Misc News

Turbonegro gigs cancelled – guitarist fallen seriously ill

CONCERT NEWS The Finnish gigs by Norwegian 'homoerotic death punk band' Turbonegro have been cancelled after the group’s guitarist Euroboy fell seriously ill. Also the rest of the group’s Volcom Tour has either been
cancelled or will be rescheduled. U.S. bands Valient Thorr and Year Long Disaster, the other acts scheduled to perform during the tour, won’t be coming to Finland either.

Turbonegro have so far not publicly given any details as to what  Euroboy is suffering from other than that it’s a ‘serious illness’. [full statement below]

At this stage there is nothing certain about any future replacement dates. Ticket holders can return their tickets for the gigs on April
7th at Tampere’s Pakkahuone or April 8th at Nosturi in Helsinki to
Tiketti or Lippupalvelu ticket outlets, depending on where they bought

The band have released the following statement:

Dear All,

Due to serious illness with Euroboy, Turbonegro will be unable to perform on the forthcoming European Volcom tour.

We will work on rescheduling the dates to some point later in the year.

Euroboy has asked that we relay to you that he is very sorry that he's unable to do the dates, and looks forward to seeing everyone later in the year, when he is well again.

We'll do our very best to keep everyone updated as to how he is doing, but would ask that his privacy is respected at this time.


Earlier this month [8.3.2008], Turbonegro announced that it had asked drummer Chris Summers to resign from the band, after he had been absent for six months “due to a damaged foot, personal priorities and a focus on other projects”. He  was officially replaced by former The Yum Yums and The Wonderfools drummer Tomas ‘Caddy’ Dahl, who had been filling in for Summers at 60 gigs already.


Album review: Turbonegro – Retox

Turbonegro: Official website | MySpace

Volcom [Volcom Entertainment]

Valient Thorr: Official website | MySpace
Year Long Disaster: Official website | MySpace

Tomas Dahl: MySpace

Misc News

Hannes Heikura Press photographer of the Year

Hannes Heikura Press photographer of the Ýear

PHOTOGRAPHY Helsingin Sanomat photographer Hannes Heikura has been chosen Finnish Press photographer of the Year 2007. His photo, taken from a helicopter, of a boat sailing through a thick layer of blue-green algae in the Gulf of Finland was voted Press photo of the Year.

The picture is part of a series of ten taken in different parts of the world, with subjects ranging from weather phenomena in Finland to a poppy field in Afghanistan. It also got an honorary mention in the category News photo of the Year.

Heikura, who won the title Press photographer of the Year three times earlier (1992, 2005 and 2006), also won this year's public vote.

The jury voted a photo by Niklas Tallqvist News photo of the Year, one by Timo Pyykkö Portrait of the Year, and a photo by Jaakko Avikainen Sports photo of the Year. Freelance photographer Henrik Malmström is being awarded for the best domestic reportage. Aamulehti newspaper’s Rami Hanafi gets the prize for Foreign Reportage of the Year.

The year’s best press photos were for the first time chosen in Tampere. 111 photographers took part in the competition with over 2600 photos.

A selection of the best photos is on display at the TR1 gallery (Väinä Linnan aukio 13) in Tampere until the 16th of April. In May part of them will move to the gallery (Albertinkatu 16) in Helsinki.

More photos by Hannes Heikura can be seen at the Finnish Museum of Photography at the Cable Factory in Helsinki until May 18th.

Press photos of the Year 2007 (in Finnish, with info in English)

The winning photos by Hannes Heikura (Helsingin Sanomat – captions in Finnish)

All the winning photos (HS, captions in Finnish)

TR1 gallery
, Tampere gallery, Helsinki (in Finnish)

Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki

Misc News

Nightwish and Lauri Täkhä biggest ‘Finnish Grammy’ winners

MUSIC Nightwish were the big
winners at this year’s Emma-gaala, Finland’s equivalent of the Grammy
Awards, on Saturday (8.3). The symphonic metal band fronted by Tuomas Holopainen
took home the awards for Best-selling Album (about 110,000 copies),
Album of the Year and Metal Album of the Year for their comeback album Dark Passion Play, their first with new Swedish vocalist Anette Olzon. They also received the award for Band of the Year.

