tiistai 30. lokakuuta 2007
The gig itself went down a-ok. It didn't smell anymore and the sound was surprisingly great. On the stage at least. -Niko
maanantai 29. lokakuuta 2007
The theme of this night's afterparty was the king of pop himself, Michael Jackson. Even though "Thriller" is the ultimate classic album, it's "Dangerous" that most of us listened to back in the beginning of the 90's, so that was the one we chose to be played through at a not-so-resonable volume. The highlight of the evening was definitely the song "Heal the World", spiced up with a 10-piece hippie choir. Again, we got a lot of kudos next day from the people who were trying to sleep upstairs. Jacko, thank you for your music, we love you man! -Ben
keskiviikko 24. lokakuuta 2007
tiistai 23. lokakuuta 2007
maanantai 22. lokakuuta 2007
Today, the only reason why the bus wasn’t empty already when I woke up, was that we arrived to the venue at 15:30 or so. The fact that people were drinking until the early morning hours the night before could also have something to do with it. When we got to the venue, it was a quick snack in the backstage followed by an even quicker load-in. Everyone had more or less hangover (or "ruotsinlaiva-fiilis" like we say in Finnish), so during the Norther soundcheck (which, by the way, seems to be a pretty long procedure) we were just sitting around with a coffee in hand and reflecting on yesterday’s happenings.
The gig was actually really good tonight, the audience was active and seemigly enjoying our show. A lot of photographers also, so we did all the possible rockstar poses imaginable. We had a shower option in a nearby hotel, so we headed there straight after the gig. As there was only one shower, and I got the last turn, I was sitting in the hotel lounge for about one hour. As I finally got in the shower, the Norther gig was already finished. That means I missed the equipment packing part, booya!
The rest of my evening was spent in the bus playing Far Cry on my laptop, while Silver played his PSP across the table. To top out the gayness, Kride from Norther came to the next seat with a cup of tea in his hand. No trace of yesterdays drunken madness. It’s good to have a balance in everything, you know? Before heading to my bunk I took a quick look to the upper lounge, where people were watching Scarface. -Juhana
Many went to bed early last night and just as many were full of energy when it was time to wake up! We were all eager to start the load-in hours before the get-in time, which was actually pretty creepy. But as I was one of them, I didn't mind. Some coffee, a few tomatoes(!) and an apple and we were ready to start the action. All right guys, let's do this! At the same time a friend of the crew came to say hello and brought a water cannon with her. I don't know what's going on with Ben and Jukkis (Norther bass), but they had a wet and wild war going on! And boy, that sure was fun to watch for the rest of us! After the load-in, we checked out da hoodz and what a nice castle they have here in the Porktown. And fresh air! Feels good to breathe in something else than smoke and sweat every once in a while. Which reminds me, Ykä and I have had the ugliest smelling stage shirts since the beginning! My god how they stink! Gotta find a laundry service during the day-off after tomorrow... Norther guys bought a small amplifier (don't want to promote the brand, but I can tell you that the amp is really small and rhymes with "lube"...) from a local music store but we didn't make it before they closed the place. Damn! We did buy some boring stuff though (toothpaste, clothes, etc..), but the coolest moment today was definitely when some local old lady came to Juffi at this mall and made him smell some shampoo! And we didn't understand a word...
The show started out fairly modest but got much better till the end. After our show, I spotted a biker-guy who was forbidden to get in because he had a pet rat on his shoulder! Now how cool is that? -Niko
perjantai 19. lokakuuta 2007
I remembered finding this coolest little cemetery when being here last year, it was like something straight out of a Tim Burton movie, with crooked crosses and tombstones on a small hill. I really wanted to go there again, but of course it started raining the second I start to get my jacket on. so it's another day sitting at the backstage and fighting the other 18 people for the internet cable, wicked! Well, it's showtime pretty quickly, time to get our boogie on.
