Weekend wrap-up and November announcement

Back in Stockholm after loads of sleep i feel in best shape right now! Last weekend and the two festivals was great and this time we had enough sleep and the travels were not bad at all. Okay, i came home a bit after midnight but had good travels and have been sleeping a lot today. I have good memories from this trip and especially from the endeavours with Exodus, but also when Johan got lost in himself on stage, wrapped up his guitar strap and cables around his feet and were stuck and couldn't move... on the side of the stage the Exodus guys were applauding his funny behaviour with a great smile on their faces :-)
Now i have holiday and will just enjoy that as much as i can. Some time will be spent on the recordings of the 8th Sin album "Cosmogenesis" again, but mainly pure holiday. Next show is at Metal Camp in August, which i really look forward to. We were there in 2007 and had a really good time. One song from that show is included at the Cynic Paradise DVD. I remember having lunch with Mille Petrozza and saw the Kreator show after us on the main stage. I am a big Kreator fan and the show was great! Metal Camp is a bit special with its wonderful environment and overall attitude like a summer holiday camp!

Today it has been officially announced that we will support Nightwish in UK in November, right before our European tour. We have not been in UK since 2009 and i know we have many Painheads screaming for this so it feels a little bit like payback, and of course it's gonna be great to get together with our crazy Finnish friends again :-)
Emanuel had been naughty and had to be punished. Photo: Gerd Krenz
Macke had been naughty and had to be punished. Photo: Gerd Krenz
Exodus said goodbye in our backstage before they went back to the
US again. Photo: Gerd Krenz
Laughing with Emanuel backstage at Zwarte Cross... 
Happy with a Smirnoff Ice in the hotel. Photo: Emanuel Isaksson
Live in Czech Republic. Photo: Marcin Pawłowski
Live in Czech Republic. Photo: Marcin Pawłowski
Live in Czech Republic. Photo: Marcin Pawłowski

Queens of Metal, Germany

As Exodus had been writing signs all over our backstage doors during the festivals we've been doing together (also this time, but they also signed it…), i thought it was time for payback. During their show we messed up their backstage door with marshmallows and signs, and placed pots of flowers and furnitures in front of it so they could barely see the door! Then to make sure we didn't get anything back this time we put a security guard at our door when we went on stage. All we heard when they came back from their show was "what the f**k!!!   :-)

It was a good show and i had a really good time. We were all laughing all the way through the show, did stupid jokes and pranks on stage, run around like maniacs and were just enjoying. I don't know if it had to do with the fact that we actually had enough sleep this time and all felt fresh and good, but it was just one of those days when everything worked out perfectly. All technical stuff worked, and we had a blast on stage. As usual, Exodus was playing before us, and for the fourth time Rob Dukes came up on stage and sang "Shut your mouth" with us. But this time we took it one step further with Rob taking Peter's mic and position acting like the main character singing not only the second verse. It was so great and for the first time during this festival season we actually did an encore in "Bye Die". I'd say all thumbs up for this show!

The Beer wasn't the best i've tried, and the pizza tasted like lasagna… You never know what to expect, that's for sure. But we were all in good mood and had a nice war backstage, with marshmallow-throwing and then started to spank our back line guy Emanuel until he jumped out of the window and ran away. Back to the hotel up in the hills of Masserberg-Schnett we brought all drinks to one of the hotel rooms and continued the party there. I think we went to bed around 4 or 5 this morning, happy but tired.

Went up around 10 to have breakfast today (breakfast points: 5 but with breakfast view: 10) and now i am in bed again in my room writing this blog. We have 4 hours to kill here at the resort so let's see what we will get ourselves into. The sun is shining and i've heard they have bowling here.
Regards from the hills of Germany
Propeller plane again... to Nürnberg
Johan fell asleep in the van again...
...and so did David
Backstage fridge looked good
haha, i've never seen a "AAAA" pass before! Access Almost All Areas!
Halfway through our payback to Exodus, it got way worse...
A view at the audience 1 min before showtime - colosseum-feeling
Me, during the show
David during the show
Pain and Lee Altus from Exodus backstage after our show
Crazy sculptures in the woods behind the stage
Afterparty in the hotel at 4am...
My view at breakfast this morning - now this is 10 points!
We kept the last sign as a memory from the crazy dudes in Exodus!

