2011/11/30

Day 26: Paris, oh my god!

Part 1: The half flu is spreading
Late night after the show in Toulouse, Rein started to experience the same symptoms as TorO. So when we woke up in Paris, 40% of the band was ill and not in a condition to play a concert. We enter Divan du Monde, and this might be one of the coolest venues on the tour so far. Not the biggest or most fancy, but the most charming maybe? The backstage is nice, and the catering as well (it always is in France). A small problem though was that both TorO and Rein would need a place to sleep, and the bus had parked far away from the venue!

Part 2: The shortest sightseeing ever
Since we had to help with the load-in today (due to very limited time), we hadn’t got much time to check out Paris. Everyone but Jonas had been in Paris before, so me and him went down to take the metro. We had 45 minutes in total before the soundcheck, and the Eiffel tower was Jonas first priority. After getting of the correct metro station, we almost had to run in order to have a couple of pictures of the Eiffel tower in time. We were outside the tower for maybe 2 minutes, and then we had to run back to the metro station again and hurry up back to the sound check.

Part 3: Paris = Awesome
An hour before showtime I came to think of that I hadn’t eaten the entire day. I ran down to a grocery store together with Jonas and Tobias an bought maybe the worst tuna baguette I’ve ever tasted. When we got back to the venue, we saw that there was an extremely big queue outside! Great news for tonight's show! Even though both Rein and TorO was ill we were quite excited, as Paris was one of the coolest places we played last year! We entered the stage, and the audience was just as great as we’d hoped for!

Part 4: A rather stressful dinner
After the show everyone except Rein went out to a restaurant in the same building for dinner. When we’d ordered the meal, we wound out that we had approximately 45 minutes before we had to leave. The food arrived 40 minutes later, and we had 5 minutes to eat and to pay the bill! I just love stress-eating great food!

All the best,
Einar

2011/11/29

Day 25 - Toulouse, Game on

Part 1: Le Phare
I had one goal for this day, to check out Toulouse city center! Last year we played at the exactly same venue, and then I didn’t get to see the city center due to lack of public transport in the area (it was a major defeat for me, as I simply love checking out new places). After doing some research on the internet, the unthinkable happens: I give up! It was really difficult to find a cheap enough solution that would bring me back to the venue in time. Even though I felt bad about no being able to see Toulouse, Le Phare (the venue) is a really nice venue to spend a day at. It’s huge and contains really nice backstages with proper wifi, nice food and showers.

Part 2: Half flu
Sitting on my computer on the dressing room, TorO suddenly comes rushing in with a rather pale face asking for my Imodium. He tells me that he has gotten the half flue, and the liquid is coming out in both ends. Wooooho, tonight’s show is going to be great!! His shape is really bad, and he has to go to the bus to sleep after finishing his toilet duties.

Part 3: Boxing - Leprous VS Amorphis
Still sitting on my computer, Tomi Joutsen from Amorphis are entering our backstage to brag about his new boxing equipment. He knows that both me, TorO and Tobias are doing kickboxing (at a very low level) and he wants to challenge us to a match. TorO was ill, Tobias thought it was too close to the show, which left me as the only alternative. I went to the bus to pick up my kickboxing equipment, and gets dressed for the match. Tomi insist to only do boxing (with no kicks), which suits me OK since my kick skills could be better. We agree to go very easy and slow, so nobody gets hurt before the show. Check out the video to see how the match went!

Part 4: An energetic evening (from TorO’s point of view)
TorO woke up approximately 30 minutes before changeover without feeling any better at all. He take one more Imodium, finds himself a puke bucket and go on stage. The venue looks nice, the crowd seems really good and the sound on stage is quite nice! I was determined to compensate for TorO’s lack of energy tonight, and gave almost everything I had on stage. The show went really good despite TorO’s condition, and he managed to do the whole set without having to run to the toilet!

All the best,
Einar

2011/11/26

Day 24 - Barakaldo Juicefest 2011

Juice time!
Our first concert in the Basque Country ever took place in Barakaldo, a part of the greater Bilbao. The venue, Rock Star Live, is situated in a shopping mall, the stage is huge, and the backstage facilities are very nice. We all agree that it’s time to bring out our old companion, The Juicer. This way, we can juice up all the semi-bad fruit that we’ve been gathering throughout Europe. My tip is to try out any fruits and vegetables you like, and if you can get hold of lime, ginger and sellery, then you’re pretty much ready to make anything taste good. Tobias finds out the hard way that onion is an exception, but then again, who would have thought otherwise?



Gettin’ rid of all that energy
While I’m taking care of the entire vitamin needs of both Amorphis and the crew, Einar takes a trip on his own to the city centre of Bilbao. We soon realize that juice gives us a bunch of energy, so after OD’ing on vitamins, we feel like getting rid of some of that energy. Let the jogging commence.




We’ll be back
The concert went really well, and we all hope we can return the next time around.

Until then,
Juice on!

TorO

Day 23 - Santiago de Compostela

Part 1: The hallway
We were woken up approximately 11:30 by Temu (the merch guy) who told us that the shuttle to the venue were already waiting for us. None of us had a clue that we were to park away from the venue, and we were preset to sleep as long as preferable. Waking up Rein isn’t always the easiest task in the world, and he ended up taking a shuttle much later that day! Our first encounter with the venue was really pleasant, and we were blessed by a really nice stage, great acoustics and equipment. The first encounter with the backstage however, could have been better. We had been given a hallway next to a staircase without any chairs as backstage! Wooooohooo! Luckily we were given some chairs after a while, and the backstage was OK after that.

