Specials: Interviews: Alan Wake:

Interview mit Poets of the Fall (Teil 2) - Englische Version

And on with the second half of the Interview we did with the finnish Rockband Poets of the Fall all the way back in May, where we'll talk more about music, songwriting and where it all began.

AC:Maybe we can take a few steps backwards and talk about where you all started and how?

Officially we started in 2003 when we formed Poets of the Fall, I told you earlier that Olli and myself were in a different band before this and we wrote songs and we quit that band because it didn’t really work out for us. We wrote songs together like two nights a week and then all of a sudden we thought “Why not form a band and try to really do something with this?” Because we were working day jobs at that time and things were going okay, but something was missing.

(Everybody laughs)

And that something was the fact that we wanted to make music professionally and try to make a living out of that. And that same year we met up with Captain and we formed Poets of the Fall and not very much later after that we wrote "Late Goodbye" and we got it on 'Max Payne 2' and that became huge and then all of a sudden everbody knew about us in like 82 countries or something. And eversince that everybody’s been asking us to "come and tour our country!" "no, come and tour our country!" but all that stuff takes time and a lot of money, so all in good time. Hopefully we’ll get to all the countries everybody’s been asking us to go to.

AC: How did you come up with a name like Poets of the Fall?

I chose it from a list.

(Everybody laughs)

Marko: Basically that’s happened. I was just streaming up names that would represent the music and give a vibe of what the music is like. That was like the second A4 sized paper that was filled with names and then I wrote Poets of the Fall and we were like "Yeah, let’s use that."

Olli: It came really easy, you know? When Marko got the right words to the paper, cause there were hundreds of names. And then all of a sudden it was like: "Of course, that’s it."

Marko: We didn’t really think about the fact that for some people it might be difficult to pronounce.

Olli: Especially for the finnish audience it’s a difficult name.

Marko: But I mean people have learned it fine, it’s not really been a problem. But there’s always people that are like "What kind of name is Poets of the Fall, it’s long and difficult and dumb." But we didn’t really think about that. We just figured that this would fit the mood of our music. You know, architects of destruction. Losers. Scripwriters of doom.

(Everybody laughs)

AC: When you’re writing a song, what inspires you?

Pretty much everything around us.

Marko: Small moments where you see something that touches you. It can be something that does not have anything to do with music, but something, or someone doing something nice and good to someone else or something bad happens that gets you reeling and thinking about things. All those things that you still, after a while, remember. And then when you start writing, those are the moods and the moments that come out of you. Because writing music is pretty much processing what you have stored inside you, and when you start working with the guitar, with the piano or just singing a melody to yourself, they start to just come out. Those are instrumental to bringing out the things that you have inside you, it starts to work itself out and comes out as music. That’s basically the way I see it. So, in order to write music you have to live your life, and then after a little while, you know, or a year, you go into bed at night and it’s eleven thirty, and you’re like nearly falling asleep, and then all of a sudden something starts to play in your head, and you have to get up and write it down or record it right there and then, or you'll lose it. Because that’s what starts to happen when you have enough of the stuff inside you.

AC: Are there any bands that influence you now or influenced you in the past?

In the past, yeah, probably not today anymore because we work so much with music that we hardly ever even want to listen to music ourselves. I mean you're either touring and playing music every night and the rest of the time you’re either sleeping or trying to avoid the radio. And then when you’re in the studio, and you’re so involved with writing the music that there’s no real time to listen to other bands. I mean, when our first album came out, we were really keen on all the radio lists and how we were doing and knew every other band that was on those lists and how they were doing. But you could ask me anything about the charts now and I could tell you not one name. We were just sitting in the taxi and our promoter was singing to all the tunes that were playing on the radio, she knew all the lyrics and all the bands. And we were like "I’m supposed to be the musician here, and I don’t know the first thing about those songs." But personally I’ve been influenced by bands like, I don’t know, a lot of them. Anything from U2 to Panthera, Metallica, Scorpions, rock groups in general basically. Irish traditional music, that’s a lot of fun, even though sometimes I can’t listen to it, but it’s still a lot of fun, especially when it’s played without singing.

Captain: I listen to a lot of classical …

Olli: Pink Floyd!

Captain: Yes, Pink Floyd, I almost forgot that one. And then lots of classical music and movie soundtracks and..

Marko: Depeche Mode!

Captain: Yes, Depeche Mode. And a band called Electric Light Orchestra, that’s the greatest band of them all.

Olli: I can say I have my own special ones. I like Guitar players a lot, different categories, Jazz, Rock, then there are those same bands that we all listen to like Metallica, Panthera, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Scorpions of course.

Marko: The grunge era was huge for us.

Olli: Rage against the Machine of course. But you know I have my personal favorites from when I was younger I listened to Modern Talking a lot, Dire Straits, Michael Jackson, that kind of music. But then later on more Van Halen came into picture and Dream Theatre and nowadays it’s more Jazz.

Marko: Is there a band that we haven’t mentioned yet?

