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Samu's Blog 2012 auf Englisch

Blog from 07. February 2012

Samu

Back in Business!!

We decided a few years ago that we’d have the whole January off every year to recharge the batteries for the upcoming
year’s challenges. Since we really can’t have many weeks off in the summer like most of the people because of the festivals
and stuff, the winter is the only time we can be away for a while. Until this winter, we have been busy every January and the
full month holiday hasn’t been possible. For example, last year I needed to be at home mastering and finalizing the first
single “Hollywood Hills” and I couldn’t escape to the tropical paradise. This year it worked out and we really had a chance
to switch our brains on stand-by for the whole month.

It’s just amazing what happened last year. I remember having a pretty good feeling about the new album and the whole
setup, but honestly looking back at it now, it went better than I dreamed. Before the album, many of the music industry
people saw us as a band who had their hit back in 2007 with “Fairytale Gone Bad” and there was no coming back. There
were a lot of folks even in our team who said the first single “Hollywood Hills” is not strong or good enough, but I and we
just felt that’s the way to go.

I cannot thank you all enough for fighting and enjoying the trip together with us and making our story continue. I told the
industry people about our loyal fans when they doubted our chances. I wasn’t wrong about you.
Thank you so much. Again <3

We all came back to Finland on January the 20th for the Finnish Grammy awards. I am happy we did, because out of the
four nominations, we won the best Export Grammy. So great! It’s the second Export Grammy already for Sunrise Avenue.
Thank You!

Yesterday we had the first band rehearsals for the upcoming tour. We all had some new ideas on how to do some things in a
new fresh way compared to the tour 2011. The tour last year was super amazing and we still don’t know how much we
should change the things we do on stage, but at least little details need to be a bit different just to make it interesting and
fresh for us on stage. And to you too, of course.

The tour will be pretty cool. There are huge arenas, like in Hamburg 5000 capacity and Dusseldorf 7500, but in Brussels 600
and in Paris only 450. Honestly, this will keep the trip interesting for us too. We will be forced to do things in a different way
almost every night. I guess in the smaller places we will take some influences from the acoustic tour to the set to keep it
intimate. We can’t make the same moves and stuff on stage because otherwise I will hit Raul’s cute face with my guitar.

The live CD and DVD will be out in March and I just approved them a few minutes ago. It sounds amazing! I also made a
little video using the mastered live version of “Out Of Tune” recorded in Vienna, Austria using two of our friends
(Jenni &Marion) tour photos. The song is just a little taster of the stuff coming up. I love it! Jesse’s mixing never fails!

Tomorrow we’ll go to Bochum, Germany for a Movie theater event, where they’ll show the DVD stuff from Berlin last year.
I was very ill that night but it’s amazing how great it actually looks and sounds. I guess there will be tens of cities where
they show the concert tomorrow and I understood we’d watch the show in the cinema together with some fans and friends.
Cool!

In Bochum we’ll also have a meeting about the summer / autumn 2012 with our European live agent. The calendar looks
very very nice so far and I think they’ll announce new dates one by one according to the deal they have made with the
festivals. There were a few very nice surprise shows in the festival calendar when I arrived from Thailand after the holiday
and looked at the summer plan. New cities and new countries. And also some all-time-favorites
where we really wanna go again.

So… I’ll go to gym now to get my body in the tour-sweating mood again. After a month of lying on the beach & eating mom’s
Christmas food it’s not too easy, but I must say the resting period was very much needed and I am full of energy again.

I have a good feeling about the upcoming tour and the year 2012. The ticket sales have been amazing again. Even in the
biggest arena in Dusseldorf we have sold over 6000 tickets already. I remember I made this bet about the final sales with one
local lady after the show in Dortmund and we’ll see who wins ;) I told her we would NOT sell out Dusseldorf, but we’ll see.
I actually don’t remember what I promised her if she wins. I am sure she’ll contact me in case she was right ;)

So… off to gym now. It’s such a beautiful winter in Helsinki again this year. It just keeps snowing and snowing and the air is
so bright and beautiful. Like a Disney movie winter. And now it’s not too cold either any more. Last week it was minus 24 and
that we don’t like. Now it’s -3 and lost of snow. The sun is shining. Me like ;)

Hugs & Rok you soon,

Samu

PS. We have brought many Finnish bands on tour to support us in the past (Poets Of The Fall, Cark Kent, Flamboy, Etc.).
This time in Hamburg the guys of “My First Band” from Helsinki are gonna give their best to you as the first band of the
evening, so make sure you come to the arena in time. Their keyboard player Heikki will replace Osmo on one of the evenings
on tour when Osmo has some strange solo career duties.
I saw their show in Helsinki at Tavastia Club last year and I loved it.
Good luck MFB guys ;)

PPS: We have a very special guest on stage in Paris, as Jukka Backlund, our trusted producer and former band member will
join us on stage. Jukka lives in Paris now and we had to use the opportunity taking him on board since we visit the city of
love for the first time with the full band. Please treat the well-behaving-gentleman with silky gloves ;)



Blog from 10. February 2012

Samu

Movie theater experience

We came back yesterday from Bochum, Germany where we saw our show from Berlin last year. The one that’s gonna be
released on DVD & Live CD in March this year. It was the first time ever we just sat and watched the show as the folks
usually do and well… it was interesting to see us on stage ;) But very great!!! It was also the in the crowd first session
out in the public with the guys after the holidays and we were really excited to get in touch with you all after a long break.
There were a few mistakes that happened that evening and we wanted to clear a few things in case someone was unhappy.

The DVD extras

They were supposed to show the DVD extras after the actual concert. I don’t know who switched the lights on straight after
the concert part, but even the director was a bit angry at the failure since “half of the product” wasn’t shown on screen.
I guess this happened in all the theaters? We are totally sorry for this and since many of you paid for the extra parts too,
we will upload it somewhere available for everyone. We will tell you later where and when you can find the link.
Soon anyway. I am downloading the extras as I write this letter, so even I haven’t still seen what’s it gonna be ;)

The two cinema rooms in Bochum

I understood that the idea in Bochum was that everyone will watch the DVD + all the extras together with us. I don’t know
whose idea it was to book another cinema but this was a surprise to us too. Probably they had sold more tickets than they
had estimated and therefore the second room. We received some emails from fans & people who were disappointed for
sitting in a different room than the band. We didn’t know about such arrangement before we sat in the cinema number 2.

The band and also EMI music Germany were a client at the event. The whole event with all details was planned and
organized by the cinema chain and the ABC network.
In case you feel that you have paid for something you didn’t get, you unfortunately need to contact the UCI cinema
organization or their ticket providers.
Anyhow, I must say that we had a very fantastic evening together with you all and this whole project has been very much fun
together with ABC networks and the UCI cinemas.
I will get back to the tour rehearsals now. I can’t wait to hit the road with the boys next week.

See you soon and apologies on our behalf too in case someone got unhappy.

Samu & Boys



Blog from 14. February 2012

Samu

Sunrise Avenue 10 years!

10 years ago, on Feb 14th 2002, I sat in bar Memphis in Helsinki with my dear friends Sami Heinänen
(our bass player that time) and Jan Hohenthal (guitarist) and we decided to change the band name from Sunrise to
Sunrise Avenue. After that Sami designed the “street sign” logo for the band, the one you still see being used on our
websites, booklets and stuff. Our dreams seemed pretty big back then and even I could not have imagined everything
that happened after that meeting.

The first ten years have been just amazing. We have been to so many countries, met so many great people working in the
industry and have had super much fun with the best fans and music lovers in the world. Personally I would not change
one second of the journey so far.

If my oven would be bigger, I’d bake a cake for every one of you, but since the size does matter this time too, you all
must just imagine the delicious birthday cake we’d bake to you with the boys.

To celebrate our big day & year, we decided to put up a little photo competition for you.
The rules and stuff are explained on our website at

http://sunriseave.com/photocontest.php

Remember to be creative with the shots. The pictures can be old or new. The band members don’t need to be in the pic.
Maybe you just climb on top of Mount Everest and take a few Sunrise Avenue stickers with you.
(We can’t guarantee the glue holds in 8+ kilometers ;) Or maybe you tattoo the SA-logo on your friends face when he passes
out at a party. No... Don’t do that ;) Or maybe you paint you neighbor’s lama in SA colors and teach him to look
“stage cool.” Everyone’s neighbor has a lama, right?

Anyway… Good luck everyone! We will post a few SA stickers with every order from the fan shop and you can also buy them
at the merchandise desk on tour starting this Friday. We might even give some for free. The stickers look great even on a
Finnish Police car. TESTED!

Thank you all so much for the first ten years. We hope there will be at least ten more to come with you all.

Love you all,

Samu, Raul, Sami, Riku & the gang



Blog from 20. February 2012

Samu

On The Road Again!

Braunschweig, Leipzig, Rostock (Germany)

Nice. Very nice!!!

I’m laying on my Hotel Bed her in Hamburg, Germany and my nose is running a bit but I don’t feel sick at all. Maybe this will
go away with good sleep tonight. I have had this weak feeling all the first three tour days, but luckily the feeling on stage has
been great. After two and a half months break, we continued our tour again last Friday and it has been just amazing!!!

In Braunschweig on Friday we had a full-hassle-day with the crew guys. A lot of new arrangements to the new songs had to
be rehearsed on stage. And we also needed to do that together with the sound guys and Timo(lightning operator) to make
them aware of the new details. We also had to give some time on stage for our support Jim Kroft band, since it was also the
first show with this setup for them. They seem like nice guys.

Even the first show in Braunschweig was amazing. Usually the 1st and the 3rd show on the tour are very challenging. On the
first night you are still “on holiday” and you just overdo the things. Happens to everyone, I guess. The second show always
goes better as your system realizes the tour has started. The third show is always the great challenge. Last night before the
show we decided with the guys that we’ll break the curse this time and with your help, we did. Was super fun!

All three evenings have been so great with you all and we can’t wait to continue the journey tomorrow in Hamburg. The day
tomorrow is very special also because our friends from My First Band from Finland will play as the first band of the evening.
I hope they play my favorite song “1 2 3 4 Fight For The Money”. Make sure you arrive in time tomorrow so you don’t miss
them. The boys must be freaking excited ;)

Riku is lying next to me in his bed editing some videos we have recorded during the first days and I hope we can see some
tour TV episodes soon.

I will close my eyes now for a while and before the dinner we have together with the crew and staff; I will go shopping in the
city a bit. I hope the city of Hamburg is not as messed up with the crazy Carnival’s “Great Monday” as Cologne is, for
example. I don’t get the costume tradition…
I like the October Fest more. Mostly because of the girls and their national outfits.

Thank you all for the very great tour start and see you again tomorrow in Hamburg.

Love,

Samu

PS: I just love the Design Hotels hotel chain! Check them out where ever you go!

www.designhotels.com

PPS: Our favorite ice hockey team Helsinki IFK have won 9 games in a row now. Tomorrow they have a chance to extend
the trend again. Keep your fingers crossed. My guess for the final result is Saipa-HIFK 1-4 in case someone wants to make
bets online ;) One of our key players has been our new German goalkeeper Mr. Dennis “Dena” Endras.



Blog from 22. February 2012

Samu

The best show of my life

I am sitting in the front of our Bus next to our Driver Bastien after a hot soup and some bread. We are driving from Hamburg
Germany to Utrecht, The Netherlands. I have never been this tired after a show.
And I have never been this happy after the stage either.

What ever happened in the Sporthalle in Hamburg was the best we have ever experienced with our gang. There have been
moments on the way when I have thought, “ok, this is as good as it can get” but again tonight, all the old records were
topped. There was just something magic in the room I can’t understand. Hamburg has always been one of the top cities for
us, but now you lovely people took us on a new level. Again.

I was extra nervous today also because our dear friends from My First Band were performing as the second support. I had
goose bumps when they rocked on stage and it was super great how you welcomed them and their show. And they deserved
every handclap! I bet you will hear from these guys in the future. Their keyboardist Heikki will play instead of
“our” Osmo in Brussels.

