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Vuorinen performing at the Palais Theatre, 2008
|Birth name||Erno Matti Juhani Vuorinen|
|Born||24 June 1978|
|Genres||Symphonic metal, power metal, hard rock, AOR, black metal|
|Associated acts||Nightwish, Brother Firetribe, Altaria, Almah, Barilari|
Erno Matti Juhani "Emppu" Vuorinen (born 24 June 1978) is a Finnish guitarist, most famous for being a founding member and occasional songwriter of the symphonic metal band Nightwish. He is the oldest of five children, having a twin brother and three younger sisters. He started to play guitar as a private study at the age of 12 and since then has played in various bands including Nightwish, Brother Firetribe, Barilari, Almah, and Altaria.
Emppu is primarily a rhythm player, often supporting the keyboard or orchestral parts of Nightwish songs. However, he plays lead melodies and solos as well. Vuorinen's solo techniques usually include alternate picking, tapping, sliding, legato, and minor to extreme whammy bar use; he also employs sweep picking, although very rarely. His solos are more melodic than those of most metal bands, but he sometimes shreds (notably in "Nightquest," "The Pharaoh Sails to Orion," "Romanticide," and "Gethsemane" by Nightwish, and also in "Traitor" by Tarot, for which he provided a solo). Nightwish's first three albums feature a larger amount of lead guitar work from Emppu than their later albums. Vuorinen has tuned his studio guitars in D tuning since the release of Century Child – until then, his guitars were tuned in standard. During concerts, he has two guitars – one for each tuning.
Vuorinen is also a creative force in Nightwish, having co-written songs with Tuomas Holopainen from Oceanborn until Dark Passion Play. The song Whoever Brings The Night on Dark Passion Play is written by Vuorinen alone.
Emppu recorded guitar parts for Almah, a Brazilian metal band, order to help his friend and vocalist Edu Falaschi (former singer of Angra). Emppu did not stay in the band because of his obligations to Nightwish. He is also involved with Brother Firetribe, an AOR band, which as of 2008 has released three albums worldwide: "False Metal" (re-released as "Break Out"), "Heart Full Of Fire" and "Diamond In The Firepit".
Vuorinen used a Washburn N4 Nuno Bettencourt signature guitar for live performances with Nightwish from 1997–1999. Subsequently, he was most commonly seen with Washburn CS-780 guitars (a white one and metallic purple one). He mostly used the white CS-780 until the recording of Century Child when the band started tuning a whole tone lower than standard (DGCFAD instead of EADGBE). The documentary on the End of Innocence DVD shows Vuorinen using his purple CS-780 to track parts of the song "Slaying the Dreamer" (although he is also seen trying a white Tokai Les Paul copy on the same part of the song). After Century Child was released in 2002 he used both CS-780s live, with the white one in standard tuning and the purple one in D standard. The white CS had Duncan Designed pickups, and the purple CS had a zebra Seymour Duncan humbucker in the neck position (unknown model, but likely to be a Jazz since he now uses it on his signature guitars) and what appears to be (judging by the black hexagonal polepieces) a DiMarzio humbucker in the bridge position.
In 2004 Vuorinen started using an ESP custom shop version of the Horizon known as the EV-1. The EV-1 has an alder body, maple neck (neck through construction), ebony fingerboard, Seymour Duncan pickups (a Duncan Custom TB-5 in the bridge, a SHR-1n Hot Rails in the middle, and a SH2-n Jazz in the neck), 5 way switch, single volume control and a gold Floyd Rose tremolo system. He regularly used two during live shows, a purple one tuned to DGCFAD and a white one tuned to EADGBE. After the release of Dark Passion Play in 2007 he toured with a new signature guitar, the EV-2. This was very similar to the purple EV-1, but now had a tone control and a large decal on the body known as the "Harem Girl". The third incarnation of the series, the EV-3 appeared in 2012 featuring the Imaginaerum cover art and no middle pickup. On the band's 2012/13 Imaginaerum World Tour, Vuorinen used the EV-1 and EV-3. During rehearsals for Nightwish's eighth album Emppu has been using a new custom guitar, built for him by Ruokangas Guitars.
Vuorinen used an ESP Eclipse in Vintage Black for the Dark Passion Play music videos. After seeing that his distinctive purple guitar had suddenly gone, fans voiced their concerns; Vuorinen answered this question via Nightmail:
|“||Is it true that you changed your guitar for a Les Paul to fit more with Anette's heavy voice?||”|
|“||The thing is that when we went to LA, [where the videos were shot] I forgot my guitar at home so I had to run to the nearest local guitar store to buy an ESP Eclipse. So the answer is: No!||”|
Emppu has used Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifiers regularly since 2002 and it is the amp most associated with him. However, he has used various amplifiers with Nightwish. He can be seen using a Laney VH100R head during the Summer of Wilderness tour in 1999, and the same amp was also present in the studio when Nightwish were recording Century Child. During that period he was also using a rack system. The system varies over the years and isn't well documented, but some of the units that definitely appear in it are:
- Rocktron Piranha preamp
- Tech 21 SansAmp PSA 1 preamp
- Mesa/Boogie Stereo 2:Fifty power amp
- TC Electronic G Major multi FX unit
- kemper profiling amp
Photographs and Nightwish diary entries from the recording of Dark Passion Play and Imaginaerum confirm he used a Bogner Uberschall head into an Engl cabinet as well as his standard Mesa/Boogie into Marshall cabinet setup. He now uses Kemper profiling amps with a custom profile he made at a friends studio. The front of house sound comes straight from the DI from the Kemper but often has a 4x12 cabinet offstage, aimed across the stage which is used for monitoring and feedback.
- Angels Fall First – 1997 (also bass guitar)
- Oceanborn – 1998
- Wishmaster – 2000
- Over the Hills and Far Away EP – 2001
- Century Child – 2002
- Once – 2004
- Dark Passion Play – 2007
- Imaginaerum – 2011
- Endless Form Most Beautiful – 2015
With Darkwoods My Betrothed:
- Witch-Hunts – 1998
- Invitation – 2003
- Almah – 2006
With Brother Firetribe:
- False Metal – 2006
- Heart Full of Fire – 2008
- Diamond In The Firepit - 2014
- Sunbound - 2017
With Guitar Heroes:
- Guitar Heroes – 2007
- Barilari – Session musician (2003–2004)
- Tarot – second part of solo on Traitor, from the album Crows Fly Black – 2006