The second biggest winners were Lauri Tähkä ja Elonkerjuu. The Finnish folk(lore) rock band won in three categories: Public’s Favourite Artist of the Year, Pop Album of the Year (Tuhannen riemua) and Finnish DVD of the Year (Kerjuuvuodet 2000-2007).

The big surprise winner at this year’s award ceremony was former girlband (Gimmel) singer Jenni Vartiainen.
She snatched away two awards  (more than many better-selling artists):
Debut Album of the Year (Ihmisten edessä) as well as Song of the Year
for the title song of the album.

Rock band Apulanta and pop/r & b singer Anna Abreu,
who were each nominated in five categories, had to make do with one
award, although in rather good categories: Apulanta for Rock Album of
the Year and Abreu for Female Solo Artist of the Year. The award for
Male Solo Artist of the Year went to actor/musician Vesa-Matti Loiri.

Young rock band Sturm und Drang from Vaasa were chosen Newcomer Band of the Year. Pop / rock band Sunrise Avenue were rewarded with the Export Emma for their enormous succes in Central Europe.

Special Emmas were presented to Finnish singer-songwriter (and current Centre Party MP) Mikko Alatalo and to Finnish living rock legends Hanoi Rocks.


Album review: Nightwish – Dark Passion Play

Interview: Lauri Tähkä & Elonkerjuu

Album review: Jenni Vartiainen – Ihmisten edessä

Interview: Apulanta
Album review: Apulanta – Eikä vieläkään edes ole ilta

News: History made during Sturm und Drang performance

Album review: Sunrise Avenue – Live in Wonderland

Album review: Hanoi Rocks – Street Poetry
Interview: Hanoi Rocks

Emma-gaala (in Finnish)


Cover story Misc

The wings of Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna, the sea fortress located in front of Helsinki, is one of the most visited spots of the Finnish capital. There you can relax walking around, enjoying the excellent views from its old walls or finding an isolated place where to feel the past of history.

A place with a special charm


vision of an impressive fortress salutes to the thousands of people that travel by ferry to the Finnish capital every year, just a few minutes before arriving to Katajanokka:  the watchmaker against the threaten of past Russian invasions, Suomenlinna, also known in Finnish as Viapori and originally named in Swedish Sveaborg, is a quaint place included in UNESCO World Heritage site since 1991 (there are only 7 places in total  in Finland that had deserved such a distinction so far), with an area of 80 hectares, and certainly represents an important part of Finnish history and national identity, full of surprises and new experiences to be discovered. From every of its corner the unexpected can happen.  You can get lost through its narrows streets and discover the small pleasures of its library or the six museums scattered around, or take a look at the Finnish Navy´s Naval Academy, or even you can find rock stars in glamorous and colorful clothes desperately running not to lose the last ferry that connects to Helsinki (as I saw with my own eyes last year happening with the legendary Finnish glam rock band Hanoi Rocks). Nonetheless one of the best music recording studios in Finland is located there.


The fortress has even been the improvised location for some adult Finnish movies, hidden from the looks of the local authorities. But it can also be an excellent place to find a quiet spot to read a book in peace or have a romantic summer picnic. For the lovers of Julio Verne´s tales, nothing much better than taking a look at the last surviving Finnish submarine: Vesikko, that has also found its resting place in Suomenlinna. It is not by chance that the island receives around 600.000 visitors per year, overall on summer season, when the ferries provided by Helsinki City Transport Office that connect often and efficiently Helsinki ´s market square with Suomenlinna in a short trip of around 20 minutes are totally crowded with tourist from all over the world.A town within a town, Suomenlinna has 900 inhabitants and 400 people work there all over the year. 8 kilometers of walls surround the barracks and buildings of the fortress, with 105 cannons that remind you of less pacific times.


