On a quest to find new music: Marko @YlexRadio

Thank you SO MUCH to the amazing Dark Side Of Light for translating the whole interview

 

April 10th 2011, Marko from Poets of the Fall interviewed at YleX radio show “Uuden musiikin löytöretkellä” (On a quest to find new music). You can download audio here.

 

Playing: Poets Of The Fall – Can You Hear Me

Host: You’re listening to YleX, A Quest To Find New Music. That was Poets Of The Fall and their song Can You Hear Me. It’s a new single from a fresh compilation album Alchemy Vol. 1 of a band from Helsinki. Have a great Sunday, I’m Toni Laaksonen and for the next two hours of YleX will be A Quest To Find New Music and our guest today is the vocalist of Poets Of The Fall, Marko Saaresto. Hello.

Marko: Hi.

Host: Alchemy Vol. 1 is your new album that just came out. Is this an end of an era now that you’ve published this?

Marko: Hehe, we’ll see, I don’t know if it’s an end of an era, but yes, we felt like having enough material to put together a kind of a… here’s a car CD for all of you who don’t have all our previous albums. Because everybody… I for one am the kind of person who collects compilation albums from bands I don’t follow up so closely that I would buy their every album. And they’re fun to listen to while you’re driving, like you can concentrate a little on the music, but it’s still in the background. You want those specific songs that you know already. So we thought there are enough of them by now, a kind of a cocktail of hits that you can put together along with your own favourites and audience’s favourites. And for the HC fans who have all our albums, we thought about them as well, that these couple of new songs that we already have we could throw in too. Like you said, it’s like drawing a line, taking a deep breath and finding out what happens next and what we want to do from now on.

Host: Yea, yea. For a lot of people, when a band makes a compilation album, the first fear for some is “are they quitting? Is this the final album?”. But if you’ve named it Vol. 1 it tells that the story will continue.

Marko: Yes, we meant to put in an omen, so that it doesn’t mean the end. When I was thinking about the name of the album, someone mentioned it to me, that it’s in a way a sign of things coming to an end. And for me it’s never been that. It’s always been my experience that artists make a certain amount of albums and after that you put them together into summary or a retrospective on one compilation album. Like, here: if you don’t want to buy the previous five or four or three albums, buy this and you get all the highlights from our thing.

Host: And maybe it’s a way to jump in.

Marko: Yeah, you can jump in here and then we’ll see what happens. Hopefully it will happen to myself musically, and in all different ways, that you grow and learn more and the next production may be fresh and even more interesting.

Host: Mm. Seven years in some scale isn’t all that long but in your case it includes four very successful albums, a huge amount of fans, many great gigs. From what perspective do you look back on your career? At this point you actually can do that.

Marko: Yes, it’s been really great and so many insanely cool things have happened during this and things that when you started out they were nothing but wild fantasies and we were a little disbelieving about what can happen. But we set our own desires, views and goals and went after them as well as we were able. A lot has happened, growth of course as a musician and performer and as a person too. Because in this you see so many different things and different sides of the world. You come across all kinds of up hills and down hills from which you can learn, if you can.

Host: Well, down hills. Are there any nuisances from along the way that still bother you, when you think back?

Marko: Well, actually… no. They’re more of the kind of situations that we go through at some point and I don’t think there’s much point to dwell on things like that anyway. It’s more about learning to handle situations better, so the next time something happens again, you will know what direction to go, what to think, who you are and where you stand.

Host: At this point when you have four albums behind you and the compilation album published, has there been any talks within the band about the future direction?

Marko: I was just thinking that when we were recording one song with Olli just before I came here. I was thinking that we’ve all been in our own shells for a while now, so we should have a round table somewhere, and just sit and talk like “Hey, what are we going to do next, boys? Do we still have goals or what do we want or do we want the same things?” and so. Let’s just say we’re all feeling pretty good and we can do more and more things together but we really have to think about the direction we’re going to go. I suppose it’s a kind of a comma or three dots when you release a compilation album. It’s a moment of looking around “oh, it’s windy here on the top but where do we go from here?”.

Host: Ok. The next two hours at YleX will be A Quest To Find New Music. How is Marko going to like some of the new songs I’ve picked out and we’ll also check out what kind of music the man himself has been listening to lately. This is A Quest To Find New Music.

Playing: Monsteriser: Love Is Black

Host: On A Quest To Find New Music we just played Monsteriser and the song Love Is Black. Our guest today is Marko Saaresto, the vocalist from Poets Of The Fall. How did you find this heavy grunge twist?

Marko: I always enjoy the heavy, crunchy sounds and the band has a good singer, he has a good sound for that and a good voice and the pronouncing of English was in its place. Quite Ok.

Host: Mm-hmm. But you point out a little that there is a hint of a Finnish accent, or?

Marko: Yes, you could hear it from there but it’s such a small nuance that… it can be there by chance even if you’re a native speaker. It’s the kind of thing that… I won’t go cry about it. I’ve talked about this before, if you want to sing at an international level, it’s always important to take care so that people won’t have to pay attention. But on the other hand it can be an attribute to pronounce English in a funny way. But in that case you have to be… the previous artist didn’t pronounce English in a funny way, I don’t mean that at all. But there are those who do. And if all the other musical and non-musical assets are top level, then it can be a positive attribute.

