Pratteln, Switzerland, Nov 25 2005, something or other o'clock Earth time
Hello everyone. I figured I would
write something here since it was a while since TT made his last entry.
There is no particular reason for this big gap other than the fact that
after Mexico, we moved into "bus tour mode". This means far less
internet access and less stress-free leisure time.
We're in Pratteln and as I type this, HammerFall are just about to take
the stage. We're now quite far into the European leg of the 2005 tour..
in fact, we at this point have more than 3/4 of all the 70 or so dates under our
belt. It feels rather good to be out on the road again. Only a year ago
it was completely up in the air whether we would make another record --
let alone go on tour again. So in this year (in which each month almost
has felt like a lifetime since so many things have happened!) we have
actually accomplished a lot and I can say that I am proud of that.
What other news are there? Well, Timo T. decided to start up his forum
again, at http://www.tolkki.com/forum/.
Hopefully it will be a nice friendly place!
Also we added Lauri's solo CD to the Strato shop. If you go here
it should be the first CD on the page. You can check out some sample
mp3 files from it here.
The US/Canada tour went well, I was the only guy in the band who has
toured there before so perhaps some of the driving distances surprised
the other ones a bit. It's a big country (and someone's got to furnish
it.. like IKEA!). In general it was great, and everyone had a lot of
Oops! There another HammerFall bomb went off... almost scared the shit
out of me. I forgot that they have pyro here in Switzerland.. :)
It's been a good tour over here in Europe as well, everyone is
staying healthy and in a good mood. Today there was a small
practical problem since our truck was 4 centimeters too tall and
couldn't drive into Switzerland (the exact same truck was ok on
Wednesday, but they didn't measure it then!) But apart from the usual
practical things like that -- which are of course a big deal to our crew who
had to unload the gear into vans on the German side but not so
noticeable to us guys in the band -- everything has worked great.
Everyone gets along well and the shows are running smoothly.
This is one hell of a package and everyone is putting on a hell of a
show every night. Shakra kick ass, HammerFall kick ass, and I must say
that I feel that we in Stratovarius kick all sorts of ass every night as
well. I had never heard of Shakra before this tour but I have to say
they are a great band!
Seven dates left on the Euro StratoHammer tour, if we pass by your town,
come on down, it's a party!
After this Euro leg ends in early December everyone (except for me) will
be on break for a few weeks before we hit Asia. If everything goes as
planned, I have some transferring and editing chores to do for the São
Paulo DVD that we recorded on August 27 this year.
Then.. after we wrap up the Stratovarius 2005/06 World Tour in Hong Kong
on January 26 2006, we'll start work on a new album. But these plans are
still a bit sketchy, we will update you when we know more about it.
14.9 Hotel in Mexico City Mexico, Wednesday 5:53 PM Mexican Time
Well here I am back on the road again after spending some time at home
recharging my batteries. It was barely enough to recover from the time
difference. After 20 something hours trip to Mexico we have played here
2 shows: Guadalajara and Monterrey. Both being really cool shows with
lot of love and warmth. At this point Stratovarius is a well oiled
machine. I must say that it is really amazing have a guy like Lauri
Porra in the band. He brings so much energy and good vibes in this band
that it really feels like a new band. I am sure that the people who come
to see the concerts feel the same thing. He is one of the coolest people
I have met in my life. Today we have show here in Mexico City in a place
called Circo Volador. Last show there was amazing 2 years ago and now
after the cleansing process of the band I am absolutely convinced that
it will be the best show Stratovarius has ever played. So when I will be
walking the steps to the stage in 2 hours and 35 minutes, I will be
thankful for everything our fans have done to us. Keeping the faith
through toughest of times a community can have. And still you are there
buying our records and coming to see the shows and showing your love to
us. I promise you that we will not forget this.
