"When the first album was released, we didn't expect much. If it had sold 1,000 copies in Finland that would've been great, but it sold over one million copies worldwide!" Heavy metal, cellos and Finnish style create a sound that is quite like no other. Three classically trained cellist and one kick-ass drummer make up the internationally known symphonic metal band, Apocalyptica.
Apocalyptica was formed in 1993, when Eicca and three fellow cellists from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, combined their passion for heavy metal and classical music. They began composing unique arrangements of songs by their favorite heavy metal band, Metallica and covering artists such as: David Bowie, Faith No More and Sepultura. Apocalyptica got their break in 1995, when they performed at Teatro Heavy Metal Club in Helsinki. Kari Hynninen of Zen Garden Records was in the crowd and later offered them a chance to record their debut album, metal heads around the world.
Eino "Eicca" Matti Toppinenwas born August 5, 1975 in Vantaa , Finland. After graduating from Sibelius Academy, he played for Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Avanti and founded the Sibelius Academy's Cellosexet. He has written for the theatrical performance of Paper Rain and Milja. Eicca also composed the soundtrack for the Finnish movie, Black Ice and later was awarded a Jussi Award for the score. Perttu Kivilaakso was born May 11, 1978, in Helsinki, and began playing the cello when he was only 5 years old. At the age of 18, Kivilaakso won third place in the second International Paulo Cello competition; shortly after, has was bestowed a lifetime chair at Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.
From Bach to Banger
He became a member of Apocalyptica in 1999, for their third studio album, Cult. The third member of the group, Paavo Lötjönen was born July 29, 1968; took up the cello at age seven. He received his Solist Cellist diploma from the Sibelius Academy and apart from his work with Apocalyptica his is a cello teacher and a skiing instructor. Mikko Sirén is the drummer for both Apocalyptica and Megaphone; he was born December 31, 1975. Unlike his band mates, Mikko was not trained in the classics, nor did he play the cello, but his funk/electronica style influenced by artists like The Beatles, Massive Attack and The Who was cutting edge.
While living in London working as a DJ, he performed with UltraBra, Lapping Tongue and Syva Sininen, building a following and creating a style that was just right for Apocalyptica's unique sounds. He has played drums for Apocalyptica's' sixth studio album Worlds Collide. Antero "Mr. Cool" Manninen is one of the original members of the band. He was born on January 7, 1973, in Tampere, Finland . He joined Apocalyptica in 1993, but after two albums, he decided to the band to pursue his professional career.He still supported Apocalyptica by performing live from 2003 to 2009. All members of the band love the outdoors and promote "green living" at all of their concerts.
With their debut album, Play Metallica by FourCellos released in 1996, a national success, the follow up album, Inquisition Symphony, featured original material that made the statement that they were more than a cover band. Cult, the third album, is a blend of heavy metal, classical music and Finnish originality. In 2001, they released two DVD's entitled, Live and Best of Apocalyptica, and later recorded their fourth album, Reflections. Constantly improving their craft added a full-time drummer to their self-titled album, Apocalyptica. This album is known to be their most creative and achieved international success from free mp3 downloads.
Collection of Rock
After ten years performing, touring and creating a sound that has transformed classical music, they released Amplified/A Decade of Reinventing the Cello and a DVD of their The Life Burns Tour. The sixth album, Worlds Collide, is the first for 2020/Jive Records and their most successful to date in the U.S. The first single from the album, I'm Not Jesus, hit the top 10 of both the Active Rock and Alternative charts; the second single, I Don't Care, reached #1 on the Active Rock charts and #3 on the Alternative charts. Recently, in 2009, Apocalyptica became the first Finnish band to reach #1 on the Billboard Rock charts, with the smash single, I Don't Care.
Did you know that...
- ...three songs from Plays Metallica by Four Cellos appeared on the soundtrack in the movie, starring Ben Stiller.
- ...I Don't Care was featured on Smallville.
- ...Kivalaakso composed music for Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne