When I was 9 in`84 my father introduced me to a guitar. I was a big fan of Kiss so I wanted to be like them and of course learn how to play the guitar. I got my first acoustic guitar a year after. I took some courses on guitar playing at the time and learned the basic chops and chords. But my ambition was to play rock & roll music so I had to learn it all by my self. Years went by and I desperately wanted an electric guitar. In ´87 I got one as a Christmas present from my parents. Over a year too late but still I was very happy. I remember it was a white Leadstar, a copy of Fender Stratocaster.”

”As a teenager I was a Metallica fan and really started to find out how to shred. Kirk Hammett of Metallica was my hero. I formed my first band at the age of 13. It was influenced by thrash metal like early Metallica. Later on I started to play death metal. With my band we even got a recording deal from the French record label. I was only 17. ”

”In early ´90´s I was introduced to Joe Satriani´s and Steve Vai´s music but I really thought it was just music for sports. A couple of years later I really started to like Satriani´s music because I found out that it’s all about bluesy rock´n’ roll. Nowadays I’m a really big fan of Vai too. Maybe I’m grown to like it in some strange way. (In my opinion Steve Vai is close to god!!!). I also like to listen to a little bit more progressive metal like Dream Theater. With my band Blackbay I try to do great metal/rock songs with a little progressive touch every now and then.”

”In 2001 I was in a situation where I felt I have to do my own guitar-shredding demo. I just had to get it out of my system. So I started to work on a couple of songs and some ideas I’ve had many years. Earlier I thought I was not 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 somebody else.” Maybe I was a little bit afraid of what people would think of me. But I wanted to do it and I wanted it to be as perfect as possible. So I practiced 4 months, everyday 2-3 hours, for my 3-song demo called ”The Axe master” and I thought I don’t give a s**t what people think, this is my dream (…obsession). The demo was made just for the sake of my mental health and I didn’t even dream to get a record deal. But I sent ”Axe master” to couple of labels just to get a sense of where I stand as a guitarist. When Lion Music offered me a deal I had to think again… Maybe for a couple of days I thought about it and then I decided to just go for it! So now, 18 years later, my first solo album ”Taking The Lead” is out, I hope you get a kick out of it!!!!!!!!”

Beast Wishes,


Elias Viljanen
Taking The Lead
Out Now
Elias Viljanen
The Leadstar
Out Now