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Interviews > Nightmail - Marco
Nightmail - Marco

The Fans - Nightmail
December 2006

Marty (Netherlands): You already had lengthy career in music with your previous bands before you joined Nightwish, and I read in an interview that only in NW you were able to make a living from only playing music. What kind of work did you do to support yourself?

Marco: I was doing different things related to business anyway. Background vocals for different projects. Playing, singing and writing radio and tv commercials. I also had jobs in some venues in the sound technical department, and I've been a soundengineer in a couple of studios.

nina (hämeenlinna): How do you come up with those great small talks between the songs? They always make me laugh. :D And why were almost all of them cut from the End Of An Era DVD?

Marco: I come up with a loose frame for the show when we are doing it for the first few times. Then I just say what comes to mind. They were cut off from the EOAE for a couple of reasons. We wanted to intensify the show a little bit. After all, tv-screen is smaller than the actual situation. Some of the finnish that we spoke was also not very translateable.

Mahtiel (Slovac Republic): 1. Do you think that Tuomas' passion for soundtracks brought into music has inspired metal fans to appreciate more the film scores? What do you think of certain people refering to Nightwish's music as "soundtrack metal"?
2. How did your Tarot fellows react when you became a part of Nightwish? What do they (especially Zachary ;-)) think about Nightwish's music?

Marco: 1) If a publicly admired figure tells that he likes something, then some people will try those things themselves. I'm just glad he likes filmscores instead of crack. "Soundtrack metal" probably describes the music of NW quite well. If you have to add the soundtrack to something, then it's your imagination.
2) My brother (Zac) is more proud of the success of NW than me. The rest of the guys are quite neutral. They like some of the music but not all of it. They all do understand my commitment to NW still. All the guys in Tarot have different things in their life, and we respect each other's oddities.

(): Do you tune your bass down one whole step like Emppu or do you tune it in a different way?

Marco: Yep, a whole step down. Tuning goes like this. D,G,C,F. I also have a mechanical device called "Hipshot" in all of my basses. With it I can drop the tuning of my low D one more whole step to C in some songs.

Ville Partanen (Jyväskylä): 1. What is the most challenging Nightwish song to play live from the basist's point of view?
2. Where do you get the inspiration for your composing?

Marco: 1) There is no certain song that would make me think: "Oh shit, it's coming now". I just try to find a way to make all of them as groovy as I can.
2) Usually just by playing and finding different riffs and melodies. Of course the mood of the day affects it a lot.

Elina (Nilsiä): What is the main difference between Nightwish's new album and Once?

Marco: Different vocalist. Other than that, it's too soon to tell. Lots of things will start to sound totally different when we're actually doing them.

Monique (Benschop, The Netherlands): Have you ever been offered money to cut off your (good-looking) beard? And if so, is this person still alive? :-)

Marco: Nobody's done that yet, but I'm open to offers. If you want them, be prepared to PAY!

Replica (Tampere): What was the most difficult moment for you with Nightwish before firing Tarja?

Marco: The stomach bacteria that hit me right before our last show in Sao Paulo.

Marcel (Holland): you use a pick when playing. nowaways, bassists who use their fingers are very rare, so why do you use a pick instead of fingers? except the fact that you have more speed with a pick.

Marco: I started playing with the pick about a 1000 years ago, so I'm more comfortable with it. If there was a reason to play in alternate way, then I could learn fingertechniques as well. It has nothing to do with the speed of playing or other neurotic stuff that has bothered guitarplayers since the 80's.

Jon (The Moon That Never Sets): Have you ever considered using a 5 string bass for any recordings, I'm guessing that the bass you use is in drop D?

Marco: I used a 5-string bass when we were recording Martjn Westerholt's DELAIN album. All the rhythm guitars were already recorded with B-tuning, so it was more natural that way. with NW and Tarot we use drop D tuning, and I also have that "hipshot" tuner that I already talked about in question #13.

George Stathoulopoulos (Athens, Greece): Did it sometimes happen that your fingers would hurt after a hard concert? If yes, how quick afterwards were they "cured"?

Marco: My fingers haven't been sore from playing. Yet.

Bram (Eindhoven, The Netherlands): What is (in your opinion) the best new release of the last few months? (and don't say Tarot =D)

Marco: Awww, man! I'm sorry, but I've been so out of touch with everything since summer, (demoing, recording, doing shows etc.) that I really have no idea.

Leticia Guignone (Brazil): Is it easy to work with Tuomas??? I mean, is he like a "boss" or is he a good boy???

