OK!!! WHOA! thank you guys for all the questions! I gotta RUSH to play a show now-..climbing on stage in Detroit! Take care people, enjoy and love SHADOWMAKER as much as i do! and see ya at the gigs! Hope to have another round of these thingies in Reddit..thanks for all! Cheers <3

We are the band Apocalyptica - cellists Perttu Kivilaakso, Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen and drummer Mikko Sirén. Our brand new album, "Shadowmaker," is out now (http://www.apocalyptica.com/en/) and we are touring in USA at the moment.. I am here answering your questions as long as I can before I gotta climb on stage @Detroit, cheers!

https://twitter.com/apocalypticafi/status/590600031079641088 https://twitter.com/Apo_Perttu/status/590599294513717248

Comments: 323 • Responses: 70  • Date: 

ApocalypticaOfficial14 karma

Yo, i try to set this thing up,will be active from 6pm EST->

AngelicaMusician7 karma

Hi Perttu. Have you considered to do a "Verdi reloaded" or at least an arrangement of a piece from Verdi for the Apocalyptica's repertoire? Greetings from Colombia! Hope to see you here in this tour :*

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

hehe...Verdi is my favorite composer of them all...I'm not sure should we do more of classical crossovers with Apo but I love playing Verdi's arias and melodies in some my solo concerts :)

Devour_835 karma

Perttu, It's well known that you love Lord of the Rings so when are you guys getting your asses down to New Zealand? - Nerida.

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

NZ is definitely in top position in my list "got-to-go" list...but I also want to spend some proper time there not just visit for a gig :) (maybe next year? hint hint)

v_pnw5 karma

When writing your music, how do you decide who plays the different 'sections/clef'? Do you each get the same 'section/clef' every time? Or do you mix it up a bit? Do you ever argue about who gets to play which piece of the music?

ApocalypticaOfficial9 karma

it's very clear, I play solo cello, Eicca is in riff-cello and Paavo in bass-cello :)

kristyyr3 karma

Well, Perttu, lot's of questions from me - do you plan to have "meet&greet" in Liepaja, Latvia, in the festival Summer Sound? second question - what is the song's "Till Death do us part" story - tell me your thoughts composing this musical masterpiece? third question - do you plan to have classical concerts in Finnland this year - like Hollolan Church 2014? And - when opera "Indigo" will be ready?

ApocalypticaOfficial5 karma

I have no idea actually for meetngreets, but we like to do em as it is most important keeping up the connection with our gang (refering to likeminded people who share similar passion for music with us!) -Till Death is ment to be like an anthem for us all, for all who love Apocalyptica and music in general. my personal vow, I'll stand in here with these guys and all of you until they have to carry me from the stage! :) -Indigo is basically ready, premiere will be jan -16 -(no classical shows around as Apo takes 120% of my time atm)

ApocalypticaOfficial10 karma

I'm in the backstage of this concert place in Detroit and the internet sucks...cutting all the time,I hope at least some of these answers will end up for your sight...

ThatsJustTurrible9 karma

Have you ever met your personal music idol/hero? If so, how'd it go?

ApocalypticaOfficial13 karma

I've went many times to the grave of mr Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, listening his music and meditating..he's my biggest idol.

jakelev8 karma

Do you have a favorite song to play live from the new album ? (Love the album by the way)

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

Dead man's eyes will be for sure

Waury8 karma

Terve! You're coming up on 20 years as a band in 2016. What has been the toughest moment, and the best?

Seeing as you've played all over the world, you'll have encountered a lot of different languages. Which has been your favourite(s)?

Niin iloinen näkemään teidät Montrealissa kesäkuussa!

ApocalypticaOfficial12 karma

best thing is definitely every single day that we live together! it's amazing to see after all these years,what we've become and where we still can go! Tough times have occured, 2003-2004 were hard years for me personally, but then I stopped drinking and after being 11 years sober i can say life's pretty damn good!

thehouseofmenthol8 karma

Can you tell us a story about your craziest fan encounter? Thanks!

ApocalypticaOfficial7 karma

Once there was a girl after a show waiting next to bus...I came there, situation was silent and awkward...then i thought she may be shy or so..so i asked, "do you need anything, can i help you somehow?" she answered "no"... "do you want a signature or a pic maybe?" answer again ... "no" .. that was so unusual i think that must be the craziest :D

n3rdchik8 karma

Hello Perttu! "Psalm" is one of my all time favorite pieces. Is there a story behind it? ( I find it very complex and wonder if I am understanding the mood of the song. I find it to reflect a bittersweet strength and determination. Am I close?)

