Tonmi Lillman

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Tonmi Lillman
Tonmi Lillman - Pearl, Sabian.jpg
Tonmi Lillman promo picture
Background information
Also known asOtus
Born(1973-06-03)3 June 1973
Origin Helsinki, Finland
Died13 February 2012(2012-02-13) (aged 38)
Occupation(s)Musician, producer, graphic designer

Tonmi Lillman (born Tommi Kristian Lillman, 3 June 1973 13 February 2012) [1] was a Finnish musician, best known as Otus, the former drummer of the Finnish hard rock band Lordi.

Lordi Finnish hard rock band

Lordi is a Finnish hard rock/heavy metal band, formed in 1992 by the band's lead singer, songwriter and costume maker, Mr Lordi. In addition to their melodic metal music, Lordi are also known for wearing monster masks and using horror elements with pyrotechnics during concerts and music videos.


Lillman died on 13 February 2012 after a bout of illness. [1]


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 known as the drummer of Sinergy, To/Die/For and Lordi.

Ajattara is a five-piece dark metal band from Helsinki, Finland led by Pasi Koskinen. They formed in 1996, split up in 2012, and reformed in 2016. They were signed to Spinefarm Records and have released eight albums, their most recent being Lupaus, which was released in May 2017.

Kylähullut is a Finnish hardcore punk band consisting of Alexi Laiho, Tonmi Lillman (ex-To/Die/For), and Vesku Jokinen (Klamydia). The band name means "Village Idiots" in Finnish.

Sinergy Finnish band

Sinergy was a Finnish metal band started in 1997 by American musician Kimberly Goss. The idea for a "balls-out female-fronted metal band" was first formed when Kimberly Goss of Dimmu Borgir met Jesper Strömblad of In Flames whilst on tour in 1997.

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.

Digital recording

In digital recording, audio signals picked up by a microphone or other transducer or video signals picked up by a camera or similar device are converted into a stream of discrete numbers, representing the changes over time in air pressure for audio, and chroma and luminance values for video, then recorded to a storage device. To play back a digital sound recording, the numbers are retrieved and converted back into their original analog waveforms so that they can be heard through a loudspeaker. To play back a digital video recording, the numbers are retrieved and converted back into their original analog waveforms so that they can be viewed on a video monitor, television or other display.


Otus on stage. Otus live in Paris.jpg
Otus on stage.

After Kita, the drummer of Lordi had decided to pursue a solo career, Tonmi sent a text message 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. [2] 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 5 November 2010 at Zal Ozhidania, St. Petersburg (Russia).

Saint Petersburg Federal city in the Northwestern federal district, Russia

Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million (2015). An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject.

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 …" [3]

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. [4]

Studio work

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. [5] 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.

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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  1. 1 2 "Former TO/DIE/FOR And SINERGY Drummer TONMI LILLMAN Dead at 38". 15 February 2012. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. Lordi’S New Drummer Is Otus | Lordi Archived 1 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved on 2016-05-26.
  4. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. Artists : SMI-Scandinavian Musical Instruments Oy. (2016-01-14). Retrieved on 2016-05-26.