Thank you all for the presents and stuff Riku and the crew guys brought to us after the show. Special thanx to little 13-year
old Fiona for the huge box of chocolates. We ate them all and now we’ll sleep like babies ;)
(Note Sunrise Avenue Discography: My little Daughter :-D)

Tomorrow we’ll have a different night and a smaller crowd in The Netherlands but I bet it will be fun. Actually I have been
waiting for the moment we finally get to the “new Sunrise Avenue countries” too. I really must sleep long tonight and to rest
my throat to be able to do my job tomorrow. I even had to take some cortisone today to make it through the night.
I know it’s not good in the long run.

Anyways…. I know I have done a lot of bad things in my life, but there must have been some good things in between too
since I am allowed to experience this kind of feelings with the best guys on the planet.

Thank you all so much. You made these five guys from Finland very happy tonight!

Big Love,

Samu & Boys



Blog from 23. February 2012

Samu

Day Off In Dusseldorf

(To get the best out of this blog, listen to My First Band’s – Salvation. It’s my favorite song from them and it just keeps playing
in my head again and again. Mostly because of Heikki’s horny synth arrangement in the verses)

I am not allowed to speak today. Annoying. I am not too good at staying silent and actually now that the “doctor’s orders”
have forced me to keep my mouth shut, I have realized how much I usually speak ;) Poor band guys & Crew.

As I wrote in the previous blogs, I was a bit ill before the tour and as we started jumping on the stage almost every night, my throat didn’t like it too much. It’s very good that we had a day off today. I’ve been silent. What the f**ck…?

After the hyper night in Hamburg we didn’t want to expect too much from Utrecht Holland. Sometimes it can kind of let you down if you have a great night first and then you have an average “good show.” It doesn’t feel that great after a super treat, but yesterday was still a blast.

Maybe because the club In Utrecht was so small and cool and it reminded us of the early days (I guess it was max 400 people, quite full). We were told to play only 60 minutes, but we accidentally slipped performing almost 90 minutes. Was super fun. I hope we can get back to the land of tulips soon! Special thanx to the lovely staff helping us out with laundry and stuff <3

Usually we do sports together with the crew on the off days like today. Since the whole band hasn’t totally recovered from the flu, we decided last night to have a traditional “music jury competition” (The legendary Finnish Levyraati) instead of sports. The game is quite fun. You can have as many players/judges as you want, minimum three, and each judge plays a song for the others and the others give 0-10 points. You don’t give points to your own song. And you also have to explain your points, what was good and what was bad.

The jury was Heikki (Key Boards, My First Band), Osmo, Sami and myself. We agreed that we would play as much new stuff to everyone as possible and here are the top three was:

1. Damien Rice – Amie (30 Points)
2. Amos Lee – Sympathize (29)
3. Keane – She Has No Time (28)

The other songs were: Galia Arad - Ooh la la, Sting - Why Should I Cry For You, Levi Stephens - I Love You, Mr Fancy Love Feat. Boy Delay - It´s Time To Celebrate, Salem Al Fakir - It´s True, Amie Winehouse - Love is a losing hand, Clark Kent - We Will Expire, Sara Bareilles - Between The Lines, Biffy Clyro - God & Satan.

All songs were super great. Every one of them got more than 20 points, even Heikki’s “Mr Fancy Love feat. Boy Delay….” Jesus. Heikki is traveling with us all the way until Brussels, where he shall take over Osmos kingdom for one magic night. It’s like he’s been in the band forever. Scary ;)

Tomorrow is THE day. I have waited for the show in Dusseldorf ever since I heard it was booked. First I thought the capacity (Max 7500 viewers) is a bit too much for Sunrise Avenue, but our tour agent was right. It’s almost sold out already now. Of course it will just be another show on the tour too and we don’t want to raise high expectations, especially so soon after the great experience Hamburg, but just the fact that so many people will come tomorrow to the Mitsubishi Electric Arena in the evening to see our show is amazing. We will just have fun ;)

A lot of friends from Finland are coming over tomorrow too, like my mom and our “new producer Jukka” who produced Hollywood Hills & half of the new album. I can’t wait to play the song for him in front of all the people. You know these people work long long days in the studio and they don’t get to feel the live music feeling to often like we do. I’m gonna make sure there’s some cold German beer for him.

See you tomorrow at the biggest Sunrise Avenue club / arena show ever. It’s just amazing….

Love,

Samu

PS: If Riku’s tour TV’s new episodes aren’t online soon, I will take legal, physical, psychological and telepathic actions. There’s nothing like a dry joke from Riku’s mouth. I MISS THEM!!!!!!!!



Blog from 26. February 2012

Samu

It’s A Mad World

I am sitting alone in the lower lounge of our bus. We just left our keyboardist Heikki at his hotel in Brussels. He is flying home tomorrow to his own band and their activities. We’re driving towards Luxembourg now for a day off. The boys are sleeping or watching a movie upstairs. I am listening to “Mad World” by Gary Jules. It’s probably the only song right now beautiful enough for my lonely moment. It’s just me and our French driver Sebastien. He’s the nicest driver ever. He lets me smoke in the front…

We returned on stage after resting one day in Dusseldorf on Friday. What a night. It’s a pretty hard evening when your mother, sweet 6-year old niece, friends and music industry people are visiting your show. Even thought our tour manager Manni takes care of everything (every single night) and carries them wine, juice and food, you worry a bit if they’re ok at their own area at the backstage. Mani had made a special area for “Sunrise Avenue Friends and Family” next to our backstage.

I had been waiting for the Dusseldorf show for a good nine months, ever since I heard the arena was booked. With the maximum capacity of 7.500 viewers, it’s the biggest headlining show we have ever done indoors. I actually made a bet with one girl from the audience in Dortmund last year about the show. She said it would be sold out – I said it would not sell full - and as it was packed, she won and she will get a free photo shoot with us later on the tour. That was her wish if she’d win.

We have played for crowds that are way bigger on festivals, but to have your own crowd that size has been a dream for me as long as I remember. Then two hours before the show time the EMI Germany people surprised us with platinum album awards. We were more than confused. We never expected that and you have no idea how it made us feel. 200.000 copies. Again. Thank you! It was quite a moment sitting there alone before “Sweet Symphony” on the catwalk thinking about life and the ten years with the band. What a night. Thank you so much once again everyone!

After the show we had a little celebration in the bus with friends and family. And we brought some champagne also to the fans behind the gates. Riku, Sami and Heikki even escaped downtown for a few drinks. Well deserved!

Today we played in Brussels. It was the very first show in Belgium with the full band. We played an acoustic show at the local radio station’s Q-music Cube last year. It was this very tiny concert for maybe 40 people. That was super cool (especially since I had the pleasure to meet the former Miss Belgium at the studio;), but we had been waiting for the chance to get on stage with “big guitars” and stuff.

It’s funny again how after Dusseldorf and 7.500 viewers you think it could be boring to play for the max 400. Nope. What a night again. And what a crowd! There have been a few VERY hot shows in the past but I guess the VK club in Brussels went at least close to the top. After the show there were still sweat drops falling from my pants at the backstage. Super cool. It felt like good old times rock ‘n’ roll. When this tour was being planned last year, I was hoping that when we mix bigger and smaller arenas and clubs, as we do now, it stays even more interesting and fresh for us since every night is special. And that’s exactly the way it’s been. And it’s amazing how well the people knew our songs again today and how loud they sang them with us. I hope we get to come back to the land of the Smurfs soon. Maybe they have some festivals in the summer… Maybe ;)

The club tonight was in a strange and a bit scary neighborhood. We were told to keep our eyes on our bags and stuff as we left the bus in the morning. The locals said it’s a very unsafe neighborhood where we could get robbed. I hope you all got home safe too.

So… Tomorrow is a day off in Luxembourg. I don’t know what there is to do on Sunday (I guess everything’s closed) but we’ll figure something out. Someone mentioned something about a massage, but I’m not gonna join. I don’t like having massages. Never did. I guess I’m just gonna go downtown taking photos and just to have a look at the city. And I need some fresh air and to rest my throat. I heard the “Club Den Atelier” on Monday is already sold out. We have played two festival shows in Luxembourg and those trips have been super fun. So I guess Monday should be a fine day.

Thank you all so much for the great two shows again. You have made 5 guys from Finland very happy. Again.
Good night everyone,

Samu

PS: Thank you Heikki for the great effort on stage today and especially for your company in the bus. And all the best for My First Band. We keep our fingers crossed and we stay in touch!! Osmo is at his friend’s wedding in Finland and returns on stage with us on Monday.

PPS: I heard about a conflict at one of our shows between some people in the audience. As I have said before, try to be nice to each other. I know there are no real rules about who gets to the first row or who gets to go in first, but I am sure nobody needs to get hurt or insulted. It’s supposed to be a fun event and no matter if you’re there for the 10th or the first time, we hope everyone could feel safe during the whole day and our only mission is to send everyone home with a smile on after the night.

PPPS: “Maybe Heikki you’re too young!”



Blog from 29. February 2012

Samu

Au Revoir et merci Paris

Here we go again. We just played our first show in France ever. We actually played a few songs once with our producer (and keyboardist that time) Jukka only, the two of us, with a piano & guitar back in 2007, but that has been the only contact with the French crowd until now. The club La Maroquinerie is a legendary club for some 400 viewers max and you can feel the history of rock music inside its walls. I was actually surprised that the club was so full. A lot of people had come from other countries too to celebrate our first night ever in the city of love. It was the tiniest backstage ever and we didn’t even fit in with our crew to take showers after the show. Rock’n’roll!

Mr. Jukka Backlund, who lives in Paris now, joined us on stage tonight performing the legendary “Last trip of the FOX.” It’s this kind of a very stupid and inside-funny-story about a fox who dies and get’s saved by Jesus in the end. We used to do this in Finland back in the days and it used to be our most celebrated song on stage. So for the last time ever, Ketun Viimeinen matka… Poor Fox…

We went shopping and walking downtown today in Paris and it’s so cool how the spring is finally arriving in these parts of Europe already. I heard that the weather forecasts look pretty great for the next few days.

Wouldn’t mind some sunny spring days. Just gotta keep warm even though my throat is fully recovered again.

Yesterday was a great day in Luxembourg. The club had been sold out months ago and the crowd gave us some nice rock’n’roll candy once again. I like the country very much. There’s this special feeling in the city and everyone’s super friendly. Like in the small countries they usually are. They have combined the French kitchen, German organizing skills and good international taste & mood. The backstage was probably the coolest backstage I’ve ever been to. A very cool 3-flloor loft with all facilities you can ever imagine needing.

My throat is finally fully ok. When it’s not fine, it’s the one and only thing I don’t like about touring. But now that my personal “horn” is fully back, it’s way easier. In the next band I’ll probably be a drummer. You can scream all night at the after parties and you don’t have to worry about your voice ;)

We are driving to Bern, Switzerland now. We have first a day off tomorrow and then on Thursday we play a show for a sold out crowd at the Bierhubli (sound like a freaking saloon???;). Actually all the three shows in Switzerland are sold out already. Good job Swiss Crew!

As our driver Sebastien changed our bed wear yesterday, I moved to another bed. There are a few free beds in the bus in case some business folks etc. would join us on the trip. Maybe we should sell these super excusive VIP tickets to the tour including a bed in the bus + breakfast and stuff. That would cost ;) Anyway… I tried sleeping in the back of the bus first, but that didn’t feel right. Now I am back in the front, as I have always been, on the other side of Riku. I am back home. The two worst snoring animals side by side. Poor others ;)

I will dive into my “new” bed now and watch a series or two of Dexter and hopefully I fall asleep. I really wanna go downtown tomorrow. Shopping time ;)

Thank you all for the great two shows again. And good night, where ever you lay your head.

