Hyrde: The band had been on a brake since our latest summer festival gig in Mikkeli. We had not seen each other at all until we gathered up in Lappeenranta in 24th of October to practise our upcoming tour setlist. It is always a real pleasure to see the guys after a while. Feels like everyone has some new stuff with them, stories or just freshed-up appearance. It’s really like ”seeing the guys in a better light” moments… Those two-day rehersals were to prepare us to play approx. 35 minutes as tight as possible, to promote mainly our Europa-released SLK album but also introducing the whole band in general to a whole new growds we were about to encounter.
Hyrde: Prior to those days I had collected all of our tour gear into a van and driven them to Kotka, a harbour city down south, to get the shit moving in Germany in time. We had minimum amount of backline with us, just two guitars per guitarists, basic keyboard stuff and pedals/snare/symbals/bench percussion gear. Also some light pre-amp boxes, distortion pedals and two Palmers to get along with. Everything else was to be rented on the spot. I like traveling light. In this case it was the only solution to be – we had seen the plans of jamming over 20 people in this one tour bus. That’s whole three bands, technical crew plus all their gear. Dude…!
Hyrde: So on 29th wednesday the band was checkin’ in at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport, bound to stay over night at Frankfurt. A suitable amount of tension was in the air. This was of course not our first tour abroad for us but a slight offset from our routines in Finland. Everyone seemed eager to do this. While sipping coffee in a long table the band met our Finnish booking agency and Sony Music promotor to discuss some upcoming things in 2015. Plans about playing total four albums in four days in Provinssi, Seinäjoki next summer… Crazy shit. But now these 18 gigs would be our last shows this year. So it was good to know already that there were things to stress about when we got back home in three weeks. Hopefully alive.
Hyrde: It needs to mentioned – Finnish post office was the only downer that day. For some delaying reason we were unable to get our bonus 50 piece CD box with us that day. It’s a little perverted to go promoting an album which we do not have on us. Well, there’s nothing a bottle of champagne in 10 000 meters didn’t fix…!
30.11. (D) Darmstadt, Steinbruch Theater
Hyrde: After having a nice 10 euro breakfast in Frankfurt’s hotel I had the fist encounter with Bruno the tour manager. For some reason he reminded me of Joe Barresi. You remember, the guy who produced our Nocebo album… It must be the teeth. So they have ’em good in both L.A. and Portugal I presume. He led the flock of ours to the bus waiting down the road and introduced us to The New Commandments printed on the wall…
Kaikka: Me and Emil had the privilege to say hi to Bruno at the night when we tried to drink the lobby bar as empty as possible. A fine and very, very, very handsome Portuguese gentlemen, who will be our God, Daddy and Principal for the next 18 days.
Hyrde: I recon we started off the hard way. The venue in this beautiful city was pinpointed right in the middle of these small streets, almost impossible to reach with our huge automobile, followed by a backline trailer car. When unloading the stuff the driver couldn’t park the caravan in front of the building, even tough there were some good space there, apparently because the front wheel of the trailer car had been damaged already. So, there we were, carrying all this millions of kilos of boxes up the street, cross the parking lots, up the stairs, up some more stairs and into a quite small hall floor. I remember being glad. This would make us all Supermen in no time. Muscular fitness!
Kaikka: Yeah, the venue was this kind of a little punkish small place, which are always nice to play, but the amount of our gear was something else. Cases and boxes filled half of the room while the drummers tried to figure out the drumkit. It didn’t look so good, but we knew that everything will find their places at the end – even the Fleshgod Apocalypse’s real piano, which they brought all the from Italy.
Hyrde: I have this thing with skulls. In Darmstadt I managed to find a cheap one, made of styrox. After all it was Halloween time, we needed one bonus skull on stage that night…
Kaikka: Before our soundcheck we had the oppurtunity to eat some excellent vegeterian lasagne and all other stuff. I think we had some technical issues during the soundcheck, but our own Iron Man, the Saint of FOH, Jusbaum Jauhiainen made it work again so the doors could open almost in time. First-day-difficulties…
Hyrde: The venue roof was too low, you couldn’t hear almost nothing from the back of the room when Insomnium was palying. And the place was packed, the ticket pre-sells was over 350… Well, hell, couple of tasty German beers, packing our own stuff, the evening came to an end soon enough.
Kaikka: And the show was actually pretty good because of the audience. Our performance wasn’t 110%, but it was kind of a ok. But the crowd was great and it’s always fun to play in new places when there’s a good and warm crowd.
Hyrde: The floor was emptied from the audience and we got ourselves packing bags. It was a long sweating that night. It took us hours and hours to get the stuff back on bus. The funny tragedy were the dog poops on the street below our feet. Some of our boxes were loaded in with some genuine German Shepperd crap on them… Now that’s the way to open up a European tour!
Kaikka: And after the sweatty load out Insomnium’s drummer Druidi offered us his vision of White Russian drinks. There was so little of milk that the coffee liqour hardly changed it’s colour… So when bus started there were some happy fellas!
31.10. (D) Lindau, Club Vaudeville
Hyrde: I believe it was the same setup from the scratch: Kaikka and Emil were the ones who stayed up late, at least later than Pexi, Kake or me. Kaikka and Emil are the young guns of the band, anyways… LOL. Well, I tried but almost got hitlered (a special Finnish way to make war paints to a fellow drunkman when he’s passed out). The Italians were the first to hit the sack. But maybe not only just because of being tired…
Kaikka: Yeah, we might have stayed up late, but I can’t recall anything worth mentioning, except the Hyrde’s passing out after 30 minutes from bus call (which became his trademark), so I think we had kind of a easy start for this tour. Everyone was saving their best jokes.
