Amberian Dawn is one of the greatest metal acts to ever come from Europe. I remember when I first heard them and I was floored into an oblivion because they are just so fantastic. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Tuomas Seppala, one of the founding members of the band. He is also the band’s primary composer and keyboard player. Here is what he had to tell me…
(Q) Hello. How are you? Tell me a little more about Amberian Dawn…
Amberian Dawn is a Finnish band which plays melodic metal. Some people are defining us as symphonic metal or symphonic power metal. With this newest album I came up with a term AOR-metal, which I find representing our current genre well.
I founded Amberian Dawn with bassist Tommi Kuri in 2006. Originally we had a male singer but after 2007 we continued with a female singer . We have released 5 studio albums so far (one of those is re-recorded compilation with our new singer) and our first studio album with Capri & new songs is coming out soon. Amberian Dawn is probably best known of it’s high-class musicians and we have some reputation as a band full of virtuoso players.
(Q) What inspired you to form Amberian Dawn? Tell me a little more about the inspiration behind the band…
I’ve been composing music at my home studio since about 13 years old or something. I never played in real bands when I was a teenager…well maybe a couple of groups which hardly could be called as bands.
When I was asked to join Virtuocity in 2002 to play keyboards, that was the first real band I was in. It was interesting. At that time our vocalist Peter James Goodman heard some of my homemade music and he encouraged me to start a band of my own and so I did. At first this band was named Atheme One with Goodman on vocals. Later I started to feel like that I need a different kind of singer. A singer who’s able to sing my very complex vocal lines. That’s how we started Amberian Dawn with Atheme One members and released our debut album in 2008.
(Q) Magic Forest, your new album is scheduled to be released on Friday, June 27, 2014. Are you excited about this album?
Of course I’m very excited about it, for many reasons. I’m very interested to see how our fans are going to react on my newest songs which are a little bit different than before. I was very happy with the whole recording process, everything went just great. I feel that we have now all the right musicians in this band and we have really good atmosphere here going on. This is first time (with Magic Forest) when our CD is going to be released in US with proper distribution & promotion. That’s good thing because I’ve found out that we have most of our fans from United States (according to Facebook statistics, at least).
(Q) River of Tuoni, The Clouds of Northland Thunder, End of Eden, Circus Black, Revolution, and Magic Forest. I have to ask, what makes Magic Forest different from your previous albums?
We have now a new singer and that’s definitely making our new album to sound different than our earlier albums. We did though a compilation with Capri already last year but “Magic Forest” is the first one with new songs. My way of composing songs varies a lot in time and the songs on Magic Forest album are now a little bit more keyboard driven and more AOR orientated than before. The sound in general is fresh and airy. I also have brought some of my “pop-side” more in front and I just loved to mix this pop-rock style with metal music.
(Q) I have listened to the album and I just want you to know that I think it is fantastic. Everything from the instrumental arrangement to the vocals is amazing. Päivi “Capri” Virkkunen truly does bring something very special to this new record.
I agree that this is a great album. We did more work with this album’s production than never before. We had an actual team of producers working with pre-production. Me, Capri and co-producer Mikko P. Mustonen, who also made the orchestral arrangements and mixed the album. earlier I have used to work mainly alone at my home studio, but this time I brought my songs to Capri and Mikko and together we polished and finished the vocal lines etc. I felt very comfortable working with these two amazing persons. I have a very high professional respect for Capri and Mikko.
(Q) What events do you have coming up? I have to ask, will you be going on tour any time soon? If so, do you think you will make it to Pittsburgh?
So far we have discussed about doing a couple of shows here in Finland in fall. We’re also looking for suitable tours on which we can take part in. We cannot tour alone and we need other bands to join us so that we’re able to get enough audience in and that’s how make it possible also financially. We have always wanted to do gigs in US. So far we have toured just European countries.
(Q) For all of those music enthusiasts and Amberian Dawn fans reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for Amberian Dawn?
Well, right now we’re just taking a moment to breath easily. We have just got our album ready and also we shot a music video in spring. The video is brand new and it’s been online only a couple of days at the moment. Response for this video has been very good so far.
For more information about Amberian Dawn, please visit www.amberiandawn.com today.