Tarot – Marco Hietala

TAROT –  Marco Hietala

Interview & live pictures by Luxi Lahtinen

Legendary Finnish Heavy Metal dinosaurs Tarot are currently busy with the recordings of their new, and as yet untitled 7th studio album that should see its release date sometime by the end of the year. Since the band’s previous album SUFFER OUR PLEASURES, which was released on Spinefarm Records in 2003, two noteworthy things have happened in the Tarot -camp. First off, after the S.O.P. album the band left Spinefarm Records and signed to a smaller, independent Finnish label King Foo Entertainment. Secondly, in early 2006, Tarot made an official announcement that they have added a new guy to their line-up for the 2nd vocals. This ‘old-new’ member is Tommi ‘Tuple’ Salminen who has actually had a strong involvement with the band since 1995 with his roles being both as a roadie and as backing vocalist in the band for more than 10 years.

We met Tarot’s always friendly vocalist and bassist Marco Hietala on a sunny evening in Tampere 25th of May 2006, just a few hours before the band’s gig at the University House that same night. We talked about the previously mentioned matters and about much more.



Before I start inquiring from you about new Tarot material, let’s have some talk about this ‘remasters’ set of the 1st 6 Tarot albums. Last time when we were talking about them, they seemed to be delayed for a number of reasons, but now they all have finally been released by Mika’s Blue Light Records. Anyway, can you tell why it took like 2-3 years to get them released? Were there any significant reasons behind this, let’s just say without exaggarating a bit, ‘enormous’ delay?

Well, I think the main reason is the fact Blue Light Records is run by one guy only, Mika Myyryl’inen, and working for Blue Light Records it’s not actually his main thing, but he also works for Sony Records as his main job. So my rational guess is Sony Records simply has taken so much of his time that he was unable to get these remasters out any earlier, and on the other hand Blue Light Records could be considered as some sort of mission in his life for him; like a seriously taken hobby which is admirable in him. Mika has been working with his label for so many years already, releasing all that kind of stuff through the label he likes to listen to. But yeah, back to your question, the main reason for delaying these remasters, was simply Mika’s devoted involvement with his daily job under Sony Records.
I honestly gotta say both Janne (Tolsa) and Mika did both a hell of a job when working hours and hours and again hours in the studio, to get all your albums remastered ‘ basically spending and sacrificing lots of their precious time to get them all done the way nobody could say they could have left something to the half-way, sort of.

I agree 100% with you. They both really worked their asses off for them, in order to get them remastered properly – and in the same breath I need to confess I wouldn’t have been the right man for such a huge project what they did to get them all remastered.
So, what do you think of the final outcome of all of them? I bet you just couldn’t have asked for more, he-he!!

I’m really satisfied with what they achieved with those remasters. Especially with our first 2-3 albums you are able to hear a huge difference; they all have got more depth and more this space ‘feeling, even if I cannot say those albums have become heavier and sharper by their soundscapes, but overall I’m really satisfied with all of them – and I don’t think nobody would have done better work with them than Janne and Mika. It’s always a huge challenge to work with your old releases, and to try to update the sound of these past albums closer to today’s sound and basically, to try to make them sound updated, y’know. For example our 4th album FOR THE GLORY OF NOTHING has already very updated sound itself, so there’s no point to make it sound even more updated because you can barely hear the difference.
I was just counting almost recently all these bonus tracks out of this so-called ‘Tarot Sixpack’ and noticed you have used as many as 25 different bonus songs for these 6, remastered Tarot CDs ‘ this including also the bonus tracks of your TO LIVE AGAIN live-CD which actually is identical with the Japanese version that was released in 1994, twelve years ago already. Despite of this huge amount of bonus songs for all these 6 remastered CDs, I was just wondering was there still some material out there somewhere that didn’t fit into these remasters; or you simply wanted to leave forever as leftovers, unreleased songs?

