Normally i don't do any post here if i am not on the road doing shows, but this is an exception and i felt that i had something to say.
You all know by now that i play Jackson guitars and you have realised that i love them. You also know that i think the Rhoads model is the coolest piece of metal gear on the planet. Right, so far so good. But what makes me wanna write this post is when i hear or read somewhere that Jackson guitars claims they are proud to have me playing their axes. That's just crazy as it is the complete opposite: I am proud to play THEIR guitars! Not the other way around!
I remember it as if it was yesterday, back in 1983 when Kiss released their album "Lick it up" and i saw Vinnie Vincent playing this ultra-cool pointy guitar in both the "Lick it up" video but also the "All hells breaking loose" video. I was 12 years old and said to myself: "i'm gonna play one of those when i grow up someday". I was totally struck by the design and thought this is where history of metal guitars ends; it can't get any cooler than this, it's impossible. This guitar followed me in my dreams during my youth years and kept reminding me that many of my heroes were also using it. I remember seing Dan Spitz in Anthrax using it, Mille Petrozza in Kreator, Gary Holt in Exodus, Dave Mustaine in Megadeth, Robbin Crosby in Ratt and many more. Back in the 80's it was like everybody was using Jackson, and became a signature of an entire era. It actually took me a number of years until i realized that the biggest of them all mr Randy Rhoads himself (may you rest in peace), was the designer of the pre-version of this particular guitar. I didn't need any more proof.
Here i am now; i grew up and i sticked to my plan to play the guitar of my dreams. I am not only proud to use such great instrument and piece of metal attitude, i feel like being part of something bigger than just a guitar manufacturer with some great heritage in the metal genre; i am part of a family, i feel like i belong. So this is for all of you at Jackson guitars; don't give me that crap about being proud to have me, i owe you big time for fulfilling my dreams. Never stop what you're doing! Your're only young once, you only grow up once. Over and out.
(by the way, in just about a month, August 1st, we will do what might be the last Pain show of 2014 in Finspång, which is the hoods where i grew up. We will play the "Skogsröjet" festival and i will get the chance to meet with the Unisonic guys again - looking forward!)
Screenshot from Jackson's website
2010 Jackson ad with some real guitarists, and me
My favourite guitar, the one i use the most in live shows today: The Rhoads RRX
In the Jackson memorial room at Fender Visitor Center in Corona, CA
I was watching the final setup of a classic US King V at the factory in CA
Dave Brown showed me a spectacular paintjob at the factory in CA
I walked by some Rhoads and King V's ready to be assembled, in the factory in CA
Heavy X-Mas, Switzerland (Friday the 13th…)
Friday the 13th. Yepp, and even if i am not superstitious at all, it was still a PAIN show on that date so you cannot really expect anything less than chaos...
This time we were all divided in separate travels for various reasons, so i was travelling alone from Stockholm to Zürich. Johan was travelling alone from Copenhagen and Bruno from Lisbon. Emanuel was travelling with Sabaton. But Peter, David and Hede travelled together and went into real troubles caused by bad weather conditions in european airports combined with Air Berlins unability to perform customer satisfaction. The guys managed to go from Stockholm to Berlin, then from Berlin to Düsseldorf and the finally from Düsseldorf to Zürich. Cancelled flights, re-booked flights and running around in the airports played the major part of the guys day. I heard all this through SMS contact during the day with a smile on my face as i was still safe at home... So after they had been flying around europe for ablut 10-12 hours it didn't really come as a surprise that most of their luggage never arrived in Zürich. Peter's guitar came, but everything else was missing.
While the guys came to Zürich without luggage, i only had troubles getting my Eleven Rack and Line 6 wireless in as handluggage with Swiss air in Stockholm, so i had to check it in and had no idea if it will make it in one piece. But on the other hand, i was lucky to go direct from Stockholm to Zürich without any weather problems at all in just about two hours and the Eleven Rack and Line 6 wireless came in one piece as well, fortunately! Surprised by the fact that Zürich airport doesn't scan the bar codes of incoming luggage, i realised i had to go and ask for my guitar when it never showed up at the luggage belt. Airport staff: "Do you miss any luggare?" Me: "yes, a very big guitarcase, don't tell me it never came?" Airport staff: "where are you flying from?" Me: "Stockholm" Airport staff: "no problem, we will get it for you, we didn't know you were waiting for it". Me: "eehh..., okay.. thanks..?" By then i realized that the other guys will never see their luggage in time for the show. I mean, how would they even know the luggage has arrived if they don't even perform a arrival scan? Scary...
I met Johan at the airport entrance and we jumped in a taxi and went to the venue. There we met up with everyone else and heard all the stories about their crazy day, and also realized it was only about 45mins left to showtime. Okay, David had no cymbals, no tech gear such as in-ear's and no stage clothes. The backdrop never came either, just as an example. Now we have to act fast and find solutions and replacements if possible. We have to do the show, no matter what!
Just face facts; we could easily end up in a situation where we had to cancel the show, especially if the guys didn't arrive in time, so it was "better than nothing" that we did our set, even if it was shorter than planned. We had to cut several songs as we started too late and we couldn't change the schedule for the rest of the bands of course. I can only apologize to the fans that came there to see us, but we managed to give you the major part of our set anyway, even if it became shorter than planned and it was really out of our control. But i have said this before (many times) and i will continue to say it: Don't fly Air Berlin, and try to avoid Berlin/Tegel airport if possible. Otherwise you are just asking for trouble!
