Finnish band Lordi formed in 1992 by the band's lead singer, songwriter and costume maker, "Mr Lordi". In addition to their melodic metal music, the act are also known for wearing monster masks and using horror elements with pyrotechnics during concerts and music videos.
The group rose to fame in 2002 with the single, Would You Love a Monsterman?. The band made history in 2006 by becoming the first, and still today the only, hard rock act and Finnish artist to win the Eurovision Song Contest, with the song Hard Rock Hallelujah.
Lordi was formed in 1992 as a solo project by Mr Lordi. Lordi's first demo Napalm Market arrived in 1993. The album included the track Inferno, the music video for which, done by Mr Lordi himself, saw Mr Lordi performing unmasked but his friends, playing secondary roles, were attired in monster makeup he had prepared. After the video was done, he concocted the idea of a band of monsters. Inferno was later released in the Finnish Rockmurskaa compilation album in 1995. In 1996 Mr Lordi organized a Kiss cruise for Finnish Kiss fans from Finland to Sweden. During the cruise he met musicians Amen and G-Stealer, and told them about his music project called Lordi. The band never performed with the original line-up, though. Magnum, whom Mr Lordi had met via Kiss Army Finland joined soon after. In 2000, drummer Kita then joined.
After several failed attempts at obtaining a recording contract, Lordi eventually signed a record deal with 'Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) Finland' in 2002. In July, the band released their first official single, Would You Love A Monsterman?, and obtained a number one in Finland.
In autumn 2002, bassist Magnum was fired and replaced by Kalma.
Though Lordi's debut album had already been recorded when Kalma joined, he appeared in the album art and the composition of the accounts. Their debut album Get Heavy was released in November, with a cover design loosely based on Kiss's Love Gun album. The original first sketch of the cover was based on Kiss's Destroyer album. The album won the 2003 Emma award for best domestic hard rock or heavy metal album and sold more than 67,000 copies. It was certified platinum in Finland in 2003 and multi-platinum in 2006.
They then signed a recording contract with the German record company 'Drakkar'.
The Monsterican Dream followed, along with an update to the band's costumes and image.
Lordi's first compilation album, The Monster Show, arrived in 2005 by 'Sanctuary Records'. 'Sanctuary' had originally intended to market a collection of records in the United States, but these plans were halted due to financial problems, so Gene Simmons (of Kiss), after receiving copy of Lordi's debut album, Get Heavy (2002) during an interview with Mr. Lordi for Inferno magazine worked a sales sharing deal to satisfy the American market.
Internally, however, the atmosphere of the band was growing sour and led to a dispute between members. Later that year, bassist Kalma decided to resign because of family and financial problems. Mr Lordi, tried to persuade him to stay by suggesting that he just play the biggest tours and other contractually obligated performances. Kalma had an all or nothing attitude and quit all the same except for the bass components of the upcoming The Arockalypse album.
Two new members joined the band, bassist OX and keyboardist Awa with more costume changes to follow. OX (Samer el Nahhal)'s stage name was originally intended to be his real first name, but Mr. Lordi objected, saying that the idea was ridiculous, as an Egyptian hard rock band would be unlikely to have a member with the Finnish name "Tapani". OX's monster character was created to be a "bulltaurus", a hybrid of man and bull, who served as guardian to a magician until they were betrayed by a fellow magician and murdered. The murderer then resurrected OX as part of an undead legion, but OX murders his new master after discovering his role in the betrayal. Soon afterwards he meets Mr. Lordi and decides to join him.
Like in GWAR, the band and members needed a fictional history behind them, and Awa's was depicted as a psychic young woman who (by means of astral projection) discovers that her fiance is cheating on her, and murders him tele-kinetically. She proceeds to use her abilities for evil, until she is caught and condemned to death by impalement, but her rage and hate is too strong and she returns as a murderous ghost, wandering Europe in her rotting wedding gown until she is found by Mr. Lordi and offered the ability to cross dimensions if she will work with him, to which she agrees.
The third album, The Arockalypse followed in May 2006.
In November 2006, Lordi headlined the MTV Europe Music Awards, with Mr Lordi himself presenting the "Best Rock" award.
In summer 2007, the band participated in filming of the horror film Dark Floors, which premiered on 8 February 2008. In July 2007. The band then toured North America with the Ozzfest festival.
Deadache (2008) arrives. The release spurred yet another change in the band's costumes. The album was similar in style to its predecessors, melodic hard rock and heavy metal, though with more horror theme. It also featured more piano solos than its predecessors, and the recital Missing Miss Charlene featured a child singing.
Lordi then performed Bite It Like A Bulldog on the NBC show Late Night with Conan O'Brien on 6 November 2008.
On 4 October 2010 it was announced that drummer Kita had left the band, and on October 16, OX announced they had found a new drummer, Otus.
On 15 February 2012 it was announced on their Facebook page that Otus had died. Due to the death of Otus, Lordi cancelled all their concerts scheduled for the beginning of 2012, but for the events they could not get out of the band enlisted the help of Jimmy Hammer, the drummer of Finnish band Ironcross, who used a monster disguise to fit in the band, and was only called as "the drummer". His identity was revealed after the shows were over.
In September 2012, Scarchives Vol. 1, a compilation CD+DVD, was released to celebrate Lordi's 20th anniversary. Keyboardist Awa left shortly later. Mana joined as the new drummer and Hella as the new keyboardist.
The studio album, To Beast or Not to Beast arrived in March 2013.
On June 28, 2013 in Savonlinna, Finland the first official Lordi-exhibition, The Other side of Lordi opened. In the exhibition Lordi's former costumes and stage props, including Lordi's album cover artworks were on display.
Scare Force One, the next album, arrived in 2014.
In early 2015, it was announced via Facebook that Hella was pregnant and would be temporarily replaced with Nalle (Finnish for Teddy Bear).
Monstereophonic arrived in 2016.