Hugs,

Samu

PS: I am happy we have the laundry day tomorrow. All my stage clothes smell like Revlon hair conditioner. My hair stylist Jussi has told me it’s good to keep the conditioner in the hair for a long time, even over night. So of course I forgot the damn slime on my hair today. As I started sweating on stage, the taste in my mouth was sweeeeeeeeet ;)



Blog from 04. March 2012

Samu

Sunrise Avenue Go Cart Race © 2012

Go-Cart Race Track Herisau, Switzerland

March 3rd, 2012

The legendary motorsport city of Herisau in Switzerland had the privilege hosting the yearly and legendary Sunrise Avenue Go-Cart race © 2012. A ridiculous amount of viewers had come to witness the fair but serous battle of the most wanted motor sports trophy in the world.

There had been some changes in the racing system this year. For the first time, the qualifying’s were driven in two parts and the actual race was divided in two parts. First the five slowest drivers (Lady Final) and then the six fastest (Super Final).

Just like every year, there was huge drama during the race and the press conference almost got as bloody and violent as the press conference after the Klitschko-Chisora Boxing night a few weeks earlier. However, nobody got hurt badly.

The victory was taken by a new comer Kalle Ihalainen, right before last seasons bronze medalist Samu Haber and Last Year’s winner Mikko Salonen. Kalle was not surprised for his dominance. Actually the winner was amazingly calm after the race and seemed as cool as his countryman Kimi Räikkönen after races.

“I changed to Go-Carting from Trucking this year and many people said it was not the right move for me. However, I believed my manager-agent’s (Pekka “Peki” Nisula) vision and advice taking part in the most competed series and now I could not be more than happy. I had the party of all times last night and I actually woke up in my truck (motor home) with these four dancer guys from Norway. You know... I had lost even my socks. Wish someone knew what happened. Anyway. Thank you all for the great race and a superb party. I need to go to pharmacy now.”

Both Haber and Riku Rajamaa (4th) filed complains after the race against Ihalainen. The jury is investigating Ihalainen’s behavior on track and they will announce their decision later this week.

“Kalle hit me straight from the side and that is against the rules. He is new to this sport and he will get what he deserves – a big lesson sooner or later. In Finland we have a saying he will learn through father’s hand and that’s what he’ll get”, Rajamaa stated.

Rajamaa won the qualifying with the fastest time ever, but fell on the fourth place on the very first round of the race. “For me, the one who has the fastest lap is the winner and best driver. It’s very sad that I have prepared myself all these months and again I was left without a medal. I am thinking of getting into TV documentary business and leaving this whole shit behind. I don’t wanna hear about racing for some time now. If I still do this shit next season, I will drive as dirty as one possibly can.”

Haber seemed happy for the silver medal. “I started the actual race on fourth place and went straight to the lead after the first three curves. The only downside was that Kalle crushed against the rules with me on the third round and I will never forgive him. I will make him pay sooner or later. We actually have a little “poop-trick” planned with our team to his ugly motor home, but you’ll probably read about that later on the press.” Haber claimed that his qualifying’s didn’t go well because of some slower drivers. “Tuomas Hollmerus was always in front of me as I was trying to get some space for the fast lap. It would be great for the future if Tuomas would also learn what the blue flag means (let the faster driver pass you). Luckily the race is the one that counts and the slower drivers were dropped to the Lady Final and we were able to enjoy the race.”

Last years winner Salonen managed to climb on the third highest place even thought everyone in the crowd were able to see him nervous before the race. “Haber gave me hard time. His tactic was to disable my mental system and he succeeded there. I don’t think this kind of mental pressure belongs to fair sports, but what can I say. I am a bit afraid of the guy and everyone knows he is mentally way stronger than me. I think he’s twisted. I am considering hiring some bodyguards next season. And a shrink for Haber. I am very sad, scared and lonely.”

The crowd held their breath as one of the absolute favorites and last year’s silver medalist Tuomas Hollmerus was dropped into the Lady Final. “I Had huge problems at the qualifying. This idiot Filipino “Bass Player” was always in front of me and I was just not able to do a fast track. And when the track was clear for me, I guess I was just trying too hard and fucked up a few curves. I like the two qualifying groups system, but the race should be an “all together” so us slower ones would have had a chance too. The Filipino should buy a dress and get away from this series. Some guys would make better grid girls than race drivers and I guess we all know who we’re talking about. I also must say that I admire Haber and Salonen. It’s no coincidence that these drivers are always in the top three”, Hollmerus gave respect to the two most successful drivers of all times.

The Beat & Box team (Osala, Ikonen) skipped the whole race due to their “Hotel Room situation.” The team have promised to announce more details soon. Also Martin Hörsch from (Die Alte Lederhosen) skipped the race at the track because the visibility was so bad. “Why can’t they just set up a proper lightning”, he asked at the track. The rumor has it that the teams night before the race had been very “late and wet” at a local “facility” and therefore one of them skipped the race and the other driver was last. The jury is investigating the team behavior outside the event before the race.

Final Stats

1. Kalle Ihalainen (Trucking & Focking) 10p
2. Samu Haber (Gibson Ultimate Fighting Team) 8
3. Mikko Salonen (Audio Gorillas) 7
4. Riku Rajamaa (Gibson Ultimate Fighting Team) 6
5. Mikko-Pekka “MP” Laine (BMW-Weller) 5
6. Timo Saarinen (Team Bukkakepit) 4
7. Tuomas Hollmerus (Audio Gorillas) 3
8. Sebastien Payet (Trucking & Focking) 2
9. Karri Soilamo (Team Bukkakepit) 1
10. Ilkka “Raul” Ruutu (BMW-Weller)
11. Lars Hoffman (Die Alte Ledehosen)

Disqualified

• Martin Hörsch (Die Alte Ledehosen)

Team Points 2012

1. Gibson Ultimate Fighting Team 14p
2. Trucking & Focking 12
3. Audio Gorillas 10
4. BMW-Weller 5
5. Bukkakepit 5
6. Die Alte Lederhosen 0



Blog from 05. March 2012

Samu

Thank you Switzerland

Cheese & army knives. Cuckoo clocks & chocolate. Mountains & Snowboarding. Bank accounts & Great audiences.
Switzerland. Ahh…

We had our three sold out shows in Switzerland, in Bern, Pratteln and in Herisau and now we’re on our way to Austria, to the country where the audience never fails either.

Every time we land in Zurich with the band, it feels as if “everything is a bit better here.” I don’t know if it’s the image the Swiss have managed to create of their country to the rest of the world or if it’s just the great experiences we have had all over the country both on the band trips and also on holiday. However, we love it.

After the show in Paris, we arrived in Bern for a day off. The city is very beautiful and actually that was the very first real spring day this year. It was + 18 in the afternoon and the sun was shining. We went shopping downtown in the midday and still I haven’t bought anything on this tour…? Not even a new camera objective. Good boy! In the evening we were invited to the Switzerland-Argentina football game at the Stad De Suiss, the old Wankdorf stadion where Germany won their first world cup in 1954.

We are from a not-so-successful football country and therefore we decided to support the other country that didn’t make it to the finals this time. Even though Messi was on the field in the other team, we did everything we could for the Swiss. When 88 minutes were played, the score was 1-1 and I was damn sure we’d get a tie. But no. One mistake at “our” own end and one Messi in the other team and the game was lost. The 1-3 penalty shot a minute after was just making the numbers nicer for the Argentinians. The better one won. On the other hand, it’s not every day you can see Leo Messi scoring three goals live. Many thanks for our local agent and the stadium staff for letting us in through the back door.

All three shows in Switzerland were sold out well before we started the trip a few weeks ago. And every evening was a blast. Especially in Pratteln, where we played at the same club in 2007, we felt really like home. The only “downside” in Pratteln is that there’s a decibel screen on the wall and you can see it from the stage. And it’s hard to keep your eyes off it during the show. You might lose focus and forget the lyrics. The screen shows to the crowd too how loud it is. A few times when the crowd sang really loud we got close to 120db. I can tell you that loudness hurts your ears on stage. But in the good way ;) The same actually happened today in Herisau tonight. I took both of my earplugs off after the show and the screaming from the crowd felt almost violent. But again, in a very good way. Please never stop doing that ;)

Yesterday we had a day off in Herisau. It’s this really small town near Sankt Gallen. In the night there was no action what so ever but the day was busy. We had our yearly Go-Cart race with the band, crew, and both drivers. You can read more about the results in the previous blog. In Finland we have a saying “Silver is no Shame!”

After the show in Pratteln, our local fan club’s “Sunrise Avenue Swiss Crew’s” official and original flag was stolen. I will add a picture of that flag on our Facebook site in case you see it somewhere you know what I am talking about. I guess the flag fell from where it was hanged over the audience and someone might have taken it by accident too. Anyway. If you see it, it must be returned.

I don’t know how many ladies (or gents) there are in our dear Swiss crew but they are just great. Today after the last Swiss show they had arranged a surprise present for us containing first an opening mission (almost impossible;) and the package contained a lot of useful stuff from medicine to toothbrushes and also a little plant, a tree whose name is Köbi. Köbi is from the city of Chur and he is this kind of a small palm tree plant and we are supposed to raise him gently. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the best person with the living green. Even my cleaning lady at home said a few years ago that maybe I should only have paintings or statues instead of anything that actually is supposed to live. I’ll do my best!

Our tour manager Manni left us two days ago because he had to go to this seminar in London. We already miss you Manni and you know, the Swiss crew even brought you some presents. Now we have Manni’s colleague Lars for the rest of the trip. Lars is very cool, nice and experienced and all will be fine. It’s just a shame that just as we managed to teach Manni the legendary music jury game, he left and now we need to spend another sleepless night teaching Lars. I hope he drinks like a man and has good taste in music.

Tomorrow we will be in Austria in Linz. It’s the only show in Austria this trip. We played in Vienna on this tour in November. Actually it was the last concert of that trip at this old gas bell where they have built an arena inside. I will never forget that night. Playing Out Of Tune that night was probably the best moment on stage so far in my life. Funny how again this time, this trip has felt better than anything else before. Again. Maybe it’s just the good medication they give us ;) Bottom line is that we are happy for being on the road again.

Linz is one of Austria’s biggest cities and we have played there many times before. We played also one of last summer’s coolest festivals there, the Krone Stadtfest. I just remember that the crowd was loud and the heat was like in tropic in the middle of the night. I guess we have played at tomorrow’s venue before, on the smaller side thought. The bigger side of the arena is sold out tomorrow and I am dead sure the night will be super great. Everyone’s healthy on the bus again and the mood is very relaxed. Boys are playing NHL Playstation game upstairs and some are sleeping already. I’m in the front with Sebastien. As usual.

Thank you everyone very much for the great moments in Switzerland. We hope there will be some festivals in your country this summer that let us play at least one or two songs on their stage.

Good night everyone,

Samu & Boys

PS: We will get the flag back girls. Take my word on that!



Blog from 07. March 2012

Samu

On The Way To Bratislava

We just crossed the “water border” of Buda and Pest. The capital of Hungary used to be two separated cities in the past separated by the river Danube, but now it’s Budapest, one of the old continent’s prettiest cities. I’d been to the Budapest airport at least ten times waiting for our connecting flight to Greece or somewhere, but now we finally got into the city. Our driver Sebastien told us that Budapest, Bratislava and Prague are definitely worth checking out and he wasn’t wrong about the first city at all. I have been to Bratislava but to Prague never. I think I will need to do a little trip to both city centers.

Before the tour I felt really unsure if we’d get any audience in the “new” countries such as France, Holland or Hungary, but now all the doubt is gone. I can’t describe how great the night was again tonight. The club was very rock ‘n’ roll tonight. It was a bit cold when we arrived in the morning and the locals said they usually have metal and heavy metal bands only. Looked like that. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool.

(As I am writing this blog, I am sitting next to Sami. We are listening to American country music LOUD and we’re dreaming of the road trip through North America, the one we’re gonna make later this year. NY, Miami, Nashville, Oklahoma, Las Vegas, LA and San Francisco. At least. Sami is the sweetest guy on the planet. He is one of the very few guys who can really start crying when he hears a beautiful country song. Dixie Chick’s Traveling Soldier always gets us both…)

Anyway… I had a few interviews today with local media. It’s so amazing that even here in Hungary they have played Fairytale Gone Bad already years ago and everyone knew how to sing Hollywood Hills from start to end. Why the hell haven’t we been here before? Well, good that we’re here now. Thank you all for a great great evening and from the bottom of my heart I hope we’re back in our “language cousin” country soon. Thank you Hungary!

