Marko Tapani "Marco" Hietala (born 14 January 1966) is a Finnish heavy metal vocalist, bassist and songwriter. Internationally, he is most known as the current bassist, male vocalist and secondary composer to Tuomas Holopainen, of the symphonic metal band Nightwish. He is also the vocalist and bassist as well as composer and lyricist for the heavy metal band Tarot.
|Birth name||Marko Tapani Hietala|
|Born||14 January 1966|
|Genres||Heavy metal, symphonic metal, power metal|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, producer, Studio engineer|
|Instruments||Bass guitar, vocals, guitar, synthesizers, drums|
|Associated acts||Nightwish, Tarot, Northern Kings, Raskasta Joulua, Sapattivuosi, Sinergy, Ayreon, Dreamtale, Altaria, Amorphis, Delain, Conquest|
Marco Hietala was born in Tervo, and is the youngest child of the Hietala family. Hietala lived in Tervo until the age of 15, after which he moved to Kuopio to study classical guitar, vocals and musical theory in high school. In 1984, he and his brother, Zachary Hietala, formed heavy metal band Tarot under the name Purgatory. In 1986, Tarot received a deal for their first album and went on tour. Before becoming a full-time musician, he worked as a live and studio sound engineer.
Hietala joined Nightwish in 2001 when Tuomas Holopainen and the band's manager called him and said that there would be a place in the band for a vocalist and a bass player. Century Child was his first Nightwish album, following the departure of previous bassist Sami Vänskä. He was a prominent guest musician in Delain, a project involving many members of the gothic and symphonic metal community. He also participated in the recording of Invitation, by Altaria, providing backing vocals. Hietala has also been part of the bands Sinergy and Northern Kings.
Upon his arrival to Nightwish, several songs were written to contain duets with then Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen, allowing songwriter and band leader Tuomas Holopainen to take advantage of Hietala's distinctive raucous voice to add a new dimension to the band. A famous example is Nightwish's cover of "The Phantom of the Opera," from the album "Century Child."
During Nightwish's shows, Turunen would take a break halfway through the set. Before Hietala joined the band, the band would perform an instrumental song during this time. After Hietala joined the band, they performed covers of well-known songs, with Hietala singing the lead vocal part in this break. The band has performed Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train", W.A.S.P.'s "Wild Child", Dio's "Don't Talk to Strangers", Megadeth's "Symphony of Destruction" and Pink Floyd's "High Hopes". Some of these songs have been put up for sale as well on various Nightwish album releases. Following Turunen's departure from Nightwish, Hietala was much more involved with the production of Dark Passion Play, which was released in September 2007. He sang some songs, completely, and wrote the music for the song "The Islander", on which he also plays acoustic guitar instead of bass. Hietala is also credited alongside Holopainen for co-writing the song "The Crow, the Owl and the Dove" from Nightwish's 2011 album, Imaginaerum.
In Delain, Hietala played bass for the album Lucidity and was also the main male vocalist on the album with featured vocals on the song The Gathering. He is also featured as vocalist in two of the songs on Delain's second album April Rain and two songs from Delain's fourth album The Human Contradiction.
On 1 April 2010 it was said that Hietala would leave the band to concentrate on a choir career. This was identified as an April Fool's joke, but was also a reference to his participation in Kuorosota (the localized Finnish version of Clash of the Choirs) in 2010. Hietala was the master of the Kuopio choir in the program's second season. He came second in the contest, losing in the finals to the Joensuu choir, headed by pop rock singer Ilkka Alanko. Tarot's single "I Walk Forever," from the Gravity of Light album, was performed for the first time by Marco, Tomi Salmela and the Kuopio choir during Kuorosota 2010; other songs performed included "The Phantom of the Opera," which Hietala has covered with Nightwish as well.
In June 2010, Hietala joined the heavy metal supergroup HAIL! on two occasions, performing Black Sabbath's Neon Knights with Ripper Owens, Andreas Kisser, James LoMenzo and Paul Bostaph at two of their shows in Finland.
In November 2018, Hietala confirmed he will release his first solo album in the early spring of 2019. He releases the album under his birthname "Marko Hietala" and will be using the name also in his other projects in the future.
Hietala uses Warwick bass guitars, particularly the Infinity NT (birdseye maple top) and Vampyre NT (flame maple top) 4-string models tuned D Standard (DGCF) and Drop C (CGCF). He also owns a Warwick Buzzard JE with a rusty finish equipped with a detuner (Used, among others, in the music videoes for Elan and Endless Forms Most Beautiful), and a Kramer bass. He uses Warwick's Hellborg amplifier and cabs. After joining Nightwish he used a SansAmp GT2 distortion pedal for some time. ¨¨
Marco also uses a custom made Warwick/Framus doubleneck bass/electric guitar, based on the Warwick Infinity.