Part 2: The cathedral
The weather is beautiful and the venue is in the middle of the town center, so we joined the forces with Tomi (vocals Amorphis) and Temu (merch guy) to check it out. We walked through a beautiful park, and after a while we managed to locate the renown Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It looks extremely impressive both inside and outside. Touching it is supposed to mean luck, and only two days later both TorO and Rein has gotten the half flu. Hmmmmm......
Santiago de Compostela is defiantly a town worth visiting, and it’s one of our favorites on the tour!



Part 3: Daily routines
Safe back at the venue we do all our daily routines as soundcheck, desperately and unsuccessfully trying to upload blogs, drinking coke, getting ready for show etc. The show went really good, and even though the venue was only half full we fell in love with the Galician audience!

Part 4: Tapas
After the show we go straight out to eat, and as we’ve finally learned to choose the most visited restaurants we ended up on a really nice tapas restaurant. The food on the restaurant might have been the best on the tour so far, and it was a really nice way to end the evening.

Best,
Einar

Day 22 - Incriviel Almadense

As usual, I woke up in the hostel a few minutes after we was supposed to be checked out. I can't remember the last time I actually checked out in time. Another stressful morning. After we gathered our belongings, we found out that it was time to try to locate the venue for tonights show.
Tobias got out of the hostel a few minutes before the rest of us, and met us outside having acquired one of the strangest "to-go" coffees I've ever seen. Anyways, we managed to get a hold of a couple of taxis, and began the extensive project of finding the venue. One of the drivers knew a little english, none of them knew where the place was located.
Turned out it was located in Almada, across a really big bridge from Lisbon. After a few stops, some direction-asking, a few conversations in portuguese (taxi-driver), english and norwegian (us) and a lot of traffic, we finally found the venue.
The venue was cool, and the stage was big. We need a lot of space to deliver a Leprous-show the way we want to, so everything looked really good. We were also able to walk up on the big PA speakers in front of the stage. Always fun! (hopefully it looks cool too).

The rest of the place was a bit more interesting. Really old concrete building, no wi-fi, very small backstage and very strange toilet/shower facilities. All of this is really okay, the only real problem with the place was that it was way too cold for our taste.
It turned out we had access to a big training hall through the corridors of the backstage area. We also found a football. Sweet! We arranged a little game of football with some of the guys from Nahemah, the other support band. Just when we started to get into the game, we got interrupted by a very old, very angry man. He started shouting at us in portuguese, took our football, blamed us for cracking a mirror, and then shouted some more. Not cool!
So, looking for ways to entertain ourselves, we figured we could make use of the adjustable haircutter i bought in Lisbon. TorO took on the role as the hair stylist, so Me, Jonas and Tobias ended up with a new haircut. Nice!
Looking fresh, we went out to get something to eat before the show.
The show was cool.

After the show we talked to a guy in the audience who brought us some local delicatesses, awesome! And they tasted really good as well!
Some showers and one Amorphis-show later we got a shuttle back to the bus. The bus is the closest thing to home on the tour, so it's always nice to come back to it after a day of.
Thats it for Lisbon, stay tuned for more..


-Rein

2011/11/25

Day 21 - Day off fun in Lisbon

Part one: Stay cool hostel
We were woken up at approximately 11:30 AM by our tour manager, and told that we had to get out of the bus and bring with us everything we needed for the next two days. After a panic filled packing of our things, we hit the streets of Lisbon in order to find our hostel for the night; Lisbon Stay Cool Hostel. We’re not exactly known to be picky when ordering hotels/hostels, and this time we had booked a six person room in this very small hostel. Of course we don’t have a clue about where the hostel is located, and I’m really dependent on getting aid from my dear iPhone. After walking around for about ten minutes looking for an open wifi connection, I manage plot in the address of the hostel to the GPS on my phone. We walked for five minutes to what was supposed to be the final location, and find out that my usually very reliable iPhone has led me out to nowhere. TorO managed to get hold of a local guy that was able to show us in the direction of the street where the hostel was located. Luckily it was only a two minutes walk away from our current location. And there they were the huge flashing neon light sings from Lisbon Stay Cool Hostel!

Part two: Too much service?
As we hadn’t had the chance to get something to eat, we took the metro to the core of Lisbon city center to find a descent restaurant. We ended up being tricked into a restaurant near the harbor, but it seemed nice enough when we got the time to look at the menu. The food itself was quite good, but it was very annoying that two of the waiters were standing really close to us looking at us while we were eating. For those who knows a bit about norwegian intimate boundaries (and our general need to be by ourself), they will know exactly how much we disliked this situation.

Part three: The bus trip of our lives
After yesterdays successful tourist train trip through Porto, we wanted to repeat the success by jumping on a tourist bus to explore Lisbon on the fastest and laziest way possible. Expectant and excited we board the bus, and walk strait up to the upper deck to grab a seat with a good view. After sitting on the bus of approximately fifty minutes, I realize that I might have seen 2-3 monuments worth mentioning. The bus decided to drive as long out of the city center as possible, and we get to see a building maybe every fifteen minutes. This would of course have been OK if the temperature was comfortable, but it was extremely cold. I usually enjoy these kind of tourist bus trips, but we all agreed (except Rein that found it very interesting and comfortable) that this might have been the single most boring thing we’ve done on the tour so far!

