Interview date

13 Avril 2010




Interview Marco Hietala

"Gravity of Light" is your eighth album. Do you think it's the most successfully completed?

(Hesitant) That's hard to say. I think it's well completely, but I don't know yet. I see it as a part of the continuation of what we've done so far, the two previous albums. I think we've done this album pretty much continuing from where we left off, with the previous album, and forward what we've done, but with some new ideas. So it's hard to say it's the best realised album yet. I guess I have to get some little distance.

And what is the message which is hidden behind this title, "Gravity of Light"?

Well, it's a kind of destiny that goes through different songs in the album. I just find it's a kind of a lie that some people are trying to press on you. They are a little bit arrogant and oppressive, because you have all this political system, and people who say that god is on their side and all that shit after they send people to kill some others. All that kind of stuff, which is done in the name of politic, religion and everything, is still basically cooperating with money. So it's a kind of light sharing to the other nations, other people. To me it's really something like that, it's not this way we're gonna make any flowers grow. But it's very, very heavy and very light.

In 2007, your single "You" has entered in the first place in the Finnish charts, as your DVD in 2008. This album has entered in the second place. Is it important for you to be in the top places in the charts or you don't pay intention to these kind of things?

I don't know if it's that important if the album is at the first places in the charts. I don't know if the number means that much. But of course I'm pleased because it's a statement that shows that what we do is pretty good. In that way, it has value to me as well.

Is there a song which makes you really proud on this album?

Oh! (Laughs) I think all the songs are pretty if I think about them lyrically. I wrote all the lyrics so... There were some really good moments, which I really liked. But I don't know if I can choose one of them to make a list top and to show as an example, I just like them lot and the whole album right now. (Laughs)

"I Walk Forever" is a radio song. Is it done on purpose because you have to have a song like that on your album, or does it just happened during the composition?

That's pretty much my song and that's the idea I had a long time for this album, and to do a song having these elements. And it was not done on purpose or to do a single song. I just figured out that it's gonna be something a little bit slower, we had to take on this album. At first, we were thinking about "Satan Is Dead" for the promo single. But the management guy talked us over from that, because he said that some radio stations might have problem with the song title, which is probably true. So we switched on to "I Walk Forever". And I guess it has been done on purpose because the song is quite catchy.

"Gone" is a special song: the verses are in the acoustic style and the chorus in a much more metal one. How did you work for this song?

That idea was from Janne, the keyboards player who is the second composer. I had the acoustic parts and the chorus for this song and it seemed really easy to go on with it. And then Janne came later on this song for the "sick" part that I'm singing loud. And we didn't think about making a kind of epic prog metal song or anything, it just turned out that way. We already had the structure of the song with the acoustic parts, which gave us a chance to do something like that. And I'm pretty happy with the result, because, in the end, all the scenes are going on and on and on. We really have the sense of carrying you away to battle land.

On "Caught in the Deadlight", it seems that we hear a woman singing with you...

Wow, wow let me think... (Laughs) I think all the vocals parts are done by Tommi and me! But when you start to hear the crowd vocals at the end, these are probably a couple of women as well. But no vocals have been actually done by woman, only by guys. But it doesn't matter (Laughs). It's a good thing you had this feeling out there, because it's what we aimed to.

Do you regret that some songs you composed are not on this album, or are you satisfied with the choices you made?

I think we are pretty much satisfied because we really nab that much bare song. We had some ideas which we actually didn't finish, or this themes we were looking at them over, or listen to over and over... It was clear that we couldn't do an album with them, so we didn't work on them anymore. I'm sorry! (Laughs) Of course, there is that song, "The End Of Everything". I don't know if you heard that one, I don't know which promo CD you have, but that one was more like a special thing. It's a bonus track for the European release. We don't have it on the album in Finland.

You had and will tour in Scandinavia in April and May. How did you choose the songs you play from the new album?

