Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sonata Arctica este fin de semana

Sonata Arctica regresan

Sonata Arctica, el grupo de origen finlandés actuarán los días 11, 12 y 13 en España.

El grupo liderado por Tony Kakko con más de 10 años de bagaje actuará en la Península los próximos días 11, 12 y 13 de marzo. El grupo tocará el día 11 en Barcelona en la sala Apolo, en Madrid el día 12 en La Riviera y finalmente en Bilbao el día 13 en la sala Rock Star Live. Sus teloneros para la gira Europea seran:Labyrinth y Triosphere.

Las entradas se pueden adquirir en www.ticktackticket.com

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Getting to know: NEGATIVE

Para leer la entrevista en español por favor visita / For the interview in Spanish please visit:

Getting to Know Negative: Negative People with a lot of emotion

On January 23 the melodic hardrock group visited Madrid where we had a chance to chat with lead singer and creator of the band Jonne Aaron.

Soft ballads, explosive guitar riffs, melodies and lyrics dealing with life itself, that is Negative, the group of rock n 'roll from Finland who visited Spain last January.

Created in 1997 the band has released 6 albums: "War of Love" (2003), "Sweet & Deceitful" (2004), "anorectic" (2006), "Karma Killer" (2008), "God likes your style "(2009) and the recent “Neon ".

Although the group began with just three members, it’s currently formed by Jonne Aaron (vocals), Antti Anatomy (bass), Jay Slammer (drums), Larry Love (guitar) and Mr. Snack (keyboards).

7 pm on January 23rd, before the door of the Sala Ritmo y Compas people already waited to enter. Within the venue, the group prepared the stage and relaxed before the concert: Jay and Larry tested their instruments, Snack went from one place to another arranging skeletons and eating and Antti, with no shoes, read a book in the corner of a couch in the dressing room. Meanwhile Jonne, visibly tired, sat with us and answered our questions with a smile and a lot of kindness.


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Question: How was the Barcelona show?

Answer: It was really nice, I mean, to me as a singer it was one of the roughest on this part of the tour.

Q: How come?

A: When you do so many shows in a row your body is getting exhausted in some point, but I made it, and I gave all I could from myself and we did a great job, I suppose.

Q: How are you feeling now in Madrid?

A: I feel good. It’s good to be back. Actually, this is the venue where we started here in Spain; it was where we played our first show ever.

Q: How would you describe Negative to someone who’s never heard your music?

A: Beautiful, [pauses], aggressive, maybe not aggressive, but, unacceptable.

Q: Unacceptable?

A: [Speaks in Finnish with Antti which corroborates that it is unacceptable, and suggests surprising.]Yes, yes, Surprising.

Q: Surprising and emotional maybe? You guys classify your music as emotional rock n’roll?

A: Yes, beautiful melodies, twisted with rough guitars, that’s Negative.

Q: It’s been more than 10 years since you guys created Negative. How would you say you’ve evolved?

A: Oh my gosh, first of all, we’ve learned how to play, for example. We were really young though when we started, so… The main idea is the same, it’s still there that it should be fun, that it should be a whole new adventure every time when we go to the studio and start writing new songs. How can I say it? Of course as a human being we’ve grown pretty much. I’m 27, I was around 18 when the first album came out, so I’ve spent my whole teenage years and all the years until now with this band. So I think Negative is a huge part of us, you definitely cannot deny that. And music wise we’ve become even better. But you have to value that shitty side of you as well, because that is the naïve side. When you create something new, you can’t become too good. [Laughs].

Q: You have to keep your feet on the ground?

A: Exactly, exactly.

Q: What are Negative’s plans for the future?

A: Touring, touring, touring, nothing else. Just touring and promoting the new album. And at some point, usually when the new album is out, you already start looking forward to the future with new songs, for the next album. But not yet, we don’t have to hurry with that. We’re going to take our time with touring. We’ve deserved it and I think so because it took almost two years to get the new album together. It was a long process.

Q: I was going to ask you that. How was the process of creating this album? You recorded in Los Angeles with Grammy winner Warren Riker. How was that experience?

