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2021: Marko is gone


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Here's a Finnish news article about Marko's resignation, translated by Google. Nothing new though, except for manager Ewo Pohjola basically saying that "the show must go on". Apparently in an early version of the article there was a mention that the virtual shows were postponed until May in order to rehearse with a new bassist, but that was removed.



Marko Hietala leaves Nightwish and leaves the public eye, expresses his disappointment with the music industry: "We are a banana state in the music industry"

Nightwish bassist and singer Marko Hietala says on Facebook that he is leaving the band.

(Jan 12, 2021)

Bassist and singer Marko Hietala announces on nightwish's official Facebook page that he is leaving the band and leaving the public eye.

"Dear people. I leave Nightwish and my public life," Hietala begins his writing.

Hietala has been the longest-serving member of Nightwish since the remaining founding members, keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen and guitarist Emppu Vuorinen. He has been playing in the band since 2002.

Hietala used the first name Marco in public for years, but in recent years he has been Marko again.

In his outspoken writing, Hietala expresses his disappointment with the current music industry. That's the reason for his decision to leave playing Nightwish.

In his text, he talks about how he has experienced a lack of recognition while working in the industry in recent years.

"The big bosses of streaming companies demand that artists with their inspiration work from nine to five while sharing the revenue unfairly. Even among artists. We are a banana country in the music industry. The biggest tour promoters squeeze percentages even out of our own fan products while paying dividends to the Middle East. Apparently, some theocracies can take money from music that would because of or imprisoned without seeming hypocritistic. Here are just a couple of examples," Hietala writes.

In his text, Hietala says that he was forced home last year and thought about things. He found himself disappointed in many things in the music industry and realized that he needed recognition for his work.

"To write, sing and play, I need new reasons and sources of inspiration."

Hietala writes that he is chronically depressed and states that it would be dangerous for her and her loved ones if she continued to work now.

"Don't worry, I'm fine. I have two sons, a wife, the rest of the family, friends, a dog and a lot of love."

In his text, Hietala writes that he is unlikely to leave the music permanently. He says there are "a couple of things" he has promised to deal with during 2021, but otherwise he hopes no one in the media or music industry – with the exception of Black Sabbath founder Tony Iommi – will contact him this year.

"I have to reinvent things now. I hope to be able to report them in 2022. But this is not a promise."

At the end of his text, Hietala also refers to "conspiracy theories" that a surprising exit from the band might cause.

"I'm 55 years old on the 14th. The rapporteur was Mr S. I've unquestionably played my part. For example, blaming Thomas [Holopainen] is an insult to both me and my free thinking. This is a sad thing for all of us."

Hietala is one of the most famous names in Finnish metal music, starting his career already in the early 1980s, when he and his brother Zachary Hietala formed the band Tarot.

Before Nightwish, he also played in the band Sinergy, which he left after moving to Nightwish to replace Sami Vänskä.

Nightwish is a historical band in Finland in terms of international success. Founded more than 20 years ago, the band's albums have sold around 10 million copies internationally. For years, the band has been doing major world tours, performing in arenas of 10,000 to 20,000 people.

The band's history also includes previously surprising changes of members. The most famous, of course, is the turnaround seen in October 2005, when the band's other members separated the then soloist Tarja Turunen from the band with an open letter after the end of the world tour.

Turunen was replaced by Anette Olzon from Sweden, but was reported to have left the band in 2012. Since then, the band's soloist has been Floor Jansen from the Netherlands.

In addition to Nightwish, Hietala has, among other things, sung in the Northern Kings band and been involved in the Heavy Christmas project for a long time. In spring 2019, Hietala released his first solo album, The Black Heart Pyre.

In 2020, Hietala participated in the Masked Singer Finland show and won the competition with a character called The Doctor.

Nightwish says on its Facebook page that Hietala's departure from the band has forced the band to make difficult decisions.

The announcement states that after careful consideration, the band members have agreed to implement the Human Nature World tour planned for this year with a replacement bassist. The bass player's name will be announced later.

The tour is scheduled to begin in the spring with two virtual concerts. Two festival gigs have currently been announced in Finland.

Nightwish's manager Ewo Pohjola tells HS that she does not want to comment on Hietala's decision to leave the band any more than stated in the official announcement.

"Life goes on," Pohjola says.

According to Pohjola, the name of the replacement bassist will be announced "during the spring". Overall, the implementation of the great world tour will depend on the development of the situation with regard to the coronavirus pandemic in the coming months.

"All gigs will happen in due time," Pohjola says.

Tony Kakko, lead singer and songwriter of Sonata Arctica, commented to HS that he sympathizes with Hietala's decision. Both musicians have long been involved in the popular Heavy Christmas tours and share a vocal group, the Northern Kings.

"Marko is a long-time musician and has seen the industry from many angles. Sympathies are very much in favour of the man's decision and at the same time I feel sorry for Nightwish. We all have only one life and you have to try to make it your own good," Kakko says by text message.

According to Kakko, things have worked "well" with partners at Sonata Arctica. "But we have also seen and experienced changes in the industry. There are also bad experiences in history," Kakko writes.

Like Hietala, Kakko has faced the downsides of the music industry and outright misery.

"The conditions for making a living in this area, like entrepreneurs in other sectors, have deteriorated as a result of cultural changes. Mainly in allowing a generation to grow up that thinks music should be free. I hope this is a passing phase."


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