time now the Finnish music scene has been dominated by the dark wave of
heavy metal. The official albums and singles charts are topped with
metal releases, so it was just a matter of time until this would affect
the up-rising generation; Tracedawn is living proof of heavy
metal influence on the youth. The average age of the group is below
average but yet the roots of their technical and melodic death metal
lead back to a decade before they were even born
of Tracedawn goes back to December 2005 when Tuomas Yli-Jaskari came up
with an idea that would be named Moravia and then changed to Tracedawn.
Already having played numerous projects, the young musician knew that
the only way for him to play the music he wanted was to start a band of
his own. This lone musician began searching for the perfect line-up in
the summer of 2006 and he was soon surrounded by a group of extremely
talented young musicians. With the new functional line-up, the band
locked itself into Studio Redhouse and recorded a demo called “Path of
Reality”., with this demo the band caught the attention of various
playing together on a regular basis for quite some time, the opportunity
to release an album became a reality. Tracedawn signed a record contract
with Redhouse FMP in late 2007 and vigorously started to record their
first official release. The band recorded a four-song EP and went
fishing for partners, soon they convinced Playground Music Scandinavia
and Live Nation to collaborate.
album recordings went down in Sonic Pump Studios under the eye of Nino
Laurenne who is known for his work for bands such Thunderstone,
Stratovarius and Children Of Bodom amongst others. The 8-track metal
monster was mixed by Mikko Karmila (Nightwish, Children of Bodom,
Amorphis) and mastered by Mika Jussila (Nightwish) at the infamous
debut album will be released August 22, so there is much to talk about
and therefore Metal-Experience tracked down some band members to set up
an interview. Here you can read what they had to say.
self-titled album will be released in a couple of weeks, so of course
we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about it!
First of all, I’m not familiar with your band so could
you tell me something about
How did this band get together, where does the name “Tracedawn”
come from, what does it mean and could you tell me something about your
Tracedawn is about 6 guys who try to make good music and have fun. I
decided to establish the band in winter 2005. I started searching for
members for the band. We have said many times that it feels like fate
that we found each other to play in this band. In two years we have
become best friends. Our singer Antti was the only one who I knew before
the band was formed. It was also a coincidence that Antti joined the
band: One day he took the same bus as I did and I remembered that Antti
was a singer
so I asked him to join the band. So If Antti had missed the bus ... :D
The other guys I found through the internet. Everyone has played in many
bands before Tracedawn and I also studied music.
I have played two years now with Tuomas in this band. Tuomas
was looking for band members and I contacted him. Immediately when we
played together, we felt this would work. I spoke to the bassist, Henri,
and he also joined the project. Tuomas asked Perttu to play with us and
that’s how the band got together. Antti came later and Vili about a year
ago. The name Tracedawn just sounded beautiful so we took that. I have
played guitar for several years in Lapland were I’ve lived 16 years.
The band's name "Tracedawn" had to come up quickly because the old name
had already been set aside for some margarine factory. The name means
figuratively searching for a "new beginning". In other words, in reality
we are full of angst and we try to find the way out of teenage storms,
We got together via internet and old connections. Tumppi is mainly to
blame for getting this bunch together. The word Tracedawn might mean
something to you, or it doesn't. To me, it just sounds cool ;D I have
been playing/singing more or less my whole life, but I wasn't very
active before Tracedawn.
How did you launch into writing the material for this
album? Did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or
was it more of a careful composing thing?
Material for the album came quite easily. Some of the ideas are 3-4
I think that some
of songs came quickly as a result of momentary inspiration but the album
also includes songs that Tuomas had composed a long time ago, but which
have gradually evolved since the very early days of Tracedawn.
We had most of the material ready before we got the deal. The song
without walls is 3 years old. Every song has taken its own time to
finish. No point in rushing things, is there? ;)
Tuomas came with new song ideas; we practiced the songs together and
arranged them to the style of the band.
What were the goals you had in mind when you started to
any elements you definitely wanted to have on the album?
We wanted the album to sound hard
To have an album that sounds like us and to play it well. Also we wanted
to have that same energy on the album what we have when we are playing
We just wanted to record an album that sounded like us, that's all.
There's something there from every one of us, so I think we achieved
Was it a conscious decision to do it this way?