The visit of the death

Not everybody can say to have a sweet memory of the island. Actually, when the Finish civil war broke in 1918, Suomenlinna was used as a death camp for red prisoners. From January to May 1918 the bitter war left death and hate inside Finland. The final victory of the right wing (The Whites) left 80.000 Reds convicted to captivity. Around 10.000 prisoners were stored like animals everywhere in the barracks and buildings, with a total lack of hygiene, and the tiny space of the island suffered the grimmest period of its history.

Conditions were inhuman and many did not survive there; it is estimated that around 1.500 died during these months due to executions (80 prisoners) and overall to the hard conditions that made them even to have to take turns for sleeping due to the limited space Finally a general pardon came at the end of the year, and with it, the end of the suffering. The fortress remained as a restricted military area until 1948, but its public exposure was improved due to the Olympic Games of 1952, when started to be promoted as a touristic attraction by the Finnish government, with better traveling connections. 

Spread your wings and fly away

The island was one of the most extensive projects of defensive construction during Swedish rule, considered as a kind of “Gibraltar of the North”. Nowadays, the visitor can enjoy an interesting exhibition in The Suomenlinna Museum about the vessels built in Suomenlinna´s dock from the seventeenth century to the present.


But not only has Suomenlinna strong bonds with the sea. For many people and foreign population that have immigrated in the past decades, it is an unknown fact that Suomenlinna also housed a plane factory. In 1921 the Air force Aircraft Factory (Ilmailuvoimien Lentokonetehdas) was established at Suomenlinna, and some years later, in 1928, a second factory under the new name of Valtion Lentokonetehdas was opened at Santahamina. The works lasted there until 1936, when the factory was moved to Tampere. These companies are actually the old ancestors of the actual powerful Patria Finavitec Oy, the leading Finnish company in building war material. During the decade of the 20s, airplanes like the A.22 were produced in the plane factory of Suomenlinna, being the first industrially manufactured aircraft, copied from the German design of the Hansa-Brandenburg W.33

The first Finnish –built Hansa made its first flight on November 4, 1922, and you can still see one surviving model in the Finnish aviation museum at Vantaa. It is certainly a shocking experience to see Finnish planes decorated with the sadly infamous Swastika (The Finnish used the symbol already before Hitler). The first models had two melons shaped under French Lamblin radiators and a rounded nose, and shared many features, like the FIAT engine, with the Breguet 14, that was the backbone aircraft of the Finnish Air Force at that time.

It is well known that you have to face the past in order to achieve a better future. Finland´s capital, Helsinki, faces its history with its dark and bright periods just few miles away in the small but important territory comprised in Suomenlinna´s fortress. If the noise of the (otherwise calm and quiet compared to other European capitals) city disturbs you too much, make a small escape to Suomenlinna fortress and enjoy the secret and epic stories that its walls can whisper you: tales of planes, war, love, death, music, poetry, adventure and conquer.  

For more information: 

Misc News

Fans cue for ‘kuoleman varjelukset’ at sub-zero temperatures

In downtown Helsinki, book chain Suomalainen Kirjakauppa had organized
a programme that included books, magazines, films, games and food, to
make the waiting circumstances a bit more pleasant. There was also a
line in front of the Academic Bookstore in the capital’s centre.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the last part in the Potter saga. It was translated into Finnish by Jaana Kapari-Jatta, who also did the Finnish translation of the other six parts in the series. Illustrator Mika Launis is responsible for the covers of the Finnish Potter books.

Misc News

Fewer visits to Finnish theatres

Fewer theatre goers last year

THEATRE Fewer people went to see performances at professional theatres in
Finland last year. According to the Association of Finnish Theatres,
its member theatres lost over 81,000 visitors overall compared to 2006.
The big stages lost the most visitors.

The Finnish National Opera saw the biggest drop in visitors last year:
over 68,000. The second biggest decline was for the Helsinki City
Theatre: over 40,000.

Helsinki’s Svenska teatern and the Lahti City Theatre gained the most visitors (both about 17,000 visitors more than in 2006).

