Posts Tagged ‘southern rock’

Hey folks!  Just got back from playing the gigantic Harley Days 2015 motorcycle event in Hamburg, Germany this past Saturday, June 27.

With my southern rock band Crossfyre, we shared the bill with the UK’s legendary UFO and entertained the bikers on hand, who had ascended on Hamburg from all over the world.  I didn’t get an exact number, but I heard over 100 000 bikers on bikes frequented the event over the weekend between June 26-28 and around 500 000 people attended over the weekend.  That’s pretty damn impressive!

With Crossfyre, we rocked the main stage between 16:30 – 18:00 on Saturday, before a throng of thousands.  It was one of the top performances ever in the history of my time with the band in my five years as vocalist, and to showcase the grandeur and showmanship of our gig, photographer extraordinaire Frank Schwichtenberg sent me these pictures to remember our performance by.  Enjoy!

Crossfyre Harley Days 2015 01 Crossfyre Harley Days 2015 02 Crossfyre Harley Days 2015 03 Crossfyre Harley Days 2015 04 Crossfyre Harley Days 2015 05 Crossfyre Harley Days 2015 06 Crossfyre Harley Days 2015 07 Crossfyre Harley Days 2015 08 Crossfyre Harley Days 2015 09 Crossfyre Harley Days 2015 10 Crossfyre Harley Days 2015 11 Crossfyre Harley Days 2015 12

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We’ve been busy over the past few weeks with Crossfyre, shooting the upcoming Mad Croc Rock music video for the song by the same name off of our latest Iron Horse album.  This video will also serve as a promotional video for Mad Croc Energy Drinks and Mad Croc Racing.  Below are some stills from the video shoot to date, capped off lastly with the actual music video — check it out!

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Mad Croc Rock – the new music video:

As many of you know, I am the vocalist for the premiere southern rock outfit out of Finland today, Crossfyre.  This band’s history goes way back to 1991, birthed in Florida, where drummer Danny Cross and guitarist Jay Jay Asikainen started the ball rolling.  Danny moved to Finland some 15 years back, but Jay Jay remained in Florida.  Everyone else in the Crossfyre line-up nowadays lives in Soutern Finland.

From time to time, about once a year on average, Jay Jay visits Finland and Europe for either recordings or gigs and even tours.  Last year in 2013, Jay Jay couldn’t come over due to work related issues back home in the USA.  This past weekend, however, Jay Jay hooked up with the rest of us in Crossfre to play the annual Moon River city festival in Porvoo, Finland, which currently serves as the band’s headquarters, more or less.

Below you will find some prime pics of Jay Jay playing with Crossfyre in this grand (near-)annual reunion from this past Friday, out on the town square in the middle of Porvoo.  All photos by Mikael Häggblom.

Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom)

We had a couple of fantastic gigs once again up in Lapland this past weekend, complete with driving over 3400km in total to bring our specific flavor of southern rock to the Arctic Circle.

On Friday night in Saariselkä, we played the annual Jänkhällä Jytisee biker bash at Santa’s Hotel.  With about an estimated 500-plus folks on hand out of a weekend attendance of 2500, filling out the hotel nightclub, we worked the bikers into a fevered frenzy.  People wore wide smiles, beamed with good vibes and danced the night away to Crossfyre’s originals and select cover songs.  Our hotel suite was indeed sweet, with three rooms and a living room, complete with sauna and kitchen quarters.  There’s something to be said also for northern hospitality, with several meals on the house for the band while we were there.

Arriving in Rovaniemi with our bassist Dan to get picked up for the tour

Arriving in Rovaniemi with our bassist Dan to get picked up for the tour

Jänhällä Jytisee saw some pretty awesome bike stunts like this one (photo: Juha Kauppinen)

Jänhällä Jytisee saw some pretty awesome bike stunts like this one (photo: Juha Kauppinen)

Crossfyre Saariselkä

This photo captures the great atmosphere of our Friday night gig (photo: Juha Kauppinen)

Our second Lapland gig in Ivalo, just 30km north of Saariselkä, offered fantastic food and excellent accommodations, also.  Ravintola Kultahippu is Ivalo’s premiere pub and live music establishment and the folks up there really appreciate good, live entertainment.  We had this bar and pub rocking, drawing all manner of younger and older clientelle to the dance floor to shake their blues away to Crossfyre’s music.  I have to say that Ivalo reminded me a lot of Mänttä, where I used to live when I first moved to Finland.  It’s pretty barren and ascetic, with little in the way of window dressing and frills.

