It's all about entertainment.

If you can make at least one person forget their daily routines, then it's worth doing it. Me and my guitar are more than happy to be part of this journey - and entertain you.

- Amen-Ra

28 Nov 2019

»I slept with my guitar« - Interview

During my solo shows in Germany, I was interviewed for a newspaper. I told some stories you might not know yet, so here's the translation (original article can be found right here):

The guitarist of former ESC winners Lordi is playing live in Selb on saturday, November 2nd. In this interview monsterman Amen-Ra talks about self-doubt, horror movies and getting older.

Hello Amen, which horror movies should our readers absolutely watch now during fall? Are you, as a monster, interested in such movies at all?
My absolute favorite is »The Shining«, maybe not a classic horror movie, but if you haven't watched it, you should do it now. Other than that, I really like the movies of Rob Zombie. And also the uber-classics such as »Texas Chainsaw Massacre«, »A Nightmare on Elm Street« and »It«. At least once a year I have to watch »Dracula« and movies like »The Ring«, »The Excorcist« and »The Omen« are true horror for me. Sometimes I only want to enjoy good entertainment with popcorn watching »Zombieland« or »Shaun of the Dead«. I could go on forever. So, I'd say I like horror films (laughs).

You have spent half of your life playing a horror character on stage. How do you survive a whole concert under that mask? Even monsters age.
It's the first time, that someone actually confronted me with the fact that even monsters get older. A very good point! Well, Lordi shows are very well-planned. We're no fans of solo turns during the gig, but it's neccessary to give the other members at least a bit of a break. I personally always have lots of ice cubes against hand cramps on stage. Cooling fans are also a must. I commonly sleep quite late on a concert day. It's hard for me, when I wake up at 9pm. 15 years ago that used to be way easier (laughs).

As a child you suffered from stagefright, when you learned to play the guitar. Does it free you from feelings of fear to play a role on stage?
Haha, yes. As a kid I was really shy. That's probably part of my personality. The first Lordi shows really scared me, that's how nervous I was. And then our first show in Helsinki was even sold out. After that we were already on the road touring German ice rinks as the opening act of Nightwish. As a kid I stopped playing guitar for a few years, because I was supposed to pass a test and I was afraid to fail. I must have been five years old (laughs). To play a role on stage is easier, because then it's not you, who goes to the supermarket the day after. Nowadays I don't suffer from stagefright anymore. I enjoy every second.

What is your advice for young people, who really doubt themselves?
I had a postcard hanging next to my bed when I was a teenager. On it was a little boy with a guitar, who stood in front of thousands of people. Next to it the sentence »Believe in yourself«. Every night, every morning I looked at the image and it gave me a lot of self-esteem. Everybody should find such an incentive for self-confidence. That could be parents, friends, or teachers. But ultimately, there's only you. If you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will.

To become a professional musician requires a lot of practice. How do you practice?
As a teenager I pretty much slept with my guitar. When you go to school, you still have to feel the guitar on your body. It has to be part of you. Nowadays I mostly practice during the writing of new songs or riffs. But sometimes it's good to just put up a metronome and freshen up your timing.

What can people who go to your solo-show in Selb expect?
I have playbacks without guitar tracks and will play live to them. We usually don't play these songs live with Lordi. But of course I also have some famous songs on my setlist. I'll answer questions, tell stories and after playing there's time for photos, talks and autographs. It's gonna be a relaxed and intimate evening.

In the early Lordi days you always dreamt of performing in Germany. Did we meet your expectations?
Germany is one of the biggest music markets worldwide. To play there sounded like a goal that you would want to reach. It was like a dream. »One day I want to board a plane with my guitar and fly to a show there.« I expected true, honest music fans and my expectations were fulfilled completely. To play in Germany is still exciting for me.

Lordi was immensly popular when you won the Eurovision Songcontest in 2006. Your popularity is now on a more moderate level. How are you dealing with that?
Something like a victory in ESC would have an aggravating impact on every artist's life. It gives your life a new order for a while. It was a huge thing - so enormous, that there was only one way out of it. And we knew that. If you're having a huge party, you'll have to pay the price afterwards. Recently the ESC hangover vanished from Finland and we are accepted on big festivals again, we sell out clubs. That feels good. Really good.

