Tagged: touring

FIREWIND, koalas and more adventures!

The departure to the Firewind-shows in Australia is getting closer. The habit I obtained back in 2011, to travel across the globe to see Greek virtuosos Firewind, is now taking me all the way down to the continent “down under”, the land of the koalas and kangaroos!


It’s a trip over 9 time zones, taking me across two (or 3, depending on how you count) continents and 16,036 km, 9,964 English miles, 8,659 nautical miles (I had to look it up)….

I’m super excited about it, because for ONCE in my life, I really don’t know what to expect! I know Europe and I know the USA well enough. No big surprises there, just slight differences, but all in all, it’s pretty much all the same place… But THIS? Everything is backwards!

And THIS time, I’m not going to travel like a backpacker to keep it as cheap as possible. Not when I have over 30 hours of travel-time to deal with.
If there’s EVER a good time to spend a little extra on a trip, this is it.  I’m travelling like a QUEEN this time.

That Emirates business-class is something I’m really looking forward to. Lie-flat bed with built in massage and your own mini-bar, and a 23/7 open bar with snacks and drinks, luxury-style entertainment system, award winning food, private driver, lounge… The works! The super-long flight will NOT suck, for a change.
And – best of all – most likely no screaming babies in that part of the plane. :))

[The bar in Business Class :) I will have a rainbow-drink with a little umbrella in it, please!]

I’ve had a great time travelling around to see Firewind the past two years.
My biggest heroes are all those classic bands, you know, Judas Priest, Whitesnake, Sabbath, Ozzy… But when it comes to live shows, I’ve never been disappointed at the Firewind gigs. They can change band-members all they want, the energy is always there regardless – every single time.

Even the “big” bands have bad evenings sometimes. But I’ve never seen Firewind suck live – not even once. So, it’s safe to travel to the other side of the world to see a few shows. I know it’s going to be the thrill of a lifetime!  :)

AND, I’m really excited about meeting my Australian friend Clint from Melbourne, who will join me in Brisbane for this tour (I’m off on a wildlife-safari in Sydney the day after my arrival, so no time to socialize there, unfortunately).

[Booked this: http://www.viator.com/tours/Sydney/Blue-Mountains-Nature-and-Wildlife-Day-Tour-from-Sydney/d357-2230S15?aid=se1

Blue Mountains Nature and Wildlife Day Tour from Sydney

He’s been following me online since my very first website back in 1997, a good friend that I’ve been talking to regularly through MSN-chat (now Skype) so it’s about time that I met the guy in person! :)

And there will be yet a few memorable Firewind-shows to add to to the list. This is “the list” so far – started counting with the Ozzy-show in NYC which is where it all began!

It looks like an insane number of shows, but I’m loving every second of it!
I get to travel, see things, experience all kinds of adventures and most of all, I get to see great rock’n’roll shows all over the world! What could be better than THAT!
24 days to go! :)))

