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Interviews : “Australia next January will be a blast, as always!” – An Interview with Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish)

By on November 30, 2015

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Tuomas Holopainen – Nightwish

Nightwish has been one of my absolute favourite bands for a huge chunk of my life, since I was about thirteen years old. Ultimately, they are also the very reason for me being in Australia at all. I was therefore quite ecstatic when I was offered to interview the mastermind Tuomas Holopainen, before the band return to Australia on their Endless Forms Most Beautiful World Tour in January. 

I was lucky enough to witness Nightwish’s full stage production in Copenhagen, Denmark two weeks ago, and whilst I anticipated Tuomas’ answer to the question, I still wanted to know if they would bring any pyrotechnics or the stage props to Australia this time around.

“Unfortunately not. We need to sell quite a few more albums in Australia to be able to pull off the full production. Hopefully one day. Still, it`s important to also be able to have a show to remember without the extras. Australia next January will be a blast, as always!”

Over the last few years Nightwish has largely excluded their earliest releases from their setlist. ‘Angels Fall First’, ‘Oceanborn’ and ‘Wishmaster’ are some of my top albums of all time, and I really wanted to know if these albums will get more attention on future tours.

“There is a very good chance for that, yes. For the Endless Forms Most Beautiful – tour the songs and setlists are pretty much set in stone, but we`ve been twiddling with the idea of seriously exploring the old school stuff for the future. Will be quite the nostalgia trip. And lots of fun seeing Floor trying to keep a straight face while singing the lyrics of “Elvenpath”.”

Original Nightwish drummer Jukka Nevalainen was forced to a timeout from the band due to chronic insomnia before recordings commenced for Endless Forms Most Beautiful. The band’s statement read that Jukka would not participate on the album or the following world tour. There haven’t been many news to be found about the drummer recently, and given that he’s one my teenage years heroes, I’ve been anxious to know how he is doing.

“Jukka is doing much, much better! He’s as happy as I’ve ever seen him, but we’ll decide the future plans once this tour is finished and everybody gets a breather.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtXqUNB8zrU&w=560&h=315]

Tuomas revealed that there are plans for another huge live DVD release.

“We’ve been filming a bunch of shows already and will release a DVD/Blu-Ray package containing loads of live stuff, making of’s and extras, most likely in late 2016.”

One quite unique thing with Nightwish is that they constantly tour with great special guest/supporting acts. The list is quite extensive, but some of the bands are Voyager, Volbeat, Delain and Sabaton.

“It’s a mutual decision between the band and the management. We simply aim for great bands with great people. And on the plus side I get a fanboy moment seeing bands like Paradise Lost, Sabaton, Delain, Sonata Arctica and Amorphis every night! At the moment we are touring Europe with Arch Enemy and Amorphis, and it’s a perfect harmony.”

One thing that is well-known amongst the hardcore Nightwish fans is that Tuomas absolutely loves Australia. He did a quite extensive road trip a couple of years ago between Perth and Cairns, and I was curious about if he had another trip planned for the future, and if he would have moved here if it wasn’t for Nightwish.

“It was the best adventure we ever had, and yes, it needs to be repeated! Maybe through the Northern Territory next time. There is something very special in Australia that I adore and love, but I’d never go as far as to actually move there. I love Finland and couldn’t survive without the four seasons, the dark sense of humour and the view from our home porch.”

Troy Donockley’s first Nightwish related appearance was on Dark Passion Play. Since then he’s joined the band as a permanent member. He might not appear on every song during a Nightwish show, but his musical ability is beyond amazing and the man is also extremely entertaining on stage. I asked Tuomas if there are any instruments that Troy can’t play, and whilst on the subject, what unused instruments that he would like to include on future Nightwish albums.

“His tuba playing skills leave a lot to be desired. (He can only do “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” with that) And yes, he’s quite the magician, on stage and off stage. There’s a massive amount of unused instruments and voices out there that we’d love to experiment with, from Tibetan monks to the church organs of Notre Dame.”

Endless Forms Most Beautiful has only been out for eight months, but I still wanted to know if Tuomas had any plans or inspirations for the next album already.

“I was utterly and happily drained after finishing with the album, and still am to a certain extent. 100% satisfied with the album, though, after an 8-month mental hangover. For me personally EFMB is an ultimate achievement, especially the track “The Greatest Show On Earth”. It’s going to take some time to discover new stories (with similar inspiration and awe) to write songs about. I’m sure it will come, but it will likely take some years. There are enough acts out there doing music with nothing to say.”

One of Tuomas’ big dreams for a long time has been to perform with a full orchestra in London. However, it is something that won’t be happening yet.

“This is something that has been in the planning for a decade already, but it hasn’t lead to anything tangible yet. It has to happen at some point but unfortunately not during this EFMB tour.”

My last question for Tuomas this time around was: “You find out that you will be deserted on a tropical island for the rest of your life. You get to pick one bottomless bottle of any alcoholic beverage to bring with you. What beverage/brand do you pick?”

“Any Australian Shiraz. Easy.”

Make sure to catch Nightwish in Australia in January on the following dates. Tickets on sale now.

NIGHTWISH TOUR DATES – AUSTRALIA 2016

Thursday 7th January – The Tivoli, BRISBANE (18+)
With Taberah
Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au

Saturday 9th January – The Enmore Theatre, SYDNEY (All Ages)
With Taberah
Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au

Monday 11th January – The Forum Theatre, MELBOURNE (18+)
With Taberah
Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au

Wednesday 13th January – HQ Complex, ADELAIDE (18+)
With Voyager + Taberah
Tickets: www.metalobsession.net/shop

Friday 15th January – Metropolis, FREMANTLE (18+)
With Voyager
Tickets: www.metalobsession.net/shop

nigthwish

 

About

Martin is an aspiring music photographer/videographer. He is originally from the southern parts of Sweden and now he's living in Sydney, Australia. Thanks to his older sister, he got into Rammstein at the age of 9, and since then he's been into all types of metal/rock. He loves to combine photography and music, but also filming concerts and produce live material. Follow him on Twitter and check out his website.