A: Ah, you can only imagine [laughs], it was really nice and afterwards it feels even better, [laughs]. You know what I mean? When you get some view on it and some perspective.

Usually we’ve done all the albums in Finland and in our home neighbourhood, as you can say. For example, “Karma Killer” was recorded in the heart of Tampere, and the farthest place we ever went to was Hollola in the middle of Finland, precisely 100 km away from our hometown, and now we were in LA so it was a big change.

Q: Are you thinking about entering the US market?

A: Of course, it’s a big step. I think we still have a lot of things to do in Europe and Asia. For example, we’ve never played in UK and that is the country, territory where we are heading next. After that, maybe it’s some kind of bridge to America, when you make something happen in the UK.

Q: I read that when you recorded the second album, “Sweet and Deceitful” you were about to give up on gigs. How are you feeling about them now?

A: I don’t know, for some reason, usually when you’ve just released your album or made it you get some kind of depression. You can compare it to the depression when a woman is giving birth to a child. They’re getting a little bit down because after 9 months… I would compare it to the process of recordings, but it disappears, you just need some time for yourself. It’s just that I got scared of that, and we all got, well, I don’t know about the rest of the guys, but I got scared, and I felt like music is really exhausting. When you think about it all the time… the process is going on all the time and it’s hard to turn yourself off, so you just have to deal with it. It is part of being what you are.

Q: Do you think gigs are important? For example, in Spain there are a lot of illegal music downloads and they say that what is keeping the music industry working are the gigs.

A: Ok, I agree. In our scene, in rock music there is no shortcut, there isn’t any time machine to happiness, it’s all about hard work and long roads and we’re playing to the people, that’s why Negative was formed, for making shows to the people.

Q: To connect with the people?

A: Exactly, exactly, spreading the message of Negative. That’s the best way to get known as a band.

Q: How about social networks, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter?

A: It’s really important now a days and I think that the net is getting more and more important for Negative. For example, if you think about America both northern and southern…In general, we’re getting a lot of feedback all the time from all over the world from those countries we haven’t been able to visit yet, so it’s been a blessing for us. First I thought it was a curse but then I realized it’s good.

Q: Why a curse? Was it because of all the fake profiles that exist about you?

A: Oh yeah, there is a lot of them, I’ve heard about that, I’ve checked it myself [laughs] ‘cause I got so curious. It’s good. For example, we have a really active Facebook profile on the internet. We update it almost every day, especially on tour, on the road. It’s good and we’ve seen the reaction of the people and the crowd and they really like it and it’s important to stay in touch with the fans, I mean, not fans, with Negative people, that’s how we call them. [Laughs].

Q: On your webpage there is something that says “Negative Legion”, what is that?

A: It’s coming up. It’s going to be like… Kiss has their army, it is going to be precisely like that. Maybe more like fan club meets street team kind of thing. It’s gonna be nice.

The main idea is that there will be a Negative chat were you can chat but you have to log in and you have to have all those passwords and stuff like that. I think that it is part of why we come to play for the people and making shows. It’s part of that because the idea is that in each country there is going to be an international street team, “Negative Legion”, and there will be a president for each country who leads that countries stuff and there will be some posters you can print out, stickers and you can spread the idea and message of our band, and I mean, for free. It’s not your duty or anything like that. It’s for fun. If you feel so you do it. You can be part of Legion if you’re just a lazy ass and want to stay at home and enjoy the music, whatever. But the main idea is that once a year we’re going to have this “Negative Legion awards” in Finland and the president from each country will pick the most hard workers, the most active people and probably they will show up and we’re gonna play there and meet with these people and have some nice tasting food and stuff like that. Some day it’s going to be like the Oscar gala, it will be broadcasted on TV, that‘s the highlight in mind. In 20 years, in 50 years, but you have to start somewhere, even Bill Gates started from a garage.

Q: What has your inspiration been for Neon? Why that title?

