Translated by DarkSideOfLight
Download video here
A clip of Lift music video.
Axl: Hey everyone and welcome to another Axl meets episode. We’re at Helsinki airport and this time our guest is the last year European Music Award winner Poets Of The Fall. And their Carnival Of Rust tour ended to a place which in my opinion is rather confusing: India, the university of Kanpur. Let’s go.
Axl: Well, we’re at Delhi now, actually we’ve been here for the last 12 hours waiting for the merry connecting flight to that *beep* Kanpur. Maybe good things are worth waiting for.
A clip of Locking Up The Sun video.
Axl: One of the most interesting sights ever when you’ve just come out of the airport: Men with scythes, vultures flying around, people cycling on with their old bikes. We’re going to find out where the IITC, Technology Institute, is with this taxi here.
Marko: I’m kind of amused by all the people looking at us… for your information it’s over +30 degrees Celsius, it’s their winter and the air is very smoky. I know it looks misty but it’s actually smoke and you can smell it all around as well. All the way from Delhi to Kanpur, about 700 kilometers, you could smell the smoke. There are hawks flying around. We’re at…
Axl: Wasps the size of [shows with his fingers].
Marko: Wasps the size of that. They have a nest on our balcony.
A clip of Olli hunting a bug.
Marko: We’re at a campus area that is walled in with a concrete wall with an electricity wire… no, what is it? Barbwire and shards of glass. Like so. And there are guerillas all around armed with assault rifles.
Axl: They didn’t seem happy when I took photos.
Marko: I’m sure they didn’t.
Marko: We’re on our way to the venue to do the sound check and hang around in the backstage. This is going to be in the middle of 860 000 Indian people.
Captain: It’s hot, a bit of tweaking and a chaos but really nice vibes.
Someone (Axl?): What happened?
Olli: Nothing really, just a basic thing, a divider to select channels for the guitar in the amplifier has been left to Delhi.
Marko: Indian efficiency: 15 guys have been setting up our backdrop and usually it’s a job for a one man. So the 15 guys have been working on it for about 20 minutes. I think it would take me about a minute to put it up by myself. I’m not surprised anymore that we waited 18 hours to get some food.
Olli: But but… everything’s working now. It’s working now.
Axl: Oh *beep*. One of the lights, a yellow one just popped. After a chaotic and a very long journey we’re finally here at Kanpur University where Poets Of The Fall have a gig tonight. The band is getting ready to do a sound check. How to put all of this together… this is quite a culture shock. Nothing works here, not even my sundial.
Axl: Let’s go a little back in time. Or a lot. Not that much though. It’s interesting how… the first thing that always comes across from your band is that you started out, set up your own record company and your debut album is probably the most successful one in Finland ever from a band that produces themselves and publishes themselves. How did all this start, how did the three of you start Poets Of The Fall?
Marko: I was in a band with Olli and we came to realize that our musical taste and the pace of working and all match pretty well. And then one day we were driving around in a car again and found ourselves at the shore of some sailing club to check out the place.
Olli: To check out the people of Espoo.
Marko: The people of Espoo.
Marko: And then just thought about things, put some stuff on paper, thoughts and stuff and decided to put together a band and start doing, the two of us. Then the whole Max Payne thing happened. Those guys asked for a song for the game and we composed a few versions of Late Goodbye and… so far everyone’s only heard one but maybe there will be others.
Axl: Ah, ok.
A clip of Late Goodbye music video.
Axl: You’re all done with the sound check. How are you feeling, did everything work? There was a lot of fan stuff going on during it.
Marko: Yeah, there was a pretty lively vibe. It went pretty well, it’s interesting to see how to make things work in a country like India. I’m a little worried about the bombs that have been built to the front of the stage. We can clearly see what the work safety is like here in India when the singer blows up in there.
Axl: You said it: Fire.
Marko: Fire, man.
Axl: There’s also the thing that you recorded your album in Captain’s living room. How did Signs Of Life come to exist, how did you get it together?
