|Cursed With Oblivion 2002
Nightwish have just finished their tour promoting their latest release, "Century Child." We had a chance to ask some questions to Nightwish's bassplayer and vocalist, Marco Hietala, about his impressions from the tour, the past and the future.
- Hello Marco. How are you feeling after the tour?
Quite fine, thank you. Tour was really successful, and we met a lot of nice people, saw some great places and now it´s time to take some rest before projects that are already lining up for winter.
- Did you spend a lot of time with your two support bands, After Forever and Charon? During the show in Tilburg Andre and Bas from AF came on stage to perform with you Ozzy's cover "Crazy Train." I guess you got along pretty well together...
Yeah! Everyone on tour was really great. Including band & crew members. We did "Crazy Train" with Andre and Bas for the last 3 shows. It was fun and added a little speciality for those gigs. And of course we hung out together for a few times and got on really well. Everybody was a bit sad as well as happy to go home.
- Did you know these bands' music well before you went on tour with them?
Not well. Of course I had heard some of their stuff. Maybe more from Charon but I guess it goes with them being Finnish also. Both groups are really good in my opinion now that I´ve seen them.
- We have visited your show in Amsterdam, Paradiso (btw, standing very close to you). What are your memories from this concert?
Well, memories tend to blur a bit when every show is sold out and you get a great groove at every place. It just gets to be a great hullabaloo that lasts for days. The net performance made me a bit selfconscious at the start, but it went away in a couple of songs, luckily. I can tell you that I was really satisfied with the crowd and the performance, but the overall sound could have been a little better I think.
- Can you tell us something about your musical background? How and when did you first get into metal music? What were your first music fascinations?
I listened to Beatles, Status quo and lot of basic rock´n´roll and pop already as a kid (5-6 years). My first touch of heavy metal was Deep Purple´s Fireball at the age of 8. I loved the title song, though the rest of the album took a few years for me to get into. At the age of 9 I got hooked to Black Sabbath and that was it for me. My father plays a guitar so he always had a couple of acoustics hanging around the house and me and my brother started ruining them in our teens. After that it was a question of pestering him and mom to get us some electric stuff to play with.
- Tarot was the band you got famous with. Is there still a chance for some new Tarot material in the future?
We´ve been talking about getting together next winter during the NW break, so it's definitely possible that we'll do an album. So far we have only talked about it though.
- For some years you were a member of Sinergy. What are the differences between playing there and playing with Nightwish? Both bands' leaders - Tuomas and Kimberly - seem pretty dominant characters, knowing exactly what they want...
In both groups I have had the freedom of pretty much arranging my basslines by myself. Main differences are probably in the musical styles. Sinergy is faster and more basic two guitar heavy metal group and demanded some more technical brilliance. In Nightwish you have to concentrate more on the internal dynamics and atmospheres of the songs.
- Your departure from Sinergy was pretty controversial. Are you sometimes still in touch with the Sinergy members?
The whole thing got blown too big when it happened. I´m gonna get on stage with Roope on 23.9 in a project group that plays Black Sabbath and Ozzy, in a special celebration for Finnish tv-channel 4, which is starting to show "the Osbournes" in the fall.
- The first part of "Beauty Of The Beast" - "Long Lost Love" - on the latest Nightwish release was written by you. I am curious if it was composed earlier or before other parts have been written.
I actually don´t know. In one of the rehearsals Tuomas told me that he has this 10 minute epic that he¥s working on, so I guess he had some stuff for it already. At the same day I also showed him some of my stuff that I thought would fit the band and this one piece ended up becoming "Long Lost Love".
- Your vocal part in "Slaying The Dreamer" is something totally new for Nightwish. Was it totally Tuomas's idea or did you have still some influence on the way it sounds?
Tuomas told me that he wants no melody for that part. Just get into a state of rage and beyond. The actual sound with the lower doublings was then my idea. It was my debut with that kind of thing, and I have to admit that I was quite surprised myself how disturbing it sounds. Hmmm..well at least to me. Some people have been noted to take some other views.
- On some songs you duet with Tarja. During the live shows there is of course a lot of interaction between your voices. How was it in the very beginning when you joined tha band to sing together for both of you? Your voices differ very very much.
We were already in the studio when we started putting them together and Tuomas of course had quite definite visions of what we should do and when. I liked the contrast then, and after rehearsing for the live shows, I was convinced that we can make it work really well. The whole thing just adds to the artistic freedom within the group.
- When learning and playing live the older Nightwish songs, do you try to play them your own way?
I take the original and if it´s good I´ll use it. I do try to add some surprises and fills that are in my style, but only if there´s room for it. My basic playing style is already more aggressive and hard, so it naturally changes the groove of the songs to that direction.
-What do you like most about Nightwish music? And what are your personal favourite Nightwish tracks?
I like the ambition and the majesty as well as the recipe of the band, which creates this unique sound, so those people who are afraid of Tarja quitting and me taking up the lead by myself can wash their pants finally. I am biased about my favorite songs it seems, because most of them are on the CC album (Bless the child, Beauty of the beast and so on). I do like tracks like "Come cover me" and "Wishmaster" also.
- Thanks to your musical career you have had a chance to travel to many places in the world. What countries were you most impressed with?
I usually find or try to find things that differ and make things more interesting where ever I am, so I play no favorites here. However, the farther away I get from home, I start to look for familiar things also, because people are people, and it´s nice to see that people in Brazil or Japan can for example have a few drinks with you and find as common things to talk about, as with your neighbor. I´d rather say that there are countries that haven´t impressed me yet.
- What will you do during the year when Nightwish will take a break?
I have a few projects coming at winter. One of them the possible Tarot album I mentioned earlier and a couple of studio based projects, which I can´t discuss yet. It´s too early. I also try to leave a lot of time for the family.
- Thanks a lot for the interview. Success with your musical and private life!
16 September 2002