You know, or maybe you don’t, but I am always interested in what happens behind the curtain, especially when it comes to Poets of the Fall. I can guess the amount of work going on there before they can actually deliver the exquisite shows they do, night after night. I wish sometimes I was a little mouse, spying on what’s going on… wish granted. No! I did not turn into a mouse.
I had a very nice and lengthy chat with none other than the maestro, Markus Kaarlonen – aka our Captain. He kindly reached out after reading my article on Warsaw’s gig and left it to my discretion to share some “morceaux choisis” (hand-picked pieces) out of our discussion. Somehow, it took the shape of an impromptu interview, kind of…
[Markus] Hey, thanks for the article, a great read once again! 😊
So happy you liked the article. I am always so nervous when I publish… always afraid you’d dislike/hate it 😉 Do you feel like that too when you release new music?
[Markus] Haha yes, it’s the same thing every time we release new music. Maybe I have learned to distance myself a bit from it over the years, but when you do something with your whole heart, you can’t help but feel bad if someone doesn’t like it… and on the other hand, it can feel super good when someone does like it! 😁
Poets of the Fall, 20th Anniversary Tour – Gigs Diaries: Warsaw, Poland 04.09.2023
On the Priority Pass
[Markus] The idea for the Priority Passes didn’t come from us, it was suggested by fans (sometime last year I think?). Since we can’t do M&G any more, we thought this would be the next best thing, so why not do it? We started planning the Priority Passes in February, making sure that every detail would work as smoothly as possible. There were some hurdles of course, mainly because every venue is different, and our tour manager had to be in contact with each of them to make sure we could make everything work. (That’s also why we don’t have them for Copenhagen – there were too many practical difficulties, so we decided to just skip them.)
Markus then explained that as an Indie Rock Band, they stood for all tour and travel expenses. They drive themselves etc… to keep the costs as low as possible. Anything that can help with that is most welcome. So, the Priority Pass fell into that category.
The reason why it is set up as such and not a higher priced ticket… I can easily guess, though I did not ask. Yet again, there is a reason behind that and I do respect it. For my part, I do not need to know more.
As fans – yours truly included – we do not see everything, we don’t see all the whats, hows and whys of the band’s decisions. I think it is as it should be, but sometimes, misunderstanding makes for heavy hearts when there shouldn’t be… so here I am telling you this.
[Markus] According to our tour manager, everything went pretty smoothly with the Priority Passes on the first leg, so I’m pretty happy with everything.
I think it did too for what I experienced in Warsaw. I off course mentioned that we – most of the fans – did not feel that this was an assurance for front row; to which Markus justly pointed out that the Priority Passes were never advertised as such. Very true, many – myself included – mistook “best spot” as front row when on a sound quality level, it isn’t.
[Markus] Hehe yes, my thoughts exactly, the sound is never ideal in the front row 😄.
Being who I am, I had to ask about the timing of the announcement… a tiny wee bit short notice. Markus answered again very graciously – thank you for your patience, sir ❤️.
[Markus] Technically, we didn’t really wait at all with the priority passes, we announced them as soon as we humanly could 😄. Like you said, we really needed to finalize everything before we could put them on sale, and there were about a billion things and surprises and issues we needed to settle and coordinate and solve with different parties before that could happen.
He went into some further details, but to sum it up, they worked their butts off to make it happen and it took some time to finalize everything, as you can easily imagine.
[Markus] Of course, we wanted to announce & put the passes on sale as early as possible, and I agree it got maybe a bit close to the first leg of the tour, but believe me, we really did our best to make everything work while still complying to the international tax laws and whatnot. 😄
No worries, I believe you!
Why can’t you do M&G anymore?
[Markus] There’s several reasons for the lack of M&G, with covid (or any viral infection) being a major one – we just can’t get sick on the tour, or at least we have to do everything we can to avoid it. Our current touring schedule also makes M&G almost impossible, as we now drive to the next city each day, and usually arrive sometime in the afternoon, and still need to take care of things like soundcheck, dinner, maybe even relaxing a bit (which is often needed since we drive our minibus ourselves and the longest drives are close to 10 hours). 😄
Now, I will say no more on the subject and am determined to enjoy every second of the 3 upcoming shows I’ll attend – 2 of which I got the Priority Passes for in Stockholm and Paris. Anyone cares to join me?
As I am writing this, only 20 are left for Stockholm and 19 for Paris… don’t be shy, treat yourselves and get your pass now.
👉LINK TO PRIORITY PASSES HERE 👈
On the intermission
I have to say this again, a bit long intermission – but the rules are the rules I guess… next one I will need to pay extra attention, though. You’ll read why in a minute.
[Markus] This wasn’t originally our idea either. Since we don’t have a support on this tour, we heard (to our complete surprise) that in some countries (like France) we are _required_ to have an intermission in the middle of the show. Don’t ask, I still have no idea why. 😁 So, our next question was – if we can’t help but include an intermission, how can we make the best out of it? So, I suggested that instead of just having 20 minutes of silence or some random songs, what if I compose 20 minutes of custom ambient music, and Marko will count down the minutes until the show continues. Everyone thought it’s a good idea, so we went with that.
I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, dear readers, on how our lovely Poets worked their magic. Just know that Marko wrote a poem that you can hear during the first half of the intermission, Markus pointed out.
On the intro
[Markus] Then it occurred to me that what if we have something similar _before_ the show starts… a sort of pre-intro, that plays just before the actual showtime? It could also have some ambient music and a countdown to the show. Then I got the idea that what if there would be all sorts of questions during the pre-intro, read by Marko. Something semi-philosophical, not too serious, just to entertain the audience, maybe make them think and laugh a little.
I will repeat what I thought I wrote, but didn’t: the intro would be such a great thing to have on a CD, or even just digital, but sell it 🥰 In a world filled with such noise, that would do very nicely to get centered and slow down the pace. I love the ambient music and Marko speaking over it, perfect! Such a cool idea, yet very unconventional for a rock concert, and that is what makes it brilliant ❤️
[Markus] Yeah, I saw requests to release the pre-intro, we just haven’t had any time yet to put any thought into it 😄 But of course it would be super cool, it’s more about how exactly we would do it. but let’s see, I’m sure we’ll do it at some point in some form!
[Markus] Thanks again for doing so much to help us, it’s really appreciated! 😊🤘
You are most welcome!
Happy to do my part, especially if it really does help you guys, then I won my bet a gazillion times over 😘.
See you in… let’s start with Copenhagen ❤️