Part four: Music Burger
When the bus trip finally ended, we went straight to Starbucks to get something hot to drink. After sitting there for a while, we go home to the hostel for some rest. Not much worth mentioning happened while relaxing at the hostel, except that we plagued the hostel room with the smell of our stage clothes. Time for something to eat again, and this time we choose a nearby restaurant where there is a lot of people (yes, we have learned) called Music Burger. Do not be fooled by the simple name, because this place was really great! Reasonable great food (also vegetarian) served by a very jovial waitress. Even though this was a nice day, we all agree that we’re not that fond off days. We could have done the whole tour without them, seriously!

All the best,
Einar


Day 20 - Porto on my mind



Walking out of the bus in Porto is a true pleasure. The sun is shining, and approximately 20 degrees feels good after driving through a rather cold southern Europe so far. The area surrounding the venue seems very nice, so we all decide to check out the rest of the downtown area as well, something we don’t regret. As a matter of fact, Porto may be my favorite city so far on the tour. Great weather, good food, pleasant people and beautiful surroundings. We meet a very nice guy which recommends us to take a ride through the city on a small train. Yes please!



Back at the venue, my impression of Porto doesn’t get any worse. The stage, backstage, catering, wi-fi and the pleasant promoter and staff couldn’t be much better. The fact that Jonas also downloads Civilization V to his macbook, meaning we can link and try out the multiplayer feature, is just the finishing touch of an already perfect day. The following movie will show you how Leprous look like when we're exploring a city. Please have in mind that we actually are a metal band, so the scenes you're about to witness are pretty scary and intense.



As for the concert, I really enjoyed playing, as did the rest of the guys. and the crowd seemed to like it as well. We also got the chance to talk to many nice people afterwards. My only bad experience with this first day in Portugal was that somebody broke in to Nahemah’s caravanette, and stole their money and some official documents. Apart from that, I really look forward to spending the next couple of days in Portugal, and hopefully Lisboa will live up to the great impression I have so far.



To the people of Porto:
Please like my band, so I have a good reason to return as soon as possible!
If not, I guess I’ll come back for my next vacation… B)



Until then,
Rock on!

TorO

Day 19 - Madrid Monitorama 2011

Yo! Woke up in madrid today. It was one of those days when the bus can't park at the venue, that usually means a pretty stressful morning. Especially for me, nice I always wait as long as possible before I get up. So I get up, grab my stage clothes and whatever I'll be needing during the day, and rush on out.
I'ts always nice when the venue is located in the middle of the cities we visit. This is the case today. Nice!
After getting our stuff into the venue we met up with a graphic designer and friend, Ritxi (who did the booklet for Bilateral and the cover and booklet of Tall Poppy Syndrome). He was nice enough to show us around/hang out with us in Madrid. We went for a walk, following Ritxi's lead. First stop: The Temple of Debod. An Egyptian temple in Spain…makes sense…? Anyway, it's located in a nice park, and the weather wasn't too bad. Nice way to start the day, in my opinion.
We had breakfast/lunch at a cafe nearby, and went for a walk in the center of Madrid. Surprisingly, we met some familiar faces…

After hanging out for a while, we were joined by Ritxi's girlfriend, Alba. We walked around some more, had some tapas, and headed back to the venue for soundcheck. Great day so far..

Soundcheck complete communication breakdown? incompetent in-house crew? I don't know exactly what happened, but after waiting for a really long time, we basically ended up without any monitoring at all. Playing without hearing what we're doing is a pretty hopeless scenario, to say the least! Pretty strange considering that the rest of the venue was great, and is frequently in use. We finished the horrible soundcheck feeling frustrated, shocked, and at the same laughing about the ridiculous situation. We were also hellbent on delivering a good show, despite the "difficult" surroundings. Who's to say Leprous isn't up for a challenge!

So, it was time for the first Leprous show without monitoring, ever. Not the kind of premiere worth looking forward to, but not much we could do about it. Come what may, and all that…
Luckily, parts of the PA system was located behind the edge of the stage, so we could actually hear a little bit of what we sounded like. The local crew had also fixed the problem with the monitors during our show, so we actually had somewhat random monitoring during most parts of the show. For some of us it saved the concert, while some of us would have been better off without random things appearing (and disappearing) in the mix. On top of these factors, we are well into the tour at this point, and without sounding too "cocky" I think we would be able to pull of a decent show under worse conditions than today. Catastrophe avoided, in other words.
Our opinions on the gig may vary, but considering the circumstances we all agree that we did a good job. The crowd was great too! It felt really good to get a lot of positive feedback, after all the energy wasted being frustrated earlier. You guys saved our day!

-Rein


2011/11/24

Day 18: Spain show nr one

Today we had plans! We got a special guided tour from two friends of ours, Marce and Mathias!


Barcelona is a huge city with alot to see. And with only the time before soundcheck, it will not cover it all...


We went to Sagrada Famila! That was really awsome! And quite bizarre. You should check it out if you are in Barcelona!


Jonas came back to replace Øystein. This was Øysteins last concert, so Jonas took some really cool pictures you can see at our facebookpage.


The concert was really nice. And later we hooked up with our designer friend Maria (who designed our t-shirts and backdrop :), her boyfriend Jaime and Isam (Jesus?)

They are really nice and took us to a really cool buffet place with lots of really good vegeterarian food!


btw: Jonas is now back with his video editing skillz!




-Tobias


2011/11/22

Day 17 - Lyon rocks

Part one: A pleasant reunion
It feels great to be back in France! Last year we played six shows in France, and almost at every venue everything was great! Both the catering, the crew, the fascilities and the audience. Lyon was one of our favorite places on the previous tour, so we had really high expectations for tonight’s show! Nice venue, nice food, nice facilities and a nice local crew. Only thing missing now is the great audience, which we of course didn’t know anything about at this point.