I have to say that we actually found some old Tarot demo tracks (‘In My Blood’ and ‘Born into the Flame’) for the remastered version of FOLLOW ME INTO MADNESS at the very last minute, and that particular demo tape was lost for years and in fact, we didn’t think it would even exist any longer. It was simply pure luck that that tape appeared from somewhere to our hands. Some of us had already forgotten such songs were even made ‘ just like my big brother Zachary; even I was very skeptical whether we ever recorded those particular songs in question. As for still old unreleased Tarot material, I don’t think we have anything worth releasing anymore. We may probably have some very raw versions of some songs that we never want to get released.

When I went to check your forum the other day, I noticed there were made a few requests for releasing these demos of your Purgatory ‘days as bonus for these remasters, so why none of that stuff ended up being featured for your remastered CDs?

No, no, no… I don’t think those demos are still existing somewhere. Even if they did, I wouldn’t ever consider to get them out on a Tarot ‘release as bonuses.
I guess some of those Purgatory ‘songs were later released under the Tarot ‘moniker, correct?

Not really… or, let me think for a couple of seconds. In fact, during the Purgatory ‘days we had a song that has a different song title now, and which was named to ‘Never Forever (on THE SPELL OF IRON)later. It was a quite different version back then compared to the final version that ended up on our debut album. As for some other still unreleased songs, we may well have some, but I guess they were either left undone completely or they sounded so bad that we never even considered finishing them up completely. Hey, I almost forgot: A song called ‘Shadow in My Heart’ which was ended up on our second album (FOLLOW ME INTO MADNESS), was actually one of those songs we were working at our days as Purgatory already even if it naturally did sound a very different version compared to the version which was done for FOLLOW ME INTO MADNESS. The lyrics were even something different what they were when we did this song with the Purgatory ‘moniker. None of us have any interest in releasing those Purgatory ‘demos in any format any longer.


How big was the 1st pressing for these remastered CDs anyway? I was in contact with Mika via email and he told me the first pressing went immediately to distributors as there was so much demand and interest towards these remastered Tarot ‘CDs.

Yeah, he told me the same thing. However, to be honest with you, I have no idea how big this first pressing was for each remastered CD because both he has been busy with things in Sony Records – and we have been very busy due to a number of things as well. I’m sorry, but I just have no idea.
Have you been informed at all how well the remasters are available via some distributors outside of Finland? At least what has come to my information, these remastered Tarot CDs are quite surprisingly well available from some distributors abroad…

That’s nice to hear indeed! I really hope there could be at least a couple of fistfuls of distributors that sell their stuff mostly through the Internet so that those CDs could be available for as many people as possible. I have met many people when traveling across the world that come and ask whether they are out, or where they can order these CDs from. Therefore we have been waiting for these remasters to come out pretty anxiously as a matter of speaking – and I’m so glad they are out now.
I think it could be said it was about the time to get them out. Namely if you think of all these people that have become aware of Tarot through your latest album SUFFER OUR PLEASURES (released on Spinefarm Records in 2003), and then kind of woke up and became huge fans of Tarot’s Heavy Metal music for the very 1st time, they of course start hunting all of your previous releases for themselves. Before these Tarot remasters were even released, you had to have some good cash in your wallet because the only places to hunt down your previous, sort of ‘hard-to-get’ CDs, were different auctions in the Internet like eBay, Gemm and such. It was like: ‘Bid for as up as 70-90 bucks (especially for the Japanese versions!) and you can be certain the CD is yours…’. That’s how I got my copies anyway, he-he!!

Ha-ha-hah… I know what you mean. Now when these remasters have been put out, we can rid off all these robber scumbags in some of these Internet auctions who are there just to make some extra money for themselves, at the cost of real Tarot ‘fans. But well, it was about the time…!!




Up next, let’s get back to this present day and talk about your latest single titled YOU a little bit, which in fact just hit the stores here in Finland. I got a copy of it just a couple of days ago and have to say the song itself sounds pretty straight-forward yet even quite angry, yet it can be said one is able to recognize it easily as a Tarot ‘song.

Yes, I gotta agree. The song indeed has a very straight-forward approach in it. In fact, sometimes it makes me to think whether we made even a bit too ‘straight-forward’ song to be a Tarot ‘song…
Can this new song, ‘You’, work out some sort of a road sign how the next Tarot album is going to be like musically, having this a bit more kind of ‘straight-to-the-point’ approach in it – and which hopefully, will be released by the end of the year?

