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18/12/2004 First Lines

December 2004. We played a gig at On the Rocks, Helsinki, and after that we've ended up having a meeting with producer Jukka Backlund at his desk at Music Makers Studio. Jukka has been doing all kinds of things with music; songwriting, producing and he’s also performed a lot on stage. Before this event, we've been able to make most of the record companies interested in our music, but the final handshake is still missing.

At first sight, Jukka is a total maniac. An artist. He seems to understand a lot about music and producing, a real professional, but as a person he's a real nut case. Could he really be excited about our music and us? Could this mean something more to him, more than a usual project? His hobbies are Flying (with airplanes of course) and playing Jazz. Quite a mixture...

Together we sum up that we establish our own record company, since the stupid big ones can't see the potential in us. We'll create the whole album by ourselves and then we'll sell it to some bigger player for distribution. It'll take some 20 grand Euros and time needed is some 6 months. 6 months or more is no problem for any of us, but the 20 grand is missing... And so it the drummer. We're supposed to be a rock band and we have no drummer... Our friend Tiejo from Cabin Crew has promised to help us. he's damn good, maybe the best, but it's still not the same.

After a few meetings we all decide to seek for people interested in investing the amount needed. Now we'd need to find a real idiot with twenty grand extra. A real idiot with extra cash. Straight from math's book...


05/01/2005 Cash Flow

Ok, let's remember that I started writing things down after a couple of years of struggling with the music industry in Scandinavia... With no results.

I'm on a running mat (it's moving pretty fast) and on my left side is my friend Mr. Mikko Virtala. He’s also running, not as fast though. Mikko has had our band's sticker in his car bumper for years. He's also helped us removing backlines and stuff from gig places etc. He's been a real fan. One of the very few. Anyhow, I give him a short brief of how much is needed and how quickly it'll pay off if things turn out fine (To be honest, I had no clue that time). Mikko goes home to think. If he's got any brain cells left, he should definitely not put any money in us. On the other hand, some one with less stuff inside his head would fit in this gang fine.

The next day on the same running mats. Mikko says he doesn't believe much in making money with this kind of shit, but still he offers his hand as a sign of a deal. He had made some calculations (would be much fun to know whatta hell he calculated) and thought: Whatta hell, at least it’s better be fun then. Mikko sells most of his stocks and also puts his house on sale. We can call this guy devoted! Yippee. Now to book the studios....


22/03/2005 1st session in Mango studios

At last. Operation rock-album starts. The team is Raul, Janne, producer Jukka Backlund, the money man Mikko Virtala (I wonder why it's so hard for Finnish people to make foregn friends with such names...;), drummer Teijo, engineer Mikko Raita (another name-monster) and Me. Mango is even better than we expected. It's in the middle of a forest in Southern Finland (Porvoo). There's a huge control room, several recording booths with a mirror ball in the roof, and bedrooms for the whole possé. And last but not least, a kitchen and a sauna. Perfect!

Seems as if we're all conquering space in our new territory. Especially Jukka, Janne and I, we're like young male dogs around a bush that belongs to no one. Not sniffing each other’s asses, but you know what I mean! All though there's all these weird vibes in the air, I can feel something good in the air too. First we record drums to All Because Of You, Destiny, Make It Go Away and Romeo. Teijo (drummer) is really sick. He coughs like he's dying. But he won't give up. Jukka announces his first ideas. A new kind of verse for All because of you. Hmmm. Let's see. We put the sauna on.

We've made all kinds of plans of how many fast songs and how many slow ones, etc. Jukka throws all the plans to garbage. This has nothing to do with E=mc2. Feels good to be a beginner. Jukka is damn restless. He downloads my new Mac full of p**n and all weird shit from the Internet. I guess it'll be like this for the next 6 months...


24/03/2005 The last day of the 1st session

Jukka has spoken! He basically destroyed all the cool stuff & riffs we had made and to be honest, some of us had a long face for a while. He call our arrangements folk-shit and changed everything. But when we heard the results of his changed in the songs, we just shut our mouths and asked him to go on.

Teijo was really sick. He was coughing like hell all night and Raul (the only one capable driving) took him to a hospital in the morning while the rest of us were in deep sleep. And the doctor’s verdict was pneumonia. If you wanna know how tough Teijo is, just listen to tracks Fairytale Destruction, Only or Sunny Day and remember that he was in 40+ fever while recording. Especially Sunny day Rocks. Feels as if Only should have had a slower tempo... We'll see.

So the first session is part of the past. Four days, a gallon of beer, many bottles of wine and booze, pizza, pizza & pizza and at least ten boxes of salt sticks. Feels so good. I guess I’ve never been this happy. We still don't have a record deal... But right now we don't care. This is fun!!!


22/04/2005 Vocals to first 4 songs

Damn, whatta pressure. And of course the Neumann microphones are broken. Now the lyrics should be in order and fine, now the text can't be changed no more. As we all know, we're from Finland and writing in English is not that easy. I really don't care if someone finds my lyrics boring or naive. The only thing in my mind is that I don't wanna sing anything wrong. Luckily our Swedish publisher contact Mr. Roger Östman has introduced me to a pro writer, Michael Blair. Together with him we go through the lyrics. My sleep gets a bit deeper the night after.

I realized the Romeo lyrics have been complete bullshit. It was raining like hell in Porvoo and we were able to create a new text. I sat my feet hanging out from the studio window. Turned out just fine. Raul's falsetto is too damn nice. In the first verse of Romeo hi sings "Slowly crying game" without the last M-letter. Sounds as if the gay is crying. Raul's so cute.


28/04/2005 Mixdown @ Crystal Sound

The first four tracks (All because of You, Destiny, Romeo and Make It Go Away) get their final form. And then it's my job to start arranging appointments with record companies. We need to get this thing is stores some day. Some of the majors' A&R guys came to listen to our stuff in Crystal Sound Studio mixing session and actually we were surprised how excited they were. At this point I've been introducing our music in record- and publishing companies almost a hundred times in Finland and in Sweden. Some of the receptionists know me by name from my former tourneys. "Samu again...." when I try to make appointments. It's actually not nice at all to sit in front of a label manager etc. while he's looking at you and quietly listening to your demo tape. At least when you've been turned down a hundred times like us. Few of the companies got really interested. Apparently Jukka and Mikko have done good job. Especially Romeo seems to be the hit for this moment. Maybe they can hear the good feeling we had while recordi
ng.

Makes me sick that we still have no drummer. Teijo has promised to help, but it's not the same at all. He's got his own band, Cabin Crew, and of course if he'd have to choose between his own group, and us the choice is obvious. That's the way it should be. We've tried at least ten guys, but no one's fitted in the gang. Both musical and social skills matter. Whattodo????


28/05/2005 A gig at On The Rocks

We've played here five times before, but now we're all really nervous - more than ever. Nervous about how much audience we'll have and how they take our new sound guided by Jukka. And of course nervous about how we play after playing only in studio for the whole spring. Normally we don't think too much about how things go up on stage but this time we're all covered with cold sweat. Janne is usually the big brother especially for me. I'm the one who needs most of the support before tryouts. Raul is usually cool about anything, but now he's almost a pain in the ass walking around back stage talking all kinds of weird shit. Need a drink. I won't go up there otherwise.

The club is filled with people. The wonderful angels didn't betray us!!! I can't get it how partly the same people cum see our shows time after time wearing Sunrise Ave. t-shirts. Angels. Cheeses this is Guuluu (sorry inside)! After the gig the back stage gets full of people and among them, there is also Elina from Welldone Agency, the biggest booking agent in Finland. She wants to meet us the following week. We all have a nice evening and this is good fuel for the studio-sessions starting next week.


05/06/2005 Mango 3

The third session in Mango studios. First the drums for the rest of the songs. Teijo plays like a grown-up. This time not having his lungs on the drums. We've made a new chorus to ‘til dying and Diamonds. We also record Choose to be me, Wonderland, Into the blue and a new slower one Heal me. There was a huge battle between Heal Me and Keep dreaming, another slow one, but after voting and some wrestling Heal me was the choice. Jukka said the final words. He has the responsibility and hopefully a vision of some kind. Of course there's always a place for an acoustic bonfire song as 15th track, but we'll see. Together we decided to name the album "ON GUULUU". It's an expression of a local kebab entrepreneur and it sounds so stupid in Finnish. We shake hands on it with Janne and Jukka at five am before going to sleep. On Guuluu!!!!

We'd need a few good bounces for two record companies. We have got pretty far in our negotiations with two bigger players. We have meetings with both of them next week. Both of them have orally ;) offered a deal, but the signatures are missing. We open beer bottles and get to work. We bounce the songs, Choose to be me, Heal me, It ain't the way, and til dying. I think they're great. The amount of liquids


09/06/2005 We have a deal!!!!!

One hundred and two visits to record labels, producers and publishers and finally yeee, we have a record deal. BONNIER AMIGO MUSIC will release our first album during 2006, apparently on the first half. Bonnier is not a big player in Finnish music scene so far but they're coming strong. They have no rock signings, so no band is competing with us inside the company and this whole thing will be carried out with fresh hearts and huge experience. They seem to believe in us quite much and they want to put all efforts in us. Cheeses it feels good. The deal is really good. The only minus is that I'm gonna be in Spain for three weeks and we'll have to wait with signing the contracts until I get home. Hope they will not get cold feet. A lot of restless nights ahead...


07/08/2005 Mango studios 4th session

Feels like coming home. I really love this place. Raul buys six boxes of salt sticks. We put our hands on ten songs that are still in halfway; Into The Blue, new song Diamonds and Heal Me witch was skipped last time because Jukka didn't like the text. I thought it was really great, but they all laughed at me... I'll show them someday... Helsinki is in the spotlight right now. We're hosting the summer world championships. And the weather is just so great. It's raining like hell and they must abort many of the competitions because of safety matters. The message to the world; Helsinki is a really nice summer town. Gladly we have our own world in the studio. My lyric partner Michael Blair has written a killer text to sunny day and Jukka made it better than I've dreamed. In my opinion it's one of the best in the whole album. Janne's voice in the middle of the chorus in Diamonds makes me extremely proud. "You stay silent..." Hrrr. We bounce Sunny Day, Diamonds, Into The Blue and Choose to Be Me. A Finnish musician
Jonnaemilia made a new text to Into The Blue since the original started to make me sick. It had no clue. Now it definitely does. From these songs we're gonna pick the first single together with our record Company Bonnier Amigo Music. Yea, and we managed to sign the contracts after I came back from Spain....


18/08/2005 We're a band - We have a drummer!!

Mr. Sami Osala has passed our drummer test and obviously we have passed his. Sami is a friend of Teijo's and Teijo had played some of our tracks to him. Sami was interested right away. He is perfect in all ways. He's not too young (Drummers are supposed to be the backbones of their bands) and he plays like a machine. Even tough he’s left handed. We have called to many drummer candidates before. This time the response was different. "Sunrise Avenue? Hell yeah!". All drummers, including Sami and Teijo seem to be native "pohjanmaalaisia" (Northwest coast of Finland) and on our future tour we have to go see on what kind of a field they have grown up. Two training sessions and a wet night bar growling and the dude was a full member of the band. ROCK and a humble thanx to Teijo.

Teijo´s band changed the name to Killer Aspect. Cabin Crew already existed. They are on the same state with us and they play well and with right attitude. Thumbs up for the guys!


29/08/2005 Mango studio session number 5

Goddammit. I just came home from a few days studios session and I feel like a bunny on an unguarded carrot-field. I thought it would be impossible to have goose bumps after every session. At the beginning it felt like we get nothing done this time. It was raining like hell in Porvoo. I was sitting on the porch writing new lyrics to Wonderland and as soon as I got my computer on the lightning stroke. From the sky of course, but I got into the right mood. Jukka wasn't feeling well and we were all tired so everything moved slowly on. For the first time it felt like work and that is not always a good sign when making music.

We recorded Fairytale Gone Bad (former Fairytale Destruction) and Wonderland. Some fill-ins were done as well. On Sunday evening we run out of time and continued to work at Helsinki Records. Basicly Jukka and I rewrote the both songs, but we we're lucky. Geeeeeesh he is good! We got a draft versions from Wonderland. I sit on my sofa and listen to the song. At least one good art-shit on the CD.

Oh by the way, Jukka went to play a gig in Helsinki on Saturday evening and we secretly recorded a guitar solo to In To The Blue. It all looks like it will be on the finished album. Guitar solo’s are vintage stuff and they have been removed from most of the tracks so far. This night belongs to red wine and Wonderland.


01/09/2005 Last time in Mango for now (6th in a row)

The sixth time at Mango and for now it seems to be the last one. The rest of the recordings will be done in Helsinki. I felt sad leaving Mango’s porch the last time. Sami hit the drums at the last session. He set the rhythm to Only, Fairytale Gone Bad and It ain’t the way. With sad, but still happy feelings we left Mango. We will remember this place in the future and recommend it to anyone who wants to make music in the middle of a forest with good feelings.

We started the recording in the spring and now it is already fall. Half a year has passed, but we still need to remember that only a year ago we were knocking on record label’s doors to get a record deal. Now we have it and the album is almost done, just some mixing and mastering. We got 14 songs recorded and I hope they all will be on the album. The new era is starting. A Finnish radio station SuomiPop has started playing our 1st single All Because of You and some other stations have played it occasionally. All we can do now is to wait for the wheels to roll on.

To get this album done was a bigger thing than I thought. It included (as probably always) great emotions. Everything from laughter to slamming the doors. We missed fistfights, it was close though... We created something that we all are proud of. Jukka, the producer, has done a man’s job as well as the rest of the gang. By the end we were melted together as a team, but All Because of You is a good example from "just press the record, we gonna play now.." It is so fresh and honest.

The cocktail of feeling is great. It feels that the time has stopped. At this point all the big stars probably fly to weird countries to learn a mystic dance to relax. Raul is the only one of us that can dance, so the rest of us will just relax to get this process out of our minds. Raul´s dancing is from his dirty past of boy-bands. If all goes well we’ll need strength soon. And if not, we’ll need strength anyhow...


18/12/2005 Christmas & stuff

It’s been a long time since I wrote to the diary the last time. Sorry for that. We’ve been in a hurry. Well, the real reason is that we are a little bit confused from everything that has happened on the musical front. Even though we write powerful songs, filled with feelings it is difficult to put this into words.
Three separate teams are mixing our songs at different locations in Helsinki. We have got a few samples and for once we are almost speechless. Works like a BMW’s gearbox! Jesse Vainio at Sonic Pump Studio did a great job mixing Only. Screw the plans; we need to rewrite them... The whole album should be mixed next week. What will I be stressed out with then?

After Christmas we are going to shoot a video for All Because of You. Feels good. Mika Kurvinen, the director, has a vision for the script. It will involve rock, nudity and all weird stuff. Well, you’ll see it someday on the TV. Midem in Cannes, France, gives us also something to think about. For those who don't know, Midem is the biggest music fair in Europe. We’ll be there in mid-January and sniff global music atmosphere. We’ll be at the same places as the 69eyes. We’ll bring a huge magnet along and see which of the guys will come along with all the bling-blings.

The Finnish radio-station YLEX has listed All Because of You at their most wanted list for three weeks in a row. Fu**ng great! YLEX plays our songs quite nicely, maybe more than we expected. Our promoter works his ass off to get it played somewhere else as well. We got rumors that the single is played on the breaks on ice-hockey games. Ice-hockey rules!

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas. We’ll see you all at gigs next year. Our humble thanks to you who have been voting and supporting us all the way. Your support means more than you can ever imagine. Thanx guys!


31/12/2005 Making the video - All Because Of You

Once again back from Mango’s studio. This time we’ve been shooting a video there. The two days in front of cameras, changing clothes and posing has worn us out. Still it was cool and the feeling was excellent. The crew woke us up gently with cameras and powerful lights after just three hours sleep. We must have looked fresh...

The video was written and directed by Mika Kurvinen and cameraman Antony Bentley. In the crew were also catering, make up artist and of course a beautiful model Janika, who plays a part on the video.

The video reflexes our time in the studio, while we were recording the album. Filled with joy and pain that we really felt during that time, but we did not smash a guitar. We honestly didn’t...

As soon as they get it edited we get a glimpse of the material.


24/02/2006 Stockholm – The Album is in our hands

We dreamed about something like this for years and we made our foreheads hurt but now we’re here. Our dreams weren’t half of this outcome we hold in our hands. By some miracle, we have been blessed to work with the top producers ands engineers’ of Finland and Sweden. That alone is a dream come true.

I’m lying on a hotel bed somewhere in Stockholm and next to me sleeps our producer Jukka dead tired (and dead drunk) after a long session of a few days. Tomorrow we’ll have some more meetings with international distributors and publishers and then we’ll have a free night in Stockholm after a long long time. Our Mastering Engineer Thomas Eberger from Cutting Room Mastering Studio has done well with our mastering. Must say it sounds just great, and so say the professionals too. I slept half of the whole session although we drank a gallon of coffee. Luckily Jukka stayed awake even though he hadn’t slept one bit the night before. There was still the final touch needed in the mixes. He had just dropped his partner Aku Sinivalo home before the plane took of in Helsinki. He wore shades all day in taxi, flying and in the cafeterias. He didn’t want the poor traveling children to see the eyes of the devil… (I can tell you, those eyes would make the Devil himself scared!)

We haven’t earned a penny so far with this. All we’ve gained is some clothes from Guess ands Acc3ss and a lot of debt from the credit card companies and our parents, but still this is the best thing after sliced bread. Far better. The folks here in Stockholm seem to like the finalized album too. Good! We had a showcase on Tuesday in Helsinki for European record companies and we hope it will take us forward. We have the greatest record company in Finland working for us. Bonnier Amigo Music, and especially their head Anne are really committed to get this done. But as always, the most thanx for the successful showcase belongs to the wonderful audience. You. Thanx, Thanx, Thanx.

Feels as if there’s more to come…


26/02/2006 Music video for Romeo

It was a long night. It's 8 AM and I just got home from shooting the video for ROMEO. My feet don't carry me and I'm tired as a pig on a Christmas table, but still happy after experiencing something completely new again.

Solar Films, a big Finnish independent movie & TV production company is making a video for our song Romeo. The director Dan Peled has worked with artists such as Redrama, Stratovarius and Nightwish, for example. He was a cool guy. Just sat on his comfortable chair and gave commands on what to do. Also the producers, Markus Selin and Mika Karttunen need no introduction here in Finland.

It's a story about a hooker at work. Romeo could have been spoiled with a typical Romeo & Julia (or Julio) shit. But no, the guys came up whit something more interesting. The leading female role was played by Ms. Sini Säkkinen, a finalist of "Model School" TV format in 2005. We had our doubts after seeing all the "star flights" of all the "get famous fast" idol etc. formats, but this young lady was a huge positive surprise. She actually cries for real on one of the scenes and we have never seen any one work with such an attitude. I bet weäll hear from her.

There were American cars, smoke machines, prostitutes (not real ones) catering with all the delicious stuff and some thirty guys an d girls doing all kinds of stuff. And we were treated almost too well. The whole gang worked more than around the clock. Respect!

Maybe the coolest part of the video is where we get to show the pimp, that he shouldn't mistreat the girl Sini. It'll be fun to watch the way we get rid of the bad guy played by a Colombian gentleman, Jorge.

Our beloved producer Jukka was also with us in front of the cameras. Even though his work is done after mastering the album, he’ll keep on being a part of the band. Even on the worst gigs. That's cool.

The video will be released during May. At least in Finland...


28/05/2006 Final Countdown

We finally got the albums today from the factory... Somehow I went totally speechless, felt damn good. Somehow even I (!) was quiet and happy for a moment. Happy for the fact that I've been blessed to be a part of something like this and that it’s finally here. The album is more beautiful than I ever thought, the first child (of five guys...?) Well, of course the "asshole" MD of our production company found a mistake from the booklet right away ;) It'll be out in Finland on the 31st of MAY.

So. Cheeses it's soon out and as much as I know myself, I won't sleep for a while again. The only thing we can still do is to believe that our record company in Finland has done and will do a good job promoting etc and people will buy it. So far we have had nothing but good to say about them.

And yes. We signed a worldwide deal with EMI. Pretty crazy. We knew about the offers and stuff they made already in early march and I can't tell you how hard it was to keep the secret. And how hard it was to sit back and wait for the managers and CEO's to work with the stupid details. Week after week after week. We already told our management here to sign the deal with any terms, but luckily the adults kept their heads cool. They've done it before. I didn't sleep well for the whole time 'cause I was scared they'd get cold feet in Germany. I must have lost 5 Kilos weight... So the album will be out in Vatican City too. I wonder if Pope Benedictus likes Romeo...

The staff at EMI Germany seems pretty cool and hard working. Of course we'll have the whole truth when the train's left the station completely, but everything seems to be in order. In the German way!! So there will be releases at least in Germany already in August and the rest of the planet will follow depending on how good we do there. I really hope we get to tour there soon...


11/06/2006 The Summer starts

We came back from Jyväskylä in the morning from Killeri Rock festival. It was the first festival gig this summer and I must say the audience was just Great! Thanx again. We replaced one of the biggest Finnish singers Anssi Kela as last artist of the whole festival and to be honest, we were a bit nervous how the fanatic Kela fans would take us. You sand along and the night was a pretty as a Finnish summer night can be. Wow…

The stage was built in the middle of a horse race track and they had locked the horses in the stables not to get hurt with our drummer. Sami could scare them. Last night was also the first trip with our Night Liner buss, 9 beds, kitchen, 50inch plasma TV, DVD, Play Station, etc. Traveling couldn’t be more fun. We also gave a ride to the Finnish band Egotrippi as they had run out of fuel. They let us shoot Fan pics with them ;) We also had Ms Ainoo Kuutamo with us from Suosikki magazine. We gotta get back to Jyväskylä soon to play to the wonderful folks.
On The Rocks – Home arena

On Friday we played our first public show at On the rocks Helsinki (Release party on WED was with invitation only) and I almost had tears in my eyes for a couple of times. Especially when the crowd sang “On the way to wonderland” with us. The club was packed and the crowd was awesome. At last we’ve had two gigs in a row we feel only good about afterwards. No idiots throwing stuff on stage or yelling nasty things. Good. The only thing we need to control is partying after shows since we’re having plenty of them now. Can’t stay up until 6AM after every gig. Our hearts could stop beating and we wouldn’t wanna die now.. ;)


12/06/2006 ON THE WAY TO BARCELONA

I’m sitting 10 miles above the Eastern Sea together with Janne, Raul, Sami and Mikko from our record company (in an airplane of course) and we’re heading towards Düsseldorf. Julia from Emi Capitol Germany will join us in Düsseldorf for the second flight to Barcelona for the whole week to shoo video for Fairytale Gone Bad! Yippee!! I just love Barcelona, no question; it’s the coolest city in the world!

They have hired a cool director and photographer Ralf Strathmann from L.A. USA to the project. He’s worked with HIM, System of a Down, Blink 182 etc. in the past – I’m sure he knows what he’s doing. Cool! We’ll soon be in Barcelona. I’ve lost my heart to the city a long time ago on my journeys. But now I feel better than ever on the way there…


13/06.2006 First day shooting

We were nice boyz and girls and went straight to bed after a few welcoming beers in the evening. Now we feel fresh! First we waited for our manager BOB to arrive (who’s flight was cancelled yesterday), but then decided to leave him on his own with the Spanish taxi drivers.

The first location was maybe 15 minutes from the centre. A cool studio / Office complex surrounded by palm trees. We met Ralf, a guy originally from Germany, who’s lived and worked the last fifteen years in L.A. – a cool guy. We have many bags of clothes and all kinds of accessories and pretty tight instructions from the stylist what to wear on each set. I’ve never seen such a big crew shooting promo pictures. Probably in the States people are used to have a big dynamic team. The only thing is that the Americans are used to work dynamic and all the Spanish folks aren’t… Ralf has to bite his lips many times when things are a bit late or the Spanish team provides him with stuff that don’t work. I’m sure we’ll be just fine.

The first day we shot pictures at the complex. The photos seem really cool on Ralf’s laptop. It’s extremely hot, 30 Celsius in the shade and Jamie, the make up girl needs to work with powder with both hands.

In the afternoon we shot some photos ion front of the famous ARTS hotel (with no permission;) and on the beaches and bridges in front of it. There Ralf finally showed us who’s the man. He’s got great visions and working in front of the camera has never been this easy.

In the evening we shot at La Rambla, the famous street right in the heart of the City next to a fish market. I almost slipped after stepping on a dead fish, yak. Dinner after the long day and we all were ready for bed. Feels really great to be a part of this thing. I could pay for this experience.

During the first day we met some cool Spanish folks; The local head of action PEPE, Jesus (Not from Nazareth), Carlas and of course our private driver Lynn who was a bit lost all the time ;)


14/06/2006 2nd day, Video shootings part 1

Hotel breakfast. If all the people all over the world would get hotel breakfast once a month, I’m sure there would be no wars. It’s so great. Even the bacons were placed symmetrically.

Huge bags of clothes again and this time also our guitars and basses along and towards the studio complex. Of course I had forgotten my guitar strap in the tour buss and Mikko had to explore the city’s flamenco guitar shops to find a new rock credible strap for me. And he did!! Quite a job. The day started with waiting and waiting… The local crew had delivered a wrong kind of a crane (the one that moves the camera) and it took a while to get the one he needed.

Finally we decided to have lunch before shooting a single shot (we woke up for this at 9 AM!) and it was 3PM before we got to the action. Hot as hell! We shot some live stuff at the complex. The story is about me and my “girlfriend” breaking up, actually she’s throwing me out in the end. The girl is played by ASHLEY, an extremely pretty girl from L.A. We play the song in front of a reflection of shots that “I’ve made of her.” Ralf told us that they were approached by more than 600 girls from L.A. who wanted the role. Whatta hell?? And we got to choose. Every job has its down side.

In the evening we drove the whole equipment to the center of Barcelona to a rooftop to shoot some more live parts. Sami’s drums were 30 cm away from the edge of the roof – a long way down. We were all a bit nervous. Especially Janne and Raul weren’t able to fully focus because they don’t like the heights.

We had a small fight with Janne as I took Julia on my shoulders and pretended that I’m gonna throw her down. It was only a joke, but OK, a bad one. It’s stupid to play with such stuff especially if someone’s not happy being on the roof. Luckily we were too tired to have a fistfight. I would have lost. I think…

We worked for 14 and a half hours. Make up and new clothes all the time and all the time ready for action. It’s tougher than you would think, but in a way I feel happier than ever.

After the dinner Julia invited us to her room to have “a couple of beers.” We all agreed to get up early to go shopping but due to Julia’s hospitality Sami and I stayed in bed. Couldn’t get up. You gotta sleep too you know…


15/06/2006 Video shooting 2nd day

In the morning we sat in our van and headed towards south to the next location. Julia was feeling a little sick for all the “a couple of beers” and we had to stop on the highway for a while… We drove to this little village in the middle of nowhere and as we arrived, the weather wasn’t too promising. We can skip the whole thing if it starts raining. When we were almost at our destination, we nearly hit a BULL with the van. It was 30 cm away. Our driver Lynn just happened to look at the lovely mountains for a moment. Would have been nice to shoot the last parts with blood on our faces.

Most of the day we just waited and waited. As Ralf and his crew were getting everything ready (and hoping for the weather to change a bit) we shot some clips with Julia’s vid cam for the German press and TV. “Hi, were Sunrise Avenue and you can see our new video Fairytale Gone bad on Viva” And the same in German. It took so long for us all to learn it. Especially Raul had problems pronouncing, probably gis hairy face is not made for the language.

The shooting location was really cool. It’s the same place where U2 shot their VERTOGO video. A desert field with some kind of an old concrete building ( probably an old oven?) in the middle on what they reflected the shots of me and Ashley. The later and darker it got, the angrier the mosquitoes got. And guess who’s face is in the spotlight. Mosquitoes love bright light. But Ralf seemed to know what he’s doing. After those parts, Julia, Ralf and I went to the beach nearby to shoot some scenes where I sit on the sand right next to the water for the first chorus. The place was awesome. 5Km of a sand “bridge”, water on both sides. They say it’s the only place in Catalonia (Western Spain) where you can see the reflection of sunset in the water. There were also some thunderstorms by the mountains that time. Looked pretty impressive. We only got a few drops on us. Good.

On the way back to the centre of Barcelona, our driver Lynn got completely lost. She’s from the southern part, from Malaga and don’t know the area that well. Luckily I had been to Barcelona quite a few times and I was able to use my knowledge and my Spanish skills for a long time. It’s funny how you don’t forget the language once you learn it. At least not all of it. We got to the hotel at 01AM and we still had to pack the bags for an early wake up to get to the airport at 6. Again we slept for some 2 hours. I really wouldn’t want to leave all this at all. I’ll miss this trip. On the other hand our tour buss will be waiting for us at the airport in Finland and we’ll get to see Jukka again. We miss him a lot and we wish he could have been a part of this trip too.


16/06/2006 On the way home

The flight company (I won’t mention the name) had made a mistake with Sami’s, Janne’s and Raul’s tickets. When we left from Finland they said it’s cool and we don’t need to check in earlier or nothing. But no, we had to pay extra and we were lucky to take off at all.

So here we are again above the Eastern Sea. Janne is snoring (like a baby) next to me and Sami is hugging him (probably dreaming about his mom) on the other side. Raul sleeps on the other side of the ally and Mikko’s seat is in the front. All by himself. We had to leave Julia to Germany on our stop, she had to go to work. Poor thing. We’ll be able to sleep in the buss, but I’m sure she can’t just close her eyes at the office.

It was the first time we all met Julia and we liked her a lot. She seems to be dynamic and she seems to know what she’s doing. And she knows how to drink beer like a man. Good. We taught her all the necessary nasty words in Finnish to be used once she comes to Finland. And we shot many clips for our own “teen hitchhikers.com archive” of her. Her bosses will love it.

Pori and club 19 here we come. I’ll close my eyes for an hour now. Damn I love this….


17/06/2006 Back in suomi Finland

We came back from Barcelona shooting the video for Fairytale Gone Bad. We spent the whole week by the Mediterranean Sea and as we got back to Finland, the tour bus and our driver MÄTTÖ was waiting for us at the airport. Jannes bag had disappeared on the way home and due to the early flight (and some beers the night before) he already had spent two days in the same clothes. Just like the rest of us.

Jukka was also waiting for us with our tour agent Elina. A short brief how things had gone and the trip towards Pori started. We had only slept for some 2 hours and as the engines of the buss went on we all fell asleep. I woke up after 2 hours when Jukka yelled “all up for lunch”. Idiot…

Pori was a quiet city. We’d never been there before. One of the biggest festivals was on in one of the neighbor cities and seemed as if all the folks had left the town. Club19 was a nice place and we put our hands to work. Right after the sound check our driver Mättö told us that the steering assistant of the buss is broken. We’re supposed to continue our trip in the morning to the next city… We’ll see.

2 minutes before show time there were 4 guys sitting in the club. Cool, this’ll be fun! Feet back on the ground after all the 5-star breakfasts in Barcelona. Together with the club manager, we decided to wait for another 30 min. And finally the room got pretty full. And they were great. The yelled us back on stage twice after the set. We’d promised our live agent that we won’t play any cover versions, but this time we gave them “Let me entertain you” as the last song.

After the gig we had some beers with the guys and the morning (10 AM) felt pretty early. We must have fallen asleep at six or something…


18/06/2006 Across Finland

Our driver Mättö woke us up at ten and told us the buss is fixed and fine. Hotel Breakfast (We do love it a lot). Stuff & guys in the buss and towards Kuopio. We had slept for some four hours so we all fell asleep again as the buss slowly mowed in the curves. After an hour or so I woke up to a terrible heat. The AC had broken down and now it’s hot as hell!!! It’s +27 outside and you can only open the driver’s window. So I’m sitting in the front of the buss and writing this diary. We’re all wearing only shorts and in a way it’s cool. Summer!!

When we got to Kuopio, the weather got a bit cooler at 8 in the evening. We did a quick sound check and had some dinner. I usually can’t sleep right before the show, but this time I slept like a pig. U know, a cute one. Janne kept on pushing me for snoring. I don’t snore??? He must be dreaming. I woke up 30 min before show time. I was still not totally awake as we started. I even forgot some words. Hope nobody noticed. Henry’s Pub is a nice place for bands. Not like at most of the clubs, here the folks come to listen to the music, not to party and drink that much. The evening was nice and we found out that some ladies had come all the way from Northern-Finland to see our show. How cool is that!

It would have been nice to hang out at the clubs of Kuopio after the show, but we had to get home for the first time in 10 days. I had no clean shirts left. On the way home, we were supposed to sleep, but no. The club owner gave us some bottles to go and the whole gang, Janne, Jukka, Raul, Sami, MP (tech guy), Mikko (Front man), Mättö, Janne’s friend who got a ride and I stayed up all night drinking wine etc and listening to the show on Minidisk.

It’s hard to describe how pretty it is when the sun gets up from behind a Finnish lake and woods and you’re in the buss with the best guys on the planet. I could go on for a zillion years. But it’s nice to visit home too. We’ll have a week off now. Only some interviews and the next gig is at Virgin oil Helsinki on July 1st.


07/08/2006 Promotion trip to Germany

We are above the Baltic Sea again. We’re on the way to Germany to promote our single Fairytale Gone Bad. It’ll be released in Germany + Switzerland + Austria on 11th of August. I have two seats. The other one is for my Martin (Guitar;), who I didn’t dare to put down in the cold with my luggage. It’s a pity they didn’t serve him breakfast. I would have had two…

Two stewardesses have already asked for autographs for their kids. One got it to the safety instructions card. Was the first time for me on that one…

We’re gonna play live acoustic song at radios. The first one is today at 1130 AM. I decided not to sing public before afternoon EVER after Playing NRJ live a few months ago with Janne. But this time I’ll be flexible. So it’ll be only Janne and I playing. Raul and Sami can focus on looking good and answering correctly. Tough job! Our Finnish record company MD Anne escorts us. She takes the trip with us to get to know her German colleagues.

So we’ll land in Frankfurt and in the evening we’ll drive to our “home town” Cologne. Tomorrow will be like today. But tomorrow evening we’ll all also see Robbie Williams show at Cologne Arena. Robbie is also EMI Capitol artist, just like us.

I gotta have a coffee now. This’ll be fun…


08/08/2006 Day 2 – Cologne

We woke up in the morning from the fabulous Marriott hotel and we went to gym right away. Not so rock credible… yesterday we spent the whole day driving around Frankfurt visiting radio stations. We played acoustic Fairytale gone bad and gave them interviews to be broadcasted on the spot or later on. We drove to Cologne in the evening for one more interview for the big 1LIVE channel and after that we were free for two hours before dinner with some EMI folks. The dinner made us all sleepy after the long day and we all fell asleep around midnight.

Today we played a live gig for the whole EMI Capitol office folks with Janne. Usually it’s not nice to perform to record company people because they’re so professional and live out of criticism, but today it felt really good. It’s nice how the rock songs get softer and even better in a way when played only with two acoustics. That’s the way I write most of the stuff in the first place. We played Make it go away, Diamonds, Heal me and of course Fairytale gone bad. We were told that Fairytale gone bad has been doing well on the German TOP 100 radio charts and that’s gooood.

In the afternoon we had a meeting with our new stylist and we also gave a few interviews for local radios & press. Finally we’re able to get ready for the Robbie Williams show tonight. So I’m sitting in my room only with my towel on ( just had a shower;) writing this stuff. Soon we’ll see how Robbie and his guys handle stuff on stage… JEEE!


09.08.2006 Day 3 – Hamburg – Kiel - Berlin

Robbie was just awesome! It’s amazing when 80.000 fans stand up their hands towards the sky and sing angels with him. The first feeling I had was “I wanna get there!, on stage I mean. I think we still have some miles to go… After the show we were invited to Robbie Williams VIP after party. I’ve been to several cool parties before but I gotta say this was the coolest after party ever. There was a red carpet even for us guests. We would have wanted to stay (so much) but we all knew there’s an early flight to catch in the morning and we decided to go to sleep after a few drinks.

We flew to Hamburg in the morning and from there we drove to Kiel, a harbor city to meet new radio folks. In Kiel there was this very cute interviewer girl who was doing the stuff for the first time with an international act. Raul and I helped her with the equipment. Sweet… We drew her a painting “on the way to wonderland”, where a crocodile walks (or do they crawl..) on the road next to Sunrise Ave road sign. None of us four can really draw… We gave our best. From Kiel we took a minivan to Berlin to visit the Gibson office. We’ll get our guitars and basses from there from now on, JEEEE! The first guitar I tried was the same guitar Faith Hill performed with in the Grammy gala a couple of years ago. I decided to take that model. Janne chose a bigger one. Size does matter, he said. In the evening I made a few more phone interviews and I had only 11 minutes for shower and to get ready for dinner. We had a dinner with a director from Ibiza, who’s probably gonna direct our next video.

We had a long dinner (with a bit more red wine and stuff that the evenings before) and brainstormed like hell. We even needed a few drinks after dinner at the former Eastern side of Berlin because of sitting in the car and interviews all day. Bad excuse, I know. Tomorrow will be a long day again and we’re gonna have to sleep too.


10/08/2006 Day 4 Berlin

The wake up call was late, at 10, all though I could have slept for plenty more hours. I went down for breakfast with Julia and soon the others followed to order their Café Lattes. Today we did interviews all over Berlin and also went to discuss stuff at Gibson office. We gave them a list of guitars and basses we want to have on stage in the future. How cool is that!

Raul and Sami got the rest of the day free and they went shopping. Julia, Bob, Janne and I drove 45 minutes to another radio station for the last interview. All the radios were pretty curious about our friend Mikko who sold his house to fund our album. The also were pretty amazed of how we’re not wearing eyeliners and black clothes like other Finnish bands. When we arrived back to the center, Raul and Sami were happy with all the cool stuff they had bought while we’d been working with Janne and the guys. Janne was also able to get a new pair of Converse shoes before we took the car to the airport and I got nothing. Damn. My revenge will be sweet next week in Stockholm. I only have 11 pairs of All Star Converse’s, and we all know that’s not enough to survive.

On the way to the airport Julia got a phone call and after she finished it she said we’ll be supporting the local mega band Tokio Hotel near Cologle on the 3rd of September. Apparently it’ll be some 8.000 screaming youngsters in front of the stage. They’re really big in Germany and it’s the last show of their tour. We also made a deal with Contra Promotion for booking us in Europe. That’ll hopefully take us all around the continent.

There had been a terrorist group in London who tried to get explosives in the airplane. Because of that they checked our luggage with extra care, especially my innocent Martin guitar who always causes extra trouble when checking in at airports. Janne wasn’t even allowed to take his toothpaste in. He might have hurt someone with it. In Finland we use toothpaste as weapon pretty often… Our manager Bob’s flight to London was cancelled and he had to stay an extra night in Berlin (poor thing, I could have done that too…).

So, once again we’re above the Baltic Sea on the way home. I must say that we’re pretty lucky to experience all this even though the trip made us too tired. I’m gonna sleep until the wheels hit the runway in Helsinki.


21/08/2006 On the way to Wonderland

Here we are on an airplane again above the Baltic Sea on the way to Berlin. We’ll have a busy day there promoting and visiting Radio Channels and in the evening we’ll drive to Cologne, to our “home town” in Germany. This is probably my 8th trip to Germany this year to work with EMI folks but this is the first time we’ll also play full club shows with the band. We’ve done all kinds of stuff at radios before, but the club thing makes me a bit nervous. Nobody really knows us in Germany and I’m worried if anyone’s gonna come see us. On Friday we’ll also perform at the DOME in Leipzig. That’s pretty cool. It’ll be some 6.000 viewers in the audience plus some millions watching TV at home. Really cool.

As our driver Jörn drove 200Km/h on the autobahn we saw the movie (already forgot the name) about the black guy who’s this little girl’s bodyguard somewhere in South America. The girl is been kidnapped and first they think she’s dead but the end is happy after all. I was more focusing on dreaming and staring at the air condition control buttons above me. And thinking how happy I am to be on road with these guys…

In the evening we met Julia briefly at dinner and after dinner a few beers in the hotel lobby bar. After that we all dived into our beds. Tomorrow is full of interviews and stuff – need to sleep.


22/08/2006 In front of media

I woke up 9:30 to Janne’s phone call asking me to join him at the gym. Goooood…. Ok, it’s not that rock credible, but you feel so good after it. And especially if you’re gonna sing, some running or anything that raises the pulse will make the throat work better.

The day was filled with interviews. Magazines, TV and Radio. The German media treats us really well. It’s a bit amazing. In Finland we’ve had to explain how rock can also be played without eyeliners but here it’s different. Really cool. One of the reporters asked me and Janne what drugs would we like to try…. JEEEE!

In the evening we went to this outlet store in Düsseldorf with our new stylist Feli. We got all kinds of clothes to perform in at the Cologne underground and at The DOME.
Our manager BOB and tech guys Mikko and Mikko-pekka and also the Finnish record company guy Mikko (A lot of Mikko’s) and a Finnish reporter Aino arrived and we had a fabulous German style dinner together. And a few beers… Tomorrow is a big day and we must go to sleep early to be in shape.


23/08/2006 Köln Underground

Show day, JEEEE!
The day started pretty early at 10:00 with interviews and stuff. We also had to do a fitting for stage clothes Feli had given us yesterday. I was a bit nervous the whole day. In Finland it wouldn’t be a problem getting a club like the Underground full any day but not that many folks know us in Germany. I so hoped the club is not empty.

Sound check was cool. We found out that the company providing us with backline services had delivered exactly all we need, so there was no mess with that. We did a camera rehearsal for the camera guys so they would know how the show’s gonna look like. It’s a bit weird to play rock in a club with only 10 camera guys and assistants. I really hope this is not what it looks like in the evening.

We had an hour to relax at the hotel before the driver picked us up before the show. That’s actually cool. Less would be bad because then you’d have to hurry a bit. And two or three hours is too much. Then you lose the vibration you get from sound check.

As soon as we got to the backstage, I got a message that the club is full!!! JEEEE. Another 45 minutes to get ready and soon we’d be up on stage in Germany for the first time.

The crowd was awesome. Just fantastic! The album is to be released on Friday, in two days, and they heard the songs for the first time, but still they were fully with us all the way. So cool. The shouted us back on stage two times. First time we played Wonderland and the second time we just bowed.

After the show I did a short TV interview with Janne for WDR bootleg. And after that some beers with the fantastic folks in the club. We met the German fan club girls and they were nice, they’re gonna travel to Leipzig tomorrow to see our acoustic show and the DOME on Friday. I have one hour to sleep now. The pick up is at 5:30…. I love my life!!!


24/08/2006 Leipzig One hour sleep

The morning was wonderful. We were out pretty late and I didn’t pack my stuff in the night. I woke up as Janne knocked on my door saying I have 15 minutes to get downstairs. It was the world record of packing 50 Kg of stuff. And the guitars and stuff…

We went straight to DOME camera rehearsals from the airport and of course I had forgotten my guitar strap to Cologne. I did the rehearsal with air guitar… Some lovely person from EMI capitol Cologne picked the strap up from my hotel and flew it over to Leipzig. So, all ok!

After the rehearsal we got ready to play an acoustic show with Janne at the Games Convention nearby. It was a really cool beach they had built on a huge parking area. And they had hired 15 really good looking young ladies to give massages with sun cream and we spent the afternoon with them at the back stage. After the back stage birdies and acoustic session, we went to play this weird cucumber game with Collien Fernandez, the Maxim cover girl. She and Sami and Raul, Janne and I were against them. We won!

Julia got a call in the afternoon that Ray Wilson’s (from Genesis) supporting act had cancelled the show in Halle, near Leipzig. Our tech. team had just arrived in Helsinki and they had messages waiting in their phones as they switched them on at Helsinki airport to get back to Germany, Cool. It’ll be 15.000 viewers. JEEEE!

We had the evening off. We went downtown Leipzig to have dinner in a really nice Italian restaurant and went to bed pretty early. Well Jukka and I had some beers in my hotel room, but let’s not tell anyone….


25/08/2006 Leipzig - the DOME 39

As soon as I woke up, I had the image of us standing on the red carpet of the dome. It made me nervous. Quick breakfast and the driver picked us up at ten. The morning and mid day was all about interviews, fan meetings and make up. We did probably 15 bigger TV channel and magazine stuff. Around 2 PM they started to do the makeup for the red carpet.

The red carpet is the official way in for the artists of the dome. Hundreds of music lovers, mostly teenagers, are behind small barriers screaming for autographs of their idols. And it’s so many TV and photo cameras. I wasn’t really nervous about the thing itself, but the fact that probably not that many teenager knows us since we’ve just started our stuff in Germany and it would be annoying if they wouldn’t scream at all…

We sat in this black limousine hands sweating. It was only a couple of minutes until the car would drive us to the carpet. We could hear the screaming folks through the car windows as the artist before us drove to the spot.

The door opens and all the flashlights fill my eyes. I don’t know witch way to walk. Anywhere you look, there are screaming girls and guys. I’ve seen a lot of thing’s and experienced a lot of stuff, but this is something I’ll take to the grave with me. I mean the feeling. For the first time in my life I really feel like a rock star!
The stage was cool. The production company had arranged movie projectors on stage, the same kind we have in Fairytale Gone Bad video. The 3,04 minute thing was quickly done and over. The coolest thing was the Finnish flag with our band logo in the first row, right behind the fence.

After party was soooo cool. When we walked in, there were youngsters who’d been waiting there for autographs, cool. It was in the center of Leipzig in a really cool club. The drinks were free and we met a lot of cool folks and we were shot for different magazines, websites and stuff. We spent most of the evening in a room, where they had built a small lake inside. We just wanted to relax. Ok, Raul went on the dance floor to show his inner Backstreet Boy.

We were back at the hotel at six. We had to party a little bit. But we also have a show tomorrow, a big one. Gotta sleep now…

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfwTbMxKDfM


26/08/2006 Halle - supporting Ray Wilson

The morning started fine. Two nice cars, one BMW X5 and one VW Lux Buss picked us up at the hotel at 2PM. We drove to Halle, some 40 Km towards Berlin. Everything seemed to be ok with everything as we checked in to the very nice Kempinski Hotel. It was really coool. You know, in normal 4star hotels they make the bed in the afternoon, but here they also open the bed and close the curtains in the evening so you don’t have to do that yourself when you want to dive into bed. Cool.

Jukka and I went shopping and the rest of the guys headed to the festival area to check everything just in case. So we bought some perfumes and clothes with Jukka and afterwards went to eat in a really nice Italian restaurant. After eating we decided to have a nap and just before I closed my eyes in my room, Janne called me that we had no backline at all (Drums, Guitars, Amplifiers, etc.) Great! First I thought of waking Jukka up and getting there with a taxi, but hell no. I was sure the guys, Bob and Julia would do everything there is to do. I fell asleep as soon as I closed my eyes.

Janne woke me up (he seems to do that a lot;) and said everything was ok. Mr. Ray Wilson had promised to borrow all his stuff, even drums and amplifiers. Cool guy. He joined us with his band to build up our stage system and I gotta say, without them, the night would have been a disaster.

The show was great. There was a 15 meter catwalk on the stage and for the first time I was really able to get in the middle of the audience. Cool. It was also the first time the audience was so big that you couldn’t see where the last guy stands. We met some really nice German fans after the show; especially the 4 pretty twin girls.

We drove back to Kempinski hotel at around 12 and we had several bottles of red wine, cheeses (not rock credible, I know), baileys and beer. As Janne stood up to get to sleep, he went to the wrong direction. Must be the blue cheese. We were the last ones up with Jukka. We were already on the way to our rooms at 5 in the night when we had this great idea to go out downtown. The sun was already up as we got to our beds.


27/08/2006 Home calling

Our driver picked us up at 13:00, Bob and Julia had already left for their earlier flights. So were in our minivan right now and we bought some breakfast at a petrol station. I really wouldn’t want to go home. I’m so happy we have this great show on SAT next week, otherwise I’d probably stay here. I must be the luckiest guy on planet


03/09/2006 Thank you Tokio Hotel & Fans!

We were invited to support Toki Hotel, probably the hottest band in Germany right now. We had played a show in Finland the night before and I slept for an hour the night before. The alarm clock rang 5:40 in the morning. I was pretty tired as we got to the venue, Loreley open stage near Frankfurt. It was so cool. It was this kind of an open-air theatre on a huge hill. The Tokio Hotel guys have fans even in Finland and we’d heard they’re big in Germany but as soon as we got to the back stage, we realized how big they really are. There were tens of medics, hundreds of police officers and guards to secure the event. The band also had a separate room for gifts from fans. The room was full. Cool!

We were a bit late with the schedule and they opened the doors as we were on stage doing sound check. That can be pretty annoying sometimes, because you don’t want the audience to hear how you build up the whole thing. But this time it was nice. The growing crowd of TH fans cheered for each sound we made. Cool!

We were nervous how the teenagers would take us. I mean the TH fans are really fanatic and they might only want to get rid of the support and get to the point. But no. The noise was huge as we got on stage. Just amazing. We’ve been supporting different kinds of groups before but never before has the audience been like this. All the 7.000-12.000 fans (nobody seemed to know how many;) gave their full support all the way. The best support slot you could ask for.

After the show was confirmed some weeks ago, we heard a lot of stuff about Tokio Hotel and many folks asked how do we think we’ll maintain the image of a credible rock band after playing with them. First I must say after being there, I’d do it every week if I could. It was so much fun. It was even better than the red carpet at the DOME. There’s nothing better than thousands of girls screaming with their hands up. And second about being credible. Yes, the TH guys are young and so are most of their fans, but there are many cool “credible rockers” who should buy a ticket to TH show to see how to make the crowd get what they want. Well done guys und wielen dank fur fie einladung! We’ll buy you beers as soon as it’s legal ;) You rok!


Stockholm 07/09/2006 Shopping

We went to Stockholm together with Sami and our stylist Tarja to buy clothes for the next video shoot. The rest of the guys will arrive late tonight; Tarja didn’t want us all five to walk after her in the shops asking “is this good, is this good…” It’s so cool to have someone with us who knows exactly what to get and even more, who pays! We bought a lot of cool stuff. I hope She has some money left for the other guys too. They’ll go shopping tomorrow.

Tomorrow we play at the local Alcazar club for Stockholm media and other guests. I have some meetings with publishers in the morning and also a few radio interviews. It’s nine PM right now and we’re getting ready for a dinner at my friend’s restaurant down town. Seriously, if you’re in Stockholm, please go taste the delicious stakes of Texas Long Horn. Yammy!!! Evening off….


08/09/2006 Show time

The day started with publishers (the first one already at ten!!). Publisher’s job is to promote the writer’s music and pitch songs into movies, TV ads and stuff. They also collect the money from all around the world for us poor writers. We need to have some tuna fish to eat too ;) We / I still don’t have a publisher since all has happened so fast, but luckily there are many applicants. No hurry!

Sound check was just fine. Alcazar is a small club, probably only for 200 persons max, but it feels like a nice place to play at. Swedish style. I’m a bit nervous. Nobody really knows about us in Sweden. Ok, local NRJ added us on their play list today, but that will not bring anyone in yet today. They’ll start the airplay next week.

The club was full before the show JEEEEE ;) The Swedish media took us really well. They even sang NASTY with us. That would never happen in Finland. Swedes are so cool.

We had a few drinks after the show in some really cool place down town. At Östermalm, that’s the place to go they say. We knew there will be a photo shoot of SuperStar magazine in the morning. We shouldn’t stay awake until late. We were the last ones with Jukka (Again;) and we dived to bed at around five I guess…

The interviews and photo shoots went really well and actually the pictures were really coool. Now we’re in Arlanda Express (airport train) heading towards the airport. Next week will be really cool. Finally a whole week in Finland. First a really big student party on Wednesday and Thursday and Saturday really big TV live shows.


14/09/2006 Charity Concert at Hartwall Arena

Yesterday we played at a really cool student party in Kotka (FIN) and we drove directly to the next show in the morning to the biggest arena in Finland, The Hartwall arena in Helsinki. The biggest yearly charity is being held there this year and we are one of the few live performers. For 13.000 viewers Cooool!! Again I forgot my ear monitors at home and I had to borrow Osama’s (Samis). It’s always me…

I didn’t realize how big the place is until I jumped up on stage at sound check. Checking went pretty well, even though we didn’t have that much time for it. Would be pretty important to have a good sound today. A huge audience and some million folks at their living rooms listening…

After the check, there was the press stuff. We met Kim Wilde there again and as soon as she saw me she came to say hi. I hope I didn’t do anything stupid at the after party in Leipzig three weeks ago to leave a clear image of my face into her mind. She’s so sweet… After the press, there was only waiting and waiting. Finally they called us to be ready for our performance…

It was so cool!!! All those folks in the audience screamed so loud. It’s funny how it makes the blood run in your veins. The stadium almost lost its roof when we started the song Fairytale gone bad. It’s been number one on the Finnish airplay charts for 5 weeks in a row, so most of the folks should know it. The only down side was that we had to leave the audience right after the song. It’s a bit stupid the get yourself in heat and as soon as your body is boiling you sit back down at the dressing room… I could have done the same thing again. And again. And again.

We had a drink with Kim Wilde and her band & Crew and one EMI Germany lady in the night at the after party. We stayed until they closed the place... Again... ;)


16/09/2006 Saturday Night Fever

Whatta TV week! First the thing two days ago and now the biggest weekend show in Finland, the Saturday Night Fever. Every week they have one band performing live at the show and this week it’s our turn. I saw the show last week and I thought it looked a bit boring, but this week the atmosphere was totally different.

After the performance and some autographs, the guards told us that some girls had been waiting for us outside the TV station gates all the time from the afternoon (some 7 hours) and asked kindly if we could go see them on the way home. And there they were. We spent a moment with the lovely girls signing stuff and taking photos and it was a lot of fun. There were feeling a bit cold (poor things), because it was probably some 10 degrees outside and they had been standing there all day… ;)

We had a pizza with Sami and Janne on the way home. The guys went home, but I had to have a few at Stockholm Diskotek with the record company guys. They were really happy with the weeks TV performances and they said it’d effect positively on the album charts… We’ll see…


18/09/2006 To Stockholm

We’re on the way to Stockholm to play at mobile operator 3’s gala. They hand out golden mobile phones for the most downloaded tracks of the year. We perform there together with one of the biggest local bands, Bo Kaspers Orkestra. We flew here already today to get some rest before the show. We all feel a bit ill and I really hope my throat won’t break...


19/09/2006 Showtime Stockholm

It was sooo cool and my throat didn’t break ;) The event was held at a real garage in the center of Stockholm and they had made it look really nice. The back stage was at the place where they normally really paint the cars; there were actually some cans of car paint on the walls. Candles, salmon cookies, beer and red wine served by extremely pretty Swedish girls. Yammy!

The show went so well. Seems as if when we play these shows for invited guests outside Finland, the guests really know how to behave. They all stayed focused during the speeches and performances, some because they really enjoyed what they heard and some just to be polite.

The rest of the guys took off to Finland right after the show and I stayed alone for one more night in Stockholm to do some interviews and stuff in the morning. NRJ has added us into their power play list and seems as if the business will start also in Sweden now. Tavastia club 3 days… And counting…


22/09/2006 Tavastia Club Helsinki

I have had a few dreams since being one meter tall (long ago ;) and one of them has been to play for full Tavastia club in Helsinki. Tavastia is THE club in Finland. The biggest bands, such as Foo Fighter and all play there. I’ve stood in the audience a million times just visualizing my self on that stage with a guitar.

The day started with radio NOVA interview in the morning. I listened to nova on my way to the studio in my car and as I had some 15 minutes to go, I heard the VJ say “Samu will be here in 5 minutes…” Luckily there was no traffic control. I drove FAST! Me and waking ups… I also dropped my coffee cup as soon as they gave it to me in the studio. I cleaned the mess my self. Too early ;)

I woke up in the afternoon from my nap when Raul phoned me. He said they had already taken all the stuff to the club and they thought it would be best not to wake me up because of the morning shift and all. Sweet dudes…

Sound check went really well. This time we had all the time in the world since were the only band performing tonight. Our first Tavastia show ever!! Jeeee ;) There were also some really nice young ladies asking for autographs and stuff outside the club and what could be a better coffee break place than that every time they’re checking someone else’s equipment. Raul had bought us (with our band’s money) wireless stuff for guitars and bass. For the first time we’ll be able to run around the stage without thinking about twisting cables. We had an acoustic show and some interviews with Janne at seven at NRJ Finland’s birthday party right next door. First set of performance clothes on quickly and ready to pose for the cameras. There were a lot of invited guests at the party and the place was really cool but the guests weren’t quite as polite as the ones we saw in Stockholm. Finnish VIP don’t always know how to behave. Who cares - It’s our Tavastia night tonight!

Back to Tavastia. I haven’t been this nervous for months. Usually I’ve only been worrying if the club is going to be full or not, but I haven’t had even that for months. We heard that they had sold a lot of tickets during the week but even that didn’t comfort me. The last minutes before getting up on stage move sometimes terribly slow and at the same time awfully fast.

On stage. Full house!! And what a reaction! I felt like the king of the world for the whole 82 minutes. Nothing has ever felt that good. Add all the times you have had sex and all the ice creams you’ve eaten to one moment and you’re near. They shouted us back two times and on the second time we had to give them NASTY, the live special.

We sat down in front of the stage for half an hour signing album covers and stuff and after meeting and greeting we went to the after party at Teatteri Club VIP with our manager BOB and some record company folks. I lost my extra t-shirt somewhere and you know how you sweat on stage. Wasn’t nice for the ones with me but I just didn’t want to go home to change. Who cares after a show like that..?

I was home at around five with my stomach filled with Kebab. I can only sit on my balcony and smile. If I’d die now, I’d probably go with a smile on my face...


29/11/2006 Berlin

Yesterday we played NRJ live in Helsinki for our wonderful home audience. The NRJ staff said there was more audience seeing our show than in a long time in similar events and the atmosphere was just fantastic. I got to sleep at three AM and I had to be awake early to go to the morning show of YLEX rock station.. The VJ Peltsi mentioned Raul’s dirty boy band past twice.

We flew to Berlin in the afternoon. Jörn, our beloved limo driver was there waiting for us together with his colleague Eik and they took us directly to the VIVA TV station to join a live TV show. America! There were some fans waiting for us outside the door and also some body guards with black suits and headsets. Men in black! The program was in German and we got the translation through our ear monitors. I guess it was the first time for Sami and Raul on a live TV talk show outside Finland. We have had some of those with Janne before. I accidentally said Cookie-George (Muschi-Klaus) live on the show. Ooops! We had a quick signing session outside the TV studio and after that awe headed towards the Post Bahnhof Club in the center of Berlin to support Madsen together with another Finnish band Disco Ensemble after we won the vote at MTV Germany. Thank you all for voting! So Finland rules tonight in Berlin.

I’m sitting at our backstage with my feet on my bag and I’m wondering how the week will be. It’ll be many interviews and stuff and we’ll be really busy. We perform at The DOME, the biggest pop/rock event in Germany on Friday and tomorrow will also be about that. We’ll get up on the same stage with many local super stars and some international major acts, such as All Saints. On Saturday we’ll play in TUI Arena in Hannover for some 13.000 viewers. Cool. Sound check will start soon. I’m so hungry right now but it’s too late for me to eat before the show. Can’t really perform with my stomach full…

The show was so cool! 900 listeners. I’m so tired even though we played only seven songs. I’m lying topless at the backstage dreaming about a hotel bed waiting for me in Düsseldorf where we’ll start driving (600 Km) as soon as the pulse has come down back to normal.

On the way we saw Into The Blue DVD featuring Jessica Alba and friends. It’s so nice to look at her work. She’s so good… I mean a great actress. Janne is sleeping next to me and Jukka passed away on the back seat an hour ago. Raul, Sami and MP follow us in the other van. We left Mikko in Berlin. He’ll fly to Finland tomorrow for a show of his own band “Häiriköt.” Their hit song is called “Violence is the answer…” I’m not that much into violence right now. I think I’ll join Janne and Jukka and close my eyes for the rest of the trip. The screen of the navigation system says 300 Km to go and the speed seems to be 195 / hour on a German autobahn.

I didn’t remember how good a quality hotel bed could feel. I’ll dive into the bed and start dreaming about Jessica and her diving sessions. Tomorrow is a long day again I guess.


30/11/2006 Day off in Düsseldorf

The bell rang at 10 in the morning. I jumped straight to the shower. We had agreed to meet in the lobby at 1030 and head straight to the venue. I had just washed my hair and put the conditioner on my hair as the water turned cold. Cold as hell. I stood there for a while hoping for the situation to change, but no. I even called Julia (still all the not –so –tasty chemicals on me) if she would have something else but ice water in her room, but no. We all know how easily the conditioner gets off with cold water. I had to stand there for 15 minutes. I’m sure if the water had been any colder, it would have been ice cubes coming out of the pipe.

Jörn’s warm limo van cheered me up a bit. After having the some coffee at the venue it was our time for camera rehearsal. We’ll have the bombs and flames and stuff but also a laser show tomorrow. The show’s producer and the guy who operates the equipment said we must look forward during the whole show. Otherwise we’d get free eye-operation. They said it could really damage your eyes. They also said it’s ok to feel this warm kind of burning feeling on you cheek!!! Cool. We played the song Fairytale Gone Bad a couple of times for the cameras and went back to the press section for interviews. The camera rehearsals are done so the director and the cameramen know how we move on stage tomorrow at the actual show.

Sami, Jukka and Raul got off already at two PM. Janne, Bob, Julia and I went to one of the biggest radio stations NRW to an interview and to play a couple of songs acoustic. There we also signed the guitar that Hoobas Tank had signed some months before. After the session at NRW we were also free. We’ve never had this much free time on our German trips before. First we all had lunch at Subway’s and after eating Jukka, Janne and I went shopping. We bought mostly perfumes and stuff. It was really nice to have our own driver Jörn driving us around. I don’t have a driver for shopping trips in my country ;)

So we have an evening off and the pick up tomorrow is at 1:30 PM!!!!! Holiday! I’m thinking of having a beer (you have to if you’re in Germany) and play some guitar in my hotel room. We’ll have dinner together later on and hopefully we’ll go to bed early. I just have a bad feeling (knowing us all too well) that we’ll find ourselves in the center of Düsseldorf in the middle of the night…


01/12/2006 DOME Düsseldorf

Yesterday evening was so much fun. First we had beers at a tower 180 meters above the city of Düsseldorf. And after encouraging ourselves with some beers, we went bowling. Yes, bowling. How cool sis that! It was The band, Julia, MP, two drivers and Bob. Julia won the whole contest but I must say Raul’s performance with the ball was the best of the night. He has a background with ballet and we were all able to see that by the way he moved with the bowling ball. Jukka won the second round and Raul was on a lead on the third but then they switched off the electricity and the game was never finished. I’m glad that happened. I was 21 points away from the 100-point hetero limit and there was only one shot left. Still hetero…

So now we’re at the DOME. We slept really well last night (starting 6 AM). Our hands weren’t as shaky on the red carpet as they were last time. But it’s still always pretty exciting. Hundreds of music lovers screaming as you get out of the limousine. We’ve done many interviews for magazines, radio, TV and websites and soon we’ll get some lunch. Our show time is 715 PM and after that we get to hang out at the venue. Later on we’ll go to the official after party to have some free drinks together with the local and international superstars. Today we have bombs on our show but also the lasers. I hope they don’t burn my hair…

Jeeeesuuuuus!!! That was cool! The only down side is that on these events you only perform one song and as soon as you have the adrenalin running like Edwin Moses, you must get off stage. The screaming was awesome! It was some 9.000 viewers. And of course behind TV screens there are millions. The lasers were even cooler than I expected.

Now were sitting at our back stage and we’re waiting for the grand ending when all the performers get up on stage together. And I’m sure the party will go on at the DOME after party somewhere in the center of Düsseldorf. Last time we got to the hotel at 7 AM. We’ll see how late it’ll be this time. We play a full show for a full TUI arena in Hannover tomorrow and it would be good if it wouldn’t be five corpses on stage.


02/12/2006 Hannover

It was a very long night last night – again! We partied until the morning. I guess I was in bed at 630 AM. First we went to the noisy after party. Probably at three we called our drivers to pick us up and take us to the hotel. We were supposed tohave only one beer with the All Saints gang in the lobby bar, but finally at five we all we walking towards this gay bar nearby. The gang with me at that point was Jukka, Sami, Julia MP and also this totally weird German grand father who didn’t speak a word English and he also did this odd jodling sound every now and then. I was amazed how wanted I was among the gay bar customers. Nobody scored!

Now we’re in Hannover at TUI arena backstage after our sound check. It was a disaster. The company providing us with the stuff on stage (or someone) did not deliver what we need and the whole check was a mess. Also our FOH engineer missed his connecting flight and we had to survive without him. I just hope all stuff will work in the evening. I mean it’s still 10.00 listeners. I need a hot shower at the hotel now.


03/12/2006 On the way home

We’re 10 miles high above Denmark on the way home. We signed some autograph cards as soon as the plane took off. It’s sometimes a bit annoying to do that in such public places (some of the passengers might give mean looks…) but the girl who wanted them for herself and her friend was too sweet for us to say no.

The show yesterday was really cool although on stage and behind the stage it was a terrible mess. Still the lights and explosives (that they mentioned about to us 10 minutes before the show) saved the night and we heard that it sounded and looked extremely good for the audience. It’s just that if your hearing is bad on stage, it’s so hard and so much work to sing. But still, I must say it’s pretty cool to see an arena filled with 10.000 music lovers raising their hands up and singing our song with us. The noise was huge!

After the show we went to the after party (again;=), but it was not long late as yesterday. And no gay bars this time. Also our drivers Jörn and Eik joined us for partying and that was cool. It’s really nice to have cool and nice guys driving you when you go from a town to another. We spend quite much time together with them too. Now the flight attendants are approaching with food plates and I’ll finish writing. Next show on Tuesday in Jämsä on Finland’s Independence Day party. For those who didn’t know, my country got independent on the 6th of December 1917.


10/12/2006 Stuttgart NRJ Music Tour

Yesterday we were in Stuttgart playing for the NRJ Music Tour. The day started with awakening at 0630 at home in Helsinki and of course I had slept mighty 2 and a half hours. So picking up Jukka by taxi and to the airport. I was supposed to sleep in the plane but we were talking about everything and when we came to Frankfurt I was dead tired.

Our regular driver Dirk and his colleague Stefan were waiting for us with their minivans. Dirk was driving me and Janne some months ago all over Germany as we were touring radio and television stations with acoustic guitars. Then Dirk drove me nicely to a doctor in the middle of the night as my flu was about to destroy my throat. He even paid the medicine with his own money as they accepted only cash.

Julia, Bob and Bob’s daughter Rosie were waiting for us at the hotel and we had a quick lunch before driving to the arena with the NRJ event’s drivers. The place was put up really cool for the evening’s party. An arena of 10.000 people was supposed to be filled up. For once the sound check didn’t have any problems in this kind of radio show. We had in addition to Mixer-Mikko and Monitor-Mikko our new technician Karri who seems to be a good guy. After the check to a hot shower in the hotel. My throat is somewhat sore again.

A totally super gig. There was a 10 metre long cat walk on the stage along which Janne, Raul and I could go in the middle of the crowd while spot lights were shining. It is pretty cool to stand in the middle of 10.000 people, them waving their hands and singing your song. Short gig of five songs (Choose to be me, Diamonds, Forever Yours, Fairytale and All because of you) and to the backstage to pour sweat. Probably the coolest show ever in Germany. Our new stage technician Karri poured me a sip of rum to my mug before Forever Yours in order to get the slime out of the throat. It helped!

After the gig we had a meet and greet with local NRJ competition winners where the prize was to be able to meet us sweaty (!!??) after the gig. Hundred photos and autographs for everyone and finally to the backstage for our own pre-Christmas ritual.

In Düsseldorf a week ago we had each drawn a name from a hat to whom we had to buy a 15 euro Christmas present. Everybody had remembered to buy a present (Janne, Raul, Sami, Jukka, Bob, MP, Mikko, Julia and me) Karri was shooting and Rosie acted as a Christmas elf. Janne got from Julia a golf game to the backstage and Raul got from Bob belly dancing gear. I had bought to Sami Stefan Lindfors’ design condoms and an ovulation circulation counter. Jukka got a NECK SUPPORT (!!!) from MP and some heartburn medicine. Mikko had bought Bob an English version of the Finnish classic “Unknown Soldier” book (good) and MP got a scented candle series from Jukka. Everybody’s hobbies were in a big role clearly when choosing the presents. Sami had gotten BMX biking magazines and batteries to Mikko. Julia, who has been taught the most essential phrases in Finnish, got from Janne a cap where it says “yksi olut kiitos” (one beer, please) and I got from Julia a black Superman shirt that Tarja has to pimp to a stage condition.

Next we checked new Sunrise Avenue clothing and fan stuff that Bob brought from London. Jesus they looked good. You will see soon. They will be on the market during spring. The ladies’ pink hooded jacket is coolest in the world.

We made a couple of video interviews at the hotel and I answered to a Bravo magazine interview in German with the help of Julia. To the shower and after parties. There will be waiting at least free drinks and if old signs were to be believed also the people from the local fan club. But as we were so dreadfully tired and hungry and as there was no food served in the after parties, we decided to head for the city and find an Italian restaurant. As we didn’t find an Italian one or anything we decided together to go to McDonald’s. Stomachs full for everybody. And to sleep at three!!!

So now we have slept for 10 hours and we are riding with our driver Dirk (Captain Dirk) to Munich. We have a day off today and tomorrow the first thing is around five in the evening when we practicing for the Tuesday evening’s PRO7 TV show. This sleeping thing is worth a try another time also…


09/01/2007 Nintendo Wii tour Hamburg – Berlin – Munich

Beginning of the year has been cosy resting and waiting for the adventures of the New Year. At last on January 9th we left for Germany with Janne for Nintendo’s three day tour to promote our music together with the new Nintendo Wii game console. These trips only with Janne are a bit easier as there are only two guys on the road, there might be some fewer temptations to hit the city every night. The gym clothes may be with me for not only as a luggage fill.
Usually when we travel, we take the normal economy class. This time the Nintendo people had booked us to the Business class so also for that reason this year and it’s first three flights started being royals. The plane was Finnair’s Embrayer, a small 30-metre jet where we were by ourselves in our own VIP class and we had our own stewardess. Yeah!

It was 15 degrees in Hamburg, whatta hell? Also otherwise Hamburg seems to me like a city where I could easily move to if there is going to be more stuff to do in Europe. Somehow it reminds me of Helsinki. At the airport Mr Jan Engel, our driver/security/travel manager for the next couple of days, was waiting for us. Totally awesome guy who does everything concerning entertainment and travelling as a freelancer and has previously played rugby and American football on high level. You can see it from his shoulders.

We had been booked to Hyatt hotel preferred by all the stars and even to the Club Floor where is all the privileged refreshment areas and services. Five stars! Sound check at around four and back to the centre around the hotel to eat and shop. I found new gloves to replace my lost ones although we had so warm weather that I really didn’t even need my jacket.

So it was Nintendo’s and our night. Nintendo was promoting in Germany their new Wii console what you don’t play traditionally with a joystick but you use handheld sticks as controllers which you sway in different directions depending on the game. For example boxing was totally cool. You go in front of the screen in a boxing position with your friend and you make fighting moves with the controllers in your hands. Janne was knocked out already in the third round. We played four acoustic songs for the invited guests and to the winners of our German fan club. In Hamburg we went pretty early to the hotel to eat and sleep around midnight although there would have been drinks available. Somehow I was tired and I wanted to go to the hotel’s amazingly cool gym in the morning. Jesus what a bed…


10/01/2007 Hamburg – Berlin

I woke up in the morning as Janne was banging on the door with the gym gear on and called for the gym. What can you do ;) Cycling for almost an hour and a little weight lifting session made the circulation running nicely and when you afterwards eat a good breakfast, it was nice to head for Berlin. Jan had changed the E-series Mercedes from the previous night to a bigger Mercedes R 320 small limousine. Not bad, the poor (that’s me and Janne) were horrified as we were heading 250 km/h to the capital.

Before the gig we were following with Janne the HIFK-Blues ice-hockey game from Internet and the damn Blues went and won and took my three points. Janne was picking on me for the whole night…

The Berlin stage was a real nice show-case place, a gallery-like lounge where they had set up PA and necessary gaming equipment. In Berlin also we were staying at Hyatt (thanks to Nintendo) and standard of the rooms was as awesome as in Hamburg. And there were even more people as yesterday. Now we stayed after four songs (Make it go away, Diamonds, Heal Me and Fairytale) to enjoy the evening. There was even more of the Sunrise gang from the fan club and elsewhere and we boxed and played tennis against almost everyone. Jesus how shoulders can get sore from that kind of thing. A local TV channel had wandered around the city at the day and asked people to sing Fairytale Gone Bad and those two singing best got tickets for night’s game.

At night we had one night beer with winners of a EMI record company competition, Arianne and Fatima, and then again to a comfy Hyatt bed to snore. No time for gym in the morning. Flight for Munich leaves already at eleven and the Merc has to be returned and stuff. Luckily there’s no time. I think I had couple of beers at night and I might have a heart attack. You don’t have to work out every single day. Our manager Bob will join us tomorrow if his plane is able to take off from London.


11/01/2007 Berlin – Munich

I didn’t sleep well and I was so tired in the morning. Luckily our driver Jan had slept like a baby the whole night at his home, so he is living in Berlin, and drove us safely to the Tegel airport in Berlin. Merc to the parking hall and to Lufthansa’s Business class. I fell asleep before the plane took off. It is nice to fly Lufthansa as they always have leather seats.

In Munich they had organized us some other programme, not only sight seeing and dining. In the day we had our sound check and after that directly to local radio channels. First we had a live session of two songs in the studio of Bayern3 radio channel and gave a interview. From Bayern3 to NRJ Munich, where we had some guys we knew. I didn’t even remember we had been there for an interview in September before going to shoot the Forever Yours video in Spain. Janne remembered. At first I of course said he is wrong. We were asked to name the top 15 songs of all time for a local music club and of course we had to include David Hasselhof’s “I’ve been looking for freedom” that we have played also in Germany in live gigs as a joke. Knight Rider is a tough guy!

The Nintendo session was probably the best organized of all cities. Serving and everything were perfect ten and there was so much people in the premises that we were lucky to fit in. Although we had agreed with our sore shoulders that we won’t play any games in Munich, we were so hooked that we couldn’t resist the temptation. Totally great people.

At night we left for a local disco club to get a taste of the nightlife. Hey, the Friday was a day off. Somehow I was feeling a bit tired so we drove to the hotel around two Jan, Bob, Janne and me all to sleep.

The other’s had been to the Hilton breakfast except me. Somehow feel really ill. I hope I don’t get sick now. They say that there is snow waiting for us in Finland. And tomorrow we go to Pieksamäki to play a double show in Savonsolmu, cool ;)

That kind of gaming console we have to have in the tour bus. I can beat Osama in boxing and beat the real golfers Janne and Raul in Golf…


19.01.2007 NRJ Radio Awards

Yep.

I really don’t know what to say. Yesterday there was NRJ Radio Awards in Helsinki and I still have a feeling I’m flying in the air. Or actually I am flying as I sit in the plane towards Switzerland, but I’m 30 cm even above this economy class seat.

Yesterday was one of the coolest days in my life. The day was really long and we worked really hard although this case was supposed to be piece of cake. But it was worth it. We got four NRJ trophies, just one short in order to be able to set up a fight ;=) But no-one was wondering yesterday who gets what.

The gig was a real hard pull. I mean it was damn cool but technically one of the toughest in Finland ever. Already on the sound check on the previous day we had big problems, and so did the Finnish Pop Idol Antti Tuisku,. We both spent over two hours in the sound check after setting up the stuff. And somehow I probably had some extra pressure from the excitement and all and I had my thighs on lactic acids already after the second song, Diamonds.

Maybe the coolest thing in the show yesterday was, when we had first played our 30 minute show for the 12.000 viewers, we got back on stage after fifteen minutes to play one song more at the gala for TV. Often after shows you have the feeling that if you only could go back. And yesterday we did. And there was bombs and stuff.

Receiving trophies and giving the speech is damn easy when you practice it at home. If I could have said my words in front of my bathroom mirror, I probably would have said a lot more. Incredible how frozen you can get. I hope I remembered to thank those most important; Bonnier, Welldone, Bob, NRJ and our lovely fans. If I missed someone, I’m sorry. It sounded totally cool as thousands of folks shouted “Arschkrokodil.” Yeeeaaahhh ;)

NRJ has supported us so much in Europe and we’re listed even in Lebanon. We are on the 16th position in the all Europe’s NRJ chart. If I remember correctly as a first European band, the ones in front are from America and UK.

Now we are going to Zurich, Switzerland via Basel, where is a boxing heavyweight title match. Against each other are an enormous Russian Valujev and Mr. McCline from USA. We escort the Russian giant into the ring with our song “Faitytale Gone Bad” and the thing is TV broadcasted into 56 countries. I slept two hours last night. I hope they zoom more on the boxing stars than my eyes…


10/02/2007 One evening alone after German tour in Stockholm

I’m sitting here in Stockholm in my hotel restaurant alone. Well, the other tables are crowded and sure I have my new black Apple MacBook with me. But yes, I’m alone for the first time in weeks. It’s amazing when the band, crew, promoters, media and fans have surrounded you for weeks, it’s hard to be suddenly alone. I’ll probably start talking to the wine bottle soon. We’re here in Stockholm together with Janne doing some TV, radio and press promotion for our album that was released last Wednesday. And we already got gold singles for Fairytale Gone bad from Sweden at the release party, thank you! The start in Sweden couldn’t have been better. Janne is having dinner with his Wife and two wonderful kids down town. They arrived yesterday from Helsinki as we were doing this TV show “Bobster” (our manager BOB will hear about this;) with the most wonderful hostess Malin & her crew in Malmö, southern Sweden. Janne got a family room. I’m still staying jealously in my single room with all my guitars and stuff. Well,
I guess the 4 persons and all the children’s stuff would fill even a triple room.

Last weeks Friday on the 2nd of February we started our first tour in Germany. It was all sold out and those five shows was the coolest thing I’ve ever experienced. I mean we’ve played for big audiences in Finland sure, but to have clubs sold out in a foreign country and especially for such wonderful audiences is just amazing. The tour was tough. My throat wasn’t that good from the very start and especially in Hamburg and Cologne I was almost sure we’d have to cancel the show because there was no sound coming out of me. Thanx to ten liters of honey, Rum, Whiskey and hot water I was able to take care of my job as a singer with ok grades.

The shows were just awesome. In every city we went to the staff working with us was so kind and professional. And for the first time we really worked with our European tour agent Enrico and his right hand Basty, who we all fell in love with deeply. Basty will take a bigger role in taking care of us and our needs from now on and we all feel really good with that. And I must mention our wonderful inside crew FOH Mikko (he makes the sound for you guys), MP the monitor guy, Mikko our light guy, Karri the tech genius, our driver & security chief Mättö and not to forget mr. Legolas (Really Antti, but he looks like a knight from the lord of the rings) selling the T-shirts and stuff. I realized on tour that to get the girls, you shouldn’t be the singer who has to be behind curtains most of the time. You should be the guy who’s selling the merchandise. Leeeegoolasss ;) And of course there was Bob in the buss too. Bob is our manager, (a former antique sales man from London. That we found out in Stockholm), who finally
got our signatures on the management contract in the buss after the Dresden show. We just haven’t had any time before. Bob’s our man. I was a bit worried to jump into the buss with these guys and thought there might be moments when we can’t take each other snoring and walking around with nothing but underwear. They were all so cool. I remember these moments when Karri carried whiskey for me before Forever Yours on stage to clear my sick throat. Bartender ;) I felt so proud when I looked at these guys walking around and doing their work in Sunrise Avenue Crew Hoodies or T-shirts before and after every show.

And our fans... I don’t know what has happened but even though we sell out the shows and they are really fanatic (even establishing fan clubs and Arschkrokodil teams ;), even the most hard core fans are extremely nice and leave us alone when we need time for ourselves to rest and stuff. And when the music starts, they scream so loud that it can be heard in the moon. That’s so cool. I’ve never heard any audience sing that much with the band. The crowd should get some of my salary in all five cities. I still can’t get the stuff some folks say about the Munich folks in general about them being cold and stuff. We only have extremely positive experiences. Like everywhere in Germany. I’ve been thinking about having a house in Germany, probably in Hamburg, and this trip definitely made my feelings even stronger for my second homeland. And we met some band members of the legendary future girl-band Rosino Cayale in Berlin… We’ve seen it all now. Especially their drummer Ariane banged herself into our hearts by servin
g us strawberries at the backstage…. Sweet!

So the Stockholm Debaser Club show was sixth show in six days for us and those of you who’ve been to our shows know that they’re pretty physical for us - lots of sweat. The last two promotion days with all the interviews have felt a bit hard, but we’ve made it together with our lovely local promoter Hilda (who has Finnish roots). Tomorrow is A DAY OFF!! And our local Record company Bonnier has arranger us (Janne & his family, my Swedish friend Andreas and I) tickets to the Sweden Hockey Games to Sweden vs. Finland. I must say facing Sweden in ice hockey makes me more nervous than any show we’ll ever play. They’re good. But we will keep the faith.

On Monday we will perform at the national TV morning show and head back home in the evening. We’ll stay in Finland for one whole day and on Wednesday morning we’ll take off to Switzerland and Austria. We spent last Christmas week in Austria with Jukka and I really liked the whole country, especially Salzburg. And from Vienna we go to Italy. Cool! I must remember to send email to my mom every now and then and tell her not to worry ;) The little things you must do to be able to do this job and to keep your head together are pretty weird sometimes…

I’m having Reindeer toast for starters and Duck fillet stuffed with spinach and herbs with pasta as main course. And probably a hot chocolate cake with cranberries & vanilla sauce afterwards. A bottle of good Spanish red wine and a new diet coke every time the glass gets empty. This is my night off and I’m going to spend it without any clubs or other noise. I’ll probably fall asleep soon and keep snoring like a bear until the ice hockey game starts tomorrow.

Fuck I love my life and especially you guys! Once again I feel I must be the luckiest guy on the planet. I’m gonna go up to my room and write a new song “Fairytale gone pretty well so far…”


18/02/2007 Promotion Switzerland & Austria

I’m sitting here in Berlin 840 AM having a coffee in a restaurant where you can see the Tegel runway and the planes taking off. We flew here from Vienna pretty early this morning to take the second flight home in about an hour. We did a two-day promotion trip to Zurich and Vienna promoting our album and single. It’s going really well there, thanks to EMI.

Before the Wednesday in Zurich we had a day off in Helsinki. Well, I had one radio, two magazine and one TV interview on my “day off” but it was pretty relaxing anyhow. We were back from Germany & Sweden the day before and at least I really felt good sleeping 13 hours in my own bed. And I also had a haircut on Tuesday so actually the day was pretty tough and challenging….

Our local promoter Sandra was waiting for us at the Zurich airport. Every time I land into Zurich, I get the feeling “Everything’s a bit better here.” I don’t know why, but all the folks in Switzerland seem to be happy and ok with all their stuff. Anyhow. We did phoners (meaning the reporter calls Sandra’s phone and she hands it to me) & went to local radio stations to play our Fairytale acoustic. We also had our first experience with the (Finland based) Habbo online chat thing. Was actually pretty cool. After the lunch in a really nice restaurant Sandra had booked we went to EMI Zurich office to do some stuff for TV and web. In the evening we were taken to the Swiss premier of Hugh Grant’s and Drew Barrymore’s new movie “Music & Lyrics” in a really nice theatre. Since the theme was music and songwriting, they presented us in front of the premiere audience and press and they asked some questions about songwriting and stuff. The movie was really good; at least we liked it a lot.

Two beers with Sandra and Janne in the hotel bar and the idea of diving into the bed sounded pretty good. You know, the electricity plugs are different in Switzerland and there were no adapters left in the hotel for the “normal” European kind. I didn’t get any power to my MacBook and couldn’t read my mails and couldn’t log into myspace. Whatta hard life…

Wake up at six and after a quick coffee Sandra took us to the airport.

I slept the whole way to Vienna. I love to sleep in the plane. It moves a bit like a cradle and there’s this relaxing sound of the engines. I love to fly. I remember them going through the security stuff before hitting the runway and the next time I opened my eyes was when the plane stopped to let us all out in Vienna.

Our local “baby” promoter Katharina was waiting for us at the airport. The first thing we wanted was some power to our laptops, how rock credible ;)

We drove to the centre and as she put the radio on, Fairytale gone bad was the first song on the biggest radio channel Ö3. I guess she had called them to play it as soon as we had landed. Just kidding. Just like all EMI countries & areas so far, the Austrian EMI team is doing a terrific job with our music and it’s going really well. We are in top 10 with the album and with the single and we have the same situation in Switzerland. Choosing EMI as the European partner wasn’t a bad idea at all.

We drove to a really nice hotel; the one where also Sting and Whitney Houston stay on their trips to Vienna and the press day was organized damn well. They had arranged this conference room at the hotel with drinks and Sunrise Avenue posters and stuff all over the place and the reporters came in one after another. We spoke to all the biggest news & daily papers, radio and stuff. We also drove to the Ö3 radio station to play some acoustic stuff for their programs. The day started at 8 and as the last interview was done at 830PM we felt like we had earned a beer. Almost all of them asked how we feel about being such stars and being so successful. For me it’s pretty hard to get. I don’t feel like a star at all. I still don’t mind carrying my own guitar, but probably as Janne said, we haven’t had any time to realize the great stuff that has happened in the last months. I might have to learns how to demand fresh strawberries after every question… Would I be a start then? I don’t know. It’s just so cool to be this
normal guy from Helsinki even though we play our songs for pretty big audiences every now and then. I love normal & simple life and I hope I never lose it no matter what happens.

We had a really nice dinner in the evening together with the EMI folks including some local red wine and dessert wine and even some hot chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream in the very end. I hope we didn’t eat our entire marketing budget.

Wake up was at 5:45, yes too damn early but we made it. Janne has a bad stomach and he’s trying to get some rest with all this noise at the airport. We have a weekend off until Monday morning when we go to Italy, Jeeeee ;) We’ll be there for three days and fly to Helsinki on Thursday evening only to take a boat right away to Estonia to play a show there. Then we will fly directly to Germany for more than a week to perform at the DOME and to do some acoustic shows all over the country. This means the next time I’ll be at home is more than two weeks away again. Luckily this weekend is off and I get to sleep a lot and go to gym. Only two interviews and that’s all.

I’m going to see if I could write some lyrics for a new song I wrote a few days ago. It’s called “Welcome to my life” and I think it’s going to be on the future albums. I have a good feeling about the song...


23/02/2007 2 days - Milan, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Tallinn, Copenhagen, Berlin

A restful weekend in Helsinki is behind and I got all the sleep I needed. I was already about to go to sleep on Friday at home as our German tour agent Enrico called me that we’re supposed to meet in Tavastia Club in Helsinki to see this possible support act for the German tour. I had totally forgotten. Jeans on and into the night…

For a reason or another I slept extremely bad on Sunday night and I felt really tired on Monday early wake up at 6. And when you’re tired, everything goes straight to hell. I woke up a bit later than I was supposed to and of course when you’re in a hurry, the taxi call girl says “well, it’s pretty busy right now, so if there’s no car in 20-30 minutes, call again.” The hell I will call again. My plane starts boarding then. I was an asshole and called two taxies from two different companies. I hope the second one never got there. I needed to catch my plain. Damn…

Fist flight was to Stockholm and Jukka had to buy a new pair of Sunglasses (Versace investment again of course) because he was so tired and the day was too bright for him. From Stockholm the plane flew to Milano and I slept the whole way even though it was cold as hell in the plane. The older kind of MD aircrafts should definitely be replaced. As we landed I realized again how nice the winter could be in the Mediterranean area. +15 Celsius. It was minus 10 back home.

Valentina Lamparelli (Whatta cool name!) from EMI Italy was waiting for us at the airport and her driver drove us directly to MTV TRL show. We performed Fairytale Gone Bad in the very beginning of the program and all was organized pretty well. TRL. Nice start for Italy. We also met our first Italian fans, or anyway girls who got our autographs as we walked back to the car. Damn the brown eyes... I could sink into them.

Jukka, Sami and Raul were taken back to the airport pretty soon and they flew back home the same evening. That was a quick drop by in Italy. We stayed until Wednesday with Janne and did tens of magazine, website, radio and TV interviews. I learned to say Arschkrokodil in Italian. It’s “Cocodrilo di culo” and actually I was able to launch the famous green fellow in a live TV show. Jeee ;) Klaus Das arschkrokodil got an Italian colleague. Together they will rule the world. Especially our TV / Radio promoter Pablo “Carlo Gambretti” seemed to love the crocodile stuff.

On Tuesday evening we had dinner with my friend Juhku and his better half that live in Northern Italy working for the EU. Well, Juha only plays golf and drives their brand new ML 320 because he hasn’t found a descent job so far. Bad life… Since we were in Milan, we sure had to go shopping. It was some kind of a fashion week and I stopped counting the beautiful tall models the first afternoon. But anyhow. Everything was available from high-end fashion to regular H&M & Bershka stuff. I ended up buying only a pair of Converse All Stars (my 22nd pair ;) and a spring jacket. We had a walk in the centre and found the five-floor Ferrari store with real Ferrari formula 1 inside and also a Kappa store with full size pictures of my favorite Ice Hockey team (Helsinki IFK) players Jere Karalahti and co. In Milano (???). The Italians have great taste in food, clothing, weather and stuff, but obviously they also support the best hockey team in the world. We were walking down the road and I was on phone as Janne suddenly s
tarted repeating IFK, IFK… I thought he became totally mad (not saying he hasn’t been on the way all the time) or that he finally realized what is THE team to support in Finnish league. But no. He didn’t become any madder and he still sticks to the Espoo Blues team.

Now we are on our way back home up in the air. We should have traveled to Helsinki via Copenhagen, but there’s a huge snowstorm above Denmark and our flight to Helsinki is cancelled and the one from Milan took off 2 hours late. We’ll have to be in a boat to Estonia at around five in the afternoon to play a show for boatful of students. So I guess Scandinavian Airlines will assist us with hotels and stuff in Copenhagen and I hope we get home early enough tomorrow. Usually these things turn out fine but I must get my other suitcase from home for the week in Germany.