Host: Yes, there are native speakers who speak in very different way, Scots for example, they have a very thick accent and some people may find it very un-English.

Marko: Yes.

Host: Even for other native speakers it can sound funny and strange.

Marko: Think about some Jamaican singing, or so…

Laughter.

Host: Havanna.

Marko: It doesn’t really matter, it’s just fun.

Host: Yes, true. About this band, Mosteriser. The singer is a chap named Miitri Aaltonen, and has previously done a lot of studio work, recording for example for Mokoma and Stam1na.

Marko: Ok.

Host: And producing different bands. But he has this grunge-ish band Monsteriser. Talking about grunge, I’d remember that at one point you too had your grunge era along with Pearl Jam‘s Ten.

Marko: Yes, yes. For me grunge started when I was at a friend’s place. We were sitting around or playing something. The radio was on and Smells Like Teen Spirit played and he just said: “Hey, do you know this? This is good.” And we turned the volume up and listened. And after that I was a devoted grunge guy and have been ever since. Pearl Jam was huge among my friends, for me it was Layne Staley from Alice in Chains. When “Would?” played for the first time, I was so sold beyond limits.

Host: Mm. But if we dig even deeper to the times before you dreamed of being a rock star, there was Dio even before grunge.

Marko: Yeah. Hehehe, Dio was the first. Oh. Not too long ago we watched Holy Diver video from You Tube. Oh God. It was great. I was totally bananas over it when I was a little boy back in the 80’s. Like “oh this is so cool, he has a sword and fur armour“.

Laughter.

Marko: And he sings “Holy Diver”.

Host: Anyway, in A Quest To Find New Music we ask guests to bring songs or albums that represent your musical awakening, for you it wasn’t Holy Diver after all.

Marko: No, it was The Last In Line, which was the first song from Dio that I heard. The album had just come out and I heard it from some Hit Collection of the time because everything else was pop music and then there was The Last In Line by Dio. I played it over an over again on the gramophone, I think it was the third track, just that one song from the album.

Host: Oh, track three? Breathless?

Marko: No, I mean, the album I had that song on was some pop song collection.

Host: Ah, right, I was thinking that…

Marko: Oh no.

Host: ..why don’t we play the title song. This is music all the way from the 80’s, a very important song for Marko Saaresto, The Last In Line by Dio.

Playing: Dio – The Last In Line

Host: This is Dio and The Last In Line and we have with his devil’s eyes, Marko Saaresto from Poets Of The Fall. For how long did being a fan of Dio last?

Marko: Until this day. That strikes me now just as much as it shook my head back then. For about ten years since I heard that song I was a very active fan, bought all their albums as soon as they came out and basically played them until they broke. I pretty much knew how to hum all their guitar solos and so…

Host: Can you be critical at all to their albums?

Marko: Yes, I’m capable of being critical to them, they have songs that I skip these days and I have the certain few, but… it’s from a time in anyone’s life which quite strongly shapes your foremost taste in music. For me it’s always been such, that I don’t really care about the genre but rather what strikes me most. But somehow the nominating factor of what strikes you comes from early teenage years.

Host: Here on A Quest To Find New Music my two last guests, Knipi from Egotrippi and Ville Laihiala from Poisonblack. They both brought an album from 1984 that was important for them, but for them it was Ride The Lightning by Metallica.

Marko: Yeah, well for me it was the next one because I found Metallica with that album as well. A friend at school said to me: ”Do you know Yngwie Malmsten?” ”No, who’s that?” ”Duh, it’s the world’s fastest guitarist.” And I thought aha, I have to check it out. Then he was like: ”Do you know Metallica then?” ”No.” ”They’re a speed metal band.” ”Aha, I have to check that out too.” And I checked them out and became a fan of theirs as well.

Host: Oh yea, yea. But Dio was the best? For you?

Marko: In the beginning it was, yes, but many others struck me hard quite soon after as well.

Host: Yeah. If we take a look into your own musical history, what kind of music did you play before? What were your first band experiments like?

Marko: We had a band called Gang Bang.

Laughter.

Marko: And, well… we played some kind of Finnish punk rock pop stuff, I’m not really sure. We couldn’t play all that well back then of course but it was a lot of fun and it was the first time I wrote some English language songs. And it’s better that it was a long time ago.

Host: Have you always been the vocalist?

Marko: Yes, I’ve always been the vocalist. In some bands, for a while, I tried to be a keyboardist or a guitarist but my voice has always been my number one instrument. Ever since I was three years old. I have played piano and guitar, and still do, but these days I pretty much compose… I may use the piano or the guitar a little, but basically I just sing the instrument melodies, like “pluck it like this” and I sing the notes the way I want it to be plucked. I find it easier to just record the singing with my mobile phone.

Host: And what was your first serious band? When did it start to feel like that this could become something that makes sense?

