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Jani Liimatainen


1996-2007 Sonata Arctica - guitars  
2000-2005 Altaria - guitars, keyboards  
2005- Cain's Offering - guitars, backing vocals  
2005-2007 Graveyard Shift - guitars, bass, programming (as V. Tonic)  
2016- The Dark Element - guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, programming  
2019- Insomnium - guitars, vocals  
2022- Jani Liimatainen - vocals, guitars, keyboards  

Live musician

2006 Altaria - guitars  
2007-2008 Paul Di'Anno - guitars  
2015 Insomnium - guitars, vocals  
2016 Altaria - guitars, backing vocals  
2017-2018 Insomnium - guitars, vocals  
2019- Omnium Gatherum - guitars  

Guest musician

2002 Celesty - guitars  
2003 Human Temple - guitars  
2008-2010 Karmic Link - guitars  
2009 Human Temple - guitars  
2009 Celesty - backing vocals  
2011 Stratovarius - backing vocals  
2013 Stratovarius - guitars, backing vocals  
2017 Soulspell - guitar solo  
2021 Omnium Gatherum - backing vocals  
2022 Stratovarius - choirs vocals  

Personal information

Born on: 09.09.1980

Official website

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".

Together with Cain's Offering, Jani released their second album "Stormcrow". The album feaatures Stratovarius' keyboardist Jens Johansson.

In November 12th, 2015, Jani have signed a deal with ESP Guitars, from which he is endorsed with an ESP E-II SV Standard guitar, after years of being endorsed with Ibanez guitars. He unleashed a comment on the deal: "I am now a proud owner of brand new ESP E-II SV Standard, and I couldn't be happier! The craftsmanship is amazing, this baby can sing like an angel and scream like a beast. This will be my main axe on the forth coming Insomnium Russia/Belarus tour where I'm filling in a guitarist.I am also looking forward to taking her with me when we head over to Japan with Cain's Offering in February 2016. I am proud and honored to have been welcomed to be a part of the ESP family, and looking forward to play these amazing instruments for years to come. Jani".