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Category Archives: Life

New Gear, Part 3…

During the past seven months I’ve bought some new equipment. I could have bought a new iPad but instead, I bought Cubase Elements 7 and Zoom G3 for my PC. I didn’t find a good reason to buy an iPad because this combination is mobile enough for me.

But the bigger problem is finding the time and the inspiration to (once more) listen to the ideas on my phone and on my Dropbox account in order to write new songs. After writing songs for Eternal Tears of Sorrow the same way for fifteen years (recording ideas on the phone / computer and making them into demo songs on Cubase), is it possible for me to find a new way for writing songs? (And that fifteen years is as a matter of fact twenty-three years…)

And it’s not just the way of writing that needs some updating, it’s also the end results. In other words, I (and we) need a new perspective to the songs. We need the eight album to sounds fresh and new.

Well.. IF the eight album ever comes out. For the first time, I’m not sure if there’s going to be another EToS album. I don’t know if all of us will find the time to do it. I don’t know if we get a new record deal that’s good enough for us to record an album in our ways. (The music business has changed and the record companies seem to be poorer than ever…) All I can say that there’s not going to be a new EToS album in 2015 or 2016.

But then again, you never know about our band. In 2001, when our fourth album “A Virgin and a Whore” came out, we were 101% certain it was going to be our last album ever. In 3½ years, we were planning a new album. Things were different then, though. We were sick and tired of the band and each other then. Now we’re just too busy with all the other things that are supposedly more important.

So, if we’ve learned anything from the past, we could say there’s going to be a new EToS album… Sometimes in the future. But EToS has not split up. Neither is it officially on hiatus either. We’re just taking it slow for a while. You know, our chief weapon is surprise. Surprise and fear! No wait, that’s what Monty Python does. Our chief weapons are 1) how much we love music and 2) that most of don’t make music for a living, which gives us a lot of freedom when it comes to making music.

EToS is not a job but it’s not a hobby either. It’s more like a way of life. It’s a bit like a house that we started building a long time ago and now it has seven rooms. And every time I get back to the house I am like ‘oh wow, this building is quite amazing, we could need at least one more room, so let’s see what we can do about it’.

P.S. I finally got rid of Samsung phones. Or technically, my last Samsung phone went dead and therefore got rid of me. Now I’m a happy owner of an LG phone.

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Cold, Cold Summer…

Cubasis and iPad

Cubasis and iPad

Without revealing too much about my personal life, the last twelve months have been interesting. Sometimes changes in your life are subtle, sometimes they are sudden. But at any rate, our lives changes. That’s the basic rule of life and there’s nothing we can do about it. So, we’d better not to fear them but to embrace them. One of the changes is that it’s summer again. This summer has been weird. First, the summer came early. Then, it sort of went away. It’s still too cold but well, that’s what Northern summer is all about. You never know what it’s like.

Anyway, one of the most interesting questions this summer has been: “How to upgrade my musical equipment?” I’m talking about my guitar amplifiers as well as my audio recording equipment. Both are getting old. They still work, though.

I’m thinking of two modelling guitar amplifiers. Kemper Profiler or Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II. Naturally, they are bloody expensive widgets, so I need to save some more money in order to get either of them next winter.

But things get a bit more complicated when it comes to new audio recording equipment = the equipment I use to write and record the demo versions of my new songs. Basically, I’ve got four options:

  1. Something I have right now: a Windows desktop computer with an audio interface and Cubase.
  2. A Windows laptop with an audio interface and Cubase.
  3. A MacBook with an audio interface and Cubase.
  4. An iPad with an audio interface and Cubasis.

With all of these alternatives, I’ll be able to create MIDI drum and keyboard tracks and to record guitar tracks and even some vocal tracks (if I want to and the demo version requires some vocals). In addition, I have two main things that matter: price and mobility.

In theory, I’d choose #2 and #4 with Steinberg UR44, an audio interface that fits both PC and iPad + Line 6 Sonic Port. That combination would be almost too mobile. And slightly expensive, too, around 1500 euros which happens to be the price of Kemper Profiler as well. The price of this combination would be around 3000 euros. That’s a lot of money, isn’t it? In practice, I’d like to start with something new but inexpensive. An iPad with Cubasis and an inexpensive audio interface. That would be something around 400 and 700 euros, perhaps.

Too bad Google hasn’t been interesting in making Android good at handling low-latency audio software. Well, things are perhaps changing.. But slowly. I mean I already have an Android tablet that could be used for something.

