Sonata Arctica is a Finnish power metal band from the town of Kemi, Finland. It was created as a hard rock band named Tricky Beans, later being changed to Tricky Means and finally to Sonata Arctica, when they shifted to power metal. They often include symphonic metal elements, and their later releases contain several elements typical of progressive metal, as well. The current line-up consists of singer, keyboardist and songwriter Tony Kakko, guitarist Elias Viljanen, bass guitarist Pasi Kauppinen, keyboardist and keytarist Henrik Klingenberg, and drummer Tommy Portimo. All the musicians of the band's history except Portimo also acted as backing vocalists.
During their early career, they recorded three demos which were never sent to a recording label. According to Kakko, the band's first name was based on one of their early songs, which was "about a lady who was tricky and I didn't really know what I was talking about. Their first show was about to take place but they were still unnamed, so they had to come up with something.
In 1997 the band changed their name to Tricky Means, and from that point until 1999 their style was thoroughly worked upon and ultimately was drastically changed, acquiring a strong emphasis on the keyboard melodies and relying on an easily distinguishable rhythm line maintained both by the bass and the guitar. Vocalist Tony Kakko developed a clean singing style which relies both on falsetto and tenor voices. Kakko has stated that the change of sound was influenced by fellow Finnish power metal band Stratovarius. At that time, second guitarist Marko Paasikoski left the band and Pentti Peura was fired. The band finally changed their name to Sonata Arctica, because they thought they wouldn't be able to sell metal albums with the previous name and also because their first label asked them to do so. "Sonata Arctica" was suggested by a friend of the band: "sonata" for the music and "arctica" for their hometown (Kemi, in Northern Finland).
Adapted from www.wikipedia.com