The show itself went fine and the crowd treated us very well. David playd in his underwear (what other choice did he have?) and he also borrowed cymbals and other stuff. We only had a black backdrop and most other technical stuff was okay. I almost dropped my pants as the button broke (getting too fat maybe) so i had to run backstage and Bruno borrowed me his belt right before the start of "End of the line". I actually played the first 4 bars of the riff while he was putting on the belt on me, hahaha!
After the show we hang backstage with a few beers, had dinner in the catering and then we went to see Accept. I just love the old Accept albums and had never seen them live. I was totally blown away! What a sound, what a performance, and what an action of the old bastards! The guitarplaying of Mr Wolf Hoffmann is so special, he has his signum and everything he does sounds like Accept in his own unique style. It was fantastic to hear old masterpieces like "Breaker" but when "Restless and wild" came on, i just hit my peak: this made my day completely. Up until this point it was a regular friday the 13th in regular PAIN manner, but this was the perfect encore!
There was many other Swedish bands around at the festival, and some of them i haven't met in many years (like Morgan from Marduk) but it was no time as we had to go to the hotel after the Accept show, when we had our booked transfer. Finally at the hotel i was crawling around in my room udner the bed looking for power outlets to charge my phone. This seems to be the only hotel in the world with no power outlet anywhere!
Next day we were all sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for taxis, when all missing luggage showed up. "Better late than never" was not the right sentence this time, but it felt stupid to sit there and watch the luggage that we needed so badly the day before. Right now it didn't matter at all. We all went into a few taxis and drove off to the airport. We were really late for our flight and was almost caught in a Police-control by the road. That would've made us miss our flight back home, but fortunately they drove off right before us and we came in time to catch our flight. Only a few problems occured at check-in when we realized our promotors had forgot to book us the luggage we needed to get back home... Well, it is a regular PAIN trip after all...
Finally back home after a crazy PAIN weekend as usual, i opened a nice bottle of "Kiss" and relaxed. It actually feels good it's over for now. No more shows for a long time now, and next big happening is christmas and new years eve. Feels just great! Then in January i will spend more than two weeks in California on holiday, but also visit the Jackson Guitars factory if possible. But most and above all, I will become a grandfather in the end of January, which will be a fantastic event in my life! So right now the weapons are all hanging on the wall, resting in peace until next war. But that will not be until the spring has hit us and the trees are sparkling green again.
I wish you all a merry christmas and a happy new year, and thanks for all great memorable shows in 2013. Take care of each other and don't fly Air Berlin.
White and red weapons of choice on the christmas show :-)
Landed in Zürich 2:30 before showstart in Dietikon - easy!
Accepts gear lying around backstage before the show, classic metal design :-)
As the luggage never arrived David had to do the show in his underwear!
Accept made my day, completely! During "Restless and wild" i almost cried...
If a duck in the bathroom means "hotel spa included" then i got it all wrong
Better late than never? Not sure it really mattered this time :-(
Heavy Metal Maniacs at the "Heavy X-Mas festival" show in Dietikon, Switzerland
Our last show of 2013 became shorter than we planned
Back home again, relaxing with a nice bottle of Kiss :-)
Ludvika & Sorsele, Sweden
Three days and two shows, both in Sweden, but very far from each other. Ludvika is a 2,5h drive west from Stockholm and Sorsele is a 1,5h flight and a 3,5h drive north from Stockholm. Crazy travelling when i am thinking of it afterwards. Have a look at the map and you understand what i mean, hehe... We did both these places this weekend, and it marked the end of this season with Pain. The only bad experience this weekend was the lack of sleep due to our tight schedule and long travels - about 6h in total during these three days. Not enough for an old and grumpy man :-)
The festival in Ludvika was "Gamrocken" and the one in Sorsele was "Rock out Wild". I brought the red/black and the black/silver Jacksons on this trip, using the red in Ludvika and the black in Sorsele. Everything except the sleep was great during this trip and it was a fantastic ending of this season with Pain 2013. Playing in Ludvika is always a treat as this is Peters hometown. It doesn't matter how big or small show it is, it's always good. Someone threw up a bra on stage when we played "Dirty Woman" which hasn't happened for a while, hahaha!
Johan, Emanuel and myself drove to and from Ludvika in my car, so i had to be sharp and alert both ways. So the late night after the show and early evening next morning was not the best fundament for my driving to Stockholm/Arlanda the next day. We came a bit late to the airport and were all tired, we went to the wrong terminal and had to run with all our luggage to the right terminal and came just in time for the flight to Luleå. It turned out that most bands that were about to play the festival in Sorsele was on this flight. We arrived in Luleå and were all (about 30 people) picked up in a large bus to drive us all to the festival in Sorsele.