Marko: We had a band named Playground in 1990’s. And all the songs from that someone already… we didn’t sell all too many albums, it was independently published, but someone’s uploaded them into You Tube, so they’re there to be found.

Laughter.

Marko: There were some really skilful guys in that group and I dropped my jaw when their drummer asked me to join in as their singer, which I did. And we came up with the name and started making songs. I was like, how skilful musicians these guys are. They’re all still good friends of mine. But it didn’t go anywhere in the end.

Host: Why was Playground left behind? Why didn’t it work out?

Marko: Well, you know, it was… we were all young guys and at some point everyone grew tired of it and some people left because of their studies and song writing didn’t interest much and people would show up one and half hours late for band practice and so… It was just fun stuff to do but there were no goals or target or even an inkling of what it takes to make something happen, in addition to band practice and throwing gigs. We were young and happy and things came and went like it goes. But it was a brilliant learning experience. You knew that if you were going to start a band again, you would know where to go with it.

Host: Mm. Poets Of The Fall started out at 2004. Was it clear from the start that it would be a bigger success?

Marko: Actually 2003, in a way. But well, we started out clearer than before and we knew how to start learning the things we needed to learn. And we had our eyes and ears open and some goals to achieve. Perhaps in that sense it was a better start. Plus we had a smaller group, and it’s easier to get along when there aren’t too many cooks making the soup. Things like this. And we thought about who to work with and where we want to go. And from there we’ve come to this.

Host: And you’re at the three dots place again with your compilation out. On A Quest To Find New Music we’re listening to new music mostly. And this next song is brand new although 1980’s influenced.

Playing: Bad City – Take Me For A Ride

Host: On A Quest To Find New Music Bad City: Take Me For A Ride. Our guest today is Marko Saaresto from Poets Of The Fall. How did this hair heavy metal 2011 sound like to you?

Marko: Hehehe, it had a fun 80’s vibe here and there but you could also hear some elements that might have been pulled from Sweet or the like. So when it comes to the sound of it, there were even older elements implemented into it along with the fun 80’s guitar riffs. In that sense, yeah, why not. I probably wouldn’t buy the album but in some ways it is good mood music.

Host: Right at the end of the song, the guitar… I’ll try to play it back. In my opinion it sounded like Queen. Just a second… Let’s fast forward a little, it’s right at the end.

Marko: Yeah.

Laughter.

Marko: It is! Kind of a nasal sounding front mic sound that they made it with. That’s how Brian May made his visit there too. At some point there was such a basic Kiss [Marko beatboxes]. Just made you think about [Marko sings: “Oh no, tears are falling.”]. All of a sudden in the middle of there.

Host: But Kiss has been one of the big influences for this band, because they have a song named “Call Paul Stanley” and Stanley got excited about this and checked these guys out and liked their music and supports them a lot.

Marko: Ok.

Host: They’re going up quickly in USA, but a bigger invasion to Europe is still not in the immediate horizon. But perhaps it will happen sometime in the future. What we just listened sounded very 80’s and for me this first album you’ve brought along, Within Temptation’s Faster sounded like it had 80’s influence in it.

Marko: Yes, in some ways it’s heroic heavy metal, but they have Sharon Den Adel and her voice in my opinion is just angelic and she looks great too. It has all the pieces together.

Host: Did you think of some other song when you first heard this?

Marko: No.

Host: Because I did.

Marko: Ok.

Host: Chris Isaac’s Wicked Game.

Marko: Yeah! Now that you say, yes.

Host: So it is so.

Marko: And now that you mentioned it, Olli said the same thing yesterday. “Just like Wicked Game.”

Host: And especially H.I.M version of Wicked Game sounds a lot like this

Marko: Right.

Host: But the band isn’t denying it, they like Wicked Game a lot. But this is Within Temptation and Faster.

Playing: Within Temptation – Faster

Host: On A Quest To Find New Music, music brought to us by Marko Saaresto from Poets Of The Fall. Within Temptation: Faster. The new album The Unforgiven by this Dutch group is pretty much a conceptual album which includes a comic.

Marko: Ok, I didn’t know that.

Host: The music of Poets Of The Fall is quite visual and your music videos are excellent and all that, so… At what point are you going to come out with your own comic?

Marko: Umm, I’ve already made a few, so…

Laughter.

Marko: And there’s actually… I actually really worked on them, the ones that got published. There are my comics in Max Payne 1. But…

Host: But when is there going to be a Poets Of The Fall comic?

Marko: I really don’t know.

Laughter.

Marko: No, I’ve thought about it now and then but it’s something which will be seen at some point in some way in near future, or so I hope. I don’t know. [Marko singsongs funny voices]

Host: This goes into the three dots category again.

Marko: Yeah, it does. I keep putting myself in these situations so that I’m going to have to do something about it. Announce things like this, like [yawning sound]. Yeah, yeah. I had an interview in Germany at one point and the reporter asked me as a joke about my upcoming book, if I could tell something about it. I caught on and started telling about it as if I really did have a book coming out. And I do NOT have one coming out. After that we had some explaining to do for a long time to our fans that it was only a joke…

Host: They were waiting for your book in Germany.

