"This years (2015) "Perfect Strangers of Finland" divided into two persons. Henric Blomqvist & Sven Wannas were elected for the fine-PSOF trophy.
Statement of reasons by the PSOF board of directors were:
"In inspiring,open-minded,consideration of other and professional approach towards DP family tree in their
presentation of the music.
Purple Night performer in 2013 and 2015"
Good luck to them yet again!
Purple Night 2015 29.05.2015 Tavastia,Helsinki
Henric Blomqvist - guitar
Jonas Kuhlberg - bass
Johan Mattjus - vocals
Jukka Nummi - vocals
Roger Snellman - drums
Jari Tiura - vocals
Sven Wannäs - hammond & keys
Doogie White - vocals
Perfect Strangers of Finland.
Release date: May 16 , 2014
Artist: Henric Blomqvist & Friends
Album title: All Of Your Illusions
Distribution: Secret Entertainment
Genre: Hard Rock
Type: CD album (digipak)
Total playing time: 00:54:53
1. Place Of Fear 5:10 (Blomqvist/Mattjus)
2. Thunderbrigade 6:36 (Blomqvist/Tiura)
3. Pain That Gains 4:57 (Blomqvist/Nummi)
4. Black Sky 4:23 (Blomqvist/Mattjus)
5. Plenty Of Reasons 4:36 (Blomqvist)
6. Till The End Of Time 5:28 (Blomqvist/Nummi)
7. When We Were Young 5:35 (Blomqvist/Nummi)
8. Perfect Dream 5:48 (Blomqvist/Tiura)
9. Lonely As I Am 5:26 (Blomqvist/White)
10. All Of Your Illusions 6:33 (Blomqvist)
Henric is a guitarist / songwriter living in Pietarsaari, Finland.He's about to release his first solo album containing his own songs co written with different singers. The style is guitar-based rock songs and ballads with influenses from the Classic Rock genre.
Participating artists and friends that Henric have co-writed the songs with are none other than Doogie White (ex Rainbow, Malmsteen etc) Jari Tiura,(Stargazery) (ex MSG),Jukka Nummi(Rainbow Shakers,Angry Machines )(ex Myon), Johan Mattjus, (Solid Faces) (ex Stormwing).
Other participants are Jonas Kuhlberg ,Bass,( Mygrain) ,Sven Wannäs,Hammond/keyboard(Solid Faces, Kaos Krew)(ex Stormwing) Roger Snellman,Drums (Solid Faces )(ex Tinderbox)
The album is produced by Henric and mixed/mastered by his good friend Sven Wannäs.
The whole idea behind making the album
-All of Your Illusions-
The idea for this album slowly began sprouting around 2010-2011. I had ideas for many songs lying around and had increasingly begun to think about releasing a solo album of my own songs. I remembered my conversation with Doogie White on his visit to Finland back in 2009, when he mentioned that he likes to work with different guitarists.
“It interests me to work with different musicians, especially guitarists, because they stretch you to your limit and every day is different. I like that challenge.”
So I figured why not ask him first to see if he is interested to participate in my solo CD, so I sent him a couple of demos of my songs and he responded positively... and that was the start of the project. This was in May 2011.We later agreed to co-write one of my songs.
I spoke with my good friend Sven Wannäs to see if he was interested to work as an audio engineer. I knew that he had both the experience in mixing and mastering and that he would be a great audio engineer due to his good musical ear and his knowledge, and we have the same taste in music so I find it very easy to work with him. I knew that the project would be in good hands if Sven was involved. He was very interested to participate. He had also started to build his home studio, so it was possible to record both vocals and drums at his studio. We also use the same digital software, so sending files back and forth would be easy; because of that I could record all my guitars and bass at my place. During this time he was also in the process of finalizing the Solid Faces tribute CD, so we had to finish that project first.
I also began to think about the other artists who I would need and who would be interested to participate in this project.
I had first planned to play all the bass tracks on the CD myself, but I slowly started to think it might be better if I were to ask a real bass player who was willing to participate on some songs. I came to think of bassist Jonas Kuhlberg from Pietarsaari whom I have met from time to time. I had always admired him for his tasteful bass playing and his experience, so I asked him and he was very interested to participate - but he asked if he could play bass on all the songs, and it was not hard to persuade me…
I always thought that my long-time friend Roger Snellman would handle the drums, and he promised to do so when I asked him. Roger is a rhythmic drummer with his own self-taught style, and his passion for progressive rock shines through from time to time. We have played together in different bands since the 90's, so it felt natural to have him involved in the project.
So the rhythm section was completed for the project.
When I had previously talked with Sven Wannäs about his involvement as an audio engineer, we discussed Hammond and synth involvement in my songs. I had always thought that some songs would include Hammond organ, so Sven promised to play Hammond on some of the songs, and I was thrilled. Sven handles his Hammond in a beautiful and laidback style.