Some people have felt bad about some things I have written in previous
entries. These are just my opinions and everybody is entitled to ignore
them. I have never claimed I know absolute truth about anything, I am
just commenting and writing things from my perspective. Being and artist
with an inner driving force, this is something I must do. So whenever
you think I am out of line, just shrug your shoulders and smile and
perhaps say to yourself: there he goes agai. If you do understand
what I am trying to say, then you could join forces with me to fight
against the dark monster that is operating in the world. Be a warrior of
light. Fight against injustice and aggressiveness. Fight against poverty
and violence. Be a part of a movement that will eventually break the
monsterīs back and bring change and order to our World. I believe in
Universe and that it has a purpose. I also believe that you will get
back what you put into Universe. I believe that there is a profound
change operating on our planet at the moment and that we are all in the
same boat. To me this means, that Nature is trying to tell us something
about the current state of the affairs in our world. And I am afraid
that we will be reminded more and more about this if we donīt change our
ways. Do you know that each year 1 Trillion dollars is spent for
military purposes in the world? What do you think about this and how
does it affect your life? Maybe you say that it does not concern you,
but I say that it most certainly does. Our planet is beautiful. It is a
miracle itself. And we are responsible. Key to the Universe is Love.
29.8 Hotel in Sao Paulo Brazil, Monday 4:49 PM Finnish Time
I went to the venue in Porto Alegre just 30 minutes before the gig.
Although the place was quite small, the people were unbelievable.
We never played there before, so everybody was very enthusiastic to say the least.
I mean, they were so loud that I thought the sound system wonīt be enough to the club:
As some of you know, there are some political and religious statements in our show.
In the song United I came up with a basic idea that we are all ONE and that we are all the same team and that we should act towards each other in the spirit of BROTHERHOOD. There is too much selfishness, aggression and violence in the world. It makes me very sad, if someone hates a person just because she/he is from different country. I read a book of Paulo Coelho called "Manual for the Warrior of Light". That is what I would like our fans to be. Warriors of Light. There is enough darkness here and we have to break the monsterīs back. And we can do it by starting from ourselves and that we care about each other and carry each other. Please think about this carefully. You can always ask yourself if whatever it is that you are doing is based on love or something else. All things based on love are good things.
I am writing this on Monday in my bed in the hotel in Sao Paulo. I was just visiting the rooftop of this hotel,which has 24 floors. I could see almost entire Sao Paulo, which inhabits something like 25 million people. And I could see many construction projects, still building more and more..when will it end and where are we ending up?
In this country Catholic religion is the prominent religion. I have a very big problem with all the religions that are based on fear. Basically they are just forms to control people and make money, nothing more. This is of course just my opinion, but I think that you donīt need any religion to get to God. I donīt think you need Jesus Christ to get to God. I have a feeling that Nature is very angry to mankind this moment because we are fucking things up badly. I am sure if things wonīt change, then our present "civilization" will destroy itself. We have created a monster that is on the loose. That is how I feel. And I wonder how many Tsunamis and earth quakes more are needed to understand what is happening in the world. Human being thinks it can control the Nature, but Nature is much more powerful than we can ever imagine.
Human being is part of the Universe, but itīs not a superior being in the Universe.
Human beings need to control the Nature is contradictory to the fact that human being is part of the Universe.
We recorded our DVD here in Sao Paulo 2 days ago. The hall was filled with love and appreciation to Stratovarius. Nevertheless it wasnīt easy show. It was very hot and humid and there was really no oxygen in the hall. We even played Visions , which made the set like 2 hours long.
The day was quite stressful with all the technical stuff. I went there already at 11 to check the sound. Things seemed to work alright, but nevertheless after all the soundchecks and technical checks that I am too tired to play the show. So I headed back to the hotel for 1 hour, just to get away from the pressure. Everybody was kind of nervous because of the filming. But the show itself was a huge success.
We had afterparty in a local Dynamo club and finally at 7 in the morning I crashed to my bed with at least 7 caipirinhas and 10 beers in me.
Yesterday I of course paid the price and basically laid in the bed like vegetable the whole day. In the evening we found an Indian restaurant, which was a very nice thing.
