In 1996 I was playing in Topi Sorsakoski's band. On Mother's Day I came from a tour to a restaurant in Lahti to celebrate with my mom and my family. I was beat, tired and smelling weird. After I sat down my mom said: "Howcome Marko-boy looks like a Poutahaukka?" From that moment on I knew my next band would be called "Poutahaukat".
While performing with Badding Rockers in 1986-1993 - and later on in Geronimo - I learned that line-up changes are normal routine in bands. That's why with Poutahaukat, I decided to add my own name in the band's name. I reasoned that if and when changes take place, I would always stay in the band and therefore it would be neccessary to change the band's name.
In spring 1997 I left Sorsakoski's band. Desire to make my own music was more important than anything. In fall the 1st album was released. And within the next 12 months, the line-up changed twice. In the fall of 1998 the most long-lasting line-up yet was formed. Bass and vocals: Marko Haavisto, guitar: Jyrki Telilä, drums: Jukka Teerisaari and guitar: Jouni Saario. Three following albums were recorded with this particular gang.
The music has always been mostly written by me. There's been also some translations of songs by e.g. Jerry Lee Lewis and Hank Williams. Influences are from here and there, mostly from Elvis and Black Sabbath. But you shouldn't under-estimate the importance of good Finnish "schlager" or American country music.
During the six years we played together we had lots of good times, but there's an end to every story. In 2005 drummer Teerisaari left the band and so did guitarist Telilä. I made a therapy album Marko Haavisto & The Hanks. I played together with my brother Ismo Haavisto and guitarist Pekka "Devil" Virtanen, who had produced two first Poutahaukka albums. It was the first time in eight years I thought Poutahaukat wouldn't fly no more.
Luckyly Jouni Saario disagreed. Like so many times before, Jouni was the force pushing things forward, when the rest of us would have been ready to call it the day. So with Jouni by my side we decided to keep on going. Very soon we had the other half together, too. First came along guitarist and producer Pekka Virtanen, who had been substituting Telilä a number of times.
At the same time I heard drummer Samuli Halonen had left his throne in Turo's Hevi Gee. So I called Samuli and asked him to join the band. Since the first rehearsal session we knew that there was nothing stopping us now. We had new sound and new ideas. We went straight to studio and in early 2006 the fifth Marko Haavisto & Poutahaukat CD "Tässä ja nyt" was released.
Even though we were really happy with the new sound, many of our old fans were not. In fact, some of our listeners got really angry. Seriously. On the other hand, we gained a lot of new audience, too. For example The Humppa Records labelguy Martti Trillitzsch thought this was the best Poutahaukka album to date, and we got to negotiate official German releases.
Despite varying feedback, we kept on playing and I kept on writing new music. In addition to regular domestic gigs, we played gigs in Austria and France and toured Germany.
By the end of 2006 I had made about two dozens new songs. Sound engineer Jukka ”Jukkis” Vierimaa has become "the fifth member" in the band. Together we planned a recording session in a cottage in Sysmä. Eventually after implementing the plan we had 18 songs, 14 of which ended up on the final record.
On the 3rd of September 2007 saw daylight the 6th Poutahaukka album "Hollolasta Teksasiin". The band played better together than on "Tässä ja nyt". We had good first year behind us and we had recorded the material slowly with no hassle. In the cottage the band and the engineer were working, bathing, eating, resting and having a good time together 24/7. This time even the listeners liked what they heard, and Humppa Records' Martti bought it too - literally. So Germans got their own Hollolasta Teksasiin in late summer 2008.Meanwhile, a band called Los Bastardos Finlandeses had released their debut album and started touring. Pekka was playing in Bastardos and we couldn't avoid overlapping, so in summer 2008 Pekka had to leave Poutahaukat. Guitarist Puka Oinonen was about to come for help, but eventually he had to refuse as he was asked to join Hanoi Rocks' crew as guitar tech. Oinonen recommended Espoo-based Kai Järvinen. Puka ensured: ”You're gonna love this guy...” Kai's first gig was at the midsummer fest in Lahti dock, then in Sysmä and soon he joined us for some German festivals. We knew Kai was here to stay.
In March 2009 the first-ever Marko Haavisto & Poutahaukat compilation was released. "Tuhannen kaipuun maa" includes twenty hits from the band's whole career. The next album is already coming together, so the story goes on...
In Lahti, March 2009,