December 1, 2010 OZZY Madison Square Garden New York City USA
January 7, 2011 Firewind Relentless Garage London UK
June 11, 2011 OZZY Sweden Rock Festival Solvesborg Sweden
June 15, 2011 OZZY Olympiahalle Munich Germany
June 17, 2011 OZZY Rockhal Esch-sur-Alzette Luxembourg
June 25, 2011 Firewind Graspop festival Dessel Belgium
July 6, 2011 Firewind Kaftanzoglio stadium /  2310 festival Thessaloniki Greece
July 8, 2011 Firewind Sonisphere festival Knebworth UK
August 9, 2011 OZZY Ergo Arena Gdansk Poland
August 11, 2011 OZZY Smukfest festival Skandeborg Denmark
September 10, 2011 Firewind Moho Live Manchester UK
September 11, 2011 Firewind Cathouse Glasgow  Scotland/UK
September 12, 2011 Firewind Sub 89 Reading UK
September 16, 2011 Firewind Rock Temple Kerkrade NL
September 17, 2011 Firewind Biebob Vosselaar Belgium
September 18, 2011 Firewind Underground Köln (Cologne) Germany
October 9, 2011 Firewind State Theatre S:t Petersburg Florida / USA
October 10, 2011 Firewind Masquerade Atlanta USA
October 12, 2011 Firewind Gramercy Theatre New York City New York / USA
January 14, 2012 Firewind Fuzz Club Athens Greece
June 2, 2012 OZZY Malmö Stadium Malmö Sweden
June 4, 2012 OZZY Westfalenhalle Dortmund Germany
June 22, 2012 OZZY Graspop Festival Dessel Belgium
July 13, 2012 Firewind Bang Your Head Festival Balingen Germany
July 18, 2012 Firewind Mylos Thessaloniki Greece
September 14, 2012 Firewind Moho Manchester UK
September 15, 2012 Firewind Button Factory Dublin Ireland
September 28, 2012 Firewind Knust Hamburg Germany
September 29, 2012 Firewind Godset Kolding Denmark
October 4, 2012 Firewind Underground Cologne/Köln Germany
October 5, 2012 Firewind Hedon Zwolle Netherlands
October 6, 2012 Firewind Biebob Vosselaar (Belgium)
December 15, 2012 Firewind 8Ball Club (10th Anniversary shows) Thessaloniki Greece
December 16, 2012 Firewind 8Ball Club (10th Anniversary shows) Thessaloniki Greece
February 3, 2013 Firewind The Masquerade Atlanta, GA USA
February 6, 2013 Firewind Gramercy Theatre New York, NY USA
April 27, 2013 Firewind Rock in den Ruinen Dortmund Germany
June 7, 2013 Firewind Sweden Rock Festival Sölvesborg Sweden
October 31, 2013 Firewind Manning bar Sydney Australia
November 1, 2013 Firewind The Hi-Fi Brisbane Australia
November 2, 2013 Firewind Fowlers Live Adelaide Australia
November 3, 2013 Firewind Corner Hotel Melbourne Australia

Rockin’ it down under!

This year has been pretty slow so far, travel-wise – by my standards. And the reason is that I wanted to do something DIFFERENT this time. Instead of travelling all over Europe and occasionally to the US, I figured that I want to go to AUSTRALIA. But as I’m not the “touristy” type, I was looking for a good excuse to go – and I got it! :-)

The band that gets me out there on the road most of the time (it’s a great band to follow if you’re into the whole travelling-thing, cause they’re out there most of the year, all over the place) – FIREWIND, is going on a short tour to Australia in October/November. And I’ve just bought my ticket to go see those gigs. Woo-hoo!

And this time, I’m really making it a trip to remember. I chose to travel with Emirates – voted Airline of The Year 2013. And I’m booked in business-class

If I’m EVER going to spend money on travelling in business-class, it’s for a trip like this where you’ll be spending about 30 hours in a plane! You want to be comfortable for that.

So I booked that, and started reading about all the benefits, and it starts even BEFORE I board! I’ve been so excited all day about my forthcoming Aussie-trip!

Complimentary chauffeur that picks me up to drive me TO and FROM the airport! How nice to arrive somewhere and have someone waiting for you with your name on a sign! No standing in line fighting for taxis…..! HEAVEN!

You get access to the business-lounge at Copenhagen airport, Dubai airport….

You can breeze right through security in your own fast-track (same goes at check-in).

The seats can be turned into real, flat beds (and has built-in massage and all!). Your own large work-table, entertainment-system, Wi-Fi on board, complimentary champagne, drinks – a menu to choose from anytime you want…

I mean, the list goes on. If there is EVER a good reason to pay up for this kind of luxury, it’s when you’re travelling for more than 24 hours. :)

Take a look at this presentation of their lounge and business-class seats!!

I got my “local” Australia- flights sorted out as well – this is my route:

Sydney – Brisbane

Brisbane – Adelaide

Adelaide – Melbourne

4 gigs in 4 days, I have NO idea how I’m going to cope, cause I suspect that the jetlag is going to knock me out… I’ve never gone east before, so I will most likely be beat…. However, it’s just another adventure, but an Adventure DeLuxe!

I love all the planning, the hotels, the detective work to find addresses, the best ways to get from the airport to the hotel, from the hotel to the venue, from the venue to wherever… I mean, all that stuff is so much fun, I get such a kick doing the preparations!

I should be working with this full time, but it just never happened that way.

If there are any up and coming bands out there looking for someone to plan their tour – gimme a shout!

I know how to find the best options at the best prices, I’ve been doing it for myself for years already, this is definitely my turf. :)

Also looking forward to meeting my long-time online-friend Clint from Melbourne, this trip will absolutely, totally rock! :))

I miss the tour! (2007….)