Hyrde: The second venue Lindau was build side by side with a big green mosque and right next door to the Austrian border. Special blend. Breakfast was served nicely, stage size got upgraded from the previous.
Hyrde: During the performance I got a proper taste of my international linguistics. Kuoliaaksi ruoskitut hevoset was a bit vocals mess from the start, so when we got to the C-part, my capability to recall the right lyrics had disappeared totally. The only thing to do at that point is to remember, that the audience cannot know any Finnish. So I made up my own mambo jambo and faked the whole fuckin’ part. I’m pretty sure I got away with that terrifying 20 seconds like a wet weasel, despite Kai-Pekka who was giving me the eye…
Kaikka: Antti does it sometimes in our rehearsals, but this was quite different. It was pretty hard to keep focus in my backup vocals when Hyrde is singing jibberish. But these kind of surprises keep us wake on stage. In a way…
Hyrde: We also messed up the endind of the song SLK. This happened because of not having a consensus how to end the track. Well, fast skip forward to Valtiaan uudet vaateet and that was that. Just starting the tour, these things happen. And I was clad that my guitar associate Pekka did not lose any strings this night, because he has just discovered he had only one spare guitar string packs with him on this tour. True G-specialist!
Kaikka: It wasn’t our night. Still some coughing in da machine of Stam1na… But this was the first night when we were able to watch Flesgod’s and Insomnium’s gigs because the first place was just too crowded. Now we had our own special place for special people behind the (special people’s) mixing desk – and we liked what we heard and saw!
1.11. (NL) Uden, De Pul
Hyrde: First of all I need to tell you few things about Holland. Well, it’s also called Netherlands and in a bar they’ll sell you plastic coins you are able to buy beer with. They are driving bicycles and selling drugs at the same time.
Kaikka: They love their bicycles and I love them!
Hyrde: At this point we had got to know both Insomnium and Fleshgod guys a lot better. The Italians front of house mixing guy left the crew in Holland, I suppose the dude with the baseball cap was from Belgium. Lots of international atmosphere was surrounding us. Insomnium told us glorious stories about touring the world. My eyes soaked with beer tears and marmelade. Here we were, in Netherlands, walking amongst these tiny houses… Felt like being in a set of a movie scene.
Kaikka: I think I was in the movie scene of ”I don’t know what I did last night”… I felt a bit funny and when I went to the toilet I also noticed that I looked a bit funny with my nice new ”neck-tattoo”. I heard some rumours that the tattoo artist was one of the Portuguese guys of our crew… Well, I deserved it.
Kaikka: After some sight-seeing it was time for our duties. Soundcheck, dinner and finally the show. And if I remember it right, the show was quite ok. At least the crowd was really good and we didn’t fucked it up either. Scale from 4 to 10 this was perhaps a eight and a half.
Emil: A different kind of a movie scene was the one where I was heading to a shower after our gig and when closing the door behind me, the handle broke. There I was, locked in the shower, Fleshgod playing their 200% stuff so there wasn’t even a distant possibility for anyone to hear me scream. In between the songs I somehow managed to shout loud enough for one of the guys to hear. You guess who eventually came to my rescue? Of course Kake. Got me out and repaired the handle also.
Kaikka: Of course it was Kake, because rest of us were too busy to laugh our asses off behind the door…
Hyrde: It’s always joyful to watch Kake intoxicate. Insomnium members poured us some vodka drinks after the evening, still sweating after their own grande finale. We kippished and poured down the poison bound to make us mental. Even the tour manager Bruno said that now it would be wize to get to the bar – there would not be that much of possibilities for that sort of shit later on. Oukkidoukki. Why not. By foot in theory it could of been a 10 minutes walkabout to the best night club, but we seemed to have some stops on the way. One of the best was Kake on a bicycle!
Emil: … of a friendly girl who promised to show us around in Uden. I guess both finnish drummers basically wrecked the bicycle. I also recall Kake smashing a huge fruit on concrete while still heading to a bar. Reminded me of a huge monkey more than anything ever. Promised good. Unlucky udenians got their share of group singing Bon Jovi at the first bar we stopped at. Way too peaceaful for us so we headed to a night club. A really strange night club. At the first counter you had to leave your hoodie and at the second you had to buy those plastic coins which you bought glasses of beer with. Most of us didn’t realize it at first, only after turned around at the bar. You guess who was the only one of us that managed to buy beer with actual money from a beautiful bar maid? Of course Kake.
2.11. (D) Bochum, Matrix
Hyrde: Last night hit me hard. I passed out pretty quickly. So when when we were getting back in Germany and parking in front of Matrix before noon I was already up and running. On these moments I take form of an electric rabbit. I met Kake in the bus that morning queuing to the toilet – and dude, he looked like he was getting along with this tour’s drinking routines just fine…!
Kaikka: Kake was back. When we got back from the night club after 4am and hang out in and in front of the bus, I suddenly realized that Kake was loose. I went inside and everybody was laughing really loudly when drunken Kake told some jokes. We laughed so hard that we all pissed our pants simultaeously. I’m not sure have I ever laughed that much. But back to Bochum!