So tomorrow we go to Estonia and from there we fly directly to Germany to do these acoustic shows and for some signing sessions. We will end our week in Germany by performing LIVE at the dome in Mannheim. They will organize a big black grand piano for Jukka and all acoustic stuff for us and it will be so damn cool again. It’s the third and obviously the last dome for us with Fairytale Gone Bad. Some 8.000 viewers and millions at home behind the TV screens. I already miss the weather in Milan and the lovely EMI folks. And one more thing. There’s this really famous song in Finland called “Tarantella Joe” and I was sure it’s from Italy and a famous song there. You know they have this Tarantella kind of music, this kind of restless but happy stuff. I tried to sing Tarantella Joe to EMI‘s Valentina and Pablo and they had never heard about it. I must send them the song. Arrivederci Italia e Cocodrilo di Culo! Until next time, hopefully soon…

Everything was a huge mess in Copenhagen. We have just spent our night on the really cold airport floor. There were hundreds of folks hunting for connecting flights and hotel rooms and by the time we got to the airport, all the hotel rooms were gone, even the Hilton was full. Taxi cue to the centre was 4 hours and there was no other way to the city and to any hotel. We bought flights online for to the first SAS plane to Helsinki just to be sure we get home in the morningand to be sure we catch the boat and get to play our show. As we were ready to jump in the plane in the morning, we realized the plane would be at least 4 hours late. Would be to late for us. So we had to buy the third flights home, this time with Finnair. And now I’m actually sitting high above the Baltic Sea on our way home. Seems as if we’ll have time to get home to get some clean clothes and have a quick shower.

There was this very pretty girl at Copenhagen airport asking for my autograph right after I woke up. For the first time in my life I thought of saying no. I must smell bad; I didn’t even have a toothbrush that time. But sure I couldn’t say no. ;) They’re so sweet and they are the reason we get to travel and play our songs with my boyz.
So, the trip ends well. I hope our bags travel below us. If not, we’ll have a good excuse to update the whole wardrobe ;)

Copenhagen again. I’m getting pretty familiar with this airport. It’s actually quite nice, but it would be cool to get to our destination, Berlin. The show was just great yesterday and we felt like we’ll have a cool signing session week I Germany, but no. The connecting flight from Copenhagen was cancelled and we had to cancel the autograph sessions & the acoustic performances in Leipzig and Berlin. Vittu! There will be another in Berlin tomorrow though. The new flight they booked us on is already 2 hours late and we’ll see if we ever get to Berlin. Julia has been waiting for us at the Berlin Tegel airport for 5 hours already with my new perfect Gibson acoustic guitar. Finally I get it 3 months after ordering it.

Our bags disappeared somehow two days ago and they still haven’t found them. So Janne and I we have our spare clothes in other suitcases and I really hope these will end up in Berlin today on my 22nd flight this year. Otherwise I have no clothes left.

Sorry all you guys who were on your way to the sessions today ;( We’ll make it another time. What can you do..?


Tour & kidnapped little brother

When you seriously start aiming towards something with your band, you have this vision in your head. This huge stage and this wild audience. It’s this kind of a wonderland, you really don’t know what it is, but you’ve seen the big acts performing for thousands of screaming listeners and you know it’s gotta be something nice…..

The Italian EMI had booked us to do the MTV TRL TV show the day before the tour in Germany would start. In a way I was stressed out because of the extra stuff right before the four shows in four nights period. It’s the throat thing and this time we’re also going to record a live DVD for commercial use in Cologne on the 3rd tour day.

But the Italian EMI office staff is so sweet and cool and everything is always so well organized in Italy, so the trip was more of a holiday. It’s was only Janne and I and we did pretty many interviews for newspapers, magazines and TV and we also met the very first fan club members. They were all so sweet and they talked so fast ;)

We took a plane from Milan to Dresden 0n 22nd of March just to sleep on night and rest before the tour starts. The rest of the guys and the crew would pick us up the next day. We stayed at NH hotel and the funniest thing was that at the sauna/gym area the Germans walked around naked… Woooo? In Finland we’re pretty used to naked folks in sauna, but at gym…;)

One step forward

As we arrived to Chemnitz Club, I realized we’d taken one step forward what comes to the clubs and stuff. The venue was the smallest one on this tour, but bigger than any of the February ones. Probably 1000 capacity. Our diamond crew had set everything up all the way to the wireless internet connection and it was time to adjust the brain on tour mood.

A typical day on tour is something like this. We wake up somewhere either in a hotel or in the buss. You don’t know where you really are and usually the first thing is to explore the neighborhood a bit. If there’s not too many folks waiting for you by the entrance already. And the wakeup is (at least for me) usually something between 11 AM and 1 PM. The later the better. You know the show ends at 11 or something and I really can’t sleep until 2-3 at night. The blood runs through your veins too fast after the show.

Afternoons are typically filled with interviews, photo sessions or some record company stuff. Our lovely tech guys do al the sound checks and stuff for us, we might only do a double-check if it’s an important day, DVD stuff or something.

Then we just sleep and well… try to go jogging or move a bit. And sure we eat a lot. The 90 minute show eats a lot of energy and the worst thing is to get up on stage with an empty stomach. I can easily run 10 kilometers on a running mat at the gym, and after the shows the feeling is pretty similar. We just play the guitar…

After the show I try to get warm, not the get ill, and eat a lot again and drink lots of water. Then the tech boys clear the stage and pack the stuff in the buss and trucks and off we go. To do the same thing again the next day.

The second show was in Berlin, Universal Music Hall. Really cool place. We had the famous photographer Olaf Heine (shot guys like Bon Jovi, REM, Sting, Ricky martin, etc) shooting us all day first at his studio in Berlin and later at the backstage and sure also during the show.

We took a Limo service minivan to Cologne with Jukka right after the show. I really wanted to go to sleep to be well during the DVD shootings the next day. Just the idea that some crewmember would become friends with the jack Daniels bottle and sing all night and destroy my sleep, sounded bad. Our friend Jörn was the driver and we were in Cologne in no time. One of our lovely EMI employees gave us their apartment to get the good night sleep, how cool is that! They were out of town. I hope we remembered to clean the place ;) The shows can be pretty tough for the throat sometimes, last time it was really bad on the 4th and 5th show. Well I was sick then but anyhow. I was a bit worried how it would be.

I felt like a bird in the morning, I felt like Pavarotti (only a bit skinnier and no ass) after sleeping next to Jukka for some many hours. Julia took us to the Cologne E-werk venue. That was big. The capacity was more than 2000 and it had been sold out for weeks. Lot of fans were already behind the gates as we arrived at 1 PM, 8 and a half hours before the show.

In Cologne we had a proper sound check especially for the DVD sound and we also had to go through all the special camera things and pyro stuff. The whole 35-person crew seemed to know what they were doing.

Looking at the venue and the amount off staff working for the production to make our songs sound and performance look cool, gave me Goosebumps. This is what I meant with the first few lines. The thing you’ve been fighting for all the time, to have this kind of thing around you and the band. Knock knock knocking on wonderlands gates… Well not yet, but one step closer.

The show was just amazing. Just like the three others. Even though we all knew there’s the DVD stuff going on, we all were relaxed and we all enjoyed the night so much. I am usually able to stay cool behind the microphone, but that night I really had to bite my lip hard to stop the tears coming out of my eyes a few times. I nearly broke in the first two minutes of wonderland. The atmosphere was so amazing.

It’s always a great thing that happens at the back stage after a great show. All the shows on this tour have been just fantastic and the audiences were just amazing. But this time, probably because of the DVD and the size of the venue, there was some extra emotion in all us. After hugging the guys, management, Agents, EMI guys, the Crew and all, I really had to find a silent spot where I could sit alone to get back on the planet. That was the happiest moment of my life. I have felt love and I have shot goals in football and I have seen audiences before. But this was all that together times 1000. Times all orgasms in the world. If I had died right there, I probably would have gone with a smile on…

After having the DVD monkey off our back, the Hamburg day felt like a holiday. We walked around Reberbahn, with Janne and Sami and avoided all the strip caves. It’s amazing that they start their day at eleven. I mean I thought strippers work mostly at night. That’s what I’ve heard from the big boys, but there they probably go to work the same time as everyone. 2 hours before the singers wake up.

The venue Grosse Freiheit 36 was a really cool traditional rock club and you could feel all the hundreds of acts who’d played there during the years. The show was probably the best performance musically ever from Sunrise Avenue, even better than the three other shows that tour. We were so relaxed. I didn’t have to worry about my throat that much, we’d also have ONE full day off after this, and there’s no TV cameras. And the audience was just great! Again. I really like Hamburg a lot. Reminds me of Helsinki somehow and every time I drive through the city I get the feeling I could really live there.

Archkrokodil kidnapped my brother and Karri stole our show
After the show there was the necessary after party. I usually don’t wan to get wasted, but especially the crew seems to celebrate the “great success” after each tour. They got all so drunk, especially our guitar Tech Karri, who sang himself into all the hearts on Remerbahn by performing “still loving you” in a karaoke bar for hundreds of fans. The after party was in a small karaoke bar next to all the strip bars. Nothing VIP, it’s cooler to hang out with the fans and stuff.

My little brother had come over from Finland to see the show. Everything went well and this 18-year-old baby promised to take a taxi to his hotel right after we took off with our buss at three in the night. People had seen some Team Arschkrokodil members partying all night with the cuter brother and he wasn’t able to “escape” until 9 in the morning. Must have been nice to sit next to our mother in the plane with no sleep after being forced to drink all the booze there is in Hamburg. Good boy!

We had a really cool buss and a really nice buss driver. I’m sure he was a bit surprised how well we behaved. No drugs or throwing TV’s out or nothing. But luckily Karri (guitar tech) and Aki (lights) fixed the image during the last 300 kilometers before arriving at the airport. Mikko (FOH) was able to capture some footage of these guys climbing above the driver naked and waving the male parts over the poor driver’s head. They obviously drank all the stuff from the buss and in the morning we all woke up to this awful smell. The floor was full of throw up and all shit. The buss wasn’t the same as it was before and the driver did a good job keeping his face cool as we walked out the last time at the airport. Karri also woke me up in the middle of the night and wanted to fight me – half seriously. We went out to fight. He looked so stupid attacking me wearing these “grandfather” kind of indoor shoes. I don’t really know what they drank, but I was a bit worried. And as I half seriously asked the crew to calm him
down, they were all too drunk to operate even them selves. It was sort of fun. He didn’t remember a thing in the morning. I’m so happy there is a video cam in most of the phones. We experienced the whole naked stuff and our fight club at the airport. We’re all friends again…;)

It’s two weeks from the tour now and we’re flying back home from Hamburg again from Radio Hamburg’s city festival. We also got the first rough cut of the DVD… Makes me smile. It will be out after the summer with some special backstage stuff.

Thank you so much for the wonderful 4 shows again! My words can never express how much we appreciate you being there and singing our songs with us. We are the luckiest guys in the world. And thank you for the wonderful birthday and other presents. I really wish I had time and a chance to thank everyone personally. And it’s just amazing that the album went gold. The record company EMI has done a terrific job together with our management, but nothing would have happened without you doing the most important ground level work. I slept for 3 hours last night but I don’t mind. I am the happiest guy on the planet – again ;) And that’s all because of you. Thank you!


29/05/2007 Here and there - right before summer starts

We took off from Helsinki to Düsseldorf on the 11th of May. We had this cool event in Bochum Germany operated by Nokia. They had given us new N95 mobile phones some weeks ago to get some footage on the screens when we perform. We had shot a lot of stuff, hours to be exact, from DTM, stages and stuff.

All was organized pretty well apart from the technical stuff. Our crew had to work an extra day to get everything in order, but I guess it was mostly because the folks behind the evening were doing it for the very first time and the whole setup was kind of a special thing. There had been contests all around Germany where people had been capturing themselves singing Fairytale gone bad and out of these hundreds of contestants, we were glad to chose one guy to join us on stage to do the song with us. The winner, Mr. André took the stage as any pro.

We slept for one hour (Crew + myself we didn’t sleep at all because Aki, our head of lights serve us red wine) and flew all to Barcelona to see the Formula 1 race and to relax for a few days. We invited the whole crew. They have definitely earned a few nice days off too.

Barcelona is one of the coolest spots on the planet. I can’t say why, but somehow the smell of “shit” makes me feel good every time I walk the main street La Rambla. Not shit really but the smell of life. Everything is not that sterile over there. The weather was pretty much perfect. We spent the days on the beach and went shopping and out in the evening & night. We were also joined by some of the guys’ girlfriends and kids, plus the Finnish label manager Mikko. Well, Bob was there too but he flew away right after the F1 race. I bet he didn’t want to see our crew hit the night clubs ;) Perfect gang anyway. I had rented four apartments for the travel party from the very center of the city. It’s much nicer to stay in an apartment than in a hotel, I think.

The F1 trip was cool and all, but our hero Kimi Räikkönen broke his Ferrari engine on the 5th lap. As Finland also lost the Ice Hockey WC final against Canada the same day, we decided to focus on enjoying the city. It was quite a challenge finding an Ice Hockey bar in Barcelona. But our FOH Mikko did.

The last night in Barcelona we had dinner with Jukka and Bonnier Mikko ( It’s amazing how many Mikko’s you need to carry out this kind of a project) and later Karri and Aki joined us with Sami and MP. Karri and Aki made clear to us all what “manhood” really means on the streets of Barcelona. I am so happy for both of you guys and you know I love you and that I admire you certain kind of skills and attitude!

16th-19th we had 4 shows is Switzerland. Three shows supporting the local Hard rock giant Gotthard and one show case for EMI world wide MDs. I didn’t really know about the Gotthard guys before our tour agency proposed the support stuff. Their music is kind of hard rockish traditional rock and I’m not usually a huge fan of that kind of music. This time I must say that the Gotthard guys, their crew and especially their audiences rocked their way deep into my heart. I really hope we get to do stuff with these great guys in the future. Probably the best thing about the band itself is that the guys are extremely great with their instruments and you can definitely tell that they’ve done the stuff on stage for a zillion times, but still even if they’re pro and all, you can sense the enjoyment miles away. Whatta mixture. I wish I had the same when I’m pro ;)

I fell in love with Luzern, the last city in Switzerland. It’s this kind of a middle size city in the middle of the mountains by a beautiful lake. Bob, our manager, rented a boat and took some of the guys to the lake with it and I went swimming with FOH Mikko, Tech Karri and Light Aki. I wasn’t actually supposed to swim at all, but there were some girls near us as the other guys dived into the water and I didn’t want to look like a pussy…

After the Luzern show we drove to Milan, Italy. Temperature just got warmer and warmer. We had the first day off and I had rented a car for myself for four days and Jukka got one for himself too, so we drove to Lake Garda together with Basty (Tour manager), Mikko’s, Aki and Karri. A day off at one of the most beautiful spots in Europe. We took silly Baywatch pictures in the water and just relaxed. Really stupid pictures. David Hasselhoff would get jealous if he saw them:

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The show day started with a typical media circus for Janne and I. We did several interviews and finally the rest of the guys joines us for the photo sessions in the afternoon. Probably above all again beautiful Valeria and her funny partner Luca at All Music TV.

We knew the venue would not be full. It’s always like that with the first show no matter where we play. Fortunately our local Fan club had been promoting the event for us and we got the club half full. After tasting the energy of an Italian audience, we all agreed we need to get more of it. We need to get back there ASAP!

The band, Crew and staff drove to Zurich in the night to get planes home. I drove to my friend’s and his wife’s little house by the lake Maggiore in the north. Jesus. The lake was just less than 10 meters from my bedroom window and the place was so peaceful. I finally had a few days off after 4 months. We just drove around the lakes of Northern Italy and enjoyed the sun. And I got burned a bit too of course. I never learn to protect myself with sun lotion enough. Well, there was a football game the second day and nobody remembered my red skin as AC Milan won Liverpool in Athens.

I flew to Hannover Germany on Thursday to go though some stuff for the DOME TV show. I also had a long and nice chat & dinner with our manager Bob and Julia from EMI. The guys were going to land the next day and there were a lot of things to be done before they come for the show on Friday etc.

The DOME was again as cool as can be. Pyros and stuff. This time even the red carpet felt better than ever. Probably because we didn’t expect anything special and probably because we are getting to the point that we can say there’s been some success already in Germany. And of course the after party as late as possible again. The coolest thing was to meet the local singer Idol NEVIO, who I think has the coolest voice on the planet. He’ll have a long courier. And it was very late again as we got to our hotel beds.

The wakeup to get to the airport was early again. We had to be back in Finland pretty early to headline a summer festival near Helsinki. All went well and we got to our destination, but our guitars, headphones and stuff never got to the plane for a reason or another. My little brother and our former Lighting guy kindly borrowed their gear.

It was so cool to play the first open air real summer festival by a nice lake out side. It was a nice start and we’ll get a lot of it in the next few months. On Wednesday we’ll play one more show inside at the Helsinki ICE Arena and after that everything is outdoors. And rock am ring & Rock im Park next weekend. Can’t wait. One of the dreams come true… Again.

I feel so god. I wish I could share the rising sun of Scandinavia with all you folks. You just gotta see it ones in your life, it’s like nothing else. It’s 03:07 and the light is already climbing from behind the buildings creating a new cool day for all of us.

These are the moments that you keep inside your heart to guide you then - The day you fail again

(From “The day you fail again” – Hopefully one of next album’s songs)


09/06/2007 Rock Im Park & Rock Am Ring

You play guitar all your life and you dream about things, such as released records, real tours of your own band and gold albums. And waking up next to Kylie, Jessica Alba and Adriana Lima the same morning, of course.

Rock am Ring & Rock im Park have definitely been two of those wet dreams for me all these years and now I am sitting on a plane to play the main stage of both of them ;) At least the Ring is sold out for the first time ever and they released some more tickets. It’s going to be less than a 100.000 listeners, so no need to get nervous…

The audiences in Germany are usually perfect. I’ve heard that these with festivals even the Germans can get cruel. Some of our colleagues have been thrown with eggs and stuff. I hope we don’t get to the grocery category.

I first decided just to enjoy the trip and take no photos and write no diaries, but hey. If I get to enjoy this trip, then so should you.

I slept pretty bad last night after going through some new songs. The melodies just kept on speeding around my thoughts. I tried to find the missing line for this one song so badly, but nope. We perform at this Radio show today in Cologne and tomorrow we take our tour buss towards the Festivals. Jeeeee ;)

Surprise, surprise

As we arrived in Cologne yesterday, the schedule said there would be an acoustic performance at the 1LIVE radio station. One of the biggest In Germany. Sami said next to the luggage belt at the airport that he smells something burning in the whole picture and he thinks there is actually gonna be a gold award surprise party, no acoustic radio show. It was all pretty unusual. The EMI folks told us last week that they would arrange all guitars and stuff and we don’t have to worry / bring our own… Usually we do.

EMI had booked us right next to their head office. I remember feeling strange going through EMI garage to “Get the guitars” for the radio show. Julia guided us to the elevator and as we got the EMI lobby “to get the instruments,” the whole company was there cheering! So cool. That was one of the head skins I have been dreaming about for years. To get a gold award from a major market. And actually two awards. We got gold for Fairytale gone bad too.

Julia had edited a video for us about the first year traveling in Germany and Europe and I must say I never had such confusing emotions. In a way I never felt that happy before. Just looking back all the amazing things we have been blessed to experience the first year makes you feel like you’re luckiest guy on the planet. The evening was made perfect with a nice dinner with many EMI folks who have been fighting very very hard for us. For us this whole thing is a dream come true. Fort them it’s just a job and it’s amazing how much they put their hearts and free time into our band.

The buss took off at 01 AM towards Nürnberg, Rock Im Park… Tired but damn happy.

Rock IM Park

Yep ;) The first one done and my God it was cool. Rock im Park is a festival at the legendary Nürnberg historical spot. That was the biggest audience we ever played for. They said it was probably 50.000. Fifty thousand!!!!!!!! No eggs ;)

There was a problem with some technical stuff before the show and we had a 10-minute delay. We had to skip 2 songs (All because of you and Wonderland). Everyone was coo, though.

We just woke up inside the Nürburgring race track. The main stage and backstage are located inside the ring, where our Finnish ice man Räikkönen drives his formula car once a year. Te whole Saturday was off and we just did some interviews and a Diesel clothing photo shot together with Eva Padberg, the German model. She was….wow! I have had her wallpaper on my Mac for a year already. The second time this happens. Collien Fernandez was the first celebrity I met with a wallpaper history ;)

On the road in Germany

I didn’t have time before to finish this, so I am sitting on the front seat of a minivan speeding towards Hannover, Germany. We perform there today at this city festival. We are in the hands of Captain Dirk, our limo service driver and their new Mercedes minibus. But let’s reverse back to last Sunday to Rock am Ring.
It was kind of annoying to look at the stage for two days and see all the big acts performing there. I mean two days is definitely enough time to get nervous ;)
We stood at the area behind the stage where Karri (guitar tech) brings the bass and guitars. There was no signal from my Gibson. Probably because the stage is so huge and we were behind the stage on the left side. My amp is on the right side.

After they announced us we walked on stage. I didn’t realize the TV crew and the screens cameras were zooming on me and I said “Vi Vittu” pretty clearly. It’s a Finnish expression you say when you’re either very angry or positively surprised.

The audience was just awesome! And no eggs ;) I just went through the whole show with my laptop and apart from my little fault in Fairytale and Sami’s creative start for sunny day, all was perfect. And it looked soooo good. Walking down the staiers after the show was one of the best moments in my life.
The evening after the show went partying like hell. We had two friends from Finland joining us the whole weekend so there was some extra strength in the party gang.

Hessentag

Yesterday was the first Hessentag experience for us. Hessen is this kind of a state in Germany and every year one Hessen area city or village gets to be the host of the party. This year the glory and pride went to the village of Butzbach. The festival runs for one week with all bands and amusement parks and stuff and there are eve pretty big names performing, such as Aerosmith this year. A local radio station there presented us and even though we played a 90-minute show, the audience was just great and jumping and claping their hands like crazy. I mean usually 90 minutes for an audience who might now know the songs could be too much.
Today there’s another show in Hanover and tomorrow we perform in my country again. It’s a huge city festival in the centre of Helsinki with some 70.000-80.000 listeners + live TV.
We got the new Bon Jovi album (released yesterday in Germany) form a lovely fan yesterday. There is a great ballad they sing together with Leann Rimes. I need to close my eyes when listening to that on iPod. I’m still really tired after last weeks interview circus. 31 degrees Celsius, blue sky… Life could be worse.


18/06/2007 Austria Nova Rock & Tollwood Munich

Nova Rock Austria

I’ve been to Austria once officially before with Janne doing some interviews and stuff and I spent last Christmas there together with Jukka. We were supposed to go to all the classical concerts in the capital, but we rented a BMW instead and drove to Salzburg to enjoy the bars. And I also went skiing in Saalbach and Zell am See some years ago. Great slopes.

The Nova Rock festival show was the first contact to the Austrian live audience and even though we had heard good stories about the festival, we really didn’t know what to expect. We only knew that our album has sold well so far and Fairytale has got great airplay on the local radio channels.

We had the working week off before the flight to Vienna and it was nice to see all the guys after a “long” break at the airport. I spent the whole week in Southern Finland enjoying my days off. It was a mistake. It was so cold and it also rained pretty much in Helsinki. On Thursday afternoon it was 12 degrees…. In June! Poor Japanese tourists taking photos in front of the parliament building.

To be honest, I was a bit worried how the audience would take us. I mean everywhere we go for the first time, the folks mostly expect something much more POP and teenage stuff than what it is in the very end. Sure we knew that the live audience couldn’t differ that much from the great and noisy Germans, but still. The first touch is always the first touch.

They were just great! Even at Rock am Ring the folks sing our songs pretty much through the set, but here they sang really loud and they were really active. I’m so happy there will most obviously be some club shows in Austria too on our European tour starting in October. I hope they announce the dates soon. And I must mention that the girls were extremely pretty at this festival. Sure they came from all over Europe but still for a reason or another the opposite sex really pleased our eyes this time. Sure it’s nice to have them wearing the bikini only ;) on a hot summer day.

On the way to Munich

We’re stuck in a huge traffic jam on our way to Munich to play the Tollwood festival. These are the less unknown German festivals, but just like with the Hessentag & Hannover last week, I’m confident it will be so cool again. I could walk faster than the car moves, but probably it’s better just to enjoy the view and continue writing the lyrics for new songs.

Home. Sofa.

Tollwood was really nice. Somehow the “family festivals” are really relaxed and especially the back stage area & crew there was nice this time. We performed in this kind of a tent, a huge one, and the crowd was really cool. Not probably a typical Sunrise Avenue audience, but a really nice one anyway. I guess there were many many folks who had never heard more than Fairytale Gone Bad, but still they sang Nasty really loud in the end. And they shouted us back on stage two times ;)

It’s 12 degrees and raining again in Helsinki. I could go back to Munich, it was 20 more and sunny. I’ll just do some interviews and stuff this week and hopefully there will be time for gym and stuff. We’re also planning the European Tour this week together with the crew. The first details are so cool. Can’t wait ;) Next weekend we play the famous Mid Summer festivals in Finland. I’ve been standing in the audience so many times dreaming about playing those stages and now it finally happens. After the second mid summer day we all fly to Athens, Greece for the first time. It’s this MAD TV show, obviously something fun and mad. And after Greece we go to Poland I guess and then to Belgium and Holland. 58 flights this year and counting… Counting my flights is one of the few hobbies I have left.


01/07/2007 My country – Athens – Catania - Gothenburg

My country
I really didn’t know what we’d get with the midsummer festivals in Finland. I actually had prepared myself not to expect a success or too well organized stuff around the weekend and I headed towards the shows with my own car. Especially on our Finnish tour in the spring, some of the club owners or local staff made me hate the whole live scene from time to time. So going with my car is a way to enjoy the sunlight in the night just driving to the next city if the mood at back stages is poor or something else sucks. It really happens. I mean the Sun doesn’t set at all in the midsummer in my country. You gotta see it once in your life.

Surprise, surprise. The whole weekend was really cool. Be played both Bigger Mid summer festivals RMJ & Himos and I must say that all was really well organized and the crowd was extremely cool. Especially at RMJ. Miss Pamela Anderson and her giant hooters were the guests of honor at RMJ and the fuzz about her hosting the show was just ridiculous. She only appeared on stage for 2 minutes. With her dad!! If I ever start performing together with Mr. Haber senior, please tell me to quit, ok?

The 1st festival RMJ was built on a beach in Rauma, on the western coast 250 Km from Helsinki. The weather was just perfect and everyone seemed happy on a nice sunny day. RMJ is the biggest midsummer festival and so it was kind of a test for us too. We are still a new band for even most of the Finns, even though we have had music control number 1 (the most played song in Finnish radio) for 22 weeks during the last year with Fairytale, Forever yours and Diamonds. Still most of the folks had never seen us play live and RMJ was a perfect chance for us to show them what we really are about. That was probably the most enjoyable show for me in Finland ever so far.

I took my car after the show and drove to Tampere together with our Finnish label manager Mikko. It’s half way to Himos and we had booked hotels there to get some rest outside the festival mess. Mikko was really, well, in mid summer condition and I had my hands full saving him from the older Tampere ladies at the bar after arriving at our hotel. He’s a handsome guy, you know.

Himos was also very well organized. We had this kind of a summer cabin to share with Miss Paula Koivuniemi, our Guitar tech’s Karris favorite singer and former employer. It was pretty warm when we got on stage and after the third song the sun went down and it got really cold. I nearly lost my voice.

I drove home with Janne in the night and I was home already at 2 AM. That was a good choice not to go with the buss with the guys drinking and all. I went to gym at eleven.

Athens, Greece – Mad TV awards

We had never been to Greece before and I really didn’t know what to expect. The only thing I knew about the country is that they got great food, extremely great looking ladies and that they won the Eurovision song contest one year before our Lordi raped the system with his Hallelujah’s. And of course they are European football champions form two years ago. And well… most of the western philosophy and justice system comes from there. We were gonna stay at a hotel right next to the Acropolis hill. I hope Zeus and guys let us have some sun…
And sun we got! It was 44 degrees in the day and the sun had no mercy for the Finnish skin. Already at the rehearsals the day was so hot that I was afraid I’d melt. The days were pretty nice though, we did many interviews at the hotel and had some other meetings by the swimming pool at the hotel rooftop terrace. We wore only swimwear and we had the possibility to jump into the cool water every now and then if the questions got too tough. From the rooftop we could see how huge Athens is.
The show was just amazing and the way the audience reacted on us was awesome. We must get some shows booked in Greece soon! They also speak really good English, they have subtitles on TV, David Hasselhoff doesn’t speak Greek. The +12 and rain in Helsinki made me want to go back. We agreed with Jukka to book a holiday in Athens area asap.

Catania, Italy – Festivabar

It was nice to get a flight to Italy after nearly getting a cold in the rainy Helsinki. I really like my country and all, but mostly I could easily life somewhere else. Somewhere warm.

Anyhow. We flew to Catania Sicily one day earlier with Sami and Raul since we had nothing to do at home. It’s very nice to have a full day off in a place where you’ve never been before, go to the beach, shopping and sure a nice dinner in the end. The weather was really nice, not too hot, and we spent the first day pretty much in the sun and swimming in the Mediterranean sea. There was this cool kind of a beach built on lava from the volcano Etna. And when you swim, you’re surrounded by lava stones. Don’t get that in my country ;=)

Festivalbar is an event where they have many artists, local and international, performing for an audience and also TV. It all happens a few times a year every time in a different city and it’s said to be popular. We were the first band to perform and it was kind of funny to listen to the hosts talking about us in Italian before we entered the sage. The only part we understood for sure was “Beachboys from Finlandia….?”

The crowd was really cool. The sound of my vocals was a bit funny in my ear monitors, but I guess I was just a bit nervous. It’s been a while. I’m human too…

We had a nice diner with our local Product manager Valentina and everyone went to bed pretty early. Wakeup was at 4.45 AM to get the first flight of the day. There’s three of them today.

On plane from Munich to Gothenburg, Sweden (we play there today) I sat next to this Swedish guy and after traveling 30 minutes, he asked me if I play in a band. I said the band’s name and he didn’t know us. Whaaaaat!!! He’s from Sweden and he must at least know Fairytale, our first single there too. So I gave him 5 seconds with my iPod and he knew the track immediately.

He is Mr. Anders Bonander from the Swedish national pistol team. They had just been practicing in Zagreb to get ready for the European championships in Granada Spain in July. Good luck guys!

We’re losing altitude slowly towards Gothenbugh airport. I’ll be fun today, the first summer festival in Sweden ever!


17/07/2007 Summer driving & Flying through walls

Lakeuret ja Järvisuomi

I'm on my way to Copenhagen to shoot our next music video. I'm pretty tired – I didn't sleep that much last night because I drove through Finland with Sami (you can see some adult content at royalartistclub.con). We played 4 festival shows in 4 days in Lohja, Tampere, Vaasa and Iisalmi.

We took my car with Sami instead of the buss to ride free. It's so cool to wake up at the hotel and just sit an hour at the breakfast table and start driving when you feel like it. With the buss you must to have a clear schedule, it's so many guys.

The first show was at Lohja at Rantajamit (Isn't Finnish language funny ;). All was ok apart from the weather but fortunately the whole thing happened in a huge tent. The only thing I must say the Finnish festival organizers can't take care of is the privacy stuff. It's only in Finland where you get to your dressing room after the show and it's less than a minute when people are knocking the door to get autographs. Cultural thing. We drove home after the show to get deep sleep in our own beds.

The rest of the week we just drove with Sami in my car and listened to some great music. Keith Urban's latest album was on for more than half of the time. It's soooo good! At Tammerfest I experienced a fan attacking me for the first time. It was this older drunk 'lady' who just walked to me as I was signing autographs after the show and she grabbed my balls. I didn't realize how hard I pushed her away. She really flew a few meters against the fence and the security fence went down. Primitive reaction. Fucking idiot! The faces of the younger girls were a bit shocked but you gotta draw the line somewhere. I felt a bit bad for 3 seconds. On the other hand, some folks don't meet their fans and since I and we do it, there's always a risk some one is a bit too excited. It's funny how we've only had problems with these drunk 40+ ladies. All else has been pretty ok. There was this one very drunk lady who forced herself into the backstage in Kuopio (Fin) and as I wasn't willing to kiss her, she decided to throw up on
the backstage carpet.

The third show in Vaasa was our first real touch with the summer rain on stage. We had been really lucky with the weather so far but there it all changed. In a way it was cool to get really in front of the stage in the parts I don't sing and just rock in the rain. Sami had a lot of interviews that day alone. He's from that area and he was the big star of the day! And he did a great job, I have a lot to learn from him.

On the way to the fourth show in Iisalmi, we stopped at Sami's mom's in YLISTARO. It's where he's from and it's actually not the biggest city in my country ;=) Her mother cooked us some home made food and even the potatoes were from their own field!! So tasty!

The weather in Iisalmi was pretty much the same as it was in Vaasa, but the audience was just amazing. I mean they stood there in the heavy rain and were really loud. Usually when it rains it sure eats some of the energy.
12 minutes after the show, we already sat in my car with Sami on our way home. This is definitely the way to travel. You get to your own bed for the night. My mother sent me a message yesterday that she had bought me new pillows for my name day (you celebrate that elsewhere, right?) Not bad mom – Can't wait to lay my head on them ;=)

Copenhagen Denmark - Heal Me Video

I've been in Copenhagen a few days shooting video for Heal Me. It's a very cool story with some more artistic shots than what we have had in the previous videos. I flew through stuff, was in the ocean, was glued and all... The TWENTYFOUR SEVEN production team lead by the director ANDERS WALTER (Who is the brother of the lead singer of Danish band Grand Avenue - Check it out!) was so relaxed and nice that even though my days were really tough and long, it was definitely enjoyable.

The rest of the guys did their part on Monday morning and I got a later wake up. They only stayed for a few hours and I only saw them quickly. I had to do the acting - hope it looks goodâ€... The feeling about the whole thing is really good. We will get first drafts next week and the video will be released in the fall along with the single.
I am actually on my way from Copenhagen to Helsinki to our studio to record vocals and guitars for the acoustic version of Heal Me. There will be many remixes and versions again, even a house remix, and that's so great that the record company invest in us and let us play with our songs like that.

I didn't sleep that much in Denmark. Both of the days more than 10 days of work and I was already tired when I got there. I hope I don't look to dead on the video. Copenhagen was really nice. The feeling was pretty much the same as it was in Brussels. It's very continental European, but has the best pieces of London in it. Whatever that means...

I'll have a nap now with Keith Urban...


21/08/2007 Changes in Sunrise Avenue

I established a band called Sunrise 15 years ago and later on changed the name to Sunrise Avenue. There have been hard times all the way but the hardest moment for me and for all of us was 2 weeks ago when we had to make a very hard decision.

A band is a very complex thing. It’s like marriage between the members and it’s much more than what people see and hear on the outside. Sometimes bands spend whole moths together, day and night, and of course like all bands, we also have had our stupid meaningless fights and disagreements. Everybody is tired and stupid things are said. This case was not about who gets to sit next to the window in the car. It was something that had been going on from the first recorded track at the studio. The reason we were able to go on together for so long is all the success we have had with the support of our wonderful fans, but now even the gold awards weren’t enough to cover the pain and to keep us together.

Why the change….

Nobody did a bad job and like in most of the relationships that end nobody was wrong or right. The cold fact is that we simply didn’t fit into the same tour bus anymore and it would have been impossible to go on and create new music together when the atmosphere is not healthy. Some of us have travelled to shows with our own cars for months already because travelling in the bus felt unpleasant. That is not healthy but we really tried. You can erase your thoughts for the 60 minutes on stage and show a happy face for the audience but you cannot escape the feelings you have for life and if nothing changes, there will be the day you will have to make a choice.

You might ask why didn’t we try talking about it. Yes we did. And again, nobody was wrong or right, we just saw the things so different that we never got to the point. If there is something wrong between two or more people it’s impossible to clear the air if both / all sides can’t see or can’t accept the real problem. It’s ok for some time to find peace for two weeks after every conversation and fight, but in the long run it kills everybody to argue about the same things month after month.

I understand it is really hard to see the points from the outside, but I bet you all understand nobody would be left out of the band without a reason. The cause has been there for a few years and the pain inside got tougher and tougher the further we went. Every single person in our Band, Management, Record Companies and Live Agents understand the reasons behind this arrangement and stand behind the situation fully. The band and myself asked for help in this matter from all of them already last year but there was nothing nobody could do.

Digging this issue and reasons of it deeper now would only hurt both sides and especially Janne. We will not build a soap opera around the situation. Nobody will get anything from that. We don’t want to publish an open letter on our website about who did what and all. This is the bands internal thing and it shall stay like that. As Janne says in his letters, we also would have done anything to avoid this mess but this time there was no other way.

We honestly wish all the best for Janne and his future from the bottoms of our hearts and of course we understand the anger and all he is feeling right now. We respect and value the work he did for the band and he has gotten and will get every credit for his efforts.

And we understand the confusion everybody around us feels right now and we can’t blame anyone for feeling sympathy, sorrow or even hate. The last months and especially the last 2 weeks have been really hard for all the band members and the folks behind us and we really hope you could all give us the peace to recover and move on and Janne to build up his own future.

Sunrise Avenue will keep on touring, promoting and travelling just the way we have done so far. For the next few weeks there will be a guy playing the guitar, not as a band member, only as a hired musician. We will let you know as soon as we have a new guy, a new member in the band.

The shows in Gothenburg, Sweden yesterday and on Sunday were really great. We were really happy with everyone in the audience and back stage and how the unnecessary chewing of the topic was skipped and we were able to focus on our jobs. We really hope that would happen wherever we go. You should all know the arrangement puts us in a very tough place finding and training musicians for the future. Still even if it’s a huge workload with our partly broken hearts, the move we made was something that needed to be done. Otherwise there would have not been Sunrise Avenue at all. The decision is final and there is no coming back.
Thank you for you patience and understanding,

Samu and Guys


01/09/2007 Hamburg Radio promotion and Stars for free in Berlin

I’m sitting in my hotel room in Park Hyatt Hamburg and I just came from the gym. The day was pretty easy and relaxed. We just drove around Hamburg and Kiel with our local Radio promoter Toby and visited all the radio stations around here. A short stepper session and a long swim in the nice pool downstairs was the perfect thing for the evening before we have dinner with the German EMI folks. I heard that the Swedish pop miracle Darin might also join us. He sings so well. I’ll sleep like a baby as soon as I get my stomach full.

I arrived already yesterday and I had the evening free. As I was having dinner alone in the hotel restaurant, my friend sent me a text message saying “Greetings from Hamburg…” I had no choice but to invite him and his two colleagues to have a glass of whine with me. I thought my friend still works for one of the biggest TV and radio networks in Scandinavia and I thanked them all for supporting our songs. The fact was he had changed his job in JANUARY and the gang was pretty surprised for me being grateful for the airplay support. They work with customer relations, nothing to do with pop music. Time flies, doesn’t it. Wines on me anyhow.

It’s Thursday now and the rest of the guys will come to Germany on Saturday. We perform in Berlin at this Stars for free event. The only one who arrived already today from his Swedish trip is Riku, the guy who will play the guitar on stage with us for the rest of the year. Riku is a nice guy and actually he was the first guy in Sami’s and my mind after the change in the band. I met him for the first time in Helsinki after the New Year as I was having dinner with Jukka and his producer partner Aku. Riku joined us then telling that Hanna, the Finnish Eurovision winner 2007 had just kicked him out off the band. He had stolen the show from her, she had said.

The last weeks have been pretty hard for us all and there is still a lot of work to do and wounds to heal. Still I must say I am happy how the fans, media and everybody around us have taken the challenge the band had to face. It’s not easy at all, sure for nobody involved, but life will go on. For everybody.

I downloaded three albums from iTunes during the gym session to entertain me tonight. Three musts; Iron Maiden’s Fear of the dark (yes!), Metallica’s And Justice for all and Sheryl Crow’s The best of. I will listen to “If it makes you happy” before ordering a bottle of red wine tonight…


23/09/2007 Poland – Germany – Greece

We made our second trip to Poland last week. We started the promotion trip from Warsaw where we performed at the brand new Hard Rock Café. It was the first acoustic show with Riku on guitar and therefore it was good to have 3 hours for sound check. And the check was fun. We played all the worst Finnish schlager songs as the waitresses were making everything ready for the evening. They thought we're crazy…

After a TV morning show the next morning on a TV building rooftop we started driving to Zielona Góra for a huge TV show festival. The distance is 450 Km and it took more than 9 hours to get there, The driver was so lost all the time and I must be honest and tell you we were pretty close losing our temper. The roads were amazingly bad too. We missed the sound check (by 3 hours) and we had 11 minutes to prepare everything when we got to the venue late at night before the show. Karri, our backline tech, really saved the day and us in front of the 100.000 viewers + a lot of folks behind TV screens at home. And experience anyway.

The show was cool and especially the dinner after it. In the morning we faced another traveling challenge when the plane we were supposed to take back to Warsaw had never arrived the airport. We had to take a Polish bus to the next city to get another one.
Even though our trip was full of challenges, all the folks were really nice all the time and we will definitely give them another chance ;=)

Yesterday we performed in Rastatt, Germany at the New Pop festival. The venue was the Mercedes Benz factory and actually the robots and engineers were at work and stopped only for the performances. They also made the car builder robots "dance" with the music. It was very cool apart from the fact that nobody told us we could have played one more song since we were the last ones on stage. Felt so bad walking off the stage after only three songs…. We could have done many more.

Luckily today we play a 30 min set in Athens at the Taekwondo arena. I just spoke to Karri on phone asking if I should bring some acoustic guitar strings with me to the venue if the ones on my guitar aren't ok. I have some strings with me because I am staying 4 more days in Athens to write some songs and to relax. The weather is just perfect. Anyway, Karri told me that the venue is amazing. Something very very old and there is a great atmosphere. We'll see. I'll put my jeans on now and get to the lobby where the driver is waiting for us to take us to the back stage….


07/10/2007 Frankfurt acoustic & Wetten Dass in Basel Switzerland

I'm sitting next to Jukka in a plane from Zurich to Helsinki. His surname is Backlund and I'm Haber and since his starts with B, he always gets the window seat. Daaaaamn!

We flew to Frankfurt on Thursday to perform at this RTL II party for their clients, advertisers and folks. It was only four songs with the big acoustic setup and after that we were supposed to get back to the hotel and sleep well to be fresh at the Wetten dass rehearsals the next day.

I don't know what happened, but as the catering guys kept on carrying extremely tasty tapas plates and drinks to our back stage area, we just kept on eating and drinking. Finally Riku and Karri went back on stage to get our guitars and we played and sang all night long together with the local RTL and other guys and girls. They finally threw us out at six in the morning and we went to the hotel to be picked up one hour later. I was an idiot and went to sleep (for an hour, what does that help???) but the other ones understood their best and stayed in the lobby bar. And dear fellow citizens, we don't want to apologize Jukka's behavior at Frankfurt airport in the morning… ;=) It was funny!

We slept the whole Friday and got ourselves back together.
They say Wetten Dass is the biggest TV show in Europe. It has more than 15.000.000 viewers. It was probably the strangest thing we've taken part in. The Germans are betting some stuff like "I bet you can't eat 20 eggs in a minute…" The lineup was cool; Avril Lavigne, Jamie Foxx & Jennifer Garner and us of course. Avril's backstage room was three times as big as ours.

We were supposed to go to sleep early again last night, but somehow we ended up in this bar in the center of Basel. I wouldn't say it's a party town based on what we saw but we found a very cozy bar where they gave us discount for beers and Jägermeister because we play in a band…

The tour starts on Tuesday in Stockholm. Everything is set and I'm so much waiting for the few months on the road. See you soon!

-Samu


10/10/2007 Show must go on – Tour start

Samu, Raul, Jukka, Sami, Riku and the shaved Flight 97 in year 2007. I'm flying to Stockholm with Sami, Jukka, Raul, Riku and the management duet Mikko & Bob. Today is the tour start.

This is the thing we have all been waiting for a long long time. We've been playing around Europe for a few years and finally now we step in the bus to spend a few months on the road. When you do the fly in – fly out shows and festivals, it can actually be a lot hared with all the flights and stuff. Usually you must fly in the day before to be there in time to do all the interviews and checks for the show and then you must wake up the next day to get the plane to the next city or home.

Now I will have a shower after the show, have a glass of wine and eat my stomach full and fall asleep with a movie. The next morning (or afternoon…) I will wake up from my own bed in the tour bus not knowing where I am. And of course there's promotion and stuff to be made but during these weeks, the show for you guys and girlies comes first. The rest if there's time.

The tech crew Karri & MP (Backline), Gorilla-Mikko (FOH), Aki (lights) and Tuomas (Monitors) are already in Stockholm putting the stage and stuff together with the local crew. Aki told me to bring this shaver to so I could shave his head ;)

The journey starts from Stockholm, then to Gothenburg and Malmö. Then one day off and to Oslo. I guess we will spend the day off somewhere in Norway. I have never been there and we have this ski jumping thing we might do at Holmenkollen. On Monday we start the Continental European part of the shows.

We feel really lucky being involved in something like this. I'm sure the trip will be hard and we will be tested big time, but it'll sure mostly be a lot of fun. I hope we will have some time and energy to write songs with Jukka on the way. I even brought my new (Olav Loef Hand made) "songwriting guitar" with me. Now it's definitely the time to erase all the past, especially the unnecessary shit, from our minds to give you the best on stage.

Rock you soon!

PS: Thanx for everybody for voting at the MTV thing. The fight goes on…;=)


13/10/2007 Oslo at night after Sweden

Here we are in Oslo Norway. It's actually the first time in my life in this country and I must say it's really nice. I woke up at 11 AM in the bus as we were still driving towards the capital and we sat in the upper front lounge with Raul "the Nutcracker" and it looked so beautiful. I don't know if it's the approaching winter or just the fact that Oslo is so close to the big sea, but the air here is so fresh. It's good for you they say.

We slept the whole day at the hotel and Riku woke me up as Aku, Jukka's and my studio partner had woken him up to get a contact with me. I had to pay this invoice for a mixing console we had bought for our studio in Helsinki and I had totally forgotten the whole thing. After sending the money to Sweden we walked to the center with Riku and had a nice non-fat-free dinner at Fridays. Riku kept on inviting the locals to the show tomorrow as I focused on getting my stomach full…

The three first shows in Sweden are behind now and tomorrow we play for the Norwegians. The first show in Stockholm was not probably the best we can do on stage but in Gothenburg and Malmö we were a lot more relaxed and things worked out better for the whole crew too. I guess it's kind of a "first game of the season" that also goes for the first show of the tour. All three shows were still very much fun and I must say the Swedish audience was really cool again, even though all the clubs weren't sold out at all.

I was also a bit worried how they'd take Riku on guitar after the change in the band, but after we all saw how he took the audience in all the cities, the new guy on stage hasn't bothered us at all anymore. We had heard a lot of good about him before we got together and got on stage together, but when we really were up there with him I understood what the people had been talking about. He is awesome.!

The setup is not easy for him either. He has to fill the bots of the former lead guitarist and even if it's only a handful of fans that have insisted Janne back in the band, I'm sure he kind of realizes the past of the group. I just hope Riku will get the peace to do his job and we could all remember that he has nothing to do with getting rid of one past band member. He is actually the one who is saving the tour. And all this really went well in Sweden – 10 points for that. Tack so mycket. Vår mamma sager att vi måste äta mycket mera grönsaker!

The band has never been as good on stage as it is now. It amazing in a way because the challenge to find a new guy and all on stage + a new monitor mixing guy Tuomas after MP started working as the second back liner has kept our hands full. Actually we didn't have a chance to practice the set together before the Stockholm show but now we are back on track. We had a few glasses of wine at this jazz bar this evening and Sami and Raul said that they haven't been this happy for the whole time they have been playing together with me and I must share their emotions. The atmosphere is just awesome.

The show must go on. I can't wait to get back on stage again…. Rock you all soon!


18/10/2007 Oslo-Hamburg-Magdeburg-Berlin-Vienna

I'm in a plane on my way to Vienna, Austria. Flight 98 this year, still counting... It was supposed to be our first day off in Germany, but Riku and I will spend it promoting the album, DVD and the tour in Austria. The Austrian EMI girls are very cool and relaxed and it will feel like a day off. The last time it was just so much fun to see them park the car in the radio station garage. Took ages and finally I had to do it.

We kind of owe the day for the Austrians. The last time we were supposed to do promotion there, we had to cancel everything because of the chemistry problems in the band and probably because of the fights and stress I got really sick and we had to cancel all the shows and everything for a couple of weeks. And of course we needed to find a new guy to play the guitar too. But we're fully back up now and it's a good way to give a little payback to the Austrian promotion team and of course the fans who missed the shows and stuff the last time.

The tour has been just amazing. Really amazing. The set we play is kind of long but it goes by so fast. Soon you're playing Wonderland and the end is near. We have been really shocked with the amount of listeners in ever city. There are 18 shows in Germany alone and still there's enough people for every place. Being on stage has felt more and more relaxed after every show and probably it was good to start with a bit smaller crowds in Scandinavia and then hit the bigger Central European clubs. Yesterday the bigger production and our own big stage worked like clock. The local crew and of course our own boys Karri, Mikko, MP, Tuomas, Aki and Basty are doing a fantastic job.

I was a bit worried having 11 guys inside the two-floor bus for such period. I mean we never really traveled this much together, not this tight. So it's the band and our own crew and Basty the tour manager who share the space. But somehow it feels as if the bus is half empty in the night when we drive to the next city and that's good. There's a huge lounge downstairs with DVD, Play station, kitchen, WC and stuff. The upper floor has 12 beds and two cool lounges in both ends with all audiovisual equipment. It's so cool to play the guitar in the front and see the cars go by. As stupid as it sounds, we all hated sleeping in a nice hotel on a day off in Hamburg. Everybody agreed with Sami who said at breakfast that he had missed the bus bed and the rest of us. I'm sure all this will change as we spend some more days together. We will get enough of each other. But all feels very cool so far.

And one thing…. Every time we've played Fairytale Gone bad, there's been a lot of people raising some kind of signs for us. The first show in Hamburg is said "JEE, " in Magdeburg "NOW" and yesterday in Berlin "WE" and I must say yesterday I was already waiting for the words to appear. Somebody said it would go through the whole tour. NOOOOOOOOO!!!! ;=) I can't sleep until I know what the whole story is. Maybe "Jee, Now we can celebrate HIFK as the new ice hockey champion of Finland…" Could it be…? Anyway the trick is really cool and who ever are behind it have given us some odd but nice feelings on stage. I can't wait for the next show and the next word.

Our driver Mr. John Dear told me there would be new clean sheets in my bed when I come back tomorrow. It's not that I drool much, just to keep it clean. He's a cool guy, somewhat scary when you first meet him, but inside he's a real teddy bear. I'm sure he will learn to love my car and the Finnish Kummeli Movies.

So we're about to land now. I'm gonna wake Riku up and put his seat in the upright position. I hope Jukka, Sami and Raul are having fun in Berlin & Dresden while we have to work ;=) Jukkas producer partner Aku is also still in Berlin together with my singer colleague Max "Maximilian Largo" from the Band Killer Aspect. Could bet that they are snoring off their hangovers…

Rok U Soon,

PS: Remember to vote at the MTV thing!


23/10/2007 Dresden – Leipzig – Erfurt - Hannover

I am having dinner with Sami, Gorilla Mikko, MP and Riku at Crown Plaza, Hannover. Mikko, MP and I have goat cheese with bacon for starters, Sami and Riku took a salad. How healthy are they! Main courses are fish recommended by the waitress. The red wine we have is made by the Fetzer Corporation in America. The best US wines in my opinion.

Yesterday was the first real day off for Riku and me. The last day there was no show we had the trip to Vienna and even though it was really relaxing and well organized, I must admit the two morning flights messed my tour rhythm and I was really tired for a few days. Normally I like to stay awake after the others go to sleep at night and just write some lyrics, watch a movie or do something alone. Then I go to bed at 3AM and usually really wake up at 1 or 2 PM. You need to sleep a lot on tour and actually I have never slept this good in my whole life.

I feel like shit today. The back stage at Dresden was pretty cold and we all felt something in our throats and noses after the show. It's annoying when someone gets sick in a gang like this; everybody gets it sooner or later. Jukka has felt really bad already for three days and yesterday he had a really high fever. Even if I told him not to rock & sweat that much on stage the last few shows, he just couldn't help it. Our little fighter ;=) I had 5 hot drinks with boiling water, rum, honey and lemon last night before going to bed and actually I was able to sleep for 12 hours. I feel a bit better now but I must take it a bit easier on stage today.

The shows in Dresden, Leipzig and Erfurt were amazing. I was a bit worried if there would be enough listeners every night. The distance between the last three cities have been less than 150 Km but the rooms have been full and the folks have been so loud and fantastic.

I will have some tea now with Sami's some kind of miracle medicine. I will skip the sound check and try to get some sleep. There are some fans outside the venue next to our bus and I hope they don't mind skipping the photos and autographs this time. Jukka said he's feeling better already so maybe I'll be fine soon too. The show must go on…


26/10/2007 Hannover – Braunschweig - Dortmund

I just came back to the hotel from the center of Dortmund with Jukka. We all slept the whole day first and after the snoring we needed to do some shopping. It is just amazing but I have almost won my flu already even though it started just a few days ago. I must say the show in Hannover was really painful and I honestly had to focus on staying on my feet. My throat hurt like hell but amazing as it is, it was still a lot of fun. Mostly because of the great audience. I was so sure I was gonna be too sick to sing at all in Braunschweig but no. Sami's and our Driver John's miracle medicine helped. And of course the 12-hour sleep in the buss. John even gave me an extra pillow to make it comfortable. He is a real teddy bear! And probably the hot rum drinks had something to do with it too. Anyway, it's really nice to be back on my feet. I must say the thought of canceling a show or two because someone's sick doesn't feel nice at all, but of course that might happen in the future. This time we were tough enough. Juk
ka is also feeling far better. We saw the crew guys downstairs when we got back to the hotel with Jukka and they said they all feel a bit bad. Hope it's not their turn. The two shows, especially the way we do it sweating so much, is definitely not what the doctor told me to do to get better, but I must say it's amazing how much energy you get from a great crowd.

Our back stage was really cool yesterday. It was this small club with a real bar and sound system and we had a huge party there after and before the show. Sami and Gorilla Mikko were the DJs and the musical menu was mostly Ramones and other credible rock. Well Jukka and I stood by the venue gates after the show with some folks who'd been to the show but some of the lovely girls from the crowd assisted us with getting some drinks outside while we took pictures together with the others. I could stand there for hours every night but sometimes it's just so cold and you must think about the shows the next days and you must get into the bus to stay warm. You don't want to risk the next few shows because of a few more autographs. So everybody felt a bit tired today after partying and especially after Riku's Bacardi Cola session in the bus on the way to Dortmund.

I must say Riku has done a great job so far. The boots he stepped into are not easy to fill at all and even though our songs are not Mozart or Vivaldi level difficult, he has done a brilliant job. I also feel really happy how the fans, listeners and media have taken him more as a musician and the savior of the tour than a guy who's standing on someone else's spot. Personally I must say I have never been this happy traveling with anyone and even though many of us have been sick and some times tired too, the atmosphere is just awesome. I hate to think that there are only 18 shows and then we all must go home.

I had a chat with our management today and I was told that the MTV European Music Awards thing is getting really tight. There are seven bands left and every day they drop one more. Only the top three get to join the MTV awards in Munich next week and of course I am hoping for the best. The message we got today is that we still have a chance but it is really a tough fight between the seven bands left. I believe in the folks who support us and no matter what happens, I know a lot of people have been clicking their fingers blue with this one. Would be cool to be able to thank them all every now and then. Angels. Of course it would be nice to get to perform for hundreds of millions at the awards, but I decided not to think about it from the very beginning that much.

I'll go to bed now and try to get up early in the morning for a little gym session. Good night everyone, wherever you are….


29/10/2007 Dortmund - Osnabruck – Köln

I can't sleep…

I'm in this very nice hotel room in Cologne and we had this tiny party today with Jukka, Raul and some EMI folks. The bus dropped us in front of the hotel at 12 in the day and I had to continue sleeping until 6 PM in my huge room. I just can't get it why I sleep so much and so well on this trip. We saw some Kummeli movies (Great Finnish humor) with Jukka all night in the bus and fell asleep at 5. Still laughing.

Now it was only 2 shows and again a day off. I guess that is a great way to tour; a day off after every 2 shows. Especially when some of the boys are ill like now. The flu has left us alone and apart from some crew members everybody's feeling all right.

We played for 2 amazing audiences again. The loudest audience so far was, no question in Dortmund. It was a sold out club with some 2000 listeners and I actually had to remove my ear monitor from my right ear a couple of times just to hear the real sound of the crowd. Osnabruck (never honestly heard of the place before) was also very nice but very hot too. My jeans were all wet from sweat after the show. The venue is in the middle of nowhere and as we arrived there in the night at 2 AM the club was still open. We went in with Jukka, Monitor Tuomas and Gorilla Mikko and we saw this guy (40+) dancing in a mini skirt. Nice. Seemed as if the party couldn't get better ;=)

I tried to climb over a fence in Dortmund after the show to meet some folks that have been to the show and I hurt my arm pretty bad. I didn't see the spikes that were up there up on the iron fence to get rid of the birds and their shit and I hurt my hands pretty bad. Our driver John cleaned my hands with Absolute Vodka to avoid any bad infections. THAT HURT…… Amazingly the hands are ok now and we can go on….

It's amazing how much dirty clothes you get traveling like this. Today we visited some local EMI folks homes to clean our clothes with Jukka. They also fed us and gave us some red wine. They are an EMI couple working for us together and ULI, the guy actually is also recording with his own band and Jukka was able to give him some recording and mixing tip in return.

It'll be so cool to play the Cologne Ewerk again tomorrow. That is where we shot the DVD that is out now. Feels like coming home. My mom and Mikko the guy who once sold his house in Helsinki to pay the studio costs are going to see the first show on this tour and that makes it even more exciting. The Ewerk is a big hall with a lot of air inside even when it's full of music listeners and I am really looking for that show. Köln is also my favorite town in Europe. Again today as we arrived here, I felt like I could really live here. Köln is a very open minded gay-city and the atmosphere is just awesome. And even though I really like girls, the open minded feeling makes you feel ok even though you come from my Country.

So… I'll try to sleep a bit now. I have 8 hours in bed until the bus will pick us up in front of the hotel. I already missed the morning take off twice on this tour and have been following the bus with taxi after a few hours. Tomorrow I will be there in time and get to my booked gym at one in the center.

Can you believe it's only 4 bands left ion the MTV voting. Well, no mater what happens, life will go on and even if we don't get to the top 3 to be able to perform at the gala, the fans have made a terrific job. But of course I have faith in our own gang.

I will try to sleep now. The bed is huge and kind of inviting. Rock you soon.


03/11/2007 Saarbrucken - Nurnberg

We had two relaxing days off in Nurnberg historical and beautiful city and everybody was supposed to have all the energy in the world to rock the stage again. Yesterday we had dinner together with our German crew in the center. The crew is doing such an amazing job and all the guys are really cool. It'll be a challenge to find guys like them when they leave us after the tour. Their next project is the Nightwish European Tour.

Unfortunately some of us got this stomach flu from the food we had yesterday. I'm not going to say the name of the restaurant because the illness could be caused by something else too. Anyway. I was feeling a bit odd in the morning and I slept very bad. You know this kind of feeling that you're too weak to get out of bed (actually pretty normal for me in the morning ;) and you feel like throwing up all day.

I was feeling bad all the way to the moment I saw the security guys open the club's doors for the audience today but then suddenly it got better. Jukka had been sleeping the whole day complaining about the same stuff. And also Tuomas, our monitor guy. And we all had the same food yesterday. Right before the show everyone seemed to be ok and usually even if someone has a flu or fever we are still able to make it through the show.

The venue (Löwensaal) in Nurnberg was the hottest place I have ever played at and the amount of sweat was amazing. I saw sweat drops falling from my fingertips already on the second song and that means there's a lot more to come. The light control console broke because of the heat and the crew had to steal Sami's fan that keeps him cool during the show. They needed it more to cool down Aki's lightning desk and equipment. That's how hot it was. When Riku was playing his solo, Jukka said he couldn't make it until the end of the show. He has played for you guys and girls in very high fever just like all of us, but this time the look on his very pale face was more serious than ever. He promised to try to do Fight til dying and Fairytale but then he kind of fell down and had to go to the back stage to wait for medics.

It was a bit strange playing the end of the set only with Sami, Riku and Raul and a keyboard standing alone in the dark. I felt a bit sorry for the people who missed a few songs and most of Jukka-Energy because one soldier was down but hey, what can U do?

Now we are in the bus on our way to Giessen. I'm watching Collateral in the upper front lounge with Riku, Jukka is trying to sleep alone on the sofas in the back. The rest of the gang is either sleeping in their beds or playing play station Soccer downstairs. I hope Jukka gets better for the show tomorrow. I really don't want to skip it.

The MTV EMA stuff went as it did. I don't feel sad or bad about it at all. The only thing I feel kind of sorry for, are all the wonderful people who were fighting so hard to get us there. The truth still is that we have already gotten so much in a very short time and nobody can have everything you see in the horizon. It would have been cool to get there, sure, but especially after I saw how the three finalists were together on stage waiting for the final results, I don't know if I really would have wanted to be there. Just like Miss Europe finalists. There were two losers and one winner. Thanks for all the votes and all the efforts. We will never forget how you fought for us.

I will check Jukka's condition now and then start the next movie with Riku. It's funny how we end up on the same sofas in the front with him almost every night watching a movie, just the two of us. Everybody in the bus have their silly routines. Just like Sami arranging all his DVDs on the shelf above his bed. I bet they are in alphabetical order now too ;=)

Our Driver John will give me only one glass of wine tonight. I had said on TV in Austria that that's how he treats us every night. He gives us one glass of wine and puts us to bed. He had been watching PRO7 TV channel in his hotel room and saw me saying that. He said it's only one glass for me this night since I said it on TV ;=) I will find the hidden bottles... I'll find them!

When we left the venue after two hundred autographs tonight, John took us to the legendary Zeppelin Field in the Nurberg city where Mr. A Hitler used to do his speeches for the huge crowds. A really cool spot. That's also the place for Rock Im Park where we performed on the main stage this summer. He knew most of the SS buildings and stuff in that area and we got a free sightseeing tour and a free history lesson.

I cross my fingers for Jukka's condition and for the show tomorrow....

PS. Jee, Now we are in wonderland where we want to stay together 4ever….. And counting!


08/11/2007 Giessen – Wurzburg – Stuttgart – Kempten – Munich

I just woke up (2:30 PM) in my bed as Riku was watching Sheryl Crow live DVD in the front lounge. First I was a bit angry for the loud sound but then I couldn't help myself enjoying her great voice. Whatta great way to wake up.

I told the guys last night I would arrange a trip downtown to gym for all who want it, but obviously it's too late now. I told them to wake me up at 12. Nobody did. Nobody dared to wake up the sleeping baby. Or then they were afraid of my reaction. I am not a morning person…

It is the last show in Germany today. It's amazing how fast time goes by. When I looked at the list of shows in the beginning, I thought it would be a lot of work and a hard trip. It could be pretty tough performing three nights in a row but I must be honest it feels like holiday. Our live agent said this might be the last time we play in smaller cities in Germany. Next time it could be only the bigger towns, such as Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Köln, etc, but I must say the atmosphere has been just super everywhere. And the clubs have been so full. Luv it ;=)

I must mention one of the highlights of the tour in Wurzburg celebrating Riku's birthday. We splashed a Tiramisu cake onto his face after the last song on stage and some of the clothes still smell like Mediterranean dessert. I hope somebody got that on youtube or something.
The club looks very nice today. Yesterday it was pretty cold, I mean they turned the air-conditioning very cool before the show and especially when there are these small breaks for me, I should have brought a huge towel or something to keep it warm. Luckily the audience was warm, again ;=)

I have two Finnish friends visiting us today, One from Milano and one from Helsinki. They are the same guys who drank all the beers and other liquids at Rock am Ring back stage in the summer and I guess we'll have a tiny party tonight down town. I will stay in Munich with them for one night and we will drive to Linz tomorrow. The Italian guy came with his car. It took only a few hours from his home, that's how south we are now. The rest of the band and crew will drive to Austria tonight.

The rest of the tour will be pretty easy. First we play in Linz, then day off. Then shows in Vienna and Graz and a day off again. Then shows in Solothurn and Pratteln and a day off before the final show in Continental Euroipe in Zurich. I guess there will be a "tiny" party after the Zurich show and actually we fly back home the next evening. We end the tour in Helsinki (Nov30th) and Seinäjoki, Sami's home town (Dec 1st). I still don't know for sure what will happen after that. There are so many plans going to new continents, recording new songs, finishing the new studio in Helsinki and all, but let's see after the show in Seinäjoki.

We have had two support acts in Europe. German Cristian Venus (and his hilarious band;) and the Danish Grand Avenue (In 5 cities). The singer of GA is the brother of the guy who directed our latest video Heal Me. Grand Avenue sounds so much bigger that Sunrise Avenue… We might change the name to Sunrise Highway.

In Helsinki we will be supported by Killer Aspect and Giant Leap, both from My Country, and the last show we play together with KA only. Killer Aspect is the band whose album Jukka is actually finishing right now and it's supposed to be ready until the end of the year if all plans go well with our new studio. You gotta check them out. Their drummer Teijo plays on our album tracks like Diamonds, Choose to be me, Heal me, etc and we are pretty close friends with the guys. Their singer Max has the coolest boat on the planet.

I feel very lucky and happy with the shows and crowds we had I Germany. I will miss this part of the tour and all the folks working and rocking together. But I'm sure the Austrian and Swiss shows will be very cool too. They are the first real club shows we play there and I hope there seeing us. I heard that Zurich is sold out and that is a good sign.

Vielen dank für alle Deutschland! See U soon again. And Austria and Switzerland, here we come ;=)


12/11/2007 Munich (Night off) - Linz – Vienna

I just woke up. The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes, was this room service woman in front of me with a look on her face saying, "Mr.Haber has over slept…." Sorry….

I had decided to complain about the internet connection failures and all at the reception, but since I was the one who was late and the girl at the desk smiled so nice, I decided to skip it.

I stayed in Munich after the show and my God that was one party. My friends from Milan had planned the whole night for me. The rest of the band & Crew took the bus straight after the show and a few autographs to Linz Austria. I found myself in my hotel bed at 9 in the morning after experiencing all the high and low class clubs of the town. The best one was probably Pascha (can remember how it was written). I even lost my phone in a unofficial (Albanian or something) "taxi" in the morning but the nice guy driving it brought it back after I promised to pay the full value of the Nokia.

The Milan guys were traveling by car and so they gave me a ride to Linz where I had a full day off. The city was very nice, although I wasn't in a condition to enjoy it with a full heart. Shopping at the local H&M and Peek & C-something felt a bit unpleasant without eating anything the hole day. I fell asleep before midnight.

The show and the venue in Linz were just great! It was the first club show in Austria and we really didn't know what to expect. The only experience we had with the Austrian audience was the Novarock Summer festival in Nickelsdorf and that had been ranked as one of our best audiences ever. That brought the expectations a bit higher.

But the night was perfect apart from my bleeding hand. I cut my finger in the morning at breakfast cutting the bread and the wound wasn't that bad before the show until I started to annoy the cut in my hand with the guitar strings. There was so much blood and the looks on the faces in the first rows were funny. I survived.

Yesterday we had a day off in Vienna and the evening was filled with music. After an early dinner we went to the center to listen to some of the local "pop stars" composers. It was a quintet playing the masterpieces of Mozart and of course since we were in Vienna, the second half was stuff from Mr. Strauss. I must say some of my hair is still up towards the sky after the experience. There was also a female singer and two ballet dancers performing in some of the tracks. Very nice. I can recommend it to anyone visiting the Austrian capital. The classical journey was a gift from Jukka, our musical mastermind.

After Strauss and Mozart we took a taxi to a different cultural event. We went to see the show of LOVEX, our Finnish pals in the center in a very small club. The guys are also on tour and actually in Munich the played just next door but we didn't have a chance to meet them then due to the interviews and all. Theon & gang even played Bon Jovi's Runaway for us Sunrise guys ;=) There can never be too much BJ played in any part of the world.

I fell asleep at 12 in the night and I don't know why but I woke up at 4 in the night. First I tried to force my self back to sleep, but it didn't work. Finally I gave up, opened the mini bar and started writing lyrics for the new songs. My hotel room was on the top of the hotel in the Center of Vienna and I saw the whole city under me through my window. The snow we had here yesterday had melted and the wet city streets looked so lonely and peaceful. What could be more inspiring?


13/11/2007 Gold in Austria

We played one of the coolest shows of the tour yesterday in Vienna at the sold out Vienna Arena and the local EMI had arranged a very very very nice surprise for us after the show. The album had reached the gold limit in Austria (more than 15.000 sold units) and Fairytale gone bad is the most downloaded song of the year (more than 22.000 legal downloads).

I have no words to thank you enough. Go Österreich!!! And rock you gain today.

Thank you!


17.11.2007 Graz – Solothurn show & Day off – Pratteln

We just arrived from a signing session at the Media Markt record store with the guys and now we are having dinner at the catering area at Pratteln Z7 club backstage. Probably the best insalata caprese on this trip.

I hate the fact that there will be only two shows more on the tour and then we go home. It helps a bit to know that there will be two shows also in my country the NOV 30th and Dec 1st but I must say the trip has topped all my dreams in many ways.

I know my mom has cleaned my whole apartment ten times while I've been away to make it nice for me to come back home… And Mom, if you read this, it was not a suggestion ;=)

My gym and jogging rhythm has gone very bad on the trip. That is probably the only downside there is. Like in Solothurn on the day off I was supposed to go working out in the morning of the show day and have a nice sleep the night before but Jukka said we needed to plan some recording stuff for the next album that we start working with in January. We were supposed to have the famous "one glass" of red wine in the lobby bar. After a BOTTLE of wine we decided to head downtown for one more "Glass." We found this really nice bar full of men and on the walls they had pictures of topless guys. It was a gay bar, of course. They folks were very funny and they treated us like any regulars. I even tipped the waiter putting 10 Euros inside his shirt. So much for the gym the next morning.

As we finally found our way back to the hotel, the rest of the guys were trying to save Riku's MAC. I had bought an external hard drive to keep his important files during the new system installation, but of course I had forgotten to make it mac suitable. MP, Raul and Sami were all sitting on the hotel floor fighting with the missing files… Oooops.

I was so sure I would die on stage in Solothurn because of the after shock of the gay bar drinking, but again, the show and the audience was very cool and enjoyable. It's so great how in every city the folks in the audience have taken us.

Tomorrow is the last day off and then the last show… The highlight for me is that my little sister is coming over to the Zurich show. She's only seen a few shows in Finland and that was before the audiences got a bit bigger. Her being there gives me extra energy. She has been one of the biggest supporters for me going on with my music when the times have been hard. She's coming together with my mom and her most of you people already know. She is there all the time ;=) It's her third of the fourth show on this tour. Sweet!

I will join our support act Christian Venus and the band on their sound check. Hope they don't mind. I wonder if they'll give me a guitar.

Our song CHOSE TO BE ME got selected as the theme song for BIG BROTHER Germany next year. Pretty amazing. The album has been out for almost 18 months and there is nothing new in that way for anyone. I hope we get to visit the house in the spring ;=) I could never take part in a program like that. On the other hand we are living our own BB life inside the tour bus with the hairy tech crew.

I have fallen off the stage or the raisers only once so far on this tour and I didn't hurt myself that bad. Our tech guys say I must cool it down a little. They sat they must close their eyes especially when we play DESTINY. Especially in the end when I jump around. I can't get it. I have full control of my long legs and it's so much fun ;=)


21/11/2007 Zurich – Home sofa

I woke up this "morning" at 3 PM on my new sofa they had brought to my new flat while I was away. My head was still hurting after the party in Zurich we had after the last show in Central Europe. I had to drive to the record company to get some paper work done and as I started my car and drove out of the garage, I realized I must change my winter tires on. It's minus degrees and I couldn't live with crashing my car because of the slippery roads…

So the tour is over for now. Well, we have 2 more shows here in my country but the 2-month trip and living together with the band and the production is behind now.

The show in Zurich was just amazing. Super. And of course there was this extra charge in the batteries when every one on stage and behind it knew there would be a few weeks off after it. And my mom and my dear sister were there and they were in my thoughts most in a funny way even if I trid to avoid it ;=) Our promoter had booked this private club for us with all the food and drinks and to be honest, it was also one of the coolest parties ever. We actually didn't sleep at all before we had to leave the hotel to the airport. Sorry for everyone staying at our floor. There was a N.A.S.T.Y. after-after party at Riku's room. Hopefully there was nobody on a honeymoon at the hotel. The noise sure would have destroyed all peaceful love plans.

The tour was the best 2 months in my life ever. When we started the whole trip in Stockholm, I was a bit nervous with all the folks traveling together and cold weather attacking my throat and all but it all went so well. I will miss our driver John and his two minded jokes and our humble German crew who made the stuff so great for us every night. Still the biggest thing that amazes me still is the audience we had every single night. I was wondering before the tour if there would be enough listeners performing in so many towns. The rooms were so full in every place and most of the shows were sold out. How great is that!

They say you get depressed after a tour like that at home if all goes well on the road. And I must admit I miss it all already. Luckily I have so much to do that it's only in the darkness of the night when I have the time to think about it. We must finish the album of Killer Aspect together with the band and Jukka & Aku and all the other stuff from 2 months is undone in my studio room.

I must say we are the luckiest guys on the planet getting to be a part of a tour like that. I can never thank everyone enough clapping their hands and singing our songs every night. I can never express how great it feels.

We will have our brothers from Killer Aspect supporting us in the last shows in Finland and the tour finally ends in the 1st of December in Seinäjoki, Sami's hometown. And in Helsinki the new great sounding Finnish Pop/Rock band Giant Leap warm up the crowd before the KA guys. I heard that the tickets have sold very well and I guess we will have two wonderful nights to end the whole year 2007 and the 169 shows we have played this year.

Thank you so much for the support, the very funny and amazing gifts and stuff and the moments together before and after the show. We will rock you soon again… ;=)


17/12/2007 Last words of Year 2007

Hey all,

I'm sitting at home on my sofa; the most comfortable sofa on the planet and it's only three more days before I start my Christmas holidays. It's been pretty hard to relax after the tour, post stress I guess. Once restless - always restless.

The year 2007 was one hell of a year for us. We played 169 shows, I had 105 flights and there were very high mountaintops and deep valleys on the way here. It's all part of the game. We reached many of our dreams, traveled to many new countries and experienced the coolest audiences ever all over Europe. I've cried tears of happiness and also tears of pain and to be honest, I wouldn't skip a drop or one second of it.

In January we will get keys to our brand new studio in the Center of Helsinki with Jukka and his producing partner Aku. I'm very happy we will have a place where we can start recording our next album in January with all the time we need. If all goes well, the album will be released in 2008. It all depends on how much we need to travel to new continents. I have a good feeling about the whole thing and at least so far there's no pressure with song writing and stuff even though the first album did so well.

Jukka will be responsible for producing the album and therefore he might not join us for all the shows and activities from January to July. It's up to him and the schedules. The album comes first now. We have decided together with him that he will stay as a full member of the band. In the summer he decided to leave the band after the European tour 2007, but since everything has been much better internally, he asked for a permission to stay. This might mean you folks have been too nice to him ;=) I am personally very happy he's in. The songs on CD or on stage would not sound near the same without his master skills. And his big blonde hair…;=)

Mr. Riku "Räjähde" will also be performing with us next year too. Let's see if he will become a full member in the band too some day. We will have many long chats about his role in the future. We received very much positive feedback about him and we must admit we all like the guy very much, but there's no rush to make any fast decisions now. Let's make the album first and see where we are and what everybody feels when it's done. Thank you all for taking Riku so well and friendly on the tour. I was personally very very nervous. The situation was very difficult for all of us and for you listeners, fans and supporters too.

I hope the way we have handled you has shown how much we value your support everywhere we go. The feeling in my heart is a mixture of love, thankfulness and also pride having the best and craziest people clapping their hands in the audience night after night and establishing the coolest support websites and stuff. I know the fact that I myself or Sunrise Avenue as a band wouldn't be anything like this without you and your efforts.

So once again... It's been one hell of a year and there are no words to express how thankful we are for all of you. I hope you all have a great Christmas with your loved ones and let's keep on rocking in 2008 ;=) Jeeeeeeeeeeeee
Thank you & Merry Christmas & Happy New year 2008!


05.02.2008 Samu
New Video & EBBA Etc.

Hey all!

It´s been a while. I´ve been mostly having time off and recharging my batteries for the year 2008 and all the challenges ahead. I must say it was really strange waking up at home so many mornings (really early afternoons ;) in a row after all the traffic last year and it was somewhat challenging to find stuff to do. I was really restless and a bit depressed even for the first weeks of this year but now things have started to roll smooth again.

2007 was quite a year. We performed 169 shows, released the album in many many new countries and received 8 gold and platinum single and album awards and other trophies for the work we did together with you guys and girls. Four big tours and all the stuff in between. Also there were some negative issues we needed to deal with and of course those things are not nice, but still I wouldn´t change one second of all we went through. It´s life as it is. Thank you so much for all!

Obviously many of you have heard that Janne has filed a court case against Jukka, Sami, Raul and myself. He wants our money and also the name Sunrise Avenue away from us. It´s so sad. Our lawyers say there is no need to worry, so I hope you could also have patience with it. We will keep on playing shows and recording albums no matter what happens. Even with a name "Sunrise Mental Hospital." I still hope all the fighting will not affect too much on the way we are able to work together. Of course it´s a challenge, but somehow all this has actually brought the rest of us even closer together. We will meet Janne and his lawyers soon and I hope we could come to some sort of a settlement and face all this as grown-ups. I guess it would be better for all sides. It´s the first time we are allowed to sit down together after the change.

And you are absolutely right. This thing is band´s internal stuff and should not be spoken here, but the rumor had it that we took him to court. That´s not the way. No matter how much it hurts and how stupid all this is, I felt like correcting it. I am not proud of myself for writing these lines.

We shot our fourth video (Choose to be me) in London last week. I must say I really like the story and how it looks. In the clip, I am this guy doing a magic trick because this girl makes me do the stuff. Things get really dangerous and actually something very bad might happen to me in the end. Maybe I wrote this already before the shootings. Maybe I didn´t survive ;=) You´ll see it soon; In Central Europe already this week and in Germany for example they play it on Wednesday right after the evening news at 08 PM on RTL II. A British actress Jenny Evans plays the leading female role and she does it just so amazingly well! I think we will have some things to do also with the German Big Brother show. CTBM is the theme song and I heard we might visit the show or even the house if all goes well.

I think this video will be the last one from "On the way to wonderland" and actually we are just building a new studio in Helsinki to start recordings of the second album. I have played many new songs together with Sami and Raul and I must say they sound really cool. It´s funny. Everybody said as a songwriter I would have huge pressure writing the 2nd albums tracks after the successful 1st one, but all seems to be really relaxed. I must say Raul and especially Sami have brought a lot of great ideas to the new songs. The atmosphere seems so be right finally.
There will be shows around Europe and some are already confirmed. I hope we could confirm all the dates they are negotiating right now but as soon as they let us know, we will update the info on our websites. The goal is to release the album this year, but let´s see. There are a few special tracks I´d love you folks to hear right away but lets be patient.

We came back home from Cannes, France yesterday with Jukka, Riku, Sami and Raul the Nutcracker. Riku was there with us and as I wrote before, he will continue playing with us on live shows and let´s see with the future plans when the 2nd album is done. Anyway. The EBBA (European Boarder Breaker Award) award (presented for the most selling European artist outside their home country) we got was a very cool thing. The gala itself was technically a nightmare and performing two songs has never made us angrier. I hope they learn something from our feedback. But it was nice to hang out at the boulevards and of course avenues (; by the Mediterranean Sea when the sun was shining and the temperature rose higher than 20 C on the afternoons.

I have started reading books. I don´t know what happened in Africa with my mom and my little brother but I suddenly realized enjoying the relaxing effect of a great book and now I´m going through different band / star biographies to understand my / our feelings a bit more in the entertainment world. Maybe I am pregnant or something… The one on the loop is Stings life story. Jesus, there´s cool stuff he did and survived from.

I hope you all have a great spring and I hope you have enough strength to make it to the summer. It´ll come. Don´t forget to check out the new demo track we wrote with Jukka for my friend who got out of jail. The name is "fail again" and you can find it on the Choose to be me single among the versions and some cool remixes.

May the force be with you & See U soon!

Samu


08.02.2008 Samu
Fail again & Carnival this and carnival that...

Just so you all know, there is NO carnival of any kind in Finland at this time of the year. In my country we study and work hard and we really don´t give a damn about partying and especially drinking. It´s too childish for Finnish mentality, ha ;=)

Honestly I´m just jealous but anyhow... ;=)

Samu

PS: If you feel like joining a CARNIVAL, try the Finnish VAPPU (Labor day April 30th) and everyone who survives that gets full respect from me for life.

And here are the lyrics as so many of you requested.

The day you fail again

(©Haber & Backlund 2007)

Hey man I can see you standing tall on your feet again
There were those dark days but you´re far over them
Say can you remember all the mess far behind you
They were all so sure you´d never find your way through

Feels like life for you today it´s only perfect
Seems like sorrow shame never was really there
These are the moments that you keep inside your heart to guide you then
The day you fail again

I am so sorry for the times I wasn´t by your side
But now I found faith in you again with my own eyes
Say can you see the fear in me you will fall again
And you will be left alone although you´d really need them

Feels like life for you today it´s only perfect
Seems like sorrow shame never was really there
These are the moments that you keep inside your heart to guide you then
The day you fail again


19.02.2008 Samu
Echoes of the new studio and Moscow

We were at the ECHO awards with Jukka on Friday. We were nominated for the best international Band (something) and the other bands fighting for the same trophy were Linkin Park (who won), Bon Jovi (!!!), The Eagles and 30 sec to Mars. We knew we would not win but still we decided to buy black suits and shows and stuff for that very event.

Well, they never even presented the whole award at the gala and all we got was 3 hours of moderating and jokes in German, great German performances (Dj Ötzi and stuff) and we ended up eating on the floor a bit drunk with my blond band mate ;=) Well I have to say seeing Kylie live was very nice and also the Nightwish performance made the night worth living through. I am so fucking proud of the Nightwish guys how they managed to pull it through after all the bull shit with changing their singer. I think the change was a very good thing for them.

The studio is slowly getting there piece by piece. There are real construction guys working every day and it´s so cool now that you can see the final walls already in many of the rooms. There will be a huge painting session at the end of this month and Jukka had bought the Kitchen today. My dad will come and help us install the stuff. It´s gonna be so great!!!! I wish I could invite everybody to the grand opening in march before we start recording the next SA album ;=) The next album has a project name. We call it "The Popgasm"

After getting home from Berlin on Saturday, we sat down with Jukka looking at some new songs we both have written. I so hope it would already be March when we really get to hit the record button at put our new vintage equipment to work for us. There are a few songs I am dying to get done. Especially "Welcome to my life", a song I wrote some months ago. Patience patience, Doctor Haber…

We will play our first Russian shows this week in Moscow and St.Petersburg. Funny but none of us has never been to Russia even though it´s our neighbor. They say the audiences there are really loud and cool, so well see. At least all the arrangements seem to be taken care of very well and professionally.

After the Russian shows we will join the Big Brother gang in Germany. I really don´t know what they have planned for us, but I hope they don´t lock us into the house. You know, they have sex and all there. The Germans ;=) Actually they could keep Raul for a few weeks. He has been a bad boy.,. ;=)

Keep rocking


27.02.2008 Samu
From Russia with Love & BB Visit

I am SO DEAD!
I have slept 5 hours the last too nights and now I am finally sitting on my sofa at home (the comfortable one) with a glass of wine. As soon as I have this thing written, I will dive into my bed under the huge blanket and never come out.

But let´s get to the reasons of being tired….

We flew to St. Petersburg on Friday with the guys to play our very first shows in Russia ever. We had heard that the audiences there are really cool and that they treat the bands very well so the atmosphere was great from the take off. We also had a 2-month break with playing full shows and therefore we also had been waiting for these shows probably more than ever before. The flight left at 6 something in the morning and I just wasn´t able to sleep the whole night before. The same happened to Jukka and also to Karri (Guitar tech) and Aki (Light tech) and we must have looked very presentable as we landed in Russia. We knew there would be a huge customs mess with all the equipment we were traveling with but luckily the local promoter had arranged a warm bus for us for the hour or something we had to wait for our guitars and stuff to get their stamps to enter the country.

After the check we went straight to bed for two hours before the interviews with Russian MTV and others and some meet and greet winners. You know when you only have a short nap, you´re kind of half sleep the whole evening. Still it´s amazing how the adrenaline wakes you up before the show and it was just as great as the other Finnish bands had told us. Very loud and they took part in singing the whole way. It was the first show there and we really didn´t know what to expect, but the club was full and the night was perfect for us.

The next day the wakeup was at 3pm (!!!) so that helped a little for the off day. I went shopping with our record company guy Mikko and finally found the new lap top bag I have been looking for for ages. We also got the Sunrise Avenue CD and track number four, the first single was called FairyTABLE Gone Bad;=) Russian version. We flew to Moscow late in the evening just to get a good sleep before the next show day.

The club B1 in Moscow was bigger and it was probably the coolest rock club I have ever been to. Very cool indeed. We had a pretty busy day with interviews and meet&greets but since there were 5 guys doing it together, it was fun. We learned how to say "I am a jumping Frog" in Russian but I can´t write it here since I don´t know the Russian alphabets. There had been false information in some of the tickets saying that the show time is 8 and in some tickets it said at 9. It was quite annoying to keep the crowd waiting but what can you do. Sorry for the delay & thanx for the patience, wasn´t our fault. We could have started much earlier.

The show was just fantastic again. And Raul became the new leader of Volvo Russia fan club (Sorry, stupid insider).
Ouh, and after the sound check we made a quick visit to the red square. You must do that if you are in Moscow. Actually I´m sure Moscow and also St. Petersburg are really nice in the summer. In winter it´s quite much like Helsinki, dirty snow and stuff everywhere, but I am so sure it´s very cool in the summer.

We were supposed to go to sleep right after the show to be fresh in Germany the next day at the Big Brother house. Nope ;=) We had the after party of our lives at Karri´s room with the whole band and crew and even my little brother joined us. He was there at the show with my mom. Mom went to bed. Some of the crew guys and my brother (of course) went to the streets of Moscow in the night to buy Vodka and other drinks. They came back with bags full of stuff and the outcome was us guys wrestling and having half serious fights. It still hurts everywhere ;=)
The walls of the room were mostly there in the morning when we left the hotel but I am sure some sort of an invoice will follow us later on. Tuomas (Monitor tech) crashed his head through the WALL when the battled with Aki. Boys…

So… I slept for 2 hours at the hotel in Moscow. I didn´t really have a hangover but I was so tired. And I knew that millions of Germans would watch me on TV at the BB house. It made me sweat.

Luckily we had time for a shower when we got to Köln, but then it was pretty hectic. We met some competition winners and media before the TV show and we did some photo sessions too. Then they took us to the roof next to the garden area of the BB house and we performed our Schlager "Choose to be me" for the BB guys. And then I finally entered the house…..

I was carrying two baskets full of Finnish beer and a bag full of our CD´s and shirts. The entrance was dead dark before the "Big Brother" opened the door for me. The inhabitants didn´t know about my visit and all I could say to present myself was yelling "Merry Christmas" in German, of course.

The time just stopped. The house was a lot bigger that it appears on TV and it was so bright and HOT. I know you need a lot of light for TV production but it was hotter than I had thought. That´s probably why they are wearing Bermuda shorts. ;=)

It was all pretty unnatural in the beginning. I mean I was the first visitor since the start of the show and obviously the guys and girls had spent a lot of time not knowing what is happening in the world outside. I thought of telling them that the front man of the German pop band Modern Talking is in the cover of the latest GayMagazine, but I decided to leave mr. Dieter alone.

Anyway. They took me all over the house and I was even allowed to enter the ladies (poor side) shitty toilet. There was no toilet seat. You just stand there on top of a hole and do your whatevers… It was so bright and so strange. I just can´t imagine living there or even staying there for more than that half an hour. Nice experience though…

And the Night was long in Cologne too. Even though I was tired already… So now after doing band stuff for the whole day, I will finally get my four pillows and the big blanket. Tomorrow I will go back to our studio construction and get orders from Aku, our studio boss to "scratch this and paint that" for the rest of the week. I hope they have made some progress with the place. I can´t wait for the recordings of the next album to start…

Good night everyone, where ever you are. Maybe I´ll have one more glass of wine…;=)


25.03.2008 Samu
Regenbogen – Grammy – Dome – Austria

We received the Radio Regenbogen listeners’ award in Germany last week and partied ourselves to death ;=) It was one of the coolest award shows I’ve been to and the co performers were very cool too, Enrique Iglesias and all! For the first time we had these little head phones and we could listen to the whole show translated. I still didn’t get all the German jokes, especially the ones the celebrity chef made, but hey, there was so much great red wine on the table that it didn’t really bother us. The performance was somewhat difficult and even though our crew made a really good job, it did hurt in our ears. Hope it was ok for the guests.

We had decided to get to the hotel pretty soon after the gala, but no… ;=) I don’t remember if it was Jukka or Riku (probably both) who’s idea it was to stay and party but the aftermath was us all sleeping for 45 minutes before the plane took off to Finland in the morning.

Normally it wouldn’t be a problem, but the next day we were supposed to present a Grammy award for the best newcomer band at the Finnish awards in Helsinki and as I was fitting my black suit on and looked into the mirror, I wasn’t too proud of myself staying up all night.

The Grammies went well and actually getting the special Export Grammy surprised us big time. The second Grammy we have for the studio decoration. You kind of forget how tired you are with all the interviews and spotlights and the times goes by so fast with the minute schedule for the TV show.