Part two: The metro
After gathering everyone (which usually takes way longer than my patience can handle), we go straight to the metro station. Last year when I visited Lyon I didn’t get to see the old city, so I was very determined to see it this time. The metro trip was full of misunderstandings and wrong moves from us, and we ended up at the very same place I ended up last year. Right outside the gigantic shopping mall, which I had no interest in seeing. Luckily I managed to connect to a wifi connection, and find out that we’re in walking distance to the old town.

Part three: Monument obsession
I might be a bit more obsessed than the average person when it comes to checking out the main monuments in the cities we visit, and sometimes I forget that someone might have other needs. Rein was looking for bass strings, and TorO was looking for an iPhone protection thing while Øystein was looking for a new jack input for his guitar. This being our lucky day, we manage to find both an instrument store and an Apple store on our way to the old town, and everyone gets to satisfy their needs. We even found a Virgin Megastore on our way (which I didn’t think existed anymore).



Part four: Photographer of the year?
Finally we get to the old town, which turns out to be very beautiful and worth every minute spent on locating it. I’m slowly turning into a desert junkie on this tour, and more and more often I hunger for it. Suddenly we se a perfect french ice cream cafè, and of course I can’t resist the temptation. Below you can se a photo I took of the banana split which actually looked extremely good in real life. It’s fascinating how disgusting you can have really nice things look if you’re a bad enough photographer!



Part five: Moshpit
Back at the venue we’re starting to get eager to go on stage, as we remember the Lyon audience to be great! We enter the stage, and all our expectations and hopes turns out to be right! There’s a lot of people singing along, and a lot of people making lots of noise and movement. During Waste of Air it actually occurs a moshipit, which is a very rare sight on a Leprous concert. To sum up the day: Lyon is still one of the best places for Leprous to visit!

All the best,
Einar

2011/11/19

Day 16 - Milan fashion extravaganza

I wake up in the bus around 11.30. I enter the backstage witnessing a very typical Leprous social gathering, with everybody doing their own things on their macbooks. Tobias, just finishing his episode of Merlin, suggests that we should all head down town to check out the Milano fashion scene. Øystein doesn’t see what the big fuzz is all about, and decides to stay at the venue so he can prepare for his own fashion show later tonight. He’s got something really exciting up his sleeve this evening, so we’re all really psyched as we take the subway downtown, Einar, Tobias and myself.



As we’re approaching the Duomo square, Tobias can hear a strangely familiar sound. Yes, it’s the pigeons he played with the last time we were here, and o’boy are they happy to see him again. He also meets up with his old seed supplier, who tries to stuff some more seeds in his hand, but Tobias plays hard to get and runs away.

Not a trip to Milano without trying out some Italian delicacies, so we end up in a pleasant restaurant, with an open solution towards the open area that surrounds it. As we’re waiting for our pasta, eating our complimentary cookie, Tobias finds out he wants his old friends to join the party. The pigeons doesn’t have to be asked twice, and gladly follows up his invitation, to the great satisfaction of the restaurants other costumers as well as the staff.

We continue our journey through the fashion capital and end up at H&M and Zara to buy socks and boxers, before we head back to the venue where Øystein has a show and a fashion clinic ready for us. Here you can see the essentials:



After this great show we all felt energized and ready to hit the stage. The show went good and we leave Italy with the hope we will return in a not too far distant future.

Until then,
Stay fraiche!

TorO

Day 15 - Time for Treviso

I knew from the moment I woke up that this was gonna be one of those stay-in-and-work-while-the-others-have-fun-checking-out-the-city kind of days. As most you might not know, I'm a student. This means a certain amount of work has to be done, and it does not matter whether you're on tour or not. Usually I get the enthusiastic question: "Are you coming with us to check out Treviso today?". I respond with the signature line: "No.. I think I have to work today". You just gotta love saying no to checking out a city you've never seen before!;D

For some reason, we can't get into the venue until around 1'o clock today. Normally our get-in is at 11. This matches up nicely with my 100% dependency on Wi-Fi to be able to work, but I'm hungry so I grab a bite at the closest (and only) diner in the area. Our first encounter with some serious beams for the sun and good food makes this morning a good one, and the crew dreams of this being the off-day, not the one-million-miles drive from Athens to Treviso. As we finish up our meal, I see the guys from the band returning with their tails between their legs. They couldn't get a taxi, and after a rumor of a 20km distance into town (although it was only 9) coupled with today's late get-in, seeing Treviso stayed a dream.

I feel sorry for the guys who wanted to see the city, but somehow it's a bit comforting considering what I have in store for the day. Luckily, "New Age" is one of those venues that have figured out Internet can come in handy.. and it's a fast one too! Fast internet equals blog uploads and work for me. Yeeha! I end up spending mostly the entire day in front of the computer (hence the short and boring blog entry). I keep on working until our sound check at 5PM, then have dinner with the others before preparing for the show at 8PM. There's not a huge crowd when Nahema hits the stage, but they do a good job and draw people, so when it's our turn we're ready to do our best on our first show here in Treviso.

Even though none of us saw the city, we had a good time in Treviso, and we always enjoy it when we see people that have come to see Leprous, not only Amorphis ;) Let's hope we get to come back asap! Next stop: Milan! Stay tuned!!

Regards,

Øystein


2011/11/18

Day 14: Goodbye Greece

All right! Travel day! Or days, more correctly. We left Athens after the show on Sunday the 13. The present time is 00:47 the 15. November, Tuesday. The plan is to reach Italy sometime during the day. So…loooong bus ride!


