» Jani L. - Sonata Arctica  
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Tommy: This question goes to you, Jani as a guitarist, and as one of the better ones around the scene at the moment if you ask me. You were only 19 when Ecliptica was released, but the guitarplay on that album really blew me away. What are your secrets behind beeing such a good player as you are? Schools.....? How long have you been playing, and from where have you gathered the knowledge, and how much have you practised let say - the past 7 years?

  • Jani: Well, thank you:) I started playing guitar when I was 12 years old and been stuck with it ever since. I took some lessons for three years, but I had to stop because I didn't have enough time. After that I've borrowed pretty much every guitarbook our library has, and also read lots of guitar magazines. And of course, practise hasn't made me perfect, but it sure as hell has helped...:)
    I actually don't think that my playing on Ecliptica is that good, and if I could I'd change many things. But I'm glad you like it.

Tommy: Naturally a guitarist develops all along his career, and I guess you are doing the same....but in what direction do you feel yourself that you as a guitarist go? What will change for the next album when it comes to your playing?

  • Jani: It's always hard to measure or predict your own developement. I think I've grow to be more mature player, I don't have to play 160mp/h all the time. Of course technique is important,especially in this type of music, but once you've got your chops together you have to learn not to over use them. This is this aspect of my playing which I'm most proud of and I hope to continue to that direction.
    Also,recently I've become more and more intrested in different kind of styles than heavy metal. There's really lot to be learned from other styles as well, jazz, blues, fusion, you name it.

Tommy: An obvious question - what guitarists have been your rolemodels during your life? Who or which guitarists made you start playing, and who are you holding for the best ones now ?..... and you can't name yourself :)

  • Jani: Well, first of all, I'd never name myself as a rolemodel for anybody:) When I first got into music I was really into Guns n' Roses and Metallica. Those two bands were really big at the time, and they also got me playing. So for the first few years I admired Slash and Kirk Hammett. Then, when I was 14 I was in school and on this one tape there was some guitar playing of this swedish guy, Yngwie Malmsteen. I was absolutely stunned!
    When I discovered Yngwie is when I REALLY started practising. So my shredding is basicly his fault :) Nowadays there are two players who I admire the most: John Petrucci (Dream Theater) and Mattias "IA" Eklundh(Freak Kitchen). They are incredible!
    I also like Steve Vai, Michael Romeo, Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani... The list goes on...

Tommy: How is the summer of 2002 looking for Sonata Arctica - are there any summerfestivals planned? And besides that - are there some clubgigs planned for the pre- and late summer? If not - how come? How big - or rather small - are the chances that we will see you playing a few dates in Sweden the coming halfyear, since you are going to be pretty busy warming up for Gamma Ray over quite some time?

  • Jani: I'd say we'll be looking for a very quiet summer. Maybe few festivals, but that's it. We'll start preparing our third album, which should be out spring 2003. We played few shows in Sweden with Gamma Ray and it was great! Especially the show Stockholm. We had no idea we were that popular there!

Tommy: Are there any specific plans made for the next album yet? Any songs ready, or ideas about new approaches? Can we expect to hear a Sonata Arctica-album as we are used to (and want to) hear it?

  • Jani: We'll start to think about the new album after our South-American tour, which will be in March. I think the new album will follow the direction we took with Silence, which I think is quite diverse. But of course, even we don't know how the new album will turn out to be before it's finished. But of course we have some visions about it...

Tommy: And finally - any words of wisdom or funny facts about the nearest future you want to share with the readers?

  • Jani: Yes. We'd all be very happy if all of you would cross your hand and pray that our plane doesn't crash while we're in South-America:) We also have a live album coming out, titled Songs if Silence - Live in Tokyo 2001. It'll come out in Japan first, but should also be released in europe in may. I hope to see you all on tour, somewhere,somehow...Take care!

That was all I had for now, Jani - the staff at metalcovenant.com wish you all the very best for the future, and we sincerely want to thank you for keeping the spirit of Metal alive!


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