After the award gala we had dinner with our own gang. Most of the crew, the record company and studio staff with their spouses joined us for a nice three hours in a very nice restaurant before we hit the dance floors of Studio 51, the after show place. Thinking about it now, I should have gone home. I still had only 1 hour sleep the night before and the alcohol does funny tricks to you at that shape. Anyway. The night was very nice and it was very cool to meet all the music industry colleagues from Finland. The night ended with me rile-sliding the stairs with my ass (with my black suit still on) and flying against the 1st floor wall. It still hurts everywhere. I have huge black marks on my body and my arm still hurts. I will never drink and party again. Until the next time…

The Dome

For the 5th time ladies and gentlemen! We played a private show for Sennheiser in Frankfurt and in the morning we drove to Friedrichshafen (Germany) for our 5ft performance at the dome. We actually had flights booked for the morning, but our manager cancelled them because of the storm and got a driver for us. For the ones who don’t know, The DOME is a huge TV show in Germany. Four times a year they gather all the most interesting and biggest acts on stage, all for one or two songs. We have performed Fairytale three times, forever yours once and now we did our latest single Choose to be me. The production crew had built these huge strobo-light boxes for all of us, just like we have in front of the stage on tour. It looked so cool. The dome was a bit smaller than usually, probably because of the town size. I guess it was some 6000 viewers but I’m sure it looked BIG on TV.

Raul is usually the nice boy who goes first to sleep, but after the dome he really forced us all to join him to the after party. Especially Riku and me we were really tired and Raul had to use all his salesman skills to get us there. The after party was ok but way too loud, so we hung out there only for 2 hours and got back to the hotel for a "few more" at the lobby. I guess Riku was the last one up at 730 in the morning. A few, right…

In the morning we drove to Austria to Haus im Ennstal for "the end of skiing season" outdoor festival. It was pretty cool performing in the dark night in between the huge mountains. And the crowd was very very cool. It made us all miss the summer festivals like hell. The only downside was that it was +1 degrees in the night and that kind of temperature can really get to your throat. I had to run to the backstage after the stage and try to get warm. After getting there, we realized there was no shower for us and NO toilet! It’s a bit annoying to get away from the festival area sweaty and stinking, but the missing toilet is another thing ;=) Nobody wet their pants, I swear!

The folks arranging the festival didn’t let us sign any autographs or take any photos with the fans for some reason. Ok, we were really in a hurry because we only had a few hours to sleep before the ride to Saltzburg, but for example when I got out of the back door, the security guys pushed me into the van and told me the car would move in 10 seconds. ???? I sat there for 20 minutes with Jukka and Sami waiting. I felt quite bad for the people standing out there with autograph books and stuff. That never happened to us before and I must say I was a bit angry. Sorry for all you outside and thanx for the lovely presents you sent to us through our crewmembers.

One more thing. The hotel was very cool. This castle in the mountains. A spa / golf paradise in the middle of all the piece in the world. Well, I had that for some hours only, because the ride to the airport started already at 6 in the morning. I slept for 2 hours. Riku, Karri and "Gorilla" Mikko stayed there for another few days. I hope the slopes are good for them.

I slept 14 hours last night and went to gym today. I am a new man ;=) I also met a new band from Finland who asked for Jukka’s and my help with their music and stuff. Let’s see what we can do. After the meeting I drove by our studio construction just to see how things are proceeding. It’s all pretty much there. The roof of the main control room needs to be built and also some little parts of lounge walls. The Air-con-pro’s will do some stuff with their pipes this week. And the kitchen of course. The kitchen is there in the huge boxes but someone needs to put everything in place. I am hoping my dad could help me with it next weekend. Maximum 2 weeks and it’s all there.

After it’s all done, our main job will be recording the album 2, The Popgasm. I have a very good feeling about it.
Tomorrow is also the most important Ice Hockey game of the season. My HIFK play against the BLUES at our home arena. It’s the pay offs and we really need to win. I have rented a VIP box for 15 persons to bring more support to the arena. Wish us luck ;=)

Aaaaaand. Yes. Our country man Kimi Räikkönen kind of lost the first race in Australia and got only one point. There’s many more this season. Heads up!!!

PS: Karri’s (our guitar tech) hotel room destruction cost 1000 US Dollars. Bad bad crew boys… I am SOOOO innocent!


17.04.2008 Samu
Dr. Haber calling planet Earth

Hello all. It´s been a while. I am sitting on my comfortable sofa for the last night inside this apartment and I decided to celebrate our last moments together with the sofa by writing a new bloq. I am getting a new sofa tomorrow. I move this one to the new studio to the singing room so the divorce will be easy since I know we will have many moments together in the near future.

It´s been very very nice the last few months. I felt kind of frustrated after the New Year when nothing really happened. Somehow I wanted to get things moving with the next album very fast after all the hassle last year but I think I should have learnt that I also need real time off before I try to jump high again. I guess I was somehow afraid of facing the feelings and all the possible pressure of the new music. As I looked at the calendars, I realized that the last real holiday / time off I had was almost 3 years ago before I took off to Africa with my mom and bro in Christmas.

But anyway… Nothing really happened the last weeks. I mean of course a lot has happened, but finally I have had a lot of time for myself. Sure I have been involved in getting the studio ready (slowly & steadily) and also decorating my new flat. Last Sunday I just realized I hadn´t seen my grandmother for some time and I spent the whole afternoon with her. She is so cool and it´s so cool to talk to her about all the challenges of life. It´s amazing how a lady who worked all her life in a post office carrying envelopes and never really traveled and so, can understand the deepest challenges and highlights of a rock band. She is the coolest. She is 81 years old and again I had to sign some albums for her friends, sweet ;=) She even came to one of the shows last year. She liked it sure, but for her it was too loud and we still have a tiny issue with my tattoos ;=) Also my little brother has been building his own studio with his own gang (I wonder where the hell he gets these studio ideas from;) and I am so damn p
roud of him and his master plan to take over the world someday. That´s my boy! So actually it´s pretty good to stop for a moment and have some time for yourself to realize all the great people around you.

I was in Germany last week with Jukka, Sami, Riku and Aku from our studio. We flew over to Cologne to see this concert of an American guitarist and his band. We had three days for shopping eating well and it was the coolest trip in a long time. I really love the Belgium part of Cologne (Belgische…whatever...) and we are going there next month again with Jukka to look at some apartments. It would be a great idea to have a secret hideout there in case the Helsinki scene gets too tight. And also there are many friends living in Köln mostly from the music industry too. Cologne is also very much closer to everything, like Northern Italy and stuff and you could easily drive there in a few hours. Let´s see. The prices are not that bad.

And about the studio… Well. It has taken MUCH more time and much more money than we thought. That´s how this kind of projects usually go, I guess. There have been times when I felt it´s never gonna be ready, but actually this morning (0830 Am, krhhhmmm!!!) I made the final check of the construction work and there are only a few things missing form the guys doing the air-conditioning and electricity. Some parts of the kitchen are still waiting to be installed because of this stupid water pipe that is to long for the washing machine to fit into it´s place, but hopefully everything will be in place by the end of next week. I made a zillion phone calls again today to get all the workers do their part fast. This Saturday we have a huge cleaning day and on Sunday we try to have the last painting session. Then Aku (our studio "boss" ) and Jukka can start pushing the audio cables and stuff through the walls and get the piano and drums and stuff in. Patience….;=) Not the strongest part of my personality.

While waiting for the studio to get ready for recording, we have been practicing all the new songs with Sami and Raul. Jukka actually has not heard most of the stuff yet and what happens next, we will play all the stuff for him next week and then we will go somewhere just him and me and we will write the necessary stuff and arrangements. That´s how we made the first album and that is how the second one will get its birth too. It´s pretty cool to rememorize all the nights at the studio dreaming about the world tours a few years ago, just him and me...;=) I found one of the closest persons in my life ever then. I am actually really happy that Raul and Sami give us the space & freedom to do the creative part. I mean of course they both have been much more creative with the new stuff than with the first album, but still, Jukka has the final word what comes to sound, riffs and production and we seem to work pretty great with him as a team. Everyone´s ideas can´t end up on the album and I am very happy how this ti
me everyone only looks forward to getting a great album done for ourselves and the fans and not about who´s name is on the booklet. I am personally more than excited about the songs and I can´t wait to hear them through the BIIIIG studio speakers.

Riku has been really great too. I must admit that after the tour and especially after what happened in the summer made me want to get the new member in the band fast to somehow overcome the whole unpleasant mess for the public. However, the studio work is the most important thing now and I also think it´s really great how Riku is being smart with the setup and not pushing himself into the picture any more than is needed. He is doing a really great job playing all the shows with us and doing a lot of promotion and I see no reason why he wouldn´t be with us in the future too. We have agreed that we record the album now and if there are some parts that Jukka wants him to play, he will join us at the studio too. Anyway, after the album "PopGasm" is done, we will have a chat about what all the guys want. I mean we have learnt that nothing is forever. You never know if Raul, for example, will join the belly dancing team of Finland and have a 3-year break from Sunrise. I hope that never happens (for many reasons ;)
but let´s just keep our hearts open for any stuff. Right now it seems as if all guys are extremely happy with the roles they have and that gives me extremely much energy and I sleep my nights well. After a glass of red wine, of course.

I have also been helping some new artists these months writing songs and getting deals and stuff for them and even though you might think that would bring stress to the months you´d really need the rest, it´s completely the opposite. We just mastered the Killer Aspect album (sounds fucking amazing) and that will be released first in Finland in the end of this month. The radios have taken the guys very well and all seems promising. Jukka and Aku and our new mixing guy Tony did a really good job with KA. There are also some very interesting new Sonic Kitchen projects & Bands we will tell you folks about in the very near future. The team is pretty good. Jukka and I write most of the music for all acts together with the bands / artists of course, Aku, Tony and Jukka do the producing and the fifth guy Tuomi is getting used to having a new baby at home and helping us as much as he can with everything. He is a very pro studio guitarist and he will play many of the tracks on our next one. He already did some stuff f
or the first album´s acoustic versions. So even though recording PopGasm will be the main thing for the next 6-9 months, there will be other stuff going on at the studio too. That is really good as long as the projects are loaded with positive energy. I love it. Actually working & planning the first album and the release of some other band helps you remember how damn lucky we are for all the sold albums and steps of success we already have taken so far. Not everybody gets even this far and it´s good to keep that in mind.

We will play some shows in the spring-summer-autumn, but as I wrote before, the main focus will be in studio now. Our management and bookers are slowly confirming and announcing more shows all over Europe and also probably other parts of the world too and I guess there are already some out on the websites. Last year we played 169 shows, this year it will be less than a hundred. Maybe even less than 50. But in 2009 I wanna do 299 and sing all the ubrella-ella´s or what ever with you all many times ;=)

So I hope you all have a great spring and summer what ever you do. See you at the shows very soon I hope.


28.04.2008 Samu
Eska Awards Poland

We´ve been a lot at home this year, witch has been actually very nice and there have been less than 20 trips outside Finland since New Year. Last Thursday we flew to Warsaw, Poland to join the Eska Radio awards in Lodz, 150 Kilometers Southwest from the capital.

Last time we were in Poland, we had huge problems with transportation (you can read what happened in my earlier bloq) and this time the EMI folks had really arranged everything great for us. As we walked out the doors of Warsaw airport, there was a 12-meter Hummer limo waiting for us outside with all the champagne and stuff inside. Good start ;=)

I had bought a DVD quality video camera before the trip and it was very cool filming the looks of Polish countryside people faces as we dove by with the loooong American miracle.

On Thursday evening there was only a dinner and party for all the nominees and acts of the show next day and we hang out with Miss September and Mr.- Bass Hunter and their gangs. We drove around with another long H2 and took a closer look at the second biggest city of the country. We nearly were arrested too by the Polish Cops but that was all Riku´s fault ;=) No, we just crossed this huge street the wrong way and well.. I guess the behavior was not from my mom´s "ABC of life"

The next day was also very relaxed and therefore it wasn´t too bad to be a bit tired after the busy night. The show was one of the most well organized events I have ever been to everything went on so smoothly. And especially after receiving the award of "Best international newcomer" we finally had forgotten al stuff and missing airplanes that hit us on the first trip. Thank you so much!!

And the weather was so so nice. It was the first real day of summer / spring this year.

So sure there was an after party on Friday night and we slept only a few hours before taking the ride to the airport. So I woke up at 9 PM on my sofa after sleeping the whole day and realized we were able to bring the spring along from Poland to Helsinki. It´s so nice now too.

I had a nice meal in the center in a pretty new restaurant called "Cochon" (You must try it if you are in Helsinki, the number 1 on my list) with Mikko, the guy who sold his house for our 1st album and had a few glasses of wine. I just woke up and it´s 3 PM. I slept so great! I have two hours to get to our old studio to have a chat with this new band we might start working with. I will make it ;=)

Thanx for everyhting Poland and especially the lovely folks at EMI music. See U soon


09.07.2008 Samu
Summer Touring and Studio Work

We are flying from Bucharest (Romania) to Warsaw (Poland) for a day off. We started our trip this weekend by playing a show at the NRJ in the park festival in Berlin on Saturday. Everything seemed pretty ok that day. I actually had slept very well before the night before the take off in Helsinki and in Berlin the weather was just amazing. As the crew guys did the sound check and made things ready for the show at the venue, we were swimming and exercising at the gym / pool area of the very comfortable hotel.

The stage in Berlin was built on water. Very cool with the 20 meter catwalk but the only down side was that the audience was on the beach and in the water and they could not get close to us. They were maybe some 20 meters away at the closest spot. You can´t really create a real contact with the crowd if you can´t see and feel them. But the stage was really cool. I guess there are still pictures in the web at NRJ Berlin website. They took us to the stage with a "bay watch" boat ;=)

The show was very hard. When we started playing Chose to be me as the first song, I had to take off my earphones. The sound was so loud that I had almost tears coming from my eyes. Something just happened. Sami´s ears are still not ok (after 2 days) and we hope he will recover. He can´t really sleep because there is this high tone playing in his head. I had never seen Sami that angry before. Our monitor-guy missed his flight in the afternoon because the flight company had over booked the plane (so not his fault) so he was not there at the sound check. If the audience wouldn´t have been that good, I probably would have walked off stage after the second song. It was very painful.

But we made all 6 songs and I hope it wasn´t too bad for the crowd. These things just happen every now and then, I guess, and there´s not much you can do about it when you´re already there with your guitar.

The police had blocked the roads to Berlin after our show when the festival was over. They estimated we´d have to wait there at the beach for 2 hours before the cops would let us drive away. That sounded ok apart from the fact that our wakeup was at 05:45 to get the plane to Romania. Finally after waiting some 30 minutes the cops escorted us away. Cool.

Yesterday was the very first visit to Romania for all of us. I must give 10 points to for the city of Bucharest and the BestFest festival. Everything was perfectly organized all the way from the airport. The airport manager / chief let us go through a diplomat route to avoid delays and the privacy and peace when driving, at hotels and back stage was fantastic.

20 minutes before the show, there were maybe a 100 viewers in front of the stage and I was a bit disappointed. Of course when you go to a new country for the first time this can happen and you must still give everything you got on stage. But sure it´s nicer to play for more folks. The area got packed full before we started and it was a very nice and enjoyable show for us. Hope for the listeners too. You all seemed happy.

We will definitely get back to Romania soon. Everybody was nice, the weather was 10+ and at the festival things went as smoothly as on the big ones in Germany. The only thing that we missed was Mr. Dracula, but I am sure he also clapped his hands inside his scary castle on the mountains in Fairytale Gone Bad. I hope our sound guys played it loud enough for him.

So…. Now we are flying to Warsaw and we will drive to Bydgoszcz (250 Kilometers) to play a show there tomorrow at the Junior athletics world championships at the Bydgoszcz stadium. Today we will have a day off and we´ll probably go shopping and I´d also like to go jogging or to gym after all the driving and flights. It´s a strange show tomorrow. We first play 2 songs and then they shoot some fireworks and stuff. After that we perform another half an hour for the stadium. Last time we were in Poland we drove around with a 12-meter Hummer limousine. Let´s see what´s our ride this time.

Greetings from Studio

Our "Sonic Kitchen Studio" is ready. There just some decoration stuff missing but it´s fully operational and we have started working with PopGasm with full speed now. There are so many moving parts and all the equipment and it´s just fantastic that there were no bad surprises. The recording rooms were built brilliant (that´s what the professionals say) and seems as if the sound recorded, produced and mixed there will be great.

We have pretty much selected the songs for the album and it looks really good. It´ll be a lot of works for sure but I am very confident that the next baby "PopGasm" will be in stores in January 2009. It´s also great how the producing teamwork is still healthy between Jukka and myself even though we have been playing together now for a few years. I mean there could be a problem with authority, but no. He is the guy with the magic and I am very blessed having my songs produced and co-written by such great pro. Without him, I´d still be selling timeshare in Spain dreaming about being on these stages…

So as soon as we get home on Wednesday, we´ll hit the "Rec" button again and get a few steps closer to our PopGasm again.

I hope you all are enjoying your summer as much as we are.


23.07.2008 Samu
Greetings from studio II

I am sitting here at our studio on the big black leather sofa of the big control room. Sami is next to me. Today we are recording percussions and the man with the congas and stuff is Mr. Mamba. Sami knows the guy from his past. Mamba had asked Sami to replace him in a band called Giant Räbät for one show afew months ago. He has a van full of different drums and percussions and my Goooooooood it sounds great. Right now they´re playing shakers and congas to a song called "Something sweet. Mamba also had performed at the Pori Jazz festival last weekend. I was there with Sami, Jukka, Karri and some other well-behaving music folks enjoying the beats and the groove. We stayed at Jukka´s mother´s birthplace at "Mouhijärvi" for the weekend with the guys and some friends. That was relaxing. Swimming naked is obviously good for your mental health ;)

We wrote "something sweet" with Jukka a few days ago and actually we even wrote the lyrics together. It´s about bedroom stuff, but in the nice way…;) There are more than 20 songs that we´re working with and I could name many of the 98 % sure songs of the album but this one is the first 100 % album track. I love it.
It´s great how the tracks are finally taking steps towards the final production. I am losing my sleep every night with the lyrics. Of course Jukka helps me with them, but it´s my job at the end of the day.

There have been days I have been really stressed out with the album. It´s more work than I remembered. But today it feels all great. Me and my twisted mind ;) I guess all these feelings of not being good enough to make it happen and feeling amateur etc is just a necessary part of giving birth to something great. I would not skip one second of all this…

This is all for now. Home you are feeling great too.


01.08.2008 Samu
Latvia - London - Helsinki

Dear Diary

Monday, July 28

Whatta week! We just got home last night from Latvia I´m already flying to London. Bysu guy ;=)

We are in London until Thursday with Jukka and our stylist Tarja shopping clothes for the PopGasm album cover photo shoot and also we have a few meetings with our publisher and some other folks. Then on Wednesday we go see the Kylie Minogue show, we are both signed to EMI so we are invited by them. The only worry is that what if Kylie wants to get married with me immediately and move to Helsinki and make all the babies with me. I mean yes, she has the best ass on this planet but really, where do we fit all her shoes… I will just have to say no. (And Kylie if you´re reading this, I´m sorry about going through our relationship here in public...)

We were in Latvia in Liepaja playing at the B-fest on Saturday. Whatta party!!!! Even though we had to start the show 50 minutes late because of the Russian band before us played way too long and there were some tech problems, the mood on stage was awesome. It´s always a bit uncomfortable to go to new countries because you never know if you will have an audience or not. Usually there is someone there. This time there definitely were enough folks. The stage was built on the beach and there was also a descent catwalk. I love catwalks.

My friend Kimmo (the guy I wrote "The day you fail again" about) was there too with his 3 golf mates. It was the first time he saw our show outside Finland. They are on this Baltian golf trip but even they were smart enough to have Sunday free ;=) We didn´t sleep at all that night. And thanx for everyone who joined us at Kimmo´s suite after the show. I heard they could fix the Jacuzzi…

So we´re landing soon and tonight there´s only the challenge of getting to the center and finding the hotel. I don´t know London THAT much, but Jukka´s been here a zillion times. I will let him guide me…

Part II

Thursday, July 31

We are somewhere above Amsterdam on our way back home. The trip was very great. Feels like I have been on holiday. The weather was just awesome and the locals say you don´t get that every time in London. And so where the shops. We all have the biggest Rimowa suitcases and they were half empty on the way there. This morning I had to sit on mine to get it closed. But if the stuff you push into your bags is from All Saints, Urban Outfitters, Top man and all the cool design stores, you should not complain. I think we went a bit over budget, but I will explain something at the record company.

It took me 6 visits to London to start really liking the place. Of course it´s good to have music business contacts and Jukka´s ex there who take us to places so we don´t only walk around Oxford street. I remember in school when I was 16 or so, I never liked the girls who fell in love with London. I found them wanna-be trendy idiots, but now I understand. There is this something when you really dive into the beat of the streets. And the guys are just great looking. We were in the worst 5% with Jukka…;) And the area of Brick Lane is just awesome. A bit like the best and most mixed places in Barcelona.

So 3 points for weather, 3 for shops 2 for great night sleeps and finally the last 2 points (total 10, on scale 1-10) come from the restaurants. Amazing dining. No matter if you got to Soho and just pick any Italian, or just stay near Bond Street, anywhere you eat, the food is just fantastic. I had the best Thai food ever yesterday and I nearly killed myself eating too much.

So we´ll be home around 7 in the evening and tomorrow we fly to Hannover Germany in the morning. Great to sleep in my own bed for one night. There is some kind of a festival in Oydensee something and it´s great to get on stage after a week of shopping and doing business stuff.

Next week will be only PopGasm. We will finalize 6 first songs with Jukka. Well, not finalize but make them ready and done enough so we can start thinking about the first single. The video project starts next month…;) Jeeeeeee ;) The album and the songs sound very good… so far…

And there is a photo shoot on the 5th of August (next week!!) for the album cover. We have a great idea what comes to the graphics and stuff and all looks good.
I slept so great in London. Actually that has happened for the last weeks. Maybe the stress level of giving birth to the album is lower and lower as we get further with the production.

Tarja is sitting between us and she saw me looking at her chocolate cookie for 15 minutes clearly desiring it. She gave it to me if Jukka and I´d promise we wouldn´t make any stupid jokes on the rest of the flight. She´s had enough of Jukka & Samu for this week ;)

Jukka is a bloody goat ass…. Muahahahaha ;)

If you ever fly to Finland from the west and the weather is clear, just take a look down before you get on the main land. The archipelago around Åland (the little island between Finland and Sweden, belonging to us!!) is like nowhere else. It is breath taking.

So, enjoy your summer days. I will visit my Mom, Sister, Her husband and their little daughter Kaisa. I bought a little pair of princess-style crocs for Kaisa and I hope they fit. She is the sweetest girl on the planet and she will have a sister or brother soon, this week I hope. My sister is getting way to big. I wrote one song about Kaisa for PopGasm. It´s called "Dream like a child" and it seems as if it will be one of the chosen tracks.

Home sweet home… I am sitting on my balcony and it´s very warm and nice. Hyvä Suomi!!


24.08.2008 Samu
Trip to Slovakia & Switzerland & Home

I don´t know what the hell is wrong with me, but I slept really well last night. Usually before these trips I get a little stress the evening before, because my daily rhythm is what it is and the 6 or 7 o´clock wake-up is not one of my normal routines. And especially since life´s been pretty hectic the last weeks, there hasn´t really been a break between recording and being Jukka´s slut in studio and traveling all over to play shows. Still even though you might get tired sometimes, I think it´s great to have all these shows to get away from the studio every now and then to get some fresh air.

Yesterday was supposed to be a day for production at the studio just like Monday and Tuesday. To ensure the great working conditions, I went out with Aki (our light designer / operator) the night before and we got really wasted. He had been home at 6.30 and I guess I had ended up to my place around the same time. So my head was hurting already as I dragged myself to the studio after midday. When I walked in, the guys told me that the monitors had broken down in the main recording room (where we were supposed to work that day with Jukka) and nobody knew why. So the first 4 hours we just tried to find the reason so I would know what I have to buy or order to replace the broken / damaged parts.

It was also a shame the machines broke yesterday because we were supposed to start doing the recordings and production of the new Clark Kent songs in the second room. There´s only 2 songs fully done ready so far and we need some 10 more for their album to be released in January. The band is so amazing and the guys are very very great! I am thinking of having them support us in Europe as they get their album out first. Maybe next year…

I´ve been looking at all the new artwork stuff for PopGasm and man it´s hard to chose ;) There seems to be a lot of talented and creative folks around Europe who have brilliant ideas… Let´s see.

I must say I am very happy with how the things are working inside the band right now and also with the management and stuff. For the very first time everything is being done professionally and everybody is given the space and freedom to do their job. No matter if it´s playing the bass, producing the album or negotiating a deal. I really still don´t understand how we are able to work with the album without panic about sales figures or dead lines and without pressure of delivering hits. I am sure as the release date gets closer, I will shit in my pants a million times, but it´s great that all is so calm and relaxed now. It helps being open-minded with the Ideas. Actually even the producing process is pretty much left for Jukka. First we have selected the songs from all our Ideas and now I just mostly sit by him and enjoy the master´s work. He just might ask me what I think about this and that idea, usually he doesn´t ;) I must say he is just one fucking blond genius! I can´t wait to sing the final vocals to th
e songs as soon as we get the new German Neumann U47 microphone for me. Aku (Our Sonic Kitchen MD) had ordered it from somewhere, Munich I guess. It´s a very special mic built in Germany in the 1940´s and the sound is better than with anything else. For my throat at least. I will pay anything for it but I hope Aku is smart when buying it for me what comes to the prices.

There have also been a lot of new toys for us and for our inspiration. The latest toy I got is the hand made acoustic baritone guitar built by Mr. Loef, the Finnish guitar builder pro who has sold us 8 of his master pieces already. The sound is almost as low as bass but it´s a guitar. Sounds deep baby! I can´t wait to see on which song we will use it for.

We did our first trip to Albania last weekend. None of us had ever been there before. We also had a day off there before the show and since the temperature was +37 and the sun was shining, there were no problems arranging activities. We met this Finnish guy Timo who is building some kind of recycling facility / junkyard for the locals. Timo took us to the local hot spots and worked as our "extra security" guy (drinking all the booze ;) at the festival. The crowd was nice, not too big but nice. The live concert culture seems to be a bit different there than in Central Europe for example, I mean the stage had a grass floor and the crash barriers were replaced with local police forces. If someone got too close to the mic stand, the police removed him or her or just pushed them back. So there was a show for us too ;)

And one thing I must say about the folks after the show. I have never seen anyone behaving that well towards the artists at a signing session. They have arranged a table next to the stage at the VIP area where we could sit and have a few drinks after the show. It was more than 30 degrees during our show so the cold beer sounded more than great. We were a bit worried how it would work with all the hundreds of people at the VIP, children and all. I mean if you´d do that in Finland, they would not leave you alone for one second. These folks were very polite, took their picture and / or autograph and walked away. I mean it´s very nice to meet fans and people after the shows, but mostly there are a few persons among them who want to have all the attention for them selves. Most are just great, actually fun. But in Albania they all behaved like programmed and we have never had a signing session as relaxed as that.

The local bosses didn´t allow the local promotion girls (+ one guy) party with our crew and us and sure that made Aki & Karri upset. We gave them their favorite pizza to cheer them up.

And the bus broke on the mountains from Tirana (capital) to Vlora. We had cold beer, no panic. Raul, Jukka, Karri, MP and the guys were fighting about these special microphone techniques (MS technique) for hours. The argument was whether the sound is real stereo or not. I filmed all the 3-hour philosophy with my DVD cam and I will release the greatest moments smart mouth battle someway someday. Nobody won.

They are serving coffee now in the plane……(just a second, I will be right back)

But anyhow….We are on our way to Slovakia now and we are performing at the Budzogan Festival in Zilina. I have never been to Slovakia and all I know about the country is some Ice Hockey players (Miroslav Satan above all!) and this one of the top 10 things about my "job" to get to see new places. They say the party after the show is great so we will have to have an extra eye on our crewmembers, especially Karri and Aki. If only they could behave as mature as us band members… Especially Jukka and myself.

From Slovakia we fly to Zurich in the afternoon to have a day off there. Shopping, Shopping, Shopping! Or did we go directly to Gampel, don´t remember. I will so go jogging or to gym… If we don´t party too much today… We perform at the Gampel Open Air on Saturday. The only time I was SURE I would die was on stage in Switzerland. We had been in Spain for a week with Jukka, Aki, Karri, Mikko from the management and Aku from Sonic Kitchen. The trip was not a gym trip at all and I remember flying directly to the festival from our little Mediterranean swimming pool. I was so sick and the hang over was something so bad. Anyway, they had built the stage towards the sun and as our stage time was around 5 PM, the sun shone on stage with full power and I was barely able to stand on my feet.

After the second song as Karri was bringing me a new guitar, I had to give him also my shirt. I usually don´t like to do that but there I had no choice. And after the third song I had to take the rest off. Was nice to play the full 60 minute set wearing only sneakers and underwear after drinking and partying for a week in Spain… It didn´t look pretty. Sorry for all the families who´s children still can´t make it without professional help.

So I hope the stage is not as hot as back then, but now I have been sitting in studio and I even went to gym once this week so I should be fine.

We will start planning our little movie project with Karri now before they start landing and tell us to put our MacBooks away….

On the way to Switzerland…

The show was just great! They had built the stage inside this huge wooden house on the mountain. The sound was better than ever on stage and the only thing I was a bit worried about was when I jumped off the stage, I really couldn´t see how high the stage is. Didn´t get hurt…;)
The crowd was very nice and lovely and after the show we finally got to meet both the local fan club and also the polish fan club teams. Wonder why they all bring us alcohol…;) Those little sweet girls ;) Even though we don´t drink that much…

The party was hard so I must sleep now until the plane lands in Prague… I am dead. Jukka´s fault.

Still writing….(At studio)

There was really no time to post this before so I am sitting here at the studio with Jukka and one little nameless studio assistant and we have our hands on PopGasm. Jukka and me having our little hands on our little baby popgasm…;) Sounds hetero!

Anyway. The show in Gampel SUI was just great. It´s very cool how the Swiss arrange their festivals. Everything always works like a Swiss clock and the artist can just relax before and after the show and do the best they can on stage. And they were loud again, just the way we like them ;)

We all got ill on the way home. I actually felt it in my throat already on stage on Saturday, but now it really hit at least Jukka and myself a bit. The truth is, we haven´t had one single day off with him for the last month at least and I don´t know if it´s the way of the body to fight back. I really hope we are in good shape next weekend again in Germany. It´s one of the last festivals of the summer and you don´t wanna drive the stage 80 % power because being ill. I need to do my Destiny jumps!
One thing that makes me feel a bit better with my running nose is the stuff coming out of the speakers…;) I can´t wait to get this stuff to all of you.

I will go home and sleep 12 hours now. Maybe that helps. C U All Soon,

von Doctor


17.09.2008 Samu
Hi Guys & Girls

So... The shows & festivals are over for 2008 and we will let the hair grow now and spend all available time in studio. It was one hell of a summer with a lot of sweat, rock & roll and there is no words to describe how great it was and how fantastic you were all the way. Last week we had the pleasure to receive our platinum awards for over 200.000 sold albums in Germany. As we don’t have the chance to hug you all for this success(200.000 hugs would be a world record so we do it next time just for the Guinness Book ;), we do it this way: thank you so much for being on our side during the last two years. We all had the best time of our lives and hope and believe that this will continue in 2009 with all of you. And 2010. And 2011. And and and....

Just a "tiny" detail for those who might be interested. Riku is now a full 101 % member of the gang, so give him a warm welcome. Actually I had the feeling that you already did this from the very first day he was on stage with us! He fits perfectly into our bunch of "extremely well behaving" guys from my country, so that’s maybe not a big surprise. He is so nice. I know that when I enter the rehearsal room tomorrow for our morning PopGasm rehearsals at 11:12 (12 minutes late...), he will have a warm cup of coffee there waiting for me. What more could you ask for....?

So, back to the studio now (we have one hell of a popgastic challenge here;) – and see you all soon!

Doctor Haber


??.03.2009 Samu
Popgasm

Finally!!!

I have been waiting for the day I get to write this blog for almost a half a year. And now when I finally have my MacBook open for it, I don’t know what to say…;) I’ll try anyway…
They say the second album is the hardest one for any artist. I really hope they are right. It has been one hell of 12 months building the puzzle that never seemed to get there, but now looking back at the stuff we did, I would not do anything different. Probably there are a few lessons to be learnt for the future anyway…

We had barely any pressure recording the first album in 2005. We just had the dream of a real album in stores some day and we made all the decisions together with our producer Jukka Backlund. This time it was all very different. And of course it’s great that every one in our team wants to make the best out of us, and it’s actually very special to have a team working for you as hard and passionate as they do, but the fact that you suddenly have 30 people telling you how the song should sound and what the lyrics would be, makes focusing very hard. There was also an additional challenge since Jukka (our former keyboardist-producer) decided not to be a band member any more. Finding the same “great 1st album mood” in studio seemed impossible. And… To make it even harder we decided to build our own studio. Building the place took longer than we expected and when we started recording the first tracks for POPGASM, we were already 4 months late… Well done boys, nice start ;)

We recorded almost 40 songs for PopGasm. That´s a lot. And there are many versions of many of the songs since we didn’t feel good with the outcome. For example “Bad”, the song we have already played live many times, was recorded 5 times.

POPGASM

I think it’s good that we lived and grew up for three years in between the 1st and 2nd album. I must admit the 3 years were quite a roller coaster and if we had tried releasing anything earlier, it would not have been something we would have liked. We needed the time to really stop for a moment after all the good and all the challenges that came along with the career. I have a feeling that if all goes well, we’ll be able to deliver new stuff a bit faster in the future.

Anyway. We like pretty simple music, stuff almost anyone can sing along as you can hear on the first album. That goes again with most of the songs on POPGASM. And I love that. We also wanted to try new things and to really challenge ourselves. In the beginning we almost took one step too far from our roots, but as time went by we realized that we are actually steadily on the Sunrise Avenue tracks. What I really like about our music is that it’s so normal in a way and you can tell that we are just normal guys doing what we love the most. There is nothing too fancy about Sunrise Avenue. Hope you get what I mean.

Now looking at the 14 tracks on PopGasm, I am very proud of us all. It’s suddenly exactly as I dreamed. There are many songs that could be on our first album and also many new fresh surprises. And some things the critics will probably hate us for, but life is not fun if it’s too safe. For us, music is not about being credible or following the rules of a certain genre. Our job is just to entertain the people who want that from us, so we wanted to take things even more relaxed this time. We wanted to be very brave. Be prepared ;) There’s even a full 24-person string orchestra (ahhhh) and we made them also do something they probably don’t do every day ;)

The only thing that I really wanted to get better for the 2nd album, were the lyrics. Sure we come from Finland and you can’t expect us to write brilliant stuff in English like Coldplay or the Foo Fighters do (being from UK / USA), but I guess I just wanted the stories to be a bit deeper and more personal. And I think we made it. It’s still no poetry, don’t worry. Wouldn’t fit to my simple half German mouth…

So now they are all asking me if POPGASM is better than the First one…? If I ask my mom, if my little brother is better than her first son, I know she has no answer. Well, I hope she doesn’t… ;) Or try asking your girl / boyfriend if the second kiss was better than the first one. We all know there’s nothing like the first kiss, but if you kiss a bit deeper and really let go with the second one, it can be as special as the one you started with. Then it can lead to something great.

POPGASM is a better second album. Even though it sounds better (technically) than the 1st one due to better toys in studio this time, there’s still a lot of emotion and the gang feeling there all the way. The things that should be done by the book and well are definitely done so, but the things that should be relaxed and simple are so too. We had to make some of the choices 2 minutes before the deadline and that is always good. It’s just music, you don’t need fly passengers with it.

I must say I am very excited (and a bit nervous, but don’t tell anyone;) about the thought that soon many of you will be listening to what we baked with the boys. I feel confident, but of course you are all free to think and feel what you really do. We wanted to skip the thought of keeping the fans and album buyers we already got with the first one. The only thing we can and should do is to make music as well as we can and straight from the heart. Not thinking about what the world expects us to do. The ones who want to join the ride this time are all more than welcome. And the ones who want to leave the POPGASM train are free to leave. But sure I will delete them from my Facebook friends. Muahahaha - Just kidding ;)

Every day we have spent at home or in studio has made us miss you all more and more. Sure it’s nice to make music with the cool toys and the nice gang, but honestly the best moments in our lives what comes to music have been together with you all on tour. I remember my feelings playing the last song (Nasty) at the show in Luxembourg last year. The thought of that being the last show with the band really hit me hard. I mean nothing is never for sure. Especially in the music business. I remember sitting behind the stage after the show feeling like the smallest creature on the planet and only hoping you all know how thankful we really are for what you have done for us. Some of our crew guys came to us in tears after all we had been through together. That was one of the most emotional evenings in my life.

We have the best crew on the planet. Even though they force us to join all the partying. Without them we’d be total angels, now we’re only 99% ;) I really hope as many of the crew guys join us again on the POPGASM tours. Yes guys, this is a job offer for ALL OF YOU if the management hasn’t approached you yet. The salaries go down, the workload is double. And for you the tours will be sugar, alcohol and cigarette free. Start behaving like us ;)

I must also say that one of the biggest things that kept us going through the pretty hard recording process was the support from all you little angels. I really don’t know what you get from building the cool websites and fan clubs for us but I hope we get the chance to give you a little payback soon on stage with our new songs. I mean you didn’t get any news or any new music from us and you still kept on believing and standing behind us. You don’t know how much that means to us. So I hope we can see you all very soon. And I hope you are as loud as before ;)

The first single THE WHOLE STORY

Choosing the first single for any album is very hard. Why I like “The Whole Story” very much, is because it’s pretty simple and also it’s one of the last tracks we recorded. The song is an up-tempo love song, but in between the lines it’s about the feelings I had for the new album and all the pressure and lost hope I was able to feel around me every now and then on the way. Even in myself. The chorus starts:
“Wait, we can’t fall now. We can not leave all we have…”
That’s how I felt a few months ago. It’s produced by these two great guys in Gothenburg, Sweden (Nickey and Robin), who were a huge help getting POPGASM together in the end. I love the song.

I’d be bullshitting saying I am not nervous putting the 1st single out. But on the other hand I have full faith in our team, all the way from producers and mixing engineers to mastering, promotion and the business folks. And in all of you, so I actually sleep quite well. Yea right, me sleeping well…;)

I really wanted to share the moments in studio with you all the way but I must say it was all too messy and complicated to be spoken out loud. We had to use producers and stuff from the outside and I kind of had to walk over Jukka a few times and I didn’t feel good doing that all the time. Jukka is still probably the biggest reason I am living my life this way now and I can never thank him enough for what he’s done. No matter what happened, we are still very great friends and all is ok now but it wasn’t easy. The friendship was tested and we didn’t fail. That is extremely important for me. There were a hundred nights I felt like POPGASM will never happen and actually I started writing stuff for you many times, but I just felt too bad and confused to get anything descent out of myself. It’s all much better now.

But we are finally there. Our second album, POPGASM, is pretty much done and the album will be released before the summer (Mostly in May) in most of Europe. I don’t know the countries and dates yet. I guess they will start with Central Europe and Scandinavia and then move on from there, but I am sure there will be more info on that soon. All that is in the hands of the record companies and managements and they definitely know what they are doing and they are doing a great job. I personally hope that they deliver the stuff available for as many as possible and as soon as possible. Please check the local websites and stuff for the release dates and shows.

THE WHOLE STORY (1st single) will be given to radios in March and I am praying for some of them to play it. The single will be out with a few extra tracks in April (as far as I know). We have had very good feedback, but you never know. There goes my sleeping again ;)

If you want to help us getting the song played on your local stations, you can tell the radio chief that if they don’t play it, we will release Raul from his cage ;)

So this is it ladies and gentlemen!!!

See you all very soon and cross your fingers for us!

Samu and his lovely sweet heart boys

(Legal notice: Even though the blond singer is blasting about POPGASM this and POPGASM that, The record companies, agents, managements etc. do not guarantee an earthquake level POPGASM for everyone every time listening to the album. If you have problems getting your POPGASM, please call 555-GET-POPGASM.)


26.03.2009 Dr. Haber
Getting my PopGasm

I am sitting on my sofa (The most comfortable one in the world) again and now I am listening to the mastered PopGasm. Well actually I must wait for the German EMI Boss to approve it but I guess it’s pretty much there.

I got the CD earlier today and have tried the sound in many different places. Of course I can’t hear the obvious things anymore because I know the songs so well and therefore I decided to ask my trusted Tech guy Karri to join me for a ride in my car and to go through the whole PopGasm. And he said yes ;) Probably because he’s afraid I’d kick his ass ;)

It’s funny how I get so nervous every time I play the new songs to a new person. I kind of wanna say stuff about the songs and the stories behind them but now I have been able to be (almost) quiet for the last few times. It was very encouraging how he said after every song ”This is my favorite track” all the way to the track number 6 “Bad,” and then he decided not to mention it anymore. Maybe he really loves the album. Or then he want to cheer me up with all my panicking ;)

It was quite a moment as we drove on the highway and the last track “Something Sweet” ended. I honestly couldn’t breathe ;) Just the sound of the German built engine. One of the coolest moments ever…

Can’t say more. I am so happy that we had this chance to work with these pro folks and with all the support from all you people all the way. I will be worried and sweating like hell the day before they release this stuff for you fully, but I am feeling quite confident. AAAAAAAAAAtrjmytAAtAAAAA ;)

The Track Listing For PopGasm looks like this:

1.Dream Like A Child
2.The Whole Story
3.Rising Sun
4.Welcome To My Life
5.Not Again
6.Bad
7.Monk Bay
8.Bye Bye (One Night Kind)
9.Kiss ‘N’ Run
10.6-0
11.Birds And Bees
12.Sail Away With Me
13.My Girl Is Mine
14.Something Sweet

I will go deeper into the songs and the stories & how we recorded thjem before the release.

The Whole Story Video

We were in Berlin last week shooting the video for “The Whole Story”

The whole planning and selecting the idea was a huge workload because we got so many offers from so many places. We ended up working with a German KTAPULT team and Sandra, our lovely Director (who admitted by the way that women have smaller brain than us men;). I just saw the first cut of it last night and I am very very happy. We have never looked that good and I wonder what they did with us. I heard the camera guy also did some Rammstein videos (And they all are diamond great) and maybe that is one of the good stuff too. Sandra was the first woman to direct us and after the shoot (And the after party where RAUL made us all very drunk) we decided to seriously consider involving more ladies in our business in the future. Maybe the small brain is good ;)

Anyway. I guess the whole video will be done next week and I hope they air it as soon as possible. It’ll also be on the websites so you all can judge Sandra and us no matter where you are.

On Friday we have our first show with the new guy who will stand behind the Key-boards this year. Mr. Osmo Ikonen is joining us to Lappeenranta (FIN) to this private party of the universities 80-year anniversary party. Exciting. We will not play new songs yet that much, sure Bad, Rising Sun and The whole Story, but nothing else from the album yet. That will be the thing for the release parties. Where ever they arrange some.

So wish us luck with Osmo on stage and let’s hope ULI, the EMI boss approves what we have done. I would be quite bad to go back to the studio ;) 14 months was enough and there’s no toilet paper left after that. (I didn’t really write that…?) I bet we’re fine.

Good night everyone.

That’s all folks! Period.


02.04.2009 Samu Haber
Above Water with Riku

I love the Brazilian made Embraer 170 aircraft. It’s so small, only 70 seats, but there’s so much space. I am sitting on 16 F, Riku on 15 F, both got a window seat this time since the plane is half empty. We are on our way to Cologne, Germany to do some promotion for our little baby PopGasm and its 1st single The Whole Story.

But let’s go a few days back first….

Last Friday we finally got on stage again. We had been invited to the Lappeenranta University 40th anniversary. Lappeenranta is a small city 250 Km east from Helsinki and all I know about the city is that they have a Finnish League Ice Hockey team SAIPA and one of my best ice hockey friends Miikka Jouhkimainen plays there (Number 11). He got transferred from HIFK one year ago but seems as if he has settled down there fine. Actually it’s quite funny how they just sometimes get to know that “Hey, you will play for the team on the other side of the country for the rest of the season…” Imagine if our manager told me that I am the drummer of Metallica for this year. I’d have to move to L.A. to this 5789 m2 house. Would be awful ;) Anyways… It’s sure fun being in studio and all but we had all missed the stages so much. Actually sometimes you get a bit annoyed packing bags and preparing yourself for trips if you travel a lot, but this time I tried at least 6 different tops and jeans with different shows for stage.
I was so happy getting on stage and to travel again. With a real tour bus. It’s the smell that makes you happy ;)

That show was also the very first show with the new keyboardist Osmo Ikonen. We all knew he can play and he sings like an angel. And sure we had all the rehearsals with him, but I must say I was a bit nervous how he’d do on stage. It’s always so different with the real thing.

But no worries. After the show we shook hands and decided to go on until the end of the summer for starters. Osmo is very talented and skillful and I hope Sunrise Avenue will offer enough challenges and experiences for him and I must say we made the second bull’s eye discovery in a row. First Riku then Osmo. I should start doing the lottery….:)

The show went well and even though it was a bit strange playing the whole story live for the first time, we were very happy how the full hockey arena took us. I was a bit worried that everyone has already forgotten us, the hit band from 2007, but seemed as if there still are a few believers ;) No honestly, thanx for the great evening everyone.

Aaaand… As we got to the backstage before the show I met the couple who used to “nanny” me when I was 5. “Ippa & Eki” were exactly the same as then. Shouldn’t have those surprises before the shows. It got pretty emotional. They said I look like a healthy living smart boy… If they only knew…;)

After the show we decided to have a few beers downtown together with the crew and our Finnish agents Elina & Minna. And Hank Pikkarainen from Hifk (#48) & Miikkka Jouhkimainen from Saipa (#11). We went to this bar where this cover band just ended their show. We couldn’t resist asking the band if we could play a few songs with their instruments. I mean there were maximum 20 people in the bar that time and we’d do no harm. So Sami got a (wrong side) drum kit, Osmo took the bass and I got the guitar and a microphone. Just a few songs, right…

I guess it was after 2 hours of rocking when we tried to quit for the first time but the crowd (that grew) shouted us back time after time. We played all the cheesiest cover songs and classics from Highway to hell & Enter Sandman to Barbie Girl & Finnish 80’s super hits and the crowd was wild. I saw some videos that on our crew guys’ phones the next morning and well… it felt better in the night. We decided to establish a new cover band with Riku and Sami. Riku played most of the guitars at the end but I was allowed to play 4 SOLOS!!!!!!!! Our new band will be called The Pentti Hirvonen Band.

After playing 3-4 hours (I honestly don’t remember) we asked the bar owner if it’s ok to have a vodka shot per guy as salary and he said yes. What a nice guy. And then we went to the after party. Actually the great mood ended at my place on Sunday since we had a sauna session at Karri’s place when we got back to Helsinki and went out again with no sleep in between on Saturday. So as I cooked my chicken&pesto&Rucola pasta for everybody 10 AM in my kitchen and I didn’t know their names when I asked if they want parmesan cheese or not, I though it’s time to get some sleep. But it was great. The night between Friday and Sunday.

The week went pretty fine trying to stick to my new gym program and healthy diet and now we are on the way to do something with PopGasm again. We have many interviews in Cologne and on Friday we go to the Frankfurt Musik Messe as guests of Gibson Guitars.

It’s gonna be so nice to see the radio promoters again after a 2 year break.

This is how I will celebrate my Birthday ;)


03.04.2009
On the train to Frankfurt

We are on our way to the Frankfurt Music Expo with Riku. We’ll be there at our sponsor’s Gibson’s stand doing something (I don’t know what, hopefully not selling amplifiers….) and we’ll sure have some interviews and stuff as well besides exploring the new musical toys for big boys.

The 2 days in Cologne were so damn cool and it felt so nice to start the promotion again after a long break. Kerstin, our new product manager (Lieutenant Zimmermann) is doing a brilliant job taking care of us and making PopGasm happen more and more. We also met the EMI head of A&R Daniel Schmidt who originally signed us 3 years ago and Julia, Our former Product manager last night. They don’t work for EMI anymore but I still must say they are among the top people who made Sunrise Avenue happen in Europe during these years and it’s always great to meet the folks who help your dreams roll forward ;)

The promotion days were very hard ;) We sat on the roof top terrace with Riku and the journalists came in one by one and the sun was shining and it was more than +20 degrees. I actually burned my arm and nose just a bit ;) Next time I must bring sun cream to the promotion trips.

We just saw the finalized video for The Whole Story. I must say I am very satisfied and happy with the final result. You’ll see it soon, since they release it within the next weeks. In Finland I guess they start showing it already next week and after that it goes to other countries as well. The director Sandra and her Katapult team had done a 10+ job. And I must almost give the same 10 + points for Marleen, the girl on the video. She can express the wanted feelings on the video very nice. We are thinking of using them for the next singles & Videos as well. I would love that.

I will get a beer for Riku and myself and enjoy the last 30 minutes of the train trip. I love my life again ;)

Monk bay, SAT (Home)

We had so much fun at the Music Expo on Saturday. I was actually a bit amazed how many people came to get our autographs and stuff. It’s still a few years ago since anything happened in Central Europe. The day started at 10 with an interview and Riku (Ricardo) came back to the hotel from partying with the Gibson guys at 7 AM. I must say I have seen a fresher Riku before but still he pulled through the day as a real fighter. We also met the President of Gibson. I wonder if the guy flew in from USA with Gibson air force 1….

It’s definitely not my day. My car has been smashed while I was away. It’s the first time I borrowed my car to my sweet little brother and the very first night he had it parked outside his house, some ass fucker had smashed all the windows and doors and stolen my iPod and my bro’s bag from the back seat. Great. I must start my week visiting the insurance company & the cops and I obviously gotta go car shopping… I have also lost my bank / credit card and I can’t find my amex… So I have no cash. And just as I thought that’s all, I realized that I forgot my MacBook charger in my hotel room. F-U-C-K. I have 6 % battery left so I better read my mails before it goes off…

SUNDAY

All fine. I got a new charger and my money problems were solved as well. Tomorrow I will go see my crashed baby ? in Karri’s garage where my little brother had arranged it. She must be so sad with all the broken glass and scratches…

Thanx everybody for amazing time this week and thank you so much for all the great birthday presents ;) Because of you it’s not that bad getting older at all ;)

That’s all folks. Period!

Samu


03.05.2009 Dr. Haber
Getting ready for single release

We are on our way back home with Riku. Actually we were supposed to fly back to Helsinki yesterday but since there was a huge traffic jam on the way to the airport in Vienna, we missed our flight and had to take rooms at the airport hotel and celebrate the labor day’s eve there with a very great Douro area red wine from Portugal. Unfortunately they had no standard rooms available, so we had to take junior suites. Life sucks ;)

We started our trip on Tuesday. We did this TV show (RTL Charts show) in Cologne together with Snow Patrol, Ronan Keating & Silbermond and the whole thing was about “Women’s / Girls all time favorite songs. We were # 10!! I don’t remember how high Snow Patrol got with their “Chasing Cars” but for me it’s one of the most beautiful songs ever. I was so tired the whole day since the flight from Helsinki took off at 7 and therefore we had to wake up at 5 AM. It’s always very hard to sleep well with mornings like this. I actually went to bed the night before around 12 o’clock but I just didn’t make it with the sandman. Finally I slept 2 hours and since I had a few bad-sleep-nights before that already, I was D.E.A.D. Luckily the afternoon before the show was very easy, but as I walked to the makeup (yes, the do this powder and stuff even for guys for TV) I didn’t like how I looked in the mirror ;)

But the show & the performance went well and actually I have been a bit worried that people have forgotten about us after we have been so long away from the radios and stuff, but again I was very very very happy how the crowd took us. Thanx so much again ;) The only thing that went wrong that evening was that we got stuck in an elevator right after the show on our way to the dressing rooms. Yes it said max 6 persons and we were 7 but hey…? ;) Karri felt a bit uncomfortable since he’s a bit Claustrophobic. It gets so hot in a few minutes in such a small space and you feel that there’s no air. But it was good to lose a few kilos in the heat ;)

On Wednesday Sami & Raul & Karri (Our tech super director;) flew home and we flew to Vienna with Riku to do a few acoustic performances and a lot of interviews. And I have to mention that we saw the most beautiful Stewardess on that flight. Her name was Martina Something and it was the Austrian Airlines flight from Cologne to Vienna that morning. We sure slept almost the whole way, but she was so nice, gave us the pillows & Blankets and smiled so sweet that it made the tiredness go a bit away ;) Actually I like the stewardess uniforms in general because I think they make a woman look feminine and sure hot but The Austrian Airlines uniform is one of the coolest.

In Vienna we did a lot of radio, TV and other interviews and the second place we went to was the radio 88.6. Mr. Bernhardt Feichter, the guy doing the interview had Check Republic roots and sure we had to bet one EURO for the Check Republic - Finland ice hockey game that evening. And of course we won and now I am rich!!!! I can’t wait to be there at their station again to collect my winnings. The Finnish team has been actually pretty good this year. We have won all the games so far and seems as if we’d have a chance to fight for the medals this year. Sure it’s a long way to go but still.

It’s been surprisingly great talking about POPGASM with the journalists and the feedback on the album has been very good. Sure it’s sometimes hard to say if they just say good things about the songs having us in front of them, but I have a feeling that most of them really mean what they say. And even though some rock folks say it’s very dangerous to call the album POPgasm instead of Rockgasm (Please grow up ;), I love the name and the whole thing. I just can’t wait to have it in the ears of all of you so you folks. I am sure there’s someone who will like it ;)

But anyway… I am back home now and I don’t know why, but I am feeling extremely tired. It was probably the short sleeps the last 7 nights and also the skipped gym sessions since there was really no chance to do anything healthy on the road.

THE WHOLE STORY was released yesterday and everyone in “our organization” seems to be a bit nervous how the song will hit the single’s charts. For me the album release is the thing that will take my sleep away, but sure I hope the 1st single and its possible successful results will let the EMI folks sleep better and also to allow them continue the whole POPGASM launch with full hearts. I am sure everything will be fine in the end, it’s just exciting times now and sure it’s better to have the whole team a bit on their toes instead of them just doing their jobs with us just like with “any other band.” It’s cool how they also are just human and so fantastic how closely they work with Sunrise Avenue. We are very lucky.

Raul will come to my place soon and we will finalize all the tech stuff for the shows today. We have final on-stage-rehearsals next Monday – Wednesday and we go through the whole show 10 times to see that all the sounds and sound levels are good. I JUSRT CAN’T WAIT!!!

So be nice and enjoy the early summer and sure go get you copy of our new baby “The Whole Story”

I will have a shower now so I am fresh for Raul ;)


08.05.2009 Samuel
Berlin Viva TV – Köln Popgasm TV

Home sweet home.

There were great shops at Düsseldorf airport on the way home so I went shopping. I bought so many clothes, a huge sack, and the stuff was actually pretty cool. I even bought my very first Ed Hardy shirt ever. Normally they don’t fit me but this new collection was a bit taller / longer and I didn’t look as ridiculous in them as normally do with my long legs.
Anyway… when I started unpacking at home just an hour ago, I realized I left the big bag at the toilet at Helsinki airport. I slept the whole way in the plane and I was still half way with sandman before getting my bags at the belt and I forgot the damn shopping bag in the toilet. Well, I called the airport and this very sweet guy went to find it and there it was, right where I thought it would be and I’ll get my stuff tomorrow ;) That was a close one. 7 shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, one hoodie. I would have cried…? Airport guy, if you read this: Thank you!

Anyway…. We were in Germany with Riku for 2 days. First we did the VIVA TV live in Berlin on Thursday with this girl, Annemarie Eilfeld, from The “POP IDOL” program in Germany. I had to kiss her (well… she HAD to kiss me…) on air because we played this truth or dare thing and I really hope se is feeling better by now ;) No tongue ;) and then we just hung out in Berlin by the river that used to be the boarder between the east and the west. Our promoter in Berlin is Moni, this sweet grandmother who has been in the business for ages. She is just so cool with all her stories of living in the east behind the Berlin wall some 20 years ago (she’s like 50 + sorry Oma if I got it wrong…;) and it’s always so cool being with her because she tells us stories about her grand children and stuff happening with her family. Showing photos and stuff ;)

It’s people like her who help you stop for a moment in this busy busy world made of financial crisis and all the bull shit and realize, it’s actually more important to stay close to your loved ones and to take good care of them and yourself than running after money, careers and all that shit. It’s funny how we never shake hands with her; she always hugs us so warm. And still she has all the passion to get our songs to the top. Unser Oma ;)

She took us to the coolest spot in the morning on Thursday before the TV stuff to have breakfast (Restaurant Tomasa in Kreutzberg) and a promotion trip could not have a better start. During these 3 years she has shown us all the historical spots of Berlin where the eastern forces (with Russians) used to switch agents with the western guys (with the Americans etc) and she has such a cool view on life and all that’s happening in the world. And she forces us to eat our vegetables but she smokes cigarettes & has beer with us. What a cool grandmother. We call her “Oma” (Grand mother in German) and sometimes the people at radios / TV stations think that we’re insulting her, but she loves being OMA and it’s so damn cool. She’s working with Rock bands and she is so happy with what she has. I kind of envy her and I hope I could be like her some day. Maybe even I grow up someday…;)

After the afternoon with Oma, we flew to Cologne in the evening to rest in a nice hotel and to get ready for the next days interviews and stuff. Leutnant Zimmermann, our Product manager was out of town this week so we had to survive the jungle with the other Emi guys and girls. We went to the gym before the dinner to swim a bit and to enjoy the Finnish sauna they had and that was sooooo relaxing. I don’t have a sauna at home anymore, since I never used the one I had in the house I sold to Karri (Our Show manager). I didn’t remember how damn good it feels. Usually when we go to sauna with the band guys, I am the pussy who sits the lowest and runs out when the tough guys start making it hot. I can be a man in other ways…;) A nice dinner at their restaurant and there was no problem falling asleep.
I stayed in the same room at the hotel (Intercontinental) where all the musicians like Tokio Hotel, Take That etc and athletes such as German football team members had stayed and there was a cool guest book on my table with a kind request from the hotel to sign it. Sweet. That was good stuff to read before falling asleep. I put a few POPGASM stickers and a few words in German in there just to do our part.

We did all kinds of TV and radio stuff the next day with our host Nils, a young smart EMI representative / Spare Kerstin, and the last thing before we drove to Düsseldorf airport to fly home, we filmed this thing for POPGASM TV. I can’t tell you yet what it is, but it was very cool. I can just say I have never seen Riku dressed that funny and I laughed the whole time at the studio. Riku has been working with our Pre-Show-Tape the whole week and he’s slowly getting there ;) His ideas are just sometimes so damn out of the space ;) But it’ll be cool.

I CAN NOT WAIT for Wednesday when we get to play the first PopGasm show in Helsinki. We had our PA / On Stage rehearsals last week in Helsinki and the whole package just feels so right. I can’t express how great our crew guys are working day and night to get the stuff ready for us and for you and I know we are really lucky having these (drunk, stinky) fellows with us. And Raul has also been working his ass of with all the technical stuff together with the guys fixing every damn cable right for the shows. It’s his passion and sometimes I don’t understand how he has the time, patience and strength to do all that small detail stuff, but I have nothing against the free work force ;) I will reward him with some extra beers when we get on the road again. I think he loves his cables more than anything ;) I must say the mental balance in the band has never been this great. Everyone has a clear role and everyone seems so damn happy. That is good for the challenges we will have soon.

I am just a bit worried about the audience. If the people remember us anymore and if people will come to the shows. I know that I probably should not worry, but it has been 3 years from the release of the last album and I honestly feel as if we must start from the beginning pretty much again. And maybe that’s good.

Aaaaaaand. The album was released in Finland last week. MY GOD. I really didn’t sleep well the night before. The thing is that I love the album, but I have had it already for 3 months mastered and finalized on my iPod and of course my weak mind had all the time to let all the doubt get into my head if the whole thing is good enough or not. I must say I have felt so happy reading the feedback from people after the release. It really means so much to me if someone likes what we have squeezed out from our hearts. Thank you! And I am starting to realize how genius Jukka Backlund really is as a producer. It’s so cool what he did under very tricky circumstances this time. It’s gonna be so cool when Jukka will join us for the shows when Osmo, our new guy can’t make it.

I’ll empty my Gin-Tonic now and go to bed. I have to wake up for this video thing pretty early tomorrow. Again, I can’t tell you what it is about, but it’s something even the record companies don’t know about. We arranged a small budget to have a little fun with the next video and Jukka and his brother will be there too (meaning it will be a disaster;). You’ll see it soon and we really hope you like it. And Sunday will be interview day for me and on Monday I fly to Zurich Switzerland to do 2 days of interviews and stuff and Wednesday is the show. Finally ;) AAAAAAaaaaaaaa!!!!!

It’s actually funny. Some girl asked me when we are in Tokyo, Japan. And I didn’t know. They always just send me the schedules along with the flight tickets from our management. There is a car waiting at the airport and a hotel booked…. Riku just told me today that I have no days off really until June 15th…;) Great ;) So don’t ask me about trips and show, check the website or ask Riku, my personal secretary.

Right now I love you all and my life very much and I hope you all sleep well tonight, where ever you are. Or party as hell or what ever.

Thanx for a great week again everyone!

See you soon.

Doctor Haber

PopGastic Operations Specialist


12.05.2009 Samu
Helsinki - Switzerland – Helsinki

It’s heavy turbulence. I kind of like it when the plane jumps heavily between the clouds and air streams. Jukka, our Producer has told me everything about aviation and it’s cool to see how the pilot is doing all the things Jukka has told me they would do in such cases…

Anyway ;) I was in Zurich for 2 days doing interviews and talking about the glory of POPGASM and now I am on my way home. Again I must say we are really lucky with the EMI gang. It’s true that they haven’t been able to release our music in all the countries so far, but where the action is on, we have such a family feeling with the folks.

The record industry has suffered a huge change within the last decade. At Emi Switzerland office, for example, used to work 36 people and now they’re 8 (!!!) but the amount of releases are not down much. Meaning they have at least double amount of work. It’s actually pretty sad that they still have a huge and a very nice office for all the 36 people but there’s only 8 people filling the space. I spent my days with our Promoter with Flo (Whatta name ;) driving me around for the meetings and stuff. I must say the whole thing is a bit different than with the last album. Now they know the band name and we can get deeper into cooler conversations. Not only telling them who plays what and where does my dad come from ;)

Last night we also has a nice dinner with EMI boss Carlo and Product Manager Sandro at a nice Italian restaurant. I promoted Finland for them a bit and promised to take them to our new summer cottage if they come to Finland. It’s so beautiful. You only have to drive 80 minutes from the center of Helsinki and you are surrounded by all the nature and sweet drinkable water. Finland is as big as Germany but we are only 5 million there, so there’s a lot of space and even untouched land. You should experience the quiet summer evenings in my country once in your life. You can all come to our summerhouse. My mom can make pancakes for all of us by the lake at our grill house and we can all swim in the lake naked ;) Just be careful that the fish don’t swim up your “arschum” like what happened to this little boy in Thailand. It was in the news everywhere, right? I am a bit worried if Carlo comes because that would mean partying heavily. He is a very nice and cool guy but I can sense a little party devil in him ;)
He gave me a ride back to my hotel yesterday with his convertible Porsche. Financial crisis my ass ;)

I must also say I have been a good boy following the diet made by my and Raul’s personal Trainer, Nora. It’s been 6 weeks now choosing the healthier stuff instead of the burgers and pizzas and I must say I feel better. It was actually pretty cool getting her to help us. First I had to write down everything I put in my mouth and everything I do at the gym / jogging for a week and then she made her analysis on my behavior. When I knew I’d have to report everything to her, I realized I skipped the Pizzas, Burgers and all the unhealthy shit and ate soups, salads, and a lot of fish instead. I changed the butter I have used for ages for a healthier one and actually the small things matter a lot. Nora says it’s ok to have a beer or a glass of wine EVERY EVENING!!! Jeeee ;) But I have had only one Pizza since, zero burgers and zero kebabs.

I love to eat some snacks in the evening with a movie and my bad habit has been the microwave popcorns. I replaced that with the mini carrots, yes I know it sounds very gay and stupid and all, but actually I am now so addicted to them that I must have a few 1 Kg bags of them per week. They taste so good and they are so healthy. Laugh if you want ;) Carrots make me happy!

Next week we have the first control check at Nora’s gym and it’ll be interesting to see the results. She also made me a new gym program containing 3 different muscle days and 2 aerobic days, but it has been impossible to follow that totally with all the traveling. The control thing is so great. Every time I feel a bit tired and would want to skip the gym, I have the thought of meeting her soon and her kicking my ass ;)

Of course the trips can be exhausting and all, but even yesterday after a long promo day I had to go swimming a bit before the dinner. You sleep so well after that. A full stomach and a few glasses of wine and welcome Sandman! My Finnish friends Jenni & Kati who were also in Zurich joined us for the wine after the dinner but even though they had the party mood on, I was in bed before 2 AM. And that is early for me.

Note! If there’s something good about Finland, it’s Finnair. The lovely flight attendants just came and asked if I want to eat more than the usual portion. And you know, they serve carrots and dark healthy bread today ;) Go Finnair. Everyone else in the plane is a businessman going back home from a business meeting. I am the only one with a t-shirt and jeans.
But now to the point why I started writing this blog. Tomorrow we play the 1st POPGASM show and I don’t remember waiting for anything in a long time like tomorrow evening. We will do many many interviews in the afternoon and one of them is the music TV where we will hear how our new album has entered the charts in Finland on the first week. I must say I am not worried. It would be very nice to have it in the top 5, but it doesn’t change anything if it’s 16. Maybe there will be a little panic meeting at the record companies everywhere, but I’ll be fine with my boys. We get to go on stage again and that is the main reason for doing this. There are a few other pretty big releases last week too, so we’ll see.

The live set / the show is just so good. We were amazed how well the new songs fit together with some of the hits from the previous album and as we played it through last Sunday for the last time before the show, I had my mouth smiling all the time. Apart from the moment we had a little fight about guitar stuff with Riku, but we were all just tired and no harm done. (Riku, I am bringing you something sweet from the chocolate country, so you can forgive me the spontaneous fast reaction…; My little sweet mouth ;)

I heard that the tickets have sold great and seems as if we’ll have a nice evening. There is no support band tomorrow, so we’ll have the whole day / evening for our sound checks and stuff and that is good since our crew is also doing the POPGASM thing for the first time. I am so happy that the crew we had before wanted to continue with us. Karri is the boss of stage, Aki (Akinator, the sex robot sent from space) is on lights, Gorilla-Mikko does the sound for you / FOH, Heavily religious Tuomas in monitors and MP is Riku’s and Sami’s little assistant. I guess my little brother will also be at the Follow light, the spotlight on the action. I might take him in more shows in the future too. On Thursday we have pretty much nothing and that means there will probably be a party after the show. No matter if the chart position is 34 and the show is half empty. There’s a lot of folks who deserve a glass of something relaxing after all the work they have done for the POPGASM show.

Friday we fly to Sweden, Stockholm with Riku to do some acoustic stuff there, then to Austria, or was it Germany… Don’t remember. I’ll have more flight tickets from the management anyway. The next day off at home now is June 16th. I love it ;)

So keep your fingers crossed for our chart entry and see you at the show tomorrow. I’ll start my “Ketonen & Myllyrinne” comedy DVD now. I bought it at the Helsinki airport on the way. It’s so great, I wish all the world understood their jokes ;)

Dr. Haberzettel


16.05.2009 Samu
Helsinki - Stockholm - Helsinki

Oukkidoukki ;)

It might sound as if I am always sitting in a plane on the way somewhere, but the thing is, this is the place where I have most time for my little blogs…

We were in Stockholm doing interviews and a short acoustic show with Ricardo and the day was very very relaxing. Even though we all had a tiny hangover from the release party in Helsinki, we all felt better than ever. The evening in Helsinki was just so fantastic! I mean I was pretty nervous if any people would come to the show and how things would roll on stage since we did it for the first time for real with these songs. But it was so cool. And the surprise with the Gold award in Finland after the show… It’s not nice to have tears on stage, but it was worth it ;) And it was so cool that Jukka was there too to have his applause too. Jukka is the best!

The party on Wednesday night was long. We went all over the city and ended up at Elina’s, Our Finnish Tour agents place (Sorry and Thanx Elina) with a huge gang and I remember being on my way home around 10 in the morning. I just remember this taxi driver, a young guy who also told me he has his band and I promised to have a look at their stuff…;) I sure will if he sends something, but maybe I was not the most credible Music manager that moment…

Anyway, Sweden was great as usual. We went shopping with the boys ( I have Riku, Management Mikko & Karri with me) and in the evening we had dinner at my friend’s place at the Texas Long Horn Steak Restaurant. 300 g filet beef per person and sandman had an easy job in 4 hotel rooms right after.

So… we’re on our way home now and I will have to wash clothes for the next trip starting tomorrow. I will be on the move all around for a week and then just drop by at home for a few hours and fly to Tokyo for almost a week. And we decided to go to movies with Karri to see the new Angels & Demons (A kind of part 2 of Da Vinci Code, one of my favorite movies). I just hope we won’t go out too hard with the little party animal. You all know how he is ;)

So enjoy your weekend everyone and thank you for yesterday Bonnier Sweden and Thank you all so much for the show in Helsinki last week. You don’t know how happy you made us. Can’t wait for the release show in Berlin and the Dome and everything next week ;)

Love you,

Samu


26.05.2009 Samu
Promotion Germany

Thursday, May 21st 2009 On Air

Hello everyone and welcome on board from Leipzig to Munich.
We have been here in Germany for this week with the guys, actually with Riku all the way from Sunday, and the journey goes on. Sunday and Monday we visited all the radio stations in the Berlin area with Oma (our radio agent ;) and it was so cool to see all the familiar faces we got to know on the promo trips of the first album. There are actually some reporters and radio presenters etc you become almost friends with and it’s cool to see them at the after parties.

On Tuesday we played the first POPGASM show outside Finland, in Berlin. It was this pretty small (Frannz Clob) but very intimate and VERY HOT club, so the conditions were as good as they can be for the presentation of our new baby on stage. It was a great thing that we already did it once in Finland, so we had 3 % routine there already ;)

I have missed the live shows. I don’t remember feeling that good on stage. It was damn hot and sure we were a bit extra excited that evening, but it just felt so amazingly natural all the way. The temperature was so hot for us on stage that I was worried a few times that I might pass out. But didn’t. My little sessions with Nora, the personal trainer had helped a bit ;) I also felt a bit sorry for the audience because it must have been damn hot for them too and the place was packed. Great that you stood the heat so well. I heard that the sound was not that good that evening and we are sorry for that if it really was so. Our tech guys(Especially FOH Mikko) said that there was a problem with the PA and there was nothing they could do. But listening to the feed back, the sound wasn’t that bad ;) Our crew is just so passionate with their work that sometimes the show’s technical stuff is not enough for them and they feel sorry for us & you folks, but I think that‘s only good. It’s good to have these pro boys with
us who know what to do.

And it’s so great that you all took our new guy Osmo so well. I mean he is cool on stage sure, but I know how great Jukka is on stage and it’s not easy for anyone to fill his boots. Great work Osmo San.

After the show EMI (Our record company) had arranged this garden outside the venue with a barbecue / Burger grill, drinks and a lot of folks who have been helping us on the way. And also there were some fans / people waiting for autographs and I was very happy to realize that there are some people who haven’t forgotten about us.

Damn.. We’re landing…. I will continue later. Stay tuned ;)

May 26th 2009

Ooookay. I broke my MacBook on the promotion trip and I am using the last functional corner of the screen to write my blog on the way home. I have a new MacBookPro waiting for me at homew and I can’t wait to put my little fingers on it ;) Yammmy ;) So we are flying home now to Helsinki to sleep one night in our own beds and then we take off to Japan tomorrow. The other guys have left to Japan already today to prepare everything there.

The 9 days in Germany were so damn cool. On Friday the 22nd we had our album release of course and also we did the DOME TV show for the 7th time in the Sunrise Avenue history. It’s this show with big international stars and smaller local acts and I think we fit there pretty well in between ;) This time the biggest acts were The Black Eyed Peas, Pet shop Boys and A-ha. It’s a shame we never have time to meet these other acts that much because the time after and before the stage is filled with interviews and stuff. But it was fun and very encouraging to hear 10.000 people singing our new single “The whole story” together with us. And we had the green lasers on stage ;) The only down side is that most of these shows are playback and that is never 100 % great, but as an experience and as a promotional move it is a great thing.

One thing about The Dome that is great, are the after parties. It’s a real red carpet thing with everything for free inside. You meet all the media folks and all the local celebrities and it’s just so much fun. We prepared ourselves for the after party with the band by drinking one liter of whiskey-coke and watching “Ketonen & Myllyrinen” DVD in my room. They are just super great. This Finnish comedy – you should all see it ;) For me it’s better than “Kummeli” at the moment and that is a lot said.

After getting boozed in my room, we were definitely ready to party. And as the EMI folks were also relieved with the reaction of the audience at the show, they were as well, so the night was long ;) Actually I must apologize my behavior in case I did something unsuitable. I have a few blackouts that night. It was just this great warm summer night and all these happy people around us. And everything for free. Blame yourselves, who told you to invite us ;)

After the party there was this kind of after after party in my hotel room, but if I remember correct, Riku was the last one who left my room at around 7 AM. And sure I was so wasted that I couldn’t sleep. The first interview was at 12 the next day and I set my alarm at 11:58 ;) I was still so wasted when I arrived at the hotel lounge for the reporter. I was glad she / he never showed up. That almost never happens but that journalist let me off the hook and I was able to sleep one more hour ;)

To make the hang over day perfect, we had an acoustic session at the local record shop called Media Markt, the worlds biggest MM in the world. We looked at each other at the backstage before the show and we all thought it’s better to have shades on the whole session. We were supposed to play 2 songs, but since the atmosphere was relaxed we decided to double that with Riku ;) It was the first public performing of 6-0, our wanna-be-classical pop song. After that we signed autographs for 2 hours and they had to cut the line so the next one, Germany’s next top model, could go on stage. It was so sweet that all you people came there that day and you made us so happy. Thank you. And thank you for being so ok with the old booze smell ;)

I must also thank a local guy in Munich (who’s name I don’t know) who saved us by loaning his PERSONAL GUITARS for us, since the ones that came from Gibson had no microphones. If you read this, the custom 165-bodied guitar is the best acoustic guitar I ever had in my hands and I realize how valuable that piece is for you. Huge respect for borrowing them and the tickets are free for you forever to our shows if you wanna come. Just contact EMI or management.

After the signature session we drove to the airport and Sami, Raul & Karri took the flight home to Helsinki and Riku, Kerstin (EMI) and myself flew to Hannover. It’s been funny to see how human Kerstin and the other EMI folks are with Sunrise Avenue project and how they treat the whole thing as their baby. If we had been on any other label in the past, we would have been dropped far before Fairytale became a hit and the same long-term commitment seems to be there this time too. And it’s so cool to be friends with the people who work with you. Even though some times it also means that it’s hard to remember the roles we have (Somebody is artist and somebody is the record company), it’s something I would not change to anything. It’s funny how they also feel the excitement with the release and the songs and the videos and how they sometimes seek comfort in us too. But that means they are not faking anything towards us and they play the game 100 % open and real. I respect that. I am sure if we don’t succeed with
PopGasm as we did with the one before, they will have hard time accepting that and forgetting about the success with us, but they will say that kind of things straight too. So hang in there Platten Firme ;)

On Sunday we had a day off in Hannover and we planned to all the stuff, to see the city and go to movies and stuff. We were just so tired, both of us, that we barely got out of our rooms and we just had a little walk near the railway station and the red light district. No, we didn’t go to the strip bars ;) In the evening we found the fitness section at the hotel and they had a Finnish Sauna and a Turkish bath. You sleep so well after that.

This week we have been driving around northern Germany (Hannover, Hamburg, Kiel, Bremen) with our pal / driver Jörn (Jörkka) from Berlin. I am sure one part of Jörn’s job is to have an eye on our fitness & diet stuff. Jörn is in shape and he might have been hired as the driver on EMIäs request. Still we made him smoke and drink last night. Muahahahah. (Note: In Finnish slang the word “Jörniä” means to have sex)
Tomorrow we fly to Tokyo. I really don´t have any clue what will happen there, but I guess not that many people know us in Japan. I have done a few interviews on phone and I met the guy from our Japanese record company, but I am sure the work has to be started from the zero there. Raul, Sami & Osmo are there already today with the crew and they will do the interviews tomorrow when we rest with Riku after the flight. And its their turn, we must have answered 10.000 questions these last 6 weeks. And on Friday we play a short show there for the local people. I hope someone comes to see us since we fly that far. If the room is empty before our show, we will walk out to the streets with Riku (we are tall) and tell everyone that the tall human beings will play music soon. That should be exotic for them ;) I have my new camera, video cam and stuff ready for the trip. Makes me so happy that I have a job that takes me to Japan ;) Aaaand. We stay at the same hotel where they filmed “Lost in Translation” and I am reall
y gonna try to smell Scarlet Johansson on my sheets, mmmmmm ;)

The Japan trip is also the first time we get some governmental financial help on our mission. So far they have been avoiding us or claiming that our applications haven’t arrived ;) but maybe there could be light at the end of the tunnel now. It is a super great thing that now we got the support. We always fly in economy class because in Europe it doesn’t count, but tomorrow I am going to have a business seat. I upgraded the seat with my Finnair-Points. It’s a seat that turns into a bed ;)

I had a message this week that the court case regarding the name Sunrise Avenue will happen in August. It’s actually very great that we finally get an end to all the unnecessary waste of time and heartache on both sides. I am pretty sure we will be able to continue with our name, but if we lose, we will call our band something cooler. One-hit-wonder-boys????? ;)

But anyway. We will start landing in Helsinki soon. I have my new MacBook Pro waiting for me at home and I will upload this blog as soon as I get it registered and started. Someone needs a second hand MacBook in good condition??

Samu

PS: I just heard that “The Whole story” is number 1 in all German radios!!! You don’t know how thankful we are for the support from all you people. Fairytale Gone Bad was number 3 at the highest, so a super great start for the album’s 1st single. Thank you!

PPS: Everyone, Get A Mac!!!!!!!!


28.05.2009 Samu
Finnair Airbus A 340-300 (A tiny commercial ;)

Ooookay. We usually fly the economy class, but this time for the trip to Seoul and then to Tokyo we have business seats with Riku. I have never been to the new big airbus A 340-300 planes before and I must say it’s the best thing in flying since someone invented the jet engines.

The seats are so huge. You have a full multi media system just for you and you can watch movies, play games and stuff and actually you can even make phone calls up in 10 Kilometers. Me like ;) I might call mom just to say “Hi mom, greetings from higher than Mount Everest.

The seat also turns into a bed and as surprising as it is, it’s even big enough for my super long legs. Probably due to the financial crisis, the business class is half empty. There are 30 seats and only 7 passengers. So we both have a “sofa” and the way to Seoul couldn’t be more comfortable.
The most beautiful (Asian) flight attendant just brought us appetizers, shampagnes and diet cokes in Real Iittala Ultima Thule Glasses (Iittala is one of the most successful Finnish design brands ever, check it out at www.iittala.com).

In the toilet, there is a window. So you can view all the 100.000 beautiful blue lakes of Finland or the mountains of Ural over Russia while you are doing your “things” there. And of course there’s different perfumes and stuff in the toilet to make the trip cool all the way.

And even if we have 8 stewardesses for us 7 business passengers, the coolest thing in the plane is the power supply for Mac Laptops. I mean any lap tops sure, but that is what you don’t get in normal planes. I just got my new MacBookPro last night and I sure have a lot to do with it on the way. I got it from Riku’s brother who works in this computer store. He had delivered it to my mom and my mom had brought it to my place while I was away. The cool thing about Macs is that when you get a new Mac, it automatically copies the whole thing, all setting and all files and everything from your old one with a press of one button to the new one and as I was sleeping in my own soft big bed, my two little babies did the dirty job in my studio room. So I have everything with me in Asia and I am able to post the entire stuff fort you people as normal.

So exciting to go to Tokyo. I guess we have 5 fans there so far, but if nobody comes to the show, we will focus more on enjoying the city and all the shops and stuff. There must be so much to see. The roots of their culture are double as old as ours in Europe, so it must be cool. I will try to get everything I can during these few days. Sami, Raul & Osmo are there already with the crew and hope they are not partying too much. We all know how Raul has been lately ;)

So… We will start watching “Ketonen & Myllyrinne with Ricardo now. Wish you all could be here. I love Finnair.

3 hours later….

Mmmm whatta dinner. Never before I had such a good starter this high above the sea level ;)

Fresh warm bread straight from the oven, a green salad, 3 different tapa plates, a cray fish salad and sparkling wine with it, naturally. As main course they served salmon, steak or pasta. We both took salmon with potatoes because Nora (the PT) has told us it good for us. It also tastes great. And red wine. And a tiny chocolate cake and some ice cream as dessert and coffee and amaretto sure as well.

So now Riku is already sleeping his stomach full and I will join him soon. I will start watching James Bond / Quantum of Solace and since I have seen it already, I will fall asleep…. 5 hours to the landing in Seoul. Good night ;)

6 hours later…

Here we are at Seoul Airport in South Korea. 2 hours until our plane leaves to Tokyo and I really hope the North Korean crazy dictator Kim Yong Ill keeps his head cool behind border with his napoleon complex and nuclear weapons. Would be pretty bad luck if we were here when he decides to hit. It’s so crazy that these things still exist in 2009. Looks peaceful though. South Korea is the newest country on my “Countries where I have used the toilet ;)

Talk later,

Samu San


07.06.2009 Samu
On da road again

Riku is sleeping next to me inside the Austrian Airlines Fokker on the way to Vienna / Austria. We are flying there with Karri, our tech chief, to play this very special little show at someone’s home. There had been a competition in the internet and this girl has won us to her home to play at her party or something. I guess the audience will not be that loud today ;) It’s naturally acoustic.

We’ll also do plenty of interviews in Vienna and obviously other parts of the country as well and then tomorrow evening after the interviews we fly to Zurich, Switzerland. We play our release show there in Zurich and sure meet the media as well. From SUI we go to Germany (Don’t know where) to do 2 TV shows and we fly back home on Sunday. Then one Day at home and off we go again. That time to Sweden and Greece. Before this flight we were home for one day after coming back from Japan. I am playing in a traveling band ;)

Japan / Tokyo

I have never ever been to Asia in my whole life before and I was expecting pretty much from the trip. And I must say I fell in love with the people and the place. It’s amazing how friendly they are and how clean, safe and well organized the whole city feels. Nobody really knows the real population of Tokyo, but if it’s close to 30 Million people walking the streets every day, it’s just amazing how they all fit there. No cigarette ends on streets and no trash or dog shit.
The Japanese culture is somewhat twice as old as ours in Europe (for example in Finland, there were only forests and wolfs 150 years ago) and that really shows over there. The respect they have for one another is really something us westerns should import to our daily lives.

We arrived in Tokyo with Riku one day later than the other guys and sure the jet lag hits you pretty bad no matter how great seats you have on the plane. We still forced ourselves to join the guys exploring the city and we saw all the shops and stuff, even if we had been up for 36 hours in a row. We had a super great diner in the evening at around 9 PM and there was no problem falling asleep. I guess we slept for 13 hours. Like little babies. It was actually the first time in years we had to share rooms, but it wasn’t that bad. It’s nice to have someone there who you can talk to if you can’t sleep ;) Muahahahaha. Poor Riku ;)

The “Liquid Room” club was a big surprise. It was maybe a 1000 capacity rock club with Germany level of equipment and back stages and stuff. There were 7 bands from Finland, bands that try to get their way to Japanese market and actually the Finnish government supported us all by paying a little share on the costs of the trip. That is really important, you know that only the extra bags & gear we had to fly back from Tokyo cost 3.600 €. Just the extras, just one way.

Not many people in the audience knew us, so we had to play this kind of an introduction show of Sunrise Avenue. And that is always very much fun. It’s cool when the people don’t expect anything and they don’t know the songs and in the end you have them jumping hands up ;) I will have to learn a lot more Japanese for the future shows.

After the show they had arranged this party in a bar that plays only Finnish music. I actually didn’t wanna go there because you know what happens when you mix a lot of Finns and alcohol. And for me it’s not a Finnish rock club I want to visit when I am in Japan! I had an early interview wakeup the next day and gladly I had left the bar at around 5 AM before the mess started.

Two crewmembers of this new Finnish band destroyed the whole bar. Must be really nice to drag some staff to work for you on the other side of the planet and then to pay all the costs of destroying a bar afterwards. There’s also a chance the governmental support will be taken away from other bands too. It’s sad but so typical. First our band got the blame for the whole thing, but gladly there were a lot of witnesses at the bar and someone had even taken mobile videos, so we will be safe and the ones responsible will pay for the damage. Sami had a black eye and other bruises in the morning. While this moron had been kicking our Sami in the ground, Riku had jumped on him to get him down and he had some hits there too. But you don’t leave your pals in that kind of a situation, do you? But everyone’s ok now and hopefully the laundry is been done soon.

It’s just pretty embarrassing to give this kind of an image of the Finnish bands to the locals but what can you do.
The Japanese can cook! What ever you eat where ever in Tokyo, you just jump when you taste the food. Some of you know how excited I sometimes get with tasty food, I mean I always get these FoodGasms and the EMI team in Germany sometimes laugh at my reactions(Julia & Kerstin, you should have seen me;). In Tokyo, I nearly had heart attacks. It was so damn good. Everything was so fresh. And I love sushi so there we were in Heaven ;)

One thing that reminded me a little bit of London there was the amount of different clothes and hair styles you see on streets. You can have someone entering a subway / underground wearing almost a shower curtain and nobody even notices it. Everyone’s accepted as they are. All different colors of hair and seems as if you are allowed to be whoever you are and look the way you want in Tokyo. That is cool. So even my long legs & non-existing ass didn’t confuse people that much…

The last day I just did interviews at our local record Company’s PONY CANYON’S office and in the evening we had dinner with our local A&R Yusuke and his Boss Mr. Cat. The whole Pony Canyon team was super cool.

When we were outside the Record Company building, Yusuke was carrying this pocket size ashtray (like a lot of people there). You are not allowed to throw cigarette ends on the streets. He collected them from us and then emptied the stuff in a garbage can.

You ARE allowed to smoke almost everywhere inside bars, restaurants etc., but you are NOT allowed to smoke outside on the streets. There are these smoking areas in the city, where all smokers gather together around these huge ashtrays. In some places they are cabins like at airports.

When the reporters entered the interview room, they first changed business cards with the local record company people and sure our Mikko from Bonnier Finland. They hand the cards for each other and bow a few times. Our Mikko was sometimes a bit funny looking following the tradition. With his hangover…;)

They say New Your never sleeps. I have been there too a few times and I can say that it’s Tokyo that never sleeps. New York does take a short nap.

The trip home was pretty hard. I was an idiot and bought a bottle of Santori Whiskey (The one that Bill Murray was promoting in the movie “Lost in Translation”) and sure we had to empty it in the night in my bath tub with Sami and Riku. We slept only for a few hours. I was able to sleep only for an hour of the 9-hour flight, so I was pretty tired when I got home. Yesterday I woke up at 7 AM because the rhythm was so twisted… And today I am feeling really tired but hopefully the tiredness goes by. I don’t know if I’m feeling a bit ill or just tired but we’ll see.

We will land in Vienna now so I must put Riku’s seat belt on (he is sleeping) and switch off my laptop….

Uuu and the Austrian Arrows stewardess just asked for my autograph. She is so sweet with her uniform - uuuuumamamaaa ;)

Linda Landbauer’s Garden Party!

There had been a competition at the KinderMaxiKing.at and the competitors had to make a short video with our song “Choose to be me.” The video made by Linda Landbauer won. There were some 30 people including her parents & some media at the garden of her parent’s house and drinks and food and stuff. And Jägermeister.

I was actually a bit worried before the party because I still feel so tired after the Japanese trip (the jet lag) but as we started playing and singing, the whole atmosphere was just so relaxed and nice. And we made Linda sing with Riku a bit too ;)

Thanx Linda for the coffee and the toilet!

So now we will have dinner with the Austrian EMI and go to bed early so we don’t get ill. We do more promotion tomorrow and a flight to Zurich in the evening.

Hope we don’t miss our flight from Vienna again tomorrow…;)

Oookay… It’s been a while. I got this most annoying flu after the garden party in Austria and I have just been so exhausted after the days that I was not able to write or nothing. I felt this strange thing in my throat & nose actually already in Helsinki but I thought it was just being tired.

Zurich Show

I was a bit worried when Carlo, our EMI Boss Switzerland told me a few weeks ago that the capacity of the venue is 1.300 people. I just thought the room would be half empty. I was wrong. They had done such a great job in Switzerland promoting the event and making it happen big time again.

The venue was this old theatre kind of a place with a balcony and all and it was packed full. I felt really ill before the show and I was just trying to keep myself warm and to drink as much warm stuff as possible. My secret flu medicine is hot water, rum, honey and squeezed lemon. It does work a bit but sure it can’t make miracles happen. As we got to the stage, I felt just great. Sure I had a bottle of rum there all the time and I sang half of the songs with a Vick’s Blue in my mouth but it worked. The show was the 4th show with PopGasm songs and definitely the best one so far. Now were getting the PopGasm stuff working on stage bit by bit ;)

The party after the show was a PARTY!!!!! It actually got a bit out of hand but probably the fact that Sami’s and Osmo’s toenails were pink in the morning describes the session well. The guys were totally masked in the morning. It was pretty cool to sit in the sauna at Intercontinental Köln the next day with Sami and Riku and their lady-look feet. I was so proud of the guys.

If I remember correctly, we were a pretty huge gang all the way to the last hours, so thanx to everyone for the party and company, Especially EMI folks, and sorry for my sayings and doing if I did something stupid, can’t really rember. I think I danced a bit, so if someone has that on video, please delete them. I don’t dance ;)

So Friday was the hangover day and we spent that shopping in Köln. It’s actually sometimes hard to star a shopping session, but now when we were still a bit on a boogie mod with Sami & Riku, the shopping was so easy. We all found tons of stuff we liked & needed. Especially Sami. He spent his future salaries from 2009 & 2010. For shopping, Köln is super cool.