Austria has always been one the countries where we have felt like home. We have played tens of shows and many great festivals from Klagenfurt to Vienna and from Graz and Linz to Innsbruck during the last years. The Austrians have two very cool summer festivals we have attended, twice at both of them. The famous Nova Rock and the ever-great Donau Insel Fest where we are going again this summer.

We had two shows in Austria on this tour. In November we played in Vienna and now it was Linz’s turn in Upper Austria. We have very good memories from the city. We have spent even a few off days there. As we got into the venue in the morning, I felt a bit tired in a funny way. Every time there is even a tiny signal from the throat that something could be wrong, it hits me and I start to worry. Luckily this time I had just slept bad and after the great show and a good night sleep after Linz, I felt like a new man again today. When we entered the stage in the morning in Linz, there was a HUGE flag in the opposite side of the room from the stage. The flag said: “Austrian audience never fails.” Who ever said those words must have been smart.

The strangest thing happened during the show in Linz. It was super hot during the show, but suddenly I felt this freezing wind breeze on stage. They had opened the door somewhere probably because we were running out of air in the room. I had been sweating very much until that and it felt like a million knives on my skin. I ran down from the stage during the keyboard solo in “I Don’t dance” to Karri (My dear guitar tech) and told him to do anything to shut all the doors in Linz… Was spooky.

It’s a shame this was the only club show in Austria this spring, but it’s good to know that we’ll be back in a few months in Vienna in the middle on the river Danube again.
Tomorrow is a day off in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. I have some interviews in the afternoon and a few meetings, but the rest of the day is free. And the boys have the full day off, so you can just imagine the noise in the bus right now. Well-deserved party. There might be a bowling session in the evening, let’s see. I almost even skipped the Go-Cart race too few days ago. I’m happy I didn’t ;)

We have four shows left before we go back home. First two great ice hockey countries Slovakia and Check Republic and then two shows in Germany. I heard Frankfurt is sold out but there are still some tickets left for Munster, the last gig. It’s a kind of a tradition that you make some tricks to the other guys on the last show. I have told our crew to do anything stupid at “the risk of their lives only” but now I have a really cool idea what I could do on stage on the last show. Let’s see if it works out. It’s sad anyway that we are this far already. I know I have said this so many times, but it has been, once again, the best tour ever. No question!

One thing that is really strange on the road is the session every night when we cross the border from a country to another. Even between the Schengen countries in the European Union, the custom guys and police take “gifts” from the driver in the middle of the night. If you don’t give the border control or other officers some free band t-shirts and CD’s, you might have to wait for hours for the entrance to the country or city. So every evening before we start the bus we sign a few posters and CD’s and prepare this “corruption set” for the local authorities. Then the driver has fewer problems on the road. It’s a mad world…

Anyway… Thank you all so much again and good night to everyone where ever you are,

Samu

PS: I think I will win the photo contest with my on-stage pictures. It’s such a hassle every time Tuomas (monitor guy) gives me the camera and I start adjusting the setting for the light on stage that moment. I didn’t know photography could be THIS much fun :;)



Blog from 09. March 2012

Samu

Sunrise Avenue Bowling Tournament 2012

Brunswick Bowling Arena Bratislava, Slovakia

March 7th 2012

The legendary hometown of one of the most legendary Ice Hockey teams in Europe, Slovan Bratislava, was the host of the annual Sunrise Avenue Bowling Tournament 2012. Ridiculous amount of viewers had come to the arena already in the morning to get their good spot next to the track as the world’s most desired bowling trophy “Sunrise Avenue Bowling Pin©” would get a new home. Last year’s winner Samu Haber had held the pin for a year now.

A newcomer, Timo Saarinen with 170 points, took the victory. Silver medal went to Osmo “Vesku” Ikonen (161p.) and bronze medal to last year’s 2nd Riku Rajamaa (146p.)

Saarinen made his winning score on the first round.

According to the winner, this was his strategy. “I wanted to win the race right at the start. This was my strategy to mentally destroy everyone else and it worked.” The year 2012 has offered the viewers of Sunrise Avenue Sports © some shocking moments, since both of the battles (Bowling and Go-Carting) victories have been taken by a new face. However, Saarinen wasn’t surprised for his dominance: “No, no. I have been practicing so much and I just knew that the others have no chance against me. I am simply the best and I love it! Ikonen got pretty close, but I still respect him as much as dog shit when it comes to bowling. Next year I will break the magic 200-point limit and the only thing the others will see the whole night are my tail lights.”

Silver Medalist Osmo Ikonen was amazed by his result. “Everyone knows I am bad with sports and especially since this one means handling “balls,” I thought I have no chance,” Ikonen stated after the battle. The Bowling press agency was unable to reach Ikonen for any more statements after the silver medalist disappeared the Bowling Arena soon after the race. Rumor has it that he’s still at the local “Ball’s Club” celebrating his success together with his team. If you see him, please contact the Sunrise Avenue Sports Academy ©. Contact information on the web.

Rajamaa, last year’s second, was unhappy for lower status that last year. “Ok, we all know bowling is not a sport. What better fits me are Boxing, Ulitame Fight, Kara-Te, Ice Hockey and other physical sports. I don’t know if I will take part in the contest next year. If I will, I’ll play as dirty as one possibly can. I also feel bad about Haber’s result. I have thought he’s a noble and great sportsman but we can all see from his results (will not even mention) how god he really is. The good thing now is that the stupid game is over and all the idiots who are excited about this can be happy for a while.”

Last year’s winner Samu Haber (5th place, 128p.) was totally accepting his loss and behaved like a real gentleman after the race. “ I had the privilege handing over the trophy to Timo “Timpe” Saarinen, who clearly deserved his victory this year. I had a nice evening and I enjoyed all the moments with my track-mates fully. The only down side is that I shared the track with Uskis (Tuomas Hollmerus) and MP (Mikko-Pekka Laine) and these guys are not the top bowlers and of course it effect on me too. Actually to be honest, I never want to share the track with them again. Uskis had his hands on my balls all the evening and MP was just looking at me in a strange way so that disturbed me. This behavior should be investigated by the jury and these guys should be disqualified. So of course everyone understands I lost the race because of these two. I still hold the all time high score (179) so F***ck you Timo with your 170’s. Next year no man will leave the track alive if I don’t win.

Hollmerus was surprised for Haber’s accusations and he was hoping Haber would cool down. “I did nothing wrong. The only reason I wanted to feel his balls for a while was to bring me good luck. It should not effect his score.” Hollmerus was also hopeful that he’d avoid any penalties. “I think this is ridiculous. Haber played a bad tournament and clearly he is disappointed. Actually we all know that both members of the Gibson Ultimate Fighting Team (Rajamaa & Haber) are not the best losers in the world.

Sunrise Avenue Bowling Academy © would like to than all the sponsors and partners making the great event happen.

Top Three Results:

Timo Saarinen 170
Osmo Ikonen 161
Riku Rajamaa 146



Blog from 10. March 2012

Samu

Bratislava & Prague

We are inside a huge “ball” today. It’s an arena called Jahr Hundert Halle (Check it out www.jahrhunderthalle.de) in Frankfurt, Germany and we are sold out today with 5000 viewers. Not a bad comeback to Germany after a few weeks. We have only two shows left and the crusade to new countries has been just amazing. As I have said before, we were not one hundred percent sure if we’d have an audience in the “new cities” we went to on this tour but especially after last night in Prague, we realized we need to keep on doing longer tours outside the “typical” Sunrise Avenue countries too.

We had our last day off on Wednesday in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. I received the Slovak Ice Hockey shirt (Saying SUNRISE AVENUE 1 in the back) last year from the Slovakian fan club after the show in Vienna and I had taken it with us on the road. I first thought of wearing it myself on stage, but the hockey shirts are just so hot that I had to skip that. Sami said the heat is a bit easier for him since he’s in the back and he’s sitting anyway, so we gave him the honor wearing the special costume. The Majestic Club in Bratislava was probably one of the best sounding clubs on this trip and also it was very rock’n’roll. We had only one HUGE back stage room together with our crew and the Jim Kroft gang and all the guests and we had to eat our dinner and lunch sitting on people’s luggage. The catering had come from a great French restaurant by the city castle. We told the catering guys that we’d vote for the best catering & audience etc. after the tour and they were hopeful that they’d win. Let’s see. I
t was damn good!

In Bratislava we also had our last day off on this trip. I did some interviews and meetings in the afternoon and in the evening we went bowling. Was not my night... You can read the results on the previous blog.

Thank you all for the great night in Bratislava. I hope to get back to you soon. There are some plans on the table already, I know.

This tour has been my first visit to Budapest and Prague. I will definitely go back to both of them. Yesterday in Prague was so super cool. First of all the weather was warm and sunny and the mood downtown was nice. My mom had told me that I’d fall in love with both Budapest and Prague and she was right. Moms usually are ;)

We’d never been to Czech Republic before with the band and as we checked the ticket pre-sales before the tour, we were very surprised. The club has been upgraded two times to a bigger venue and even the final big club was sold out. The show was amazing. I don’t know why, but at least I felt like home all the way and the crowd, just like in Bratislava too, welcomed us very friendly. I also had my first Superman experience on stage as some sweet girls gave me a Czech flag and I wore it on my shoulders like superman. I fixed it around my neck so tight on Hollywood Hills that I had some difficulties to breather. I had a little panic before the encore, because none of the crew guys was able to open it. Finally Karri (guitar tech) was able to loosen it a bit. “Hey little sister who’s the Supaman ;)”

We will be back in Czech in the summer at the Mala Skala festival and I also heard there might be a trip there even sooner. Hope it works out.

Today we are in Frankfurt and there are only two shows left until we go back home. We’ll, I have a flight to New York already on Tuesday, so that means I’ll only sleep in my own bed for one night. We got a real catwalk again tonight. I have a feeling we will have fun again tonight.
Thank you all for the great two evenings again and hope to see you soon!!!

Hugs,

Samu

PS: It’s so great that most of you behave so well at the shows and also after the shows outside the venue if we sometimes come hang out with you to take pictures and stuff. There haven’t been barely any fights on this trip between the audience members. Still I must say that all insulting behavior, sexist and other “grabbing” is totally uncool. Luckily this doesn’t happen to often. You, who felt like putting your hands too close in Bratislava after the show, you’re not welcome anymore. I hope I remember you face. You are very disgusting!



Blog from 13. March 2012

Samu

Home Sweet Home

I wonder when it hits me. The post-tour-depression, I mean. Usually the first three-four days are mentally pretty painful after a tour. You’re tired and still mentally on the tour somehow and the daily business at home seems just too quiet.

I woke up in my own bed this morning and was very happy. I love the bed in the bus and also the good hotels too, but this is something else… I had these nightmares all night. There was an old wise woman who told me I have demons in my soul and the evil little creatures started coming out of my chest running all around the place. I had to wake up a few times to breath a bit and to drink some cold Finnish pure milk. Still I am feeling very happy. The trip we ended in Sunday in Munster with a huge party was the best journey I ever had so far. Usually after the trip, there are many weeks of grayness and emptiness but this time we’ll be busy again next week with the shows in Finland. I can’t wait.

What an ending for the trip it was. The shows in Frankfurt and Munster were just amazing and more than we could ever hope for. For the first time ever, everyone was healthy even at the tour ending and the mood at the back stage was just hyper great. At both shows the crowd reminded us again how great this “job” can be at it’s best. And even though everything fell apart in Musnter during the last song, the rock’n’roll mood in the room kept us going. I broke my most expensive camera objective, Riku broke my microphone and his guitar. I also destroyed a few other cameras with the champagne bottle, but what the hell. Just keep sending us the invoices in so we can report the stuff to our insurance company ;)

After the last show, the party was well deserved. It was nothing that crazy since everyone was pretty tired already, but I managed to win FOH mixing engineer Gorilla-Mikko in wrestling four times in a row. I hurt my knee a bit but that belongs to the battle. The last show also meant that we’d say goodbye to the Jim Kroft gang. Guys, it was a huge pleasure and we really hope to see you again soon. The trip with you & your entourage was the coolest holiday we ever had. Best of luck and all the best and a big THANK YOU!!!

