Interview with Poets Of The Fall (October 2014)
It is our strong belief that Poets Of The Fall, is without a doubt, the golden standard for modern rock. Their commercially viable rock concoction transcends genres and offers something to love to every flavor of music listener. Despite being on a hectic concert tour to promote their new album “Jealous Gods“, their lead singer Mark Saaresto was kind enough to take a breather to answer our questions. Here is the interview:
[Radio Creme Brulee]: The music of Poets Of The Fall has been a regular staple on our radio station ever since we launched in 2007. Hence, it is an honor to interview the band.
[Marko Saaresto – Poets Of The Fall]: Wow, that’s so great. Thanks.
[Radio Creme Brulee]:“Jealous Gods” is a brilliant album to say the least. It is hard to imagine that it has released just two years since the last album “Temple Of Thought”, which in our opinion is a career masterpiece. Do you feel a compulsion to release albums in quick succession or with a specific frequency? If so, why?
[Marko Saaresto – Poets Of The Fall]: There are only so many hours in a day, days in a lifetime, ideas have no such limitations. The two year cycle just seems to have evolved into how we do it.
[Radio Creme Brulee]:The sound you have honed as a band belongs to you. You guys do not sound like any other band – but this album does have two songs that sound like they could have been released in an earlier era. “Rumors” sounds like one of the rock anthems of the 80s while “Choice Millionaire” appears to be a “Linkin Park meets the 80s” dance rockathon. Has that decade influenced you musically ever or while recording these tracks or is the resemblance to music of that era on these tracks purely coincidental?
[Marko Saaresto – Poets Of The Fall]: The 80’s music has influenced us greatly along the years, and it’s true, the 80’s sounds and vibes are not coincidental. Incorporating them on the album came naturally. Especially “Choice Millionaire” was just hollering for it.
[Radio Creme Brulee]:“Rogue” is an epic “larger than life” rock instrumental. What was the thought process behind recording an instrumental track for the album?
[Marko Saaresto – Poets Of The Fall]: We are all lovers of great instrumental music, and lovers of guitar and other instrumental solos. They guys in the band are all so talented, in my humble opinion, with their respective instruments, that it would’ve been a shame not to let them loose, if you will. I get to hear them jam and play at practise, and I guess, it’s always been there, the nagging at the back of our minds, that one day, when we’re brave enough, we should do an instrumental, because that’s who we are as well. So that nagging became “Rogue”. I love “Rogue” and being a singer on tour, I also love the breather.
[Radio Creme Brulee]:A couple of years ago, we published an article on our blog titled “Poets Of The Fall prove that rock is far from dead”. In that article, our only real criticism of the band was the choice of singles. One of you was kind enough to respond and comment on that post with some real food for thought. That was a huge honor for us. For “Jealous Gods”, you led with “Daze” – which in our opinion, is the perfect lead single. Could you walk us through the highlights of the conversation in which the band decided that “Daze” should be the lead single.
[Marko Saaresto – Poets Of The Fall]: The choice of a single, especially the first one is always a difficult one. With “Daze” we felt we’d get to both touch the souls and move the asses of our dear listeners, while you go:” OMG, what is this stuff that makes me both happy and kinda sad in a dreamy sort of way at the same time, and why can’t I stop dancing like a penguin on hot coals?”. I’m sure I don’t recall the actual conversation that took place, but I think it was short.
[Radio Creme Brulee]: We have heard the “Jealous Gods” album a bunch of times. One of the occupational hazards of being an internet radio DJ is the tendency to look at each track on an album as being radio-worthy or not instead of enjoying the album as one cohesive collection of songs. Including “Daze”, we are hearing at least four obvious radio-worthy singles. What are some of the candidates for the follow-up single to “Daze” and why are these songs candidates?