On Saturday we made a performance at this pretty strange TV show where these teams are competing against each other about who gets the most long-lasting domino effect (or something, didn’t quite get it…;) with all different kind of obstacles. We were inside this small office room and as our song started, all kinds of stuff started falling on us and that’s it. Leutnant Zimmermann says that TV time is always good so I bet it was worth it. And today we did this kind of a garden TV morning show. It was very cool performing to all the families, grand mamas and grand papas. They actually were very well with us the whole way and they rocked good ;)

So now I am home and will go downtown to get something to eat. I might call Karri if he wants to join (if I pay) so I don’t have to eat alone. It’s actually funny and kind of sad how I don’t meet my friends from outside the music industry that much. Apart from the band & crew I don’t know who to call to now if Karri will not join me. I have been away for so long… Maybe I should go through my phone and see if I still have some non-pop/rock friends….

Thanx everyone for the fantastic trip again. It’s pretty hard every now and then with the traveling and all, but you know you all make me / us very very happy.

Moi moi,

Doctor Haber

PS: I will get my car tomorrow (about f**ing time). Just got a call from the shop. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (wrooom wrooom wrooom) I have a full day to wroom tomorrow until the next trip - wroom wroom wroom ;)


13.06.2009 Samu
Stockholm – Athens – Home

I had one full day off at home on Monday and I must say that I have started liking my own bed more and more during the last weeks. Well I did a few phoners (interviews) to Russia, but the rest of the day was off. I FINALLY got my car back from the garage. It had been there for 2,5 months after some friendly face had destroyed the windows from both sides and smashed the door. So I got my SRA-1 back on Monday and we were totally in love again. Just like a fresh couple. Newly married ;) The sad part is that I will have to give HER away tomorrow because I will get a new one. I hope she finds a good home for herself. Someone who will wash her and keep her warm in the winter. Someone who kisses the wheel every now and then and says “Hey baby, U R looking good today” when walking to her at the parking area and opening the doors with the remote. Everybody does that, right???

Stockholm

They have been pretty active in Sweden. The record company I mean. Last week there were 2 competition winners in Japan from Stockholm who had won a trip there on a magazine or something to see our show. They flew 2 Swedish girls all the way to Japan and we got to meet the ladies after the show. Cool. We also have a new promoter / Product manager Emilia, who is crazy in a good way and very happy all the time. These trips can sometimes be a bit hard but she is a great example how to treat the artist right. She is the kind of a person who hugs you the very first time you meet and it still feels natural.

The kingdom of Sweden had organized some interviews for Tuesday and I did most of them in my room, but the biggest reason for being there was the TV4 morning show on Wednesday. The morning shows are great and it’s obviously good promotion, but the wakeup at 4 (!!!) is not that nice. We had an evening off with Riku before. Riku had a massage and I had a haircut and afterwards we had dinner in this Greek restaurant Axela at Gotagatan. Very good! And I still was feeling ill. Not badly but you know how it is when you don’t get to rest the illness away, you don’t really get over it.

However, the morning was super great even though we only slept like 4 hours and I woke up every 30 minutes just checking the clock. I sleep very restless if the wakeup is sick early. We did 2 interviews during the morning and also performed The Whole Story and 6-0. I love the way Riku arranged the guitars for 6-0 acoustic. It works so damn god.

We also met the Finnish minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Alexander Stubb. He is a great young guy who will definitely do god for the image of Finland out in Europe and the rest of the world. He is this kind of a politician of the new wave. He is sporty, friendly and cool and speaks 6 languages, I guess, and above all, he says he likes our band. So his music taste is perfect too ;) I gave him my vote to the European parliament 2 years ago. They have a great team together with our Cultural minister Mr. Wallin and they are planning some very great stuff right now to make music business roll a bit smoother tax wise in Finland. I read it in the paper, hope it’s true.

Anyway… After TV4 we went to Expressen, one of the biggest daily magazines, to play a few songs and to do a few interviews and I must admit that we were dead tired by that time. As we sat in the taxi after the Expressen on our way to Arlanda / Stockholm airport, Riku fell asleep as soon as the car started moving and I did my last phoner on the way biting my lip not to fall asleep. We flew to Athens through Munich and I was prepared to fall into my hotel bed in Athens around midnight…

Athens, Greece

We landed and got our bags and I had this dream of a cold beer and a shower and a bed. Sami and Raul had arrived earlier that day. Before going through the customs, Raul sent me a message that there will be a camera team waiting for us and we will start doing some TV stuff immediately in the night. I must say I was a bit shocked, because we looked like pigs with Riku and I was so tired. I had to bite my lip again. I mean it’s really great to have a TV station doing stuff with you, but there are just times when you really don’t feel like having the cameras on your face. Bite the lip, doctor Haber ;)

The nice surprise was that Lydia, my favorite Greek TV hostess was there waiting for us with her crew and actually all went pretty well. We met her already at the MAD TV Awards a few years ago when we were in Athens for the first time and she is the coolest.

I had my shower and my beer and didn’t have problems falling asleep. Our manager BOB had postponed the start in the morning to 10 AM so actually I had 6 hours with sandman.

The whole trip’s idea was this MAD TV (Like MTV) live show in association with Vodafone. They present one artist for free every summer and the location is the coolest ever. It’s right next to Acropolis, the birthplace of all western philosophy, culture and languages.

We started the day by going to the harbor with the TV crew and Lydia and the sun was super hot. The MAD TV guys had brought us these “sombrero” hats, but I chose my own one ;) Actually I was very tired the whole day and it was pretty exhausting walking in the sun still being tired from the few last days and the early wakeups. The afternoon ended with a brilliant lunch at a Greek restaurant. The food is just so super good. The only problem is the amount of stuff they carry for you. You die if you eat it all ;) The restaurant is called Kuzina (www.kuzina.gr) and I can warmly recommend everything there. They mix Greek stuff with world stuff and it rocks. After the lunch we had a 3-hour siesta and that saved the show day.

I am actually never that nervous before the shows anymore. I have found the confidence in our team and the music, but the only thing that still makes me a bit nervous is the thought if there will be no audience. Ok, we sold gold in Greece with the last one, MAD TV is supporting us, but you can never know. Bands and music comer and go these days and you can never know how fast the people forget you. There is nothing worse that playing for an empty room / field.

After the sound check I started believing the night would be perfect. The lovely Girls and guys were already there and they were actually quite many. The best sound check feeling in a long time. It felt like a little show. ;)

Our crew had a lot of technical issues before the show. Some of our tech equipment didn’t arrive all the way to Athens and the airline found some of our instruments and other things in Copenhagen. So the crew had to go shopping with Raul. The lovely Greek EMI folks helped us. Would have been a mess without them. They found pretty much everything but still it was like walking on a wire through the show. But since we have the best crew on the planet, they pulled it through. I only had to yell at them once. I didn’t hear my vocals in the first song and since there was a huge hassle behind the stage, nobody noticed me and my needs. I even tried throwing water bottles and stuff at them but it didn’t work. Usually the monitor guy (the one who does the sound for our ears) can see us all and has his eyes steadily on us if there’s something we need. Finally I had to shout into the microphone “Laittakaa nyt vitun homot se mun laulu lujemmalle….” That wasn’t nice ;) And everyone in the audience heard it. Gladly not man
y of them speak Finnish ;) Hope they don’t have it on TV when they broadcast it. But I need to hear myself.

El, Ela Ela !!!

The show was the 5th show with the new songs and it seems to get better and better. I mean it has been fun all the way with popgasm but now that we have a few shows behind, we get a little routine for the stage. And I must say I have NEVER heard any audience anywhere sing that loud. I had to close my ears in Forever yours because it hurt ;) And that is a great sign. There was so much people! Thank you all so much for the great evening & night and you have no idea how happy you made us. The stage was on the street and there was so much people even behind the stage, so we were surrounded them. The night was dark and it was maybe +35 degrees Celsius and no wind. So romantic. And the acropolis hill behind you. Welcome to my life….

I don’t know if it’s a local habit, but many of them kissed us on the signing session. Nice. Mom, I was a nice boy. Only cheeks ;)

In the night the two beautiful MAD TV hostesses Laura & Evelyn tried to kill us again with a Greek food mountain, but we survived and got to bed after midnight. I am so in love with Saganaki cheese.

This morning we went to the MAD TV studios for a few acoustic songs and an interview with Lydia and Evelyn. My throat was really bad with the early wakeup but I am not the one who has to listen to the recordings, muahahaha ;)

We really must have some club shows in Greece too. It was the 3rd visit there and it’s only getting better and better and the people are so damn nice. Managers and agents, vink, vink ;)

So now we are flying home. Tomorrow I will first pick up Sami to join me for the new car ceremony and then I’ll try to go to gym. It’s been more than a week without sports and I feel so stuck everywhere…. In the evening I will pick up Osmo from this church concert where he’s performing and we’ll drive (wroom, wroooooooom) to Seinäjoki (Sami’s birth place) to play our very first PROVINSSI ROCK show on Sunday. Provinssi Rock stage is one of the things I have been dreaming about all my life and on Sunday it finally happens. On Wednesday we have our second club show in Helsinki at Virgin oil and then we fly to Nova Rock at the end of the week. That is also one of the absolute highlights this summer. I don’t know if there will be anyone at Virgin oil. Metallica play Monday & Tuesday (and I am actually invited;) and AC/DC play the same day with us. I don’t know if there will be any audience in the holiday season Helsinki for us that night because of the big international bands playing the same time. My mom will co
me so that’s something ;)

So we will be home for almost a week. It’s cool. Hope the weather is good for my new car-baby ;) Wish us luck so we don’t crash my new baby at the first curve with Sami.
Thank you all for a super fantastic week again and see you very soon.

Love,

Samu


14.06.2009 Samu
Provinssi Rock. Seinäjoki, Finland

Oooookayyyy…

It all started so well. Ok, I was pretty tired after the 7-week promotion trip but I was waiting for the Provinssi show for weeks. Especially because that together with the Athens show this week would start the new era for us after the promotion period. Now we’ll focus more on festivals and other stages instead of the early wakeups for TV morning shows. Even though this time the whole promo mess was actually very pleasant and we barely never got on each other’s nerves even though we were face-to-face 24/7.

Provinssi Rock is not exactly a Sunrise Avenue festival. It’s more for the cooler kind / alternative bands. We are a bit too pop for that event. The headliner yesterdays was Manowar and that describes it pretty well ;) I actually checked them out and well… I better say nothing. I mean they had requested 126 decibels for the sound system and as they measured it at their sound check and it was ONLY 124, they messed up the whole festival and the festival guys had to drag all the subwoofers from the whole country there. Only 124, that is how loud a hornet fighter plane is…;)

We had our stage time today at 2:30 PM, so an afternoon slot after the Lucifer stuff the night before and sure half of the festival guests were still asleep (or trying to get to their tents) and the field was pretty empty. But we expected that so no worries.

The real downside for us was the fact how lousy we performed. I mean everything went quite ok, but first of all, my throat was very dead and that for me is always pretty challenging since there’s so much vocals in our songs. But also the technique stuff just all broke this time. Guitars & cables didn’t work (no sound), or the tech guys forgot to switch them on. And after we battled through the pretty heavy circumstances I decided to smash my face. I was trying to give my guitar away to make the final bow as we always do, and of course it slipped as I took it off and it hit me in the forehead very hard. I bled all the way to the back stage and they had to call the doctors to fix me. So I have two stitches on my face, my hair red from blood and I am not allowed to shower today. Imagine, after a show. I’m feeling fresh ;)

Anyway, thanx to all you lovely people who were there for us today and we are truly sorry for the way the show went today. Seems as if when things start to go wrong, everything goes “against the ass” like we say in my country. (Päin Persettä)
Tomorrow I should see Metallica, but I will decide in the morning. If the painkillers help or not. Metallica is nothing I wanna listen to if my head hurts. Especially since there won’t be a chance to wash my bloody hair. I have some cool photos, I will upload them later ;) We have a show on Wednesday in Helsinki @ Virgin Oil. I will have a shower before ;) But you can’t win every time and every show can’t be a blast and 110 % enjoyable for us either. All we can do is put some “new warm on the hook” as we say in my country ;) (Uutta matoa koukkuun)

So have a nice weekend everyone and hope to see you at Virgin oil and also at Novarock in Austria next Friday.

Doctor Haber in need of a doctor


18.06.2009 Samu
Virgin Oil, Helsinki

After the disaster at Provinssi Rock, we decided with the guys not to expect any audience and we also decided to do a good job on stage no matter what. The pressure was double since some of the folks would come straight from the AC/DC concert to our show and sure we can’t even compete with the papas of Rock, but sure we don’t wanna look & sound too lame after them ;)

I must say last night was absolutely the best show in Finland ever! I have never felt that great on stage in My country and I was so damn surprised how much people there were and how well they rocked with us. It was just like in Berlin, Athens or Zurich. You know Sunrise Avenue is not the hottest act here in Finland right now and I understand the fact that after the long break between the albums, we will have to start the work again almost “from the zero” to find the people who like this kind of stuff & music. But last night all the pressure on the whole thing dropped to 1% in my head. We are all super thankful for everyone there last night. Now I am really waiting for the Finnish festivals too. Rain or shine, it’ll be fun ;)

And 10 points to our lovely crew too. It’s funny how at some shows everything can go wrong and sometimes everything is just so damn right.

After the show we went out the whole gang, first to Molly Malone’s and then the traditional after party at Elina’s (Our Tour agent) and whatta night… I hope you got the huge gang out of your living room by now, Elina…. I felt kind of sorry for you on the way home in the taxi. I went home already at 5 AM because I don’t wanna party myself dead now. We have the NOVA ROCK show tomorrow and I wanna be in shape on stage. Can’t wait ;)

Thank you everyone so much!!! I will TRY to eat something now…;)

Doctor Haber

PS. And damn Osmo… Can you all please be really nice to him so the guy will want to keep playing with us for a long time. He is just so damn good ;)

PPS: Miikka, my arm hurts still a bit after the arm wrestling (you call it that?) with you after the show. I should have understood not to battle with the ice hockey pro’s. I am glad I didn’t go in with Hank the mussukka after you;) Yes, you won; I’ll go to gym….


19.07.2009 Samu
Howdy Howdy!

I just came home from a Nepalese dinner with Karri and I am feeling well… great but tired and full. We had two festival shows in Finland this weekend and it was super cool. Weather was great. First one in Vaasa (by the western coast) on Friday and yesterday in Hämeenlinna @ Wanaja Festival. Especially yesterday there were a lot of folks and the atmosphere was just fantastic. It really amazed me how many of the festival guests came to see us and how many had the cool PopGasm shirts and stuff on them. It’s so super cool. I have said it before that I have been wondering how many people really still remember us but again this weekend it was so great hearing all of you singing the new and old songs with us.

And I also finally bought a real camera (Nikon D90) and some good tubes for it and the best thing after performing at the festivals is to have the photo pass everywhere and to take pictures of other bands ;) I will become such a pain in the ass to all my musician colleagues ;) I will upload the stuff on Facebook & Myspace as soon as I manage to get some good ones. Watch out world, a new paparazzi is born ;)

It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog. I must admit that I was very very tired after the 7-week promotion tour with only a few nights at home. There were days when we woke up at 4 in the morning with Riku in Stockholm for the morning TV and the same day ended at 2 in the night in Athens filming the last shots for MAD TV behind the scenes stuff. It took a while to get some energy back in me. I thought of writing stuff many times in the airplane or in the bus, but I have honestly been so damn tired that it’s been more important to sleep or to just think about nothing. It’s amazing how there has been no fights, hassle or complaining in the band even if the promotion has been even harder than with the first album. I just love the harmony in the band and the crew and I could hug every one of the guys every day. Actually I do that almost every day. Sorry guys! My sweet hearts ;)

It’s funny how it’s easier to share all the stuff happening to us with you people when thing are going great and when you have slept ok. When you are dead tired, you just feel like hiding from the whole world. I guess that is natural and it’s ok to be a bit selfish sometimes. The shows are still the number one thing because of you people and we need to ensure the energy there ;)

The summer has been very nice. We have played some festivals in Germany, Austria and Finland. NovaRock in Austria was probably the one that I waited for the most, but I must admit that all the shows have been so damn great because of your tremendous support. I remember thinking on stage in Stuttgart a few weeks ago that “Now I remember why you go through all the political b-shit and sweat in studio, this is what you get when you work hard!”

We also did a few acoustic shows in Germany for 100-200 listeners (in Kiel and Hannover). That was so super cool and a great way to show the fans and people what we really can do just with the acoustic guitars and no stage tricks. We will do more of these shows in August-September and I just can’t wait! Now it was just Sami, Riku, Raul and I but we might bring Osmo also on the next ones.

Jukka also played a few shows with us and it was so great how the audiences took him after Osmo has stolen everyone’s hearts. It was one hell of a party for 3 days since for him it was a sort of a holiday and a one-off thing, but we had nothing against a little after party ;) Jukka will put his producer hands on the new songs very soon and therefore it’s pretty convenient that he is not in the band anymore. Now we can have tours running and the new music produced the same time. I guess the next album will come out very much quicker than PopGasm after OTWTW. Next year, I would say. But let’s see. We have already some very great songs and I bet we’ll have something final already before the Christmas.

Anyway… Now we will just play all the festivals everywhere and also gather strength for the tour starting in September in Finland and Ending later in December in Switzerland. I guess they will announce more tour dates, I really hope so ;) We have already started planning stuff for the tour and it seems as if Osmo will join us all the way. It’s a pity there are no shows in some countries but I really really hope that will change soon. One of the biggest reasons for that is the fact that PopGasm came out so close to the summer and many festivals were already fully booked. But I am sure well get everywhere sooner or later. Thank you so much for all the support also from the areas & countries where we haven’t been to yet. I will kick our management’s ass if something doesn’t happen soon…

We will release two singles before we hit the road. First “Not Again” pretty much now and later “Welcome to my life” somewhere in September/October depending on the country. We filmed videos for both of the songs in Island a few weeks a go and the whole week in Reykjavik felt as if the material should be really good. But let’s wait and see.

Now I will have a glass of wine and watch the movie “Airforce one” on Finnish TV channel 4. It’s silly enough to fall asleep ;) I will also send a request to our travel agency if they could book Karri and me somewhere south for the next week until we get on stage in Halle on Saturday. Italy, Greece or something. The weather has been super great here for a few weeks but now as my free time started again, it started raining and it got very windy. Gotta get away ;) I would have taken my car and driven to northern Italy / Switzerland but we must be back in Finland at this TV show in Tampere right after the Saturday show and there would not be enough time to get back home.

See you all soon and have a great summer where ever you are,

Doctor Haber

PS: My head had healed ok after the hit on stage last month. I am as crazy as before ;)

PPS: I had to delete all facebook friends who I didn’t know personally. There is a limit of 5000 friends maximum and I deleted almost everybody just to get rid of the people who are not real or who don’t use facebook anymore etc. This way we can get more folks there who are active with the site sharing all their stuff with us. Don’t feel insulted. It is just a facebook friendship, not a real friendship. I will add everyone again. If you wanna check out the blogs and stuff, you can also add me (myspace.com/haaperi) / sunrise avenue (myspace.com/sunriseave) on Myspace and sure you find the stuff on our home pages too.


26.07.2009 Samu
Yeeehooooo!

We are flying back to Finland from Berlin and Riku and Sami are snoring next to me. I can’t sleep but I am glad I got the window seat. Yesterday we played at this very cool spot somewhere near Halle in the Eastern part of Germany. It’s this old mine called Ferropolis (you know where the guys dig out stuff from the ground) the Germans used to have there some years ago. Now they have the same spot for all kind of events and yesterday there was the Jump Community party festival. It was very cool to play in between these HUGE cranes and machines, I mean huge. The big truck-kind of things were a hundred meters long. Size does matter ;)

The audience was great again. They were actually a lot more than what I expected, since the way to the Ferropolis was very long and they had to leave their cars miles away. And poor people, it had rained that day and there was really no shelter for them. The only downside was the cold air that really gets to your throat. It hasn’t been that warm the last few days and when it’s cold and wet, it’s a bad mixture.
So we ended our show around 2 AM and we drove to Berlin after our crew had packed the stage stuff. No time to sleep really because we had to take the morning flight back home. I slept 90 minutes. Today we are doing this TV show in Tampere (160 Km north from Helsinki) with Riku. We are performing our new single “Not again” with the house band and that will probably feel a bit strange. I will not even have my guitar, I will only sing. The throat is never great after the short sleep but I will kick my own ass before the stage time to make it happen.

The action plan at the airport

Since we are in a hurry, we have planned a waterproof system how we (Riku, Karri, Aki and Me) get to Tampere as fast as possible:

a) I have my car at the Helsinki Airport and as soon as we land, we drive to Tampere with Riku to do a couple of interviews and the rehearsal.
b) Karri and Aki take a Taxi to Riku’s place to take Riku’s car and they follow us right after. They are doing the tech stuff for that Tv show. They don’t get their bags from the belt. They broke their own car last week. Wonder what happened ;)

c) While Karri and Aki are making their way to Riku’s place, Raul will collect two guitars at the airport and the boys’ bags. He will meet Karri and Aki half way to the city (he lives on the way) after the dynamic duo have got Riku’s car ;)

d) Aki and Karri get the stuff and follow us to Tampere.
Quite a plan, eh? We are not as stupid as we seem. I only hope the “Mission Impossible” soundtrack could be played loud at the airport during our super plan. Sami and Osmo & the rest of the crew just go home…

I just got a few text messages that the Helsinki airport is burning or that there’s some kind of a fire emergency. I hope it’s nothing bad and I hope my baby car is safe ? Poor thing…
Tomorrow we have some interviews and a TV show with Raul (So it’s Raul’s turn to enjoy my company;) and the first one is already at 9AM at the swimming stadium. We will take part at this water sport contest or what ever,. I hope we get home early enough today to get some sleep. I know the TV show starts at 8 PM today and I am afraid I will not be home until midnight.

Aaand on Tuesday we fly to Germany again to do some more acoustic shows. And on Thursday we have a day off in Germany before a festival show on Friday. We will probably rent a fast car with Karri and just drive around Germany after the acoustic show on Wednesday. That’ll be fun. You can drive as fast as you want at the autobahn ;) Muahahahahahaha.
Enjoy the sunshine everyone.

Tired singer from the Aur Berlin Airbus

A bit more….

Now I have seen it all. I am sitting at the backstage in Tampere and Danny (one of the coolest bangers from my country) is just doing his sound check on stage. He is around 60 years old and has had a huge career with all possible ups and downs. He even represented Finland at the Eurovision contest once. Anyway, I met him after a huge party one morning at this petrol station 4-5 years ago. He was filling his tank and buying some stuff for his two pretty ladies he was obviously taking to an after party. I walked to him and the next conversation happened:

Samu: “Hi, you’re Danny.”
Danny: “True!”
Samu: “Man, you’re gonna hear about me someday!”
Danny: “Sure….”

And here we are performing on the same stage ;)

Now I am back home. I must wait for my washing machine to finish the stuff because I will need some of the stuff again tomorrow when I pack for Germany again. I am dead tired but very happy. I must say I have been feeling a bit low lately probably because of the hard 14 month recording process followed by the huge load of promotion. I spoke about it to the guys, how it’s just a bit too much of everything and nothing seems to feel like anything.

Anyway, the shows this weekend brought a little smile on my face again and I honestly feel happy. I can never tell you how much I appreciate the support from you all, I could not do all this without you being so super nice to us and me!
Now I just need a good night sleep and then off to the swimming contest tomorrow with Raul ;)

Good night planet Earth, where ever you are…


01.08.2009 Samu
Freude Am Fahren

I just got home from the airport and I have 2 hours to kill before my dear friend Mr. Karri Soilamo will be ready for our little “tour-planning-dinner” in the city. So I thought sharing what happened with you the last few days would be a good idea.

We flew to Hamburg on Tuesday morning for these acoustic shows with Riku, Sami, Raul & Karri (as the stage chief / slave) in Bremen and Munich. We have done a few of them already and I must say it has been super great to get so close to the audience and the atmosphere has been fantastic at all shows. It’s usually 100-250 people who have won the ticket to the show and we usually play more than an hour. The set includes very much interaction with the crowd and therefore also we get closer to the audience than ever. And sure I love the “real” on-stage-shows more than anything, but when you just sit on a bar chair 50 cm away from the people, you feel much more as part of the group in the room. We just happen to have the guitars ;) That is actually the way I started performing with SUNRISE when I was 16 years old with my dear friend Jan Hohenthal when we established the band. Back then we played all kinds of places, pubs, company events, birthday parties, even a funeral… Anything we could get. Just like now ;)

After the acoustic show we always have a small break to change the t-shirts and stuff ( it usually gets VERY hot in the room) and then we have a signing session with everybody there.
The acoustic setup is also good for trying different stuff and enjoying our songs in new ways. We have, for example, played country versions of “Happiness” and “Kiss and Run” and the crowd has taken them very well. It has been fun. The thing that has made me really happy is how full the rooms have been. The guy in Munich said that some 3200 people wanted to join and they had only 160 tickets to share. How cool is that!

On Thursday we had a day off in Munich and what is a better way to spend it than going to the BMW factory to see how the toys are built. Our dear driver & local promoter Werner arranged an exclusive tour to the factory with the coolest guide, Mr. Rein. He took us all over the places and explained how the most beautiful metal creatures are born. In Munich they build the 3-series sedan and touring so Sami’s new car, the one he will get in a few weeks had just got it’s birth there some days ago.

It was amazing how there was first just some pieces of metal in the beginning and then the Robots put their oily hands at work and 7 hours later you got a brand new BMW.
We also went to the BMW WELT (BMW WORLD), this kind of futuristic show room next to the factory where they have all the driving simulators and stuff for kids (us;) and all the BMW models to be drooled at. And sure the BMW fan shop ;) I didn’t spend ALL my money there but sure I had to support the place a bit. There was also a BMW camera crew following us all the way, so I bet there’s a chance you can see some of the stuff later. We had a very heavy party the night before (Karri running naked around the hotel wearing only a Pringles can over his family jewels) ending at Burger King at 6 AM so I am sure we look as fresh as always. Karri is THE guy to have at the parties. I have no idea why he disappeared from my room for a while at one point and then he came back naked (wearing the Pringles stuff) and hands full of glasses full on booze. I wonder what the other clients and hotel staff have been thinking…

We ended our day off in Bad Westernkotten, this lovely little village / town. It’s a place where senior citizens go to fix them selves, you know, bones and stuff, and the atmosphere was just as peaceful as in a Disney movie. We just relaxed at this spa the whole evening and nobody had a problem falling asleep and having sweet BMW dreams the whole night.
Yesterday we played the BIG DAY OUT festival at Anröchte. I just love to start the set when the sun is still slightly up and then it gets darker towards the end. The crowd was very very cool and it was the first time I saw that many mosh-pits in front of me. We played a full 75 minutes, a normal festival set for us is 60, and I had no single drop of sweat in me after the show. But it was sure worth every jump.
Before the show our tour agent gave me his convertible Porsche Carrera for a while and I am even more in love with German cars. Damn it goes fast. He seemed a bit nervous on the passenger seat ;) Vrooom Vrooooooom!

We all went to bed pretty early last night, but somehow I slept really bad again… Too many thoughts I guess. But now we have time off until I do some interviews on Wednesday and on Thursday we fly to Vienna with Riku for this Ö3 Radio station acoustic show.

“Not Again” video will be out soon. I am not sure how they finalized it and there were some problems with the shots and stuff but I really really hope they made it right. But no matter what happens with Not again, the “Birds and bees” video is ready now. I guess they will serve “Not Again” first and then go with the “BB” in a few weeks.

The Birds and bees video is fully our own project. We paid and planned the whole thing together with the guys. The music videos these days seem to be planned very conservative and the teams are not willing to take too many risks in them. It’s always about this band playing on a rooftop and a girl running in a forest away from the monster or something. This time we really wanted to have fun and give something extra for the lovely people who have been supporting us all the way and enjoying our trip together. I am very sure many people will like it but sure there will be those who will say we’ve lost it totally now too. But our job is to entertain you and to give you emotions. Not to play it safe. Only the song was something that brought panic into some people in our team before the release of PopGasm and that shows there is something special in the track. I just can’t wait to show you the tigers ;) Daddy tiger, Mommy Tiger…;)

So… I will upload some pics to Facebook and Myspace now and then have a shower and drive to Karri’s. He wants to talk about something regarding the tour and shows. Hope it’s not more money again…;) Actually it’s Saturday today, I hope he won’t force me drinking and partying again. He always does that.

Thank you all for a very fantastic week and see you all very soon.

Samu


16.08.2009 Samu
Videos, Singles and stuff

Hello everyone. I am back from Berlin and just made super delicious pasta for myself and decided to watch a movie. But then while eating I red tens of worried messages on Facebook about my condition, single releases and video stuff, so I decided to skip the movie and write a few words instead.
First of all, Berlin was nice. The show, if you can call it that, went ok apart from the microphone being on during the playback and me losing the focus because I was only thinking “damn I don’t even hear my singing and now everyone around the world can” but hey, that’s life and shit happens. The main thing with these TV shows is to be there and to show your face and honestly, let’s forget about that. It was a great honor for us to be there on such important evening. I just hope the Finns can get a few medals there. I trust Tero Pitkämäki, the javelin thrower next weekend. Tero, don’t let me down ;)

Not Again Video

I have had at least a hundred messages about the video being boring and about especially me looking bad there. I agree. And so does our team. There is no story and honestly, I personally had to go through the clip many times to ask for changes and “broken-glass-effects” to make myself be able to live with the clip and to make it at least a bit more interesting. What is done is done. The whole video was a quick idea of our record company to get something out for the summer before we release “Welcome to My Life” and I think it all makes sense. The budget and the schedule for the video wasn’t that great and therefore there are no story or super effects. The video was shot in Island on the same trip we did “Welcome to my life” and sure the focus was on “WTML.” When I heard about the video being only about playing, I had to suggest them the Broken-glass stuff and the jump and all to make it a bit interesting. I really want to believe and I hope “Welcome” will be much better. We had some cool stuff there and the h
elicopters and all and it should be great. I guess we will see the first cut in late August and move on from there. In case it’s bad, I have a plan-B. But let’s wait and see.

We still have had some very good response from major TV stations and stuff and they play it, so it can’t be all that bad. It’s out and finalized, so I better stop thinking about it and rather look forward. I am definitely not thrilled with it but it’s not the end of the world. It’s just a video and there will be more. Many more ;)

Not Again single

Not Again will only be released in digital stores. It’s a shame but… You know, the world of distribution is changing rapidly towards digital buying. And I think that is good. More and more people will be able to buy the real original stuff easier and there will be no need to print and distribute that many plastic discs in the future. For example, in Finland even our first single “The whole Story” was only released digitally. I was actually amazed when I saw the amount of folks who had bought the first single from digital stores and the number was way higher than I expected. Thank you all.

Anyway. The record companies, who still need to make profit with their artists, might sometimes decide to release stuff only digital. Even I buy 99% of my music online because it’s just so damn easy, you get it right away and you don’t have to drive to a shop to get it. The CD single will be sold on our tour, so anyone who still wants to feel the booklet and the disc in their hands can get it at the shows. There will be other cool stuff we make available then as well.

Stuff

I am still waiting for my real holiday. It’s gonna be the first real time off after starting the recording of our 1st album in 2005 and I have started to feel the need to get away from everything for a while. I just booked a trip somewhere south with a good friend for a week before the tour, just to get the batteries full again. I mean I am fully ok and would be fine for a long time going on like this, but I really wanna give all of you the 100% on tour once we start it in October. And to enjoy the trip myself too, of course. There have been a few days off during the summer but it really doesn’t get your thoughts away from everything if there’s something small to do every day when you’re at home. This one little interview or a session to save a video. And after the tour, I think I will go somewhere very far for a longer time. 7 years in Tibet ;)

Looking at the ticket sales for the tour has made me / us very happy. That is the way for us to measure how well we are doing and you have no idea how warm it feels in our hearts knowing that we will have fun together so many nights on the road together with you all. Sure the album hasn’t sold as much as the record industry wanted during these first moths, but we already have a big single (number one in many countries) and a tour soon sold out, so things could be a lot worse. And the strongest singles were left to be released later and just as you have voted on our websites, I also think “welcome to my life” is THE song. I don’t know how much further it will take us but I am sure we will be very happy in the end. If everything would go by the book and just as planned in this crazy world, it would be too easy and you would not feel you have earned what you get in the end. You need blood, sweat and tears before you can be happy for what you get. There’s been all of those already but not enough. I don’t believe
in winning the lottery. I never do it. Well my mom sometimes fills a few rows for me, but I never won anything ;)


Birds and Bees

I had a good chat with our dear manager Bob last night. First I just let the steams out for the first hour and I felt a bit sorry for Riku and him having to listen to my blasting…;) Sorry guys. Anyway. There are some cool plans with B&B and I just can’t wait to release it to all of you. Many of you mentioned the lack of relaxed mood and humor in our videos so far, the stuff we also have on stage, but with the B&B video you’ll get it. I don’t know if it’s too much fun and crazy, but every guy in the band, crew and management love it very much. I hope it becomes a success because then I can stop singing and focus more on my photography and video director’s career ;)

Nikon d90

By the way… Thank you for your encouraging comments on my photos. I have totally fallen in love with my Nikon camera now and I have bought all the flashes and extra stuff for it and it’s just so damn great! And it’s great that Riku is so new in the band. He has to follow my orders whenever I get a feeling “this would be a perfect wall…” And he’s great looking too and makes my job easier that way too. You know, he used to do modeling. I just saw this great jewelry advert with his face. Sexy motha fukkaaa ;)

Taking photos is a hobby I have been missing for a while after music stopped being just a hobby. It’s so cool. No pressure, just have fun and compete against Jukka and his shots. Jukka is still ahead of me, he bought his Nikon 2 years ago and I got mine a month ago. But I am getting there, so you better watch out, you skinny little blondino.
We have also written some new songs with Jukka and Riku and I must say I am very happy with Riku’s input. I have a guy there who is really talented in writing melodies and he is willing to drive to my place anytime I get the inspiration. Usually in the middle of the night ;) I have a very good feeling about the future songs and I actually have some demo stuff on my iPod already and that is what I listen to when the world gets on my nerves with the sales numbers or other unnecessary court case shit.

I just wanted to write these lines to tell you I am doing just fine and I am not dying because of the workload or nothing. And actually even mentally I feel better than in years. Probably this messy blog made you all even more worried, but no need. Messy is the thing and that is what I am. And I will never change. Muahahaha ;)

Thank you all so much for being there for us. It’s not always easy to show the appreciation every time, but I want you to know I feel very blessed to have you on our side.

Good night everyone, where ever you are. I will empty my red wine glass now and dream about Helsinki IFK winning the ice hockey game against Lukko on Tuesday in Helsinki. Or about BMW’s and sunshine but nice dream anyway…

Doctor Haber

PS: Osmo will join us on the next two acoustic shows. Just so you know. Will be so cool to rearrange the songs that already worked super great with him. It will be fun so see you there and be nice to Osmo so he stays with us for a long time.
PPS: Thank you Puma for the greatest shopping experience ever so far. We really felt like super models / rock stars ;)


28.08.2009 Samu
One fantastic week

We are on our way home from Zurich and we will have the whole weekend off. I am sitting next to Sami and we are both waiting for the moment we land in Helsinki. We both get to see our cars at the airport garage again. Sami got his new BMW last week and sure he’s got a pretty high driving fever.
We started this trip 9 days ago flying to Cologne for the DOME. The Dome is this TV show with a lot of bands and artists and a super huge media circus. It was our 8th dome already so some of the press folks are already calling us “the dome house band.”

Usually the day at the dome is pretty stressful. I mean you must run from an interview room to another and you must stay really awake the whole day. This time we flew in already the day before and did some of the interviews and the stage rehearsal the day before. It made the actual show day very easy. I guess we had to be at the arena at around 4PM and it was all smooth, just like silk. And we met Shaggy of course, one of the acts. Yes, we took a picture ;)

We knew that we had two festival shows the next day so too much partying at the after party would not be a good idea. Still the atmosphere was so great and the club was so nice, we had to stay until 4 AM. No harm done.

The head quarters of EMI music, Our continental European label is also in Cologne and it was very cool to meet all the people who make all this possible for us. We also had a few meetings of “welcome to my life” video because we will have to shoot it again. Just as I thought. The video was not as we had thought and in a way the whole trip to Iceland was worthless. Shit happens and no panic. The current ideas feel right. I sent the video team my own / the band’s thoughts and ideas and the EMI people will do the same and we see what comes out. I love treatment we wrote with the band and I really hope the EMI folks will understand what we are after there. It’s just sometimes hard to write down an idea for the video, it would be easier to explain with pictures and face to face. But we’ll see…

While waiting for the “Welcome to my life” video you are all allowed to enjoy our handwork at “Birds & Bees.” It’s been great to get the feed back on that one. I was sure not everyone would like it, but I also thought people would understand the fact that we are not serious there. The song is funny so the video is funny too. Maybe “BB” is not a great reference when I try to sell my own ideas for “WTML” but we’ll see. The “BB” will run exclusively first on a few channels in different countries (RTL2, Voice, etc) and later we will give the green light for any TV stations who wanna play it.

I was a bit worried playing 2 full festival shows the same day. Our songs have so much vocals and there are not that many breath breaks. And if the weather is cold at all, the throat muscles might get tired. Just like going to gym 2 times in one day. Not good. However, the shows were super great. All the 3 shows last weekend go to my personal top10 and the one in Mainz was the best one ever. We have played for bigger audiences many times, but the night was just super magic. Of course the catwalks at both shows on Saturday help too. I love to run the catwalk or to jump there from the stage if they have stairs like in Mainz.

My throat was very bad on Sunday morning in Aach. Even our monitor guy Tuomas said “oops, that sounds serious” when he heard me trying to talk earlier that day. Of course it was because of the two shows on Saturday (My throat was DEAD after the 2nd show and people told me not to try to talk) but also because we had a photo shooting session with some 30 girls on the streets of Mainz in the night. Until 6 AM ;). I will go through all the pictures as soon as I have some time at home, probably this weekend. I will upload only the good ones, the ones I think are good. If there are some. I bet there are.

So anyway my throat was dead and I had to take all the pills, hot drinks and stuff to make it work before the show. It’s actually very annoying when you feel unsure of how the voice system might work. Usually it helps after singing a couple of songs if you have warmed up properly, but sometimes it just makes it worse. Luckily my mom and the people from our Finnish record company were there to comfort me ;)

The push-ups, hot shower and the magic helped and the show went just perfect and the audience was again super great. I remember telling this story to the audience in between the songs about something and suddenly I realized that every pair of eyes were looking at me totally silent. I lost my topic and said “I actually don’t remember what the point here was…” and we started playing the next song. I had never experienced such total attention and great behavior from the audience before. Thank you.

I must also say the 3 shows last weekend felt more natural being on stage than ever before. I guess the pressure on PopGasm, painful things around us and other stupid shit is finally getting behind and a bit easier. I cannot tell you how good you made us feel again. So thank you again ;)
After the Aach show we drove to Zurich airport hotel. Some folks flew to Finland the next day and Riku, Karri, Sami and me we went to Lucerne for a few days just to relax. Raul stayed in Zurich because he wanted to play golf every day with our manager Bob. Usually rock bands have whiskey bottles and guitars when they come to the festival back stage. WE have a golf bag and a camera bag with Raul. Muahahaha ;)

Anyway. You should check out the Radisson Blue hotel at Zurich airport. The hotel, the restaurant and the rooms are very nice but they have one thing cooler than any other hotel. In the very spacey lobby area there’s this huge glass tower filled with wine bottles. When you order a better wine, this girl with a kind of a ballet costume with feathers and stuff goes up with this special equipment and gets the bottle for you. I guess it’s some 10-meter high. While she’s getting the bottle, she is making these theatrical moves and dancer stuff in the air. I was thrilled. We had to order one of the more expensive ones to get her really high for my camera ;) So a great dinner with boys, mom and Finnish label folks and a good night sleep.

I love Lucerne. There is just something magic about the place. Nobody seems to know what the population is, but I’d say 200-300 thousand. It’s this very old and beautiful little town built some 1000 years ago in the middle of the huge mountains and by a super clear sweet lake. Sure there are tourists but many of them are not “the typical Mallorca travelers” but after something a bit deeper. Mikko from our Fin Record Company had booked us to this Romantic (!) hotel very close to the city center and the river. We basically just went to the beach by this beautiful grass area behind the harbor with a lot of young people. Riku brought his guitar with him and it was so cool falling asleep in the sun after swimming in the 24 degree sweet water and listening to Riku play his Martin “toy guitar.”

In the evening we just had a long dinner and we all were ready for bed. The second day we repeated the same stuff and we needed nothing more.

Wednesday we had a wakeup at 8 AM for the Radio Pilatus in Lucerne. The early morning was a bit of a shock after sleeping long two mornings. Lucerne looked very pretty even in the morning. If only I had a chance to wake up in a place like that every day… After the radio we slept for another hour and then we went to the little Lucerne airport. There had been a competition in a Swiss newspaper where two people could win a helicopter flight with us.

I had my helicopter ride in Iceland already but this was something way cooler. The pilot really made us scream and cross our fingers. I was quite sure the pilot had decided to end his days. The curves were just so crazy. You gotta try it!

In the evening we had the rehearsals for our performance at the ELITE supermodel finals in Zurich. It’s this contest they have in many countries and finally all the winners of all the countries compete against each other in China later next year, I guess. None of the models were professional but I think they did it very well. I was able to take my first catwalk shots ever. That is difficult but I guess I have a few good ones. The show was good even though it was really hot. I mean these TV shows where music is only something that fills in the blank spots, the whole setup is always built “music-comes-second” but yesterday was good. They also had an after party with all the local super models but we were all so sleepy that even Karri decided to skip the party. With the models..? He must be sick…;)

Now we are flying home and we have the whole weekend off. Next week we will perform at the stars for free in Berlin and I heard that the Back Street Boys might be there too. I WILL have a picture with them if they’re there.

I also think I will have to fly back to talk to the new director of “WTML” video. I really don’t want to leave it too much in the hands of outsiders this time. It’s super great that we all felt the same way about the WTML video provided to us. I would have died if it had gone out the way it was presented to us. The song is too important and it deserves a great video.

Anyway. Thank you all for the great time and I really hope to see you all soon. I don’t remember feeling this happy, confident and balanced in a long time. I have a good feeling about the future. Let’s see ;)

Dr. Haber


05.10.2009 Samu Haber
Welcome To My Life

I am sitting at home with the 99 % finalized version of the new video. I can tell you that I have never ever been this happy with anything we have done with a film camera before.
The song is the most personal one from all the songs I have ever written and actually now I just realized how honest and naked the story actually is. When you record and perform songs, you sometimes forget what you are really singing there because you just get in the right mood and now with the video the whole feeling and lyrics came across to me for the very first time. Even though I wrote the story myself. Funny. I don’t know why, but it brought me tears. But the good kind, the ones that make you feel good. For me WTML is my best song ever. Jukka Backlund (poroducer), Visa Mertanen (string arrangement) and Jesse Vainio (mixing engineer) made the track perfect with all the wonderful people playing their instruments and helping in other ways. Sometimes when you record something in studio, there can be this magic feeling in the room. This time we had it. We were lucky.
The song is about my life. How it’s ups and downs, just like all the 6+ billion lives on this planet. And even though it sometimes rains like hell on me, it’s also one side of life and you just gotta take - that too – as it comes

The video

As you might know, we were in Iceland this summer shooting a video for WTML and the plan was great and all but something just went really really wrong. I guess the record companies are sitting in courtrooms in Germany at the moment with the original production team and that brought very dark clouds on WTML release and promotion. I really hope the court case could be settled, the people behind the project were very nice and they did their best. It just didn’t work. Anyway, if any song in the world, WTML needs a video, a cinematic story to support it and to make the song stand taller.

One thing that made the re-shoot challenging is our tour start in a few weeks. We all know that usually having not enough time for something is not good at all.

After “Fairytale Gone Bad” video I have not been a fan of Sunrise Avenue videos. They have been ok. There have been some cool moments in them or great stuff but they all felt like someone else’s videos or they even looked bad. Not like SA videos anyway. I can’t explain this. It’s pretty much the same thing if someone would propose us a song like Pink’s “So What.” It’s a super great song and I like it very much, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable performing it as one of our own. Doesn’t fit us. Well, maybe that song would fit but anyway. It’s a deeper emotional thing.

I am more than happy that EMI Germany finally decided to give me a chance to do the whole video project in Finland with a Finnish team. We already had chats with Finnish director Mr. Misko Iho when we were planning the video for “The whole story”, the first single of PopGasm, but then the trust in Finnish video forces was not there. Misko had a very great idea then too.

So I called Misko from Frankfurt Germany a few weeks ago and told him we need a GREAT video FAST and with low budget because a lot of money had already been spent in Iceland from the video budget. Actually the money left was so low that we decided to invest a bit into this project with Sami, Riku and Raul too. It was worth it.

Misko has directed a lot of videos mostly for Finnish artists (check out miskoiho.com) and commercials and stuff. There is no question that he has this certain kind of an eye for creative and cool looking stuff. Look at the image quality and feeling in all his clips. They look like little movies. I love it! Misko is extremely talented. He also works very hard, passionate and humble. That is one hell of a combination. He did a man’s job with his whole crew with WTML.

The video has a story. I will not write it here, you can all see it by yourselves very soon. The story is written by Him and me. There are real Finnish actors (11 of them) doing the acting part and sure we play the song there too ;) We are making final changes in the edit tomorrow and at the end of the week the whole thing is finalized. Then it’s up to the TV stations. I really hope that out of all SA videos, this is the one they would give the chance.

I have a studio session with Jukka tomorrow evening recording and writing new stuff. So there is no early wake-up, Jukka never gets there in the morning anyway ;) I am out of red wine, so I will have a beer instead and just sit on my balcony for a while thinking about this amazing and wonderful up ‘n’ down life of mine. I love you all very much right now.

Samu


17.10.2009 Samu Haber
On The Road Again

(In Finnish)

Mä istun pitkästä aikaa yöllä keikkabussin keulassa ja katselen vilisevää keskiviivaa. Voi että mulla on ollut ikävä tätä. Syyskuun alkuun asti me soitettiin paljonkin festareita Suomessa ja muualla, mutta nyt me ollaan pari kuukautta lähinnä tehty haastatteluita, videoita ja akustisia keikkoja, jollaisia saadaan toivottavasti pian myös Suomeen. Siitä kun ollaan oltu ”bändikokoonpanolla” lavalla on vierähtänyt pari kuukautta. Festarit on kesällä sikasiistiä aikaa, mutta jotenkin näin rundilla on paljon yhtenäisempi olo jätkien kanssa kun kaikki eivät mene omaan hotellihuoneeseensa keikan ja illallisen jälkeen.

Me startattiin eilen meidän ihka oma Euroopan-kiertue Tampereelta opiskelijabileistä. Odotukset oli toki kovat koska moisissa karkeloissa on aina siistiä soitta. Porukkaa oli paikalla ihan helvetisti ja halli oli hieno paikka ja järjestelyt hoidettu ihan kympillä – veti vertoja mille tahansa suomifestarille.

Yleisö oli ryypännyt (niin kuin noissa karkeloissa kuuluukin) aamusta asti ja se näkyi ja kuului. Siitä on itse asiassa todella kauan kun me ollaan viimeksi soitettu opiskelijabileissä, taisi olla viimeksi joskus 2004 Helsingin AMKn karkeloissa ravintola Feverissä. Mä olin silloin meidän keikkamyyjä ;) Mä kelasin eilen ennen keikkaa että kannattasi laittaa settiin pari coveria, mutta ajateltiin että mennään omilla. Meidät biiseinemme oli tilattu ja sillä päätettiin mennä. Rundin ekalla keikalla on aina kuitenkin niin sikana sähellystä ja räpellystä teknisten juttujen kanssa, että kaikki turha extra kannattaa karsia pois.

Me soitettiin Tampereella selkeästi surkein keikkamme ainakin pariin vuoteen. Crew (meidän valo- ja ääniporukka) teki hommansa hienosti ja nyt meni ihan omaan piikkiin koko floppi. Se on itse asiassa aika jännää kuinka silloin kun niitä pieniä lipsahduksia alkaa tulla joillekin, seuraavat muut perässä. Herra Haber itse ryssi kakkosbiisin ”Rising Sunin” c-osan pitkin seiniä ja siitä se alamäki jatkui koko setin. Jopa Osmo soitti päin helvettiä pari kertaa ja Osmo ei ikinä soita väärin. Vaikka keikassa oli paljon hyviäkin hetkiä, meille jäi kaikille sellainen maku ettei oikein saatu itsestämme mitään irti. Oltiin oikeasti aika masentuneita keikan jälkeen. Onneksi bäkkärillä oli sauna. Se jeesasi vähän. Wanna-be rokkitähdet palautettiin kertaheitolla härmän kamaralle. Mentiin kaikki suoraan hotelliin nukkumaan ja se siitä. Näitä tulee välillä. Onneksi HIFK-voitti (taas) himassa Kärpät. Se lohdutti vähän. Ja Ahtolan Hattutemppu, WOW! Jerry on iskussa. Oon Jerrystä ylpeä. On hienoa kun joku tekee kovasti töitä ja
uskoo juttuunsa ja menestyy.

Tänään me esiinnyttiin Kouvolan kuntotalolla ikärajattomassa ja alkoholittomassa tapahtumassa. Me ei olla just nyt sitä kuuminta hottia bändinä, mutta porukkaa oli todella ilahduttavan paljon paikalla. Me vedettiin sound checking sijasta ”treenit” lavalla iltapäivällä ja sovittiin että keskitytään tänään enemmän ja että ei mennä niin takki auki lavalle kuin eilen.

Oli ihan helvetin siistiä. Rehellisyyden nimissä sanottakoon että ollaan totuttu vähän suurempiin saleihin etenkin Euroopassa, mutta vaikka paikalla oli vain joitain satoja kuuntelijoita, niistä lähti ääntä kuin areenasta ja tunnelma oli jotain aivan ihanaa. Me soitettiin myös tänään ekaa kertaa liveverso ”Welcome To My Lifesta” ja mä en muista koska mulla on ollut noin vaikea pidätellä kyyneleitä lavalla. Pakko sanoa teille kaikille jotka olitte siellä tänään huutamassa, että olette ihaninta mitä maa päällään kantaa just nyt. Oli aivan upea ilta. Olisin voinut halata ihan jokaista. Mekin vedettiin kyllä jo aika hyvin. Me noustaan tästä ;)

Se että aluksi homma menee vähän sekoiluksi on tyypillistä rundeille. Tänäänkin mulla oli tokassa biisissä jo viides kitara kaulassa kun tekniikka tökki ja signaali ei vaan kulkenut piuhoissa oikein, mutta kun tunnelma on oikea niin kuin tänään oli, se ei haittaa. Karri sai laukata lavalla kuin aropupu tuomassa mulle aina uutta banjoa. Tekee sille hyvää kun kalorit palaa.

Mä olen sanonut tämän ennenkin ja sanon taas: Kaikkialla – etenkin Suomessa – pitäisi soittaa vain ikärajattomia keikkoja. Sellaisia konsertteja minne porukka tulee nimenomaan keikalle eikä vetämään viinaa. Mä tulen tekemään kaikkeni että suomessakin kaikki keikat olisivat aina sallittuja kaikenikäisille. En muista ollaanko me ikinä soitettu ulkomailla kuin sallittuja keikkoja. Miksi siis täälläkään pitäisi.

Me siis ajetaan nyt Huittisiin (mulla ei ole mitään hajua missä se on;) ja huomenna me esiinnytään Huittisten Seurahuoneella. Se voi olla taas vähän haastavampi yleisö kuin tänään, mutta tulee varmasti kivaa. Huomenna on myös SM-liigan kärkiottelu HIFK-Lukko. Mä meinaan seurata sitä netistä ja mun keikkailme riippunee paljon matsin lopputuloksesta. Pakko sen Lukonkin on joskus taipua. Ois kivaa olla matsissa huutamassa. Bändin jätkät pitää mua hulluna jääkiekkojuttujeni kanssa. Kai mä vähän olenkin. Mutta ehkä mä olen kuitenkin mieluummin täällä näiden maailman parhaiden jätkien kanssa.

Kiitos tästä päivästä. Mä oon ihan sikaonnellinen.

Samu

PS: Meillä on koko reissun mukana Tortsu, Voice TV:n PIDETTY kuvaaja/toimittaja. Käykää tsekkaamassa sen videoita ja juttuja voicen netistä. Kerrankin joku reissutoimittaja tuntuu osalta porukkaa eikä sen mikit ja kamerat haittaa yhtään tekemistä. Se on selkeästi ennenkin nähnyt pukuhuoneellisen alastomia miehiä...


18.10.2009 Samu
On The road again

(suomeksi alla)

Hey all!!!

As you might know, we have started our tour in Finland. We played 3 shows this weekend (Tampere, Kouvola, Huittinen) and I am slowly starting to remember how damn great this band life can really be.

I am super dead at home. We arrived in Helsinki at around 6AM and we jumped off the bus with Sami at Monk bay main street and Sami took his taxi home Monk bay taxi station. Monk Bay sounds like a huge place, it’s not ;) I used the last drops of energy climbing my stairs up to my door and fell asleep right away very happy my ears still ringing.

The first show (Tampere) was quite challenging for us and we made all the mistakes in the world on stage but the last two were much better. So seems as if the tour-start-nervous-behavior is mostly behind and now we just keep on adjusting things better and better through the whole tour.

I gotta fly to Cologne, Germany tomorrow to make some plans with our record company and management for Welcome To My Life since we finally have the video and all for it. I guess we will have the “Making of WTML” stuff ready with Jaakko (from Clark Kent) until Wednesday and you will also be able to see how the whole thing was made. Jaakko is a part time video editor and he is super nice helping me with the wicked stuff I have filmed with Karri and the Video team. I will also upload some making of pics soon.

Next weekwend we play two shows in Helsinki area and I just can’t wait. If the audiences were that great in smaller towns, we should have a lot of fun at out home arenas too.
So see you all soon and keep your fingers crossed for welcome to my life.

Samu

PS. I am totally confused with this kind of a “treasure hunt” thing that some fans have put up for us. I am sure it’s something cool ;)

***************************

Hei vaan iskän pikku pallerot!
Olipahan taas ihan sairaan siistiä Huittisissa. Juuri kun olin mollannut baarikeikat suomessa ja vaatinut että kaikkien keikkojen pitää olla ikärajattomia ettei jengi vaan kisko kaljaa ja örvellä, Huittinen opetti mulle taas jotain uutta.
Huittisten Seurahuone on ehkä eksoottisin hotelli missä ollaan asuttu koko urallamme. Käytävistä tuli mieleen Psycho-elokuva mutta fiilis oli sikaupea. Meillä oli käytännössä käytössämme koko oma kerros saunoineen jne, ja jaettiin hotellihuoneet todella pitkästä aikaa keskenämme. Osa nukkui jopa kolmenhengenhuoneissa. Bonnierin Mikko joutui mun kainaloon. Tykkäs kuitenkin ;)

Olipahan helvetin kova meno seurahuoneen keikalla. Mä olin ihan romuna ennen keikkaa. Tai jotenkin kun oli kaksi keikkaa alla ja ollut kylmässä ja kosteassa bussissa jen. pari päivää, kurkku oli vaan tosi tukossa. Tai itse asiassa sattui edes puhua. Vedin muutaman jekku shotin ennen keikkaa ja teetä. Sillä se ;) Ei lapsille! Alkukeikasta laulelu kuulosti vähän murrosikäisen pojan vinkumiselta, mutta ei se näyttänyt menoa haittaavan. Oli ihan sairaan siistiä ja kerrankin saatiin samalla keikalla soitettua sekä ”aikuinen nainen” että ”Paranoid.” Okei, mulla oli vähän alaston olo kun olin tulossa takaisin lavalle Destinyn välikohdan jälkeen ja Riku alkoi rokkaamaan Paranoidia. Parasta ;) Muutenkin pakko sanoa että ihan mieletön fiilis koko henkilökunnan touhussa Huittisissa. On kivaa tuntea olonsa tervetulleeksi ilman turhaa pokkurointia ja keikkaa on kiva vetää kun kaikki on hoidettu just niin kuin pitää. Kiitos vielä (Ravintolapäällikkö?) Riku oluista yöllä kun saavuttiin. Tarjoan takas jos joskus nähdään. ;)


Nyt heti Livenationin tytöt buukkaamaan lisää Suomikeikkoja. Tää on ihan sikasiistiä!!!!!!!!!

Mä lähen huomenna Saksaan Kölniin palaveroimaan Managerien ja levy-yhtiöiden kanssa sotasuunnitelmia loppuvuodeksi nyt kun ”Welcome to my life” saatiin raavittua kasaan ja palaan keskiviikkona. Me vieraillaan ensi viikolla sekä Ne-Salmiset TV showssa (soitetaan siellä pari biisiä) ja myös Rikun kanssa IRC-galleriassa joka on yksi Nosturin keikan yhteistyökumppaneista. Perjantaina soitetaan elämämme ensimmäistä kertaa Vantaan Tulisuudelmassa jossa on tunnetusti hurja meno ja sitten lauantaina vihdoin Nosturissa Helsingissä. Ihanaa ;)

Nosturin jälkeen on heti aikaisin aamusta lento (en muista minne) DTM autokisoihin. Me esiinnytään siellä (varmaan aika pahasti silmät ristissä väsyneinä) ennen DTM autokisoja ja illalla kotiin. Ja seuraavana viikonloppuna Mikkeli ja Kotka.
Alkaa taas tää oma elämä maistua aika mukavalle. Nähdään Tulisuudelmassa ja Nosturissa.

Jeeeee ;)

S


09.11.2009 Samu
On Da Road!

Yeeehoooo!!! Here we are in a double-decker bus with the boys. We are driving from Frankfurt to Kiel for the tour start and only Karri, Aki and me are awake even though the night is still young on our scale. Nobody feels like having a drink, everybody is just waiting for the shows and now they’re recharging batteries in their beds. That’s good. I must say I have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. Sure it’s nice to be in the radio and on Video channels and all, but live shows and especially touring is the reason I do this at all. I heard the tickets have sold very well everywhere, so we will have a good bunch of people in every town. Some are even sold out already. And that means if you people are as great & loud as you have been before – we will have loads of fun!!!!

We are playing shows all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland first and then there are a few one-off shows in a few countries and even we don’t know yet where the trip will take us until we get home. There are still a few new countries and cities our management is trying to set things up for a show before the Christmas. I have the same bed I had on the tour 2007. Ok, sure it’s not even the same bus, this one is brand new, but when I put my things on the shelf next to by bed at the sleeping department, I felt like coming home.

Yesterday we performed at the World champion boxing title game again. We did the same thing a few years ago when the Russian Gigant Mr. Nikolai Valuev won his game against his American challenger, but this time the luck was not on Nikolai’s side. We performed “Not again” as he walked into the ring and we were told some 100.000.000 people were watching. I didn’t have the best hair day, but I can blame the huge Russian fighter for getting my hair up the wrong way. We stood 1 meter from him before getting on stage. And he had his (Scary!!) hood & gloves on. You just think “what if I look him in the eyes in the wrong way…” Honestly, he seemed like a very nice and friendly guy, but when someone is the world champion in boxing and is 212 tall and weights 120+, you better not annoy him right before his big performance. And they gave me a photo pass right next to the ring. Got some pretty cool shots ;)

Anyway. Tomorrow is the 1st day of this tour for us all. It will mean long sound checks and probably double times checking many things just so everything goes right in the evening for you people. We still have a few new things to go through with the guys at the rehearsals. We have played many shows in Finland and we learnt that some parts could have even more energy, stuff and action. We will also get the first touch with the “Black Sheep” girls. They are the band supporting us through the tour and at least I haven’t heard one single song so far. Hope they’re good ;) Sure we will have our dear friends “Clark Kent” from Finland with us on stage in Köln. But that is still a bit too far away now. My thoughts are in tomorrow ;)

We have been advised by our management and high-level doctors to avoid any unnecessary contacts with big groups because of the swine flu. And we have decided to follow that advice. We don’t want to make a big thing out of it, but sure this is something we need to look at seriously. This means that we will not be able to join people before or after the shows as we normally do. The reason we are on the road are the shows and we need to make sure that we stay as healthy as possible. And also make sure that we can do our best every night for the people who have paid the tickets and traveled to the venues for us. If one of the band members would get sick, we would have to cancel all the shows for a week or so. At the worst case. We will not take that risk and we will make no exceptions here. We hope you all understand that we can’t take time off from this now if we get ill, the dates are booked. It’s also for your safety. The less people get infected, the better it is.

I will sink into my “´home for the next weeks “ now and watch one episode of “24” and fall asleep. Tomorrow I have a short Girya-training with Sami at 12 and after that I am married with my guitar for the rest of the day. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be right here right now with these guys.
Rock you soon ;)


11.11.2009 Samu "Haba" Haber
Germany – Kiel & Hamburg

Okay ;) The first two shows are behind and what can I say? I have never ever experienced anything like this. Even though the first shows of the tour are always a bit challenging with technical stuff and the song arrangements, I must give huge credit for the crew guys and everyone around us how super great things have rolled during the shows. And the audiences… I really do not know what has happened but there has been this special something in the rooms both nights. It was already there at the Finnish shows but now the whole set has been better than ever before.

Yesterday in Kiel we had the “smallest” crowd looking at the ticket presale results and we didn’t expect that much from the show. But even though they might have been able to fit a few more people in the room, the mood was just amazing. And the same today at the sold out Hamburg show at the legendary Grosse Freiheit 36 club. We still tried a few new things today, like playing “Choose to be me” after a years break and it felt so good. We have always planned to play a different set every night and I guess now we will keep the whole show more interesting by changing a thing or two every night. It’s so great that we have all the songs of the two albums to perform. Every night we need to skip some of our favorites to keep the time close to the agreed 90 minutes.

I must say I am very happy for the understanding we have gotten from the most of you for the efforts we take to stay healthy through this trip. I have felt a bit strange walking straight into the bus from the venues just waving at the ones waiting outside but the fact is, this is something we need to do. Sure we can still get sick and of course I / we have played shows before with flu, even fever, but at least we try to secure the upcoming shows. And the shows are the reason we are here.

I always have had this kind of a “stay-away-from-flu” stress on tour. It’s really hard to do anything when the fever gets you, but singing is just something you really can’t do if the throat does not work. And with the sweating on stage, it’s really not smart to do it when you are ill. You can get really sick. We tried to get the swine flu shots in Finland, but we are not important enough to get it yet. And I agree, the babies and people who have permanent deceases are in the risk group number one and therefore they should get it first. I knew some of you would not understand our decision. We are all selfish. Just like me trying to stay away from the flu. I can have it in January if it needs to come. But that’s enough about negative stuff ;)

Tomorrow is the first day off. Usually I feel great knowing there is a little break after a few shows, but right now I would give a lot to get on stage tomorrow. It has been so great. But anyway… We will do our Girya-training with Sami tomorrow at the hotel and after that we have a little camera meeting. We are 4 guys REALLY into shooting photos and we need to share experiences. Osmo just bought the same Nikon d90 that Karri (our stage boss) and I have and our tour manager Basty has his Canon set with him. Very “rock credible” I know, but it’s fun ;)

We are also trying to arrange a carting car race for tomorrow evening for the whole gang. There is a place in Bremen where you first do a warm-up for 20 minutes, then the qualifying and then the 20-minute race. I am SO going to be in top 3. I guess Aki is my worst enemy, not because he’s experienced. Just because he hates losing. Just like me. Boys with toys ;)
Some of the guys also want to spend their night in the bus instead of the hotel. I know after a few more days everyone will respect the privacy of the hotel room instead of the bus, but now it’s too early. It’s amazing how much space you have in this 2-floor bus with 10 guys.

There’s always food in the bus when we drive to the next town. This time we asked for healthy food like soups and salads for the night, but it really is not enough after the shows. Last night I could not sleep well because I was hungry and today our crew asked how long they’d have to eat the “rabbit shit.” I guess we will tell our tour manager tomorrow to arrange some pasta, wok or Chinese food for the rest of the nights if possible. We had to stop tonight at this gas station to get sandwiches because our stomachs were making this “hungry sounds.”

I will take my blanket and my pillow now and get to the front lounge upstairs with Riku. We will watch the “Death Proof” movie even though I have seen it already. But it’s just so good. I can recommend it warmly for everyone. Rose McGowan went above Scarlet Johanson on my “Top 10” list after that movie. Such a neighbor girl ;)

Good night everyone and thank you so very much for the wonderful two nights. You have made us / me feel more than happy. These events are the reason I really wanna give my life to this up ‘n’ down circus. I love you all right now. I hope Thursday comes soon….;)

Samu

PS: Raul measured his show “exercise” today with a calorie / pulse meter and he burned 780 calories in Hamburg!!

PPS:I finally met one of my biggest Ice Hockey idols ever, Mr. Jere Karalahti yesterday. He is THE defenseman of all times and has given me Goosebumps at the Helsinki IFK games a hundred times. He was at the Kiel show with my other ice hockey idol-friend Mr. Kimmo Kuhta. They both play for the Hamburg Freezers this season. Imekää kaikki jormaa, Jere on äijä!


15.11.2009 Samu "Haba" Haber
Bremen – Berlin – Leipzig

I am sitting alone at the lobby bar in Neu-Isenburg (Near Frankfurt) on a day off. The rest of the guys are sleeping and getting ready for the Go-Cart race we have arranged finally for this evening. The whole band & crew & Drivers and Toby (merch man) Basty (tour manager) will join and I am already thinking about my tactical stuff. I hate losing and I must be in good shape mentally in a few hours to kick their asses.

I have been on tour before, but I must say now this is something better than ever before. All the shows have been so super wonderful. Of course when you travel a tour like this, there will always be evenings when everything does not go exactly by the book, but even these little “mistakes” haven’t taken one percentage of the feeling away. And I have seen many kinds of audiences but now you have no idea how happy you have made me / us. It is an amazing feeling when you have to fight against tears to continue the song at some part of the show. Yesterday the group hug after the show with the guys lasted for a minute. You were so super great!!!

There are 2 shows on this tour where we have extra pressure. The first one was in Berlin because our families were there. I don’t know why, but somehow you still wanna show the moms and dads & sisters that this is really a serious thing we are doing, not just fooling around and drinking beer. I was very relieved after the great show. And who the hell said folks in Berlin are too cool and that they can’t have fun??? The crowd I saw there on Friday was one of the warmest, loudest and relaxed crowds ever. It was great to play there on such a historical week.

The next extra pressure show is in Cologne. There we have our fellow countrymen “Clarkkent” supporting us and also many record company people. The challenge with these shows sometimes is that you start thinking about one person, your sister for example and how she feels about the show, and you may lose the focus. But if it went well with moms and stuff in Berlin, I am sure a few record professionals won’t make it any more difficult.

I must say our support band “Black Sheep” has been the nicest band ever to be on tour with so far. They really just do their job every night and give us the space we need. They have been a positive surprise all the way. And their show is great too. Go check it out!

But now… I will have shower and get ready for the race. Today my name is Samu Hasbermacher ;)

S

PS: Releasing the live album early next year looks good. We have recorded every show and we will keep on recording. So just remember to make some noise to make sure your hometown get’s on the album ;)

PPS: If you don’t hear about the go-cart from now on, I am sure there was a problem with my car. And it’s Karri’s & Aki’s fault. Karri said yesterday that if his race doesn’t look too good, he will concentrate on destroying my race. WTF????? This IS serious...;)


21.11.2009 Samu "Haba" Haber
49 Kilometers to go

Neu-Isenburg – Köln – Dortmund – Saarbrucken

We have a problem with the weight of the technical gear we travel with. Sure the crew guys made all the calculations and all before we hit the road a few weeks ago, but when our crew guys started packing the trailer behind our bus in Kiel, they realized there’s way too much weight. We had a few different options. Hiring onwe more truck with drivers was one, but we decided to rent a van for the extra things and drive it ourselves. This is also cool when we have days off because we can use the same car for city trips and shopping instead of the big bus. The bus is really hard to park in the cities and we’d also need to have the driver with us. This van we can drive ourselves with normal driver’s license. The crew guys mostly drive the extra van from the show cities but we decided that nobody drives alone. So there are always two guys in the car. It’s in the middle of the night and we don’t want anyone falling asleep on the dark roads.

So tonight, after the Saarbrucken show, it’s my turn to be in the van. “Gorilla” Mikko (our FOH guy) is driving and I am trying to keep him awake by talking bullshit to him ;) Imagine all the ice hockey stuff he has to hear tonight ;) It’s only 259 Km to Ludwigsburg so I bet he’ll survive. The best thing about this van driving is that you can have a break whenever you want. With the bus it’s different.

We survived Cologne, one of the “extra pressure” shows. It’s funny how you do all the things on stage following your instincts every night and many of them very much the same way no matter where you are, but when there are “important EMI people” in the crowd, you get this extra beat inside you. Ok, I must admit that the super warm welcome in Cologne, like every evening so far, made it a lot easier and took a lot of the pressure away, but still.

The tour is half way. Already???? Well, it might get a bit longer because we heard about some new shows for 2009 today. We will let you know as soon as we know. It’s funny how you first wait for the trip for 6 months and when you get on the road, the days go by so so so fast. It has been just amazing this far. The audiences have been bigger and louder than ever before on our tours and also the feeling on stage has felt better than on any of the past tours. And the thing we have with the guys in the bus, back stage, on stage, etc. it just feels so right! Even though you spend every day with each other, there hasn’t been one single fight or stupid misunderstanding so far. For the very first time. And that feeling of friendship is something that follows us on stage every night. I haven’t felt this good about any group I have played with before. It feels so good when you look into the eyes of the guys on stage and the feeling is 100 % warm no matter if someone plays wrong or something unexpected happens with the
tech stuff. Same goes with the crew. They are working their asses off every day to make the shows go great for you people and I have felt sorry for some of them sneezing through the day but still sweating the night with us. I will reward them with a big hug after all this is behind.

We have been able to avoid major sickness, even though today Karri, Riku and Osmo felt really sick. I have felt this kind of tiredness too, but I am NOT going to let it get me. Yesterday in Dortmund I felt very strange the whole evening and I was sure I was gonna be sick today, but no. At least now I am feeling very ok. Being tired is normal on tour. The first week usually goes in this kind of tour-hype and then when you forget to be nervous and excited 24/7 the lack of sleep gets you. This “4 shows in 4 days” is a pretty heavy load especially for the crew guys who have to be there from morning until the night, but I bet we will make it. Then we have a day off after the Munich show and then we start the Austrian part of the tour.

We play 6 shows in Austria. All the shows are organized by this Austrian bank and I guess you can only win tickets to these shows. I am actually still not sure how the whole thing went but I am sure it will be fun. The clubs will be smaller and I really like that idea. Even though I have felt very much connected with the audience every night, it’s even easier to get the feeling in the smaller venues. We will finally also perform in Salzburg, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and I will sure make my camera very busy there on our day off before the show.

I must say getting straight to the warm bus after the shows has been great, even though it would be nice to meet some of the loyal people who have been there fort us for so long. I think one of the reasons we are not all ill at the moment is that we have been able to eat pretty soon after the shows and the bed has been available too if you feel like it. I remember the last tour 2007, there were nights when I stood out for 2 hours in cold and that can actually do bad stuff to your throat. I am very happy we decided to play it a bit safer this time.

I hope they are following our van with the bus and we get to dive into our beds soon after arriving in Ludwigsburg. I have skipped the training three days now because I felt I have no energy, but tomorrow I might do the sweating in the afternoon again. If I feel like it when I wake up. If my bed arrives in town early enough. In the afternoon I will go shopping. There must be something in the city worth buying ;)

I will keep Mikko awake now. He is coughing pretty badly and we will stop at a gas station soon and I’ll buy him some stuff for the throat. Last night on the road I medicated Osmo at the upper movie lounge of the bus with hot drinks and medicine because he was feeling bad. I am becoming a real doctor.

Good night every one, whereever you are, and thank you so very much for the super fantastic evenings so far. There are more to come ;) We are listening to Seal Soul. Great album. “I was born by the river….”

Samu

PS: My absolute # 1 single from PopGasm and my personal # 1 song of all SA songs “Welcome to My Life” is released today (Finally…….). Go get it!!!


23.11.2009 Samu "Haba" Haber
Thank You Germany!

Ludwigsburg - Munich

Sami, Riku, Osmo and MP (our tech guy) are getting totally wasted downstairs in the bus and I just watched “The Lord Of The Rings” for the first time ever. It was actually pretty good. There were a few interruptions when Osmo had spilled drinks on Sami and he had to report to me (??) and also when Riku had been in a difficult situation with his Mc Donald’s order during the stop. That was also reported to me, I guess I needed to know these incidents. Nice ;)

I am having problems getting the pulse down after the Munich show. Tomorrow is the first day off after a straight 4 show days and I’d like to do something nice in Innsbruck instead of just sleeping in my hotel room. And I rather not join the monkeys downstairs, they are way too deep in their “get-rid-of-reality” rituals and I also like being alone after so many days face to face with the guys. Quality time…

Music business is pretty tricky to predict. We knew that the tickets had sold well all through the summer, but since we are not the “hottest” act out there right now, we weren’t sure what to expect from the shows. We have felt a very strong connection with many of the fans, or should I call them friends / people, and with their little campaigns and stuff I am sure the SA train moves a little faster than it would without them. But still you never know. And of course we knew we would need to earn the applause every night by proving the folks that it was worth to come rock with us.

So putting all that together with the typical tour tiredness and the illness that always gets the travel party sooner or later, we really were just hoping for the best when we got ready for the tour. We only swore to give everything we have for you every night. Every one of us, crew and band. And we did.

I must admit we expected quite much from the German audiences, but you people just blew us away every night. We must have done something right in our lives to be allowed to stand on these stages with such warm crowds in front of us. We have seen some great audiences before but this time it was magic. We have always wanted to perform just as guys with no rockets and circus tricks, but this time every night on stage felt more natural than ever. And that is mostly because of your hands in the air during the show. You can’t have any idea how good you made us feel every single night. Thank you!

It’s funny how I look back at the 11 shows now and I realize that there was no need for being nervous and worrying about empty venues. Even yesterday the whole club was packed even though Pink had her show the same time just a mile away.

The Munich show was a perfect ending for a perfect two weeks in our lives. It’s funny how again the show there was the last one in Germany on the tour and as we did the last minutes of the show, I remembered feeling the same kind of relieved sadness before on that very same stage. Last time we ended the German part there too. But life will go on ;)

Also huge thanx to our great support band BLACK SHEEP. In our point of view, they are far the best tour support we ever had and these little girls did their job 110 % professional every night. There are some support bands who, after a few nights together, think they are on a joint-tour with the headliner and things can get complicated. Now there was nothing but great time with the rock-chicks. The ladies are young and very talented and if they only keep up the good work and give all they have for music and their dream, I am sure we will all hear from them sooner or later. Thank you & Good luck girls!

Austria

We are on our way to Innsbruck where we play the first Austrian show on Tuesday. I heard the clubs are a bit smaller and it will be very intimate with the crowds. I love it! I really hope the bank’s ticket system / lottery has worked out and that there will be a club full of hungry folks ready to be popgasmized every night. I swear we are ready for you ;)
Good night now and thank you once again!

S

PS: We took our van today with Osmo & Riku and went to BMW welt. The mission was to buy BMW underwear for Osmo but the shop was already closed. “You see it is not easy…”


29.11.2009 Samu "Haba" Haber
Servus!!

I am sharing a hotel room with Riku, who is sitting at the other end of the room playing his guitar. Very nice actually. We have a couple of songs “almost” ready and we are trying to find solutions for the chorus ends and stuff. A little blog writing break might bring in some new ideas.

It’s only three shows left of this road trip and I don’t know… It makes me feel kind of sad. Only three left and I could do a million more. Sure there are more shows this year, but the trip with the guys in the bus is always something extra special.

I must admit the first Austrian shows were really really hard. Sami was very ill with high fever ( in Innsbruck & Linz) and you know the drummer is the back bone of the band. He did a really good job, but when you know someone on stage is really sick, you can’t have the gang feeling as good as on the days when everyone is fully up. And even though I love the small club feeling, we had problems fitting our stuff on stage. In Innsbruck I hit the drum over head microphones with the back of my guitar a hundred times and one of the mics fell. And so did my own microphone since I started worrying about moving too much ;) Club-phobia ;)

Now that even Sami has been feeling better, the shows have been 100 % fun again. I guess we had one of the best evenings of the tour in Graz. Great audience! And the legendary Flex-club yesterday in Vienna was super cool too. I was very worried if the clubs would be empty because of the lottery system of the local Bank (Reifeisen Club), but no, the mood has been super great every night.

We stayed outside the Flex club last night and sleeping was a bit hard. First because we had a Play Station Ice Hockey tournament FIN-SWE. And after that the asshole idiots who left the club in the morning had to bang our bus windows on their way home. A gang of these smart-ass window bangers almost got their asses kicked at 5AM by our crew guys when they almost broke the windows. But they managed to run away. Aki & Tuomas run half a kilometer after them. Pussies!!!!!!!!! I don’t mind, but our driver sleeps in his own little sleeping quarters and he has to wake up at 8 to drive us to the next city. Well… now we are safe in Salzburg and the hotel rooms can’t be entered.

I have been here once before. It was Christmas 2007. We had performed at this TV thing in Zurich with the guys on the 22nd of December and instead of flying home, we took a flight to Vienna with Jukka (our former keyboardist and the guy who’s produced our both albums). It was really cool. We stayed the first two nights in Vienna and then we just drove all around Austria (once we even ended up in Munich because we were just talking and talking and didn’t realize the time and kilometers passing by). Anyway. It was here in Salzburg where we had our Christmas dinner with all the other lonely people who didn’t celebrate the family evening with their own ones. There is a special mood in the restaurant.

And sure this is also the place where W.A. Mozart grew up. I will try to keep my songwriting ears open and my mind clear in case there are some good melody vibrations floating around in the air.

So tomorrow we play here and then the last Austrian show in Dornbirn. I just hope there will be people in the clubs even though the towns are a bit smaller than Vienna and Graz. I heard a rumor that there might be a go-cart-race in Zurich on the day off so I must start getting ready ;)

Good night everyone,

Samu

PS: Now we will start watching Indiana Jones (The newest). I wanted to watch Rambo (The new one also) but Indiana won… John Rambo is da man!!!!!!


14.12.2009 Samu
Home sweet home

Welcome on board to Lufthansa flight LH/5C4HZS from Munich to Helsinki. We have a strong tail wind and we will land in Helsinki in 65 minutes. The weather in Helsinki is like a perfect winter evening. Snowing, -5 Celsius. No wind.

I get “post-tour-depressed” every time I go home after a longer trip. I love home for sure, but it’s just the way you have been whipping your own ass for the whole trip and then it finally doesn’t matter if you have any clean stage pants or if you get a bit ill. You suddenly don’t have to worry about your throat or cleaning your hands like an idiot after every door handle. I heard some artists sleep with their TV on after the tours just to have some noise as they’re used to the crowd around them in the night. I have tried it a few times. It helps. It’s amazing how I actually didn’t get ill during the whole tour even though almost everyone else did.

You’re also so used to the guys around you from wakeup until the nights last cigarette and it’s hard to be alone in the huge bedroom tonight. Sure we had a soft-landing-period from the tour by traveling a week in Greece, Albania, Russia and Germany. Actually it was everything but a soft landing. The time goes by so slowly when there’s nothing to do. We had only 3 shows this week and still we had to travel 7 days. A lot of time for nothing.

Last shows of the tour

Even though the first two shows in Austria were a bit of a shock for us, it got better the further it went. Of course Sami was really sick the first two AUT shows, but the better mood started in Graz (mostly because of the great crowd) and all was super good in Vienna, Salzburg and even the small city (it’s a city??) of Dornbirn rocked really great.

It was a bit difficult to adapt to the smaller shows after the huge German crowds. The stages were also very much smaller and there was no support band either. Sure even the first two the nights were ok, but my point here is that we could have done better. But I hope everyone thought it was worth coming to see us.

Then the Swiss show was the only one left before we took off home for one day. The night in Zurich was a perfect ending for a perfect tour and if I had emotions taking control of me a few times on the tour before, that night was very very emotional. I could not sleep at all the night before and I just had a short nap before the sound check. The Zurich club was super cool and the audience was just so damn loud.

After the show we had a little party with the guys around & inside the bus. We actually didn’t sleep at all with Riku & Sami and we must have looked fresh on TV in Athens the same night ;) But it was worth it.

You know we recorded all the shows from Helsinki to Zurich and we will release the stuff one way or the other early next year. The samples we already listened on the way sounded really good. I didn’t know you really sing SO loud. On stage you can’t always hear it but on the recording it really comes across well. I’ll let you know when / how the live stuff is available.

We started this week on Monday by flying to Tirana, Albania. We performed at this political event where the biggest star was the Albanian prime minister himself. We also met the minister of culture at his office and he told us that Albania is now actually one of the new candidates for the EU and they are really trying to join the Schengen countries next year to make their tourism business easier. If I am totally honest, they still have a lot to do and there are many walls to break. But it’s nice that they flew us over and we got to perform to the supporters of the big guy.

The strangest thing was that there were some young people gathered in front of the stage before our show and the security people dragged them away. The focus was on the political things but still I have never seen anything that before. The stage was full of the minister’s balloons and stuff and I really felt strange swimming in all the campaign promotion stuff. And sure it started raining and the stage had no roof ;) When we started, there must have been 100.000 listeners. I guess there were 10.000 left after the last song. I partly blame the rain ;)

At the airport we were treated like diplomats. We’ve been at the diplomat lounges and private airport vans before, but this time nobody checked our bags and we just walked into a van that took us to the plane. As the metal detectors beeped at the security control, they said, “it’s ok” to us all. Cool ;) I hope our trip to the Tirana rock festival works out next year.

On Thursday we played in Moscow. This time we had no problems getting our gear (the instruments and stuff) into the country. Last time it took hours as they wanted to check every cable and mark it so we really bring it back too. The Moscow show was the last club show on the tour and even though the club was not sold out, I must say the night was very enjoyable and fun for us. And the ones who were there, rocked like hell. I actually don’t remember being that relaxed on stage for a long long time.

I don’t know what it is with Moscow, but the after party was rough again. I remember in 2008 when we were there, we didn’t sleep at all and we had this huge wrestling thing through the night. And the next day I had to enter the German Big Brother house with my hangover. I felt like dying…;)

Same wrestling championships took place again with no winners and no medals. Just a very tired gang flying away the next day. The crew and Osmo flew to Helsinki. The crew is off for the rest of the year from our dities and Osmo had a show in Turku (Fin) the next day. Karri and band flew to Munich where we got ready for an acoustic show at the Mediamarkt Christmas party. It was actually quite ok. They had A-HA as headliner and we played after them at this easy lounge.

Our set ended at 2:45 AM (In the night!!!) and poor Osmo had to leave to the airport right after to join this song-writing session in Poland today. The rest of us went to bed and now we are on our way home. I must say it feels very good. My mom is waiting for me at the airport because my car (my sweet sweet baby) is in her garage. I think she also wants to make this “mother check” on how I am doing. I will try to look healthy and well slept ;) Even though I am just the opposite.

Next week I will be really busy with interviews and some rehearsals Finnish TV show and stuff. On Friday and Saturday we will be in Zurich again for this TV show and an acoustic performance for charity.

The thought of my own bed, my own coffee machine, my own gym (only if I feel like it) and racing with my car against the falling snow fakes makes me happy.

Remember, You still need to be nice. Santa Claus can still abort all your presents if you lose it now!!!!

Samu

PS: My ice hockey team HIFK won almost every game when we were on tour. As soon as the tour ended, they only won one game. I am not superstitious, but hey..????


12.01.2010 Samu
2010 - It’s been a while…

I actually wanted to write a New Year’s update at the end of the year, but I just didn’t know what to write. I actually wrote a few lines once but I stopped, as everything felt so unclear. I really needed some time to clear my messy head after everything that happened.

I really don’t know what to think about last year. Now after a month, I am remembering the good moments more and more, but as the tour ended in December I was more tired and lost than ever before. Don’t get me wrong, you all made the tour and the whole year totally unforgettable for me and us all, but 2009 included just simply so many ups and downs that I felt like I could just cry for a week and then sleep for two. And I kind of did. I got really sick immediately after the last session in Zurich and I was sick for a month. It’s funny how it hits you when you can finally let go of everything. Actually it’s better that way. We’ve still never cancelled a show because one of us was sick. Amazing! It’s the healthy Finnish tab water ;)

The year 2009 with all it’s Popgastic efforts was quite a ride. A lot of things were great. And I will not even get into details with music video problems, tricky multinational record company politics, studio businesses, court cases (victorious though) and other shit. I am way too lucky doing what I do for living to complain at all, but it’s funny how things can bring you really down no matter how sweet the cream around your cake is. So now I have done basically nothing for a month. I will be off until the end of January snowboarding at the Alps and then it’s time to get back to business. You know I have been on my snowboard only twice before, so let’s see in how many pieces they send me back to Finland in a few weeks. It’s good that the next tour is an acoustic /stripped down kind of a thing, so I can easily do it on a barstool with black eyes still wearing the hospital outfit because nothing else fits on the bruises. No I’ll be fine – knock on wood ;)

I heard the acoustic tour would be sold out in almost all cities already before the tour start and that makes me very happy. It’s so amazing that no matter how well the albums sell or how well the singles perform on the charts, you people still join us when we get in town. Thank you for that. Again!

We will perform this softer set with more acoustic instrumentation. Sure there will be drums and some effect stuff, but I’d say it’s somewhere between our normal stage show and the acoustic concerts we did late 2009. I L-O-V-E- IT! That is actually how I started the whole Sunrise stuff 17 years ago and it kind of feels like coming back home. Osmo will join us for most of the shows. Osmo has his 2nd album coming out near the tour and whenever he can’t be there, seems as if Mr. Jukka Backlund will replace him.

Looking at our tour manager’s day it doesn’t look too easy. One of the keyboard guys (Osmo) is losing all his stuff (sometimes even himself) all the time and the other guy (Jukka) is like Circus Finlandia on the road. But on stage it will be great, I am sure. We have spoken about the songs and arrangements and there are some great ideas, but nothing is clear yet. Sure we wanna do something totally new to keep it fresh for us all. It’s actually good that we all are in different parts of the world for the whole January with the guys so when we start building the set early February, I am sure it will be refreshing. I am a bit nervous what they will say about my ideas for the set, but I will use my bulldozer technique if al else fails…

We have also recorded a few new songs this month with Jukka & the guys at our studio. Especially recording a song called “Kiss Goodbye” felt like the good old times when we recorded just songs without any bigger album plans or other targets. Just for the fun of it. Let’s hope it will be released someday somewhere…

The year 2010 seems actually pretty nice. Seems as if we’ll play a lot of shows and festivals especially in the summer and if all goes well, we could have some new music out already before Christmas. I will have some songwriting and producing sessions already in February with different new people but also with our own home team in Helsinki. And I guess we will try to fix some studio time for the summer too and I see no problem having a full new album ready to be released in a year’s time. All this depends on the corporations working with us, sure, but I think we all learned many lessons with Popgasm how things can be done a lot easier. You don’t need to shoot videos twice from now on. We call the next album “Project Threesome.” I hope someone will come up with a descent name before we release it ;)

So… One more HIFK ice hockey game in Helsinki on Thursday (they really need to win this one) and then on the weekend I will pack my snowboarding gear and get ready for the slopes. And my ass ready for bruises ;) The thought of fresh air away from everything sounds very nice even though the winter here in Helsinki has been more beautiful than ever. We have so much snow and the trees are all white. It’s cool walking home from a bar at night (well in a cab because it’s -20 Celsius). You feel like in a Disney movie. Or maybe I am… Ok. That’s it. ;)

Have a great rest of the winter everyone and see you all very soon,

Samu


04.03.2010 Samu
On Da Road Again

Finally!! January & February are the most boring months of the year because nothing really happens in the music industry and finally we are about to step into the tour bus again. As you might know, this time it will be an acoustic tour with a “light” setup and it’s something we have never really done before. A tour like that, I mean. Personally I love it very much. That is the way Sunrise started back in the days and it kind of feels like going back to roots. We tried a couple of these shows last year with some radio partners in Germany and it was just super great! I hope those of you who were there, were able to feel the relaxed mood in the room every night. Anything can happen and this time the rules are the same as last time: When I shout “Cameras OFF” cameras go off ;). If something stupid happens. It’s never me, but anyway….

We have been practicing the acoustic set for some weeks now and I am very happy! Sami will have his drums on a few songs but all is very much softer than normally. I only have an acoustic guitar (an in some songs the guys won’t let me play even that….;) There are a few older SA songs that haven’t fitted into the set on stage before and now is the perfect time to get them back to life. Also there were some great songs that didn’t “fit” on PopGasm and were released as B-sides etc. This is the perfect chance to enjoy them too. We have been thinking about some cover stuff too. And we have practiced a few songs from other artists actually, but we’ll see ;)

Osmo “Dr. Kaufmann” Ikonen will travel with us the 1st half of the tour and our dear Jukka will do the second half. Like good old times. Osmo has some duties with his own career and his own NEW ALBUM(!!) that was just released last week and it’s great that Jukka will fly over to do the job. The rest of us guys you know already ;)

We are starting to have plans for the rest of the year too. As far as I know, we will have many festival shows in different countries (hopefully as many different countries as possible) and that’s what we want. There’s nothing better than festivals in the summer, is there?? ;) We will also keep on recording our 3rd album all through the year. We started the sessions already around last Christmas and I am very happy with some of the stuff we have pretty much finished already. The plan is to have an album out early next year. Sure that depends on a million things but I think that is a good target.

It’s been a strange and very frustrating 2-3 months and there is no place on earth I’d rather be in than with you all the next weeks. I am 110 % sure we will have a lot of fun together.

See you soon!

Samu

Featuring Doctor Kaufmann; &
Nurses; Rajamaa, Ruutu, Osama & Backlund

PS: We received our Christmas presents late January and we were all spending our holidays all over the planet then. There’s a few pictures on FB & MS from the session we had opening the first presents with Sami. We took the best ones because the others were still in Thailand then, muahahahaha ;) Just kidding ;) Thank you so very much !!!

Oh yes, in Swedish too…

Congratulations Sweden for all the ice hockey Olympic medals from Vancouver ;)


07.03.2010 Samu
Hamburg – Berlin

I didn’t remember how happy I feel in a tour bus bed. Everybody went to bed yesterday pretty soon after we left Hamburg. Of course we had an early flight in the morning from Helsinki yesterday but we were still in the center of Hamburg when the only one up was our driver Mr. Linus.