I was supposed to go to New York for this week. Since my US visa hasn’t arrived yet, I will stay at home. I have nothing against that. The flight would have left less than 20 hours after my homecoming and I can really use some rest and home time now. New York and the challenges over there will wait ;)

We will continue with our Finnish shows next week. It’ll be cool to get in front of our home crowd after we’ve been rehearsing in Europe for a month ;) In April we’ll also go to studio a bit to smell the new song ideas.
I seem to be very happy after the tours every time and after every trip I seem to say it’s been the best we ever had. I must repeat my own words again. Thank you every single one of you for making all this happen. You have no idea how happy these five guys from Finland & their gang are right now.

We had this little voting with the band & crew of the best Venue, Show, Crowd, Catering and Backstage on this trip. Everyone gave points to the top three and the winners are at the end of this blog. Everything was just amazing everywhere, but just to name the top. The battle within the categories was hard and tight and every city would have deserved the top position. The final points and explanations will go with me to the grave ;)

Now I will prepare myself for the night’s ice hockey game. Preparing means crawling on the sofa with a Pepsi MAX bottle. I hope I can manage. Go IFK! Quality time ;)

I will miss sitting next to our driver Sebastien in the front smoking my last cigarette of the evening before I go to bed to rest after a great experience on stage. Before I’d wake up to enjoy a new one the next day. I am one lucky damn son of a mother from Finland…

Thank you everyone so much & see you very soon!!

Samu & Boys & Crew

PS. Check out the festival dates on our website www.sunriseave.com. We are adding more shows weekly and as soon as we are allowed to announce them. Looks like a busy summer ;)

Results of the “Best Of” voting

Best Venue / Arena
Frankfurt, Germany

Best Crowd
Prague, Czech Republic

Best Show
Hamburg, Germany

Best Catering
Bratislava, Slovakia

Best Backstage
Den Atelier Club, Luxembourg

The Rock ‘n’ Roll moment of the trip
Osmo on the way to Frankfurt



Blog from 10. April 2012

Samu

Athens – Copenhagen – Helsinki

We are traveling from Athens to Helsinki after a nice MTV Greece party yesterday. They had this contest where you could win any band to perform at your living room and we were the main price last night;) Well... They had moved the show from the winning lady’s living room to this small club in the center of Athens so she were able to invite more than one guest.

It’s so cool going to the southern countries this time of the year. When I left Helsinki in the morning on Monday, there was 10 centimeters fresh snow on the ground. In Athens it was +22 and sunny. I hope the snow has melted already in Helsinki. I already changed summer tires into my car and if there’s any snow or ice, I just can’t drive. On the other hand, we’ll jump on a party boat to Estonia tomorrow to play a show at Radio Nova club there, so I won’t need my car for a while anyway.

When you have a few beer s after the day with the Greek music industry folks, you somehow end up talking about the financial crisis at some point. It’s actually funny how we thought it would be a subject they’d rather not talk about, but no. Everyone seemed to have an opinion about what happened and also about what should be done about the mess. I will try to avoid any political statements here, but I must say that every person we talked to about the whole crisis had very smart, humble and open-minded thoughts about what should be done.

The Greek have their parliament elections in less than two months and I hope the country could find a new fresh leaders after that. Not an easy case at all, but with a little help from the others I hope they can make it. We already supported the economy by buying a lot of wine and olive oil (the best on the world) at the airport ;)
After we ended the European Tour in Munster, Germany last month, we had a two-week break and then it was Finland’s turn. Actually we have played four shows in Finland now and tomorrow we continue. The Helsinki show at Virgin Oil & Co has been the best one so far. The mood was almost like in Prague, Luxembourg or Frankfurt.

The Photo contest

We had to put the photo contest final on Hold because of some of the finalists or someone supporting them had used illegal methods. We will have a jury of our trusted friends from politicians, Fashion/beauty-world, some sports people and the band members of course rating the final pictures. We will announce news about this soon. The wrong doings happened only in the final, so there is no need to start the whole game from the start.

We will land in Copenhagen now. I broke my sunglasses this morning as I dropped them on the hotel floor, so I hope they have some nice new models at the airport shops. Big ones to cover my tired face as much as possible ;)
See you soon & Hope you’re all well,

Samu

PS. It´s amazing how much they eat in Greece. My birthday evening in Athens nearly exploded my stomach. But damn it was good ;) Thank you MTV!!!



Blog from 13. April 2012

Samu

Sunrise Avenue Picture Contest Results

Here are the results of the Sunrise Avenue photo contest. After we realized some finalists (or someone supporting them) had used illegal tactics, we decided to make the final decision with a jury. We wanted to get opinions from people working in different areas, such as politics, sports and fashion.

Jury:

Alexander Stubb (EU & Foreign Trade Minister of Finland)
Sara Sieppi (Miss Finland 2011)
Teemu Pukki (Football Player, Schalke04)
Lennart Petrell (Ice Hockey Player, Edmonton Oilers, NHL)
Anna Äärelä (Photographer)
Jarkko Nieminen (Tennis Player)
Aki Riihilahti (Football Player HJK & Finnair Stadium Manager, Helsinki)
Sunrise Avenue band members & management.

All jury members gave 3 points to the best picture, 2 points to second best and 1 point to the third. All voted individually not knowing other jury members points.

Top 3

1. Janna Albers 18p (Samu´s guitar. Handed at backstage somewhere this year)
2. Annabell Pietzka 15p (2 Backstage passes & hotel package 2012)
3. Daniela Reising 10p (Nikon Camera)

Jury Comments:

1. Janna Albers
"A great setup in great environment. I love the colors and the soft corners.The subject in is the center of the photo and in the middle of the rope so you get it immediately. Great details" -Anna Äärelä-
"Sunrise makes you feel great. No matter if you have B-cup or long men´s underwear" -Aki Riihilahti-

2. Annabell Pietzka
"I don´t remember our logo looking that beautiful. Extra points for the great effort and also the great hand work" -Samu Haber-
"Wish I had that tree in my backyard" -Alexander Stubb-

3. Daniela Reising
"You can always grow old, but with Sunrise Avenue you can always be a kid at heart. Mature rock." -Alexander Stubb-
All 8 finalists will also receive an autographed DVD/CD package.

Congratulations!! The winners will be contacted personally.

Thank you everyone very much for taking part at the contest! We had tons of fun going through the photos. See you soon at the festivals.

View the finalists here:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150610883017282.377161.15714052281

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150610883017282.377161.15714052281

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150610883017282.377161.15714052281



Blog from 15. April 2012

Samu

Suomi Finland Perkele!

(Only In Finnish)

Mä istun Norwegian Airlinesin kyydissä kohti Tukholmaa ja olen netissä!!! Kaikella hyvällä Finskiä ja muita kohtaan, mutta tää Norskien palvelu on aivan uskomattoman hyvää luokkaa, edullista ja mukavaa. Ilmainen netti kaikilla lennoilla!!!

Meitä ollaan parjattu paljon siitä ettemme esiinny Suomessa. Ja ollaan me itsekin siitä nuristu aika-ajoin että kotimaassa ei kysyntää olisi. Huomasin äsken että tämän kevään kiertueella oli Suomessa enemmän keikkoja kuin missään muussa yksittäisessä maassa. Siistiä!
Me soitettiin Tallinkilla ja Siljalla Voicen ja Radio Novan keikat ja Tahkolla & Himoksella hiihtokeskusbileissä. Perinteisemmät keikat olivat Helsingissä Virgon Oilissa, Vantaalla Tulisuudelmassa, Lahden Sibeliustalon Finlandia Klubilla ja eilen Huittisten seurahuoneella.

Kun me tsekattiin suomikeikkojen lista ennen kiertuetta, kaikilla oli vähän semmoinen ”saas nähdä mitä tulee” –fiilis. Totuus kuitenkin on että kaikissa noista paikoista, Lahden keikkaa lukuun ottamatta, esiintyminen alkaa puoliltaöin ja siinä vaiheessa porukka on usein jo aika seipäässä. Euroopassa keikat alkavat aina 21.00. No, lähdettiin avoimin mielin ja päätettiin soittaa vähemmän hempeilyä ja keskittyä up-tempo rokkiin.

Laivakeikat on aina oma stoorinsa. Kun keikka on ohi, on laivaan pakko jäädä temmeltämään seuraavaan iltaan tai pahimmassa / parhaassa tapauksessa jopa noin 35 tunniksi että laiva saapuu taas kotisatamaan. Mä tein peliliikkeen Tukholman risteilyn kohdalla ja buukkasin itselleni lennon yhdessä Osmon ja keikkamyyjä Ellun kanssa aamulla kotiin. Ei harmittanut kun näki muun seurueen örveltämässä kuudelta vielä jatkoilla kun itse suuntasin suihkunraikkaana kohti Arlandaa ;) Tosi kivaa oli kuitenkin laivalla. Parasta oli kun näki pitkässä aikaa kuinka joku oksensi Hollywood Hillsin alussa tokassa rivissä ;)

Hiihtokeskuskeikoilla on myös vähän laivakeikkamaisia piirteitä. Porukka ei varsinaisesti ole aina tullut katsomaan sinne bändiä, vaan enemmän on kyseessä on rentoutuminen laskemisen jälkeen ja sielläkin on meno aika hulvatonta yleensä. Nyt on pakko sanoa että sekä Himoksella että Tahkolla oli helvetin kivaa ja loistava yleisö. Tahkolla meillä oli vaikeuksia saada livekattausta mahtumaan pienelle lavalle, mutta meidän crew:n pojat onnistuivat. Tahkolla oli bonuksena bäkkäriseuraksi lähes koko HIFK:n play offsista pudonnut kiekkojoukkue, joka oli nollaamassa kauttaan ”urheilulomalla.” Saatiin ilmaiset turvamiehet ”Raju-Erkki” Rajamäestä ja pojista. Bändi / jengisauna ja himaan. Nukuin bussin sohvalla. Glamouria.

Virgin Oil oli totaalinen yllätys. Mun on rehellisyyden nimissä sanottava että kaikkialla ulkomailla ollaan yleensä saatu enemmän irti yleisöstä kuin Suomessa, mutta nyt Virginissä oli meno aivan katossa. Asiaa auttoi se että tupa oli myyty niin loppuun että ovella ilmoitettiin että edes Haberin kaksoissisko ei saa tulla vaikka olisi millä listalla nimi. Ihan huikea meininki ja hurjat bileet. Meidän luottolämppärimme ”My First Band” oli myös lämmittelemässä illan yleisön. Liekö siitä johtunut hyvä vastaanotto.

Ehka Suomireissun paras ilta oli kuitenkin mun lempi keikkapaikassa Lahden Finlandia Klubilla. Mä arvostan suuresti että Sibelustalolla uskalletaan järjestää keikkoja yleisöystävällisesti niin, että keikat alkavat klo 21.00 ja ovat sallittuja kaikenikäisille. Mä olin satavarma että vedettäisiin puolityhjälle salille ja meinasin pudota perseelleni kun noustiin poikien kanssa lavalle ja sali oli takaseinään asti täynnä. Huikeeta! Finlandiaklubilla on suomen coolein bäkkäri. Niin hienot saunatilat ja puitteet & hyvät safkat että oikein hävetti. Tavattiin Lahden keikan jälkeen treffattiin paikallisia kiekkoihmisiä ja koitetaan järjestää niiden kanssa tuleviin finaalipeleihin meille lippuja kun Pelicans kohtaa Jypin. Me ollaan viitosfinaalin aikaan Hollolassa studiossa ja siitä olisi lyhyt matka katsomaan pelejä. Taitaa olla Suomen Chicagossa aikamoinen kiekkobuumi. On se Suikkanen kova jätkä!!