Hyrde: And what a weird venue! In a good way that is. The stage was located in the cellar of this old brewery building, with huge red brick halls and stairways, with multiple floors with different kind of bar counters… And baby dolls hanging from the roof. The place looked like it was Halloween throughout the year. I love this German style!
Hyrde: Fleshgod was selling their very own wine on this tour. Red and white. I managed to steal one of their bottles and had it autographed. The best souvenier to take home. As an exchange I gave Veronica, the singer and the merchendice dealer few packs of genuine Finnish salmiakki. And I mean the sweets, not the drink. They are very good for singers, you should try it out.
Kaikka: Today’s show was somehow weird. We had done some changes to our setlist yesterday and felt good with it, but there was something strange in the air… And now I remember that Kake complained about feeling little feverish and we just joked that he’s just having a hangover. But he was actually sick.
Hyrde: In this point my home-made preamp broke down. There was actually nothing I couldn’t do to it, just change it to Boss OD pedal mixed with the Peavey 6505’s own sound for the rest of the tour. That was lame. I also got really stage frighten that night, so nothing seemed ok. And eventyally we fucked up SLK’s ending part, again… Well, hell, a beer and another. At the merchendice desk there was some really hard core Stam1na fans present, one of them being from Bulgary and two of ’em from Bonn. These people are the reason we’re doing this stuff abroad! After exchanging some glad hands it was time to pack the shit and head to the funny lands of Switzerlandia.
3.11. (CH) Pratteln, Z7
Hyrde: I need to say: ”Io o un diamente blu”! Also ”Sono totalmente fraido!”. These things haunt me for the rest of my life.
Kaikka: And now it was my turn to be sick. I propably shouldn’t have all those passionate kisses with feverish Kake, but what you gonna do.
Hyrde: We crossed the border to non-EU country Switzerland early that morning. All were fast asleep except our driver and the merchendice dude Tuomo, who told us later about some customs problem with the goods onboard. Without going into any other details he told us that he needed to make some serious phone calls to Finland that morning – on the other end of the line were a office worker who could have had made our situation really problematic, but turned out to be a big Stam1na fan…! The solving of the problem took us two hours, so we woke up at the venue being a little late already.
Kaikka: It’s a small world. After load in I started to make some tea with ginger, honey and vodka for my sore throat and dizzy head. Couple of them babies and just before the show I felt like a Superman and was able to enjoy playing. And yes, we had some really delicious tortillas at the backstage. We were treated like kings, not like hobos!
Hyrde: Matrix had poisoned me earlier, now I felt like speaking fluently all four languages of Switzerland. Could I hold the feeling until we got onstage? The pre-sells were 500 ticets, so there was going to be lots of speaking to do.
Hyrde: Gig was good, venue amazing and even our band’s reputation got bigger: somebody said there was a rumor that Stam1na was an Italian band. Yeah, actually, there are at least one other Stamina (point out the spelling…), who was in a matter of a fact playing in Helsinki 2005 in the same evening than we did. That was some weird shit. People got really confused, where to go, the other being a headbanging group and the other some sort of reggae music. But it needs to be said: we’re not Italians. We figured that out by ourselves when touring with Fleshgod dudes. Stam1na people seem to be naked seventeen times often than any Italian.
Kaikka: And there was this one Italian guy who had no idea where his face would be immortalized besides of the buddy picture with me and Hyrde… I also have to mention that we met people with Finland-themed tattoos! Crazy people, salute! And somehow I didn’t felt sick anymore and felt like partying so we made some White Russians for the Insomnium dudes during their gig and had a couple for ourselves, naturally. Then it was time for bus call and some full-frontal nudity.
4.11. (D) Nurnberg, Hirsch
Hyrde: Oh shit… The breaking point. Some had been warning about the dangers of touring with Insomnium guys and finally I got a proper view on the matter. Markus Vanhala and I got it going on when we left Switzerland the night earlier. The bus party got quite wild. Let’s just say that we were renamed ”Black And Blue Brothers”. I am not sure if it was this specific night but we also renamed ”Subway” to ”Our Bitch”. The recollections, the memories of this little field trip is a bit messed & blended. Just like our Subways after partying hard.
Kaikka: I think this was the second naked party. First one was a bit lame, but this was better! Fleshgod’s Frappa described this night in such a good words that it needed to be tattoeed later. The game was on…
Hyrde: There was an episode in Nurnberg’s venue, in front of our parked bus, when an anonymous by-passer stopped and googled in our bus through the window. There was one of our guys sleeping in between of the seat rows, highly intoxicated. It had been a rough night for all of us. This anonymous person dig up a still camera and started to photo our guy! It lasted until the mercendice-Tuomo saw the situation and made it end… Perverted Nurnbergian! Swinging away with their fancy cameras!
Kaikka: The story doesn’t tell did this pervertico manage to get his pictures of this unlucky bass… I mean random Finnish guy who absolutely wasn’t naked.
Hyrde: We took a taxi to downtown with Pexi and the guitarists Ville and Markus, visited a local music store and masturbated with some German scythes. I bought a hand witch is to be screwed into a wall, so it can hold up a guitar. And a pick-holder. And some stickers. Before the healthy walk back home our Rock Warrior Guitar God Group had also some genuine German Döner kebab (3 euros worth of pure heaven!), so seeing this windy and cold city had been our short leave off.
