It’s with mixed feelings I pack my things out of my Nightliner bunk. On one hand it’s sad to know that I won’t have Teemu snoring and farting over me anymore, but on the other hand it’ll be nice to get back home and shovel my driveway free of snow in – 27 °C for the next 18 weeks. :D Today I’m meeting my sister also, who I haven’t seen in a while.
A big thanks to Kenneth!
As I leave the bus this morning, Kenneth (Einar’s brother) is backing up with the gigantic Citroën Jumper that he has brought to us from Norway. This van will be the 18 hour transportation method home for Me, Øystein, Rein and all the equipment, while Kenneth, Einar and Tobias will be taking the slightly more luxurious, comfortable and speedy transportation method of flying from Amsterdam to Oslo the following day.
Last show of an amazing tour
The last show in Hengelo was a worthy way of ending this incredible tour, and after the show we said our goodbyes to all the great people we’ve been travelling with the last three weeks. I also met my sister who currently lives in Holland, which was also very nice. We really wanted to get the most out of these last hours along with our touring buddies, and so we did as so many times before:
Going home – Version 1
After the show it was time for Me, Øystein and Rein to drive all the equipment back to Norway. Of course first we had to drive around in Hengelo about 90 minutes to find an open gas station and some chips with “french fries with mayo”-taste, but then we were on our way. If I’m not to write anything about driving, sleeping in the passenger seat, filling diesel, sleeping on the ferry for 20 minutes, driving around in Oslo for 2 hours to find the key to our rehersal rooom so we could unload all our equipment, then I guess it’s not that much to write about. Except that it was really good to get back home. And even better: We got home before the trio that were flying home.
Going home – Version 2
Right before we started driving with the equipment, Einar, Kenneth and Tobias took the train heading for Amsterdam where they would be staying one night before flying home. Or so they thought… The next evening, after arriving at the airport a couple of hours prior to departure they made their way through all security checks all the way to the gate of their flight. But hey! Standing in front of the gate they got the message that they hadn’t checked in, and so they weren’t allowed to go with the plane. So back to downtown Amsterdam, booking some new flights and waiting for the next 24 hours to pass. Nothing wrong about Amsterdam, but after driving around to all Major cities in Europe for seven weeks, I guess getting stuck in one more wasn’t the dream situation for them. Well well, I guess driving home with the equipment isn’t so bad after all! ;)
Thanks for following the tour blog!
Hope you enjoy to get the inside look on how Leprous is taking over the world, step by step. We promise to update the blog whenever we feel like something is worth mentioning.
Until the next time, here’s an announcement from Einar:
Part 1: Tour Apathy
After being on tour for almost eight weeks (with a break in between) I've started being a bit more apathetic when it comes to check out towns/cities, and when it comes to getting up in the morning. Usually on this tour I've managed to get up at a reasonable hour, but today I slept to 3.30 PM. I have to admit that I really hate waking up that late, and I feel that I've thrown away the entire day.
Part 2: The Perfect Backstage Solution
After eating a rather late breakfast, we go to check out the backstage at Biebob. It's one of those backstage solutions where you are trapped when someone is playing a show. Before the show, we were interviewed by a really nice guy from the DPRP (Dutch Progressive Rock Page). Cool interview!
Part 3: Belgium Rocks!
Both in the 2010 tour and on this tour, the Belgian audience turned out to be more than great! Even though we had very limited Right after the show we had to get the hell out of there as soon as possible so we wouldn't be trapped in the basement during the entire Amorphis show. Luckily the bus was parked right outside the venue, so we spent most of the day there.
Part 4: Record Label Mingling
After the show, we had a visit from Melanie and Jessica from Century Media (the mother label of Inside Out). It's always really nice to meet the people you are to work with for many years in real life! We've met at least five employes from CM on this tour, and everyone has been really nice! Good sign!
