SHEFFIELD — Sheffield Corporation. Nice venue with good backstage and a great pub just 50 meters up the street. We’ve played here at least two times before so it should be a good night. First things first: few drinks and quick visit to toilet facilities at local pub. Then exploring the city.
I managed to find a pair of trousers, Markus V. found black sleeveless denim jacket. This is basically how we have spent all days on this tour: drinking beer and shopping. Male version of Sex And The City. Except without sex. Lots of talk about it though. Yes, yes, pretty lame we know. But there’s only so many DVDs you can watch and you really need to get out of the bus once in a while. Try to blend in with normal ordinary folk going about their normal ordinary life.
Tour is like a prison: you get socialized very fast, you become a passive human wreck incapable of making any decisions—but you need to fight against it. That’s one reason we like to play every day on tour. It keeps you focused and gives meaning to this whole extravaganza. 40 minutes onstage — for 1400 minutes, what should I do? Great show by the way, we love you Sheffield!
WOLVEHAMPTON — Slades’s room. Our light guy, Olli, needs a new nickname, so we baptize him as “Slade”. He’s not too happy about it, but what can he do? It’s five against one. We have a cruel game where we get to use our special kind of humour. One night ago, I asked the Paradise Lost guys if there is a word in the English language for the occasion where one rejoices over another person’s misfortune. Apparently there is not one. In Finnish, it’s called “vahingonilo”, and this is basically how we entertain ourselves on tour most of the time. How it works is that we choose someone and start picking on him. Normally, Niilo or Markus H.-- but mostly Markus H.
Sometimes it’s just harmless chit chat, but it can easily go overboard and turn very personal. Can even lead to hitting. Or strangling. In this sense, we’re like brothers: always trying to see how far we can go before one loses his temper. In the end, everyone gets his share. Again, good show, even though Slade’s light gear consisted of a total of eight spots. Go Slade, go!
NOTTINGHAM — Who shot the Sheriff? Eheh hehhehh…Bit of a tough load-in. We needed to push all of the gear for 300 meters through pavement and fit everything through small narrow corridors. City is very nice though. First pubs, and then we stocked some wine for the evening. Bit tougher crowd today. We put on our best performance and finally got some appreciating nods after the final song. Nice showers and clean towels.
On this tour we have had quite good luck with keeping us nice and tidy. Have had the option to shower almost every night. So what you do when you don’t get shower? Answer: use wet wipes. Other must-have items on tour include: Imodium, ibuprofen, vitamins, and something for heartburn…We have now been constantly asked in interviews what advice would we give to new young, starting bands. Basic medication is one. Another good one is patience. Success does not come over one night. Or even after a decade.
We’re now touring the same venues we did back in 2006 with Enslaved and Satyricon. So, work hard and remember to have fun while doing it. At least you have good memories even if you don’t make it.
MANCHESTER — Pub, food, nap and it was time to go onstage. Pretty ordinary day. Nothing special—except that tonight was probably the best show thus far. Lots of Insomnium shirts in an audience of approximately 500 metal-heads. Stage was really small, but the energy was in place, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Nice, relaxing red wine session in the UNO lounge ended the day, which was only shortly interrupted by one drunken My Dying Bride guy diving into the middle of the table of drinks. Good bloke, put poor balance. Forgiven and forgotten. To speak the truth, it could have been any of us on any given day. Good times.