From Century Child until the End of an Era Marco used an Infinity almost exclusively for live and studio applications. Later, the Vampyre became his axe of choice (almost for the whole period with Anette as Nightwish's vocalist). The first time he can be seen with a Vampyre is the Bye Bye Beautiful music video. From the Imaginaerum tour going forward Buzzard became his preferred brand, but occasionally he still can be seen with an Infinity.
Hietala has stated that the biggest influence on him as a bassist is Geezer Butler and Bob Daisley, while Ronnie James Dio and Rob Halford are his biggest influence as a vocalist. He has also stated that he listens to wide array of music ranging from "really sensitive stuff to a lot of really hard stuff", saying that he "tend[s] to soak up almost everything" which "somehow ends up being used" when he writes his own music.
|“||How is your musical taste towards metal music / other genres?||”|
|— Question on the official Tarot website (2006)|
|“||Anything works for me, if it's good enough. I'm mainly a metalhead, but I have this basic respect for any kind of music. Writing and listening to music would become stale if I couldn't draw influences from other styles too.||”|
|— Marco's answer|
Hietala has two children with his ex-wife Manki, twin boys Antto and Miro. He and his family currently live in Kuopio, Finland. When he is not touring, he enjoys reading books, playing video games, and watching movies. He especially likes fantasy, horror and science fiction books, as mentioned in the official Nightwish website. In 2016, Finnish newspaper reported that Hietala had filed for divorce. He later remarried in August 2018 with Cami Balboa.
- Ihmisen merkki – 2009
- Raskasta Joulua – 2004
- Raskaampaa joulua – 2006
- Raskasta Joulua – 2013
- Ragnarok Juletide – 2014
- Raskasta Joulua 2 – 2014
- Pyre of the Black Heart - 2019
As guest/session member
- Warmath - Gehenna - (backing vocals, keyboards)
- Amorphis - Eclipse - (backing vocals)
- Defuse - Defuse - (vocals on "DIB")
- Delain – Lucidity - (vocals on 5 tracks, bass guitars)
- Eternal Tears of Sorrow - Before the Bleeding Sun - (backing vocals)
- Stoner Kings - Fuck the World - (backing vocals)
- Verjnuarmu - Muanpiällinen Helevetti - (backing vocals)
- Ebony Ark – Decoder 2.0 - (vocals on 5 tracks)
- Amorphis – Skyforger - (backing vocals)
- Delain – April Rain - (vocals on "Control the Storm" & "Nothing Left")
- Marenne – The Past Prelude - (backing vocals)
- Elias Viljanen – Fire-Hearted - (vocals on "Last Breath of Love")
- Turmion Kätilöt - Lentävä KalPan Ukko - (backing vocals)
- Turmion Kätilöt - Verkko Heiluu - (backing vocals)
- Erja Lyytinen - Voracious Love - (vocals on "Bed of Roses")
- Grönholm - Silent Out Loud - (Vocals on ″Vanity″)
- Worlds Apart (1999) - Engineering
- Gehenna (1990) - Producer
- Damnation Play (1991) - Producer
- "Nightwish: Video Interview With Marco Hietala Posted Online". Blabbermouth. July 16, 2009. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
- "Tarot's New Album Lands on Finnish Chart". Blabbermouth. March 18, 2010. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
- "Nightwish – The Official Website". Nightwish. Archived from the original on April 10, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
- "Nightwish: Floor Jansen, Tuomas Holopainen and Marco Hietala on making the cut as a musician". The Cut. 31 December 2015. Archived from the original on 8 January 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- "Sinergy Singer, Former Bassist Issue Separate Statements Regarding Split". Blabbermouth. May 7, 2002. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
- "Delain Announces New Bassist". Blabbermouth. March 11, 2010. Archived from the original on March 16, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
- "Altaria Complete Recording, Begin Mixing Full-Length Debut". Blabbermouth. January 9, 2003. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
- "Northern Kings Performs at Finnish 'Eurovision Song Contest' Finals". Blabbermouth. February 10, 2009. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
- "Marco Hietala's Black Sabbath Tribute Band To Play in Poland". Blabbermouth. June 25, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
- "HAIL! Performs With NIGHTWISH's MARCO HIETALA at Finland's SAUNA OPEN AIR". BlabberMouth.
- "Marco Hietala guests on Ayreon Theory of Everything". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
- "Marco Hietala interview". YouTube. July 5, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
- "~ Wings of Darkness ~ The Official Tarot Website". Wingsofdarkness.net. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
- Archived December 26, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marco Hietala.|