Slept really late today, being stuck on the bus there's not much else to do. Even though I had more than my share of sleep, I had a rather unpleasant awakening. Passport check on the Serbian border. Normally the bus driver handles the border crossings, but now we had to deliver our passports individually. No stress though..They checked our passports, and looked through the bus a couple of times. All ok, but not an Ideal way to start the day!

So, Spending the entire day in the bus might not be the perfect condition for writing an interesting blog post. Most of the time is spent watching movies and series, playing games, or just hanging out in the bus.

Still we had one interesting, to say the least, experience. Dinner at a random roadside diner in Serbia.

If I had been there alone, I would probably be out of there well before the drinks were on the table. Creepy atmosphere in other words. The place itself was ice cold, completely empty and looked like it belonged to another century. Now, all that wouldn't matter if at least the food was okay, which it, as you might have guessed, wasn't even close to. At least the vegitarians (TorO, Tobias and Einar), had a hard time with their "cheese omelet".



- "a bit like eating old sour cream, so old that it turned into a cheese-like shape, stuffed into an unfinished omelet." -Einar Solberg.



As you probably understand, not top-of-the-line cooking. But don't get me wrong, i'm really glad we actually experienced this Serbian diner. I'm definitely going to remember it for a long time!

Here is some other facts:

They actually served about 1/3 of the dishes on the menu.

Tobias and myself ordered some fries, but never got them (even though we asked, twice), While all the others got their fries really fast.

Oh, and they had a dead bear on the wall.


Finally back at the bus, passing time as the miles fly by. Next up: Croatian border crossing! Almost the same procedure as earlier today, only this time we had to get out of the bus and into a nearby building for them to check our passports. Lots of fun….or not!


So, to sum it all up its been a rather monotone/boring day in the bus, with two border crossings and dinner as the main events.


Here is some footage from the bus:



That's all for now!


- Rein

2011/11/17

Day 13 - Athens, Greece

We of course had really high hopes regarding the weather in Athens. Last years european-tour we played in Athens (also at Gagarin 205!) at approximately the same time of the year. I remember sightseeing Akropolis wearing shorts and t-shirt.


Today it was raining and windy, a little bit colder than Norway.... :( disapointed!


Athens is still a really nice city! We hooked up with our two favourite photographers Bjørn Tore and Einars girlfriend Marita, plus family,friends, who came down to see us in Athen.

That was really nice!


Allthough we didnt have too much time downtown, Rein was attacked by A) a bird pooping. B) someone who trew his cup of coffee out the window of his appartment.



The good old juicer were used for the first time(!). The apple, kiwi, salad, orange juice of course gave us an energy boost before the show!


The concert went really good, and here you'll see some live footage from the concert.



Tommorow is a traveling day. Traveling around 30 hours to Italy.. :)


- Tobias








2011/11/16

Day 12 - Good old Thessaloniki

Part one: Back to normal

Two days has gone since we parted ways with Jonas and half a day since we teamed up with TorO. Even though Jonas did an unbelievably good job replacing TorO, it feels good to have the normal line up back together. TorO is one of two members (me being the other one) from the current line up that has been in the band from the very beginning, so it has been a bit weird not having him around. I’m gonna miss Jonas´video editing skills though!


Part two: Breakfast and saxophone

It feels good waking up in a proper hotel bed, without feeling that you’re inside a centrifuge (eastern european roads can have that effect one you when sleeping in the tour bus). It’s check out at noon, so we met down in the lobby approximately then. We went straight out for breakfast, and found a place that looks quite descent. After checking out the menu, we find out that the only thing they actually serve there is pasta salad with mushrooms. It tasted like sour olive oil, and to be honest everyone hated it. I think we might should start to understand that if there’s no people in the restaurant, it’s probably no good. As most norwegians we do everything in our power to sit alone in a table in a corner, as far away from other people that we can get. But I’m starting to wonder, is it worth it? Even though the food tasted horrible, we managed to keep the mood up. Thanks to Øystein for that!



Part three: Jogging alongside cadavers

It feels nice to be back at Block 33 after only one year, even though get that typical feeling that you were just here. After giving TorO a quick tour through the tour bus, me, Tobias and TorO decides to go out running. It has been a couple of days since our last run, as we’ve been warned against jogging in areas with lots of stray dogs (which you find plenty of in Romania, Bulgaria and Greece). Nevertheless we felt it was about time to get some exercise again, stray dogs or not. We started running alongside a main road, which seemed to be more difficult than we expected. After running for a couple of minutes, TorO stops to show us that we actually ran over a dog cadaver. Not a very nice sight! Even though this 5 km run was a bit out of the ordinary, it feels nice to be back on track.


Part four: The concert

We were quite excited about todays concert, as this was the first concert with TorO on this tour. It was a really nice experience playing in Thessaloniki again, and it was great to have TorO at my right side again. We’ve built up a certain stage chemistry through the years, and even though it’s difficult to top the concert experience we had in Sofia, this was a really nice show for us!


Best,

Einar


PS: Sorry about the norwegian speaking during the last part of the video. This was due to Øystein’s refusal of using the international language.


