I wanted to do a really quick-n-dirty review of Marco Hietala's book Stainless, mostly because I said I would on Monday but also because it was a really interesting read.
So first of all, the book is only available from Finland (link below). Second: IT'S SIGNED and I totally freaked out when I opened it. YAY!
For anyone who doesn't know, Marco is the bassist and vocalist of the bands Nightwish and Tarot (though Tarot hasn't done a lot lately, which, personal opinion, is okay, because MOAR NIGHTWISH). This book is basically a memoir, Marco's retelling of his life up to this point.
Of course, there's the typical sex-drugs-rock'n'roll stuff, but even those parts aren't totally salacious. If you're looking for a gossipy tell-all, this isn't it (he also glossed over the Nightwish drama, which is fine. You can read about it in Once Upon a Nightwish, a must-read for fans). It is, however, a really interesting look at a dude who's been in the business of metal since Black Sabbath first came out, who's still making excellent music, and some of the things he's learned along the way.
I feel like nothing got lost in translation with this book. Marco's extremely fluent in English (he talks about how it was his best subject in school, and in person he speaks with almost no accent at all), so getting to see his eloquence shine was lovely. Although I don't agree with his philosophies 100%, I loved getting a peek inside Marco's mind and reading his opinions on various institutions, people, and historical events. I liked that he took us basically from birth to present and that I wasn't bored at all during the journey. I especially love that a badass Viking-looking dude opened himself up and was honest about his personal struggles with relationships, alcoholism, and depression. The Finns are a notoriously introverted people, so I can respect the amount of strength it takes to make yourself publicly vulnerable like that.
Overall, nothing but respect for this guy. He's a living series of contradictions, and I always love those people the best. He's the badass with a heart of gold, a closet intellectual that people would write off as a metalhead know-nothing, and a sweet guy who growls his lyrics ferociously. The day Nightwish was in St. Pete and I went to see them, he canceled his meet and greets because he was sick. Having seen him absolutely shred on stage later that night, I would never have known it. He's a consummate professional (aside from the hotel trashing, whoops), a deeper soul than he appears, and a reminder that there's beauty in the beast.
Also: best hair and beard ever, the end.
Enjoy my favorite excerpts below, and order the book here.