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 and "Prelude for Reckoning", their introduction tape in "For the Sake of Revenge". He has also co-written three songs for the band's first album, Ecliptica, "8th Commandment", "Replica" and "Picturing the Past".
In May 2007, as a result of his failure to do his mandatory civil/military service he spent one month in a Finnish prison until he decided to perform these duties, because of this he and the other members of Sonata Arctica reached an agreement that they would go their separate ways . He left the band on good terms and 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 (or possibly had) a melodic death metal side-project called Graveyard Shift with former Sonata Arctica band-mate 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.
In October 2007, he was the lead guitarist for metal singer Paul Di'Anno's Finnish tour. Since mid-September 2007, Jani has been working with new band Dream Asylum with Altaria singer/song-writer and former band-mate Marko Pukkila. They are yet to make any formal releases but have recorded a few demos.
In April 2009, Jani announced on his MySpace page that he would be playing in a band by the name of Cain's Offering. Info about the new lineup was also released in the April issue of Burrn!-magazine. Timo Kotipelto of Stratovarius and Mikko Härkin (ex-Sonata Arctica) are also a part of the band.