Helsinki 2010

(c) Heli  Hirvelä

"A Song has to contain emotions"

Suiciderock: Poets of the Fall was formed as a band back in 2003. A lot has changed since than for you personally and as a band. How has the band developed after eight years music career and four successful record releases? You had a hard start, you sold all your belongings and used Olli`s car as your office when starting your music career…
Marko:  Yeah, that`s true, we used Olli`s car as our office at the beginning. I sold my car so that was out of question. We used to drive down to the beach, sit there watching the see and thinking about good ideas. The only problem was that the car wasn`t big enough to write music in it because the guitar didn`t really fit in there.
Olli: It was a good place to discuss what we are going to do next and so on.

Suiciderock: But it didn`t replace a real studio of course.
Marko: No, not at all. We started to write music in Olli`s kitchen. Eventually I got a place on my own. I moved into my parents basement and we started writing music there. I was still living at the basement when our first single “Late Goodbye” was done. I remember how I sat there on the floor with that old recorder to do the demotape for the song. Yeah, that was our start.

Suiciderock: Many people think that your name, “Poets of the Fall” is related to the autumn season but it has a different meaning. What can you tell us about that?
Marko: Well, relating it to the autumn season is not totally wrong. You can say that we are related to the autumn season but if you take a closer look to the name Poets of the Fall, it refers to The Fall as in the biblical term and in that sense I guess it describes more what we are and what we write about.
Olli: But it is not so wrong to think about the autumn season when hearing the name.

Suiciderock: Does it botter you that some people misunderstand the actual meaning of your bands name?
Marko: No, it does not botter us. The name is something we decided and it depends how people want to interpret it. The name is, like most of the stuff we do, open to interpretations. It really depends on the way people see it. There are always lots of different views and some see it that way, we see things our way. It`s completely ok to us.

Suiciderock: You picked the name out of a list that contained a lot of name suggestions.
Marko: Yep, we had this huge lists with lots of different ideas for names and suddenly I wrote “Poets of the Fall” down there and it clicked immediately and we knew that this name represents us as a band and sounds what our music sounds like. So we picked that one out of the list. It was a quite simple at that point. But we also had many really really band names on that list as well…

Suiciderock: Now you have to name at least one of those…
Marko: Allright, what about Spice Boys? This is quite bad, isn`t it?

Suiciderock: Your fourth album “Twilight Theatre” was released in march last year and went straight to number one of the Finnish album charts in the first week of its release. Did you expect such an overwhelming success immediately after giving the record out of your hands or did it come more as surprise?
Marko: Well, we don`t want to sound like we knew or something like that, but our first three albums have been very successful so we had the chance that this might happen again with our fourth album.

Suiciderock: That`s sounds like you got used to it?
Olli *laughs*: No, no we didn`t get used to that. It still felt amazing when we heard that the album does so good.
Marko: Right, we were sort of hoping that our fourth album will reach number one as well and so it did, which makes us the first band here in Finland ever to get the first four albums to number one. That`s pretty cool.

Suiciderock: What`s your concept of success? What do the other bands do wrong?
Marko: I don`t think that they do anything wrong but we are writing a lot about feelings and emotions which many other bands do as well. We need to reach a certain emotional level, everything that appeals to us on a emotional level is probably something we`d like to work with. It can be something you can dance to or you can just sit and listen but it has to contain emotions, maybe that`s something that sounds right to the people out there who listen to our music.

Suiciderock: The album has a cool cover. Who had the idea for the artwork?
Marko: Thank you. I had the idea for the artwork. I always think about concepts and what the artwork is gonna be about besides that I have some good friends who are really good artists so we can just go on a computer and start working on it together. I have a great idea and than I`m basically just too lazy to work it out totally alone so I meet up with one of these guys and we get the whole thing done together.

Suiciderock: You`ve released four records by now, is there a big difference if you compare all four records or would you say that they are quite similar?
Marko: I think you can hear a certain musical development between the first and the second album. The third record is a bit more rougher if you compare it to the foregoing ones and the fourth soundwise is going a little bit back to the first two albums. There always remains something from the previous albums on the new one but it comes out in a new form: So when you listen to all of our albums in chronological order you can hear what`s been going on in the whole sound of the band, no matter if it`s about my singing or Olli`s playing, you can hear the development. It`s about learning. And learning is something we want to do until we are about 140 years old.