We already done nine shows, in Finland, and we are gonna do four more this week. It will start tomorrow! We wanted to try out most of the stuff, which are on this album. So we actually took eight songs. Excepting "Caught in the Deadlight" and "Gone". "Gone" would be pretty much difficult to realise in live, because we would have to do the acoustic, so we didn't bothered with that set up yet. And by the time, we get some festivals where we will probably drop some new songs of this album, and take some older stuff. But so far, we are doing pretty much the new stuff!

And next year, it will make twenty-five years that Tarot released its first album. Do you plan to do something special for this event?

We have some plans on how to celebrate this event and I think we are gonna make those path come true. So far, we won't tell the base and what is going around it because there is nothing concrete. But of course, it's pretty nice, because, it's a number of years to reach. So yeah, I think we will have a celebration, for sure.

On "Gravity of Light", we can really hear the bass. Was it important to you, as you are the bass player?

Yeah, of course, it's important to me, but I didn't mix the album, so I'm just grateful to the guys! (Laughs). Of course, I was recording the bass myself, so it's good to hear that some sound came out and the guys put them out.

And on this album, you show again that you can have different singings: an "aggressive" one, a "normal" one and a "sweet" one. Do you have any preference between these singings?

(Hesitant). No, not really. I'm happy to be able to pull off these, like different touches. And mostly, it just comes when you hear the songs you come up with, and then you try different things and how hard you can do this or how soft you can do this. And it's all because of that, what kind of songs you have and then you decide how to sing them. And I'm please to be able to have this style.

You play the bass, you sing and you write for Tarot. Is there something else you'd like to do in this band?

(Hesitant) (Laughs) I'd like to be able to pronounce that we reach a million albums but that's probably not gonna happen!

Tarot has been created during the eighties but sometimes, it is present as your Nightwish side project. Isn't it weird for you and the other members?

Everybody who really knows about the band, knows that I'm with these guys for a real long time. It's not a side project, it's a real band. And we just have this thing that, if Nightwish would break up, then Tarot will be on the other way around. And I know that of course, because, with the last album, "Crows Fly Black", Nuclear Blast used a sticker where they said it was a band with Marco Hietala from Nightwish. I can understand it, because people are getting more easily into, if they know something. So in that way, it probably helped. But in the end, if you listen to the album and if you like it, you like it, if you don't, you don't. Usually, it's a matter of that. No matter how you hand up, getting acquainted with the stuff.

And does you view on Tarot's music have changed when you had more success in 2003?

No, not really. It's a chance we had both with Nightwish and Tarot. It's amazing and we are please with it. When we are please with something, we've done musically, we have to publish it. No kind of conscience, rather then thinking of trying to find a perfect hit or anything like that. We do the music the way we want to do it. When we try something, and this really get actually into my hit parade, then we record it.

Between your work with Tarot and Nightwish, do you have time to focus on other projects or you just have time to appear as a guest on some albums as you've done on the Delains'one?

I do the things which I find interesting and where I like the music for instance, in the Delains'albums. It's almost like you take a day or a couple in the studio, and usually getting home in the evening, so it's a little bit like a day work. So that's taking so much time. And there are the things with Nothern Kings, or vocal producing for the three last Amorphis album. You get into the studio, sometimes before noon, and then you stay there until five and six o'clock and then you go home. So it's pretty much like a day job.

And what will you do after the tour with Tarot?

We are thinking about shows and touring, and as Nightwish is still on a break, we are going to rehearse in summertime, and so it will give me opportunity to do some shows and then recording during the next winter. It will also give me time to do some shows, here and there. So I think we are doing shows with Tarot.

And in other countries than in Scandinavia and Mexico?

I think so. Because we already have a show booked to the prog power Atlanta in next September, and a couple of day after that, we got a show in Mexico city, and I think we are going to continue in some places in South America as well.

And in France?

We really probably, do some shows also in France. In next October, or November I think. Because we are really looking for some touring and some places to go to play some shows. So I hope we will get there and people will show up!

And do you have something to say to end this interview, a final word?

(Laughs) A final word?! (Hesitant) Always the hard ones, because I have to use my imagination! (Laughs) It has been nice to talk to you, and as soon as possible, we're gonna be there in France! And maybe you can come to these shows as well!