Well, you got it right that we are looking for the end of the year release. But as for the song as some sort of a reference point to the other material on our next release, I don’t think all of our songs will sound that straight-forward. Of course we will have the similar kind of, may I say, ‘simple and straight-forward’ elements in some of our other songs as well, but they are there to add even more some diversity to our next album. I think there’ll be lots of stuff in our new songs where we go from one extreme to another extreme; by this I mean from a heavier and more aggressive stuff to some lighter and more melodic parts.
So, when did you actually give a birth to ‘You’? Did this particular song born in the same sessions of your highly respected previous album SUFFER OUR PLEASURES already, or is it almost recently composed tune from you?

‘You’ is a pretty new song as we started composing it sometimes in the last year and got it finished this year. We were demoing the song quite a few times, trying out different things before it got its final shape during the spring this year.
Does the artwork of this YOU single have some symbolic meaning? I mean, you actually don’t have to be too clever to realize and understand that showing a fist in the front cover in which a flaming middle finger has been raised up, the message is pretty darn clear ‘ even without the word ‘(fuck) you’.

Ha-ha… everyone can think of both the cover and the title whatever they want to, but the lyrics have simply been directed to our ex-friends and ex-girlfriends; for those people who think we are assholes nowadays. It’s so easy for someone to say we have become assholes or whatsoever the more we have got our name spred around, and the more we have become popular amongst people. So, basically the title of this single is dedicated to all of you who see us a bunch of ignorant assholes now. There you go ‘ here you are, ha!
As you should also be aware of the fact, from New York comes from this long-running Speed/Thrash Metal act named Overkill who had this very similar looking cover for their !!!FUCK YOU!!! mini-LP (which was released back in 1988 already) to your single, YOU.

Yes, I know them, and I was also aware of that particular cover beforehand. However, since we already used this one particular guy who is in fire on the cover of SUFFER OUR PLEASURES, we thought it would be a nice idea to use the very same guy for the cover of this single, but in a bit more modified form, he-he! And that’s how we ended up using it for YOU, too.



What about this cover song Blue ‘yster Cult’s ‘Veteran of the Psychic War’; how did you decide to choose to cover that song for the single? Instead of you, Tommi (Salminen, now the official member of Tarot) did some great vocals for it…

It all started from this one idea that we were actually finding a song for Tommi which he could sing at Tarot’s gigs. Now we have been playing that song live like a year and half… or wait a minute… when our last album SUFFER OUR PLEASURES came out, we have been playing the song since then, almost 3 years if thinking more carefully. So, this was kind of a quite natural choice for us after all to go and record the song for this single as we had never done any demo recordings or anything for it even if we had had it in our setlist for so long already.
Did you have any other worth mentioning alternatives in your minds as for a cover song, expect this B.’.C.’s song, like considering to cover something totally different outside of Rock/Heavy Rock ‘genres? You did a well-succeeded version from that Genesis’ song titled ‘Mama’ for the 2nd song for your UNDEAD SON single in 2003. I guess it was a great experiment for all of you back then all in all, wasn’t it?

Yes, it was as a matter of speaking. As for choosing this B.’.C. ‘cover song for YOU, it was chosen quite painlessly for the single even if I tried to ask from the other guys whether they would have had some other choices in their minds for the cover song. But none of them did, so ‘Veteran…’ was chosen. The original version of the song is kinda keyboard-driven, and emotional-filled song, so what we basically wanted to do with it, was to add both more heavy guitar ‘ and bass lines into it, and I’m at least happy with the result how it turned out eventually.



I guess it needs to be mentioned that along with the release of your new single, you also said ‘goodbye’ to your previous label, Spinefarm Records, and signed to King Foo Entertainment. What’s the story behind this solution anyway?