I’ve only been home for a little over a week, and during that time, I’ve been thinking about touring and travelling – a lot. I miss it, I wish I could be out there all the time. I want to just get on a tour bus right now and not come back for a month, at least.

I went back to an old blog that I wrote on MySpace after the Jon Oliva’s Pain tour back in 2007. It pretty much says what I’m thinking in this very moment as well.

One thing is for sure – one of my goals in life  is to do this thing at least one more time before I die. Probably sounds weird to most people but as much as it can be a pain in the ass to be on a stinky bus, it can also be like a drug, which is why I guess so many “road dogs” who have been on the road their whole lives, can’t get it out of their blood. I understand where they’re coming from…
Life now is pretty much about working to finance what I love doing more than anything. :) And it works. For now. I hope it does for a VERY long time!

Friday, May 11, 2007
I miss the tour. A LOT…! :-(

It’s only been two weeks since I got home from the Oliva-tour and I STILL don’t feel like I’ve quite acclimatized myself to my normal life.
I know – it sounds absolutely ridiculous. I should be more used to THIS than something I did during a limited time. Yet, that felt more right than this. Maybe it has to do with the kind of person I am. To me, that kind of life contained all those elements that makes me feel good.

First of all – it’s an environment where people know and understand music. Well, that’s self-explanatory. You could hear someone start talking about some obscure old album by Tom Petty or whoever, or sharing some kind of music-trivia, stuff that you never do when you’re around people who don’t know or don’t care about music.

Everything was simply breathing music, rock’n’roll. That’s what I live for and have lived for all my life.

There’s no other place that would make me feel like more at home than being surrounded by musicians and people who love and understand that passion. Cause they are the same. You’re not an outcast on a tour-bus, you belong.

And just the fact that I was on something that was on its way somewhere… I love that!

Sometimes people ask howcome I volunteer to drive here or there as often as I do, and that’s because I love the road. To leave something behind and head to something new. To cover a distance, well, I don’t know how to explain it. I just love to watch things pass by when I look out a window.

I love watching those white stripes on the motorway pass by so fast that they end up looking like one long, white line if you look at it long enough. It’s like you’re hypnotizing yourself somehow, your mind starts to wander, you drift away in dreams and thoughts… There’s nothing else quite like it.

I was just there as a spectator on that tour, as a “fly on the wall” there to experience the vibe and then write about it. Yet I felt like a part of the whole thing,.
But I can understand a musician on the road, why he (or she) gets bummed out when they come home after a tour.

Cause being in a band and being on the road is like being a part of something. You are creating something together, everybody is important and what you do is appreciated by a lot of people. So, you MATTER. It’s as simple as that. You can’t just call in sick like you would with any other kind of job. No matter what happens – the show must go on. You are damn important. That has got to be a feeling like no other.

With a band like Jon Oliva’s Pain, there’s not much difference between the guys in the band and the crew. Everyone is important. It’s like one big family, they all have an assignment, something that needs to be done. Nobody’s more important than anyone else and that feeling of being friends, family and co-workers all at the same time is stronger than in most other workplaces.

Being a part of something that brings big smiles to so many people’s faces has got to be the most wonderful feeling in the world. Again, I wasn’t up on stage but I understand it so well. I have been up on that stage, long ago, but once you got a taste of it, you never forget it.

That kind of life is not bound by rules like so many other jobs and places. Yes, there are a few things you mustn’t screw up.
You need to be on the bus before it leaves, you need to be in shape to get up on stage and play every night, things like that. But as long as you can do what you’re supposed to, and not get anyone else in trouble, you can do pretty much whatever the hell you want.

Party till you drop, sleep all day, behave like a ten-year-old if you feel like it, just be whoever you want to be. Feel free. Then again… that’s only true to a certain extent but that’s a different story.

I would hear people talking and laughing all night long until I fell asleep. Sometimes I didn’t even want to crawl into my bunk because I wanted to stay up and socialize as long as possible. And even those nights when I was  too tired for that, I just wanted to be there.

I remember Chris, (Kinder – the drummer), asking me a few times why I didn’t just go to bed, I looked tired. Well, yeah, I was, but I also knew that soon I wouldn’t be on that bus anymore so I didn’t really care if I slept or not. I can sleep when I’m dead. :)

There was only one evening, in Gothenburg, when I was so beat that I could barely focus, everything was spinning. So when Kevin walked up on the bus, happy as a fiddler, and asked if I wanted to go hang out with him and his friends from Crucified Barbara, I said no. Can’t believe I was so anti-rock’n’roll that I went to sleep in my bunk while everybody else was partying!
But that was that one night. I got up to socialize later, like three or four in the morning after I had slept like three hours… That’s crazy too. Nothing is considered to be a “normal” time in a touring-situation.