I was also swimming and having sauna with Lauri and Jens. This hotel has better sauna than the one in Poerto Alegre. I got a couple of hours left until we leave for Belo Horizonte. I am gonna take a hot bath. Thanks for reading.
25.8 Hotel in Porto Alegre Brazil 11:44 Finnish Time Thursday
We spent 2 days in Curitiba. Not much to do there. I did write some songs and read quite a bit. Gig was cool, but energywise it was few hard for me. I felt a few feverish, but gave what I had anyway. Jörg had massive problems with his drums in the beginning, but he overcame them somehow. I think the set is working perfectly now at this point.
Today we had an early wake up and flew here. I was just swimming in a nice penthouse pool & sauna with Jens, Lauri and Koti. Koti thought the sauna was not hot anough, so he threw a bucket of water to kiuas and broke the goddamn thing!
We had really relaxing few hours there. The place was amazing, penthouse overlooking the entire city of Porto Alegre with a breathtaking view. Me and Jens ordered some Pina Coladas, so I am a bit tipsy whren I am writing this. Please excuse me if tyhere are any tyoping mristakes. I know I said I donīt drink anymnore, but sometimes it is grood for you. Especially in a place like thris.
The show is at 22 Brazilian time and tomorrow we are going to Sao Paulo. We are very much looking forward to the DVD recording and having a nice party there.
22.8 In a plane to Curitiba Brazil 03:16 AM Finnish Time Monday
Spent 2 wonderful days in Chile. We had a signing session in a local club that almost turned out to be a disaster because of lack of security. Me and Lauri were in the middle of something like 150 people and there was nothing we could do. Camera flashes, people pulling our hair and clothes, it could have ended badly.
Ricardo, our bodyguard and Bavarian Demon Mr Schuster managed to take the situation under control by making the people to form a line. There we signed gladly for about 2 hours., had a few beers and went back to the hotel. I slept very badly and woke up 5 in the morning. I read a bit and drowsed a couple of hours more.
I didnīt go to soundcheck, instead I spent a day with my friend and had a nice dinner in her home. Thatīs the same home were me and Jens were drinking on our last tour.
Flashbacks from strong Chilean alcohol, Jens playing "Jesu meine freude" with organ and a picture of Pinochet came to my mind.
Around 17 I headed back to the hotel and packed my stuff. At 19 we headed for the venue which was the same that we played first time on Destiny tour. Words cannot, once again, describe the feeling that was in the hall. The welcome was heartwarming and powerful and the show starts to take shape. We all had a great time and once again Lauri played amazing bass solo. People seemed to really appreciate our playing and gave their love to us and we gave our love to them. Just wonderful.!!
3 people from the Finnish embassy visited us after the show. After signing autographs and posing for photos we headed back to the hotel and had a few drinks in the bar and talked with some friends.
In the morning headed for the airport and had lunch there. Checked in for 3 TAM flights Santiago-Acuncion (Paraguay)-something that cannot be pronounced-Curitiba. Now we seem to start to land to Curitiba Brazil.
20.8 Buenos Aires Argentina EZE airport 07:40 PM Finnish time, Saturday
At the Buenos Aires airport waiting for the flight to Santiago. The plane is 1 delayed 1 hour so we head for cafeteria and look at the goodies at the duty free shop.
Yesterdays show was simply unbelievable. 4000 Argentinian metalheads were witnessing the return of Stratovarius comeback and starting of the World Tour.
It is hard to describe the situation where 4000 people show their love and devotion to you from all their heart. The energy in the hall was just amazing. People really seemed to enjoy the show and the band was pleased with the setlist.
After the show we signed autographs and talked to some people, had some red wine and beers and partied a little bit. I had an invitation to go to the "nest of Evil, aka the birthplace of Djangoism", but I resisted the temptation and went to sleep at 2 in the morning. Slept 7 hours, took a shower, packed, checked out, had breakfast, traveled to the airport and now I am waiting here for the flight
Santiago de Chile
Here we come!!