ApocalypticaOfficial14 karma

I got the melody of Psalm to my head while sitting in my dear grandmother's funeral...So I wanted to do a song dedicated to her memory.

pooklevitch8 karma

Hello Perttu! Maybe it's a dumb question but... I've always wondered how come the songs' titles fit so good to the music you make. Do you write some music and then think 'okay, this sounds like X, let's call this song like that' or maybe you go with the title and/or theme first? Cheers!

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

we give lots of thoughts for the titles as well as to all emotions we want to create with our music :)

Jhippelchen8 karma

Hey Perttu! I know you're a huge Lord of the Rings fan, so, what did you think about the Hobbit films?

Greetings from Luxembourg (looking forward to seeing you in October!)

ApocalypticaOfficial11 karma

I liked them...not as much as i loved the originals but come on! it's freakin' middle-earth anyhow! <3

ApocalypticaOfficial8 karma

Unfortunately time's running short with this one...gotta prepare for our kickass set in Detroit...I still try to squeeze 10 min but unfortunately for sure cannot answer to all of ya dear ppl of friendly planet earth!

enigma9119157 karma

Hi Perttu! :) Your new album is something awesome!!! Especially i like such masterpieces like "Till death do us part" and "Dead man's eyes". Can you tell about the creation of these compositions? And one more question: will you play "Farewell" at your future concerts? It is my dream to hear it in live.

Looking forward to the tour in Russia!!!

ApocalypticaOfficial9 karma

I was thinking quite a lots of Life and death last year when composing those songs...all people I have lost in my life and so on...deep emotions.

arnie_apesacrappin7 karma

Hi Perttu! Long time fan, (bad) cellist, guitarist and player of other stringed instruments here. I've seen you several times (including a meet and greet back in 2011 at the 9:30 club in DC). I will be at the Seattle show on May 29th and I'm stoked!

Question 1. Back at the meet and greet in 2011 Mikko asked me if I had any Fender Telecasters that I might willing to be able to part with right before they whisked you back stage. Is he still looking for one? I have five in my collection, might be able to part with one if he's still looking.

Question 2. If you could make me practice any one technique for an hour a day to become a better cellist, what would you tell me to do?

Thanks, see you in Seattle!

ApocalypticaOfficial7 karma

1) i dont know much of Mikko's stuff :D 2) concentrate on sound...maintaining quiet nyances...long bows...the intensity...but mainly just love the music you're playing, that guides you furthest! :)

themetalgoddess7 karma

What do the Lord of The Rings writings on your tattoos say?

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

Anar Nányë Andúril i né Narsil i macil Elendilo. Lercuvanten i móli Mordórëo. Isil

davidmoore07 karma

How much do you guys practice every day?

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

Sometimes i practice a lots, on tours less..we do have soundchecks everyday and usually that's all about it :D

coralinekira6 karma

Hello Apocalyptica <3

First of all I loved your performance in Chicago last night! I couldn't stop tearing up at the songs you and the rest of the band played. Inquisition Symphony always be the best to hear live. Hope to see you come back for more.

Kinda sad that Apocalyptica and Sixx AM didn't do a meet and greet :/

Also we saw Eicca go out for a jog and everyone in line didn't do anything but stare. Holy cow he's tall! :)


How's it being back on tour? Especially with Vamps and Sixx AM? Will you ever collab with either of them? Also I was surprised at Franky's performance. Pretty cool singer. How's it like to have a singer now?

And holy crap 20 years of Apocalyptica? Congratulations! Did you ever imagine that you've made it this far?

Wish you guys the best. I love you guys so much. Everyone killed it last night <3

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

ye,we love Franky,this is a cool run! Sixx n Vamps both gangs are amazing nice ppl and we're having a blast! we never imagined even making the first record when we started so basically one could say it's unbelievable being still here :p

CherryAnchor536 karma

Besides QStock, are you doing any other gigs in Finland, maybe in Helsinki? Also, have you (Perttu) got any cello concerts planned for this year?

ApocalypticaOfficial5 karma

i think there is Provinssirock at least and Ilosaari? Pyhä unplugged, and maybe some others...no classical this year for me..full Apo-schedule

FearfulFerret6 karma

Hi Perttu! Apocalyptica's sound has evolved over time, and Eicca has mentioned that many of the tracks on Shadow maker try to capture the instrumental genius of past albums. Do you see that kind of music as Apocalyptica's core sound?