You are up when most people at home would be asleep, you sleep when most people would be at work – everything is upside down. And I love that. Go figure. :-)

Then it’s all the people – new people every day. Fans, other band members that either just happened to be “in the neighborhood“, other musician-friends that drop by to say hello – people who work at the venue or pretty much anybody… You see new faces every single day. Mostly smiling faces.

If you are a social kind of person, that is a privilege. And I am. :) People I had only seen on My Space or on the JOP message-board that I check every now and then, suddenly became “real people” – not just nicknames on the Internet.

With JOP many of those fans have become friends more than fans. Frode for instance, the “Big Viking” from Norway, has been around for so long that he’s considered to be part of the “family”. And there are many others like that. People who show up year after year, who help out with little things… they are friends more than anonymous faces in a crowd.
I just love that whole vibe that surrounded JOP. People are generally welcomed with open arms, there’s no rockstar-attitude to be found as far as the eye can see. It’s easy to understand why people like those guys.

I was never much of a Savatage-fan before. My ex-boyfriend was. Many of the guys in the bands I sang with through the years, were Savatage-fans too, but I, for some reason, never took the time to listen to all their albums. Don’t know why, really…
Heard a song here and there, that was it. Last year my magazine sent me to Germany to interview “Savatage-frontman Jon Oliva who has a new band now”… I still remember when my boss asked me if I wanted to do it.

It could have been just a job like any other. I could have just went down there, done the interview, went back home, written the article and never given it another thought ever again. That’s how it usually works.

But with JOP it was so easy to feel like they were old friends in some strange way. They made themselves available, opened the door. Such great people in every aspect.

It’s funny… Here I am now, nine months later – seven shows seen in six different countries (the first one in Florida, back in November last year).
I’ve been on the road with them and gotten to know band and crew – and people who are fans and friends. It’s unique. Has never happened before and I’ve been working in this business since 1988. That’s a long time.

It has happened a few times that I became really good friends with someone I interviewed. But that was still different from this.
Skid Row was a band I knew very well back in the day. Sebastian Bach and I were in touch for many years. But other than that, the situation with JOP is so different from anything else.

I’ve learned the music by hearing it during the soundchecks and at all the shows, not by listening to the albums first. Well, except for Maniacal Renderings.

I miss waking up in the morning, being somewhere else than I was the day before.

I miss the vagabond kind of life where nothing is ever to be counted on. You can’t be SURE that you’ll get a decent meal one particular day. You get food once a day, cause breakfast usually consisted of a cigarette and a beer for some – and I neither smoke nor drink beer so I got used to not eating much at all. Great diet. I kept it after I came home – and let me tell you, I’m losing weight!

If the bus stopped at some gas station one could get a burger or something in the middle of the night, or you grabbed a sandwich during sound check (the venue would usually have bread, butter, cheese, juice and stuff like that somewhere on a table for those who wanted a snack) or if you were lucky, the food was ok that the venues would serve for dinner… Which was not always the case. The food at Pestpop in Belgium looked like, to quote a bandmember, “catfood“.

You couldn’t even be sure that you would get a chance to take a shower. The BAND could. But as for everybody else, it was a matter of time and luck. Particularly being a girl meant that you had to forget about being prude. But then again – the GUYS could get a bit embarrassed too.

In Gothenburg, there were only 2 showers – and with two buses full of people, you can imagine what it was like.

And trying to make your hair or makeup look decent was nearly impossible so I looked like shit during those few days.
That’s why I was almost allergic to people taking pictures all the time, cause I really dooooon’t want to be seen in pics where I look like a female bum. It’s bad enough I had to look like that at ALL, I didn’t want it immortalized and put on the web. God!


So… it’s a strange life I guess, but it made me feel great.
April 2007 will go to history as one of the best months of my life. I’ve had a lot of fun in my life- but this was something that suited me like hand in glove. I would give anything to do it again.