Damn I was nervous yesterday before the show. The whole day at the venue before the show was a huge technical mess and we were supposed to try the new versions on stage for a few hours before the first show, but fixing the cables and systems took all the time. And since everything was still not super fine after the sound check, that makes you feel a bit strange when you really don’t know how the “weather conditions” will be on stage.

Anyway… As the music and lights went off and I walked on stage, I remembered again why we make these trips and play these shows. The welcome you gave us was one of the warmest I have ever experienced and my feelings were pretty hard to handle as I sat there alone with my guitar starting the first song.

Whatta night! I have been on stage a couple of times before in my life with different setups, but I must say this acoustic / stripped down thing is one of my favorites. We tried this thing last year a couple of times at some smaller acoustic events but I didn’t remember it’s that relaxed. You were very super great and you made me / us feel very good. And even if we made a few little mistakes (that you probably didn’t realize;), I think the show rolled very well. I was very proud of us all.

I was also a bit worried with the fact that we are traveling only with 2 crew guys (Mikko Sound & MP Stage) because the production is so light this time, but I must give full 10 points to both of them. It’s so strange having only 9 guys (Band, 2xcrew, Merchandise Toby and tour manager Basty) in the bus in stead of the usual 13. Even though we travel with a smaller bus, there’s still very much space and it’s quiet. Nice!

Now we are sitting outside the Columbia Club in Berlin waiting for the local crew to open the doors. I guess we will have to check some songs with the guys on stage and then if there’s time, I could do some kettle bell training. Maybe…;) It’s funny how you practice songs back home, but you finally see how the things work when you do them on stage for the first time. Just little adjustments today.

My family is here checking us out and also my friend Kimmo from my “Spanish years” and he will travel with us to Dresden with the tour bus. Driving with us in the night and sleeping in the bus bed is definitely an experience for anyone. If things start getting really bad in the music business, I will start selling “Haber experience travel” tickets on the tours. 105 € Night, including breakfast and Riku’s cheap jukes…
Thank you all very much for yesterday. It was way cooler than we expected.

Love you all,

Samu


14.03.2010 Samu
Good morning…

(Please listen to “Green Day – Peacemaker” while reading this blog. To get into the right mood. Of after reading, it’ll make your day better!)

I woke up today in Asch… wait, I need to check the town name… Aschaffenburg. It’s near Frankfurt in Germany. Actually I woke up as Osmo had his hands in my bus bed (“Put your hand on me!”) and he was looking for something. From my bed??? I guess the fact that he is leaving us after tomorrow’s show; he is feeling a bit sad and wants to maximize the moments together. I kind of told him to F**k off! Hope I didn’t hurt his feelings, but I think it’s good to be honest and straight with these things….;)

This trip has been far better than I expected. When we started this trip, I was a bit worried how people might taker the show with so many slow songs and us mainly sitting down. You have been great every evening!! On the ”rock shows” there are so many moving parts in the show that it’s hard for us on stage to really “sit back” and enjoy the show. These acoustic shows are perfect in that way. I have had every hair up in my body many times a night. Especially in “Dream like A Child” and “Forever Yours.” It’s so great how you have the patience to listen to the song until the very end and then the room explodes. That feels good on my shake barstool.

Now after almost a ten shows, Ihave learnt to sit down more during the show. Especially in Hamburg (1st show) I was still so nervous with the whole setup that I guess I went around my chair a hundred times. It’s at least down to 50 now ;)

I am so proud of my boys. Sure we have played a lot during these years and I knew that Sami can count to four without losing the rhythm, but the way how great the instruments and stuff fit together has surprised me. Last year when we played the acoustic radio show on a very short notice, it was more about hanging out on stage and making jokes and singing loud. Now there are so many cool little special guitar / key / drum stuff that make it fresh and new even for me. Some of the songs are on a brand new level. Especially “Dream Like A Child” is one of the songs that are better than the original to me.

Osmo is leaving us tomorrow. Even though he really would seem to stay, he has to take care of his own career. He has some own shows (Go check him out!) and he is also going to Philadelphia to write / produce some new music. I can’t describe the value he brings to the band on and off stage. I really hope there will be space for Sunrise Avenue in Osmo’s calendar in the future too. But thumbs up for Osmo’s world domination too for sure. I hope he hires me as something, a security guard or a dancer when he is a world class super star.

I remember worrying about the keyboard situation a year ago. Our dear producer and musical genius Jukka Backlund had to leave the band because his real passion is somewhere else than being a band member. He is a music producer and if you travel with a band, you just don’t have energy to do another job when you get back home. Jukka has been the biggest factor in Sunrise Avenue from the whole beginning and I would not sit here in Aschaffenburg or anywhere without Jukka’s huge talent & work during these years. Jukka was also a very important backbone for me when I had to start growing towards being a musician and a kind of a public person a few years ago. I’m still on the way – steady she goes... We have had our ups and downs with Jukka and even though he is probably not the easiest person on the planet, I love and respect him very much.

So the reunion is about to happen on Wednesday in Mannheim and I really hope you al give him a warm welcome. We recorded the shows with Osmo and we sent Jukka the songs / versions and he was really blown away. It has been a while since we have played together outside studio, but Jukka is one of the most talented guys on this planet and with a little rehearsal session it will be great. I am sure it will be fun!

I must admit that I checked some tagged pictures on my MySpace and I started missing the bigger stage shows, but hey, summer is on it’s way and soon we’ll be jumping more again ;) It’s so nice that we get to do all different stuff from Acoustic and clubs shows to TV-shows and festivals. Can’t complain about my life.

No kettle bell (Girya) training today. We are still following the 3-times-a-week program like scout boys ;)

Maybe it’s just this tour and you angels inside the clubs singing with us every evening, but honestly, I don’t remember feeling this happy and relaxed ever.

Sound check in 30 minutes, I gotta eat something before that.

Love,

Samu

PS: Way to go IFK!


20.03.2010 Samu
Switzerland

I feel like shit today! It must the hay fever because the nature is waking up again after the long winter and my nose is super stuck. I felt pretty bad already yesterday but now my system is totally jammed. Yesterday I was quite sure I was getting really sick but singing during the show didn’t feel that bad, so it must be the seed stuff flying in the air. And maybe I got a little cold too a few days ago too but I will survive ;) It’s just that singing with a bad throat and nose is pretty annoying. But I will make it work with something…

We are already in Zurich and that means we are over half way. And I can’t repeat myself too much saying how nice it has been. One of the greatest things has been the amount of new faces we have seen every evening in the audience. Do not get me wrong, I really appreciate you trusted ones who come to our shows month after month and year after year. But now there have been some folks who have told us that it’s the first SA show for them and they only came because of the acoustic setup. I think we should (and will) do these shows in the future too in between the bigger stage stuff no matter what happens.

Jukka has been behind the keys from Frankfurt (3 shows now) and now it’s really starting to work! Yesterday it felt already super great in Solothurn (partly because of the great audience!) and is seems as if we’re getting the connection on stage right. It’s always a bit strange for a couple of shows when you change one guy on stage. Especially with these acoustic shows, because now you can hear every little thing we do and we can’t hide behind a stage production – there is none. It’s just us and the instruments. Me like ;) Even with the “rock” setup I remember how strange it felt taking new blood on stage even if the new player is as good as Riku or Osmo after getting used to someone else.

Of course the set is a bit easier for Jukka to learn than for anyone else because he has been in such a big role in making Sunrise Avenue music, but still… I really like Jukka’s “Jazz” vocals on one of the songs. Come experience it ;)

We have recorded every show on this tour and it’s so cool to have some night snack in the bus in the night and listen to the day’s show with the guys. And to check what was good and what we need to do better. We also recorded the tour in 2009 but I never wanted to listen to the shows because you get so much more exhausted on the bigger stage thing. I might make a collection of my “Top 10 stage speeches.” Jesus Christ, me and my mouth sometimes…;)

I love the spring weather!!!!! After a long WINTER in the Freezer called Helsinki, it’s just amazing to walk to the tour bus from the venue wearing only a T-shirt. Human is not meant to live in minus degrees. I thought about it in Spain back in the days. Spain is pretty much the same size as Finland, but for a reason or another their population is 8 times bigger. This must mean our system is built to operate better in warmer conditions. There are just some things that work better when toys & body parts are not frozen. And it goes with everything. The coffee in the morning feels so much nicer with a little sunshine and warm wind….

So today we are close to Zurich city in Winterthurn, tomorrow in my favorite Swiss city Lucerne and then back to Germany in Stuttgart. I am trying to rest well and stay healthy by skipping anything extra and kettle bell trainings etc. Then we have a day off and I will only sleep…

I’m off to sound check again. Show must go on! ;)

Samu


23.03.2010 Samu
A perfect Day

(To get the best out of this blog, please listen to “Amos Lee – Supply and Demand”)

Life could be very much worse. We just did 6 shows in a row for super great audiences ending it with the warmest crowd I remember yesterday in Stuttgart. I am lying on my hotel bed in Freiburg, Germany. The sun is shining and the birds are singing. My right foot hurts after I landed a bit funny yesterday at the end of the show, but that will probably go away with a little rest. I am super happy.

I should probably get out and enjoy the spring, but it just feels so great lying on the bed with the balcony door open. I might force myself to the phone and order something sweet and a coffee from the room service. They say that summer and spring only feel so great because of the cold and dark winter is then behind, but I could really skip the cold part for good.

My hay fever is pretty much gone. I guess I was also a little bit ill. It was still a bit hard to sing yesterday, but I guess it was mostly because of the sixth show day in a row. Even though we mostly sit down and chill out through the show, it’s hard work for the throat because you actually sing more than normally.

The crowds have been just amazing through the whole tour. There have been some very nice surprises, like Lucerne for example where the ticket pre-sales were low and we were expecting a half empty room, but no. That was one of the coolest shows ever. And yesterday… Just perfect! When we walked off the stage with the guys, we were all like “What the hell just happened there??” There was something in that room. Thank you.

So now we have a day off and tomorrow we continue the tour here in Freiburg and then we drive to Austria. And then we come back for the grand finale in Munich on Saturday. And then I probably get the post-tour-depression again. No ;) This time the wheels will be turning and there are so many great things ahead that there is no time to get depressed. And no reason either.

Jukka Backlund

Even though Jukka has produced almost all our music and knows the system well, selecting him to replace Osmo made me really thoughtful before the tour. We all know his musical skills and there is no question about his live experience. It was more about the past we have. The tour bus life is very sensitive and if there are any kinds of wrong vibrations, it can get pretty messy.

After all the good and bad that came along with the first album, I have truly missed the kind of connection with that blond idiot very much. There has been so much studio businesses and other stupid shit that even making music felt a bit difficult and complicated at one point.

The few days together now have been just great and even the studio sessions in Finland this year have felt very good, but last night I felt it fully again. And call me what ever “sensitive princess” but getting that stuff ok makes me so happy I could cry. I can’t recommend him as a financial advisor (can get expensive) or a husband (have no experience) to anyone, but as a music producer or a friend, yes. The snare sounds great! Jukka is still far the biggest musical reason I am here today and he is a big backbone for me both musically and mentally on my career.

I think he will be the one behind our keyboards when Osmo can’t make it in the future. Not a bad situation for us and for you…;)

Sometimes when the sky is dark and the feelings are low, I really don’t like the emotional part of myself. But on days like today I would not sell it for a billion BMW’s. Thank you all again for making this circus perfect for us and see you all very soon!

I will have a little nap now. I love you all,

Samu

PS: Ice Hockey play offs start in Finland next week. I take no calls for… well hopefully many weeks IFK IFK IFK !!
PPS: Good luck to Philadelphia Osmo. We’re all crossing our fingers for you here. And do not lose all your cameras and stuff (and yourself ;) there and come back in one piece.


26.04.2010Samu
Fievel in America

(To get the best out of this text, listen to “Flamboy-Lingering” from their upcoming debut album. Ooops, but you don’t have it because it’s not out yet, muaaahahahahahahah ;)

I am Miles above the Atlantic Sea somewhere near Greenland on my way to Los Angeles to make some music. I love it!!! The weather there is 25 Celsius and it’s sunny. I got my guitar, a few pairs of shorts and my camera equipment with me. What a shitty life I have… God, if you exist, Thanx pal!

Our new EMI bosses have arranged these sessions with local writers / producers and I am very happy about this opportunity. These days when records don’t sell millions because children are stealing music from the Internet, it’s great that EMI folks see it as good business sending me over the ocean. I don’t know who I am actually gonna work with but I am sure I will be in good hands. There must be a million studios and teams in L.A. And if there’s nobody waiting for me, I will write stuff on my own on Sunset Blvd. Or Sunrise Ave ;)

It’s always a bit strange traveling alone without the boys but on the other hand it’s a way to get some time off from them too. I mean for them to get time off from me too ;) It’s great that we have our home team with Jukka and also these opportunities where I can hopefully bring something fresh to the whole Sunrise Avenue system.

Looking at the 3rd album, everything looks really great. We have recorded many songs and many are on the process right now. And I did a one-week session in Sweden and now this 2-week trip to USA. Then we will sit down in early June and decide how we proceed.

I must mention again how happy

I am that we have found our “thing” with producer Jukka again after the super difficult PopGasm period and stupid stuff making our recording difficult. Now I feel exactly as confident in our music as I felt with the first album, but this time I am not panicking that much. A little panic is good.

No panic = No emotion = No goose bumps and joy when all ends up fine. No panic fits for office jobs, for music No No No ;)

All this feels honestly very good. Of course I am sure the time will come again when some record industry person / people will be crying AGAIN in at our studio but until then ;) No, I will not let anyone with wrong vibes get even near this project this time.

I have never been to L.A. before and it’s super great finally getting the chance to smell the sweat at whiskey Go Go for real. I also checked that Los Angeles Kings (The ice hockey team) might make it to the next round at the NHL play-offs and that would be THE thing. I’ll check the team’s status at the hotel tonight and if it looks good, I’ll start begging on my knees. I guess everything is sold out anyway at this time of the season.

The acoustic album is getting together extremely great! It sounds far better than what I expected. When I listened to the first mixed track (Only) I had every (three) hair up in my body. I didn’t know the audience sounds THAT great and that you all sing almost everything with us. You can’t hear that on stage with all the drums and stuff. I guess the album will be out in June. Well, if the labels want to release it. There’s always the bureaucracy shit that might stop things, but I hope for the best.

I don’t know the final track listing yet because we wanna hear all the mixes first and then see what we want to put on, but I guess it will be close to the whole show that we all just enjoyed together last month. There will be songs with both Jukka and Osmo. Osmonaut I mean.

There is also the great photo contest, where you send photos to our email and we check them out and we put the best ones to the booklet. There has been hundreds of photos already, so I am happy being here and the other guys have to choose the ones we pick.

I’ve sat on this uncomfortable plane seat for 4-5 hours and it’s still 7:11 to go. But they have a great movie service on the longer flights. Even on this “pig class” and I just watched Avatar and damn it was good. I was expecting this children’s movie but it wasn’t that at all. I can just imagine how it must look on 3D with the glasses and stuff. I fell in love with the blue girl for a while. But Now I got over her. It wasn’t meant to be. Poor her…. ;)

Now I am gonna watch Sherlock Holmes. Sami said it’s really great. After Sherlock I have only 5 hours to go. Luckily the movie database is endless and I have more on my laptop. I really hope the volcanoes in Iceland keep the biggest rocks inside now and the plane gets “home safe.” On the other way it would be a rock star way to go... And I hope the volcanic stuff stays calm so I get back home too. I would not wanna miss the festivals.

So take care everyone and be nice while daddy is away digging for gold,

Muah!


29.04.2010 Samu
The city of Angels

Here I am. It’s getting better with my jet-lag now and today I felt that I am fully here in full strength. I gotta say Los Angeles is absolutely the coolest US city I have ever seen. I have only been at the eastern coast so far but here’s something different in the air. It’s kind of relaxed in “The European way” and there’s folks from all over the world.

The weather has been pretty perfect for me. Not too hot but still warm enough to drive the top down even in the evening. Yes, of course I had to rent myself a convertible BMW. There are some things you keep the same no matter how far you go. It’s almost as fast as my own one in Helsinki (god knows how she is doing in Mr. Saukkonen’s hands) but fast enough.

I am on my way to see this local band at Whiskey a gogo. Their manager is actually responsible for my trip, planning the sessions etc, and it’ll be cool to see one of his own babies on stage. Whiskey a gogo is a lot smaller than what I thought. But still ALL the cool and very successful band have played there. If you have the Doors and Nirvana among others on your CV, you can call yourself a rock club.

I lost my damn phone in a cab two nights ago and even though my friend Liz from NY tried her best threatening the taxi company’s customer cervice center, I didn’t get it back. So if someone calls you from my number with a Mexical dialect, it’s not me drunk on sunset beach.

I have always hated traveling alone. I guess I would just feel lonely and I’d need someone to talk to 24/7 (you band guys know what I mean;) but this time it’s been super great. Of course it helps my flood of words when I need to be creative during the day writing songs and there’s always so much to talk about with totally new faces. I just love to walk these long boulevards with my iPod (that I had to buy because the old one went with the iPhone) and listen to music. And to look at the million souls heading somewhere and looking for something. Just like me. I listened through our whole acoustic album just now on my evening walk and I am so f**ing proud of my boys. My favorite mixing Engineer & drinking partner Jesse is doing a superman’s job again.

I have met some great music people and writers here. It’s so cool that no matter how far you go, there are still the same 6 strings on the guitar and nothing really changes. But I must admit that it has been really really inspiring here and we have already gotten some very good stuff together even though it’s only been 2 days working so far.

So… I am having a chicken salad by the pool and my “hosts” Andre and Liz are soon here to take me to the show.

So as Mr. Riku Rajamaa sings in one of his beautiful solo career songs, “Here I am alone.” But I must say I am feeling everything but lonely.

I hope I wake up early enough tomorrow for my morning swim at the hotel pool. Just like today. I can warmly recommend the Hollywood Standard hotel to anyone visiting L.A.

Good night everyone, where ever you are,

Uncle Sam

PS: I saw the BIGGEST tits ever today. There were unreal. She was probably 35 and the two HUGE body parts were literally all over her convertible car. I am not a guy who likes big breasts really. I like more the neighbor girl stuff, but I must say that was impressing!!!! A cow would be jealous….;)


05.05.2010Samu
Meatballs, iPads and New Songs

I just had the best meatball pasta ever. I actually tried ordering it yesterday too, but the waitress said they had removed it from the menu and today when I asked if they have something similar than the meatball pasta they “used to have,” the new waitress asked: “Why don’t you just choose the one on the menu??” I told her what the other lady had told me the night before but she said I must have understood something wrong… That made me look like a total idiot. So everything is not that easy around here ;)

Everything else apart from Meatballs is very ok. I am back in full strength again after the illness I had the last few days. Actually I heard from this photographer I met at the barbeque party on Saturday that many of the people there had been sick afterwards, so I guess it was not the sun after all. I thought I felt a little strange even the night before my sun-chair-day by the pool but then I thought I was just tired after a quite busy week. I had to cancel the Monday’s session with this top line songwriter and that is a shame, but sure he wouldn’t wanna have me throwing up on his nice studio sofa. It must have been the German sausages they served us. Not the beer because I only had two of them and I drove back to the hotel like any good fellow citizen. I hope they can still rebook the guy I had to skip for another evening this week before I fly back home.

Even though the writing sessions are very hard and intensive work, I must say I like doing this. For example, today I had breakfast at 9AM and drove right next to the Hollywood sign to write with this lovely Australian gang and I got back to the hotel at 8 PM. We didn’t even have a lunch break because we got so carried away with the song we were working with. Now that I have my stomach full of meatball pasta, there’s really no energy for anything else but this short update and then I’ll fall asleep like a baby. Tomorrow I have a day off and I am definitely gonna go to gym to get some juices moving. I haven’t done any sports here and not that I’d be the guy getting super fat super fast, it’s just the “stuck” feeling you get after a week in a studio chair and just driving a car. I’m so gonna sweat my pastas out ;) Then a little pool time perhaps and later I will go shopping for some photo shoot clothing (or some other excuse). We will probably have a photo session with this local camera master. Who also got si
ck at the party on Saturday.

The rest of the week I will be finishing the songs that are not quite there yet with different producers and I think all will be done by my flight back home on Sunday. I really like some of the stuff we have made here. It’s gonna be interesting to see how my band fellows take the new stuff. Sure it’s strange to hear someone else’s drums, backing vocals, basses and guitars (I did ALL the guitars here, even the solo parts, jeeee!!!) but it’s not outside the Sunrise Avenue world anyway so I am sure there’s something we can & will use. Or then I’ll have my first solo album half way done ;)

I will also have a meeting with my publisher’s SONY/ATV L.A. Office. They make great stuff with movies and stuff and you never know if they want me to be the next James Bond. Or maybe Bond’s enemy, Doctor “evil” Haber. You never know ;)

While I have been away, Riku, Sami & Raul have been responsible for mastering the “Acoustic Tour 2010” live album in Helsinki. I just listened to it all the way yesterday and I must say again it sounds so f**ing great! I hope they release it in as many countries as possible. I heard some rumors that it might not be out in every “SA country” but if that’s the plan now, I will put my foot down big time in front of the label people when I go back home.

I bought the iPad yesterday. Actually I got two of them, One for my mom and one for my dear friend Sami, our former Bass player. They were the first two to send the “bring me an iPad” request. I had one of the iPads with me today and I must say it’s very super cool and all but I really don’t know if I am gonna need one myself. Yes, I am an Apple addict and Steve Jobs is my GOD, but I just can’t figure out where it fits in between the MacBook and the iPhone. But it’s super cool and well… My suitcase is pretty full already now and since I am going to buy some clothes anyway, we’ll see. I will make my final iPad decision before Sunday based on the test drive on my mom’s product, muahahaha ;) I have her permission.

I heard that the volcano in Iceland is spreading the dust all over the place again and at least some flights have been cancelled. It would be SUCH A SHAME if I’d have to stay here for a few extra days. ;) I heard it’s snowing in Helsinki today and that’s really not on the top of my wish list after being warmed up by the nice Californian sun.
California dreaming (caalifoornia dreeamingggg) Good night everyone ;)

Doctor Haber

PS: I just tried having a Skype video chat with Raul. I couldn’t see Raul’s face, just heard his voice. He said the system just doesn’t work, but I am sure there is something he’s hiding from me. A new hair style or a new tattoo… You never know ;)


12.05.2010 Samu
Back in Europe

(To get the best out of this blog, listen to the new Giant Leap album. Good stuff – well done boys!)

I am sitting here at Frankfurt airport after a long flight from LA. I am super tired but I have decided to stay awake the whole day and just fall asleep early at home. That is the only way to get over jet lag. The other way, when flying west, it’s a little easier because then your day just gets a little longer and you fall asleep at 8PM like a baby and wake up at 6AM the next day. The other way it’s always harder because you kind of miss one night. And I am a night person ;) I’ll be fine. Today they play a very important ice hockey game at 9 PM at the WC games in Germany between Finland-USA. That’ll keep me awake. Finland lost against DENMARK (???WTF) already but they beat Germany. So depending on this game, we either go further in the tournament or then we start fighting for a place in the tournament next year. Imagine, Finland could fall out of the A-league. God, if you’re there, now is the time again…

The City of Angels

Whatta trip. I was a bit worried flying over knowing that the days will be full of studio work and writing sessions but if I’m honest, I feel like after a 2-week holiday. It is just so super fantastic that these people who have produced and written songs that have sold hundreds of millions of copies sat down with me giving our Sunrise thing new vibes. And it’s really hard to say what of the ideas will be used for SA as my head is full of melodies and thoughts now, but I will take a few days off now and have an “Ear break” and then listen to everything again and see what I think. There’s definitely some songs we will record and use. I also wrote a song for the Hollywood Hills on my last night and I love it. It’s kind of sad..;( LA is absolutely the coolest town in the US. Of the towns I have seen. It’s very “Anti American” in the good way but still good old land of the free. I loved it!

Volcano in Iceland

They cancelled my flight on Sunday because the volcano in Iceland was still behaving a bit rebel and I “had to stay in L.A.” for another 2 days. Poor me ;)

So I just jumped in a taxi at the airport and just told him to drive to any descent hotel. I didn’t think about it any more. The driver took me to this place that, well… now thinking about it afterwards, looked a bit strange compared to the nicer areas, but I was so damn hungry that I just checked in and decided to grab something to eat.

I must say the difference between West Hollywood and the airport surroundings is pretty big. They called me the “white boy” at this local joint I had my burger & beer in the night and the smell of illegal smoke (that is obviously legal in California) filled my room as some surfer gang were relaxing after their day on their boards. There were also a lot of people begging for money and prostitutes trying to make a living around the hotel. So after listening to “love noises”, I decided to hide at the Airport Hilton for the last night. The LA Airport Hilton is probably the crappiest Hilton I’ve ever seen. There was this strange mood in the whole area. But they had a swimming pool and that was all I needed. To get a little sun burned ;)

iPad

I was originally against it because I didn’t know where it fits between the iPhone and my laptop. I promised to buy one for my mom and one for our former bass player. After playing with my mom’s pad for a few days, I had to go boy one for me too. I am totally in love with it now ;) I really don’t know what I’m gonna do with it, but it’s just so super cool. And now for the first time, it’s actually REALLY just as fast as it’s on the Apple promotion videos on their website. iPad is a killer with pictures and videos. There was this very nice Austrian couple from Graz sitting next to me on the plane and I kept on blasting about Apple to them. I think they will buy a Mac next time they need an update. Just buy it!!! When they release it here, I mean ;)

What’s gonna happen now?

I have no idea. Tomorrow we have booked a studio with Jukka and the guys (yes, quickly back to business;) and I guess some shows are pretty close already too. I have had these two killer tracks in the back of my head ever since I left Finland and we made the arrangements on these songs with Jukka ready before I left. We’re gonna record then tomorrow. And hopefully we can book many more sessions, because there is more to record. I hope Jukka is not moving totally to Paris yet; I need him ;)

We also need to start looking at the setup for our next album. I have a strong feeling it will come out right after Christmas. It will be great. At least making it. The rest always depend on how the winds blow and how badly the volcanoes behave.

It’s 3:30 AM in Los Angeles and I haven’t slept one minute. I must look like an angel… I gotta get myself a cold beer now. Wahrsteiner – Alles was ein bier braucht!

Samu

PS: I gotta say that one of the strangest & most beautiful moments in my whole strange and fantastic life was when I was sitting alone somewhere below the Hollywood sign (like any tourist or fortune seeker) one evening outside my car listening to The Giant Leap’s “Best Time Of Your Life.”

Thank you everyone in Los Angeles, Especially André for making this experience possible to me. I lost my phone and “a lot more” back in LA but I do owe you one man! This inspiring trip made me really happy and gave me a lot of strength & energy for the storms ahead. Thank you!


06.06.2010 Samu
Let’s Festival!

Jeeeeee, here we go again. It’s been pretty long since we STOOD on stage the last time and I have been waiting for this first festival weekend for many weeks. We’re gonna play some new little things in the songs compared to the club/festival versions we’ve had, so that makes me pretty excited too.

Jukka is on keyboards this weekend and than makes me a little worried about how late the nights will be. We have a rough hotel-mini-bar-history and I will never forget those endless hangover morning flights with him. We will have different keyboardists this summer. Jukka and Osmo depending on who is free and there is another Finnish guy “Lenni” who promised to join us if needed. Lenni is also super great, so all safe there.

It’s been a good spring. I really don’t know what has happened but I have a very good feeling about what is going on. And even if the whole record company structure and the whole future planning is still very open and needs to be worked out, I feel very good about tomorrow. After the hard year 2009 and after really looking into the mirror and thinking weather I even wanna do all this music shit early this year, I have the feeling again that I know what I am doing and that the team is getting right. With the band and on the business side. Now all we need is hard work and a lot of song writing and wee can get far. If the winds are right. But we can make it.

Outside the Sunrise musical and business circus, I have been working or probably more trying to help some new artists on their way. And I am very happy how especially Jukka’s and my favorite pop Project “Flamboy” is getting together. The girls have had a very confusing and hard start to their career and we have been hit by every hammer (and idiot) already, but I still think there’s something there. And it’s looking good. And I think they’d deserve their chance after working so hard for almost 10 years together. Hanni is one of the best songwriters I have ever met. I hope I will write with her someday. There are also some other existing / public acts and also new projects that I try to give my small advices how to fight for their dreams, but all this is pretty much a hobby for me, not a day job. But I get a lot of energy from all the happy faces as we archive something small together. And it reminds me how damn lucky we are doing what we do with the SA guys.

We will play festivals through the summer and we’ll also spend a lot of time in studio. We have recorded already some 10-15 new songs and we’ll make many more with different teams / producers in Finland and outside. It’s been super great working with new faces so much. It’s sometimes exhausting of course and for example writing in Los Angeles every day for 2 weeks, makes you really dead when you come home and I don’t know if we’ll ever even use any of the tracks with SA, but the main thing is to do all that. You hear all the great life stories and find new ways of working and that inspires you a lot.

So now is the time to write a lot and to be creative. Then I will sit down with the boys after the summer and see what we got and if the stuff is good enough, we will hit the “release button” early next year. Right now I am very confident that January is the month, but let’s be patient and give our 3rd baby time to grow.

I must admit that I bought our own new Acoustic Album from iTunes. Yes, I get a free copy sure but I forgot mine at the record company and I wanted to have it with me on the way this weekend. I am super proud of it and I can warmly recommend it to anyone who likes the stuff we make. So just buy it ;)
I gotta quit now because Karri wants to talk to me about our performance at PitkäKuumaKesä this summer in Särkänniemi in my country. It’s gonna be very great because especially Torniaisenkalle and Taipaleenlennikalle are there poikineen and I guess we’ll perform together with the kokoporukka.

See you all soon. I am sure we will all have a great summer together,

************

Part 2 on Finnair wings on the way home
After landing in Hamburg on Friday, we realized that almost all our instruments and also our personal bags didn’t travel with us, so the crew had a busy day trying to find guitars, cables, cymbals, etc to make the show happen. It sounds pretty easy, but as we have some custom made systems for our monitoring and stuff, finding all that and making sure it works in 4 hours is a challenge.
We also had to go buy some clothes and toothbrushes with the guys. You don’t wanna get on stage straight from bed without having a shower no matter how hippy we’d get.
The show went ok. Well, we played pretty bad to be honest and I don’t know if the reason was the show being the 1st festival show this summer or the borrowed equipment, but it was still great fun. I gotta say I am super proud of our crew how they put the whole stage together for us from bits and pieces.

After the last song I usually throw my guitar to Karri. We’ve done this for more than a year. We had an accident last summer in Finland when I hit my own head with it and they had to fix my head with stitches. This time it was Karri’s turn. I never look if he gets the guitar or not and so also this time I just clapped my hands to the Hannover crowd, a great one btw, and bowed and walked away. Then our tour manager Basty came to me saying it was a good show and that Karri will also probably survive the hit. What hit???? I ran to the ambulance where they had him and he looked so bad. The head bleeds a lot even with a small scratch and my heart skipped a few beats. They took him to the hospital and it’s actually not that bad after all. So girls, be nice to Karri now. He needs it ;) Poor Possu ;)

Yesterday in Hamburg was super great. There we had our own instruments and the performance was better too. It’s the REWE family festival we will do in many German cities this summer and I am really looking forward to doing the rest of them after a super relaxing day and a great great audience.

After the show we had dinner at my new favorite restaurant “Da Capo” in Hamburg. The food was so great that it made Jukka laugh out loud. And the wine list was like never before. And the whiskey list - Ask Jukka & Sami, thery tried them all... Go check it out.

Now I am back home and my brother in-law had taken good care of my dear car. That means I MIGHT borrow it to him again. We’ll see how he behaves. The sweet guy had washed the car and the tank was full. Not bad ;)

Next week we’ll make some music with the guys and we also have some business meetings trying to make the setup for the next albums ready. It’s gonna be hard work but I have a very good feeling about it all.

Thank you everyone for a great weekend and see you all

soon,

Samu


06.07.2010 Samu
Petrax Studio, Hollola Finland

Hey all! Greetings from Hollola Finland. We are here at Petrax studios, my new favorite place to make music. It’s some 100 Km from Helsinki and it’s the most relaxing place to hang out with the boys. We are recording a new song “Hollywood Hills” with a new Producer Mr. Jukka Immonen and his Left Hand Arttu “Narttu” Peljo. It’s seems as if SA will only use producers with the name Jukka. That’s fine with me. The new Jukka is also super successful here in the north with his productions and it’s very nice to work with new faces and fresh methods. New faces and fresh environments has been the theme for this year.

I wrote “Hollywood Hills” on my last night in L.A. and for me it’s far the best song from my trip to California some months ago. And I gotta say the boys have been doing some good stuff to make our baby sound great. It’s kinda cool recording a song called Hollywood Hills in Hollola. This place is pretty far from where the song comes from… ;)

This studio is like nothing else. It’s an old farm where they still have animals, huge fields and lakes around us and the view from the main control room is outstanding. I like the cool city studios for sure, but here you are so far away from everything that you just get to focus on music fully. The sweet couple owning the place, who also work with their farm from 6AM to night, cook us home food and we get to use their lakeside sauna and all facilities. Riku is a bit afraid of the horses. We might make a “Heppavideo” with him later on today…

I had heard about this place from all the Finnish recording artists but I had no idea it’s THIS great! Especially Teijo from Killer Aspect, who also played some tracks on our first album, has been blasting about this place forever. Teijo was right. Any band even outside Finland should try this place to get the best out of their recording team. And the price is not bad at all. I can give you a good discount ;)

The summer has been super amazing. We have had a perfect amount of shows all over and I am very happy how the audience still remembers us after a long break. And there are still many to go this summer and I heard about some new shows coming in… Good!

So… now we’ll just record the new stuff with both Jukkas and their teams and I bet the album will be ready for release in January 2011. It will be very great. There are already many songs I can’t wait to play to you all. I am feeling very confident with the future of Sunrise Avenue. It’s been a super great and creative year after the acoustic tour in March. Thank you all for being there for us when the times were a bit harder. We wouldn’t be here without you.

I love you all on Hollola Hills right now,

Samu


18.07.2010 Samu
Ookey!!

I am on my way home after a super fantastic show in Frankfurt. It was one of the REWE family shows and today, I must say, it was super cool. We’ve done 2 of them before and the one in Hamburg was very good but one week ago in Munich everything went wrong. The whole system supporting us on stage (the stuff we hear etc.) was just f*cked up and fixed totally wrong and we even had to cut down the set because I would have lost my ears. I felt so sorry for the folks in Munich who had dragged their asses over there in the HEAT. But with these problems there’s nothing you can do.

Today was super great. The only little downside was the Sun shining directly on stage and I almost fainted a couple of times when I sang a longer ending to the chorus ( in diamonds for example) but the whole show was super fun. The Rewe shows are a lot of fun also because there are so many new faces along with the super sweet angels who come to our shows time after time. It’s so cool to see this 35 year YOUNG guy first checking us out with a little skeptic look in his eyes, and after three songs he claps his hands a bit- And in the end he screams “Put your hands on me” That makes me happy!

I was all over Central Europe last week. After the show in Munich, I rented a car (a BMW of course;) and I saw Salzburg, Innsbrck, Lake Garda, Lugano, Como, Zurich, a bit of Southern France and a lot of Germany. It’s so cool to drive more than 200 Km/h, we can’t do that in my stupid country with their stupid speed rules ;(

Anyway, even though the summer has been super hot, it’s just amazing how beautiful our continent is. Of course it helps a bit when the weather is as it is but here is one damn proud European Citizen. My plans getting a flat in Germany are one step further. It’s just so hard to choose the city. Hamburg is still on top of the list.

I’m gonna be home only for two days. Tomorrow is a gym & relaxing day after eating all the pizzas & cookies & candy on the road and on Monday I will go to Mr. Jukka Immonen’s studio finalizing our first production “Hollywood Hills.” I got a good feeling about the guy and our work. We will see. It’s funny now that I haven’t had any instruments with me for a week; my head is full of ideas. It’s good to have a break from everything every now and then. I must admit that my life has been pretty Sunrise Avenue focused the last 6 months. And now the batteries are a bit more recharged again.

On Tuesday we will fly to Greece to continue our Amita Motion tour in Thessaloniki. The last trip to Partra (Greece) was super cool and super relaxing and I am sure this will be fun too. Then after hanging out in Greece for 3 days ( I guess) we will fly to Germany (dunno where) for a day off and for a show on Saturday. On the day off we will have the first “Songs of album 3” meeting with the guys, There are already about 20 songs to choose from and more are coming. I have a very good feeling about the next step. I heard there could be a big tour in March-May 2011 if all goes well with the project and a if we can make the release happen early 2011. Now we just gotta work hard and follow our hearts with the musical decisions.

My friend & colleague Mr. Mikko Saukkonen has had my baby car for the week and I am a little bit worried how she is doing. Not Mikko, The car! It must be this feeling when you have babies and they have been at grandma’s place for a week… Soon we will VROOOOOOM together again. Top down ;) <3 <3 <3 LOL LOL OMG BMW

Thank you so much everyone for today. You made me really happy today. Again.

See you all soon,

Samu

PS: If you have iPhone, iPad or whatever apple product, please try the “Agry Birds” game. It’s sooooo damn great!!!!!!! Jaaaahuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!! I have passed most of the fields with 3 stars (maximum). Ok, I got some help from my “personal game assistant” on some of the harder ones, but check it out anyway…;)


20.08.2010 Samu

Summer of 2010

Hey all. It’s been a while…

This has been the strangest and also the best summer ever. So many things have happened around me and us that it has kept me busy from writing any updates here and also some things have been so damn complicated that I really didn’t know what to say about them. I guess I needed some time on my own. And I still do. It’s funny how even if I’m so used to sharing my thoughts with everyone through my blogs, it’s really hard to express myself when things are a huge mess. Even though many of the things are good. Too much is too much.

It’s been a great summer. Not only the weather, although it’s been the hottest summer in Finland ever. And can’t really blame the weather man elsewhere either. The temperature didn’t drop below 24C one single time in the whole July in Helsinki. We can live with that ;) They sold out all the air-condition equipment and fans in a few days and we’ve been sweating more than ever. I guess that’ll change soon, even though today has still been super sunny and nice.

We have worked like hell with the guys. Even before my trip to Los Angeles in April, the song writing mood has been on most of the time and I must say there are some songs that I am super proud and happy to have for our next step. We have a very much deeper connection with Riku as song writers now and that helps a lot. Especially now that Jukka lives in Paris ands I can’t join him that often with my guitar. Maybe it needs a few years to get to know a new guy better to really let go and to jump into the other guys visions but now I must say that feels great. We / I have also worked with some new producers and especially Mr. Jukka Immonen feels like a full member of the team after a few long sessions. (What is it with us and guys with the first name JUKKA???) The “old” Jukka will also produce many tracks this time too.

On business side the mess has been the biggest. It took very much of my energy to play the song writer, singer, business man, manager, tour planner, lawyer, etc. through the summer but now most of the “office shit” is in better and more suitable hands. It was a good and also a challenging thing putting together a new record label team & management for SA but now all that is in pretty good shape and there’s light at the end of the tunnel. We have some new great partners / friends to join us for the next steps.

I really can’t promise when the next step will be taken, but I have a strong gut feeling that the next album will be ready to go out right after new year. There’s a lot to do before that, but we have time. It’s funny, but I feel very confident with the new stuff and about the next step. And of course all we can do is to do everything as good as we can following our hearts and then just see where it takes us.

I just heard about the presales of the tour in December. It’s so amazing that you people are so loyal and just keep supporting us so great. From what I heard, the tour will be great and we will not have to play for empty rooms at all ;) We will fix some new cool things for you for the tour. We have a million ideas what we wanna do ;)
I actually thought about you people many times this summer. I mean what it is that makes you join us every time no matter where we play. You have no idea how much that means to us and how happy you make us. Thank you!
Soo… We will inform you about our future plans in the bear future. I am so excited ;)

I will join Raul, Riku, Sami & some friends on a U2 show at Helsinki Olympic Stadium now. I have been listening to the today’s greatest bands songs for the whole week and I can’t wait to get my E-L-E-V-A-T-I-O-N!!!!! Tomorrow we rock you in Cologne and next week in Greece. JEEEEEEEE ;)

I love you all. See you very soon.

Samu


26.08.2010 Samu
On the way to Helsinki

I am sitting on a plane home after a 3-day trip to Crete Island. It’s so cool to have a job that takes you “working” in places like this. Usually the Finnish families go there for holidays, but we flew over with our working gloves on ;)

The only down side is the 6 flights we needed to take. There aren’t that many direct flights from Helsinki that can also take all our cargo in, so it’s another 14-hour travel day. I am starting to know the European airports pretty well by now. And every guy in the band & crew know how to find Starbucks at any airport.

It was a super nice day yesterday. I woke up very late, around 12 and just had something to eat and went to the beach with Osmo, Riku, Karri and Mikko. We had a little beach volley tournament and of course we lost with Karri against Osmo & Riku. They had better winds and the sun was shining against us, but yes yes, we lost ;)

This is pretty bad because my ranking is pretty low now in the SUNRISE AVENUE SPORTS RANKING after I did really badly on the table tennis tournament last time we were in studio. Here are the results from there:

1. Riku (5 Wins)
2. Arttu (4)
3. Jukka (3)
4. Raul (2)
5. Samu(1)
6. Sami (0)

I am sure Riku has bee practicing. He was really good. Me and Sami were more just entertaining the guys. I think Jukka had a few great shots from my “deadly strikes” on video, so maybe we see those later….

Back to Crete… The show was too short but very nice. And JESUS they sang loud again. It was the last one of the Amita motiuon tour festivals for us that we’ve been doing all over Greece this summer. The trips to Greece are always very cool with the weather, shopping and stuff, but again it feels like I gained 10 kilos with the Saganaki cheese. Mmmmmm ;) Thank you everyone for the great night yesterday!

Now we will have a few days at home and we have a WEEKEND FREE!! Juhuu!!!! I will SO go out in Helsinki after a long break. Then next week we will play our last festivals this year, on Saturday near Frankfurt with a full rock setup and on Sunday an acoustic show in Bochum. We really hope to see you all there again before we will let you rest for a few months before the next tour ;)

It’s kind of sad that after those shows our summer is Officially over, but on the other hand it means we’ll have time to finish our new album before the end of the year. According to the plans, the next album (working title “Out of style, Yeah!”) will be out in early march. We have set a deadline for our selves to January 31st. That would mean we could start with a single right at the beginning of the year. But let’s not hit anything in stone yet. We need to make the 12-14 tracks ready and perfect for you before we let anything out. However, I have a very good feeling about all this…

I will watch “Green Zone” with Matt Damon now. I have seen it once already in way better company than the farting business man next to me, but it’s a good way to kill the rest of the flight.

See you next week!

Samu


06.09.2010 Samu
Summer of 2010

I really didn’t know what to expect from this summer when I thought about it after the winter. There were no new releases or anything new really from us to keep the interest in Sunrise Avenue and I was a little worried if people would find their way to our shows after we had been silent for so long on the music market. You know I STILL have this “empty room phobia” before the shows. Osmo was laughing at me in Russelsheim when I was wondering if the people will stay to see our show too after the Eurovision winner Lena. It’s not that I don’t trust you, you’ve always been there for us. It’s just something in my small head. Can’t take anything for granted.

I just got home after the last two shows in Russelsheim and Bochum and I gotta say that the ending for this period could not have been better. On Saturday we played a full stage “rock show” at this Opel festival and that was one of the coolest shows this summer. Even the weather was great! And damn I love the catwalk!!! And yesterday in Bochum at the sold out tent… I honestly had problems holding my tears a few times when you sang so loud for us and I knew it would be some months without you now.
Thank you everyone so much for the great summer everywhere and I really hope we see you very very soon!

Now we’re gonna focus on the new album and stuff around it and in a way it’s great that there are no shows before December and we have a lot of time for recording & writing. I have set a deadline in January 31st for the new baby and this means we have nearly 5 months to put the pieces together and even write a few new songs more. In my opinion, we have 10 ready tracks for the album, even the singles we need, but of course now we need to do the necessary chats with EMI and Universal and other parties so the whole package is fully perfect when we let the baby out. There are some songs that I have wanted to play to you already on the way, but probably it’s better to keep them in the closet until they all come out together.
I will update you on what’s happening in studio with the guys and as soon as there’s some dates or other info too, of course.

So take a little rest now and see you all on the acoustic tour in December. I really can’t wait ;) We will rehearse a brand new acoustic set for that tour with a lot of new stuff. Maybe Osmo could be the Santa…? ;)

I love you all very much right now and you should know that you have made us all very happy through the whole summer.

Thank you!

Samu


07.11.2010 Samu
Au Revoir et merci Paris!

I am on my way home from Paris where I spent the whole week with our dear genius maniac producer Jukka Backlund. Was a superb trip!

It’s been a while from my last blog. So much has happened and I actually thought about writing a couple of times in the past weeksd, but it’s been strange and tough creating the music and putting the pieces together and I had to focus all my energy into even more important things.
Where we are now…

My gut feeling was kind of right. I kind of knew the songs for the album would be composed 98 % until the end of November. Now we are putting the production together with the two producers (both Jukka;) and there is very much to do, but on the other hand we got a lot of time and we know what we are doing.

We just finished 4 new tracks with Jukka this week and I am totally happy about them all. I spent last night on my sofa bed in Jukka’s kitchen listening to the finished demos for 3 hours. And I accidentally drank one third of Jukka’s favorite whiskey bottle. I was so carried away by the tracks. And I deserved it after this week. It was like the good old days, Jukka & me and our adult jokes. I am happy for the rest of the guys that they weren’t there ;)

Tomorrow we will go to Stuio Petrax in Finland again with Jukka I (so much about my days off) and there are some tracks that I already know will sound great. We have produced a couple of tracks with the new Jukka too, and I am totally convinced in his skills & his team. I personally can’t wait to finish a track called “I don’t dance.” It’s so perverted ;) But a straight rock song and the title that fits me. Tomorrow will be more about instruments (Riku, Sami, Raul) and therefore it’ll be an easier day for me.

In general, I think we have found a great overall sound. Pretty rock and powerful with some fresh elements and a lot of programming. I feel very much “at home” with the stuff we will release next year.

I have booked the album mastering for January. That means it will be printed for you people then if nothing strange happens. December and January will be a lot of mixing while we are on tour and on Holiday after Christmas and if we just get the artwork and stuff ready, everything is ready to be released on the first quarter next year. There are so many songs, I’d even actually like to give out for free right now because I would want people to hear them. Unfortunately you must wait. There are a few EMI & Universal guys who’d kill me ;)

(Or they would do the same thing to me that Uganda Pastor thinks Barak Obama wants to bring to Africa as human rights. Sorry, This inside joke for Jukka was a MUST)

We have two major record companies working with us. In the beginning I was a little worried how that might go. You know when there are two big players, both with their own interests and the Ego stuff and all, but it seems to go ok. The greatest thing about the next step is, that everyone has agreed that Sunrise Avenue album#3 will be very heavily Artist driven. This means we will make the music and musical choices with the band and we also have the biggest role in selecting singles and video treatments. That is the way. Of course the great team around us will help as much as they can, but this time it’s great to have more free hands to give you people something real. Let’s hope the mood stays as it is.

I’d be very happy with the whole SA world as it is even with just releasing an album soon, but we are so damn lucky to even have a tour soon !!!!! I can’t wait. We have some great new ideas how we can all enjoy the evening together again. And of course we will do some of the stuff we did in March. Remember that the acoustic album will be out in many new countries soon!!! Check your local dealer!

Osmo will join us for the whole trip. That’s cool. Maybe Osmo could play some of his stuff on our show too. His album will be released in GSA countries next year, so that’d be cool. We are also bringing the two FLAMBOY girls to do some stuff on stage with us in Hamburg. The girls just released their debut album in Finland (Brilliant pop music!!!) and we decided to reward the Hamburg audience for selling out the first night so fast by bringing the girls on stage for both nights. It could have been possible for the whole tour too, but the girls weren’t available for the whole trip.

It’s always been my kind of a dream to have female backing vocalists on some of the songs and now we got to do it. Finally!!!! The girls already made their first performance in Helsinki at this Fashion TV show with us, and we were totally blown away. I hope everyone welcomes the ladies along with warm hearts. They are at the beginning of their career and this will be a very cool experience for them. I love giving the chance for other Finnish artists to try bigger stages. It would be the coolest thing to help someone’s career explode outside Finland. I think all of the artists we have taken along (Poets of the Fall, ClarkKent, Osmo and soon Flamboy) have enjoyed your support and found something new from these trips with the SA family.

We will play a version of Flamboy’s “Bitch in Me” together with the girls and that is kind of funny having us guys singing about bitches in us ;) It will be a great tour, I am so sure.

Now I will watch a movie and try to get some sleep. I must stay awake until 2AM for a phone call and tomorrow they start at Petrax at 10 AM. It’s cool to be busy ;)

2010 has been probably the strangest and also the best year in my life. A lot of pieces fell into the right places on my career and also on my personal life and I have been on the road making music with Fantastic people all over the planet from Los Angeles to the countryside of Finland and from Paris to Tokyo in late December. I am one lucky son of a Finnish loving mother. Of course there have been times when I have been super tired or clearly with too much stress, but it’s all a part of this game and you must take it all if you wanna play the game. And now I have a feeling that finally after some years in the business, I start to really know what I want. At least a bit more day by day.

(my mom is actually angry at me because I don’t play / give her all the new demos…. MOM please !! You’re the best. ;)

I hope you are all doing fine and I can’t wait to see everyone on tour again soon. Thank you so much for buying so many tickets already. It’s super great that we don’t have to play alone every night ;) It’ll be FUN!!!!

Love,

Samu

PS: Not a bad Start for HIFK. Kibe on Ihan liekeissä!!!!

PPS: There are some friends from Finland coming over to the Berlin show. These folks are pretty bad party animals, so I recommend everyone wear a helmet that evening. Poor you ;)

PPPS: Remember, it’s father’s day next weekend (at least in My country)!!!!


13.01.2011 Samu
Album # 3

It’s been a while… I have to say that I have been waiting for this moment for quite some time. The new album is almost done and the first single “Hollywood Hills” is ready to go out in public. And I am writing my first blog for the 3rd album. JEEEEEEE PERKELE ;)

First I must thank you all for a very great year 2010. It wasn’t the easiest one for us. But even though we weren’t on the top of the charts all the time, you people made every single show and event special for us by being there and showing that you’re on our side. Thank you so much. You have no idea how much your support means to us and how good it feels to have you on our side.

The new album

We have released two albums before and I have never felt like this before. I was thinking about it a bit today and found no explanation. I should ask the mothers of 3 kids (like my own), do the feelings differ from 1 & 2 & 3.

On the 1st one I was just super lost, hyped and dreaming about really having a song on some radio chart some day and everything happened very fast. Those are in a way the sweetest moments on my career, but I am glad that the mess will never come back ;) Though it was fun ;)

With the second one in 2009, things weren’t that easy. I must say that I am very proud of PopGasm too, but the whole mood wasn’t right that time. They call it the 2nd album syndrome. Everyone is trying a little too hard and things go a little wrong. We had fun and we’re still kicking, so I can’t complain.

Album #3 – Out Of Style

I am so happy and so damn proud of it! The biggest thing probably is, that the record companies (EMI / UNIVERSAL) let me be the chief with the band running the project and there were no corporate people involved in musical things. All the stuff is decided with the band and the 2 producers (Jukka&Jukka). That was a risk, sure, but now it really sounds like us. Exactly the way we want it to. I and we wrote the songs all over the world (L.A., Paris, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tokyo) but it all still sounds like the same band / project.

Hollywood Hills

I was in Los Angeles in May 2010 for 3 weeks. I wrote a lot of songs with some of the world’s top writers and it was a hard but fun trip. In the night, after the last writing session I had a few beers (and a few more) and I went to my hotel room super tired. I felt super tired and lonely and my head was filled with all the songs we had been working with. I honestly just wanted to go home.

I looked at the L.A. downtown below from my hotel room balcony and said “Bye Bye Hollywood Hills.” Then I had this melody playing in my head and I decided to take my guitar from its case for one more time. I sat on my balcony (sorry neighbors), wrote the lyrics and recorded a demo on my mac. Everybody fell in love with the song back home and now it’s the first single. How crazy can this job get… ;)

Hollywood Hills is produced by our new producer, Mr. Jukka Immonen. He has produced half of the album and Mr. Jukka Backlund, the guy you know from our previous albums and also from the stage, has produced the other half. Both gentlemen have done a brilliant job! What is it with producers and the name Jukka?

Out Of Style

A strange album name? Yes it is. I don’t know how many meetings there have been about the Sunrise Avenue music style. It’s rock and pop and folk and electronic this and that… This time we decided to be honestly and fully as we are, without any styles or concepts. The sound is more rock and straight forward again, not forgetting our softer and acoustic side either.

The original slogan of our band back in 2000 was “Honest music” and that is our road now. “Out of style” also describes us guys pretty well. We aren’t that cool, we are just 4 guys who love doing what we do together. The 7th track on the album is “Sex & Cigarettes.” I sing on the second verse “…cause I’m out of style, Yeah!” I was driving in Helsinki last summer and it just hit me when I heard it through my car speakers. For the second time I decided the album title in my sweet dear car ;) You gotta trust you instinct when it hits you!

So what’s gonna happen now… I wish I knew ;)

The single will be presented to radios now also in new Sunrise Avenue countries, so this is where we need your help and support! We will also make a video for it on the first week of February. I will not reveal the video concept yet, muahahaha ;)

We will announce some new live dates soon and we really hope we will have a busy festival summer too. The album will be out in the first countries in March. Please check our website for detailed info on your country. And if your local record store doesn’t have it, kick their ass and say greetings from us ;)

I must say I am very nervous now and I am feeling kind of restless. But I have a good feeling about this… I wish I could just upload the album somewhere and you could all get it now, but I guess this is where the business folks would have something to say.

So see you all very soon! On January 31st the album is mastered and done and then we’re ready to come to you – where ever you want us to come!

Wish us luck! I love you all!

Here we go ;)

Samu


12.03.2011 Samu
On Promotion Tour

We are sitting at our backstage with the guys in Innsbruck, Austria getting ready for the TV show of the night. I started the official “Out Of Style” promotion yesterday in Berlin alone by playing the new songs for the media folks and doing interviews and the boys joined me this morning. Today we do this very strange German TV show, TV Total, where they go down the hills with wok pans and tomorrow we attend the DOME again, for the 8th time. We are DOME veterans ;)

We started the promotion already in January and we have done many “one offs” in Finland, Germany and Estonia. In Estonia the trip was probably the hardest so far with their local Saaga-Vodka at the Estonian Music awards after party. The vodka is super good. Ask Sami ;) And we also attended the Miss Finland finals playing Hollywood Hills acoustic there. The downside was that we had to share the back stage with the girls. As we came to the backstage before our part, the ladies were changing their outfits from swimsuits to dresses. I didn’t know if it’s more rude to look or not to look. Riku relaxed us all by jumping into the winner’s uniform for a moment and the ice was broken. Usually I don’t like it when the people at home can select the winner for Eurovisions or the new Miss Finland, but this time I have to say the best one won. Congrats & Good Luck!

It’s been a strange month after mastering and finalizing the album. I must say I succeeded pretty well in relaxing and keeping my thoughts away from music and the new album. Now it feels as if we all have our batteries full for the next step and I have a funny good feeling in my stomach about what’s to come.

My bags didn’t arrive from Helsinki yesterday and I am a little worried what I am going to wear the whole weekend. I could easily wear the same jeans and stuff every day, but we are so much in front of the TV camera and the promoters might have something so say about it…

I have been amazed how good the start has been with the new album. For example in Germany Hollywood Hills is in top 3 both in sales and also on radio charts. There are many festival offers already on the table and seems as if we will have a busy year. Me like!!! I have no words to thank you lovely people who have been supporting us, voting and other stuff. Thank you so very much! We will pay you back on tour by sweating our asses off.

The next few weeks I / we will be doing interviews and other promotion all over the place and after that we release our third album JEEEEEEE ;) I drove alone in Helsinki a few days ago and listened to the album after a 2-week break. I am so damn happy and proud of the final result and there’s nothing I’d do different. I don’t know if or how much the album will sell & succeed, but as a piece of music I am very very happy. It’s the best Sunrise Avenue album, no question, if you ask me. I can’t wait to get all the 12 songs to you people so you can hear what we have been doing in studio for the last year. And you can disagree or agree with me ;)

We’re discussing the live show plans with the guys now and Sami suggested that we start the show on tour with “I Gotta Go.” He said in Finnish “Se lähtee ku reidet perseestä…” Have fun translating that ;)

Anyway… See you all very soon and thank you so much for all the feedback and help so far. I bet we will have a great year ahead together!

On the plane to Bremen

I decided to continue my blog on the plane, since there’s nothing to do and the Internet didn’t work at the hotel last night so I couldn’t post it to the web.

Was a long day yesterday. We started at 10 in the morning and we were done at 01 in the night. Ok, most of the time it was just waiting at the back stage and sitting in the car or plane, but still. Today the day will also be long. The Dome TV show is always a huge media circus and there’s a lot to do, but everything there is very well organized. Well… Once they burned Sami and me with pyro walls, but we have forgotten them ;) It’s so cool to meet the reporters and other people after a long long break again. The biggest problem I have now with the promotion trips is that the Finnish national Ice Hockey Play Offs start today and it’ll be a bit hard focusing on the reporter’s questions sometimes. I guess I will be singing the national anthem on the first Helsinki IFK home game next Friday, where they hopefully beat the shit out of the Narri-Jokerit.

My bags arrived and I am wearing nice clean clothes. Fully out of style, as usual ;) So today will be about a lot of interviews again, some red carpet and a very cool TV performance on stage for millions of viewers and the live crowd too, of course. Some artists say they don’t like the TV shows that much. Of course for us too, the real shows are better when you get to play and hour or so, but I like the whole hassle and stuff that goes on the whole day today too. And there’s also the after party too ;) We use to have the “heavy partying” reputation in the past at the dome after parties, but we lost it somehow. I wonder if tonight we could steal that trophy back. I count on Sami after the session we had in Tallinn ;)

See you all very soon!

Love, from The DOME back stage,

Samu


27.03.2011 Tohtori Haber
Promotion Tour / Suomikeikkaa ja Promohommia

(Suomeksi alempana)

Howdy!

Whatta 3 week circus it has been. I don’t remember working and flying around like a ping-pong ball like this ever before, but here I am sitting on a plane towards Cologne and feeling very happy and not too tired at all.

The last weeks we have been in almost every possible TV show in Finland and gave interviews to most of the Finnish magazines and radios. It was actually a nice surprise how well they took us. We have been away for a long long time from the Finnish stages and I guess we only performed 4-6 times in our home country the last 2 years.

The album is now out anyway and now it’s time to put the other kind of working gloves on and start promoting our new baby before we hit the stages again in 4 weeks time. It makes me really happy that the tour is somewhat sold out all ready and I know we will have lots of fun again. I must say the Finnish audience surprised me very positively and they were super good on all three nights and it will be hard job topping that. The rest of you have more time to learn the lyrics so maybe singing along goes even better ;)

I will start my trip from Cologne and I go all over Germany, Switzerland and Austria. I know there have been some great things happening in other countries too, and I hope we can visit them too - soon. The band guys will join me for a few days here and there but I will mostly be alone with the drivers and promoters. Good so. Maybe that means that nobody is dragging me to the lobby bar every night for “one glass….” And I go to gym or bed instead.
After 3 superb shows in Finland, I must write a few words in our language too, so don’t worry if the text goes a bit funny below ;)

Thank you all very much for all the support and great feed back so far and see you very very soon ;)

Hugs,

Samu

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Moikka!

Mä istun koneessa kohti Kölniä, Saksaa ja hiukan on vieläkin eilisestä uupunut fiilis kun piti ajaa vielä keikan jälkeen kotiin että ehdin pakkaamaan ja kerkesin koneeseen. Olipahan ihana viikonloppu!!! Aina kun mä kelaan suomikeikkoja, TV-esiintymisiä ja muita, mä en oikein tiedä mitä odottaa. Suomessa ollaan kuitenkin aina vähän ”omalla takapihalla” ja meihin ja etenkin minuun suhtaudutaan luonnollisestikin vähän eri tavalla kuin muualla. Nyt on kuitenkin pakko sanoa että jäi tosi hyvä fiilis siitä miten otitte meidät vastaan kaikilla kolmella keikalla, vaikka Helsingin keikalla meillä menikin vähän sähellykseksi. Pakko mainita että ilmeisesti se tekninen moka oli sittenkin mun vika. Mä en nähnyt mitään siellä lavalla pimeässä ja laitoin vissiin capon ( se juttu kitarankaulassa) väärään välikköön sormikopelolla ja haukuin Karrin ihan turhaan. Sori Possu. Tai siis pakko sen on jotenkin olla sun syytäs. Jotenkin sä hämäsit mua olemuksellasi ja Turguse-Murteella ;)

Oli aivan mielettömät keikat. Helsingissä oli toki koko bändillä ja crewlla kieli aika keskellä suuta ja jänskätti tajuttomasti. Ja vielä mun kurkkuongelmat (ekaa kertaa ikinä??!!!) sai stressin ennen keikkaa aika korkealle, mutta onneksi se Agentti-Ellun hommaama kyypakkaus toimi ja toivottavasti en kuulostanut ihan varikselta.

Oli ihanaa huomata miten liveversiotkin biiseistä toimii hienosti ja miten te lauloitte niitäkin jo mukana.
Mediasirkus ennen keikkoja oli aika rajua sekä suomessa ja ulkomailla ja mun on pakko myöntää että olin ihan kuolemanväsynyt Helsingin keikan jälkeen. Vielä seuraavana päivänä kun olin parissa palaverissa ja sitten Ylen Puoli seiskassa ja lopuksi Korkojen Kera-ohjelmassa, meinasin oikeasti nukahtaa lämpiöön. Toivottavasti musta ei jäänyt kamalan kärttyisä fiilis Vapun ja Jannen kanssa, olin vaan poikki. Tuttava laittoi tekstarin Korkojen Kera-ohjelman jälkeen että ”Lepäisit välillä, näytit aika pahalta” Kiitti ;)

Maikkarin studiolta hypättiin Rikun kanssa autoon ja mä hurjastelin meidät Turkuun. Etenkin Turun kohdalla olin tosi huolissani että tuleeko meitä kukaan katsomaan ja kyselinkin teknikoilta moneen otteeseen että onko siellä yhtään ketään yleisössä. Olin aika mieletön yllätys kun pääsi lavalle ;) Mun on pakko pahoitella sielläkin muutamaa lavaspiikkiä, etupäässä kertomusta Turklulaisesta ”Kakkapökäle”- klubista. Mulla ei enää ollut yhtään aivosolua toiminnassa. Mutta olipahan ihan mielettömän kivaa. Toivottavasti päästään Turkuunkin pian uudestaan. Pikkulinnut kertoi että saatettaisiin päästäkin ;)

Muut pojat meni bussilla Lahteen ja me tultiin Rikun kanssa perässä mun autolla ja saatiin nukkua vähän pidempään. Mä olin tullut mun hotellihuoneeseen yöllä ja päättänyt katsoa ”Expandables” leffaa koneelta että nukahtaisin. Olin nukahtanut läppäri sylissä ilman että olin ehtinyt edes valita leffaa. Samu taisi olla aika väsy…;)

Matkalla Lahteen mun oli pakko luovuttaa kuskinpaikka Rikulle puolessa välissä koska olisin ajanut metsään. Se oli pikku riski, koska pojat oli mun kuorsatessa vetäneet tappiin asti humppabaarin puolella, mutta aika vakaasti se ajoi. Riku sai idean matkalla Lahteen että mennään niiden mökille siihen lähelle. Rikun Äiti ja Isäpuoli laittoi pöydän koreaksi ja saunan lämpiämään. Puusauna, ahh… Ja saunan jälkeen nukahdettiin molemmat takkatulen ääreen, josta ne sitten patistivat meidät niiden sänkyyn nukkumaan vierekkäin. Riku herätti mut vähän yli 8 illalla siihen että HIFK oli mennyt johtoon Helsingissä ja pitäisi mennä keikalle. Ihanat vanhemmat Ritulla! Kohteliuvat kuin omaa poikaa.

Mä olin kuullut Sibelius talon Finlandia Klubista paljon hyvää, mutta ylistää olisi voinut enemmänkin. Paras bäkkäri missä mä olen koskaan ollut missään maailmassa. Omat saunat, röökikopit ettei tartte palella ja toisaalta savuttomien haistella pahaa hajua. Henkilökunta oli superystävällistä. Lahdessa on musta pienen ja suuren kaupungin hyvät puolet. Siellä on paljon porukkaa, mutta kotoisa tunnelma.

Lahdessa keikkakin alkoi rullaamaan meidän osaltamme paremmin ja ilman stressiä. Toki lepo oli jeesannut, mutta kyllä täytyy sanoa että oli mahti ilta. Ihan superyleisö, ihan Eurooppatasoa, ja me vaan halailtiin toisiamme keikan jälkeen bäkkärillä ;) Saunassa ei toki.

Olin himassa joskus neljän aikaan yöllä ja söin lihiksen munalla ja jahtisiivulla ja kaaduin sänkyyn. Aamulla ei jäänyt aikaa muuhun kuin nopeaan pakkaamiseen (oikeesti mulla ei ole mitään käsitystä mitä kaikkea otin mukaan, mutta kai täältä saa ostettua housuja jos unohtui…) ja nyt oon siis matkalla Itämeren yllä. Mä oon kolme viikkoa haastattelu- ja soittohommissa Saksassa, Sveitsissä ja Itävallassa. Pojat käy muutamana päivänä moikkaamassa mua jos on tärkeämpiä TV-esiintymisiä, mutta pääasiassa oon yksin kuskien, agenttien ja promoottorien kanssa. Tavallaan vähän tylsää olla yksin mutta tavallaan ihan kivakin. Ja ymmärrän kyllä että ei ole mitään järkeä istuttaa neljää kundia haastatteluissa kun yhdeltä kuitenkin kysymykset kysytään. Saapahan pojat levätä ja katsoa toivottavasti monta Play-Off matsia mun HIFK-kausikorteilla.

Huomisesta voi tulla aika jännä päivä kun Helsingissä pelataan kuolemanpeli HIFK-Jokerit ja mä TODELLAKIN aion seurata matsia radion välityksellä vaikka mua haastettalisi mikä Conan O’ Brian tai Paavi. Te joilla on kilpisydän, laittakaa punaista päälle ja menkää näyttämään kuka on kingi meidän hallissa. On ollut mahtava sarja.

Kiitos vielä kerran ihanasta rupeamasta ja nähdään pian uudestaan. Mä paan nyt Suomi-paidan päälle, nahkahousut jalkaan, bratwurstin kouraan ja alan myymään suomalaista musaa näille, jotka eivät tajua jääkiekosta mitään.
Hyvää kevättä kaikille! Ootte parhaita!

Samu


29.03.2011 Samu
Towel Guy

Cologne – Kassel – Hannover

I am sitting here at Radisson Blu Hotel in Hannover having a HUGE salad and pizza. I had to reward myself after a long day. I started the interviews already yesterday in Cologne. Today Riku flew in and joined me for the Morning TV (Wake-up at 0530!!) and after that he flew back home and I continued alone again.

It’s been super cool meeting the reporters and folks again. Many of them I met before on our previous trips and it’s so cool to see that some morning hosts from 5 years ago are the music chiefs of the station now ;)

I am very tired after the wake-up, long traveling, interviews & my little shopping session in Hannover today, but I must write about this one thing that is bothering me a little bit and maybe someone can help me.

I love Germany. I really do. Germans make the best cars in the world, they have supported us like little angels from the very beginning and I have nothing but good to say about them apart from this one thing.

I went to the spa today to relax at the FINNISH sauna a bit before my dinner. I had forgotten my swim wear at home as I was packing in a hurry so I took a towel with me from my room, so people would not have to stare at my family jewels.

I was sitting in sauna with my towel on and everything was nice. Nice steamy air and very hot. Exactly the way I like it. Then this couple, let’s say both 60 years old, came in fully naked, of course. I guess that is ok in Germany. In Finland that would not happen. It’s ok to be bathing naked with family or if the sauna is only for men or women, but this one was a public unisex place. I decided that I am not going to mind them at all, but as soon as they stepped in, they started staring at me and my towel as if I was an alien.

They were both lying all over the place and especially the guy, who seemed pretty satisfied with his own “equipment,” was having his feet up against the wall and I was forced to close my eyes.

Then after 2 minutes of silent relaxation together with the lovely couple, the woman said something very fast and almost angry to me in German “Sie können nicht….In Sauna…” And she was pointing at my towel. I said in English that I don’t speak German. They both looked very angry and obviously the point was that I shouldn’t wear a towel. Why? I stepped out after a few minutes because I felt totally unwelcome there.

This thing has happened before. I remember some crew guys at a spa after one festival where the security had come in the sauna telling the guys to get naked. It’s not ok to sit inside with your pants on?

So… can someone please tell me what the story is with showing your most sacred obstacles to everyone and how bad have I really been wearing a towel here? I meant no harm…
I hope the “anti-towel-couple” will not come into my dreams tonight. The pick-up is 0930 in the morning, so I’d have time to sleep well.

Have a good night everyone, where ever you are. With or without a towel ;)

Samu


03.04.2011 Samu
Out of tune!

Dusseldorf, Cologne, Oberhausen, Kassel, Hannover, Bremen, Hamburg, Kiel, Baden-Baden, Saarbrucken, Mannheim, Vienna
I am feeling a little out of tune after the long birthday dinner last night. It wasn’t that late, but after working pretty long days the last 3 weeks; I really don’t feel like a princess today. More like a frog. But if you kiss this one, a prince won’t appear – just a tired Dr. Haber. But it was worth it ;)

Thank you everyone for making my birthday so nice. I was actually a bit sad when I read in the promotion program that I’ll be pretty much alone on my big evening. But the Radio stations and lovely fans / friends made it very very special. I don’t think I ever got this many presents and I had my room full of them last night. And thank you Intercontinental Köln for the superior suite for my B-day. Nice surprise. I slept so well ;)

So I had so many bottles of wine, some very good ones (!!), Jägermeister, whiskey, beer, cakes, clothes, a dancing duck and a lot of little toys we will enjoy wit the boys. Thank you all so very much.

We had a dinner at a great Spanish restaurant called “Pepe” (how original;) downtown Cologne (Can warmly recommend) together with our / my product manager Daniel and my friend Julia also joined us. It wasn’t a good idea to mix Kölsch beer, wine and Amaretto. That is what brought the headache. We ended up driving in her Smartfor2 three people inside and I am happy the Polizei didn’5t see us ;)

It was a super nice week! When I flew down one week ago, I looked at the schedule and was a bit worried how hard it will feel after some days. I gotta say, especially now that we agreed to leave some time for sports / gym every second day, it’s been super nice. And even the promoters get to sweat with me at the hotel gyms ;) The best gym so far has been at East Hotel Hamburg, my absolute favorite. They give you strawberry smoothies when you work out and the place is super cool!

I am flying to Vienna Austria now and Riku will also join me there later tonight. So far I have been alone apart from one morning TV show in Cologne, where Riku flew in just to support my wakeup ;) Again they said at the check in at the airport that it’s a huge problem taking my guitar in the plane. It’s always the same mess. They claimed that it’s too big and it wouldn’t fit in the lockers. I tried to tell them that it does fit and that I have done this a 1000 times, but no. They had this nanny especially for me checking that nothing bad happens. I walked in the plane as usual and put my guitar up and sat down. She said oops and walked away. As always. It’s cool how they start panicking every time ;)

Next week we also go to Switzerland and then back to Germany for the Frankfurt music expo. We also play a full show there! I also heard about some great news from new Sunrise Avenue countries where we will actually be heading already in may. Jeeee ;)

I am so super happy with the first results with the album, single and ticket sales and of course the air play. I heard that in Germany only, they play around 1500 times of Hollywood Hills every week. Crazy… And my apologies to the ones who don’t like the song…;)

The tour start gets closer every day and I just can’t wait. I guess there are tickets only for two shows left, and not too many even in those cities. I think the good response will encourage us to book another round in SEP-DEC this year. A longer and a bigger one ;)

So, have a great Sunday everyone and enjoy the sun just like me here in Vienna. It started raining in Cologne as I left, but still after the long and cold winter even a 15-degree nice spring rain feels so damn great!

I will take a nap now, we’ll land soon and I have to look tired so Riku knows that I have been working my ass of for us.

Thank you all again for yesterday & the whole week and see you very soon!

Samu

PS: Norosella taitaa pannu keittää…. IFK <3


10.04.2011 Samu
Then we take Berlin!

Vienna, Munich, Ulm, Stuttgart, Lucerne, Zurich, Frankfurt, Berlin

A day off – finally! I must say that it feels so damn good just sitting on my hotel room sofa after eating a HUGE Diavolo pizza at Vapiano’s with Riku. Yes, not that fat free, but the taste makes you feel like a new man. I actually have been envying Europeans for having the coolest fast food restaurant all over the place, but now finally they’re opening one in Helsinki too. There’s one customer waiting already with a drooling mouth.

It’s been a super cool trip! After a great 2 days in Vienna we have been 2 times back in Germany and we also visited Switzerland. The highlight for me in Vienna was of course meeting all the great folks again and our new favorite hotel (25 hours hotel!), but also driving my new friend’s, Mr. Bix Alex’s Porsche Magnum along the river side of Donau. He was picking us up from one radio station and I have no clue how I was able to convince him to let me drive… He said that Eros Ramazotti had also been behind that same wheel, so of course I had to have a shot ;)

Switzerland was so warm. It’s been actually a great weather all the way, but there the summer really hit us for the first time. I think that is where I got some cold when it was + 28 in the sun but still cooler in the shade. Should have listened to mom and worn something warmer. Boys and spring weather…

We played an acoustic concert actually just the 2 of us with Riku in Lucerne and it was pretty cool realizing that the songs worked really well also wit the duo-set-up. Ok, I gotta admit that we have probably never played that bad and so many wrong notes, but the audience seemed to have fun with our hassle on stage and everyone seemed to go home satisfied. We stayed at the legendary hotel Switzerhof and the view from my balcony in the morning was breathtaking. Lucerne is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s surrounded by snow top mountains and the old town with all the old buildings and streets are just so cool!

This weekend we were in Frankfurt at the Music Expo. It’s the world’s biggest, largest and loudest music happening and you can just imagine all the noice, dong-dong and other sounds over there. I was most of the time in my hotel room because I felt ill, but we managed to play 2 shows there. First on Friday, we played an acoustic show at the expo tent and that was a bit painful with my throat. Still with the help of the loud crowd, I guess we did fine. With some Jägermeister….

Last night we played at the Frankfurt Zoo, a show presented by the radio station HR3. I have to admit that I have been waiting for the moment we get to play the new songs on a big stage like that, but I had no idea that it could be SO cool. I felt like coming home after months and months of studio sessions and I am so damn happy starting the tour next week. Can’t wait! Thank you!!!! You made 5 guys from Finland very happy<3

It’s super amazing how well the album entered the charts in the first countries. I honestly didn’t expect so much! Let’s hope that Universal Music gets the wheels rolling in new areas to. If you feel like giving your local radio people some tasters of what is to come, we’d be happy if you vote for us on the local radio. That has worked pretty well everywhere so far ;)

3 more days to go and then we fly home. My own bed, ahhh… I hope the weather in Finland could start warming up now. I am so used to the nice spring already and the thought of + 3 degrees and rain isn’t yammy! Well, we will sleep in our beds for one night only and the we pack our guitars for the Voice TV cruise. That is always one hell of a party and I know I’m not gonna be the only one having Jägermeister there….

Thank you all for everything so far and see you really really soon! I will probably fall asleep while uploading this…

Samu


02.05.2011 Samu
On Da Road!

Ahhhh… What a trip this has been. I have been on a few tours before but now with the new songs, great weather and super cool audiences, it’s been better than ever before. I don’t know if it’s the fact that we’re feeling more confident with the new song mixture, but I have to say I have never felt this good about any trip until now and the whole tour has been just awesome!!!

We started this trip on Thursday 12 days ago in Vienna with this little acoustic concert together with T-Mobile. It was actually a great way of getting back together with our crew and the rest of the band with a lot of time to fix all the technical stuff after a long break with shows. In Vienna we played only 45 minutes of acoustic rock, mostly new album’s songs and it was just super great. We had a lot of Emi and other business folks with us there and the night was pretty long. As usual ;)

I must admit I had missed the guys and the crew a lot on the promo trips. I was mostly alone then. It’s so great to hear the good old priceless “below the belt” tour jokes again ;) Tuomas, Mikko, Mp, Basty, Possu-Karri, merch-Toby and our new lightning engineer Pornokeisari-Timo are definitely the gang to travel with. Not to mention our dear teddy bear driver Brian, who looks exactly like Brian from Back street boys.

The “real” tour started in Berlin on Saturday after Vienna and after that we have already played Hamburg, Cologne, Halle, Stuttgart and Zurich tonight. I remember doing the first shows with the previous album (Popgasm) and then it was a bit hard getting the right track order together for the shows. This time it felt so right from the very beginning. I was a bit worried when I planned the start of the set at home before the trip, since there were 5 new album’s songs in the beginning. Doesn’t seem to bother anyone in the audience and it’s just so amazing how the people have taken the new stuff. We still play the new songs pretty much the same way they’re arranged on the album, but every day at the sound check someone has new ideas how to boost up (or to poison;) the songs. Today we focused on playing the Finnish ever greens, such as Mandoliinimies and Juice’s Rakkauden ammattilainen at the sound check. The local Swiss tech crew must have thought we are a cheap schlager band…

Touring in the summer / late spring is super great. It’s so nice to hang out at the back stages, have a walk down town on the afternoon and to sit outside after the show shower fresh with a beer or diet coke. The only minus is the heat in the rooms. Some of the clubs, especially Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne were so hot that we nearly fainted on stage. And a few people actually did in the audience. Sometimes it’s funny how someone gets carried out from the audience and they seem pretty dead somewhere at the emergency area behind the stage. As soon as a band member walks by after the show, a miracle healing happens and they wake up again for a photo together ;)

I usually sleep pretty badly because I worry and think about music business things and stuff but on this trip I have been in bed at around 2 AM and I have slept like a baby until the morning every night. Maybe the good atmosphere and great shows have given me good the sleep. And of course I have been dead tired after sweating my bony ass off on stage too. I have actually thought of writing a blog many nights but sand man just got me every time before I could hit my key board.

On Friday we were in Görisried, not the biggest metropolis in the world, but a very very cozy and cool place. The first thing I saw in the morning was a horse (from behind…) and there were huge fields of flowers and the air was super fresh. The catering folks served us lamb meat and other stuff straight from the village and even though I am not a natural food guy, I must admit it tasted better than anywhere else. We played this festival in this huge tent for 6000 people and the mood was just super great. I was actually amazed tat they got so much people in the tent (Village population 1.500) and they all sang and partied with us the whole night. After our performance we enjoyed the show of a local cover band called the Shark, and they even played Hollywood Hills. One of the best cover bands EVER, Go check them out!!! I almost jumped on stage when I heard the beginning of our song but then I thought I should not spoil their show. At that time I didn’t know the guys that well and I thought it could have been r
ude. The night together with the Shark-band guys was long and we were pretty tired the next day. It was the 5th show day in a row so you can understand.

We were supposed to have a day off in Zurich but we flew to Cologne instead with Riku, Raul & Osmo to this charity event and we played a couple of acoustic songs with Riku on stage in the evening. Because of the timing problems they had arranged a private jet for us from Zurich and our private pilot waited for us over night in Cologne and we flew back to Switzerland in the afternoon today. I first thought of saying no to the event, but then we heard that they’re collecting money for poor children and since the organization behind the thing seems to be a good one, we could not say no. This is more important than shopping in Zurich. And we saved our shopping money for flowers to mom on mother’s day next weekend. And of course it’s always cool to fly with an 8-seater Jet. I was the flight attendant serving coffee… Sami had a meeting with the Swiss drum people and he couldn’t join us. And thanx to the charity guys for sending 3 limousines for us for the whole time. We could have done with one ;)

So now I am in the upper front lounge of the bus somewhere between Munich and Saltzburg on my way to Vienna for the last show. I must say I don’t remember feeling this relaxed & happy with the band ever and the shows have been just amazing. I hope someone got a picture of the HUGE “Sunrise Avenue Swiss Crew” flag hanging from the balcony tonight and also hopefully someone filmed Raul’s dance moves ;) Thanx Swiss girls for making my wish come true. Raul needs to dance ;) Much MORE!

Thank you everyone so so so much for the great evenings together again. One more show to go, kinda sad… We will give you everything we have left in our systems on stage for you tomorrow at Vienna Arena. I hope there’s some time for shopping before the sound check. There is a very cool shop in the center, don’t remember the name, but I’ll kill my credit card there for sure. I also hope my local friend Big Alex will be waiting for us tomorrow with his Porsche Magnum and I can drive. 560 Horse power, ahhhh ;)

Good night everyone & Rock you soon,

Samu

PS. Thank you Finland & Germany / Universal & EMI folks for the gold awards. You have no idea how cool it feels. Thank You!!!

PPS: It’s not too bad playing a guitar with the Finnish Champion’s logo on stage every night. Check the pics on Facebook… ai ai ai IFK ;)


13.05.2011 Samu
Thank You Estonia!

I just came home feeling a little bit tired after sleeping 3,5 hours last night in Tallinn after the show and the after party. But I feel good ;)

We have been to our southern neighbor Estonia only once before and that trip was about the Estonian music awards last winter and then we only performed 2 songs. Actually that was the 1st time we performed “Hollywood Hills” ever. Of course the TV shows are always a lot of fun but we have been really waiting for a chance to play our full show in Tallinn too.

We didn’t know what to expect from the club and the audience and as we were treated so great by the listeners every night on our tour in Central Europe just a few weeks ago, we agreed not to expect too much. Especially since it was the first visit over there.

The show last night was a showcase arranged by Universal Music Baltics and we performed together with a very cool and progressive rock band from Finland, The Von Hertzen Brothers. These guys have played in the legendary Finnish bands the last 15 years and I have huge respect for them. Now they have released albums on their own and they have some pretty cool stuff. Just go check them out.

The night was awesome! The club “Rock Café” was built into this old industrial building and had this cool vibe combining the old and the new. Everyone was super professional and the audience was just super amazing. It feels so good when you play your first show in a new country and you don’t expect much and then they surprise you just like we were surprised last night. Thank you so much everyone and hope to see you all soon at the Estonian Rabarock festival next month!!!

The von Hertzen guys are very cool and their music is way more credible than ours and there has always been this communication barrier between us since we represent different music styles. I am very happy we tare down the genre walls last night and I gotta say the guys were really great. Both on stage and also behind it. And we had a great night out together with all the music & entertainment industry folks from the North. And Saaga Vodka as usual…;)

It’s been very great chilling out for a while after the 11-week promotion & tour period and suddenly the summer has arrived in Helsinki too. There are still a few weeks until we start the festival season and there are some very very great slots this summer for us. Just check the website for details. I know that there will be more than they have announced yet. They give the information on some of the shows closer to the date. That’s a marketing / promotion plan or something ;)

Tonight is all about my sofa, some good food and beer and the FIN-RUS semifinal ice hockey game. In 30 minutes actually. Sweden just won their semifinal, so they’re gonna be waiting for us on Sunday playing for the brightest glory this year. But Russia is a very very big challange and I am crossing all my fingers soon. You can do it too if you wanna help ;)

Thank you all very much and see you very soon.

Hugs,

Samu


23.05.2011 Samu
Stockholm Syndrome

I just got back home from a promotion trip to Sweden and I am eating the most delicious chicken pasta in the world. Our flight was delayed in Stockholm for an hour and all the rumors started spreading about the dust cloud from Iceland being already here and I started thinking about booking a hotel room at the Hilton airport, as I have done a few times before with some flight problems. But we got home this time.

The bad thing about the new volcano dust issue is, that the festival season starts next weekend and I really don’t wanna end up cancelling any of them because a mountain somewhere. But we keep our fingers crossed…

It was great being in Stockholm with the band after a long break. With our new album, we are signed to Universal music outside the German speaking part of Europe and I must say the first moments and sessions with our new partner have been really really great everywhere. It’s great to have also the world’s biggest label working with us and they seem to know what they’re doing. Of course nobody is expecting any miracles anywhere and we all know how hard it is to break a band in a new country, but we believe that with the new setup we can make shows and stuff happening in new places soon.

Actually yesterday we filmed a short clip for the show we will have in Belgium next month and everyone says the “Q-show” show hosted by Q music is one of the coolest you can do over there. First time in Belgium for us. Jeeee ;)

In Sweden things looked very good now as well. After doing pretty many shows and festivals in 2007 and selling gold with “Fairytale gone bad,” the only trips to Sweden have been to studios & song writing sessions. Now we had a chance to perform at Sweden’s biggest radio station Rix FM’s city festival in Stockholm and I guess we’ll do another one later this year. We’ll also try to get a club show there on tour in the fall. Our new UNI team has done a good job!

Stockholm is so nice. I remember when I was 15 or something we went over there with my friends to see the pretty girls over there and to buy cooler clothes than what was available in Helsinki. Shopping is still very good in Stockholm and I was barely able to close my suit case this evening… We have always been a bit jealous to the Swedes, they usually win us in all the sports, especially ice hockey (apart from this year’s finals ;) and they have all the cool brands from Ikea to H&M compared to our very few success stories. And of course they have been ruling the European music scene with all their artists and international contacts for decades.

We stayed at the Nobis Hotel at Norrmalmstorg, my new favorite hotel in Stockholm and we heard that the expression “Stockholm syndrome” comes from that very building. The hotel used to be a bank back in the days and they had a hostage situation in 1973. I guess it’s this session where the people held by the bank robbers start feeling sympathy for the bad guys. And I thought that it’s called Helsinki syndrome… So they even invented the syndrome ;)

The festival season starts this week and we are so waiting for the moment we can jump on stage to play and sing with you all. I hope the weatherman will be kind to us. And if it rains it rains. We will still have shelter from the rain on stage, poor you ;) I am sure it’s gonna be great!!

Sleep well everyone and see you very soon,

Samu


08.06.2011 Samu
Let’s festival!

I am sitting on a plane to Brussels, Belgium. We have our first trip there as a band and it feels great! I already did a phone interview for their local Q-radio at 6 AM at Helsinki airport. It was 5 AM in Brussels. Who the hell listens to the radio that early or is even awake… Not me, usually.

It’s always so cool going to new countries to play a few songs. We have some TV and other interviews on the afternoon and in the evening we play at “The Qube”, this small local thing that Adele did just before us, for example. We heard it’s this extremely small room with a very small crowd. And we play acoustic only. Having totally new folks listening to your songs is always also a challenge and that’s cool. Nobody probably sings our songs with us tonight and that is something new since it usually happens in cities & countries where we’ve been more. Today we start from a scratch. A challenge. Me like!

We fly back already tonight. It was so cool driving my car into the garage at the airport in the morning sunshine knowing that I’d be in my own bed in the night again, pretty late though. All respect to hotel beds but we get enough of them and especially in the summer it’s so cool waking up at home. Morning coffee on your own balcony can’t be beaten. And at home you don’t need to check out or explain the cleaning lady you’d like to sleep another 20 minutes. Not too often anyway… Or to remember what you have taken from the minibar.

The Euro crisis is on but even though we arrive in the financial capital of our currency Euro, we don’t have time to fix the money problems today. Our country boy drummer Sami might be pretty good at the job looking at how he is handling his own companies. Next time then. You ministers, ambassadors and other guys with ties just try to hang in there…

The summer has really started now. Even in Helsinki. Yesterday I got sunburned bicycling all around the city – it was so HOT. I had to get myself a new Tumi ® bag for these one day trips and the right model (the same that Raul has for years and I’ve been jealous) was hard to find, so I ended up going around the city for hours with my bike wearing a tank top. As I got back home in the evening after playing basketball, I realized my shoulders were as red as a fire truck. I never learn…

It’s been so cool playing at the festivals. Only one night was pretty cold so far and now it seems as if it’s getting hotter and hotter. Last Saturday we had the first real summer heat feelings on stage. They said it was +44 during our show with all the lights and stuff in Cologne.
(They’re serving some plane snacks and sandwiches. I guess I can eat the cucumber sandwich by now. Isn’t the crisis over…)

This week we will also play in Finland after a long long break. There are two festivals in Helsinki on Saturday and Sunday. First the festival of the Finnish betting agency (I wonder what was their bet for the SWE-FIN football game last night…) and then on Sunday the “Helsinki Day” together with the top line artists from my country. It’s kind of a shame that we missed all the bigger festivals in Finland this year. I love driving to the summerhouse or home after the show through the beautiful landscapes on Finland in the summer. With sunshine in the night. It smells so good!

We are already planning the tour for the fall. It’s SUPER AMAZING how much the tickets have sold!!! I had a long meeting last Friday in Cologne with our tour agent about some new cities in totally new Sunrise Avenue countries. I guess we will have some news and info pretty soon. I love the idea of playing in very small clubs in some new places. And there are so many songs already on the three albums to choose from. Exciting ;) The crew guys have some very cool ideas regarding the stage and production. And we all have ideas about the arrangements and stuff. Can’t wait to start the rehearsals…

The new single “I don’t Dance” is about being delivered to the radios in the first countries (It’s amazing that Hollywood Hills has been aired all the way from January. Time flies…) and we’d appreciate everyone supporting the new song again. We have a pretty cool video treatment idea from our dear friend video director for that song too. Let’s hope we can make everything match, timetables etc.
Ok, we’re ready to land now and I gotta put my MacBook Air in it’s case. Thank you all for the great nights at the festivals so far and see you very soon!

Hugs,

Samu


13.06.2011Samu
Kiitos Suomi!!

(In Finnish Only)

Olipahan siisti viikonloppu Helsingissä. Mä en tiedä mistä johtuu aina se pieni skeptinen olo kun valmistaudun suomikeikkoihin. Kai se kotikentän paine on aina eri kuin jos ollaan ulkomailla.