Best of luck at the concert tonight! :D

ApocalypticaOfficial7 karma

because of the instruments as it's obvious...cello never was used in this kind of music earlier,so we have needed to learn all by ourselves...find our own way, in style n music as well as soundwise. all the recordings have always been a wonderful playground for us to search new stuff and develop our sound...Shadowmaker sounds already pretty damn good! :)

claren19866 karma

Hi Perttu!! Thank you for telling me to hurry up and play Elder Scrolls ;) Have you any other awesome games you can recommend? :D

ApocalypticaOfficial5 karma

SWTOR; GTA5 , farcry+fallout series those i love ..Marvel heroes is fun, Rift

tortitude796 karma

Hei! I run a Perttu/Apocalyptica fanblog on Tumblr. It was lovely to meet you after your set in Dallas! I couldn't have asked for a better late-birthday gift. Looking forward to seeing you guys headline in Lubbock and Albuquerque!

I know you guys love to meet your fans, and you do a great job of making everyone feel special as an individual, but I'm curious...what makes an encounter with a fan good or bad for you?

ApocalypticaOfficial7 karma

keeping the connection is important for us, we all go to the concert hall for the same reason, we love the same music. so therefore i love sharing my own passion with our fans! sometimes I might be very tired(but even still i TRY my best being polite for all) :)

TheSavagery6 karma

Anything you find you're able to do with a cello that you don't hear being done guitars these days?

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

playing technics are that much different that actually there are stuff we really can do with cellos and guitar cannot follow, but also there are some stuff we cannot imitate. two different instruments :)

jsreyn5 karma

I will never forget the day I was hanging out with friends and heard your version of Enter Sandman come over the speakers for the first time. It was one of the coolest things I'd ever heard.

My question is, do you regret doing cover pieces or feel it steals attention from your original work?

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

absolutely NO! :D those were the reason why we formed the group and got the chance doing all we've done! :) gotta be proud of the roots :)

purdyjen5 karma

Hi Perttu! Hope you are enjoying the tour so far. Loving the new CD so so much and looking forward to meeting you in Silver Spring next week.

Did you write any of the songs on Shadowmaker? And, which song from Shadowmaker do you think you are looking forward to performing live the most (that you guys haven't already)? Jen

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

ye, Till death do us Part and Dead man's Eyes :) most i look forwards bot of 'em :D

iron_maiden6675 karma

What are your hobbies?

ApocalypticaOfficial8 karma

computer games,popcorn and movies, gardening

sami_jato4 karma

You inspired me in picking up cello and I'm finding it quite difficult and here's something I'd like to know: Is there any song that you think it's fu*** difficult to play and you need constant practice?

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

ofcourse we have songs that are technically more challenging than others, but i'm pretty solid once i learn something i dont need to "constantly" practice 'em...

cleaviolet4 karma

How many pairs of gloves do you own? :)

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

havent counted...hundreds?

Cyberfox2774 karma

First of all congratulations for that awesome show today :D Really enjoyed it ;) And actually there's always something I'd like to ask you. In that video on Youtube "Cello Lesson", hope you can still remember it, it was posted 4 years ago or something LOL You said "... but because I'm halfly Finnish, halfly from nowhere I think..." What I'd like to know is what exactly did you mean by that? It always puzzled me, you see :D

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

planet ZOD!!!

Cori0074 karma

Terve from Canada, Perttu! Just want to say that I love the new album, especially Slow Burn, Till Death Do Us Part and Dead Man's Eyes :) Anyway, I have two questions: 1) What's the story behind Slow Burn? 2) With all the headbanging, do you and Eicca ever get your hair caught in your cellos?

ApocalypticaOfficial5 karma

oh the hair...do..not...please...ask..about...the...hair :p Slow burn is somekind of a love story (aren't they all) :D

piccolo19794 karma

Hello Perrtu! I've been a fan of Apocalyptica for years & was super excited to finally see you play live earlier this month in Sacramento, California. Shadowmaker is an amazing album, I think Hole In My Soul is my favorite song from it.

I just wanted to ask you, who would be an artist you would like to collaborate with again that you've worked with in the past & why?

Looking forward to seeing you play again in Reno next month! :)

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

i'd play again with Rammstein any day! it's been always so much fun.

apofan724 karma

Hello Perttu, Out Of All Your Tours Do You Have A Favorite Place You Look Forward To Returning To?

ApocalypticaOfficial10 karma

haha...simply: home :D

HiThereImNewHere4 karma


ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

1) Inquisition Symphony, Shadowmaker ,Nothing else matters at the moment 2) Dead man's Eyes 3) Dead man's Eyes 4) it's going to be SOOOO beautiful! beautiful beautiful beautiful <3 <3 <3 <3

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

1) Inquisition Symphony, Shadowmaker ,Nothing else matters at the moment 2) Dead man's Eyes 3) Dead man's Eyes 4) it's going to be SOOOO beautiful! beautiful beautiful beautiful <3 <3 <3 <3

demon-crazy4 karma

I'm so excited and nervous to see you in toronto tomorrow, and I keep wondering what I want to say to you. You guys leave me speechless. My question is a bit random, but your song "Conclusion", how did you feel when you first played it?

