tiistai 16. marraskuuta 2010


Day 1
 I woke up to a beautiful day. Had my morning coffee as usual and thought that today was finally here. I was on my way to do my part on the new OG- album. I was excited because I really had the urge to pour out the  new material which was now ready to be recorded. I'd been writing a lot of lyrics for this one which was kind of strange because I usually have a free flow of thoughts which I write down immediately and that is the  beginning concept for the song in question. Of course I had had a lot of  flashes of inspiration for these songs as well but the amount of lyrics  amazed me. The songs for the album had been coming to my direction for over a year now and every time I heard a new one, I had at least three ideas concerning this song in the light of the wider concept of the album. Still there was no difficulty to weed out the half-ready stuff and  the material transmuted easily into brilliant OG-songs.   I arrived to our rehearsal place, "the wooden-palace" or "mani-talo",  in Karhula which the guys had been transformed into a studio. I felt a cosy feeling about the fact that the recording happened in our own premises. Teemu and Markus were there to welcome me. They had been doing some guitars and were just finishing up. I settled in while Teemu prepared the recording- room suitable for singing. Everything was ready but when we started to record we quick noticed that there was something wrong in the microphone.  The sound wasn't coming out properly. Teemu tried to fix it awhile  but it seemed there was nothing to do. So we had no choice but to get  another one tomorrow and start then. Teemu was a bit disappointed because  he really digged the sound of that mic. So we dropped Teemu to his place and went to Markuse's place. I quickly went to bed to get a fresh start the next day.

Day 2 
 After a quick breakfast we went to pick up Teemu and the new mic. Everything was ready in the studio from yesterday and I started to open my voice. I'd  brought my acoustic guitar with me and just played and sung untill I felt  my voice was opening up. The first song I chose to do was a mammoth track called "Everfields". This nine minute melodic giant is lyrically one my favourites in the album. One side of the lyrics is about this vast region of existence where everything is in a harmonious level and manifests itself  visually as a never-ending horizon in every direction. It is like an infinite  self-sustaining universe of stilness. "Everfields" is also about the fact  that one can face every situation in life with a calmness in the heart. It is a story about discovering something that was always there. That is why in the chorus one asks the question in retrospective: "Where was my  heart?". There was no real problem in recording "Everfields". It is a low paced song and tecnichally not so challenging. We added some whispering  parts to the second verse which turned out really nice.   After that it was time to get some food and we went to pick some from  the store neaby. I also bought a couple of beers for the evening which is  always nice! The second track I did was a song called "The distance". On the contrary to "Everfields" this song is fast especially the verses have a lot fast tempo singing. I struggled a bit with the fast paced  pronounciation but was able to tame the song after a few runs.   Lyrically "The distance" is about seeing the world as it is. A perfect place full of imperfection. One has to understand the idea of this paradox to be able to comprehend his or her own actions in relation with the rest  of the existence. It is, in fact, a rather joyous ride to self-exploration. 

Day 3  
 It was time to get busy. After the problem with the mic we'd lost a day. I decided to pace things up a bit. Instead of two songs I'd record three. The guys had done such an excellent job with the songs so it was only matter of concentration for me. A song I did first is called "The Nova flame".  This is a song that has that typical OG-handcrafted charm. Aggressive but  still melodic as hell! I really enjoyed recording this song.  I had came up with an intresting solution rhytmically in comparison to the two earlier"Flame songs". Also lyrically it sums up the whole trilogy. I am not going to go here on explaining how the songs are connected  lyrically. It is all there for everyone who sees it. The song individually  on the other hand is a big cheer to the living-spirit. A celebration of life, if you will. It has this subttle taste of laughter in it and that is always  good. Still there is much more to the lyrics of this particular song. Dig deep to fly high friends!   The next on the line was a song called "Ego". This is also a rather typical OG-tune. Fast melodic burst of metal. This one had been coming to me in  different forms and at one point I was wondering is this song even going to  appear in the album. I'm glad it did. The way the song carries itself is just mind-lifting. Punk-ass bastard-metal!! "Ego" is all about strenght. How one is able to carry oneself with dignity and not be bothered with petty insults or other foul-smelling shit that is unfortunately so common in the world. "Ego" as a tittle is an interesting one. It is also a Tibetan word meaning "Can you understand".   Last one for day three was a song called "New world shadows". It is one of my favourites in the album. The structure of the song is just so enjoyable  and rather ingenious in my opinion. In the "New world shadows" it is  discovered that the so called "new world" is but a term amongst others and  that one must not seach the shadows too far. It also praises the self- determination that one gets from beeing able to stand straight. It applaudes to every situation in life. One can really make the shadows dance.

Day 4  
 Now that I've gotten three songs out of the way yesterday I felt good and decided to go with the flow. I would do three songs that day if I felt like  it, otherwise I would save the last one for the last day. I chose a song  titled "Soul Journeys" to be recorded first. This song contains certain  amount of sadness in it. Still it is full of hope. It is quite interesting  that the two are not so unlike when deeply recodniced. It is the longing found in them both that bears a similar scent.   So I had two to go. At this point I could've gone either way, one or two,  it didn't matter. Well I recorded one song that day called "An infinite mind". There is not much to say about this one. We did some delicious speaking-parts to the verses and added also a deep crowl to the second verse. We didn't use any effects when constructing these and that was excellent because I am all against using effects when they serve no purpose. I don't have anything to say about these lyrics. U either get them or U don't :).

