Sunrise Avenue

Fairytale gone right

It is December 17, 2011. Lucerne is a-glitter with Christmas decorations. Although basking in the festive spirit, the Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern this evening will be enjoying anything other than a «silent night». Local broadcaster Radio Pilatus is again hosting its Christmas Music Night at the hotel's historical Zeugheer Hall, and you are the musical highlight of the evening. You admire the magnificent decorations of the Christmas tree by the stage.

Its presence makes you feel at home. You have frequently been a guest here at the Hotel Schweizerhof Lucerne, and details like this are the reason you like coming here so much: the tree is so welcoming, and it demonstrates sincerity and attention to detail of the kind you usually experience only in your own family. You feel safe and secure here – for people always on tour, that is worth its weight in gold.

Your charismatic frontman, Samu Haber, stated this morning on Radio Pilatus (which, by the way, voted you their favourite band):

«When I open my door to the balcony with the lake and everything… it’s, I don’t know, one of the coolest places we have played... ever.»

Indeed: after a brief workout in the gym, Samu loves to breakfast on his room's balcony and savour the fresh mountain air.

Once Pegasus and Anna Rossinelli have warmed up the audience, you open your showcase with your biggest hit to date, «Fairytale Gone Bad»; today, there are just two of you on stage – Samu Haber (vocals and rhythm guitar) and Riku Rajamaa (lead guitar). Everyone in the audience sings along.

You became a musician because you found you could arouse the interest and enthusiasm of those around you, even if things weren't so easy at the beginning: founded in your home town of Helsinki in 2002, the band sent out more than 1000 demo recordings to record companies and was turned down by 102 producers until Jukka Backlund decided he would record an album with you.

The finance came from a fan of yours using funds generated from the sale of his house.

Four long years later, in May 2006, «On the Way to Wonderland» was released. The third single taken from the album, «Fairytale», reached the number two slot in the Finnish charts and high chart positions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The debut album went on to achieve gold status in the band's native Finland, a nomination for the MTV Music Award and a number of other awards. Your follow-up album, «Popgasm?, was released in 2009, and album number three, «Out of Style», was released in the spring of this year.

You are now playing a fantastic acoustic version of the first single taken from it, «Hollywood Hills». It soon becomes apparent that far from being a 'one hit wonder', your fans in Lucerne consider you a 'must-hear' at the Lucerne festival hotel.

And because Christmas is just around the corner, you end the Christmas Music Night with, inevitably, «Silent Night».

This evening in your company, Sunrise Avenue, is definitely a «Fairytale Gone Right».