Marko left NIGHTWISH in January 2021 and has since been replaced by session bassist Jukka Koskinen (WINTERSUN).
Now, Marko revealed that he went through a dark period in his life, which included depression, insomnia, anxiety and an eventual attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis.
On how he eventually came to the realization that exiting NIGHTWISH was the right thing to do, Hietala said: “It was a long process. Of course, the COVID year that was there, where I had a lot of time for soul searching, it obviously gave me the last incentive that I need something else, that if I just continue with this I’m just gonna get sicker and sicker. But, of course, it’s a process.
“I’ve been chronic depressive since 2010 [or] 2011, so I’ve been on a permanent medication ever since. Sometimes you get used to the meds [and] you will need more. We did raise [the dosage] during the years also, but it just didn’t work. And now that I started to do… I had psychotherapy for over four years now, and then I also talked to psychiatrists and some doctors and did that also in Spain. Then my psychiatrist here in Finland said that I should do these ADHD neuropsychological tests, which I then did in Spain. And, okay, I got it.”
Marko reiterated that he “had been thinking about” leaving NIGHTWISH “for a while” before making the final decision. “Because I had a lot of weight. And I tend to… With the attention disorder, it tells me that when there are lots of trouble, then the disorder makes it into a real chaos,” he revealed. “There’s a sh*tload of stuff coming and going and no peace anywhere.
“And for a year or two, I was already waking up every night at three o’clock to bad dreams and anxiety. So I’d say that the whole process probably started already with my former divorce [in 2016]. That was a very sad time when you think about your kids and your broken homes and all that. And then, when I started to get clear from that, then there were, well, all kinds of things. I don’t really wanna go any deeper to what kind of things I’d gone through, but I’d gone through enough.”