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Q&A: Poet’s Of The Fall’s Marko Saaresto

The Finnish rock band’s frontman on their new album Temple of Thought, why the band loves playing in India, costumes and Max Payne

Sharin Bhatti Aug 24, 2012
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Marko Saaresto with Poets of the Fall performing at Hard Rock Cafe, Bengaluru.        Photo: Rajiv Shyamsundar

This has been a big year for Finnish rockers Poets of the Fall. The band released their fifth studio album, Temple of Thought in March 2012. A reissue of their 2003 hit “Late Goodbye” appeared in the recently released third person shooter action game Max Payne 3. The song was originally on the soundtrack of the first two editions of the game that got them instant recognition in the avid gaming community. Alan Wake’s Ameican Nightmare, another shooter game also features a song from their new album “The Happy Song.” The band is in India to play their multi-city album launch tour after having performed in Finland, Russia and Romania over the past few months. In five years, this is their third visit to the nation that according to POTF frontman Marko Saaresto is “the best part of their tour.” Saaresto adds, “We love India. This is the only country in the world where we feel like great rockstars. We get mobbed at our gigs.” POTF previously headlined the Great India Octoberfest in November 2011 and played at IIT Kanpur in 2007.

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 Have you planned anything special for your current India tour?

Oh yes. We have for one packed bigger bags and got more costumes with us this time around. (laughs) Our live performances are as important as our music videos. Our videos are theatrical and cinematic and that’s what we would like to extend to our live shows. And me and the boys are also looking to eating a lot more local food this time and travel more. Thankfully, our tour is taking us to a lot more cities this time, so we will be keeping our Lonely Planet guides handy.

Watch the music video of their new single off Temple of Thought, “Cradled In Love.”


 Temple of Thought is darker and louder than your previous albums. The first single Cradled in Love has a grungy intro that leads into lyrics about escapism. Is the band in transition?

We have always been a band that has told stories. We started out making music in my car back when we were working on Max Payne I and somehow that’s always stuck around with us, the fact that our music can work as a great background score. Over the past few years, we have been experimenting with electronica. Games we are writing music for are becoming more brutal. Fantasy and violence are becoming more prevalent. Yeah, our music is mirroring all that we are seeing around us.

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Finland is popular for its metal bands. As an alt rock band, did you have any issues in the beginning finding an audience for your sound?

Back home we are considered rock pop, but I think that’s the wonderful thing about making music that is a bit offbeat. We aren’t metal, but we aren’t rock either. We are something in between. We have been lucky in finding such great friends in the gaming industry that we’ve had an audience even before we played our first gig. It works great for us that way.


VH1 Handpicked presents Poets of the Fall live today at Hard Rock Café, New Delhi, 8pm onwards. Entry Rs 2000. 

August 25th, 2012 Hard Rock Cafe, Pune, 8 pm onwards. Entry Rs 2000 

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