Yes, we indeed did change the label from Spinefarm to King Foo. However, I guess it needs to be pointed out we left Spinefarm in good terms. We felt that we could get more certain freedom under King Foo, being a way smaller and kind of more secure label than Spinefarm Records these days (as many know the global Universal Records bought out majority from Spinefarm Records’ ownership for some years ago, Spinefarm giving up their independency). In my opinion it’s better to be signed to an independent label to a certain level than having a deal with some global label that controls basically everything. What we wanted to achieve with our deal with King Foo, was to get more security and freedom for our doings; and be a band on their roster the label really looks after for ‘ and not just one band in some certain massive catalogue if you know what I’m trying to say here.
So your moving from Spinefarm to King Foo didn’t have anything to do with the fact Ewo (Rytk’nen; the manager of Nightwish) went to form this management company of his own with some other guys?

No, not at all. If I remember correctly, Ewo left Spinefarm because he was already involved with so many different things back then, besides him being in Label Manager’s role in Spinefarm. He already had a strong knowledge about this business, so I guess the main reason for Ewo’s leaving from Spinefarm, was just his own idea and plan to try out his own wings under a different company which he eventually did with King Foo. As for us, none of us have anything against Spinefarm Records. I play in Nightwish ‘ and many things (interviews, promotion for the DVD, etc.) still happen through Spinefarm Records because of Nightwish. However, at some point we felt that it would better for Tarot to be a smaller label which still could have its status as an independent label, and we are really happy that we eventually landed a deal with King Foo.



My sincere congratz for your new deal with them then. However, let’s continue talking more in-depth about Tarot’s new stuff as I’m very curious to know more about it. I remember reading some article where you said something like your new stuff might even be heavier and darker than the musical direction you had taken with your songs on your previous album SUFFER OUR PLEASURES.

Yeah, overall I could say there’s gonna be a slight darker vibe going on at least some of our new song on this next Tarot album. I don’t know, but I think this ‘little break’ we had between the SUFFER and FOR THE GLORY albums, somehow it even brought some joyful and happy elements in for the SUFFER album for the reasons I don’t know about although the album was by far our heaviest album. With our new songs, we have managed to get rid off those way too ‘happy’ sounding moments and got bit darker sounding elements back to our songs again.
When inquiring from Marco more specific details about the forth-coming Tarot stuff, Marco became kind of occupied.

Well, this is quite hard for me to describe our new songs that accurately, but all I can already tell you is that our next album will definitely have darker vibes in it; the wholeness is going to be darker and heavier than our previous record, SUFFER OUR PLEASURES. At this point of the song writing, in some way the album may be a bit more straight-forward as wholeness which doesn’t mean each of our songs could sound something like what we did with ‘You’. We have some slow and heavy stuff coming up for the album as well that people are used to hear from us, too. On the other hand, I don’t want to reveal too much yet because not everything’s done for our next record. It may become a double-edged sword against us if I say something which wouldn’t go hand-in-hand with my sayings about our new songs. Therefore I still wanna keep this talking on a quite ‘hush-hush’ level due to the unfinished song writing process for this next Tarot album. Now we have got like 9-10 songs finished completely, and we are currently going through a couple of half-finished songs just to find out whether those songs may fit into the concept of the album with the rest of the songs. Also, I still need to check if I have some good lyrics left to be used for those unfinished songs ‘ and naturally we of course need to work on with the songs, and try to do some demos out of those songs as well. But let’s see later how many songs we will eventually record for this forth-coming album of ours. Probably our standard amount of songs that we will do for it, is about 10 songs just like we have usually recorded for our previous albums, too.
Maybe you can tell a couple of so-called ‘working titles’ for your new songs already, or can’t you?

One of the ‘working titles’ is ‘Reijo’ which final title will be ‘Grey’.

Hmm… ok, I see. Well, can you tell any reasons for this one fact, the older you have gotten, the heavier, darker and probably even angrier your music has turned out as some of us have surely noticed?