Day 5  
 The last day and the last song. Yea! I had saved the best for the last.  For me this particular song has no comparison in the album. For me this really is the "best song". I don't usually have one song that climbs so far above the others but in this album I do and "The deep cold" is just that. The others songs are exellent too of course but there is something in this song that tickles me the right way. "The deep cold" is basically about the fact that one must be able to grow beyond the boundaries of known limits to be able to rule of the fluxuations of life. It is movement in a sense.   I hope you have enjoyed the ride. I had fun and was happy to open up  the lyrics for you guys a bit. Of course your own interpretations are the most important but I hope this shines some light to the questions you might have.  

 -over and out-   

The Special Bonus Day
During sitting on the sofa in the middle of listening Jukka's growling and having some coffee moments with "local heroes", we had a special idea and decided to add some shouting choir = mullikuoro spices to the fast song called "EGO". So, we did a fast call to Niilo of Insomnium, who is living very near here and asked him to do some guest shouts also to that song with us. Niilo asked "when?" and we answered "wellll, uhhhm, NOW right away!?, you don't need to hear the song!". And soon the master himself arrived to the studio and shouted few screams before he was busy to leave to Germany next day to tour with Dark Tranquillity. Quick stop, thanks man!
Also our beloved lighting engineer Olli Liukkonen had "the honour" to guest on the mullikuoro thing, and other members of this new art vocal team was me and Aapo and we did some bloody shouts with a big heart! Do it!
Last vocal parts will be made by mister Dan Swanö in Sweden during the album mixing sessions, and surely it's going to be a killer feature to the stuff!!!
So, vox done here and some geetar parts and synth parts were still to be done..

perjantai 24. syyskuuta 2010


Ok, now that the drums and some guitars were on the track it was my turn to play my part in the makings of the new album. I grabbed my new sweetheart, a pimped up Tokai jazz bass (special shout out to Kari Olli from Pressure Points for mending my basses!) and headed towards Kotka. When I arrived at the afternoon guitar maestro Mrks and our engineer/producer Teemu informed me that the first thing to do in the studio was to carry an Ampeg 8x10" cabinet upstairs through very slim stairs. Nice. But heavy sound requires heavy duty and we managed it without casualties.

After I got my instruments stringed and set up it was time to put the amps, cabinets and microphones in place, do soundcheck and we were ready to go! Before the day was done we got one bass track finished and had some sort of vision of what kind of sounds we wanted to have for the rest of the songs. Not bad for a few hours work.

The second day started early. Too early in my opinion but our slave driver Teemu had no mercy on our poor souls, which became very clear as the sessions moved on. Time after time I heard him say: "Yeah, it was ok but let's do another one", "Nice. Again!" and so on... But it's good, now we can be sure that those takes that made it into finished tracks are top notch. Or at least the best we can do...

Recording in our own place was a pleasurable experience. We didn't have stressing schedules, could relax in a familiar environment and have friends stop by now and then for a little chit chat. Easy living, despite the slaver and some minor musical disagreements. On the evening of the second day three more tracks were ready and it was time for some late night entertainment; Pink Floyd's "Live at Pompeii" Who says you need drugs to get high?! During the sessions we also drew inspiration from Rush's "Beyond the Lighted Stage" and Metallica's "Some Kind of Monster" to see how the real pros do their thing...

The next day was uneventful but busy. We got four tracks done, so there was only one song left to do. Time for a beer.

On the last day we got early (again!) to the studio to finish the last song and get it over with. I was sure to do it quickly and be back home before afternoon. Not so. There wasn't any problems with the song but the final listening of the finished tracks made Markus realise that one bass part just wasn't right for the particular song. That's when things got ugly. We started to mouth off each other and pretty soon were throwing the punches! It was just crazy, furniture chrashing all over the place and guitars smashed to the walls and... Well, ok, not really. But it COULD have happened that way, it was a hard riff to play! After some sulking we agreed to arrange and record it again. It took hours (told you it was a difficult riff) but somehow we got it made and I was a free man again. Heading back home I left the guys scheming the guitar solos and other musically irrelevant stuff... My work here was done!


torstai 23. syyskuuta 2010


Well, well - Lots have happened in the OmG-hq since the last studio post and we've been hit by the usual OG diary laziness as we aren't any real authors neither novelists even we sometimes try...

After Astia studio drum sessions we've been working like hell here as we built up or own studio "OmG" to our rehearsal house called "the moneyhouse". This is brand new working method for us just to get all the things like schedules etc. just like we want them to be and of course it's much more nice an' easy to be recording and relaxing at our good ol' rehearsal place. It has been a huge job to get all the tech stuff gathered and borrowed for the session but it seems it's been really worth it!