Marko: …like, the point of the interview was to ask something like that and see if the artist goes along with them.

Laughter.

Marko: But on the other hand, I don’t know. Maybe some day.

Host: Yeah, yeah. But the world of games is very close to Poets Of The Fall as well and has been from the start. And actually at some point we got feedback from the fans that why do you always have to talk about games when it comes to Poets.

Marko: I’ve wondered about that too. Why is it about the games? We’ve done a lot of other things besides the games.

Host: Right, right. Did it really start to annoy you at some point?

Marko: Well, at one point it started to seem like we’ve published our third album or so and still you get asked about the first single that was in some game a long ago.

Host: You wrote Late Goodbye and it was in that game, whatever its name was…

Marko: Like so. You just think that perhaps they could have done a small Google search or something but… on the other hand, when you play this game the fact is you have to tell the same things over and over again and if you make a break in some new area, the story starts from the beginning and we tell about that. And because we’ve been very lucky throughout our whole career and we have our music in many different games now, for example Can You Hear Me is in a game that is topping the lists right now, it’s a given that the topic is going to come up all the time.

Host: Yes, it probably wouldn’t be necessary to talk about it if your music had never been in a game in the first place.

Marko: Maybe we should just start opening up the meanings of the lyrics and such. And try to bring in something new to talk about. But I don’t know, we’re going to talk about whatever interests people as long as we have something to say about it.

Host: Right, right. On A Quest To Find New Music it’s time to play some domestic, should I say… well why not, modern retro rock music.

Playing: The Blanko – Save Me

Host: On YleX, A Quest To Find New Music is the program you’re now listening. Marko Saaresto from Poets Of The Fall is our guest. We just heard The Blanko and their song Save Me from a new album Flying Colours. And you mentioned during the song that you know these guys.

Marko: Yes, I do know them. They’ve made a really good album there, it struck me pretty well. I’m just waiting to where it will go from here and I’m definitely wishing the best for them. It’s great when people make music to which they dare to put elements like this one, maybe not the easiest song to listen to but a lot of interesting things going on in there, which makes it nice to listen. Like how someone’s head works and what kind of creative solutions come out.

Host: Mm. The band is especially good at live performances. It’s always a good sign when other musicians start complimenting a band in Finland, it’s good proof of their skills as musicians. Are you, Marko, acquainted with The Future Dozen vote?

Marko: No.

Host: No? Ok, it’s a yearly vote organized by YleX and Rumba magazine, for the last two years we’ve asked reporters about possible future success stories and The Blanko has made it to the list both times. It’s for the bands whose debut albums haven’t come out yet.

Marko: Right.

Host: There has been 2 votes so far and The Blanco has been picked out in both of them. It took a long time for them to publish their first album but The Flying Colours came out this week, so… The road is open for this band.

Marko: Yes.

Host: I’m very much their fan myself and I wish them success, they’re great musicians. The debut album of Poets Of The Fall came out in 2005 and it was a huge success, it sold platinum, it stayed in the charts for over a year. Were you able to imagine a success like that at all?

Marko: Not beforehand, no way. It was so weird. And to have two albums in the charts at the same time, the first album was still there when the second came out. Someone said it’s the first time to happen in Finland. And it really made your eyebrows shoot up to the top of your head. Like “umm, what?!”. It was really great, and then it just continued on, like our fourth album was number one in the charts and at that point someone said there’s never been four number ones in a row before for a Finnish band. At that point the eyebrows shot even further up, to the back of the head. Like what the heck. In that sense there’s a lot to be grateful for.

Host: What do you think about it in retrospect? You came out from being nobodies to having a major break through with your first album. Why did it happen?

Marko: It must be something about the music itself that goes into the hearts of so many people that you can’t get over it and you have to check it out. It makes you feel like you’ve found what you’re supposed to do in life. Like you’ve found something that is yours but you are able to give it out to people, to give something good. Right from the beginning our mission so to say has been to distribute all the good feelings that we’re able to feel to everyone else out there. Spreading out the good vibes.
Host: During the previous song you mentioned that in your opinion The Blanko has some Muse influence there.

Marko: Yes, I did get vibes like that from it a little but I thought it was only a good thing.

Host: Especially something in the vocalist Pauli’s voice there’s something there, the courage to use falsetto in the same spirit as Matthew Bellamy. Muse is also a band whose music you’ve brought to us here today. How did you discover Muse?

Marko: Through friends. Like, here’s this thing. Actually, we were at MTV Music Awards 2008 and these guys were there as well. We were hanging out at the same backstage and I thought I might as well give it a listen. And they played [Marko sings] Black Holes And Revelations. I thought it’s pretty cool and lights were nice and all. But the song I brought along with me is the one that really caught my attention. Like “damn, there’s something funny about this song… like throwing a Super Ball that never stops”. It gave a funny and confusing feeling, but I thought it was sweet.

Host: And the song is Undisclosed Desires by Muse.

