YouTube Sound-Replacing Guy Santeri Ojala (aka StSanders) Shreds With Slash

With the 7 million viewcount Finland’s Santeri has racked up on YouTube, chances are you’ve already guffawed to some of his satirical clips — but if not, the Times Online will catch you up with the mini-phenomenon you’ve missed (via TDS):

A pop satirist, Ojala wasn’t filming himself playing guitar, but dubbing his own purposely poorly played solos into live footage of Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen, Metallica, Iron Maiden and others. While they struck rock-star poses or fixed their faces with stern intensity, the doctored soundtrack was an ear-grating series of bum notes, queasy chords and beginner’s blunders, with little trace of a tune. Olaja is a talented guitarist, and his genius was in the timing – he expertly matched their hand movements and the length of every lick so the results looked real. As his postings gained acclaim, Ojala became the toast of real rock gods – former Frank Zappa guitarist Steve Vai commented that his faked footage was hilarious. In several cases, the videos attracted more views in a couple of months than the real ones had over years.

Along with internet celebrity, his gift of mortalizing rock gods earned Santeri his first trip to America, to visit the Jimmy Kimmel show and parody Slash to his face. Of course, Saul walking over to drown out StSanders’s live parody with his own live hot licks is sort of like Brick trying to win an argument by yelling LOUD NOISES at the top of his lungs.

And YouTube, in its own special way, has shown appreciation for the Santeri phenomenon — by pulling the StSanders account. Says Ojala to the Times: “The YouTube slogan, ‘Broadcast Yourself’, has really gone sour, because videos that clearly violate copyright issues are left untouched. At least I broadcast something that was my own. Well, halfway, anyway…”