Amberian Dawn – Expanding HorizonsSunday, 25th October 2015
Dead Rhetoric: How do you feel about the state of melodic/symphonic metal today – it seems like a popular genre in all parts of the world because of its far reaching potential not only in terms of ideas musically but also appeal from a greater cross section of metal (and non-metal) fans?
Seppälä: It seems like in Europe symphonic metal is quite hot as well as so called female fronted metal. In Finland it’s not so popular anymore, the trend is with heavier stuff. Black metal and thrash metal and that kind of thing. Symphonic metal is maybe marginal music. Maybe it’s different in Europe and the states, I believe that there is more of an audience for these styles in those territories currently.
Dead Rhetoric: Rainbow with Ronnie James Dio, Yngwie Malmsteen, and ABBA are three big influences to your musical background – what aspects of each artist helps shape your output, and what are your favorite albums from each?
Seppälä: I think Yngwie is one of my long time heroes. When I was a teenager, maybe 13-14 years old I started to listen to his music. I was impressed by the classical influence on his music. My 80’s power metal side is really heavily inspired by Malmsteen’s music. I loved the keyboard player at the time Jens Johansson, he’s the best keyboard player in the scene. He has a unique lead sound, you can instantly recognize him. Yngwie and Jens were a dream team together, that’s why I love his bands and they are the most important to me. My favorite album from Yngwie is the one he did with Joe Lynn Turner, Odyssey. Ronnie James Dio, probably the best metal singer ever, that’s one of my earliest discoveries from the heavy metal scene. When I was 10 years old I used to play drums and I had a couple of friends and we would play drums with my friends. We learned to play the drum tracks off the Dio albums, at some point I could play the first two Dio albums on drums, even the drum fills. If you are talking about ABBA that was maybe something I learned when I was 20 years old. I found one record from my father’s album collection and I gave it a spin, it was so great. ABBA is really strongly influenced by classical music. Benny Anderson is one of the best composers ever, he is a genius and I don’t think he understands how good he is. After listening to ABBA songs I feel so inferior to Benny, I am almost paralyzed to do anything to my compositions. If I need to get something done, I shouldn’t listen to it at all, it’s almost impossible to make something good for several days. I love all of the ABBA albums, they are all so great. I just bought a compilation of album merchandise, I am playing to put some posters in my home studio.
Dead Rhetoric: What do you consider the highlight or benchmark moments for Amberian Dawn in terms of albums or particular tours/ performances which you believe are game-changers?
Seppälä: Maybe one of the most important tours or gigs was our first tour with Epica in 2008. That was when we released our debut album and as I said before we were quite inexperienced as band players. We had played our instruments at home but no experience on the road. We were on the road with a really big band like Epica, and in front of big audiences. I learned so much about touring and how to be on stage, that’s the most important thing for me if we are speaking doing shows. We have not achieved a really big breakthrough, it’s still to come. Our fan base is growing quite steadily. It’s growing every day, it’s good to notice that.
Dead Rhetoric: Where would you like to see Amberian Dawn in terms of a career or popularity over the next three to five years? Are there any specific short or long term goals you would like to achieve?
Seppälä: Yes, I have a couple of goals which I would like to reach. One of those would be to do our own headlining tour in Europe. We are usually a supporting band, and we do some small headlining shows in Europe. I would like to tour in the US and Japan, outside of Europe. So far we’ve played just in Europe, it would be great to play outside of Europe. Nowadays it’s unnecessary to talk about record sales because they are going down. It’s nice to see you getting more fans on Facebook and views on YouTube. We would love to reach a million fans on Facebook, so far we have 40,000. That’s one of my goals, and to make more music, more albums, to have fun together with the band members in the studio and on the road.
Dead Rhetoric: Can you tell us about a particular time in your life when you faced adversity or a new challenge and how this made you more confident in your abilities as a person?
Seppälä: That’s a tough question. What can I say? Challenges… well, I have a degree in technology and a master of science. I study real estate and I graduated in 2000, so maybe that was one of my big challenges was to graduate. Now I have two jobs, a day job and a second job as a musician. It’s refreshing to do two jobs and every day is going to be different for me. Having a normal job and being a musician as a career, they are different worlds so you are never going to be bored.
Dead Rhetoric: Has work already begun on the next album? And will there be multiple tours to support Innuendo in Europe and abroad?
Seppälä: I have started to compose music because I cannot really stop it, it’s happening all the time. I haven’t started to record those ideas yet. Maybe in December I will start really making new music. After that we will start the pre-production phase. In a couple of weeks we will hit the road in Europe with Delain and The Gentle Storm, we are all label mates on Napalm. We will do 12 shows here in Europe and I am really looking forward to this, since we haven’t been touring for some years now. We are closer to the release date of the Innuendo album, we are making tour arrangements because this is a lot of work in advance. I will be back home in mid-November and chill out after that.
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