You Know You're Not In Bozeman When... (Finnish Edition)

In my last post, I covered signs you are not in Bozeman, from the perspective of instead being in Sweden. This time, I'm going to cover signs that you are in Finland, instead of Bozeman, based on the week we spent in Helsinki. If you experience a few of the following, odds are you're in Finland:

- You're looking over transit maps, trying to plan a day trip and you encouner more umlauts than a double bill of Motörhead and Mötley Crüe.

- You can visit a local recording studio (Sonic Pump) and meet both Nino Laurenne (ThunderstoneHevisaurus) and Teemu Mäntysaari (Wintersun). Better yet, you can hear them playing on soon-to-be-released masters.

- You can visit a different recording studio (Finnvox) where almost all of your favorite metal albums were recorded (including releases from SentencedCharonNightwishHIMLullacryEdguy and Stratovarius). Literally, stand in the the room where the drums were tracked...

- You can visit a local music store (Musamaailma) and find a room filled with Bogner, Blackstar, VHT, Krank and Orange amps. No disrespect to our great local music store, Music Villa, but sometimes a metalhead needs to be surrounded by Heavy gear.

- You can walk a couple blocks from your hotel and visit a record store (Record Shop X) that has all those import albums that are marked as "Temporarily out of stock." on Amazon. On the window of the store, you see a concert flyer for Crucified Barbara (Swedish) headlining over Warner Drive (American).

Apocalyptica is playing in the main tent of city's big festival. You are disappointed because the tickets are already sold out.

- Wandering through town you stumble onto a part of the "200 years as capital" celebration, which includes a massive chain of oversized dominos. They're all stone, no wood involved...

- You visit a zoo, a historical fortress and an outdoor museum, all on islands and all reached easily without a car.

- In less than a week you have great Nepalese, Cuban and Malaysian dinners. You also have a great pasta dinner while watching people eat quick dinners at a table hanging from crane.

- You're at the airport at 6 in the morning, eating a killer croissant when you glance over your shoulder and notice a familiar face. Long blond hair, blond (almost white) long beard and immediately familiar from wall photos at a studio you just visited. Further iPhone digging confirms that it's Marco Hietala (bass, vocals) of Nightwish, grabbing a bite of food before catching a flight. Not long after, you realize that Tuomas Holopainen (keyboards) and Emppu Vuorinen (guitar) are with him. A little more digging confirms they are headed to Trondheim, Norway for a show that night. Yes, that night. You are impressed that they are up early in morning flying two hops to this coastal city in Norway to play a big headlining show. Makes me tired just thinking about it...

There you have it, Helsinki, you rock! Special thanks to Nino Laurenne and Risto Hemmi for taking time out of their busy days to talk to me about the concept and implementation for my next musical project. It's an absolute pleasure interacting with people that know metal, and share my love for great songs and stellar production. For those of you out there looking for a recording studio, and Finland is convenient, or at least feasible, I highly recommend both Sonic Pump and Finnvox!

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