Finnish / Dutch / British symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH will embark on a 27-date North American headlining tour in the spring. The trek will launch in New York City on April 9, hit three Canadian cities plus Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, then close out in Silver Springs, Maryland on May 14. Support at all dates will come from Dutch symphonic metallers DELAIN.
Commented NIGHTWISH bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala: "Our work on the new album has been going with serious productive speed and comfortable ease at the same time. It's going to be great to get it out to you and play these pieces live. And with this announcement, it will obviously happen quite soon!
"Here are the dates for the North American shows. Come on over and we'll raise hell and kick some arses together!"
NIGHTWISH 2015 tour dates with DELAIN:
Apr. 09 - New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom
Apr. 10 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
Apr. 11 - Worcester, MA - Palladium
Apr. 13 - Quebec City, QC - Capitole Theatre
Apr. 14 - Toronto - Phoenix Concert Theatre
Apr. 16 - Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom
Apr. 17 - Cleveland, OH - Agora Theatre
Apr. 18 - Chicago, IL - Concorde Music Hall
Apr. 19 - Des Moines, IA - Val Air Ballroom
Apr. 21 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
Apr. 22 - Salt Lake City, UT - In The Venue
Apr. 24 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory
Apr. 25 - Vancouver, BC - Orpheum Theatre
Apr. 26 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
Apr. 28 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre
Apr. 30 - Las Vegas, NV - House Of Blues
May 01 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek theatre
May 02 - Phoenix, AZ - Marquee Theatre
May 03 - El Paso, TX - Tricky Falls
May 05 - Dallas, TX - Bomb Factory
May 06 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
May 08 - Orlando, FL - House Of Blues
May 09 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - Revolution
May 11 - Nashville, TN - Marathon Music Work
May 12 - Louisville, KY - Expo Five
May 13 - Charlotte, NC - Filmore
May 14 - Silver Springs, MD - Filmore
Longtime NIGHTWISH drummer Jukka Nevalainen is sitting out the recording sessions for the group's new CD due to health issues; Kai Hahto (WINTERSUN, SWALLOW THE SUN, TREES OF ETERNITY) has replaced him.
NIGHTWISH keyboardist and main composer Tuomas Holopainen recently spent two and half weeks in Hattula, Finland with the band's producer/crew member Tero "TeeCee" Kinnunen recording a demo of the songs that will appear on NIGHTWISH's next studio album, the first to feature Dutch singer Floor Jansen.
Asked in a recent interview with Sweden's Metalshrine what Floor Jansen will bring to the next NIGHTWISH album, Tuomas said: "She [will] bring a lot of interpretations, some arrangements and positive energy for sure, but she [will] not [be] included in the songwriting process. She told me that the first time around, she has [her side project] REVAMP and Marco [Hietala, bass/vocals] and I will do just fine for now."
Speaking to Germany's EMP Rock Invasion at the end of last year, Floor stated about the songwriting process for the next NIGHTWISH album: "I think it's more like it's always been. So Tuomas is gonna start writing. And how it's gonna evolve later on, we'll see. But I don't feel the necessity of me being an active songwriting member, because the music is so good. It's about the songs and the music that goes first and not about my ego wanting to join like that. But if I can participate or add something with my creative input, of course I would love that. Of course, I have creative energy in me that needs to come out one way or another, but that's where REVAMP comes in."
Regarding whether she has any fears that, due to the band's troubled history with lead vocalists, her time with NIGHTWISH will not last very long, Floor told Finland's Radio Rock: "No. And whether this is in NIGHTWISH or in anything with anyone in everyone's lives, what guarantees do you have? So it's just about what you make of it and with the chemistry that you believe in. And I believe in the chemistry that we have today, 'cause it's been very strong since the beginning and grew to be better throughout the months. It's still a very recent thing. But what feels good now, that's where you should go from, and that's what I do."
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.
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.
Tuomas Holopainen — the keyboardist and main songwriter of NIGHTWISH — has spent most of 2013 writing and producing his solo album based on a graphic novel called "The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck", written and illustrated by Don Rosa.