If we were younger and angrier back in the day, nowadays we are not that young anymore, but at least twice as much angrier than let’s say, 15-20 years ago. Now, seriously, I think it has simply something to do with your own musical likings, what you want to do and share with people as far as your music goes; how you want to punish your listeners, whatsoever, ha-hah! I personally demand a lot of attitude, punishing mentality from our music, and the more we can wipe the ears of our listeners, the better ‘ of course! And I gotta say our forth-coming material has lots of this right attitude and mentality to punish the Tarot ‘fans in a positive sense of the word. All the lived life, attitudes, overall all our life experiences, etc., of course reflect partly what kind of musical approach we will have on this album. The main principle for us has always been we do such kind of music what we’d like to listen to ourselves, without any compromises.
What kind of touch do you already have toward your newest stuff? Could you even claim with sort of clich’-filled comments this album is gonna be by far the best release you have accomplished during your whole career thus far, both musically and lyrically as well?

Aaarrg… It’s better that I won’t start comparing this forth-coming Tarot album to our previous releases even if my overall feeling is really good and strong about our new songs. Y’know, you need to get the whole thing together first, then let a couple of months past by ’til you are ready to say whether we have done our best album, or one of our best albums this far of which you can be ‘ or can’t be proud of. Of course we are always thriving for the best possible result; trying to find as catchy elements for our songs as possible that could make an impact on listeners on the first listen already ‘ and not just after 4-5 spins. All in all the new material sounds heavy and dark, and it’s got some really good melodic parts we are really proud of.
Sounds like your main intention with your new album, is really to punish mercilessly and ruthlessly your fans this time, ha!

Actually for the relief of our fans, we have a couple of parts in our new songs where people have a chance to take a short breath ’til this merciless beating starts all over again, he-heh!
To promote your new album, you obviously need a new video to support the selling of the album, so do you already have some plans for shooting one?

We have been thinking of doing one, but I think the most important thing for us right now is to make sure each song for this new album, should get finished as completely as possible before going to a studio to record them. That’s the no.1 priority for us right the very moment. Just until then we need all of our energy to finish the songs for our new album  before  we can start thinking of making a video for one of the songs off from this forth-coming album, if that comes necessary for us later in the coming months.



We already touched the next topic lightly a while ago, so let’s continue talking about this ‘old-new’ face in the Tarot ‘line-up. I noticed quite sometime ago already when checking through some of your new promotional shots of the band that Tarot has added a new, fifth member to the line-up, Tommi ‘Tuple’ Salminen. He has been in your touring line-up since 1995 already ‘ mostly doing some background vocals for the band both on the Tarot ‘gigs, but also on some of your albums earlier. Did you feel like you kind of ‘owned’ him to become a member of Tarot as he has so heavily been involved with Tarot within all these past years; being a roadie for you every once in a while, actively taking a part of your gigs as the background vocalist – and overall being like a true soul mate to the band.

Yes. Actually we were even wondering why we didn’t hire him to Tarot when we were recording SUFFER OUR PLEASURES. I guess we simply didn’t realize that it would have been an ideal time to invite him to be a part of this band officially, as our 5th member. Like you said, he has already been a long time with us, and we even have a couple of new song ideas that actually have a very straight-forward approach – sounding heavy and all that in which both me and Tommi make double-vocals in them. And while at the same time when we had those ideas for the songs where these double-vocals fitted in very well, we started pondering why we don’t use this already ready recipe and line-up; we could easily keep all this what we have now ‘ and proceed from there. Most likely the time wasn’t right at that time, and probably I was kinda jealous about my own lyrics and stuff back then, I don’t know. We already knew by experience that Tommi was a talented musician, so why not, he could have been a nice addition to the Tarot ‘line-up after all. Or maybe I somehow got to notice myself when becoming older over these years that I need someone there to support and to give more power and strength to my vocal performance, ha-ha!!
What kind of role does Tommi have in Tarot’s song writing process? Is he fully allowed to bring in his own idea for the band just like the others of you?

Of course…! Even if I gotta say that as we have been doing new stuff for Tarot, it’s quite much been me, my brother Zachary and Janne who have been sitting down and working with them mostly. If Tommi has some cool ideas for some vocal melodies and stuff, of course he can bring his ideas to our knowledge. But as the three of us who mostly work with these new Tarot songs and are, however, the main song writers in the band, we already kind of produce ourselves and the rest of the guys, we basically make the guidelines musically of what type of stuff we want to use for the band that represents the band the way we want this band to stay as far as the music goes. But like I said, if he has got some good ideas in his mind, then of course they are more than welcome to come in for our song writing process.
Would you even say that the three of you, Zachary, Janne and you, work out as some sort of a filter during the song writing process, what kind of things are allowed to use for the band, and what not?