So, it's been a month full of long working hours thru victories and rock bottoms, musical magics, angry musician moments, technical difficulties, brain dead conversations, afternoons & coffeespoons, Pizza and leverlåda by Saarioinen dinners and everything in between!

I was the first one to take the job to do with all the Rhythm geetars and this time it was a BIG task 'cause i had the honour & curse to play all the guitars by myself and engineer Teemu seems to be enjoying his despotic producer status... I used three different amps for this; Mesa/Boogie single rectifier, Marshall JCM 800 2203 & Mesa/Boogie Mark 4. and the tripled rhythm guitar wall of sound seems to be easily the best i've ever done so far - world class stuff for sure!! The spirits are high here in the funny farm!

Thanx for Joni Sven & Harri Pikka for lending some guitar gear - Here i also have to give a big thanx, cheers and respect to Sami Hauru/AK-sound for tech support and gear rent, Arttu Horttanainen for the mixing desk (that once worked...), Eerik Purdon for Ampeg bass gear, Janne Markkanen for Focusrite stuff, Sävelaitta for DBX stuff, Matti Suhonen for the mic, Soitinlaine for fast action, Teppo Gustafsson for fast technical doctoring and Olli Liukkonen & Timo Karvonen for spiritraising and making coffee!

So far our gear have been fucked up and destroyed during the sessions =
The good ol' handmade Finnish Kajaani mixing desk, my beloved Marshall JCM 800 cabinet (again!!!), awesome Neumann CMV563 vintage tube microphone from DDR and still a long way to go! :) It really seems that some heavenly forces of good are really trying to make a stop for our very very évil sessions but we'll be marching towards the victory and never surrender ! :)

More studio happenings updated hopefully "soon" as the diary isn't even quite up-to-date yet....

lauantai 4. syyskuuta 2010


And heeeere we go again! Jarmo banged all his drum parts easily & furiously and Teemu catched all the magical parts on tape.

It's about time to head back to good ol' Karhula and record some geetar parts next at OmG / Moneyhouse studio. Here's some photo footage from Astia still...->

Master Jorkka & Jope the studioslave.
Tav-Astia club!
Ugly hippie with beautiful guitar!
Jarmo doing some strange march things here...
...Under the sign of the black mark!

Happy happy Joy joy engineer working!

lauantai 28. elokuuta 2010



Wednesday evening it was time to take crashcourse to the Lappeenranta city where the high & mighty Astia-Studio is located and Jarmo, Teemu and me stepped into the Astia timezone where the night is the new day - means long nightly working hours and sleeping the first half of the day away… Our new session guitarist Joonas Koto were already there waiting for us as he is working at the moment in Astia-Studio 2, what a nice coincidence. So, he got the honour to be our host and slave! Wednesday evening was spent on setting up the drums and microphones and having some serious sauna business. Astia-Studio is really the coolest studio i've ever visited and it have all the luxorious toys'n'stuff the poor hippies will ever need for rocking.

After a long soundcheck the "almost black album" drum sound was there and Jarmo was ready to blast his guts off on tape, and surely he did it - he is the machine man! Three days were spent on nice an' easy schedule doing some alternate takes, adjustments and producing. Teemu had some new grey hair because of the Ddrum trigger signals (..asked by mr. Swanö for mixing) didn't work as expected and he had to adjust some more and more and evermore...

…Of course we were having much more sauna business meetings with few beers and basics. The high cultural moments of the sessions were spent with some good dvd material from Rush, At The Gates, Mr. Big and Get Thrashed thrash metal history documents (Hiraxin Pena & Rumpelstiltskin Grinder!). We also found out that the VH1 classic is one helluva good music channel without so much shitty shit than other channels. Well, Vangelis and Axel F airing on music channel, not bad!?

More cabin moments...

True producing boogies goin' on!
Metal album producing tool nr. 1!

Morning music by J!

Jarmo got some food to the hippies!
OG booyas and Antti.
Bold & beatiful rhythm section in the cabin.

Iron Maidenism with Kalke.


The cock cabin sessions went really really nicely and well - we got all the material ready to rock for recording and 3 days in the woods made magics to the stuff and the spirits of music walked among us. Now we, as also Teemu the producer, are 100% confident about the high quality of the new material (..adult oriented death metal that is!) and hungry to hit the Astia studio to caught the magic moments on tape.

There's nine songs now ready an' willing for the album & two of them are as epics as almost 10 minutes long.. Some working titles flowing: "Aapon talviuni + Jorkan häävalssi" (Aapo's winter dream, feat. the wedding march of Jarmo), "Aapon kosioretki" (Aapo's trip of love), "Sonnin ajatukset" (Thoughts of an ox), "Kiintiöhumppa", "Eeppinen mysteeri" (Epic mystery) etc…

Some beloved "special guest spiritraisers" were visiting us on the cabin sessions and checking out the jams and accepting our new album boogies - our former bass-player Janne, our lighting engineer Olli, Wolftrap guitarist Antti and our FOH engineer on past tours / Kaihoro drummer Kalke. …But of course the main point was on having long nightly discussions about the new Iron Maiden album and hanging out with all the bats & spiders.