"Music Inspired By The Life And Times Of Scrooge - Written And Produced By Tuomas Holopainen" is scheduled for a release this spring via Nuclear Blast.
Holopainen comments: "This is my longtime dream come true, 14 years in the making. And a homage to one of the best storytellers of our time.
"Thank you for sharing this celebration of life and adventure!"
This 12-chapter book tells the life story of Scrooge, from his early years in the 19th century Scotland to his adventures all around the world until the 1950s. The story contains such immense depth, detail, wit and emotional power that the moment Tuomas read it nearly 20 years ago, it instantly became a story of profound personal interest and love for him. The initial spark of "coloring" this story with music, i.e. creating a kind of "soundtrack" for the book, came to him already in 1999, and has ever since haunted the back of his mind.
"Music Inspired By The Life And Times Of Scrooge - Written And Produced By Tuomas Holopainen" contains 10 songs, with total duration of approximately 60 minutes. The music is said to be in the soundtrack / classical / folk genre in the vein of Vaughan Williams, Michael Nyman, James Newton Howard and Enya.
Pip Williams did the orchestral arrangements for the "Life And Times Of Scrooge" disc, continuing his collaboration with Tuomas after the NIGHTWISH records "Once", "Dark Passion Play" and "Imaginaerum".
There are a number of guest musicians appearing on "Life And Times Of Scrooge", including the London Orchestra, The Metro Voices (a choir from London) and four lead vocalists: Alan Reid, Johanna Kurkela, Johanna Iivanainen and Tony Kakko. Other guest appearances include Troy Donockley (uilleann pipes, low whistles, bodhran), Mikko Iivanainen (guitars and banjo), Teho Majamäki (didgeridoo), Jon Burr (harmonica) and Dermot Crehan on the solo violin.
The recordings took place during August - October 2013, first at Angel Studios in London, then in various locations around Scotland and Finland.
The author of the book, Don Rosa, did the artwork for the album.
There will be a single release, for the track "A Lifetime Of Adventure", and a music video to go with it.
Holopainen recently spoke to Finland's YLE about "Music Inspired By The Life And Times Of Scrooge - Written And Produced By Tuomas Holopainen". Check out the report below.
Tuomas previously stated about how the idea for the project came about: "It was back in 1999, during the 'Oceanborn' tour, that I remember first having the idea of writing a 'soundtrack' to my all-time favorite piece of Disney comic, 'The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck', by Don Rosa, the apparent heir of the almighty Carl Barks. This book has had such an overwhelming effect on me throughout these years, and finally I have the means and the time to make that dream a reality.
"It all started with a story called 'Last Sled To Dawson', which was published in a Finnish Donald Duck magazine in the late '80s. It instantly became one of my favorite Scrooge/Donald stories and also introduced Mr. Don Rosa to my Disney universe. This story is not part of the actual 'Life And Times' opus, though, but 'a companion story,' set in between the chapters #8 and #9. Then when the massive 12-chapter piece was released in mid-'90s, I was completely and utterly hooked. It was similar to reading 'The Lord Of The Rings' as an 8-year-old, or seeing 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' for the first time. Adventure, fun and the strangely familiar feeling of home.
"With Scrooge, there was also a much deeper level hidden between the stories and the gags.
"This is a book about life itself. What an unfathomable privilege it is, what are the things that truly matter during our existence. It's about the immense beauty of the world and its possibilities seen through the eyes of a very relentless, honest and complex character. It's about love and family, gain and loss, darkness and rebirth.
"And on top of that, well, it's just your good old-fashioned storytelling fun!"
"Music Inspired By The Life And Times Of Scrooge - Written And Produced By Tuomas Holopainen" track listing:
01. Glasgow 1877
02. Into The West
03. Duel & Cloudscapes
05. Cold Heart Of The Klondike
06. The Last Sled
07. Goodbye, Papa
08. To Be Rich
09. A Lifetime Of Adventure