Anyway, it’s funny how things have progressed. In the 90s, EToS wrote many songs with computers and many songs at our rehearsal rooms. In the 2010s, we still do the same but in theory, we can also write songs with our phones and tablets. In the 90s, that would have sounded amazing.

I’ll end this blog entry with another question. “What should I write once I get my new equipment?” Well, EToS is naturally one thing. In addition, I’ve got two or three different styles I’d like to try. There’s the 10-year-old project that’s (once again) heading in a new direction. And there’s some other things I’d like to try, just for fun. Trying new things is what makes me going. And if nothing new comes to my mind, my inspiration just disappears for a while.

So, have a nice summer!

 

End of July, New Project…

creativity

creativity (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

It’s the end of July and as always, the summer is almost gone. They always pass us by so quickly. Even though it’s not very zen, letting summer go is kind of frustrating. This is basically because for most Finns, summer is the best season. Well, sometimes it is too hot and there is too much light, but for the most part, it is better than winter that is usually cold and dark.

It’s actually worrying about the end of summer because I’ve only had the first half of my summer holiday. The second part will start in about 2½ weeks. I really don’t want to be someone who worries about the past and the future and that’s why forgets to live in the here-and-now. I’ve been like that practically all my life and I’m starting to get rid of it.

English: Signed Painting of a Girl Reading A B...

English: Signed Painting of a Girl Reading A Book by Emma Eilers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But in the end, no matter how “zen” I get, there is one question that puzzles me. Is it true that the older you get, the harder the relationships become? When I was young, they were easy. “Boy meets girl, boy likes girl and girl likes boy, boy and girl fall in love” and so on… There was no doubt, hesitation, emotional locks or other things like that. Could it be that I’ve changed so much during the years? And I am the only man ever to think about things this silly as this? Well, f**k it, I don’t care :D.

So much for the stupid complaining. Damn, I’m a grown man, you know. Today is the first day of my new two-part project. By “two-part” I mean it has daily tasks as well as weekly tasks. The daily tasks are simple: physical exercise (jogging etc.) for 20 minutes + meditation for 20 minutes every day. The weekly tasks are probably going to be a bit more complicated: writing a short story, reading a book or writing a new song every week. Or perhaps something else that is creative and “constructive”, so to say.

Creativity intention plate

Creativity intention plate (Photo credit: Pilisa)

Why this project? Many reasons, many reasons. First, I want to expand my creativity and imagination. Playing in a band (and writing songs for it) for twenty years is quite safe, even though Eternal Tears of Sorrow has always been an experimenting band in a way. We’ve always wanted to try new things. Still, doing something new and creative every week could be very refreshing.

Also, I want more routines in my life. I’m not a fan of routines but they could make my life a bit easier. It could give me the space to concentrate on more important things.

But tonight, I’ll keep planning this new project. I need a list of books I’m going to read during the next, say twelve months. Actually, I don’t know how long this project should last. Twelve months sounds ok, though.

So, I’ll write how the project starts. Well, I hope but you never know. I’ll try my best, I know that. Now: the sauna, some meditation and planning. Sounds like a plan! Or more like: sounds like planning a plan!

 
 

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Everything Is a Matter of Perception.

Thought Bubbles

Thought Bubbles (Photo credit: Michael Taggart Photography)

This summer has been weird. Weird in a good way, I think. Once again, it’s been a matter of “what do I want?” and “how do i get it?” and more often than usually “how do I feel?” During the two years I’ve been single, those questions have been hard for me. Sometimes even too hard, so I’ve tried to forget them and tried to live on. But well, there’s no way you can escape questions that important. Eventually, they will come back to you and you will have to deal with them.

One of the most important tools of introspection for me this year has been zen, or zazen, the meditation practice of zen. It’s not anything special. You sit down for twenty, thirty minutes, stare at the wall and well, listen to how stupid thoughts you actually have. Then again, there are no stupid thoughts, they are just thoughts. (But if thoughts could be stupid, this would be one of the most stupid ones ever.. :D)

What I’ve found out about me so far is 1) I still love music and it’s an integral part of my life, 2) the other parts of my life ain’t so bad either, 3) I like being single and living alone, 4) but it’d also be nice to find someone, 5) but I’m in no hurry and 6) does anyone really give a sh*t about these sorts of list, anyway?

For the rest of this evening, I’ll try to live in the moment. I’ll try not to think about yesterday or tomorrow. All that matters is this moment.

 
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Posted by on 22.7.2013 in In English, Life

 

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Summer’s Here!

English: Main stage area of Ilosaarirock (2007...

