photo by (c) Psyanide

As a first step, I would like to welcome you both to Metal Invader, as well as the Lordi family. Now, how did Lordi come up in your life? I believe you were familiar with them back in the day, but how did you end up IN Lordi?

Yes I was very much familiar, as I think everyone in Finland is. I got a very surprising phone call from Mr. Lordi himself. I was suggested to him by a person who knows the band and I’ve worked with before.

When you were about to join the band, were you concerned about the different playing styles? I mean, you are certainly really technical, and know your instrument for good, while Lordi’s riffs are more, simple, raw, rock ‘n’ roll like?

I really wasn’t. Lordi’s music in general is very much where I feel most comfortable at. There’s actually a lot of not so simple stuff in the catalogue.

How did you end up being a musician, prior to being Kone? I mean, what is your background as a guitar player?

I’ve always been interested in music and it goes way back into my early childhood. I started taking guitar lessons at around the age of 8 or 9 and it quickly grew on me. So far nothing has been as interesting to me.

What would you be doing if you were not a guitar player/musician?

I really have no idea.

What are the pain points that make an excellent guitar player?

I could write a book on this subject. Knowing “your place” in different musical situations is key. Vibrato is a deal breaker and separates the good from legends. Rock and heavy metal music needs a very good right hand technique and time is essential. I just listed a bunch of stuff I need to practice a lot…

How do you take care of your gear (like, the guitars, not the ones that keep you alive 🙂 )

Badly. This is a very messy job and I really need to step up my maintenance game. I like the scratches and dents that guitars get along the way.

Apart from being a guitar player, what were your first albums and touch in general with heavy metal? Your top 5 records ever, as well as your favorite song ever?

My first metal album was Rock In Rio by Iron Maiden. There were some others but that was the first. Apart from borrowing the first Kiss album from a library. My top five albums list changes on a daily basis, so here’s what gets me going today:

1. Iron Maiden – Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (this never changes)

2. Megadeth – Rust In Peace

3. Def Leppard – Hysteria

4. Qüeensryche – Operation Mindcrime

5. Van Halen – 1984

What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?

Iron Maiden 19.07.2008 in Tampere, Finland

You have a tour coming up, after the summer festival season. What is being prepared for that tour, are you excited to be on the road with these guys?

I really can’t share any secrets yet! At least I’ll need to learn a bunch of songs I haven’t yet played! I could not be more excited to get on the road with the band. These guys are such awesome musicians and a real joy to hang out with.

Were there any moments that you might have felt weird before your first Lordi shows, given that the responses to Amen’s departure were quite harsh?

It’s a subject I’ve been thinking a lot. I have been imagining how it would be like for me to see my favourite band with a new guitarist and I totally understand the feelings of longtime fans of Lordi.

Which Lordi songs are you mostly looking forward to play? Are you afraid of the heat that’s coming up during summer festivals in other European countries, which will be a lot of hotter than Finland?

I can’t wait to play the Abracadaver stuff! Also I have found a lot of songs from the previous albums that I’d like to play, for example Down With The Devil, Scare Force One, Nailed By The Hammer of Frankenstein, They Only Come Out At Night etc. The heat doesn’t really bother me. It is going to be sweaty at 10 degrees celcius and it’s going to be sweaty at 35 degrees. For a guitarist it’s nice to have warm hands!

Speaking of music in general, what would you change in the music industry of today?

Don’t get me started…

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given, and by whom?

A very good friend and a mentor told me the golden musician rule: “when the phone rings, first you answer yes, then ask questions”

Is there any message you might want to spread to the Lordi fans that await for you across Europe?

We will come. We will play loud. It’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait to see you all, thank you for being there.