Zwarte Cross, The Netherlands

My good friend Frank who's Dutch have told me about the craziness of this festival and that i "won't believe it", but it doesn't matter, i was surprised anyway! I have never seen anything like this. About 160.000 people, many of them drunk or shitfaced in other ways, were there just to have a good time no matter what. It is mainly a motocross show but also several stages and loads of bands, but it felt like that was secondary. It was not that easy to get peoples attention in the lunatic parade that we found our selves in. As an example, one of the stages had a motocross ramp on each side leading up to the roof, and then the drivers could drive up on one side, fly over the stage roof and land on the ramp on the other side again. I am stunned…

As if this wasn't enough, the mud and dirt everywhere made this the dirtiest festival i have ever been. The festival is located in a field in the middle of nowhere, and every single attendee was completely dirty and covered in mud. Some of the bands had put plastic bags on their shoes and taped them to avoid the mud, as it was impossible to even go from backstage to the stage without sinking down in mud. I had a great laugh, that's for sure!

Once again we had our friends Exodus playing at the slot before us, and once again Rob Dukes came up on stage and sang "Shut your mouth" with us. But this time loads of people also joined Exodus on stage at their show and sang "Toxic Walz" and the coolest thing was at the end of their show when a kid, maybe 2-3 years old, came up on stage and joined in holding a screaming guitar in front of all the screaming audience. Priceless.
Once again Exodus where so kind to take our guitars and stuff in their nightliner, so we didn't have to hassle with them when we fly - yes, Exodus is playing the slot before us at the festival tomorrow as well, the fourth festival we do together in just a week's time. How crazy is that?

I saw a bunch of real Painheads both in first row and way in the back, even though this festival had a completely different direction. I also spoke to a few afterwards who all said they will come back in November at the European tour.

After the show we drove to Düsseldorf where our hotel was booked. The next morning i went up and had long shower, breakfast (breakfastpoints: 6) and then left to the Düsseldorf airport. We flew from Düsseldorf to Nürnberg and then drove to the hotel way up in the mountains of Masserberg-Schnett. This is where i am right now. This seems to be a "resort & sport active" hotel... I feel a bit odd and misplaced here... Anyway, in a few hours we will drive back down the mountains again and head towards the festival "Queens of Metal". See 'ya tonite!

In the plane to Amsterdam
In the van from Amsterdam to Zwarte Cross, Johan needs to...
Johan in the van again, happy
The stage with a motocross ramp...
Strange tent backstage at Zwarte Cross
Backstage at Zwarte Cross...
Message from Exodus in our backstage as usual :-)
Johan backstage in the sun
David backstage in the sun
"The Nervecell" is having a party among our wine bottles backstage
Exodus and loads of friends - Peter on the far right side with Rick Hunolt
Rob Dukes and the nice sign in the background :-)
The kid who joined Exodus on stage, helped by Lee Altus
The Zwarte Cross entrance
"The Nervcell" is trying to hide among similar colors backstage
Words not needed here at all...

Festival weekend wrap-up

4 Days.
7 flights.
1 train.
2 countries.
3 hotels.
12 van shuttles.
2 signing sessions.
3 festival shows.
0 breakfasts (you know how important this is to me, right?)
10 hours of sleep.

That's the easy and simple wrap-up of this weekend. Don't get me wrong, i had a blast but i am so tired i can barely sit down without falling asleep. It's worth it as soon as you stand there in front of the 15.000 people, but i am getting a bit worn out right now. I just need to rest a few days, and next weekend it's the same old song again :-)

My daughter Kimmy complains that my blog posts are always too long, so this is where i stop. Dot.
Rockharz Festival – Ballenstedt – Germany
Rockharz Festival – Ballenstedt – Germany
Masters of rock festival – Plzen – Czech Republic. Photo: Gerd Krenz

Bang Your Head festival, Germany

Up again at 6am, after only 1,5 hours of sleep! After about 4 hours in a van back to Prague again in the morning, we flew to Frankfurt with a terribly bumpy flight. In Frankfurt we took a train to Stuttgartwhere we were picked up in a van that took us straight to the festival area as there was not enough time to go and see the hotel and the possibilities to sleep… Fail.
Peter made a very bad mistake. He jumped down from the drum riser on stage with the guitar in his hand two days ago, and unfortunately held it in a position where he hit his left thigh with the tele-cable connector at his guitar. It hurted a bit when it happened but he didn't really made a big thing about it. But at Bang Your Head festival when we were changing clothes, we saw how it looked like two days later and the bruise is just awful!!!

