Hietala says ‘Left On Mars’ was originally a love song to his wife

Spring has started off with a wonderful reunion of metal vocal powerhouses, former Nightwish frontmen Marko Hietala and Tarja Turunen. Their new song, titled ‘Left On Mars’, has just been released. Be sure to watch the music video for the collaborative ballad below:

Hietala dedicated the song to his wife. Little did he know his romantic ballad would turn into an epic reunion with Nightwish’s first and most loved vocalist Tarja Turunen: “A love song to my wife which ends up uniting two old friends. Even if the song itself sucked, I would be pleased about the result,” he says.

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Prior to this collaboration, in July 2023, the two singers recently shared the stage to perform a cover of Nightwish’s fan favorite, ‘The Phantom Of The Opera’ during their special open-air concert at Z7 Summer Nights in the town of Pratteln, Switzerland. Turunen and Hietala played their individual live sets and united for the performance of the song during Turunen’s part of the show.

“I got a call from a promoter to take part in one festival in Switzerland last year in a European summertime in July,” Turunen recollects. “And then I got to know, when I had accepted to be the artist of the evening, then I saw that they had also invited Marko and Marko’s band to perform in the same festival. So I thought, ‘Hmm.’

And I was actually sending a message that I wished to reach Marko, because I didn’t have his contact any longer, to ask him to perform with me ‘The Phantom Of The Opera’ in my show. And he responded ‘yes.’ So, after 18 years [laughs], we were about to sing the song together. And it was super exciting. It was really beautiful. The people got very emotional about this.”

Check out the live footage of the old friends’ reunion below:

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It was there in Switzerland that the secret negotiation about the possible collaboration on ‘Left On Mars’ took off. Hietala’s guitarist and producer Tuomas Wäinölä opens up: “The fun part was taking the song to Switzerland on an USB drive, like proper agents. We had this secret meeting when we had a Pratteln outdoor gig with Tarja, both playing our own sets. And yeah, it was great to see them together on stage and finally singing the same tune again.”

Tarja and Marko admit that now that so many years are behind, they aren’t the people they used to be, so they could look at each other with new eyes:

“It’s a new relationship with him, because he’s not the same person anymore than he was in the band,” Turunen says. He has changed a lot, and many years have passed by. I’ve changed myself. Life has changed us. So it is a new relationship, let’s say. And it had made me very happy to get to know him better after all these years.”

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