The experience of Sorsele will probably always remain strong in my memory. This is very far north in Sweden and the environment, surroundings and climate is all different to what i am used to living in Stockholm. This is a beautiful place and the nature is just stunning. But the crazy part is the mosquitos - they are everywhere, all the time, and they are aggressive little maniacs! We had to cover our bodies with anti-mosquito grease all day and especially before the show. The place were the festival was held is a ski resort in wintertime (Nalovardo), so it was a very nice atmosphere to be around in high summer season, and all bands stayed in separate ski-cabins close to the backstage area. Really something we're not used to, and it was cool!
The show in Sorsele can be one of our best shows ever, or at lest top 5. It's true. Now you wonder: why is that? A small local festival in the middle of nowhere in Sweden? I'll tell 'ya: it's a matter of so many small things that all came together at the same time, and when this happens it doesn't matter where you are and if it's big or small. You just know it. We had such a great treat this evening and everything was 100% right. As an example, we had the best monitor sound on stage ever, and this makes you perform so much better. It sounded like being playing to a CD with headpnones! (i have to find our what company was doing this, and thank them). We were all in a very good mood, joking around all happy, fooling around on stage. We had great audience that treated us very well and maybe also the lovely nature environment of a ski resort in summertime together with the fact that it was the last show could also be a brick in this game. I don't know. But we were all agree afterwards that this was one of the best ever. The funniest detail must be that we had such feeling after the last song so we decided to do an improvised extra-extra song just for the fun of it, and David had to ask people from the audience to "borrow" his drumsticks back. He had no spares after the ones he threw out after what he thought was the last song! :-)
After the show our cabin was invaded by more or less every other band from the festival, as well as other random people i had no clue who they were. But the party became loud, wild and late. The next morning (or actually just a few hours after the last partymaniacs left our cabin) i woke up around 8 of a massive BANG! It was a great thunder that woke me up, so i got up and headed into the shower and while i was in there the next BANG came and then the electricity blacked out. Funny to be standing in the shower in a dark room with no electricity :-)
Anyway, all bands took the same way back with the large bus to Luleå airport and then all flew to Stockholm were everybody split up in various directions. The season is now over for Pain, and it feels like we had a blast. I hope you all have liked the readings of my reports, i get many kind messages in my official facebook page (www.facebook.com/bohlinmichael) and it's very nice to hear your reviews. It keeps me writing.
Keep up the spirit
Peter in Sorsele. Photo: EvaLinda Grensman
Painheads in the audience in Sorsele. Photo: EvaLinda Grensman
Johan in Sorsele. Photo: EvaLinda Grensman
Live in Sorsele. Photo: EvaLinda Grensman
Me, David and Johan backstage in Ludvika, by the roost
Just arrived in Ludvika, about to empty my car
David is doing his hair in our flashy backstage in Ludvika :-)
Our view from backstage in Ludvika: this is priceless!
Emanuel taking care of our gear before the show - he is our master!
Emanuels view during the show in Ludvika. I am using my black/silver RR this time
About to board the plave to Luleå, Hede and David is taking command...
In Swedish: anyone under 40 has to show ID to be able to buy beer...
Arrived in Sorsele after the long drive from Luleå
The coolest running order ever, found in Sorsele at the Rock Out Wild festival
David, Johan and myself after we just had homemade dinner in Nalovardo ski resort
David drinking/eating white russian in our cabin at the afterparty :-)
Going back to Stockholm from Luleå again
Rock im Betonwerk, Germany
Sometimes everything seems to go wrong, and when it does, everything happens at the same time. The major part of this trip was like that, even thought it all ended up fine.
When i was picked up at home by David and André the first backlash came right at the door: "i forgot my hihat at home, we have to turn back" said David. As we had enough time we turned back to Davids house and picked up his forgotten hihat. When we came to Arlanda airport our next backlash came: "i have forgotten the Painheads (the custom-made all-metal kickdrum-front) at home" said David. Now it was too late to turn back so we continued to check-in. It started to feel like "one of those days" but we keept our mood on top.
Then our flight was delayed, and it was very bumpy and we arrived way too late in Berlin so we had lost over one hour of our very tight (and almost impossible) schedule. The heat was killing us in Berlin and we were told it was about 35-39 degrees when we were picked up by our driver. Next strange thing was the fact that the festival had sent a driver in a normal car (not a big van as always) to pick the three of us up and drive us to Chemnitz. They must've thought we travel with just a toothbrush as we had serious trouble to fit all our gear into this car! The result was the three of us squeezed in the car together with two guitars, two bases, our bags, my rack case, Davids cymbals and so on. This couldn've been okay for a 15 min drive, but we had about three hours ahead of us. Oh well.. it is Pain after all. Reality - check.
At this point we were getting very hungry as it was about 8-9 hours ago since we had something to eat. Air Berlin refused to serve us any food at the plane even though we asked if we could buy... So we told our driver to stop for a dinner break. He responded that it was no time and our schedule was fucked up. We said we're not gonna play if we don't get any food so stop the fucking car! The driver called the festival and told them the scheduled signing session is not gonna happen and we stopped for a quick bite at a gas station. A few minutes later we were on the road again. The average speed was 205km/h.
