Hello and Happy New Year! Hope it has started out great for you all.
I must say that the past year 2011 has certainly been quite spectacular and very rewarding. I want to thank you all for it.
We started out the year 2011 by finishing the “Sensory Overdrive”-album on New Years Day. It was released it in Europe on March 16th.
In Finland the album entered the charts at #1 which has never happened before with any of my previous albums, including Hanoi Rocks in the 80′s. It ended up selling gold in Finland by the end of the year. A Big Thank You to all the fans in Finland who made that happen!
The album also entered the UK Rock charts at #13. It came out in the US at the end of August. I consider that record one of the best, if not THE best one of my entire career.
Many seem to agree about the quality of this record since it has been amazingly well received and rewarded in various unexpected and glorious ways.
We were all positively surprised by the many fantastic reviews in the press, but we certainly didn’t expect things like the song ’78 being chosen “The Rock Song of the Year” by iTunes USA, or “Trick Of The Wrist” being voted “The Coolest Song In The World in 2011″ by Little Steven’s Underground Garage Listener’s poll. Being nominated in the Classic Rock Magazine as one of the best bands of the year was an honor, but actually winning The Classic Rock “Album Of The Year”- award was totally awesome! And even better, the award was handed to us personally by none other than Duff McKagan, who went out of his way to be there to present it to us. He is definitely one of the sweetest and coolest guys in Rock’n'Roll. Thanks again, Duff! We love you, dude!
We’ve toured in support of the “Sensory Overdrive”-album in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, Spain, Japan, US and Canada.
It was great being able to do something for the Japanese tsunami victims so soon following the tragedy, as we were lucky enough to get together a great cast of artists at a very short notice for the benefit concert “Save The Red Globe” at the Tavastia Club in Helsinki.
At the end of June Ginger (Wildheart) had decided to quit touring with this band and moved on to his own solo thing. However, luckily he was replaced by Dregen (Backyard Babies, Hellacopters) on guitar who brought great new positive energy to the band.
One way or another Ginger will always be a part of this band and we’re still gonna be writing songs with him in the future as we definitely have a chemistry that works.
The US release of “Sensory Overdrive” at the end of the summer was followed by a 3 week club tour in the States and Canada.
The response from people at those shows was so enthusiastic and exciting that I feel like this band just HAS to get an opportunity to play in front of bigger audiences, especially in America and Mainland Europe. To get a perfect opening slot for somebody cool and famous to tour the world with is what I asked from Sanity Clause…er, I meant Santa.
One remarkable milestone in my life and career was finshing and releasing my autobiography in Finland, which has turned out to be a surprisingly big success here, having sold almost 20 000 copies already. That’s a lot in the Finnish book market. Now I’m just anxious to get it released in English in the rest of the world, which unfortunately is bound to take quite a bit of time.
I also decided to partake in the first season of the “Voice Of Finland”- TV show. So far it’s been a fun, interesting experience and I’m glad I chose to go along.
Personally I had quite a few other cool honourable acknowledgements, like my own Star in the Turku Walk Of Fame and being voted “Finland’s Nicest Celebrity” in one of the biggest local Newspapers. And what really topped the end of the year was being invited to the annual Independence Day Gala at the President’s Castle by the Finnish President Tarja Halonen. That was awesome!
Once again – Thank You Ms. President, it was a huge honour and privilege. The party was really cool and a great success.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the day before New Years Eve, on stage at our show in Helsinki we were presented Gold Record Awards by our label Universal Records for the “Sensory Overdrive” sales in Finland.
It would be hard to top a year like 2011. However, this year has started out pretty good already, as last week at the Finnish Grammies, The “Emma Gaala” our album “Sensory Overdrive” won the “Rock Album of the Year 2011″-award and we also won the “Band Of The Year 2011″-award. And just today I was awarded the title of “Vuoden Turkulainen” – “The Person of the Year in the city of Turku”.
A million thanks to everyone who voted for me!
THANK YOU ALL EVER SO MUCH FOR A FANTASTIC YEAR!!
Life is good in 2012 and we always have the power to make it better.
2011 was probably the best year of my life and that’s a good place to start!
Love, Light, Respect & Rock’n'Roll,