Apocalyptica Biography
  • Eicca Toppinen
    Eicca grew up near Helsinki, Finland, in a musical family. Inspired by the example of his sisters who played instruments, he began playing the cello at the age of nine. His interest in music turned to a profession when he attended the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.
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    As a freelancer Eicca played for several orchestras, including the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Avanti! chamber orchestra. He is also a founding member of the Total Cello Ensemble. In 1993, Eicca and his mates surprised their fellow orchestra members by playing three songs from the Metallica album, Ride The Lightning. According to Eicca, as a poor student he did not have notes for any other albums.
    Two years later, Apocalyptica performed at the Teatro Heavy Metal Club in Helsinki on the same night with His Infernal Majesty, later to be known as HIM. A week later, Kari Hynninen of Zen Garden Records contacted Eicca to discuss a deal to make their very first record, “Plays Metallica by Four Cellos”.
    In addition to his work with Apocalyptica, Eicca is accomplished in writing music for various other projects, such as theatrical performances, movies and their soundtracks. However, Eicca says his biggest achievement is Apocalyptica.
    Mikko Sirén
    Drummer Mikko is well known for his multi-talented musicianship – he can play the bass, the guitar and the keyboard. After living in London for a few years as an electronic musician/DJ, he played with many bands in Finland, including the respected Ultra Bra.
    In 2003-2005, Mikko supported Apocalyptica at their live shows. In 2006, Mikko became an official member of Apocalyptica. Mikko’s first composition for the band, “Grace”, appears on the album “Worlds Collide”. Unlike the other members of the band, Mikko has not always been a fan of metal music, his influences coming more from the rock-pop side.
    Paavo Lötjönen
    Paavo’s parents were both professional musicians. At the age of six, he decided that the cello would be his instrument of choice. Like fellow band members Perttu Kivilaakso and Eicca Toppinen, Paavo attended the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.
    Paavo’s taste in music is very eclectic, ranging from classical music to heavy metal, including pop, rock and jazz. He has been musically influenced by a variety of artists, composers and bands – such as Jimi Hendrix, Metallica, the Beatles and old masters like Brahms and Mozart. However, Paavo’s favorite composer remains Jean Sibelius.
    Perttu Kivilaakso
    For Perttu, starting to play the cello was a natural choice, since Perttu’s father is also a professional cellist. Like his fellow band members, Perttu attended the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Perttu played in Apocalyptica’s 1995 line-up, but decided to concentrate on his studies when the band began their professional career. In 1999, he rejoined the band during the studio work for the album “Cult” and replaced Antero Manninen, who left Apocalyptica.
    Perttu has received many prizes and awards during his life as a classical cellist. Among them is winning third place in the renowned second International Paulo Cello Competition at the age of 18. Shortly afterwards, he attained a lifetime chair in the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, where also his father is a cellist. Perttu was on indefinite leave while touring with Apocalyptica, but in 2007, he made the decision to leave the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in order to concentrate on achieving international fame for Apocalyptica.
    Perttu has composed music for the video game “MAG” and for a few documentary films. For Apocalyptica, he has composed “Conclusion,” “Farewell” and “Beautiful”, among others.