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

we haven't played it live..only maybe 3 times...

Nicoule4 karma

Perttu! Any chance you guys will ever release full scores to your albums in physical book format, or at least add new music to Harmageddon Publishing?

ApocalypticaOfficial5 karma

I'd love to! everyone has to suffer playing our stuff as well as I have to :D

aquaticonions4 karma

Perttu, how would you describe the Finnish music scene, the metal scene in particular, and how has it influenced you both personally and musically?

ApocalypticaOfficial8 karma

Finnish people are quite serious folk and therefore i think that reacts to the music we're writing as well. Metal scene is beautiful up there. Lots of amazing bands ):) small community, ofcourse those friendships and connections may influence many

FinlandorGermany4 karma

What are your feelings about other Finnish groups, such as HIM, or Rasmus, or others?

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

FIN is filled with incredible good bands! and they're good friends :)

darkliquoredeyes4 karma

Is there any chance to go to the after-party with the band after your show? Anything special like this for VIP tix holders maybe? ;)

ApocalypticaOfficial5 karma

yea only except that we dont have any after parties :D

Woodeecouk4 karma

I saw you all perform in London a number of years ago and you had a cello burn on stage? How hard was that to do??

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

hehe that was a cool effect :D i'd love to bring it back! not so hard..just some smoke n light but BOY was that cello heavy ! :D

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

hehe that was a cool effect :D i'd love to bring it back! not so hard..just some smoke n light but BOY was that cello heavy ! :D

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

Yo, I'm here and will begin....o oooo..there's bunch of stuff already, try my best cathing up! Perttu

RobL943 karma

Hey Perttu! What was Corey Taylor like to work with?

ApocalypticaOfficial5 karma

absolutely fantastic,he's an amazing powerful performer!

Bibiantrma3 karma

Would you have a tour of Mexico?

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

we just were there like month ago...next year again for sure!

elsabathory3 karma

Hi perttu this its my 5 question You feel when you're on stage with all those people waiting for you music ? What do you like beside the cello ?? What inspires you ?What is your favorite song ?Lastly because you're so beautiful? Had to say

ApocalypticaOfficial7 karma

it's amazing sharing the passion with audience 2) i like animals 3) life in general is an inspiration 4)my favorite song at the moment is Arch Enemy's We will rise. 5) oh,thank you :)

Frajer3 karma

What inspired you to cover Metallica?

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

their music, we loved them since we were teenagers!

darkliquoredeyes3 karma

What's the story behind 'Hole in My Soul'? Is it simply about a romantic relationship that ended or about relation with God perhaps?

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

i like to think abstract ways of most lyrics...maybe it can be also a relation with yourself?

pooklevitch3 karma

I saw that you like Arch Enemy. Ever considered writing a song in collaboration with them?

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

oh i'd love doing that!!! They're my favorites and Michael Amott one of my favorite composers.

sebasancheez2 karma

Hi perttu! One question: Why Shadowmaker Song sound different to its youtube's video?It seems like a "demo" but whatever, sound great.

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

we had to release Shadowmaker video before Xmas with different mix than in album. Greg Fidelman mixed the album and that got ready just in january :)

rowan4snow2 karma

Hey Perttu! It's really great of you to do an AMA for us! How did you feel when you first started playing the cello? Do you remember the first piece you played? Also, do you have any advice for an intermediate cellist (I'm not great with my vibrato)? I'm really looking forward to seeing you again in Montréal c:

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

i was 5 years, and actually i DO emember...it felt kinda "natural" from the start :) have patience and love the stuff you're playing and your instrument..that's by far the most important :)

purdyjen2 karma

How come no nail ink so far this tour? Can I paint your nails for you?

ApocalypticaOfficial6 karma

i always do stuff with feeling, maybe there has not been such feeling yet :)

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

i always do stuff with feeling, maybe there has not been such feeling yet :)

purdyjen2 karma

Have you had a favorite stop yet on the tour yet? or is there a stop you are looking forward too?

ApocalypticaOfficial5 karma

every day is a equal challenge- i jsut try my best giving a powerful performance for audience...rest of the time goes to preparing and gathering strenghts (besides doing lots of promo etc :p so...I await every single day,every single town...!

theHopp2 karma

Hi Perttu!!