But I needed more singers besides Doogie.
The first one I came to think of was singer Jukka Nummi from Oulu, whom I had done a couple of sessions with before. Jukka is a great singer and has a wide taste in music, even in progressive rock, so he would fit in nicely with the songs I had. I asked if he was interested to participate in some songs, which he to my great delight was. This was in March 2012. Jukka and I co-wrote three of my songs.
I then asked singer Johan Mattjus from Pedersöre. He is the vocalist in our band Solid Faces, and he was very interested to join and we agreed to co-write two of my songs. I was very happy because Johan has a very wide range especially in the classic rock genre, and he is a good lyricist also.
Now I had singers for at least six songs, but I wanted more; the idea was to have no more than two instrumental songs on the album.
Then in the summer of 2012 I got a chance to back up singer Jari Tiura from Tampere at some shows. Jari has a history as a singer in MSG, so it was very interesting to get to know him and discuss music with him. Later in the fall, I realized that I could ask him if he wanted to join. I had been very impressed by his singing, and he has a special voice and an admirable vocal range. He was also, to my delight, very interested to join. This was in August 2012. We later decided to co-write two of my songs.
So now I had gathered all the participants that I wanted; it was time to focus on studio work. I had already recorded the majority of the songs with software drums and sent them to the participants so that they could work on and arrange their parts.
In early 2013, it was time to begin. We agreed on different weekends for the bass tracks to be recorded, and I sent the songs to Jonas a few days before our agreed date of recording, and he listened to them and wrote down the structures and then he recorded them directly - amazing!
With Jukka and Jari we had to plan more carefully which weekends suited because they live several hundred kilometres from my place, but we agreed on separate weekends, and they came over for the weekend to record. We wrote lyrics, arranged the songs, recorded and had great fun.
Roger began with his drum arranging, I had only used the software drums in my song writing procedure and to get a basis for the participants to use. Roger got together with Sven to arrange the drums and start recording.
In the meantime, I had contact with Doogie about his song and arrangements, and I even travelled to Helsinki in April 2013 to meet with him when he was there and did a show with Michael Schenker. I met Doogie, and he promised to record my song closer to the autumn. I sent my finished song including the text, and he arranged the text and came up with a vocal melody, recorded the song in London and sent some demos to me to hear what I thought. I thought it was great - so he recorded the entire song.
All the songs slowly began to be completed in the autumn of 2013 as Sven started working on completing them and put some Hammond here and there and some synth pads,and we listened through them and arranged a little here and there.
Finally only mixing and mastering remained. Sven took the songs under his wing and added the finishing touches.
And here is the final product of a long project, countless hours, sending files back and forth, here and there…
I cannot believe what great musicians I got to participate on this CD, beyond my wildest dreams, and who gave so much of their time, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I am forever in your debt.
Drums - Roger Snellman
Bass - Jonas Kuhlberg
Hammond/Keyboard - Sven Wannäs
Guitars - Henric Blomqvist
Vocals - Johan Mattjus
Vocals - Jukka Nummi
Vocals - Jari Tiura
Vocals - Doogie White
I wish to thank:
My co-writers and friends who helped with this CD - Roger Snellman, Sven Wannäs, Jonas Kuhlberg, Johan Mattjus, Jukka Nummi, Jari Tiura and Doogie White
My wife Sari: thanks for your support and understanding and your patience when I spent countless hours sitting in my music room...
My son Jim: for your patience, not always understanding why Dad was always sitting in his music room…
My entire family - my mom for the inspiration, my sister and my brothers
Cover artists and photo editing by Darkartphotography - Fredrik Aaltonen, Nathanael Witick, Bau From - thanks for putting it all together!
Thanks to Pamela Harju for taking care of all translations and text editing
Special thanks to Sven Wannäs
All guitars and bass tracks recorded by Henric Blomqvist @Henric’s place
All vocals, drums and keyboard tracks recorded by Sven Wannäs @ Sven’s place
except “Lonely As I Am” - vocals recorded by Doogie White, London
Produced by: Sven Wannäs
All songs mixed and mastered by Sven Wannäs
All songs produced by:
All songs written by:
Music - Henric Blomqvist
-Place Of Fear - H Blomqvist
-Thunderbrigade - J Tiura/H Blomqvist
-Pain That Gains - J Nummi
-Black Sky - J Mattjus
-Till The End Of Time - J Nummi
-When We Were Young - J Nummi
-Perfect Dream - H Blomqvist
-Lonely As I Am - H Blomqvist/D White
This CD is dedicated to my son Jim, my pride and joy. I hope this can help you with your goals in the future. You can if you want!