APOCALYPSO is the forefather of Alexi Laiho’s #100GuitarsfromHEL!

In 1994, Ismo Alanko, singer with Sielun Veljet, asked me to come up with a piece for 100 guitars with which to open the Helsinki Festival in 1995. The idea sounded crazy, but I put together a budget and a stage plan for my meeting with the board of the festival, who nearly fainted at my proposed 6 digit sum and the logistics involved with such a huge stage. They still wanted it to happen, though, forcing me to reduce the size of the band to meet the budget and logistics they were offering: 30 electric guitars, 8 electric basses and 4 percussionists, plus two guitar soloists, Jukka Orma and myself. I got to work on it and came up with the piece Apocalypso, based on a wealth of world music influences including Korean Sinawi trance music, Pansori opera, Burundi drumming and Middle Eastern scales. I figured that an audience, seeing all those guitars on stage, would be expecting us to go into some sort of Hendrix variations, so it was very satisfying to see jaws dropping as the piece opened with something totally different. I eventually recorded it solo (I didn’t have a budget for so many studio musicians) and it was released on Cuneiform in 2001. To download the album, click on APOCALYPSO.

This year, the Finnish metal guitar phenomenon Alexi Laiho from Children of Bodom has written a piece called #100GuitarsfromHEL , and through creative use of social media he has gathered a hundred shredders from all over the world for a huge event on August 14th, opening the Helsinki Festival 2015. I’m going to be there, and it’s gonna rock! It might get LOUD….

If you want to get a taste of our performance in 1995, check out Markus Viljanen’s film on Youtube:



eCsTaSy’s new album on Cuneiform, “Out of the Blue”, is set for release on October 16th, but we’re giving the Finnish release already on September 15th at Bar Loose in Helsinki. More about that in the next post.