Most of the professional theatres in Finland, 42 in total, belong to
the Association of Finnish Theatres. In all, the interest and employer
organisation’s member theatres had 2.4 million visitors last year. Last
year’s drop in visitor numbers is part of regular visitor number
fluctuation, according the Association.

Association of Finnish Theatres


Misc News

Teräsbetoni to represent Finland at Eurovision Song Contest

EUROVISION 2008 Melodic metal band Teräsbetoni will represent Finland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Their Finnish-language song ‘Missä miehet ratsastaa
won 38.9 percent of the viewers’ votes in the so-called ‘super final’.

In this last stage in the two-part final, held at the Kulttuuritalo in
Helsinki on Saturday night (1.3),  the three candidates who got the
most votes in the final-of-14, competed.

Finnish crooner Kari Tapio came in second with 33.9 percent of the votes cast , with near-drag act Cristal Snow ending in third place with 26.5 percent.

The winning song was written, composed and arranged by Teräsbetoni's bass guitarist and vocalist J(arkko) Ahola.

Watch the winning performance [YLE Areena]

Misc News

Second KISS concert, Def Leppard date changes

concert in Helsinki has been confirmed after tickets for the first gig
on the 28th of May sold out in record time on Tuesday. The rock band
led by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley will come to
Finland one day earlier in order to also perform on the 27th of May.
Ticket sales for the extra gig at the Hartwall Areena will start next
Monday (3.3), via Lippupalvelu.

The Helsinki concert by Def Leppard, which had been
scheduled to take place on the same date, has been moved forward to the
4th of June. As a consequence, tickets for the gig at the Ice Stadium
(Jäähalli) will go on sale one week later than initially planned, on
Monday the 10th of March, also via Lippupalvelu outlets.


KISS tickets sold out in record time

Misc News

KISS tickets sold out in record time

Concert organizers started negotiating a possible second gig in Finland for the American rock group right away.

second concert has been confirmed. KISS will come to Finland one day
earlier in order to also perform on the 27th of May. Ticket sales for
the added gig will start next Monday (3.3), also via Lippupalvelu.

KISS celebrates its 35th anniversary with an enormous European tour.
The  KISS Alive 35 Tour spans 17 European countries and includes major
festivals and first-time performances in St. Petersburg, Moscow and


KISS (a)live in Helsinki in May

KISS: Official site | MySpace

More foreign acts performing in Finland: Coming to Finland

Misc News

Def Leppard and Misfits coming to Finland

CONCERT NEWS The Finnish concert by English hard rock legends Def Leppard has been confirmed. The legendary band from Sheffield will rock Helsinki’s Ice Stadium (Jäähalli) on Tuesday, the 27th of May.  Tickets for the gig will go on sale next Monday (3.3) via Lippupalvelu.

UPDATE: The Helsinki concert by Def Leppard has
been moved forward to the 4th of June. Tickets for the gig will go on
sale one week later than initially planned, on Monday the
10th of March.

Also punk pioneers the Misfits will come to Finland. The
band, formed in New Jersey in 1977, will play on Vappu eve (30.4) at
Nosturi in Helsinki. The gig is part of the Misfits’ 30th Anniversary
Tour and coincides beautifully with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Live Music Association (ELMU ry.), the organisation behind the Nosturi venue. Tickets
sales for the gig start on Wednesday (27.2) via Lippupalvelu and
Tiketti ticket services.

Also check: Coming to Finland

Def Leppard: Official website | MySpace

Misfits: Official website | MySpace

Live Music Association ELMU ry. / Nosturi

Misc News

Eurovision Song Contest again in Finland this year?

Teräsbetoni and Cristal Snow through to national final

EUROVISION 2008 Metal band Teräsbetoni and near-drag act Cristal Snow are the latest to go straight to the final held next Saturday (1.3) in the national contest that will decide who will represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008.

Meanwhile, there is talk that the Song Contest may not be held in the Belgrade this year after all, but again here in Finland, last year‘s host country.

