DATE OF INTERVIEW:
23rd June 2014
METAL DISCOVERY: The vocal arrangements on the record, in terms of both the phrasing and the melodies, are incredible throughout the whole album. Were you left to come up with those on your own?
CAPRI: Yeah, the band gives me complete freedom to express myself. I think they kind of expect me to make the songs my own. They don’t say anything, they just listen when I sing. And singing is something which gives me a way to express emotions, and I think my role is to tell the story as extensively as possible and, for that, I want to use every aspect of my potential. And, when I sing, I don’t think about technique, I just let the energy flow... and feeling every word.
(Capri on how she approaches singing)
"...singing is something which gives me a way to express emotions, and I think my role is to tell the story as extensively as possible and, for that, I want to use every aspect of my potential. And, when I sing, I don’t think about technique, I just let the energy flow... and feeling every word."
Amberian Dawn - promo shot
Photograph copyright © 2014 Jarmo Katila
Interview by Mark Holmes
Amberian Dawn Official Website:
AMBERIAN DAWN DISCOGRAPHY
River of Tuoni (2008)
Thanks to Andy Turner for arranging the interview
Amberian Dawn Official Facebook:
The Clouds of Northland Thunder (2009)
End of Eden (2010)
Circus Black (2012)
Magic Forest (2014)
MD: So you try to convey your emotions through your singing?
MD: I think that shines through on the album. You obviously have a very wide-ranging voice as well in terms of both pitch and style with pop, rock, and operatic. So did Tuomas compose the songs with all your vocal strengths in mind or did you have to adapt your voice and challenge yourself in any way?
CAPRI: Well, I asked Tuomas and he told me he composes only by the feeling and he doesn’t think about me or my voice when he composes. When I sing, I just feel and I think Tuomas, when he composes, it’s the same. He doesn’t think about anything, he just feels. And, I don’t know, if the song requires an operatic sound, I sing it like that, and if it’s a powerful style, I sing it like that. And I challenge myself to do my best every time I sing, and I don’t want to sound similar; I don’t want those songs to sound the same. The challenge, for me, is to do better and better every time. But because singing is easy for me, I don’t think about technique and I don’t check how high it will go, I just sing. When I was younger, I used to check out, “oh, this is too high for me” and “this is too low for me”. But, nowadays, I don’t, I just sing. And if it’s too high then we take it down a bit.
MD: The first songs you recorded after joining Amberian Dawn were new vocals on older tracks for last year’s ‘Re-Evolution’ album so did you feel that offered you a nice introduction to fans in terms of being able to show them exactly what you could bring to the pre-existing music, and were you worried about how you’d be compared?
CAPRI: I think I kind of have both feelings. Because I don’t compare singers and bands at all myself, ever, music is music… so I didn’t expect the fans to be so nice to me. I was expecting more comparing, like, “Heidi was better”. But it turned out that maybe 99% of the fans, they were very supporting. I think ‘Re-Evolution’ is a compilation of great songs and also stories, and I think I was just excited and honoured to re-record those songs. I sang them in my style and we were pleased how it turned out. And, also, Tuomas wanted to hear how those songs would sound by me, although they were great already by Heidi. We don’t compare how I sing or how Heidi sang… I think music is music, I don’t know what else to say! [Laughs]
MD: Exactly, yeah! Profound words!
MD: So, this time around, was it a more exciting and satisfying experience in the studio being able to work on brand new material as opposed to older songs?
CAPRI: Yeah, ‘Magic Forest’ is more personal for me than ‘Re-Evolution’ because, this time, I really knew what the writer had felt writing the lyrics… [Laughs] I wasn’t sure if I could sing my own stories so that I, personally, would be pleased. Well, that was kind of weird. But, yeah, this time I was more involved from the beginning so I think it felt a longer time to wait for the result. Tuomas sent me them one by one and I had to wait for them because I couldn’t write lyrics before I heard those songs. I think, when he started to send me those songs, I was living in a magic forest from day one!
CAPRI: I think because I was seeing pictures and movies, like every minute of the day, because this is the first time I wrote lyrics for the public. Yeah, but ‘Re-Evolution’ was exciting for me because, of course, when I learned the songs I heard how Heidi had sung them. I asked Tuomas to send me just the instrumental tracks because I needed to try how I wanted to do them before I learn her style. I think I just listened to those songs one or two times and then tried to sing it by myself because I didn’t want to sound like Heidi; I wanted to sound like me.
MD: Personally, I think you’ve brought something fresh and exhilarating since you’ve come into Amberian Dawn with your vocals and, together with the fantastic new album and Napalm deal, is there now a feeling within the band that you’re all ready to take it to the next level…and conquer the world, perhaps?!
CAPRI: Yeah, we will conquer the world… maybe one day! [Laughs] Yeah, I think we are all so excited about this album and, for me, it’s more than ever because the involvement of myself was so big… well, yeah, we will conquer the world, I’m sure!
MD: In one of the new promo photos, the way your hair’s been styled and your makeup, it reminded me of a character from a Tim Burton movie. Is that the kind of thing you were trying to convey?
CAPRI: Well, I’m surprised you noticed! [Laughs] The band was quite surprised how I looked after styling. The styling took influences from the witch of the story of ‘Magic Forest’, or how I see her, and she really looks in my mind she could be one of the characters from Tim Burton’s world. I think the guys thought I would be looking more like myself but I wanted the styling to be more from the story so it would fit better to the title of the album. I really wanted to look like there is maybe some animals in my hair! [Laughs] Like leaves or branches. I wanted to have more a fantasy look.
MD: So if Tim Burton ever filmed ‘Hansel and Gretel’ then there’s the look of the witch right there!
MD: Are shows being planned at all, in support of the new album… are you going to be hitting the road soon?
CAPRI: Well, Tuomas said we’ve been talking about doing a couple of shows here in Finland, maybe next fall, but we’re also keeping our eyes open for chances to join some European or US tours. But, yeah, we know that touring is almost impossible if the new album isn’t going to sell good so we’re just hoping that we get chart entries in many countries so that we’re able to tour!
MD: Finally, if you had to summarise the new album in five words, what words would you choose? And you’ve had time to think about this so I expect five awesome words!
CAPRI: This is the most difficult question! [Laughs]… if I could say it in Finnish then it’d be an awesome answer, but it’s in English so…! The five words are: cinematic; epic; catchy; melodic and symphonic. And then I wanted to say more because this is the first time I write lyrics but then I just took: cinematic; epic; catchy; melodic and symphonic… [Laughs]
MD: That’s perfect! Well, thank you so much for your time, it’s been very nice chatting with you.
CAPRI: Yeah, thank you for your questions.
MD: And best of luck with the album when it comes out, and hopefully see you over here in the UK soon.
CAPRI: Yeah, I hope so too.