Playing: Muse – Undisclosed Desires

Host: This was Muse and their song Undisclosed Desires. On A Quest To Find New Music Marko Saaresto from Poets Of The Fall. You said that Undisclosed Desires by Muse is the song that blew up the bank when it comes to this band. Have you taken the trouble to get to know their older music?

Marko: Not really, I’m the kind of guy who goes to a restaurant and orders something, and if I like it I usually order the same dish at that restaurant. But I go to a lot of different restaurants and find something else there. So… let’s just say that when it comes to Muse that was the song I liked, but it didn’t usher me to acquire everything they’ve ever published. So I pretty much like this one dish from them. In my opinion this too is a way to consume music…. To think of it as a field where there’s only music and no differentiation between artists. But there are some bands that you want to keep up with, because they’re so interesting in some ways.

Host: That’s the kind of thinking that is starting to happen more and more often these days because the existence of digital music. It isn’t necessary to get the whole album from someone anymore. So, are you the kind of person who listens to one song from here and another from there?

Marko: Yes, I pretty much am like that. Except when I drag a bunch of CDs into my car and listen to them there. I’ll just pick something out, maybe Chris Cornell and listen it from start to finish as a background music. But you know, not too long ago a friend of mine gave me a CD full of birdsongs and rain falling. And now I listen to that in my car.

Laughter.

Marko: So, I haven’t really had any music for quite a while now. But sometimes you feel like you have got to hear that one song, and you switch CDs for just that song and then return back to birdsong and rainfall.

Host: Does it somehow have a calming effect in the busy traffic?

Marko: Very much so and it’s noticeable. Try this at home. When you have birdsong from a summer forest all around you and… even on a winter day when the sun is shining, just turn up your heater a little more and you have a summer right inside your car. And it feels surprisingly nice and you forget about the freezing cold outside. It’s very therapeutic, try it at home.

Host: From the start, a big part of Poets Of The Fall music has been, due to Captain’s presence, the keyboards. And in some ways even a certain electronic spirit, but not so much pure electronic trickery.

Marko: Yet.

Host: Yet. The next question is, could the machines overthrow guitars?

Marko: In my opinion they could, we’ll talk more about it with the guys and see where it goes. But you can’t really say that machines could overthrow guitars because we’ve got Olli whose life and spirit depends on playing his guitar. First and foremost what we do has to serve what we want to do.

Host: Yes, yes, so there has been no signs of Olli getting tired of playing guitar and would like to switch instrument?

Marko: Oh no way, Olli is the kind of guy who… the second he doesn’t have to do something else, he’s attached to the guitar already.

Laughter.

Marko: And the withdrawal symptoms are terrible if you try to keep him away from the instrument even for a while.

Host: Ok. Right now the master of hard rock as well as electronic atmospheric type of music in the 2000’s has been 30 Seconds To Mars. They handle these both elements very well.

Marko: Yeah. And they have… kind of an… music producer’s dream stuff. It’s so well produced in my opinion and includes a lot of good attitude and good vibes and a good message in what they sing about in some ways. And many other things. And it’s the kind of band where everything is working right when it comes to musical elements. Jared Leto’s voice for example is very impressive and elastic, he’s capable of doing many different things with it. And his acting background gives a lot of ability to communicate with his music in terms of visibly experiencing and transmitting the feelings in it. I think they’ve got very interesting, well made songs and also the non-musical aspects of that band works well. They have a sufficient… ehh, amm… theatricality and they also use their sex appeal quite a lot there and many other things as well. In some ways it’s all part of this… They are the kind of things you can do in this line of theatre business, in my opinion music is a branch of theatre.

Host: Yes, yes.

Marko: Clowning around and half anarchy.

Host: How far back do you go with 30 Seconds To Mars? When did you first hear them?

Marko: Back when… what was the album with… I’m really good at this again, the CD itself had skulls on it, and red and white… I mean the one before their latest.

Host: Beautiful Lie.

Marko: Exactly that. It was the first time I heard about them. And I was like… actually the first thing I paid attention to was Jared’s voice and thought it was really sweet. And I listened to it and tested all the screams and growls that he does, for myself. Just for the fun of it. Because I always want to try…

Host: Were you able to?

Marko: Yes, I can. Of course it’s my own sound and different from his, but I can do them after testing a couple of times. His vocal range is different from mine, I should stretch much further to the high notes, because I‘m a bass-baritone and he does his stuff at the tenor scale. So it’s a little different, but anyway. So, that was what I paid attention to and it was all the interesting sounds and songs. And then I left them behind, checked out that one album and didn’t pay any attention to them whatsoever for a long time. But then someone said their opinion of the songs we were working on at the time, that it sounded a lot like 30 Seconds To Mars, the new songs. I was like: “Oh, we do, huh?” And he said: “Yeah, you really must have listened to them a lot.” And I replied that I hadn’t listened to them at all for a very long time and I had no clue what they were doing. But I had to find out after that, and I listened and thought their music is pretty cool.

Host: Both of you travelling in the same spheres?

Marko: Hopefully yes, they’re such a great band.

Host: Now the song Closer To The Edge.