I am a big fan and have been for 10 years. I have seen you perform twice and have been blown away both times (please come back to Phoenix!). Your music and, on a deeper level, your innovation and creativity, has changed my life. Thank you a billion times!!

OK so my question: How has your (and the band's) songwriting inspiration and process changed since having Mikko join? I know it has been a long time now but do you miss creating non-percussion songs?

P.S. Ruska may be my favorite Apocalyptica song.

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

nowadays we're like a real band, that effects..but mostly we have done the main compositions alone and only then bringing them to band to arrange.

larissarivero2 karma

Hi Perttu! Greetings from Venezuela! :D Last night you played Hall of the Mountain King, a piece by Edvard Grieg. What is your favorite classical piece to play? And why?

Also, I don’t know if this counts as a question, but, have you seen this? I made it some days ago! :3 (btw, I’m the one that made the pertthor drawing you liked on insta)

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

I love so many different music it' impossible to say the best. my favorite is Verdi's Aida but that i have never played

heathenflower2 karma

What's your ideal creative environment? Such as do prefer it to be quiet or is there some type of music you listen to? Do you need a room that's not cluttered? Anything food or drink or otherwise that you just have to have or are you just such an amazing artist you can create in any environment?

ApocalypticaOfficial5 karma

i need to just concentrate,dive deep into musical world,usually it only demands silence but sometimes it's even fun to try doing that in noisy backstage room

apofan722 karma

Yo Perttu! I'm wondering if you have something you bring with you that's special to you when you travel? Or do you look for things of interest when touring to take back home with you? If so what would that be? One last thing..the album is amazing and I can't wait to see you guys live June 7th!!

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

i just need my gaming computer and that's about it :) thank you!

sami_jato2 karma

Hi Perttu!! SO happy you took the time to do this. So, here's the question: how'd you define Mikko's hair in one word?

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma


Pinkrose1_19992 karma

Can we get a video sometime of Mikko trying to play the bass and drums at the same time?

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

maybe if i use some video FX app :D

Kandelle2 karma

Will you come to Chile someday? It would be amazing <3 I'll be in the first line in front of you - <3

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

funny enough...we've BEEN in Chile twice..and concerts were cancelled for some reason when we arrived there! (promoter disappeared etc) :;D so i definitely hope we one day get to actually PLAY a show in your country!

Selbi2 karma

What made you pick the cello over, say, the violin, double bass, etc.?

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

my father was also a cellist. choise was clear...

saikosakura2 karma

Hello Perttu! If you had the opportunity to collaborate with ANY guest singer or band (dead or alive) who would it be? Also, what inspires you?

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

at the moment answer is no one , as we like to be Apocalyptica and having a very clear concept with Franky :)

PathofTotality2 karma

I'm a big fan of your music and I got to see you guys in Minneapolis a couple years ago and I'm excited to see you guys in Milwaukee this year.

What is your favorite song to play live?

ApocalypticaOfficial5 karma

usually nearly all of them, when usually play our favorite tracks on road...

Helicase212 karma

As one of the other bands in the 'cello covers of other music' that you guys started in but have now moved away from into more original compositions, what are your opinions of 2Cellos?

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

it's cool if we can inspire people to try different things and if we have had influence on concidering cello as a cool instrument capable on various stuff :)

PathofTotality2 karma

How do yo play cello with such long hair? I remember playing cello in high school and my hair was much longer then and I kept pinching it between the neck and my fingers.

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

it's tricky,oh boy it is :D

purdyjen2 karma

Are you missing anything from back home yet this tour? (food, places, etc)

ApocalypticaOfficial5 karma


DarkestSin2 karma

Perttu I've loved you guys since I was 14, and you're my favourite! That's 8 years of love. Who would you like to have featured on a song? And who was your favourite guest singer?

ApocalypticaOfficial5 karma

i have loved everyone we've worked,amazing artists, but at the moment we are concentrated in being ourselves...ofcourse there would be ppl i appreciate and would like to play with...maybe by myself not with Apo...Arch Enemy for sure! duet with Rob Halford and Tori Amos?

GhostOfAmarie2 karma

Hey Fellow human, Myself and my friend were lucky enough to meet you all in London and hear the album last month (Thank You) which is amazing by the way :) especially enjoying Riot Lights! While talking to Mikko he said about a possible UK tour/Gig at the end of November and I was just wondering if we were any closer to that actually happening? Would really like to hear more of Shadowmaker live, it really is such a beautiful album, which is your favourite track? Also, if you could of played any character in LOTR which would you of chosen? And Thank You for making such amazing music. From Abie & Clare

ApocalypticaOfficial4 karma

i would have probably been an orc (as there were pretty darn amazing actors for rest of the roles :D