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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Finland's HiSQ Release 'Flesh and Blood' With Ex-Nightwish Bassist-Singer Marko Hietala

The Finnish legendary crossword puzzle creator Erkki Vuokila and just as legendary Finnish pop singer Bablo are the heart and soul behind the collective called HiSQ. Before, HiSQ was formed from the words Hi Status Quotes, and all the songs on the Hi Status Quotes 1-5 EP, released in 2021, were based on iconic TV and movie quotes. Now, a new era begins, and HiSQ stands for Hi Status Qualified – meaning the best possible outcome without any limitations. The first single of this new production is now out, and it's a touching ballad 'Flesh and Blood', interpreted by the former Nightwish bassist-singer Marko Hietala.

"The song has a long history. I composed this on the piano some 40 years ago, and originally it had just a few Finnish lines of text to it. It got buried underneath other songs, but it stayed on my mind. One day I found lyrics called 'Flesh and Blood' in my drawer. I had no idea which song the lyrics where meant to go with, and I even managed to compose a new melody to them. At some point I finally realized, what song they belonged with, and the early version of 'Flesh and Blood' became a reality," Erkki Vuokila explains.

The moving piano ballad also features Mikko Mäkinen, who has played the keyboards in HiSQ before and who now gave his finishing touches to the piano arrangements, and Peter Engberg, who plays the acoustic guitar. Bablo had the idea of asking his namesake Marko Hietala to come sing the song, and Hietala was more than happy to lend his voice to a story, which resonated with his own life story.

Marko Hietala says, "Hi people! I was approached by Bablo and Erkki a few months back. They said that they had a song, which they would like me to sing for their HiSQ release. I listened to the song and read the lyrics and ended up singing the song. Here’s how it resonated in me. I’ve struggled with a few addictions in my life. The worst of them has been alcohol, which made me so impulsive, untrustworthy and reckless, that everything dear to me was about to break.

And it was happening because of me. I needed to make a change and I did. But I also remember how my troubles made me blur the accusing voices and constant pain in my mind with booze. I was a chronic depressive alone on a highway to hell. And addicts are worthless enough for others to write them off without getting to know anything about their reasons. We all need to communicate how we feel. We all need to hear the others. If we don’t, we’re cowards in our own field of battle. I’m only flesh and blood. Can I count on you?'"

The Hi Status Qualified series will be releasing more songs in the upcoming months, all varying in style, and all including a whole band.



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