Music Interview

Let Me Dream

by Jett Black

Let Me DreamOut of Finland emerges a corps Gothic Rock band well versed in the strength of strings. Since 1989, Let Me Dream has evolved through classic hard times to become one of Europe's premier Dark Metal Gothic Rock groups. Let Me Dream takes a unique, nearly tactile approach in targeting the emotional subconscious. Now, Jani Koskela explains a bit of the mystery behind Let Me Dream.

Who is in the current line-up of Let Me Dream? Will this line-up be changing before your next tour?

The current line-up is:

Marko Tuominen - bass/vocals
Jani Koskela - guitar/vocals
Juhana Stolt - guitar
Jari Koskela - keyboards
Janne Peltoranta - drums

Juhana joined us for the second guitar about two months ago, rest of the line-up have been together since 1994. This line-up will remain, but it's possible that we'll add a lead vocalist if we find someone suitable.

When will you be touring next? Where is your next tour set to begin?

We have a small Finnish tour coming up in February (1999) with: MIDNIGHT CONFIGURATION (UK), TWO WITCHES (FIN) & BARATHRUM (FIN).

When will you be recording next? What concepts will be woven into the next recording?

Hmmm… We haven't planned any schedule yet. Things are very open right now. It's possible that we'll record some bonus tracks for an Italian version of "Medley Rain" in February/March, but we might as well use already recorded material, we'll see. We'll go to record our second full-length album as soon as it's reasonable to do so, most likely somewhere in 1999.

For the Italian release, we will probably add tracks like: The Maze, Wolfborn, The Spear in Your Hand, & Medley Rain (keyboard version).

What is the title of your latest and next release? When will the next release be available?

The latest release is a mini-CD "Medley Rain," which was released on our own label SUCCUBUS RECORDS. The next release will be the Italian "album" version of "Medley Rain" by NOCTURNAL MUSIC. This release should be available in Summer 1999.

What changes in style & membership has Let Me Dream undergone since its inception?

The band started in 1989 by me (Jani) and Janne. For the demos 1 - 3 (recorded in 1992 and 1993) we had Teemu Peltoranta on keyboards. Marko came in for the 3rd demo. Jari took over the keyboards in early 1994 as Teemu left the group

Between 1989 - 1991 we were searching our sound & trying out songs that didn't really work out. Also because we didn't care much about rehearsing back then. The first demo in 1992 was where this band became more serious and that's also when we had already found the style that we wanted to continue.

What has been most effective in holding the band together?

Definitely the music and friendship. We have gone through a lot of shit with record labels, media, gigs. Everything except the music itself. It's all about passion for this kind of music.

What changes are planned for Let Me Dream in 1999?

Well, if we manage to find a VERY good lead vocalist for the band then we'll definitely consider about adding him or her to our line-up. That would make things a bit easier for us. If we don't find anyone then we'll probably go on by mixing mine and Marko's voice.

How would you describe the music that Let Me Dream ultimately performs and records?

Well, that's a hard one. I think our music is Gothic Metal mixed with Dark Metal and Dark Pop styles. For metal heads it's Gothic/Dark Metal, but I think for Goths it's easier to hear the other influences as well. However we like to keep the music original.

Which musical classification would you prefer to be known for?

Well, personally none of the genres. For LET ME DREAM it would be original, atmospheric, emotional & energetic (Gothic/Metal) music.

Since the late '80's differentiations in "underground" music have resulted in distinctions such as "Gothic," "Industrial," "Electronica," "Darkwave" and others not as trend-setting. Where do you believe these distinctions in darker music are headed?

Well, I personally have been following more the progression of the Metal underground scene since that's where we're from. I'm personally very much into the Gothic underground as well, but I guess that I'm not the one to predict its future. I hope it does progress and new bands come up with fresh ideas. Mixing different genres will take us a little forward and maybe even generate a new style that remains.

How would you describe their evolutions from the late '80's to today?

The biggest/most effective Goth bands have always given something of their own to the music of their genre and had the strength that enough people will follow to 'cause evolution. There will be evolution as long there will be people with the personality of their own.

What is the general idea behind Let Me Dream? What messages infuse the music you create?

The idea behind the band is to create original music. Lyrically we don't want to have an influence on people. Lyrics are mainly for ourselves, for our own needs. So far we haven't printed any of them for the public, but it's possible that we will. However, the music is what we want to offer to the other people. They have minds of their own, I hope.

What other bands have you worked with in the past that have influenced your style(s) since then?

For me Janne & Jari (now also in MEDIEVAL ART) it's always been LET ME DREAM / CONGESTION (which was the name of this group 'till late 1994). Marko did play with several groups (Blind Reality, Thromdarr, Paralysis…) before he joined us, but those were very different from us. Juhana has played before with MEDIEVAL ART whom with we're doing a lot of co-operation (record label, gigs etc.), but they haven't influenced us musically.

Would you be interested in working on a side-project band with members of other bands? If so, have you begun looking into this already?

Yes, it's happening already. Me, Jari, Antti from MEDIEVAL ART & Ari (ex- MA) are working together for a project and Juhani from YEARNING will join us for the recordings & gigs when ever there will be time for those. Our style is more (gothic) rock oriented than our main bands.

Where might fans specifically look for the most recent reviews of your music and interviews with band members? Any soon to be in print?