So be it, it shall be done,

25 Oct 2019

Out now: »Stone and Stars«

Dear mummified ones, it's out! My very first single is out and since there are a few infos that I don't wanna keep from you, here's the official press release:

Amen-Ra, the guitar player from the Finnish monster group Lordi, has released his first solo single today. According to the guitarist, »Stone and Stars«, released under the moniker Amen-Ra's Dynasty, has been in the making for a very long time. The song can be found in all digi platforms such as Spotify, iTunes and Apple Music.

»This solo thing is something that I've been wanting to do for ages. For whatever reason, I just never got it moving until now. I believe I came up with the title »Stone and Stars« about 15 years ago!«, says the mummy himself.

The final push to act upon his solo material came a few years ago, while doing guitar clinics.

»I felt inspired by the clinics, and started thinking that I could maybe offer the attendees something extra. And so I finally rolled up my sleeves and started working on this project. This is the first song to see the light of day as my solo material, but by no means the last. Amen Ra's Dynasty is here to stay.«

Amen Ra, who's been busy lately not only with his solo stuff but also with Lordi's upcoming new album »Killection«, will embark on a European clinic tour starting the end of October. The vinyl version of the »Stone and Stars« single will only be available at these clinics at first. The B-side, an instrumental titled »Amen's Lament to Ra III«, is naturally the follow-up to the instrumentals previously found on Lordi's albums.

And as to why the guitarist's name has been lengthened from just Amen into Amen-Ra, there's a good reason for it.

»There's so many artists operating under the name Amen, I didn't see it as a practical move on my part. To me, Amen Ra's Dynasty means family: the guys I play with, and those who listen to my music. It was especially rewarding to get to play with people dear to me, like my brother Pexi and Shiraz Lane drummer Ana Willman.«

So be it, it shall be done,

20 Oct 2019

»Stone and Stars« is coming!

Ladies and gentlemen, ghouls and ghosts, brace yourself: I'm thrilled to tell you that I'm about to drop my very first solo single! Yes, you read right. It's still totally surreal to say it and I still can't quite believe it, but its true. »Stone and Stars« is recorded and mastered and ready to drop on October 25th. The vinyl will have the b-side »Amen's Lament to Ra III«, which is totally different than part I and II and it formed naturally, but it turned out so good. The design of the vinyl and its packaging is ready and I'm just waiting to have the vinyls pressed and the sleeve printed. I'm so excited and can't wait for you to listen to my first solo single. For now you'll only be able to buy the vinyl at my Guitar Clinics (starting on October 26th in Switzerland), but I'm working on getting my record into online stores.

So be it, it shall be done,

13 Oct 2019

Mummy is going solo

I've kept a secret from you. For months. I've been secretly working on something very special behind your back: your favorite mummified guitarist is going solo! »Amen-Ra's Dynasty« is here to pleasure your ears with finest riff driven rock music right from my crypt. The first songs are already recorded, but more on that at a leater time. For now I'll just leave you with my brand spanking new logo that graces my tomb and hope you're just as excited for this new adventure as I am.

So be it, it shall be done,

02 Oct 2019

New look!

It's that time again: time for a new attire for your favorite mummy! With our new album »Killection« in the pipeline a new era of Lordi is starting now, so I got a new outfit and I'm absolutely in love with it. I was heavily involved in the whole process and finding ideas for a new look and Mr. Lordi totally made them come to life perfectly. This time I wanted real boots and not just sandals, I can take off the bandages of my head and I got this amazing coat with scarabs on the front. I love the way the whole outfit looks and feels and can't wait to wear it on stage.

You will be able to see me perform in my new look in a few weeks for the very first time: With Lordi on December 13t, Helsinki Ice Hall / Helsinki / Finland , but first you can marvel at my new getup during my Guitar Clinic on October 26th Casino Courrendlin Salle le 12 / Courrendlin / Switzerland. See you there!

So be it, it shall be done,

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