European Broadcasting Union decides next month

The recent unrest in the Serbian capital that broke out after the Kosovo region proclaimed independence has made it less certain that the massive European event will be held in Belgrade this year, as planned.

Next month the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will discuss whether it is safe enough to hold the Song Contest in Serbia in May. If not, the event could return to Helsinki, the city with the most recent experience in hosting the huge event.

The previous time the EBU was considering moving the event to another country was early in 2005 after political unrest had broken out in the 2005 host city, the Ukrainian capital Kiev. Back then the event went ahead as planned.

More about the recent unrest in Serbia and the possible consequences (YLE News)

National final

On Friday (23.2), the last national qualification round for this year’s Finnish representation at the Eurovision Song Contest was held. With 51.7 percent, metal band Teräsbetoni won the televote with their song "Missä miehet ratsastaa". Cristal Snow (27.4 percent) came second with “Can’t Save Me”. Both will go straight to the final held at Helsinki’s Kulttuuritalo next Saturday.

Tango Queen 2007 Jenna (“Sinua varten”) and actress and (former Ultra Bra) singer Vuokko Hovatta (“Virginia”) are amongst the group of six that will get a second change to make it to the final next Saturday.

For sure in the National Final (1 March)

Kari Tapio []– ”Valaise yö”listen (Choose 'Kari Tapio' in player)
music & arr. Pertti Haverinen | lyrics Ilkka Vainio – Pertti Haverinen 

Movetron [MySpace]– ”Cupido” listen (Choose 'Movetron' in player)
music Jukka Tanttari | lyrics Timo Löyvä | arr. Jukka Tanttari – Timo Löyvä 

Mikael Konttinen [MySpace] – ”Milloin”listen (Choose 'Mikael Konttinen' in player)
music & arr. Kerkko Koskinen | lyrics Kyösti Salokorpi

Kristian Meurman [] – ”Jos en sua saa”listen (Choose 'Kristian Meurman' in player)
music & lyrics Kristian Meurman | arr. Kristian Meurman – Tapio Niemelä – Imre Szabó

Teräsbetoni [MySpace] – ”Missä miehet ratsastaa” listen (Choose 'Teräsbetoni' in player)
music & lyrics & arr. J. Ahola

Cristal Snow [MySpace] – ”Can't Save Me”listen (Choose 'Cristal Snow' in player)
music, lyrics & arr. Cristal Snow – Heikki Liimatainen – Jimi Constantine

Second chance to a place in the national final:

Hanna Marsh [MySpace]– ”Broken Flower”listen (Choose 'Hanna Marsh' in player)
music & lyrics Hanna Marsh | arr. Lennart Östlund

Crumbland [MySpace] – ”Pleasure”listen
(Choose 'Crumbland' in player)

music Crumbland | lyrics Jonas Genberg | arr. Crumbland – Mikko Raita

Ninja [MySpace] – ”Battlefield Of Love” listen
(Choose 'Ninja' in player)
music & lyrics Susan Nova | arr. Susan Nova – Jani Saastamoinen

Jippu [MySpace] – ”Kanna minut” listen
(Choose 'Jippu' in player)
music & lyrics Jippu – Markus Koskinen | arr. Markus Koskinen

Jenna – ”Sinua varten” listen
(Choose 'Jenna' in player)
music & arr. Risto Asikainen | lyrics Ilkka Vainio – Risto Asikainen

Vuokko Hovatta [MySpace,] – ”Virginia” listen
(Choose 'Vuokko Hovatta' in player)
music & arr. Kerkko Koskinen | lyrics Anna Viitala

Interviews Misc

Rock the world from your room!

Guitar Hero series has become more than just a videogame: for millions of fans all over the world it is a total addiction and a way of life, spending uncounted hours in front of the screen imitating their idols. FREE! Magazine´s questions entered the heart of RedOctane’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, to meet Kai Huang, CEO and co-founder of the company responsible of creating the phenomenon.

