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Dotma: Inspired by Dreams and Nightmares

Finnish Band DOTMA will release their debut album “Sleep Paralyses” on March 22, 2011 via Italian record company Scarlet Records. So it´s just the right time to introduce you to this young and talented band from Hyvinkää. Singer Johanna Lesonen will tell you all about the band´s dreams and inspiration.

Hello and thank you for your time. Please tell us who are Dotma and how did you get together as a band?
Hi there, everyone, I´m Johanna Lesonen, the vocalist of Dotma. Dotma was formed five years ago by our keyboardist Harri Koskela. In the same year, I joined the band as a singer. After a while we found the bass player, Aapo Lindberg. The guitarists and the drummers have been changing in this group a few times during these years, but in 2009 we found THE members to fill those places: Leo Saarnisalo on guitar and Joonas Pykälä-aho behind the drums.

What kind of music do you play? Where do you get your inspiration from?
We play atmospheric and symphonic metal with lots of variations. In the beginning, our inspiration came from traditional power metal but during the years it has changed quite a lot. It´s really hard to tell where we get our inspiration these days. I think it´s mostly subconscious. Concerning my lyrics, the source of inspiration is more clear. I´ve always been very interested in the human mind, and dreams.

Why did you pick the name Dotma for your band?
It is a shortened word of the band name we had in the early days. So we didn´t think about it at all, it just came naturally.

You will release your debut album “Sleep Paralyses” on March 12th, 2011. Can you tell us what people can expect from that record?
Melodic metal music with great variations of rhythms and nuances, very intense moods and lots of beautiful melodies. On that album, we break the patterns and the songs might need several listens! You should not expect a power metal album. There are influences from that genre, of course, but the music is much more than that.

Who wrote the songs? Where do you take the ideas from for the lyrics?
Our composer Harri Koskela writes all the songs. As I said earlier, I´m interested in the human mind and how beautiful and dark it can be at the same time. Also dreams and nightmares inspires me.

You also have some guest musician´s on “Sleep Paralyses”, who are they and what did they do?
We were honoured to have Vladimir Lumi on the album, who is the previous singer of Thaurorod, he´s concentrating on opera at the moment. Then there were Ines Lukkanen and Tero Kalliomäki from the great Finnish band Embassy of Silence, and Lasse Nyman also from power metal band Thaurorod. From the same band we had Emmi Taipale singing in the choir, and my dear brother Juho Lesonen. So, a great bunch of awesome musicians were involved with this album!

You signed a contract with Scarlet Records, what do you expect from this contract?
We expect good promotion so that people can find our album and enjoy good music!

Johanna, something I would really like to know is, where did you learn to sing that way? Did you have singing lessons? And do you have some tricks you want share on how to train the voice and keep it healthy?
I have a very musical family; my mother started to teach me singing when I was three years old. Actual singing lessons, I started to take at the age of 18. Since then, singing has become a true passion for me! At the moment I study singing in the Lahti Conservatory, Finland. There are many tricks I could share with you but to keep the voice healthy, the singing should never hurt! If it hurts, you´re doing something wrong and you should figure out what that is. No matter what style you are singing.

What do you want to achieve with your music? Where do you see yourselves in five years?
We want to achieve great experiences with our audience. We hope there are several albums ahead and in five years I see us as a headliner of the European Tour 2016!

In the end of last year you played a show in Russia, how was that experience for you?
It was our best show so far and it was refreshing to play outside of Finland! Great audience, we will definitely go back!

What are your plans for the upcoming months of 2011? Will we see you on tour outside of Finland?
Only Finnish shows are confirmed at the moment but we´re hoping to get lots of shows outside of Finland also. At the moment, we´re searching for a booking-agency to get the needed boost for touring in the future.

Do you have some final words for the STALKER readers?
Enjoy the album! PS. This album isn´t that kind that goes in one ear and out the other!

Author: Sandy Mahrer, photos: band
Date: 2011-02-27

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