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???
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…
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 many 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 come 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.