How many times did you dream of becoming your favourite rock guitar players? Slash, Joe Perry, Dave Mustaine, Angus Young… you name it! Unfortunately, only a few privileged and extremely skills musicians are given the opportunity to go on stage and perform their skills in front of a mass of thousands of faithful fans. For the rest of us, simple human beings, the solution came on November 2005 with the release of the first videogame of the Guitar Hero series. A huge hit that was followed by Guitar hero II, Guitar Hero encore: Rock the 80s and the most recent Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Nevertheless, the idea was not new. The creation of the game had a direct precedent with Konami’s game GuitarFreaks. But the good taste in choosing the song list, a catchy design of the devices and a very attractive and easy way of playing made the videogame outstand and created a real worldwide phenomenon. If you do not believe it, just check out the curious video links in websites like YouTube, where the fans are able to play the notes in the most surrealistic positions after never ending hours of training, and some fingers numbness…


RedOctane is the company that has developed and published Guitar Hero, and we had the extremely good luck of contact their co-founder and CEO from 1999: Kai Huang. Nobody better than him to tell us all those little secrets and questions that you always wanted to know behind the (already) legendary videogames series.

How many people altogether are involved when developing a Guitar Hero videogame?

The creation of a Guitar Hero videogame is truly a collaborative effort.  While Neversoft is primarily responsible for the development, there are countless individuals that are relied upon from RedOctane and Activision. We have hardware, marketing and PR, creative services, licensing and business development teams all working in tandem with production to ensure fans receive the best experience possible.

From what city or cities in the world is Guitar Hero concept created?

Activision, Neversoft and RedOctane are all California-based companies.  Activision is located in Santa Monica, Neversoft in Woodland Hills and RedOctane is in Mountain View.

Who is the person/s who had the original idea of creating the first part of the game?

The concepts behind the original Guitar Hero idea came from a team at RedOctane. Prior to approaching Harmonix, the company was very successful at creating Dance Pads for rhythm-based games and felt very comfortable with our abilities to create a great guitar controller peripheral for a rock music game. Guitar Hero was a project that was built around the hardware.

Does it help to have any musical background for playing the game better?

The Guitar Hero franchise is built on the uniquely successful formula of easy to play yet challenging and rewarding to master meaning that a music background is not necessary to play the game.  This pick-up-and-play formula allows all audiences to enjoy the game. That being said, understanding the basic fundamentals of playing the guitar can help with moving up the ladder in terms of difficulty level. 

What criteria do you follow for choosing the song list in every game? Do you choose the songs according to the taste of the people there in RedOctane, or how do you decide it?

There are a few factors that go into song selection for any Guitar Hero game.  We start with a very lengthy wish list that includes hundreds of songs spanning decade’s worth of music history.  From there the lists are shortened based on what makes sense for the game, which tracks fans are requesting, which music licenses we can get, as well as song and artist notoriety.  Part of the success for Guitar Hero is due to its ability to offer players the experience of becoming their favorite rock star and we want to ensure that we include memorable songs from legendary artists.

“The music industry now sees the benefits of having a song included in our game” (Kai Huang. RedOctane’s CEO)

Is it easy to deal with the licenses and get all the songs that you want? Is there any particular song that you wanted to include and was not possible?

Activision and RedOctane have great relationships with all of the major record labels, music publisher and band, which allows us to give Guitar Hero fans unrivaled access to music catalogues. The music industry now sees the benefits of having a song included in our game, so the process isn’t as difficult as it was for the original Guitar Hero title. With the phenomenal growth in music sales that mirror a song being included in the Guitar Hero franchise, record companies along with labels and artists are now viewing Guitar Hero as a medium to reach new audiences.  There are still some highly sought after artists we’re trying to get though.

Do you have testers there playing with the guitars? How many hours do they play in a normal day?

We have quality assurance teams at Neversoft and at Activision that play the game 8 hours a day. Of course there are breaks involved, but who wouldn’t want to play Guitar Hero for 8 hours a day?-How is Guitar Hero III been taken by the fans?