Vantaan Tulisuudelmasta tulee ensimmäisenä mieleen aina Aikakone / Raptori ja humalaiset 40+ naiset, jotka puristelevat perseestä. Me oltiin oltu siellä keikalla kerran aikaisemmin ja silloin joku alkoholilla itsensä rohkaissut ”Pirkko” tarttui mua tukasta kun kävelin lavalta sanoen: ”Nyt mä saatana pussaan sua!” Ei pussannut. Tällä kertaa meno oli helvetin hieno ja yleisö mitä parhain. Ja Pirkkoakaan ei näkynyt ;)

Eilinen keikka Huittisten Seurahuoneella oli siis suomiosuuden päätöskeikka. Huittisissa asuu vissiin joku 12.000 ihmistä ja ensiajatus keikasta ko. kyläpahasen seurahuoneella kuulostaa aikamoisilta kyläjuhlilta. Jos vastaanotto on suomikeikoilla ollut joskus penseää, Huittisissa meidät toivotettiin tervetulleiksi kuin oman kylän pojat. Koko henkilökunta kokkeja myöten oli kuin suurta perhettä ja olot oli tehty bändille todella mukaviksi. Me saunottiin privaatissa saunassa ja nautittiin ehkä suomireissun parhaat ruoat. Keikka oli kunnon tulitusta alusta loppuun ja jäi ihan mielettömän hyvä fiilis koko porukalle. 13 minuuttia keikan jälkeen oltiin koko bändi Osmon Audissa matkalla kotiin.

Mä olen nyt Norwegian Airlinesin kyydissä kohti Tukholmaa. Mä olen siellä seuraavan viikon. Mulla on treffejä mun kustantajan ja muutaman muun businesstyypin kanssa ja teen musaa paikallisissa studioissa paikallisten tyyppien kanssa. Ihanaa olla viikko yksin. Kustantaja on buukannut mulle mukavan hotellin ihan keskustasta ja punttiskortti on hoidettu jos tekee mieli kuntoilla. Kamera on mukana jos tulee vapaita iltapäiviä, vaikka epäilen ettei tule. Ensi viikolla mennään koko bändin kanssa ekaa kertaa studioon uusien biisien kanssa haistelemaan vähän uusia fiiliksiä. Tai ainakin saunomaan ja jännittämään SM-liigan finaaleja. Kai me jotain siellä soitetaankin. Kiirettä uudelle levylle ei onneksi ole ;)

Iso kiitos kaikille ihanista keikoista kotimaan kamaralla. Yllätitte meidät kaikki upealla vastaanotolla ja teitte meistä tosi onnellisia. Kiitos <3

Toivotaan että joku vaikka vähän pienempikin festari ottaisi meidät esiintymään kesällä 2012 suomessakin. Mä olen varma että jossain olisi Sunrise Avenuen mentävä rako. Peukut on meillä pystyssä ja sormet ristissä ;)
Me laskeudutaan nyt ja koitan saada postattua tän ennekuin pistävät netin poikki. Terveisiä viime jääkiekkokisojen hopeamaasta. Muahhahha ;)

Samu



Blog from 17. April 2012

Samu

Stockholm Syndrome

Greetings from the capital of Scandinavia. Ok, us Finns, we like to think Helsinki is the Scandinavian city number one, but there is no question that this is the place. I just love Stockholm.

We used to come here with my friends back in the days when we were 17 or so to look at the beautiful Swedish girls and also for shopping and stuff. Back then the offering here was 100 times better than what we had in Helsinki. The shopping possibilities are still way better here but luckily Helsinki’s taken huge steps since then. I have always admired the Swedish folks. They just somehow have good taste with everything and the biggest compliment someone can still give to me is when they think I am from Sweden. Maybe that’s why winning Sweden last spring at the Ice Hockey World Cup finals felt even better. The world Cup is being played again next month in Stockholm & Helsinki and the finals will be in my hometown. We’ll see. My good friend Lennu Petrell is joining the FIN team, so we should be safe ;)

I am here this whole week writing songs and making music with local producers. They have a pretty cool and open approach in Sweden to co-writes and I’ve done tens of them during the last years. Even though I have written maybe 40 songs at these sessions, we have used only two songs from these trips: “Angels On A Rampage” I wrote with Sharon Vaughn and Carl Björsell two years ago in Stockholm and “The Whole Story” for PopGasm I wrote in Gothenburg in 2009 with the Macho Psycho team. It’s actually funny that our management sent me to Los Angeles to write songs with the top writers of the world and the only song we ended up using was “Hollywood Hills.” I wrote that song all alone on my hotel room balcony. But even though we might not use most of these tracks, these trips open new creative channels in my system and there’s not much you can lose by taking the challenge. You learn something new every time from every person you make music with.

My publisher Sony/ATV Publishing Scandinavia guys have arranged these sessions and the goal is to write six songs in six days. Quite a challenge, yes, but we got two songs after two days. They are called “I’ll replace you” and “Cinderella.” After these trips I just take the songs with me back home and I will listen to them with the guys. Now I don’t wanna start thinking if they’re good or bad, I just wanna let go fully and do my best. We will see…

I have written tons of songs after releasing “Out Of Style” and next week we’ll be in studio with the guys in Finland. We decided to start the recording process at the Petrax studio in Finland. We have good memories from recording “Out Of Style” there and the memories might help us getting started. There are a few great songs I can’t wait to work with. The great thing about the Petrax studios is that the place is located only a few kilometers from the Pelicans Ice Hockey arena. They are playing at the finals this year and we’ll see at least one game next week. Yes, our beloved HIFK is out already but we must go enjoy the Final’s super mood even with the other team. The Pelicans have never even been to the top four, so I bet the city is exploding with hockey book. I hope they win.

So the next weeks will be about making music and that is fun after all the great touring already this year. On the other hand I can’t wait to hit the festivals this summer. There are many new cities for us and also some great stages where we’ve been before too.

I just ate my stomach full at the hotel restaurant and I’ll read a few pages of Eva Braun’s life biography and go to bed. Yesterday I went jogging and today I was at the local public gym, but tomorrow evening is free. I will meet my army-time friend who lives here in Sweden now. I hope he still calls me Sergeant Haber ;) I really got home as sergeant, amazing. Me???

Hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the spring. I wish the spring could finally come to the north too…
Hugs from Stockholm hotel bed,

Samu



Blog from 26. Mai 2012

Samu

Let’s Festival!

I checked a few of my old late spring posts from the past years and it seems as if I always use the same topic at this stage. Year after year…

Greetings from Finnair Airbus A320 from above the Eastern Sea. We are going to Prague, Czech Republic for the Voice of Czech & Slovakia with Riku and our manager Mikko. The two great Central European countries, which used to be together as one for years once, are working this event together now, Cool! I am doing some interviews this afternoon and after the presswork it’ll be all about gym and enjoying the beautiful town. The other two boys have a free day today.

When we visited Prague for the sold out show (!) this spring, it was actually my first visit to the town ever. Yes, shame on me. It’s so sad. Even though I live in Europe and I travel very much inside the continent, I have missed some of these most important and historical spots until now. It’s like living close to your parents, but you don’t visit them too much…

Well anyway. I totally fell in love with the city on our tour. In Prague we also enjoyed the very first real spring day in 2012 but anyway the old town was just breathtaking. It’s great that now I finally have some time to explore the city a bit more. On tour you always need to do the sound a check, make interviews and stuff and especially my personal schedule is always pretty full. You need to rest before the show too.

It’s the 3rd Voice Of- program we visit this year. We already did the same show in Romania and Lithuania. Even though I am not a huge fan of singing reality shows, I kind of like the format. It’s something a bit fresh and I like the fact that at The Voice Of the judges are put under pressure too, since they must coach their own teams and to sell themselves to the contestants in the beginning. At Idols or PopStar many of the judges are just behaving like smartasses /& Besserwissers and there’s no responsibility afterwards for their words. All the poor idiots who got no attention when they were young, can finally be something ;) At VoiceOf they must really focus and work with their teams.

The usual plan at these TV shows is that we play one song acoustic and of course I do many green room TV stuff and other interviews. Last week in Lithuania I also performed our song “I Don’t Dance” together with a local contestant Erika. I probably sang a bit wrong because she didn’t make it to the semifinal ;( She did a great job anyway. It was nice being in Vilnius again. We shot the “I Don’t Dance” video there last year with a local drew and the old town really stole my heart. I love these mid age city centers with old buildings and nice bars. The Cozy Bar is actually my new favorite in town.

Soon we will start the festival season JEEEEE!!!! Well, actually we already played one “festival” outdoor show in Munich last week at the football’s Champion’s League Final. It was the very first stadium show for us at the legendary Olympic Stadium of Munich. Ok, the crowd hadn’t come there for us, but anyway. It’s nice how we have become this official sports event band ;)

I guess the first real summer festival show in on the 5th of June. We will play at the legendary Hessentag festival in Germany. The rest of the dates, the ones that are already announced and confirmed, are on our website. Check them out!

There are many Sunrise Avenue new countries and cities this summer and also some all time favorites. The Austrian Donau Inselfest is still one of the coolest festivals and it’s hyper cool getting there again after a 2-year break, just to mention one.

The rest of the summer will be about resting and recharging batteries. I will sure take time for song writing and do all the work with the guys too, but this summer I really feel like enjoying the ride with les stress. There’s plenty of time to think about the future and putting the songs together after the summer too.
Have a great summer start everyone, wherever you are. See you at the festivals and shows!

Samu

PS: If Sweden don’t win the Eurovision song contest, you can all call me “The Big Idiot” for the whole 7th of June ;)

PPS: Both Czech and Slovakia are known for great Ice Hockey. This year Slovakia won silver and Czech got Bronze at the Ice Hockey World Cup in Helsinki. Finland lost the tight bronze game… Damn. Russians got their well-deserved Gold. Mr. Malkin was just on fire!



Blog from 01. June 2012

Summer 2012

Greetings from Lufthansa Airbus somewhere above Poland. We are going back home from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where we played a little festival together with the Swedish hit machine Roxette.

The summer has been REALLY nice. We have played 1-2 shows per week and the rest of the time we’ve just been relaxing and recharging our batteries for the future battles.

Everything has gone pretty ok, well, I overslept my flight last weekend on Sunday morning to Vienna and we almost missed our show at the legendary Donau Insel Fest, one of the absolute highlights of year. I thought I gave myself 10 extra minutes in bed in the morning, but instead I had switched the alarm totally off. Our manager Mikko called me from Helsinki Airport as the plane was boarding and asked if I’d soon be there… Luckily I made it to Vienna with an afternoon flight through Frankfurt and we enjoyed the huge show together with the Austrians. We had even planned a helicopter for me from Frankfurt to Vienna in case I would have missed my second flight since the first one was a bit late. I would have paid ANYTHING to get there. And it would have been worth it!

Roxette

Back in 1989 I went to a shop near our summerhouse in Lohja, Finland with my dad to buy some groceries and stuff for the summer holidays. I had heard this catchy song called “The Look” from a Swedish new band called Roxette on the radio and I bought their new C-cassette in the store. It was the very first C-cassette I had ever purchased. Usually I copied music from my friends on recordable tapes because we weren’t the wealthiest family in town and the cost of an album was much more than these days. Sometimes we went to a huge shop called Maxi Market with my friend and our drummer Seppo (The band name was FMG - Full Metal Gigolo’s, don’t ask…) and we brought the shopping carts back to the store from the parking area where the families had left them. I guess you got 0,20 Finnish marks from each cart and you had to bring 100-200 carts in for an LP album or cassette. Seppo bought only Iron Maiden, Bon Jovi was my thing.