Right NOW I’m mostly sulking because I hate this “normalness”.
I don’t want to be alone in my empty apartment.
I don’t want to wake up in the same place and the same city every single day. I mean, that would have been okay if I didn’t have to spend 8 hours every day staring at this goddamn COMPUTER SCREEN when there’s a world out there to be explored, when there’s music to be played and people to meet.

Yes, I get to do that that stuff now too, but it’s still not the same. What I do now is routine, it’s the same shit day after day and I really feel like I want to get out of here.

That month of travelling made me realize what I DON’T want in life. I don’t want to spend most of my time indoors. I want to get out a lot more, travel more, meet even more people.

Who would have thought that an assignment last year (“Go and interview Jon Oliva in Düsseldorf!”) would lead to all of THIS?!

Life has its strange ways sometimes. All you can do is just try to do whatever you can to be happy. Nothing else matters, cause life is too short to worry about much else. Be happy and accomplish your dreams.

Never settle for second best – and if you can’t change the things you’re not happy with, change your way of thinking. There are no truths, only interpretations of the truth.
And right now, I’m starting in one end – if that doesn’t work, I’ll have to change my attitude. But, one thing at a time…

I’m just grateful for what I’ve been given a chance to experience. It will stay in my memory forever.

[When you need to dry your clothes on the road, sometimes you need to be creative…!]


[Jon reading Sweden Rock Magazine (well, I had to do a little PR for my mag!)]



[On the road!]


[Yup…passed out – eventually!]


[It’s a tough job being a rock star, but somebody’s gotta do it…. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz………..]


On the road with Jon Oliva’s Pain – 2007

This road report was originally written for a magazine, but was never published for various reasons. I think part of it had to do with that the editor at the time, had a different idea of what he wanted a tour report to be. He prefered interviews on the bus instead of the “fly-on-the-wall“-approach. Either way, it was never used.

To me however, it is still, to this day, one of MY favorite pieces. And now, in 2012, it’s also a piece of untold history.

Two people who were on the 2007 tour are not with us anymore. Greg Marchak (sound engineer and producer) passed in September 2007 from a brain aneurism. Matt LaPorte (lead guitarist) passed away in April last year.

When this was written, Jon Oliva’s Pain was still a family well held together in a way that I’ve never seen or experienced with any other band ever before. It brings back some great memories.

So here it is – tour of 2007, Scandinavia, on the road with Jon Oliva’s Pain.

Text & photos Daniela P


It’s an early, damp and chilly morning in Halmstad, Sweden. Jon Oliva’s Pain, band and crew, have just enjoyed a day off and now it’s time for the equipage to start heading to the next destination: Oslo, Norway.

The band’s bassplayer Kevin Rothney is helping me get my heavy, bulky Sweden Rock Magazine-bag up on the bus. When I finally get my ass up on the bus, I’m greeted with smiles that make me feel right at home, like an old friend.


One of the first things a first-time visitor on a tourbus must learn, is how to use the toilet.
Well…if it’s absolutely necessary to use it at ALL, that is. Cause you don’t go unless there’s just no other option. Somebody starts laughing and mentions the word “pissfoot” and everybody seems to know what that is. I’m about to learn that as well.

The bus-toilet must have been designed for pygmies, cause whoever tries to get in there will have to grease their hips and practice advanced yoga to get in and out.

Some of the guys ended up standing OUTSIDE trying to aim, well you get the picture – and with a bus that drives 90 km/h on the highway, brakes and passes other cars, you can probably figure out what happens. The piss doesn’t end up where it’s supposed to. So, whoever enters the loo next, can expect an unpleasant surprise. SPLASH! Sock + cold piss = Pissfoot.
Then, when the piss dries on the sock, it spreads a certain…odor on the bus. So, that was the very first introduction I got to “life on the road”. Might as well be informed of the worst parts right away and get it over with.


The bus starts rolling, and the two Italians – drum tech Rig and guitar tech Fabio, start yapping in Italian, while eagerly filming everything through the bus window.

The curtains of one of the bunks are drawn to the side and a sleepy light tech peeks out – the Dutch girl Hanneke. Suddenly drummer Chris goes: “HEEY!” while looking at something behind me. I turn around and there’s the man himself, mr Jon Oliva. The guy who’s been the face and voice of Savatage for over 20 years, whose fans worship the ground he walks on. He smiles. He’s cool and he’s damn funny. You can’t help but instantly like the guy. He sleeps way in the back of the bus – in the Elvis room. There’s much more space back there than in any of the other coffin-like bunks that the rest of us are sleeping in.