Me startattiin meidän Helsinki-City-Boy-Tour perjantaina Kaarle XII 35-vuotis synttäreillä. Oli aika hienoa makoilla koko päivä rannalla Munkkiniemessä, jossa merivesi oli oikeasti about 20 astetta. Kävin uimassa pitkiä lenkkejä ja oli ihan Välimerenmeininki. Ei levää eikä roskaa ja ihana trooppinen päivä. Poljin fillarilla vielä Voicelle haastatteluun ja sieltä ”Kalleen” superkuumalle keikalle. Noi yksityisbileet / erikoistapahtumat on aina vähän niin ja näin fiiliksen suhteen, mutta nyt oli kylä hyvä meno. Ja jumalauta että oli kuuma. Meidän manageri Mikko oli ollut kolme ekaa biisiä yleisössä ja oli kuulemma meinannut pyörtyä. Se sanoi että ”kai ne tykkäsivät keikasta kun eivät lähteneet vilvoittelemaan.”

Perjantaina oli Veikkauksen festarit Kaisaniemessä. Alla oli jälleen kunnon rantapäivä, tällä kertaa ihanassa Uunisaaressa Helsingin edustalla, jossa merivesi oli kaikkea muuta kuin lämmintä. Mutta ilma sitäkin lämpimämpää. Kyllä on pakko sanoa että Suomen kesä on parasta silloin kun se on näin lämmin. Sataa tai paistaa. Veikkausfestareilla oli meidän lisäksemme muitakin kotimaisia artisteja, mm. Mun ikilemppari Happoradio. Mulla edelleen menee kylmät väreet kun kuulen radiosta niiden ”Puhu äänellä jonka kuulen.” Mä oon pari kertaa jäänyt parkkipaikalle kotitalon edessä kuuntelemaan sen biisin loppuun. Aki tekee maailman kauniimmat lyriikat.

Veikkauskeikka oli todella siisti kokemus ja todella hienosti hoidettu paketti ainakin meille artisteille. Mä vähän säikähdin kun hyppäsin lavalta alas ”destinyn” lopussa ja lava taisi olla vähän korkeampi kuin luulin. Vissiin 2,5 metriä. Mutta pääsin takaisin ylös kameramiehen avustuksella.

Huomenna oli ehkä eilisen keikkakesän kohokohta Helsingissä Radio Aallon festareilla. Kattaus oli kotimaisittain aika kova ja mukana olivat kaikki kärkiartistit Vartiaisen Jennistä Happoradioon ja VHB:n veljeksiin. Oli ihanaa huomata että kotimaassakin jengi jaksaa dikkailla meitä välillä ihan Eurooppatyyliin ja tuli vähän haikea olo kun tajusimme että kotimaassa ei ole koko loppukesänä kuin yksi festari. Ehkä ensi vuonna sitten. Toki meidän pitää mennä bändin kanssa aina sinne missä rauta on kuumaa ja missä kysyntä on kovinta. Onneksi koko kesä on ihan tupaten täyteen buukattu tänä vuonna.

Keikan jälkeen mun piti ensin mennä kotiin ja tehdä vähän ”työjuttuja” mutta kaverit saivat mut houkuteltua vasta-avattuun Vapianoon Mikonkadulle. Vapiano on maailman coolein pikaruokaravintolakonsepti. Me mietittiin pitkään bändin kundien kanssa että oltaisiin tuotu ravintola suomeen, mutta joku muu ehti ensin. Vapiano on siis Italialainen pikaruokaravintola. Me ollaan nautittu sen herkuista jo vuosia Euroopassa ja on ihme että Suomeen avattiin ensimmäinen vasta nyt. Mun ehdottomat lempparit ovat (#3) Rapupasta, (#2) Rucola-parmankinkkupizza ja (#1) kirkkaana ykkösenä Italialaisista makkaroista väännetty tulinen pasta, johon sain ystäväni Villen rakastumaan eilen myös. Muahahhaa. Vanha lomaosakemyyjä iski jälleen…

Vapianon terassilla tuli sitten notkuttua niin pitkään että auto piti jättää kaupunkiin ja päädyimme porukalla M-baarin terassille, missä oli hurjat jamit. Lavalla kävi Santanan tyyppejä, joilla on keikka tänään Helsingissä ja mm. Tuomo Prättälä joka ei koskaan jätä kylmäksi. Taisi meidän Rikukin käydä jammailemassa mukana. Sunnuntai on hyvä baaripäivä kun taksijonot ovat inhimilliset. Pääsin (kuulemma) kolmen aikaan kotiin Töölön Grillin kautta kotiin tuplamunalihiksen ja ranskalaisten kanssa. Ai että nukutti ;)

Nyt on poplaulajan vapaapäivä ja kukaan ei tarvitse minua tänään. Mä aion vain nauttia ihanan raikkaasta sateentuoksusta ja makoilla parvekkeella kitaran kanssa. Huomenna vasta menen salille ja lenkille ja käyn tsekkaamassa uudet kausikorttipaikat HIFK-hallista ensi kaudeksi. Ensi vuoden jengi näyttää aika hyvältä. Vielä Järventien tontille joku kiekollinen pakki ja toivottavasti Jarkko R. möyhimään laidalle, niin avot! Ensimmäiset vapaat pitkään aikaan.

Hyvää kesää kaikille ja iso kiitos koko viikonlopusta. Teitte meistä taas kerran kovin onnellisia. Nähdään Heinäkuussa Down By The Laiturissa!!!

Samu


20.06.2011 Samu
Estonia, Germany, Switzerland, Poland

I slept so well last night!(i dont sleep very well last night) We were back at the hotel in Bremerhaven at 10PM, went to sauna & swimming pool area with the band & crew. Then a heavy dinner and everyone went to bed. I don’t remember sleeping that well… I had strange nightmares about this huge river where I was struggling not to drown and all the others were just enjoying the cool water on a nice summer day with their families. Me and my mental stuff…;)

We are on the way to Kiel, Northern Germany to this Kieler Woche festival. I guess the whole thing is something about sailing boats and stuff, but there’s also stages and clubs for bands and we are also performing there tonight. We still must avoid fresh green stuff. I heard the worst is over with the German vegetable disaster, but I wouldn’t wanna get sick right now.

We started our festival week in Estonia at Rabarock on Friday. We had played only one club show in Estonia in Tallinn before the trip last Friday and I was expecting a pretty small & quiet crowd. It can be like that when you go to new cities for the first time. It was also raining the whole day and it’s wasn’t that warm either. I must say the audience was one of the best this year! The show was so much fun that Osmo even broke his keyboard raiser ;)
One of my favorite bands, Filter, would have been performing at Rabarock on Saturday and it’s a huge shame we had to leave. To get the best out of this blog, listen to “No Love” from their latest album “The trouble with angels.” My favorite album so far is “the amalgamunt.” Great modern hifi-rock!

We had a communication misunderstanding with the stage time in Estonia. We had different kind of messages from the stage staff about how much time we have left on stage and we skipped one song from the set. It always better to play a bit less than going over the given 60 minutes for example. There is always the next band waiting for their build up time, and the worst some bands do is that they just play and play and then the next band has no time to fix everything in time. When we heard that there actually would have been 4-5 minutes more time with the great crowd, we all got a bit angry. We really would have wanted to play more that day. Was a great trip. Thank you all very much!!! Hope to see you soon again!

After sleeping one night in my own bed, we played yesterday in Bremerhaven, Germany. The weather was really cold, as it’s obviously been all over Europe for the last days. We are traveling for 8 days now and we all brought only shorts and warm weather stuff with us. So when we heard that the show last night was indoors, it was very good news. It was pretty cool playing inside again after a short break. It’s cool how the lights and stuff work as they’re supposed to when you have a dark arena around you. The crowd was just amazing! I guess there weren’t that many Sunrise Avenue regulars / fans yesterday, but when we left the stage, they were all hands up. Me like ;)

So today we play in Kiel and right after the set we will try to shoot one of my personal photo ideas together with Marion, one of our in-house photographers. She also shot the cover for the new single “I don’t dance.”

Tomorrow we have a day off in Zurich, Switzerland and I hope the weather is good. I really wanna go out with my camera and to do some sports.

On Wednesday we play at the Sursee festival and it’s so cool getting back to Switzerland again. I must look good at that show because my hair stylist is coming over there with his 4 friends. I know he is a pretty bad party animal, so we’ll see how long we can stand Jussi and the boys ;)

On Thursday we are in Schopfheim for a day off. I really don’t know anything about the city but I guess I’ll find some targets for my camera there too. On Friday we are headlining a festival there too. Headliners, jee ;)
On Saturday morning we fly to Poland after a very very long break. I don’t know how long it’s been, maybe 2-3 years but the coolest thing is that the Polish fans / folks have been on our side all the way. We are headlining this city festival in Warsaw. So cool! I hope we can add a Polish show on the tour in autumn too.

On Sunday we drive down to Zielona Gora (in Poland) for this other festival. Last time we did it in 2007, they had about 150.000 viewers and I still remember those three helicopters circling above the audience during the show. Last time we drove down there from Warsaw, the 400 Km took 11 hours and I heard that someone got fired after the festival because we almost missed the show and we had only 11 minutes (!!!) to prepare the whole gear for the 150.000 viewers!!! We were standing behind the stage ready to start and then one of the local production guys asked Jukka (the guy who used to play Keys with us then): “What you do in the band?” Jukka said he plays keyboards. The guy answered “What Keyboards? You need keyboards??” They had 8 minutes left to get him the right kind of keys… All went well…;)

After Poland we fly home and then on Tuesday we start shooting our new “I Don’t Dance” Video in Lithuania. Cross your fingers for us. The director Misko has already proven his directing skills with “Welcome to my life” so I bet the quality & stuff will be great!! But more about the video later…

So… Even though the weather is what it is at some places now, try to enjoy the summer and behave well…
Rock you soon,

Samu

PS: Timo “pornokeisari” Saarinen, our lightning designer & engineer gave me a “Chicago Erotic” T-shirt yesterday. It’s a sex exhibition in Lahti, Finland this summer that he is responsible for. Go check it out on facebook.


07.07.2011 Samu
Heavy Turbulence

Here I am again 10 Kilometers above the Eastern Sea inside the Finnair Airbus A319 on my way to the festivals. The turbulence is heavier than ever this summer and I am stuck with my seat. There might be some thunderstorms on the way.

We play two shows in Austria (Graz & Linz) this week and then one acoustic radio show with Riku in Mannheim on Friday and then on Saturday the big festival Arena Of Pop, In Mannheim too. In Mannheim there will be some family watching our actions again after a little break and we must remember to behave well.

We were finally in Poland two weeks ago after a long break (3 years, I guess) and the trip was super nice. I was amazed how great the city of Warsaw actually is, and especially the old town was beautiful. My mom and little brother fell in love with it too. I have felt kind of bad because the Polish folks have supported us all the way from the beginning but we had no real festival or club shows there before. Now we performed at the “official summer start” festival and the crowd was somewhere between 100 and 120 thousand. The stage and all were very great and the only thing that was a bit annoying was the band before us on stage that played 20 minutes too long. Totally uncool! That meant we had to skip a few songs from the set. It was raining like hell but the crowd stayed there. Nice. I came to the catwalk a few times to join the wet crowd. I love to do that when it rains. There must be a little dog inside me ;) The next day we performed a few songs in Zielona Gora at this TV show and after that the party was
pretty hard. The hotel manager was just so friendly and he wanted to offer us all the Polish beers…

Last weekend we had only one show booked, NRJ in The Park Berlin. It’s this very cool yearly lakeside festival hosted by NRJ Berlin and as we had been there before in 2008 and we had lots of fun then, I had been waiting for that evening for quite some time. Riku was already in Berlin a few days before with some friends and I was kind of shocked when he called me the day before that the weather was really cold and windy over there. What happened to the nice German summer??? We had all the special kind of warm stage clothes and stuff with us and we actually even bought some more down town. On the afternoon we went to Vapioano (again;) to have a good lunch so we could rock the whole evening. The Italian sausage pasta is my favorite.

I woke up after my nap in my hotel room at 4 PM to our tour manager’s message saying the festival was cancelled. At that festival the stage is built on a lake and you get up on stage with these boats. On a lovely summer day it’s cool, sure, but when the weather is bad, it can be dangerous. It was actually our very first festival ever cancelled due to weather conditions. We had a close call in Switzerland last week but the thunderstorm went away just before us and James Blunt. Even though James had his own little thunders back stage. Anyway… I hope we can make it next year to the 10th anniversary in Berlin.

Since there was no show on Saturday in Berlin, we decided to have a good dinner in Restaurant DUDU, my favorite place in town. We had some friends with us from Finland and that was the least we could offer them. And after DUDU we went to the NRJ after party just for one drink. And a few more. We got back to the hotel just before we were supposed check out. I felt sick for two days (Heavy Turbulence) after the party. Never again ;)

We were in Lithuania last week filming the new video for the second single “I Don’t Dance.” The idea is to bring the whole song & band to the 70’s and to have a little story around the performance. I really love the looks we had and the whole team did a really good job. Actually the video is pretty much done already and there are only a few little details they’re fixing before we let it out. I don’t know the release date yet, but we’ll keep you informed.

It was my first trip ever to Lithuania and I must say I was very positively surprised. They seem to have some great knowhow in filming and especially in special costumes and stuff. We were told that a lot of Hollywood productions have been partly filmed there for years because of the low costs and also because of the cool and fresh locations. We had more than a hundred people working with us and everybody was super nice. Special thanx to our personal assistant “Madam Boss.” And I must say I felt sorry for the folks from Poland and Lithuania who decided to come to Berlin the next weekend for our no-show… What can I say…

We stayed at the heart of the old town and it was a very beautiful spot and I must say the food was better than anywhere else. No matter what restaurant we took. And the prices were low. I don’t know if Lithuania is a great beach holiday destination, but for the city trip it was perfect! Thank you so much everyone at the shootings!! You did a really good job!

(Note: Damn these Finnair sandwiches taste good! Last time they served cranberry chicken – Yammy!! - and now it was this great mayonnaise-tuna. Mmmmm…)

After these two festivals in Austria and the two shows in Mannheim Germany, I will stay in Central Europe for a few weeks. Or even more south, depends on the weather. Lucerne, Lakes of Italy, Croatia, something. We have 3 shows at the end of next week and I don’t mind driving a bit with a fast German car.

Thank you everyone so much for the great moments again. There’s still plenty to come this summer. And make sure you get your tickets in time for the tour. Many of the clubs are already sold out. There are some challenges with the new dates in new cities and countries, but I am sure we can announce something after the summer – the latest before the next one.

(After the festival show in Graz, Austria)

I must say I was a bit tired and feeling a bit low when we took the plane this morning from Helsinki and I slept super bad last night. After the 6th song tonight, I remembered again how great all this is and I just wanted to say thank you to all you lovely people who come to our shows and make our shows perfect. Now I will sleep like a baby. You have no idea how important you all are to us and how much your support means to us. Thank You!!

Now I will have a glass of wine (I stole a bottle from the backstage) and see a few episodes of Dexter – the serial killer. I am totally addicted ;)

Rok You Soon,

Samu

PS: We had nothing to do with Osmo last week, so we decided to go to Switzerland and back with bicycles. It was fun! Yes, yes. We started the trip from Bad Säckingen, Germany and the distance to Switzerland was 200 meters… But still we didn’t fall once!! I wonder why people say my jokes are bad…


07.07.2011 Samuel
Eins Zwei Polizei

We had one of the coolest rides today in Austria from Graz to Linz. First our car broke down TWICE and as they gave up with that Opel minivan, we were already very late from the schedule. We got a taxi from Graz finally after waiting at a gas station for an hour and all seemed to be fine since we had two hours for the last 113 kilometers.

When we had 26 kilometers to go, they had to organize the police to escort us (in a CAB!!!) to the festival because of the huge traffic jam. We had been standing still for 30 minutes and without the cops, we would not have made it. We were nearly killed as the motorcycle cop drove super fast in front of us and our drives was trying to hang in. It was only a matter of seconds us hitting this big timber truck and I must say we were totally stressed as we arrived at the back stage. Of course it’s important to arrive in time, but maybe we can skip a song or two to stay alive.

We had 3 minutes to prepare ourselves before the show, but because of the GREAT Austrian crowd again, the evening was just great!!

Now we are sitting at the hotel in Linz ready for a late checkout tomorrow to Germany. Thank you again Austria and the Austrian Police for a great experience ;)

We’ll be back in Linz in August,

Samu


01.08.2011 Samu
Suomi Finland Perkele!!!

(Only In Finnish)

Ajelin äsken kotiin Turusta Down By The Laituri-keikalta ja olo on maailman ihanin!!!! Okei, siihen auttaa myös tää raikas ja vähän viileämpi yö, jollaisia ei Munkkiniemessä ole vähään aikaan koettu. Vaikka ei lämpimästä kesästä oikein viitsi Suomalaisena valittaa…

Olipahan aivan mahtava keikka!!! Lavalla oli niin kuuma että taju meinasi lähteä pariin otteeseen ja menin itse asiassa kerran kyykkyyn mikin taakse kun tuntui että silmissä sumenee. Mutta se oli sen arvoista. Pakko myöntää että suomessa usein yleisö ottaa meidät usein vähän eri tavalla kuin muualla, mutta eilisessä rokkiteltassa oli meno kuin Rock Am Ringillä konsanaan. Superia!! Ja viimeinkin mä pääsin vetämään mun suuren musiikki-idolini Märkä-Simon laineja omalle yleisölle. Oon odottanut mahdollisuutta ja eilen se unelma toteutui ;) Ulkomailla toi Jere&Villegallen biisi ei ole ihan yhtä iso hitti kuin täällä.

Me pidettiin just pari viikon loma ja oikeastaan ainoa asia mitä ollaan auringonoton ja uiskentelun lisäksi tehty oli Pitkä Kuuma Kesä Särkäniemessä viime viikolla Rikun kanssa ja nyt siis Turun keikka. Mua skidisti harmittaa että nää olivat suomen ainoat vedot kesällä toukokuisten Veikkausfestarien ja Helsinkipäivän lisäksi, mutta toivotaan että ensi kesänä olisi sitten enemmän. Ja vaikka nokkela toimittaja kirjoitti Iltasanomissa alkukesästä että meille ei riitä suomen keikkapalkkiot ja aikaiset esiintymisajat, niin kyllä meitä kovasti täällä kotomaassa kutkuttaisi esiintyä. Hassua on että juuri kun tuon haastattelun annoin, olimme soittaneet juuri keskellä päivää ilmaiseksi. Mitkä palkkiot…???? Kai se repivä otsikko pitää tehdä vaikka väkisin.

Eli nyt vaan kaikki 2012 festarityypit Livenationin Elinaan yhtyettä ;)

Syksyllä me tehdään meidän Euroopan kiertueen ensimmäinen osa, jossa on Suomen lisäksi etupäässä Saksaa, Itävaltaa ja Sveitsiä. Joulun jälkeen jatketaan uusiin maihin ja katsotaan josko saataisiin ympättyä muutama suomikeikka sekaan keväällekin.

Mä kuuntelin matkalla kotiin Teleks-yhtyeen uutta albumia. Jumalauta että on hieno!! Oli jotenkin haikea fiilis kun ajelin pimeää moottoritietä ja pojat lauloi ”kotimatkalla-” kapalettaan. Pakko sanoa että kadehdin herrojen tekstinkirjoitusta. Hienoa musaa!!

Kiitos teille ihanat ihmiset eilen Turussa ja Särkänniemessä viime viikolla! Teitte meidät todella onnellisiksi (ja hikisiksi;) ja nähdään pian uudestaan. Erikoiskiitos Sunrise Avenue Finland porukan tytöille ja onnea hienosta artikkelista Turun Sanomissa. Mä en tiedä mitä me ollaan tehty urallamme oikein, mutta pakko sanoa että meillä on maailman ihanimmat fanit & kannustusjoukot. Te ootte ihanan ymmärtäväisiä ja todella hyvä tyyppejä valtaosa. Meitä ei olisi ilman teitä. Kiitos <3

Muistakaa nauttia kesästä ja ladata akkuja. Me tarvitaan taas syksyllä teidän kannustustanne kun illat pimenevät ;) Nyt mä teen munavoita karjalanpiirakoiden kaveriksi ja sävellän mun uuden biisin valmiiksi parvekkeella. Aika siistiä ;)

Samu


10.08.2011 Samu
It’s raining in Monk Bay

I don’t know why I love sitting on this balcony when it rains. Maybe it’s my melancholic mind that feels calm when the weather is very dark and dramatic or something, but I just love the sound of rain. Actually tonight we have even thunders, so the night could not be more perfect!

We are back in business again after the summer holiday. Well, it’s still pretty easy with only one or two shows pre weekend, but it’s actually a good way to start the band life again with easy steps.

The summer has been super great! For the first time in our short history, every show has been super great and I just love the feeling and the mood in the band. Of course it helps when the radios are playing our songs as much as they do and many festival visitors know some words even from the new album’s songs.

We had three weeks off. Well, there was one weekend in Germany with three festivals and one TV show in Finland but still that didn’t spoil the holiday mood. It was the first time we had some real time off in the summer after we released the first album in 2006. This break was a very good opportunity to think about the band and everything that happened after and before releasing “Out Of Style” in March. As soon as the first single “Hollywood Hills” was released to the radios, I have been constantly on the road alone or with the guys and this holiday gave me a good chance to process my thoughts a bit. About what happened.

Before March 2011, I must say we were in a funny situation. The previous album didn’t do that well and many professionals in the industry even said Sunrise Avenue is a one hit wonder that had the moment already. And I kind of understand their analysis. Why we felt different is of course the handful of people we consider our “Inside team” and most of all you people! I told some of the doubters last year that they should come see our shows and to check out how great and loyal the fans & supporters of Sunrise Avenue have been even though there was no massive chart success with the previous album. And we thought with the guys that ok, even if we never archive another massive hit together with our supporters, we’d still love to keep on doing this circus together on a lower level.

What I am trying to say here is that after lying by a Croatian swimming pool for a while I realized how great things are. It feels so great that we can - all the band, fans, friends and our team - show the middle finger to the ones who didn’t believe in us. I feel like doing “high-five” with every single one of you! I can never tell you how much we appreciate your support and how much you all mean to us.

So… Now we are slowly losing the sun tan we managed to get in the summer and we are getting ready for the tour and the challenges before Christmas. Actually the autumn looks great. We still have many shows to keep our minds busy and to try little new stuff and arrangements on stage for the tour. We are so happy that many of the venues & Clubs have been upgraded to bigger ones because of the great ticket pre sales. We will do everything we can to make it the best Sunrise Avenue evening ever!

(It’s actually mid day already, I almost fell asleep last night listening to the rain so I finish this now…)

I just came from the gym (second week after the break, still hurts…) and will have a shower now to get fresh for this meeting down town Helsinki.

Thank you all for the great summer so far and Rock you very soon again!

Hugs,

Samu

PS: To get the best out of this blog, listen to Savage Garden’s “Affirmation.” I can’t get enough of it and the lyrics - one of the best pop lyrics ever written! Actually the whole album is great, but that track is my favorite. There are a lot of negative news about finance crisis, riots and shit going around in the world and it’s good to just sit down and breathe every now and to remember that the sun will rise again tomorrow, no matter what. I used to listen to this track a lot when I lived in Spain some years ago feeling mostly very lost and lonely. It helped. The world would be a bad place without music…


20.08.2011 Samu
A hot night in Linz, Austria

I was pretty nervous when we flew to Austria this morning because I was very sick with fever and all last week and it always takes a few days to recover fully. There’s nothing worse than a great audience when your body is just not ready for the action. I had a lot of medicine before the show and I also took a glass of whiskey on stage and some Vicks throat pastilles to make it through the night.

Now, after the show, I am sitting in my hotel room in the center of Linz and I am feeling very happy! What a great show again and what a great crowd!! It wasn’t easy and it was a bit hard singing with the pastilles in my mouth, but it was more than worth the effort. I really don’t know what has happened the last months but the shows just feel more and more relaxed every week. The highlight of the evening was the huge HOLLYWOOD sign the lovely girls in the first row lifted up in the beginning on Hollywood Hills. The letters were huge and I am sure it looked great on TV. They estimated the crowd size from 30.000 to 40.000 but anyway it was one of the greatest nights this summer!

Because of the early wakeup and my and Sami’s summer-flu-healing-process, we had to leave the back stage right away after the show, but we had a nice surprise at the hotel. Usually there are more girls than guys in our audience and also at the signing session, but this time it was only guys! A big crowd of guys from Romania had driven with their cars to see our show all the way to Austria. Great! Very nice people. I haven’t heard about a show being planned in Romania, but I just sent a message to our management & European tour agent to fix it if possible. It’s been already 3 years since we visited the country last time.

The tour start is getting closer and again today we had a planning session with the band & crew about what new stuff we wanna do on stage. I am very happy with the way the whole tour is getting together now. It’s amazing how many show dates they have already announced for next year too. And we already have festivals booked for next summer, crazy ;) Seems, as we will have a pretty busy year next year too. I think they will announce more dates for spring for more countries (I might have some inside information;) Even to places where we have never been to before. I remember that I have promised that to you - so don’t worry! We’re on it!

We will be on our way to Finland already at 6 in the morning, so the night will not be long… Looks like the summer finally got to Central Europe too. It’s 11PM 28 degrees Celsius. The summer is NOT over yet!

I will have a glass of wine and watch a Finnish movie “Veijarit” starring my friend Mikko Leppilampi now and hopefully I will fall asleep soon. In Finnish “Veijarit” sounds like a bunch of dicks and I hope the story is not about that…

See you all soon and thank you so much for the night again!!! Schlaf gut Österreich!

Hugs,

Samu


15.09.2011 Samu
Viihdeuutisia

(A few words in Finnish)

Mua jäi suuresti harmittamaan toimittaja Merja Asikaisen Iltasanomiin kirjoittama juttu viime keväänä Helsinki-päivän konsertin yhteydessä. Jutussa annettiin kuva että meitä ei kiinnosta esiintyä Suomessa, koska täällä meille maksetaan liian vähän ja joutuisimme soittamaan päiväsaikaan. Merjan jutussa on hassua etenkin se, että heti haastattelun jälkeen kiipesimme lavalle Suvilahdessa keskellä päivää - ilman palkkiota. Oli mahtava yleisö ja taas aivan ihanaa! Me meinasimme jo silloin kommentoida asiaa, mutta annettiin asian olla kun uskomme että valtaosa ajattelevasta kansasta osaa nykyään lukea viihdeuutisten otsikoita niiden ansaitsemalla vakavuudella ja enemmistöähän varmasti moinen juttu ei edes kiinnosta. Puolet eilisessä Elämä Lapselle- konsertin toimittajista kysyivät asiaan kommenttia. Eli miksi soitamme paremmalla liksalla ja suuremmille yleisöille keikkoja ulkomailla? Tarvitseeko tuohon edes vastata? Miksi Selänne pelaa Anaheimissa?

Sunrise Avenue on meille rakas bändi ja olemme poikien kanssa todella hyviä ystäviä. Mä tekisin tätä hommaa tällä porukalla ihan harrastuksenakin vaikka siitä ei saisi leipäänsä kuten nyt. Bändi kaikkine viiteryhmineen on myös liikeyritys ja business, joka työllistään suoraan ja välillisesti ruuhkabussillisen porukkaa. Etupäässä suomalaisia. Tällä porukalla on asuntolainoja, vuokramaksuja, lapsia ja muut normaalin elämän kulut ja tätä silmälläpitäen meidän on pakko tehdä ratkaisuja niin että juna pysyy liikkeessä ja kaikilla riittää leipää pöydässä. Me ollaan tehty – kuten kaikki liikeyritykset – hyviä ja huonoja ratkaisuja ja tähän asti ollaan pärjätty välillä loistavasti ja välillä rimaa hipoen. Otan itse päävastuun koko roskasta hyvässä ja pahassa. Koko tämä sirkus on mun mielestä maailman siistein juttu. Jokainen jolla on aivot päässä tiesi kaiken tämän jo lukematta mun blogiakin, mutta teille muille ihan varmuuden vuoksi.

Eräs NHL-pelaaja oli kuulemma ”dissannut” mua kusipääksi eiliselle iltapäivälehden toimittajalle, koska teemme valintojamme rahan perusteella. Erikoinen kommentti ja todella tekopyhää jeesustelua kaverilta joka on itse valinnut ”taalakaukalot.” Miksi ei itse pelaa kasvattajaseurassaan Suomessa? No ihan samasta syystä kuin miksi mekin soitamme vaikkapa Sveitsissä. NHL:ssä maksetaan enemmän, peli on kovempaa ja puitteet vielä hienommat kuin Suomessa. Ne joiden rahkeet riittävät NHL-kaukaloihin, yleensä pelaavat siellä. Sama pätee kansainvälisiin musiikkiareenoihin. Tätä ei varmasti saisi sanoa Suomessa ääneen, mutta se on totta. Siinä ei myöskään ole mitään pahaa.

Se että joku ”pääsee” NHL:ään ei ole muilta pelaajilta pois. Päinvastoin. Uusille pelaajille aukeaa näyttöpaikkoja kotikaukaloissa ja kontaktit ulkomaille paranevat kaikille. Sama musiikissa. Me ollaan viety mukanamme monta suomalaista bändiä lämppäämään meitä ulkomaille. Ulkomaisilta artisteilta saamme aina rahallisen korvauksen kun ne esiintyvät meidän yleisöillemme ennen meitä, mutta olemme halunneet jeesata omalla kustannuksellamme suomalaisia bändejä ja tarjota muillekin elämyksiä ja mahdollisuuksia vanavedessämme veloituksetta. Kaikki voittavat.

Edelliseen viitaten tulee muistaa että Sunrise Avenue on vientiyhtiö, joka hankkii lähes kaikki tulonsa ulkomailta – ja tuo kaikki killingit kiltisti Suomeen. Tällaiselle toiminnalle kannattaa kotomaassa näyttää peukkua eikä persettä, oli taloustilanne maailmalla mikä tahansa. Ja jos ei muuten vain tykkää meidän musiikistamme, meistä tai mun nuutuneesta pärstästä, eikö ole vain hienoa ettemme keikkaile Suomessa? Saatte olla rauhassa ;)

No miksi mä sitten näitä itsestäänselvyyksiä edes tänne nettiin latelen? Onhan riski että jo tänään saa jostain lukea että ”Laulaja tilittää blogissaan sitä ja tätä?” Mä kirjoitan tän teille ihanille suomalaisille ihmisille ja faneille, jotka olette tukeneet meitä koko uramme ajan. Ilman teitä me ei koskaan oltaisi päästy kiinni unelmaamme ja mä renkuttaisin kitaraani edelleen etupäässä omalla sohvallani. Mä toivon ja uskon että te tiedätte että ne valitettavan vähäiset keikat Suomessa ovat meille ihanaa nannaa ja esimerkiksi Turun Down By The Laiturin keikka oli meille yksi kiireisen kesän kohokohdista. Toivottavasti päästään ensi kesänä uudestaan.

Ei käy aina kateeksi Suomen LiveNationin Elinaa kun kotimaan festaritarjoukset jyrätään ulkomaan suurempien kuvioiden edestä, mutta ihanaa Ellu että jaksat silti painaa. Kiitos!

Me tullaan edelleen pitämään kiinni siitä että suomessa mahdollisimman moni keikka olisi ikärajaton. Me hävitään siinä joka kerta reilusti rahaa, mutta meille merkkaa enemmän se, että paikalle pääsevät ne jotka sinne haluavat. Klubille tai ravintolalle – ja sitä kautta meille - olisi kannattavampaa saada asiakkaiksi enemmän alkoholia nauttivia täysi-ikäisiä ihmisiä alaikäisten limunjuojien sijaan. Meille merkkaa enemmän se että on kivaa. Meillä ja teillä. Helsingin Circuksen keikka lokakuussa on ikärajaton, Tervetuloa! Ulkomailla ei näitä k-18 keikkoja oikein edes tunneta vaan kaikki musiikki on kaikenikäisille ja keikat alkavat iltayhdeksältä.
Hyvää syksyä & Nähdään Lokakuussa!

Samu

PS: Musta on sairaan siistiä että Veikkauksella on kisa, jossa he lennättävät kisavoittajat Itävaltaan, Wieniin meidän areenakeikalle. Se meno poikkeaa rajusti Vantaan Tulisuudelman keikasta, joka sekin on aivan helvetin siistiä – käsi sydämellä. Se on vain erilaista. (www.veikkaus.fi)

PPS: Kiitos kaikki ihanat eilisestä! Pakko sanoa että yllätyin suuresti siitä miten ihanasti otitte meidät taas kerran vastaan Hartwallilla. Ja jos joku sai videolle sen mun kohelluksen kun horjahdin ja meinasin vetää elämäni ”pannut” suorassa lähetyksessä, deletoikaa ne videot heti! ;)


18.09.2011 Samu
New tour dates

(Dates in Finland, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg, France, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic)

After a super busy summer I am sitting at home drinking café latte all alone. It’s raining outside and they say the winds are the remains of the hurricane that was spanking the eastern coast of the US last week. I don’t mind. I have a day off, ahhh ;)

Thousands of fans & people have approached us requesting a show in countries we never or barely visited. This is why after releasing our new album last spring I told our Tour Agent to take action in new countries in Europe. The shows in the new areas will be pretty small and intimate compared to the places we visited more often. And I love that! You can hear & smell everyone in the room and with these smaller clubs; the shows are always special in a different way.

Getting to play in new cities is always a challenge. Before people know you there, nobody wants to book you at their clubs. And without shows in the city, it’s hard to get the people to know you. We call this the “Chicken – Egg situation” in Finland. Who comes first, Mister egg or Madam Chicken? We decided not to be “Chicken” ;)

What you see on our official website (www.sunriseave.com) is pretty much what our schedule looks like until the end of March. There are many plans for the summer and autumn of 2012 in these countries and some more. We have divided the “October 2011 – March 2012” tour in two sections because we need to fix some show and technical details a bit different for the spring. In some countries the venues are bigger than this year and we need “Bigger stage stuff” and in some the clubs are smaller and we will focus on our4selves and the crowd. ( Did I already mention that I love that ;). These changing facilities are a huge challenge for the crew but I am sure our tech boys will make it right. And it’s also a way to keep the tour fresh and exciting for us too since every night will be even more different than usually.

There’s actually a funny situation in February. First we perform in Dusseldorf with the capacity of 7500 viewers (How cool is that!!!!). A few days later we are booked in Paris with 120 people maximum ;) The biggest down side with the small stages is that we will probably hit each other with our guitars and basses because we are used to space on stage. Sorry Riku & Raul… Any scar on these faces will only make us look better ;)

What has been amazing so far is the amount of support from the fan clubs and folks also from the countries we barely ever visited and it’s so cool that we have seen so many Polish Fans at the shows in Germany or the Slovakian gang at the shows in Vienna. Just to mention a few. Now it’s definitely the time for us to get to where you are.

No matter what happens and no matter if our songs would take us to more countries in the future, we will always remember where it all started and we will always value that. I am trying to say that even if there would be new areas we would start visiting more often, we will never forget the people who have made us what we are today. You helped us climb a bit closer to our dream. Without you I’d still be playing my guitar on my home sofa.

So… Maybe this is the moment where we could use your help. Now it’s also up to you if there will be more shows in your home city in the future. I heard about some fan clubs & people approaching the local record labels & promoters already to make it happen together. That demands us to give you the best we ever can. No matter if there’s 4 people in the crowd. (Would actually be cool to have more people in the crowd than on stage ;)

We are super excited about the journey ahead and I can’t wait to start the caravan. See you very soon. Let’s rock the hell out of it!

Samu

PS. Thank you Jura Switzerland for this great coffee machine & great coffee! Was a perfect birthday present last spring! I am addicted…;)


11.10.2011 Samu
Pizza, Love and Understanding

(Suomeksi alla)

It’s not after every show that we have a party at the back stage but last Saturday at Circus in Helsinki the after show party was better & worse than ever. Half of the city was there and to be honest I didn’t know half of the people. Fortunately nobody got hurt (apart from one black eye) even though some guys had little fights and I hope they were able to clean the mess.

So… The festival season is over and we ended it with style in Berlin a week ago in front of an estimated 750.000 viewers. That was just fantastic. I heard from our sound guys that they didn’t allow bands to play that loud but I didn’t see any low-volume-frustration in the crowd. It was one of my short life’s coolest moments when they / you all sang our choruses with us. It’s not every October night when the weather is that great in Berlin. It was + 25 in the evening as we got on stage. The air was like magic. Like from a fairytale gone really good!

So last week was mostly about rehearsing the club / arena show set we’re gonna perform this year. And it seemed to work - my God! I have sometimes complained about the Finnish audience being a bit passive and quiet, but that was all totally gone in Club Circus. The night was one of the best nights with our band ever – definitely the number 1 show in Finland!

Before the show we were all nervous like little boys before the first date, and after sharing the night with the great crowd, we felt like hugging everyone. And we actually did. There was this couple at the back stage and I thought the girl was one of my sister’s friends, so I hugged her with all the passion just 3 minutes after the show. I had never met her before. I hope said sorry...
I don’t know whose idea it was to just let EVERYONE in at the backstage, but the party was worth it. I remember ordering a few hundred bottles of beer, many bottles of stronger stuff and all the food in the world for our guests. I don’t wanna see the invoice for that night – sorry guys ;)

I just came from the gym and I am over my hang over now. Yesterday’s theme was “Pizza, love and understanding” as they say in the Finnish Pizza commercial.

On Saturday we will fly to Moscow for our first Russian show in a long time. I really don’t know what to expect but the crowd has been superb there every time so we should be fine. The show is on Sunday so we’ll finally have some time to check out the huge city with the guys.
After Moscow we will head to Sweden, and then south to more shows, but that will be another blog…;)

I am lying on the bed with a glass of wine. I am gonna fall asleep watching Crash – the movie. I’ve seen it once but it’s definitely good enough for a second run.

Sleep well – where ever you are & a big hug for everyone for last Saturday night

Samu

PS: Check out Anna´s pictures from Helsinki show at facebook.com/sunriseavenue. A talented little girl ;)

***********************************

MOI!!!!

Olipahan aikamoinen keikka lauantaina Circuksessa!!! Mä olen joskus myöntänyt että meno ulkomailla on usein kovempaa – ja näin on ollutkin, mutta lauantainen meininki oli jotain niin huikeata ettei meinattu poikien kanssa uskoa todeksi. Kiitos

Viime viikko oli aika erikoinen. Me oltiin kaikki jotenkin hermostuneen oloisia ja tuli jopa tiuskittua toisilleen treeneissä kun harjoiteltiin lauantaina alkaneen rundin uusia juttuja ja sovituksia. Festarikesän lopetus Berliinissä 750.000 ihmiselle (ja ne jatkobileet; ) ehkä painoi vähän, mutta jotenkin Helsingin keikka tuntui pyörivän kaikkien mielessä enemmän kuin keikat normaalisti ja päiviä ennen h-hetkeä.

No treeneistä selvittiin hienosti ja keikkapäivänä vedettiin ihan kunnon neljän tunnin treenit päivällä. Treeneissä on vaikea saada keikkafiilistä päälle kun ei ole yleisöä ja siksi kaikki meistä soitti vähän lepsusti. Siitäkin jäi vähän hassu fiilis että mitenköhän homma illalla kulkee. Ja kaiken lisäksi meille tuli lauantaille kaikki uudet langattomat mikrofonit ja lähettimet ja pakko myöntää että kun on laulanut ja pitänyt kädessään tietynlaista ja tietynpainoista mikkiä kolme vuotta, tuntui uusi parempi mutta myös painavampi kapula oudolta. Ärsytti.

Sound chekin jälkeen me mentiin Samin kanssa meille relaamaan ja katsomaan UrhoTV:ltä TPS-HIFK matsia että saataisiin ajatukset pois keikasta. Matsikaan ei mennyt ihan putkeen.

Enne keikkaa annettiin muutama haastattelu ulkomaisille toimittajille ja tavattiin MetroFM:n kisavoittajat ja päästiin sovitusti 60 minuuttia ennen keikkaa valmistautumaan ja suorittamaan kukin omia rutiinejamme. Se on hassua miten sitä maasta tai kaupungista riippumatta ottaa aina tunti ennen keikkaa kahvin, vetää röökin ja sitten alkaa tankkaamaan vettä ja punnertamaan ja verryttelemään. Mä laitan yleensä viimeisenä kuulokkeet päähän ja pienen ihoteipin selkään että piuhat pysyy ojennuksessa. 10 minuuttia ennen sovittua aloitusaikaa kaikki on yleensä about valmiina. Juuri ennen keikkaa me laitetaan kaikki nyrkit yhteen (aina kaksi miestä kerrallaan) ja katsotaan tiukasti toisiamme silmiin. Siinä ikään kuin sovitaan että mennään antamaan parastamme ja pitämään hauskaa. Me ei koskaan mennä lavalle ilman tuota viimeistä ryhmähetkeä. Se on oikeasti aika hieno hetki. Kaikkia vähän jännittää ja perhoset pyörii mahassa.
On todella outoa soittaa ilman sen suurempia paineita yli puolelle miljoonalle ihmiselle, mutta kun reilun tuhannen ihmisen salissa on kaikkien perheet, serkut ja koulukaverit, kaikilla tutisee puntti. Luulisi että ne ihmiset meidät viimeisenä tuomitsisivat.

En muista montaa niin ihanaa 90-minuuttista kuin mitä lauantaina lavalla koin. Ja fiilis oli koko porukalla sama. Ihan mieletön tunnelma ja herran jestas että te lauloitte kovaa. Pakko buukata keväälle vaikka väkisin lisää keikkoja Suomeen. Oli jo vähän puhetta suomalaisen keikka-agentin kanssa. Ja koko orkesteri including uusi kitarateknikko Antti selviytyi operaatiosta todella hienosti. Mä mokasin Sweet Symphonyssä yhden lauletun rivin verran kun tunteet valtasi mielen. Se oli kuitenkin biisin ensiesitys ja olin odottanut sitä kovasti. Ihminen minäkin vain olen ;)

Circuksen ja etenkin niiden jatkobileiden jälkeen sunnuntain teema oli ”Pizza, Love & Understanding…” Nyt ollaan taas hengissä ja tulin just salilta ;)

Seuraavaksi on vuorossa Moskova. Ollaan oltu siellä kaksi kertaa aikaisemmin ja molemmilla kerroilla siellä on ollut tosi hyvä meininki. Vaikea sanoa tuleeko sinne kuinka paljon porukkaa meitä katsomaan, mutta se on sen ajan murhe. Mua aina vähän jännittää onko sali ihan tyhjä kun aloitetaan. Ja välillähän se onkin vain puolillaan jossain uusissa maissa mutta ei se maailmaa kaada. Me mennään Moskovaan jo päivää ennen keikkaa, joten viimein saadaan tutustua suureen kaupunkiin edes vähän. Moskovan jälkeen suuntaamme Ruotsin kautta Keski-Eurooppaan mutta siitä myöhemmin lisää.

Nyt mä katson uudestaan Crash-elokuvan. Se on sairaan hyvä ja kestää useammankin katselukerran. Kohta vaivun uneksimaan tulevista keikoista ja HIFK:n voittoputkesta ja uusista kitaroista.

Kiitos kaikille vielä ihanasta illasta ja toivotaan että niitä tulee tännekin lisää.
Kauniita unia kaikille,

Samu

PS: Tsekkaa Annan ottamat kuvat Helsingin keikalta facebook.com/sunriseavenue. Aika pätevä plikka ;)


22.10.2011 Samu
?????????????& Heja Sverige

Stockholm, Göta Kellare October 20th

Here we are, finally! It’s the third show of the tour but now we finally start the “tour bus part” where we travel and live together with the band & crew. Imagine how lucky the guys are. They get to hear all my great jokes & life wisdoms every day…!!!

The first two shows of the tour were in Helsinki 10 days ago and in Moscow last Sunday. After a great evening in Helsinki we didn’t know what to expect in Moscow – especially since it was almost two years again since the last visit. Two years ago the locals told us they had problems promoting the show and therefore the club was not that packed. Was still fun though.

This time everyone had done a great job. First of all the venue (Moscow Arena) was one of the coolest venues ever and the crowd was just super great. Seemed like the promoting went better this time. It was very cool meeting the Russian fans & friends after the show. Mr Russian promoter told me he would like to have us back there soon – maybe already in the spring – so we keep our fingers crossed ;)

We also heard that the Russian gymnastic Olympic winner sometimes practices with our music, so of course we had to invite here to the show (I totally lost her name…). It’s good to finally know why the Russians are so good with sports. It’s the music they listen to ;)

So, today we are in Sweden, Stockholm and pretty ready for the show. We have a lot of friends and family coming over again, but not as much as there was in Helsinki the other week. So I bet we won’t be that nervous this time.

I wonder what songs we should put on the list today… Maybe not the “Den Glider In” ice hockey theme song. Probably they are still pissed at us Finns stealing their Ice Hockey gold last spring…;)

Flight SK2625 Stockholm – Dusseldorf, October 21st

Here we go again! We sat at the airport for probably 4 hours but in a way it was nice to have the time for a long lunch and some Internet surfing.

Of course Osmo had to sing “Den Glider in” last night in Stockholm and Riku joined Osmo with many Swedish ever greens at “destiny.” I gotta say it felt a bit strange performing to such a small crowd, but honestly I had very much fun! Even though I hit my head pretty hard when I got back on stage. And of course everyone saw it. I’m ok. It’s not the first hit on this full-bone-head of mine.

Since the pickup today was after 12 PM today, we had to have a few beers downtown with the guys and some local friends. If you ever go to Sweden, you gotta try their “Pytt i Panna.” That saved my day after the beers and I am feeling great!

Today we only make some plans for tomorrow and the rest of the tour. The stages are getting bigger now and I guess out of the 20 shows, there are tickets left to only a few of them. And they already upgraded the venues from the originals. This night we will all sleep in our own hotel rooms but from tomorrow on the bus will be our home on the show days and I have kind of missed that. The great tour bus jokes…;) Sami has this thing with the Eastern Finnish dialect saying “Wittu minnuu Wituuttaa ja väsyyttää kokoo ajaa…” and I guess that is one of the themes for the trip ;)

Anyway… Thank you all so much for the great evenings in Moscow & Stockholm and hope to see you soon again.
Samu

PS: R.I.P. HIFK guitar. Hope you will find a good new home soon. Thank you Carparelli & Amplisonic for the new customized baby ;)


22.10.2011
Press Announcement – Osmo Ikonen

Osmo betting team

As we all know, our dear keyboard player Osmo Ikonen usually loses half of his things on the road. This time we wanted to reward him if he puts himself together if we don’t have to stop on the highways looking for his wallet or headphones.

We made a bet. If Mr. Ikonen doesn’t lose anything until November 13th, Samu Haber and tour manager Basty will pay him 100 € both (Total 200€). If Osmo does lose something on the way, Osmo pays both 10 € (20 € Total).

The results will be announced on November the 14th.


23.10.2011 Samu
We need s shrink!!

What a show in Rheine yesterday!!! We were pretty tired after the wakeup 7:15 AM on the show day and we also had a lot to do, since it was the first show with that technical production and I gotta say, there was some bad vibes in the air too during the day. That’s totally normal…

After stepping on the stage in the evening – it all got great ;) I remembered again how great it is to have a stage in two levels and a little cat walk kind of a thing in the front.

We also received awards yesterday for “Sold Out Tour 2011” in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. That has never happened to us before. More than 40.000 viewers in 3 weeks & 18 shows. There are still a few tickets left for some of the cities, but they promised us they will all be gone by the show day. So much for my empty room phobia. Thank you so much for being there for us again!!!

After a super great show in Rheine yesterday it was the first night in the bus this fall. I don’t remember falling asleep that fast ever before and I passed out at 2 AM and woke up at 1 PM. Nice.

Riku told me he had this strange dream last night and I thought I should get your help interpreting the little movie made by his mind.

Riku’s dream:

“We had a show in Helsinki again at club Circus. Everything was fine before the show but then Mr. Karri Soilamo (Who has been out crew leader for years) had come into the club with his friends. They had been drinking this strange alcohol and finally the got Samu drinking with them at their nasty drinking session. Samu kept on drinking and as the show started, Samu could not sing and actually he couldn’t stand. He was so wasted.

The crew took Samu backstage and the next thing Riku saw on TV (On stage!!! Does he have a TV there…?) was the Arabic TV station reporting from Libya that Samu is dying after the huge drinking and obviously a battle too. The thing was being reported all over the world, of course. Samu was all covered with blood and there were paramedics trying to rescue him, but it was obviously too late.

Riku got very angry at Karri and his drinking gang and he decided to go kick their asses for making Samu in such bad condition. Riku was on his to the back stage to give these idiots a lesson when he woke up...”

Then he woke up in our bus and saw me sleeping next to him on the other side of the bus.

If there’s anyone out there with some knowledge of dreams, please send instructions what to do ;)

Thank you all for a great night in Reine last night and see you today and tomorrow in Hamburg at the Reeperbahn legendary Grosse Freiheit!!

I am off to sound check. Hopefully Karri and his gang don’t show up today…

Samu


25.10.2011 Samu
Hamburg & Hamburg

I am sitting at the backstage in Hannover after the sound check. I am listening to the Tappara –HIFK ice hockey game though Metro FM Internet portal and after what’s been going on with our beloved team the last weeks, it’s interesting how their game will develop.

We played two nights in a row at the legendary Grosse Freiheit 36 at Hamburg Reeperbahn. The club is right next to the striptease bars and “love” houses and I must admit it’s pretty cool having a cigarette before the show together with the ladies in fish nets and then we mentally “high five” and both go to work ;)

The double show in Hamburg was the first time in the band’s history when we have two nights sold out in a row in one city. When we saw the presale numbers in June, we first thought of moving the show to a bigger sports arena or something, but we really needed the cool rock club for this trip. Was a good decision! And these two nights went definitely both to my top 10 shows of all times. I was just listening the 2nd Hamburg show and it sound so amazing ;)

We are recording the whole tour again and just like with the acoustic tour, we will again choose the best sounding versions and we will make a live album of this tour to be released sometime next year.

Tappara-HIFK 1-0 after 6 minutes. God please help….
I am not feeling super great today. My nose is stuck and throat feels a bit strange but I bet I’ll be ok in the evening as the light go off. Keep your fingers crossed…
Thank you everyone for super amazing shows in Hamburg and see you very very soon!

Hugs,

Samu



Press Announcement – Osmo Ikonen (Keyboards)

26.10.2011 Samu

The original bet placed on October 22nd was:

“If Mr. Ikonen doesn’t lose anything until November 13th, Samu Haber and tour manager Basty will pay him 100 € both (Total 200€). If Osmo does lose something on the way, Osmo pays both 10 € (20 € Total).”

We are very happy to announce that Mr. Ikonen lost this bet by forgetting his stage shirt in Hamburg after the second Hamburg show.

Mr. Ikonen pays Tour manager - Basty & Mr. Haber 10 € each.
After a little battle both parties decided to double the amount, so now the modified bet is ongoing with 40 vs 400 Euro Ikonen vs Haber & Basty

The period ends on November 14th 2011.

Sunrise Avenue gambling department want to congratulate both winners and spank Mr. Ikonen.


Hot rum & honey in Berlin

26.10.2011 Samu

I just woke up and had dinner with the band guys at this great Indian restaurant at Carmerstrasse, butter chicken as usual – very good again! I have slept most of the day because I felt a bit sick already last night during the show and sleeping is the best way of getting rid of the unwanted viruses in you system. Ok, I also ordered 4 shots of rum and honey from the hotel bar and I am mixing them with hot water. It’s cool that they have a water boiler in every room at this American-French hotel.

It’s pretty scary how every night after the show we have valued the current evening’s show as the best so far on tour. I mean mostly thinking about our playing etc., but also the crowd noise and stuff. And it happened last night again in Hannover. I love the Capitol Club. The audience is on two floors and I guess everyone can see the stage pretty well. The crowd sounded so loud last night.

Sometimes the crowd sounds louder because of the structure of the room or the building materials and sometimes they are just louder ;)

The scary thing is that at some point on every tour, there is at least one show where we are not that happy with our own performance. Most of these tiny mistakes don’t probably even show to the crowd but it always effects on the other band members when some one plays totally wrong. Hope that day is not tomorrow.

Tomorrow we also film the whole show at Columbia Halle in Berlin and there are several service providers who will broadcast the show on the web too. I will put a link at the end of this blog. Being full of slime was not on my wish list for tomorrow night, but what can you do. We have a good survival pack for moments like this at the backstage. I hope the bus flu goes away soon and we get to enjoy the rest of the trip healthy.

Thank you all for the great night in Hannover. I listened to the show on tape today and it sounded amazing!!!

Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow and lest rock the arena like hell again!!

Hugs,

Samu

PS. Hot rum and Honey (and lemon) is a great way of getting rid of flu. Trust me – I’ve been there many times ;)

http://www.muzu.tv/gb/sunriseavenue/


Berlin & Dresden

29.10.2011 Samu

How the hell is it so warm here in Germany??? Me like ;) I was just sitting outside the arena and writing songs with Osmo.

We woke up today in Mannheim and the sky is blue and the sun in shining. I am still feeling a bit weak, although very much better already.

It’s so strange that on every tour, there is one show when we feel totally depressed after the show. Not because of the crowd or anything you people can effect on, it’s only because of our own performance. And probably it has something to do with the tour start nervousness being away after the first few shows. This time it happened in Berlin. I must admit I was very ill and singing was super hard work all through the show. Sami also had a little fever and you can just imagine how it feels sitting in the noise and hitting all the cymbals when your head hurts.

After the Berlin show we were all just sitting down at the backstage floor and the mood wasn’t that great. We even had to skip a few songs from the set list because the voice just didn’t come out from my throat. That always feels very annoying.

There were a lot of people from the music business watching the show and also family and we were a bit amazed when they said the show was great… We thought they maybe wanna cheer us up. We decided after the Berlin show that we’ll probably not gonna use the show as a DVD release in the future. That was trhe feeling then.

I heard the more than 50.000 people watched it online. We were also a bit surprised how good the feed back was on Facebook etc. Thank you all for your kind words!! <3

We did a lot better in Dresden last night. I was actually quite satisfied with us all. And the crowd was amazing, just like in Berlin. The arena was a very cool old butcher house where the animals used to end their days in the past for dinner purposes. There were also a few dogs and a sweet black cat, so I had some help for my animal sickness. Love them! I gave the cat so much butter and sweets that she must be so fat today. But we became good friends ;)

After the Dresden show Riku found some clips of the Berlin show web stream. We were all super amazed. Actually it looked and sounded super great and we must think about the DVD option again. It was also the first time I saw Timo’s (our new lightning designer) work live. W-O-W! His lightning work is SO much better than his jokes in the bus!!!!

So… everyone’s feeling way better today and we are ready to rock Mannheim 102%. This is the city where we played our second biggest festival ever this summer. I heard there were more than 300.000 viewers at the Arena of POP even though it rained that day. In Berlin in October there were a bit more… I was kind of hoping we’d play at the cool Capitol Club, it’s one of the coolest in Europe with the opera-feeling. But what we have today is actually even cooler. And Bigger ;)

Thank you all so much for the great two shows and the super support again and see you all soon.

Peppermint tea & Love & Understanding to everyone,

Samu


Sunrise Avenue Bowling tournament © 2011

30.10.2011 SABT Staff

2011 Sunrise Avenue Bowling Tournament ©

HOLLYWOOD BOWLING ARENA, Stuttgart, Germany

October 30th 2011.

The German Mercedes-Benzes and Porsche town Stuttgart had the pleasure this year to host the annual and legendary Sunrise Avenue Bowling Tournament © 2011. The Hollywood Bowling Arena was filled with viewers and fans as the competitors arrived at the arena a few minutes before the event. The victory was taken by the band’s lead singer Samu Haber (178 points), who took the gold medal on the 4th round right before the band’s lead guitarist Riku Rajamaa (170) and the new tour guitar technician Antti Toiviainen (167).

Haber took his first victory of all times “from the bushes” since his first two rounds went totally bad and nobody saw him as a winner candidate. The third round was already better and the fourth was just a glorious victory march towards the desired shiny SABT award ©.

“I had a pretty bad start and I thought this was not my day at all. The first two rounds went below my skills and I had problems even getting more than the minimum hundred points required to get to the band sauna after the competition”, says Haber after a champagne glass. “I knew that Riku would be my worst enemy on any sports because he just seems to get the puck in any net better than anyone in the gang, but today I just got everything right in the end. Even on the fourth round I had problems with my front leg position but luckily I got it fixed on critical moments with my staff”

The singer was clearly happy for his victory and sent warm thanks to all his bowling fans and also a huge hug to his family at home for supporting him during the hard bowling training period before the tournament.

“This hasn’t been easy – not for me and not for the people supporting me all the way. There were some moments when most of us must have felt like it’s not worth the effort, but as we can all enjoy the results now, I bet nobody regrets the work we all did together. I would never be here without you all!”

Most of the betting agencies were sure that Riku Rajamaa would make the highest score. Mr. Rajamaa was actually leading the competition until the end of the last round and losing the shiniest medal right in the end wasn’t pleasant at all.

“I gave my everything today and that wasn’t enough. Shit tastes in my mouth now but I’ll swallow it anyway – what else can I do? First I thought that bowling was fun but now I realized it sucks! I think I am gonna change bowling to something else and the only balls I will keep close to me are in my pants”, Rajamaa cursed with the silver medal on him.

Rajamaa is still the leading competitor in the Sunrise Avenue All Time Sports Hero © lifelong tournament and his skills will most definitely show again soon as the more important games start.

The Bronze medalist Antti Toiviainen was a huge question mark to everyone since it was his first time at Sunrise Avenue Bowling Tournament ©.

“Great evening! I got myself in the game pretty well and after the nervousness in the first round, I got my spin and backhand working all right. The track was a bit more slippery than the ones we have in Southern Karelia, but today my balls seemed to obey my orders as they should.“
The freshman also wanted to send some greetings in Finnish back home:

“Minnuu ei vituuuta nyt yhtään!”

The Sunrise Avenue Elite Superman Sports Tournament © continues later this year with Go Cart racing and pool tournament.

Statistics and Results

Competitors:

Timo “Pornokeisari” Saarinen
Basty “Saku” Duellmann
Osmo “Oki” Ikonen
Riku “Rixa” Rajamaa
Samu “Hapa” Haber
Antti “OnlyGibson” Toiviainen
Mikko “Gorilla” Salonen
Mikko-Pekka “Ämpee” Laine.
Injured or away:
Sami “Osama” Osala (was sick in bed)
Raul “Ile” Ruutu (Didn’t join because he had been to the Mercedes-Benz museum earlier that day. A tough one…)

End results:

1. Samu “Hapa” Haber 178
2. Riku “Rixa” Rajamaa 170
3. Antti “OnlyGibson” Toivoainen 167

Sunrise Avenue Bowling Tournament © staff want to congratulate the winners!


Adler Mannheim

30.10.2011 Samu

I am wearing only my woolen socks made by Granma & my loyal Superdry college shorts and I am enjoying my afternoon in a nice French-American hotel in Stuttgart. The throat feels better and better every day and I would say tomorrow I am fully back again after the flu-slimy period.

Last night we performed in Mannheim at this very nice and modern rock club and I am totally happy again. All the band members are feeling pretty much OK again, well Osmo said he’s feeling a little fever kind of thing in him, but I guess that can go away with the day off we are all enjoying today. It’s only Sauna, bed and of course a traditional bowling session in the evening crew against band. The crew guys have no chance!

Was a super great show and a super crowd too last night. Again – one of the loudest. Already before the tour I thought it would do good for the show if we change the set list a little bit every night. We stay more focused if the songs are no the same. Last night we felt like trying songs we haven’t played in a long time. Birds and Bees was such an energy booster and the only downside was that the mood got so energetic with that song that it was hard to figure out something suitable to say about “Welcome To My Life” right after all the tigers on stage. “Kiss Goodbye” also felt nice even though the words didn’t come to my mind that clear ;)

We got the HD material from the Berlin show last night after the show and damn it looked good! It’s quite cool how you don’t actually see that we are sick & tired. It looked super great and we might use the footage somehow after all… The TV guys really knew what they were doing. It was also cool to see our lightning designer Timo’s handwork for the first time. I love him <3 In the crew guy way.

Timo is also a part time ninja and he doesn’t like it too much when Sami hugs him in the night. And we have some secret German sausage deals with him – but let’s keep all that between Timo and me.

So… Today we go bowling and I need to freshen up and get ready for the battle. The room service just brought me a fresh café latte and I guess it’s a good moment to end writing and to read some ice hockey news from Finland.
Thank you all for the great night in Mannheim and see you all very soon. It’s a beautiful day outside at least here in Stuttgart. So go out and enjoy it- there are not many left…

Hugs,

Samu

PS. We almost saw Agnus Young in the bus last night at 4:00 AM as Antti, my guitar hero technician got loose with AC/DC. I am still amazed!

PPS. It’s so strange how the Germans don’t have a problem with anything. In many countries when you say “Thank You” to the room service guy or the waiter at a restaurant, they say “You’re welcome.” Here they say “No Problem.” Why should there be a problem anyway… Germans… They’re sweet! Check it out next time you are being served by them…;) NO Problem!


Dortmund backstage

04.11.2011 Samu

Here we are at backstage again, today in Dortmund and ready for the next four shows. On the last run we did Filderstadt, Cologne and Saarbrucken and the resting day was more than welcome. I am drinking Peppermint tea – makes the throat feel awesome. Sami’s idea…

It’s the first time we are this sick with the band and crew on tour. As soon as someone gets a cold or something, everyone gets it in the bus. Then it’s really hard to get well since there can be four show days in a row and jumping and sweating on stage is not actually what a doctor would recommend when being sick. It just takes longer to recover.

Filderstadt felt pretty ok even though the energy levels were not where they’re supposed to be when you’re on stage. Cologne was definitely the hardest one on this tour so far. Even though we received gold awards for the album “Out Of Style” and platinum for Hollywood Hills, we just couldn’t rock it fully. The crowd felt pretty quiet as well, but maybe it was just the room’s acoustics. And of course mostly our mood. I must say I am still very proud of Sami and how he has been fighting through the shows even with fever.

Saarbrucken was already better in many ways and I hope that we will not get on the Cologne level again on this tour. We have now four shows in a row (Dortmund, Giessen, Munich, Zurich) and it will be a circus job resting as much as possible and saving all the energy for the stage. I have faith in us ;)

However, this has been far the nicest trip with Sunrise Avenue ever and I am very sure the second half will be even better especially after we get rid of the flu. Thank you all so much for everything so far and tonight we rock again!!!

Hugs,

Samu

PS: Last night we went go-cart racing to get the thoughts a bit away from the tour. Our special sports reporter will make a full review on the race and results later ;)

PPS. One good thing with this flu this is that we are saving so much money alcohol because there are no parties. I don’t know where we are gonna leave all the full bottles after the tour…;)


Sunrise Avenue Go-Cart Race © 2011

05.11.2011 Sunrise Avenue Sports News

2011 Sunrise Avenue Go-Cart Race ©

Highway Kart Racing, Dortmund, Germany

November 3rd 2011.

The German city of Dortmund hosted this year’s traditional and legendary Sunrise Avenue Go-Cart race. After a two-year break and drivers’ salary negotiations between the driver association and Race organization the race got a huge attention on the press and the arena was filled with racing fans from all over the world. Team Audio Gorillas took a double victory as Mikko Salonen took his first-ever gold medal right before his teammate Tuomas Hollmerus. Gibson Ultimate Fighting Team’s Samu Haber took the third place after a hard and exciting race.

The race was full of drama as Gibson Ultimate Fighting Team’s driver’s Riku Rajamaa’s car broke down after only four laps. Also the winning team protested against each other after the race. Hollmerus claimed that Salonen had crashed him on purpose, but the jury saw no reason for any penalty after the race.

Salonen was not surprised for his victory after the race. “I had a good summer preparing myself for the new season and I kind of felt fast today. When I woke up in the morning before the race, I knew this would be my day. Already at the qualifying I felt much faster than the rest and everything just went as planned. It’s very sad that Hollmerus can’t accept the fact that again today I was faster. If his mental abilities are that low, he will have to get used to looking at my tail lights many times this season. At Audio Gorillas there are two drivers and only one of them was signed as the main driver. And everyone – also Tuomas - knows who I am talking about.”

“After my career’s first victory, I had a big party with my own staff in a park nearby with all the gorillas and we celebrated until the morning. It’s a shame Tuomas didn’t join us”, Salonen shivers with an obvious hangover after the night’s events.

Hollmerus was of course happy for his eight points and also hopeful for the team’s well-started season. “Of course I am quite happy. I had a god race and I was able to keep Haber behind me. He was my biggest threat before the race and beating him felt great. Haber was right behind me most of the race especially after the second safety car and I had to squeeze all I had in my ass to keep him where he belongs. It’s not a nice feeling having him breathing on your neck – you never know what he is up to.”

The whole audience stopped breathing as the leading team crashed onto each other on the second last round. The situation didn’t make Hollmerus happy. “I must repeat my words about Mikko’s behavior on the track. There are certain rules on how much contact you can make with other drivers and Salonen went over the edge. But I must forget this event now and focus on the next one. I have many possibilities this season showing the world who is the fastest driver in the world. With Mr. Salonen’s attitude, I bet his downhill will start sooner or later”, Hollmerus stated.

The betting agencies’ favorite, Gibson Ultimate Fighting Team’s first race didn’t go as planned. Riku Rajamaa’s car broke down and Mr. Haber was left behind by the Audio Gorillas. It was the first time ever in Sunrise Go-Cart Racing © history when a Gibson car broke during the race. Rajamaa was clearly disappointed.

“I am so angry at the brainless idiot in our team who fixed my car for the race. Obviously you must do everything yourself in this world to make things work and you can’t rust no one– even in your own team. I was just on my fastest lap and I was right behind Haber and MP (Volvo Weller) on the 5th place and ready to strike. I felt like throwing my helmet on the idiot security staff as they asked if I’m ok. Of course I was not ok. I was emotionally hurt, lonely and frustrated.”

Rajamaa didn’t see much light at the end of the tunnel even though it was the first race of the season. “I don’t know… I am so pissed right now that I guess it’s better if I skip the whole season. And to my family at home; I am not gonna come home for a while. I need some time to think about life now. I have this feeling inside me that I can only describe in Finnish: Vit**taa ku Apassia! Merry Christmas everyone!”

Haber was hopeful about the team’s future even though Rajamaa nearly punched the reporters on the face. “Ok race. The Gorillas’ speed was a tiny surprise to me but I know we can also do better. Qualifying didn’t go as planned and I started as fourth. I knew MP would make a mistake in front of me at some point and I am happy I was able to use my opportunity as he got nervous on the third round. Pity that Riku’s car didn’t work today but there will be a new chance soon. I’m happy for the points and it was a good start for me. Riku will be back, I’m sure.”

Stats:

Individual:

1. Mikko Salonen, Audio Gorillas (10p)
2. Tuomas Hollmerus, Audio Gorillas (8)
3. Samu Haber, Gibson Ultimate Fighting Team (7)
4. Osmo Ikonen, Beat & Box Racing (6)
5. Ilkka “Raul” Ruutu, Volvo-Weller (5)
6. Mikko-Pekka Laine, Volvo-Weller (4)
7. Timo Saarinen, Kovat Miehet (3)
8. Antti Toiviainen, Kovat Miehet (2)
9. Sami Osala, Beat & Box Racing (1)

Disqualified:  Riku Rajamaa, Gibson Ultimate Fighting team.

Teams start 2011:

1. Audio Gorillas (18)
2. Volvo-Weller (9)
3. Gibson Ultimate Fighting Team (7)
3. Beat & Box Racing (7)
5. Kovat Miehet (5)


Dortmund & Giessen

06.11.2011 Samu

Yes!!!!!!!! It feels great again! These two shows were probably the best shows so far on this trip. Everyone’s feeling better and better and we seem to be able to beat the bus disease. Both venues were so huge that I was actually amazed in the afternoon as we walked in – can these really be sold out? 7000 viewers in two nights.

I felt really tired today before the show and I wasn’t too hopeful with my throat. The fever and weak feeling is gone but the 100-minute jumping and singing every night still keep my throat a bit sore. I took all the medicines and a little Jägermeister before the show and it worked.
Tomorrow I think I will also try to exercise a bit in the afternoon to get my body warm for the show. There are some meetings in Munich after the lunch so maybe it would be a good idea to get fresh before them too.

It was so cool tonight during the show when I realized that we are really recording the nights in every city. The crowd sounded so cool. We planned that we listen to the shows through right after the tour and then we give the selected shows and songs to our trusted mixing engineer Jesse to fix it ready for you. It would be cool to release the Live CD early next year. We have the 10th anniversary next year and the moments from these live shows would be a great way of celebrating it. There will be other cool anniversary things going on around the shows next spring but I’ll get back to that later.

I heard that there were some fights outside the venue in Giessen between some audience members. I know there is this system how people get their position in the line before the doors are opened and sometimes it might be hard to be equal to everyone, but please be nice to each other. Last summer someone broke her tooth before our show. We don’t want that. And sorry for the girl who got hurt last night. Our thoughts are with you.

Remember that it’s always the LOCAL SECURITY who is responsible for the safety of the audience. If there is something going on, please contact them. I heard a rumor about someone getting the “It’s not our problem” answer from the local security guys and if this is true, it’s very bad. Our tour manager, crew and staff are only here to build the show facilities for the band & for you and they have no time and no chance to check that nobody gets hurt outside the doors. The local staff from each town taking care of your safety is part of our tour deal. I hope from now on nobody gets hurt.

Since I still sound like Chris Rea with my throat, I will jump right into the bus and get some warm soup and dive into my bed.

Thank you all for the great evenings again! You made me and us very very very happy and now I feel the way I should be feeling on tour with the best guys & best fans on the planet.

Hugs from the backstage at Giessen and see you tomorrow in Munich,

Samu

PS: It’s no joke that Jägermeister helps when you need to sing sick. I have had this small plastic bottle on stage just to have it if the going gets tough with my throat.

Yesterday before welcome to my life I thought I grabbed a water bottle in the dark and took a HUGE sip – a mouthful – and realized afterwards that it was my “medicine…” Sorry if a spitted it on someone in panic ;)


09.11.2011 Samu
Munich & Zurich & Candy Store

I just got back from the doctor with Osmo. Osmo has an ear infection and it hasn’t gotten better, so he decided to join me to the clinic that our dear local promoter booked for us. I wanted to get some antibiotics because our lightning designer/operator Timo has Angina and I really don’t wanna get it. Osmo saw a doctor in Zurich and obviously he prescribed wrong stuff to him. The clinic today was like from a German police TV series from the early 80’s, like “Derrik” or “Der Alte” and all the equipment reminded me of the old Bond movies. But the doc was great! So now we have all kinds of stuff to keep our systems running for the last four shows and all will be fine.

They say that people in Munich don’t clap their hands and sing with you as much as in some other smaller towns because they’re too cool. We had booked this very cool but small club called “Backstage” (I guess the smallest on this trip) for the show and it was totally sold out. I was totally sure that after Dortmund and Giessen it would be impossible to top the mood in the room. I was wrong.

They were so loud. And it was so hot! Again the floor was covered with water that comes from the air as the people get in to the cold room and heat it up. Even some technical equipment broke down with the heat and humidity but our cool crew did a great job again fixing it all through the show. Our monitor engineer Tuomas even had to operate the belt bag on my ass a few times. Hope he’s recovered ;)

I don’t like having four shows in a row because I’d like to get some rest in between and having the only Swiss show in this tour right after the three shows in Germany, I was a little worried with my throat. And also the band & crew because the sickness has been in the bus from the very start.

We had been to the Maag Halle in Zurich before. Last time we played the smaller side (Maybe 1.500 capacity) but now we had sold out the 3.200 arena. It’s always so great to come to Switzerland. I mean all Europe is great but every time you arrive in the land of Chocolate, Cheese and Great Jura-coffee, you feel that everything is a bit better here…

The crowd was superb!!! Probably the loudest so far on this trip, so we are really being treated too good at the moment. The greatest thing they did was when I went on stage alone to play “Sweet Symphony” from the new album; they had a little surprise for us. I am sitting there alone only with my acoustic guitar and as I started the song, they all lifted these huge paper hearts up. And kept them up through the whole song. They had personalized the hearts so every one of them was different. And it wasn’t just the first rows; there were at least a thousand of them. Someone really had been working late hours making them. After the song, I had to borrow this girl’s camera from the first row to take a picture for my retirement days. Thank you <3

I had real problems holding my tears and since also the song is about deeper things in life, loneliness, love, god, challenges, it was pretty emotional. And sometimes if there are too many thoughts in your head during a song, you can forget the chords and lyrics. I don’t remember anything from that song, but the recording sounded great. Magical four minutes.

So after Zurich we had a day off yesterday and to maximize it, we had a late and loud bus party with the guys. I totally passed out at seven in the morning. We had deep discussions mostly with Antti, my guitar technician, about instruments and I promised him after 17 rum-cokes that I’d buy a Gibson ES 355 the next day if we just can get to the Thomann Musik Store.

The store is about 80 kilometers from Wurzburg in Burgebrach (very small village) and they say it’s the biggest music store in the EU. We have ordered tons of stuff from them the last years from the webshop (www.thomann.de). Raul tried to rent a car but since there were no vehicles available, we went with a taxi. The store is just awesome. They have everything you can ever imagine and after the day also MP, Osmo and Antti bought new Gibson guitars for themselves. Antti got a black Gibson ES-355 custom with Bigsby Tremolo, MP got a Gibson SG Custom V.O.S., Osmo bought a beautiful Gibson Cusotom Les Paul -57 gold top and I ended up buying two Custom ES-355 Gibsons – black and blood red. We looked like little boys in a candy store. On top of that Osmo got some vocal pre amps and we bought a lot of new toys for the tour. The best hang over day ever!!!!

So, now I will have dinner and get ready for the show tonight. The Pusher boys are doing their sound check at the other side of the wall (Playing some old style rock ’n’ roll) and I am at backstage looking at my lovely new babies ;) Love them – daddy’s little wooden angels!!!
Thank you all for the super great shows in Munich & Zurich and rock you tonight again. With new guitars <3 <3 <3
Hugs,

Samu

PS: Mikko, our sound guy still keeps his golden trophy on top of his console at FOH during the shows. Should I probably bring the bronze one on stage…?


11.11.2011 Samu
Wurzburg & Nuremberg

Here we are in Freiburg backstage. We just had super great dinner and everyone’s getting ready for a little nap but I need to write down my thoughts before I can close my eyes before the show.

Actually it’s nice to sleep for 30-45 minutes before the show. You wake up 60 minutes before the stage time and you feel like you were dropped there from another planet. But as soon as you have the shower and a coffee, you feel like a new person again.

After the shopping-hang-over-day in Wurzburg, I had my first show on stage with my lovely new guitars at Wurzburg Posthalle. I LOVE THEM!!!! They’re like semi acoustic, with a great body sound compared to normal electric guitars. Riku just told me that the name ES 355 comes from “Electric Spanish” and this must be the reason I am feeling like a little bull fighter on stage ;)

The crowd in Wurzburg was probably not that loud, but during the show we could feel that they are really listening. Very nice evening!!! We had some guests at the back stage from the German importers of the Finnish Gelenec-speakers. They are far the best in the world for studio or for living room sofa. Check them out!

Yesterday we were in Nuremberg at this cool location Löwensaal-club. It’s on top of this little mountain /hill and there is a zoo right next to it. We had a walk in the afternoon with Riku and we first thought it’s some kind of “Doctor Evil’s laboratory” but the local bicyclist told us the real deal. I love the autumn also in Finland, but yesterday as the air was super fresh and all the leaves were yellow, red and brown, the view was breathtaking. I took some cool photos.

The Löwensaal is the hottest venue we ever had. We played there the last time in 2007 and Jukka, who was our keyboardist back then, passed out because of the heat and they had to carry him to the back stage to recover. We played the last 3 songs without him.

I kind of felt sorry for the crowd for not having any air in the room and I took every chance to throw my water bottles to them on the song breaks. The crowd was super loud and you could really smell the “human body” in the room. After the hot 105 minutes on stage, I felt really weak and I had to get some food and just hide in my bed for a while. Was too hot. Can just imagine how it felt for those standing there the whole evening.

Today we are playing our last German show in Freiburg. It’s a pity I slept until 1:30 PM and I didn’t have the time to go photo shooting to Schwarz Wald. It’s this huge forest where I bet the colors would have been pretty cool. Next time maybe.

Thank you all for the super shows and see you one more time in Germany until we head to Austria for the last evening of this run. And maybe some day-off shopping in the city of Vienna too. Does anyone know where the Bershka-shop is there?

In Vienna we will have some record industry & other business people joining us. Maybe they only wanna have the final party ;) In Vienna there will also be 12 people from Finland, competition winners, who won the trip through veikkaus.fi, the national betting & lottery agency. So you locals must show them how Vienna rocks ;) I know that the Austrian audience never fails, but just so you know ;)

Hugs everyone & Rock you soon,

Samu

PS: Rumor has it that Universal might have bought EMI music (we are signed to EMI in Germany, Switzerland, Austria)… Let’s see…


15.11.2011 Samu
Freiburg & Vienna & Home sweet Home

Here we are in sunny Helsinki. They say the weather hasn’t been that great lately, but now it’s beautiful. I fell asleep at 10:00 PM last night and woke up at 1:00 PM. That makes 15 hours mmmm… I have usually been even more tired after the tours and of course I feel like I was dropped here from some other planet this time too, but I am feeling quite ok. The typical post-tour-depression hasn’t hit me yet. Let’s see how I feel after the ice hockey game of (HIFK) my favorite team tonight. They must finally get their game plan in order…

What a tour!!! I still can’t believe that the trip is over and that the whole trip was so fantastic. We had the last two shows in Freiburg (Ger) and Vienna (Aut). The Freiburg arena was huge and the crowd was just amazing again. I remember feeling very welcome in that small city on the acoustic tour at this cool Jazz Club we played, but this time they showed us how the Friburgers rock with a bigger stage. Even though there was still one more show in Austria after that evening, the last German show made us all very emotional. After the show I signed my autograph on a brand new convertible BMW. Hope you go the signature off as you came back to reality the next day ;)

After Freiburg, we drove to Vienna. It was a long drive and we had two bus drivers for the trip. The bus left at 1:00 AM in Freiburg and we arrived in Vienna around midday. We slept all like babies inside the beds of the steadily driving bus (I am gonna miss that little cradle) and we had all the energy to go shopping a bit at the SCS shopping center outside the city. We had also some friends from Finland visiting us for the last evening together. Our Finnish live agents and some record company & management ladies and 15 Finnish lottery agency staff and winners had probably come over to see that we are still alive and the party doesn’t get too serious ;)

The show day in Vienna was filled with activities. We did many interviews and we also received the PLATINUM awards for Hollywood Hills in Austria. Nice ;) It was the 5th award on this trip, so I must start planning how to drill my walls at home again. There’s really no space left and I better start thinking of new bigger walls. That is a good reason ;)

The show in Vienna was just magic! I usually sleep 30-45 minutes around 7:00 PM before the show at the bus, but this time it was not possible. I was just lying in my bed and thinking about everything that happened the last months and I was feeling super happy. It makes you feel quite thankful when you get to travel with the best guys on the planet playing almost every night for the best crowds in the universe. And we were able to beat the illness and tiredness together and knowing that - no matter what – I knew already that we would be able to pull it through the last night anyway. That was a nice feeling.

I honestly don’t know how well we played and sang that night, but the feeling I had on stage was indescribable. The last show of the tour is always a bit risky. You can kind of over charge yourself and it can become too much of maximizing the grande finale and things can go wrong. That was, for me, the top show of the whole trip. Partly because of the emotional charge but anyway. And we decided to play some stuff we never did before. Some forbidden cover songs from Queen, AC/DC and Metallica… ;)

At the end of the show, we had asked our dear support band “The Pusher” to join us for the last song AC/DC’s “Highway to hell” on stage. It was so cool having 2 drum sets, 3 guitars, 2 keyboards and 2 vocalists doing the business the same time. The greatest moment was when the Swedish Pop-Rockers bowed at you at the end; they showed their ASSES to us. That is a view I never wanna get out of my mind. God help us ;)

The Pusher and their crew was far the greatest gang we have ever traveled with and I didn’t know a joint journey could be that easy. Ok, the guys travel with their own vehicle and we have our own bus but you see each other pretty much on every show day and it was all 100 % fun and relaxing. Even after the first show together with these pretty boys from Stockholm, the fans thanked us for taking this great band on the road with us. Good start. It’s always good if your support band is so good on stage that the only thought in your head after their show is: “Damn, we must really fight to beat that!” Last time we had that feeling was with the Finnish “Poets Of The Fall” back in 2007. Great job Pusher boys!

The fact that they are from Sweden is something they can’t do anything about, but I am sure they will start supporting the Finnish ice hockey team soon ;) The only sad surprise was that they didn’t join us for the final party in Vienna. The guys had been blasting about partying after the tour like hell, but these little babies went to bed. Sweet ;) Ok, they had to drive all the way home to Sweden after Vienna, so I guess we can forgive them.
Tack så mycket vackra rumporna!!!!! Vi hörs & Lycka till!!

The live CD & DVD

As I might have told you on one or two of the nights, we recorded the whole tour again. I have a few shows already on my laptop, but I hope I will get the rest soon enough to listen to them through before we need to start making decisions. Or maybe it’s good to take a few days off before we start making the selections. I am dead sure the CD will be great. The great thing is that we played 25 different songs on this trip, so there are many tracks to choose from.

I heard the DVD release is also being planned for next year but we’ll let you know more about that as soon as the plans are solid. The material looks so damn great. There were new kinds of cameras on stage and we’ll have difficulties choosing the best camera angles.

So… It’s time to thank you all for the best trip ever. I feel kind of sad that it ended but my dad has always said that you should end the game while it’s still fun. And fun it was. There will be some TV shows and little festivals and stuff still this year and some other duties before the Santa Claus can come down the chimney and we’ll post these event on our website and Facebook. The official confirmed live shows are ALL on our website, so check it out if you’re not sure about a festival or show. I heard that in some cities someone might be selling tickets online even though the show has never been confirmed on our or the local side. Not nice! The spring tour will also keep us busy. We need to plan some new stuff for the bigger and smaller venues, but that is gonna be fun like hell and we already have many fresh ideas.

Some young lady told me after the show in Zurich that she would like to do more for us. She felt like “just one drop in the ocean” in the crowd and she told me that the show had made her happy and she’d like to show her respect by doing something or supporting us somehow. There’s really no need.

You are all doing so damn much already! None of you can ever understand how much it means to us that you come to the shows and events every time. You haven’t left us alone – not one single time – and that is more than we deserve. We are far the luckiest guys on the planet having fans and friends like you. THANK YOU <3 You are all angels <3

Special thanx to our crew; Antti, Mikko, MP, Timo and Tuomas, Tour manager Basty-Saku, Merch King Topi and bus driver Christian and of course all the local guys and girls for making it so great for us all every night.
See you all soon and we make it loud & hot again ;)

Hugs to everyone,

Samu

PS: “Happened on tour” TOP 5 (Alphabetical Order)

* Antti’s shopping day

I have been thinking about buying the Gibson ES 355 guitars for a long time and the hangover day in Wurzburg fixed it all. Thank you Antti and Musik Haus Thomann. I just LOVE them!!!!!!!! We went there with one taxi, but we came back with two. 5 new guitars just didn’t fit in…;) Welcome to the family Antti!

* New people

We heard fantastic news that there will be more people on the planet (nobody from the band) next year. Next time we tour in the early winter, we will have all the mustard we need – on the house. Congratulations!!!!

* Osmo’s Cosmos

There was a bet made in Rheine that Osmo lost two days later in Hamburg. He forgot his stage shirt in Hamburg. Now, I must give huge respect for Osmo for not forgetting stuff or himself almost at all on this trip, but the final results are still unclear. We doubled the amounts (40€ Osmo – 400€ Samu & Basty) and there is a tiny fight about who should pay who. Osmo’s shirt was found at Dortmund backstage after we left the venue, but Osmo claims that it’s been in someone else’s laundry bag. Ehmmm…

* Sunrise Avenue Tour TV

Riku and his camera has been the extra friend for us the whole year but on this trip the duo really started to blossom for real. I guess there are still a few episodes of tour TV to come. Stay tuned… We all think Riku’s humor is great. When you ask Riku, he says it’s AMAZING. I will miss him laughing his ass off in the corner of the backstage with headphones on editing his videos.

* Timo’s lightning & Erotic design.

The guy was so sick some evenings that he could barely stand, but he pulled through the show every time. After the show in Stockholm he flew to Lahti, Finland to host the local Erotic Exhibition “Chicago Erotic” and didn’t sleep at all before the show in Rheine. The stories from the Exhibition backstage are just hilarious. What’s been shared in the tour bus - stays in the tour bus.


14.12.2011 Samu
On the way to the Swiss mountains

Last band show of 2011 is behind and we are driving from Oldenburg to Hamburg (Germany) where we spend the night with the guys. Tomorrow the crew, Sami and Raul go home, Osmo flies to Tokyo for some shows and I fly to Switzerland with Riku. We will have two days off first and if the weather allows it, we’ll go snowboarding somewhere near and on Saturday we play an acoustic show in Lucerne. One of the world’s most beautiful spots.

What an evening it was today! The show in Oldenburg was this kind of a festival of the N-joy radio from Hamburg and there were two bands also before us. It’s been a few weeks since the last full band show and I must admit I had missed it. Full 90 minutes of sweat (and my lovely new guitars…) and now we all feel like falling asleep… The last two nights we slept 2-3 hours per night with Riku and we really need to get some bedtime before we hit the slopes tomorrow.

Riku and I arrived from Romania this morning. We performed at the Voice Of Romania yesterday and we also did radio & magazine interviews during the two-day stay. The last time we were in Romania was 2008 at the Best Fest and especially since the show was so great back then, I really hope we could have more shows there too – soon. I heard about some Bucharest show plans for next year so keep your fingers crossed.

On Monday evening after the interviews we were invited to the local super star’s Mr. Horia Breciu’s Frank Sinatra tribute show at the Hard Rock Café. He introduced us to the audience at one point in the show and I slipped some bad words in Romanian by accident. Hopefully nobody minded ;)

I gotta say the talent show competitors yesterday were very good. They have said, in Finland too, that the Voice of Finland, starting this month, has better singers than any of the Idols or PopStar seasons have had until now. I like the concept. There are 4 coaches helping and assisting their own singers to get better than the other team members and the show is interesting in a new and fresh way. Check out the Dutch TV format clips on YouTube.

So… One more show to play on Saturday and then 2011 is done. It’s been quite a ride. I’m tired but super happy!

Thank you all for such great moments in Romania and today in Germany and see you all very soon. All the Burger King drive-ins have been closed so far tonight. Hopefully we could get some juicy burgers on the way to maximize the depth of the sleep.

Hugs,

Samu


31.12.2011 Samu
New Year’s eve

It’s time to shoot the fireworks again and welcome the New Year 2012.

Looking back at 2011, I am still amazed and super happy for all the great things that happened. The soon ending 12 months has been probably the best period for Sunrise Avenue ever. Not only the great album, single and ticket sales figures but also the way it’s been so relaxed with the band, crew and everyone working with us. Feels better than ever before. The tour is just on a break right now and we will continue in February with new cities and new countries. But before that we will have the whole January off and we’ll all come back sun tanned as little brownies ;)

We recorded the whole tour again and it’s been cool editing and mixing the DVD / Live CD we’re releasing in march. After lying on the sofa for a few weeks after the tour, listening to the shows again brought back all the great moments from the tour we did this year. You sound amazing!!

Somewhere in the spring we will also go to studio with the guys, but honestly, we have no plans on when we would release something totally new. Maybe 2013. We’ll just make music and have fun with it. That’s the way to do it.

I just wanted to send a little “thank you” to you all for this the great year 2011 and I hope we see you all soon again as we start the engines again in February.

Remember to protect your eyes when shooting the fireworks in the night, I will. I have these very stupid looking glasses I bought with a HUGE sack of rockets, bombs and stuff ;)

I’ll celebrate tonight with Sami and Raul & other friends here in Helsinki and next week I’ll join Riku in Thailand, where the guitar hero is already dreaming of longer and louder solos on the spring tour and summer festivals next year. With a cold Singha-beer under a palm tree.

I don’t really need to make any wishes for next year. The calendar looks just great all the way to September and we will be on the road like hell with the guys. We also have some cool ideas and plans for our spring tour already and we can’t wait to hit the road.

Thank you all for a wonderful year. May the New Year 2012 bring you all love, happiness and success.

Love you all & See you soon,

Samu and the boys


07.02.2012 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 ;)


10.02.2012 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 in the crowd usually do and well… it was interesting to see us on stage ;) But very great!!! It was also the 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


14.02.2012 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


20.02.2012 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.


22.02.2012 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


23.02.2012 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!!!!!!!!


26.02.2012 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!”


29.02.2012 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 ;)


04.03.2012 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


05.03.2012 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!


07.03.2012 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 :;)


09.03.2012 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


10.03.2012 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!


13.03.2012 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


10.04.2012 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!!!


13.04.2012 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


15.04.2012 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


17.04.2012 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


26.05.2012 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!


01.07.2012 Samu
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?


20.07.2012 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…


11.08.2012 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 ;)


02.09.2012 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/


31.12.2012 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


31.12.2012 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


31.12.2012 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!!


02.03.2013 Samu
Big Band Theory – On The Road Again

Finally! I am sitting in a plane heading south from cold cold Helsinki with the band & crew guys. The wakeup was quite a shock this morning. On Friday it was still sunny and a couple of Celsius above zero. The morning was bright today too, but the temperature had fallen down to -15 in the night. I slept bad because the tour thoughts didn’t let me sleep too much but the walk to my car in the morning really woke me up.

We started the Big band shows in Finland already a few weeks ago and I must say we were very positively surprised. The first shows (in Lahti & Turku) were for seated audiences but still I was amazed how much fun it was. Especially those two nights I was super nervous. We all were. Even though we had rehearsed pretty well, there are so many things we all need to remember on stage and even for the sound guys and other crewmembers the night is a double challenge. And of course I had nightmares of the crowd reacting to the new arrangements. Helsinki was the third show and also the first “standing audience” and I must say it worked even better. It’s always a stress playing in your hometown because all your friends and family are there. But that was the night I fell in love with the set 110%. I have sometimes complained about Finnish crowds being passive and not too loud, but this time, in all three cities, we were blown away by the reaction.

