Finland’s symphonic metal band founder, guitar & keyboard virtuoso Tuomas Seppälä talks to Ignite Music Magazine about the new album, his influences and current tour.
IMM: HI Tuomas, thanks for your time. I am listening to the new album and is good and fresh though still Amberian Dawn. When did you start writing the new songs and recording them?
Tuomas: I started composing new songs in early 2016 if I right remember. Usually I’ve started the process much earlier, even before the latest album is released. There’s usually a gap of 3 months between the album production (including cover art, booklet etc.) is ready, and the release date. With “Darkness Of Eternity” I took a little break before I really started working on new song. The actual recordings started in fall 2016 and with an unusual way by keyboard parts. I was able to visit ABBA’s Benny Andersson’s studio for the first time and I recorded keyboards for a couple of songs using his vintage, ABBA-era keyboards. That’s why the process started with keyboard recordings and not with drum recordings (which is the normal way to do it)
IMM: How many songs were written for this album? Any of the songs not on the album to be released at other countries releases and on the “deluxe box” releases as the bonus song “Anyone?
Tuomas: During the composing process, I make a lot of song ideas and most of those ideas I eventually reject. So, the elimination process for selecting songs happens all the time during the composing period. That’s why we recorded only the songs which were actually going to be released. There was one bonus song “Abyss” for limited deluxe edition and one re-recorded song, “My Only Star” as Japanese bonus. Any more bonus songs we don’t have this time.
IMM: Capri writes the lyrics and you the arrangements. You decide on the topics of the songs so Capri can write the lyrics?
Tuomas: For me it’s always just about music, so I compose the songs and vocal melodies. After this process, I give full control of lyrics for Capri. She decides the theme of lyrics and I don’t like to be involved with that process at all. So, any topics or similar isn’t given to Capri.
IMM: To start, what are the songs such as “I’m The One”, “Sky Is Falling” Dragonflies”, “Abyss” , “Ghost woman” , “Luna My Darling and “ Golden Coins” about?
Tuomas: Capri writes the lyrics and she not able to answer right now
IMM: ABBA is one your influences and the song “Maybe” you was considering for a all ABBA tribute album and decided to this song on the album? Is nice a song and change for the band.
Tuomas: There’s a lot of ABBA -influences on this album. The trend has been in this direction from Magic Forest-album already. That’s just something I have felt comfortable. In the future everything can still change in a heartbeat and at the moment for example, I don’t have any new material on my hands yet. I might start working with new songs somewhere next year but at the moment I have no idea, in which direction the music will go on from here.
IMM: The videos for “Dragonflies” and “I’m The One”, were filmed where and how many days and nights to film them?
Tuomas: The video shootings took 2 days all together. We worked quite efficiently and had a good production team behind us.
IMM: Why a lyric video for “Maybe”? Will there be a performance video and with the band having fun? Examples would be a 70’s party or on a stage or just being a goofy on the road footage or in the studio footage?
Tuomas: We’re still going to introduce one more music video early next year. It’s not going to be real music video, instead it’s “a kind of” lyric video. I cannot say anything more yet, you’ll just have to wait until it’s online
IMM: Your other influences are Richie Blackmore, Ronnie James DIO and Yngwie Malmsteen. Would you cover any songs by Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, DIO and Yngwie for shows or future albums or singles?
Tuomas: AD has never recorded or performed live any cover songs. I’m still open for that idea but I really cannot say anything about our future plans with this matter. So, it’s possible that we’ll play some cover songs some day…or not..
IMM: On this album the last song is Symphony Number 1, Part 2 –Darkness Of Etnerity. Is this continuation of a previous song or from another composer?
Tuomas: “Symphony Number 1, Part 2” is a continuation to Part 1, which was introduced on our previous album, “Innuendo” in 2015. There might be new parts coming up later, on our forthcoming albums.
IMM: Are there guest musicians on this album? And who you like to perform with on recording music and on stage?
Tuomas: On this latest album we have one guest guitar player. Elmo Karjalainen from Finland played guitar solo for “Ghostwoman”. Also, we had a little violin section playing orchestral parts on the whole album. There’s not so many musicians or singer at moment, that I really would like to play with on stage…really…Maybe guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and keyboardist Benny Andersson would be on my bucket list
IMM: As for performing for 2018 for shows for Europe. How many songs will be performed from the new album and which songs from the previous albums will stay on the set list?
Tuomas: Setlists are always a surprise to audience. But I can reveal that we’re going to play 4-5 new songs on our forthcoming European Tour. Also, we try to play at least one song from every album released so far. And about the songs…”River Of Tuoni” is the one which will always stay on our setlist at least.
IMM: Currently the band is to Headline 2018 through parts of Europe with Edenbridge and one show on 70,000 Tons Of Metal from Florida. Are their plans to tour North and South America?
Tuomas: We’ve been contacted by a promoter from South America, but I don’t know yet that is there anything coming up relating to that..Let’s see and wait. We could love to tour in US and in South America of course, but it’s not easy to make happen.
IMM: Thanks for your time and hope the band make it over to North America
Tuomas: Thank you, I hope we’re able to visit North America as soon as possible after our little boat cruise in Feb 2018