A: The working title was a whole lot different at first. Before we even knew that we were going to go to Los Angeles, it was really something different. Soon after arriving in LA we realized that there is a lot of hope in this album and it’s much brighter and it’s not as dark as the previous one, “Karma Killer”, for example.

We just started to think about a different title and I think Larry came up with Neon. First of all I didn’t like it but I had to choose it. And after chewing it and tasting it for a while, it started to feel like, oh my God, that’s cool, I like it. And we got all these great neon lights, different kind of neon signs to decorate the studio.

Actually there are many meanings behind the name, Snack found out that in ancient Greece it means something new. And in Finnish it means “they are” Negative Ne, they, on, are, so that’s the thing, it was some kind of breaking point.

Q: How about the inspiration for the album, going from negative to this new vibe?

A: The inspiration, oh my God, what is the inspiration? Life itself.

A: Snack says: California sun.

A: California sun, Hotel California, [laughs]. That was the inspiration on this one.

Q: Any words for fans and future fans?

A: What would I say… it sounds old cliché, I would like to say, enjoy your time because this life is just a flash in eternity so try to make it possible and don’t take any stress, extra stress [laughs], and enjoy the ride.

And it’s nice to come around time after time with Negative. And we are really glad to see that there are people coming to see our concerts time after time and this second round in Spain especially. It has proved that it’s worth to come around again. So, I’m really looking forward to the next tour. And remember, join us on Facebook, bring your friends and stay Negative.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Negative: Rock n' Roll with true feeling (Concert review)

Para leer la versión en español por favor visita/For the version in Spanish please visit:http://www.lahuelladigital.com/?p=10721

Negative: Rock n' Roll with true feeling

The Finnish group left an irremovable imprint in Madrid during their concert on January 23rd

Young or old, accompanied or alone, boys or girls, no matter the age, gender or who they listen it with, the music of Finnish band, Negative, is suitable for all and the concert held on January 23rd at Ritmo and Compás was a great example of this.

five o'clock, when the group was barely arriving at the venue there was already a small queue waiting for the show. Initially, the doors were scheduled to be opened at eight o'clock in the afternoon, but due to problems outside the organization, the welcoming band was cancelled and the doors would finally open at nine.

At about 21:05 the crowd which had been steadily growing as the day wore on was allowed inside. Little by little the concert venue filled up and after another hour long wait, the opening chords of the group’s intro began at 22:00. Onto the small stage of the Sala Ritmo y Compas climbed Mr. Snack on keyboards, Larry Love on guitar, Jay Slammer on drums and Antti Anatomy on bass. The voice was that of Jonne Aaron, the group’s creator.

The catchy "No One Can Save Me Tonight" from the latest album, “Neon”, was the song chosen to begin the show. Next they played "The Moment of Our Love" single from their debut album “War of Love”.

While Jonne bounced back and forth around the stage, singing and dedicating smiles and winks, Jay hit the battery with emphasis, Antti stuck out his tongue and did not bother to fix the handkerchief that had slid over his eyes, and Larry and Snack sung the choirs while playing their instruments with intensity.

The audience was likewise displaying their affection for the band as they loudly sang to the lyrics and jumped or lifted their fists.

The room vibrated with songs like "Giving up", "Blood on Blood" or their particular version of "My, My / Hey Hey" by Neil Young. The sound quality was good and the group was clearly giving it all. Pouring sentiment into every song, it was clear why these guys define their music as “emotional rock n’ roll.

After singing their latest single "End of the Line", Jonne announced "a different version of Neverending Parade" and left the stage accompanied by all but Snack and Larry. Without saying anything they both began to play an amazing instrumental version of keyboards and guitar of "Never ending parade" that left everyone speechless.

They stepped off the stage to staggering applause and cheers that continued even as Jonne returned on set, this time with an acoustic guitar in hand. After thanking Larry and Snack whose names were still being chanted, he thanked all who participated in the European tour, his manager, sound technicians, marketing vendor, the bus drivers and of course, everyone present.