Marko: It took a little over a year to do. We started with Late Goodbye and we had written more songs. It was just about showing up every day to that living room and ordering some pizza or some MacDonald’s food. We ate MacDonald’s food like crazy at that time. I gained 5 kilos just from the chocolate muffins during that year. I was a nicely slim boy before that, but… that’s what it was. The year went by and the song… the album was finished and it was supposed to come out in October originally but it ended up coming out in January. So once we decided to wait four more months on top of everything, the feeling was… I was completely out of money and there’s the four months of waiting to see if this is ever going to be anything, this whole thing.
Olli: That four months was the most miserable part of that whole thing.
Marko: Yeah, it was.
Olli: We couldn’t really do anything about it anymore. It was just waiting around. But it was a mellow time to spend at Captain’s living room. We got to know each other in a new way. We noticed that we’re probably going to work out well during the tour as well, when that worked out so great.
Axl: You said that the album was finished and you had to wait around for four months. How did it feel to top the Finnish chart, to sell gold and to sell platinum later on. 56 weeks if I remember right, on the chart.
Marko: Something like that, yeah.
Axl: How does this happen to a band that has produced their own album and has distributed it themselves?
Marko: That’s a very good question, how does it happen, but it feels completely unbelievable. First of all, I don’t… I said this on that first Chart show we visited and our album went number one. I said that if it’s on the chart at all, maybe the number 16 would be quite cool. And then it was number one. We were a little… and we had to do Late Goodbye live on that show and I almost didn’t remember the song at that point. Like so.
Olli: It clearly was an enormous surprise. Of course you try to do everything as correctly as possible and all the help and advice we got, we tried to embrace and do it with style. But now if we had to do it again, for some other artist or start again from the same point… I really don’t know how it’s done. I still really don’t know how it happens.
Marko: Yeah. Don’t go anywhere, we’ll continue after the commercials.
Marko: This is Axl meets Poets Of The Fall
A clip of Carnival Of Rust music video.
A clip of the gig, Carnival of Rust playing.
Axl: Hey, what was the gig like? It seemed like the audience was into it really well.
Marko: It was a really great gig, like there were thousands and thousands of people both inside the festival area and outside it. It was like a tsunami wave of people, you don’t see that very often. Like when the first song starts, everyone is jumping and there are a few thousand people. It looks pretty sweet with the lights sweeping around the audience and you can see them jumping and screaming. And you’re in India and everyone knows the songs. Like so. And like one of the interviewers told me yesterday, explained something about a local artist I had never heard of, and said “if I had my laptop with me I’d give it to you”.
Marko: He/she hadn’t bought the album anywhere either.
Olli: Exactly, exactly. It’s like “I’ve watched Elämä Lapselle concert from youtube” and I think someone had a Poets Of The Fall t-shirt with the right font.
Axl: Yeah, yeah.
Marko: Oh, it was that, the situation when we got here, when they picked us up from the airport. Like all wild, like “yeah yeah, we’ve made t-shirts with your logo on them and we’ve been selling them”. Aaah.
Clip of Carnival Of Rust music video.
Marko: Do you want to see magic tricks?
Olli: Oh yeah, how can we demonstrate here?
Marko: This is a good place to…
Olli: Well, yeah…
Marko: It works a little.
Marko: Would you like to help me out a bit? Everyone, think a little more about it.
Someone: Whoo-hoo-hoo! Whoo!
Marko: Uri Geller, eat your heart out.
Axl: In your second album at least, there’s the thing that you’ve created an image of what this band is with the first album already. It’s always a difficult question, at least from my experience talking to artists, how the 2nd album is going to be done, how it’s going to come together and what to achieve with it. Your second album succeeded well, it continued the success of the first one.
Marko: Mmm, I’ve heard that the third album is going to be like that. But I’ve always had that, well, the pressure point is a personal thing. It’s a good thing if it sells, the way albums even sell these days, and so. You can pretty much see that the gigs have become more and more important. Also the interaction and all. But it’s important that it’s successful so that we can do the next album as well and so on… to give people more music.
A clip of Marko at the gig, making the audience shout.
Olli: The second one succeeded so well that it made you feel like ok, we have a future, we can do a third album.
A clip of the gig, Illusion and Dream.
Axl: Like you can see, from this wobbling film, we’ve just left the campus and after 4 meters the road is like this.