Well, yes and no, but of course some sort of vision needs to be there. We probably wouldn’t been to keen of using some Red Hot Chili Peppers type of thing for our new songs ‘ no thank you!


What do you think of Tommi’s other musical project called Mess (featuring f.ex. Jari Kainulainen from Stratovarius)? Are they already familiar to you musically?

Yes, I have heard some demo tracks from them and I need to admit they actually do sound pretty damn good to me. But I still don’t want to comment them that in-depth as I certainly would like to hear more fully completed stuff from them as we are still talking about demo songs here only, y’know.


What about some of these priority type of questions then. I mean, this is only a hypothetical confronting kind of speculating, but if both Tarot and Mess had a tour going on at the very same time, I was just wondering whether you have already had some talk with him about some priority issues which of these two bands would come as the first, main priority for him and his band he’s involved with?

No, we haven’t had any that kind of talking with him about any priority issues. We haven’t even thought about that yet because we have already been in some of those similar kind of situations when all my time has gone to Nightwish ‘ and Janne has been busy with Turmion K’til’t. So this situation is nothing new to us at all; everything is possible to organize from the point of our most important priorities. I give you an example. If we f.ex. talk about the following threesome: Nightwish, Turmion K’til’t and Tarot, we have hardly have any problems to make certain schedules fit because the logistic for each band works very well. This of course has lots of to do with the fact, all three bands are taken care of the same management company (King Foo Entertainment, that is). It’s a big advantage for each band the same company is behind all of us and booking gigs for each of these three bands, and really makes things a bit easier for each of us in many ways when thinking logistical side of different things. Less headaches, too ‘ ha-ha!!
Janne also has his involvement with Eternal Tears of Sorrow these days, being the keyboard master in that line-up…

That’s right – I almost forgot that one. All I know about that is at least Janne was involved with the last recording session of E.T.o.S., but I have no clue whether they have also had some discussion about touring with the band. It would probably mean a bit more logistical arrangement within all these bands then. But let’s see that later when that time comes…


You are now having this sort of club tour in Finland going on ‘ and then you’ll do a bunch of festival dates around Finland during this summer. Now if we are looking back in time, the 1st Tarot album, THE SPELL OF IRON, was released in 1986 – exactly 20 years ago, so would you consider this as some sort of 20th anniversary tour for Tarot?  I believe you cannot ignore the fact Tarot has been around for 20 long years; done many tours and many good albums, too.

Is this our 20th anniversary tour Zachary?

Zachary: Why not, at least in some mysterious way it is just that for each of us, I guess.

We haven’t announced officially when going on this tour like this is our 20th anniversary tour, but like you said already, it would be nice to consider this as some sort of 20th anniversary tour – even a couple of worth-mentioning facts support the idea pretty nicely. Namely we just got the set of our remastered CDs out, we started this tour almost recently and considering the tour itself, our set includes some tracks from our first two albums, too. Of course when we get our new album out ‘ hopefully sometime by the end of the year, it will make some changes to our setlist. But for this tour, which is heavily based on these summer festival gigs, we try to make a good selection of songs from each of our albums. This is probably our most hectic festival season since the year 1986 when our debut album was released.
So, how do you feel about playing for big masses of people again, knowing that you have done lotsa club gigs over the last few years?

Zachary: Just great!!

… but, to be honest with you, pretty damn strange, too.