[Marko Saaresto – Poets Of The Fall]: Oh, then you have the same dilemma we sometimes do. As professional song writers who make their living out of their art form, there’s always the tug of war between “will it get airplay and will we care” going on. We’ve been talking about “Jealous Gods“, “Love Will Come to You” and “Choice millionaire“, because we think these tracks are a fresh take on Poets of the Fall music and are also light and fluid or massive enough to have that anthem potential. But you never know. Everyone sees things so differently depending [on] where they stand.
[Radio Creme Brulee]: Poets Of The Fall was formed AFTER what many people consider the start of the commercial decline of the music industry. The digital music revolution was on the rise and leveled the playing field. Yet, many artists and bands consider a major record deal a personal and professional victory. You folks have made a conscious decision to be independent. Looking back, what are the positives and negatives that you have associated with this decision?
[Marko Saaresto – Poets Of The Fall]: The positives are the amount of control we get to exercise over what we do in our everyday lives, with our music etc. Funny enough the same goes for the opposite, the negatives there of are the things we don’t have enough control over, because we are a small indie label.
[Radio Creme Brulee]: This question relates a little to the last one in that you formed after what many people would consider commercial music’s heyday. If you could go back in time and be a band in another era or decade, which one would it be and why?
[Marko Saaresto – Poets Of The Fall]: Gosh, I dunno, I guess it might be interesting to get a first hand experience of what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes, like some of my personal favourites, like Metallica, or Iron Maiden. I’ve been a fan since the eighties. Or maybe I’d prefer to taste the life of some travelling minstrel from the medieval period to get some real perspective, haha… Also why not go a thousand years into the future and see what music is like then. But there are so many choices and none of them conclusive. I’m very happy being a part of this incredible force of nature that is Poets of the Fall, because it’s something that moves with us like a second skin and reaches out and touches so many people world wide.
[Radio Creme Brulee]: As an American radio station, we have to ask you this. When do you plan on performing in the US next? Is there even a glimmer of a chance that the “Jealous Gods” tour will see the light of day on our side of the pond?
[Marko Saaresto – Poets Of The Fall]: There [is] always hope. Actually we plan on it with every album release. Here though is one of the things where being on a small indie label, a punk band really, can sometimes make thing harder for you. We would love to come over and tour, provided we’d have a decent release with promo plans in place and big enough venues sold to actually be able to pay for the whole enchilada. Touring is just amazingly expensive.
[Radio Creme Brulee]: While your music falls comfortably within the rock genre, the appeal of the band’s music has extended to those people that like music by boybands or good old-fashioned pop music. Does this strike you as surprising? More importantly, was there a conscious decision to create a rock-driven sonic template for Poets Of The Fall that was pop-friendly?
[Marko Saaresto – Poets Of The Fall]: We’ve always been the difficult to pin point genre-hopper of a band. The way we see it, genres are just words used to define something that really doesn’t need defining, just listening and experiencing. So we never chose a specific genre or a style, but rather just chose to write whatever felt right for us. In my opinion, it can only be a good thing if staying true to our own vision has started to appeal to an ever widening audience.
[Radio Creme Brulee]: If you could hold the reins to the music industry for a while, what changes would you facilitate and why?
[Marko Saaresto – Poets Of The Fall]: I think what is has been lagging behind is how the industry has answered to the demands of the consumer of today. Would be interesting to see this up to date, so that both the consumers would be happy and the industry would no longer suffer the losses it has suffered in the past decade. To say any more than that about it is such a lengthy discussion that I’ll be a dear and save everyone two weeks and not go into it any deeper.
Thank you for the interview!
We extend a heartfelt “thank you” to Marko Saaresto – the magnetic frontman of Poets Of The Fall for taking the time to answer our questions above. We can barely wait to do an in-person interview with these rock gods – hopefully not too far out in the future.
We are an American internet radio station that broadcasts worldwide. The station features an eclectic mix of current pop and rock music from both sides of the Atlantic alongside hits, forgotten gems, and rarities from the last three decades. The music of Poets Of The Fall is a regular staple on our station. Right now, “Clear Blue Sky” by Poets Of The Fall is getting 5 plays a day on our station.
Give us a spin when you get a chance.
We just might become your alternative of choice!