30 Seconds To Mars: Closer To The Edge

Host: 30 Seconds To Mars with their song Closer To The Edge. A Quest To Find New Music is the show you’re listening to, Marko Saaresto from Poets Of The Fall is our guest.

Marko [laughs]: That song reminded me of something… one of my friends moved to Dublin just to be closer to the Edge.

Host: Aaa.

[Marko makes funny pretend laugh sounds.]

Host: Actually I used the same joke earlier this week… there’s a song Where’s The Edge? on Within Temptation new album. I made a joke that the song is actually about U2 losing their guitarist by accident and they were worried and wondered where is the Edge. I’m sure there were a lot of people who didn’t even get it. But Edge is a good guy to joke about.

Marko: Oh yes.

Host: On A Quest To Find New Music is about me playing new music for Marko, and Marko has also brought some music along with him, stuff that he had lately discovered. And 30 Seconds To Mars is one that he’s lately taken a liking to. But right now we’re giving you something straight from the oven. At YleX website we have a section named Basement and it’s a place for self published bands to leave their songs in. And actually Marko, you could leave some songs in there yourself.

Marko: Yes. We’re still self published band.

Host: You have been from the start and still are. Well, maybe it’s not so much self published than independent, because you do have your own record label in the background.

Marko: Yes, our own. I still think it means we’re self published. It’s us who pay for every single CD, music video, cover art and t-shirt and everything else… [Marko makes cranky crying sound]

Host: Yes.

Marko: And there’s a lot of work.

Host: But the band we’re talking about here doesn’t have even their own record label. And I don’t know if they ever will…

Marko: Quickly you guys now, start your own company!

Host: The name of this band is Wasting Daylight.

Playing: Wasting Daylight – Last Breath

Host: This is music from YleX website’s Basement section, a self published band from Kerava, Wasting Daylight and Last Breath. What do you think of it, Marko from Poets?

Marko: Good, great sounds, I enjoyed listening to it, all the rowdy and crunchy sounds, it was made well and the song was good. These guys are in the right business, they have to keep doing what they do. It would be nice to hear something from these dudes later on too.

Host: You’ve been running your own record label from the start and it’s been a success. How often do people try to push their demos to you?

Marko: A lot.

Host: Right.

Marko: Every once in a while, even stuff like… a sample of their work and a request to do a duet or some other collaboration or such… So far I haven’t been interested in such offers, and haven’t really had time for it either. When you have to work on so many different things by yourself and with your small team, it takes a lot of time to do. And you try to do stuff in many different countries at the same time and so. You just don’t have the time or energy… and sometimes it interests you and sometimes it doesn’t. But looking to the future, it would be nice to be able to work with some people on joint projects as well. It’s all about having time and energy to do something.

Host: While that last song played, you remarked that you were wondering how Caleb is.

Laughter.

Host: Well thought, because I intended to play some Fireal, their album has just come out. You know Caleb from somewhere?

Marko: Yes, we’ve been running into each other now and then during music festivals and gigs and we’ve worked on some projects together. And I’ve liked his stuff over the years, Bleak and everything else he’s been involved with. He’s a nice guy and a very talented musician, good at composing, fine voice and does his thing from the heart and everything‘s top notch to the last bit of make-up. You really wish that Caleb would really go somewhere with his thing.

Host: When you talk about Finnish rock vocalists, he’s at the very top of them.

Marko: Yeah, he’s the kind of singer who I like to listen to and he really keeps me on my toes. It’s very pleasant, like… when the guitarists do their shredding duels, I could have singing duels with him. Like, you sing like that, and let’s see how I can answer back to it and then it’s your turn again and…

Host: Aaaah, yeah! But The Dark Side album from Fireal is coming out soon, April 27th. This is Aerial.

Playing – Fireal: Aerial

Host: That was new material from the band Fireal, their song Aerial. Marko, what did you think?

Marko: Well… I think I said a lot of things beforehand already, and I keep in line with that. This was a very fine song and I just like hearing new material coming out from there and things go forward.

Host: We talked a lot during the song, so did you have time to immerse yourself into the song at all?

Marko: Well, we talked about different parts of that song, the way he uses his voice and all that… I think it went too much to a detailed analysis, so… if we start talking about that, then only vocal coaches will want to listen to this…

Host: April 27th is the day when Fireal’s long expected debut album The Dark Side is coming out.

Marko: I will most certainly go buy it right away.

Host: The first singles have been such top quality that I’m sure the whole album is great. Why don’t we continue with a more heavy department, this is probably the heaviest you brought here today, Avenged Sevenfold. What is this band?

Marko: There’s a group that… first of all, they took me by surprise. They asked if we would be their warm-up act but it was at a time when it was impossible for us to do. Otherwise it would have been damn great to go touring with them.

Host: Would it have been a long tour?

Marko: I think about six gigs.

Host: Right, right. In Europe?

