sunnuntai 29. joulukuuta 2013

Goodbye…..and Hello !!!


Endings & Beginnings:

Since our album is basically done, still missing the mastering but whatta hell. I think it's time for me to close this blog….but don't ya worry, I'll be starting here:

thegreathankhunt.blogspot.com

…just after New Year, 2014. Instead of doing these official tour blog of this tour and official making of that album…I'll keep the above adress for all my bullshit…easier that way. Still no need to panic, I'll be writing about the finishing of the SA album, videoshoot, rehersals and naturally updates from the road will also be there as usual. I'll also write about other stuff than SA, my other bands etc…but will try to keep clear headings so those of you who don't want to read about other topics than SA can do just that.

There's a lot more to come, I have a bunch of ideas…let's see how this goes. I'm also gonna try the google adsense thing to get some beer money, let me know if it's too annoying and I might just delete the whole thing.

That's all for now, enjoy the New Year Celebrations…or don't.

See you in a few days,
cheers,
Hank

PS.Did I mention that the album sounds absolutely amazing ? Well it does :-)

perjantai 20. joulukuuta 2013

Happy Holidays


Finally it's time to turn off the working mode for a few days and enjoy the holidays, I hope you all can have some days off as well and get rested before a new year kicks in. More stuff about the album, singles, videos and of course more tourdates will be announced early next year. Have a good one.

cheers,
Henkka

Ps. I was under the impression that the album name and cover would be revealed before christmas, appeareantly this is not the case and I misunderstood this for some reason. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

keskiviikko 11. joulukuuta 2013

Done with the mixing of the album 12.2.2013 !!

Jiihaa, we just got done with all the little bells and whistles and the mixing is done ! As for now we still have some work to do to prepare for the shows etc but in a week or so we can start enjoying the christmas holiday. I’ll be back posting stuff from the mastering which will be in early January.

More info, like the album title, cover, videos & singles and all that will be coming out soon,piece by piece until the album will finally see the light of day in March 2014. As usual, we’re very pleased with the results and I’m sure you’ll be too. In only a little over 6 weeks we’ll be out playing our 15th anniversary shows and you’ll get to hear at least one of the new songs as well as some stuff that we’ve never played live before along with our ”hits”, we’ll of course will also bring back some songs that we haven’t played for awhile now…… I’m really pumped about the setlist ;-)

All the best, enjoy your holiday season and we’ll be back in January unless something comes up.

cheers,

Henkka

tiistai 3. joulukuuta 2013

Still working on it ;-) 4.12.2013

The mixing is coming along, not done yet but getting there. Last weekend Pasi went to Helsinki to record some guest performances for a couple of the songs. I’m still doing the some keyboard fixes but we’re really close with this one. I’m sure we’ll be done in a couple of weeks by the latest….and then it’s time for a Christmas break. Actually not quite since I have to do some programming and learn the songs for the upcoming shows. Since there’s gonna be some new stuff and some that we haven’t played I don’t want to leave it all for January, which in addition to the band rehersals and shows is kinda swamped with  mastering of the album and videoshooting and whatnot. Anyway, there’s not much I can reveal about the record at the moment and trying to describe the music with words is bound to fail anyways. It seems that the first single of the album will be out in January 2014, or at least we’re trying to make it happend ;-) My overall feel about these bunch of songs is that we’re back doing melodic metal as opposed to Stones Grow Her Name which was our hard rock adventure. Alrighty, gonna have some breakfast and play some keyboards….because…why not ?

cheers,

Henkka

maanantai 25. marraskuuta 2013

What’s goin on ? 25.11.2013

So at the moment we’re knee deep in organizing the upcoming tours. Production matters, new t-shirts, getting the crew together and whatnot. In the meantime Pasi is mixing the album and sending stuff for us to check out…and it’s coming along quite well. Of the stuff that I’ve heard it’s sounds fucking awesome. Still to do is plan the videoshoot, we’re doing two videos this time and as soon as those songs are mixed we’ll start working on that. I got some minor keyboard fixes to do later this week as soon as my piano gets sent back home but otherwise 99% of the recordings are done….still missing a guestplayer that will be done on Friday. The album title & cover will be released before Christmas and the album will actually be out already at the end of March and not April as originally planned.
By now our 15th anniversary tour has been announced and at the moment it’s only in Finland and Latin-America. In April the World Tour for the actual album will start so I don’t think we have too much time to do these anniversary things after that but you never know.

