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Armored Dawn

At the beginning of this year, Armored Dawn released their second album 'Barbarians In Black'. Since the album is full of great heavy metal tracks with European roots, we tried to contact Armored Dawn. Apparently the tour that the band did with Saxon just came in between the interview request and touring so the answers of the sympathetic guitarist Timo Kaarkoski took a bit longer to reach us, but finally the new album, football and soup are mentioned.

By: Henk | Archive under heavy / power metal

Hey Guys, I just received your new album 'Barbarians In Black' and I think it is an absolute great album. Since we haven't published anything about your band would you be so kind to introduce yourselves to our readers?
The band was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil around four years ago, when the bands keyboard player, Rafael met Eduardo the singer and they decided to form a band. I already knew Rafael as our old bands used to play constantly at the same clubs, so he called me asking if I would be interested. We decided to give it a try, asked a few of our friends to join in, and the band was born. We started writing material for the first album, while playing around Brazil and after releasing our first album, we focused on playing where ever we can. Opened shows for bands like The Offspring, Marillion and Megadeth in Brazil and toured around Europe with Fates Warning.

Before we get into the rest of the interview I need to get something of my sleeve and that is about the opening track 'Beware Of The Dragon'. Although a decent power metal track I don't think it represents the album in the best way mainly due to the (in my opinion) weak vocal parts on it. Luckily the revenge is there on the rest of the album but why was this chosen as the opening track of the album?
That was partly our record labels decision, and partly because we had been testing few new songs at our shows, and this one seemed to always have killer effect on the crowd. Almost everybody seemed to love it, so we figured it would be perfect for opening the album.

What would you say are the main influences for Armored Dawn. In my review I noted that In Flames must have been an enormous influence on your band. This because of the similar guitar and keyboard parts and the resemblance in the voice of Eduardo to Anders Friden.
I would say our main influences are a mix of oldschool heavy metal, and more modern stuff like In Flames you mentioned. Everyone in the band loves 70's and 80's heavy rock and metal music, as well as more modern bands. Personally, I love everything from Cream and Led Zeppelin, to Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Amon Amarth, Slayer and In Flames. It's a bit of a mix of everything. Just like making soup. You start from scratch and keep adding some spices, until you get the result that everyone's happy with.

Your first album 'Power Of Warrior' did not reach Lords Of Metal in 2016. What would you say are the biggest improvements or changes to that one?
The new album is more modern and heavier than the first. Main reason for this, is that since the first album we got a new drummer and while the first drummer was more or a Rock n Roll player, our "new" drummer, Rodrigo, is a thrash metal drummer so when we started writing new songs, everything automatically turned a bit faster and heavier.

As a Brazilian band it is not common to sing about northern mythology. How do songs as 'Bloodstone' and 'Men Of Odin' come to life? Who is responsible for the stories in the songs?
Eduardo, the bands singer. He has always been interested in medieval times, northern Europe, wars and history in general. He reads a lot and got very interested in northern mythology. As I'm from Finland, I brought a bit of northern European influences to the band, and that pushed him even further to write about the subject.

band image

For the mixing of the album you worked with Seeb Levermann who is known from Orden Ogan and Rhapsody Of Fire amongst others. Why was he the first choice for you to mix the album?
The first album was recorded and mixed by Tommy Hansen in Denmark, and even we all loved the result his work sounded a bit too old-school for the new, more modern songs. So we started looking for other people and loved everything Seeb had done. before. Awesome dude and an excellent professional. Most likely he will work with us in future releases as well.

The first step towards world domination now is the tour with Saxon you did in Europe I presume. How was the contact with Saxon established?
Through our record label AFM. We wanted to come to Europe as soon as 'Barbarians in Black' was released, and started looking for bands who were touring Europe that time. We got in touch with Saxon, and joined the tour. As Saxon is one of my all-time favourite bands, I was really excited about being able to tour with them, and see them perform every night.

As you sound very "European" on the new album one might think that you are also putting the focus on that continent first. How is the reception of the album in your home country?
Yes, right now we will be heavily focusing on Europe, but of course when opportunity comes, we will also head out to south-America, USA and Asia for touring. The CD was released worldwide, so the bigger plan is to conquer the whole world. In Brazil surprisingly many people seem to like the new CD. I'm saying surprisingly, because most Brazilians, ignore Brazilian metal bands. I'm not sure why, but in Brazil it is better to have a cover band than write your own songs. More people go to see crappy cover bands, than awesome local bands performing their own music.

So what will the future look like for Armored Dawn? Is it a fulltime job already for you guys or do you need to do other things for a living?
Things are looking pretty, damn good right now. The new CD is out, we have a lot of shows booked for 2018 already, but as we still have some free time, all of us do other things besides this band as well. Not just because of the money, but to keep ourselves busy. The guys in the band work in studios, play in few other bands and do all kinds of freelance musical things, but the main focus, of course, is Armored Dawn.

One last question although not about music. As Brazilians you must have love for the beautiful game of soccer? As the worldcup is this year do you think Brasil can take revenge for the lost world cup in 2014?
Well, unlike everyone else in the band, I'm not a Brazilian myself. I'd love to cheer for my lovely homeland, the frozen inferno us Finnish people like to call our home, sweet home, but we always sucked at football. We do know how to play decent ice-hockey though. Anyway, back to football. Well, I'm not too convinced Brazil will win this year. But let's wait and see.

Well that's it guys! Thank you for taking the time for this interview. Good luck with the album and future plans and if there is anything left to say or I forgot to ask here is your chance!
If it's too loud, you're too old. If it's not loud enough you should have listened to your mom, and turned down the volume in your headphones back in the 80's.

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