Here are some photos related to the recording of "popkiller" (note, popkiller will not be the name of the record, it was just a working title). There were not so many pictures from TT/TK/JK/JM, so you have to excuse that so far this looks like "what Jens Johansson did in 2004". There might be more pictures from the recording process later.

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April 2004. Jari at rehearsals in Dortmund.


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Drums in Dortmund


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More Dortmund basement splendor!


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Redrum! Redrum! All work and no play makes Jens make up idiotic meaningless puns.


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is that a Fender Stratocaster!? I suppose so!


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Jörg's brother Markus filming in Soundtrack Studios, Pitäjänmäki. Mid-April. Tolkki is in hospital. I (Jens) had just stepped off the plane from New York. Very confused situation.


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Jörg, Mikko and Olli (Soundtrack staff).


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Jörg categorizing drum takes. Lots of them.


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A forest of microphones


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The back side of the kit..


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The "kitchen" mike, for extra ambience. Very often in the middle of a drum take one can hear people talking in Finnish on this microphone track. The microphone was next to the coffee table :)


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Markus after a busy recording day.


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Jörg firing up his trusty laptop


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The outside of Soundtrack. It's an old movie theater,


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Front of Soundtrack. The big windows used to frame movie posters..


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...and here inside are some of the old movie theater seats which got left over.


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More frantic listening and fiddling in this disaster-recovery type of mood. Jörg recorded all his tracks without hearing any of other instruments! He had to go back to the very rough demos they had made in Dortmund.


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Shopping for necessities


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You get strong teeth from chewing plastic. Do they become even stronger if you chew a toothpaste tube?


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Some necessities


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Bodom was on everyone's lips that week! It was all Bodom and as for the rest -- babboons.


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We keep on trudging along with the material...


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...more often keeping stuff than throwing it away. Because we realized that some day TT would feel better and would want to have stuff to choose from.


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The shirt is from some Brazilian hockey team, I don't know!?


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The mic placement sheet


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Soundtrack's trident desk


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Jörg in action


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We rented a flat on Albertinkatu and this was the sauna.


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This is how pristine the flat looked before me and Jörg had lived in it for a few weeks!


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The drums are done now. Jörg leaves for london. It's most likely April 18th. The pictures are from Timos "Goldenworks" studio. Here is the Goldenworks attack guinea pig, ready for guard duty!


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Timo had bought all this great studio equipment. The plan was to continue recording and mixing after mid-april. Unfortunately, Timo still didn't feel so good. In fact, he seemed to feel rather bad about just about everything. It didn't matter so much, because we would have had nowhere to record anyway. There was quite a few technical problems with the studio equipment he had bought. The SSL console itself was shipped by truck from France. A few things had shaken loose during the transport...


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Here is Mika Niilonen trying to sort it all out..


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All the channel modules had to be pulled out.


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The first bootup of the Mac and the first test of protools! That fucking works, at least!


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Powering up the SSL...


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.. shit, something is very wrong, still. Why are the left meters pegged?


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..and where is the +48V rail? It's back to the drawing board for Mika. I couldn't do very much, the SSL is a pretty complicated piece of equipment. I did try to help where I could.


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In the meantime I also go over the material. I set up my usual improvised keyboard recording studio in the Albertinkatu flat. But at the moment there is not much to do, there are only drums and it's pretty difficult to figure out how the songs go even. TT was still completely unreachable. I decided to concentrate on the stuff I can do more about. If the record even happened, there would always be time for keyboard overdubs.


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So I set up some meetings. This is from outside Baker's pub, a well-know Helsinki hangout..


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..and here is a familiar face! I met TK for beers (lots of beers) and sauna. Tried to explain the situation the best I could.


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Jörg came back to Helsinki later at the end of April for meetings. We went up to Goldenworks to check it out. Mika had been hard at work setting stuff up, and at this point the SSL and automation are ok!


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Of course after finishing all our serious stuff we decided to drown our sorrows. We went to the famous bar "Lost and Found" in Helsinki. Here is Jörg and legendary producer TT Oksala in Lostari. TT still owes me 50 euros!


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Entering the Fog of War at Lost and Found. Here with a Helsinki special: Minttu/Fernetti. Hyi helvetti!!


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Lost and lost!!


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Back "home" in Albertinkatu: "How long should we let the pizza be in the oven? I wonder if 2 hours is enough?"


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Evidence of lots of business meetings or lots or sorrows to drown (pick the explanation of your choice)


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I went to Stockholm in the beginning of May on some other business and met up with my brother.


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This is later in the summer. We are back in Dortmund again, outside Jörg's rehearsal room.


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Django and Jörg. On the bus from Lyon. Django has more rock'n'roll in his little toe than the whole band has in all five of our bodies!


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Jörg smoking


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Django adds another topping to the pizza.


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Alcohol-induced catatonia


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"Did Django add some toppings to this one or not? Ach, Scheiß egal! Viel gutes drin!"


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Few days later. Me and Jörg go to Berlin to meet with Sanctuary, our record label. They had just had gotten a new CEO and we felt that it was best to inform him in person about what was going on with the band. Here is the view from Kreuzberg.


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Here is Jörg and Antje. She signed us. She left Sanctuary just as all these strange things happened to the band. She is our manager now.


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Our intrepid travel agency. Also in Berlin!


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Back in Dortmund. Jörg had this brilliant WLAN setup which enabled a "wireless barbecue"!


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No network cables to the food either!


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Nice day at Jörg's castle


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Germans know how to eat and drink!


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Jörg's castle neighbors


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Barbecue


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Eine Königin unter den Bieren!


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Our tour manager AC with his passport collection.


