January 12, 2021, Nightwish fans around the world were struck by sudden news: Marko Hietala – the bass player and the second vocalist – left the band and his musical career due to his disappointment in the music industry and mental health problems. Read more below.
Marko started his musical career in 1984-85 by forming his first band Purgatory (now known as Tarot). With this band, they recorded 13 full-length albums.
In 2000-2002, Marko played with the band Sinergy with such musicians as Kimberly Goss of Dimmu Borgir, Sharlee D’Angelo of Arch Enemy and late Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom.
He continued his path with Tarot even after he joined symphonic metal giants Nightwish in 2001, right before the creation of their fourth studio album “Century Child”. First joining as a bass player only, he soon became the second vocalist of the band. Together, they recorded six full-length masterpieces: Century Child (2002), Once(2004), Dark Passion Play (2007), Imaginaerum (2011), Endless Forms Most Beautiful (2015) and Human._:II:_Nature (2020).
In 2019, Marko released his first solo album in Finnish titled “Mustan Sydämen Rovio”. It was something truly different from what he was doing before, closer to classic roc then to metal. This record was later translated into English and re-released as “Pyre of the Black Heart” by Nuclear Blast Records.
Recently, Marko has been crowned the winner of the 2020 fall season of “Masked Singer Suomi” — the Finnish edition of the popular masked singing contest where he was disguised as Tohtori — the Doctor.
You can read his full statement on the departing from the band and musical life below:
“Dear people. I am leaving Nightwish and my public life.
For quite a few years now I haven’t been able to feel validated by this life. We have streaming company big guns demanding 9/5 work from artists of inspiration while unfairly sharing the profits. Even among the artists. We’re the banana republic of the music industry. Biggest tour promoters squeeze percentages even from our own merchandise while paying dividends to Middle East. Apparently, some theocrasies can take the money from the music that would get you beheaded or jailed there without appearing as hypocrites. Just a couple of examples here.
This past year forced me to stay home and think. And I found myself very disillusioned about these and a lot of things. I found out that I am in need of that validation. For me to write, sing and play, I need to find some new reasons and inspirations. ”My Walden” so to speak. And it’s even in my book that I’m a chronic depressive. It’s dangerous for me and the people around me if I continue. Some of the thoughts a while back were dark. Don’t worry, I’m fine. I have my two sons, a wife, the rest of the family, friends, a dog and lots of love.
And I don’t think that I’ll be gone for good.
Conspiracy is the word of the day. For the people who like them I need to say that my 55th birthday is now on the 14th of Jan and I’ve certainly done my time for now. Blaming for instance Tuomas is an insult to both him and my free thinking. This is a very sad thing to all of us too. Have a care, please. But of course, now we’ll know if some go there on purpose.
There are a couple of things agreed on that I will do in 2021. Otherwise I kindly and with respect ask the media, bands, artists projects etc. to not ask me for anything within the next year. I have some reinventing to do. I hope to tell you about it in 2022. It’s not a promise though.
I am so sorry about this.
P.S. Tony Iommi is an exception to the “no contact whatsoever”. Childhood hero takes precedence.”
The band on Marko’s departure: “Marko’s resignation has left us with some difficult decisions and choices to be made. After much thought and consideration, we have, in mutual understanding, decided to perform the upcoming ‘Human. :II: Nature. -world tour’ as planned, but with a session bass player. The live line-up will be announced at a later date. We respect Marko’s decision and wish him all the very best. We will not comment any further.”