Interview with Perttu Kivilaakso of Apocalyptica in Hartford, Connecticut, September 27, 2008
Perttu Kivilaakso with Apocalyptica at the Webster Theater, Hartford Connecticut - photos by Heather-Rose Ryan
More photos from the concert.
It was late at night - or better, early in the morning. Heather-Rose, her friend June and I were coming from the concert of a band called Origin in the metal club Rebel in NYC. We were already in front of the doors of a blues club -next door to the Bitter End where Bob Dylan spent many nights 'til the morning light...
Anyhow, Heather-Rose was wearing Apocalyptica's t-shirt, which she bought at her first Apocalyptica concert in the Worcester (Massachusetts) Palladium a few days before. A tall guy with long blond hair stopped us and gave us a fanzine about ecology stuff, "how to save the Earth", and the CD he made with his friends. And then he started: "Well, you are wearing Apocalyptica's t-shirt -my girlfriend, she loves Apocalyptica. I haven't listened to their last CD yet, but they are a great band." A brief enthusiastic and passionate discussion burst up about the four cello maestros and their hypnotic drummer from Finlandia.
Of course, Heather-Rose and me, we saved something extra for ourselves and didn't tell the guy that we had just interviewed Perttu Kivilaakso of the band, the third interview he has given to beat-a-go-go.com.... (the others are here and here)
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Photo Gallery: Apocalyptica, Webster Theater in Hartford Connecticut, September 27, 2008
Perttu Kivilaakso and Eicca Toppinen of Apocalyptica at the Webster Theater, Hartford Connecticut
All photos by Heather-Rose Ryan.
In September, Taisija and I made a trip to Connecticut to see everyone's favorite Finnish heavy-metal-cello band.
Not only was the music exciting and well-executed, but the band is great fun to watch on stage. Although they're classically-trained musicians, they don't seem to take themselves, or their adopted genre, too seriously. They enjoy it all. So did we.
Many thanks to the band and to the very kind staff of the Webster Theater.
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Interview with Rob Wright of NoMeansNo
Rob Wright in front of NoMeansNo and The Invasives, with crew in the Balkans - photo by Irena Povse
The Canadian progressive punk rock band Invasives were in the middle of their sound check when I entered the concert hall. It was late autumn 2007 in Ljubljana.
Andrej Ruda, the guitarist of Slovenian jazz/rock fusion band Zmajev rep- which always reminds me of Weather Report - was coming in as well.
Both bands were going to support legendary alternative punk rock/punk jazz band NoMeansNo in their concert in Ljubljana. It was simply a genius idea to choose those two extremely different bands as a support for such an open-minded and "no borders" band as NoMeansNo: Rob Wright on bass, vocals, guitar, John Wright on drums, vocals, keyboards and Tom Holliston on guitar and vocals.
NoMeansNo's philosophy and art are alive through their music for last 25 years through their live performances and rich collection of Lps ...it started with Mama in ancient 1982 (reissued in 2004 with extra tracks)... to today's promotion tour of All Roads Lead To Ausfahrt.
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Preview: 5th Metal Camp festival, Tolmin, Slovenia, July 3-9
Destruction, Metal Camp 2004 (photo by Taisija)
So, here we are again in sweaty-red-hot-boiling beautiful summer - the season of summer festivals and thundering summer storms. One of the most beautiful places you can find to get all this together is Tolmin - Sotocje where stormy bands will attend the fifth Metal Camp, July 3-9.
The place where the festival happens is between two rivers and you have a feeling like you find yourself in a mystical fairy tale where a turquoise green river rules and all around are high mountains.
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Interview with Perttu Kivilaakso of Apocalyptica, in Ljubljana
Perttu and Taisija in Ljubljana (photo by Jan)
This time I met Perttu Kivilaakso at The Devil's Courtyard, one of the smaller atriums in the festival complex of Krianke, a beautiful summer theater in Ljubljana. Paavo Lötjönen was giving the interview to one Slovenian radio station on the other side of this interesting place ... Perttu checked my recorder to see if everything is OK, and laughing to me in an ally way remembering what happened in Graz nearly a year ago. In Graz after a sound check of Apocalyptica (which was in the middle of our interview) my recorder didn't work any more. I couldn't figure out what was wrong - it was like it was cursed! .....I have to admit that I was »walking a half meter over the floor« leaving the hall where the sound check of Apocalyptica was. Of course, being alone in the concert hall, with maybe the most unique metal band on the Earth, and to see them playing was like finding myself in a magical dream, with the charismatic Eicca the conductor of the ceremony...Well, I think every lover of great music can understand these feelings. I was at many soundchecks in my life but this one was very special. I feel it was a beautiful gift for me. And of course, it was hard to wake up from this dream ... So, Perttu, as a real gentleman (maybe even a knight), was taking care of my recorder and somehow bewitched it to start working again. After that, he responded to the rest of my questions and literally recorded it as well. I am still very grateful to him.
