Although this band is quite young, at least in this line-up which exists since 2008, the members of this noisy Helsinki-based trio can refer to a long career and a lot of experience. No wonder that they managed to release 3 self-produced EPs so far, “Soulless can´t repent” being the most recent (2010). Guitarist/vocalist and Final Dawn mastermind Vesa Mattila fills us in about the “style of mayhem” those Finns are creating.
Hello guys, so who are you – can you please introduce yourself and all of the band members?
I´m Vesa Mattila, guitarist and singer of Final Dawn. I´m kind of engine of the band, coming up with the ideas for songs, getting gigs, promoting etc.
Final Dawn operates as a trio, so there´s other 2 members: our drummer Leonard and bass player Topi Anttila.
How did you meet each other?
We´ve met through common friends, drinking in bar and talking about music – quite normal way I´d say. I got first Leonard to band, Topi joined later when we met him in local metal bar. Took a while to find this today´s line up, there´s been several other guys in the band – but we´re the band now we were meant to be.
When and why did you form this band?
The Origin of Final Dawn goes back to Oulu summer 2000. I used to play some heavy metal/hard rock, but my music taste was turning much heavier so I wanted to start something new, met some guys and we started Final Dawn – first as a project I guess, but it started going well. I´ve been always involved in some bands or projects, it´s just inner drive of some kind – have to play! The Band has changed quite a lot since beginning, and we like to think current line up that plays at Helsinki as a new Final Dawn. With current lineup we´ve already released 3 self-financed cds.
How would you describe your musical style, and how did this style develop? What are your musical roots and influences?
We´re quite often labelled as Melodic death metal, which we really aren´t now days. More of Death and Dark metal. Our songs are quite dark and atmospheric, both fast and slower stuff. There´s also often certain progressive elements, and some weird stuff thrown once in a while. No melodic singing, no pussy choruses – just real growling!
When I was younger I was listening quite basic stuff, like Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Danzig, My Dying Bride, Opeth, Suicidal Tendencies, Anthrax, Pantera etc. Nowadays also some black metal, weird progressive stuff – anything good basically. I guess there´s quite a variety what guys listen in this band, which is really good thing – it brings different kind of ideas and angle to the music. When we´re writing songs we don´t really discuss the style of the songs, or influences…i guess they just creep in naturally.
In which bands have you played before?
I´ve been singing in Codeon, Saatanan Marionetit, Grand Conspiracy and played guitar in Bodies and also playing bass in our beer thrash project called Napalmatic. There´s been some other projects, too but nothing significant.
How do you write your music and lyrics, is it teamwork?
I used to write some riffs at home and then show the guys at rehearsals, but now days with Leonard and Topi we just have some beer and jam, and riffs start flowing in – so it is really a team work. We record most of our jamming sessions, so no riff is wasted. Sometimes we feel there´s almost too many ideas developing at the same time, hah. Lyrics I´m writing mostly myself, but there´s been some team work, too. Leonard and me co-wrote song called ´Wardope´. Worked out quite nicely. Writing lyrics is sometimes such a pain in the ass, but other times they just come out in 5 minutes or so. It´s like with any creative idea I guess. Sometimes u just feel you don´t have much to say to anyone, hard to write then, eh?
Is there a particular philosophy behind your works, or where do you get your inspiration from?
We do share same type of view of the world which is quite nihilistic at some points, but that´s what we get our drive to create music. Songs are just stories painted with music, we use dark colours. Our themes are anti-religious, sinister stories of insanity, war and our favourite: End of the world – of course. we´re not always that serious as it seems, but that´s how it is. Our humour is quite twisted…
How did you come up with the band name – is there a story behind it?
It was just projects name when it started and it stick with us. I guess it describers quite well the band´s music – final dawn can be many things, you can take it literally, or it can be some personal event when everything fails, as it usually does. Tomorrow is never certain, and in the end…everything dies.
What are your goals, dreams, what do you want to achieve with your music?
Well, I´d say first thing is just to able make our music our way, no rules, no restrictions. We really like doing gigs, that´s what you basically make the songs for. Getting on tour with some bigger bands would be awsome for us at the moment, we´ve been doing couple foreign gigs this year and both trips were great! We need more!
You recently played a show in Russia, how was it?
We had this awesome opportunity to go to play at St. Petersburg. I had never been at Russia before, so it was quite interesting in all aspects. Getting visas and everything was quite a hazzle, I had to even get new passport – my old passport had gone through washing machine after our Germany trip, and it was not good enough anymore…everything happened so fast, we heard that we could play at Club Orlando as headliner and less than month to go. Got visas organized just in time.
There was several local bands playing, treatment was really good for the artists, people friendly and lots of Vodka!
Gig went really well and we had lots of fun, haven´t got any pics from the gig so far but maybe we´ll get some soon – keep checking our website. Children of Bodom had just been there a couple days before, so the place wasn´t that crowded, but that was fine – enough people there.
This guy Michael Rezvov got us there, and he´s really active promoting local bands etc. Currently we´re trying to organize something here in Finland, with a couple of Russian bands coming to Helsinki and Final Dawn playing with them. Would be a blast!
Are you looking for a record company or would you prefer to stay in the DoItYourself mode?
We´re quite happy for just releasing our stuff ourselves at the moment, but if we find the right connections – sure we´re ready for a record deal negotiations, but it´s not our main concern. Feel free to contact!
What should an ideal record company for you be like, and do for you?
Probably some smaller label, still enthusiastic about the music. Able to promote and create connections and gigs, specially gigs.
What are your live shows like? What´s the perfect venue/show for you?
Very aggressive and intense! We´re totally going to zone of madness and doomsday where earth is littered with decaying corpses and all hope is lost, hah. We play really tight shows, the band is quite welded together. Always lots of fun, hell we´d be playing our best, even if there´s 1 person in audience.
Do you have a weird /absurd story to tell, e.g. about mishaps at a gig/tour?
Heh, well, we had this crazy trip to Germany in spring, played a gig at Herne…
You know, sometimes chicks show their tits at gigs and so, but there we were in the middle of a gig, 5-6 guys standing in a row, turn around, pull their pants down and moon us! We were like what the.. how did the song go! hah. We knew all these guys and they said they we´re giving us the ultimate honour..yeah, we were totally honoured!
If you could freely choose a band to tour with, who would it be, and why?
Tough one! Probably some old school metal band that do their stuff for the love of playing, not some stupid asses who don´t give a shit of anything. Hard to name a band, maybe Entombed, Enslaved, Amon Amarth, Hypocrisy or even Behemoth…
If I have to pick one I´d say Amon Amarth. The drummer would probably choose Behemoth! Or Immortal…hmm.
What are your plans in the (near) future?
We´re currently writing new material, there´s like 5 songs almost ready.
We´re not quite sure when we´re hitting next time in to studio, there´s been also talk that we´d make a full length album next, not just a ep or so. So let´s see how it goes. Anyways, there´s some quite epic songs coming out soon!
We´re also actively looking for gigs and do them when ever possible. Sometimes it´s quite hard to get gigs around here for our style band, we´re not exactly mainstream…but we´ll do our best. So we´ll see in the pit!