sunnuntai 24. tammikuuta 2010

Local hero

It must be every hardworking local band's dream that, midway through their set they're joined by a famous guitarist, who steps up from the audience, borrows a guitar from one of the band members and proceeds to jam with them ...yeah, only in the movies, right? Well, wrong, actually, because for West Haven, Connecticut covers band Liplok, this is exactly what happened during their gig at Z's Corner Cafe last month, when none other than Children Of Bodom's Alexi Laiho took to the stage (well, more accurately the floor - it's a tiny venue) to join them in a couple of songs.

Alexi was at Z's with Rock House Method instructor and co-owner, John McCarthy, who also happens to be a long-time friend and former guitar teacher of Liplok's lead singer/guitarist Kevin Lawless. We asked Kevin to fill us in ...

"We were about to go on for our first set at Z's Corner Cafe in West Haven, a small bar that only fits about 45-50 people ... John and Alexi (who I'd previously met a couple of years ago when he was in town filming his first Rock House DVD) walked in to the bar and I said to them that, if you feel like playing anything, just come on up ... We played the first set and the bar got pretty crowded and then right before we started the second set, John and Alexi asked if I knew "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns 'n' Roses, which I did ... my bass player, Glenn Celentano, had only just joined the lineup and didn't know the song but in the audience, my friend and sometimes fill-in bass player, Mike Winters, knew it and came up to play. Alexi grabbed my black Les Paul - the first thing he said was, 'Wow! These are heavy!' The three guitarists fiddled for a minute to make sure they were all playing it right, then ... off we went. Song went great and at the end, Alexi turned to me and said, 'Cool dude! You hit that hard note!' and gave me a fist pump ... that was cool for me, and the people there loved it and went nuts!"

The guest musicians started taking off their borrowed guitars but the crowd, not surprisingly, wanted more, so Kevin handed the set list to Alexi and asked him if he wanted to play another song ...

"He saw Metallica's "Enter Sandman" and said, 'I know that!'. Our bass player Glenn grabbed his bass and, with drummer Geoff Permison, we started the song ... it went really great, too and again the crowd went nuts ... It was truly very cool of Alexi to just get up with a local cover band, with no practice at all and just jam and have a good time, which he did, as you can see him smiling in the pictures."

John and Alexi left shortly after because they had an early morning video shoot, but what a night to remember for Liplok and Z's lucky audience. A final word from Kevin:

"It was a great time for me, my band and the people in the bar. It was an honour to play with Alexi, and I thank him and John McCarthy for understanding the fun side of music and just playing to have a good time ... to have someone of his stature and unbelievable musicianship get up with local musicians in a tiny bar shows what a great person he is. Plus, he bought me a shot of Jameson's Irish Whiskey!"

Check out video footage of Alexi and Liplok here

Rock House DVD #3 for Alexi

Since their release, Alexi Laiho's Metal Guitar: Melodic Speed, Shred & Heavy Riffs, Levels 1 and 2, which won the prestigious Music & Sound Retailer Award for Best Instructional DVD of 2008, have been bestsellers, and now Rock House, the world renowned musical instruction site, has revealed that Alexi is currently working on a third guitar instructional DVD, which will further explore his inspirational techniques, delving into how he thinks, what he uses that makes him unique and how aspiring guitarists can use these insights in their own playing.

Rock House posted behind the scenes photos and a video of the recording process, which can be seen here. The dvd is due to be released in summer 2010.

lauantai 9. tammikuuta 2010

Alexi talks shop at Finnish Metal Expo

The main event of the Helsinki Metal Meeting, the annual Finnish Metal Expo, takes place at the Cable Factory, Helsinki on 19th and 20th February. Fifty operators in the metal music industry showcase their latest offerings in the exhibition area, and the hottest metal acts take to the stage. As part of Helsinki music shop Musamaailma's instrument clinics, Alexi Laiho will be featured this year in a special interview, on Saturday 20th February.

Alexi goes to Hollywood (well, Anaheim, actually)

The Winter 2010 National Association of Music Merchants Show (NAMM) takes place from January 14th-17th in the Anaheim Convention Centre, California, and Alexi Laiho will be in attendance at 2pm on Saturday 16th in Room 213D to take part in the artist signing session on behalf of ESP guitars. He will also be signing at EMG Pickups, from 4:30 to 5:30.


Warmen live shows are almost as rare as rocking horse shit, but, in celebration of the band's 10 years in the making, and as a belated release party for their latest album, "Japanese Hospitality", Janne Warman's significant-other band takes to the stage for only the third time in its career, on 18th February at Dante’s Highlight, Helsinki. With a line-up of special guests that includes Jonna Kosonen (Nylon Beat), Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom), Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius), Pasi Rantanen (ex-Thunderstone) joining them on stage, this is sure to be a divine occasion indeed!

Evil Warmen

Spinefarm Records will release a Warmen compilation album entitled “The Evil That Warmen Do” in early 2010. The tracklisting is as follows:

01 Beyond Abilities
02 Spark (Timo Kotipelto)
03 Singer’s Chance (Timo Kotipelto)
04 The Evil That Warmen Do
05 Lying Delilah (Marko Vaara)
06 Hidden (Kimberly Goss)
07 Dawn (Pasi Nykänen)
08 Alone (Kimberly Goss – Heart cover)
09 Invisible Power (Timo Kotipelto)
10 Devil’s Mistress (Kimberly Goss)
11 They All Blame Me (Jonna Kosonen)
12 Somebody’s Watching Me (Alexi Laiho – Rockwell cover)
13 Separate Ways (Pasi Rantanen – Journey cover)

Summer's coming!

Further dates have been confirmed for Children Of Bodom's 2010 summer festivals' calendar. The band are one of three headliners at the Summer Breeze festival in Dinkelsbühl, 19th-20th August - their only German open-air concert this year.

A week before, they co-headline with LA industrialists, Fear Factory, at Bloodstock Open Air, Catton Hall, Derby (August 13th-15th), and it seems the band are already psyched for the event: "I'm really glad we're playing Bloodstock - it's the only UK show for us in 2010 and the crowd over there has been awesome for us lately!" commented Alexi.