On a rocking journey

On a rocking journey

The Finnish rock band, Poets of the Fall, has risen in stature slowly over the last few years. From jamming in a small living room in Finland to becoming international rock darlings, it has been a rocking journey for this highly talented band.

With record album sales internationally and a growing band of fans, Poets of the Fall are well on their way to becoming a big time global band.

The band started out their ‘musical adventure’, as they put it, in 2003. Vocalist Marko hooked up with his buddy Olli Tukiainen and Markus ‘Captain’ Kaarlonen joined soon after to start the band. Saaresto and Tukiainen had written several songs for Saaresto’s former band Playground and performed with the Finnish jazz band Pohjoinen Syke earlier.
Convinced that they were a serious band, Marko sold all his possessions and built a studio in Markus’ living room and the band started jamming and writing music twice a week. The recording sessions resulted in a relative blend of pop, rock, metal and industrial sounds. They were later joined by Jani Snellman on bass guitar, Jaska Mäkinen
on rhythm guitars and Jari Salminen on drums and percussion to complete the line-up.

Talking about the early years and how the name Poets of the Fall came to be, vocalist and frontman Marko says, “After the huge success of our first single, we decided that we were on the right track musically and did not want to end up as a one-hit wonder, so we started work on our first album and that worked out well. From then onwards, we went on to get recognised and appreciated.”

Talking about the name, he says, “Basically, we wanted a name that reflected our music. We were playing with some words and combinations and almost settled on one but that turned out to be the name of a defunct grunge band in the US, so we went back to words like poets and fall and I wrote Poets of the Fall and that was it. We had our name.” The name represents the lyrical and melodic quality of their music rather well.

The band released their first single, Late Goodbye, which was used for the acclaimed computer game Max Payne 2. Reaching millions of people through the game, the song earned the band international recognition and the first prize at the G.A.N.G. Awards in 2004. Going on from there the debut album, ‘Signs of Life’, went straight to number one on the Finnish album charts in 2005, and stayed number one for over a year. It was finally the release of the next album, ‘Carnival of Rust’, released in April 2006, that established them as stars. “It was only then that we realised we had made it and were on the right path,” says Marko. This album also hit the number one spot on its first week, with the debut album still on the official Top 40 chart. To date, both albums have sold platinum in Finland. The third album, ‘Revolution Roulette’, released in March 2008, shot to the top of the album charts and broke the gold record limit in just a couple of weeks after its release. The fourth studio album, ‘Twilight Theater’, released in March 2010, sold gold in one week, and made Finnish chart history by giving the band four number one places with their first four albums. The year 2011 saw the release of the first song and video compilation, ‘Alchemy Vol. 1’, and the fifth studio album, ‘Temple of Thought’, hit stores in March 2012. Poets of the Fall have also produced several singles and some tracks from albums have been used in blockbuster video games such as Alan Wake and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare.

Apart from studio albums, the band tours extensively and have so far performed in counties as diverse as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, United States, Estonia, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania and India. Between performing live and producing studio albums, the band seems to have achieved a perfect balance. “After a long tour, you get to a point where you just want to kick your legs up and write music and bring your creative urges to life and that is when we go into the studio for a new album,” quips the band. Poets of the Fall recently toured many cities in India, courtesy the Vh1 Handpicked tour. Among other cities, the band performed to an ecstatic and jam-packed audience in the Hard Rock Café in Bangalore. Although the band does not have a single most memorable show, they say, “If the first show in any new country goes off well, then it becomes a memorable show.”

It’s not just their music, but also their music videos that are outstanding. The surreal videos complement the music perfectly and are conceived and executed extremely artistically, much like their music. ‘Carnival of Rust’ is their most successful music video and has gone on to become the best music video of all time in Finland. The band has also won several awards including Best Finnish Act at MTV Europe Music Awards 2006, two Emma Awards in 2005 — the best debut album and the best new act — and the Best Newcomer of the Year Award among several others. Reiterating that awards are not very important, Marko maintains that “producing good music and entertaining fans around the world is more important”.

Talking about their India experience, the band definitely can’t wait to come back and perform as soon as possible. Fans of the band in India, consisting mostly of the younger generation, can look forward to seeing and hearing more of their favourite band.

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