|Born on: 09.09.1980
Jani Allan Kristian Liimatainen (born September 9, 1980, in Kemi, Finland) is the former guitar player and one of the founding members of the power metal band Sonata Arctica.
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, John Petrucci's signature model and his own custom shop RG Series guitars. He cites Freak Kitchen, Dream Theater, and Pain Of Salvation as his biggest musical influences.
As well as playing, he has also contributed to the band's songwriting with "My Selene" on 2004's Reckoning Night.
He and the other members of Sonata Arctica reached an agreement in May 2007. The agreement was that they would go their separate ways. The reason for this agreement was because the Finnish government issued a draft and Jani gave the government false excuses to get out of doing the civil duties. He didn't argue with the band members and left the band on good terms. He 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 a melodic death metal side-project called Graveyard Shift with Sonata Arctica ex-bandmate 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.
As for 2012-13, Jani and Timo Kotipelto are in progress of making their acoustic album which it's name is yet to be released. As Jani states in his blog, Jani plans to "get it out by the end of September".