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Elias Viljanen

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Viljanen was born in 1975, and started playing the guitar at eight, in 1983. Initially, he says that he began playing “because his dad forced him… and, of course, I wanted to be like Kiss.” He got his first acoustic guitar a year later, but didn’t get an electric guitar until nearly four years later. After finally convincing his parents to let him purchase his first electric guitar (a white Leadstar), he took a few guitar lessons and learned some basic chords, but believed that if he wanted to learn rock’n’roll, it’d be something he’s have to teach himself. So, around age thirteen, Viljanen began playing in local bands immediately after, heavily influenced by Metallica’s early thrash metal. At age seventeen, he was given his first record contract.

In the early 90’s, Vinjanen was introduced to the music of Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, but initially wrote it off as “just music for sports.” As time went by, however, he developed a love of Satriani’s music, calling it the “bluesiest rock’n’roll,” and considers Vai “God.” Viljanen also lists Dream Theater as his influence that pushed him towards the style he is today.

As 2001 approached, Viljanen felt that he had to get his own project going. He spent several months writing down his music ideas he’d had for many years, but never expressed. He did have doubts, however, about his solo project, stating:

“Earlier, I thought I wasn’t ready for this kind of project because, when people listen to shred music, they are usually thinking ‘This guy ain’t fast enough” or ‘He’s just copying someone else.

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