Hyrde: I suppose the band had some muthafucking devastating difficulties with our stage monitoring. It was fucked up, totaly. Emil said he did not hear anything at all. The balance was all wrong. But the gig was magnificient! We managed to sell out all of our CDs, a shit loads of t-shirts and lured some new flesh into our expanding Stam1na family. While sippin’ some groovy German beer at the merchendice desk later on I believe I had an orgasm just by thinking about our band.
5.11. (F) Paris, Divan Du Monde
Hyrde: This morning we all woke up to hear our manager Bruno’s voice in the intercom. Sounded like a twisted aeroplain captain from hell, telling us to get ready for the load-in. During this whole tour we had some issues with our air conditioner blowing ether too hot or cold, drying out our throats and eyes. So with this going on we got to the center of the Paris at noon and started to unload the stuff right in front of the venue, from this narrow busy street in the city of LÖÖV.
Kaikka: I tried to hangout in the drivers lounge to see some nice Parisian landscape, but the freeway and the traffic was too scary for my tired ass, so I got back to the party lounge where it wasn’t that scary.
Hyrde: This Divan joint was a former theatre, set in two floors, it was a beauty! Like an old but slim lady with smoky eyes and a bottle of brandy. After some original French patonki and a mug of weird European shit coffee for breakfast we got a group of Finnish metal musicians together and headed up the hill and got a nice panorama over the huge city of Paris. It was marvelous, just like the hat Kake decided to buy from a street boutique. It was sort of a cowboy hat. It was weird. He liked it in the shop but immidiately after buying it hated it. I suppose Emil got it for free in the end. And cut out the top part of the hat. Oh shit… Hats in Paris. Bats in the attic.
Hyrde: Was the evening sold out, can’t remember…? But it was packed like a jar of herrings. It got really hot inside. Steaming shit. The walls were dripping sweat and people were like seals. Black haired seals. We had heard some rumours about the French audience being crazy but man… Unbelievable. Just unbelievable. Those intelligent, important people, they did not even drink! We got the mosh pit rolling just after a couple of songs. They said the mixing table moved back for a meter or so. And the riot kept on going for the whole evening! Too bad, Opeth was playing some blocks away at the same evening, hope they had the same audience experience, ’cause this was bella!
Kaikka: I think none of us couldn’t expect this kind of an action from the crowd. I was so happy I accidently hit myself on my forehead with my bass and nearly felt down on my knees. Paris was such a pleasure.
Hyrde: It seemed we sold out the half of our CD’s that night, along with a big number of shirts and autographs. The other bands sounded great at the venue, so even that was covered just fine. With our two special friends Zaani and Hukkanen coming over from Finland we had a couple of drinks upstairs. I recall eating a bit glass. Don’t know. Shit.
Kaikka: I think there was also one dude from Canada. The same guy who has visited Finland couple of years ago just to see our show. That is amazing, total respect!
Hyrde: After loading back in the bus I made it back to the bunk pretty fast… There was going to be a passport check in the early morning. And when I woke up half past five, there was some serious after-party stuff going on downstairs. Now this is rock’n roll, this is the thing that killed Jim Morrison! Paris kills!
Kaikka: Partying early in the mornings compined with passport controls has never been my cup of tea. But there I was, in England…
6.11. (UK) Birmingham, Oobleck
Hyrde: I had a dream of cat pissing all over me. The floor was rotting away. Birmingham has a reputation of being the most boring town on Earth. At least it was windy & chilly, even when we were pushing & pulling our gear indoors from the street. Red busses passed us by really near, the black taxis too. Everywhere was red brick buildings. The sky was grey. The venue was small but wifi connections strong.
Kaikka: After hours of food-waiting we took couple of Inso-guys with us to the city. I wasn’t actually feeling so strong, but I thought a little walk outside would vanish the feeling away. And the feeling wasn’t just in my head, because today I got a new nickname from our TM Bruno: Drunko Stupido. I don’t konw Portuguese language, but you don’t have to be an Einstein to figure that name out…
Hyrde: Ah, England. The land of Robin Hood and Mini. Fish & chips & ginger hair. The local dialect was something not understandable. Plain nonsence. We had another shopping spree during the day, in this place called The Bull Ring. Before this it was time to visit a dirty adult entertainment store. I think Kaikka bought a Duck With A Dick. I ended up spending as much as 60 Pounds on a backbag and some chicken toast. Damn! And they did not use Euros so all the numbers were meaningless. I felt sick to stomach and farted out loud. It was a strong original Finnish fart, plain and simple. Just like back in home.
Kaikka: Being in the mall was just awful. Too many people, too much everything. I just tried to hide behind Kake to feel safe. But then we found a nice cafeteria from upstairs where we could sit down and watch some giant wall-painted pictures of some Victoria’s Secret katalogue.
Hyrde: UK has to have better beer than that I’m sure… The local brewery product reminded me the taste of ash in my mouth. Before and post gig there was a Canadian, American and an Irishman fan contacts to be made… Many crazy fans! Well, there were again lots of Finnish people present, giving some familiar sense to it all. I felt like a Father Christmas, or at least Rudolf. International adventurer with a bag full of stuff. And that’s a metaphore for a belly full of crap.
Kaikka: I liked the local beer so much, that I ordered some Japanise Asahi-beer from the bar. That is the Finnish way to do it.