He then explained he was going to play something special, a song which lyrics he had written at age 16 and apparently touched he launched himself into singing "Still Alive".
The small venue allowed for an intimate and welcoming atmosphere, and the possibility of hearing the comments shouted from the audience. That led to more than one joke, for example, Jonne betting that he would give 5 Euros to the person that guessed the next song correctly, asking people if they were having a good time and humming the chorus of "I gotta feeling" from The Black Eyed Peas, or discovering that in the room there were people of all nationalities: Swiss, German, Finnish, English and Spanish of course.
Since it was the last performance of the European tour, Jonne invited the attendees to suggest a song to sing acoustically. An English man suggested "Lust n 'needs" and Jonne readily agreed, admitting that the last time he had sung that song he had done it wrong because he started from the second verse. This time there were no errors. Furthermore, Jonne bettered himself and adeptly bonded one song with another, almost moving the audience to tears as he sung with passion and sensibility the end of "Fucking Worthless."

After the heart-warming acoustic, the group reappeared and the room went wild once more. "Jealous Sky", "Frozen to Lose It All", "Since You've Been Gone" the never before played live "Days I'm living for" and finally, "Planet of the sun" confirmed the group's powerful live act.

23:15 the lights were dimmed and Negative said goodbye. Not easily fooled by this quick retreat the crowd began to chant the typical Spanish “oe oe”. The group soon returned to end a superb concert with 3 more songs, including "Love that I lost" and "I won’t let go."

23:45 the real end arrived. Negative took several bows, threw sweaty towels, drum sticks and left to an applause that did not die down for at least a good 5 minutes.

The magic of the night had ended, but the vibrating public left behind after the roller coaster of feelings that the group had evoked was proof of what Negative is really good at: powerful and emotional rock n’ roll.


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Monday, January 24, 2011

Interview with: Lacrimas Profundere

For the interview in Spanish/ Para leer la entrevista en español: http://www.lahuelladigital.com/?p=10219

Interview with...

LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE: Out of Nowhere, going Somewhere

Rock and sad is how the German band Lacrimas Profundere describe their own music. Although it was initially formed as a band of doom metal with classical elements, the group created in 1993 by Oliver Schmid has transformed their music over the years.

It was in 2002 with the melancholic gothic rock album "Fall, I Will Follow" where they found their identity. Their latest album, released in April 2010, "The Grandiose Nowhere" is a demonstration of this unique blend of ballads and metal.

After several lineup changes, the group currently consists of lead guitarist and composer Oliver, Rob Vitacca on the microphone, Tony Berger as a second guitar, and Korl Fuhrmann on drums.

On the 10th of December Lacrimas Profundere played at the Temple of Metal Festival in Bilbao where we had the opportunity to talk to them and ask Oliver some questions.

Question (Q): Tell us about this latest album, The Grandiose Nowhere- What was your inspiration?

Answer (A): We did a tour last year in October, and after the tour we had some kind of burnt out, but the studio was booked and the flight for the producer was tight so we said ok, let’s go record it.

We send stuff via mail. I recorded my songs and send it to him, he put his vocals on it and for 6 months or so like this we built a demo together. After the tour, it was like a month on the road with Deathstars, Dopestars and Diary of Dreams, a very huge German band, and after this tour it was too much; too much of beers, too much of alcohol. And we said, hey, let’s do nothing for a year. But then we entered the studio recorded this album and this album throws a speck into the business in my opinion. Everybody loves the songs of the record, the whole band members.

Normally, if you record a CD you have your favorites. Normally what is your favorite is not the favorite of all the other members. One member says oh I like these 5 songs, I like these 3 songs, I don’t like this song blablabla. This was the first time in my life the band said hey, we love all the songs and that makes me a little bit proud.

If you produce an album the next thing is to put the songs in the right direction. Then the next thing is when the label says you have to shoot a video clip and asks you which song you would prefer. That’s the next fight in the band: I want this, and I want this, and in this record “the Letter” was the song the whole band said yes, that’s it.

The whole press came to the studio and listened to the CD for the first time and the guy that writes the review for the biggest German Goth magazine, came up to me after listening to “the Letter” patted me on the back and said “fantastic song. I like it.” There were so many people that loved the songs.

