Hanna Tsepesh: Moi Lauri Touhimaa! Kiitoksia oikein paljon(thank you very much in Finnish) for accept this interview with me! I know that you guys started in 1994, and you are one of the founders. Tell to us little bit about Embraze history, and about the members, what instruments they play and who make the riffs and who write the lyrics…
Lauri: Hei Hanna and kiitos, kiitos! Yeah we started in 1994, we were teenage guys. Those were the days, everything was so new and we were very exciting. Me and our drummer Ilkka are the original members, our keyboard player Heidi join us 1996. We had lot of chances in line up before our guitarist Sami and our bass player Olli-Pekka. Sami and Olli-pekka have played with us form the year 2000. Our first demo was called Allotria and we recorded it in 1994, our first album LAEH saw the light of the day 1998. I have write most of the riffs, melodies and lyrics, but we always arrange the songs together and here comes the Embraze sound.
Hanna Tsepesh: Can you tell us your major influences in music? Tell us a little but about your background…
Lauri: I have played in bands from 1991. My first band was called Creature. I started to play drums and then I move to guitar and then I had to start sing ´cause nobody else wanted to do it! I don´t know anything about notes I don´t have any musical education. I think you learn when you play with other guys and make your own music you learn more. I really like very different kind of music, but If assign metal bands I like they are Paradise Lost, Sentenced, Amorphis, Moonspell, Metallica.
Hanna Tsepesh: What is your inspiration to create the lyrics and riffs for Embraze?
Lauri: It is difficult question. I have tried to figured out where all the melodies comes, but I don´t have the answer. For me it is hard to tell about my feelings and I offload my feelings to the music. I get inspirations from nature too, I like walk in forest and listen the sounds of wind and birds. I also but all my anger in music and I think, then comes hard riffs.For me it has been so important to make own music since I first took the guitar in my hand.
Hanna Tsepesh: One curiosity…you guys Play with “ours” Moonspell, how was that experience with them for you? How was provided to Play with them?
Lauri: We had very good time with Moonspell, I really love these guys. We had gigs in Finland and few gigs in Baltic and whole tour went very well. We didn´t have our technicians with us, so Moonspell crew helped us too. It wasn´t their job, but they wanted to do it. It would be so great to play someday in Portugal with Moonspell. They couldn´t understand how we can drink so much and start our days with beer! It was our Finnish manager who organized this tour.
Hanna Tsepesh: (laughs) that was funny! Yeah, Moonspell are a very nice guys, that is not a surprise to me! Talking now a little bit about your last album “ The Last Embraze”, i like it very much, congratulations for you, you have an amazing voice and for the rest of the band, they make a Great Job too! I like very much the keyboards melody, my congratulations for Heidi! Yours 2 songs “ Branded” and “ Liquid Fire” are excellent, they are my favorite songs for the Great melody, Beautiful lyrics and voice, they are big and strong sounds for me! But for those who have not had the opportunity to hear your last job,can you tell us a little bit about the album? What is the album history?
Lauri: Obrigado. I started to write songs in 2005 right after I came home from Charon “Songs for the sinners” recording sessions. It took about month to compose the songs. Writing lyrics wasn´t so easy and I had to ask help from my friends. Charon bass player Teemu wrote few lyrics, for example “Branded” and “Liguid Fire”. I wrote “The sung goes down” lyrics with my friend O-P Törrö, who played guitar in For my Pain. Recording session took about 6 month, it was hard because I was touring with Charon every weekend and I recorded The last embrace every workday. But I´m satisfied to album, the mood is depressing enough. For them who has not hear any Embraze song, please visit: myspace.com/embrazemusic.
Hanna Tsepesh: You are very welcome, don’t need to thank me! When you enter on studio to make this album, you have already the lyrics and riffs, or the things keep emerging with time? Can you explain to us the studio process?
Lauri: When went to studio all riffs and melodies were done. All keyboard arrangements we made in studio. I didn´have all the lyrics, but I had melodies in my had.
Hanna Tsepesh: It was easy to get support along this "walk"? in terms of recording
Lauri: Yeas it was long and difficult journey, but not invincible. When we recorded Katharsis album two weeks in Finnish lappland, it was greatest studio session we have ever had.
Hanna Tsepesh: Anything changed in Embraze band between your other album “Katharisis” and “The Last Embraze”?
Lauri: Of course we all have grown mentally, we are better musicians and I think you can hear it. We are able to write better songs. I think We tried to be harder on Katharsis album than we really are. On The last embrace we are what we are.
Hanna Tsepesh: Embraze have been working with Aki Karppinen in your 2 lastest albums right?! Can you tell us why that choice? Everything are working well?
Lauri: Aki can create good sounds, he is professional. He is also an old friend of us, we used to play in same band called Maple Cross. It is good to work with guy you know well.
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your future plans for Embraze? Embraze are thinking about the new album?
Lauri: We have started to work with new material in our rehearsal facilities. We have about five songs under way. The new material will kick ass. I can´t give any details, but soon.
Hanna Tsepesh: Great news!! Thanks a lot for the information! In the future, the band have some plans to come to Portugal? For the people that want to see you guys alive, can you tell us some dates and places?
Lauri: We´d love to come in Portugal and all over the world, but now we don´t have good European management, I hope everything is better after forth coming album. I hope to see you soon. I have visit ones in Portugal, it was when Charon played in Azores island. I really love you country.
Hanna Tsepesh: yeah i know that you came to Azores with your other band(Charon), cool that you like Azores! Talking a little bit about you Lauri, for the people who don't know, you Play guitar in Charon band, can you tell us how was the things working with the new album? You have a lot of Portuguese fans waiting for new Charon album! About For/My/Pain band you also Play guitar…you guys are thinking to edit something? Since is only a therapy band…
Lauri: Charon is still working with new stuff, we have record demo versions in our rehearsal basement and there is about ten songs that are almost ready. We have played one new song alive called End the world, it was in Helsinki and audience really liked it. For my pain is still on break. We all wanted to make music together, but no we don´t have time for that. It is good therapy project, we have had great times together.
Hanna Tsepesh: Great to know that from Charon! We are waiting for the new album! What do you like to do in your free times?
Lauri: I´m doing sports, jogging with my dog, swimming, biking. Physical exercise keeps my head straight and I´m not so nervous. I´m reading and watching movies and of course one of my favorite hobby is drinking beer with my friends!
Hanna Tsepesh: Last question, do you want to say something to your Portuguese fans out there?
Lauri: I´d like to say that I really hope that we are able to come in your beautiful to tour someday. One of the greatest metal bands comes from Portugal, my best regards to Moonspell. I wish you all happy summertime and take care each other.
Hanna Tsepesh: We are going to tell that to Moonspell! Thanks so much Lauri for this great interview! I wish you lot of success for your projects and for the rest of the band! I hope that this GREAT and FANTASTIC album “The Last Embraze” have a lot of success around the world! Hope to see Embraze in Portugal very soon…
Lauri: Thank you Hanna for the interview, I hope you all the best! Keep on rockin´and see ya! Yours truly Lauri Tuohimaa
By: Hanna Tsepesh