Marko: Yeah, four meters… and there’s about four centimeters to every biker, a safe distance so called. The reality really gets in your face, like the campus is virtually a complete Shangri-La in the middle of all this fuzz. When you come out through the gate that’s where the life starts. It’s like a wall. It’s like…
Axl: Like all the dust, and the noise, the goats and the cows.
Marko: There are cows everywhere. You just honk at them. And there are kids, they start working at age zero. And there are cafés where they sell these condom looking packages that’s actually coffee. It’s an interesting place for sure.
Axl: It’s 300 kilometers to… Agra, isn’t that where we’re going?
Marko: Agra is our direction.
Axl: Agra is our direction, one of the Seven Wonders of the World lays there, Taj Mahal temple, palace, whatever it is.
Marko: There were some machetes right there a moment ago.
Marko: Yeah, dyk-dyk-dyk-dyk, crafted them out of tin. If it’s true, it’s in between Delhi and Kanpur so it’s about 700 kilometers altogether, driving from one village to another, checking out how people live and eat bananas.
Axl: 250 kilometers to Agra.
Marko: That’s not bad, that’s nothing after we got on the highway.
Axl: Highway! [Axl shows the “so called” sign with his fingers.]
Marko: Highway. There was a huge two meters traffic divider there and still people drive right at you. You’re on the highway and someone comes ahead with a bike.
Marko: A booger.
Axl: Is there? In which one?
Marko: Right there.
Axl: Viewer: send a text message, in which one is there a booger? Send a text message “booger A” if it’s on the left, and “booger B” is it’s in the right one. Number 1712345…
Cameraman/someone [to Marko]: You had to try your nose too.
Axl: Yeah, yeah!
Axl: It’s a part of all this.
Gig pictures with 3 AM playing.
Axl: You can’t really escape this situation now, there’s still hours until Taj Mahal, so we have an awesome opportunity to… will it help the wobble if I hold the camera here? Alright. We have an awesome opportunity to ask Marko, what you think about writing music and about music as an influential factor in your life.
Marko: At the moment, and it has always been. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always sang since I was a little kid. I’ve been performing and stuff since I was three. So it is a living factor, like music is an outlet for different emotions and all the things you just have to say. And I really like things like if I’m in some stairway that echoes nicely, I’ll start testing it by singing and I stay in there a bit too long… But you have to leave before the locals come to nag at you about making noise.
Axl: Yesterday… it feels like you were reporting from a forest or something. The first victim of yesterday’s food, ladies and gentlemen. Finnish stomachs can’t handle it.
Axl: From one visual miracle to another. Is this is?
Marko: Is it here? Oh my god.
Axl: Let’s talk about… usually on a tour you don’t get to see places so much.
Axl: This is quite a…
Marko: This is really good, like, this trip is so special in every way that we get to check out this place and otherwise too, we got to see a lot of Indian buzz while driving here, so… and we’re continuing on to Delhi today.
Axl: How is it in general, with the touring, do you get homesick and how stressful is it for you?
Marko: Well, it depends. It can be stressful but we’ve been doing it for such a long time now that we’re used to it. And the whole crew knows when to shut up if there’s something you shouldn’t talk about… like you shouldn’t annoy someone when they’re tired. But let’s just say that after the 100th gig it starts to get to you, to every one of us. Everyone gets uptight. So far it’s been going really well, though.
Axl: I’m pretty much ready to take a look at one of the Seventh Wonder of the World. One of the Seven Wonder of the World. How does it go?
Marko: One of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Axl: One of… ok. He’s the one who writes lyrics.
Marko: If we can get there after all the bureaucratic tweaking we’ve had to deal with on this trip, it’s going to be the Eighth Wonder.
Axl: That was Axl meets Poets Of The Fall. Thanks for letting us travel with you.
Axl: Thanks for a great company.
Olli: Thank you.
Axl: Now, how to sum this up… well I hope the footage tells a lot. I’ll be seeing you on another adventure. Hopefully I get to shower before that. All good to you, Poets thank you.
Marko and Olli: Kiitos.
Axl: Bye bye.