Jani Liimatainen

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Jani Liimatainen

Jani performing with Sonata Arctica in 2006.
Background information
Birth name Jani Allan Kristian Liimatainen
Also known as Allan Anderssén (Sydänpuu)
Born (1980-09-09) September 9, 1980 (age 37)
Kemi, Finland
Origin Finland
Genres Power metal
Melodic death metal
Rock and Roll
Occupations Musician
Instruments Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Years active 1996−present
Labels Spinefarm
Nuclear Blast
Associated acts Cain's Offering
Graveyard Shift
Dream Asylum
Sonata Arctica

Jani Allan Kristian Liimatainen (born September 9, 1980, in Kemi, Finland) is a Finnish musician, songwriter and backing vocalist . He is the former guitarist and one of the founding members of the power metal band Sonata Arctica. He has also performed with Cain's Offering, Altaria and Stratovarius vocalist Timo Kotipelto (his band mate in Cain's Offering).

Most of his technique is self-taught, even though he had a few guitar lessons early in his life. He is endorsed by Ibanez, plays a Destroyer DT 200 Custom, the Ibanez JPM4 P4 (which is John Petrucci's signature model), and Ibanez "Streetwise" USA Custom guitars & Ibanez Rg 2020X. He cites Freak Kitchen, Dream Theater, and Pain of Salvation as his biggest musical influences.


Jani was one of the founders of Sonata Arctica in 1995. Besides playing, he has also contributed to the band's songwriting with "My Selene" on 2004's Reckoning Night and "Prelude for Reckoning", their introduction tape in "For the Sake of Revenge". He has also co-written three songs for the band's first album, Ecliptica, "8th Commandment", "Replica" and "Picturing the Past".

In May 2007, as a result of his failure to do his mandatory civil/military service he spent one month in a Finnish prison until he decided to perform these duties, because of this he and the other members of Sonata Arctica reached an agreement that they would go their separate ways.[1] He left the band on good terms and was then replaced by Elias Viljanen.

Jani also played with Altaria, recording two full-length albums, before leaving them to concentrate on his work with Sonata Arctica. In addition, he has (or possibly had) a melodic death metal side-project called Graveyard Shift with former Sonata Arctica band-mate Henrik Klingenberg. He also plays in a band called Sydänpuu (Hearttree), that plays rock music in Finnish. In Sydänpuu, he sings and plays guitars, bass, and keyboards alongside drummer Risto Koskinen.

In October 2007, he was the lead guitarist for metal singer Paul Di'Anno's Finnish tour. Since mid-September 2007, Jani has been working with new band Dream Asylum with Altaria singer/song-writer and former band-mate Marko Pukkila. They are yet to make any formal releases but have recorded a few demos.

In April 2009, Jani announced on his MySpace page that he would be playing in a band by the name of Cain's Offering. Info about the new lineup was also released in the April issue of Burrn! magazine. Timo Kotipelto of Stratovarius and Mikko Härkin (ex-Sonata Arctica) are also a part of the band. Though the band made no live show, Jani and Timo have been performing acoustic gigs in Finland, which eventually lead them to record a studio album, titled Blackoustic.[2]

As of 2013, Jani Liimatainen contributed both lyrics and music on various tracks on Stratovarius' Nemesis

Private life

He lives in Kotka. As was once stated in Sonata Arctica's website, his favourite animals are cats but he suffers from allergy. He stated also that he drinks very much but smokes occasionally.



Cain's Offering

Sonata Arctica



  • Elysium (2011) - backing vocals
  • Nemesis (2013) - Acoustic guitar, songwriting and backing vocals.

with Timo Kotipelto


  1. http://www.sonataarctica.info/site07/index.php?s=2&l=uk&nid=24&ntop=0
  2. Template:Cite news