19.8 Buenos Aires Argentina 12:50 AM Finnish Time, Friday
Yesterday we rehearsed in some local rehearsal room the songs. It went quite nicely.
Then we went out to some local steak house near the Womanīs Bridge at the harbour, which is a very nice area here. After nice meal and couple of beers back to the hotel and nicely to sleep. I woke up at 5 in the morning (still quite jet lagged) and couldnīt fall back to sleep. I watched Michael Moore documentary "Bowling for Columbine" and after that fell back to sleep for a few hours. I read some Jung and Reich and in generally spent the afternoon in bed relaxing and dreaming.
Today is the first show day and we had a soundcheck at "Estadio Obras". Everything seems to be working smoothly, I have a great sound and I am ready to rock again.
Everybody is in a good mood because this time we arrived early here and took it easy with the alcohol so we are quite prepared to entertain one of the best Metal crowds of the whole world. I am sure it will be an uforgettable experience for us all after everything that has happened to us. Canīt wait!!
17.8 Buenos Aires Argentina 12:36 PM Finnish time, Wednesday
Well the flight was finally quite good and we arrived safely to Buenos
Aires. After the usual customs/luggage hassle we got into a van which
took us to the hotel, which is very nice. The promoter
is very kind to book this kind of a hotel, sometimes they want to save
money and book us to most horrible places. But this one is nice and even
has a swimming pool and sauna. Cooooool. I just ordered a club sandwhich
from the room service and later will go to some radio station with Jens
to do an interview. Nothing much to do today and the show is on Friday.
Tomorrow we will have a rehearsal in some local place. The start of the
tour is always a bit hectic and uncomfortable and the first show usually
is a bit of a pain in the ass technically, to get everything going and
working. I am looking forward to the show though, the people here have
always loved Stratovarius very much and it has always been a true
pleasure to play here.
Something like 23 Finnish time above Frankfurt, still Tuesday
So we all met up in Frankfurt all coming from their homes. "Some of us"
immediately headed for the bar to enjoy refreshments, "some of us" did
not: Finally we boarded the flight and I am typing this in a Lufthansa
747 and I have 11 hours of flying ahead of me. The rest of the poor guys
have to sit in the "cattle wagon", while I am enjoying my solitude in a
nice and big business class seat. In rock and roll life, this is the
part that I really donīt like, but that is the price one must pay.
Travelling takes so much energy and that is precisely why I donīt
particularily like touring that much. In generally speaking, touring is
very far removed from ones normal life, and the older I get, the less I
like it, I must say. But the road is long as they say and being a good
soldier in Metal, I duly accept my call and here I am once again waiting
for what this tour has in store for me. I must say that after the hell
of last couple of years, or more or less, the hell of last 25 years has
molded me in a quite specific way. Anyway, the meal is arriving, the
menu looks complicated as hell, I miss my wife and daughter, but that is
the way things are for now.
Helsinki Vantaa Airport 16.8.2005 17:44 Finnish Time, Tuesday
Sitting in the café at the airport and waiting for the flight. Our 5th
world tour is about to start. We have 22 hour flight ahead of us to
Buenos Aires which is in Argentina. I used my frequent flyer miles and
upgraded myself to business class so at least Iīm gonna have it a bit
easier. Our soundman since the dawn of time Jukka Wahlsten informs me
that he has bought shoes for 14 euros. Our brand new bass player bought
a digital camera and additional equipment (including shampoo and
conditioner) for 500 euros. As I am sitting in the company of these 2
holy people I notice that I bought myself 2 packs of Tervaleijonat. What
kind of adventures lie ahead of us, only God knows. Our drummer Jörg
has threatened to get completely smashed during the flight with bloody
maryīs, which makes me a bit scared since his voice sometimes gets quite
loud when he is drunk.. I donīt drink alcohol anymore, so I will just
enjoy kahvi during the flight.