All the best,
Our second long tour around Europe is now slowly coming to an end. We've had a tremendously good time! For the third last show, we are stopping once again in the Netherlands. This time at Dynamo in Eindhoven, the fifth largest city in the country. The venue can fit 550 people and tickets sales show there won't be much excess space inside, so we've got high expectations for tonights show!;) Although the stage isn't very spacious for our usual moves during the show, we're never discouraged.
The show was yet another good one;) After the show, there's an official after party with Amorphis at some place called "The Jack". After hanging out in the bus for a while, we decide to go looking for this mysterious place. We have no idea what this is, except a small flyer we got from Teemu. Let's go huntin'! One failed iPhone GPS later and some walking the old fashioned way, we end up in what seems to be THE place to be in Eindhoven right now: a true party street. Dutch people obviously appreciate night life as this street is stuffed with places to go. Roaming through party land, we discover "The Jack" eventually, but Amorphis is not there, nor is anyone else we know.. Seeing as this is place an excellent opportunity to have some fun, checking out as many places as we can before closing time at 4AM becomes our mission!
It turned out to be well worth the effort. To put it nicely; Eindhoven has a lot of interesting bars… ;)
To end this days report, have a look at a small video from the venue. This demonstrates our, and especially Einar's, intelligent humor. Lots of spare time on tour..? Don't know what you're talking about...
Allright, another small German town.
We got a shuttle from the bus today, as the bug nightliner would have trouble in the small streets around the venue. The bus was parked up on a small ridge, outlooking a beautiful scenery of the countryside bathed in morning fog. We jumped in the shuttle, and drove it to the city centre. We checked out the venue (cool place), had breakfast, enjoyed the internet connection, and took a quick walk around the city centre. It turned out to be a nice, but rather empty (at the moment) city. Next up was dinner, and the usual pre-show routines. Put on our extremely smelly stage clothes, and got ready to rock Aschaffenburg’s socks off.
Cool show! Not so much space on stage, but the response and the general feeling after the show was good. After-show food, showers and shuttle back to the bus completes a nice, but not too exiting day (except the show of course, which is always exiting)
Tobias, whose bunk is adjacent to mine, woke up today with the good old feeling of ”What happened last night?”, as the sensation of Teemu’s shoe remarked it’s presence on his interscapular area.
I figured I might as well just leave the two alone, so I made my way towards the venue for today, Retro Music Hall.
Tonight’s show was a lot of fun, as both the sound on stage and the audience was great. In the following clip you will see some live footage from the show, but also get an insight in how we plan the show right before we get on stage. Since we’re talking in Norwegian the clip has English subtitles.
The show was also an energetic and painful experience. During the show I hit my head several times in my mic, got shocked by my mic, hit my mic of the mic stand with my guitar and in the end I managed to get my hair stuck in my 8-string guitar (as shown on the picture below).
Back to the 80’s
In the effort of trying to repair the damages to my hair after the show, Rein went a bit far with the scissors, so I ended up with with a hair due from another decade. Well, what’s more rock’n’roll than the 80’s?
Our last hours in Prague was spent the same way as many days before: playing FIFA. As you can see we have now managed to clear the merch boxes in the most crucial area of the TV, but still: feel free to buy some of our merch, so our FIFA experience get’s even better! $)
Part 1: Hotel? No thanks.
Today the bus parked outside a well known venue for us, Szene in Vienna. We played there in 2010 with Therion, and two weeks later we went there to pick up the camera TorO forgot there at the gig. We had actually booked a hotel for this night, even though we would prefer just staying at the bus. At the bus we have really comfortable beds and tons of entertainment, while the hotel only can offer beds. Going to the hotel also means that we have to bring all our stuff, take the metro 45 minutes, check out next morning and go back to the bus. After getting the approval from the bus driver, we decided to stay in the bus, even though we had already paid for the hotel.
Part 2: Exploring Vienna for the third time
During the 2010 tour we had one show day in Vienna, and one off day a couple of weeks later. That means that we have already seen a lot of this beautiful city. Today I had a visit from my fiancee Marita, so that gave me a perfect opportunity to guide her all around the city. Even though I usually consider off days to be very boring, it was very nice to just walk around the two of us.
