Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden's Metalshrine recently conducted an interview with Tuomas Holopainen, the keyboardist and main songwriter of NIGHTWISH. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metalshrine: What's the plan for the next NIGHTWISH album?
Tuomas: I have given myself some schedules and I should have all the songs ready by the beginning of May. I have nine songs now and Marco [Hietala, bass/vocals] just visited me about a week ago and gave me a CD full of riffs. We're almost there and we're looking at 12 songs all together. We will all get together on July 1st in my hometown and we have rented this beautiful camp site for three months. It's actually where we did the previous album, so it's the same place for three months to rehearse, arrange, fish, water ski, record, get drunk and if everything goes as planned, the album should be ready by the turn of the year.
Metalshrine: Does recording an album in the middle of summer in any way affect the sound, compared to record it in winter time?
Tuomas: It must have something to do with it. I don't know about the recordings because you're inside a room either way, but as a songwriter, I can't do anything in the summer or in the evenings. It's funny, I almost always do all of my songwriting in the morning or in the afternoon, so when the clock strikes five or six, I'm done. [Laughs] And the band is called NIGHTWISH, go figure? [Laughs] I'm a morning person and I love to get up early.
Metalshrine: Those 12 songs you mentioned, how long does it usually take to turn them into finished songs?
Tuomas: It's really hard to measure it, because the songs are in process in my head all the time. Some of these songs for the next album were already born two years ago. Let's say it takes about half a year to a year of 24/7 songwriting for me personally to get everything done.
Metalshrine: What does [new NIGHTWISH singer] Floor Jansen bring to the album?
Tuomas: She brings a lot of interpretations, some arrangements and positive energy for sure, but she's not included in the songwriting process. She told me that the first time around, she has [her side project] REVAMP and Marco and I will do just fine for now.
Metalshrine: What is it about NIGHTWISH and female singers? Is it a chemistry thing?
Tuomas: Yeah, something like that. I don't wanna go too deep into it because it's just a never-ending story, a never-ending carousel. Maybe there's just a little bit of bad luck involved as well.
Metalshrine: Could NIGHTWISH ever have a male singer?
Tuomas: No, I think it has to be a female singer. It's such an essential part of the band and what the band is all about. It's been there from the beginning and the moment I formed the band back in August 1996, I knew that it was gonna be a female singer. That's never gonna change.
Metalshrine: It's almost 20 years ago. Been a fun ride, I guess?
Tuomas: Yeah, lots of ups, lots of downs and everything in between. Sometimes it feels really weird, like, "What the hell's going on?" I just finished reading Rex Brown's [PANTERA, KILL DEVIL HILL] book and other bands have similar problems. We're minor league compared to some of them.
Metalshrine: It really doesn't come as a surprise when you're in a band. You spend a lot of time together, compared to the time you spend with your co-workers on a regular job.
Tuomas: Absolutely. One more thing, and Marco put it really well. We look like we're a bunch of neanderthals against ladies, and I guess it's what it must look like, that we're a bunch of chauvinist pigs or whatever, but the fact is that the band is full of males who have had relationships with females — our girlfriends, wives, sisters, mothers — our whole lives. Full of love and no conflicts and that's all I wanna say. [Laughs]
Metalshrine: 12 years from now when you celebrate your 30th anniversary as a band, could you see all three singers on stage, doing something together?
Tuomas: Why not? Holding grudges and living with hatred is never good for anybody, so I really hope it happens some day. These kinda things take time.
Read the entire interview at Metalshrine.
Finnish symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH have announced the addition of Dutch singer Floor Jansen (REVAMP, ex-AFTER FOREVER) and English composer and multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley (uilleann pipes, low whistles, vocals) to the group's permanent lineup.
Says the band in a statement: "Originally we were going to wait until 2014 to make a decision about the future lineup of the band, but the past year has clearly shown us that Floor andTroy are perfect matching pieces to our puzzle, and we are really grateful of the bond that has grown between all of us.
"We love you, guys."
Adds Jansen: "Words cannot describe what I feel! This union is beyond everything, and I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to continue this amazing journey with my new brothers!
"Once I had a dream… and this is it!!!"
Says Donockley: "'Imaginaerum World Tour' was a revelation to me and in that time, I became aware of a growing unity and then, finally, a transcendence of all the usual nonsense that affects bands. A beautiful process. And since the idea, the musical dream that isNIGHTWISH has been a part of me since before I was born, I am delighted to officially sail into uncharted waters with my brothers and sister. Wondrous scenes Ahoy!"
NIGHTWISH will release a new DVD, "Showtime, Storytime", on November 29 as a limited 2Blu-ray + 2CD digipack, limited 2DVD + 2CD digipack, limited 2CD digipack, 2LP (colored) in gatefold and an exclusive Nuclear Blast mailorder edition.
"Showtime, Storytime" contains NIGHTWISH's entire August 3 performance at the Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany. The show, which was played in the front of 85,000 screaming metalheads, was directed by Ville Lipiäinen, filmed with seventeen cameras and has a total running time of 85 minutes. The second disc consists of a 120-minute tour documentary, "Please Learn The Setlist In 48 Hours", also directed by Ville Lipiäinen, with no shortage of drama or overall madness. Also, there is a 16-minute NIGHTWISH Table Hockey Tournament, filmed on tour. In addition, there are two music clips: "I Want My Tears Back"(live at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland) and "Ghost Love Score" (live in Buenos Aires).
Check out a trailer for "Showtime, Storytime" below.
The Wacken Open Air appearance was the first of the three final shows of NIGHTWISH's"Imaginaerum World Tour", which saw the band and their Jansen playing 104 concerts in 34 different countries, with a total audience of over 1.5 million fans around the globe.
Commented NIGHTWISH mastermind and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen: "Our darling flying Dutchwoman, Floor Jansen, has been nothing but incredible during her time in NIGHTWISH on this tour, so this is a perfect opportunity to immortalize the current vibe of the band on film!"
Jansen made her live debut as the frontwoman of NIGHTWISH on October 1, 2012 at Showbox Sodo in Seattle, Washington following the abrupt departure of the band's lead singer of five years, Anette Olzon.
Holopainen has known Jansen for more than 10 years already, having previously toured with her former band, AFTER FOREVER.