Rämö is an old friend of the band from up North, as StarBuck clowns around

Rämö is an old friend of the band from up North, as StarBuck clowns around

The Crossfyre Crossmobile signals the arrival of the band in Ivalo

The Crossfyre Crossmobile signals the arrival of the band in Ivalo

StarBuck at Santa's Village

Stopping off at the world-famous Santa’s Village in Rovaniemi

Next up: the City of Porvoo’s Moonriver 2014 summer festival on Friday, August 29, with our set starting on stage at 22:00.  For this gig, our second founding member and second guitarist,Jay Jay Asikainen, will be coming in from Florida.  Be sure to come out and see this great spectacular!

StarBuck Lapland

Ain’t no place the like the Arctic Circle!

What a heck of a weekend we’ve had with Crossfyre up in Lapland, the northern hemisphere of Finland!  On tour with Crossfyre, we brought the flavor of southern rock and classic rock in general to the north, and boy, did the people up here LOVE IT!

The band gets ready for Friday night's gig in Levi.

The band gets ready for Friday night’s gig in Levi.

With a back-to-back set of gigs in Levi and Kuusamo respectively, we witnessed the good vibes catch on in droves both nights, with all manner of folk dancing the night away in front of the stage.  Indeed, we play adult-oriented rock, but that said, anyone from their twenties to their sixties seems to dig our sound, regardless of where we play.  That said, we really must be doing something right.

The restaurants and establishment walls at Hullu Poro were embellished with our gig adverts.

The restaurants and establishment walls at Hullu Poro were embellished with our gig adverts.

On Friday night, we pulled into Levi on the outskirts of Kittilä, after a near-20-hour drive from Helsinki.  Our newly revamped Crossmobile turned heads left and right, with its snazzy tape-job, sponosored by Mad Croc Energy Drinks.  It was a couple of years back that we wrote the theme song for Mad Croc’s motor racing division worldwide, and since that time, we’ve developed a great working relationship with the energy drink giant.

Crossfyre's official tour van, The Crossmobile!

Crossfyre’s official tour van, The Crossmobile!

The Hullu Poro Hotel and resort in Levi has to be seen to be believed.  It is honestly one of the coolest, most endearing places visually and atmosphere-wise, that there is to be seen and experienced in Finland.  As a trivia note, in January 2009, I won my second Eurostars European wrestling championship title from Bernard Vandamme of Belgium at Hullu Poro Arena in Levi, so that place carries a lot of significance to me personally.

Our gig venue in Levi at Hullu Poro.

Our gig venue in Levi at Hullu Poro.

Our Friday gig at Hully Poro was a capacity biker bash entitled WILD RIDE.  It’s an annual event, and this year, Crossfyre was the band of choice to play the happening.  Top-of-the-line hotel rooms, wickedly good food and high-class cuisine on the house and a tremendous atmosphere capped off this outing.  And I have to say: our cover of ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” always gets every ass in the joint moving like an ant farm.  There’s just something to it that works every single time out.  That’s probably because the original itself is such a great song to begin with!

This chick told me "Good grief, you've got one foot in the grave already!"

This chick told me “Good grief, you’ve got one foot in the grave already!”

Our second gig last night in Kuusamo at Ravintola Veijo was stellar, also.  A real gritty bar in feel and vibe, Veijo is the kind of place rock bands want to play at.  With a population of around 16 000 people, Kuusamo doesn’t have a lot happening, so when something notable hits town, you better believe the town folk are going to show up!  And show up they did, a packed house at that!  Here, we got to see how another carefully chosen cover song, Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone”, sank into people like a hot knife through butter.  Me personally, I want to see us cover that song on our next album after our current Iron Horse release, in support of which we have been touring all summer long.

Thanks to all the fine folks that came out to see us do what we do best this past Friday and Saturday in Northern Finland.  And ladies, hehee…I’m sorry: as a married man, I’m no longer on the playing field!  Just a good reminder, as we head out to our other northern gigs next weekend in Saariselkä at Santa’s Village and Ivalo respectively.  Tomorrow, I fly back to Helsinki out of Oulu, to perform my WWE wrestling commentaries for Eurosport television in Finnish, and then on Thursday I fly back up north to continue rocking the Arctic Circle!

The atmosphere at Veijo's pub in Kuusamo was off the charts!

The atmosphere at Veijo’s pub in Kuusamo was off the charts!

 

What a blast we had this past weekend, driving out with the band to play the very first Mossala Run on the island of Mossala (or more precisely Houtskari) off of the western coast of Finland.  After a dismal, cloudy and rainy June, July is looking to finally usher in summer, and the weather was fantastic!