Part 3: Showtime
Being back at a venue you’ve played before always feels cool. The sound was good on stage, the audience was quite good and in general we were quite satisfied.
Day 15 - Budapest!
Ahh, back in Hungary! Last year we played a show here in a venue called Petofi Hall, a huge venue located in a park close to the city center. This time, it's a smaller one called Club 202 (http://www.club202.hu). It's a spacious venue with a kind of Hawaiian-feel to it. The bus is parked just outside the venue, which we love. It becomes your home on tour, and with such a great bus it's annoying not being able to access it during the day. Shuttle trips to the venue are also not the most fun part of it all.
Like most days, we can exit the bus, reach out and grab the door handle for the venue. Woohoo! 21st century laziness!;D Our backstage is located upstairs, through a hallway (still looking like a bar on Hawaii) right next to the stage. Always very convenient!;)
While we're at it, let's take a closer look at how we rate our backstage:
This can make a bad backstage turn into a good one. Although it may sound utterly astonishing, touring is actually a quite intimate affair, all in all! Space is essential, and much appreciated.
This is always very important. You can't stay in the backstage the whole day, so you end up always stealing somebody's chair/sofa etc as soon as they leave. There should be enough chairs for everyone, and then some.
Oh boy. This is.. well.. mandatory!;) Absence of wi-fi can ruin an Internet-junkie's day! Which somehow we all seem to be. At the same time, an extremely slow connection can be even worse. Without it, we might suddenly start talking to each other.. and we can't have that, can we?
As mentioned the ideal situation is a backstage right next to the stage (the word "backstage" kind of explains itself?).
Mmmm. This is high up on our list. I will also mention noise protection here. Silence is always nice;)
Good catering can really make a difference!;) Plenty of drinks and access to delicious food 24/7.
So let's sum up our results. We're really not asking for a lot:
- more than enough space
- location next to the stage
- 100% noise protection
- about 100 very comfortable seats
- an extremely fast Internet connection
- the best food money can buy and tons of drinks to go with it
What? Is that too much to ask? ;)
As we didn't film anything interesting today, I've decided to finally share an old movie from our first day in Berlin (we spent a day there before we went to Jena for our first show). You won't believe who we met on the street...
(the video is made short in respect of his privacy)
The bus couldn't stay at the venue today, so we had two options. We could either get up early when the bus stopped at the venue, or we could sleep in and take a taxi back to the venue from wherever the bus parked. Surprisingly enough, I was the only one who got up early. Well, supposedly Einar did as well, but he went straight to the city center of Bratislava, and I didn't see him at all until later.
So, as soon as I got off the bus and into the venue, I realized it wasn't too much to do around the area. The time before soundcheck was mainly spent lying in a sofa listening to music. At one point, I tried to walk down to the city center, without knowing either the distance or the direction. Turned out I chose the right direction, but the distance and the cold made me turn pretty quickly.
The others arrived in time for soundcheck. Turned out we made a new "longest-soundcheck-on-tour-record". Not our fault though. Its a weird thing to do, and we've noticed it a few places: When there's a broken cable at the venue, they just put it back in the same case as the working cables…makes no sense to me. So, at one point they tried at least five cables before they found one that that worked. And since they put all of them back in the same place, the next band playing there will go through the exact same procedure. Weird!
Before showtime we end up being pretty frustrated. both because of the soundcheck, and because of our very, very, very small backstage (picture).
Luckily, the show turned out to be really cool! The crowd was great, and everybody was having a really good time on stage! Its always great to get a bad pre-show feeling proven wrong!
Totally out of the context, here is a video of Øystein talking about guitar playing and the Norwegian language.
At the venue of Explosiv in Graz, we’re granted our very own 3-bed hostel room as back stage. Suitable for Einar, who’s delicate sleep was continuously interrupted by Rein’s Led Zeppelin show down in the main lounge, up until 9 a.m. in the morning. By waking this revengeful sleeping giant (Einar), I guess the war of keeping people awake at night is on…
Hostel merch try-outs
At the back stage, The Man-Eating Tree has decided to try out their latest design on me and Einar. This is how it went:
Anti also has an additional merch suggestion, but me and Einar decided it may be a bit awkward to try that one the same way.
