Nuuksio Bike Park 15.5.2024

Apocalyptica Rocks the Slopes

Apocalyptica's Paavo Lötjönen and Eicca Toppinen are both downhill fanatics. “Skiing is the perfect symphony of speed, exercise, fresh air and thrill-chasing in fabulous natural scenery,” says Paavo. Apocalyptica’s Paavo Lötjönen and Eicca Toppinen are both downhill fanatics. “Skiing is the perfect symphony of speed, exercise, fresh air and thrill-chasing in fabulous natural scenery,” says Paavo.
Apocalyptica is a metal band world-renowned for its symphonic cello rock. But the band has a lesser-known claim to fame that might even surprise their fans: their ultimate soul therapy is downhill skiing. To find out more, hit the slopes with founding band member Paavo Lötjönen.

In a career now spanning over 27 years, Apocalyptica have toured countless stages, sold millions of albums and topped playlists worldwide. The band has a loyal fan base especially in North America, Latin America and Central Europe.

The band’s three cellists – Eicca Toppinen, Perttu Kivilaakso and Paavo Lötjönen – are all classically trained musicians and ‘regular guys’ with a grounded outlook unchanged by celebrity. While the band is perhaps more famous internationally than back home, all three are fiercely proud of their heritage and Finland’s pristine northern nature.

Apocalyptica has adoring fans all around the world. Audiences are mesmerized by their magnetic stage presence and positive energy.

Paavo Lötjönen in particular is a self-avowed nature lover who makes no secret of his tree-hugging tendencies in interviews and social media posts. His friends and followers also know him as a ski instructor and passionate off-piste aficionado – or “diehard slope junkie,” as he jokingly describes himself.

Off-piste pleasures

Paavo is a confident, elegant skier who is unafraid of speed. He glides though powder clouds with a playful grace reminiscent of his on-stage showmanship.

‘Euphoric’ is perhaps the best word to describe the vibe he radiates as he carves through frictionless snow.

“Downhill skiing is my reset button. It’s my joy and passion, and it’s the ideal way to connect with nature and let off steam. It’s all the best things in life rolled into one,” he muses.

Paavo’s sleek carving style says it all – the man loves speed.

A downhill devotee since boyhood, Paavo describes alpine skiing as his happy place and driving force in life.

“Skiing is the perfect symphony of speed, exercise, fresh air and thrill-chasing in fabulous natural scenery.”

When Paavo goes on a ski holiday, he goes for the slopes, not the après-ski life.

“Slope junkies don’t need booze to have fun. We get all the joy we want out of skiing, connecting with nature and being physically active. Skiing is very therapeutic. It clears my mind like nothing else.”

When he sets off on a ski trip, Paavo is very picky about one thing:

“I ski only in the best company. Spending time with friends is an important part of a great day out on the slopes. My regular ski buddies are getting a bit paunchy, but who cares! I also do a lot of skiing with my son.”

Professional, elegant and absolutely dedicated – but with a merry twinkle in his eye. This is Paavo both on stage and on the slopes.

Storybook Lapland

There are two places in Finland that hold a special place in Paavo’s heart: the Baltic Sea and Lapland.

“Lapland doesn’t have steep slopes, but it has a special atmosphere. There’s something uniquely Finnish about the air of the fells, the scenery and the majestic trees. The joy of spending time outdoors and connecting with nature in the far north is simply indescribable,” enthuses Paavo.

Paavo loves soaking up the breath-taking scenery of the fells. The gnarled old pines add special magic to the landscape.

“As a young boy, I was always spellbound by the silhouettes of the snow-decked trees. To me the snowy fells always looked like something out of a fairytale – they still do, in fact! They have a special magic you won’t find anywhere else.”

While the exercise and social side of skiing are both invigorating, the thing Paavo loves most about skiing is the powerful, sense-stirring experience of communing with nature.

“I love to pause in a slightly out-of-the-way place and simply listen to the wind while I soak up the panorama. I enjoy those moments immensely. I warmly recommend it to everyone – be still and just listen to the hum of the wind. Immerse yourself in the landscape and drink in the beauty of nature.”

Paavo especially enjoys the bitterly cold yet unimaginably beautiful days of mid-winter on the northern fells.

“Nothing is more beautiful than the red glow of the January sun hanging low in the sky. The light has a very special quality in the far north. You’ll find nothing like it anywhere else.”

Apocalyptica <3 Pusu

The Apocalyptica brand has been harnessed in the promotion of an unusual array of products beyond the usual t-shirts and conventional band merchandise.

“We like to generate publicity for premium Finnish brands through collaboration with companies like Genelec and Kalevala Koru.”

Through their music, Apocalyptica have also promoted Finnish nature, tourism and technology. Their collaboration with Visit Finland produced ‘The Symphony of Extremes’, a music video promoting Finnish tourism.

Apocalyptica collaborates with selected Finnish brands. They even have their own signature tea brand, ‘Apocalypteaca’.

The band’s latest brand collaboration is a dream come true for skiing Apocalyptica fans. Shortly before Easter 2024, the Pusu brand launched a special edition Apocalyptica all-mountain ski.

“We are excited to introduce Finnish innovations and high-end products to the world. Pusu stands for values that we endorse: high-quality craftsmanship, love of nature, sustainability, high tech, Finnish artisanry and elegant design,” describes Paavo.

The Apocalyptica ski is an adapted version of Pusu’s versatile Loska ski. The smoked oak finish is reminiscent of the warm hues of a cello, and the design is crowned by an eye-catching deadwood pine silhouette paying homage to the majestic nature of the fells.

The Apocalyptica ski is hand-made by artisans in central Finland and represents standards of craftsmanship that no mass-produced ski could ever hope to match.

Although Paavo is Apocalyptica’s main mover and shaker in the ski project, his fellow band members are equally proud of the result.

“When the guys saw the finished skis, they immediately wanted a pair of their own! Eicca and our manager are both downhill enthusiasts. Eicca has a ski cabin in Himos and he often goes skiing in Levi and across the border in Norway,” Paavo shares.

One last run before the world tour. Paavo hits the backcountry in Pyhä, Lapland.

Paavo and Eicca will have fewer opportunities to test their new Apocalyptica skis over the coming two winters, as the spring launch of the Apocalyptica Plays Metallica 2 album will be followed by an intensive, two-year worldwide tour.

To compensate, Paavo has done as much skiing as possible over the past winter.

“I’ve been hitting our local slopes every chance I get. I also visited a ski buddy in Andorra, and I’m planning to do a lot of downhill and backcountry skiing in Pyhä Lapland this spring. I’m stocking up on slope energy ahead of our upcoming tour.”

Did you read these?

Due to Covid only Finns will be able to enjoy the magnificent Finnish nature and weather in ski season 2020–2021.

Read more

The four seasons of skiing in Finland

Skiing and snowboarding in Finland

Antti Autti: My Winter

Skiing and snowboarding in Finland

What sets Finnish ski resorts apart

Skiing and snowboarding in Finland