Marco Hietala

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Marco Hietala
Marco Tapani Hietala.jpg
Background information
Birth name Marko Tapani Hietala
Born (1966-01-14) January 14, 1966 (age 49)
Origin Tervo, Finland
Genres Heavy metal, symphonic metal, power metal
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer, Studio engineer
Instruments Bass, guitar, synthesizers, vocals, drums
Years active 1982–present
Associated acts Nightwish, Tarot, Northern Kings, Raskasta Joulua, Sapattivuosi, Sinergy, Ayreon, Dreamtale, Altaria, Amorphis, Delain, Conquest

Marko Tapani "Marco" Hietala (born January 14, 1966 in Tervo, Finland) is a heavy metal vocalist, bass guitarist and songwriter. Internationally, he is most known as the current bass guitarist, male vocalist and secondary composer to Tuomas Holopainen, of the symphonic metal band Nightwish.[1] He is also the vocalist and bassist as well as composer and lyricist for the heavy metal band Tarot.[2]

He is also a member of the supergroup Northern Kings, and portrayed one of the main characters in Ayreon's 2013 album The Theory of Everything.


Marco Hietala was born January 14, 1966, 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.[3]

Hietala joined Nightwish for their 2002 album Century Child, following the departure of previous bassist Sami Vänskä.[4] He was a prominent guest musician in Delain, a project involving many members of the gothic and symphonic metal community.[5] He also participated in the recording of Invitation, by Altaria, providing backing vocals.[6] Hietala has also been part of the bands Sinergy and Northern Kings.[7]

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. Since Hietala joined the band however, they have 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 most recently, 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 the bass for the album Lucidity and was also the main male vocalist on the album. He is also featured as vocalist in two of the songs on Delain's second album April Rain.

In March 2009, Marco joined the band Sapattivuosi. They cover Black Sabbath songs in Finnish.[8] In this band, however, Hietala does not play bass; he only performs vocals.

On April 1, 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.[9]

On August 14, 2013, Marco Hietala was the first singer to be confirmed by Arjen Lucassen to guest on Ayreon's new album The Theory of Everything.[10]


Marco uses Warwick basses, particularly 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, and a Kramer bass. He uses Warwick's Hellborg amplifier and cabs. For some time since joining Nightwish he used SansAmp GT2 distortion pedal.

Since Century Child till the End of an Era Marco used Infinity almost exclusively for live and studio applications. Later, Vampyre became his axe of choice for several years (almost for the whole period with Anette). The first time the Man appeared in front of the broad audience with Vampyre was Bye Bye Beautiful music video. From the Imarinaerum tour going forward Buzzard became his number one, but occasionally he still can be seen with his good old Infinity.


Marco 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.[11][12]

Personal life[edit]

Hietala has a wife Manki and has two children, 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.




Northern Kings[edit]



Raskasta joulua[edit]


As guest/session member[edit]

As producer[edit]



  1. ^ "Nightwish: Video Interview With Marco Hietala Posted Online". Blabbermouth. July 16, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Tarot's New Album Lands on Finnish Chart". Blabbermouth. March 18, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Nightwish – The Official Website". Nightwish. Retrieved April 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Sinergy Singer, Former Bassist Issue Separate Statements Regarding Split". Blabbermouth. May 7, 2002. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Delain Announces New Bassist". Blabbermouth. March 11, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Altaria Complete Recording, Begin Mixing Full-Length Debut". Blabbermouth. January 9, 2003. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Northern Kings Performs at Finnish 'Eurovision Song Contest' Finals". Blabbermouth. February 10, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Marco Hietala's Black Sabbath Tribute Band To Play in Poland". Blabbermouth. June 25, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  9. ^ "HAIL! Performs With NIGHTWISH's MARCO HIETALA at Finland's SAUNA OPEN AIR". BlabberMouth. 
  10. ^ "Marco Hietala guests on Ayreon Theory of Everything". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  11. ^ "Marco Hietala interview". YouTube. July 5, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  12. ^ "~ Wings of Darkness ~ The Official Tarot Website". Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]