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Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish)

Interview with Tuomas Holopainen from Nightwish
by Michael Dalakos at 19 May 2006, 12:56 AM

It's either me getting older or I am simply loosing my mind prematurely. I had totally forgotten about this interview and the outcome was Tuomas Holopainen speaking with my folks for around ten minutes on the phone (hey man, I hope you enjoyed the conversation). Even after that he was more than ready to talk to me about the band's forthcoming DVD release, End Of An Era…

Hey Tuomas, sorry for keeping you waiting. It seems that I am loosing my mind the last couple of days. Do you recall the last you were here in Athens doing interviews for Once?

No problem, it happens to me all the time (Laughs). Yes, I do remember it actually because I had never seen so much traffic in my life (Laughs). I also remember the hotel. It was a good one \[at this point I remind to him of an incident between him and one of the reporters and we spent the next couple of minutes laughing our asses off].

So another DVD for Nightwish. Wanting to be the devil’s advocate here, I have to ask: don’t you think it is a bit early for another DVD?

I know what you mean but to be honest with you such things are taken as they come. It’s not that we decided like five years ago to release another DVD in this exact period. Plus I think that this new DVD is far better than our previous one. We had the luxury of playing in a large arena with thousands of fans. We also used - during the tour - video walls and that’s awesome, trust me. But for me the best thing in this DVD is the participation of John Two Hawks in Creek Mary’s Blood. His performance is something out of this world. A real honor to me and the only chance for the fans to witness such an experience.

About the set. Was it a special set or did you play your standard touring set.

I have to say that it was our standard set that we played in the last couple of tours. We thought of adding some more songs but I didn’t want any bad surprises with unrehearsed material. We wanted everything to run smoothly, you know.

And how difficult is that?

Very difficult, trust me. I mean if you look at the number of people involved in such a project, you can realize how easy it is for something to go totally wrong. In the end I am very happy with the way everything worked out and also with the fact that I am not the one who had to organize the whole thing (Laughs).

So, are you a fan of small clubs or large arenas?

I have to say both. What I really don’t like are festivals where you don’t have time for sound check; your equipment is most of the times fucked up. I hate this when it happens. On the other hand I really like being close to our fans so I think in the end I prefer mostly small crowded clubs.

Will the DVD include any bonus material?

Yes. The DVD includes a 50 minute long video footage from our North American tour. It was supposedly shot for a channel in our home country but it never got used. So in the end we had many hours of footage and we thought of using some of it. we have also included a huge photo gallery with more than 150 photos.

How difficult is it for you to arrange the list of songs you play live?

Very difficult as time passes by. With every new album you must add new songs but at the same time you must not forget to play the classic ones. For example in our last tours we didn’t play any songs from our first album and only a couple from the second one. It is hard and you know that in the end you cannot satisfy everyone at the show.

So are there any songs you don’t want to play again live ever in your life?

\[ans] Over The Hills And Far Away (Laughs). It is a great song that I love but I honestly cannot play it again! I have played it like a million times. No more! (Laughs).

I will not ask a million questions about the firing of your previous vocalist (I didn’t even mention her name)…

Thank you, you are a good person! (Laughs)

Are you currently searching for a replacement or is it too early?

Yes, we are. I have already received like 400 demo CDs from around the world (Laughs). Everyday I find in my mail like 15 or 20 of them. We are taking our time with this and I think in the end we will find a really good replacement.

I assume that you are not searching for a clone…

Definitely not! The last thing I need is a clone of her. That’s lame. I think a new vocalist must always bring something fresh to the band. It’s not that we will change drastically or something but a change is more than welcome.

Considering the huge success of Once, what do you expect regarding pressure for a continuation.

I know what you mean and of course we will have stress when the time will come. I try not to think about it, you know. It sounds selfish but the only way to make things work is by doing only what you got in mind and what you like. I never understood musicians who claimed that they wrote music the way their fans or their label liked it!

Has all this popularity affected your personal life?

I guess this comes with the job. I really don’t like that much popularity but it is always nice to be surrounded by people who love your music. I don’t run around like a Rock star however.

Your music has been used in several movie soundtracks. Would you ever consider the possibility of making a movie soundtrack on your own?

I would love to but I am really satisfied with Nightwish. I mean everything I have to say to the audience I do so through my songs in Nightwish. I have never felt forced to do or play something I don’t really like.

Nightwish is one of the most successful Metal bands of our times. Do you still have unfulfilled dreams?

Yes, of course. There are still many places we would like to visit and play live. Plus there is lots more to explore in our music.

Watching bands like Deep Purple or the Scorpions play live - the last one for a hundred of years already (Laughs) - would you ever consider how this will come to an end?

First of all I have huge respect towards these bands since they show every day that they have the guts to go on stage and play and believe me it is very hard to do so. I really don’t know when or how this will come to an end. I wish I will have the luxury to play the music I love for as much as possible.

If you had the ability to change one thing in the music industry, what would that be?

Hmm… I see lots of stupid people running around, acting like they know what they are doing. Their problem is that they take themselves too seriously. Music is entertainment thus fun. No point doing it if you are not enjoying it.

Thanks for your time. A message to your fans here in Greece…

I know we have many fans in Greece and unfortunately I have only met very few of them when we played there live. I hope to meet more of you in the future. I wish you all the best and do keep in mind that we might come from different countries but we all speak the same language - music.


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