- I would like to thank you very much Henri for agreeing to do this interview and I really hope that this will be good information of Throes Of Dawn to Korean metal heads and also it will be good chance for you to recognize of Korean fans of Throes Of Dawn. Please introduce yourself and say hello to in S. Korea.
Hello and thanks for the interview! I'm the vocalist and a founder member of Throes Of Dawn. I hope you enjoy the interview.
- You just released the brand new album "Quicksilver Clouds". But It¡¯s been a 4 years since TOD released brilliant ¡°Binding of the Spirit¡± Why does it take so long?
Four years is a very long time, we are very glad to see that we were able to pull this thing through. We could have done the fourth album a bit earlier, but it wouldn¢¥t have been as good as this one. We didn¢¥t make any haste with compositions, we wanted "Quicksilver Clouds" to be ultimately better than our previous albums. I think we made a good job, and reached this goal. There was a huge change in our line-up: three band members changed, and that also slowed down the production of this album. You know, it takes time for the new members to fit into the group. There has been lots of enthusiasm about this album within our fans and I wish to thank them for all the support we have received from them.
- One and a half years around before, I found the news about THROES OF DAWN¡¯s SPLIT-UP on your website which made me sad. But you come back now. What¡¯s happened to THRORES OF DAWN? If you don¡¯t mind, please explain what exactly happened at those times. (Actually I could get information from the website but for readers.)
When "Binding of the Spirit" was released we made the decision to split-up the band for a while. The most important reason behind this was the fact that all the band members got separated from each other. I was moving into another city, and so was the other founder member Jani as well. There was really no possibility for us to keep the band together. There were also other factors that influenced my decision to break the band. At that time it seemed simply impossible that we could ever make as good album as ¡°Binding¡¦¡± in the future. So, I decided that we should quit the band. I called everybody and told about the situation and that was it. We were dead for a few months until I phoned Jani and asked him if he would be interested in regrouping the band again. The idea was to replace every other member, or possibly make the future album as a duo. Jani was very interested and so we started to look for a new crew for the band ¡¦and here we are again.
- In my personal opinion, a musical style of Throes Of Dawn has been changed little bit since the 3rd album ¡°Binding of the Spirit¡±. It¡¯s a kind of more sensitive, more emotional and those kinds of feelings than first 2 albums. I couldn¡¯t call TOD Black Metal band any more since then, and you call it simply DARK Metal. But what does ¡°DARK¡± mean to you guys in THROES OF DAWN? Please make my head clear. Because so many different kinds of metal bands just call themselves DARK METAL BANDS and I¡¯m so confused of it.
I think that Quicksilver Clouds is a logical follow-up to our previous works. Some people expected this album to be more like "Binding of the Spirit", but we didn't want to do fourth album that would sound similar as the third album. I dont think it could have been even possible, lots of time has passed and we are very different persons now. "Binding of the Spirit" was very depressive and destructive album, it¢¥s the darkest album we have ever made. I don¢¥t care how people categorize our music, some say it¢¥s black metal some say it¢¥s death metal or whatever. But we certainly don¢¥t play black metal, because our music has nothing related to satanism in it. We call our music as dark metal because the music and the lyrics are DARK. Throes of Dawn will ALWAYS be a DARK band, and that thing is not going to change.
- About the new album ¡°Quicksilver Clouds¡±, the result of sound production is simply cleaner and moodier than previous one. Is that because of different studio or change of your musical taste?
I think both things you mentioned have contributed into this. The studio was different this time and of course a lot of time had passed since our previous album. One major thing to consider is also the fact that this time there was completely different line-up in the studio. The sound engineer of the studio was not so much into the metal music, but more into industrial and electronic material and that was a very good thing, because he was able to bring up some new aspects into our songs. Our musical taste has also developed a lot since the times when we were writing the material for our third album.
- Are you totally satisfied with the end result of your new album and how has the response been so far in Europe and worldwide?
Yes! We are very happy with the result. We wanted to make an album that would completely exceed all our previous albums in quality. I think it is a really amazing album considering the variety of song material used on this album. There are elements of death, doom and black metal and even progressive, electronic and gothic stuff can be heard. In general people have been very pleased with this album. The record sales are not high, but we don¢¥t care about it that much. Quicksilver Clouds has just been licensed to USA, and we are still waiting for a response from our US fans.
- Where is THROES OF DAWN aiming to get as a band musically and lyrically?
We don't have any certain goals set. We just want to make music that we like to listen to. It is a great thing that other people can enjoy our music, but that is not our main goal. We make music primarily for ourselves.
- If you believe or not, THROES OF DAWN is quite better-known band than any other extreme metal bands in Korean Extreme Metal Scene in my guess. (Actually it¡¯s not that big scene) Have you ever gotten fan mails from S. Korea before? And have you ever heard of Korean Metal Scene? It would be great if THROES OF DAWN come to Korea and play someday.
