In 1986 Niemistö joined the sleaze rock band Geisha, replacing Mikkey Dee. Niemistö changed his stage name to Tony Lace, but eventually he went back to using his real name. Geisha released the album Phantasmagoria in 1987, before splitting up two years later. Geisha's vocalist Yenz Cheyenne then formed the band =Y=, which Niemistö joined. They released an EP, =Y= in 1991, and an album, Rawchild in 1992.