In the year 1998 we went to South America to do shows for the first time. We played 2 gigs in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and we also held concerts in Rio de Janeiro and Macae (Brazil). The line-up back then was Roine, me, Jaime and Michael Stolt (Roine's younger brother on bass, which now is deeply involved in Tomas Bodin's upcoming album "You are") we also had a stand in for Tomas Bodin who could'nt do that tour, his name is Robert Engstrand a really funny fellow and a true "party animal". Nowadays he lives in Helsingfors (Finland) where he has lot's and lot's of gigs, one of the gigs beeing Finlands domestic top pop act. Don't ask me their name, but I think it might be "Dingo something"? They attend thousands of people all over the country when they play. Rumour says that everytime Robert has a gig with these guys, he always throws in the keyboard intro of "There is more to this world" here and there just for the fun of it. Anyway, back then we travelled without a road crew, we did'nt even have a sound engineer. It was just the 5 of us.
The first time my feet touched the ground in South America was in Buenos Aires. The first and remaining impression of that city was that it's huge. All of a sudden it starts, then you can drive for hours and it never stops. The promotor Andrés Valle (who by the way did the drawings for the art work for "Paradox hotel") and his crew, did an outstanding job while we were there. The venue, the show and the audience were great, but the highlight for me was the Argentinian Steakhouse Andrés took us too. For starters we had meat or sausage (no potatoes, no rice , no vegetables, no sauce). The Main course was of course meat (no potatoes, no rice no vegetables, no sauce), red wine to drink of course. The desert, I can't remember that one but I remember we had a very good time.
TFK has'nt excactly made themselves a name because of the partying, but with Michael and Robert in the band, we did a serious job in that matter. As a matter of fact I think Michael party'd all the 21 days we were away from home and probably the same goes for Robert as well, even I joined in occasionally. There's actually some stories i remember from those days. First of all, if Michael is in the room you see him, I guess he's 195 cm tall, he always wears a black leather jacket and dark sunglasses and on top of that, he had really big black hair back then. The first day in Buenos Aires he bought a new pair of sunglasses and after that me and Michael went to a Burger King in the middle of the city. I was sitting downstairs in a very big and crowded room, when Michael does his dramatic entré. With the burger, the soda and the fries on a plate, he all of a sudden fell, in the middle of the stairs. It actually looked like it was taken from an old "slapstick movie". It was Coke, fries and burger all over the place. After this total "fiasco" in front of 100 hungry argentinians, Michael raised himself up, cleaned himself a little, bowed in front of the stunned audience and said: Hope you enjoyed the show!" Afterwards I asked him, what the hell was going on? He said, these glasses are strange. Later on, outside on the street I tried them on myself. I could'nt even walk down from the sidewalk without falling. Those glasses totally screwed up the judgement of distance.