Ember Falls was founded in 2010 under the name Mekanism. But when the singer Thomas joined the band in late 2014, a new beginning started and with that came the new name, Ember Falls. Rockbladet had the chance to talk to Thomas and Ace just before they hit the stage.
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Having a debut album released through a major record label such as SpinefarmRecords/Universal Music Group , is a dream for many musicians. But for Ember Falls, it´s a childhood dream that came true.
– It´s a pretty amazing feeling, but at the same time it´s weird, because you keep on forgetting it. But then every now and then you remember. It´s sort of unreal, says Thomas.
Previously the band released three EP:s under the name Mekanism and with no deadlines, they could take their time with the material. However, being pressured into making good music under a short time is not something they fear.
– We never had any deadlines before, but now you can feel a lot more expectations. Both from the label, but also the audience and the media since we are bound to get more attention now that we signed with Spinefarm and Universal Studios. It is also much more exciting now, but it also depends on how where and what kind of pressure it is. But it was only the good kind of pressure this time. Since Ember Falls consists of a lot of musicians, things can take a long time if we don´t have a person from the outside who tells us when it needs to be finished, laughs Ace.
Thomas continues by telling me that he feels positive about producing the second album with the labels deadline. According to him, having a schedule helps them in a positive way. Even though the band already started the official Welcome To Ember Falls tour before the album was released, the only thing they would've wished for is having had the four singles released with bigger time gaps between them.
Ace agrees and tells me that while it is a good thing to release songs before the actual album, the schedule was a little bit too tight and there could have been more time in between the releases. Ember Falls have a lot of upcoming shows in Finland throughout March, but are also in the progress of signing up for upcoming festivals.
– We do not have anything booked in Sweden yet, but we are working with Loud Noise and hope that they put the word out there so we can make it happen, says Ace.
There are two things that I have noticed while researching Finnish bands, and that is that most of them come from the town Tampere. The other thing is their ability to balance the melodies on an instrumental level that works on a high level with the song. Something that Ace and Thomas explains that in their case, a lot of rehearsals and hard work lies behind the process of getting the sound right. In order to achieve their goals, the guys worked together with Jacob Hansen, who mixed both the master and singles, and Jake E. (Ex-Amaranthe, CyHra).
– We met Jake E. in Denmark, the songs were already recorded to the point of almost being done. But with Jake, the focus was mostly on the vocals since the melodies already were good, so some parts were switched around and he would give us a lot of great input on how to make the vocals better. But we kept the instrumentals intact, to be honest, being able to get an outside opinion on the songs will develop them in a good way, says Thomas.
When the time comes for recording the next album, something that the band will put a lot of focus on this time will be the deadlines. When producing Welcome To Ember Falls, despite the deadlines decided by the label, the band still had to rush in order to get the last details done.
– I think that if we get things done a lot earlier, the more opportunities we will have to have a actual theme on the album. This album is more of a collection of the best songs we made, some of the tracks were actually written like three of four years ago. So the next album will be more of an artistic statement, since the process of writing songs and producing will be more established, says Ace.
In Thomas opinion, interpreting their lyrics in songs like CEO has no right or wrong. Ace explains that the song is shedding light on weakness and exploitation, through both a societal and personal perspective.
– Our personal views and society are a big part of the song. Thankfully we don´t have a lot of arguments regarding the lyrics and the guys trust me as a songwriter. And of course the other guys like our keyboardist Mikko do write lyrics as well, tells Ace.
The single Shut Down With Me was the golden ticket that made the record deal a reality. According to both Ace and Thomas, the song gives the listener a good idea of what the musicians strengths are.
– I think it is a good mix of everything that we do, Shut Down With Me consists of both heavy parts, but also got some tricky rhythms that is combined with a lot of guitar solos. However, it does lack of the softer musical aspects that we are also good at, says Thomas.
Even though some of the members of Ember Falls are still in school, the other ones also have daily jobs. According to Thomas, the road to being able of carrying for themselves working with music only, is still far away.
– We still have our daily jobs, but it is a good thing to aim for even though it difficult to earn enough money from music only. You should not get into the music industry and expect to make enough to be self-supportive, all you can really do is make the best music you are able to, and hope that people will love it. Maybe it will change for us in two years or later on, but the thing we are focusing on right now is simply to make music that we like and that stands out from the rest, says Ace.
Having toured with Swedish bands Amaranthe and Sonic Syndicate, the guys hope that every border that exists between both band, but also countries will wither away. In that way, collaborations between bands in other countries will be easier.
– There should not be any type of competition between us in that sense we become enemies. Instead, people should focus on learning from each other and inspire one another, says Thomas.
Ace who listens to a lot of different do not think it is a good way to put different bands in separate boxes. According to him, a band is what the members of the bands are, everyone that is a part of Ember Falls brings something of themselves into it and the music is what the musicians represents.
But when being asked to answer how the music actually defines them, both as musicians and persons, Ace and Thomas struggles to come up with a answer. When music becomes a part of your life, it also has a huge impact on your identity,
– Music is the main thing that we want to work with, if I were to speak of the vocals and how I do, then it is taking the best from different vocalists and turning it into something of my own. But it is also a physical based thing, everyone is born with different sorts of vocal chords. So developing your own sound, but also trying different things is important. You need to know what your good at, because in the end, it all comes down to what your strengths are. My strength when it comes to singing is probably the raspiness in my voice, and also that I am able to express myself in a lot of different ways, say´s Thomas.
Ace role as the drummer in the band is more important than people may notice, because he also sings the harmonies.
– I do not know if people notice that I do, in all honesty, balancing singing and drumming is just a matter of practice. Your voice is simply the fifth limb of your body, say´s Ace.
When being on stage, Ace and Thomas considers that being a extended version of themselves, that is also the reason to why they consider it being important for musicians to see themselves perform. In order to do that, the band films some of their shows in order to know what characterizes they want to boost live.
– When you’re on the stage, you have to be the most of yourself that you can be and even more than that. Knowing what speaks to the music that you are playing is a big part of your performance. Having supportive bandmates that encourage you to improve is also very important, but we are never going to be perfect. Because the reality is that if you try to be perfect, then you never will. For example, some people have a natural charm and ability to be relaxed while performing and some need to practice and rehearse a lot in order to get there. I am the kind of person who is sort of shy, so I am still trying to learn how to be more outgoing and how to act towards the crowds, say´s Thomas.
Being a musician has helped him to become more outgoing and also made it easier, not only to get along with other people, but also to confined in them. Now, small things are not something that they stress over.
– The industry is constantly changing and being stressed over smaller things is impossible, there are so many things happening at once. If you’re going to be a part of this, then you need to be able to compromise and work with other people. Like some of the stuff that we compose can be really personal, so you need to figure out how different ways to say, maybe it is not good enough just yet to another band member, say´s Ace.
When releasing a new album, a release party is a must and Ember Falls held theirs on the 11th of march in their hometown, Tampere.
– The official release party took place on the 11th of march, but I do not think we will have problems figuring out how to celebrate it when it´s being released the 17th February. It was a very special moment for us, to actually hold the physical evidence that shows we actually made the album, say´s Thomas.
WRITER: Gabi Mattsson (email@example.com)
FAKTA – EMBER FALLS
Thomas Grove – Lead vocals /
Jay V – Lead guitar /
Calu – Guitar & Brutal Vocals /
Ace – Drums /
OneOfHaze – Synth & Backing Vocals /
Oswald – Bass