When we finally arrived at the festival area we only had less than 60 minutes to showtime. We met with the rest of the team and shared travel stories as it turned out the other guys had similar issues as well. About 7 minutes before showtime my guitars had new strings and was in tune. The heat was crazy and we were all soaking wet before we even entered the stage. But we came on stage just a few minutes late and made a good show and had a good time. André and me jumped down from the stage in the middle of a song again and were standing headbanging in front of the audience at their level, even though i broke my toe last time i tried this crazy shit (Metal Camp last summer). Then we couldn't get back up on stage again so we had to run all the way around to the backside and find the ramp up. I made it exactly in time for the chorus so i could join in and sing "It's the end of the line", hehe... This time i had brought my snow white Jackson which i hadn't used for a while, just for the fun of it. It's a great guitar as well, just as all the others! :-)
After the show we headed out to see Suicidal Tendencies who played after us. The kicked ass for sure and i got reminded what a great live act they are! I hadn't seen them live since early 90's and i was so happy to see them again. I also met Dan Lilker backstage, had a quick chat and gave him a few beers from our backstage fridge. Then i realized, last time i spoke to him was back in 1989 in Stockholm when he was touring with Nuclear Assault. Shit, we're both getting old :-)
Anyway, the day ended well even though it started like shit. Now i am back in holiday mood again, but only for a few days as next weekend we have two Swedish festivals to conquer. Until then: don't eat yellow snow.
Live at Rock im Betonwerk 2013
André, David and me at Arlanda airport
Trying to fit our gear in a car at Berlin-Tegel airport, in 35 degrees heat
My dinner at the roadside this day, as there were no time for proper food :-(
André and me in the car on our 3 hour journey from Berlin to the festival
7 minutes before showtime my guitars gets new strings - we made it in time though!
Live at Rock im Betonwerk 2013
Suicidal Tendencies kicked ass this evening, what a great live act they are!
Peter and David having fun backstage...
About to leave from the hotel to Berlin again, André is having a coffee
Back in Stockholm, David gets some rest at Arlanda airport parkinglot
With Full Force, Germany
Our management had booked and prepaid extra luggage with Air Berlin for our trip from Stockholm to Berlin, but of course "something went wrong" and we had to pay for the luggage again at check-in. On our way back from Berlin to Stockholm with SAS, the same shit happened again! We had prepaid extra luggage in our booking and we even showed the confirmation that said "extra luggage confirmed" to the staff at the counter but it meant nothing at all. We had to pay anyway! So in the end we paid for the luggage twice i think. How stupid is that? And i must say the Berlin airport is one of the most ineffective airports i've ever been to, and believe me, i've seen a few... We check-in in terminal D, but when we had to pay for the extra luggage we had to go to terminal A to pay and then go back to terminal D to show the receipt and find our gate. Fantastic. Fortunately we were there in good time otherwise we would've missed our plane. Also, every restaurant in the airport is on second floor, with elevators too small to carry a luggage-trolley. Smart, as most people in an airport are carrying luggage...
Okay, enough airline complaints for now, i was just so fed up with companies that are not committed to their customers and can behave they way the want as they know no one will complain - as it is impossible to contact them and complain afterwards...
Six years ago we played With Full Force Festival. I remember it well: Slayer was headlining, it was raining in the evening and it was the last time we had our red/black flatline drumriser-drop as we unintentionally left it there afterwards. Funny, as this time Slayer was also headlining (but the day before us) and it was also raining, even though it stopped exactly when we entered the stage. Fortunately we didn't left anything behind this time. Sad to hear Lemmy is very ill and Motörhead had to cancel their slot, but it felt good when Phil Anselmo in DOWN celebrated Lemmy in front of all 30.000 fans and got them all to scream "Lemmy, Lemmy, Lemmy" just to show how much we all respect him. Phil is a great guy with tons of attitude, and i just love his vocals, both in DOWN and previously in Pantera. I remember when i saw the last Pantera show in Sweden back in 2001 and i said to myself "god damn this guy has more attitude than the rest of the audio industry together, and rocks the shit out of everone else". Nothing has changed there for sure!
We had a great show and lots of fun. The fact that i have been working out at the gym since january is really showing results. I have so much more energy than earlier, and a show at a big stage like this was not as tough as it was in the past. After our show we went to a big signing session with shitloads of fans. I was a bit surprised so many showed up as this happened at the same time DOWN was wrapping up the last songs on stage. Back in our backstage lounge again we met one of the guys behind the board game "Rock Science" and we all got our own copy of the game to bring home. That was really cool as i had been thinking of getting one ever since i heard about the release. I mean, a game full of rock questions only, it just cannot get any better, can it? Finally we can get together with a crate of beer and a board game that actually fits our intellect! hehe :-)
When the rest of the mob stayed at the backstage area to party with Phil Anselmo i went to the hotel to get some work done and some good nights sleep. The hotel was way down close to the bottom of my list - i thought there were no hotel rooms where you could smoke in 2013, but apparently i was wrong. My room smelled like shit and i had to keep the window open all night. They had even put an ash-tray at the bedstand! Anyway, next morning after breakfast (Breakfastpoints: 6) we left to Berlin again and flew back home to Stockholm. Well, only David, André and myself as Peter and the crew went to another festival with Hypocrisy.
Now a few weeks of well deserved summer holiday awaits and next show is another festival in Germany, July 26th. Until then, have a drink on me and don't pay for any extra luggage in advance at any time!