Anyways, all is good in Sonata land, thanks for all the comments about the setlist I think we get a pretty good idea about what you want. We’re not gonna do a poll of any kind, at least not for these shows but it might be an interesting idea for the future….

cheers,
Henkka

There won't be too many updates this year, since there's not much happening. In the beginning of 2014 we'll have a listening session, rehersals, mastering, videoshoot and whatnot so I'll be sure to check in from those as well. I'll get back when the album is mixed.

maanantai 18. marraskuuta 2013

Studio week no.7:

Thursday & Friday 14.11.-15.11.
So, it was time for me to do the last of the recordings. Morning train to Kokkola as usual and after Pasi picked me up it was time to eat. I managed to get my stuff done quite fast. I did the unisono for the first single, fixxed some ”beer” playing on another unisono that Elias had written for another song and finished one solo that I had basically ready in my head already so it wasn’t that hard. I also played a couple of versions of piano for the ”epic” song since I wasn’t satisfied with my earlier track….Then it was time to pack up my gear and make back-up copies of all my stuff. Gather some dirty clothes and uneaten noodles and whatnot. I even tried to drink some of Elias left-behind redwine so it wouldn’t get old ;- ) The next morning my Dad and my brother picked me up and we drove towards the north…

At the moment we’re done with everything except for some backing vocals for a couple of songs, I’m sure Tony will get ’em done this week. Pasi already started mixing and I’m sure we’ll get to hear some stuff within the next few days. The rest of the year will be spent working on other projects as well as deciding the setlists (any suggestions?) for the 15th anniversary shows. I then have to program the sounds, get my gear in order and learn to play the stuff as well as the new songs. So, there will be plenty of work even if we’re at home. Also the tourplanning for next year will take up some time since we’ll be going to be on the road until 2015 at least.

Anyways, I’ll let you know when the mixing is done…until then…

cheers,

Henkka

lauantai 9. marraskuuta 2013

Some notes about studio week 6

During this week I was at home, working on a bunch of "office" stuff, meaning e-mails, spreadsheets and phonecalls. Oh how I love the music business ;-)

Meanwhile in the studio the bass tracks were laid down, the acoustic guitars and some backing vocals. The groundwork for the mixing has also been done so still missing a few additions/corrections here & there but we're getting close. Sometime next week I still have to go to the studio to add a couple of solos and get my M3 module as well as safety copies of all my stuff, to take with me back home in case we'll do some late fixes....which we always do.

I'll check in next week when I've been to the studio and packed up my keys etc. Until then, remain calm...all is well and this will turn out great.

cheers,
Henkka


PS. Whoever sent me the link to download some bootleg stuff from us, thanks ! However if you want your message published, please re-send it wihtout the link (since I can't edit comments, only approve them or not). Your private link "just for us" is not so private if I post it online..... ok ?

keskiviikko 30. lokakuuta 2013

Studio week 5

Monday 28.10. Studio Day 20:

Morning train and straight to work. We're really starting to get close on this one. Spent the day noodeling with the keyboards, played the last Hammond lick and worked on some piano stuff. Tony sang another song and Tommy arrived in the evening :-)

Tuesday 29.10. Studio Day 21:

Business as usual until we got a visitor. Jordan from France is on a mission, he's walking to Kemi from France...unbeliavable...he's been walking since the beginning of June and now he arrived here to say hello and have a few beers, he still has a couple of weeks to walk the rest of the way to Kemi but I think he'll make it. In the evening we watched The Dictator again....funny shit :-) 

Wednesday 30.10 Studio Day 22:

Started the day by playing a unisono that Elias came up with, fucking hell it was tricky. Still has a solo and some random stuff to play today and then tomorrow I'll be going home and I have no clue wether I'll be back or when I will, I'll be home for next week at least....

cheers,

Henkka 


What I ate today part 16: salad...just kidding I had a steak...


