author: ethan butterfield | a&c editor
Amazingly detailed album artwork / Courtesy of Poets of the Fall
This group is on the rise
A couple of years ago, I was very lucky to interview the Finnish rock band, Poets of the Fall. They had just released their album, Clearview, which was putting out a lot of good vibes with fans and critics alike. Now, they’re coming out with Ultraviolet, and I’ve had the good fortune of being able to talk to them again about their newest release. You can find the interview with lead singer Marko Saaresto just below.
- So, first question.With the release of the new album, and the touring going on, how does it feel to be performing live from country to country right now?
We just got back from the starting leg of our tour in the U.K., which was a blast. Amazing audiences and a great time on stage. We just loved it and we’re really happy with the response and the welcome we got from our fans.
- When it comes tosong-writing, if you can, what is the process like for the group?
There’s no definite one way to writing. We like to follow our intuition and allow the moment to carry us. It usually starts with some tickling little thing, like a riff or a dash of melody that one of us brings up, and if that sparks something in all of us, we start working on it. It can also start with the lyrics. Writing music for us has a lot to do with freedom of expression. So there’s usually that initial phase of following your intuition, falling for an idea and going with it. Only later on do we bring in our rational minds to solve any possible problems with lyrics, melodies, harmonies, and production.
- Now, with the new album, Ultraviolet, what was it like putting it together?
With Ultraviolet, as with many of our previous albums, it was a balancing act with how we allocated our time. Whether we were on tour while writing the album or have other goals we pursue at the same time, such as writing music for games, which we’ve done in the past, etc. But, so far, we’ve always been able to keep to our deadlines. Working on the songs is such absorbing work, and while it’s obviously time consuming, it’s also exciting and intensely rewarding. It’s days spent writing, reading, composing and reiterating. Whether you do it on your laptop or a piece of paper, doesn’t matter. It’s potfuls of coffee and tea and the occasional tasty morsel of food here and there for sustenance. It’s dark, quiet nights spent listening to the voices in your head, to capture that fleeting thought. It’s also about learning to let go, which is probably the hardest part.
- Were there any songs or pieces that really stood out when you were putting them together,or was it the album itself that stood out?
Starting out, False Kings really ticked all the boxes with us. Later in the game we fell in love with all of the pieces in different ways. In the end we were all leaning toward My Dark Disquiet, The Sweet Escape, and Choir of Cicadas.
5. On the subject of albums, there was one put out a few years ago titled, Alchemy Vol. 1. Were there ever plans for a vol. 2, or was it always meant to be just one?
The Alchemy album was intended as an outlet for all our complex musical desires outside the actual albums we’ve set out to compose. Obviously the Vol. 1 was meant to be a compilation album, but we wrote two new tracks for it as well. The album’s name opens up the possibility of putting out more Alchemy albums, should we ever feel the urge for it. So far, though, the occasion hasn’t risen. It’s also entirely possible we’ll think of something completely new to do in the future, and the Alchemy album remains a cool one shot in the Poets history.
- Going back to Ultraviolet, as far as singles go, do you consider“False Kings”to be the lead off of the album, or is there another song that you’d name the lead instead?
In our opinion, the singles we release, or the songs we make videos to, are the lead tracks off the album. So yes, “False Kings” is definitely one of the leads off the album, and like “Dancing on Broken Glass” and any possible future single or video releases, one of their tasks is to paint a picture of what the album and its stories are about.
- Touching on the history a bit, Poets of the Fall has been together for about 15 years now and has several albums and awards under their belt.How does it feel looking back on everything you’ve accomplished?
It’s just amazing. We’re very happy with how things have turned out and progressed with a worldwide fanbase and fifteen plus years under our belt, living and breathing music. We honestly never expected to get where we are today. But we hoped and we dreamed, and since we loved the idea of it, we’ve worked hard on it.
- Finally, with the recent record release, what does the future hold for the band?Just touring and promotion for the time being?Also, any plans for coming to Canada in the near future?
Mostly it’s just touring and promoting the album, as you said. That takes up most of our time. But we are also looking into some new, interesting projects like making a new music videos, etc. We’ll certainly keep everyone posted when new developments take hold. Toward the end of the year we’ll also take some time off and just enjoy life in general. So far, there are no definite plans of coming to Canada, but we’d love to do that one day. And good things too seem to happen in the world.
Thank you so much for the interview… [to] our fans in Canada. Thank you for your support.