There were many first times on this album; first time the whole band doesn’t have to fight, first time everyone likes the videoclip, first time the whole band loves all the songs.

Q: A new start?

A: Not for the band because the people outside didn’t know that we hated each other [they all laugh].Perhaps it’s a new start, we’ll have to try and see how long it lasts.

Q: What was the best part of recording the album?

A: Someone says: Oli was not in the studio. [General laughter]

A: We recorded this album in parts and if you went to the studio you played your part and then you drove back home. But, if I sit at home and I know the other guys record their stuff it’s something like this, I have to call: [pretends to dial] -hey, hey what’s up?- and they say “no, no, no, not Oli again, hey, please let us work.- 20 minutes later, -hey guys please do this and this and that and that” – “ok we will do it”. and then, [pause] I’m sure that, [pause] This time he’s not my best friend anymore (referring to Rob) and we have fights together not with fists but with words. But at the end the result is the important part.

The best part of recording the CD… There is no best part because recording is hard work, I hate to record CD’s, but the best part is when you listen to the songs the first time, when they are finished in the studio and all the parts are together: the keyboards, the vocals and stuff like that and you get an idea how the songs work. And the next best part is always when the label sends us the finished product CD and it’s all new and exciting and you kiss it, smell it, [laughs].

Q: This is the last 2010 gig for the Grandiose Nowhwere, what are the plans for the future?

A: I have a family, two little kids and for me it’s very, very, good to celebrate Christmas and the holidays with my family without the band and stuff like that. There was one time we had a tour and we had a concert to play on the 25h of December. And I went home to my family and all the other stayed on Christmas day. I tried to go home to my family and it was drive with train from 2 o’clock in the morning to the next airport in Frankfurt. Then waiting, waiting, waiting to arrive in the airport at 4 and wait till 7 or 8 o’clock till the next plane left to Munich. But if you arrive in Munich I’m not at home. I have to wait ‘till the next train and about 2 hours later I arrive home. And I say hello to my wife, the children, to my parents, then you eat something and you say hey, I have to leave! We have a concert to play. This trip cost me about 25 hours and I stayed at home 3 hours. So this year it is so great that I don’t have to play any concerts or tour and can celebrate Christmas with my family and without stress.

Q: How about after the holidays? You guys had to cancel the tour in the US, are there any plans to go back to that?

A: We have a working visa that cost 2.500 dollars and this working visa runs till the end of August 2011 so we have to do a tour in the US till August otherwise all that money was for nothing.

Q: I read in an interview that as soon as you’re done recording an album you start working on another one. Are you already working on new songs?

A: Yes, I’m always composing songs. I have about 7-8 songs for the next album.

For this album I composed 40 songs and 30 songs were complete crap. But if you compose the song you don’t know it is crap, you like it, but 3 days later you play it and you’re like, what the fuck? You compose about 40 songs and then choose about 10 of them and send them to the other guys and if the other guys and depending whether they like them or not, then you have about 5 songs [to work with] and you continue like this. So it costs time and you have to start to compose a song soon after the recordings or it takes about 4 years until you release the next album.

Q: You came in September to Madrid and now Bilbao. What are your expectations for the Spanish market?

A: It is our first time in Bilbao, we hope, but we don’t know. In Madrid it was always great, and we played in Barcelona too, one time, two times. So it’s our first time in Bilbao. I don’t know, we hope that some people like it.

Q: Do you guys use the new technologies, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc?

A: We have to, you have to. At the moment we have Facebook, we have Reverbnation, Myspace.

Q: Do you think they have any use beyond being in touch with those that are already fans of the group?

A: Oli: I don’t know. How about you Rob?

A: Rob: They have use. Facebook is a great thing because you reach people in a short time. You can reach thousands of people with one post. At the moment Myspace doesn’t work very well because Facebook is so big. It’s a great thing. We’ll see how long it works.

Q: Any words for your fans and future listeners out there?

A: Hello. I am it. Be careful. Buy our album and make us rich and famous, please. Otherwise we will find you [laughs]. Thank you.