The big cities and capitals are always a challenge. Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Helsinki… At these places people are used to being entertained and it can be that the crowds are a little quiet compared to smaller towns or villages. That’s what they say. I must say I have never really experienced that and again on Friday at Mercedes Benz arena… Dear heaven how it was. And everywhere on this tour so far.
During the show on Friday I was almost sure that this night I’d be able to do the whole show without any tears or vibrations of sorrow. Because there were so many friends from Helsinki and Berlin at the arena and the mood was so joyful. Then the end of the set comes, like every night, and it just smashes you with a loving hammer. It really does.
There’s a lot of evil and plastic in this world and sometimes this show business can be what it is, but many moments on stage these shows have shown me a new side of it all. I know some people in the first rows by face or name, but even with the ones we have never sang together before, the connection is something so beautiful that it still makes my chest heavy and breathing hard here on my sofa. I didn’t know you can feel strangers in such deep way and in those moments there is no world outside the arena, it’s just us. It’s just that moment, those eyes looking deep into ours and so much love. You should bring some of the evil world leaders to these special minutes. They’d go home and rethink their doings. One part of me is hoping it doesn’t get any more emotional than in Berlin. But on the other hand the shock that goes through my soul in the end is so healing and it touches the spots inside me that need to be touched. Every tear drop we cry brings something out that we’re not supposed to carry with us. I don’t believe in any Gods as they teach about them in books or at events. But I feel and therefore believe that there is something great out there, greater than we can never explain. And good so. This universe and all its dimensions don’t need to be understood, explained or controlled by us.
I love the signs you bring at the shows. I just love them. It’s hilarious how some of you offer you sister for my jacket (pls don’t really offer your sisters to mid-aged long haired men…!) and mostly they’re mega funny. Or the gang who have made card board faces with my picture. It killed me the first time I saw them. In Berlin there was this person at stage right and as I went there during the show, they lifted something that made my heart skip a few beats. Rainbow sign with some big brave words. I don’t know if you’ll ever read this and I don’t know who you are, but I want to tell you I admire you very much and you are so brave. It should be you, free, your way. The real you and I love you for doing what you did. I thought about you and your decision last night as I had dinner with some Helsinki boys and during the meal and wine at Grill Royal restaurant my mind was drifting somewhere back at the arena and how we looked at each other that moment. Thank you for making it happen.
Berlin Syndrome. Years ago I was heavily suggested a solo album in English. It never happened but I thought about it back then for a while and the working title then in my head was “Berlin Syndrome.” I was in Berlin a lot and there were big thoughts in my head and in my heart. I love Berlin. It means so much to me and I could write a book about everything that happened on those streets. Some of it would be not-for-children-material, but every step have been important bringing me here where I am today.
If I really start a music thing in English someday, I’ll use a better album name. I have no such plans now though. Well, there will be one song out next week with the new Grump movie where I also play a small part. But for now that’s it. It’s actually a cool song I wrote some years ago in London at the legendary Sarm West studios, but I never found use for it.
Last spring Mika Kaurismäki, one of the Finnish director legends asked me if I wanna try being in front of camera and if I also have a song they could use for the movie, how could I say no. It was actually a very cool experience (even though I was nervous AF). I even did my own German dubs for the German cinemas. It was the strangest experience at the dubbing studio in Hamburg on my off day recording my own lines originally spoken in Finnish, translated in German. In Germany it’s a huge thing. I don’t fully understand why they do it, but I guess the Germans like it. Even James Bond speaks German in Germany on TV. And Samu Haber at the Voice ;) So anyways, there is a song “Hometown Gang” from me in the movie and they’re also releasing that next week on Friday. The movie is a funny Finnish tale about these buddies traveling to Germany and then they meet this artist guy at this camping place. That’s me, Otto. It didn’t actually look that bad as I saw my parts already. I’m not interested really in acting, but small excursions like this one are pretty cool.
We have one week off now. After next week it’s the week that will be the biggest in the band’s story. Two times Munich, then Frankfurt, one day off recharging batteries and then finally Dusseldorf on Sunday the 18th of September.
Letting go is supposed to feel huge. Losing someone or leaving something behind. I was 16 years old when I started this band and it has been with me for more than half of my life, for longer than I have had driver’s license or being allowed to vote. Raul has been in the band for 19 years. Sami for 17, Riku 15 and Osmo 13. It will not be easy and the way you have been with us these months isn’t making it any easier. But you have shown me and us that letting go can also be beautiful. Every night after the shows we seem to talk less and less with the guys. But it’s beautiful silence. You feel it coming. On Friday night after the show we stood with Osmo with our motorbikes in red lights waiting for our turn staring at the Soho House building just breathing the warm night and vibrations after what happened at the arena. I felt the pulse of life on every cell on my body.
Thank you for this weekend and all the shows and moments before too. I’m just so happy and thankful that I get to experience all this from my own little spot. It’s the best tour ever. But it’s also the best that my life has ever been. I have literally never been this happy. Thank you.
This man who flew back to Helsinki today writing these lines is a tiny bit better version of himself than what he was when he flew down to Berlin last Thursday. It's all bll because of you. I went for a sauna session at Löyly alone with my bike straight from the airport and two hours in the heat and also in the cold sea water wasn’t enough to digest all this. I’ll continue in my sleep now.
Love you the world a lot right now,