I know every member knew how we work on the album to make it sound the
best it could. We didn’t actually sit down and have big conversations
about how to do this. We trusted each other so much that everyone knew
his own place when doing the record.
The desire to play hard music
In song writing, what is the utmost important ingredient
for a song according to
is there any typical way that your songs comes into being?
Every song has it’s own story but usually I write songs when I’m
depressed or angry because then I’m more inspired
than when I’m happy.
Who was responsible for writing the songs and the lyrics
on your latest album and where do you get your inspiration from?
I composed the biggest part of the album and Antti did most of the
lyrics. Inspiration demands some kind of emotional state of mind.
I get my 'inspiration' from my experiences and my anxiety ;D
Until now Tuomas has composed most of our songs but on the next album
you will hear songs composed by me and Jeremy
Is the music written independently of the lyrics or do
you try to reflect lyrical ideas through the music?
Usually we write the music first and then the lyrics. In my opinion it’s
great when lyrics sound like the music.
When I'm writing lyrics, I mostly write about issues that I feel I want
to write about. When I hear a new song that one of the guys has done, I
try to listen to it and figure out the nature of the song. You know, is
it angry, happy, sad, violent etc. Then I go back to my lyrics and look
which might fit the song. If nothing fits, I write something that fits,
without forcing it too much ;D
About the song writing – how can we imagine you work on
new songs? What comes first, lyrics or melodies? Is it like you sit down
and write a new song because you need material or do you wait until you
get an idea?
It doesn't work if you just sit down and make songs because you have to.
Waiting for ideas is a better way.
We wait. We really don't want to force anything that we do, because
that's not pleasant for us or for the people listening. We really don't
have a specific work order when we compose/write. I write lyrics when I
feel like it and Tumppi and the other guys compose when they feel like
it. Been working great so far :D
not have a specific routine how to make songs. Each song is created in
its own way, depending on the moment.
Do you have any favorites on ‘Tracedawn’, songs that you
think are somehow above the others?
My personal favorite is the final track “Justice For None”. The lyrics
there came out very easily and naturally, and they are maybe the most
personal lyrics for me on the album.
Besides, the song rocks like hell! :D
No, it depends on my mood.
I personally like to play the songs ”In Love With Insanity”, ”Without
Walls” and ”Justice For None”.
How did the recording process proceed and how much time
did you spend in the studio?
We had a very tight recording schedule, and we only had two weeks of
studio time. We were more or less working around the clock, and relaxing
when we got the chance.
Two weeks altogether. It went down without any big problems and it was
kind of therapy to have those songs finally recorded. Kind of we got
that job done, and we were able to concentrate on new ideas and doing
Working in Sonic Pump studios was instructive and fun. Recording
happened in two parts and it took two weeks overall, so we didn’t have
that much time, in fact, sometimes all the rush burdened the nerves a
little bit. Fortunately, uncle Nino was a humorous guy and finally,
we passed through the trial!
The production was done by Nino Laurenne, what made him
the perfect producer for Tracedawn?
I wouldn't say perfect, but I'd say he came pretty damn close! He has
done a lot of recording with his band, Thunderstone, and he has been in
this same situation himself, so he knew how to work with us. With a firm
hand, but with a good attitude :)
I honestly don’t know, because it was our first album. But Nino knows
what sounds good and he really kicked our asses to play better all the
Nino has experience in this type of music. In addition, Nino is a hell
of a good guy and it was our pleasure to work with him.
In which things/songs on the album can one clearly hear
his vision and ideas?
All of the songs are 100% us. The only time when he ever really wanted
something changed was when we were recording the song Widow. We were
working on the chorus, and he told us that it was shit. So we called
Vili to come and compose another one. He came in a rush, played the
piano for about 45mins and came up with a new one which made it on the
In “Widow” and “Fallen Leaves”, for example.
For example, ”Widow”s chorus was made by Nino. Because we asked Nino to
work with Tracedawn as a producer in a late stadium, he did not have the
chance to affect the songs much. Some ideas were his, of course but I
think his skills will perhaps be more apparent on the next album. It
remains to be seen…
Have you received any feedback on your album yet?
