Interviewed by: Zenae Zukowski
Finnish Symphonic Metallers Amberian Dawn have been consistently releasing new music every 1-2 years since their formation in 2006. With the seventh studio album Innuendo on the rise, we were lucky to have the mastermind and founding member he, Tuomas Seppälä speak to us about the latest and greatest.
MyGlobalMind – I have listened to the new album, Innuendo and your style has progressed from neoclassical to a more Poppy-Symphonic sound, especially in “Ladyhawk.” Does this have to do with Capri’s vocals or is this a direction that the band wants to move towards?
Tuomas – I have been composing music for maybe ten years now, and I think I have evolved myself. I already formed four albums with Heidi. It was natural for me to change my style in direction and that’s why I record with Capri as our singer, because she’s singing Broadway and more classical or so.
MyGlobalMind – In Innuendo, there’s a lot of enjoyable crunchy guitar riffs that moves well with the catchy melody, however, compared to your previous albums I have noticed the guitar solo work is more subtle but definitely still there, what made you move away from the heavier direction?
Tuomas – Since the first album, I have already started to write more keyboard driving music and moved in the same direction with keyboard driving. It seems natural for me at the moment. Of course there’s still parts for guitar, there’s also strong guitar.
MyGlobalMind – What was the writing process for Innuendo compared to 2014’s Magic Forest?
Tuomas – The Production, we took more time with Pre Production than before and we made the Innuendo album for almost one year. We started the Pre Production last fall already and went into the studio early spring so it’s almost a full year with this new album, maybe that’s the biggest difference between these albums.
MyGlobalMind – You sure keep things moving, after releasing an album roughly once a year, how does it feel to find yourself always writing and creating new music?
Tuomas – I think I’m composing music all the time, it’s the most important thing for me. I can’t turn that radio off in my head, almost all the time I am thinking about something relating and creating to music. I am quite productive, I write all of the songs and maybe that’s why we are able to make so many records because I have time to make music.
MyGlobalMind – In addition to always recording, the band has faced quite a few lineup changes including bringing in Emil, Hoffren and of course Capri on board, has this challenged or inspired the writing process for the group as a whole?
Tuomas – Yes, we had some lineup changes after almost every album, at the moment we have almost all of the originals back. Emil and Joonas have been working with me almost all the time. I feel much like the same as if it was in the beginning of Amberian Dawn’s career. Me, Emil and Joonas are a really strong combo together and we are like family. We have two new members now, Capri and Jukka. Jukka Hoffren we knew already before so it was easy to start playing with him. Capri, I didn’t know her before, but as soon as I heard her singing I knew she was the right one because she is an amazing singer.
MyGlobalMind – How has the journey been for you since the debut of 2008’s River of Tuoni?
Tuomas – When we started to work together in 2008, we didn’t have so much experience on band playing. We either all played instruments quite long, since in fact most of us have been playing since childhood but we didn’t have much experience playing in a band. It was something new for all of us. You can say we started from scratch, we didn’t have anything and it was quite a learning experience, learning different things. Right after we released our debut album, we almost immediately had our first tour. A lot of things happened at the very beginning, after that we are much more experienced of course and I think we are more professional than the beginning.
MyGlobalMind – “Fame & Gloria” and “Symphony nr 1 Part 1 – The Witchcraft,’ are perhaps the heaviest most guitar driving tracks on the album, what was the process on these two songs alone?
Tuomas – I think the process for all songs were quite similar. There are a lot of different kind of songs on this album, there’s a lot diversity. I think all songs were made in the same kind of way. It just happens to be that those songs are a little heavier. I think that’s the most interesting part on the album, that there’s so much diversity. Almost every song is different.
MyGlobalMind – Since Innuendo will be your seventh album, do you see the band booking a North American Tour?
Tuomas – Not at the moment, of course it would be nice to tour in the US and in fact it is also nice to tour everywhere. It’s really hard to get on tour nowadays, there’s so much competition and so many bands touring at the same time. It’s not so easy to get on tours but we would like to play everywhere, of course. Outside Europe, so far we have only been in Europe but it would be nice to play outside Europe too of course.
MyGlobalMind – What is your favorite song you like to play live?
Tuomas – It varies a lot in time. Right now, I like to play “Circus Black” and almost all of our newer stuff. I like to play Magic Forest songs and maybe it’s the same thing with every musicians, they like to play the newer songs because the old songs you have played so many times, it’s refreshing to play newer stuff. I know with the audience is different, your fans want you to play the old songs too. You just have to play those old songs too. For me as a musician it’s always nice to play the newer stuff. For example you may have, Deep Purple would always have to play “Smoke on the Water” on everything. It must be frustrating, but that’s just the way it is. You have to accept it.
MyGlobalMind – Are there any other acts that you would like to tour with?
Tuomas – Basically it’s always nice to play in front of audiences, and not so important who else will be there on the same day. If you have to share the same tour bus, so you have to travel with those people and live on the same tour bus for a month, then it’s really important that there’s good chemistry with those people. That those people are the same kind of people, with humor and same type of music so it’s easy to spend time together. So it’s not so important, what kind of music they are playing, when you are touring with the band. It’s important that you feel comfortable with each other’s company. So far we have been touring with Epica, they are really nice and easy to travel with.
MyGlobalMind – You have been the main composer of the band, where do you get your inspiration from?
Tuomas – It varies a lot but I think most of my songs starts from improvisation. I just start to play something on the piano, keyboards or guitar. I just improvise and usually I get ideas playing that way. Like I said, I have this old radio station inside my head, so often I may start to hear some tune inside my head. I don’t know it just starts to happen I think of some song, then I go home to my home studio and write it down.
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Upcoming tour dates:
27.10.15 CH – Solothurn / Kopfmehl
28.10.15 FR – Strasbourg / La Laiterie
29.10.15 FR – Paris / Divan Du Monde
30.10.15 BE – Vosselaar / Biebob
31.10.15 DE – Andernach / Juz Live Club
02.11.15 DE – Munich / Backstage Halle
03.11.15 IT – Milan / Live Club
04.11.15 AT – Graz / Explosiv
05.11.15 HU – Budapest / Club 202
06.11.15 SK – Bratislava / Randal Club
07.11.15 PL – Warsaw / Club Progresia
08.11.15 DE – Berlin / K17