Apocalyptica is a Finnish rock band from Helsinki, Finland, formed in 1993. The band is composed of classically trained cellists and, since 2005, a drummer. Three of the cellists are graduates of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. Their music features elements from classical music, neo-classical metal, thrash metal, and symphonic metal.
Apocalyptica was formed in 1993 when four cellists, Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Max Lilja, and Antero Manninen gathered to play Metallica covers at Sibelius Academy. They performed in an after-Christmas party as a "Jailhouse Band" at the Teatro Heavy Metal Club. That evening the line-up was Toppinen, Lilja, Manninen and Perttu Kivilaakso (who was to join the band permanently in 1999.) Among the audience was Kari Hynninen, who worked for the independent label Zen Garden Records. After listening to Apocalyptica's set, Kari Hynninen signed them on the spot to Zen Garden Records.
In 1996, Apocalyptica released their debut studio album, Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, which consisted solely of Metallica covers played on cellos. In 1998, Apocalyptica released their second studio album, Inquisition Symphony, which was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa. Inquisition Symphony once again contained covers of Metallica, but also contained covers of Faith No More, Sepultura, and Pantera. For this album the band also decided to include three original songs written by Eicca Toppinen.
In 1999, Antero Manninen left the group, and was replaced by Perttu Kivilaakso. In 2000, Apocalyptica released their third studio album, Cult, which featured 10 original songs, and 3 covers. And it was after the recording of Cult that an Apocalyptica track was first seen featuring vocals, "Path Vol. 2". In 2002, Max Lilja left the group and joined Hevein, leaving Apocalyptica with only three members.
In 2003, Apocalyptica released their fourth studio album, Reflections, which consisted for the first time of all original songs. Reflections featured a more experimental sound, instead of the previous acoustic style arrangements found on Inquisition Symphony and Cult. Dave Lombardo from Slayer played drums on five songs from Reflections, with session drummer Sami Kuoppamäki playing on the rest of the songs. As Lombardo was unable to join the band on stage on the following tour, the band hired Mikko Sirén, who would stay with the band for future tours as well as the recording of the next album.
In 2005, Apocalyptica released their fifth studio album, Apocalyptica. This album featured a number of guest musicians including Ville Valo of HIM, Lauri Ylönen of The Rasmus, and once again Dave Lombardo. They also recorded the Intro for Bullet For My Valentine's album The Poison. In December 2005 Mikko Sirén was announced as an official band member after having played around 200 shows with the band.
Apocalyptica released their sixth studio album, Worlds Collide, on September 17, 2007. It was produced by Jacob Hellner. To the surprise of many, the album includes a cover of the German version of David Bowie's song "Heroes". Till Lindemann of Rammstein, for whom they opened on the Reise, Reise tour, was the guest vocalist on the track "Helden". Worlds Collide was released on April 15, 2008 in the United States. The first single "I'm Not Jesus" featuring Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour from the "Worlds Collide" album cracked the top 10 of both the Active rock and Alternative rock charts.
To end 2007, the band toured Europe successfully, selling out many of the venues they played. In 2008 the tour continued in US and included numerous festivals in Europe.
The band has played approximately 850-1000 concerts during their career in about 50 countries.
Apocalyptica announced a large world tour for 2008, so far including concerts in Europe and North America (including Mexico). They have sold over three million albums to date.
In June 2008, during the Rock in Rio concert in Lisbon, Apocalyptica joined the Greenpeace "energy [r]evolution campaign" and played the Beethoven 5th symphony from the stage. They have most recently recorded 'I Don't Care' with Three Days Grace lead singer Adam Gontier.
The band also appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly on October 31, 2008. Here they made their American television debut with a performance of "I Don't Care" with Toryn Green.
In November 2008, Apocalyptica featuring Adam Gontier hit first at the BDS and Mediabase Active Rock radio charts with the single "I Don't Care". Later that month, the band ranked 3rd at Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Track chart and 2nd at Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart just after AC/DC, and just ahead of Metallica, an ironic twist, due to their origins performing Metallica covers. Recently, it reached #1 on the Billboard rock chart, making Apocalyptica the first Finnish band to top the US charts. The song "I Don't Care" was also featured in the 16th episode of season 8 of the TV series Smallville, which aired on March 19, 2009.
Band members Edit
Current members Edit
- Eicca Toppinen – cello (1993 onward)
- Paavo Lötjönen – cello (1993 onward)
- Perttu Kivilaakso – cello (1999 onward)
- Mikko Sirén – drums (2003 onward)
Former members Edit
- Max Lilja – cello (1993–2002)