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Poets of the Fall

I can only be grateful for it all

Leaders of the Finnish rock scene Poets of the Fall are celebrating their anniversary this year - exactly 15 years and 7 albums ago a duet of two friends turned into a worldwide-famous rock band. The anniversary Finnish tour is in full swing now and the band performs the most favorites songs along with the songs fans hadnt heard for a long time. The Poets of the Falls eighth full-length release Ultraviolet is going to be out this October and the band sets off for a world tour. We talked to the Poets of the Falls frontman Marko Saaresto about the 15th anniversary celebration, metaphors, Dorian Gray, the brand new single and video, the upcoming album and some more interesting things.
This year Poets of the Fall is celebrating the 15th anniversary. What are your plans for this

Thats right. 15 years is a long time. Its nice to take a moment and appreciate. Thats also why we decided to go on tour with it - to play oldies goldies and other pickings for our fans.

Plus, youve recently announced that youre going to release a new album this year.
Could you please share any details with us? How can we perceive the upcoming album?

We consider the new album, Ultraviolet, as a continuum of Clearview, theme wise. That also makes it the second phase of the third trilogy.

Will the upcoming album continue the conception of Clearview in any way? All these
shadow plays, opposition and, at the same time, playing along of light and darkness, truth and

Ultraviolet speaks of the hidden world, the subconscious that affects us
, even rules, in our everyday lives, and how to break free of it to live more joyously. Its also a brand new opportunity for us to write in various new ways and explore our current musical interests, identity and vibes.

And to your recently released song and video False Kings. They both are so catchy,
literary creeping under the skin! There are also so many symbols related to different periods of
the bands history in the video. Would you mind telling us something from the story behind
creation of the song and the video, please?

Thank you! As you know, False Kings is the first single release from Ultraviolet. For one thing, it speaks of how we - as people - seek validation and fulfilment outside ourselves. We are constantly looking for love or acceptance, or a sense of belonging, or a sense of having lived. We seek it through myriad different distractions that may or may not be the band-aid of the day for us. Yet if y
ou stop to review what that approach actually brings us, you can see it is not a lasting satisfaction, but rather a need to look for more and more fixes endlessly, until we start getting lost singing their song (a line from False Kings song interviewers note). But also it tells us that there is a way out.
With the video, we wanted the wicked Dorian Gray - like alter ego to represent this dilemma, this urge. True what you said about the references to the previous videos etc. Perhaps, they are there to commemorate the past fifteen years and to allow us to move on to new expanses. But I dont really want to go into too much detail about any of it, or the lyrics even, because, as ever, I find it most interesting to allow each and everyone to have as much liberty as possible to decide for themselves what the meanings are.

Here again we see cards. What do cards mean for you? Is it a symbol or metaphor? And
what about the use of chess in the bands concepti
To me the cards can be a doorway to peek inside your hidden meanings. Thats the power of metaphors. They allow for introspection. Id say the same for the chess pieces.

By the way, is there a studio version of False Kings with the guitar solo you include to
your live-performances, or this solo is only for the live version?

The solo is for when we play False Kings live. I personally think it gives the performance more emphasis and room to breathe, to settle in, and time to really feel the vibe of the song, so I really love it.

It seems like the rules of musical business have never been so difficult like in the last 15
years. Everybody has been having Internet where one can find a huge number of bands,
download tracks for free. The competition is rather high, but Poets of the Fall is extremely
respected and loved by both listeners and critics. Maybe, now you can formulate t
he rules or /
and principles of finding your own place in music and in listeners hearts?

Well, thank you, and yes, it has been quite the roller coaster these past 15 years in the music business, but I can only look at how far weve come in spite of all that and be grateful for it all.

As a band youve been working together for so many years already. From your
experience, is it easier to work with friends, or harder in any way?

With true friends its easier. Not always easy, but in my opinion, friendship makes it easier to bring up any topic and talk about it to see what works for the individual and what works for everyone involved.

All the other band members have their own / session side projects. Have you ever
thought of something like this for yourself? What can it be? Folk, ambient, maybe, death metal?

All of the above, I suppose, but maybe Id lean
more towards something laid back.

Moving closer to you personally, in False Kings video you did incredible actors work!
Lets imagine youve got a chance to choose a role in theatre (or in a film) to play. Would you
choose a role of a positive or a negative character?

I would probably choose the role of an interesting character.

Stephen King once said that you should practice writing every day, no matter if you have inspiration and mood or not. What does work for you - training or relying on inspiration?
In my view, inspiration comes if you can allow it, and thats the practice. Every day? Why not, if thats what you like to do on a daily basis.

Whats your perception of talent? Is it a gift or an ordeal?
Thats a good one, thank you. My perception of it is that it can be either. Borrowing a couple of lines from Choice Millionaire (Poets of the Falls song from the Jealous Gods album interviewers note) it can be a love affair or a cage of sheer despair. Its all in the way you perceive it.

Marko, what would you advise that you (yourself) 15 years ago?
The lottery numbers for the biggest win of the year are (laughing). But on a lighter note, Id probably advise myself to stay present, live in the now, i.e. what is, not in what once was or what may never be, even if they make good stories.

Author: Jane Sadovskaya
Photos by Tiia Öhman.

9 2018
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