PAIN at With Full Force 2013 - Thank you! (Photo: Alex Becker)
Me at With Full Force 2013 (Photo: Alex Becker)
David at With Full Force 2013 (Photo: Alex Becker)
André at With Full Force 2013 (Photo: Alex Becker)
Peter at With Full Force 2013 (Photo: Alex Becker)
Packing my stuff the evening before the show - 200 picks? hmmm..
At Arlanda Airport parking with all our stuff waiting to get to the terminal
Standing in line for check-in, confused and tired gang as always :-)
Finally arrived backstage at With Full Force Festival after a boring ride from Berlin
The stage we played, but here is the band DOWN with Phil Anselmo playing after us
Our signing session accompanioned with AC/DC beers
Look at this beast i found backstage - the coolest bike i've ever seen!
Peter & André is doing an interview with themselves... well, you don't wanna know...
When i came to my hotel room this message met me at the TV set - Mr or Mrs Pain?
At Berlin airport about to fly back home to Stockholm again
David is boarding the plane back to Stockholm
The summary of this trip, with my absolute favorite: The "fritz-kola" beer opener! :-)
It is not too often i am flying out to a PAIN show completely alone, without any of the other maniacs. First time i did this was at Metaltown in Gothenburg last year, second time was this weekend. Honestly i must say it's pretty nice :-)
But at Arlanda Airport i found some of the guys from TIAMAT who were also going to the same festival, so i was not entirely alone but had good travel companions. All other maniacs were flying in from other places for various reasons (like Sweden Rock Festival). After a short flight to Tallinn, we were heading for the connecting flight to Kiev. We had time for a few beers while we were waiting in Tallinn, and this is also were we should meet the rest of the gang, but no. Not until we sat in the plane in Tallinn and were about to close the doors, they all stepped in one by one in a line of guily late passengers. Now it felt like normal PAIN trip again...
We arrived in Kiev and went straight to our hotel, which was a floating boat-kinda thingy tied to the shore of one of the islands in Kiev. Cool place and a very nice atmosphere. As soon as i had left my bag in the room i went to the restaurant to get something to eat, and found our friends from Tiamat and Clawfinger there as well. After the dinner we (PAIN) were all picked up by a van and were supposed to go to the festival area. Well, supposed to. When we came to the other island where the festival was located, we were not allowed to pass throug hthe gates that were close to the stage... The strict guards didn't care at all that we were the band who were headlining the festival and just said to our driver that we have to take the same entrance as anyone else. Hehe, i thought this was really cool and we had to drive around the island through the deep forest until we finally hit the festival area. Of course it was impossible to drive through all people everywhere so our driver just opened the door and let us out. Surrounded by guards we had to squeeze ourselves through the crowd in the sand and finally arrived at the stage. Now, this was another really cool and unexpected sight, the stage was also (just as our hotel) a boat, tied to the beach with all 15.000 people standing by the beach with a few metres of water between them and the stage. I have never seen anything like it.
We were in Ukraine first time in May 2007 when we did a show in Kiev at CKM NAU. I think we have been there two more times so this must be the fourth time. You think you know what to expect in cases like this, but you don't. Really, and i mean that in a good way. Expect the unexpected, and i always do. The show was fantastic, one of our very best i must say. We had shitloads of fun on stage and i think we did a very good show, even though we hadn't played together for a few months now. The audience was totally crazy and probably one of the loudest ever in PAIN world. You never expect a living fish to come flying up on stage, and we had never expected that, but that also happened. Expect the unexpected. It is really priceless to be standing there in front of 15.000 screaming people on a beach, on a huge boat-stage, with the view of almost entire Kiev in the background and only a few metres of water between us and the audience in a nice evening in June. Okay, the sound on stage sucked bigtime as they didn't have any monitor console and we had some other minor issues, but that didn't matter at all when you are in a situation like that. If it sounded good out there in the audience, we are happy anyway.
After the show we were heading off to a signing session, again with about 10 bodyguards in a circle around us. It took almost 1,5 hours until every fan had got their autograph and we could jump into the van and go back to the hotel again. Me and Johan sat in the lobby bar with a few drinks and discussed music and then went to bed. I had a smile on my face when i fell asleep, as i had once again got myself a crazy experience. Expect the unexpected.
The next day i woke up by a sound like the whole hotel was falling apart. After a few minutes when i became a bit more clear the sound came again and i realised it was the flush from the toilets on the floors above me. We had our rooms on the bottom floor and i guess all pipes passed my room hence the noise. But it was fine, as i had slept for 7 hours which is luxury anyway. I had breakfast in the restaurant with Hede and the Clawfinger guys (Breakfastpoints: 5) and then got myself ready for the day. As our flight out of Ukraine was not until 8:20pm we had a full day to kill. We asked our promotor if we could go to Tjernobyl but were told it was too far and also not that easy to get in there with such short notice. Okay, so we asked if we could get a Kiev sightseeing and that was arranged for us with no hassle at all.