Is it receiving the response you were expecting?

I couldn’t be happier with how Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has been received by the community. Guitar Hero has become a cultural phenomenon and it’s great to see people who aren’t gamers become obsessed with playing. And I’m still in awe that in the U.S., Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock was the #1 best selling video game of all time in a single year.  

Can you tell us a bit more about the project you signed with NAMN, so people could learn to play guitar virtually?

We are very excited to have partnered with NAMM on their “Wanna Play Guitar” campaign, which encourages the playing of musical instruments and educating people about its benefits. The new collaboration is aimed at strengthening the connection between virtual and real-world guitar playing, along with encouraging more people to experience and enjoy both pastimes. There are a number of stories about kids playing Guitar Hero and then wanting to learn how to play the songs they hear in the game on a real guitar.

Why the release of Guitar Hero Rock the 80s before Guitar Hero III? Did not the fans want to wait so long?

The demand for new content was the driving force behind Guitar Hero Encore: Rock the 80s. Fans just couldn’t get enough of the game and the only way of distributing new content at the time was by delivering a new game. We were able to support the launch of Guitar Hero II on Xbox 360 with downloadable content.  PlayStation 2 owners were not as fortunate as the infrastructure is not available to offer DLC on that platform. As such, we wanted to ensure that the very strong and loyal fan base received new content since that is what fans are always clamoring for.

What is the future for your company? Will there be more Guitar Hero games? Do you focus on different kind of games apart from this saga?

We’re continuing to innovate the rhythm-based music genre and deliver compelling content, such as the newly announced Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. We’re excited to be the first company to build a game around the music of a specific band and guest bands that are related to them in some fashion, and we look forward to bringing to our fans new ways of experiencing Guitar Hero, so stay tuned! There’s more to come.


Not only is song writing a bitch, but then it goes and has puppies
(Steven Tyler, vocalist of Aerosmith, on the recent news of the release of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith)       
Indeed just a few days ago RedOctane delivered a press note in their official website where announced the launching of the new project that will put players on the shoes of the legendary American rock band. Scheduled for June 2008, having a music videogame built on Aerosmith´s musical history will be a hugely exciting experience. Vocalist Steven Tyler could not resume it any better in his declarations: Any band that can go from I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing to the ass-kicking Sweet Emotion to the cheekiness of Love in an Elevator, to the classic ballad Dream On shows why Activision chose us to headline this game based on the diversity of the Aerosmith catalog. Not only is songwriting a bitch, but then it goes and has puppies.With such an interesting future with exciting projects like this, now wonder that Kai Huang can feel satisfied of the success achieved. Before the end, he personally wanted to send also a message to all our readers and fans of the Guitar Hero series:Thanks for supporting Guitar Hero!  We look forward to and are very excited about the products we will be able to offer in the near future!

Misc News

KISS (a)live in Helsinki in May

CONCERT NEWS For those who have been longing to see KISS
live in concert once again, the waiting is over. Their previously
reported gig in Finland has been confirmed. The legendary American rock
group (formed in 1973) will play the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki on the
28th of May. Tickets costing 69 and 63 euro will go on sale via
Lippupalvelu next week on Tuesday (26.2) at 9 a.m.

The KISS Alive 35 tour is KISS’s first European tour since the Psycho
Circus Tour in 1999. It will include major European festivals and cover
17 countries, taking the band for the first time to Moscow, St.
Petersburg and Verona. In Finland, the group has played five times
before, the last time at a sold out Hartwall Areena in 1999.

Also check: Coming to Finland

Misc News

FME attracted 5,000 metal fans

This year’s big winner was domestic metal band Mokoma, which took home three awards: Best album of the year (Luihin ja ytimiin), Cover art of the year and Vocalist of the year (Marko Annala). Nightwish won the Band of the year award, while the band’s Tuomas Holopainen received the prize for Musician of the year. Idols winner Ari Koivunen
was presented with the award for Rookie of the year. This year for the
first time, the winners were decided by visitors of metal website

The main live performers at FME this year included Soilwork (SWE), Municipal
(USA), and popular Finnish metal bands Stam1na, Turisas,
Mustasch and Korpiklaani. In addition, some 50 exhibitors presented
their products at the event.