Hmmm, there's the Finnish webzine called SUBFENNICA that might have the most fresh interview of ours. Most of the 'zines that did our interviews after the release of "Medley Rain" haven't been published yet, but I'm sure they will be quite soon.

Looking back upon the progression of your music, how have your messages evolved throughout the evolution of the musical styles?

Hmmm, the same way as our personalities have progressed. I can't see any major changes in my writings, it's all so natural. You progress by experience and we have experienced a lot during the last ten years. You learn a lot about yourself, other people and life in that time.

What experiences have been most influential in the development of your music?

Probably hearing the PARADISE LOST "Gothic" album back in 1991. It was so different from everything else. And that's how we wanted to do it, differently, especially from PARADISE LOST.

What do you believe is lacking in the industry that if added would stimulate evolutionary growth and creativity?

Well, of course, the fact that the industry would release more new, original and creative music. But it isn't always wise for the industry to do so as it could stimulate the evolution as well and what would the clone bands do after that? Clone something that is already old news? The business would collapse if they would have to promote everything as new and fresh and nameless for the present scene.

What barriers do you perceive exist in the industry that prevent evolutionary new growth and suppress creativity?

The money that they aren't making or even getting back for investing in such music.

What impressions do you have of the new music festivals ? (Some examples include Convergence, CopFest, and ProjektFest).

Well I have heard/read only a little about the mentioned festivals. Generally festivals like these prove that even marginal music has the following which can make such festivals worthy of arranging.

How do you believe these festivals impact the growth of the scene that supports your musical talents?

It gives you a good feeling and it's always good for the band. And I'm sure the crowd is pleased for seeing other people who are into same thing as they are. The festivals bring new connections, new people and interest to the scene, not only for the bands or arrangers of the show.

How do computers, and (additionally) the Internet, impact how the band presents itself?

We have a homepage which actually is nowadays quite a good way to find information about us. E-Mail has a lot of advantages when compared to snail-mail, so generally the Internet has been good progression.

Do you utilize computer technology to develop the music itself?

So far we haven't used computers in our music. I may buy a digital recorder in the future and, of course, use the advantages of it when I'm creating new material.

What record label are you currently signed onto? How did that professional relationship begin?

We're working with our own company. As I mentioned earlier, we will probably sign the deal with NOCTURNAL MUSIC for the repressing of "Medley Rain," but the deal will be only for that release. We started our own company because we wanted to release something new and to break the long silence on the CD line.

Where have you found the largest positive support for your music?

Besides Finland, Eastern Europeans have showed much interest. Portugal has been quite good to us and also France as our debut album was released on a French label.

What activities occupy your time outside of recordings and performances?

I'm personally finishing my media studies and working as a sound engineer for the national radio. Jari is doing video and film directing, so far mainly music videos (for example LET ME DREAM's "Medley Rain" & TWO WITCHES' "Irresistible"). The rest of us have day jobs.

What might you describe as the worst thing to happen in the music industry in the past five years?

Too many labels, too many bands, too many releases.

What might be the most positive thing to have happened, or be happening in the music industry?

Enough releases to find a few interesting ones.

Do fans compare your band to any other band frequently?

Well, one guy just said that we try too hard not to be mainstream and asked what are our influences as he can't hear any. Usually people compare us to MOONSPELL and other bands that have a similar past, background and influences than we do, so they're not influences - they're causes of the same influences that we are. Some of those influences would be (old) CELTIC FROST & FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM.

What influences, besides other music, the development of the music and lyrics in your band?

I respect very much the lyrics of Carl McCoy and Thomas Gabriel Fisher (aka. Tom G. Warrior) and they have influenced my writing style. Writers like H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe should be mentioned as well. Anyway it's mainly the style that influences me, the topics come from my personal life.

What problems have you experienced with audio during your live performances in the past?

Mainly problems with stage monitoring. It's very important to have some kind of balance on the stage, especially for the vocals. But sometimes there's no monitors at all - that ain't fun.

What really adds to your personal satisfaction of your own live performances?

Getting the interest of the crowd is very important. If the crowd is interested then it means the rest of things are going fine enough.

What do you like most about performing live?

Performing our music and seeing people.

How do your recordings generally evolve?

First we do the drum tracks with the whole live band. Then we'll overdub the bass, after that guitars, keyboards and then record possible "extra" stuff . Last in the recording process are the vocals.

Who usually guides Let Me Dream through these evolutions?

We have produced the recordings by ourselves so the only person besides us who have an influence on the recording process is the engineer.

Which writers/artists/film-makers have had an influence upon the development of your music?

I think Coppola's Dracula had an influences on Marko's lyrics for the debut album opener track "Centuries of Longing," but musically I can't remember any influences that would have come from a film.

Does Let Me Dream appear in any music video or video compilations?

Actually we did a promo video for the track "Medley Rain." We definitely want to get it to compilations and anywhere else to promote the band.

How might fans reading this be most likely to contact Let Me Dream for more information?

Anyway they want! My E-Mail is: wolfborn@freenet.hut.fi or wolfborn@hotmail.com.

By snailmail: Jani Koskela, Leppäsenojantie, 243, 12100 OITTI, FINLAND.

Our Mini-CD "Medley Rain" (and other releases) is available from the very same address for 10 U.S. $ / 45 FIM. Check out also the homepage at: http://www.multimania.com/gore/LMD.html & SUCCUBUS RECORDS at:http://www.sci.fi/~gore/succubus