We got a van and a guide and we drove up the hills of Pechersk by the Dnieper river in Kiev. Here we spent many hours watching the wonderful view of the city of Kiev but also visiting the "Museum of the great patriotic war" that includes the amazing "Motherland monument" and the "Military Museum". The Motherland Sculpture monument is a 62m tall stainless steel statue (102m including the building it was built on) and is in fact the tallest in the world. The Military Museum is a memorial complex commemorating the German-Soviet war and was originally opened by Leonid Brezhnev on the "victory day" May 9th 1981. It was a fantastic experience (see the pictures) and a great day in 38 degrees as Kiev showed us its very best side of things. Unfortunately we almost got arrested when we had a cold beer in the sun which apparently was strictly forbidden... After our guide had been in a discussion with the law enforcement for a long time it was suggested that we had to go to the police station. But the guard suddenly got distracted and forgot about us when he saw someone who lighted up a cigarrette - that was also forbidden :-)
It all went fine in the end and after the experience on the hill we went downtown to have some local lunch from Ukraine, which was also very interesting. I cannot remember what it was called so i leave that part out, but we had a mixtire of soups (both warm and cold), bread and mixed dishes. We really got our share of Kiev and the Ukraine culture this day! This is a very cool city and by doing this sightseeing i know so much more about Ukraine and the history it holds. I like the fact that it resides a proud feeling amongst the citizens of Ukraine, and i believe they are happy people.
Thank you Kiev and Ukraine for having us as your guests once again, it was a pleasure as always. You always show us your very best side and we are treated better than we deserve. Looking forward to our next visit.
Packing my stuff the day before i went to Ukraine - took two RRX on this trip
With Lars from TIAMAT at the airport having a beer-break
Just arrived in Kiev Boryspil airport
The hotel where we stayed in Kiev - Bakkara Accord
Dinner before the show, with PAIN, TIAMAT & CLAWFINGER
The way to the festival area...
Very cool and different festival environment: boat-stage with audience on the beach
Priceless view from the backside of our stage: Kiev
Happy after a 1,5 hour signing session
Saying goodbye to TIAMAT when we went back home again
Another view of our hotel, from the bridge to the island
Me, David, Hede, Dennis & Emanuel in front of "Motherland Monument"
Watching the monuments of the great wars, huge and impressive statues
On the hill with the view of entire Kiev in the background
This was so cool - to sit in a MIG plane...
...and the view inside! :-)
In front of one of the tanks (it was military green on the other side)
Lunch in downtown Kiev
David was really tired on our way back home again and fell asleep sitting down...
My summary of the trip: "Basilur Cream Fantasy" sounds a bit odd...
We arrived in a sunny Cardiff in Wales in mid afternoon. We had some time before soundcheck so me and David had a real walk around town to check it out. None of us had been in Cardiff before and i must say i was surprised. The first thing i saw when i jumped out of the van was a huge castle wall. I love castles so that made me happy right away. When we walked around the city we also looked at the beautiful church and surroundings. The architecture of Cardiff was very interesting i must say. Unfortunately most things were closed as it was sunday afternoon. Finally we sat down at Pizza Hut and had lunch and a Magners (i love the Irish Cider!)
The final show of this UK tour was great and we all had a good time. After a tough tour we now went to our "hotel" and slept a few hours until we had to jump in the van again at 06:30 this morning to go to Heathrow. During the flight back home to Sweden again i tried to make some general reflections of the UK trip but only had one thing in my head that kind of blocked everyting else preventing a general conclusion. Can someone please explain this UK-sink thing to me? One tap with icecold water and one tap with boiling hot water. Come on, it is 2013, i don't understand how to use this! This is useless to me! Please?
Now i am back home again, sitting i my sofa watching TV feeling great. I just washed my hands in our sink with only one tap, where you can actually chose any temperature you want, hahaha :-)
Anyway, thank you all UK Painheads for treating us so well during this tour! I am so happy that so many of you turned up and made our trip all worth it! 'cause i can promise it wasn't all easy! Thank you also for all your kind celebrations during my birthday.
Just arrived to the venue in Cardiff
The big church of Cardiff
Interesting archetechture of Cardiff, old meets new, meets strict, meets wild
The beautiful castle of Cardiff, me and David checked it out
David is challenging the mutant skull for an angry face...
...while i found another one with the same size
Now, who can explain this to me? Please? PLEASE! I don't understand...
Slow day, very slow day. Felt like the hours in the van from Glasgow to Derby would last forever... Finally we arrived, soundchecked, had some dinner and then had a good relax at the hotel before the show. The venue in Derby was also in a state where we decided to use our hotel room instead of the backstage, as the hotel was close enough to just have a walk there.
I read somewhere, i think it was at Facebbok, that we had people in the audience today that had flewn in to Derby from Dublin to see us. God dammit, that's what i call dedication! Thanks!
Today's travel goal is Cardiff. Tonight we have our last show on this UK tour and another 5 shows is history, and tomorrow we fly back home to Stockholm again.