What I ate today part 17: Burger of the week ;-)


Just found this on my phone, what the fuck ?

perjantai 25. lokakuuta 2013

Friday 25.10. Studio Day 19:

Today was a Hammond day, I played all the organs except one "gospel" lick that I'll have to do next week. Other than that we're just missing a couple of solos, acoustic guitars, backing vox and lead vocals for two tracks...oh, and the bass of course. So if all goes well we can wrap up the recordings next week and then move on to the mixing. Anyways, now I'm on the train going home for the weekend. On Monday we'll be back !!

cheers,

Henkka

torstai 24. lokakuuta 2013

Thursday 24.10. Studio Day 18:

In the morning there was some re-amping done before the singing resumed. Last night I had another listening session in the mastering room with studio co-owner Masi, so the first half of the day was a bit slow on my part. Needless to say, I didn't play any solos last night.Once back to normal, I played some more keyboard tracks for one song, that I just realized was going a bit in the wrong way so to speak. Much better now :-) I also did the keyboard solo for the Japan Bonus track...and used Elias Dime-wah pedal. I might have taken it a bit too far but whatta hell, someone's got to got to the edge anyway. It probably felt more crazy than it actually was...or than it actually sounds. Tommy wanted me to play some "really big" keys on the end of the bonus track, so I did and it worked really well, the tracks probably will end up on the song. Anyways, time to watch a movie and get to sleep, so I can do some hours of work tomorrow before we head home for the weekend. I'll post this when I wake up....maybe...

cheers,

Henkka

keskiviikko 23. lokakuuta 2013

Wednesday 23.10. Studio Day 17:

Managed to watch a movie in the evening (to which Tony had written some songs), In the morning we finished up re-amping the clean guitars and started with the leads. We've also been putting the keyboard tracks into the songs at the same time so everything is coming along quite nicely. After lunch we continued with the re-amping for a while and then it was Tony's time to step up and start singing the "epic" song. Btw, Masi is here to produce and record the vocals (he's been here since last week) but just today I managed to take a pic of him...while waiting for our late lunch. Tonight we're gonna go to the sauna and afterwards it's probably time for me to play some solos...or at least give it a shot.

cheers,

Henkka



Masi, the producer from Hell(sinki).



What I ate today part 15: the first pizza of the week...


tiistai 22. lokakuuta 2013

Tuesday 22.10. Studio Day 16:

Today we started to re-amp the clean guitars (via a borrowed Roland JC-120), and also put some keyboard tracks in the projects, I think we'll continue with those tomorrow. In the evening Tony continued his singing effort. We have had some mice showing up and trying to steal our food, so today we bought some traps and managed to kill two of them, let's see if there's more to come or not. And yes we do have some cats here but won't let them into the studio, when someone(s) are allergic to cats. Anyway, that's what's up here, Elias actually started the day by playing the last two distorted guitar tracks using a Marshall for a change ;-) I'll try to make somekinda update at the end of the week about where we're right now...

cheers,

Henkka



What I ate today part 14: Beefkettle or something, with mashed potatoes...


The drinklist @ the cafe


It's not a real album without some Marshall.


The Jazz Chorus in the corner....


Pasi @lunch...


Tommy @ lunch

Monday 21.10. Studio Day 15:

Happy birthday to me :-) Anyways, got on the train just after 11, actually almost
missed it , but because of my excellent driving skills we managed to get to the station
on time (...being late because of my "not so great" scheduling skills). Got to Kokkola ok,
late lunch (is it actually lunch anymore when it's around 1600?)....and then it was off to the studio. We got some work done, personally I just took it easy. Until tomorrow...

..actually I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who sent e-mails and congrats. Thanks a lot !! 

cheers,

Henkka



What I ate today, part 13: believe it or not, the first burger for me during these sessions...


Elias changing strings on the gold top for the "rock" song on the album...


torstai 17. lokakuuta 2013

Thursday 17.10. Studio Day 14:

So, today we had the first snow here at the studio. Appeareantly at home it's around -10 degrees celsius but no snow yet. The winter is coming. Today I played some piano stuff and Tony is still singing. In a few we're going for lunch and then home for the weekend. The sessions will resume on Monday with all the dudes in the house.We're getting closer !! I think it that we can start mixing at the beginning of November if not earlier....jiiihaaa !!!

cheers,

Henkka

Here's something for the weekend (unfortunately in Finnish only):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvk3gkzOlc


...and a couple of pics:


The morning view from our window....


Unfortunately the flowers died :-(


...and the first mystery footprints.....

keskiviikko 16. lokakuuta 2013

Wednesday 16.10. Studio Day 13:

Spent most of the day online, working. Upcoming tours, sendin out stuff, like this:


sorting out other things...like you can now reach pasi@sonataarctica.info , I think
it should be up and running ;-) Managed to take a few pics, including my lunch
more than halfway through...almost too late. I also watched this which was great:


After Tony was done with what will probably be the first single, I started working 
on the piano parts for the epic 10min album closer, need to get back to that in the
morning. Until tomorrow, which will be the last studioday this week.

cheers,

Henkka


For the Leads I brought back my (bad) Karma....


