
Thank you Sunrise Avenue guys for your efforts and patience. The year 2013 wasn’t the easiest year for us but we’re still standing – and damn tall. 2014 will be our year. The clubs and arenas are full and we will rock them all like never before.
Thank you both Jukkas for producing the great tunes for us again. We’re all so damn proud of the album and if you wouldn’t have been true and honest until the end, we wouldn’t be this far today.
Thank you everyone at Universal Music at the offices and on the promotion road for understanding Sunrise Avenue as it is and for the musical input on the last months in studio. And thank you for pushing me against the wall when it came to the decision about the Voice. I would not be getting ready for the final tomorrow without you guys.
Thank you Enrico and the Contra Promotion guys for growing one size bigger last summer as we had to take the next step. You’ve been there since 2006 and if I may decide, I’ll thank you in my very last blog when we’re all done with Sunrise Avenue some day in the end for being there for all the ups and downs.
Thank you managers Anne & Mikko for being there all the way. We must really like each other with Mikko since we’re even now sitting side by side at the hotel bar while I’m writing this blog. He seems busy with his MacBook. I’m proud to be your best man even if it’s been you and me more than it’s been you and your beautiful wife the last year. Everywhere from Southern Russia to Hollywood and from Berlin to my back yard talking about life and the shit and candy it come with. You’re a brother forever.
Thank you Sony/ATV guys and writers for the music in Sweden, Finland and Los Angeles. The tunes turned out pretty nice after all…
Thank you Brix. Probably the best thing about doing the Voice was meeting you. Our little joint venture will not end even if the Voice Of show is over tomorrow. Would never have made it without you. You are the real pro behind the team. Big Love and even bigger respect.
Thank you Naomi, team Samu vocal coach. As I am sitting on this comfortable sofa having a nice cold lager beer, you’re still preparing Judith and Chris for the show tomorrow. Even at the show tomorrow you’ll be the proudest “big sister” after our talents do a good job on stage. Amazing how much you really care.
Thank you every single person at Schwarzkopf, Pro7/Sat1, Talpa / The Voice and everyone who made this amazing thing happen. After the meeting with director Karsten, my favorite arsch-krokodil, last summer in Berlin, I had no idea what the next six months would bring. You’re all huge!
Thank you Nena, MAXimus, and BossHoss boys and everyone in the teams. It’s a shame the TV viewers didn’t see how you came to my chair on every commercial break trying to cheer me up when it was hard in the beginning. Was one hell of a ride and I am very happy it was exactly you people we experienced these months together with.
All the talents in the show. It’s just amazing how much one can develop and learn in a few months and I am super proud of you all. All of you from all the 4 teams. You showed me once again how lucky I am doing what I do and for what I already have. And to those who didn’t make it to the finals or to the life shows, remember, this was just one period and another experience in your life and on your career. Never stop believing in your dream and keep going!
The biggest thanx to all you lovely angels at our crowd at the Sunrise Avenue concerts and everyone at the Voice Of audiences. Without you people these evenings would make no sense. I have been trying to understand the love we get from you lying alone in the hotel rooms and in the tour bus in the night but the math makes no sense. This thing we have together is quite amazing. I hope the music and the shows pay back some of the power and love we get from you. Thank you.
On Saturday I’ll go home to my loved ones. To the people who let me selfishly live this crazy life and who keep me from sinking too deep into this crazy tasty world. Love is a lame word to describe my feelings for you.
I feel pretty touched right now. So if you see a tall blonde guy crying his eyes out tomorrow night in Berlin, you should know it’s tears of happiness and gratefulness. With a tasty Döner kebab, I hope.
Have a great Christmas and New Years Eve and good luck for 2014.
Love you all so much,
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