Tonmi Lillman, Finnish musician (Ajattara, Sinergy, To/Die/For, Lordi) died he was 38
Tonmi Lillman (born Tommi Kristian Lillman), was a Finnish musician, best known as Otus, the former drummer of the Finnish hard rock band Lordi died he was 38.
Lillman died on 13 February 2012 from a bout of illness.
Lillman’s father was a musician, and as a result he grew up
surrounded by a large assortment of instruments. Tonmi received his
first drum kit at age 9 and started performing live at age 14. Apart from drums and bass guitar, his primary instruments, Tonmi also played the keyboards and guitar. Prior to his death, he was involved in the bands Ajattara, Kylähullut, Vanguard and 3rror. From his previous bands, he became best Sinergy, To/Die/For and Lordi.
known as the drummer of
In his professional career Lillman has also taught digital recording
and drums at Kouvola Musiikkiopisto (Kouvola Conservatoire). He has
played in numerous folk, dance and pop orchestras, as well as handling
the drums on the “Dimebag Beyond Forever 2009” tour alongside Rainer ”Raikku” Tuomikanto.
After Kita, the drummer of Lordi had decided to pursue a solo career, Tonmi sent a sms to Mr. Lordi
saying that he had heard they needed a drummer. He had already worked
with Mr Lordi when he helped him with Lordi’s stage props.
Mr Lordi accepted the offer and Tonmi became their second drummer with
his new stage name “Otus” which is Finnish for “creature” or “thing”.
His first gig with the band took place during the “Europe For Breakfast
Tour” on November 5, 2010 in the hall Ozhidania St. Petersburg (Russia).
His character was described as a combination between a butcher, an
executioner, an alien, a lizard, and a zombie. According to Lordi he was
a “tough dude. And definitely one of the ugliest members in our family …
Otus edited the DVD of the compilation album Scarchives Vol. 1
and can be heard on the documentary track. He didn’t record any studio
album with Lordi before his death, but the outro track of To Beast or Not to Beast is a live-record of Otus’ drum solo.
After his death, Lordi Fan Nation, the fan magazine about the band, did a special edition in tribute to Otus. [mag]
Lillman had appeared on several albums, acting as a studio musician for bands such as Reflexion, Twilight Ophera, and for instance providing the drum work for the Guitar Heroes -album. Recently Tonmi has distinguished himself as a studio engineer, mixing and recording such bands as Beherit, Bloodride, Chainhill, D-Creation, Exsecratus, Fierce, Fear Of Domination, Heorot, In Silentio Noctis, Laava, Lie in Ruins, MyGRAIN, Rage My Bitch, Raivopäät, Roo, Rujo, Rytmihäiriö, Saattue, Serene Decay, Trauma, Vapaat Kädet and V For Violence.
Tonmi Lillman used Pearl drums, Sabian cymbals and Pro-Mark drum sticks, and has signed an endorsement contract with the aforementioned labels. Lillman was known for his characteristic style of drum placement and was a devout user of double kick drums. His style of drumming was rooted in rock, so he valued good groove and a strong rhythmic backbone, combined with innovative fills, over high speeds and blast beats. Tonmi mentioned as his main influences the drummers Teijo “Twist Twist” Erkinharju, Mikkey Dee, Deen Castronovo, and his greatest influence as Dave Weckl.
Tonmi Lillman’s drum kit has recently appeared for sale by his estate on the Finnish musicians’ website muusikoiden.net.
Graphics and music videos
Besides music, Tonmi worked as a graphic designer specializing in 3D-graphics. He has also worked as an editor on music videos, such as on Ajattara‘s “…Putoan” and “Ikuisen Aamun Sara”, ”Marks On My Face” by Mind Of Doll, the Kylähullut video “Kieli hanurissa” and on “Whisper” by Vanguard. He has designed the Cover Art for bands like To/Die/For, Sinergy, Kylähullut, HateFrame, D-Creation and Dance Nation,
among several others. In addition, he has edited video presentations,
commercials and product labels for different companies as well as
providing video production and post production to, for instance, the Crumbland promo DVD. Tonmi also designed and produced the background animations for Lordi‘s European tour. Other graphical works include web designing, site production and providing banners and animation for various on-line gaming sites.
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