Today I feel blessed and incredibly lucky, because today I had the honor of getting an interview with Marko Saaresto, the gifted singer and lyricist of the fabulous Finnish rock band Poets of the Fall. He took some time, in his busy schedule, to answer my spur of the moment questions. Like many of you, I have – this past week – lived vicariously through the live photos and short videos our friends posted on social media from the gigs in Germany and Prague. I have avidly read over and over Marko‘s Tour diaries and marveled at how his mind works. It takes one to know one, I suppose… not that he would agree with this statement🙃. Still pumped with joy and serenity from Copenhagen, I am already dreaming of Paris.
Always worried that I’ll take up too much of his time, I just let my impulsive ideas do the talking and I hope you’ll enjoy Marko‘s company for a little while.
Thank you for agreeing to this impulsive interview with PotF – Misfit Heart. I promise to keep it short as I know you don’t have much time to spare 😊.
“expressing our artistic views and building bridges”
Claire: Your album, Ghostlight, was received with great enthusiasm and was even called a masterpiece. What, do you think, makes it so different from the other great albums Poets of the Fall has released?
Marko: Thank you, that all sounds pretty awesome. We’re really happy with the reception the album has received. We hope some of its success is due to how our views on music has developed over the years of ceaseless work. It’s only ever concerned about expressing our artistic views and building bridges where we find chasms.
Claire: Ghostlight, last piece of a long-lasting puzzle; the last trilogy concluded, and so is the trilogy of trilogies finally completed. Impressive work and lyrics wise rather mind boggling. What has been the process when writing lyrics that had to be connected?
Marko: I think mostly it’s been about writing about what you think needs to be said and then about making the crucial connections with the larger whole. Not always easy, I’ll give you that.
It’s also been interesting to see, later on, how some things, thoughts, ideas and values have changed over the years and how others have remained the same.
“Unless I get down to writing books one day”
I also deliberately set myself traps along the way. Topics I needed to discuss at a later stage in our career, and smaller details I hoped I’d be able to connect with previous visions. Like the album titles for example. All in all, I’m fairly certain I won’t take on the behemoth task of writing any more connected trilogies. For me it’s more liberating to just write about what I’m into at the moment. Unless I get down to writing books one day. But that’s another story.
Claire: writing books… that would be so awesome! 😊
Claire: Musically, all your albums have somewhat different genres; could one say that each genre was chosen to illustrate the theme of a given album, or was it pure luck/genius? 😁
Marko: I think it’s something that comes along with expressing who you are musically at the time the album is being made.
A signature of its time, if you will.
It’s not so much about choosing a genre and then writing, although sometimes it is, but rather just being your honest self and letting that out into the world.
“A signature of its time, if you will.”
Claire: What is your favorite song from Ghostlight and why? – side note: my favorite is Ghostlight 😊 as it does not make sense to me to pick just one song 🙃.
Marko: I know it’s hard to pick favorites and they vary from time to time. At the moment I really love Heroes and Villains for the musicality and the idea that we are all very much alike and that gives us common ground to meet as human beings. The next day it’s Chasing Echoes, because it’s late and already dark and I’m driving and it fits. The next day it’s Sounds of Yesterday, because I heard just the first piano chord and I was instantly hooked and the song delivered. So every time you listen to a song, you find something in each of them that you find precious. And it goes on, changing, morphing into something else. Maybe even something new.
Claire: Interesting! I guess we all experience music differently, but I must admit that your description rather matches how I listen to Poets of the Fall… always something new, even after all this time.
Claire: Are there any plans to release a second single? If so, what can you tell us about it?
Marko: Plans? Always, for sure, loads, but time, well, fingers crossed, no promises, I’m still not sure, I hope so.
Claire: We all do…
Ghostlight Tour 2022
Claire: The tour started Spring 2022 and as usual you do not stop much. How does it feel to finally play again in front of an audience?
Marko: It has been really great! Absolutely wonderful audiences, great to see old friends again, good to find more and more new people at the shows, packing the venues to the brim and the atmosphere through the roof. We’re all just hoping everyone will stay healthy to be able to enjoy it all.
Claire: I have always wondered, what kind of work goes into creating the setlist? Any chance of hearing “Hello Cabaret” in Paris?
Marko: That’s a good one. In our case the setlist is decided on and rehearsed well before the tour starts. It’s based on many influencing factors. It’s a puzzle for sure. The show needs a structure and that’s dependent on things like what we want to play, what our audience wants to hear, how many songs can we fit in, in what order, what will be new, a surprise, a must have etc. We think about what keeps the intensity up, what calms it down, what gives people the most enjoyment and a good slice of Poets music.
Then it’s all rehearsed until you can do it in your sleep, because on stage you want to be present with the audience and the music has to flow out of you while you’re surfing whatever crazy thing is going on.
I wish I could say “Hello Cabaret” made it through to set the setlist, but I’d be caught lying. I too really love that song.
“I too really love that song”
Claire: There is something incredibly special about the relationship between you – Poets of the Fall – and your fans, and for this tour you decided to treat them extra good with your inspiring Tour Diaries – thank you for that, they are brilliant 🥰. How did you come up with the idea?
Marko: I guess I needed to find my zen. Writing helps me do that. So instead of reading or watching Netflix or just staring out the window, which is my forte by the way, I was writing every day, while we travelled from city to city. It kinda fit the bill to put them out there.
Claire: Inspiring as always!
Claire: What would you say to PotF – Misfit Heart’s readers?
Marko: Stay true to your misfit heart, listen to Poets of the Fall, come see our shows and find your zen, your inner peace.
Claire: I promised to keep it short – not sure it is 😅, hopefully we will get to talk in 2023 as it is going to be a very special year for Poets of the Fall 😊. Thank you for your time, Marko/Poets! See you in Paris and Turku.
Take good care of yourself/yourselves, as you matter just as much to us all.
Marko: Thank you.
That man… Marko is a gem!
What are you waiting for, frens? You don’t want to miss Poets of the Fall in your city. Poets of the Fall are amazing on stage, so treat yourself right… go and see them play, you’ll have an unforgettable time and tones of beautiful memories to cherish! Me? I soon gotta pack 😅 and see Marko, Ollie, Captain, Jani, Jaska and Jari/Tuomas play, without forgetting the backstage wizards Glen and the entire team working with him… they’re amazing too 🥰!
👇👇👇If you haven’t yet, go get your tickets here 👇👇👇