After the show we went for a walk towards the city centre of Graz, and after a couple of detours we found ourselves in the middle of an abandoned Graz, since the 6th of January turns out to be some kind of national holiday or something. Nothing’s open except strip clubs and kebab parlors as far as the eye can see. Just as we are about to give up finding something eatable, we find ourselves outside a tapas restaurant, which turns out to be the perfect way of ending my ascending hunger sensation. Graz was a nice city by the way.
Back from our trip downtown, I’m given a warm welcome by Teemu who’s bunk is above mine. Aaaah, nice to be back at the bus. :)
Part 1: Laundry time
Having only three sets with stage clothes on tour, forces you to play a large percentage of the concerts with sweat (yes, we sweat a LOT on stage) and smelly stage clothes. Therefore it’s always a nice surprise when there is a laundry facility at the venue. I managed to get all my clothes washed, which already made the day slightly better than the average tour day.
Part 2: Express sightseeing in Salzburg city
Salzburg was a city I had heard so many good things about, so I was very eager to check it out! Tobias, TorO and myself headed down to what my iPhone claimed to be the city center, and we found ourselves extremely disappointed. It was a boring and grey area with nothing special to see. Well, we found out that my “trusty” iPhone wasn’t as trustworthy as I thought, and we decided to continue our quest to find Salzburg city center. Being Norwegian means that you try everything before you ask someone for the way, but after a while we give up and ask one of the locals. We managed to find the city center, which turned out to be even more beautiful than I’d hoped for. Unfortunately we were running out of time, and didn’t have the chance to be there for more than a couple of minutes due to early soundcheck.
Part 3: Nosebleed
The concert starts and everything seems good, until i suddenly starts bleeding heavily from my nose in the second song. I’m not sure what caused the nosebleed, but when I’m on stage I have so much adrenaline that I don’t notice such things. I didn’t have any paper on stage, so I just had to continue playing/singing/headbanging with blood all over my face/clothes/keyboard. I have to say that when I was screaming “Tonight I’m passing away” with blood all over me, the whole thing felt slightly more realistic than usual, hehe.
A quote from a fan I met outside: “I guess the nosebleed was intentional, as both you and the midget on your backdrop was bleeding heavily from the nose”. So yeah, blood is always good for the image.
Let's start out with…
Our fantastic bus driver from Coach Service have yet to be seen mad (quite the merit driving bands), and he's doing a wonderful job. Everything you could wish for! Because Thomas has quite the different schedule from us (driving all night) a picture of this handsome man could not be taken at the moment.
This finnish madman is the master of all the merchandise that Amorphis and Leprous have brought along for the ride. He himself claims he can sell a t-shirt to a statue. Impressive! Why do we still have merch left!? ;)
Master of lights. This man has been giving us better and better lights throughout the tour, and he's been nothing but a pleasure to work with. Here you can see him in his usual black cap ;)
Wizard of sound. This guy makes sure everybody's ears bleed! Rumor has it he's been running with the Finnish kings from Amorphis for 7 years. As you can see, Sami is very enthusiastic and gave his hair dresser a thumbs up!;D
The tour manager. The German general of our 7-week journey throughout the corners of Europe. He makes sure everything is in order, and keeps everyone happy! ;) Just recently, he's been joining in on our FIFA fun! (football game on Playstation)
Our beloved stage manager. Along with Falle and Matti this guy's got the sickest work schedule and work ethic ever. They work pretty much around the clock, and it's not easy to find people in this business as nice as these guys;) If you have a stage you need managed, call Masi. Simple as that.
Apart from the bands themselves of course, these guys together is what keeps this tour going!;) To finish off today's blog, here's a video of Tor Oddmund working his magic on Aksu's hurting back (drummer of TMET):
Well, everything didn't happen. Actually, most of our time in Saarbrücken was spent relaxing in the hotel room.