English: Main stage area of Ilosaarirock (2007) festival site in Joensuu, Finland. Suomi: Ilosaarirockin (2007) päälava, Joensuu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been quite a while since the last “real” post. So, as you might have found out, I tried to make the blog more active by connecting my Instagram to this blog. So far so good.

Why the silence? Well, actually nothing special has happened in my quiet little world. Basically, it’s been work and music and then work again. Utterely boring. (I could go on and on and use thousands of words trying to describe how boring my life has been, but that would probably be totally pointless.

But this month, the life has turned out to be slightly more interesting. EToS has played the first gig since July 2011! It is weird how good playing a live show feels after a long, long break. And as a summer festival, Ilosaarirock is one of the best in Finland, if not the best. Almost 30 000 people every day and everything went really well. And I met a lot of interesting people, including the members of Pelican, a band whom I’ve been listening to for a year or so. And a lot of other people, too. Which was nice.

Anyway, I’m on my first half of my summer holiday and I like it. Unfortunately, this half ends by the end of this week. But then again, I’ll have two more weeks in a month. So, I’m thinking of starting of planning of doing something during the second half of my holiday. Or at least considering of thinking … And so on. The point is that I rarely plan my holidays, and even more rarely when I’m being single. But this time, it could be fun to have at least a vague holiday plan. Let’s see what happens.

What about music? Well, later. And good night :).

 

 
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Posted by on 16.7.2013 in In English, Life, Music

 

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Christmas, New Year, Gandalf and His Snowmen

shiny christmas.

shiny christmas. (Photo credit: rhoadeecha)

It seems another year is about to end. 2012. I can’t say this has been the most exciting or interesting year of my life. It has consisted of daily routines, relaxing and thinking. Thinking of life in general as well as my life. And  making some new plans on how to take over the world.. Err, I mean, to improve my life. Sorry. Freudian slip.

Anyway, I saw two interesting films/tv specials earlier this month. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012: The Snowmen.

First of all, how can Peter Jackson and his friends make three 3-hour epic films out of a children’s book? And what about the outcome? I watched the 3D HFR version of the movie and it was fine. A bit like “welcome back to the Middle Earth, friends and fans of Arda, enjoy!” The 3D HFR was an interesting thing to get used to and at times, it made the action scenes almost too intense. Fortunately, there were some action scenes because the first hour of the movie was a bit boring with all the songs. It’s not that the songs were bad (they weren’t!) but they were just a bit unnecessary. Still, it was a great movie.

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in Peter Jackson's liv...

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s live-action version of The Lord of the Rings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What about The Snowmen? First of all, there was Gandalf (sir Ian McKellen), albeit only as the voice of the Great Intelligence. In short, it was good. Much better than last year’s “now we need a Narnia story” Christmas Special. The “thinking” snow thing was a bit, well, childish. But who cares? We sort of found out who Clara Oswin Oswald is, was or will be. Some questions were answered and much more questions popped up. Damn, mr. Steven Moffat is a very cunning man.

Anyway, for the last couple of days I’ve been working on something interesting again. I’m trying to finish the EToS website and (promise not to tell anyone!) we’re also trying to get our music video released next week. Before that, there’s a lot of things to do: writing biographies and press releases and much more. It’s funny and weird that most of the band related things must be done in front of the computer. I mean everything from the song-writing process to releasing videos, singles and albums. And everything in between.

So, I wish you all a happy new year 2013! May it become an even better year for us all!

 
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Posted by on 29.12.2012 in In English, Life

 

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Another November, Another Monday…

November

November (Photo credit: Cape Cod Cyclist)

Yes, it is November already. And once again, I can’t help but wonder how fast the previous ten months have gone. Is it true what some scientific studies say: the older you get, the faster time passes?

And in a way, it’s all déjà vu again. I feel like nothing has changed since last November. It’s just a feeling because many things have changed, after all. But it’s a powerful feeling and it gets stronger day by day as daylight gets shorter and days get colder.

In a way, November is the month full of anticipation. We keep waiting for the winter, Christmas, New Year, snow. It could easily be on many people’s “The Three Months of the Year I’d Like to Skip” list.

Basically, November is the Monday of all months.

But then again, Novembers are important and Mondays are important. Just as important as Christmases, summer nights and Saturday mornings. We can hate them, we can try to ignore them but they don’t go away until we live them. Next month, we’re going to say “oh where did last month go? why didn’t we enjoy it?”

So, I’ll try to enjoy this Monday and this November. November is dark, dull, and cold but hey, it’s my life. Soon, it will be gone and I’ll miss it no matter what.

 
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Posted by on 5.11.2012 in In English, Life

 

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