2011/11/15

Day 11 - Return of TorO (travel day)

Ok, so here’s the deal. I (TorO) have been at home in Norway the last ten days, playing with my cat and watching crappy TV, while the other guys have been around having fun in eastern Europe. Finally the day has arrived for me to meet up with the rest of the band in Thessaloniki, Greece. As entertaining as it may be watching the tour blog from Norway, I actually have been anticipating to join the tour. A slight complication was the cancellation of the concert in Istanbul, as we’d already booked flights and hotels for me and Jonas to make “the switch” go as smooth as possible over there. After a couple of hours saying “no thanks” to all of RyanAirs’s special offers though, and we have ourselves a new plan. And this is how it goes, travelling like a true superstar:



Oslo
08.46: Waking up, feeling ready to start the day off with a nice meal, freshly squeezed orange juice and a delightful cup of coffe.
08.47: Falling asleep after turning off the alarm clock.
10.13: Waking up again with a funny feeling something’s wrong. My bus leaves in 12 minutes. F*****g s**t!!!
10.14: Out on the street, running.
10.16: Hiring a bicycle. A crappy one.
10.20: A rather skinny fella finds it in his heart to out of nowhere skip sideways 2-3 meters, making sure I actually hit him with my bicycle. Perfect timing! ;D
10.24.40: Arriving at the bus stop 20 seconds before the bus leaves.
10.25: Not feeling very well as I find my seat, while also realizing I should exercise some more. At this point I also realize that I forgot my water and the charger for my Mac. Feeling fraiche!

Torp
12.05: Arriving at Torp airport. Just one look at the million dollar cases they use for their security checks tells us that I’ve got two hours of non-stop entertainment settled as I wait for my plane to leave.



13.55: Ascending in the spacious aircraft, and really taking in all the calmness, comfort and helpfulness that comes with flying with RyanAir.

London
14.45: (local time) Arriving at Stansted airport.
15.00: Getting in line for my 2nd baggage check. The gate for my flight closes 15.30



15.37: Finished standing in line, and prepared to start my second run of today with all my bags. Hungry like you wouldn’t believe.
15.43: Arriving at gate, barely conscious, noticing that nobody has entered the flight yet.
16.00: Learning that most greek senior citizens prefer to stand at a distance of approximately 3 mm from my ass, while all the time touching me with their luggage. Nice to get to know a new culture along the way. :)
16.05: As we fly off, the nice married couple sitting next to me starts arguing. They’re loud.



Thessaloniki
21.00: (local time) The married couple continues their fight, as we start our descent to the airport.
21.15: The senior citizens find their way back to my backside while we leave the plane. Btw, Isn’t Greece supposed to be somewhat warmer than Norway this time of year?
21.25: I hop on the only bus I can see at the airport, hoping that it will take me downtown.
22.35: I push the stop button after realizing my destination is just down the road.
22.36: The bus passes my destination.
22.42: The bus stops. I have to walk back several km to the Hotel where the guys are waiting.
23.05: Reunion time at the Astoria Hotel, Thessaloniki. Woop woop! :D



05.30: Rein makes his signature sleeping sound. Aaaaah, feels great to be back…



Peace out! B)

TorO

Day 10 - So far, Sofia

After playing the Oldies Pub in Sibiu sharing back line with Amorphis and having no backstage besides our beloved bus, the time has come to kick everything up a notch (or more like ten). Arena Armeec Sofia, as the name implies, is a huge indoor arena just outside the city center of the Bulgarian capital. In the morning hours, everyone had their opinion based on "facts" how many people could fit in here when fully seated. The debate is now over, as I've found the official number: 19,000! That's right.

Two good-looking stray dogs were in the bus parking spot when we arrived, so Carsten (our fantastic driver), gave away some bread to these small, nice, hungry friends to keep them busy somewhere else. These guys had their own cardboard boxes, so the new arena seemed to be their home. As we go through the enormous gates to this place, we realize this is something entirely different from what we played the night before. Actually, we've never played something even close to this, except the huge outdoor festivals we've done with Ihsahn (Brutal Assualt in Czech Republic had 15000-20000). So we're not complaining. The stage set up on the floor looks really nice, and we really can't wait to get on and play the best show possible. Like every sports arena, this place has a whole bunch of showers and dressing rooms so we're back to having our very own again, which feels great. This time I actually get a cable rather than Wi-Fi, which is much better, and I have plenty of space to set up my nice practice amp from Blackstar called HT1-R. For those of you who didn't already know, Leprous is now endorsed by Blackstar amps (www.blackstaramps.co.uk). I have the Series One 104EL34, which is probably the best-sounding amp I've tried, so I'm of course a very happy guitar player now!;D I bring the small 1W HT1R to practice and to have fun backstage ;)

The show was probably the best so far for everyone in the band. The sound on stage was great and the huge crowd really made some noise! We felt welcome, and as always, we tried giving them the best show we could ;) You be the judge..





After the show, we met up with two awesome guys we first met in Bulgaria last year. They once again took us to a good restaurant and we had a nice meal and a chat before we left at 2PM with the bus to head for another familiar place: Thessaloniki in Greece. Here we come!!


Regards,

Øystein

2011/11/13

Day 09 - Bucharest



Bucharest 09.11.11


I had planned on sleeping late today, but Einar woke me up, and pointed out that it was my turn to bear the heavy burden of the blog. Sooo…i skipped the comfort of the bunk bed, and stepped out into the harsh streets of bucharest to find something to write about. Talk about making sacrifices!!


Well, anyway. Leprous played in Bucharest on their last tour about a year ago, but for me, Bucharest was a new city to explore!

As usual, we don't have all the time in the world when it comes to exploring our surroundings, as we have to be back at the venue for soundcheck and such. So with limited time, Jonas, Einar and myself chose to go and have a look at the Palace of the Parliament, as the venue was located not too far away from it.