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Tired Tolkki


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Looks like Düs airport. Not sure where we all were going..


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Jari travels lightly


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In the air, somewhere!


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Signing session at RockHard festival.


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Rockhard.


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Rockhard festival.


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Rockhard festival.


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Rockhard festival.


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In the bar after rockhard festival. Vesa and Jukka


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After rockhard festival. Rockhard and Rocksoft?


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Where is Jukka's hand going!?!?!?!


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Django in his natural habitat. Don't look, he'll smell your fear!


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German beer store! Serious stuff!


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Stocking up for the bus trip to Bologna (Gods of Metal)..


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We were meeting the bus to Bologna at Jörg's rehearsal place (again)


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DO-outside rehearsal place


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DO-outside rehearsal place


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DO-outside rehearsal place


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In Bologna. The concert got rained away. Here is Russ Allen from Symphony X holding court.
There are more photos from this day at http://jens.org/tmp/gom04/


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Listeners at attention!


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Russ rocks


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Django rolls


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All rained out.


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Bus the night after rain mishap..


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Enthusiastic Finnish band


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We managed to play some sort of gig the next day, in the middle of the day. Pretty OK anyway. Gig is finished and here we are, northbound on the bus. AC is the high priest of Vodka.


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"Sure you don't want just a little one?? It's my birthday!"


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Few weeks later. This is right before midsummer. En route from CPH to do the RMJ show in Rauma, and Nummirock.


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New-found friend!


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Jaloviina


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TK warming up


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Jörg


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TT before RMJ


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Ready to go on stage..


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RMJ


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RMJ


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Long trip back to Hki after Nummirock. Here is Chris Parschau and Django.


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CP and DS again. "Make it Evil!!"


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Probably singing beautifully!


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Noch mehr drin?


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Doch!


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Temporary bass player of Hammerfall!!? Keyboard bass!? is it blasphemy!? Oscar came down to my brother's place and we jammed a few days...


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Øresund. Beautiful


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Nice clouds on the way to Vienna


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Waiting for the tour bus.


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On that bus to Slovakia. Sascha, our fearless guitar tech, and Jörg


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Jari and TK. Plus Django's nose to the left.


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Bus interior. TK Jukka TT


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Listening to some demos..


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Älä lyö!


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Food in Slovakia


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Hurry up and wait...


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Here we go again!


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Too many strings?


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Jörg behind kit


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Jari back on the bus


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Very late..


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Very very late.. or very very early depending on your point of view..


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Will the sun rise? Yes, the sun is up. Yippii, this calls for vodka!


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We finally arrive..


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A foggy place


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Finally sleep!


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Sweaty jari


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The show must go on


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Visions...


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Still foggy


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Øresundsbron other view.. coming back "home" to Sweden.


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A few weeks later. We play at Gates of Metal. Hammerfall didn't play there, my brother decided to come along just to drink. Here is Anders and Fredrik from Meshuggah enjoying the fresh air and nature around Hultsfred.


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Jens from Meshuggah is encouraged to drink some Jack Daniels.


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Tired Tolkki


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Me (in case you didn't get it yet, Jens J is typing this), Fredrik and Ljudas (Meshuggah's sound guy)


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Ljudas and Fredrik finally pass out in the bar


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Leaving Finland after Ankkarock. Summer was nice, but is soon over.... and Ankkarock was the last gig of the summer. Possibly the last gig ever, for the band. Very sad feeling.


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Months later. Nothing much has happened. We are just solving some more practical problems, and waiting for TT to feel better. Here is my high tech ftp server on my living room floor.


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TK comes to visit me in New York!


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TK's normal keyboard player had other commitments, so I did some gigs with his band "KOTIPELTO". Here is me, Tobi Sammet from EdGuy, Eric de Haas, and TK in a São Paulo bar.


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Eric de Haas.


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Eric again! He also has a lot of rock'n'roll in him. If you put him and Django in the same room who knows what would happen. Probably the universe would implode. Wait a second, they have been in the same room and we're all sthill here. Forget it


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Meet the rest of "KOTIPELTO": Tuomas Wäinölä, Lauri Porra, Mirka Rantanen. Very talented guys


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We did a radio show in Buenos Aires in the middle of the night..


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Radio mood


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Radio food


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Late night lobby meeting in Cordoba, Argentina


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Lobby meeting food


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Whole band "KOTIPELTO" version sep/04 :)


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Lauri and Tuomas waiting for some plane or other. Looks like EZE airport but not sure


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Mirka and Tapio (sound guy.) Bs. As. lobby call.... long before the lobby call! Lobby meeting? The lobby meeting food here was some Peruvian booze


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"Kotieplto" in some pizzeria in Buenos Aires at 4 am


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Wet São Paulo streets. Traffic noise drifts in and mixes with the music which is streaming from the speakers in the hotel room..


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empty hall


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full hall


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Mirka during rehearsal the day before the SP show


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Tuomas and Lauri


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Somewhat banana-shaped keyboard. Better than no keyboard!


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Freaking out in the van! Never mix alcohol with alcohol.


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Now we have skipped a few months forward, again. It is 2005. More meetings and general discussions. This is on the plane from Berlin to Helsinki.


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Blue one


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Entering the news that Stratovarius are back together on the stratovarius.com server. Can it be true that we will work together? Yes it can!


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The three eyes of Alex Kuehr


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All my air ticket stubs since about aug 2003. I am pretty much not scared of flying anymore. Somwhow I was cured in 2004!


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2005. Xanor and Tenox, recording aid for Tolkki.


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Glenfiddich, recording aid from Thunderstone


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"Can E.T. be said to have been your spiritual guide?"