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Biography

Kouvola based TO/DIE/FOR, an intensely melodic yet heavy modern Metal act. Originally the band, forged during 1993 and seeing Marko Kangaskolkka on bass, had been operational under the banner of MARY-ANN. This unit issued an eponymous album in 1997, after which singer Jape Perätalo and drummer Tonmi Lillman were joined by guitarists Juppe 'J.P.' Sutela and Andy. Lillman would then back out for a period and MARY-ANN enrolled bass player Miikka 'Sepe' Kuisma, keyboard player Juska Salminen and drummer Jaani. MARY-ANN issued a further batch of recordings as a 1998 self financed EP release, 'Deeper Sin', this sporting a cover version of the PET SHOP BOYS 'It's A Sin'.

The group, scouted by Ewo Rytkönen, signed to Spinefarm Records in July 1999 under the revised title of TO/DIE/FOR. By this juncture former MALPRACTICE, MANITOU, VITAL SIGNS and CROWMOOR guitarist Joonas 'Jope' Koto had enrolled and Lillman had also made a return. Erstwhile member Juska Salminen subsequently joined H.I.M. and would reunite with his ex-TO/DIE/FOR colleague bassist Miikka Kuisma in 2000 with NEW DAWN FOUNDATION.

The March 2000 debut 'All Eternity' and follow up EP 'In The Heat Of The Night', headed up by the namesake SANDRA cover version, saw Koto joined by singer Jape Perätalo, second guitarist J.P. Sutela, bassist Miikka Kuisma and drummer Tommi Lillman. The latter was also employed on the second SINERGY album 'To Hell And Back' in 2000. The 'All Eternity' album was licensed to Pony Canyon in Japan, adding a re-visited rendition of the PET SHOP BOYS 'It's A Sin', and Nuclear Blast for Germany. In the Autumn of 2000 the band undertook their inaugural European tour, allied with IN FLAMES, DARK TRANQUILLITY and SENTENCED.

TO/DIE/FOR's second outing, the May 2001 album 'Epilogue', found Marko Kangaskolkka assuming bass duties with LULLACRY frontwoman Tanya Kemppainen and SINERGY's Marco Hietala guesting in the studio. 'Epilogue' bolstered the band's standing as the mainstream outside of Metal circles too became aware of the band as the single 'Hollow Heart' struck number 1 on the Finnish charts. Naturally global editions would be boosted by additional music, the Japanese version adding 'Victim Of Love' whilst a Russian variant included TO/DIE/FOR's take on the SCORPIONS 'When Passion Rules The Game'. Sutela exited in the Summer of 2001. An undeterred TO/DIE/FOR duly toured Finland alongside NIGHTWISH, Europe with LACRIMOSA before hitting Russia and Mexico as a quartet in early 2002.

The band would be rejoined by Sutela in mid 2002 for recording of a new album entitled 'Jaded', produced by TT Oksala. Japanese copies were augmented by no less than three further songs. However, once the album had been completed Sutela was once again ejected. SINERGY and NIGHTWISH bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala would be tapped for a guest vocal role on the record. The album included a cover version of the CUTTING CREW's '(I Just) Died In Your Arms'.

Tommi Lillman deputised for Black Metal band BARATHRUM during the summer of 2003. Japanese versions of the 'Jaded' album added no less than six extra tracks. TO/DIE/FOR lost the services of singer Jape Perätalo in August and would temporarily enrol FOR MY PAIN and REFLEXION singer Juha Kylmänen to fulfil dates in Mexico that October. This signalled the start of major ructions would actually split the band as Kangaskolkka, Lillman and Koto searched for a new singer.

Perätalo soon returned fronting a new act billed as TIAGA, a band with further TO/DIE/FOR connections as it included erstwhile guitarists Juppe "J.P." Sutela and Mika "Alli" Ahtiainen and even a former band drum tech Santtu Lonka. Confusingly, reports in February 2004 suggested Spinefarm Records had insisted on contracting Jape Perätalo's new band under condition the name TO/DIE/FOR was used. This outfit would tour Mexico in April. This move incensed the Kangaskolkka, Lillman and Koto triumvirate, and confused fans, but the revised TIAGA had legally taken the name.

Tonmi Lillman reunited with his ex-SINERGY comrade Alex Laiho, founding KYLÄHULLUT, or "village idiot", alongside lead singer on Finnish punk band KLAMYDIA Vesa Jokinen. The band issued the 'Keisarinleikkaus' EP in May of 2004. Entering Sonicimage Studios in Kouvola, the band set about recording a new album, provisionally billed as 'I'm My Biggest Lord'. In October it would be learned that the ex-TO/DIE/FOR trio of guitarist Joonas Koto, early bassist Marko Kangaskolkka and drummer Tonmi Lillman had crafted a debut album entitled 'Sign Of Demise' under their new band name of HATEFRAME.

TO/DIE/FOR's 2005 album, entitled 'IV', would include a cover version of U2's 'New Year's Day' and gained the group a valuable foothold on the German dark wave circuit. With the band's music flying headlong into gothic realms older fans would be shed but 'IV' certainly generated fresh appreciation.

Guitarist Juppe Sutela exited in June citing "personal reasons". He would be immediately replaced by Antti 'Antza' Talala of ETERNAL TEARS OF SORROW, FLESHTONE and SOULRELIC repute. TO/DIE/FOR announced a lengthy tour of Mexico throughout November and December. Talala bowed out of SOULRELIC that same month in order to prioritise TO/DIE/FOR.

As 2006 opened, TO/DIE/FOR fractured once again, losing the services of guitarist Mika Ahtiainen. The group nevertheless ensconced itself in the studio on March to undertake recordings for a fifth album. 'Wounds Wide Open' was recorded by Samu Oittinen at Fantom Studios and by Jari-Jukka Nippala at Sonic Image. The final product was mixed Peter Tägtgren at Abyss Studios in Sweden. 'Wounds Wide Open' arrived in October preceded by the single 'Like Never Before', which entered the Finnish charts at number 14, rising to number 5 the following week. This included a cover version of OZZY OSBOURNE's '(I Just) Want You'. TO/DIE/FOR teamed up with SINAMORE, DAS SCHEIT and INDIGO CHILD for European tour beginning in November.

TO/DIE/FOR, having revealed they had severed ties with Spinefarm Records, scheduled two European campaigns for 2007, hitting Spain, Italy and France in March and April then partnering with SHATTER MESSIAH and EPICUREAN for summer USA shows before returning to the continent for German shows in August.

The band entered the studio on 8th July 2008 to track new demos. In October TO/DIE/FOR parted ways with drummer Santtu Lonka, immediately replacing him with Toni Paananen of MALPRACTICE and REVERSION. Meantime, Jape Perätalo forged a fresh act entitled SUNDOWN SINDROME.

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