History info to the youngsters: C-cassette is a plastic tape case sized of an iPhone. On the most advanced ones you can record music up to 90 minutes! After playing the tape enough, the quality goes bad because the tape starts stretching. I wasn’t able to grow up with thousands of mp3’s :(

Anyway… Yesterday we played a show together with Roxette at the Kaiserslautern football stadium. It’s amazing how many memories came into my mind during their show. I used to have this gray-blue Datsun 100 A (yes, google the model ;) with these self-made speakers that sounded like crap. I actually had wunderbaums (smelly little perfumed trees) and all the stickers in the world glued all over the car. And Roxette was one of the bands on my power play list. I had long hair; a 60 cm ponytail and I wore boots, a cowboy hat and jeans most of the time. “The Look” didn’t really fit my appearance… When the band started “fading like a flower” last night, I imagined myself back into that gasoline smelling dirty wagon with some “lucky” girl somewhere near Helsinki by a lake in the night… It’s not every day I laugh out loud with a few tears in my eyes. I love those memories. So little did I know about life, ladies or anything. And I still have a lot to learn.

The other place the band’s songs took me last night was Southern Spain in 1998-2002. I clearly remember one day buying two albums at the El Corte Ingles in Marbella. Bryan Adams “On A Day Like Today” & Roxette’s “Have a Nice Day.” I know every chord and word of those albums. Even though my four-year trip to Spain was hyper cool and exciting with all experiences I’d rather not talk about to my future kids someday, I was sometimes feeling very lonely and I will never forget smoking cigarettes alone somewhere up on the Marbella or Mijas mountains and listening to “I wish I could Fly” and really wanting to get back home to my loved ones. It’s amazing just how many hits they have from so many albums. Respect! And thank you for last night Marie & Per & Gang!

Again to the youngsters: In 1998 email account was not too common. FaceBook didn’t exist. When you were gone, you were really gone. Even a text message from Spain to Finland was very expensive and luxury. Am I starting to sound like an old sailor remembering his life, right? ;)
Ok, back in 2012.

I am already sitting on my balcony at home and the weather is so nice. I will go bicycling with my new bike (since some full-body-f**k-face stole the old one) and I will sleep like a baby tonight. I gotta get back home to the Spain-Italy football game to see who will be the European champion this year. I wonder if Finland will be in the tournament some day…

Thank you all for all the great moments already this summer. We have much more to come before they close the ice cream bars in Helsinki. Next week we finally travel again with a tour bus in Germany and Lichtenstein instead of the planes and vans and we’ll live real festival life. Three shows. Me like.

Hugs,

Samu

PS. My mom sold my dear Datsun finally to an old guy from outside Helsinki. I guess I had done something really bad and I had to let it go. My mom was the one who had bought it at the first place. After one week the car burned down in front of an alcohol store somewhere while the guy was shopping booze and he was pretty mad, of course. The car’s nickname was “Hemuli”, like one of the creatures of the Finnish cartoon Muumi’s. R.I.P. Hemuli. Our memories shall never die…

PPS: It was the very first time ever that I missed my flight. We’ve had more than a thousand flights with the band after 2006, so I guess it’s kind of ok. Most of the trips we start around 6-8 AM so we can travel together with the crew, so it’s no wonder the artistic guys miss their morning ride once every 1000 times. Sami and our former keyboard player Jukka made the same mistake once too. Who’s next?



Blog from 20. Juli 2012

Samu

Summer and “Summer”

We are driving in a van from Hamburg Airport hotel to Cuxhaven Festival in Northern Germany. It’s + 16 and rainy. The summer hasn’t been the greatest in Northern Europe this year especially compared to the few summers we’ve had the past years. The crew guys have been building the stage for us for some hours in Cuxhaven already. I hope they got long and warm underwear…

My hand still hurts a bit after I fell off the stage in Munich Tollwood festival. I was super lucky that I didn’t totally demolish myself or anyone in the crowd. The stage was 1,70 meters high and actually I jumped on the 60-centimeter raiser in the front, so the fall was total 2,30 meters. Even my guitar is still in one piece with only a tiny scratch in the body. Thank you angels! On a Rampage or not. I have actually been wondering when it happens that my foot just slips when I’m already a bit tired after a long and a hot show (Hot it was in Munich). Speed + being tired + slippery wet floor + bad luck= bad stuff… Could have been worse.

Having not hurt myself too bad, we were able to play the show in Liechtenstein the next day. That was the very first visit in the small country with the band and cancelling that because of my missing or broken body parts would have been a huge downer. The trip to Schaan (Li) was superb! First, we were booked in a very nice hotel (Parkhotel Sonnenhof) on the mountain and the view was just breathtaking. We had our own trusted tour photographer Anna with us, and this time even I looked quite ok in some of the photos since the landscape was so beautiful. In the night the club was packed and the mood was just great. I had many painkillers before the show and I taped my hand in a good playing position before the show. As I realized after the first song that my hand actually works, the worries were all gone. Wish we come back soon!!

During the show in Schaan we finally had a chance to give a new support flag to the “Sunrise Avenue Swiss Crew”, as we realized some members of the Swiss gang had travelled there like some other outsiders too. Their original support flag, the one that had been travelling with them at all our shows for years, was stolen or got lost last February in Bern. First we tried to find it and we even tried to buy it back from someone but as it didn’t work, we just ordered a new one. I hope my design-skills pleased them. It’s sometimes very hard to show our gratitude to the fans and their endless support every where we go, but this time we had an easy chance ;)

Last night we arrived in Hamburg with Sami and some friends by car from Switzerland and Italy. We stayed in Locarno last Sunday and rented a nice German VW Touareg SUV to enjoy the Alps and lakes. After enjoying the Swiss and Italian 30 degree-warm sunny lakes for a short week, this really feels like “a summer.” But luckily there’s a show starting in a few hours and that brings a smile on my face…;)

90 kilometers to go and soon we’ll be jumping on stage again. Hopefully the whole time. Nobody falling down this time. Thank you all again for all the great moments everywhere and may the summer come to the north soon as well. There are still two summer months left this year. Let’s not lose hope!

Hugs,

Samu

PS: I got two speeding tickets yesterday as we drove from Malcesine (Lake Garda, Italy) to Hamburg. The postman will bring me the nice envelopes sooner or later. It’s so cool that in Germany the fee isn’t based on your earnings like in Finland. There was some Nokia executive a couple of years ago who had to pay some 300.000 Euros for driving 89 when the limit was 70 / hour. That was the world record that time. And that time the Nokia guys earned a lot as the company was dominating the mobile world. I hope they can put their business together some day again. Otherwise I will lose some money with the shares I bought… 4,40 Euros per piece.

PPS. We were just informed that there’s an 80 % chance that today’s show will be cancelled. Damn! There is a huge storm in Cuxhaven and they haven’t been able to build the stage yet because of the safety regulations. There should be some 25.000 visitors today and I guess if the whole festival gets cancelled, they won’t be too happy. We cross our fingers… But safety first. Last year some people lost their lives because some festivals stage parts fell on them due to storms and we don’t want that. I wouldn’t mind a little rain but… We’ll see…



Blog from 11. August 2012

Samu

Capitan’s Log 11.08.2012

We are not heading where no man has gone before. We’re going home sweet home and damn that sounds great after some time. I miss my own bed.

Even though the weather in most of Europe hasn’t been the greatest this summer, the festival season has been super great for the Sunrise Avenue gang. Last weekend we played the Cubana festival in Russia, somewhere very far from home by the black sea. The place was huge and great and actually they said the stage over there was the biggest ever in whole Russia. I love catwalks because then you have a chance to get closer to the crowd and to somehow feel the audience better. The Russian catwalk was about 25 meters. Cool ;) And the crowd was definitely with us there. And they were loud ;)

The only downside with that trip was that almost the whole travel party got some kind of a stomach disease. It makes you weak and feeling bad. Usually these things go away in a few days but I have been feeling pretty bad already for 8 days. I might see a doctor tomorrow.

It’s amazing how huge Russia is. We flew two hours in to Moscow first, then two hours more to Krasnodar and we weren’t even half way inside the country. The difference between the rich areas in Saint Petersburg or Moscow and the areas we drove through is pretty huge. Like the roads and stuff. I would not take my dear BMW there. And at the four-star hotel where we stayed in, they had nothing to drink when we arrived there in the morning. Not even water and it was more than 30 degrees Celsius outside. They promised to arrange some water bottles in the afternoon from the festival area. Four stars?

However, it’s always super nice to play in Russia. Actually there might be some more shows in a few Russian cities already this year. I hope we can announce them soon. Seems 98 % possible.

Yesterday we played at the Heitere Open Air festival in Switzerland near Zurich. This time the five stars standard matched the quality on every level. Their back stage was probably the coolest ever with the panorama view down to the valleys. The sun was shining, naturally.

The show last night was great! Well, I was actually still in the toilet (wearing all the stage gear) 2 minutes before the show and I almost missed the start. We tried eating all the medicine and stuff with the guys but of course no miracles will happen anyway. I must admit that I felt like shit the whole way and there was just no energy in my body last night, but somehow with your help I managed to actually enjoy the show. And in the very end as I realized I’m not gonna fall on stage or die, I started feeling better too. You sang so loud <3 Thank you!!!

They gave us a DVD from the last night’s show. We should check it through and confirm the TV company SRF that it’s ok to be broadcasted. I haven’t seen it yet but the other guys seem very happy and excited watching it on their laptops. I hope they haven’t had my face in a close-up picture too much. I really don’t like to see my sweaty and tired face from too close. They usually do that for all bands singers. The rest of the guys are being shot with the whole body. I am not a huge fan of my face… Especially after being a bit sick for a week. We’ll see…

We’re gonna land in Riga, Latvia soon to get the plane to Helsinki. I am the only one travelling with big luggage and I just hope the bag finds it’s way to the next plain in the 35 minutes we have at the airport. The reason I have a bigger bag is that I was in Nuremberg shooting a video with this cool side project I have been working with for some months now. Was a cool trip and I guess the video should look good too. I hope they release it soon.

So… Thank you all again for the great moments so far. There are many more to come still this summer. The summer is NOT OVER!!!!!!

My dear bed, here I come <3

Hugs,

Samu

PS. I though last night was the last show in Switzerland this year, it’s not ;) See you all at the Schupfatrt Festival on the 20th of September.

PPS. We met the American Gansta Rapper ICE CUBE last night with the guys. We took some pictures together with him and I didn’t even know who he was. But I had to join the pictures because the SA crew guys told me to. The same thing sometimes happens to me in public places. Someone takes a picture with me in a shopping mall or so, and the other people start asking for autographs and photos because they think I must be someone important. Then after the photo they ask. “By the way, who are you?”

PPPS: The best news of the week was that MY FIRST BAND will be supporting us in Germany again on October 21st.

Check out the new tour dates online and see you there too. The end of the year seems to be pretty busy. I like ;)



Blog from 02. September 2012

Samu

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz

I just realized the summer must be pretty much over for 2012 since it says September 2nd on my MacBook Air screen. It was till pretty warm yesterday and even this morning in Baden-Baden but the evenings are getting colder and nights are getting darker. Some might say I’m crazy, but I kind of like it. I just love the smell of a September-October evening. The nature is slowly preparing for the cold period and it’s all so fresh and a bit sad. Suits my melancholic mind.

Our bass player Raul is the nicest guy on this planet. He always checks us all in to the flights, so all the rest of us need to do is get our asses into the van in the morning and he brings everyone’s boarding passes. You don’t need to stand in check in line at the airports. The best thing is that he knows every band member’s seating preferences. For example, I’m sitting on a window seat and Sami is next to me by the isle, just the way he likes to. And our seats are also on the exit-row, so there’s an extra 40 cm of space. If I never thanked you Raul for your efforts on this side of your job, thanx ILE !!