Hyrde: The gig was ok, backstage a bit cold (freezing, actually) and practicly with no spare squares of space anywhere. This was rock’n roll. Pure British Black Metal From Finland. Next stop… LONDON!
7.11. (UK) London, Underworld
Kaikka: There were still couple of us awake when we arrived to the rainy London. ”What should we do? Hey, we are in Camden, there’s gotta be a bar open somewhere!” And off we went. But didn’t actually find anything else than a weird tall guy who tried to get us to ”his apartment” to ”watch some porn”. ”Hmm, we think we gonna pass that.”
Hyrde: Mutha! Sold out London was the halfway of the tour. Shit! We were in a hurry with this rock’n roll stuff! This was Camden Town, London, after all, so it was time to get the shit together. Tattoos, anyone…?! ME!
Hyrde: We got this idea with Kaikka, to have some ink done when in Camden. I think it was Kaikka who realized that we needed to celebrate our new friend Frappa (the drummer of Fleshgod) by tattooing his face on our skin. Yeah. I had a random photo taken with him in Switzerland so that had to do. We marched down the main street of Camden Town and spotted a tattoing joint that advertised itself to be ”highly hygienic”. Yeah. They had couple of Portugese girls working there, doing nothing at the time. So for 120 Pounds we got ourselves a deal. All we were missing was the actual picture. Yeah, I had the photo on my phone but nothing printable, nothing concrete. So while Kaikka had some nice fish & chips at the pub next door I drew Frappas face on a small piece of paper, had a beer and off we went to the chair. Yeah. Kaikka finalized his tattoo with the text ”Forest Of Pippelis 2014” and I got the slogan ”Play Fast – Con Amore”. Yeah.
Kaikka: Sometimes you just have do things. To be honest, I never believed that I would tattoo the word ”pippeli” (which means a small child’s penis) to my skin, but what you gonna do? When the woman got my tattoo finnished I said ”this is so stupid” and she laughed. But the dude in the shop had a good point: you like those ”cool” tattoos for a while and then they are boring, but these kind of a tattoos you remember for the rest of your life. Kippis!
Hyrde: I liked Underworld immidiately. Not just it being sold-out this particular magical evening, but just for the whole athmosphere that day. Even the fact that there was going to be some important business people there that night did not bother us at all. I felt the whole first half of the tour was just to show this growd what we were all about. Well what are we…? We are THE ASS-KICKERS OF FINLANDIA!
Kaikka: And some ass we kicked, because the show was really good. I think we got our thing going on strong in Paris. Birmingham was also very good and this was possibly the best so far. We were in flames!
Hyrde: The gig was perfect. We got our groove going on, blasted out some shit, sold huge amount of fabrics, met strangely big number of Finnish people present… But man, it was a night to remember! And later on too, when partying hard, like maniacs that we are! We had some good times at a local pub before leaving the dirty city, leaving UK and heading back to continental Europa. Cheers!
8.11. (B) Vosselaar, Biebob
Hyrde: In the morning, as soon as I got my clean t-shirt on from my luggage I went to the venue. I felt awful. And the a little bit more awful when Bruno let me know that the guitarist of Black Flag was charged with some serious accusations about molesting children some time ago. And now I got my Black Flag shirt on. Shiiiiit… This was a clear downer from the London Rock Experience.
Kaikka: I felt funny. Yesterday night couple of us were awake to see the bus going into the train which was going to the tube under the sea. That was a new thing to see. And because I didn’t feel tired I decided to stay up and have some beers – alone. Then it hit me: I was drinking alone in the bus, which was in the train, which was in the tube under the sea. That has to be some kind of a low point what comes to drinking alcohol in my life…
Hyrde: I believe I know just a couple of things about Belgium, other being Tin-Tin and other beer. That day I did not bumb into Tin-Tin in any way but the beer… It was not so special. At least the stuff they served us backstage. Someone said it was the stuff the true bums drink in park areas. Shiiiit… Well, we had a short walk around the city. It was nothing too special. There was some humoristic greeting cards in a minimarket. A monkey and a singing pig with some mystical words printed on the cover. Had to have those. Not knowing why.
Kaikka: Soundcheck was fun: I got the chance to play drums on a one song with Insomnium, because Mr. Druidi was taking his beauty sleep. And it was a funny coincidence that the song we played was While We Sleep. Should it be changed to ”While Druidi Sleeps”? Anyway, I played like a drunken baboon (like Frappa would propably say) but it was fun.
Hyrde: Evening, another walk outside, along the main street of the city was not cool. It was dark as coal out there. And for the reason of some national day-off everything was closed. Dark Belgium. Empty streets. Hang over. Shiiiit…
Hyrde: Insomnium was excelent as usual. Same with the Italian Flesh People. My personal contact with the Belgium people ended in this conclusion: they’re tall, a bit older than the usual folk and everyone’s coming over as a designated drivers. It’s good to have the audience in a better shape than the band. Kaikka said he passed out two times during our show. I cannot remember anything except that I did not manage to get the mojo flowing. Belgium needs to be re-encountered. We shall come back and kick the ass!
9.11. (D) Hamburg, Gruenspan
Hyrde: Oh how it felt good to get back in Germany… In Hamburg! What a glorius, marvelous town. Just a block away was the Grosse Freiheit club where we started our German tour seven years prior. Don’t know if the street had been cleared up a bit during our absence but this time the whole place gave us a sunny fresh impression. There was the oldest Stam1na fan waiting for us outside the venue that day. He told us that Stam1na has something incommon with Led Zeppelin. I had to believe that old gentleman and with gratitude shoke his hand in a friendly manner.