We had to take five ferries to cross over from the mainland to our destination, and it took almost 8h to get there from the point of departure, but damn, it was worth it!  “Big Chief” Danny Cross and I took our respective ladies with us on this first-ever Mossala Run, so the girls could get a chance to take in Finland at its utmost best.  I got to shed my “winter coat”, as they say here in Finland, taking my first dunk and swim of the year in the sea, straight out of the sauna next to our log cabin.  We had the best overall barbeque ever, courtesy of Fafa’s Smokery on the island.  In short, we enjoyed the hell out of this past weekend!

fafa'ssunsetposteron tour crossmobilemuscle posemossalagrilling at nightcrossmobilecrossing overbikesStarBuck and wife Diana

 

Here is a music video and photo compilation from the members of Custom Bikers Finland, who organized the Mossala Run and exclusively invited us to play there for their fine club:

 

 

Rain, rain and more rain.  It rained today.  That was actually a song by Crossfyre that we didn’t end up recording for our new Iron Horse album, in support of which we are touring all throughout the summer this year.  After the nice, sunny weather on our Estonia-Poland-Germany tour a couple of weeks back, the wet and cloudy Finnish summer just ain’t cutting it thus far.

Nonetheless, festival season is on here in Finland, and we are hitting and playing a few vacation stops along the way as our Crossmobile tour van makes its way down those miles of road.  This weekend, we played the Rockin’ by the River rockabilly festival in Iisalmi on Friday (which is funny considering we southern gentlemen were the only non-rockabilly act on hand), and Kolisewa MC’s 20th anniversary bash last night.  We got to meet some cool folks, enjoy the sights and sounds of the other acts on hand, and breathe the open air.  That’s already a good deal in and of itself.

Iisalmi was a long way from Helsinki and I got up early-squirly to join the boys, as we drove out of Porvoo along the eastern route highway to head up north.  Once we got to Iisalmi, we stopped off at our second guitarist Jay Jay’s mother’s place, as she had cooked up some traditional cabbage casserole that is famous from that part of Finland.  Off to the gig we went, placed into the opening timeslot to kick things off on Friday evening.  Event organizer Timo Pelkonen of Timba Oy had a nice stage set-up and the sound was good all around.  We cut out most of our bluesier and slower numbers, opting to go for more of a rocking set, taking into consideration the nature of the event that we were playing at.  All in all, it worked out rather dandy and the people out there dug it.  The cream on the cake was the fact that we got featured in the local Iisalmen Sanomat newspaper with a big-assed photo of the band, giving us a hell of a lot of focus.

Crossfyre taking care of business at Rockin' by the River

Crossfyre taking care of business at Rockin’ by the River

Iisalmen Sanomat

A stay at Sokos Hotel Koljonvirta and one morning later, we set off for Karkkila, back down south.  Arriving at the Kolisewa MC’s headquarters in the middle of the woods, I noted that there were bikers from far and wide attending the 20th anniversay bash.  Members of the Hell’s Angels, Cannonball MC, Diablos, Red Devils and many others had dropped in to extend their support to the local Karkkila Kolisewa gang, and there was a slew of bands on the menu for the bikers to groove to.

bikes lined up

As we arrived, The Dusty Beaver Band started their set of cover songs, all the musicians of which were members of a local MC out of Vihti.  I have to say, that The Dusty Beaver Band has one of the best names EVER!  It’s like a cross between the iconic cartoon character Bucky Beaver and pro wrestling legend “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.  On top of that, the band was right as shizzat, and had both a male and female vocalist duetting throughout, who sounded absolutely great!  I highly recommend checking these guys out.

The Dusty Beaver Band

The Dusty Beaver Band

We jammed through a 90-minute set of originals and classic covers, having a blast while doing so.  Once we finished up, Kolisewa MC president Harri pleaded that we play one more song, as they enjoyed the Crossfyre live experience so much.  We pulled Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man out of the hat, which really seemed to move a lot of folks on hand.

Rocking the Kolisewa MC 20th anniversary gig

Rocking the Kolisewa MC 20th anniversary gig

Best burgers in the land

Best burgers in the land

There was also a BBQ on Wheels stand on hand, which bears mention, as they quite possibly served up the best beef hamburgers that I have ever passed down my gullet to this date in Finnish history.  Turku’s Pikku Torre and Snacky’s Iso Monsteri are close to the top slot, too, but this little BBQ wagon takes the cake in my book!

Next weekend, it’s off to Mossala, off the coast of Turku, to play Saariston Lomakeskus, a vacation resort on the beautiful little islands off the western coast of Finland.  Join Crossfyre’s Iron Horse on tour, as it rolls through a town near you!