The gig goes well, big crowd, great sound on stage and a warm response from the Hannoverians. The good mood carries to the afterparty, which is done old school style: Drone's homiez came to the gig with vans, which we use as boomboxes to blast Pantera for the whole neighborhood to hear. It's cold as hell but no-one lets that bother them. We stand outside until 2am sippin' beer and getting to know Drone's posse, which are all good people, until it's time to leave. The party continues on board until the small hours. Our karaoke versions of "Kiss From a Rose" and "Summer of '69" don't seem to amuse everyone, as (for the first time on this tour) the bus driver decides to pull over and remind us we're not alone on the bus. To which Norther's Pete replies "but we're having a party, this is normal". End of conversation. I find myself nodding in my seat at around 7am, and decide to go to bed before I pass out downstairs and wake up with my face decorated with a black marker... -Ben
torstai 18. lokakuuta 2007
Ok, I have to take over, as I don’t believe Silver quite understood the coolness of Dokken being at the same freakin’ venue on the same freakin’ night as us. I was hanging around at the venue when Silver came and asked me “do you know who’s playing in the room next door tonight?”, which I didn’t. And when I heard it was Don himself, I started praying that we wouldn’t be onstage at the same time as “Dream Warriors” was being played next door. So Immediately after our gig I run through a mexican shower, change my t-shirt and run to see if I have already missed all the good stuff. I get in, some band I don’t recognize are just finishing the set. I ask a local old school rocker who’s playing next, and he makes my day by telling me that Don will be on in about 15 minutes! We talk for a while about who’s the guitarist in Dokken these days, and the dude is really dissapointed when I inform him that George Lynch is most definitely not in the band anymore. Oh well, the “new guy” plays like a monster too. Don himself was a bit of a let down, as he left out all the high parts, leaving that to the bass player. But still, it was killer to hear classics like
I didn’t see Dokken, I didn’t go to Reeperbahn and I didn’t get wasted. But I did eat 2 Hamburgers in
keskiviikko 17. lokakuuta 2007
We hear that there's some "important" media in the audience tonight, and decide to rip their faces off with our best gig ever. Well, in the words of our main man Ice T: "unfortunately...shit ain't like that!". I have never had this many problems on stage as tonight. Before we even finish the first song, my sound starts to fade in and out, and finally my rig just goes silent. I try to go through all the possible cables and connections to find the problem, but it's no good. Juffi and Ykä jam on some funk licks while I try to get some, any, sound out of the amp. Finally we get it to work again, only now I have no pedals to work with, nessessary stuff too like my tuner or a noise gate. Oh well, I'll manage. A couple of songs later, I break a string, and have to play the rest of the gig with Silver's backup seven-string, which feels really foreign in my hands and I play like shit because of it. I can't wait for the set to be finished... Worst gig ever, at least for me. The other guys seemed to do ok, so I can only hope the crowd forgave the technical difficulties and had a good time.
Can't really comment on the aftershow madness, as I had some important email business to take care of for the rest of the night, and add to that the crappy feeling from the gig I decide to take a night off from partying. The rest of the bus handles that part like the champs they are, so the nessessary rock n' roll balance is kept. I just find it refreshing to hit the bunk as early as 1am for a change...
After crawling out of the bus I realized there’s a huge marathon-happening going on in the city (Eindhoven), and the tribal drumming was supposed to raise the spirit of the participants or something. Sounded more like summoning some evil African gods to me. On top of the cake, there was some bad-ass wrestling match going on in our venue, and people were cheering when two guys dressed up in their underwear were throwing each other around in the ring. Straight to the dome biaaatch!!! Anyway, the weather is damn fine. Like t-shirt-fine. On comparison, it was snowing when we were sitting at the airport 2 days ago in Finland.
The venue today is pretty killer, and we have plenty of time to do soundchecks and make sure that everything is fine. I’ll get back to ya when the gig is over... right now I have more important stuff to do. Like waiting for the dinner to arrive and blast some electro-music backstage with my man Niko...
...booya! The gig went fine, and damn it was hot on stage! I had sweat running into my eyes, which almost made me cry like a baby. Frank from Pearl Europe had come to see the shows, so I was chatting with him whilst cheking out Norther. They seemed to deliver a tight gig!
Back in the bus we had a nice little party. The intoxication was getting little out of hand though, people were acting like some damn monkeys or something. At some point I found myself in the upper lounge, where I passed out. Luckily I didn’t get any paint on my face, like Marcelo from Drone who got black marker all around his face the second time on this tour already. Maybe he will learn, and crawl into his bunk from now on...
I wake up, tired and slightly worn out after last night. Where am I? What am I doing here? What have I gotten myself into?
