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09/09/2009 – Interview with DAWN OF TEARS

The Melodic Death Metal formation DAWN OF TEARS (official website), hailing from Spain and founded in 1999, released a new EP called "Dark Chamber Litanies" earlier this year and two years after their debut "Descent". Both releases are also downloadable (for free) from the band's website. Gigwise the Spanish have been very active so far, especially with these two releases up their sleeves. As a result of "Dark Chamber Litanies" I sent a few questions to Adrian from Lugga Music (who does the promotion) and guitarist/mastermind/founder J.L. Trebol took the time to answer. You can read my review of "Dark Chamber Litanies" at this location. Any fans of Melodic Death Metal are advised to check this band out.

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How was DAWN OF TEARS formed (+ why did you decide to form a band, what triggered you)? And what's the story behind the name?

I started thinking about the project in 1999, mainly influenced by different styles of modern dark Metal, Heavy Metal and classical music. It didn't become a reality until J. Alonso joined the band, at the end of 2001, and closed the line-up. Since that day, DAWN OF TEARS have been working hard and still do so. Nowadays, after our last line-up change, I consider that we have finally find our way and we feel stronger than ever. The main reason to make a band was just the love we feel for all kinds of Metal and music in general. Sadly, there's no story behind the name. We just feel that it reflects the music we play in any way.

Are you all self-taught musicians or did you take lessons before combining forces?

I just can talk for myself. I studied music for many years, guitar, harmony, piano and vocal technique. Sincerely, I'm not sure about the rest of the band. Sorry.

Dawn Of Tears - bandHow do songs get born? Does each of you contribute with something or is it always the same man/men who work on new compositions and lyrics?

I write all the music and orchestral arrangements. After that, J. Alondo and me work together in the text writing process. Maybe this way of composing will change in the future, because we have three new members in the band.

"Descent" and "Dark Chamber Litanies" are self-releases. Out of principle of because no label has offered a worthwhile contract? (note from Tim: I made the mistake of asking the same thing twice, so Trebol's replies were put together here)

Not at all. We received several offerings, but decided not to sign until a label give us guarantees of good and professional work. We are a patient band. For the moment, our main aim is to grow as much as possible. Both albums are available as free downloads on our website and myspace. This way, our music can be heard by many people from all around the world. Our first album was nominated on the International Metal Storm Awards 2007 as best Melodic Death, in the same category with bands like ARCH ENEMY and DARK TRANQULLITY. The only reason we want to sign is because maybe it'll be easier to tour around Europe.

Where did you record these releases? And how much control did you have?

We recorded both albums at the Cube studios, in Madrid. [The albums were] engineered, mastered and mixed by Alberto Seara, one of the best Metal producers in our country. We had a very clear idea about the sound we wanted to get and he helped us to make it come true.

What are "Descent" and "Dark Chamber Litanies" about? And is there a lyrical connection between these two releases?

On both albums, the main inspiration for lyrics are literature, art, love and personal feelings and passions, not in a descriptive way, but we use those feelings to create histories and give them a deep oniric and romantic sense.

Dawn Of Tears - Dark Chamber LitaniesWho did the cover art (for "Descent" and "Dark Chamber Litanies") and how does it connect with the songs?

The artwork for "Descent" was designed by Daniel Alonso, we were really satisfied with the results and offered him [the chance] to make "Dark Chamber Litanies" too, but he delayed a lot and didn't explain us the reason, so we decided to tell him goodbye and do it by ourselves. The primary designer for this new release was J. Alonso.

At what stage does the artwork play a role? After the songs are written or before?

That is the last step before finishing the production. Just before [we] take it to the factory. It is just what our music our clothing and make up. I always say that you have to wrap the cake in a showy way.

The line-up was quite stable until some time after the release of "Descent" when you had to look for a new second guitarist, bassist and drummer. What happened? And how did you find the new members? Did you organise auditions?

At the end of "Descent" tour, the relationship between us was quite deteriorated, in a professional and personal way. Obviously, you cannot work that way. I use to compare it with a cancer. I mean, if you don't exterminate it, sooner or later it will kill you. Three members "were invited to leave the band", and, although it was a sad decision, I think it is one of the best we've ever taken, cause now we feel like a real band.

You've played many gigs so far. How do people react to it? And are there plans to play abroad, too?

The reaction of people has been amazing. We love to play live and that is the main reason for us to be in the band and feel the fans as near as possible.

You've already shared the stage with bigger bands like DIMMU BORGIR, DEW SCENTED, ... Did you learn anything from them when it comes to gigs and everything around it? Or making music in general?

Drink just after the gig...not before, hahaha!!!

You said in the interview with Metal Revolution that the combination Spain-Death Metal is not the key to success. I have to agree in that most of the Spanish band I know play Power Metal. Is it perhaps because this genre is more "popular" in the Spanish Metal scene?

No doubt about it. We have the perception, especially with "true Metalheads", that you have to be Swedish or Norwegian to have any kind of credibility. Fortunately, youngest listeners don't care about it and like this kind of music without mattering where we are from.

Dawn Of Tears - bandYou're collaborating with Lugga Music. Is this just for the promotion of "Dark Chamber Litanies" or gigs, too? And how did this collaboration come to existence?

We met Adrian through our manager. He went to our Madrid live performance and liked it. For the moment, he is helping us with the promotion, but I think we will study the possibility of touring in a near future. (I hope so)

How important are reviews when working on new music? Do you take certain criticism into account or do you follow your own taste and mind?

We have read just two bad reviews until today, we are really happy with the criticism we have gotten. So we are going to work as we have always done. Maybe we'll try to make shorter compositions.

Considering you're still a free band (i.e. unsigned), you must have some spare time for your own and/or your family, right? How do you kill time when not working for DAWN OF TEARS? Any particular hobbies?

Literature, cinema, pets... we are normal people when we are at home. J. Alonso, Konrad and Israel like to play with airsoft shoot machine guns. I prefer to collect comics and horror toys.

Maybe it's too early to ask, but any ideas in the pipeline for a future release?

I have written 8 new songs, but, for the moment, we are not thinking of a new album. "Dark Chamber Litanies" and "Descent" are still young, hahaha.

That's it from me. Many thanks for answering this long questionnaire and all the best to you and DAWN OF TEARS. I hope you do get signed some day and get to tour Europe (and Belgium ;-)). If there's anything you wish to add, fire away.

Thank you so much for your support. I just want to invite everyone to download our two releases and give us a try. Thanks!!

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