The first day we only got out of our rooms to get some food late in the evening. Probably sounds boring, but being the 1. Jan, the city was basically closed anyway. Nevertheless we found a really, really good Italian place to eat. It was one of those places where they make your food right in front of you when you make the order. Cool place! Not much else to write about the first day in Saarbrücken i'm afraid. After our meal we went back to the hotel for the rest of the night.
Most of us hadn't been to Luxemburg before, and being just about an hour away from Saarbrücken by bus, we decided to go check it out. So we did. Turned out it was just an ordinary european city (not that we expected anything else). We spent some hours walking around, eating, and complaining about the weather. So nothing special about the place, exept the cool valley in the middle of the city, but now we have been there. After the bus trip back to Saarbrücken, and a couple of hours in the hotel, we ended up eating at the same place as the day before. Talk about being creative! I even ate the same thing as I did the day before…still really, really good food!
Day 3. - Showtime
We got up a little late for the check-out at the hotel (as usual). And decided to go the venue right away. The place was within walking distance, so we packed our bags and set out. Not much more interesting to tell about before the show, but the venue was cool, and the show was fun.
Our stage manager Masi got up extra early today to give the two support acts their very own breakfast.
Pratteln boxing cup ‘11
To start of the day we arrange a little boxing cup between Tomi and Esa from Amorphis and Me and Einar. A couple of tender noses, and bruised eyelids later and we’re ready for sound check.
OMG, my face is ruined!
A taste of Norway
The sound check made it clear that the stage and monitoring is still züperfraiches, and we celebrated this by performing an ancient traditional Norwegian custom, as documented in the picture below. This awesome performance was of course met by enormous applause and astonishment from the spectators.
Upper lips on MacBook Air
Tobias welcomes you to 2012
Playing tonight was really great, and after the show it was time for:
Well, first it was Amorphis, but after that it was:
Still a couple of hours until the clock struck twelve, but when that happened it was time for:
Tobias to put on his glasses and welcome the new year on stage in front of everybody!!! :D
Here’s a live clip of Waste of Air, plus a brief montage of how the night was celebrated:
Have a great 2012!
Part 1: Karlsruhe + FIFA 2011 = <3
After eating breakfast myself, TorO, Øystein, Rein and Esa (from Amorphis) decided to take a trip to check out Karlsruhe city center. The local crew informs us that the tram station is very close to the venue, so we’re good to go! Our main goal with this trip was to buy PS3 games for the bus, and FIFA was our main priority. As all the latest FIFA games are rather similar, we decided to buy last years edition for half the price.
Part 2: H&M
We have a confession to make: Leprous are not very experimental when it comes to clothes. No matter which country we are in, we always end up in the same store; H&M (and if we’re in a crazy mood; Zara). This was of course also the case in Karlsruhe, and at least Rein ended up with two full bags with clothes/shoes from H&M. Yeah, so cool to be abroad buying exactly the same clothes we can get in our home town for approximately the same price.
Part 3: A pleasant surprise
We have barely played in Germany before this tour, and never in Karlsruhe, so we didn’t have a clue what to expect for tonight’s show. When we enter the stage we see a very enthusiastic German crowd, which gives us an even bigger to reason to give them the show of their lives. The concerts went very well, and we are all in a very good mood after the show.
Part 4: Aki and Tini
After the show we go out to meet our friends and fans Aki (from Finland) and Tini (from Germany, but also lives in Finland). Aki and Tini are what we can call true loyal fans. For the last year and a half they’ve seen us in Atlanta (USA), Oslo (Norway), Copenhagen (Denmark), Tallinn (Estonia) and Karlsruhe (Germany)! So they’ve traveled to five different countries to see Leprous, and for that we’re really grateful! Great guys! I feel that we really owe them a concert in Helsinki soon, so that they don’t have to travel all over the world every time they’re up for a Leprous show.