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Original text in Swedish: Peter EliassonPOETS OF THE FALL – the rockers who put all in on just one card
After Him, Nightwish, The Rasmus and Negative comes Poets Of The Fall. To argue that these Helsinki-based guys who just released a new album are local superstars is hardly an overstatement. Their first four albums have all reached the number one spot at their Finnish home field and they’ve sold either platinum or gold. But curiosity towards abroad is increasing and fans can be found in countries such as Germany, Russia and as far away as India where the band last performed for fifteen thousand fans.
-Yeah, we really have a lot of fans there, depicts the singer Marko Saaresto. The fans in India can sing along to all our songs and we hear a lot from them and they want us to have a gig there every week. But we already know that it’s all about promoting our most important areas first. The rest of it we just take as it comes.
Marko says that the band already has a big plan. It’s not a specific idea because conditions change from year to year, he explains. Sometimes it’s better to have the back up of a big company, sometimes to be an indie label. Under certain circumstances a good advocate is vital whereas other opportunities call for promotion as the most important part and so on.
The only certainty in the front man’s eyes is that it’s always better if your path is going up instead of down, and that one can only be satisfied about it. For Poets Of The Fall the trend has been a positive one ever since their beginning in 2003 even though the group started literally from nothing. When Marko started working with guitarist Olli Tukiainen and keyboardist Markus Kaarlonen, they gambled all they had on one card.
-In many ways we sacrificed everything else for this band. I personally gave up my apartment. I was 30 years old and moved into my parents’ basement. I sold my car so that I could afford to get the CD done but that alone wasn’t enough to finish it up.
-But it was solved as your first two singles Late Goodbye and Life became hits?
-Yes, but we were without money for four months before that, which was somewhat stressful. We were losers without money. We couldn’t even afford to go out to eat something if we felt like it. But in the end everything was solved and it became absolutely fantastic. When our first full length album Signs of Life came out we made it to number one spot and no one told us about it before we played live on TV.
Seven years have passed since the debut saw light of day and in this group the band without a doubt belongs to the rock elite of Finland. They also form a confirmation to the country’s talent in creating sad melodic rock that doesn’t look to latest trends. For the new album Temple of Thought to continue on the same road is hardly an overstatement but it also shows proof that the band wants to go bigger.
-I would like to say that this is the third part of a trilogy. Musically it’s very alike to the two previous parts of it but we’ve also tried to approach the whole of it in a different way. We really go all the way from very nice and fragile to the truly insane last track.
-Perhaps that’s the reason why I have always thought that it’s quite difficult to put you into a box. On Temple of Thought there are for example album oriented rock songs like the strange Happy Song as a singer/songwriter experiment as well as soft ballads?
-Yeah, I can understand that you see it like that. We don’t believe in genres, just writing music flat out. Before this album we had 24 songs and we picked out 12. We didn’t want too many songs that sounded alike, it would have been boring for both fans and us.
-But can’t you verify that you do have the typically Finnish melancholy touch to your music?
-I’ve heard that many times and I can hang on to it being so. If a song isn’t in minor it’s nothing for me. You can crassly recon that there are two types of music, namely the kind that moves your ass or the kind that moves the soul, and we belong to the latter category.
-For how long do you wish to move people’s souls, then?
-Well, I hope to continue for a good long time still. This is what I love to do. But only if I can keep my feet on the ground: as long as that happens the future can always be good, so it’s important to me. The one who falls in love with a fantasy falls down hard but if we have luck people will see to it that we stay where we are now.