Kaikka: It was nice to be back in the hoods! Can’t actually recall the previous venue so good, but today’s venue was awesome. We even got own dressing rooms for each band and there was this cool balcony which was just for us for the bands.
Hyrde: We even got ourselves for a walk with the whole Stam1na and some Insomnium guys in the harbour area. A cup of coffee for each, Kake had an Irish Coffee, the team was pumped up ’n ready to hit it hard.
Kaikka: The gig was good and sweatty. Big stage, lots of air and a good crowd. And I actually maintained my consciousness for the whole show and didn’t almost-faint or passed out like in Belgium.
Hyrde: The place was a huge big theatre-like hall. Our backstages were located upstairs, maybe 15 meters above the floor, with a perfect balcony view over the whole place. So after our show (we managed to kick ass great) chilling out was easy as ABC. Some super hardcore fans appeared to greet us again, one being from Brazil I recall. And one from Oulu, Finland. Things did not get out of hand and slowly we packed our stuff and headed elsewhere. Next stop – Berlin!
10.11. (D) Berlin, Columbia Club
Kaikka: …And soon we figured out that Cannibal Corpse arrived here at the same time with us to spend a day off on their tour. We met some nice technicans of the band and asked them to watch our shows for tonight.
Hyrde: After having a nice long walk around the gay community’s areas we found some new socks to buy and such. In London Emil did not manage to join our new tattoo club, so he ventured to find himself an ink chair too.
Hyrde: Our beloved record company guys Tuomo and Janne appeared to greet us. It was a bit over our half away point of the tour so the guys wanted to check our condition out, plus they brought us a little more merchendice to spoil the growd with. They said we looked better than one would think. Warm hugs, one or two German lagers and when Emil came up to the backstage with his brand new tattoo we we’re all about rocking the shit out of these wild Berliners!
Kaikka: The show was good, again. Allthough we have had crazier crowds in these past days, but the Berliners seem to like it. And most of us enjoyed being on stage.
Hyrde: For me the show wasn’t that perfectly performed but the response was fine. And the whole evening made an U-turn when we saw this huge guy walking up to us to the mercendise desk later on. Holy shit. The rumours about Mr. Fisher’s neck ARE true! There is no neck! So yeah, we actually had an afterparty with the singer of Cannibal Corpse. The dude had a day off and was bound to play on the same stage the next night. He was seen watching our whole show, headbanging and enjoying specialy the stagework of Kai-Pekka. So there we were, sitting in our bus, sippin’ Jack with this neckless Metal Destroyer in Berlin. Why not!
11.11. (D) Munich, Feierwerk
Hyrde: Because Mr. Saikkonen from our label came along with us to this next city we had a fruitful walkie talkie along the streets of this beautiful city. Well, actually, that part of the city was not that pretty, some long and wide streets where we actually got lost for real.
Kaikka: This day was the personal down-point for the tour without going in any details. And being just woken up 4 hours before the show, I had some serious work to do to get my mind set for the show. I believe this was the day Bruno gave me another nickname, ”Hungoverus Miserabilis”. Touche. Like Insomnium’s vocalist Niilo sings, ”We need to slow down”…
Hyrde: The tour started to feel a proper work. People were a little more quiet than in the begining. The backstage’s wifi got more and more important. And sofas. And coffee. The Italians were sleeping and Inso-guys too. Our stage clothes were hanging around here and there, still wet from the previous show. They did not ever dry out properly. We started to smell terrible.
Kaikka: Enough water and other shit did the job and soon we were ready kick some Munichian asses!
Hyrde: This stage had no major sub cabinets so the PA sound got a bit thin. This did not effect on our show, actually, this was one of our strongest gigs on the tour. Sometimes you need to spank the horse dead until it gets you on top of the mountain. Yes, Stam1na was a success this night. And the other bands too. Mr. Saikkonen seemed really happy with the young fellows in our group and before sleeping we just needed to have a couple of good German beers to soothen the eternal flame of rock’n roll in our hearts.
12.11. (A) Vienna, Szene
Hyrde: First time in Austria. Town was beautiful, much like every capital anywhere. Ville and Markus introduced us to this warm red wine drink, a bit like glögi here in Finland. We had a cup of those in the historical centrum, checked out the river and some bridges and the huge gas factory shopping mall and Vienna was practicly in our pocket!
Kaikka: My leg seem a little sore in the noon, but I still decided to go for an walk with the other guys. That wasn’t the smartest move, because it got worst and worst during the day and finally when we got back to the venue I walked like a 80-year old grandpa who has been sodomized by a whale.
Hyrde: I had the impression of the local people being a bit lke Finns. It’s in the way they behave, talk or encounter us at the venue. Nothing compared to Kake, who in this point was able to imitate the Italians fluently. Kake warms up slowly but after that he’s pure gold in entertainment. Kake speakin pseudo-Italian was the best thing in long time.
Kaikka: The speaking-battle between Kake and Fleshgod’s Christiano was genious. I think we should put it in Youtube.