My bag and my book - ready to hit the streets again
UK candy - slightly bigger than Swedish equivalent
Scottish landscapes seen through the van window
Glasgow seen from our hotel
Glasgow, UK (and birthday celebrations)
So, my birthday went along fine. We had a log drive from Leeds to Glasgow and i was watching the beautiful Scottish landscapes on our way there. When we arrived in Glasgow me and David took a walk around downtown searching for any stores that would sell Whisky. I am a Whisky freak and especially the Single Malts from Islay. Being in Scotland i was sure i could buy some great Whiskys everywhere but after our long walk around the city we found exactly nothing! :-(
So we went back to the venue, did the soundcheck and then headed for the hotel. It was just one block away and we realized we had to use our hotel rooms as backstage areas as well, as the venue didn't have any. Well, compared to the Leeds backstage, it was a huge improvement! :-)
Before i went to the show i opened up my online app in my phone for Bandit Radio (the Swedish rock radio station) and listened when my daughter Kimmy celebrated my birthday live on the radio. She's just too nice :-)
Show went fine, and afterwards we went back to our hotel to change clothes again. Then we hit the streets of Glasgow to celebrate my birthday. We found this rock bar called "Cathouse" where we hang out partying until they threw us out at 4 am. Then we continued the party in the hotel, which the guards didn't like at all.
Today we have a long drive to Derby and it seems like most of us is slower than usual - i wonder why...
English breakfast in Leeds
Having a break on our way, Scottish landscapes in the background
Shopping street in Glasgow
Outside the Art Museum in Glasgow, i wonder why he has a roadcone on his head?
Toilets in the venue in Glasgow
Our tour-shirts for the UK tour
Painheads lining up outside the venue in Glasgow
I was listening to the Swedish Radio station online when they were celebrating me
Birthday celebrations from Scotish painheads
The ticket to our show in Glasgow
Birthday party at the Cathouse in Glasgow
Birthday card from Painheads in Glasgow
Leeds, UK - SOLD OUT!
The trip from London to Leeds wasn't really what we expected. Some four hours drive was the plan but before we were really there it had passed over six hours. The whole evenings time schedule was fucked. Except from heavy traffic in the Leeds area the biggest issue was the major accident that had occurred in the highway between London and Leeds. What we had to see when we drove past this terrible accident made me feel really bad afterwards. I think this was the worst crash i have seen in real life and it kind of paralyzed my mind for some time afterwards, just staring out the window with an empty sight. I couldn't get the picture of that car off my mind. A Mercedes E-Class that is normally slightly under 5m long, was less than 1m long in this piece of wreck. Apparently it also had humans inside that pile of metal. Someone died there for sure and it was terrible to see. That someone ended his/her life on valentines day in the busy highway. It felt terrible. Life is not fair.
Anyway, the place we were originally planned to play in Leeds had closed down right after this tour was planned, so we had the choice of canceling the Leeds show and go straight to Glasgow, or play wherever they will welcome us in Leeds and do a punk show. If we're here we should play, right? So we did the punk show in the cellars of a hotel in Leeds. But it was sold out and packed.
Today we are driving from Leeds to Glasgow. We will start much earlier to make sure we don't end up two hours too late as we did yesterday. Today is also my birthday, and i never thought i would spend my birthday in Scotland :-)
André's hat says "100% Professional" but the London-Leeds trip was too much for him
Air Condition Fail. Our touring van doesn't really have all the coolest features...
I thought i had seen everything, but then i came to the backstage in Leeds :-)
London, UK - SOLD OUT!
Pain has been playing in UK a few times by now, but never as headline. I don't really know why this country has been left outside the rest of the european conquers where we have been doing that many times, but the requests from Painheads in UK surely demanded a try form our side. After the UK tour with Nightwish in November we announced a UK tour in February as headline act. You have asked us to come and we listened. So, this will be a very interesting trip to find out if you were right! :-)
I have found myself into very bad timing as usual. Having fever and a flu chasing me right now, so the early morning call to the airport in Stockholm was really tough this time as i hadn't really got that much sleep. After arriving in Heathrow we drove straight to the venue to start prepare for the show. After soundcheck we went to our hotel that was only 5 mins walk from the back entrance of The Borderline, perfect distance (after being lost in the wrong streets a couple of times that is...). I could get some well needed rest and medication before going back to do the show.
When the show finally started it became pretty obvious straight away that we surely do have loads of Painheads around here in London. It was sold out and packed to the limit, great atmosphere and all good mood. Loud audience always drives the oveall energy in a show, and this was one of those shows for sure. Despite my rising fever and bad flu i got myself through the whole set without any major problems. Caughing and choking for air, feeling dizzy of course, but it all went fine. Thank you all Painheads of London!
After the show Jyrki 69 from the 69 Eyes visited us backstage for a while, then i took a walk back to the hotel, took two Nyquill and went straight to sleep. My fever was rising again and i needed to rest.
Now i am in our hotel waiting to get going. We have a 4 hour drive to Leeds today.
Arrived in Heathrow, trying to find our tourmanager/driver
Just arrived in the Borderline, but a bit too early and it was still closed :-(
Stage setup in The Borderline, soundcheck
The Borderline entrance is very nice with the walls all covered with frames
The Borderline Entrance
The view from my hotel window in Soho
This is what keeps me going right now, to keep my fever and flu away :-(
Going to UK soon
What? Really? I just checked my calendar and realized that our UK tour starts in less than a week. Hmm, i wonder what happened to time?