Misc News

Prime Minister and ex-girlfriend in court

Ruusunen and her publisher Kari Ojala are being charged with violation of privacy for the kiss-and-tell exposé Pääministerin Morsian (The Prime Minister’s Bride), in which Ruusunen discloses many private details about her relationship with Vanhanen.

The Prime Minister filed charges against the publisher of the book in March 2007, just after the Parliamentary elections.

Vanhanen in court

In the Helsinki District Court on Friday, Vanhanen said that the salacious details in the book were not relevant to the public interest and therefore not appropriate for publication.

Ruusunen feels sorry

Ruusunen was heard after the Prime Minister had left the court
building. She and Vanhanen didn‘t exchange words in the
court room.

‘I never meant to harm anyone,’ Ruusunen said sobbing. ’I would have wanted to apologize in Matti’s presence.’

She claimed publisher Ojala ‘wanted sex and politics in the book’ and that she did not know in advance how much of the detail would actually end up being published.

She said that she had been worried in advance if such a book was legal, but that Ojala had told her several times that they didn’t need to get advice on the matter because he had 30 years of experience in the field.

Ruusunen said that her judgement had failed her and that she now regrets that private text messages she had received from the Prime Minister ended up in the book. She said that she regrets making the book and that she was not satisfied with the end result.

She also agreed with Vanhanen’s remark that the book was not relevant to the public interest.

The publisher’s defence

Kari Ojala, the publisher of the exposé, maintained that both Vanhanen and Ruusunen were fully aware of the graphic details that were going to be published.


The PM didn’t seek any damages from his ex girlfriend personally when he filed the charges. From publisher Ojala, on the other hand, he wants 1,000 euros in damages. The prosecuter, however, is calling for Ruusunen to pay a minimum of 7,000 euros. For the publisher, the Prosecutor is seeking heavy fines of at least 50,000 euros.

The court case is seen as setting a precedent in the debate on public figures’ rights to privacy. A verdict in the case is expected on the 5th of March.

Matti & Susan, Matti & Merja

Matti Vanhanen en Susan Ruusunen (then Kuronen) had a brief relationship in 2006, lasting a little over six months.  In April 2005, Vanhanen and his wife Merja had announced their separation after 20 years of marriage. They officially filed for divorce in February 2006.

Matti Vanhanen is not known to be in a relationship at the moment. His former wife Merja, who works as a fight attendant and as a local representative for Vanhanen’s Centre Party, recently went engaged. They have two teenage children.

PM Vanhanen to face former girlfriend in court

The court case in the news:

Vanhanen-Kuronen court case begins – Helsingin Sanomat International Edition (Finland)
Prime Minister defends right to privacy in court case – YLE News (Finland)

Finnish PM sues over kiss-and-tell – The Independent (UK)

Finnish Prime Minister Sues Over Love-Life Book – Press (USA), also in/on:
The San Diego Union-Tribute (USA)
Fox News (USA)
The Kansas City Star (USA)
The Peninsula (Qatar)

The book in the news:

Finnish PM improves his prospects with deft handling of a hot potato
– The Guardian (UK)

Ikea, Nokia and baked potatoes: how a kiss-and-tell book can win you votes
– The Times (UK)

Ex-Lover's book no hot potato for Finland's Prime Minister – The Australian (Australia)

The book:

Pääministerin Morsian (in Finnish)

The story's main characters:

Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen
Prime Minister's Office

Susan Ruusunen – Wikipedia
Susan Kuronen, stop opening up-petition (in Finnish), signed over 65,000 times (alternative title: Be quiet, Susan Kuronen)

Kari Ojala, publisher, Etukeno (in Finnish)
Etukeno publishing house

Merja Vanhanen – Parliamentary elections website (in Finnish)