Markus Vanhala | Guitars
Born: 02.04.1981 Kotka, Finland
Gear & hardware: Jackson USA guitars, Mesa/Boogie amplification, Marshall cabinets, Seymour Duncan pickups, Effects from Line6, Boss, MXR, TC Electronics, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Randy Rhoads, Edward Van Halen, Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Steve Lukather, Yngwie Malmsteen, Jeff Waters, Marty Friedman, Adrian Smith, John Petrucci, Chuck Schuldiner, David Gilmour, Dan Huff
Death, Rush, Iron Maiden, Emperor, Megadeth, Anathema, Massive Attack, Edge Of Sanity, Dissection, Van Halen, Sentenced, Whitesnake, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Toto, Annihilator, Type O Negative, Devin Townsend stuff, Entombed, Amorphis, Opeth, In Flames, Avril Lavigne, Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity, Marillion, Guns'n'Roses, Alice In Chains, Genesis, Journey
Favourite Insomnium songs: One For Sorrow & Killjoy
Favourite TV series: Twin Peaks, The Simpsons, Futurama, Monty Pythons Flying Circus, Studio Julmahuvi, Ihmebantu, Oz
Favourite Movies: Star Wars 2 x trilogy, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, Once Upon A Time In The West, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Batman movies, Spinal Tap, Rock Star, The Doors, Shining, Clockwork Orange, Lord Of The Rings -trilogy, Miyazaki stuff, Shawshank Redemption, Monty Pythons; Life Of Brian, The Holy Grail, Meaning Of Life
Favourite books: The Guitar Grimoire, Swedish Death Metal…. ;)
Drink: Cold water, Coffee, Beer, Rum, Mohito, Vodka + muovi a ka "hobo mix"
Weaknesses: Jackson guitars, cats, fishing, sleeping late, collecting cd's & lp's
Other bands: Omnium Gatherum (www.omniumgatherum.org), Wolftrap (www.myspace.com/wolftrapfinland), Malpractice (www.malpracticeband.com), NorthWinds
The junior and the newbie guy of the band! I was born under a bad sign and left out in the cold during the wintry spring of 1981 in the city of Kotka, located in the south-eastern Finland where i've lived my whole life so far. Here's something about my musical endeavors….
The musical career of mine started sometime during the age of 5 when my ever encouraging parents decided that i'm gonna be the next Mozart, or at least Sibelius, and led me to the piano school and musical lessons for children. Though my classical pianist career wasn't so successful 'cause since i was a 6 years old i discovered the thing called hard rock & heavy metal with the albums like "Final Countdown" by Europe, "Slippery When Wet" by Bon Jovi, "Animalize" by Kiss, "Somewhere in Time" by Iron Maiden and the first WASP album and somehow i soon discovered that i cannot bash this kind of heavy music via those black an' whites of the piano. But it was as late as tender age 12 when i finally took the big step and followed the path of the music video heroes of mine; Randy Rhoads and all the Ozzy guitarists, Adrian Smith, Edward Van Halen, Slash and uhhhmmm, Paul Stanley - I switched from air guitar to the real deal went to have some guitar lessons, musical theory lessons, became interested about all things surrounding music and studied & learnt some "philosophical guitarist" attitude of living from the elder ones…
The first gig ever for me was at the 7th grade in our school at 13 years old when we were playing at the school evening party some heavy metal covers and I was playing the guitar and SINGING(!!!!). Somehow i "fingered" the PA system a lil' bit the way that the vocals were quite low, as i knew myself that i wasn't any Ronnie James Dio or Pavarotti at all.. :)
During that time my music taste went slowly but surely to the harder way with the good guidance and company with Death, Sepultura, Carcass, Annihilator et al. before i found the Finnish Amorphis and Sentenced and the Swedish heroes in the melodic death metal front like In Flames, Edge Of Sanity, At The Gates, Opeth and Dark Tranquillity and also some great acts like Emperor, Ulver and Mayhem from the black metal wave of Norway. These bands mentioned really pushed me to the serious band action in forming the melodic death metal band!
At the age of 15 I formed my first REAL band with the REAL attitude and direction with the own songs and that was the melodic death metal squad Omnium Gatherum - the band I'm playing and leading still after the 15 years of ups and downs, 5 albums and mcd released worldwide and a big pile of demos and hundreds of gigs behind.
I also played in progressive metal band called Manitou that released 3 albums "The Mad Moon Rising", "Deadlock" and "No Signs Of Wisdom" between the years 2000-2009, and I've been playing in progressive metal band called Malpractice since 2005 and played on their album called "Triangular". At the moment I'm also playing in a hard rock band called Wolftrap and the debut album is on the way. So I'm pretty used to having many musical projects going on at the same time as like I always say, i have a diagnose of musical AD/HD… I spend way too much time with the guitar, as I'm also working as a guitar teacher!
Last two years I've been filling a lot in Finnish metal bands Diablo, Barren Earth, Pressure Points, and Insomnium as a substitute live member. That's how the guys of the Inso-crew hooked me to their band business. Of course I've been knowing the Insomnium guys for years by now as we've been bustling in the same musical pigeonhole since the late 90's - the Finnish melodeathscene!
I'm the least educated guy in the highly academic group of Insomnium, but I still have something in my pocket on that side - a bachelor of business administration from the Kymenlaakso University of Applied Science. That's what I'm gonna do when I retire from the guitar business. Not. :)