So… Now we hit our first European dates in Germany, Holland, Austria, Switzerland and Czech Republic. It’ll be a month driving the caravan of two double decker busses and trucks all over the place. The first show is already today in Kiel, in northern Germany.

A lot of folks and fans have asked me if there’s a dress code at the shows. We should have thought about that earlier, so no, you come as you are. Sure it’ll make us happy if we see some cool gangsta suits in the crowd.

The crew and our support Finnish band Superscar travel with one bus and we share the (better;) bus with musicians only. This trip will be a total excursion to Tero’s, Jay’s, Markus’ and Aleksi’s soul. If there’s one great way of getting to know a person, it’s spending time with them on tour. You’ll know exactly who snores, who stays up the latest, who steals your shoes when they go out for a cigarette and who always forgets to close the bathroom door and it bangs annoyingly when the bus drives at night.

Between the shows we have been actually pretty active in studio too. I just counted that we have 32 songs already fully or half recorded with the guys and it wouldn’t be a miracle if there’d be an album out late this year. There’s some very cool stuff. I juts played Osmo a new song called “I Can Break Your Heart” and by the look in his eyes and his moshing head we are on the right track. Actually I’m listening to it now myself and damn it ROCKS!!!!!!!!!

Last week I was in Stockholm writing songs with a few trusted friends Peter, Carl and Sharon. We actually wrote “Angels On A Rampage” with Sharon and Carl three years ago and I gotta say I am very happy again for what came out at the sessions. Sharon is finally coming to see our show, for the first time, in Berlin and that makes me nervous in the good way.

I love to write songs mostly alone, but these joint sessions are a very great way of challenging yourself and of course you learn a lot from every person you work with. The day usually starts with a quick coffee at 10 AM and then we just write a song. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s just something you can listen to later on for fun, but it’s always fun and you never know when a hit could happen. Usually after we write the lyrics and melodies down, we have lunch and afterwards I stay with the “tracker” making the “one day demo” so there’s something to listen to. This is very much fun too. I can play all the guitars, bass and stuff I want and actually even some drums. Electric drums though… And if anything sounds and feels good with me performing the instruments, it’s a good sign. Then you add Raul, Riku and Sami in studio to the track and VOILA!

I was first against these sessions but especially after doing full three weeks of them in Los Angeles in 2010 I have started to like them. When you co-write, I guess it kind of awakes your creative part of the brain. Last week, after working in the studios for the whole day, I had this strange mood in the evenings for writing lyrics. Good.

After the Berlin show tomorrow, I will stay in Berlin for our day off to meet the Universal folks together with our management. I know some of the UNI-guys already but it’ll be great getting to know who we’re gonna work with on the next steps of Sunrise Avenue. It’s kind of nice being with only one label now. The last album was shared between EMI and Universal, but now that Universal bought EMI, it’s gonna hopefully be even easier for us since we’re handled through one office. I do miss the Emi folks a lot and I really hope many of them will find new jobs at the Universal organization or somewhere else. It’s so bad when you’ve been working with some people for years (us since 2006) and you gotta leave some of them behind. We would not be here without the determined work and the huge hearts of Uli, Julia, Daniel, Kerstin, Andy and all the others. But we gotta move on and look ahead. Business is business.

But now it’s time to dress up and get ready for the night. Tonight is our first chance on this trip to prove our Theory. The Big Band Theory.

Samu

PS. Remember we record all the shows again. The loudest crowd might end up on an album, a Big band Theory Album. Muahahhahha ;)


10.03.2013 Samu
Big bang Amsterdam

Someone smart told me once that the feeling on every tout should be that it’s the best tour ever. That’s definitely the mood in this bus of ours right now. And that has actually been the case from the very beginning. I don’t know if the four month live show break we had made all this even better, but who cares. This is just great!

Everything we do on stage has been pretty much new for us even though we played three shows in Finland before starting the European part. I gotta say that now we’re getting used to the set and the new arrangements and everything we do on stage is getting more and more relaxed. I thought about the songs and arrangements today on stage in Amsterdam and for me, actually the show works super great. Actually we have all been amazed how well the crowds have taken the new show. There has been ONLY ONE negative feedback from someone who came to the show. She said she hates the new Sunrise Avenue and she’d rather see the traditional stuff we do. Damn ;) Sure there are others who probably didn’t love what they saw, but most of the feedback has been great from the fans, media, industry people and friends. The only question in my mind is that how the hell do we get back to our boring rock / pop stuff someday when all this is over. Just kidding ;)

We have already “big banged” the crowds in six cities in Germany and The Netherlands. And the journey goes on for the next few weeks in Germany, Luxemburg, Austria, Switzerland and Czech Republic. I already now hope there will be more some day.

I love our new band members Jay, Tero, Aleksi and Markus and I am so happy we selected and got these very guys to travel with us. There’s always a tiny risk when you get in a tour bus for a month and you don’t know the people. We all know how tricky relationships can be when there’s just two people, but now we’re nine musicians living 24-hours a day together. Sure they’re great on stage with their horns and percussions, but when we pack the bags to get to the next city, it all feels like a big family. Feels like I’ve known the guys forever. I know, already now, I’m gonna miss those little hairy asses like hell when we go home at the end of March. Not their asses. You know what I mean.

On Monday, after the Berlin show I stayed in town and met some folks from the Universal Music Office. We also listened to some new songs and they really seemed to enjoy the session. Or maybe they were just friendly to me ;) I gotta say the first impression on the UNI organization was super positive. They seem to be professionals. This was just the very first meeting and also the very first show they saw from us, but something inside me tells me there’s something good going on. Of course when it’s time to release new music and stuff, it’s gonna be hard work. But fun the same time. I’m gonna send them some new songs tomorrow for their feedback. One of the guys in our team is Mr. Daniel Shmidt, the guy who originally signed us to EMI Music in 2006. He believed that Fairytale Gone Bad would be a massive radio and sales hit and he wasn’t that wrong. So he works for Universal now and it’s great to have one guy in the team we already know.

Two of my Finnish friends Miikka & Hanky came to see our show in Bremen last Wednesday. Miikka Jouhkimainen is a former Ice Hockey player, who used to play for our favorite team HIFK, but after a few injuries he started doing the Red Bull Crashed Ice skating competition. It’s this thing where they build an ice track in the center of as city and the guys come down this tricky ice track as fast as they can. Miikka is a two-time world champion.
He’s competing again in Canada World Cup next weekend. The other Guy Hannu Pikkarainen still plays Ice Hockey in Finland. He used to play for HIFK too but now after few years of Russian and Swedish leagues, he’s playing for TPS in the Finnish league again. The guys took a four-day trip to Bremen, Essen and Amsterdam with us and they said the tour bus experience together with everything they saw on the road was the best thing ever. Hannu “Mr. Hanky” was the guy making a show for you guys outside the arena in Essen, just in case someone was wondering ;)

Actually almost every city’s backstage has been packed with friends, family and music industry folks. It’s so cool seeing your sister or your family when you’re on the road. I guess they kind of come to check if you’re ok. I loved the way my sister hugged me tonight after the show in Amsterdam at the backstage. Nearly brought tears in my eyes. Makes you feel safe in the middle of all the rock and roll life. Really brings on down on the ground in the good way.

So…Mr. Hanky and Miikka and the others are gone from the bus and all the other boys are sleeping after their “rest” in Amsterdam. I’m alone in the front of the bus again, finally! Only our driver Frank and me, my laptop and a glass of wine. I have been missing this. Frank lets me smoke. He told me it’s more than 600 kilometers tonight. That means after posting this blog, I’ll have some time to fall asleep before the bus stops. I just love to sleep in the moving bus. Our 25-ton cradle.

Thank you everyone for being there for us every night. You have made these nine big-bang-guys more than happy!!

Big Love & Good night & See you soon!

Samu

PS. Raul found a place in Munich where they rent M-series BMS’s short-term with pretty OK prices. He got me a brand new BMW M5 and X5M for himself. Watch out Munich. Next Friday we’re gonna be fast!!!!!!!!!

Vroooooooooooooommmmmmmm...


12.03.2013 Samu
Big Band Gang On The Road

Here we go again!! It’s amazing how this trip just gets better and better. We’re right now driving towards Nuremberg, Germany to play a show near the city in Furth at the Stadhalle. We’re already over half way the tour and already today in Heilbronn I started kind of missing this trip and our little show on stage. Gotta enjoy it while it lasts. It’s all perfect even though the weather today was totally bad and I wasn’t able to go jogging. Snowing and stuff. You faces every night in front of us keeps the sun shining in this bus.

The boys are feeling way better now and everyone has recovered from the early tour’s party stuff and Amsterdam’s bars & cafes. Well, Sami had his birthday yesterday and of course we had to celebrate him in the night with Riku. The other guys were sleeping. We just drank a few bottles of wine (Sami vodka), ate some cake and we listened to Brad Paisley’s whole career through. And hugged each other half naked the whole time. Sweet <3 I LOVE Brad Paisley. We listened to his music every day when we did our road trip in the US with Sami last year. Today I bought Brad’s “American Saturday Night” album to Riku too. His face was smiling so big last night at the guitar parts so I wanted to surprise him with music. It’s so cool you can so easily gift albums on iTunes.

Now the boys are listening to some deep deep jazz in the lower lounge of the bus. Iäm sitting in the back of the lounge writing my little words for you and behaving here as if I understand the challenging jazz chords and stuff. They’ll buy me jamming along ;) (See picture, only on SA Facebook)

Tomorrow is the last show of our Saxophone player Aleksi Ahoniemi. Roope, a guy from Finland will come to Zurich on Thursday for the show and this means we need to train the new kid fully to the set. He’ll be fine. It’s so sad that one of the soldiers is already leaving the battle. I love my job and this band more than words can describe and one of the main reasons are the great folks you meet on these trips. It’s gonna be as bit touchy on stage tomorrow on 6-0 when he blows his last solo for us this spring.
I guess we’ve had almost ten cakes already from the fans among all other great presents. You should realize that if we are super fat in a few weeks, it’s also your fault.

We just can’t stop eating all these goodies. YUMMYYYY ;)
Thank you all for the great moments again and see the rest of you soon! I will have a glass of wine now and smoke one last cigarette next to driver-boy Frank. I hope they can fix me a gym tomorrow in Furth on Nuremberg. I’d need that.

Good night everyone.

Dr. Haber and his Big Bad Big Band Boys!

PS: Tomorrow our ice hockey team Helsinki IFK have the most important game of the season. Cross your fingers, toes, parents, kids, animals and what every you may!!!! I’ll have an ice hockey studio with live feed from Finland somewhere with at least Riku, who is also HIFK fanatic and believer. A great soul ;)


19.03.2013 Samu
Big Band between Prague & Dresden

Here we go again. We’re enjoying the last bus drive between the shows this time. Tomorrow is the last show on this trip with these 9 guys on stage and I’m not sure if I’m happy about it. Today at the back stage in Prague I felt like hugging everyone around me because I can feel the farewell close.

Riku, Raul, Jay, Osmo, Markus, Roope and Tero are talking about food additives in the lower lounge. About all the stuff they put in our food and drinks to make them last longer in our fridges. Earlier we talked about the international oil companies and how they destroy countries and populations all over the planet only for their profit.

The change is huge from two weeks ago. Everyone was partying half naked and running around the bus singing Sinatra songs. I liked that too but I guess these serious discussions on the “last drive” work too. A few bottles of wine and deep stuff ;) The great show and the great crowd in Prague Czech Republic made the boys sentimental.

Manager Mikko, Photographer Anna, Tour manager Basty and Sami are sleeping in their bunks already. I don’t know the situation in the crew / Superscar bus. Guess their discussions are closer to the belt level. I’m alone with my laptop in the front with driver Frank.

I just wanted to thank you all for the great evenings again before getting on stage tomorrow for the last time with this setup in Dresden, Germany. I heard the show is also sold out!! After Dresden we’ll drive to Frankfurt for a few days to rehearse our “even bigger band set” together with the full HR3 Big Band orchestra. We’ll have Wednesday off, rehearsals on Thursday and Friday and on Saturday we’ll play two shows with the super-size-big band. That’ll be fun! I don’t know how dead I will be after two shows in one night, but who cares. After that we’ll have a few days off before we hit the studio hills in Hollola Finland.

As always we will have our little voting of the best show, audience, venue / arena, catering and backstage. We’ll definitely have difficulties selecting them this time since every day has been like a dream come true, but we’ll do our thing anyway. I’ll announce the results in my blog.

I am so tired but so happy. Thank you all for the whole treat!!! Love & Hugs & Kisses!!!!

Samu

PS: Our horn players Jay and Tero have found a brand new life…


13.04.2013 Samu
Musical Downhill Mega Tour 2013

Welcome ladies and gents to Sunrise Avenue “Musical Downhill Mega Tour 2013!” Well it’s actually just one show in Samnaun in Switzerland. The tricky thing is that we haven’t played a single traditional rock show for the last 6 months and that means we all need to learn the songs again. I’m listening to the shows from late 2012 and it’s the 4th song and already my 5th “aaah, that’s how it goes…” We’ll see how lost we are on stage tomorrow. I heard the stage is somewhere 2,5 kilometers above the sea level and it can be cold. We’ll after the winter we had this year in Finland, anything above zero will feel like a Caribbean Cruise. The best thing about this trip is that some of us have our snowboards with us and we can enjoy the slopes a bit too.

No matter how super amazing the Big band Theory tour was, I must admit I have been missing these versions. It’s “Sweet Symphony” on my headphones right now and I didn’t remember the song is this good. I just hope it’s not too cold tomorrow. Last time we played at a festival at an alpine center, it was minus 15 degrees Celsius and I broke one guitar and damaged my throat. And the set tomorrow is 90 minutes long… We’ll see. I’ll fight ;)

The Big Band Theory Tour

What a trip and what a gang! Especially since we were honestly very nervous about the crowd reaction and the feedback we’d get from you guys, the tour topped all expectations. I can’t describe how much fun it was. And getting to know those fantastic new souls, Tero, Jay, Aleksi, Roope, Markus and Pete on the road was one of the highlights of the last years. A huge thank you to Tero once more for the fantastic arrangements on the horn section. The more I play with real front line musicians from outside the band, the more I respect them. I love the fact that we’re doing these full acoustic and big band etc. tours outside the “real” Sunrise Avenue tours. It feels like a holiday from the band life and the rock’n’roll duties. And it also gives a totally fresh and new outfit to many of the songs. The only downside is that I have to go through the arrangements now for at least a dozen times to get my mind set to the original stuff again. But it was so much fun that none of us complain the extra work. We even had to
learn new versions for the HR3 Big Band session at the end of the BBT tour. That we managed in one day so this can’t bee too hard either.

Thank you everybody at HR3 and the HR band, especially Mr. Ed Partyka for the outstanding arrangement and devotion to the project. Quite a tour ending ;) You can find the traditional results of the tour voting at the end of this blog. Seems to me that the same winners are there tour after tour…;) It was great everywhere, but only one can be the winner.

So we have this one show tomorrow in Switzerland and then next week we finally head to Russia and Ukraine. Finally! We have booked many trips and small tours to Russia in the past years but every single time some problem appeared on the Russian side and the trips were cancelled. It’s very annoying planning a one-week trip to some country and then you just end up sitting at home because the trip didn’t happen due to some business bull shit. Anyway. I guess this time we’re really going. We have even bought the flight tickets and booked the hotels and all ;) The Russian crowds have been extremely loud and this is exactly what we’re expecting this time too. The trip to Ukraine will be our first, so we‘ll get a new country to our band’s “played-there-list.” The 28th country if I counted right. Can’t wait! I heard Kiev is a beautiful city.

Unholy Ground

We don’t call our album Yellow Snow anymore. Now the baby’s name is UNHOLY GROUND. That is one of the songs that’ll definitely be on the album. It was a pretty soft acoustic thing in the beginning, but in studio it started rocking like moose (as we say in my country). I have a gut feeling this will be the final name too. We’ll see. The first things we’ve done together with Universal regarding the next album and all have felt very goo and very professional. It’s so nice to know some key folks from the Universal machine from the past.

I hope you all are enjoying the spring fully and hope to see you tomorrow on top of a mountain and next week closer to the ground level in Russia and Ukraine.

Thank you once more for the unforgettable moments on the BBTheory tour. We gotta do that again some day ;)

Hugs and love!!

Samu

Big Band Theory Tour Best Of Voting Results: The jury has spoken.

Best Venue: Gasometer, Vienna (AUT)
Best Crowd: Akropolis, Prague (CZ)
Best Show: Tonhalle, Munich (DE)
Best Catering: Gasometer, Vienna (AUT)
Best Backstage: Del Atelier, Luxembourg, (LUX)
Best Rock and Roll Moment: Eh Nimittäin J-Kortehisto Experience (bad insider)


27.04.2013 Samu
Russian Roulette

(To get the most out of this blog, listen to “Night Train” from Amos Lee)

We are in a train?

I didn’t remember it’s this easy traveling by train. Normally we drive to the airport with ten taxis in the morning traffic, go through check in, security check, boarding, safety demonstrations and if you happen to sit on an exit seat, you gotta pack all your belongings up in the lockers. Train is so easy. It was sunny and very warm in Helsinki in the morning. The taxi to the central station took 8 minutes, and after total 20 minutes from my home door, I was sitting in this iron tube with a warm café latte in my hand. Not bad. The trip to St. Petersburg takes three and a half hours. We drive (do you “drive” with a train or is there some special word for it?) through Lahti and Pick up Timo, our lightning engineer from there. He really lives in Spain but today he comes from Finland’s Chicago.

The ride is so smooth. You have a lot of space around your seat and you can walk around as much as you want. And you also see many things though the train window that you would not see flying. And there’s a restaurant.

We play in St. Petersburg today and tomorrow we head to Moscow. I guess the train thing makes it easier to get into the country too. Russia is like USA in the matter of getting into the country with a lot of musical gear. When you fly in to Russia, you obviously need to go through Moscow no matter what’s your final destination. I heard that this time it should be easier because of the train. In Moscow airport we usually wait for some stamps and papers for our travel documents for hours, now it should be quick & smooth.

Mr. Heikki Puhakainen is with us on key-boards on this trip because Osmo is attending the final TV broadcast of the Voice Of Finland. He’s not competing – he’s in the house band. It would be pretty cool if Osmo would be there as one of the contestants. I bet they’d declare him as the winner after the first episodes ;) I love watching Osmo on TV. He’s always so funny and cool especially when they’re playing a rock show. There he’s allowed to do all the circus moves and other things we always tell him not to. The stage is his ;)

Heikki has obviously started a new life some time ago. I have not seen someone losing weight and getting in shape that fast. I remember taking him to a kettle bell training last summer and honestly I didn’t believe in his efforts too much. Now he looks like a model boy. He doesn’t drink at all anymore. I kind of miss the old party Heikki, but the same time I am super proud of him!! Changing your life is never easy and we all usually slip after a few weeks and start to find excuses why we can’t make it. Not Heikki. Super Hessu! (Super Goofy in Finnish)

I’m gonna have to start filling in the Russian entry forms now. It’s so cool that the little tour in Russia is finally happening!!!!

There’s no cigarette lounge in the train?? Well, we’ll survive.

Samu


28.04.2013 Samu
Spasibo i do svidanija Rossiya!!

We are on Aeroflot flight SU1411 from Yekaterinburg to Moscow. Everyone made it to the flight even though the hassle at the airport was pretty bad again. The thing is, we need to get to the second plain from Moscow to Kiev, Ukraine and someone should make sure all the instruments and technical gear are on that plane too. It’s a good thing it’s Sunday. We’re gonna drive like crazy to the venue when we land in Ukraine to make everything ready for the show in the evening. It’s gonna be one hell of a day for our crew boys.

Tonight is our first show in Ukraine ever. Finally!!! Getting to the venue in the afternoon traffic would have been a mess if it wasn’t Sunday. Someone has thought this whole trip through pretty smart. The only thing that wasn’t too smart was that someone planned the day-off in Yekaterinburg on Friday. Some of the boys looked pretty “crispy” on Saturday morning after all the well-known Russian hospitality…;) Boys are boys. I slept 11 hours like a baby tiger.

We played three shows in Russia this week and the only thing I can say is WOW!! We’ve had some difficulties in the past with the little Russian tours we did, but this time everything has been as easy and pleasant as ever. In every city (St. Petersburg, Moscow and Yekaterinburg) the crowd, staff and the clubs have been just amazing and we have felt very special the whole way. I don’t know why it was so hard arranging this trip for us and it even got cancelled a few times, but now looking at it afterwards, the work was definitely worth it.

I don’t know if it’s the long break we had between the rock shows, but it felt like the crowd was as loud and great as ever! I had some strange thoughts during the Big Band Theory Tour if we should change our style just a little bit towards that. Nope. Rock is the thing we’re born for and there we shall stay. The Big Band and Acoustic things are like nice little holidays from our day jobs, but the old school stuff is still where we feel like home ;)

It’s a shame we can’t get to know the cities too much on these trips. Especially I have to rest my throat on the off days and prepare myself for the next day’s show. There’s nothing worse than singing with a broken throat. Just try to sing 90 minutes very loud next time you’re sick. Ok, don’t try it. Anyway. In Yekaterinburg the band guys & crew took a visit to one of the clubs and I went shopping to one of the malls with Heikki but that’s about it. We knew that Moscow is cool and St.Petersburg is a bit like Stockholm but even Yekaterinburg felt really nice. Of course the slowly coming spring helps all this too. When it’s dark and cold, nothing is pretty. I heard it’s close to +30C and sunny today in Kiev. I didn’t bring my shorts. But I have my sun glasses, unlike Heikki…

Everyone in the band and crew are playing the Hill Climb mobile game. It’s pretty cool and FREE and you should check it out if you haven’t yet. Usually I suck at games, but this time it finally seems as if I’m one of the best. It’s very addictive. The monster truck is my favorite vehicle in the game. The game is developed by two Finnish guys - Go Finland!! Sami is fun to watch when he plays. He really moves with every muscle even though he just has a tiny iPhone in his hands and when he dies in the game, he releases these amazing sounds of disappointment. It’s so annoying how good he is in NHL13 with Play Station. I just can’t beat him!!

Anyway. I just wanted to thank you all for the great trip and the fantastic moments on stage. We really hope we can come back soon!

I’ll take a nap now. It’s gonna be a long day until I lay my head on the hotel bed in Kiev tonight. And my mother will be there too checking us and the show out, so I better look fresh ;)

Hugs,

Samu

PS: Thanx & sorry to the staff at the Dom Pechati club in Yekaterinburg. I heard some of the boys were there quite late on Friday night and their dance moves weren’t exactly what you’d call cool ;) Oppaa, Sunrise Style!


14.06.2013 Samu
Helsinki – Kassel - Minsk

We just took off from Helsinki and it really doesn’t look like summer too much today. Actually the whole week has been more like October in Finland. But hey, it’s gonna be green everywhere when the really hot days hit us again.

We played our first official summer festival this Wednesday in Helsinki at the official Helsinki day. The whole city is celebrating all over and the biggest happening that day is the Radio Aalto festival in the center. The weather was as warm as a bad bride, but that didn’t stop the crowd from rocking like hell. It’s so hard getting on stage in your hometown. All the families, friends, and neighbors in the crowd make you nervous. I was at my gym just a few hours before driving to the back stage and some guys came to tease me that they’d “Come and check us out, if we can play at all” in the evening ;)

It’s way easier flying somewhere away from your country. If you screw up, nobody will remind you of it at your own backyard.

So much has happened after my last blog. I went back to Hollywood to find even some more ideas and inspiration for the new album and of course some new guitars too. I went to the same hotel (Standard Hollywood) where I wrote Hollywood Hills three years ago, but I didn’t get the same room as last time. Damn…;) I wrote Hollywood Hills on that very balcony. I will keep the room number a secret but I have to say I kept staring at the balcony from the poolside with our manager Mikko and even asked if I could have had it for one night, but it was taken… Well..

Musically the trip was worth it anyways, so if the balcony is so damn important to someone else, keep it!!

We’ve also gotten pretty far with our new album. There are still some songs we need to figure out how to finish them or whether they should be on the album at all, but we’re getting there. Today we will get the first final mix. The first song is called “A little bit love” and it’s one of the first one’s we recorded for this album and if I remember right, I wrote it already two years ago. It’s definitely one of my favorites right now. Modern rock. Me like!

It’s so great we’ve had all the time we’ve needed to finish the music and when the big record bosses at Universal decide to press the “release button” we should be happy with the results. So this summer will be about festivals, sure, but most of the time we’ll be putting the studio knobs into the right position together with our producer Jukka. Seems as if Mr. Immonen will produce the whole album this time. Mostly because he has a cool boat and I like to drive it ;)

We’re also already planning the next album’s tours and if all goes as planned and the album (We’ve been calling it Unholy Ground so far) will be out in October as planned, we would then have a pretty long tour in the spring 2014. Jeee ;) And the festivals in the summer. So at least another year our lives will go on.

Normally I don’t wear no tie, but today we’re wearing adult clothing for the one last time on stage. We’re playing the last (so far) Big Band show together with the Frankfurt HR3 Big Band in Kassel, Germany at the Hessentag Festival. It’s already three months from the last big band show and we’re all listening to the last show of the spring tour. I didn’t remember the tour and the show were this much fun. And damn all the details we have in the songs…;) It’ll be fun tonight!!! After the Big band experience, we will most definitely do something like it in the future too. I love the fact that we do festivals, arena / club tours, acoustic tours and Big Band stuff. Never gets boring. But now it’s time to bury the horns and flutes for a while. Can’t wait for tonight’s show, though!
Tomorrow we visit Belarus, a new country for us again. Belarus in the 29th Sunrise Avenue country and everything we’ve heard about the festival tells us it’s gonna be great. It’s always a little challenge in a good way to visit totally new places. We can only give the first impression one time, so we better rock like real rockers tomorrow too. It’s like the first kiss. If you kiss bad, the girl will never love you…

On Sunday we fly home very early (I guess the wake-up was at 5 AM (what bad have I done???) and we get back to the new album’s world. The weather forecast looks pretty bad for next week too in Helsinki, so nobody will mind being inside in the studio.

So, see you all tonight and tomorrow. It’s been too long again.

Hands up!!

Samu

PS: We heard there’s huge floods in Europe, especially where we’re going today. Sure we don’t mind if our shoes get a bit wet, but the pictures looked pretty bad and I hope the local folks have been able to get back home.


14.06.2013 Samu
Sjungausta Stadissa Skeidat Bögissä

(Only in Finnish)

On se kumma miten mä olen aina ihan paskat housussa ennen Helsingin keikkaa. Sama tuttu perhoslauma valtasi mun vatsan taas ennen Radio Aallon Helsinkipäivän konserttia, mutta tavallaan mä olen jo tottunut kotikaupunkikeikeikkajännitykseen. Se on oikeasti eri juttu vetää tänään Kasselissa Saksassa Big band festareilla tai huomenna Valkovenäjällä rokkifestarereilla kuin omassa kotikaupungissa perheiden, frendien ja muiden tuttujen edessä. Jo Elixia-kuntokeskuksessa aamupäivällä muutama kundi tuli tökkäämään olkapäähän että ”Hei tullaan sitten illalla tsekkaamaan osaatteko mitään ;)”

Mulle kaikista pahimmat on jostain syystä mutsi ja systeri. Vaikka mä kuinka koitan olla ajattelematta asiaa ja oikein keskityn siihen että “Äiti ei ole täällä,” huomaan mä viimeistään kolmannessa biisissä oikein etsiväni sitä yleisöstä ja jos löydän, koitan tulkita mamman kasvoilta onko hyvä vai huono meno. Onneksi se yleensä hymyilee.

Äitejä ja siskoja tai ei, olipahan taas huikea ilta! Vettä satoi kuin Esterin pepusta ja kun ajelin keikkapaikalle Rumpali-Sami kyydissäni, oltiin varmoja että kenttä on tyhjä kun me soitetaan. Mitä vielä… Okei, olihan koko konsertin kattaus aikamoinen. Omat kohokohdat oli tietenkin J.Karjalainen ja superkova Haloo Helsinki. On jotenkin niin siistiä että kotimaassa alkaa olla ihan samanlainen meno yhteislauluineen ja muine sähellyksineen kuin muuallakin Euroopassa. Varsinkin Keskiviikkoisen keikkaorgasmin jälkeen mua ottaa päähän ettei ole tänäkään kesänä Suomessa enempää keikkoja, mutta ehkä sitten taas ensi vuonna.

Mä istun nyt lentokoneessa jossain Itämeren yllä matkalla Saksaan Big band festareille. Huomenna matkataan Valkovenäjälle rokkifestareille ja sitten taas kotiin valmistelemaan uutta levyä. Näyttäisi että jos kaikki ”tikat osuu edes lähelle taulua” voisi uusi levy olla jouluksi kaupassa. Katsotaan nyt. Oon jo nyt tosi ylpeä siitä mitä ollaan saatu parissa vuodessa kasaan ja tykkää ihan hulluna uusista biiseistä. Joulusta voi tulla aika jännä tänä vuonna kun ei poikien kanssa jännitetä pelkkää joulupukkia vaan myös sitä mitä te kaikki tykkäätte meidän uusista kipaleista ;)

Mutta anyway. Halusin vaan kiittää teitä kaikkia ihania ja etenkin Radio Aaltoa Kaisaniemen keikasta keskiviikkona. Vaikka soitetaan harvoin Suomessa, on se aina meille suurta herkkua.

Olkaa kiltisti juhannuksena ja älkää tehkö ihan kaikkea mitä mä tekisin. Sepalus kiinni jos putoatte veneestä.
Iso halaus!!

Samu


26.07.2013 Samu
Voice

My throat is very tired and my voice is not too clear. I was only 8 hours at home between the Voice Of Germany trip and the festival today in Czech Republic. But I must admit it’s super nice getting back to my original day job with my boys. I just wrote the set list and I didn’t remember we have all these cool songs. I hope I still remember how we have arranged them…

The Voice Of Germany 2013

What a week & And what an experience! I have done a few things in my life but the last 8 days went straight to the top 3. The past weeks before the trip I have been working in studio like a maniac but also the “Learn German Fast-” book has been my by desk every day. They asked me after the cancelled Energy in The Park show in Berlin, would I be interested being one of the coaches at the VOG this year. I met the director Karsten at the hotel on the show day and that time I really didn’t think it would happen. After that I took a language test in Helsinki on Wednesday and as my dear teacher Professor Viktor kind of recommended me to the show, it was all up to me. They had interviewed tens of folks and I was super amazed and touched by the opportunity.

I first said NO. I thought with all the work with the new album and all and of course the language barrior would be too much. Then I thought, what the hell… This might be a one-time chance and I’d regret skipping it for the rest of my life. It would kill me being a happy grandfather some day with all in life that I need, but still wondering some times how it would have been. We all have just one life and we must live it. NOW!

So, I took the challenge. We booked 3 sessions with a private teacher and I watched the old episodes of VOG online and I also watched old Derrick, Marienhof and Der Alte episodes (German super cool entertainment ;) online.

So, now we’re done with the blind auditions and all the coaches have their team ready. I can’t tell you much about what went on because I have signed this paper that says they can send me a big invoice and spank me if I go public wit the details. All I can say is that I was amazed with the quality of the singers and I am super excited of my own team. It’s funny sitting on the red chair and thinking “I wish I could sing like that.”

Us coaches, Nena, Boss Hoss, Max Herre and myself we all come fro pretty different backgrounds. Nena is the biggest and most successful of us with her US #1 hit and the everlasting super career. The Boss Hoss are Germanys own entertainment super cowboys and Max Herre is one of the coolest and most credible artists there has ever been in Central Europe. I was a bit worried how they’d take the tall blonde Finn, but I gotta say I made 4 new friends last week and with the experience we shared these people will always have a place in my heart. Same goes to the crew and staff around us. I have done a couple of TV shows in my life but it has never ever been like this before. Honestly.

So… Now the teams are built and in the end of the month we will have the battles between the team members. I’m going to pair my team members next week together with my co-coach Mr. Brix. I hate the feeling already that we’re gonna have to send every second singer home on the next phase, but that’s the name of the game and everyone knows it.

They gave me a DVD with all the performances of my team. I’m gonna enjoy them one more time before we land in Prague. I feel so great having you all and my biggest dream in all this is that I could help a couple of you a bit closer to your dreams. It’s naturally mostly up to you, of course. And please do remember, you got through two very challenging tests already. That means you have something very special inside you and you are great and beautiful as you are. Nobody knows who’s gonna win the whole thing and nobody knows who will gain most out of it. So as I said to you after the show backstage, just try to enjoy what you achieved already and try to enjoy the ride. We’ll have a fun trip together anyways!!!!

But now we’re going down fast and I gotta close my laptop soon.

Thank you all for the superb experience (and also for the feeling of survival;)

I wonder if I see four red chairs in front of us tonight at the festival stage. It’s so great to get back to the boys and to be surrounded by all my guitars after a little break.

Mala Skala here we come!

I love my life!

Samu, Der Finne


20.08.2013 Samu
First Baby Out!

They say it’s always difficult to present new music after a successful album or single and I can definitely agree on that, once again. I remember after “Fairytale Gone Bad” back in 2009 how hard it was for us band members and also for the music industry around us to chose one song from thenew album as the 1st single. Everyone is just comparing everythingwith the past hit you had.

Lifesaver

I guess all mothers know how hard it is to deliver new babies into the world and we got pretty close to that painful feeling with this one. There was something very magical in the track from the very beginning, but for some reason finding the right melody, production and lyrics was very, very difficult. There have been at least fifteen different versions of the lyrics and also the song and the production have changed many times until the track was finished. Actually the last sound changes were made on the very last day right before we sent thesong to the radios.

Thanx Universal guys for being tough and honest until thevery end. Before the track was done, we needed help from some outsider writers /lyricists and usually that is a sign that there’s something wrong with the track. But we still felt like fighting for this one and I am very glad we did.

At some point we spotted some similarities in “lifesaver” withthis song of our fellow band, The Pusher from Sweden. So we sent it to the Swedish guys too and luckily we were able to figure out a way to make it work. So there are many writers from different countries behind the song this time, but this time more chefs in the kitchen made a better song. Actually I see no reason why we wouldn’t work with the Swedish Pop Mafia boys even more in the future.

The song was called “O My Saint” for a long time. The story is like an anthem that two friends could sing to each other in a bar after a victorious football game in a bar. And of course hugging each other after a few beers. Two hairy men sweating and hugging drunk. Sweet ;)

We almost ended up keeping the title, but then we got the brilliant “Lifesaver” idea from a Finnish songwriter Teemu Brunila (You might remember his band, The Crash), who solved the chorus. It all goes very technical, I know, but when you’re just not satisfied with something in the song, it’s better to turn all the rocks for the prefect solution. We think it just sounds and rocks better now.

So “Lifesaver” is out now and I guess the official radio date for Finland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland is today. Have no clue about the rest and who will play it and won’t… Sorry. We really hope you like it as much as we do. And I have no clue when the track will be released, soon I guess. Honestly, I’ve been so deep in the album production and The Voice Of Germany planning and German language school that I didn’t even know it was my name daytoday. They told me in the morning at the Radio interview. Thanx for the cookie ;) I’ll share the dates as soon as I know.

As I wrote earlier, usually it’s very hard to choose the first single from the potential album tracks. A record company guy might likeone and the publisher another one. And the band’s favorite might be the third and actually the opinions change usually very much as long as the production process is on. After the first recording you might feel that some song is not good enough for the album, but when you produce it to the final form, it sounds like a killer to everyone.

For the first time in Sunrise Avenue history our management, live agent, publisher and record company guys were all convinced that “Lifesaver” is the first song to go with. We played it to everyone involved in our little family a thousand times. If everyone picks it including us, it can’tbe wrong.

Unholy Ground – The album #4

For the whole spring it seemed as if it’s not going anywhere. And I must admit we had the thought of delaying the release to spring 2014 in the early summer. I don’t know if the problem was that we had too much time with the guys and we were able to try too many things and record too many songs. Obviously you need to have a hundred sleepless nights for every album no matter how much time you have. And there’s always a panic in the end. I guess that is what makes you squeeze the best out of everyone. Then they asked me late June if I wanna do the Voice Of Germany this autumn and I felt like I’d explode if we’d also have to make the album ready until the end of September. All this in just three months…

Now, it seems as if the VOG brought in some new energy into the recording studio too and now we’re in a very good situation with the complete album. If nothing bad happens and we all stay more or less healthy, the album will be out in October. I hate describing music too much but it’s, for me, the best Sunrise Avenue Album ever. Not just saying this because Universal guys told me to ;) Some of the songs are rockier than ever, with cooler and longer guitar solos and the band is big and tight. I know guitar solos are out of style, but so are we ;) The way Riku plays his solo in “I CanBreak Your Heart” makes my balls shake! All of them ;)

We decided to record most of the stuff playing live together in a huge studio with the guys and that you can hear on the album too. It brings in this special kind of band mood. Of course there are also some surprises and different vibes on the album too, as we always had. And actually there are still, even for us, some question marks about how some songs will be in the end. But anyway, we can’t wait to play the new stuff live with the boys as soon as the album is out.

So….

I just came back from my German lessons after the radio visit in the morning and I must sink deep into the homework my teacher Dirk gave me again. Imagine that they fly this private teacher in for me in Helsinki and we chat in German and drive around our beautiful city with my German car. Top down in the sunshine, of course. He knows a lot about Finnish history and Icehockey now ;)

German is not the easiest language and the word order gives me nightmares. But luckily everyone understands that you can’t get the language perfect in a few months. I just do my best and just go with the flow. And it’s not me giving a speech to the German parliament, it’s f***ing music show!!

The whole Voice Of Germany has been super fun all the way. Can’t tell you much about it or they’ll send me a HUGE invoice ;) I guess it starts in late October and you can all laugh at me pronouncing the language of love a bit wrong<3 Did you know that “album release” in German is “Album Veröffentlichung!!!!”” Waaaassssssss????!!!?????…..;)

Hugs everyone and keep your fingers and toes crossed for us!

Samu and his boys


08.10.2013 Samu
Unholy Ground 11 days, and counting

I don’t know how many times I have been on a plane to Berlin this year, but here we go again. The last dozen times the reason for sitting here has been The Voice Of Germany, but now we’re finally on the road promoting our new soon-to-be-born baby “Unholy Ground.” The promotion and interviews really start tomorrow in Berlin and we go on and off all over Europe until the Christmas Eve.

I can’t believe the album is done now. As I’m sitting here with my beer and some (obviously microwave) Thai food, the factory guys somewhere in Holland (where they manufacture all the albums of Universal Music) have sent the first albums to the stores. It’s so cool. After literally sweating, losing sleep, celebrating and also almost dying a few times for this Sunrise Avenue baby #4, now the albums are traveling through Europe to their final destinations. Sounds like a Coca Cola Christmas commercial, I know.

Tomorrow I am alone in Berlin doing the press & newspaper stuff and then the band boys fly in for the live performances this week. We have been blown away how well the media and folks have taken our next step. I don’t know if being a Coach at the VOG helps, but the people want to talk to us and me more than ever before. We don’t mind. We have a new story to tell with a new album and new songs.

There won’t be too many chances to play real live shows this year. There aren’t any free dates due to the promo and my VOG, but as soon aswe’re done with the cold January next year, we’ll get back on the road. The first live dates are already online, so go check them out!

Unholy Ground will be out in eleven days. Cheeses!!! This soft fear & excitement seems to hit me every time we release an album. I mean first you have all the time in the world to listen to the songs on your own. In you car and at the gym with headphones etc. And then suddenly all the little moments you’ve been working with for the last 18 months are available for everyone… I’m so gonna lose my sleep on the 17th in the night. But I also love this feeling. Our deal we signed in 2006 with EMI Music was for four albums and someone very smart said to me then “If your fourth album ever comes out, you have been very lucky.” Agree. It’s amazing that we’re still here and there’s a new chapter about to start in our lives.

We will land in Berin/Tegel soon and there’s nothing to do until tomorrow morning. Luckily the most successful Finnish band ever HIM is playing at the Huxley’s in Berlin tonight. I hope we can make it to the hotel and then to the venue in time with Manager-Mikko. Our flight was a bit late and I know Ville and the boys won’t wait... I’ve never seen a HIM show. We tried to see them last time (also with Mikko) in Los Angeles in May, but then their sold out tour got cancelled due to health issues. We already stood in the crowd then. I cross my fingers that tonight is the night.

Anyways… See you all very soon and keep your fingers crossedfor a successful band-baby delivery in a few days.

Hugs,

Samu


20.10.2013 Samu
Back to work

I really like these small Bombardier planes. They take speed much faster than the big ones but of course there’s not too much space inside. But it feels like a little school trip flying with them. Sure my favorite plane is the old school MD82, the rocket that goes almost straight up from the runway, but due to environment regulations, those planes are not that popular in Europe anymore. Ok, that’s all about planes….

It was so nice being home for two nights. I first thought I’d skip Finland and I’d stay in a hotel somewhere in Germany over the weekend, but actually it was really nice going home for 36 hours. It’s getting cold in Finland already but just to have your own sofa and your own bed feels so safe. And I finally watched the first two episodes of the Voice of Germany last night. It took a full bottle of Baron De Ley- red wine, but actually the show wasn’t that bad. I usually don’t like to watch myself on TV, but this time with the help of the wine, it was ok. It’s amazing to see all the stories from behind the stage and all the family stuff and all. What you see on the show from the chair, are just the performances and that’s all. I really gotta take more time with my German now. As the live shows start on the last weekend of November, I gotta do better than that! But I must say I love The Voice show and I am so happy I decided to take the job even if I hesitated in the beginning. It’s been one of the best experie
nces in my life.

The other top experience in my life has been the release and the launch of the new album. Pooohhhhh… It’s finally out and I am so damn proud of it. This album was a very tough ride again, as it should be, but as I drove in Helsinki yesterday and listened through the whole album, I felt super good. Usually I need at least a month or two before I can listen to the whole album without shaky hands, but now it worked. Or maybe that’s a bad sign, who knows.

Anyways, I gotta say that even if the moments in studio were sometimes tricky and especially in the last weeks we had to make decisions in ten seconds, I feel it went pretty right. The last mix was approved at our brother band Bead Sirius 3000’s backstage with Apple headphones. Not the pro way but it worked.

It’s so nice to see that there are many favorites and it’s not only one track that hits the heart of some listener. Of course we can’t please everybody, but hey, everyone listens to what they like. Honestly, for me, Unholy Ground is the best Sunrise Avenue album ever. I am one proud papa.

The last two weeks we have been promoting the album in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Gladly Riku joined for some of the days for some acoustic performances on the way so our manager Manager-Mikko didn’t only have to look at my boring face on the road. Actually now were flying to Cologne with Riku and Mikko. We will play at this morning TV show tomorrow VERY early (I am Not a morning person and the pick up is 05:45!!) and I just hope we can fall asleep tonight. It’s always quite easy getting up early, but when you have to wait, wait and wait for your stage time at the very warm TV studio, you get sleepy. But usually adrenaline does the job for you, so we should manage.

Usually we have this rule that I don’t sing before 9AM because it’s hard for the throat especially with all the traveling, but now we must make exceptions because we’re promoting the new baby.

After the morning TV we will continue our promo trip somewhere with Manager Mikko for the rest of the week. I haven’t seen this week’s promo program yet, but I bet the days are as full as the last two weeks. I counted one day last week that I did eight interviews but the same day I sat 9 hours in the car and in the plane. So I finally actually have a sitting job ;) I must say I am very happy how things are going with Universal Music. There’s always a tiny risk when almost the whole team changes, but this time everything is going smoother than ever. We’re usually always in a hurry to the next city or the next place, but at least the going doesn’t get too boring.

Riku will fly home tomorrow after the TV and we will do the last German promo week with Mr. Manager. Poor Mikko. I’ve been so tired some afternoons that I can’t be too good company. It’s all about choices. You decided to be a manager, muahahhahha ;) Next week we’ll al be back in Finland with the band boys and we can start planning the small acoustic and other performances we’re gonna make this year. And of course we’re also planning the tour starting in February. I hope our dear bass player Raul found some cool new stage toys in London at the live show expo where they went together with our lightning designer Timo.

Anyways. Thank you everyone for all the great support and feedback. Even though we’ve released albums before, there are still the same excitement butterflies in our stomachs with the new baby. It’s nice to be a bit nervous. It makes you feel alive ;)

Hugs & See you soon,

Samu

PS. My favorite ice hockey team Helsinki IFK are doing so bad right now. But since I am a true fan, I will support them until the end of time, no matter how bad the numbers are on screen. I really hope it gets better or we all know heads will start to fall. Soon…


22.10.2013 Samu
Facebook Profiles

Hey friends,

I heard last night that some people are pretending they are me or some other band member of Sunrise Avenue on Facebook and they are answering the people’s questions and messages as if they were us. That is not the end of the world of course, but I also heard that some guy is asking girls out on a date with my name and picture. That is not the end of the world either, but I just want you to be careful out there. You never know what kind of a person is on the other side of the Internet and what they really want.

Just so you know, I don’t have a personal “Samu Haber - Facebook artist page”, so if someone is answering your emails or asking you out for dinner on these pages, it’s not me.

And all this has nothing to do with the fan pages that some lovely folks have put up for us. These people are doing a good job and helping us a lot actually, but even there, it’s not us band members behind the daily activity.
Have a great day everyone and thank you for the great support and love on the way. It means the world to us!
Hugs and real profiles ;)

Samu & Boys

PS: If you are operating a fan page, would be cool if you share this blog to your readers in your own language, thanx <3


14.11.2013 Samu
Holy Night in Hamburg (Nov 13, 2013)

It’s so cool that all the journalists and folks always assume that rock bands live this sex & drugs & rock & roll life and they’re super disappointed when I say we just had one glass of wine last night and then we went to bed.
Boring?? Actually Sami & Raul didn’t have wine at all. Good boys! Honestly, if you start drinking and partying after every event, you don’t survive in the business. I love the after parties after the last show on the tour or after the last show of the Voice Of, but the rest you should try to enjoy life and the experiences pretty sober. One glass of wine in the evening is only good for your soul. But that’s another thing ;)

When I get home tonight, I will take my kettle bells and do my training outdoors. I love the feeling when it’s only +5 in the evening and you do your workout at the backyard. I always seem to listen to the music from the Finnish group “My First Band.” Maybe the boys give me adrenaline with their great tunes…  Or maybe it’s the fact that Heikki, their keyboard player, is in better shape than I am and I get the blood taste from that… Damn you Heikki!

I did my second German talk show on Wednesday at the Markus Lanz talk show and I still must say it’s super hard following the conversation. At the voice of Germany I don’t have a translator for the show, but at these talk shows I must get some language help. Yesterday they spoke about politics and stuff so I must say it would have been tough even in Finnish, even though I am into politics. I also joined the Stephan Raab show a few weeks ago and that was easier. Stephan actually spoke English to me in the show and that was a nice surprise.

My German is getting better, slowly, but still if the topic is far away from the Voice of concept, it’s super hard to follow the conversation. There was a lady in the plane when we flew to Hamburg this week and she came to me super excited talking about the Voice of shows and our new album too. After she had blasted for about two minutes I had to tell her that I didn’t get anything she said… I felt so bad for her and she felt bad too. Obviously when people see me doing my little German on the TV show, they forget that especially if you talk fast, I fall off the conversation. My brain is a bit slower than normal folks’ brain. But anyways, I think it’s so cool to learn the language bit by bit. I will always speak it wrong, though. The grammar is just so damn tough, but who cares.

I’ve been promoting the new album pretty much alone the last months and it was very cool having the guys with me at the show finally. We haven’t actually even seen each other that much the last 4-6 months, but maybe that’s cool since we’re gonna spend most of 2014 together looking at all the touring plans. I must say I was amazed when I saw the ticket sales a few days ago. I heard that already, in Stuttgart (GER), Vienna (AUT) and Zurich (SUI) the show would be moved to a bigger place because of the huge sales. WoW! Check out our website for details. It’s gonna beee soooooo cool!!!!!!!

Since there are good things happening around us, we will definitely put even more gas into tour planning and making it the biggest and best Sunrise Avenue show ever. I was just planning the set list for the tour and I had a few new ideas on top of all the new things we have already planned. I really hope the production guys can make these plans work. There will be no flying elephants or stuff though. Or should there be..?

I have been super busy since the summer with the Voice Of – recordings, learning German, album production, promotion and stuff and I honestly could have had more time to work with my talents from the TV show. I am super lucky having my co-coach Brix in Berlin doing a great job as the second papa of the team. We were able to organize the first song writing sessions for some of the talents before the live shows start, so there will actually be some chances for some of the talents to get in touch with the international song writing and even some stuff from famous Nashville ;)

We land in Helsinki in a moment so I better close my laptop now. My new baby car <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 is waiting at the airport garage (thank you again BMW <3 ) and I will take Sami home. Wroooom <3

Take care and hugs everyone,

Samu


20.12.2013 Samu
2013

Tomorrow is the final show of the Voice Of Germany 2013. I have pretty mixed feelings after all the fun we had this year on Sunrise Avenue stages and at the TV studio. On the other hand I am very happy all the work in 2013 is done at midnight tomorrow. One of the craziest years in my life. In 2013 we did the Big band Theory Tour, we signed a new worldwide record deal with Universal Music, recorded and released our 4th album and the last six months, in between all the shows and promoting the new album, I have been sitting in the jury of The Voice Of Germany. Quite a year.

From tomorrow on, I’ll be off for six weeks. It’s time for our yearly “summer holiday” until the end of January. I must admit that I’m a bit tired after everything that’s happened, but the same time I feel very blessed and happy for being a part of all that went on the last 12 months.

Looking at the results, the Universal folks have done an amazing job with the new album. I have to say they’re all super pro & nice and they really know their business. The change from the EMI Music family was a bit sad after all we went through together but life and business must go on. “Unholy Ground” was now only released in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Finland due to the fact that I & we had no time to promote the whole thing anywhere else with all the Voice Of duties. We know already many new countries that will start their work with us early next year. We will actually have the last business strategy meeting tomorrow morning with Manager Mikko, Live agent Contra Promotion boys and Universal about the rest of the planet.

In the summer I took the one of the biggest professional challenges ever by joining the Voice Of Germany as one of the new coaches. I loved the Voice already a few years ago in Finland but joining the German version... In German!!??! They gave me a private teacher, Mr. Viktor from Austria, for the two weeks and that was the start for me.

It wasn’t too easy and nice in the beginning and I even lost my temper a few times with the roller coaster around the show and especially with the German language I wasn’t able to speak. There were many nights I wouldn’t have survived without a sleeping pill or red wine or both, but I survived.

After the blind auditions things got a bit nicer and easier. I also got a second teacher Dirk from Konstanz, Germany and things started to roll nicer and nicer day after day. Dirk is coming to the show tomorrow to see how his student is doing. Now the last weeks with the live shows have been super pleasant and I must admit I’ll think about this beautiful trip after Christmas with a smile on my face. An amazing experience & a super memory. The feeling of survival in the end and all the great talents and folks I met the last months was just amazing.

I guess I am trying to thank every one of you for making this trip and the whole year so cool after all, so…

Thank you Sunrise Avenue guys for your efforts and patience. The year 2013 wasn’t the easiest year for us but we’re still standing – and damn tall. 2014 will be our year. The clubs and arenas are full and we will rock them all like never before.

Thank you both Jukkas for producing the great tunes for us again. We’re all so damn proud of the album and if you wouldn’t have been true and honest until the end, we wouldn’t be this far today.

Thank you everyone at Universal Music at the offices and on the promotion road for understanding Sunrise Avenue as it is and for the musical input on the last months in studio. And thank you for pushing me against the wall when it came to the decision about the Voice. I would not be getting ready for the final tomorrow without you guys.

Thank you Enrico and the Contra Promotion guys for growing one size bigger last summer as we had to take the next step. You’ve been there since 2006 and if I may decide, I’ll thank you in my very last blog when we’re all done with Sunrise Avenue some day in the end for being there for all the ups and downs.

Thank you managers Anne & Mikko for being there all the way. We must really like each other with Mikko since we’re even now sitting side by side at the hotel bar while I’m writing this blog. He seems busy with his MacBook. I’m proud to be your best man even if it’s been you and me more than it’s been you and your beautiful wife the last year. Everywhere from Southern Russia to Hollywood and from Berlin to my back yard talking about life and the shit and candy it come with. You’re a brother forever.

Thank you Sony/ATV guys and writers for the music in Sweden, Finland and Los Angeles. The tunes turned out pretty nice after all…

Thank you Brix. Probably the best thing about doing the Voice was meeting you. Our little joint venture will not end even if the Voice Of show is over tomorrow. Would never have made it without you. You are the real pro behind the team. Big Love and even bigger respect.

Thank you Naomi, team Samu vocal coach. As I am sitting on this comfortable sofa having a nice cold lager beer, you’re still preparing Judith and Chris for the show tomorrow. Even at the show tomorrow you’ll be the proudest “big sister” after our talents do a good job on stage. Amazing how much you really care.

Thank you every single person at Schwarzkopf, Pro7/Sat1, Talpa / The Voice and everyone who made this amazing thing happen. After the meeting with director Karsten, my favorite arsch-krokodil, last summer in Berlin, I had no idea what the next six months would bring. You’re all huge!

Thank you Nena, MAXimus, and BossHoss boys and everyone in the teams. It’s a shame the TV viewers didn’t see how you came to my chair on every commercial break trying to cheer me up when it was hard in the beginning. Was one hell of a ride and I am very happy it was exactly you people we experienced these months together with.

All the talents in the show. It’s just amazing how much one can develop and learn in a few months and I am super proud of you all. All of you from all the 4 teams. You showed me once again how lucky I am doing what I do and for what I already have. And to those who didn’t make it to the finals or to the life shows, remember, this was just one period and another experience in your life and on your career. Never stop believing in your dream and keep going!

The biggest thanx to all you lovely angels at our crowd at the Sunrise Avenue concerts and everyone at the Voice Of audiences. Without you people these evenings would make no sense. I have been trying to understand the love we get from you lying alone in the hotel rooms and in the tour bus in the night but the math makes no sense. This thing we have together is quite amazing. I hope the music and the shows pay back some of the power and love we get from you. Thank you.

On Saturday I’ll go home to my loved ones. To the people who let me selfishly live this crazy life and who keep me from sinking too deep into this crazy tasty world. Love is a lame word to describe my feelings for you.

I feel pretty touched right now. So if you see a tall blonde guy crying his eyes out tomorrow night in Berlin, you should know it’s tears of happiness and gratefulness. With a tasty Döner kebab, I hope.

Have a great Christmas and New Years Eve and good luck for 2014.

Love you all so much,

Samu


05.02.2014
Soon on tour

Greetings from the Unholy Ground Tour rehearsals in Helsinki! We are building the sound setup today and tomorrow we will go through all the visual things. Then everything will be ready for the race and we will start our journey in Helsinki this Friday at the Club Circus. It’s been sold out for many weeks now, just like most of the other European cities and it all looks so damn good!

We started practicing the new songs already last year before Christmas and there has been many weeks for us all to listen to the band camp demos but no matter how much you listen to the stuff on your iPhone somewhere on a tropical island, it’s still going to be very exciting to actually stand in front of you guys and then we will finally see how the new songs work in real life.

So… You better start selecting your show outfits and planning the sing-along-moves. We will be bigger and louder than ever before and we know that we’re gonna have to rock you guys more than ever before. I still can’t understand that we had to upgrade almost every arena and venue, some of them even twice, and Sunrise Avenue will be bigger than ever before.

Our stomachs are filled with butterflies and we will release them all as soon as Sami hits the first drum beat at the beginning of the show.

Love & Hugs & see you soon!

Samu & Boys

PS. There are still a couple of tickets left in Zurich, Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna. If you wanna join the party, make sure you get your tickets fast. The other ones are sold out already.


15.02.2014 Samu
Helsinki – Zurich – Stuttgart

Well oh well…

I and we have been in many different places and situations in the last years, but this beginning of this tour has been something else. Of course we saw the “sold out” notes next to the tour dates online, but we didn’t really expect it to be this cool.

In Helsinki we were doing the stuff with the new album’s songs for the first time and we were like little rabbits on approaching car’s headlights. Our brains were working over power through the whole set and actually Osmo said after the show it was pretty funny how focused we were since nobody barely looked at each other during the whole show. However, the evening in Helsinki was just awesome and it seems as if the audience quality in Finland is becoming as great as it’s anywhere else. No more shy Finns. It’s always scary playing in front of your parents, family, friends, neighbors and all the other folks we know, but we enjoyed the night like nothing before. Already then after the Helsinki show I had this funny feeling the tour would work better than ever.

Before Zurich we spent a few days in Ludwigsburg in Germany checking out the new stage system we have on tour with us. Out show producer Stephan had created a very great setup for us and a Berlin based Pfadfinderei visual team had finally made all the videos and stuff ready for us to have the secret look at an empty arena. Was actually super cool looking at our own show just listening and enjoying the moment. It’s cool to have the whole arena for us and for the first time we were “in the crowd”. I felt like singing along. I met Stephan for the first time in December in Berlin and it’s superb we were able to create all this together in such short time.

The show in Zurich was just amazing. You could probably tell that we were still getting used to the bigger production and all the show details but the packed Hallen Stadion was an experience we will never forget. We also got Gold awards for “Lifesaver” single and “Unholy Ground” album from Switzerland. A nice start for the European run. I remember watching a Lenny Kravitz performance at that same stadium a few years ago and back then I thought to myself that it would be cool to play in a place like this someday. Big Box ticked. WOW!

Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Stuttgart. The hometown of Porsche and Mercedes has always treated us well, but tonight was something else. We added one more song to the set and overall the show felt already way more relaxed. Felt like we knew what we were doing. And all the technical things work better and better every night. And just like the three other cities so far, what a crowd!!!!

It’s great to do all kinds of other projects and TV shows but DAMN it feels great being back singing these songs with these guys and for you amazing people.

I’m sitting in the lower lounge of the bus now with a diet coke writing this blog. What the hell happened to red wine…? Maybe I’ll have a glass before I sink into my bus bed in my tiny bedroom. We are just the band in this bus and actually it’s great. Just five guys and our driver Dieter, who is a cool dude.  It’s very peaceful here. I bet the MyFirstBand boys are enjoying their night as well. I just love having them here with us and I just must try to see one of their performances. I want to. First row is always just so booked when they play.  Also Mr. Ryan Keen seems like a nice guy. I love this kind of singer-song-writer stuff. Feels like we have the best line-up with us ever.

I have no words to thank you all for the moments you have given us these three nights. Tonight as I waved to the crowd for the last time on stage at the end of the show, I felt like the happiest and the luckiest guy on the planet. And that I truly am.  I could cry happy tears right now because of you pelple.

Big hug to all of you and se you soon. Tomorrow in Frankfurt.

Not just a little bit love,

Samu & the Gang

PS: Ok, I’ll have the wine glass. Old dog – old habits. Woof woof ;)


20.02.2014 Samu
Frankfurt – Berlin - Hamburg

Here we are at Hannover backstage. I just had again a great dinner served by our own chefs who are on the road with us all the way. The “Hells Kitchen Catering” team is probably the best we ever had. Every day, three times a day, our whole 50 people crew is sitting there with a happy face from starter tomato bruschetta to the dessert chocolate stuff. Njam Njam <3 I hope the gilrs are able to take our crew’s “below the belt” jokes until the end…

Three show nights are behind since my last blog after Stuttgart and all we can say is WOW WOW WOW! Frankfurt Festhalle was probably the coolest venue ever. This old building with the coolest roof ever. You can see it on our Facebook page on the picture our trusted photographer Anna Äärela took from one of the balconies. Anna was with us in Frankfurt and Berlin just to make sure we get some cool pictures from this trip too.

I don’t know why Berlin has a reputation being not so great for playing live shows. They say the crowd is too cool to have fun?? Maybe the folks came from somewhere else that night, but we were totally hyped by the crowd there too. In Berlin we also did an extra number with our Berliner friend Chris Schummert from the Voice of Germany 2013. We played his song “The singer” together. It was actually cool for once to just play and I had all the time to look around me during the song. Chris did an amazing job! Maybe in the next band I won’t be the singer. Easier job ;) Berlin crowd was also full of friends, family and music industry people. That always makes you nervous in a funny way. But it also gives you power.

On Tuesday in Hamburg was the big night. We filmed our UNHOLY GROUND DVD. I was feeling pretty ill the show day, but fortunately with medicine and a lot of sleep the show was a success. I still can’t believe we sold out the O2 arena. The arena is built by a Finnish dude, Hjallis Harkimo back in the days. There is a similar arena in Helsinki where the Helsinki’s worst ice hockey team “Helsinki Jokers” play their games. Anyways, the arena is cool and I always dreamed of playing a sold out O2 arena show someday. Thank you all for making the dream come true. The lovely Schwarzkopf TV people also filmed the MyFirstBand show and I hope the guys can use the footage somehow in the future. It looked so cool <3

Yesterday was a good day. Raul and Riku stayed in Hamburg with their family and friends but the rest of us were in Hannover. First Finland beat the hell out of the Russians in Sochi Olympic Ice Hockey quarterfinals. We are against Sweden tomorrow. We’ll see. Either we’re gonna have 5 happy guys on stage in Oberhausen or then we’ll just do sad songs that night. After the Russia-game we had a great shopping day in the city and a superb Italian dinner with the MyFirstBand guys at 12 apostle- restaurant. Great wine list. Go check it out!

Today we will do our best to entertain the crowd in Hannover at the Swiss Life Arena. Also sold out... One of my greatest songwriter friends, Sharon Vaughn, is coming to see the show tonight. You can hear her input in Lifesaver, Unholy Ground, Hurtsville, Letters In The Sand, etc. She is one of the most beautiful souls in the world and it will be amazing singing our songs to her. She is our big sister. I sent our driver at the airport waiting for her just to make sure she makes it in time. She is a busy girl…

So… Thank you all again for the amazing moments and see some of you on stage in 1 hour 34 minutes.

Big Big love everyone!

Samu and his happy boys


23.02.2014 Samu
Hannover – Oberhausen – Berlin weekend

Sun is shining and it feels a bit like spring. Feels so cool to wear the sunglasses after so many months. Actually you have to because your eyes are not used to the sunbeams. I am in Berlin for two and a half days with our bass player Raul. He rented a car in Leipzig where we arrived after the Oberhausen show on Saturday morning and here we are.

Today I finally had a chance to check out the Mauerpark and Arkonaplaz flee markets. WOW! I could have bought a truck full of stuff there. Especially all the vintage furniture, decoration stuff and electronics stuff there is just crazy! I bought two vintage cameras from the 60’s and one analogue metronome from early 80’s and it says made in West Germany. How cool is that! For more than 30 years it has given the beat to musicians and now it’ll be decorating my little studio room giving some sort of a beat to my life. The camera stuff was amazing. There were hundreds of really old shooting machines and I just had to take a few of them with me. They will look amazing combined with my brand new Nikon equipment.

So, we lost against Sweden at the ice hockey semifinals. Last night the Finnish lions won their bronze game and I think it’s actually not that bad. AND one of the Sweden’s biggest stars Nicklas Bäckström got caught today with illegal doping stuff, so who knows… Anyways. Bronze is a great achievement against such tough teams and we did beat the team USA 5-0 at the last game. I’m proud of you boys. And Teemu Selänne #8 Forever!

Seems as if the shows are just super cool everywhere this time. The Swiss Life Arena in Hannover was a little smaller than the ones before, but the mood in the room was just as explosive as everywhere else so far. I don’t know what it always is with me and the 6th show, but after “Angels On A Rampage” I hit my head with the guitar really hard as I was trying to get the new guitar from guitar technician Karri between the songs. My hand was very sweaty and it just slipped. I survived that and then in “Fairytale Gone Bad” I fell of the stage. You can’t see too well in the front because of the lights and at some point I just felt “oops, there’s nothing under my feet anymore…” I love the look on the crew guys faces at these moments saying: “Did I just lose most of my summer jobs this summer…?”

But the sweet security guys saved me. Again ;) Was also cool playing for my songwriter friend Sharon. It’s Sharon actually speaking in “I Can Break Your Heart” after the guitar solo and she said she almost freaked out when she heard herself through the speakers.

Oberhausen Arena has been this kind of a dream for us for many years. We heard from the Nightwish guys that it’s just an amazing place to play and the mood is always super intimate even though there are 12.000 people in the crowd. Feels like a little club. So finally it was our turn to enjoy that stage last Friday and damn it was cool. After the show I met some of my German relatives for the first time too. It’s kind of spooky to see people after more than 30-year break but they were super great. They have a photo of me when I’m 3-years old or something. I hope I have changed a bit since then. Not smarter but taller.

Also almost my whole family was there and even though the SWE-FIN ice hockey game went as it went, it was great watching it together with them. The catering gilrs made hamburgers for us for the game. How sweet...

After the show Raul and I took our bus and all the others went to My First Band’s caravan to party the hell out of their souls. The boys looked pretty dead in Leipzig at 11Am as the busses arrived there. They went to bed, we drove to Berlin, so here I am.

I had a few meetings yesterday with some music industry people and in the night I visited our first product manager’s Julia’s birthday party. Was super cool having a few beers with the EMI music colleagues from 2006. Was amazing to just think about everything that happened to Sunrise Avenue after that. We would not be here without those first important months and the work of those wonderful people.

I’ll go to gym now so I have a little time for showers and stuff before I meet Raul at the lobby for dinner. He has booked a table at this very cool Asian restaurant for us. I also have the coolest vintage bathtub in my room, so I guess I better test drive that after dinner and watch a movie or something. Tomorrow we drive back to Leipzig with Raul to rock the people at Haus Auensee together with the guys. It’s the first time in the Band’s history we have a double day off. I love it. The throat rests and the mind rests. I like my life very much right now.

Thank you all for all the amazing moments again and see you really really soon.

A lot of love,

Samu


27.02.2014
Leipzig – Munich – Vienna

Only one left to go. I get the same shock every time. First you plan the tour for months and then you are enjoying the trip with the guys so much you kind of lose the track of time and suddenly you realize it’s the last show night on this run.

After my Berlin weekend with Raul we drove to Leipzig where the rest of the boys and crew had been enjoying their weekend. I heard about this crazy jam session thing with some local band’s instruments… It was a very cool thing to have these two off-days because finally my throat felt better and performing felt fresh again. The almost two hours on stage include so much singing that it’s pretty hard rebooting yourself in one day. I like.

Haus Auensee in Leipzig is one of the places we had played many times before. They had tried upgrading that venue too, but there was nothing available in the city, so Haus Auensee it was. It was kind of cool playing also one smaller club on this run and Jesus the crowd sounded loud now that we were much closer to them again. After the show I usually take my both in-ear-monitors off, but in Leipzig that was not possible. The noise from the crowd was too loud and it was almost painful. But in a very good and tasty way. Leipzig was probably the loudest crowd on this trip so far.

Zenith club in Munich has always been a little dream for me. Before the very first shows in Germany in 2006 I checked out some YouTube videos of some Finnish bands’ shows there, such as The Rasmus, Nightwish and HIM. I just remember thinking how cool it would be to play in Zenith once. It’s this huge 5500 people club. It’s not too high and you can feel every single person in the room while you play. Before the Munich show Antti, the singer of My First Band came to our back stage after their show and said, “boys, there are some crazy folks out there and tonight it’ll be double fun and triple hot.” Antti was right. I don’t know what it is about Munich. Immer super!

So here I am on my hotel bed in Vienna getting ready for the last show. I love this city very much and I have so many great memories from here. We are ending the tour in Vienna for the second time in a row. The Big Band Theory after tour party was HARD!!! Let’s see what happens today…
We have had the most amazing crew with us and the best catering and transportation gang ever. The security has made an amazing job and there hasn’t been a moment on this trip one single guy from the gang would have thought something could be better. Big love and a huge thanx to you all. And as I know the Austrian audience never fails, tonight will be the perfect ending for this experience.

Big Big love and rock you all very soon <3

Samu and his happy men


05.04.2014
Copenhagen Airport & Back to school

It was always a mess here when we used to travel through Copenhagen to different European destinations in the past. The whole airport was under construction and there were no cool shops, restaurants and cafes and I used to hate this place. I once even slept one night at the airport floor in 2007. We had been in Milan, Italy at this TV show and we were supposed to fly to Helsinki via Copenhagen. Landing in Copenhagen was very hard due to a snowstorm and they told us as soon as we landed and got to the gate that we’d have to spend our night in the city.

As all the flights were cancelled and there were a lot of passengers looking for a place to sleep, all the hotels were fully booked and we had nowhere to go. The problem was that there was a show next day in Finland and we weren’t just able to take a taxi downtown for a couple of days to enjoy our time.

So we had a couple of beers in the night with the guys and the next morning I woke up on the airport floor as this little Swedish girl was standing next to me with her family asking for an autograph. That was one of the rock star moments of my life so far. I was still a bit drunk and I felt like a homeless dude who smells like shit. I didn’t have a toothbrush. I’m a great example for the youth…

I haven’t been to the airport for a couple years and wow it was cool now. The “under construction” signs are gone and it’s all ready and beautiful. I think Copenhagen just topped my favorite airport, Helsinki. I ended up shopping my ass off those 90 minutes now. Congratulations Denmark! Why the hell am I actually writing so much about a damn airport… Mr. Haber’s Trip advisor. Ok, to the point…

A lot has happened after the tour. It’s been mostly about promoting the new single “Little Bit Love” and joining different award shows. I even had our former keyboard player / Producer Jukka with me at the TV shows playing the piano because Osmo wasn’t able to come. Osmo is just so damn busy with all his other projects. With Jukka you can NEVER go to sleep without drinking two bottles of wine. And it’s always worth it. Was actually great fun. I have missed Jukka since he’s been living in Cologne, Las Vegas and Paris Now. Every time I call him, he is in a different country.

Today we’re traveling with my band mates again. We are performing in some TV show in Cologne and on Saturday we will play a small acoustic school concert somewhere in Germany. Meanwhile it’s been so cool being at home and actually having time for myself the last month. I was even able to set up a little birthday get together. I usually suck with that. And thank you everyone for the great presents you had also sent me. Sweet <3 I wasn’t able to invite you al because I wasn’t able to bake a cake big enough…;)

I also love how the year 2014 looks in the calendar now. The spring will be pretty easy, just a couple promotion activities and mostly just enjoying life and writing songs when ever I feel like it. The summer festival schedule looks great too. There’s a lot but it’s not too packed. We have these little “Sunrise Avenue Festivals” too this summer and I really like that. We still don’t know all the bands we will invite to play at those evenings with us, but we’ll see. I guess My First Band will join for some of them at least. And maybe we find something even newer and cool from Finland. You never know…

And then in late summer I will jump on my red chair again at the Voice Of Germany. I thought about The Voice for quite some time after they offered me the job again, but in the end I just felt like I had to do it one more time. Last year with all the craziness was so hard and busy; I don’t actually remember much of it. I think this time I will definitely enjoy the Voice even more and I will know better what to do with the talents since everything is not new to me. Even though last year was busy, I still value the Voice Experience as one of the coolest in my life so far. So maybe now it’ll be a bit more relaxed and smooth since I don’t have to spend time with album production and song writing the same time. And learning German will be easier too since I have more time for it. I will still speak completely wrong, but maybe a can learn a couple more words to help me communicate with the talents &folks. It’s not a language show, it’s a damn TV show where they sing mostly in English. One more season! I’m so excit
ed ;) Now that Nena and BossiHossi decided to leave the game (I think that is smart after three seasons), I really hope Max stays in the game with me.

In the autumn there are also some very cool things planned for Sunrise Avenue, but we and I’ll let you know about that stuff as soon as it’s all confirmed. Some of our childhood perversions and dreams will be fulfilled ;) I really hope it all works out – looks good. Now we’re getting musically dead serious…

I never wrote the blog after the last show of the tour in Vienna. The party was just too hard and lasted for days…;) After the promotion for “Unholy Ground” and the Voice ended in late 2013, I had been daily connected to the live production for the tour we had. Even on my winter holidays. There were huge storms and threats around the production and the whole tour and we even had to change the major team twice to make it work for you in the arenas. But it worked out and rocked like hell!

So… I must say the biggest thanx to you all for making the unbelievable great three weeks happen for us. We’ve been through the ups and downs during the last ten years with the band and we’ve seen almost all of it. Those ten shows were far the best thing that I have ever experienced with my pants on and it was far the best experience I have had on stage ever. The DVD filming and recording in Hamburg O2 worked out perfect too and that will be one damn cool package. I guess it’ll be out in early autumn.

So… Be nice everyone and work and study hard. There’s still some months until we hit the summer time. But  when we do, we will have fun together. As always.

We have 50 Kilometers to the destination so I’ll close my eyes for a moment. It’s a school concert we play in a local high school today. They have won our show in some kind of a contest. Back to school. I was never too got at it…

Big love all and huge hugs everyone,

Samu


31.05.2014 Samuel Hapa Haber
Summer time love, Summer time love

To get the best out of this blog, listen to the legendary Sabrina’s hit “Boys boys Boys” from the 80’s. Why?

1st because it’s summer now and the dude sings “summer time love” in the song.

2nd because our brother band “My First Band” who released their international debut album yesterday somehow remind me of Sabrina… They do!

Check out the Sabrina video on YouTube or somewhere. It’s hilarious. I had her poster on my wall when I was one meter shorter. I can still remember going to bed and saying “Good night Sabrina…”

It’s funny how I seem to start many of my blogs with the words “I’m sitting in a plane to…” and here I go again. We are flying to Zurich, Switzerland with the boys for this Happy Day- TV show. I don’t know much about it, but our job will be performing some music, so I guess we’ll be fine. And since we know our favorite Swiss music industry dude Mr. Carlo Pozzi with his ever smiling face will be waiting for us at the airport, nothing can go wrong tonight. It’s always super cool going to the land of cheese, chocolate and private banking.

The spring has been super cool and relaxing after the tour. After the ridiculously busy last year, it has felt amazing just being mostly free of all duties. You really need this sometimes. I counted that I had more than 200(!!) travel days last year. If on top of that you write, record and produce and promote and album, it’s no wonder I started looking like a grandmother near Christmas. Nothing against grandmothers, though. The last month I’ve been around Europe pretty much just enjoying different leisure stuff and songwriting and I have also spent time in my little garden. Yes, it’s one of the coolest things to do on a sunny day. By now it’s been mostly about simple plants, flowers and trees, but in the summer I will get into herbs and little vegetables too. On a warm evening it’s just amazing to sit on the terrace with a glass of good wine and just listen to the watering system do its job on the green stuff. And the smell of wet grass. Mmmmm… I wonder how my little plants survive without me for one night n
ow…? Hahahahha ;)

Summer’s here and the festival season is near. It feels super good. Especially after we’ve had a break with the guys now and we haven’t seen each other in ages, it feels really great getting on the summer stages together. We have a perfect mixture of different shows this summer and it goes on for four months, until Septermber. And since we played a shorter tour this spring due to the bigger arenas, we haven’t played that many shows with the new songs yet. So they definitely still feel super fresh. We have only the final rehearsal left with Raul, Riku, Sami and Osmo next week and then we’re good to go. I still can’t get over the tour in February. It was just something super amazing and you have no idea how thankful we are to every one of you making it possible. I’ve had sweet dreams of those moments when you sang the songs with us…

Two years ago keyboardist Heikki, who used to replace Osmo acouple of times at our shows, came to me with a couple of questions regarding their band and the challenges they had. We had a coffee at café Ursula in Helsinki and listened to some of their tracks. They had released two albums already but nothing had really happened and he asked for help. After listeningto the new songs they had and especially after being at their album releaseshow in 2012 at Tavastia in Helsinki, I fell in love with the band.

Our managers Mikko and Anne and myself put our heads together and decided to help the boys out with our network. We introduced them to International agents, publishers and record labels and most of all to the Sunrise Avenue crowd. Actually after the first show they supported in Hamburgat the Hamburg Sport Halle in 2011, I was convinced. They boys seemed to be humble but they sure rocked the stage too. Good combination. That was when I decided to start the project with them and to help them in any way I can. I have been super lucky in life with my own career and opportunities and that luck should be spread forward to good people too, if possible.

A lot has happened in a couple of years and the boys have atiny international network behind them now. Yesterday they released their first international album and I am very very proud of it. We all know how these things go. It’s extremely hard breaking new acts and the odds and chances are what they are. But check the music out anyways. The My First band boys are also supporting Sunrise Avenue many times this summer so there’s a good chance seeing them live too.

The top two things I HATE about My First Band:

1.    Antti sings too high. Way higher than me. My ego doesn’t like it.

2.    Keyboardist Heikki wasn’t in such good shape when we met. It was a mistake taking him to the kettle-bell sessions and introducing him the gym stuff. Those arms.

The top two things I LIKE about My First Band:

1.    Juho, Heikki K. and Mikko used to play in one of Finland’s biggest bands, PMMP for years. I was at their shows many times and I always thought Juho looks so cool with his bass. So, now he sold me his PMMP bass, A Fender Precision Bass from the 70’s. That was my glory moment. I have been cheering in their crowd in 1st row staring at that instrument. Now it’s mine. MINE!!!

2.    Probably even better than getting the legendary PMMP bass is that guitarist Mikko really liked the LONG UNDERPANTS I brought him from Barcelona. Enough said.

The Voice Of Germany pre-recordings start late in the summer too. I will have to set a few dates with my German teacher, Dirk again. I must have forgotten most of my already poor German while just watering my plants and fooling around. Maybe I should speak German to my flowers; it’s still the language of love... People speak to their plants, don’t they? Anyways. I have a feeling the second season of the voice for me will be even more enjoyable, since I already know a bit what’s gonna happen. And even though I miss Max, BossiHossi and Nena already, it’s cool to meet new people. The voice won’t take as much time this year either so there will be time for other musical activities. I like how my life looks like for the next seven months.

So… Rest well everyone and recharge your batteries for the summer. It’s just gonna be a couple of months of sunshine, festivals and other fun stuff and we better make the best out of it. No pressure…;)

Love, hugs and happiness!

Can’t wait to see you all soon,

Hapa Haber

PS: Now, don’t forget Sabrina and her video.


18.06.2014 Samu
Oslo, Norway

The summer festival season is on now and WOW what a weekend we just had! It was super nice getting back on stage with the guys after a break and we couldn’t have done it in a more colorful way.
 
We started our summer tour in Tussling, Germany last Thursday. Everything was prepared well and we were super ready. In the morning as we arrived at the cool castle venue, I jumped off stage in my morning coma and twisted my ankle pretty bad. I was feeling a bit depressed as I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to make it through the show, but luckily the First Aid ladies took good care of me and gave me some pain killers and toys to keep my feet in one piece. The crew guys even had a bar chair for me, in case my foot would not be ok to stand with. Imagine sitting and singing there on that huge stage for the whole 90 minutes… But it went ok with the body parts too. It’s actually always funny how you forget your “broken bones” and illness on stage when the adrenaline hits you. After the show I was hurting like hell as soon as I “woke up” from the dream we had on stage. On stage you kind of forget everything else, even your pain and sorrows.

The first show was ok. It seems as if it’s always hard to be relaxed with the first performance after a break no matter how much you prepare yourself. The crowd was superb and all but we could have done a better and more relaxed job. Good start anyway.

After Tussling we had a day off in sunny Vienna but on Saturday there was even more action for us. We had been waiting for the biggest Austrian festival show at Nova Rock for months and as we started our show, it felt as if it’s going to be the best night ever. Actually the first songs went like in a dream but then the whole stage system crashed down. It felt a bit strange playing “Lifesaver” and the sound in our ears was superb but the audience just kept on showing us these sings that something was wrong. The problem was that the music didn’t play to them at all. Tiny problem ;) Even with that 10-minute technical break, the Nova Rock show was a blast and it kind of promised us the festival set would start working better and better.

These technical breakdown moments are very annoying on stage while they happen, but afterwards they make you feel like survivors together with our crew who glue the pieces together in super short time. Usually at least my guitar works so I could sing something small with the crowd while the boys fix the cables and stuff, but now the whole thing went down, actually for the first time ever. It felt so stupid, but there’s not much we can do.

After our own show, I also performed one song with my childhood idol, Mr David Hasselhoff. What a guy and what a great show he and his team made. It amazed me how well the Austrians know his songs. Not just “looking for freedom” that we sang. David kind of forgot to tell the crowd who’s gonna join him on stage and it was funny how everyone seemed to stare at me on stage wondering, “who the hell is that blonde guy?” My ego can take it ;)

After Nova Rock we drove to one of our favorite German festivals, the Hessentag near Frankfurt. I must admit we had a HUGE party in the buss together with the My First Band boys and as I woke up at the hotel in Frankfurt, I wasn’t too sure I could do my job that well on stage that night. But sometimes a slight hangover can also be good for the shows. It makes you feel sensitive and that’s good for performing music. It’s just my throat that bothers me if I have been screaming Hasselhoff songs until the morning.

The Hessentag show showed us that our live monster is alive. It was probably one of the Top 3 festival experiences I have ever had in my whole life and everything just seemed to work perfect. The show got a little better and it’s amazing how it also becomes a bit longer when we are not panicking on stage with starting the next song and doing the speeches in between etc.  So promising sings for the rest of the summer.

So seems to me that we need a couple of concerts to get the system running properly. The “old diesel engines” need time… The same happened with the spring tour too. For me the tour was far the coolest and greatest of all times, but in Zurich at the first evening, we were not as good as we could be.

After Hessentag I flew home for one day and now I’m in Norway writing songs together with the World Idol winner Norwegian Kurt Nilsen. He’s a very nice guy and anyways I don’t mind being here. When I left Helsinki this morning, it was +9 and raining. Here the sun has been shining the whole day and it’s super hot. Well, I’m inside sitting in a studio, but anyhow… Looks nice through a window.

Tomorrow after the studio session, I will fly to Austria or Germany (can’t remember where) and I’ll wait for the rest of the band there overnight. The boys will pick me up on Friday and we’ll drive off to the next shows. My ankle is better and seems as if it can handle even jumping now. Strong boys come from my country…

I’m not feeling too great somehow. I hope it’s just travel sickness or lack of sleep. I can almost sleep 12 hours tonight, so I bet tomorrow is a better day. I heard there’s a pretty evil summer flu going around right now. But I bet I will be a new man tomorrow after sleeping in this mountain air and eating their super healthy salmon today.

Anyways. Thank you all for the super weekend in Germany and Austria last weekend and see you all very soon.

Good night everyone,

Samu

PS: In case you have a Sunrise Avenue tattoo, a band logo, song name or anything that clearly has something to do with us, feel free to join our art work stuff through the link on our site within the next few weeks.

The link to the tatto upload:

here http://sunriseave.com/specials/tattoo-2014/index.php?lang=en


13.08.2014 Samu
Sporty Avenue Flying High

This time, I will not begin my blog with “I’m sitting in a Finnair plane…” We’ll I kind of did it again, but not really.

We are on the way to Zurich, Switzerland to play at the European Championship of Athletics. I really don’t know what’s going on in there at the opening ceremony, but I know that we’ll do two songs. I hope we can choose them. You never know with these international TV productions. Maybe they have the whole thing planned already and they even tell me what to say in between the songs… I would NEVER obey those commands. The thing is, it’s LIVE TV broadcasted to more than 40 countries and I say what I say… Muahahahaha…

What a summer it has been. And it still is. This morning was the very first time in SEVEN WEEKS it was really raining in Finland. There were a couple of thunders and a little rain from those clouds, but we have already actually been waiting for the R.A.I.N. to come wet out grounds. 2014 has been the record breaking hot summer and they say it’s still gonna be hot for some time. And it has been super warm everywhere in Europe. I just hope the planet doesn’t balance itself in the next months by throwing frozen stuff at us from the sky. But I can’t complain anyways. There are so many new exotic plants on my back yard due to the humidity and heat that I will probably soon start selling tropical trips to my square-meter rainforest. Samu-Land. Sounds cool. Children get in half price. Actually not. That place is not public and I would deeply hate anyone coming there uninvited if the intentions are stalking or whatever. Private space. Stay away!

We have six summer festivals left. It has been just amazing everywhere this summer. When the sixth show in Papenburg, Germany is done we will focus on two things; 1st The new music we release in October and 2nd the Über cool classical shows we’re gonna play in Lucerne, Switzerland in early October too.

The Best Of Album

Yes. It’s kind of funny how fast everything has moved since 2002 when I moved back to Finland from Spain. Then I decided I would not rest for the next years until Sunrise Avenue has a record out. A lot has happened after that. I have met my band boys, a billion cool other people, played all the stages and written all these songs together with the fantastic folks. Now is the moment to put the first period in a package and to take a small break from everything.

It was actually breathtaking going through the albums we’ve released when I started thinking about all the songs that are important enough to get their place on the “Best Of.” When you listen to the songs, you start remembering all the billion moments, happy, lonely, crazy, in love, out of love and style, drunk, hang over, missing home and feeling the king of the world when writing, recording and preforming these babies. There have been moments I have felt like jumping off the roof and also moments when I could have forced the leaders of Palestine and Israel to a threesome-kiss because there was so much unexplainable love inside me. And everything in between. And you need all that to write songs and to live this crazy thing.

Anyways. Listening to the songs, I realized how damn lucky we are having done all these things the last years together with you. Actually the dreams we had when we were 12 came true. It’s totally different than I thought – way harder and way better.

So… The best moments of Sunrise Avenue 2006-2014 will be released with some new songs in October. That package makes me and us extremely proud. And that package would not be as it is without you. It’s just amazing what we have done together. Thank you <3

Sunrise Avenue goes Classical

We have so many violins and cellos in the songs and I have been dying for a chance to play many of our songs with a full classical orchestra.

Radio Pilatus from Lucerne, Switzerland asked us a year ago if we’d be interested in performing together with their gang and we didn’t have to think about that for too long. The thing is, now there are tens of people on stage with us, so much more than at the Big band Theory Tour, and making all this work has taken time. Lucerne is one of the coolest cities in the world and we could not figure out a better little town for this little project. I know that there are not too many tickets left, so move fast if you don’t wanna miss the fun.

The Voice Of Germany Season 4

I am so happy I decided to do one more year. I thought about it for quite long in the spring when they asked me. It was super fun last season too, sure, but it was also pretty much work and also since I still don’t speak German, it’s exhausting sitting there when you don’t understand a thing the others talk. I am still so bored with the reporters who think they’re funny and say “Aber hey, wir können das Interview auf Deutsch machen, klar?” even though they have been told I just can’t talk about album production or life issues in German. I wish I could, But I can’t… 

But I must say my German is better now. Much better than last year. Of course I worked with it and watched movies in German and stuff (Ostwind movie is so cool;). Last season I really had two weeks to study before the blind auditions started. Now I had one year & two weeks. Now it kind of works.

I loved doing the show with Max, Nena and BossHoss boys, but I must say this time the whole thing has been three times more fun and energetic. They selected very good people on the red chairs and now the battle is FULLY ON! Don’t miss it. I guess it starts in October.

I would love to tell you some stuff that has happened there and I’d happily tell you about a couple of great singers but I can’t. They will shoot me if I talk. Not really shoot, but yell really loud. And I’d have to pay them A LOT. Unfair….

So…. Big love everyone and remember to support the Finnish athletes at the games. If Tero Pitkämäki doesn’t get at least a bronze medal, you can call me “Ostwind” for a week.

Hugs everyone,

Samu

#youcannneverbeready
#funkytown
#nothingisover


05.09.2014 Samu
Two Last Festivals 2014

Damn time flies. It feels like it was a week ago we were planning the summer shows with the guys at our little rehearsal garage and now it’s already the last summer weekend for us. It goes so fast.

I have to say this summer has topped it all and it has felt so damn good everywhere. We’re sitting here somewhere in Halle-Saale, Germany at the backstage with the crew guys and My First Band getting ready for the night and it feels super great. Even the weather is so warm. So the weatherman is on our side too and I have a good feeling about tonight. And even if the summer shows are over soon, it doesn’t mean that the cold winds should start blowing immediately. So weatherman, if you’re reading this, keep on sending the sunshine as long as you possibly can ;)

After the show tomorrow in Papenburg, we will start focusing on our symphonic orchestra concerts in early October. We have finished arranging the first songs for that show and GOD they sound great! There are many songs on our albums that we always wanted to play with a huge orchestra and now we finally have the chance. I will, for sure, have tears in my eyes at “welcome to my life” and some other songs as we finally have the real live strings with us on stage. It’s amazing how fast the shows were sold out and that kind of tells us we really need to give everything we possibly can on stage for you lovely people those three nights.

After the symphonic shows, it’s gonna be pretty much about promoting our new songs and the “Best Of Sunrise Avenue – Fairytales” album. And also the super hyper cool DVD filmed this year in Hamburg at the sold out O2 World. We just watched the fresh DVD in the bus with the boys as we drove from Berlin and we were literally screaming twenty times because it looks and sounds so damn cool!! WE Are so PROUD!!!!! When I hopefully have grandchildren someday, I’ll show them this DVD. Look what grandpa did when he was young. It’s just a big W-O-W all the way and you all look so good and sing so great and loud!

Then after Christmas we will have our first longer break since we started in 2002. That feels really good. We all love doing what we do, but it’s great actually having a little time for ourselves and some distance to this great circus. I don’t know what the guys will do and I haven’t really decided where I will go and what I will do, but that’s actually the way I want it. I feel free ;) The last 12 years with Sunrise have been totally unbelievable, but I must admit having no plans for some months is the best thing to do after the work this year is done. I’ll probably just sleep the first month and then just see what I feel like doing. Maybe I’ll join an Ice Hockey team. Or maybe not…

And the best thing about the break is that we have really cool festival and other plans for 2015 in the summer. So there’s also something we can wait for. Somebody somewhere wrote about a “Break-up.” No. We’re gonna have a “break.” That’s something very different. Usually after these breaks you come back with even more power. I believe that’s the case with us too.

I must say you guys have been super amazing no matter if it’s been rain or shine at the shows the whole summer. Please keep on going for two more summer shows and these five Finnish idiots will be super happy. As we are always with you.

So… Big hugs from the backstage and let’s sing really loud together in a couple of hours.

Love,

Samu & Boys

PS. Thank you for the platinum awards last night Germany for 200.000 + 150.000 sold units. There are no words… <3


24.09.2014 Samu
Hurtsville – Behind the Song

I just watched “Hurtsville” live version from the amazing DVD that’s out next month, and it’s really hard to understand that this song was actually lost and forgotten for two years somewhere in Sweden. And it’s also hard to imagine, that this song was super hard to record and to produce. But I guess the more it hurts to deliver it, the better the baby is in the end.