Pretty much. Mostly positive ;)
Yes, we have received both good and bad feedback which is only natural,
especially when the music involves broad elements of the various genres
of metal. The biggest thing on which we share common views is Antti's
clean and growl vocals. But mostly feedback has been surprisingly good!
Are third party opinions (press, fans, etc.) on your
music important to you? Or are your music and band the only things that
I think I just want to write and play music that I like and if somebody
is interested in what I do, it isn’t a bad thing. If we even have any
fans, I would like to thank them for their support but I think we are
not going to change our music because of anyone´s positive or negative
It`s always great to have people at concerts. But being famous isn’t the
reason why we do this. It’s just fun and music. It’s always nice to hear
opinions but I don’t think they will affect our art.
Of course fans matter to us, but in the end we are doing this for
ourselves. The music always comes first.
Overall, are you pleased with the outcome of
the songs or would you have liked to have changed anything in
There are always some little things that you would like to change
afterwards, but we made the best album we could in the given
circumstances, and we are very proud of the outcome :)
Maybe more solos and faster stuff:P
Let’s just say we were wiser after the studio time than before. You can
never be fully satisfied with the results because there will always
be things to improve and to do better. If you make a perfect album, it’s
no longer necessary to do more.
The metal scene exploded the last couple of years in
Finland, a lot of bands seem to pop up. So what is the difference
between Tracedawn and other bands in this scene?
We have great fun playing together, a big amount of energy and furious
live playing that improves in every concert.
Are there any differences? Maybe that we are young? Ha ha, just kiddingJ
Every band has its own ”thing”. Even the fact that someone is really
writing own songs is unique and praiseworthy.
What is your opinion on the ‘metal’ scene these days, is
there anything missing in the scene?
The metal scene today is all about growling and a sound that’s too
heavy. What is missing is beauty in music and clean vocals. And we have
those two elements in Tracedawn.
I am sure that all metal listeners will find something good for
themselves. The supply is extremely wide-ranging!
you don’t find any good metal in the metal scene of today you should try
trance or something!
Which album has been your biggest musical influence, one
that made you think “this is what I want to do!”?
I can’t name one album because there are so many awesome albums! But
when I heard The Beatles I knew what I wanted to do. I was 5-6 years old
then. Stratovarius was the first metal band that I heard. After that
there was no turning back..
When I was really young I listened to my older brother´s punk and rock
CD´s and I remember when I heard Motörhead for the first time and I
thought “rock is the most ass kicking music”. Shortly after that I heard
Cannibal Corpse´s ”Hammer Smashed Face” playing in one of Jim Carrey´s
movies and then I started to really like metal music. But back then
there were too many good bands and artists to mention, not only in the
metal scene but also in other genres as well.
To me it has been Children of Bodom`s “Follow The Reaper”
How would you describe your own music and what are your
musical influences, are there any particular bands that’ve been a big
influence in your song writing, metal or otherwise?
I think there are hundreds of bands that have influenced my songwriting
in some way. I think you can’t escape influences. Some of my favorite
bands are Nightwish, Strapping young lad, Protest the Hero, Periphery..
I could continue this list forever!
Heavy riffing, growling, death metal mixed with clean vocals, beautiful
melodies. And it has this weird mix that is not usually heard in the
Finnish Metal scene. But still I think that Finnish metal is the biggest
influence to Tracedawn.
How do you see the future for Tracedawn, what can we
expect in the near future?
Hopefully much touring
and many good albums! We are already working on new material for the
next album and we are very excited about it!
A lot of hard work. Touring, touring, maybe some recording and a little
more touring :)
we’ll play lots of gigs and meet good guys on road!
A way better second album, exciting concerts and to have fun together.
If you invite us abroad we are ready to show some Tracedawn-action.
Is there anything left unmentioned? Any last statement or
anything you'd like to add?
Buy our records so you get the idea of the potential of the new Finnish
heavy metal generation, and that’s furious.
keep it brutal!
Thanks for your time!
Antti Lappalainen - Vocals
Tuomas Yli-Jaskari - Guitar
Jeremy Qvick - Guitar
Perttu Kurttila - Drums
Vili Itäpelto - Keyboards
Pekko Heikkilä – Bass
Valtteri Turunen – Vocals
Tracedawn - Tracedawn (2008)