We are approaching Oslo and the video cameras are rolling, everybody’s admiring the stunning view. Jon is just smiling. He doesn’t look particularly impressed. He’s used to this.


When we reach Oslo, and park outside the venue, it’s like somebody hit a button. Everyone knows what to do, and like worker ants they unload everything in a matter of minutes. People are running back and forth, pushing anything with wheels on it. Inside the black-painted rock club Johnny Dee, things are going very quickly. It doesn’t take long before everything is up and running and the sound check is ready to commence. Efficiency, that’s the word of honor. Tour manager Anett is all over the place, making sure that everything works. She is like a school-teacher telling the students about things they need to know and remember – anything from dressing rooms, showers, food, schedule….

Someone put a veggie-plate in one of the dressing rooms. The guys are looking sceptically at it. You can probably die from veggies. So, broccoli and all that other stuff, ends up being used as ammunition in a food fight. Jon Oliva however, is sitting in his own dressing room with a viking helmet on his head. He is just taking it easy, greeting journalists with that Oliva-smile that we know so well.


The club is jam packed when it’s time for the band to hit the stage. The craziest die-hard fans are already hanging at the barricades. As expected, the classic Savatage songs are the ones that gets people to sing-along, But it’s also clear that the Oliva-fans are loyal and they keep buying the records no matter what name is on the label.


After the gig it’s full speed again. The crew is rolling out the gear fast, The bus has a deadline to meet, so gear, band and crew all need to be ready for “takeoff” on time.

The noise level on the bus is all the way up to eleven, you can hear roaring laughter and hi-fiving all over the place, The adrenaline is still pumping through everybody’s veins after the successful show. But the bags need to be packed and that’s done while the chatter with the guests backstage continues.

[One of the guests in Oslo – from Pagan’s Mind]


When it’s a few minutes past midnight, everybody’s on the bus cracking jokes, laughing. Some are a little buzzed, others are crawling into their bunks falling asleep pretty much right away. It’s easy to tell the crew from the band at this point. The “foot soldiers” are the ones who have a tendency to be in bed way before the band.

It’s five thirty in the morning, and there are still people up partying. Soundguy Greg and a few more people from the crew, have crawled into their bunks and drawn the curtains. It’s cozy in the bunks, there’s a little lamp in there and everything. The kind of place you would have loved to have as a kid. But you have to twist and turn like a rubber-circus to try get your clothes on or off, cause there’s not exactly lots of space in there.

It’s like a cradle – a dark, humming bus that just rocks you to sleep in no time. Perfect. Well…If it hadn’t been for the fact that musicians aren’t exactly the type of people who are known for keeping their mouths shut and even less for sleeping at any time of day – at all.
Those who decide to go to bed and get some sleep, will do it to the sounds of laughter.

The next morning, I get bright sunlight in my eyes, even through the curtains. We are in Gothenburg, apparently. The guys in the other nightliner, opening acts Nostradameus and Dionysos, are running back and forth like a shuttle service to the two showers that are on the second floor, near the dressing-rooms. Two bus loads of people means that time and shower facilities aren’t always enough. It’s simply the first come first served rule that applies.


In the meantime, it’s totally dead on the Oliva bus. People were up all night last night, so it will be quiet most of the afternoon. The only ones that are up and about are the people in the crew who went to bed early last night.

Breakfast is a luxury. Someone made coffee, you can smell it throughout the bus, but if you’re looking for actual food – forget it. People simply grab whatever lies on the table from the night before, which could be anything from chips to chocolate. Breakfast in this context usually means a smoke and a beer, or, in best case scenario, coffee.

One after the other they are waking up, and it doesn’t take long until the front part of the bus starts looking like it’s being populated by characters from “The Night Of The Living Dead“.

Keyboardist John Zahner is standing with his newly purchased digital camera ready to be tested. He announces that he’s going out for a little sightseeing tour.


Once back on the bus, there’s a grunt from one of the bunks and it’s Kevin who’s come to life. He’s about to give a lesson of how to take care of your dental hygiene on the road. He takes out his toothbrush, squeezes out a bit of toothpaste on it, whips it around in his mouth then takes a mouthful of yesterday’s Heineken, gargles and….swallows. All done! Dental hygiene á la tourbus!