I had my very first songwriting session in Sweden in February 2010. I was booked to make music together with two total strangers (Sharon Vaughn and Carl Björsell) somewhere in a small studio in Stockholm. I felt kind of nervous walking in and introducing myself to these folks who had written huge hits to many artists from all over the world. In 2010 Sunrise Avenue was still a one-hit-wonder with “Fairytale Gone Bad” for the bigger audience and co-write sessions with new folks was totally new to me. I’m really happy my publisher Sony/ATV selected these two writers to be the first ones.

We had two days together and we wrote two songs. First day we wrote “Angels on a Rampage.” Sharon said in the morning she wants to write a huge rock ballad and we had nothing against that with Carl. Six hours after entering the room, we had written and recorded the song demo and during these six hours we also had lunch. Sometimes these sessions are super fast. Sometimes things just work out.

When I woke up the second day, I felt a little ill. However, we decided to have the session anyway and see what comes out. We wrote a song about this guy who is sitting in a tour bus somewhere far away from home. About this imaginary city called “Hurtsville.” In the story, the guy is kind of sad and it hurts to be alone far away from home and I think Sharon’s idea for the song name was just genius. After writing the song, we recorded a demo with acoustic guitar, bass and vocals, but I wasn’t too sure about it because of my ill throat.

Soon after Stockholm, I flew to Los Angeles to write with more and more people and the only demo I ever got from Carl was “Angels On A Rampage.” Maybe he thought I didn’t like my voice on the other recording…

After the L.A. trip I came back home to look at the new tracks with both producer Jukkas. We worked with both of them with “Out Of Style” album. They both loved “Angels on a Rampage” right away and it ended up on the album. The album was released, Hollywood Hills became a huge hit and somehow I had forgotten about this “Hurtsville” song completely.

In February 2013 I had another two-day-session with Carl and Sharon again. Another success. We wrote “Unholy Ground” and “Aim For The Kill” in two days. Great Great Great. In the very end of the second studio day I was already ready to call a taxi to the airport as Carl asked us “What should we do with Hurtsville??”

I was like “Hurtsville, what?”

Carl plays the demo as I’m already wearing my jacket and my guitar is packed ready for the flight. Time stops and we burst into tears with Sharon.

I brought the song back to Finland with me and there was no question. It should be on the album. Everyone loved it. Producing the song was super hard. We made four finalized versions (More acoustic version, old school rock’n’roll style, a stupid pop 90’s thing…) but nothing just felt right. I was personally suffering a lot with every version there was and it just didn’t feel right. Full respect to producer Jukka for listening to one more stupid idea how the song has to be. Now it’s perfect!

The coolest thing is that we tried singing the lead vocals a billion times in studio in Helsinki, but it never felt as good as the original demo vocals. Finally Jukka decided to use those “sick-throat” vocals recorded in Stockholm in 2010. The same vocals that made the song disappear for years are now on the album.

Check out the live version on our brand new player on our Facebook page. You all look just amazing!!

Love,

Samu


25.09.2014 Samu
I Can Break Your Heart – Behind The Song

I wrote this song when the band was still called “Sunrise.” The year was 1998 and then it was just me and Jan Hohenthal, the other founder of Sunrise.

In 1998 the song was very different. It was way more "country" and hilarious. The lyrics were different too. They were about a guy (me;) getting laid with all the girls and breaking all their hearts. I was even crazier those times – Big talks about all the girl-stuff and not so much action. I have never been a huge Casanova, but when I look at my pictures from those times, I’m amazed I even got any girl’s phone number. So childish and stupid I looked back then. Not that I’m actually George Clooney today either…

I offered the song to producer Jukka Backlund a few times during the first two albums, but he hated it. It was just too folk/country and the lyrics were just awful. Jukka was right.

I still liked something about the song idea and so in 2010 I wrote a new chorus to the song with my studio partner Aku Sinivalo and after that I had the guitar riff idea that you hear in the beginning. Now it started rocking and sounding like a good song. Still, for some reason, I didn’t play the song to the band guys or producers for another three years until we were recording our fourth album “Unholy Ground.” “I Can Break Your Heart” was one of the first songs we recorded for the album and the working title was “Brown Chicken” (because the same day we recorded it we had been watching Trace Adkins’ “Brown Chicken Brown Cow” video - Check it out on the link below). There’s something similar in the mood and we just loved his voice.

I must say after all the years hiding the song in my secret “song idea box” I loved the track as soon as we hit the record button with the guys. It just rocked from the very first second and we felt we were on the right path. We didn’t even have to talk about the drumming on this song; Sami just fixed the missing details on the first take. And I’m really happy Riku happened to have the Banjos and stuff with him in studio to make the riff even more Western. We all knew the song would work super great on stage at the shows.

“I Can Break Your Heart” is a story about the fact that after you have had a broken heart at least once in your life, you start behaving better and you appreciate it more when someone loves you and is there for you. You’ll have a better life when you’ve been through all that pain.
It’s a song about those cool nightclub girls who pretend they’re perfect and no guy is ever good enough for them. But then some day some average neighbor boy comes and breaks their heart and they become better ladies. I feel sorry for those “Queens of city lights” but I also know they wil lbe saved someday by some normal boy. Deep shit? Yes it is.

Check out Brown Chicken – Brown Cow. He could be the big brother of The Boss Hoss dudes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzQ4qdlhurc

And also check out the “I Can Break Your Heart” live version from the DVD. It’s added now on our new video player.

https://udd-app.umg-cms.eu/_artists/sunrise_avenue/facebook/videoplayer/share/?track=10

Love and peace and broken hearts ;)

Samu

PS:I have to add that the lady speaking the life wisdoms after the guitar solo is Sharon Vaughn, the official big sister of Sunrise Avenue. She was a bit shocked and surprised when I said to her in Stockholm once “Read this text to the microphone and ask no questions…” She corrected a couple of my grammar mistakes though…


26.09.2014 Samu
Funkytown Feat. Tommy Lindgren – Behind The Song

“Funk” is not actually the word to describe Sunrise Avenue, even though we had the coolest horn players on stage with us at the Big Band Theory Tour. And this song is not “funk” at all, but here we go anyway...

It was a dark night, I guess in 2012. I was fooling around with my little home studio equipment’s horn samples and I kept playing this strange horn melody. I never thought it would end up on a song some day but for some reason, I recorded a little demo all alone in the night and emptied abottle of good Italian red wine.

Then later at one of the song sessions at producer Jukka Immonen’s studio when we were thinking of the songs for “Unholy Ground”, I presented my silly horn riff idea. Jukka really liked it but none of us knew what to really do with it. We made a better demo with better horn sounds and decided to try it together with the band guys at the country side studio next time we’d be there.

One evening at the Petrax-studio at the farm far away from Helsinki, really late at night after a sauna session and one beer too many everyone, we decided just to play something for fun. Raul was actually still in sauna, so I took the bass, Riku his guitar and Sami was behind his drums. We were only wearing towels and well... I’m really happy in many ways nobody filmed this session. We started playing “Funkytown” together with the horn demo we had made with Jukka earlier in Helsinki. We still didn’t know what to do with it. We thought of maybe making it an intro for “Unholy Ground” album or to use the theme at the live shows in spring 2014 somehow. As a show opener maybe. Because of the horn riff / the theme, there is no real space for a traditional chorus. The song didn’t go on the album and we just decided to forget about it.

I must admit that when I played the new “Unholy ground” song ideas that summer for the Universal Music people, I also played this short drunken demo at some point. The biggest of the bosses in the room that night, Mr. Tom Bohne said he likes it really much, even though he didn’t know what we should do with it. These sessions are sometimes very creative and you actually get good and helpful feedback to make the songs better. I used to hate these sessions after some bad experiences back in the days. I thought the office folks know nothing about music. Now I know better.

So we had an idea everybody liked but nobody knew what to do with. Great.

As we were thinking of the 2-3 new tracks for the Best of album in the spring 2014, I decided one morning that no matter what it takes, this stupid song would be solved somehow. I drove to Jukka’s studio and told him we would not rest until we have it right. We agreed that the song would not have a chorus in a typical way and we’d let the horns lead the way. We tried it in the way it’s on the album now and it actually felt great. Then we played all the parts again with the band boys but something seemed to be missing still…

Already when we were recording our 2nd album PopGasm in 2010, I really tried to have Mr. Tommy Lindgren from Don Johnson Big Band feature on one of the songs. Then the collaboration was just forgotten and I guess Tommy was not that excited about the offered song either. Actually the song “Popgastic” never ended up on the album at all.

Anyways. I called him again now and asked if he’d be interested. He said he’d have a listen and he'd see if something comes out. A couple of days later I saw on my iPhone screen that there’s an email from Tommy. I was sure he’d write “Sorry, I’m too busy and bla bla bla…” Nope. He had written his parts, recorded them at home and DAMN it sounded cool!! The rest you can hear on the album.

I wrote the lyrics with producer Jukka and I have to say it was the hardest text writing session ever, but I try to describe what we were after there…

Funkytown is not a place for nice little girls and boys. It’s a place where people go to have a little break from their lives. For example, this nice lady works at the office wearing her nice dress from Monday to Friday. On Friday evening she puts her hottest high heels and stay-up socks on and just lets it all go. She does some things she doesn’t want to think about on Monday at the office. But she needs and wants to blow off some steam. What happens in Funkytown, stays in Funkytown. At Funkytown you’re at you own risk.

In other words I could have said Funkytown is THE party song.

I CAN’T WAIT TO PLAY FUNKYTOWN LIVE next summer. I can’t ! Ican’t ! I can’t !

So… be careful out there. Especially if you end up in Funkytown… Muahaha…

Have a cool & Funky weekend everyone!

Samu

PS: Check out the Funkytown lyric video on our Facebook video player at
https://www.facebook.com/sunriseavenue/app_1477485535854823?app_data=6


29.09.2014 Samu
Angels On A Rampage – Behind The Song

Since I already opened the story behind “Angels On A Rampage” on the “Hurtsville” blog last week, I will tell you a little bit about songwriting and I’ll show you how the song sounded right after we had recorded the very first demo at the writing session.

I had always written songs pretty much alone until spring 2010. Or of course someone, typically producer Jukka had many ideas on how to make the songs better, but the actual writing process was just me and my songwriting guitar on my sofa. It felt safe that way.

My publisher suggested that I’d start traveling outside Finland and doing co-write sessions with other songwriters too. They said it might give me new ideas and I could possibly learn to express my stuff better. I didn’t like the idea too much in the beginning but I thought I’d give it a try. If you stay too comfortable as an artist, you become boring and you start repeating yourself. And that can’t be too good for the career and for the music. And of course Stockholm, where they said I should start, is not the worst city in the world, I thought why the hell not.

Nobody said it out loud but the situation with Sunrise Avenue was pretty hard those days. Our second album PopGasm didn’t sell as good as the record companies or even we had hoped, even though I think there were great songs on it too. Especially Welcome To My Life. But it just didn’t sell. The tours were great and all but the fact is that if the album doesn’t sell, you will not be financed to make new music. I was in slight financial problems personally too those times after all the stuff that had happened so paying everything on our own or by myself wasn’t an option. Already one of my friends had sold his house for the first album and I was sure there would not be another one to sell.

The whole thing was a mess those times due to some problems inside the band and also the fact that we were still learning to live with the success that the first album brought. I knew our next album would either be a success and we’d become strong again or … I don’t know what would have happened but I would not be sitting on this 5-star hotel balcony writing this blog if it the sales would have stayed poor.

So… I flew to Stockholm and I must admit my stomach was full of butterflies as I sat in the taxi on my way to the studio. On the other hand I was totally getting out of my comfort zone going totally naked with my songwriting skills into a room with new folks. What if they thought I’m nogood? Or they didn’t like my voice or they just wouldn’t like me or what ever? My self-confidence was not mountain-size those times. On the other hand I knew I’d have to write a hit - alone or with someone - or the Sunrise ship would go down.

At the song writing sessions you focus on the melody and the lyrics. Of course you record some kind of a track too so there’s something you can listen to and play to the record industry folks, but you put all the energy on the actual melody & story.

Since 2010 I have written maybe 150 songs at these sessions. Only eight songs of these have ended up on Sunrise Avenue albums. Some songs have found a new home on some other artist’s albums, but many of them are still waiting for a reason to exist. And some of them are already forgotten. That’s how it goes in this business. You need to write around 30-40 songs to have 12 good ones for the album. I counted quickly 37 songs written for “Unholy Ground” album. Only the best 12 made it. Sad but true ;)

So. Before lunch we had finished the melody and the lyrics. We couldn’t have done it that fast without Sharon’s never-ending ideas for the lyrics. If the feeling is right, I’m usually pretty fast with the melodies but the lyrics can be a four-week-nightmare if I write alone. But with Sharon you have a basket full of good rhymes to choose from when you need a good line somewhere. After the lunch break, we worked with the track for maybe 2-3 hours. I loved Carl’s drum pattern idea immediately and actually you can hear the same drum thing played by Sami on the final track to. We decided to keep the rest very simple at the session so the song would stand out better. Just a bass, acoustic guitar and a (pretty crappy ;) electric guitar. And Sharon’s lady-like vocals too, even though they didn’t work with the final production unfortunately.
There it was – job well done. I went to my hotel and slept bad. I was getting ill, I thought.

I must say, I love these songwriting trips. Even though I love the people in my life, I love being totally alone with my thoughts for weeks somewhere away from home. You just live for the songs and you feel super lonely. That’s when the best and the most honest songs come out of my system.

Before we get to the songwriting demo, I’d like to give you a little advice if you wanna write songs. Focus on the melody and the lyrics. Period. Don’t hide the possible weakness of the song behind a drum loop or some arrangement stuff. If your song really is a good song, it has to work with something very minimal too. I believe in melodies and simple lyrics that people can actually understand. If your neighbor’s 4-year old kid starts smiling or jumping around with only the chorus melody – you have a diamond in your hands. Hallelujah!

So… Now to the demo. Here it is.

https://soundcloud.com/samu-hapa-haber/angels-on-a-rampage-songwriting-demo

And here is the new live version on our Facebook video player. It’s from the Unholy Ground Live DVD – out this Friday!

https://www.facebook.com/sunriseavenue/app_1477485535854823?app_data=9

Big love everyone! 4 days to our FIRST EVER “best of“ album release. Quite amazing!

Hugs,

Samu


30.09.2014 Samu
Sweet Symphony – Behind The Song

In 2007 I found a new medicine to any sorrow in life from our dear drummer Sami. The medicine is called “country music.”

I used to drive to the shows in Finland with my dear BMW and some times Sami joined me. This was actually the first time after Sami joined the band in 2005, we really had time together just the two of us. We actually became friends then and that was super cool. Before that it was always mostly about playing music or stuff around the band, but now we really talked about all the stuff in life. Sami comes from this very very small village in the southwestern Finland and he is a real straight-no-bullshit-dude. He’s usually easy to live with.

Anyways… Those times I was listening to all kinds of music, but country and Nashville-style contemporary country had never really hit me. It was the long drive to Rockperry Festival 2007 in Vaasa when Sami introduced me to mister Keith Urban. It was love at first sight. I must say I totally sank into that music style and I am still thankful to Sami he introduced it to me. I had always thought country is very redneck and uncool, but I had been wrong all the time.

The night was dark and the motorway was quiet. Sami, me and my black BMW 3 coupé. The register plate said SRA-1, Sunrise Avenue-1. Imagine us two singing as loud as we can “I can’t stop loving you” and Sami drumming the dashboard, of course.

“Sweet Symphony” represents, to me, a bit of this new style that I started listening to a lot after that road trip. I just love the honesty in those songs and it’s all about simple stories with a lot of emotion.

Sweet Symphony was one of the last songs recorded at the Sonic Kitchen studio I owned together with Jukka Backlund and two other guys in Helsinki. That is also why it has a deep feeling to me. Because the song turned out great but also because after that song, I gave up the studio business and sold my share away. The studio was the most unprofitable investment ever in my life and I lost XXX.XXX euros with that “hobby.” As I walked out from the studio the last time I said to myself “Fuck you ugly expensive place, at least I got this song, Sweet Symphony…” I could have bought a nice flat in the center of Berlin with the money I lost. Lesson learned.

I remember playing the song to producer Jukka Backlund for the first time at my home in Monk Bay in Helsinki. He was thrilled and loved it right away. He composed the C-part in five minutes and the song got even better.

There was a huge discussion for months if the vocals should be there in the end after the guitar solo or not. I really wanted to have them there, Jukka didn’t. I’m happy they are there because that outro part, for me, is one of the coolest moments of the show when we play it live.

This is probably the deepest song I ever wrote. And this is the song that I still listen to when the world kicks my ass and I feel weak and small. I don’t know why, but it somehow gives me energy and strength.

“Sweet Symphony” is THE Sunrise Avenue song to me. It’s just so perfect as it is. I wrote it for avery special and important person in my life for a very tough and tricky moment. There was a moment in this person’s life when a big and scary choice needed to be made and I just wanted to say that I’d be there no matter what happens. I guess this song has more emotion to me personally than any other Sunrise Avenue song, even “Welcome To My Life.”

“Sweet Symphony”  is the song for moments when you are really lonely and facing your challenges alone in this crazy big world. It’s the “Follow your heart”- song. Even though following it may scare you from time to time. But your heart is still the only voice you should listen to. No matter how strange things it might say. And on these moments we all have at least that one person who’ll stand by us no matter whathappens. Or at least we should have. These people are the “Sweet Symphony” folks when the game gets tough.

The way mister Backlund produced this song is just something else. Especially since he let me have my outro vocals the way I wanted to have them ;)

Jukka produced our first album when he was 21 years old. Yes, 21. Jukka is far the most talented and skillful person I have ever met in the whole world of music. He is the one who taught me the most important things about this whole circus in the beginning and he made me believe in myself and in my own vision as much as I do today. He invented the whole thing in the beginning and quite honestly, I was more on the passenger seat when we broke the ice for the first time. And even though that super-blond dude is mostly too much to handle and he behaves like an idiot there and there, I must say I miss the times we had together. I have said this to him a hundred times, but I will never be able to thank him enough for the life I live today. But life goes on and everything is better this way.

There should be more Jukka’s in this world. Has anyone ever heard about a guy called “Jukka” who did something bad? I guess not. We had this other Jukka who reinvented Sunrise Avenue with Hollywood Hills and this can’t be a coincidence. In Jukka We Trust! If I have a son someday, he shall be Jukka Haber. No F***ng way ;)

Anyways… “Sweet Symphony” was never released as a single, but we felt it just needs to be on the “Best Of” album. It just needs to be there.

Hugs and love everyone. After writing this in the night alone I feel lonelier than in a long time. But very happy too.

You can find a 2011 live version of Sweet Symphony on our video player on Facebook. This was one of the hardest singing jobs I ever had. The show was streamed from Berlin Columbia Hall to all over Europe and I was super ill. I had fever that night and I had to eat cortisone (Don’t do that!) and to drink half a bottle of rum (Do that if you must) before the show to get anything out of my throat. You can hear that on the clip too. I felt like shit the whole night but you made it perfect by being there us. Life is sometimes hard. It can’t always be just sunshine and the beach. It’s sometimes strawberries and champagne too..;)

https://www.facebook.com/sunriseavenue/app_1477485535854823?app_data=17

Hugs everyone,

Samu

PS. If you wanna see “Sweet Symphony” played acoustic 2014 (with a healthy throat this time; ) withthe boys, check out the Finnish Radio Nova’s website later in October. I don’t know when they’ll post the video there, though.

www.radionova.fi/novastage/


01.10.2014 Samu
Nothing Is Over – Behind The Song

I was playing my little plastic piano at home one night in June this summer and I had this very simple song idea. The lyrics just came to me immediately and the story was there right away. We had already decided the songs pretty much for the “Best Of” Album and this new idea called “Nothing IsOver” wasn’t one of them.

For some reason, I never played the song to anyone. Even at the song sessions for the “Best Of” album, I didn’t show it to producer Jukka or the band guys. I loved the song A LOT, but for some reason I felt unsure with it. One reason might have been that the song has to be played with a piano and I SUCK with piano. Osmo always makes fun of my piano skills. In a friendly way… Mostly ;)

I was at the studio in Helsinki in early August with Jukka preparing “Funkytown” and “You Can Never Be Ready” and we had only two weeks left to the deadline. The third song we thought would go on the album was called “Run For Your Life.” I was feeling super cool about the new three tracks, but something inside me was still saying that I should give “Nothing Is Over” a chance too.

Usually at the Fried Music studio there can be twenty people working with different projects in different studio rooms. This late evening there was nobody else, just Jukka and me. And Jukka’s dog Paavo, but he’s a cool dog even though he’s super big and he always wants to sit on my lap and lick my face when we make music.

Anyway… I found the courage somehow and asked Jukka to join me in the recording room where he has his grand piano. My hands were shaking and I was nervous as hell. But I managed to sing my piece. It’s actually a cool moment when you finish your song and then you wait for feedback. Jukka said: “You could have played that two months ago, now we have to hurry…” He loved it. The band guys loved it. We recorded it the next week and it just worked on the first take. Felt as if the song was totally meant for us.

If the song is as simple as this one but you still have so much emotion in it, someone has made a tremendous job producing it. Usually Jukka Immonen tastes all the flavors for weeks before he decides what the final thing is. This time it took just some hours. It just seemed to go right with every choice he made with us. I LOVE IT!

“Nothing is over” is pretty hard to sing. It goes from my lowest tone to the highest but it’s worth every feeling of slight pain in the throat.

I guess I don’t have to tell you what this song is about. The title says it all.

A relationship between people might not last forever. That’s ok too, and sometimes it’s better to move on. But in all relationships, between lovers or even friends, there will be super highs and crazy lows and you need to accept both sides. Otherwise it’s not true and you’re not playing with an open heart. I feel pity for people who give up when it’s hard. These folks will never reach anything great in life. Usually it’s actually just some stupid little things that grow huge with time. At relationships, friendship, work, everywhere.

The point, of course, is not to stay with something you feel bad about. But the point is to give the important relationships everything you got. And then you gotta try even harder. Maybe there is a way to kill the pain and to clear the air. Maybe there’s a way to forgive and to forget what has happened and to move on together. There’s nothing we can’t reach as long as nothing is over.

Here’s the new baby’s lyric video. I’m so damn happy it’s on the album. Now it all makes sense.

https://www.facebook.com/sunriseavenue/app_1477485535854823?app_data=13

Osmo says I play the piano sometimes with the “Crab Grab.” Sometimes I use just two fingers, the index finger and the middle finger, and it looks funny, like an “arm” of a crab. I will show this smart-ass pro pianist someday, goddammit. Well… Osmo promised to play “Nothing is over” with the “crab grab” as soon as we play it live someday. Actually someday I’ll play this song with a piano on stage and meanwhile Osmo can go looking for his laptop and t-shirt he lost earlier that day in a taxi somewhere. He always loses his things. Muahahahaha ;) I WILL PLAY THE PIANO THE WAY I WANT TO PLAY THE PIANO. PERIOD.

See you tomorrow at the last shows of 2014. It’s been quite a year again. Please nobody wake me up from this dream…

Love,

Samu


09.10.2014 Samu Hapa Haber
Berlin - Vienna

Fly Niki. Isn’t this the airline of Niki Lauda? If you haven’t seen the Rush-movie, please give it a chance next time you watch a film. My respect for Niki Lauda and his revival James Hunt got to another level now that I know their story. Fly Niki must be one of the last airlines who tell you to switch off you iPads for landing…

I’m flying with manager Mikko. I did a 17-hour interview day in Berlin today and tomorrow we continue in Vienna, Austria. The day usually starts with some sort of breakfast TV or morning radio and then magazines in the afternoon and more radios and TV shows in the evening. Usually pretty much the same questions around the new album and The Voice and one acoustic song.

After Austria we fly to Stuttgart to join the Radio 7 gala again. We did that a couple of years ago with Riku but now the whole band is joining. It’ll be fun and I guess the guys are also happy to come over. We play an acoustic set for the gala guests near Stuttgart in Ulm. I guess it’s some kind of a charity thing. I better check out before we get there…;)

Next week it’s more promotion around our new “best of-” album. It’s finally out and the first sales numbers are quite interesting. Note: We never had a number one album anywhere – never. Maybe we won’t reach it with this one either. I really don’t care. The biggest thing personally is that you guys come to the shows.

I started writing this blog because I wanted to thank everyone for what happened in Lucerne last week. We all loved it super much and for me, personally, those evenings were the best experience on stage. Ever. Everyone did a huge job and I will sure miss the orchestra and our super cool Conductor-Ludwig, who kicked his group to the maximum every night.

The classical world is pretty strange. The musicians seem to play their instruments by the book as they should of course, but they’re also a bit more shy than us “softer genre” dudes. I had this idea that we should invite every orchestra member for a glass of champagne right after the last show on Saturday at the backstage. They were a little shy at first and we had to force them to take one glass each. The glasses were filled already. Ludwig said nobody had ever done something like that before. I tiny glass for the job they made. More than fair. I hope champagne after the last show will be the new normal in that gang from now on. Champagne is good for your soul.

We were super nervous before the first show. We didn’t know how you people would like what you see and hear. And actually even when we were playing Lifesaver the first night, I was thinking to myself “do they like what’s going on?” We’re used to seeing you hands up the latest at that song in the chorus. Now you were all sitting and listening. But in the end the applause exploded… WOW! We’ve done acoustic tours and stuff, but now, for the first time really, the songs were pretty much played and enjoyed without much partying around them. Of course there were party moments too, but especially songs like Forever Yours, Angels On A Rampage and “Girls Like You” we had a silent room and everyone was just listening. It was amazing <3

Raul’s job was to take care of the recording that evening and I really hope his sample-rate was set good. Well, he did pretty good job recording the DVD in Hamburg already with Mixing engineer Gorilla-Mikko, so I bet the session was in good hairy hands or Raul. Actually I guess this is a good moment to promote our new DVD ;) When we saw it for the first time, we thought we should send it to Dave Grohl. Just to show how things are done by the Finnish boys…;)

The Voice Of Germany started today. I was in the plane so I missed it, but I bet the editing team made a tremendous job again. I’m not sure if I wanna see myself on TV doing and especially saying silly stuff. We’ll see…

I’m in Vienna city already and I gotta go to bed. It’s 00:35 AM and the van will pick me up at 08:30. Still need a shower after all the TV makeup, but there’s a good seven hours to sleep. I started my day in Berlin waking up at 05:45, so falling asleep should not be a problem…

Good night everyone,

Samu


26.11.2014 Samu Hapa Haber
This Is Your Captain Speaking

I just received an email from Finnair saying that I’m now a One World alliance Gold member. They will send me a new golden Diner’s Club credit card with all the benefits. No wonder. I’m sitting on these (sorry, very uncomfortable) Embraer-190 seats for almost the 100th time this year. I’d also keep my kind of a customer happy and reward him if I had an airline. I should have one.

“This is you captain Hapa Haber speaking. We are a bit late due to my late wakeup this morning, but the sky is clear and we’re on the way to Wonderland…”

I’m on my way to the second live show, the second quarter final of the voice of Germany in Berlin. We started the live shows already last Friday and I must say the whole season has been even cooler and greater fun than last year. It definitely helps when I know the concept a bit better and not everything is new and also I’m a bit more familiar with the German language. I still don’t speak German as good as people think, but I can survive the TV moments because the topics are pretty much the same after every vocal performance.

The Voice season has been a success. The ratings have been super high and also we have had fun with the other coaches and the production. It was a very good idea bringing new blood into the jury. Nothing away from the folks last season, but I really like my new colleagues. The moments and the chemistry are fresh and the jokes are new. They should never have the same jury two times. Something should change for each season. It makes it interesting.

So… we have three live shows to go until we have the new Voice winner and my year is done. Then there’s nothing left. Strange. But I love it. I will finally start my 5-month break from everything and give time just for myself. I have no idea what I’m gonna do or where that plane will fly me and that is kind of nice. It feels free to have no plans at all. I guess those months will include some sun, ocean, great books, snow, wine, music and a lot of sleeping. I will definitely be somewhere where not every person on the streets recognizes me. In a rain forest somewhere ;) hahahaa. That would feel like being on tour with the band and the crew. If there would be monkeys…

It’s just amazing how well our “Fairytales - Best Of Sunrise Avenue” has done. Usually these best offs get attention only among fans, but this one has been topping the charts and also sold actually more than any of our albums ever before after the release. Ok, I admit it’s a great great package and I’m really proud of the new three tracks too, but I’m still amazed. “You cannever be ready” was a great opener and now we released my absolute favourite song “Nothing is over.” It was so cool performing it live last Friday with the boys for the first time.

Also the “Nothing is over” video turned out great. I think our live videos are definitely the best ones we have. There’s always so much more emotion when the clip is from a real live moment. Personally I don’t like the idea of bringing the drums and guitars somewhere in the forest and pretending there as if we’re playing. I think the coolest thing in the music videos is to either film the band play live with a real crowd or then to shoot something totally different and creative.

I can see from the sales sheets that many of you will join us at the summer shows next year. We still have a couple of meetings with the production and a couple of band rehearsals this year but it’s all pretty much planned and we’re ready. I can say already now, it will be super cool ;)

I woke up this morning as Manager Mikko called me from outside my house. I had over slept. I usually like Mikko’s humor, but this morning in a super coma the words didn’t make me laugh. “I guess nobody from your house is going to Berlin today since there are no lights on at the whole house….” Luckily I had packed my bags in the evening already, otherwise I would have been totally f**ked.

I don’t know why I slept so deep and didn’t get the alarm. Maybe it was the gym yesterday. I love the fact that I have gotten the good old gym rhythm back again since there’s not too much to do every day. Or maybe the reason was that Helsinki IFK won the Pelicans 6-3 yesterday and I was till hyped. They scored 4 goals in the last 6 minutes.
BOOOOM

Anyways. After Mikko’s call, I was out in eight (8!!!) minutes - shower fresh - and I’m also landing in Berlin in 25 minutes. At the old Tegel airport. When do you Berliners get the new Berlin-Schönefelt airport operating? Wasn’t it supposed to be done years ago. I have nothing against Tegel, but please….

Anyways… Big love everyone and keep your fingers crossed for #teamsamu at #thevoiceofgermany

Hugs,

Hapa Haber


04.05.2015 Samu
Greetings from Barcelona

I just love this city! This is the place where we filmed our very first music video “Fairytale Gone Bad” in 2006 and this is also the city where I did most of the idiotic stuff when I was at my 20’s. Here we had the idea of our sex shop back in the days with my friend. This is also the only town is Spain where we ever played with Sunrise Avenue. My Favorite city in Southern Europe, a great place to do crazy things.

But this time I’m actually doing something smart in here…
“The Band” or “Die Band” in German is a very cool music show. Twenty young musicians (boys and girls) live together in this extremely cool house with swimming pools and stuff and their job is to hang out in Barcelona with me and my gang for a couple of months and to make music and play live shows. They are twenty players in the beginning but in the end they will be only five, the winning band. They will get a record deal and make tours after the show is over. My job is to be the musical big brother for them / their friend / driver of their beer-taxi and of course I’m the host of the show.

When they offered me this job, I loved the idea right away. However, we had to be clear with two things before I’d sing the deal 1) It can’t be like Big Brother. I hate that shit when people are being filmed having a shower 2) The musicians must be good. REALLY good. Otherwise I would not do it.

Well, here we are. It’s not Big Brother at all. The only ones filming the stuff half naked are the musicians themselves, but what do you expect when you put youngsters living rock star life together in a cool sunny city with all the clubs around them. And how good are the players… Well, just open your TVs in June. We have had so much fun here and the only downside is that the musicians’ house is even cooler than my hotel suite. My ego can’t take it ;) If I were a young musician without a band, I’d definitely join this show if I only could.

Now that I have this new TV thing out this year, I will NOT do the Voice Of Germany. I thought about it for a long time, but I really decided to make this summer a bit nicer and easier to myself. This summer I really want to enjoy the festival shows with Sunrise Avenue and I want to spend the days and weeks between on the beach and at my summerhouse. Call me lazy, It’s my life hahahah ;)

Words are not strong enough to say how thankful I am for the opportunity I had with the The Voice Of Germany. I learned so much about myself and I met amazing people, probably more than ever before in such short time. I can never thank director Arschkrokodil-Karsten, Talpa-Tim PRO7-Wolfgang&Danieland many others enough for taking the huge risk putting me on that red chair even though my German skills were on a newborn level. It’s amazing what the whole thing did to Sunrise Avenue and to myself as a human being. And I must confess I will miss doing the show. When the new season is running in October, I’llprobably sit in the crowd with fake mustache and sunglasses pretending I’m just some random guy from Mönchengladbach. And thinking I’d wanna be there too. Have fun with the old & new coaches and good luck to the new talents and jury members. You will have the time of your lives!

So… It’s less than two weeks until we switch on our Sunrise amplifiers in Helsinki and start the tour. I just can’t wait. I haven’t seen the band guys for a long time and after a little breath break it feels great getting back together. This summer will be only about music and sun. And beer and eating pizza. Ok, ok management, I will do jogging and gym too. But not too much.

See you all in Helsinki on the 16th of May. Playing the sold-out Helsinki IFK Arena has always been my biggest dream. Now it’s only12 days away. I just listened to the last band rehearsal recordings from last December by the swimming pool this morning and I felt like I was flying.
Big love & hugs and see you all soon!

I WANNA GET TO THE FUNKY TOWN!!!!!!

Samu

#dieband #thevoiceofgermany #sunriseavenue #Barcelona #HIFK#IFK #Helsinki #Barcelona


18.05.2015 Samu
Tour Start in Helsinki

I could actually post an empty page. Words are not enough to describe last weekend. We have never been as nervous and excited as on Saturday in Helsinki and I don’t remember having that much emotion ever on stage before. When you have all your relatives, families, friends and neighbors watching the show after a six month break, it kind of felt like we were being sent to outer space without space suits. I don’t remember anything about the first three songs. I don’t know if any of this makes sense to you, but I’m trying to say we are super thankful for the night. We just felt something we had never felt before. Everything was perfect. Thank you <3

I have also been a fan of Tommy Lindgren on stage even since his band “Don Johnson Big Band” released their breakthrough single “One Mc - One Delay.” I offered Tommy a feature job on our album already with PopGasm in 2009 but now it finally worked out. I hope Tommy can and will travel with us to a couple dates this summer outside Finland too.

I arrived in Barcelona last night where we continue filming “Die Band.” I must admit the after party was very hard on Saturday and this day has still been a bit shaky. I’m not twenty years old anymore and I need a couple of days to recover from a big afterparty. However, I need to be fresh, a role model to the young musicians at the TV show. Not a drunk old Finnish man;) Don’t try this at home unless you’re 18 or more.

We will shoot stuff here until Friday when I’ll fly to Hannover, Germany to meet my Band boys again. We play the one and only show with the amazing symphonic orchestra on Saturday and we need to rehearse everything with the people with strings and stuff. The coolest conductor, Mr.Ludwig Wicki will be the boss of the band again, just like in Lucerne last year. I love being on stage with him. He reminds me a bit of Dortor E. Brown from “Backto the future” movies. In a good way. He is creative and crazy and always super professional and positive and that is always a good combination. We love the orchestra shows. It’s a shame it’s the only one this summer. We could imagine making a full tour with the violins and cellos some day, who knows… The challenge now is that we have just practiced the rock show with the guys and all those show details are deep in our heads. Now we need to remove all that from our minds and get ready for a totally new thing again. Quite a challenge. But we love challenges.

After Hannover I will return to Barcelona for the final week of the TV shootings. And then I will miss Barcelona like hell. It’s amazing how cool the city actually is. It just gets cleaner and safer each year and the restaurants and clubs just get better and better.

On Saturday the 30th I will fly to Wiesen, Austria to play the first Austrian show with my boys in a long long time. As I have said many years ago, “The Austrian Audience Never Fails”, but this time we’re gonna need their full support and love to get to the Helsinki home arena emotion level. Our Danish brothers Carpark North will not be with us in Wiesen, but they’ll be with us most of the summer. It’s just s cool what they do on stage. They’re a group you could call a F**king tight rock trio. Keep your eyes and ears open for their upcoming fall tour, and for their new single this summer. Check them out on iTunes or Spotify or where ever.

We’re so glad to have the CNP boys with us, but there’s something that’s bothering me. They didn’t arrive to the official after party last night. We need to find out if the Danish boys can party too… If they can’t.. Learn they must. And learn they will. Keep your eyes and ears open for their upcoming fall tour, and for their new single this summer.

Huge thanx for the Helsinki experience everyone and see you all soon. I will dive into my bed now and I’ll put the Sunrise Avenue symphonic orchestra album playing on my speaker while I sleep. Maybe that helps me remember the arrangements.

Good night everyone, wherever you are and see you all very soon!

HuGS HugS hUGS <3

Samu


19.06.2015 HapaHaber
Good morning Munich

Even though we have played six summer shows already this year, it really doesn’t feel like summer yet. In Romania it was super warm, but everywhere else the summer is still just a daydream. Luckily all the crowds have been hot and loud, so that helps us of course ;) It’s supposed to be midsummer this weekend, so please Mr. Weatherman, do your job! We wanna get sunburned…

We’re playing the legendary Königsplatz in Munich today and just thinking about the crowd and the place makes me feel warm. Sold out 21.000 people singing and celebrating with us... Doesn’t matter if it’s minus 340 Celsius and raining, we’ll be sweating our asses off on stage. It’s gonna be huge and alot of fun.

Tomorrow we will fly to Leipzig for a show there and on Sunday back here to play the second Munich show. Doesn’t sound too bad. Actually the rest of the summer will be only about rock ’n’ roll. We played two times with the symphonic orchestra this year, once in Hannover and once in Helsinki, but the rest of the summer 2015 will be just good old school rock shows.

We started the orchestra shows last year in Switzerland, in Lucerne. And especially after the two shows this summer, we decided that we have to do more of them. So we decided to do more shows with our own orchestra next year and the tickets for the first two shows (Leipzig & Munich) will be out this weekend. This time we will build our own orchestra, the “Wonderland Orchestra.” There’s still nine months to plan everything, but all we know is that we want to bring the best parts of the stuff we did last year in Lucerne and also some little things from the Big Band tour with us and the evening will bea huge explosion. Isn’t Sunrise Avenue just a cool thing? We can do the traditional rock shows, Big Band tours, Acoustic tours and even stuff with a huge orchestra. There will be a lot of people on stage and even some featuring artists perhaps. We will build the show and the orchestra after the summer and when the snow is still on the ground in Finland next spring, we’ll hit the road with our own big super-gang. I
magine that this whole Sunrise Avenue thing started ten years ago with the dream about finding our way to Wonderland some day. And now we’re gonna be touring with our own Wonderland Orchestra. Dreams do come true people…

Another thing that makes me really happy today is that our friend Niila is finally releasing his first EP and he is also joining us on stage tonight & tomorrow as the first act. I met Niila seven years ago in Helsinki. In the beginning I didn’t take him too seriously since his music was a bit “ too much out of style.” But for some reason I promised to do my best to help him out with the music business stuff. I really liked his voice and him as a person; I guess that’s why.

The first years I just borrowed him microphones and guitars (I hope I get them back someday…) and we used to sit in my car listening to his demos or we had cappuccinos at my favorite café, Café Ursula in Helsinki talking about life, music and the songs we both write. He was also one of the very first people to hear the Hollywood Hills demo in 2010 before we released it. He gave it thumbs up.

Then a couple of years ago we were able to open a few doors for him to studios in Stockholm, London and Berlin and he wrote a hundred songs and demos all over the place. And his music just got better and better with each trip. And now after 100.000 coffees and 43567890 glasses of red wine together, he is ready to present his music to you at a few shows with Sunrise Avenue this summer. And there will be more shows without us of course. Seven years is a long time to wait for something to happen, but now he will have the chance to try his wings in the dirty music business. I respect his patience and hard work so much. I know how hard it can be to take the first steps into this beautiful mess. Now it’s time to release the dude with his guitar. Or my guitars, but anyways hahaha ;) I will feel super excited today when he walks on stage. I can just imagine how he’s gonna feel. Good luck bro <3

Check out Niila’s stuff at facebook.com/niilamusic
And our Danish Car Park North- bothers will join us again today. If you missed them in Helsinki, come check out their show too. They really rocked the house at the first show we had together. So you all better check out all the bands tonight. But don’t forget the last band ;)

Hugs and see you tonight,

Samu


28.08.2015 Samu
End of the summer

We are flying with our little Cessna Citation Jet from Dublin Ireland to Friedrichshafen Germany. We decided to enjoy this last festival week fully with the guys and after the Mannheim show we took our plane and flew to Amsterdam for a couple days. Then we flew back to Hamburg to play the last show together with Niila and Car Park North and now we’ve been recharging our batteries in Dublin for two days. What a city! My friend Rea “Reiska” Garvey was right. This city is full of music and relaxed great folks, although it “rains every F**king day” as the locals say. It was the very first time for us all in Ireland but definitely not the last. We even had the chance to see the fantastic “Once” musical at the legendary Olympia Theatre last night. I had tears in my eyes at least 29 times. Go check it out if you can.

Thank you Niila & gang and the Danish Car Park North dudes for unforgettable moments this summer on and off stage. Both gangs will be rocking more shows this year and my solid plan is to see both of them at least once in a smaller club before Christmas. And thank you all for such a warm welcome for both acts every night. Every time we have someone supporting us, the supporters say after the show or the tour that we have the coolest and most welcoming crowd they’ve ever seen. Cant say how much we respect that. 

Both groups mean a lot to me. Niila has been my “little brother” for years and we’ve been building his thing together slowly but steadily. And I’ve been a fan of Car Park North for years. When I got the email about the possible support bands for summer 2015, I didn’t believe my eyes when I saw them as one of the available ones. I didn’t have to think too long…

Check out the dates and stuff for both gangs here:

Niila http://niilamusic.com

CPN http://www.carparknorth.com

The last two shows, today in Sigmaringen (Ger) and tomorrow in Arbon (Sui), are the last shows of 2015. It’s been quite a summer. We’ve enjoyed bigger crowds than ever before and the production guys & crew boys have worked like angels all the way. Last year right before the first show I twisted my ankle and then I feared the shows might have been cancelled, but this summer nothing bad or challenging really happened and if you don’t count a couple of lamps and Co2 cannons that didn’t work properly at a few shows, it has all been better than perfect. And you all have made our evenings like heaven singing and dancing with us every single song - rain or shine. Thank you <3 Actually one of the coolest things during the show is trying to read the signs you hold in the air. It’s sometimes super hard to see them, especially in the dark (especially the small print), but I have laughed my ass of many times ;) Of course so that you don’t see it ;) Keep doing that!

It’s also been a crazy summer with the weather. In the beginning it was quite cold even for us Finnish boys.  I remember the talks at the backstage before the Munich shows, for example, about how many shirts should we bring with us on stage to keep us warm. It’s always a bit of a challenge when you sweat a bit on stage and the evening gets colder towards the end. Then you might start feeling cold. Then after June Europe just got hotter than hot. There were same talks again before the shows, but this time it was about surviving the heat. I remember Sami coming to me in Freiburg behind the stage during Osmo’s keyboard jamming-solo saying he can’t see his snare drum well anymore. It was so hot and we felt we were boiling. I was worried he might fall off his chair at the end. I can just imagine how hard and hot it must have been for you. You were all super brave standing and waiting there through the heat and the cold. I hope the security guys gave you some water, shelter and love.

There’s one thing I never understood. If you come to the field already as they open the doors at 4PM, you might end up staying there for 8-10 hours if you enjoy the night until the very end. There are no toilets by the first row, so… How does it work???

After this weekend we will first take some time off from each other and then we will really start planning the spring tour. Of course we have a good game plan already what we’re gonna do with our Wonderland Orchestra, but now we will start putting the little pieces together and also start practicing. We have done many kinds of tours in the past from Acoustic stuff, Big band tours and even stuff with symphonic orchestras and now we will combine the best sides from all those and make it one big explosion. The show plan is not fully done yet, of course, but I’m really liking what I see already on the strategy table and it just seems to get better and better every meeting we have. I wonder what happens when we’ll combine the Big band guys (who can party) with the classical dudes (who can party) with us (who can party a little bit…;). Before every tour you should have the feeling that the next one will be the best one ever. And I have the feeling again. Let’s see. There’s lots of work to be done before we can hit
the road. But luckily we have all the time in the world this time.

So for the last time this year, get ready to clap your hands and to sing with us tonight and tomorrow. Let’s end the summer with lots of love and noise together so we have good memories to digest until we see again in 2016.

Mr. Hapa Haber

PS: If someone doesn’t sing a birthday song to someone tonight, I will bite someone somewhere in the ass….

PPS: Isn’t it great to have one (rusty) superman in the plane in case we run out of fuel or something...

PPPS: Helsinki IFK are playing tonight their Champions hockey league match against FC Bern in Switzerland. The result will most definitely effect on my stage mood, so hope for the best. Good luck boys!


15.02.2016 Samu
Greetings from London.

I’m here writing songs for two weeks in between the rehearsals of the Wonderland Orchestra tour. I just love this city and the vibe. Last night as I arrived at Heathrow airport, I remembered the last time I was here writing in 2012 with producer Jukka Immonen. That trip gave us some really great songs (Lifesaver, Little Bit Love, Don’t Cry – Don’t Think About It…) and it’ll be interesting to see what the catch is this time. I have a new local agent Felix connecting me with the local teams and the start today was very promising. Let’s see…

The beginning of the year 2016 was very relaxed. We all had some time off and I was in Sydney again enjoying the sun, surfing and of course some music studios. Now were back in business and everything is slowly getting ready for the next tour. I’m just so happy I’m not Raul. He has to do so many things for the damn cables and stuff and the rest of us just think about music. Raul is a real Mac Gyver and we’d be totally fu**ed without him. Some people dream about fast cars, speed boats or conquering the world. Raul dreams about cables. He’s the Cable guy (Check out the movie).

We can’t wait to hit the road again with the boys. The whole fun starts in Helsinki (at the only real Ice Hockey arena in town) on the 5th of March and we go three weeks from there. I heard that the show in Leipzig, Germany was sold out today and I checked the sales numbers from other cities too. There are many cities with only a few tickets left, so you better hurry if you don’t wanna miss the only tour we do this year. Actually we’re not gonna do any festivals this summer as we’re focusing on the next album, so this tour will be the only chance to see the full Sunrise Avenue set this year. It’s sad in a way, but on the other hand, you can’t have it all. You really need to take some time to create something new.

I was just in my hotel room listening to some new orchestra arrangements from our team and GOD they sound great. I’m so happy we decided to be brave with the song versions and selections and we will all hear stuff and versions we never played before. I have no idea how long the show will be on stage. Usually when we plan the set list, you can easily tell if it’s 90 min, 120 min or more, but this time there are so many moving parts, that it’s just hard to say. Maybe we realize in Helsinki that the show is 56 hours long and we need to make it a bit shorter for the rest of the nights. We don’t want the people to fall asleep hahaha ;) Or us. Imagine Osmo snoring on his piano.

Anyways. Hope you’re all doing good and see you all very soon. I kind of like this feeling when you haven’t played in front an audience for a long time. It makes you kind of nervous. Why the hell did we have to book the first (the most nervous and hand shaking) show in Helsinki with all our friends, families, ice hockey friends, etc. in the crowd. Would have been good to have a few shows done before playing in front of the home teams. Too late to regret that. It’ll be good!

Love, hugs and spring sunshine,

Hapa the Haber


11.03.2016 Samu
Good Morning Cologne!

I had set my phone alarm to 10AM last night as I went to bed, but I woke up at 8:40. The same thing happened last Saturday in Helsinki. All the song arrangements of the tour just get into my dreams and I can’t wait to get on stage again tonight. It’s so cool waking up in Cologne. This is where we signed our very first record deal with EMI exactly ten years ago and those months this city was like a home outside home. I remember even looking at an apartment at the Belgische Viertel for myself. This city is where I finally felt like Sunrise had a chance someday and we might become rock stars. And without the key people (Uli, Daniel and Julia, just to mention a few), I would not be writing this blog at this executive hotel suite. Coming back to Cologne reminds me every time how damn lucky I am with what I and we have. I hope the former EMI folks all come to the show tonight. At the sold out Lanxess Arena WTF????!!!! Please don’t wake me up…

Anyways. It’s so cool when you plan something for 9 months and you think of every little detail and try to go through the real moment in your mind a dozen times to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. And then the real moment hits you and you feel like Bambi on slippery ice, but you still survive. You do it together. I didn’t drink alcohol since the start of February and I decided to have a huge party after the Helsinki show. I was so exhausted and tired, I had only two beers and and a pizza after the show and went home to sleep after the show. We were all so dead. But happy.

I have been on stage a couple of times in my life with my boys, but I must say the feeling on stage in Helsinki was one of the best I have ever felt. Of course it usually feels great after a long break and of course the home arena with all family, friends, neighbors, ice hockey boys etc etc makes it even more amazing, but honestly, we were all like 13-year old kids after the show. It’s so cool to see mid-age guys jumping around the backstage and screaming their lungs out half naked. Of happiness.

I love the fact that we decided to do this tour. There is not too much time for touring this year because we need to make time for song writing and recording if we wanna try to have a new album out next year, we’ll see. But I’m just so happy that we are on the road now and about how we have planned everything together with our dear arrangers and musicians.

I know there are as many video cameras as there are people at the arenas, but I don’t wanna tell you too much about the show. Come and see / hear it yourselves. So we will start our ten-show-trip today in Cologne. I just can’t wait. I must warn you that this time it’s mostly Finns travelling with us, so especially at the after parties or off days, stay away from the bars near the arenas. I will take absolutely no responsibility of whatsoever. (Kun suomipoika ryyppää, siinä on kuplavesipollut ihmeissään!)

One Finnish guy who’s also travelling with us is Niila and Niila’s First album “Gratitude” is out today. To get the 110% out of his performance, go stream or buy the album so you can sing a long ;) It’s funny how you feel like the albums are a little bit yours too when you work with them for years. Niila and his boys will not join our gang to the bars and unholy after party activities, because they’re just way too young, innocent and new in the business… I don’t want my super boy to get hurt… Poor little things.

Anyways. The doors at Lanxess Arena will open in a couple of hours and after that it’s all up to you if you wanna sing the arena walls down with us.

Biggest love and see you very soon,

Hapa Haber

In the city of sexual equality


26.03.2016 Samu
Home Sofa

It’s so quiet here. No catering people making breakfast and nobody blowing their horns at the backstage. I kind of like it after all the beautiful mess we had for the last couple of weeks. Nobody has to worry about their throats or fingers and it all feels totally relaxed. Even though I miss the tour like hell. I have felt this way so many times before after the previous tours. The tour always ends with the after party and hugging everyone a million times after all the unbelievable moments together and then it’s all over. Sad but beautiful.

It’s funny how every tour has felt like the best tour ever, this one too. When we started planning this one last summer, we really had no idea how much work it would be and we never could have imagined how great it all would be in the end. I wasn’t a 100 percent sure about seating the crowds at the shows and also if it would work with all the musicians on stage, but it was all more than perfect.

So many people worked so hard for so many months and gave more than they had in their souls and hearts. There were many close calls with arrangements, techniques and even on stage, but we made it. As I realized it’s all gonna be over soon and also that we pulled it through together, I really had to fight my tears on stage at the last show in Stuttgart. Well I tried.

First, thank you for the amazing arrangements Tero Lindberg, Visa Mertanen and Osmo. We didn’t want to do another “Sunrise Avenue with extra musicians” show. We wanted to make it sound, feel and look as if there’s one band of 40 people on stage and that’s exactly what it was. We wanted to be brave with the arrangements and the performances. Already as we sat in Stuttgart last summer with Raul, Riku, Sami and Osmo talking about this whole thing, we decided to even destroy some old songs, even some of our radio hits, if that’s what it takes to make the show what it should be. We were not sure how people would take the new versions of “Forever Yours” or “Unholy Ground” just to mention a few, but we felt every night that we had made the right choices.

Thank you everyone on stage. Playing according to your notes is your job. That would have been enough and that’s what we agreed when we signed the deals with you all. But following your notes but then adding your whole soul into it, jumping around with a contra bass and moshing like a Metallica fan while you play your strings or horn, means you’re willing to give the crowd and us much more than your contract says. This is how the Finns do it. We were so proud of you every night.

What you see at our shows is the two-and-a-half-hour performance, but there are people whose days are more than 14 hours long. They never get the applauses or platinum awards. There’s someone booking the arenas, planning everything there, someone rigs the stuff high above the stage. Someone pulls and connects 10 kilometers of huge cables and someone makes sure the light & screen is always on the right spot on stage while we play. A team of sound guys work their asses and ears off every night to make the show sound great for you. Someone has to feed more 200 hundred people FOUR times a day and someone has to transport us with all our gear safely every single day. Someone has to keep us and our instruments worth millions safe every second and someone actually cleans the arena after all the mess we leave behind with you. It feels kind of lame saying “thank you for your work” but that’s the best I can do for now. You all know who you are.

I have to tell you a little story what happened in Berlin. Just a few minutes before the show, we got some heartbreaking news. One of our crew guys had lost someone extremely close. And he hears that less than five minutes before the circus starts. This crew guy plays a major role and the show would be cancelled without him. Show must go on. Imagine yourself in his position. He has to go through the whole show, sad songs and melancholic moments. If he loses the focus for one second, the whole thing becomes a mess. He pulls it through like a man and the show is amazing. I find him after the show to tell him how sorry I am for having to do the show with such emotional storm. He tells me to “f**k off” with a smile through the tears on his face. We hug for a minute and he says “It was a great show” and then he goes back to work. This is what our boys and girls are like. Brothers and sisters.

But still… Most of all, thank you all for coming over every night. We realize that you all have a life outside Sunrise Avenue and the shows. It’s amazing that you actually all drag your asses after work, school or what ever to celebrate music and beautiful moments with us every night. We just received awards from our tour agent Contra Promotion after the last show for selling more than 500.000 tickets the last 12 months. This means that more than half a million people have spent an evening with us and that is just amazing. We feel blessed and we hope you get what you deserve at the shows. We don’t take you for granted. Ever.

Now it’s time to take a couple of days off and to recharge the batteries for the next challenges. I’ll try to get up from this sofa and to drag my ass to the Helsinki Ice Hall to support my dear HIFK as they’re battling at the Finnish ice hockey playoffs. The game is really tight and as a good fan I have to be there for my boys. I actually love the feeling. I was just on stage with the boys and you all were there supporting us. Now I’ll put on my fan shirt and I’ll be in the crowd. As one of the fan boys ;) screaming my lungs out. Keep your fingers crossed for us tonight….

We usually vote for the “best of” stuff on tour, but this time I’ll do it myself, since there were just too many people on the road with us. Maybe some co-travelers would disagree with me, but here’s my list anyway.

Best Show

Helsinki.

Nothing beats the first night. I was so nervous that even my friends heard it on the first couple songs. That’s when you give your 115%.

Best Arrangement

Forever Yours, by Tero Lindberg.

This is actually based on a cool remix “Nightliner remix” by Jukka Backlund and Aku Sinivalo in 2006. And the crazy string idea in the end was Osmo’s idea. Team work.

Best Off Day

Vienna. Trumpet-Tero took us all to this amazing Schnitzel place called Salm Bräu (Rennweg 8, 1030 Vienna). GO TRY IT! And take a schnitzel with herb potatoes.

The loudest crowd

Leipzig.

It always depends on the arena, if it’s made of wood, aluminum etc, but in Leipzig it felt like the loudest. And it was very loud everywhere ;)

Rock ‘n’ Roll moment

This time it happened on stage in Stuttgart. It’s the most stupid inside joke ever, but we really respect our horny-horn boys for playing something so stupid at “Somebody Will Find You Someday” that we all totally exploded with laughter on stage and lost the track with the song. It’s such a stupid insider, but it was so much fun. I hope someone filmed it.

Fighter trophy

Lasse Piirainen. Lasse was sick for more than half of the tour. And I don’t mean his nose was running with a little fever. He was almost dead. He didn’t complain once and the jokes never faded. He played even though the doctors told him not to. Don’t know if that’s smart or not. But respect.

I’ve done a lot of bad things in my life. But I must have done something good too since I have the best band guys in the world with me and we get to do trips like this one. This tall Finnish guy feels totally blessed on his own sofa and he’s missing you all. We had fun together.

Stay as you are everyone and see you all soon! Time for the red-white-blue fan shirt and a hot dog at the arena.

Love,

Samu


28.07.2017 Samu
Heartbreak Century

Finally, after a couple of years of songwriting and studio work, we’re ready to release our new album this autumn. The baby is called “Heartbreak Century.” It has a couple of beautiful flaws and mistakes and we all love it just the way it is.

I honestly thought we had seen it all. I was sure nothing would amaze, excite or shock us anymore, but how wrong was I… Again, you could make a movie about this journey. Lonely walks with a guitar on the other side of the planet. Feeling out of ideas but knowing this all would make sense someday. Long studio sessions where you thought if we’d do one more take, someone in the room will pass out. But you keep going and someone hits the red button. Jokes (The famous Finnish humor) that kept the spirit up when someone played the same stupid mistake for the 8th time and everyone just laughed on the floor. It was worth every second and we’re kind of missing the road behind already.

But there’s a new road ahead.

The first Single “I Help You Hate Me” will be out in August. I hate describing music, so I let you guys and girls feel the new vibe the way you feel it. I’m sure someone will like it, some might not. We love it. It’s simply the first single because it made us all go crazy from the very first moment the song existed and everyone in studio said from day one, it just must be the opener for this beautiful package. So be it.

The album’s time is in October. If you only knew the stories behind the songs... Life and its turns you don’t always understand, is amazing songwriting fuel. Wouldn’t do one single thing different.

And then we’ll climb into our tour bus again. Since this is kind of a new start for Sunrise Avenue and we start from zero, we decided to go back to where we started one beautiful day. We will play the small clubs that we have been missing so bad during all these fantastic arena times. Our club tour will go to many European countries and cities and we can’t just wait to stand on many of the stages from our very first tour we ever made. It’ll be sweat, rock ‘n’ roll and joy.

In this crazy life of ups and downs, I have never been this proud and sure about anything before. Can’t wait to share this little piece of heart, soul and sweat with you all.

This is it. Heartbreak Century.

Samu


05.10.2017 Samu
Heartbreak Century

This is it. The next baby is finally ready to fly out and to meet you all. These months keeping the songs only on our phones and laptops have been pretty painful. There were a hundred nights I felt like leaking it all out just so you all could hear them too.

To me, Heartbreak Century is the best Sunrise Avenue album ever. I more than love all the other albums too and everything we got to experience with them, don’t get me wrong, but this time what you hear is more honest and even deeper from the soul than ever before. Writing these songs was the strangest time in my life – exciting, beautiful, lonely and sometimes heartbreaking. Without having the chance to write these songs and to record them afterwards, I would probably not be here in one piece.

When we got the stone rolling last summer, the studio work was easier and faster than ever before. It just felt right from the very first beat. There is nothing new anyone invented or nobody even wanted to be cool or genius with sounds or something. It’s just what Sunrise Avenue has always been about. It used to say “Honest Music” under our logo. This album is not trying to be anything. With all it’s beautiful mistakes and scars.

Now it’s time to let you listen to what we’ve been up to. And then we hit the road with the guys next week. We will start our tour at the legendary Tavastia club in Helsinki and then the busses will take us to 14 countries this year. More will follow in the spring. There are elephant-size butterflies in our stomachs but we love the way they tickle.

We’re not a movie with written lines. But it feels like sitting in a movie theatre when looking back at the last couple years. So many cool new people and so many amazing places. Many great moments are now memories we treasure in our hearts. And the next movie is ready to be filmed. And we wanna film it with you. The script looks very promising.

So volume up. This is it. This is Heartbreak Century.

Love,

Samu


19.10.2017 Samu
On The RD Again

I haven’t written that many blogs the last years, but it feels quite familiar somehow having the Finnair logo in front of me when writing this. I used to write a blog almost on every second flight in the past.
 
Last week was quite a week. We started the tour in Finland (Helsinki & Tampere & Turku) and damn it was fun! It’s amazing how well you all had checked the new songs and lyrics even though the tour started so soon after the album release. And we haven’t done this kind of an album release tour where we present mostly the new stuff for a long long time. I must say some of the new tunes generated as much noise and singing as some of the old crown jewels, that’s quite awesome. No matter how well you plan everything and rehearse everything, it’s finally on stage in front of you when we know if the new songs work or not. And cheeses it worked great!
 
We were actually all supposed to stay in Turku for the night after the 3rd show, but after a short “show meeting” in Sami’s room, everyone wanted to go home instead of another hotel night. There will be plenty anyways. So I took the guys in my car and drove 120 KM in the night. The Boys drinking beer and myself behind the wheel. Thank you Turku Police Station for being nice and making sure I had no alcohol in my blood before we hit the highway. I had a beer on stage. Should never drink and drive. If you’re not sure, the car stays in the garage. That driving on the dark highway kind of reminded me of what it’s gonna be on tour. My favorite thing to do in the night is to sit next to the bus driver and just silently watch the darkness and passing road signs. It’s somehow romantic.
 
It’s huge how well the “Heartbreak Century” release has gone. The album is topping the charts and in some countries we’re even number one! We definitely didn’t expect this much. The music world has changed a lot the last couple of years towards single song releases and we didn’t know if albums would still be interesting enough for consumers. But we don’t care if you buy the album, stream it, listen to it at your friend’s place or if you make an illegal copy. What matters to us is that you listen to what we’ve done. And then you sing at the shows ;)
 
The last months have been pretty hectic, especially to me, with all the interviews, finishing different album versions and stuff but also the tour start was something that kept us super busy the last weeks. Now after the first shows, it’s time to lick our wounds for this week and just chill. Next week we’ll be back on stage in Sweden and Denmark. Sweden is the first country outside Finland where we received platinum awards in the beginning and it’s a shame how little we have visited our dear neighbor since. And Copenhagen is the smallest club on this tour and I just can’t wait!
 
So, I’ll close my eyes now until we hit the runway. Thank you guys & girls for the fantastic first three nights. Can’t see you again next week!
 
Love,
 
Samu
 
PS. I just received a message from my voice colleagues in our group chat (that usually contains only very bad below-the-belt-kindergarten-level-humor) that the TVOG starts today. I had no clue and actually I had to check what day it is… Check it out. To me it’s the craziest and most fun season ever. So proud to be part of it again <3


29.10.2017 Hapa
Copenhagen & Stockholm

As Heartbreak Century album started slowly getting together last year, I had the idea of playing smaller clubs instead of the arenas this time. It felt like a refreshing idea and I thought it might make the touring world fresh for us again after all the mega stages. And then we could also visit more countries. We could not sell out an arena in Copenhagen, for example. We never really had an old school “album release tour” where you play all the new album’s songs. And the cool thing about the smaller clubs is also that you don’t need to think about lasers, explosives, screens and stuff. There’s no timecode ticking in your ear and telling you where to stand when. You do what you do.
 
After they suggested the Beta club in Copenhagen (max 150 people), I told them to book something a bit bigger. But someone at the local office wanted to play it safe especially after us being away from the show business for some time. The tickets to the Copenhagen were sold out in less than a minute and then for some months they tried to find something bigger for us. Nothing was available and so we climbed on the smallest stage in ten years last Friday night. We didn’t know what to expect.
 
I must say as we looked at the stage through the curtains before the show, it looked strange. There were no crash barriers (the little gap between the crowd and stage) and looked as if we’d never fit there. I also had a bad experience in the past being to close to the crowd as someone hit my microphone stand during the show. My microphone destroyed my both front teeth (in Rovaniemi, Finlnd 2007) and they still need to be fixed every couple of years. That’s nothing you want to re-experience.
 
But damn how much fun it was! The Copenhagen show was the fifth show on this tour and we all felt like finally now the songs are starting to work 110%. Was so amazing being so close to everyone, even though our crew boys Tomppa and MP had to curl in like snakes bringing guitars and stuff on stage. After the show, we went to Freetown Christiania with the boys for some beers and again I remembered how damn great city Copenhagen is.
 
Stockholm was also amazing and super cool the night before. We played “Klubben” exactly ten years ago as the first show on our very first European tour in 2007 and it was quite emotional dragging our bags to that backstage again. In Stockholm we also had a lot of industry people and music maker friends with us in the crowd. They had a massive role putting the new album together and it was double emotional playing the babies in front of them finally. Felt like a home town show.
 
What I really like about these shows, is that we can see your faces much better than in the past. You’re all closer. I sometimes try to avoid looking at anyone straight in the eyes on the touchy songs. If you cry and I see it, it might be hard not to join. In Copenhagen there was someone in the crowd crying tears during “let me go” and it felt like I had a potato in my throat. But it was a beautiful moment.
 
Now we’ll have a little break and we’ll be back on stage in Berlin after next week. And then we’ll start the journey with the busses. The real tour life. Can’t wait to see you all again soon!
 
Love,
 
Samu


05.11.2017 Samu
Then we take Berlin

Another flight. It’s funny how they still announce, “Dear passengers, this is a non-smoking flight to…” as if someone would still be wondering if smoking is ok on flights in the civilized world. We’re flying to Berlin from Cologne where we did some TV shows and celebrated Riku’s birthday. But we were good boys and didn’t party too hard. We need to be fit tomorrow on stage as the tour continues.
 
Cologne means a lot to us. It was in Cologne where we played our very first show outside Finland in the very beginning at a club called “Underground” and I heard that they are tearing it down for some major construction project. I hope the club finds a new spot. When we played the second show at the Underground on our first real tour, I was ill. Super ill. I will never ever forget this scary doctor who was ready to give me cortisone injections straight on my throat (!) before the show if my voice wouldn’t start working. Well, my voice was still quite bad before the show but I didn’t dare taking the shot. He looked like from a horror movie with his injection things. This time Cologne was fun and super smooth.
 
Tomorrow we continue the tour in Berlin. At the show, there will be a lot of friends and music & TV industry people, so it’s gonna feel like another home town show. Our keyboard gangster Osmo is also flying in. We have done all the promotion and stuff without him since he’s really not a full band member on the album booklets etc, but of course from tomorrow on we’re five band members on stage again. It’s actually a bit strange. How do you become a real band member anyways? Are you always some kind of an outsider until your face is on the booklet? What if there are no faces on the booklet but some image or other art work instead. I never actually got this. But we can still treat Osmo as an outsider in the bus or backstage. “Hey outsider, make our beds and get us beer, muahahaha”
 
It’s a little strange having these gaps or breaks in between the shows. Back in the days when the tours started, they went on until we were all partying at the last show’s after party. Now between Copenhagen and Berlin there were again nine days something else. One could lose the touch and routine. I felt it in Stockholm as then we also had a break for a week before and it was hard remembering how many times extra choruses happen etc. But we’re good at keeping a poker face. I guess nobody realized anything. Besides the few of you in the first rows who looked at us like grandmothers look at their grandchildren as they fall on their faces in the sand box. “Ok, nothing bad happened, get back up you little thing!” 
 
So tomorrow we will have a long chat with the guys again how everything shall function on stage. The worst thing right now is that none of us can listen to our new album at all. There are so many changes and extra little things on the live versions and listening to the album would only make a mess in our heads. We do have the live recordings from each night though and we listen to them if we start missing the tunes too much.
 
Looks quite beautiful through the plane window. Autumn is fully here and the leaves are turning brown. It’s also getting colder and the only downside about touring in the autumn is that you really need to focus on staying healthy. I love all four seasons sure, but why can’t it always be summer ;) On every tour so far, someone caught the flu. And as we’re so close to each other, especially now with minimal back stages, if one gets the cold, soon everyone has it. Of course you don’t wanna stress your ass off with it, just be smart. We never had to cancel a show due to someone being ill. Knock on wood.
 
So sleep well people and see you tomorrow,
 
Samu


14 Nov 2017 Samu
Half way

I see all the cities like a TV show. They all look the same through a dirty window.

I can’t believe we’re half way already. As we started the shows a month ago in Helsinki, it seemed as if it’s gonna go on forever. But don’t they say the most fun moments in life seem to pass you by quickly. I know I say this every time, but this tour has been the best tour ever. I don’t even want to think about it ending someday. I’d already start missing it. Luckily there’s a new show day tomorrow in Munich. And then in Milan. And then much more.
 
I’m sitting alone in the front lounge of my bus watching the highway signs pass by somewhere between Cologne and Munich. I’m feeling amazed once again. Like every night. I don’t know what it is with these new songs and shows, but there’s so much emotion in the room every night that I could just cry and scream YEEEEE the same time at the end of every show. We always walk straight into a van after the show with the guys to get to our hotel or somewhere. In the beginning of the tour there were always some talks in the van about what we could do better or what we should change in the songs, but the last couple of shows it’s just been quiet. Someone says “wow” and the rest of us agree. No words.
 
Feels like something has clicked in a very good way with us on stage. It has never felt this free and good before. I think it’s something about the new songs. They are very natural to play and feels like none of us has to try to be or to prove anything. We’re just there enjoying with you. No tricks but tons of emotion. And I must also say I have never felt crowds like this before. It’s still super fun and full of laughter but also super emotional and it’s as if we could all escape from this world for 75 minutes every night. To a very good place with you. We can’t express how much we appreciate what you do and how you are every night. 

Almost every morning we wake up in a new city and it’s funny how we sometimes don’t even remember the country we’re in. The days go by pretty easy. We’re all just trying to recharge our batteries. Some do sports, some just watch Netflix in their rooms. And it’s strange how we sometimes actually feel very tired right before the show. But then the lights go off and we hear and feel you all in the room. Adrenaline hits our systems and we’re alive again. 

I’m traveling with my own bus this time. After everything that went down in life the last year with writing a million songs, producing and promoting the record and also doing my TV things and other stuff in life, I felt like I needed my space. It feels kind of lonely having just me and my driver Costa in the bus, but I also love the feeling of not having to talk to anyone. I’ve always been a lonely wolf somehow and especially with the circus going on every day, these quiet moments feel very precious. The band guys have their own little home on wheels and they’re driving right in front of me right now. Their tail lights look like little red eyes in the night. Our little caravan in Wonderland with the crew bus and trucks. 

If you want to know how the night looks right now, listen to “Hurtsville” from our previous studio album. I don’t know what I’ve done right or if I really deserve this life. But since I have all this amazing love around me, I’ll just sink into my bed now and dream about the next adventure. Tomorrow is another chance to explode love around the room together with you all. I honestly don’t remember feeling this good.

Good night you all, 

Samu



19 Nov 2017 Samu
Attention Zurich!

I’m having ice bags on my right foot. The performance on Friday at Hallenstadion was great until I stepped into this stupid hole in the middle of the stage (??!!) and hurt myself. Usually these holes are covered or at least marked somehow, this one wasn’t. Actually I think I hurt my leg as I got back up on stage and kicked something as I was angry. Smart me. I had Röntgen’s taken yesterday at a local hospital in Zurich and everything seems ok with the bones. The ligaments took a hit and now we’re following how it heals. The foot is swollen and I might need to support it somehow on stage for some time. But going to battle means getting wounds. And I’ve had much worse ;) 

The evening at the NRJ Star Night was amazing and we all felt like coming back home on that stage. Did you know the NRJ Star Night was our very first performance ever in Switzerland ten years ago? Back then we had to perform in the afternoon (The show for children) and then the volume limit was so low that I could hear my own footsteps on stage. I didn’t dare moving too much back then because it might have interfered us “playing” Fairytale Gone Bad. I’ll never forget the kids waving these strange bananas or something. That moment I thought Sunrise Avenue will never work in Switzerland. I was quite wrong. Now times are different and we get to join the adults show in the night… It’s actually the coolest thing to play these small clubs now before Christmas and in March we hit the massive stages again. Also Hallenstadion. 

After writing my last blog, we had two amazing shows in Munich and Milan. As we were leaving Milan in the morning on Thursday, we heard that the bus the guys have been traveling with had broken down. Something with the engine, don’t ask me. It’s quite funny, but I was just starting to feel a bit lonely in my bus and now I got the guys in my bus for this one trip through the beautiful mountains. My driver Costa was happy. For this one ride he didn’t have to listen to my Heartbreak Century stories… I can’t get over how beautiful it is in this part of Europe. Especially now that there’s already snow on the mountain tops, it’s just breathtaking. 

So now we’ve had the whole weekend off in Zurich. Osmo, being busy as always, flew to Helsinki for the weekend for two of his own shows and the rest of us have just been chilling here.

Working out, sleeping A LOT, shopping like ladies and enjoying our free time in Zurich. Me walking like a damn pirate. But it feels much better already after resting a couple days. The funniest thing happened at the hospital. We talked so much about music and stuff with the doctor and the nurses that we forgot to pay at all. I invited them to the show tomorrow and then we just left. We were already sitting in the car with the tour manager as we realized it. Oops. Hope they’ll never catch us ;) If there are some doctors looking for me outside the club tomorrow, tell them it’s some Swedish band playing tonight… 

But now back to the “Attention Zurich” part.

 We will film a music video tomorrow at the Xtra club. Filming something with 1800 people in a small club is kind of risky and I know there are no guarantees it will work out, but I feel we have a plan.

The show tomorrow will be as if there’s no video shoot. You have bought a ticket to our show, not to a video shoot, and we respect that. We will film most parts before and after the show. And we should be all done latest at 11PM. We understand it’s Monday and some of you might want to leave right after the show. But the more of you stay, the happier we are ;) All you need is to be yourselves and to be ready to play with us a bit. Your part as crowd members will be easy. You’ll be enjoying music and celebrating the song with us. There will also be this very easy acting part you’d all need to do together, but the producer will brief you on stage. Should be easy enough. Well, we’ll see how it goes tomorrow. We trust you on this one ;) 

Xtra & Zurich were chosen because of the shape of the club. There’s a cool balcony going around the whole room and that should look cool. Here we also had a couple of days free before the show and I could talk to the production company and film crew and plan everything well. 
So… See you all tomorrow. Enough of this Netflix life. Tomorrow we rock the house together again. 

Big love,

Samu


22 Nov 2017 Samu
Fast food & Stage food

I’m not a big fan of trash food, but I just had a Mc Donald’s burger and fries. Big and tasty meal. Sometimes it just tastes so damn good! It was a strange day today with food and I was super hungry after the show in Vienna and I had to invite my drivers for a burger on the road. All busses have two drivers now since there’s a couple of long drives ahead, especially between Budapest and Prague and then from Prague to Brussels. One driver can drive maximum 4 hours 30 minutes and then they need to take a long break. This way we can just keep going.

I had an amazing Turkish lunch with Sami earlier today at this place called Ali Ocakbasi (thumb up!) near the Opera and that was all I ate before the show. When it’s three hours to stage time, I can’t eat no more. I can’t go on stage with a full stomach or it feels strange when I sing. It’s as if my voice doesn’t come out right. I don’t understand how Osmo does it. He’s sometimes still chewing something as the lights go out in the club. And Raul sometimes eats during the show. It started a couple of years ago at a festival somewhere when he was showing this being-hungry-sing (touching his stomach) to our crew half way of the show. The crew boys didn’t quite understand what he needed but then after some more njam-njam-moves they understood and brought him fruits. It’s so cool singing the beginning of “Little bit love” seeing Raul with a damn jungle in his mouth. Looking as happy as ever. 

We had the most amazing nights again in Zurich and Vienna. In Zurich we filmed a music video for “Heartbreak Century” as we had planned. But due to this tiny technical thing, we had to record the audience audio parts again today in Vienna. It’s cool what you can do these days. If everything works out as planned, the images captured in Switzerland will be shown with sound recorded in Austria and Sweden. Gotta love 2017 and the tech stuff ;) Thank you so much for the great job everyone. It should be out in the winter. We can’t wait.

My foot is so much better. Once again massive thanx to the Arzhaus Clinic doctors and nurses in the center of Zurich. And tour manager Basty managed to pay the bill on Monday too so I can walk around in Zurich again. I was honestly feeling a bit down on Saturday in my hotel bed in Zurich as my foot was hurting and walking was painful. I though about the upcoming shows and how stupid I would feel on stage just standing there if I could not move at all. But the cold bags and compression really helped and I feel the homeopathics helped too. Was cool talking to a highly professional western medic doctor who also suggested alternative stuff. Homeopathics is not all “Sim-sala-bim” magic. I feel some of that stuff really works. To me at least. 

So now there’s another day off until we play in Budapest on Thursday. It feels a bit strange having a day off again as we just had two. But maybe we’ll figure out a nice group thing we can do together tomorrow with the crew guys. Maybe go-cart driving. That has been a tradition on our tours from the very start of our touring life and I have always been top 3. Huge pressure ;) The crew members who beat me can fly home straight away. Everyone’s fired! 

It’s been a couple of years since we played in Hungary. I guess it was a summer festival in 2014. I really love Budapest and one thing I’m definitely gonna do, is buy some bottles of their amazing dessert wine Tokaji to bring home. It just tastes better if you have brought it from a nice trip than if you’d buy it in a liquor store in Helsinki. If I could take three things to a deserted island, a bottle of 5 star Tokaji could be one. The cool thing about touring is also that we have these trucks driving our stuff around Europe. On this trip I already bought a chandelier in Amsterdam. It doesn’t sound too rock and roll, I know. But chandeliers are beautiful. Sami and Osmo are the most active shopaholics for clothes and stuff and Riku and Raul usually buy more instruments and technical things. Ok it really doesn’t sound like rock and roll… In the good old days on the Big Band tour we bought more than 400 bottles of wine in Dresden at this wine warehouse and now we’re buying furniture and stereo cables. Livin’ o
n the edge! 

Thank you all for the amazing nights again. I can’t believe how amazing you are night after night everywhere. Have a good safe night everyone and see some of you on Thursday at the Dürer Kert Club in Budapest. I heard that’s also sold out. Now Samu focuses on keeping his eyes open for another hundred kilometers and then he meets Mr. Sandman in Budapest. This fast food thing feels quite heavy in my system…
 
Lots of love, 

Samu


30 Nov 2017 Samu
Krakow tour bubble

When I told everyone at home we’d have a day off in Krakow in Poland, they all said how beautiful the city is. And they were right. It’s strange that we haven’t been here before, but now that we’re here, I must say it’s one of the most beautiful spots in Europe. The old town and the life around there is just breathtaking. The locals seem to be one of the happiest and friendliest gangs in whole Europe and it’s just beautiful in here. It kind of reminded me of home on Tuesday night with the all the frozen car windscreens as I walked alone to the hotel in the night from "Pijalnia Wódki i Piwa" bar. Beer and shots cost one Euro and we had a blast with some local students. I left early and managed to go to gym in the morning. Don’t know how late the guys stayed. Just heard some stories the next day that made me even happier about my decision to be a good boy. Today it’s snowing here like in Disney movies. Looks so pretty. 

We played at the Kwadrat club yesterday and damn it was loud and great again. I was also able to do my first “Chris Martin move” with a "Polish/Heartbreak Century" flag last night. I follow him and Coldplay on Instagram and he seems to get a flag almost everywhere they play and then he keeps it attached to the back of his trousers for a song or two. As a Finn, I find this kind of moves a bit strange, since we’re taught the proper ways of treating our flag since we’re very very little. The flag should never touch the ground, for example, and should never be up at night. But maybe there’s different rules when it comes to bands and rock and roll. But I will never forget our first TV show in Germany in Leipzig in 2006. It was a huge show called “The Dome 39” and as we had our very first backstage meet & greet with fans ever outside Finland, the fans had arranged a HUGE Finnish flag…. And they had put it on the floor for autographs. I took a deep breath and thought, what the hell… I had flashbacks from the army a
s some Lieutenant screams at me about treating the flag right. But sergeant Haber is now in the entertainment world and not in the army ;) Just so you don’t get me wrong, I love the Finnish flags in the crowd nowadays. I love all the flags. Keep bringing them with you and never let them go down! 

It’s only two shows left. Tomorrow we play Madrid and then the final show in Barcelona on Saturday. It’s amazing how deep in a tour bubble we all are already. I had to check the calendar yesterday to see what’s still gonna happen before Christmas. I’m back home on Monday evening and on Wednesday I’m already heading to Berlin for the Voice Finals. That’ll be fun too! And I’m lucky that I have duties right after the tour so I don’t fall too deep into post-tour-depression. It kind of hits you every time. Suddenly all the action and fun is taken away and you fall into this deep hole. It’s cold and dark outside and there’s no catering or laundry service. Poos us ;) 

It’s actually really getting colder everywhere. Ok, tonight we’ll be in Madrid and I bet they don’t have snow men on the streets, but we can be sure that as soon as we’re back home, we know it’s gonna hit us. And even though I really love Berlin, It’s just so cold there in the winter. When I still smoked last year, I remember skipping a few cigarettes during the Voice finals because it was so damn cold outside. Will not have that problem this year. 98 days smoke free, and counting… 

I almost forgot that I promised some tickets for comments on my Instagram picture where Smudo is spanking my ass at the Voice (on the floor wft???!!). There were so many comments that I decided to change the rules. I will give 3 x 2 tickets. My Instagram application crashed three times when I tried to read the comments, so I just took three random great comments. There were many more that made me laugh, but this time the winners are:
 
Princess_jasmin.p “One more feather and he can fly back to Finland”

Swiss_fotographer “Put it in, rotate and he’s going to walk again”

Sabine.sonnenblume “Assbreak Century”

People above, send our management an email with a screen shot of your comment and they’ll fix you two tickets to a show in the spring. Thank you everyone for the comments and funny ideas. Some of you have a very dirty mind ;) 

We’re almost in Madrid and I will have to close my laptop now. See some of you tomorrow in Madrid and on Saturday in Barcelona. Two more shows to go. Let’s keep up the amazing love level until the very end.

Big Love, 

Samu


01 Mar 2018 Samu
Back to the tour bus

It feels like it was just yesterday we ended our club tour in Barcelona. I can still smell the smoke machines and mojitos at this strange underground club near the Barcelona harbor as we were all dancing (!) there until 6 in the morning after our last show. Believe it or not, but we were Osmo, Riku, guitar tech MP and myself doing a two-hour dance battle with a professional dancer. All against all. I didn’t find a gold medal on myself in the next afternoon when I woke up, but I’m glad there’s (obviously) no video recordings.

Last year was so great and crazy. So much happened professionally and in life and I must say most of the memories are a bit blurry because it went so fast. We released a new album with all its duties and of course we were more and more in a hurry towards the deadline. There’s always that panic and I guess it’s a natural part of any album process. The “Heartbreak Century” album has been super successful and the songs are playing on the radio like hell. I also did two massive TV shows last year, one in Germany and one in Finland and that together with the tour and massive album promotion really took all the juices off this body & soul of mine. So, taking more than a month off after the last duties last year felt like the escape I needed. I must say there was not much left of me and it’s just now, these last few weeks, I ‘ve been feeling stronger and whole again. Lucky me. Not everyone would have the chance to get away like this.

So now I’m back with my boys and it feels great. Actually it feels better being and playing together than in a long time. Like we’re all able to enjoy it a 100%. We didn’t have to start rehearsing for this tour from zero as the new album’s songs proved their quality on stage already last year, so now it was more about finding little new things into some of them and of course also bringing more old songs into the set. If last year was more of an old-school album release tour representing the new material, now we’ve been enjoying more oldies again. And it felt so good at Raul’s new rehearsal studio as we started touching the new set.

We will fill fourteen arenas in three weeks in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Finland and we are supper happy that it’s almost sold out everywhere. I heard this morning that there are just a few tickets left to two cities only. Could be worse. We have a brand-new production gang around us too, so also that should feel fresh. Of course, the main crew guys are the same as for years. We still wanna hear their two-minded idiot jokes every day to make ourselves feel intelligent. And I guess they have grown too deep into the family to be replaced. So glad almost everyone could join again.

Now we’ve been in Dusseldorf, Germany for a couple days rehearsing the whole set with the full production together with our new team. I don’t feel nervous at all at the moment, but I’m sure as we get closer to Friday evening, we’ll all have shaky hands in a good way again. I love the mood in the dressing room right before the very first show on every tour. We’re all gonna be telling each other again how “Not nervous” we all are. But you can hear it in everyone’s voice. Big guys telling each other how damn cool they are with everything ;) But it’s also so cool when the first show is over. Everyone’s screaming and jumping around like little kids. “We made it jeeeee!” It still happens every single time.

We haven’t planned the off-day activities yet, but playing pool (and Winning backliner Ilari) has to be one of them. This winter has been super cold in Finland and I heard it’s also cold in Central Europe. I got two pairs of grandma-made sock in my suitcase so I should be fine. The flu epidemic is also quite bad everywhere we go the next weeks and we need to stay smart with it (I heard in Germany alone 200 people died??!!). Shaking hands, hugging, kissing strangers and all that stuff is fully forbidden with our whole crew and staff and we will try to avoid crowded places even on off days. Someone always gets a bit ill on every tour anyways, but this flu that’s been harassing people everywhere righty now might mean cancelled shows. And we don’t want that. But let’s not worry about it too much. Wash your hands everyone and don’t put your dirty fingers into your mouth. Osmo, you too!

So you lovely people. See you all very soon. I. Just. Can’t. Wait.

Hugs,

Samu


10 Mar 2018 Samu
Deep in tour bubble

We just had our off day in Dusseldorf between the Hanover and Dortmund shows. The tour start has been just unbelievable and the crowd has been like never before in every city. I know I write this every time, but it feels again like the best tour ever and also the best show set ever too. The songs just seem to work together great and it feels as if it moves super fast on stage. Last night I accidentally looked at my watch on the tenth song and I was like “Have we been already playing for almost an hour?” Felt like 10 minutes. But don’t they say that you’re having the most fun when the time flies.

We’ve got five shows done and it’s actually good to have a slower pace for a couple of days now. I always get this strange tiredness after two weeks on the road. First I was worried I might be getting sick, but then I remembered that it always hits me at this point. I guess your body and mind are so focused and in a “fight mode” in the beginning that it just has to rest at some point. I also admit that I did some work out almost every day for the last two weeks and that together with the quite exhausting performances has been tough for body. It’s always the same tiredness feeling after the fourth or fifth show on every tour. Luckily we had a day off now and also after tonight’s show in Dortmund, there’s another day free in Berlin before we start our five show week on Monday.

We arranged some of the songs completely new for this tour and I just love them! Some of them we actually turned all upside-down and they still work crazy good. That is a good sign if a song can have many versions. But this is what we’ve been always doing anyways with all the different acoustic, big band, orchestra, etc versions.

So I will drink some hot chamomile tea now and then I’ll pack my bags for leaving to Dortmund. No sports today before the show. Or maybe just a little bit of Thai boxing with mixing engineer Mikko. He really kicked my ass in Hannover before the show and it felt good in a strange way. Maybe that’s the way to get my body moving today…

Thank you all for the great evenings together and see you very soon. Maybe even tonight!

Love,

Samu


16 Mar 2018 Samu
Spring in Munich

Here we are back at Olympiahalle and the sun is shining. It’s actually so cool that we’ve played some of these arenas so many times already that we know where the backstage, catering and other stuff are. Feels like coming home every time in the afternoon when they bring us in. We have another sold out show tonight at the BMW city and sound check is just one hour away.

This tour has been in many ways the coolest and easiest tour ever. Everything just seems to work great and there haven’t really been any bad technical issues either. On the second show in Stuttgart the whole sound system was off for 1,5 seconds in the very first song and my heart skipped two beats, but after that it’s amazing how well the whole circus has worked. I guess we get better and better with each tour preparing everything before. We would be f**ked big time without Raul being in charge of all the tech stuff on the band’s side. Luckily he loves playing around with his cables and gear. I will buy him a massive thirteen ball ice cream when we get home if all goes this well.

Ilari, one of our crew guys, arranged us our own pool table for this tour. It weights 600 Kg and the crew put it up in some room every day in the morning and they take it out as the last piece of equipment after the arena is empty in the night. I have never played this much 9-ball in my life and you can just imagine the pub spirit before and after the shows in the “Country Club” as we call the pool room. There’s a list where you have to write down your name if you wanna play and the winner always stays playing. It’s the greatest way to get ready for a show if you win a couple of games in a row. You feel like a champion. Or it can work the other way too and you lose all your confidence…

I had to see a doctor yesterday. I wasn’t really that sick, no fever luckily, but since I had the flu last week and there was no chance to rest this week before yesterday, my throat got pretty bad and the stupid dry coughing kept me up two nights in a row in the bus. I tried sleeping sitting and drank a billion liters of hot stuff but nothing helped. And as you don’t really sleep, you don’t recover. It’s annoying how it gets you mentally. You know the only cure would be good sleep, but you just can’t. On stage you have all the adrenaline and you don’t think about it in the show mood, but taking all the pills every night and just biting you lip trough the shows won’t do no good in the long run. I was happy they didn’t find anything super bad in me at the hospital. And I slept ok last night in the hotel with the super stuff the nice doctor dude gave me, so I should be fine soon. But all this is part of touring life and I’ve had this before. So I’m off to sound check now with my ginger-honey-lemon-chamomile-tea
.

I can’t believe there’s only five shows left. It’s not fair that it goes so fast. You’ve been super amazing all the way, every single night! We got another chance to thank you on stage tonight with the guys by giving it a 120%.

Feel hugged everyone & see you in a couple of hours,

Samu


18 Mar 2018 Samu
Day off in Hurtsville

Here we are in the German carnival capital enjoying our last day off on tour. I don’t even want to think about the fact that there are only three shows left. I don’t understand why all the shops and stuff are closed on Sundays in Germany, but maybe we will just focus on eating and resting tonight instead of shopping our suitcases full. Once again.

Cologne is one of my favorite cities in Germany. EMI music record company was here when we started operating in Germany and we spent a lot of time here back then. We played our very first club show in Germany here too at the Underground club and I was even thinking of having a flat here at the Belgian Quarter. But never got one even though my local buddy Thore Schölermann is trying to resell the idea to me again now. It’s a super cool neighborhood. I heard they tore down the Underground club. That’s sad.

I’m feeling better already and actually last night in Leipzig my throat was functioning like 99%. If someone gets a bad flu, now I know what to take for it. Just call Doctor Haber hotline.

There have been many moments on stage this tour I have just been standing there in between my vocal parts just looking at the crowd thinking about how proud I am of all the songs we have. I don’t know why, but on this tour the emotion has been there even more than before and when I sing or hear these tunes, it takes me back to when I wrote them or what happened around that time. There are so many high lights at this show that it’s hard to pick one. Some evenings it’s “Home” or some ni