Marko: Yes. But I checked them out anyway, I had seen a video from them or something before and thought “Oh, this kind of band… we’re not going to fit on the same stage with them, their music is like heavy artillery.” But when I checked them out properly I changed my mind, we do fit in. I discovered that they had some really sweet, innovative things and that’s why they clicked for me. There was something interesting about their music, it wasn’t all about A-minor and E-major and blaa blaa all mixed up. Or like E-minor, A-minor, E-minor, A-minor, G. And then just sing on top of that. They had really thought about things. And I’m easily excited about anything a little heavier, so… that’s why I picked this one.

Host: Ok. This is Avenged Sevenfold, not from their latest album but from one before that.

Marko: Yeah, this was the first song that I found from them.

Host: Yeah. Afterlife is the name of the song.

Playing: Avenged Sevenfold – Afterlife

Host: A Quest To Find New Music on YleX, we have about half an hour left. Our guest today is Marko from Poets Of The Fall and the song that just played was brought to us by Marko. But we’re now going to for a different style altogether.

Playing: Adele – Rolling In The Deep

Host: Adele, Rolling In The Deep on A Quest To Find New Music. Marko from Poets Of The Fall brought this album with him. When you think about the kind of music Poets Of The Fall does and one remembers your grunge background and all, and when you look at the list you brought along with you, it’s very much rock emphasized. How much time do you have left for female artists?

Marko: Quite a lot in the end. When you think about the list there, it’s pretty limited and I didn’t have much time to put it together and it turned out the way it did. But for example all last summer I listened to Maritsa [or Maritza? Translator isn’t sure about this and Google didn’t help, giving too many results] and Cesaria Evora and the likes. I’ve listened to Tori Amos, Joss Stone who’s absolutely brilliant and I thought to put her on the list but the one we just heard was newer and this show is about new music. When it comes to music like this, it’s like a briquette. It doesn’t take a lot for it to light up immediately. That song only has an acoustic guitar that’s been muted a little and the woman’s voice but it’s powerful enough to be interesting. The funny thing is when you think about finding new music and you’re only interested in a very narrow style and how it doesn’t stay that way, your horizons expand. I listen to many different kinds of music and I don’t really care about genres, which I think are funny in a way. The thing with Adele is that… when at one point Amy Winehouse started this retro music comeback which was followed by Duffy and by now many others. At first I thought it was so annoying. Like, why don’t you do something that is your own? Make something new. But when I got over that and I was able to actually listen to the songs and let go of the annoyance and tried to see it from a different perspective, I started liking it. And this one… there’s a certain soulfulness in that chick’s voice. It’s nice to listen to.

Host: Do you still have a huge stack of CDs or have you switched to the digital era full on?

Marko: I have both. I have everything on my laptop but I also have a lot of CDs. Someone asked, and I gave a quick estimate of 500-1000. It’s quite a mountain.

Host: If someone were to check out your stack of CDs, what are the skeletons? That one necessarily wouldn’t believe that Marko Saaresto listens to?

Marko: Someone else has asked this exact same thing before and I said that the skeletons… because I also have a lot of albums I’ve been given to.

Host: All those demos?

Laughter.

Marko: Demos too, yes, but also recording artists and so… I don’t know. I don’t know if there’s anything that… it might be the ones that I never even listen to. But there’s nothing that I would be ashamed of. Someone may point out some album they don’t think is any good, but I’m able to point out a song or a part of the song which I think is really great on that particular CD and that’s it. I don’t necessarily listen to anything else except that one song from that CD.

Host: Right, right.

Marko: Jamie… Jamie… Jamie Walters album and the song Distance, which is great. Especially the last 5 seconds when the back-up singer sings the [Marko sings] “oh baby” to the end of it.

Laughter.

Host: Let’s continue on A Quest To Find New Music, another female artist. VV Brown is not that well known for bigger audiences. I know her because we’ve played her music here on YleX Power Play, but a different song. We had a song named Crying Blood on our Power Play but the next song we’ll be listening is Shark In The Water. How did you bump into VV Brown?

Marko: It was… also an accident. I saw her perform and made note of her being an interesting dudette. At first there was the thought about yet another Amy Winehouse but once I gave it a chance I realised that God damn, this really has something to it. There’s something about her that is untamed and unadorned and everything goes, even making mistakes… and at the same time she’s very skilled. But it was a very good high so I picked it out.

Host: Songs that give a good high are always nice to play. This is VV Brown, Shark In The Water.

Playing: VV Brown – Shark In The Water

Host: VV Brown, a British artist who’s new song Shark In The Water just played on A Quest To Find New Music. It was music that was brought along by Marko Saaresto from Poets Of The Fall. Now that we started on this line of female artist, let’s continue with one more song from the marshes of British female artists. Have you hard about an artist named Jessie J?

Marko: Jesse James I know of, but…

Laughter.

Marko: But Jessie J is still unknown to me.

Host: Ok. A chick who looks like that. [Apparently the host shows Marko an album cover or something.] If VV Brown is predicted to be a rising star and titled as a new talent by U.S. magazines, then Jessie J, according to all the biggest British critics, is the new thing to keep your eye on.

Marko: Ok.

Host: So, the artist is Jessie J and the album is called Who You Are and the peculiar thing is that on her debut album there’s one live recording also.

