How to combine work and rock life?

HiQ Service Manager Janne Kusmin also plays drums in Kalmah and tours around the world with his band.

How to combine work and rock life?

I've played drums ever since I was little. It was 1991 when I got my first drum set. I've played death metal from the beginning, simply because it happens to be best music on earth. As a player I could say that I'm 99% self-taught. I had different band arrangements with friends when I was a kid. I joined Kalmah during recordings of second album which was almost 20 years ago.

I'm originally from Tornio and I studied Information Technology in Oulu University. I moved south of Finland little over six years ago. At the time IT-jobs at Oulu were scarce and moving to southern Finland felt like a good alternative. I was working for VTT back then and I got internal transfer southern Finland, but I was looking for new opportunities elsewhere. After six months I got a job from HiQ as Integration Developer.

I've liked it here at HiQ. Two major factors why I find HiQ a great place to work are possibility to combine work and band tours and chance to change work positions inside the company. Around three years ago I started feeling that development wasn't my thing anymore and wanted to change for project and service management. This was made possible and past couple of years I've worked as Service Manager for integration clients. I think it's great that employer wants employees to use their strengths and guides them to follow their inner motivation.

Kalmah international tours last from two weeks to more than a month. During my HiQ career we've been in China, Japan, Canada, USA and Central America. I've always got leave from work when I've asked. I really appreciate that because I understand that people substituting me have to arrange their own work again and also for employer it would be more profitable to keep me "in tight leash" with my work. Many employers in IT industry say that they help employees to combine their work and personal life. I'm happy that in my life that really does happen.

Tours usually take place during spring or autumn, not at vacation time, so my clients typically have some development projects going on when I'm away. I try to check my email daily and make sure that things are running smoothly while I'm gone. Though tour bus isnt' the best environment for work that requires concentration and thinking.

In tours we travel a lot. In USA tours for example we travel through nights and arrive at gig venue in the morning. There we set up our gear and do sound check. In the evening we play the show, pack up again and then the bus leaves for next destination. After a month of rock'n'roll life it's nice to get back to work and rest.


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