I really can¢¥t remember if we have received fan mail from S. Korea, but it¢¥s good to hear that people like our music there. There has been fan mails coming from all over the world, and it feels amazingly good. It would be really an honour to play in your country some day. We have been quite silent with live shows until now. We are now playing more gigs than ever before. We have a background video installation that is reflected on a screen when we are playing, so our gigs are not like the usual headbanging metal shows.
- I think you guys have quite good relationship with ¡¦And Oceans. How is it going through? And any other bands with what you are closely related?
Yes, we know ¡¦And Oceans very well. Our drummer has played on their first 3 albums. They are very good people and a very good band. We played a live show with them few weeks ago in Helsinki and it was a very positive experience. We are playing with them again in the future as well. We are also close friends with bands like Enochian Crescent, the true Black Dawn, Rotten Sound, Relic, and Deathbound.
- What kind of music do you recently listen to? Do you like any contemporary extreme metal bands and musicians from your country or from around the world?
I don¢¥t listen to metal that much anymore. For years I have been more into industrial, dark ambient, and neo-folk stuff. But surely there are those few favourite metal artists that are always close to my heart. For example, I like the music of Shape of Despair and Unholy a lot. They have the ability to create wonderful dark music rich with emotions and atmosphere.
- On the new album, you used lots of keyboard play and I really like it. But some people complain about heavy metal bands using too much keyboards and even female vocalists in their music. What¡¯s you opinion on that?
Yes, I know the type of people you are describing. They are purists who think that Venom was the only black metal band etc. We are well aware that not all of the metalheads like our music, but we don¢¥t care about it. We don¢¥t need to please anyone with our music. Synth is an essential part of our music, sometimes even more important than the guitars. We don¢¥t make our music thinking about our instruments like: ¡°hey, this sounds good with synths, but let¢¥s not use synths on this part because some asshole thinks that it¢¥s against traditional heavy metal.¡± or something like that. Personally I think that it¢¥s all the same which instruments you choose to use as long as the music sounds good to your own ears.
- I'd like to know your opinion of the today's metal scene all around the world. : Extreme Metal being popular, So-called metal-core band getting focused such as Killswitch Engagement, Heaven Shall Burn, etc, National Socialism with black metal and Underground bands dealing with major records company. Etc.
I don¢¥t follow the metal scene that much, but I have noticed the things you mentioned above. Extreme metal can be popular to some extent, but how can anything be extreme if it¢¥s popular? People don¢¥t nowadays care if someone walks on the street with inverted cross on his neck, it has become a normal sight everywhere. This is where all these nazi-black metal bands come into picture. I think they are trying to take black metal back to underground, so that people would fear and despise it like in the old days of black metal. Personally I can¢¥t see the connection between satanic black metal and national socialism. They are two completely different and conflicting things. What comes to the metal-core raising it¢¥s head¡¦ well, everything goes in circles. These are new trends making their way after the era of black metal has been slowly dying. What comes after metal-core? No one knows...
- How do you work out for THROES OF DAWN¡¯s music? Who is the main composer & writer and what inspired him to write?
I write all the lyrics and create the concepts of the albums. Our guitar player Juha is an awesome composer and he has made very good song material. He usually uses guitar to create the music, unlike our main composer Jani, who creates everything with synths.
- What's your personal philosophy, ideology and thoughts of religion?
I don't follow any ideology or religion. I am purely atheistic person. I don't need religion for anything in my life. It's all the same to me what other people believe, I don't mind and I don't care.
- What do you think of USA and president of USA Bush? Sorry for stupid question. But personally I¡¯m really curious of it because I heard that most of European people hate him (and frankly so do I.)
Well, I don't know if Mr. Bush has any friends in Europe. Looking at his governments actions and foreign policies it's a real wonder that he got re-elected. But there's nothing you can really do about it.
- What are you guys usually doing beside THROES OF DAWN? Do you guys have any other job?
Oh, sure we have our everyday jobs and other lives. Our record sells are so low that there is no way one could live with our music. And I don¢¥t know if I would even like to do this for a living. I think the artistic value of the music would suffer greatly if you would have to think about your living through music.
- Any other project bands? If so, what kind of music are those bands?
Our lead guitarist Juha plays in a death metal band called Malev6. They haven¢¥t done any releases yet, but it sounds quite extreme. We are also working with one project with Jani. However, this is not about metal music, but industrial. We are still taking the first steps with this, so we will see if this will develop into something.
- I know it might be too soon to ask this question but do you already have a blueprint for the next album? If so, what should we expect from it?
No blueprint yet. Everything is quite open with the fifth release, so can¢¥t really tell you much about it. We have few new songs ready and to my ears they sound very good. Although we are working with lots of influences from other musical genres, we will always try to keep the same atmosphere of Throes Of Dawn present in our music.
- Do you have any final comments to Korean metal fans?
Check out "Quicksilver Clouds" and visit our website to check our music video "Vertigo", which was shot last year. Take care and control.
- Thanks for this interview. Good luck to your whole life.