Hyrde: The consept of waiting for the whole day just to hit it for 35 minutes is a pressure builder. When we were playing, putting all the effort as always, I felt we did not success to warm up the audience to the max. But they said it was good. So, with mixed feelings we met the local people at the merch counter, signed some posters and tried to figure out what the Austrians were made of: hot red wine and vienersnitchel.
13.11. (PL) Wroclaw, Od Zmierzchu do Switu
Hyrde: Ok, Poland. This was getting more interesting by the minute. To celebrate this odd occasion I found myself awake really early, almost immidiately after the daybrake. The grey-haired driver was the only one up. There was a moment when sitting in the bus lounge, watching outside the countryside of Poland, listening to some Finnish melancolic music and sipping a warm lager that I had some tears in my eyes. It got so bizarre, the whole thing. Of course a drop of intoxication was involved but a feeling of doing it right, too. This was something achieved. Getting to Wroclaw, Poland, to play our music.
Kaikka: Last night went with the power of muscle-relaxing pills and some painkillers. And the minute I got off the bus and start to walk I knew I was screwed. Next stop: someone else’s medicen supplies.
Hyrde: Well, the town looked like a Polish town I presume, including the old part of the town with these nice coffeterias and such. We did not know what to expect out of the Polish folk so the rest of the evening was just pure pleasure… Because the outcome was superb!
Kaikka: My day went riding with the pink elephant over the hills of Kurwa mountain. There was Jimi, Johnny and an lion-shaped appletree singing ”If you wannabe my lover”. Then I got to meet Mr. Schkiewschzscki, the mayor of New-Zealand. Good painkillers.
Hyrde: Kai-Pekka told me to start the show with shouting out ”kurwa”. And yeah, we did, and yeah, it worked! The audience stood almost on the same floor level as we so we did not manage to get a better glimpse in the back of the room, but dude, it was a party alright. People started to mosh pit and that got us going gaga. The time flew by all too fast on stage but after that, meeting the people off stage was the best part. They were so damn joyful! People kept saying we have the similar taste for vodkas, Finns and Polish, but that was not it. They had a impression of sincere gratitude towards the bands playing there. And they made it clear that Stam1na was really desired group for ’em.
Kaikka: I had some expectations for these Polish gigs, but this was a total surprise. It was clearly the best gig for us so far!
Hyrde: There was tonns of selfies to be taken, meters of autographs to sign and a vodka after party outside the bus to attend to before we hit the road that night. It’s quite rare to have the feeling like that, not wanting to leave just yet, even when you’re a dead beat sack of fat strolling through Europa.
14.11. (PL) Kracow, Lizard King
Hyrde: Another Polish party ahead? Well why not!
Kaikka: The first night in Poland got us so emotional that we just had to took our clothes off again. We tried to explain this getting-our-clothes-off-with-vodka thing to the Italians, but it is actually hard to explain to ourselves also. We just do it.
Hyrde: We took a taxi to get ourselves in the heart of the old Kracow. That was 25 minutes drive away, a bit more than we planned, so us the Stam1na guys showed up late at the venue to do the soundcheck. After that… eating and passing out. I do not know what happened but a human body seems to have it’s limit for stress. This was mine, just a hour prior the gig. I assume the blood flow got jammed in my whiplashed, cramped up neck. There was no fresh oxygen going up here! Two weeks of headbanding might be too much for anyone, but this was something completely new. I’m clad Kake was there ready to give some first-aid muscular massage. Kake is a powerful animal!
Kaikka: Was this the night when we actually had to think of the songs I could barely sing, if Antti’s voice gets fucked up? Glad it didn’t happen, because that would have been really awkward. Antti is singer, I’m not.
Hyrde: The gig seemed to flow ok anyways. The guys kicked it off beautifully. Actually it all was really superb and we after it all we managed to meet some local friends again. Heartful people!
Kaikka: Yeah, it was a good show and Polish crowd waas again just beautiful. That’s how you suppose to do it, other countries!
Hyrde: This was the 500. show for Flesgod Apocalypse so there was a BIG party that night. It all started out by having some good old cakes with whipped on stage… Later on some weird noises downstairs of the bus, where everyone were partying like it was the 1984. Everyone but yours truly.
15.11. (CZ) Prague, Rock Cafe
Hyrde: Suddently in Praque, the monumental capital of Czech Republic. Second time here this year.
Hyrde: Right after dismounting our bus, infront of the venue, in the middle of the city, I ran into our lightning guy Tuomas from our Finnish road crew. What a nice surprise! Everyone else were still fast asleep so we kicked off to have a nice cultural walkabout. Besides buying some new underwear (yeah, all clean boxers were tossed to the garbage bin long ago) I got a hold of the only true missing item: the human skull. Well, boring as it seems, this one was made of clay and was bought from The Museum Of Torture downtown. But anyways, Satan got the best of me and while the others were suffering of the worst hangovers this century I worshiped The Lord Of The Darkness in my middst, lurking, sneaking around, snooping and wondering…
Kaikka: Woke up from the bus – still drunk. It was 3.30pm and show is to start 7.30pm. I’m fucked.
Hyrde: The Rock Cafe sold some fuckin’ brilliant beer. One of those and bingo! The place had some difficult stairways and a small stage, but this evening the thing was the heat. It got roasting up there! People got packed in and generated some nasty human humidity flowing around. We kicked up our set (yeah, when looking at Emil and Kaikka that night it was a pure miracle, the guys looked honestly like hospitalized poisoned victims of a crime just before getting in front of the people…) and all worries disappeared. As usual. Just raw hardened power, couple of jokes about ”Czech, please” and so on. As we walked back through the dance floor it hit us hard: this was second to last show this year!