September 2nd also means we have only one festival show left this year. We will play the Schupfart festival in Switzerland September 20th and that will be the end of it this year. It’s so crazy: In April-May you feel there are so many shows in the calendar and you feel as if the summer will go on forever. Already last night in Rastatt (Germany) we all felt a bit sad knowing the festival show would be the second last in 2012. The festival was the launching party of the new Mercedes-Benz A-series together with our friend Rea Garvey & band and a sold-out 18.000 audience. I like the car’s new design, even though I am a loyal BMW driver. The “face lift” from the old A-series is huge! I guess the new MB A-model will be very successful competing with Audi A3, BMW 1-series, VW Golf and others. Never tried it though…

Anyway… Summer 2012 was probably the best and most enjoyable festival season for us ever. It was also the first summer we had no time or chance to play in Finland at all. That is strange and very very bad. I hope they still remember us back home.

Now we have a little time off. Personally I’m only gonna enjoy sports (in the lovely autumn air) and to rest a lot too of course. Even though the summer was very nice, for some reason I have felt very tired the last few weeks flying from country to another many times a week the whole summer and not really having time to relax. I’ve also prepared a lot of new songs and ideas for the producers for the autumn. We’re actually gonna go to studio with the guys in two weeks for a few days. This will be the second studio session for our next album and I can say that we are already over half way having the songs for the next baby. Some sound VERY good. Glad we still have a lot time. Or actually we will take all the time we need. If the album is ready next summer, we can release it somewhere between the summer and Christmas 2013. If it doesn’t feel quite “100 % there” yet, we’ll take a time out. My dad always says; if you do it in the hurry, you get bad babies…

Meanwhile we have some interesting sessions going on. There will be some more shows later this year. I am not sure of all the countries, but some are already announced on our websites – check them out. I am quite sure there will be more in some new countries too.

In the spring 2013 we will have this special mini tour with some special stuff but I will tell you more about that later as soon as things are fully confirmed. I am pretty excited of that one ;)

I guess I was supposed to write a thank you note for you all for making our summer so damn nice. We will give you a little “Sunrise Avenue holiday” now, but sure it would be great to see you all again as we put our on-stage-working-gloves on again in October.

Hugs to every one of you & remember to start wearing warmer clothes. The September evenings can take you by surprise if you’re not prepared… At least here in Finland.

Samu

http://www5.mercedes-benz.com/en/vehicles/ready-to-go-the-new-a-class_en/



Blog from 31. December 2012

Samu

Hollola Hills Sep 18th

(To get the best out of this blog, listen to "Long Way Out - Sunrise Avenue. Ooops... It´ll be out somewhere next year.... Sorry)

Here we are. Project album #4 is moving forward pretty well and it all sounds and seems extremely great. We have recorded six songs for the next album already and as we go back home tomorrow evening, I bet the total number of tracks will be seven. Honestly, it sounds better than ever before.

The Petrax studio in Hollola, Finland is absolutely our favorite place to make music. The good thing this time is that I went through some 30-40 songs & song ideas with our dear producer Jukka Immonen already weeks before coming to the recording sessions and therefore we have plenty of stuff to work with. Usually I have a strong feeling of the song candidates and for example with Hollywood Hills I can say I kind of knew it would work very well with the band. But sometimes the producer, who still is an outsider and has fresh ears for our ideas and last night Jukka showed us the importance if this side of the selecting job.

As I presented him our new ideas in the summer, there was this one song called “A Long Way Out” and I wasn’t sure about that one at all. Still like all the ideas and songs, I played it to him with an acoustic guitar and he fell in love with it. I thought it would be too typical in a way but Jukka had a vision immediately. Last night as we started figuring out how the song should sound I was still not sure at all. Now that I am listening to it, there is no question in my mind. Sounds amazing!!!

So, one more evening plus tomorrow afternoon it’s all about Hollola Hills and then we head back home to fly to Switzerland for the very last festival show this year in Schupfart. Ok, there’s an Ice hockey game between our Helsinki IFK snd SaiPa in the evening and I might tell the guys I’ll go write some lyrics downstairs and I’ll be hiding down there watching the game while they’re working their asses off… Muahahaha ;)

The rest of the year doesn’t look too busy and that is pretty cool. We will have plenty of time to work with our next long play. We will have three weeks off starting next Monday and after the little holiday we will have energy for the last arena shows of 2012 in Germany. Actually I think these will be the last arena / club shows in Central Europe with the Out Of Style Tour, so you better get your tickets. (Paid commercial ;) There will hopefully be some shows in Russia too after the German run, but besides those, the rest will be time to create new stuff.

I just love being here in Hollola. They’ve had all the farm stuff and animals here before but now they even got little sheep. It’s the coolest thing to feed those hairy little things on the way to the dinner or breakfast at the main building. There’s this vase with some “sheep food” and I don’t know how fat the little guys will be after this week. It just breaks your heart when the little hair balls run to you like little dogs when they see us approaching their spot and I guess we give them a bit o much to eat. One of them is black of course.

I had the pleasure to work with this American hip hop group called Follow Your Instinct (F.Y.I.) since march. They approached me from the states and asked me to write and perform a chorus to their song. Now the video is out and the single “No Matter What They Say” (first of their album) will be out in the end of September. There’s bunch of other cool guys featuring on the album, like Snoop Dog, Etc. Check them out here

http://www.facebook.com/OfficialFollowYourInstinct

They are very nice guys and girls and I wish them all the best. I wonder if I get to perform with them some day. Since they already got a guy called Viper in the band, the only Hip Hop name left for me was “The All-Mighty DIPER.” Our manager Mikko was with us at the video shoot too and he ended up on the clip as well. I guess it’s pretty typical to have the whole gang there in the yo-yo-business. Mikko shall be called “G-Mike” from now on. Seriously!

I just love the freshness of September. And I just love my life right now.

I hope you’re all doing great!

Hugs,

Samu



Blog from 31. December 2012

Samu

Home Sofa Theory Oct 23rd

Ahhhh… It’s five weeks since I enjoyed this sofa the last time and damn it feels good!!! The best coffee machine in the world (Jura Switzerland - Impressa J9), the world’s best newspaper (Helsingin Sanomat) and only myself. No appointments or duties the whole day. Ahhh… Yes, the weather is pretty cold, but actually the fresh autumn air fits my mood today pretty well.

We had a very nice trip to Germany with the boys and our photographer Anna last week. We played three great shows in little arenas and also played a few songs at the DTM motor race in Hockenheim and a few acoustic songs at the Radio 7 charity gala, where we also received the Best International Band- Award! Not too bad.

I was super jet-lagged the whole trip since we were in the USA with our drummer Sami the last three weeks, but now that I finally was able to sleep one night properly in my own bed, the world seems pretty ok again. Our manager Muskeli-Mikko will pick me up for gym in 50 minutes. We’ll see how that goes after a 4-week break. This will be the end of my Bacon-Burger-Budweiser-diet. Tomorrow it’ll hurt…;) The last night party with the future super band My First Band in Neu-Ulm wasn’t the greatest preparation for this week’s new healthy life style.

Thank you all so much for being there again for us. I had difficulties holding my tears on all the three stages. Especially on the last night in Neu-Ulm, the songs Hollywood Hills and Sweet Symphony nearly killed me. It’s been an amazing two years touring with the new album with you all and we don’t know if those were the last shows of the year. I hope not. It’s quite cool thinking about early 2011 when we were about to release Hollywood Hills as the first single of the new album. Amazing things happened after that and that’s mostly because of you lovely people.

So, now we will keep on recording and producing our next album. It’s hard to say when it will be released, but it seems as if the musical side could be all done until the end of June 2013 and then if we just get all other parts of the puzzle together, the new songs could see the daylight after the summer. There’s absolutely no rush. There is also the situation with EMI and Universal Music and we need to make sure our partly new team is 110 % together before we hit the gas again. There are already some very cool songs half way produced and I’d love the play them to you all already now. But maybe we’ll wait ;)

The Big band Theory Tour 2013

In the spring next year, we’ll have a new kind of a tour. We have hired some extra musicians and rearranged the songs in a new “Big-Band” form. The shows start in February in Finland and I guess we’ll keep going at least until the end of March. We haven’t quite agreed on everyone’s outfits yet, but I was positively surprised that all the guys in the gang, even the new soldiers, were able to make the tie and they had pretty good looking suits etc. I don’t know if a suit would be too hot for the stage - we’ll see. This all doesn’t mean that we’re any more grown-up than before. Raul, Riku, Osmo and Sami will still have all the childish stupid jokes, just like before.

Musically the Big Band concept gives us great new ways of enjoying our songs. At the moment it seems as if there will be at least 3 horns, percussions, maybe cello and some other instruments on stage. Around ten guys on stage – I wonder how we fit. No girls!!!

I just listened to some of the recordings from the rehearsals this morning and some of them are even better to me than the original tracks. Or maybe it’s just because it feels fresh after playing the album versions for some time now. The mood of the show will be closer to the Acoustic tours we’ve done in the past. More relaxed and more “easy going.” Sure there will be a lot of rock and roll, but in a more natural way. And again we’ll record all the shows, so be careful with what you say or scream in the crowd.

Manager-Muskeli-Mikko will be behind my door in a few minutes, so I better get ready.

Thank you for the great week again and enjoy the colorful autumn everyone!! I will put my David Hasselhoff sweatshirt on now…

Hugs,

Samu

PS: Don’t worry. It’s not me playing the horns on the BB tour…;)

PPS. Thank you Station Music in Jettingen, Germany for the new great guitars. I have been looking for a Gibson 137 Custom for years and now I finally have one at home



Blog from 31. December 2012

Samu

Happy New Year 2013

Tomorrow is the night when we shoot the fireworks and drink champagne with our loved ones to celebrate the New Year again. For me, the days between the Christmas eve and New Year’s eve have always been this kind of a cooling down period when I look back at the year behind and I take a look at what I and we got from it.

Quite a year it was again. We released our latest album “Out Of Style” already in the beginning of 2011 and 2012 was actually all about enjoying those songs together with all the wonderful folks everywhere we went. There are new “normal” band shows booked already for next year, especially in the summer, so we haven’t seen all of that yet.

In 2012 we also sold our 1.000.000th album and that makes me super proud and happy. I must admit the million-album level was something I sometimes dreamed of years ago and now that we’ve reached it, we don’t need to look at the sales numbers any longer. Thank you, every single one of you who have taken part in making my secret dream come true!!

2012 we also had a chance to really start recording new music in studio again. It’ll still take time to finish all the songs and we still need to write a few new ones, but I’d say we are 65 % done with it. There are some VERY great songs I’d already love to share with you all but I better stay patient. It’s been so cool again having all the time we need for the creative process and there has been no pressure from our labels or management. We used to be signed to two major labels (Universal and EMI) before, but now that Universal bought EMI, we need to make sure that our “home team” in all the countries is set and ready for the release before we shoot the music out. I guess all this could be done until the end of the summer 2013 and if all goes well, our next baby could see the daylight before Christmas 2013. If all goes well…;)

The only alarming thing about the new album is, that it has no project name yet. Could that be a bad thing??? We gotta figure something out before the spring. I’ve been calling it “Yellow snow” (for some strange reason) on my iTunes library, but that can’t be it ;) I’ll hopefully get an idea again at the gym some day or while I’m in a shower at some point. Or tonight at Sami’s place at the NY celebration together with Sami after he’s had his 7th whisky.

In February 2013 we will finally start our Big band Theory Tour. It feels as if we’ve been preparing ourselves for that special trip for ages and I just can’t wait to hit the road with the funny looking horns and flutes. It has made us very happy how well the tickets have been selling and I bet we’ll have lots of fun together in a few months.
Before the Big band Theory Tour, we’ll have some beach time at some different locations very much south from home. I’ll also make a short trip to the Alps with my snowboard and some friends. After these events we should be full of strength and fit for the challenges and enjoyment ahead as we hit the road again.

So… I guess I’m trying to thank you all again for the great year almost behind. I don’t believe in wishes or magic too much, but I wish you all have a great New Year’s Eve and that 2013 will be even better than the one before for every single one of you.

I’ll go to gym now for the last time in 2012. After that I pack my fireworks, some drinks and champagne bottles and head to Sami’s place for the party. I wish you could all be there.

Hugs and kisses and a happy New Year!

Samu and his Big Band boys

PS. Don’t eat the yellow snow!!

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