Everything is set up and ready inside the club, it’s time for sound check. Soundguy Greg is angry because the sound board is crap, some junk that looks like something you would find at a recreation center – it will be a challenge to make anything sound good with what he’s got to work with.

Light tech Hanneke is shaking her head also, the stuff she’s got to work with is a joke too. It basically consists of THREE buttons that a three-year-old could handle. She laughs and says that it’s easily earned money that night.


There’s a sign in the dressing room that says something about smoking being prohibited and no alcohol. Jon’s eyes are as big as plates, he starts laughing. I had to explain that it wasn’t a joke, it’s for real. Welcome to Sweden!

It’s party time again on the bus after the show. Half of the working force is totally beat though, so they crawl into their bunks and fall asleep pretty much instantly. At four in the morning there’s still a lot of noise in the front of the bus, which makes some give up the idea of getting any sleep anyway, so they decide to crawl out of their bunks to join the others – which results in them not getting back to bed before six in the morning…

Three hours later, tour manager Anett starts kicking people out of the bus and up on the ferry. She doesn’t care who’s hungover, everybody must leave the bus right now. There’s a lot of grunting and grumbling, but they all eventually get out and light up when they see and smell the coffee in the cafeteria.

Bassist-Kevin, the band’s party animal, plonks down on the nearest couch and passes out again. That guy can fall asleep anywhere. The others are sitting there crosseyed, trying to perk up. Musicians don’t like being up at this hour, that’s for damn sure.


When the bus arrives at The Rock in Copenhagen later that morning, nothing is working as planned. The promotor doesn’t know which band he booked, the elevator is out of order and the gear has to be carried down steep steps, the sound system is not the one that has been promised, and the irritation is noticable. Anett is pissed off, Jan is shaking his head. But they are all professionals and used to this sort of thing. They have learned how to work miracles with whatever is thrown at them.


All the problems have been fixed by the time the doors open several hours later.
But guitarist Matt LaPorte gets the very sad news only minutes before he’s due on stage… His father has passed away. It lowers the mood of the whole band, it’s tough to be so far away from those that are close to you. The band is the only family you can turn to in times of crisis. But the crowd won’t notice anything, because Matt goes up there and he plays, just like he does any other night.
Because the show…must go on…


[Greg Marchak and Jan Janvier trying to get the best out of the sound equipment at The Rock, Copenhagen, 2007]

[On the bus to Oslo, beautiful view, crew filming]

[1:14 – Probably the biggest Oliva-fan in Oslo!]

Fant(h)astic – Steel Panther back in the fall

It looks like 2012 won’t be much different from 2011 concert- and travelwise. While 2011 was very much a Gus G/Firewind year, this year will be slightly different. Or actually QUITE different. I’ve fallen like a rock for Steel Panther, I think I even got a few bruises in the process…!

A friend told me just the other day how he had showed a female friend a Steel Panther-interview (I believe it was mine actually…) and her comment was that she “didn’t get it“. 

Maybe no wonder, you would have to have been around for the whole eighties glam- and hairmetal era to “get” Steel Panther. At least you’ve got to have some knowledge of the scene to be able to pick up on the jokes, which in essence is a huge exaggeration of everything that hair metal was all about when it was at its peak.

It’s pretty much a parody of Poison and Motley Crue really. :-) 

I’m stuck on YouTube every single day looking through Steel Panther-stuff. I’ve become a junkie, it’s funny as shit, and there’s TONS of it!

I really wanted to go to London on Saturday and see their last show on this European leg of the tour, but it’s way too expensive. Can’t believe the flights are so expensive for London this particular weekend?! It’s usually cheap, so I don’t know why it costs so much now all of a sudden.

If I manage to get a cheap last minute-flight I’ll go, but if not, it’s cool. There is a “Plan B”.
I was thrilled to see that the band is coming back for 3 extra shows in Germany this summer – AND a whole UK tour in November!

Oh yes – I AM going, no doubt about it! Manchester for sure – Manchester rocks. :-) 

This is a “feel-good”-band. It’s just about having a good time and I’m all for that! The live-shows, the ripoffs of classic hard rock anthems and the silly lyrics, it’s all part of the package and will make it worth the time and money spent travelling all over the place to see them.
One time was all it took, now I want more..!

If I live on crispbread and water next month, I’ll even be able to see two shows in Vegas in July. 
Hm. Yes. I think I will. I most definitely will. :-))))) Vegas (and men in tights) – here I come!