author: ethan butterfield | contributor
Ethan Butterfield sits down with Helsinki based Band “Poets of the Fall”
Hey everyone! This week, I have the absolute incredible honor of presenting Poets of the Fall, an unbelievably talented group that comes out of Helsinki, Finland. I had the amazing opportunity to talk with lead singer Marko Saaresto about the band’s music and history, an interview you can find just below:
If you don’t mind me asking, where did the name Poets of the Fall originate?
Back in the day, when we were starting out, we were lookin’ for a name that would evoke the mood of our music. We tried out many alternatives, but in the end, when we sort of stumbled on Poets of the Fall, we just knew… that kinda sounds like what people say when they’re buying a house, doesn’t it… hmm… one wonders.
You guys have a delightfully haunting melody to a lot of your songs. Where did the band find its sound?
I think it’s always through trial and error. Of course, coming from partly different musical backgrounds, we all contributed in a way that created the Poets of the Fall sound. I think that still holds true today. We are honestly just aiming at what we like ourselves, trying to become better at what we do.
Speaking of sound, what’s the feeling when performing live? Any covers that you perform or is it all original material?
The feeling is very energized. You could hold up your smart phone, with the flashlight on, wave it about like crazy, and the battery would get charged at the same time. Ha ha!
Where did the idea for the song “Sorry Go’ Round” come from?
Well, seems like almost daily you read in the news about the precariousness of the human condition, about how things can change so very unexpectedly and sometimes radically, and it makes you think of all the myriad ways calamity then gets exploited, and you go even further down that “trail” of thought, and you wonder if anything good ever comes out of that or is the merry-go-round of it all really just a “Sorry Go Round.”
Poets of the Fall has been involved with several media projects in the form of games and shows such as Alan Wake and Heroes. What was it like working on those projects?
They were pretty fresh learning experiences. We really liked working with the people involved and the outcome was great. For Alan Wake we did the Poets’ song “War,” and the tailored music video, with elements of the game and our album, Twilight Theater, combined. We then wrote some more old school heavy metal songs specifically for the game itself. That project goes by the name Old Gods of Asgard. With Heroes, it was more that they wanted to use our song “Locking Up the Sun” for promoting the series, and that was very cool by us.
Recently, the band announced its seventh studio album Clearview would be released Sept. 30 of this year. How was it working on the new album? Fun? Stressful?
Oh, definitely both and I mean, at first you fall in love with the spur of the moment kind of, inspiring vibe that goes with having fresh ideas for new music. So you go work on it and you hone it and you polish it. Then after a while you start having deadlines creeping out of your pores, and everyone else’s opinions to deal with and it gets very easy to forget what you’re doing, why you’re doing it in the first place and where’s it all going. That kind of deal seems to ebb and flow many times over until you have the finished product. But you try to learn from every project, to make the next one flow easier and you remember the good times.
Poets of the Fall has been performing now for over a decade, what are some of your favourite moments throughout your career? Artists that you’ve enjoyed performing with? Certain venues you’ve played?
We have favourite moments galore, for sure. I think some of the best ones have to do with having a great time with the band, just hanging out, enjoying our time, whether on tour or at the studio or wherever. Of course, as you said, performing on the same stages as some of the greats of our time, like opening up for the Chili Peppers or Muse etc., has been awesome. Headlining many festivals has also been great. But I also like the very small clubs, where you’re really up close and personal with your audience. And we have great fans; so performing for them is a trip.
Last question, if you can, what does the future hold for Poets of the Fall?
If I had that knowledge, well…time will tell. By the looks of it, we’ll be going on tour when the album comes out in the end of September. The Clearview tour dates are already up on our soon to be renewed website, and more dates will probably follow, so scary tuned and come see us if you can. Thanks so much and have a wonderful summer while it lasts.