(Everyone laughs)

AC: Nothing important.

Led Zeppelin.

Marko: I listened to Stairway to Heaven way back when and it was really awesome. And then later on I tried listening to another song from them, like the entire album and I just couldn’t. Didn’t like them at all. But they’re a great band!!

Olli: That was funny because I just discovered Led Zeppelin like two years ago and when I heard the first album, listened to the whole first album. I was like "Oookay, I’ve missed this." And I bought all their albums and I’m a huge fan now.

Marko: The reason why you missed that, is probably because you were born after they quit.

Olli: But anyways, I see the entire music like it’s a huge library that I’m just scanning through and I’m now at this point and I have tons of music just waiting for me to come into my life. I think it’s beautiful. I try to get as much music into my head as possible. I try to buy as much music as I can and can afford that’s one of the most important things for me. I mean I read books too, but you know, my library is the CD’s that I have.

AC: When you were playing and writing "Twilight Theatre", did you think that the reception would be this positive?

Well you always hope for the best, but you try to prepare for the fact that it might not turn out that good. But we were really happy when it went to number one in Finland and so on and, yeah, you do what you do and you hope that it takes you somewhere. That’s basically the only thing that you can do. And most important thing probably is the doing itself, not the "where it’s going to take you" thing.

AC: Which ones are your favorites tracks and why?

Well, all of them, because they’re really personal, they’re like your own kids and it’s really hard to say "Oh I like Maddie better than Heather." You know, they all have their own personality, they’re different songs, and they’re individuals and each one has a piece of you and a significant meaning to you and you listen to this song today and that song tomorrow because you have a different day and you’re feeling different then the song means more or less to you. But they’re all equal and you can’t place one ahead of another. Which makes it really difficult to chose which one’s going to be the single. Which one is the best, that we’re going to show it to you first and then you’re going to judge everything by that first single. So that’s a very difficult decision every time. And we have a lot of people that we played "Dreaming Wide Awake" to and asked whether this would be a good representative of the album, because it was the first single. And we had a lot of other songs, actually the entire album and had everyone listen to all the songs and we decided, that, yes, we were going to start with that one.

AC: You previous albums always had a certain undertone, you know, either a little melancholic or like, I think "Revolution Roulette" was a little harder music wise. How is the tone of this one or how would you describe it?

Uhm. That’s a good question.

Olli: More dramatic, more orchestra.

Marko: Oh yes, that’s good. The drama is probably something that we said we wanted to get, like dramatic stuff, even cinematic in a way, so that could be the whole thing of it and maybe surprising in a ways, because the drama you have theses huge things, and then all of a sudden there comes this little tiny butterfly and then you have that song and you’re like "This is like a LSD trip." I mean it’s not as wild as the real trippie things back in the sixties. But in our Poets of the Fall way, this is a more experimental album.

AC: And do you hope to… That’s a dumb question… Sometimes you write down a question and then you ask it and you’re like… No.

(Everyone laughs)

AC: Of course in Finland you’re hugely succesful I can probably barely imagine, because nobody around here (Germany) knows you. How are you going to change that, or do you intend to?

Marko: Oh yeah, especially this year when we’re coming to Germany with 'Alan Wake' and our album that is coming out in September I think, the fall anyways, that’s when it’s going to be officially released in Germany. So we’re hoping that maybe that’ll change this. And especially being on an Indie label, every country is a new territory and it’s like baby steps all the time. There’s nothing like "We’re just gonna put a million bucks into marketing and then all of a sudden we’re like the biggest band. Like Lady Gaga is nothing compared to us." No, it’s just one country at a time, little bit by bit and we’ll just see how far it takes us. And by the time we’re 75 you know, maybe we become known in Germany. Then we’ll really be the Old Gods of Asgard.

AC: Pha, just compete at the Eurovision, then everybody will know you. And hate you.

(Everyone laughs)

AC: Your songs are very poetic do you have a poetic background or school or something?

Marko: I don’t know. Maybe.

Captain: The School of life.

Marko: I guess it’s like I really love mincing words, you know. And that’s something I maybe have a talent for and like to work with it. So what comes out is what you get basically.

Olli: Let me add one thing. I think it fits really well to my sense of the mood I get from the guitar. The poetic texts they really fit into the same context.

Marko: When I listen to music like anything from Skid Row to Metallica to U2, I always read every lyric and I always knew every lyric by heart and I interpreted every lyric and somehow while growing up, writing lyrics became kind of second nature. A way to express myself. I mean I did short stories and novels and stuff like that. No, not novels, they’re long, but short stories. And I always liked writing and that stuff but I guess that’s one of the things that sort of … and I’ve been playing in bands eversince I was small so I guess lyric writing became kind of second nature and poeticism became second nature as well.

AC: Okay, I think I’m positively out of questions.

Oh, okay, well, thank you so much.

AC: Oh no, thank you very much!

geschrieben am 16.01.2011, Ulrika Tegtmeier

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