Marco: Nice guy but a "bad boy" in some other ways I think. We respect the work he has done and he lets us arrange our parts pretty much the way we feel comfortable. It's quite easy for most of time.

Michael Pereira (Bristol, England): Dearest Marco, Firstly, the music you play evokes such beauty and raw feelings within me and your voice in songs such as 'feel for you' have gotten me through the dark days of my long-term illness. You are my hero, I adore you. 3 questions:
1. Do you ever play stuff outside of the genre of heavy metal; any classical, folk, jazz or country, for example
2. Would Nightwish ever do a Rammstein cover or play in the same concert as Rammstein?
3. How come so much Finnish Heavy Metal (like Nightwish, Tarot, HIM etc.) is in English?

Marco: 1) First of all, Thank you for your open and kind words! I play a lot of acoustic guitar. Some of it comes close to being cassical or folk depending on what I play. I've also played rhythmguitar and sang background in a soul and 60's rock'n'roll band.
2) Sure, why not! Would be interesting to arrange one of their pieces.
Translation into english, hmmm...
3) Finnish isn't very "universal". I guess we all have wanted to get our bands heard in some other countries as well.

(Siilinjärvi): 1. How do you feel about the new Nightwish album?
2. In how many songs do you sing?

Marco: 1) I'm optimistic about the songs, but at the same time a little bit more scared than last time. I guess I don't have to tell you why.
2) 4-5 so far. Of course there might be more later on.

hope (greece): if you were a god for a day what would you change?

Marco: The day would never end. Then on to some other things...

Jarkko (Helsinki): Are you aiming even "higher" after the success of Once or is it challenging enough to keep the same level?

Marco: Life is challenging. We'll do an album to the best of our abilities, and then we'll see if we've been true to our muses.

Kassandra (Mexico): What do you think about the fact Nightwish is going to start a new "era", is it going to be uncomfortable? are you going to miss tarja? or are you happy to start this new "era" and see what the future has ready for you guys?

Marco: All of us, of course, miss Tarja, and we miss the times with her when things were good. She's a great vocalist and a kind human being who, to my opinion, listened and fell to some very bad advice. You can't walk over wishes of everyone else constantly without consequences. "Personal advisors" should also try to see the whole picture. I am, and will be extremely comfortable and happy with the fact, that such people are out of our equation. Onward!

Michele (U.S.A.): Listening to your music is always like an escape for me and always makes me incredibly happy. It's so unique compared to the pathetic American music of today. What are your inspirations to creating such beautiful music? Also, do you think you will ever come to America soon to perform?

Marco: I think one of the main things about the band and its music is the underlying honesty of everything. There are no aims to find a certain target audience or to do things in a safe way. That is something you can hear in the music as well. We also have plans of touring North America when we get the next album out. I just can't tell you the dates yet.

Tessa Simpkins (USA): I know that the probibility of you reading this is slim but i wanted you to know that i think that Nightwish would be even better just Instrumental. It seems that not putting on shows dosent only damper on your spirits but as well as the fans that have been waiting to hear from Nightwish. What do you think?

Marco: We're in a situation that requires really a lot of patience. Since we do have real intentions of bringing the band to the people with a new vocalist this year, we just hope you and all the other fans will be able to last. There is no point in doing instrumental shows with these plans. It would only be a halfhearted show and a lot of extra work for everybody.

Jeff (The states): If you could get into outer space where would you want to go?

Marco: The actual place is not important. Some place where I could meet and communicate with alien intelligences (or dumbasses) would be fine.

Fer (Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, México): What do you like more doing in the band; singing or playing bass????????

Marco: Hate them both. I just want the cash!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nicky (Greece): Marco has anything embarrassing or funny happened while you where on stage? Something you can't forget? If yes, what did you do? How the fans reacted? Spirits up, can't wait for the new album!!!!!!

Marco: Thank you! When I was stilll smoking I used to have a few cigarettes on stage. The funny thing was that some fans commented about it, and one thought I had a cunning plan. The smoke would make Tarja lose her voice and I would be able to take over. Busted!

AMI (Germany): 1) Do you get as nervous playing with Tarot as you do when playing with NW?
2) We know that some of the songs you've written were not chosen to be on the Once CD. It has to be disappointing at times. Are you able to use some of those songs when playing with Tarot?

Marco: 1) I don't get nervous usually. I have to use a lot more voice with Tarot, so I have to check it's condition a bit more.
2) I changed one verse a bit and used it. To be honest, in hindsight the rest of the demos were crap.

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