March 16th 2011, 9 am. Poets of the Fall at Radio Nova.
Thanks to Dark Side Of Light for saving the interview (you can find it here) and translating it
Female host: Every fan’s dream package and it’s in the stores today. CD and DVD compilation carries the name Alchemy Vol. 1 and it includes 15 songs from the last few years, it has 2 new songs and we’re going to listen one of them in a while. Then it has all 9 music videos from 2005 to 2010 all on one DVD and picture galleries from the making of these videos and a lot of unseen photographs. Marko and Olli, welcome and good morning.
Marko and Olli: Thank you, good morning.
Female host: Are you happy with this “cake” that is going to be in the stores today?
Marko: Hopefully yes.
Marko: It would be good to be satisfied with it. The last minute panic hit me last night, like “oh god, it’s coming out tomorrow”.
Female host: It’s a pretty extensive package.
Olli: You really noticed that while putting it together – and naturally we did the work ourselves – that it was an enormous amount of work. Even though it has only two new songs, the other one of them was made in such a fast pace, with a “got to get this done!” mentality. It was really hectic, you wouldn’t believe how much work it was… actually if you compare with making a normal album, it was just the same amount.
Marko: The amount of work is very comparable in my opinion.
Female host: But do you think you are in that point of your career that now was a good moment to wrap up everything in the past and turn it into a compilation?
Marko: Somehow it felt like it. It felt like a good idea. We imagined to take a little break and played with the idea of putting together the compilation which we had dreamed of for sometime now. Like, shall we do it now when we have the sufficient amount of songs, it would make a nice package. And we also thought that we’ve done four albums already and there’s a lot of people out there who haven’t bought even one of them but they’ve heard our songs in the radio and in gigs and seen our music videos, so we have stuff which is quite familiar to many in Finland. And I am a compilation person myself so when I know some band, I don’t always keep up with them so actively or buy their every album but when they release a compilation with their best songs, I buy that one and listen to it.
Male host: you also have a strong faith in the future of the band because you chose to name this Vol. 1. Doesn’t it indicate that Vol. 2 will be coming out?
Marko: We try to slip in these kind of omens or self fulfilling prophesies for ourselves.
Male host: So you’re not going to do what Lauri Tähkä just did?
Olli: You can never know about that.
Female host: Everyone who’s clapping their hands at the new songs because it means there’s a new album coming up soon or more new material, are they making the right conclusion?
Marko: It is the right conclusion. Two new songs on this album, just to choose what those two were going to be we already wrote a few others as well and we can work on those a little more before the new album comes out.
Both hosts: Yeah, yeah.
Male host: Now I would like to speak a little about your reputation. You’re well known world wide and I just went and searched with Marko’s name, Marko Saaresto, to see what comes up in Face Book for example. I found a fan site dedicated just for Marko. And it had a lot of names from India and the surrounding regions. And they were praising, like “the best vocalist in the world” and “incredible singer” and this insane worship from all over the world and then there was some Seija or Elina from Finland with a comment “thanks for the gig in Seinäjoki, it was great”.
Female host laughing.
Male host: You could see the different culture and we don’t always understand in Finland that when you cross the border to east for example, to Russia, the way people behave as fans is completely different.
Marko: You can see it also in… because we do everything on our own, with our own little hands and with our own little record label and so, being an indie band, each country is its own territory and what you do in one country usually has no impact in the neighbouring countries unless that one country has a very strong influence in the neighbouring countries when it comes to music culture. Like when something happens in that country, it happens in the neighbouring countries as well. That may be the reason why people here don’t see what it’s like in Russia.
Female host: When you think outside Finland, in which countries do you have your most fanatical fans?
Marko: I think they’re found in Germany, Russia… Indians are really great as well. And when it comes to Finland, Eastern and Southern Finland… you notice that the hairs are longer and head banging is wilder.
Olli: I just want to comment that the first gig in India in 2007… I’m talking about the first gig because the next one is coming soon I think. But it was so… how do I say, the reception there was a real stunner.
Male host: In which city did you go?
Olli: It was in Kanpur, in the middle of nowhere in a way.
Marko: Somewhere between Delhi and Taj Mahal.
Olli: You could put it like that.
Male host: Was it in a restaurant or…?
Olli: No it was a university festival in a campus area.
Male host: How many people came to listen?
Olli: Three thousand. They had a limitation on how many could come.
Male host: Yeah.
Olli: Only three thousand were allowed in.
Marko: And outside the venue there were about eight thousand people trying to find a chance to get in somehow.
Olli: The way we were received there was really incredible. But when you think about it, India is such a different country, so far removed from our own culture and also as a region, that you don’t really know what you can expect from there, you don‘t know or hear stories about how other bands are received there. If you want to make comparisons, it’s easier to take Russia as an example, it‘s much closer.