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Motorhead in Zagreb, June 2006
Lemmy - photo by faic
I find myself driving wildly on the highway to Zagreb. From the car's loudspeakers at the back is sounding Lemmy's rattle-husky singing...in no-less-than-beautiful lines of poetry of peace from »We Are Motorhead« album- »One More Fucking Time«. It starts with the lines: All life is a mystery/All things come to he who waits/All things just a twist of fate.....
All your life is in your head
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Joe Satriani in Croatia (with interview)
Joe Satriani in Opatija, Croatia, Summer 2006 photo by Taisija P. Stupar
photo by Taisija P. Stupar
On the large steps at the entrance to Villa Angelina is a huge bunch of journalists, TV reporters and photographers. Nervous managers are running everywhere. We are waiting for the press conference with the legendary guitarist Joe Satriani. He is promoting the European tour of his new album, Super Colossal.
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Q&A with Perttu Kivilaakso of Apocalyptica
Perttu Kivilaakso (photo: Taisija P. Štupar)
Apocalyptica has created miraculous, beautiful cello music. It goes from minimalistic repetitions to thundering darkness, heavy metal riffs and drive, to almost classical string parts and rock ballads. Wherever we try to place their music -- in "cello rock" or somewhere in the space where metal and the classical world meet -- they are in a space by themselves.
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Veil of Fog
The fog comes
As I awoke this morning, a diffuse light glowed from the outside. A lovely fog had enveloped the Mercuriosity Shop. Trees could dimly be seen shuffling around, as trees are wont to do when they think they are unseen.
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Finland's Ismo Alanko Does His Own Thing
Ismo Alanko (photo by Harri Hinkka)
In a voice like a lion's purr, Ismo Alanko is complaining about how hot it is. He looks dazed and he walks as if the sun is a weight on his shoulders. It's high noon and the midsummer heat is hitting the Finnish countryside with the force of a hammer. Nobody here is used to this kind of weather. And it's a bit early in the day for a rock star who had a big concert the night before.
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Tuska Open Air Metal Festival 2005 (and a bit of 2006 too)
Stam1na, Tuska 2005 (photo by Toni Välisalo) Tuska is a lucky bastard when it comes to weather. For all the years I've been there, it's been incredibly hot. If it has rained, it's rained during the night and the metal audience could have happily partied for three whole sweaty days.
No, I'm not whining, I'm happy about that. Summer, sweat, shorts and long days belong together. And if there happens to be a rock festival, it surely is two thumbs up. Festivals are the best - there's nothing like a summer festival. At least there's nothing like it in Finland. But when you combine rock, festival and summer, there is nothing to beat that. Not in Finland anyway.
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Kaarle of Viikate: About fame, things that were and things to come
"Viikate has become a real rock band," was the thought that came to my mind while watching the band playing at the Tuska Open Air Metal Festival at the notorious mellow-out day of any festival, Sunday. Although the band was easily the lightest of the bands performing in Kaisaniemi during the weekend, a couple of things were sure: Viikate connected with its audience the best and the band seemed to enjoy its first ever Tuska performance the most of all the bands I witnessed during the weekend.
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Q&A with Joe Satriani
Still looking, still searching...
You are a "guitar god", but from what people say, you don't act like one - you seem very balanced and modest. What helps you to maintain this attitude?
Family is the most important thing in my life - it keeps me in line.
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Q&A with Aleš Rendla
Aleš RendlaHow did you and Nino start playing music?
When we were very young. I started to play violin when I was six, I think. Iím not sure about Nino, but I think he didnít go to any music school when he was young. We were friends then and lived in the same house. When I moved out of the house with my family, I was still coming back to the place because my grandmother lived there. So Nino and I would play childrenís games. Nino had a boat, and somebody destroyed his boat, and then gave him drums to replace it. So thatís how I got to play my first drums. Nino made his own bass guitar, completely of wood. And then we started playing. We practiced in Ninoís basement, under the cafť.
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Q&A with Bogo Pečnikar
Bogo Pečnikar, playing with the Madleys at the Cerkno Jazz Festival
Tell me how you met Bratko for the first time.
How I met Bratko for the first time ... it was a long time ago, of course. Almost thirty years, I would say.
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