Finnish monster metal group LORDI has recruited Kone as the replacement for its recently departed founding guitarist Amen-Ra (a.k.a. Amen).
Kone will make his live debut with LORDI on Friday, June 10 at the Rock In The City festival in Kuopio, Finland.
Amen-Ra, whose real name is Jussi Sydänmaa, announced his departure from LORDI in early May. At the time, the 49-year-old musician said in a statement that " life happens and people change." He added: "I don't know what the future will bring, all I can tell you is that right now I'm relieved, but sad. I'm grateful but unsure where my path will take me. A big chapter of my life has come to an end, but a new one is starting and I can't wait to see what life has to offer for me."
Back in November 2019, Amen-Ra released his first solo single, made available under the moniker AMEN-RA'S DYNASTY. At the time, he explained that he decided to lengthen his stage name from just Amen into Amen-Ra because "there's so many artists operating under the name Amen, I didn't see it as a practical move on my part."
LORDI caused a sensation by winning the 2006 Eurovision with "Hard Rock Hallelujah", which in turn made the band's third release, "The Arockalypse", a hit throughout Europe. On the back of their Eurovision win, they scored a lucrative series of promotions including LORDI-branded cola, boiled sweets and credit cards; and played live at the MTV European Music Awards. A square was renamed in LORDI's honor in the Lapland city of Rovaniemi; a LORDI-themed postage stamp was issued in Finland and the group starred in its first film, called "Dark Floors".
With their monster-movie stage persona, LORDI seemed a most unlikely choice to represent their country in the Eurovision Song Contest. So you can imagine how many people were shocked when the group not only claimed top honors, but also earned the most points in the venerable event's history.
In a 2017 interview with MariskalRock, LORDI leader Mr. Lordi stated about the band's connection to Eurovision: "There was a time a couple of years ago — well, more than a couple — when I really, really, really hated that everybody's always asking about the goddamn Eurovision; there was a time. Nowadays I have come to terms with it. It's, like, okay, I'm actually proud that we are part of Eurovision history and I am proud that Eurovision is part of this band's history. I mean, it is a big part of our awareness. Because the awareness of the band would be so different, it would be so much smaller, without that one TV show ten years ago."
He continued: "I absolutely don't regret that — absolutely not. Because I have nothing bad to say about Eurovision itself, but the problem that we have had in the years is the people who actually don't know anything else except for the fact that we were on Eurovision. And that is a big stamp to get out of — it's like a fucking tattoo, you have a fucking tattoo on your forehead that says 'Eurovision.' And that is something that really, really, really drove me nuts some years ago; I was really struggling with that.
"I have come to terms with it — it's all right; I mean, it's cool," he said. "I am proud of it. And every May, when there's a new Eurovision, I know that my phone will start ringing and people will ask my opinions and then we get requests: 'Do you wanna come to this country's semifinals? Do you wanna come here?' And for years we said, 'No, we don't wanna. We don't want to.' But now, we're, like, 'Fuck it! Let's do it. What the hell?' I mean, c'mon, it's all fun, and it's part of our history, and the Eurovision, they really want us to come there, because, let's face it, we are one of those winners that people still remember."