3 and a half weeks ago, what seemed like a normal wednesday afternoon was about to change the course of my life as I know it. I got a call from Niko, who has on his way to a few gigs with the big A'L at that time. He asked me, what I was about to do in the near future. I was doing nothing and I also told him so, which led me to ask him about his reason for asking me. He responded, that they had had some sort of a Spinal Tap situation with their bass session man and they needed someone to play bass on the European tour. Would I do it, I was asked and then told that the tour would begin in three and a half weeks.
'Whatever it takes, I'll do it man.' I told him.
My feet began to tremble fericiously and my heart began racing at least 220 bpm per hour. Something that I always wanted was now offered to me on a snake skin platter. My dreams were actually coming true. Being a fan ever since I first saw them live in 2004.
But anyway, back to the bus... I almost hit my head on the bunk ceiling. I crawl downstairs - yes, we have a funk ass pimped up super dooper doubledecker bus with us - and there's already someone awake. Last night everyone got to know one another and to me it seems, that we have a nice and interesting bunch with us.
We arrived to the first town, Leeuwarden, and the first thing we all notice is the narrowness of the streets. We get out of the bus in front of a local fancy hotel and just as we've gotten our gear on the way to the venue we hear a fierce blasting of several car horns. A dozen cars pull over in front of the hotel and lots of finely dressed people get out. It's a wedding in progress. We're getting totally ignored, except for a couple of people complimenting us on behalf of our bus.
Our venue is an old place, dating back to 1639 that had been used as a church in the olden days. Old school. We set the stage and kill time for the next couple of hours.
I was a nervous wreck before the gig. Everyone was just telling me to calm down and after a while of psyching out I get just anxious instead of nervous. Then our intro hits the speakers and we hit the stage. 'Let's do this!' It's an action packed 45 minutes, with almost a couple of broken jaws with both Niko and Silver tripping over a couple of times on stage. The crowd warms up after a couple of songs and we've got 'em by the balls before our set is over. We prevail.
I've sweat atleast 2 liters out of my system and I feel relieved. I'm now looking very much forward to the rest of the tour. After packing up I head to town with the locals for a nice cup of coffee, with 'slagroom', whipped cream that is.
Over and out.
lauantai 13. lokakuuta 2007
We have agreed to meet at the practice place at 8am, where we'd do the final packing (clothes, fagbags and light stuff to the cargo, CD's and Boss pedals on the plane with us in our backpacks) and take a cab to the airport, where we'd catch a flight to Hamburg. The previous night was spent at the same rehearshal room weighting our stuff, trying to make it all stay withing the 100kg we can take on the plane without extra charges. It quickly becomes obvious there's no way this is possible, it looks like we'll have to pay for at least ten extra kilos. Well, there's nothing we can leave out, so we decide to try the good ol' "smile nicely to the check-in lady and pray for mercy" -method.
At the check-in, we are told we have a tad over 20kg overweight. I do the quick math in my head, and wait for the lady to announce that we owe them 200 euros, but lo and behold! Our cute little tired smiles do the magic, and she lets us off the hook! Thanks Blue 1, we'll name our next album after you!
We enjoy some overpriced coffee to pass the time, and meet up with 2/5 of Norther + two crew dudes, merch-captain Vemmu and Sound engineer Qiffe. Norther's Pete and Heikki seem to be in a good mood about the tour, as are we. This should be fun. The rest of Norther (Kride, Tuomas and Jukkis) are still in Sweden mixing their new album, and are gonna fly straight to Holland tomorrow for the first gig. We'll fly to Hamburg, Germany, where we have the nightliner waiting, go pick up the Drone guys and the backline from the ICS offices and then head to the first venue in Holland.
The bus is absolutely killer, best we've been in so far. There's old Snoop Dogg and P Diddy passes hanging by the driver, so that should tell you how pimp this ride is. If it's good enough for Snoop, it's good enough for us! We meet Miriam the tour manager and David the driver, who both seem like good people. We pick up Drone, who we all get along with instantly, and start to drive towards Holland. It doesn't take long for someone to put on some Mötley Crue, and that's all it takes for the chitchat to start rolling and the beers flowing. The bands bond though mutual love of cockrock, Prince and Pantera, and so the tour starts with a kick-ass first night party...