We did a good show, but with a calmer audience than Czech Republic. And with no video-crew i am not in any danger from being knocked down by a camera-crane like yesterday (that would've looked good in front of 15.000 people!). Exodus was also at this festival, and Rob joined us on stage today as well. With his great personality he creates magic at stage and this time he sang the whole second verse of "Shut your mouth" all by himself - awesome moment :-)


After our show, i went to see the fireworks and also met up with Joacim from Amaranthe. When he left we went to see the Exodus show again and then went to get a shuttle to the hotel. This was the first night since wednesday that i got more than 2 hours of sleep! I think i have slept less than 10 hours in 4 days… and it will take days to recover again!


Anyway, next weekend it's the same old song and we have two festivals to conquer. Until then; sleep well! 


This is what you get when you only sleep 1-2 hours per night for 4 days
Another tired guy in the van, Johan
The cause for the bumpy flight to Frankfurt
Waiting for luggage in Frankfurt (we spent lots of time doing this)
On the railway station in Frankfurt, happy but tired
On the train from Frankfurt to Stuttgart
Arrived at Stuttgart railway station, still happy but tired
Another funny message from the Exodus guys when we arrived...
Peter hurt himself again...
Me and Rob Dukes from Exodus
This band was also there and had their backstage next to ours
Another funny sign at the stage entrance again :-)
Rob Dukes from Exodus sang with us again

Masters of Metal, Czech Republic

Seriously, i need to find the dude who's been booking our travels, this is ridiculous... I need to rectify my statement earlier, and also include hours of travelling in a van every day, and also a trainride tomorrow! Buscall this morning was at 5am and we went to Leipzig airport about one hour ride away. Then we flew to Vienna in a small propeller-plane (i hate them!). After we had stayed in Vienna for about 45 minutes, we took another propeller plane and flew to Prague. Remember i am 50% Austrian, right? I wanted to stay more than 45 minutes in this country :-(
Anyway, this ride was very bumpy and me and Hede was doing our best to kill time by playing Yatzy in the plane. When we landed we realised something must've been wrong with the front wheel at the plane as they immediately started to change the wheel right after we got off... Just another day in Pain-world.

So, after not so many hours of sleep, one hour van-ride, two ugly propeller-plane rides, we now had ONLY a 4 hour van-ride left to get to Zlin. Just take a look at the map; we could've been driving straight from Leipzig to Zlin in a van and be there in about 6 hours. This took us about 10 hours in total! Flying from Vienna to Prague is halfway back where we came from! Or maybe drive from Vienna to Prague instead - only a 2,5 hour drive! Sorry, i'm getting a bit carried away now but this makes us all very pissed off.
When we finally arrived at the hotel in Zlin, i realized that among all the bands there (all bands were in the same hotel) there was also Nightwish. Our old friends from Finland had arrived one day before their show, so i went down to floor #2 at the hotel where the guys where playing bowling. It was very nice to meet them all again!
Finally at the festival i became very happy when i saw the running order as it had two bands i really like: Unisonic and Exodus. I discovered Unisonic when we played with them in Mexico recently and i just love the voice of Michael Kiske! So i saw the whole show again, and it was even better this time! Especially the jam session of Elvis songs right on the middle of "Future World", hehe... Exodus is one of my favourite bands from the 80's thrash era when i was totally into that kind of music. I saw most of their show and must say they have unbeatable energy in their performance. We met the guys after the show and i came up with an idea that Rob Dukes (the singer) will join us a few hours later at our show, and sing "Shut your mouth" with us. He agreed.
We also had a signing session and to go there we had to pass the brewery in the backstage area - really cool! I believe they are doing Slivovitz in here!
I love to play in Czech Republic - it seems like we have loads of Painheads around here. So this show was going to a bit special anyway, but we took it one step further. We decided to film and record the whole show to our upcoming DVD, and to make it even more special we changed more than 50% of the setlist and played songs we haven't been playing for a long time, some of them goes back to 2007. As planned earlier, Rob came on stage in the last song and sang "Shut your mouth" with us. The audience went crazy and i think it was a cool way to end the show. I love those big stages when you can run around like a maniac :-)
Tomorrow we have another bus call at 6am and right now i am at my hotel room writing this blog and the time just passed 4am... I have no idea when i will get the sleep i need! Bang Your Head Festival is coming up tomorrow and Rob told us they are also doing this festival so we will meet tomorrow again. The good thing here is that they were so kind and took our guitars in their tourbus so we don't have to deal with them on the plane and train tomorrow.