Suiciderock: Your first single “Late Goodbye” was used as soundtrack for a Game, your band had it`s break-through at this time. Do you think that you would have the same success without having the song in that game?
Marko: That`s an interesting question. We had a huge exposure through that game and that song worldwide. We started getting emails from all over the world. You can say that this happened over night. I don`t know how that worked out as we even didn`t have our website ready at that time. All of a sudden we found out that we had a fanbase in 82 countries. Then the media started to talk about it a lot cause it was something completely new. But than people how didn`t know anything about the game knew the song: So the song publicized us and on the other hand the song publicized the game. I mean if the people wouldn`t like the song it can`t be very successful so I don`t think that the game was the only reason why we got that interest, but it helped a lot.

Suiciderock: The success came over night for you, how did you cope with that completely new situation? I guess it wasn`t easy for you at the beginning?
Olli: It was not so easy for us, no. The hardest part was to figure out what to do next and what are the right steps to make the best out of the situation as it was. Of course, we had to get used to the idea and the consequences that brings this success along.
Marko: We started and all of a sudden we were global. We thought that the first good step would be to get a manager.

Suiciderock: You just have released a special limited edition double vinyl of your debut album “Signs of Life”.  What made you decide to release that special?
Marko: People were asking us for that. They kept on sending us emails, wrote us on Twitter, Facebook wherever. Someone thought it was a great idea to release it and we just thougt, ok lets do it and so we did. Incidently it came out exactly six years after the release of “Signs of Life”.  The funny thing about it is that someone on our official forum told us that this is really great to have the special edition released exactly on the same date as the original album was released but we didn`t even know about that fact. So we were pretending that we`ve planned it. That was quite fun.

Suiciderock: In one former interview you said that you like writing soundtrack music. Is there any film in history you would have loved to write the soundtrack for?
Marko: There is probably a whole bunch of films I would have loved to have the sound track written for. Ahm… I don`t know, just right out of my head, Harry Potter and Avatar. This are the first two movies that came to my mind now.
Olli: Yeah, that`s a good choice. Our style would be fitting perfectly for that kind of movies.

Suiciderock: You are well-known here in Finland, which can be proofed by receiving all different kind of awards within the last years. What about the other countries? I read that you are planning to tour for example Germany, “Twilight Theatre” was released there in October last year? Any plans yet?
Marko: We definitely want to go over to Germany, it is one of the countries we`d love to tour in. We have been there a lot.
Olli: We actually planned a tour there and the rest of Europe but unfortunately it didn`t work out as we wanted as we had so less time and so many things to do so we decided to sort of postpone these plans a little bit. But we are planning again so it might happen.
Marko: It is no so easy at all. We don`t have a big major label behind us. It is not that simple that if you are a successful band you can immediately tour all over the world. There are lots of decisions to be made, lots of things to be planned and many issues to sort out before you can get on the road. But let`s see where this year leads us to. I`m actually waiting for a tour like this.
Olli: We just started negotiating with some promoters to see if we can work out something.

Suiciderock: So hopefully the rest of Europe gets to see you life soon as well. What can they expect from your life performance than?
Marko: A lot of energy and a lot of interaction between the band and the audience. We have a different kind of style when we are playing on stage than for example on the album. Especially some of the older songs had time to evolve during the years so they sound different than on the album.

Suiciderock: You have your own indie-label, called “Isomniac” , why did you decide to found your own label instead of applying for some major labels?
Olli: One reason that we didn`t choose a major label is that we like to do things ourselves. It is great to be able to work on the whole product from the very beginning til the end. That`s natural for us. It was clear from the start that we want to do things on our own. And than it is a question about getting what you want. We couldn’t get what we wanted from the major labels: We had many discussions but it was always so much beyond from what we wanted. So we thought that we could manage ourselves.

Suiciderock: Would you wish sometimes to be able to put a bit of this wait on the shoulders on someone else?
Marko: Oh yes, definitely. We had and have our ups and downs, we made our mistakes which is a quite normal. We also had to understand that we should take it a little bit more easier. That`s what we do nowadays and it feels great as we focus on something we really want to do instead of doing all sort of things different people ask us to do. We feel a lot better that way, for our own sake.

Suiciderock: The year isn`t that old yet, so your future plans for 2011?
Marko: Touring in Germany and Europe, we will release a compilation album in March here in Finland. It will come out in Europe later on this year. I don`t know any dates for that yet. The album will contain all the videos we`ve done so far, there will be a dvd and a cd, so something to wait for. We have already started to write songs for the next project, so whenever something really interesting comes a long we are in. So the tour, the compilation and writing new songs is the plan for 2011 so far.
Olli: Also some new soundtrack music which we are not allowed to talk about yet. So stay tuned.

Find Poets of the Fall on MySpace & on their homepage

 (c) Suiciderock.com