So, it is time to pick select what guitars to bring, take out the cases and bags from the storage in the basement, check the Eleven Rack and wireless system and get ready for UK. I wonder if UK is ready for us though? We have been in UK before, but only as support a few times and this is our first own headline tour. I am excited over the fact that we are finally doing this, and it feels a bit strange at the same time as we have been touring as headline many times in other regions. I really hope UK will be nice to us :-)
On wednesday we will all gather at Arlanda airport and start our journey to UK. We fly to London where we open up the tour, follwed by 4 other dates. I also realized i have to celebrate my birthday in Glasgow this year...
Pain UK Tour 2013
Last show we did in 2012, in Karlstad Sweden, December 22nd
Last show we did in 2012, in Karlstad Sweden, December 22nd
Good morning 2013. I started this year by opening up a Facebook account, the "Michael Bohlin official
". This account is wide open to anyone and is the answer to your request of open communication. Loads of people have asked me to have an account like this for communication, and i agree it's a good idea especially as it's separated from my private stuff which is always in Swedish amongst my close friends and family.
When this year starts to get in shape i will update more on touring stuff, but for now, this is the only dates in the outllok for 2013:
2013-02-13 Borderlines – London – England
2013-02-14 The well – Leeds – England
2013-02-15 The audio – Glasgow – Scotland
2013-02-16 Hairy dog – Derby – England
2013-02-17 Bogiez – Cardiff – Wales
2013-08-02/03 Rock out wild – Sorsele – Sweden
Karlstad, Sweden. End of 2012.
Pictures below from the last show of 2012, in Karlstad Sweden (a sold out show), together with Sabaton and Raubtier yesterday.
I met a PAIN fan after the show who thanked me for doing this blog and told me that he had read every post and was a big fan. That made me very happy and felt like a good ending of 2012 when i jumped into the van with Andre and drove away from Karlstad.
I wish you all a merry christmas and a happy new year! See 'ya all next year. Now i need some rest.
(Did you get the new 8thSin album "Cosmogenesis" yet? Otherwise send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Karlstad, Sweden. Photo: Robban Murray
Karlstad, Sweden. Photo: Robban Murray
Karlstad, Sweden. Photo: Robban Murray
European tour 2012 wrap-up
So it is over for now. I am back home again in my apartment in Stockholm and i must admit it feels fantastic. It has been a hell of a ride as always, and it is YOU, our dedicated Painheads that keeps me going.
We have a fantastic team that have been working together for a long time now, which makes the daily routines very smooth. Stage set is always built up correctly and in time, our instruments are always perfectly set up, we have our towels and drinks where we want it, picks on the mic stand, set-lists at the correct places we prefer and so on and so on. We can always rely on the team.
Macke ("Backline-Frasse") takes good care of my precious guitars (and wireless guitar systems) and makes sure they are always shiny with fresh strings, tuned for perfection. Macke has never worked with us without his hat at any show so far. I am starting to think it is stuck there on top of his head. Dee-doo, dee-doo!
Emanuel ("Junior") does the same for the drums, but also keeps all our wireless In-Ear systems tuned and programmed for each days environment, along with our backing track system. He is the youngest dude in the team, and i can make sure he gets to hear it very often… As a matter of fact, he could be our son…
Hede ("Lamp-Roffe" or "Kablage-Lars" depending on which day it is) is just the best light guy you can have, and i so want to see a Pain show some day, just to see and indulge what he is doing when he is giving a new dimension to the music with his visual creations. He is often way too loud, and have been teasing me for my big and/or ugly guitar cases for the last 5 years, but he sure knows what he's doing when it comes to the lighting design. Stick to that please!
I get to hear so often from people who comes up to me (or reads in reviews) and say that the sound was just amazing and that "we have never heard this good sound in this crappy venue before" and things like that. We get to hear that it is "so clean" and "powerful" and "you could hear everything" and so on. This is all down to Kimmo Ahola ("Finno Mustalainen"), the crazy Finnish dude who mixes 50/50 Whisky/Coke and can make almost any place sound good. I have no idea how he do it, but it is proven that he is really one of the very best! He is also working with Nightwish, which is a band that always sounds good live. Working with a real pro is always a privilege. He has this Finnish attitude and pretends he hates us all Swedes, but i think as a matter of fact he likes us, at least a little bit.
So, overall i must say that i am happy to have such great team around me and that everyone works so well together to make every show, every night, to be as good as possible on a common goal. Most of the times they all go beyond that level, and i just wanna say that i love them all!
Some tour statistics:
9000km on the road (approx)
2 Nightliners with 5 drivers
170 Personal Michael Bohlin-picks
0 alcohol for me!
It was not intentionally planned like this, but i went through this whole madness tour without drinking one single drop of alcohol, and i must say i am so god damn proud! I feel great and i had loads of fun even though i was sober all the way through. Is this the new way going forward? I don't know and that's not the point, but it was a great experience and i can honestly say: You don't need alcohol to have fun, just make sure to be amongst funny individuals! Or maybe i am getting old...
My pass and my computer, heavily used during the tour. Both essential items.
Live in Zlin. Photo: Nathanella / Photomusic.cz
Live in Zlin. Photo: Nathanella / Photomusic.cz
Live in Zlin. Photo: Nathanella / Photomusic.cz
Another "tour-memory collection", this one came from Océ in France