Posts Tagged ‘rock band’

Just over a week ago, I had the express pleasure of playing alongside one of the godfathers of the stoner rock genre and one of my personal groove/riff rock favorites: Fu Manchu.

_DSC1022_preview

We lit that Helsinki stage on fire the night of March 10. (photo: Marko Simonen)

I remember when I started my own stoner rock band, Stoner Kings, in the year 2000. I still vividly recall the backlash that we got from especially the Finnish stoner rock scene at the time. All the hate mail and criticisms over our name. “Who the hell do these guys think they are, calling themselves the Stoner Kings?”, that was pretty much the adverse sentiment of our detractors.

I recall clubs that refused to book us because their bookers disliked our name and image. I recall certain bands in the same genre not wanting anything to do with us (which I’ll refrain from naming, as there’s no need to go so low), refusing to play with us even, due to our name. There was so much spite from a small, but influential, sector of the music industry toward Stoner Kings, that it was baffling.

Stoner Kings StarBuck Michael and Joonas

It ain’t supposed to be pretty! (photo: Saara Planting)

Alas, we persevered, regardless. I personally put out our debut album back in 2001 as a self-released title, and I sent 300 physical copies out to the various hard music medias worldwide. We got a ton of press, most of it good to very good to excellent for Brimstone Blues. They likened us to a mix of Skid Row meets Monster Magnet with the energy and intonation of Guns ‘n Roses. Some said we were like a sludged down Mötley Crüe. Others said we were like a potent mix of stoner rock and 70’s glam with a very distinct LA vibe.

Once we put out our second album, Fuck The World in 2006, the music business had changed considerably and stoner rock in general had gone back underground. Our sophomore album title reflected our backlash at the haters that we’d amassed after our debut. It was a big, fat middle finger to every detractor that chose to stand against Stoner Kings just for us being ourselves.

Stoner Kings Rude bassist

It was never my intention to imply by our name (as our most vehement detractors claimed) that we were somehow “better” than Kyuss, Monster Magnet and Fu Manchu — the big three of the stoner rock genre. I chose Stoner Kings as a name since it embodied the kind of bravado that I had become familiar with over my time and career in pro wrestling. Everything was over-the-top, larger than life and bold beyond belief. Who the hell wants to be low-key and hide in the bushes when you’re out to make an imprint and make your own mark on the world? Go for broke or go home, that’s what I believe.

Stoner Kings JJ Crash drummer

J-J “Crash” Kontoniemi lays down the rhythms like a monster. (photo: Marko Simonen)

So we went all-out with Stoner Kings from day one. Just like Alice Cooper did. Just like Motley Crue did. Just like WASP did. Just like all of the greats before us did. If you want to become the best, then learn from the best. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, then take Arnold Schwarzenegger’s word:

And so it is, that we come to 2018, two years into the comeback of Stoner Kings after an eight-year AWOL absence (2008-2016), and to the date of March 10 in Helsinki, Finland. That was the day that Stoner Kings got the chance to play with one of the three greats of the stoner rock genre. That was the day that we got to share the stage with Fu Manchu, and it’s a day that I’ll fondly remember for the rest of my life.

Stoner Kings Fu Manchu Helsinki March 10 2018

I personally take great pride in this opportunity and moment. It was a milestone for me personally. Chatting with the boys in Fu Manchu showed how cool they were with Stoner Kings, as they warmly accepted us opening up for them at Helsinki’s Nosturi. Fu Manchu frontman Scott Hill even dedicated their song California Crossing to us at the event, upon hearing that it was my personal favorite album (and title track) from their band.

So thank you, Fu Manchu, for giving Stoner Kings the opportunity to play alongside you guys. Thank you to Zachris at Live Nation Finland, who made it possible for us to play with these fellas. And thank you to the stellar 800-strong audience on hand at Nosturi the night of March 10 in Helsinki and the rousing, heartfelt ovation that they gave Stoner Kings, also. 

FU

Fu Manchu’s vocalist Scott Hill and I share a few words. (photo: Marko Simonen)

Catch Stoner Kings next in concert on May 3 at Bar Loose in Helsinki as part of the Tuska-Torstai band contest, where the overall winner gets the opportunity to play Finland’s premiere, annual metal festival, Tuska Open Air this summer.

Advertisements

We have a whole slew of shows across Finland this August slated with FCF Wrestling, and I am stoked about this!  The fact that FCF runs more events on an annual basis than 3/4 of our contemporaries out there in Europe puts us at the top of the food chain in the pro wrestling field on our continent.

On August 10 in Rovaniemi, Finland, FCF Wrestling presents Saturday Night Rock Fight at the 2013 installment of the Simerock Festival.  This is a special occasion, as the wrestling will be in the main slot of Saturday’s Simerock line-up, starting at 22:45 with five big matches on the menu.  Saturday Night Rock Fight will be headlined by Yours Truly tagging with “Wildman” Heimo Ukonselkä against Stark Adder and FCF champion King Kong Karhula.

SIMEROCK_2013_poster2

Between August 16-18, FCF Wrestling will present Ragnarök 2013 at this year’s Häme Medeival Fair in Hämeenlinna, Finland.  This theme weekend, featuring reenactments and relics of the Medeival era in Nordic culture, is an annual attraction in the city of Hämeenlinna.  2013 marks the third year that FCF Wrestling has been a part of the festivities and program.  All throughout the three days, Friday to Sunday, wrestling matches will be held in a central tent on the fair grounds, three times a day.  The gimmick is that all the wrestlers must dress up in Medeival costumes and garb for their matches, adding to the flair and flavor of the whole kit and caboodle.  For more infos, go to the Medeival Fair website.

ragnarok_2013_poster

On August 24, FCF Wrestling comes to Kotka, Finland for an event entitled Rock & Wrestling Rampage at Route 66.  The catch here is, that the show is restricted to anyone under the age of 18, with alcohol and strippers on hand also.  This big event will feature five kickass wrestling matches, headlined by 185kg/188cm Cannonball Grizzly from the USA challenging me for my BWA (British Wrestling Alliance) Catchweight championship title.  This is going to be undoubtedly my toughest challenge to date, as Grizzly is a 25-year veteran of the ring wars, and the current reigning EWP (European Wrestling Promotion) heavyweight champion in Germany.  Grizzly has wrestled in 40 countries worldwide over his extensive career, and on August 24 he adds Finland to that list.  I just have to hope that I find a way by hook or by crook to retain my BWA championship at Rock & Wrestling Rampage, because I have never wrestled against anyone the size of Cannonball Grizzly before, and my active in-ring career dates all the way back to 1994!  In addition, my hard rock band Overnight Sensation will be playing live in Kotka at the same event, offering up originals and known cover songs by acclaimed artists such as The Cult, Van Halen, Ted Nugent, Motörhead and Thin Lizzy.

KOTKA_2013_poster

For more infos, go to www.wrestling.fi