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WAKE THE NATIONS : "Sign Of Heart "
WAKE THE NATIONS - Wakey wakey, it's a brand new day and a good way to start it would be by listening to the uplifting sounds of this band/project. Masterminded by Human Temple guitarist Risto Tuominen, WTN unites Finnish musicians and international guest stars. The result is pure melodic rock in the 80'ies vein but not completely stuck in the past. We interrogated Mr. Tuominen.
1. Congratulations on the chart success! What kind of reception has the new album gotten otherwise?
Thanks! I’m in seventh heaven about that we made it in top 20 and top 50! It's gotten mostly good reviews. They say that it sounds different from the modern sounds of today's rock scene.
2. How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
Now that’s the tough question.. The recording started in January 2013 and basic tracks were done in two or three weeks.. But I added keys, gtrs, backing vocals and lead vocals (Krister, Taage, and myself) in my homestudio every now and then till the end of september 2014. So don’t know the exact time it took.. haha...
3. What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
I was thinking of combining two sounds.. the reference albums were GIANT (Last of the runaways) and H.E.A.T (Address the Nation). And of course all the 80’s-90’s aor/rock bands. haha....
4. What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
I have a bad habit of putting too much into a song so he cleaned some extra guitars..
5. And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Totally! This was the dream come true!
6. You’ve chosen to use guest vocalists on most songs. Was this the plan all along or did you consider singing the songs yourself?
No, it wasn’t plan to have so many singers in this. This whole album was never meant to be released to anyone. I just wanted to record some songs for myself with me on vocals.. but I was never satisfied with my voice, so I started to look for someone better to sing everything. But that was impossible mission at that time to find someone. After that I realized that I want also my favorite finnish singers (Krister Stenbom, Taage Laiho, Janne Hurme) to sing some of those songs.
7. You have a couple of foreign vocalists on the album. How did you get in touch with them?
I left a couple of ads on websites like Linkedin and Jaime Vendera’s Vocal Academy. And via those sites Estef Martinez and Dado Topic contacted me. Very talented singers!
8. Do you have plans to ”wake other nations” as well, to go global with the project?
I’m a dreamer so yes! haha.. I’ve been asked to compose some new tunes to another band and hoping that they like those. Time will tell. And back to your question again.. I wish that those projects helps us to Wake Other Nations!! haha..
9. You’re the guitarist in Human Temple too. The band played a rare gig recently, can we expect more activity from the Temple this year?
That Gig Was A Blast!! I love Human Temple and Janne Hurme so hopefully yes! Janne has lots of cool new tunes and we’ve been working on some of those already. So I wish we could make it to the studio some day this year.
10. ”Love Leads The Way” has been around as a Human Temple demo for quite a few years. Was it easy to get the OK from the rest of the band to release it on your album?
Yes it was really easy.. haha.. Janne and Petri Kitti had composed a killer song and Jori Tojander (keys) suggested that song and also another song of theirs called Seas Of Emptiness.
11. Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?
No they didn’t. We just send ready-made master tape to record company and Joni from Inverse records said that it’s perfect!
12. Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
No crazy stuff, only hard work.. haha..
13. How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
"Wake the Nations serve international hard rock with respect for the 80's. Killer songs are saturated with today's pure sound.“
14. Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
My heroes and influences.. hmm.. there’s so many but I name some of them: Steve Lukather and of course TOTO, KISS, Mötley Crüe, Van Halen, Journey, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Joe Satriani, Nuno Bettencourt, GIANT, H.E.A.T etc..
15. If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
I feel blessed that so many talented friends from all over the world have helped me with this project. sAnd also that Janne Granfors (bass), Jori Tojander (keys) and Tuomas Pelli (drums) wanted to turn this project in to Real Band. We are planning to do another album someday and with only one singer on it.. maybe.. haha..
Interview by: Kimmo Toivonen