Marko: Ok.

Host: Track number four, right there in the middle of the album a live recording. But this gives an idea about her abilities. Big White Room á la Jessie J.

Playing: Jessie J: Big White Room

Host: She is Jessie J with the song Big White Room on A Quest To Find New Music. The song can be found from her debut album Who You Are and it’s a live recording. Were you impressed, Marko?

Marko: A good singer like that always gives you cause to be impressed. She had a nice technical repertoire.

Host: Did it go over the top at some point?

Marko: I don’t know, I think it’s the type of music where it’s just fine so it didn’t go over the top in my opinion. I think it was the purpose of it, to get a successful take with all kinds of voice tricks included, and put it on the album. I’m very allowing of that kind of things. If it was the same thing for every song, then it would be over the top.

Host: Well, it’s not in all the other songs, and most of the album is very different altogether, not quite so acoustic. But based on this sample, do you think you will want to get to know Jessie J a little more?

Marko: Yeah, I’m always interested when the singer is good, it makes you want to sing along and so… and if it’s a voice which… fills the soul, then all the better.

Host: We’ve talked a little bit about electro pop earlier in the show but now it’s time for some more electric stuff than we’ve so far listened on this show today.

Playing: Justice – Civilization

Host: This is a song that’s been playing on New Music Evenings, it’s also a Power Play by Toni Laaksonen. Justice and the song Civilization. You all have had a chance to comment on it at YleX website and among others, Jahara has commented that the first thing that comes to mind is that it’s yet another ordinary track for the masses, bye bye. But after a couple of listens I noticed myself trying to sing along with cold chills going down my spine, even though it’s not my style of music at all, but it works. This comment was from Jahara. What says Marko Saaresto?

Marko: It pretty much gave me the same feelings, it was just so… I can just see the 70’s disco glitter and the disco ball that blinks in the spirit of John Travolta, but then it’s been pulled through some kind of a horror movie filter so that there’s some kind of a creepy, frightening sound in the whole thing. It has a lot of good stuff in it, the chorus is very catchy in some ways. But it kind of struck me from behind a blanket, so it wasn’t quite as striking as it could have been.

Laughter.

Marko: I started guessing at the production style and what country this comes from and I thought it could be from Sweden. But you said it was from France. It’s not really to my taste…

Host: Even though it had a lot of beat!

Marko: I’m not going to… It has a lot of merits, but it just doesn’t strike me so much.

Host: Ok, ok. But we’ll see if our Power Play by Venla Kokkonen strikes you then, she’s chosen something rather different.

Playing: Death Cab For Cutie – You Are A Tourist

Host: This week’s Power Play by Venla Kokkonen is Death Cab For Cutie from U.S.A. And the song was You Are A Tourist from their new album Codes And Keys. On A Quest To Find New Music we have Marko Saaresto from Poets Of The Fall. Did you feel like a tourist while listening to this song?

Marko: Very much like a tourist.

Laughter.

Marko: Like: “Ohm, where am I and what am I doing here?”

Host: Did this song get under your skin at all?

Marko: No. I think it was a loose song. Like, it had a guitar riff which was a catchy element but other than that it was blah.

Host: But at least there was that riff to catch on to.

Marko: Yeah, but over all it was just loose. There was nothing there to pique my interest. If that was playing on my CD player I would skip it after five seconds.

Host: So there was nothing in the singer to…?

Marko: No, nothing whatsoever.

Laughter.

Marko: Unfortunately.

Host: Sorry Ben Gibbard.

Marko: Sorry Ben.

Laughter.

Marko: This wasn’t for me.

Host: But the next one is because it’s the last song on A Quest To Find New Music and it’s your own choice.

Marko: Whoa.

Host: Before we play Foo Fighters and Rope, why don’t we summarise our show quickly. Was there really something that hit home with you?

Marko: Oh, yes, yes there was. The one that you showed me, Jessie James…

Laughter.

Marko: Well, that one hit home pretty good. And I also liked Blanko’s new product and I wish all the good for them and all other Finnish artists that we listened to. There’s a lot of good stuff coming out in my opinion.

Host: Finn Rock is in good hands during the three dots of Poets Of The Fall.

Laughter.

Marko: Yes.

Host: Foo Fighters is our final artist. Is Foo Fighters somehow on a high pedestal for you?

Marko: Yes. Those guys give me a lot of inspiration.

Host: You do?

Marko: Yes, I get inspiration from them, very much so. In that sense… They’re a very interesting group and it’s nice to check out what they’re doing and try to reach their level yourself.

Host: Did you already check out their new album? It’s on their website available for listening.

Marko: Is it?! I haven’t checked it out yet.

Host: You can go and do that in just a few minutes. This is the first single from their Wasting Daylight album. [Translator’s note: the album is called Wasting Light.] Foo Fighters and their song Rope. Thank you Marko very much for visiting. All the best for Poets Of The Fall.

Marko: Yeah, thanks, same to you.

Laughter.

Host: Oh, I’m in the band now? Alright.


This entry was posted on Monday, April 11th, 2011 at 2:34 pm by Lisa