Male host: But was it like… when you landed in an airport in India and went through the customs, they were all “look who they are”.
Male host tries to imitate how hindi sounds.
Male host: You know, whispering to each other after knowing you.
Olli: No, actually…
Marko: I don’t know, I don’t think they did… but when you think about us having a few hundred thousand fans in India and the whole population is 1,2 billion people.
Female host: True.
Marko: There are plenty of people there who…
Male host: … are potential fans.
Marko: Potential fans, exactly.
Male host: Future fans.
Olli: The thing is, you don’t really know yet if an audience of 30 000 people or 150 000 people is a little or a lot over there. This is India we’re talking about.
Male host: Yes, true.
Female host: I visited your website which are very neat and read in the forum a little bit. There was something about your Tavastia gig on Friday, day after tomorrow. Some people from Turkey were writing that they’re coming to see the gig, and asking for help with accommodation. And someone had replied from Italy that “oh, you’re coming too, how fun, I’m coming as well” and someone from Germany joined in and said “it’s going to be quite an international meeting in Helsinki, what with people from so many different countries coming”. I felt rather humbled for you guys, that oh my goodness, people are travelling a long way just to see you live in Helsinki on Friday. I felt like crawling into a cabinet or something, just so I won’t catch a cold and jeopardize the gig.
Marko: You have a flu don’t you?
Female host: Stay away from mr. Kataja now because he had a stuffy nose this morning.
Male host: Yes, it’s in the preliminary stages of stuffiness. I’ll keep my distance.
Female host: So, how does it feel?
Marko: It feels really great that people actually travel from another country and it’s happened many times before, that people come to Finland. Or if we’re in Germany, people from all over Europe come and see us there. Even from as far away as Brazil. It’s quite baffling and fine.
Olli: It makes you feel humble to have so many fans who support us, that’s what we live from. To have fans, also very persistent ones…
Marko: And so many of them are persistent.
Olli: …who fly a long way and come see us live.
Male host: Exactly. The whole image for your band is pretty fine in my opinion, very much in the international level. Marko, is this all thanks to you because of your advertisement agency background?
Marko: I do have a background in advertisement but the credit goes to all other team members as well. I think there’s always someone to create the original vision and outlook and everyone else supports it. And our team has formed from people who share a similar way of thinking.
Female host: I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this yourselves or if it’s intentional or just a coincidence that your publications always come out at the same time of the year.
Marko: We’ve been wondering about that ourselves sometimes.
Female host: Like we’ve been talking earlier in this show about how cats start meowing in their heat at March and…
Olli: Marko will start meowing too.
Female host: It’s one of the signs that spring is approaching, Poets of the Fall is releasing a new album. Today Alchemy Vol. 1 can be found in stores. Almost to the day a year ago your Twilight Theater came out and Revolution Roulette on the March 26th of 2008 and Carnival Of Rust came out in the early days of April in 2006. So it’s quite closely, in a range of one month at the same time of the year. Is it only a coincidence?
Marko: Even if we miss a year, it’s still at the same time…
Female host: Yes.
Marko: It may be, you know, once you’re out with your first album, then you have the tour that last a certain amount of time, and once it’s time for making a new album you know it takes a certain amount of time to do that, and then you’re hooked.
Female host: Quite a boring explanation actually… I was hoping you had some lovely “sign of spring” philosophy behind it.
Marko: But it actually is.
Male host: Make it a tradition.
Marko: Let’s make it a tradition. In the fall we retreat into our studio and in the spring the new album comes out.
Female host: Welcome back in one year.
Marko: Thank you.
Male host: I really want to ask one more question. Have you… since you spend so much time together as a band, on your tours and all, are you also best friends outside the band as well or do you feel like once the tour is over, you don’t have to look at the same faces for a while. Or did everything start with a friendship?
Marko: It really did start out as a friendship and it has stayed that way as well which I think is brilliant. But we also have times very much apart when we don’t even call or SMS each other, so sometimes it’s a good thing that you don’t have to see each other’s faces all the time.
Male host: Ok.
Female host: CD and DVD compilation Alchemy Vol. 1 in the stores today. Today our gentleman guests brought three packages with them and if you call us right now you may be the lucky person to get yourself one. But before that we’re going to listen one of the new songs of this album, Can You Hear Me. Would you like to tell something about it?
Marko: It’s basically all about compassion being the answer for everything in the end. Enjoy life while you’re alive, don’t waste it on hating.
Female host: Marko and Olli, thank you for the visit.
Marko and Olli: Thank you.
Can You Hear Me plays.
Female host: This was new Poets of the Fall, Can You Hear Me. It’s 9.25 o’clock and our phone lines really heated up from callers after the compilation package. The fastest ones won, but all the rest of you can buy your own today.