After asking for directions at the venue, walking for about 20 minutes, realizing the directions we got led us in the complete opposite direction of the actual palace, and walking for a while longer, we finally found the building.

The Palace of Parliament is said to be the second largest building in the world, and yes, it was big. Personally i think the walk trough parts of Bucharest was more interesting than seeing thepalace. A big building is just…a big building..


The venue for tonight is called The Silver Church, and it turned out to be a really cool place. Room for a lot of people, but still a cool "club" feeling.



Nearby the venue we found a music store. Good news for Tobias, who needed a new cymbal as the old one lasted just a few shows before it got a crack in it…due to extremely cool drumming i guess!


Ok, we had our usual soundcheck, dinner (which isn't always a good experience) and got ourselves gig-ready. As I mentioned earlier, Leprous played in Bucharest last year, before I joined the band. And apparently they had a really good time playing here back then, so everybody was really looking forward to this show.

It turned out to be really cool! Very energetic and enthusiastic crowd! we had some small technical/backline problems, but nevertheless it felt like the audience really appreciated the show! And despite the small, stupid problems (which nobody probably even noticed) we had a really good time as well!

So, At the end of the day, good times in Bucharest!



Finally a chance to get some laundry done tomorrow, in Sofia. Looking forward to it! Our stage outfits are starting to get kind of uncomfortable at this point, soaked in sweat each night, never being completely dry…yeah..you get the point…


Living the dream!


-Rein

2011/11/11

Day 8: Oldies

Todays venue (...) is called Oldies Pub....

This was of course something we looked very much forward to after a long day off.


Most of the venues at this tour is bigger places or clubs.

But heres Oldies...




It was quite hard to fit everything on stage.





Sibiu is a very nice old little town, with alot of charm. The weather was also nice.






Allthough it actually was a pubconcert, it went really well, the audience seemed happy. And we enjoyed doing a "different" kind of gig today!


- Tobias

Day 7: One night in Sibiu

Part one: Traveling with a kindergarden
After very few hours of sleep due to rather bumpy Slovakian, Hungarian and Romanian roads I wake up in a rather smelly bus. I'm not going into more specific details about what caused the smell in respect for the privacy of a certain person. Tobias is already up, watching "Merlin", season 1 on his laptop. I look out of the window of the bus, and se a quite nice romanian landscape outside.

Part two: Living the rock star dream...
Before I went to sleep I received a message from our tour manager that we were due to arrive in Sibiu around 1pm. Well, 5 hours later we finally arrived in the beautiful transylvanian town Sibiu. While the Amorphis guys checked in to a 4 star hotel, we had booked a somewhat more economical alternative; Pension Zansi. When we arrived at the hostel, they claimed they hadn't received a reservation from us (even though I showed them my booking confirmation). Hell yeah, the life of a rock star!! (Luckily they found a couple of rooms for us, which seemed much nicer than what we originally paid for.)



Part three: Wifi and a (very) local restaurant
As you probably have noticed earlier we're quite obsessed about having a proper wifi connection, so it was a huge bonus that the wifi in the hostel room worked perfectly fine!
After spending approximately one hour on going through all our daily internet routines, we agreed to go out to grab something to eat. We chose to follow the recommendations from the receptionist at the hostel ("very cheap and very good") we ended up at a (very) local restaurant nearby. When we opened the door and walked in, I felt that everyone was staring with a very skeptical eye ("Wait a minute, they're not regulars!!").

Part five: The menu
Since 60% of leprous are vegetarians it's rather complicated when the menu is in Romanian, and the waiter doesn't speak a single word of english. The carnivores could do the old "order without having a clue about what you're ordering" trick, but for the rest of us that was a bit more risky. After a while we managed to order something by using heavy body language. After a rather boring meal, it was time for dessert. Oh, don't even get me started. It was dough (without sugar) and a lot of sour cream with sugar-less jam at the top. I can eat almost anything, but this one gave me a struggle. To all our romanian friends, what the hell is this (to get a clear view, check out the video)???

Part six: Fire
It's always nice to get back to the hotel room after a "descent" meal. Back in the bed, we suddenly hear tons of sirens right outside of the window. We looked out of the window and saw a lot of fire trucks, ambulances and police cars. It seemed like it was a fire in the neighboring building. Not a very nice sight, but luckily it seemed like everyone got out of there without major injuries.

The end,
Einar

2011/11/08

Day 6: Jogging in Krakow

Day 6 - Krakow


I woke up around 11:30 AM, and went directly into the venue to check for wifi. No problem logging on, full reception and.........it’s........ NOT working! One more day without wifi!! Hiiiihaaaaa!!!!





The only positive thing about it was that we had no excuse for not going out for our daily 5 km run immediately. Tobias, Rein and Myself are doing this at least 4 times pr week in order to be in good shape for the live shows.




Usually I always go to the city center to check out the city in which we are playing, but since I had a lot of time to check out Krakow last year and because it was a sunday (and everything was closed) we all decided to stay at the venue. We had no proper backstage, so we had to hang around in the hallway.

Since we didn't get any time to explore the city today, we made something for all those rock and metal fans out there. Check out this great guitar tutorial video made by Øystein Skonseng Landsverk. We discussed whether he should reveal these secrets to the world or not, but as Øystein says: “With great power comes great responsibility”.



I’ve ran out of clean stage outfits now, and we’re finally at the point where I will have to re-use the already out-sweated outfits. Nothing like putting on clothes which still is wet from the concert 4 days ago!!