Zachary: I’m sorry to interrupt you now for a short moment, but I need to tell you one funny story which happened to us when we went to fill up our empty stomach with a warm, tasty meal. There was this one waitress in one restaurant who came to us and said politely: ‘Good evening! So, what would you like to eat? We have got on our special menu today both delicious vegetables and very good, fried chicken’. It didn’t take much longer than 2-3 seconds when our drummer Pecu spitted the following straight words in the air, in front of this poor waitress’ face: ‘Phyi… I HATE chicken and I HATE vegetables!! Bring me a big greasy, fat steak with potatoes ‘ thank you’. And this waitress continued: ‘I’ll see what I can do for you, wait a minute’. Much for each of our surprise, it took only a few minutes when this very same waitress was bringing a huge, grease-oozing steak with potatoes added with becon, to Pecu. The rest of us were suspiciously staring at each other around him while eating determinedly our chicken with vegetables – and obviously even, a very stupid look in all of our faces. Pecu was enjoying his meal with a wide, twisted grin spred all over his face while eating and repeating annoyingly at the same time: ‘Holy shit guys, you cannot imagine at all how fantastic this is… very tasty and damn delicious – yummy!’. And the rest of us were like: ‘Fuuckk…!!’. So, what did this learn to us? ‘What a man wants, a man gets’, ha-ha!!
Ha-ha-ha… ‘ now that was a funny story! Talking about festivals in general, is there – or are there some festivals that you are actually looking forward to do on this tour with a great excitement?

Hmmm… I cannot think of any that could be over some other festivals. Or as a matter of speaking, I haven’t given too much thought for that. I think most of them will be done with our basic gigging routine anyway, by throwing the audience our crushing Heavy Metal the same way we have always thrown to them.
So, you don’t prefer playing at the Tuska Festival, which is all-metal festival, let’s say, to some other, more mainstream festival where you can hear bands from several different genres?

Well, you are right that it’s of course easier to go onstage at the Tuska Festival and play for that audience simply because all of those people at least should know what can be expected from us…

Zachary: The same goes for the Nummirock Festival

Yeah, that’s true. But if we played at one of these more mainstream festivals, then you cannot always be sure what to expect from the crowd. On the other hand, it’s sometimes a good thing to play at festivals like those because those people who necessarily haven’t even heard much Heavy Metal in their entire life, may even turn to dig us which is always a cool thing.

Zachary: In the same breath I guess I should add almost every arranged festival here in Finland, has already got a good fistful of metal acts on their bills this year.

Yes, it’s quite strange how much we have metal fans here in Finland these days… or in fact, it seems like the whole European continent is full of metal fans according to the fact what happened last weekend
What about Tarot’s touring plans outside of Finland? Have you already planned to go to some other countries for doing gigs, let’s say, right after your next album has been released in Europe, for example?

No, not yet. We have been discussing a little about this matter to our gig booking agency, but naturally this depends on a sum of different things after all. Let’s see later how well our next album will start doing both in Europe and other continents as well. If there’s gonna be just any potential change to do some gigs in some other countries, then we will be all for it. But like I told you earlier, this basically depends on quite a few things before it’ll be reality for us.



Let’s go back to the last weekend with my next question. As each of us should already be very well aware of the recent winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006, I wanna ask this very sincere question from you guys up next: Can we see Tarot participating the Eurovision Song Contest as one of the Finnish nominees?

(Marco & Zachary from the same throat:) ‘HELL NO – NEVER EVER for sure!!!’.

Zachary: As long as this decision is left strictly to both Marco and me, then HELL NO!

We wouldn’t participate in that type of thing ever ‘ that’s for sure!

Lordi surely did open a couple of extra doors as far as some sort of a general acceptance of Heavy Metal music is concerned…

All the respect for Lordi for winning the contest, but I honestly could not be a part of that contest as I believe I couldn’t save my own credibility for myself if we threw Tarot on the altar of that type of commercialism.

Zachary: Besides they wouldn’t allow me to smoke on the stage, so no thank you.
You could always use masks on the stage though, he-he!

That’d be a good idea, but still ‘ a big no thank you!
I guess that’s all I have in my mind, so thank you guys for your time. It was nice talking to you…

Thanks to yourself…

Zachary: No problem, thank you. Now we gotta rush to do the soundcheck. C-ya later!

Official Tarot homepage: www.wingsofdarkness.net

Label: King Foo Entertainment

Read the Tarot remasters CD review from here in Metal-Rules.com