I have been drawn to creative work for as long as I remember. My mother taught me violin, which turned me into a musician. Later on, I began to write poetry and short stories, and so became adept with the magic of words. Since then, my interest in music and writing has evolved as one, which has resulted in my four albums of progressive metal.
THE LONG STORY
One summer I practiced sweep picking, a guitar technique, from dawn till dusk for a month or two until I “got it”. This achievement gave me satisfaction, but did not fill the void within. I begun develop self-esteem in my late twenties. If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love anything and your life will feel hollow.
My parents were music teachers, so I was immersed in all things musical in my childhood. My mother started to teach me violin at the age of three. This lasted for ten years and was essential in my development as a musician. Then, I began to write poems, lyrics and short stories. As I improved, I developed a sense of self-worth. Here was something I was good at!
BOUND AND VIRAL
What I did next was different from playing the sensitive violin: I became vocalist in a black metal band of my friends. Much to the dismay of my parents, I began singing along to music records of the genre, such as Dimmu Borgir and Marduk. Eventually, this exploration led to me pick up up the electric guitar. Playing guitar felt great and I practiced relentlessly, advancing greatly in just a few years. And as I learned to play guitar, I composed. Finalizing a song of my own felt like a great achievement.
In 2005, I had an important experience in creating music. The project was called Bound. My roommate Janne Pennanen had composed and recorded groovy metal songs: It was my role to write and perform the vocals. From working with Pennanen, I learned a great deal about playing guitar, recording and composing. This inspired me to record my own music, leading to my first releases, “Backstabbing Angels”, “Spoils of War” and “Rite of the Ancients”, which I published under the name of Viral.
As I continued to grow as a musician, I did the same as a writer. In 2006, I wrote the novel “Sofian päiväkirja” and sent it to publishers with the dream of becoming a professional author. However, this was my first book and as such was not good enough for the publishers.
In addition, I was evolving as a guitarist and a performer without being a part of any band and playing live. Instead, I had gotten hooked on recording and publishing guitar cover videos online. I started by using the late Google Video service and later moved on to YouTube, where I still have my channel mad00002.
Music began to take a dominant role in my life. I had done a little bit of composing here and there since the days of “Rite of the Ancients” and “The Duel”, but nothing that equaled “Antediluvian Hunger”, released in 2008 under Viral. As with Sofian päiväkirja, I was determined to strive for completion, no matter the cost. This took me three to four months. Afterwards I was exhausted, but very proud: I had created another major work of art, which made me feel like a someone. I sent the album to a few record labels and to my disappointment the same pattern repeated itself.
After the completion of Antediluvian Hunger, I begun work on my second album “United Earth”. I sought for a drummer and other people to record and possibly perform United Earth with. I chose Mikko Virtala as the drummer, who, I realized, had the kind of integrity and skill necessary to match my ambition. He introduced me to Erno Korpelainen, who took over the role of engineering and co-producing the album.
The three of us spent an intense, but unforgettable summer recording and engineering the album, which was released on 30th of October 2010. Again, I felt I had done something great and unique that would give me recognition and direction in life. However, it was not to be.
It did not take me long to get started on another album. This time, I decided to write about my own life. The concept and first musical ideas of “Biographical” took form in the summer of 2011, but it was only in 2012 that I resolved to finish the album. Most of the songs took form in the fall of that year. It was then that I began experimenting with virtual instruments and samplers. They enabled me to write a musical idea and have the software play it instantly with a realistic sound. In the case of a guitar riff, for example, I did not have to practice it for days to make it into reality. All it took was some imagination and the technology would manifest it without fail.
In spring 2013, as Biographical neared its completion, I decided to create a music video to promote the album. I chose “Self-Actualize”, the fourth track of Biographical, as the song. The music video ended up being an enormous challenge: Script writing, guitar practice, green screen trickery and stop-motion animation occupied me for several months.
At last I released Biographical on 30th of August 2013. As before, the album did not attract as much attention as I had hoped for. Still, there were some great individuals, as each time before, who saw value in my work and encouraged me to continue.
In 2014, I decided to continue with Omniavatar. I put together a solid lineup: Kimmo Pitkänen joined as the basist and audio engineer, Harri Moilanen as a guitarist and Pauliina Renholm as a vocalist. Work began with composing the album, which took me, Kimmo and Harri most of 2015. Then, in 2016, came recording and other parts of the production.
The album was released on 30th of December 2016. “Ego Death”, like my other three albums, is yet to see much recognition or commercial success. However, I gave it all I had and am proud the result.
THE PRESENT MOMENT
It is 2018 now. Little by little, I am starting to feel like creating art again. Much has happened in my life during the past two years, much of which wills to be expressed. My path is not clear, but is headed towards a fog-veiled bright light.
Thank you for your interest in my story. I wish you all the best!