The concert went really good, and I manage to have even more energy than on yesterdays show. My voice is slowly starting to improve again, after yesterdays throat infection. Check out this clip from the concert!



All the best,

Einar

2011/11/07

Day 5: The Wonders of Warsaw

We're slowly getting used to sleeping on a bus again, but not all nights are easy. A bumpy ride from Vilnius (LT) made this one very long. It was one of those were you wake up constantly and do everything in your power to go back to sleep, and try to convince yourself you're feeling aaaaawfully tired. When you finally have to admit you're not, the only thing on your mind is how far away tomorrow is. Then suddenly you wake up in the morning, feeling very confused.. I'm sure you all know the feeling. Late nights make for late mornings, but I'm lucky to be in a bunk with a window, so today's wonderful sun made sure this one wasn't going to be a late one (what great combo with a bad night). Not really that bad considering all the great places we get to see. But on this tour, I'm determined to see as much as possible, so I bite the bullet and put some clothes on.

The venue, "Progresja", is located in the outer parts of the city. Like a lot of the venues in these Eastern countries this doesn't look like your average place to have a concert, but the place is big, cool and can fit 900 people. And for the first time on the tour, we get our very own backstage room, not to be split with Amorphis or Nahema (the other support band). Wi-Fi on the other hand, is not working. This effectively eliminates our strongest possibility of not talking to each other, so all five of us decide to get together and check out the city center of Warsaw. There's a tram line very close to the venue, and a 30 minute ride takes us very close to where we want to go. Two stops with the Metro after that do the trick.
We're given directions to "Old Town" by a local woman, and grab some coffee and hot chocolate the first chance we get. From time to time Einar misplaces some of his things (believe it or not), and a missing shoe in his stage outfit is the beginning of the first round of shopping thus far. Personally, shopping feels like being hit by an elephant's tranquilizer dart, but the other guys find some things to spend their money on. As we're currently moving further south each day, the temperature here makes a city walk feel very comfortable. Heading back to the Metro, we stumble across some awesome street musicians along the way (check it out in the video!).

Despite Einar having some troubles with his voice and me having a soar throat, we had a great time performing our set in front of the supportive Warsaw metal audience. We also had a chat with some fans after the show, which is always nice;) If you check out our Facebook page you'll find an album for the tour which has some nice photos from Warsaw. If you feel you need a description of the day with moving pictures as well, despite the awesome one already given in text, check out the video below!





If you want to see some really cool shots from the show, check out this link (let's hope this great photographer is ok with it):

Until next time.. pożegnanie!

Regards,
Øystein

Day 04 - Vilnius

Friday - 04.11.2011 (due to lack of steady internet access, this blog post is a few days late)

Hi there!
Today we arrived in Vilnius, Lithuania. Yeah!
Nice town, nice weather, and a nice concert!

For me, Vilnius was a new acquaintance, and it turned out to be a good experience! Some of us (Einar, Tobias and myself) took a walk around, and had lunch/breakfast, in the centre of the "old city" to start the day. Then we met up with Jonas and Øystein at the venue, and did the usual pre-show routine: Soundcheck, a quick jog, dinner and warming up.

SHOWTIME!
I think all of us agree that this was maybe the best experience of the tour so far! Great audience, good sound on stage, and the playing and energy on stage was really good! A really intense and cool experience!

Tonight we put a camera up on stage as well, so you can see what the show looked like from our point of view. Enjoy! :)




-Rein

2011/11/06

Day 03 - Riga

Check out the videoblog from day 3 on our tour!



We had a great time in Riga! And would love to come back soon!

2011/11/04

Day 2: First Show, Tallinn

It's the first day of the tour! The rest of the band arrived Tallinn early in the morning, while waiting on Einar we got the great oppurtunity to eat at the infamous Hesburger fast-food restaurant, were the food tasted like cardboard from hell. We got settled in the bandbus were sharing with Amorphis and it seems like a great place to live the next months. The crew and the other bands are all great guys, and that's a good starting point for the tour. We took a trip to the city centre of Tallinn to explore the greatness of the town, and Øystein, who has years of experience guiding people all around the world took us on a guided tour around as you can see in the video. The gig went well in general, a great start on the tour! Tommorow we'll play in Riga, Latvia. Hoping it to be as fun as today.
Check out the video, and follow the blog!





Cheers!!
- Jonas Kiste

2011/11/02

Day 1: Travel Day, Oslo - Tallinn

Day 1 - Oslo - Tallinn

Oooh yeah, we’re blogging again!!

One year has passed since the last tour, and we’re really looking forward to start a new adventure! The day started off with me getting picked up at my home in Oslo by my brother and my mother, who had agreed to drive me and the equipment from Oslo to Tallinn (while the rest of the guys are taking a plane early wednesday morning). The trailer was hooked on the car, and the trip began. After plenty hours in the car listening to 80´s heavy metal (on my brothers request), we arrived safely at the harbor in Stockholm approximately three hours before the ferry to Tallinn was leaving. Really not too much else to say about the trip from Oslo to Stockholm

Safe on board at the ferry, I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep at the king size bed in the cabin.

After getting a descent meal consisting a raw Tuna fillet I had to fry myself on a lava stone, we entered a really cozy piano bar. The extremely talented pianist / singer kept us busy singing along and dancing for several hours.

Rumors were spreading about a live band playing at an other section of the boat, and we literally ran to join the party. As you can see on the video below, we got an experience of a lifetime. These guys knows how to rock!

video

Time to go to sleep, and charge the batteries for tomorrows show.

Best,
Einar