The M3 getting a well earned rest on top of Elias guitar cabinet.


What I ate today part 12: ???

tiistai 15. lokakuuta 2013

Tuesday 15.10. Studio Day 12:

Started the day by going through the keyboard tracks, making minor adjustments. Elias managed to blast through another song before lunch. Today I even remembered to take a pick of my.....pizza...tadaa !! We also brought back the empty beer cans to the grocery store and from the pic of the receipt, you can see the amount. (if you can, appeareantly the censorship stuck upon this pick. At the moment Pasi is bringin Elias to the trainstation and Tony is singing. I took a short break and soon I'll be back and start noodeling some piano stuff or search for the lead sound for this album, I don't know yet. Maybe we could do some sauna stuff tonight...or tomorrow....who knows ;-)

cheers,

Henkka



What I ate today part 11: oh my god yet another pizza !!


The mystery receipt...

Monday 14.10. Studio Day 11:

Started the day with the trainride to Kokkola. Tired as hell :-) Forgot to take a pic of my lunch on Friday....I did eat something....whatever. Ok so what do we have left, bass, vocals, acoustic guitars, hammond...some keyboards + solos and additional guitar and keyboar overdubs. I don't see how we're gonna waste too much time on these but we'll see about that. At the moment I'm still in the train and in a hour or so we'll be in Kokkola, pick up Elias & Masi and head for the woods....we'll probably have lunch first and then it's time to get to it. I'll try to write some more later tonight after I've done an interview for the Silent Voices album and hopefully can watch some NHL as well.

Break.

Got my late lunch, did some work, listened to Tony mess around with some new software,
got back to playing keyboards, did the interview. Well, I also got my Korg Karma back when Masi our vocal producer arrived...and later I managed to play the basic tracks to another track, I'll have to go through some piano stuff tomorrow. Tony did sing the lead vox for one song tonight and I also got to watch the Bruins-Detroit game so all in all a good day, despite being a bit tired...even so that I'll post this tomorrow in the morning.Goodnight.

cheers,
Henkka


edit: found some pics but none of my lunch from last night (it was mashed potatoes and a steak...I'll try to remember to get back to it today).



Something essential for the vocal recordings :-)



Finnish landscape from the trainwindow part 1


part 2


part 3



perjantai 11. lokakuuta 2013

Friday 11.10 Studio Day 10:

Last night we somehow ended up in the mastering room again, listening to music. Basically it ment that the morning was really slow and then it was time for a quick shower, lunch and heading home. Our spirits remain high and next week Tony will start doing the vocals while I attack the Hammond. Weekend brake.

cheers from the train,

Henkka

torstai 10. lokakuuta 2013

Thursday 10.10 Studio Day 9:

Today started off with Elias tracking more rythm guitars, meanwhile I watched the Jason Becker movie and caught up on the NHL highlights. After a late lunch the work continued and in the evening I went through some more keyboard stuff. At the moment I've played the basic keyboards for most of the songs, still have the Hammond work to do as well as the solo stuff and maybe some additional tracks. All the drums are done as well as most of the rythm guitars, if we keep this pace up, I would guess that we can start mixing in the beginning of November. No previous SA album that I've been involved in has run this smoothly, right from the start of the rehersals up until now. Keep your thumbs up that we'll keep going this way.

cheers,

Henkka


All those great pieces of equimpent ;-)


Elias corner, close up.


What I ate today part 9.


The "scoreboard" is starting to fill up...


Tony's temporary singing booth...


keskiviikko 9. lokakuuta 2013

Wednesday 9.10 Studio Day 8:

So...after Elias was done for the day with his rythm guitars, Pasi was stuck editing in the controlroom, I continued working on the keys and actually managed to finish a couple of more songs. Elias later setup his laptop to work on some additional tracks.... at some point we called it an early night, finished before 0900, went to the sauna and watched the "Never Make it Home" movie. Truly incredible, inspiring and touching...I'm running out of adjectives here, if you haven't seen it, you should...right now !!

Today in the morning we added another cubicle to the mayhem. The day was spent
with me & Elias at our own places and Tony in his singing booth....and of course Pasi
had the biggest place to work. Check 'em out at:


Tony's catching up with the tourdocumentaries....

I managed to get a lot done today as did the other dudes so now it's time to check out
the NW movie....finally.

cheers,

Henkka



Elias is tweeting because we made him do it !


