About Me

Interview with Dawn Of Solace

"Waves" by Dawn Of Solace, is the hotly anticipated new output and sophomore solo-album by Wolfheart / Before the Dawn mastermind Tuomas Saukkonen. The album was released on the 24th January via Noble Demon, and it is already an early highlight of 2020! Dawn of Solace is finally back with a new album, a new label and also returning to stages. It is needless to say how exciting this 2nd beginning is. Taking all this in consideration, Metal Imperium caught up with the mastermind himself to find out about all the juicy details!

M.I. - What has Dawn of Solace become after 13 years of silence? How different is DoS now compared to DoS in 2006?

It has become a more personal reflection of myself. Musically I have grown a bit since 2005 when I wrote the debut and my goals when it comes to sound, song writing and production have evolved too. I would not say this version is better. Both are a picture of their own time. I would however say that 2020 DoS is more honest. 

M.I. - There are still a few days until the 24th January and you have said that: “the more I toured with Wolfheart and Before The Dawn, the more it came up when talking with fans and that kept the idea alive that maybe someday...”. So why did you finally decide to come back? Do you think you have something else to offer the underground scene?

It has been weird and very nice to notice how well people have remembered the debut and it comes up every year when I am on the road, still on some interviews, etc. And when that album came out there was no Instagram, Facebook was launched the same year the album came out. Somehow it has stayed alive and slowly spread under the radar and that has reminded me about the debut album on a regular basis. After a spontaneous demo recording session where I was supposed to work with new material, a few ideas popped up and I ended up writing “Lead Wings” and “Ashes” right on the spot and, on that moment, I knew it had to be DoS who released this music.

M.I. - Sound wise, how different is “The Darkness” from “Waves”?

I have written over 12 albums since DoS’ debut so I’ve been evolving as a producer and writer. In my opinion, “Waves” is bigger, darker and deeper. Of course, the approach with production was different with a lot lower tuning, baritone instruments, Mikko’s vocals, etc.

M.I. - Both DoS albums have 8 tracks… are you a fan of this number? Or is it a coincidence?

In this case it is purely coincidence but 8 is a nice round looking number, like an upside-down eternity symbol. 

M.I. - Supposedly, you had the intention to release another album in 2008 but it didn’t happen. Why?

I ran into very serious problems with the label at that time and it became impossible for me to continue the band at that time. The label went down 6 years ago and since then I have been able to use the name again but did not see the reason to do so until the first songs were born in 2019.

M.I. - You had already composed several songs and Fernando Ribeiro from Moonspell and Ville Sorvali from Moonsorrow were some of the guest musicians. Who is featured in the new album after all?

There was another plan we were talking with Fernando at that time which was not directly connected with DoS. On the new album there is Danny Tunker and Jukka Salovaara doing 2 session guitar solos each. Amazing guys and amazing musicians! And then, of course, Mikko in main vocals and Lars Eikind (Before The Dawn) also featuring in one song. 

M.I. - You have joined forces with Mikko Heikkilä, giving him all vocal duties. Why have you opted to work with him? Why was he the perfect choice?

He did vocals on all 4 Black Sun Aeon albums and I have been a fan of his voice for a long time, even before that. Such a dark and sad voice! Working with him comes very easy and I feel very comfortable to write very honest and straight forward stream of thoughts / emotions for him to sing.

M.I. - After a break of 7 years, you finally claimed the drum throne to start Dawn Of Solace’s recordings. And you were massively inspired by @waltsunfyre and @juusoraatikainenmusic and the profound sadness of life itself. So, did you manage to learn some new tricks after all?

I hope I did. You should ask that to Juuso and Waltteri :). Both are insane drummers, super musical and creative and I would never be able to reach even close to their level but I tried to bring the same creativity and flow that both bring to the songs they play in. 

M.I. - There are 8 tracks on “Waves”… how was it composing and writing all the material? Are the songs recorded in 2007 featured in this record? 

All the songs are brand new and written in 2019. Most of the music was written during the final recordings and the whole writing / recording process was very impulsive. I took some of the ideas from the 2007 recordings to the debut album of Black Sun Aeon in 2009.

M.I. - Of all the tracks… what’s your favourite one? Why? Which one do you believe will be a crowd pleaser?

“Lead Wings”… I don’t really care if it will please the crowd but I will love to get to play that (+ all others) song live with drums.

M.I. - At the moment, the band features 2 members… who will be joining you as live session musicians?

That is still in the planning.

M.I. – How did the official pre-order campaign with a lot of exclusive stuff go?

It went a lot better than I expected. It was awesome to see too many people participating and specially how much they wanted to have the debut also. Amazing to see that old album coming back to life again. 

M.I. - The reaction to the single was awesome. Were you expecting to get this kind of reaction after so many years? 

I knew that we made a good album but you never really know how people will react, especially when the style has changed since 2006. But it was great to see all that amazing feedback.

M.I. - Regarding the deal with Noble Demon, Tuomas Saukkonen has said that "After 13 years of silence and bad experiences in the past with labels I was determined to release DoS album 100% on my own. But after long and thorough talks from early spring to late fall, planning, (…) I came to realize that giving my art in the hands of Noble Demon would be the best decision!". What’s so special about Noble Demon anyway? Did you receive any offers from other labels?

I did get several offers but I felt that with Noble Demon I would be higher priority and that they will treat the album more as an art than just a product. We also talked a lot about everything connected to the new album before even bringing up the contract to the table so we created a good bond with the label.

M.I. - DoS will open up a few new doors during the summer when playing the first gig ever outside Finland and also first festival gigs in the band’s history. How excited are you? Do you have any more dates aligned already?

I am extremely excited. There will also be 2 gigs in Russia but it looks like DoS will only play these 5 shows now confirmed during 2020. I am still open for offers but Wolfheart will release a new album in 2020 too and I will be busy with touring. Also, I don’t have pressure to put DoS on stage. Rather do fewer well selected special gigs. 

M.I. - Tuomas is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer… how complicated is it being this talented? Plus, how many hours does your day have?

I would say the complicated thing is to get so many ideas because making them come to life means usually a huge workload. I have way too little hours in my days :). I guess my problem is being stubborn with having the need to bring all ideas alive. Then being talented plays a very little role. It is more about getting your hands dirty and push through all the workload and obstacles to get something out and ready. 

M.I. - How will you manage to coordinate DoS and Wolfheart’s touring and recording schedules?

Since all schedules go through me, it goes pretty easy. Wolfheart is the main band, so also the priority is pretty clear. 

M.I. - What has changed in the music scene in the 13 (almost 14) years of DoS’ silence?

Social media and streaming are 2 huge changes. Also, the media has moved from printed magazines to webzines so it is kind of a different world in the music scene now. Personally, I don’t have any issues about things changing since everything changes anyway. You just need to go with the flow. 

M.I. - Will you please leave a message for your fans and the readers of Metal Imperium Webzine? I wish all the best for your projects!

I hope to see you in Portugal soon!

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Sónia Fonseca