Kaikka: Adrenaline is an amazing thing. I felt like I was walking to my grave when we were closing the stage. I checked my pockets and found 0 picks. ”Yeah, living the dream”. But when the first song started, everything changed and we had a really good and smooth show.
Hyrde: Insomnium and Fleshgod were amazing, as usual, but this evening was special due the backstage catering provided by our beloved tour manager Bruno: we got 15 PIZZAS! That’s a huge amount of lettu!!
Kaikka: Okey, the hangover backfired a bit after the show, so it was just water and pizza for me.
Hyde: So, with a slize of Italian heaven in the other and a proper Czeck liquid in the other hand we sit back and enjoyed the atmosphere. Czech, please!
Kaikka: When we had bus call like 00.30 am or something, I was on my way to the bed. But the magical power of Hirsch pulled me next to the badasses lounge and I thought I take just one glass of redwine and go to sleep feeling ”normal”. Well, I did go to sleep and felt normal, but it was six hours and six empty bottles of redwine later…
16.11. (D) Cologne, Essigfabrik
Hyrde: It was time to wrap it up. While giving an interview to a Dutch webmedia at our backstage that day I was thinking about how we appeared at this point. Me and Kaikka sitting on that soffa, face full of bags but happy I suppose. And I honestly think we all felt like that. This tour had been a clear highlight of 2014, a highlight for our career too. It’s so different to do gigs abroad, in a good way. This tour had built our band spirit, all of us felt that this needs to be repeated as soon as possible. For fuck’s sake – we were international superstars of rock’n roll hell now!
Kaikka: It was a sad day. Of course everyone was happy to get back home with their families or whatever, but at the same time I had this feeling that no-one wouldn’t mind, if this tour did continue for a week or so…
Hyrde: The final show took place in a grande hall with a good sound, somewhere in the outskirts of the town. It was rainy and grey, even inside the venue (the walls were virtually dripping water), because of the last evening people kept on thinking how to sabotage each others gigs… You know, it’s necessary to fool around a bit, to have a . It’s a thing we hope the audience forgives us.
Kaikka: Our crew had also some funny business going on: they use some kind of a face paint to have theirselves strong, black mustache. Gotta love it!
Hyrde: The stage clother hanging soaking wet on the walls of our backstage we called up Bruno. He had been our mental backbone and father on this trip so he got a gift from Finland, a bottle of Salmari. That is a terrible black vodka based liquid which he hated to start with. But thanked us for gladly. I left my laptop playing our K13V DVD documentary for our Italian partners to laugh upon, pulled my shitty worn-out stage clothes on and we headed up to the stage. This one last time!
Kaikka: Everyone of the crew and all the band members were ”welcoming” us on the stage just before our show, so in that point it’s a fact there’s something terribly wrong on stage…
Hyrde: Well, first, there was no symbals on Kake’s drumset. So the show started in a quite odd fashion. They, the anonymous pranksters had printed pictures of our faces to be clued all over the stage, so everywhere we looked there was our stupid heads peeking out. Couldn’t stop smiling…
Kaikka: It was indeed a really funy show for us, at least. And it we saw lots and lots of smiling faces in the audience, so it was good. And I have say that playing and waiting for the next prank is actually the worst thing. I was so paranoid for the whole show that when will Vanhala come and light me on fire or something. It’s sort of a fear of the dark -thing.
Hyrde: The last Stam1na show felt ok, not superior, but ok. We left the stage after 35 minutes and popped up some proper German beers. And then it was time to get serious with humour. First, we invaded the Fleshgod Apocalypses’s stage with Kaikka painted in a very Norwegian way. The black metal monsters accompanied the band by singing ”kaskelotti” in one of their choruses too. Minor threats, not so bad, but how about Insomnium then…?
Hyrde: We hit the stage later to make some face paintings on the Inso-guys. Of course Druidi got it worst. He tried to wipe out his new pair of ”eye glasses” just to be duct taped on his drum chair the next second. As were the rest of the guys too. You just try to play that solo with your arms tied to your torso, dudes!
Kaikka: Ville was strongest and manage pull them ducktapes off like an gladiator! And before that the Fleshgod guys had their own prank for Insomnium. They were dressed like waiters and filled up the mouths of Insomnium dudes with different kind of foods. It was a classy revenge for the cake prank in Poland.
Hyrde: As you can imagine, it was all hugging, praising and posing to be photographed after the dying note of Insomnium’s grande finale. Couple of fine German lager for everyone, a sip of vodka, packing the stuff this last time. The bus stayed on the venue untill the seven next morning (a bit of karonkka there if you know what I mean), we drove to the airport and said our goodbyes. Stam1na crew had a nice 6 hour brake at the station before the flight, and it took some of us total 16 hours to get back home. It was all blurry but the first piece of Finnish ruisleipä (rye bread) was worth waiting for.
Kaikka: The Wolves were loose for the last time.
Hyrde: So, 20 days on the move… 18 shows in 9 countries. That sums up Stam1na’s year 2014, having total of 65 gigs (including shows in Japan and Estonia). Our top numbers. We want to thank all of you for seeing us on the road and hope to encounter you guys later too! Let’s kill it in 2015!