What I ate today part 8: A chicken tortilla with salad instead of freedom fries.


Pasi still working, the dude is crazy.


Tony, still eating with his cap on ;-)



tiistai 8. lokakuuta 2013

Tuesday 8.10 Studio Day 7:

Last night I managed to put in a few hours on one of the potential single songs, started today by listening through it. There's still some work to be done on that one as well as some sound-replacement stuff. Tommy made some nice breakfast (yeah, another run at eggs and sausages) and it was time for me to enjoy the hightlights of last nights Rangers game...and as someone predicted in the comments, they beat LA on the road. Nice :-) .. and of course the last goal was a bit weird. Also enjoyed the Oilers comeback against the Devils.

Meanwhile, Pasi and Elias started to track guitars downstairs. The guitar sound is fucking awesome !!!  By lunch the rythm guitars for 3 songs were done and afterwards, as in: at the moment...they're tracking more guitars. Speaking of which, another song is ready so I better go downstairs and check it through with the boys.

cheers,
Henkka

Newsflash of the day (just to clarify Pasis tweet):



Look how much beer "some other bands" have left behind...


What I ate today part 7a - my pizza


Part 7b: Tommy's burger...


Part 7c: Tony's chicken plate, properly displayed and all ;-)

maanantai 7. lokakuuta 2013

Monday 7.10 Studio Day 6:

Jumped in the car just around 0900 to drive down to KokkoL.A. , managed to pick up Tony & Tommy on the way. We took turns driving and it didn't seem too long before we arrived, but not before picking up some wine from the local Alko. Upon arrival, Elias and Tero (yeah, a special guest appereance at the sessions) were already at the studio. We all went out for a late lunch before resuming work. First off was a short drum thing with another drumkit....from there we started to work on the guitar setup and getting the sounds right, spent the whole evening (actually Elias and Pasi did) tuning the guitar stuff. Tomorrow will be a guitar day to remember. At some point Elias filmed me explaining my studio rig...it turned out a bit dark but then again we're doing heavy metal so why not ? 

Btw as it was Monday, it was once again time for the "grillilautanen" for lunch but I think I better change that for next week. Gotta run down and check out where the guitar sound
is heading ;-)

cheers,

Henkka


Elias receiving a mystery package to help him do the guitars ;-)


What I ate today part 6: The return of the Evil Grill Plate

video



perjantai 4. lokakuuta 2013

Friday 4.10. Studio Day 5:

Started the day by watching last nights NHL highlights, unfortunately NYR lost, good that they still have 81 games to figure it out. Once we got up from bed, it was time to listen through all the songs just to make sure there were no stuff that needed to be changed, of course there was some minor details to tweak.... Elias also got another amp shipped in this morning, the legendary Mesa/Boogie Mark 2 C+ (thanks Ari ! ). We're also gonna get another Engl cabinet for next week when it's time to start tracking some guitars. As for now I'm pretty much done with 5 songs on the keys (missing one piano track and some Hammond). All the other drum-stuff is done except a short bit which will be played with another set. Apart from the computer meltdown on Wednesday, everything is running really smooth and it might even look that we'll be done ahead of schedule....or not, you never know with these things. Untl next week.


cheers,

Henkka


And this is....another Mesa/Boogie...


The smaller kit, not really ready yet.



What I ate today part 5. (was too hungry and almost forgot to take the pic, however this used
to be a chicken fillet...which was very good I might add.)


torstai 3. lokakuuta 2013

Thursday 3.10. Studio Day 4:

Last night Pasi got the computer up and running and I managed to pick up Elias and Tony from the trainstation. After another great breakfast by Tommy (sorry, no pic), the drumrecordings resumed. Last night me & Elias joined Masi (the other owner of the studio) in the mastering room, listening to music and it went on kinda late so it took awhile to get into the groove in the morning. Nevertheless, after lunch Tommy played the final 2 songs for the album and then I had some time to play some more keyboards before we warmed up the sauna again. I think this album will turn out really great :-)
Tomorrow we'll put in some more hours before it's time to go home for the weekend.

cheers,

Henkka


Enjoying analog compression ;-)


The "fläppitaulu" showing that the drums are almost done.


Elias enjoying the new songs.


The brain that freezed over.


The legendary SSL-desk from Polar Studios....and a couple of screens.


What I ate today part 4, more pizza.


...and yeah I ate everything but the crust.