See 'ya in Germany tomorrow (actually, later today...)
In a Tyroler-colored plane with Hede playing Yatzy to ease the Pain...
Johan and Emanuel, just landed in Vienna
They quickly changed the wheel on the plane when we came to Vienna
Peter and Emanuel at the airport in Vienna
Why don't we have these smart tables in Swedish airports? Vienna!
Really cool miniature city at the Prague airport
"The Nervcell" is sitting by the window at the hotel in Zlin
Signing session again
Me at the signing session
David, Peter and Johan in the brewery
Someone had made this funny setup backstage
Unisonic, not long beofre we entered the same stage
"The Nervcell" is watching Edguy on stage
Rob Dukes from Exodus joined us in "Shut your mouth" - Thanks Rob!

Rockharz Festival, Germany

This has been a looooong day. Woke up at 3am, got picked up by David at 4am and was at the airport in Stockholm and met the rest of the gang (except Johan) at 5am. First flight took us to Copenhagen, where Johan also joined in. Then the next flight was about to take us to Hanover in just 45 mins after our arrival. That didn't happen. They couldn't find the pilot... Hey ho, just another day in Pain-world! So after a long delay they found another pilot and we could finally fly to Hanover in a very bumpy and uncomfortable flight. At this point, i had only slept 2 hours in the night and 30 mins at the first flight, so i felt totally insane when i finally entered the Hanover airport. Always the same thing - i need to find out who the sadist is who's planning our travels...

After a 2 hour ride in a van (and some pumpy sleep) we finally arrived at our hotel. Now this is the time of rewards as we had 4 hours of sleep at our rooms before we had to go to the festival. So after i woke up in my room after 4 hours of sleep, the day suddenly turned around and everything felt ok. I'm back on track! For now... The pouring rain that met us when we arrived had also stopped and when we finally entered the stage the sun was shining and i looked out over the big crowd under a blue sky. I just love this sight. The show that we will do tomorrow at the "Masters Of Rock Festival" in Czech Republic is a bit special to us (i will tell you why tomorrow), and we are planning to play a bit different songs there than we normally do. Many of these song we haven't played in about 5 years (!), and as we never rehearse we wanted to try a few of them today as well to see if it works. I think it turned out really well and we had a really good time on stage! It is always very inspiring to change the setlist and play new/old songs and hopefully the Painheads out there thinks the same? I saw a few familiar faces in the first row as usual, and except for a few techincal issues i think was a very good show! Thanks!
As we have a 5am bus-call tomorrow morning to go to the airport (Leipzig-Wienna-Prague), we called it a night pretty early today. We just did the planned signing session (with a huuuuuge amount of fans lining up) and then jumped in a van and went back to the hotel. This is where i am now writing this blogg.
I hope every Painhead in Czech Republic is ready for us tomrrow - it's gonna be a blast!
Bored at Copenhagen airport
Just arrived at the hotel
Backstage at Rockharz, in an old hangar area from the early 40's
Arrived backstage
Johan backstage, waiting to get on stage
My mascot from my daughter Kimmy is traveling with me: "The Nervcell"
Interview right after the show, backstage
Signing session
Signing session
Signing session

Crazy festival-weekend coming up!

I like statistics, especially crazy statistics, so here comes some more again:
This weekend we will do 3 festivals in 3 countries in 3 days, and we will travel to do this with 8 flights in 4 days. It seems like we are always trying to push the boundaries and make more and more crazy stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if someone also came up with the idea to play only different songs (that we haven't done in years) on one show just for the fun of it... In this band, you'll never know...!

Anyhow, we will be at "Rockharz", "Masters of Rock" and "Bang your head" this weekend, starting on thursday. As i love festival shows i am really looking forward to this weekend!
Since last show i have been celebrating "midsummer" in Sweden, but also been working hard on the "Cosmogenesis" album with 8th Sin. Then i have been visiting car-shows with my Mustang GT, so i have been busy for sure!
See 'ya in a few days! (first flight tomorrow morning at 6am...)
Russian Standard in jumbo-size at midsummer :-)
"Power Big Meet"; Me, my Mustang GT and 114 other Mustangs!
Metaltown - Gothenburg - Sweden, a few weeks ago

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