Amberian Dawn recently released their seventh studio album, the third one with the fantastic female singer Päivi "Capri" Virkkunen. I talked with the mastermind of the band guitarist Tuomas Seppälä.

Congratulations with the fantastic new album, first thing that comes to my mind when I heard the album is there are far more influences from Pop (ABBA) and Musical into the music then before. When and why did you decide to use these different elements into the new album?

Tuomas: I've been lucky that I have always been musically totally independent and that I've always been able to compose and produce the kind of music that I want. I haven't been under pressure of record labels or anything concerning musical style...
My way of composing “softer” songs started already on “Circus Black” album and for example a song like “Cold Kiss” was definitely not perfect with the classical way of singing. That's why we re-recorded it again with Capri (for Re-Evolution, re-recorded compilation album). This change in style happened for no any specific reason. In fact I think my style has changed with every single AD album so far. My way of composing music is all about the feelings and lately I've been in mood for a little bit more melodic and softer music. That all can still change in a heartbeat, like it has been many times in my history. River of Tuoni as a debut album was a kind of rehearsal for me as my first real studio album as composer and as producer. That album was based on my history as a instrumental song-writer. Later I started to get more into symphonic and power metal styles. Circus Black was the last album with a really heavy symphonic touch. I haven't felt so comfortable with heavy symphonic metal after that and I've felt a strong need to compose more melodic and pop-metal kind of music instead. And like I said before, I'll do it because I can. Now I've started to write new songs  again after releasing Inneundo album and I sense right away that there's once again some new musical waves rising.

I’m really open minded, but aren’t you afraid to lose older fans because of this new direction?

Tuomas: I can’t think about it like that at all. All my life I've been composing the kind of music I've been comfortable with and which feels natural for me at that moment. It's true that it's possible to lose some old fans when changing the musical direction, but at the same time it's also a chance to gain more new fans. We're still going to play both our old & new songs on our forthcoming shows so there's a lot of songs for our old fans and a lot of songs for our new fans too. That's possible because Capri is able to sing our older stuff too. 

Can you tell me more about the creating process of the songs for the new album. Are all the members involved in the writing process?

Tuomas: The process has been the same from the beginning of AD to the present time. Procedure in general is that first I'll compose music and vocal melodies. Then singer writes the lyrics based on that music. This has been AD's style all this years. Lately and especially with our latest two albums we have put more effort on the pre-production phase. On pre-production we have demoed all vocal lines so that we're more ready while entering the studio. Otherwise we're continuing in our traditional way.

What are the lyrics about on the album?

Tuomas: I don't write those lyrics so I'm not so good to give you a good answer for this one. I still know that Capri's lyrics are a kind of fantasy stories.

The famous band Queen has also an album with the title “Innuendo”, were they an inspiration for the album?

Tuomas: I'm a fan of Queen's music but still there's no connection between those two albums. The title just happens to be the same.

I can’t get the chorus of “Knock knock who’s there” out of my head, how do you write such catchy tunes?

Tuomas: Most of my songs are based on improvisation. If I remember it well, I got the idea for this song while improvising with keyboards. First I got the chorus part ready and after that I started  working on suitable verse part. Soon the whole song was ready :)

If we could travel into the future say 30 or 40 years from now and I would ask you what have you done with your life, what are you hoping you can answer?

Tuomas: I hope I'm able to tell you that I have lived my life in a way that I've done & conquered everything I've been dreaming about during all these years.

Thank you for answering my questions, at last I have some short personal questions:
-When and why did you start playing guitar? Guitar (abt. 14), Piano(abt. 4), keyboards (abt. 12) years old
-Do you come from a musical family? My father used to play accordion and my little brother plays guitar so there's been a a kind of musical family
-First bought LP/CD:  I think it was Sacred Heart by DIO
-First visited gig: First real gig might have been DIO at  Tavastia, Helsinki.
-Favourite book: Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
-Favourite singer (male or female): All the time favourite :Ronnie James Dio, all ABBA singers.
-Favourite Metal artist: Rammstein at the moment
-Favourite non-Metal artist: ABBA
-Favourite TV show: Simpsons, Seinfeld, South Park
-Brother and/or sister: 2 brothers
-Food: Oriental in general, especially Vietnamese
-Drinks: Beer, red wine, Jack with Coke, Mojito
-Sports: jogging
-Favourite country to play in the future: Japan
-Your favourite own song: Court of Mirror Hall , Cold Kiss (with Capri on vocals)

Anything to add for our readers....

Tuomas: Keep on rockin' & listening to good music. See you on tours & festivals.