NIGHTWISH Mainman Says New Album Is About 'Celebration Of Life' And 'Privilege Of Existence'

FinlandCalling.com recently conducted an interview with keyboardist/mainman Tuomas Holopainen of Finnish/Swedish symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

FinlandCalling.com: When you have an idea or are inspired by anything, do you have to write it down or does it just stay with you?

Tuomas: I always have my notebook with me and I always have a dictaphone with me, so if I just get an idea I write it immediately. It happens so many times that you get a killer idea, you think, "It's so good I'll never forget this" initially, and then I do.

FinlandCalling.com: I don't know if you can tell me very much about this, you probably want to keep it a secret, but have you planned any visuals for the stage yet?

Tuomas: We're in the planning stage as we speak. It was yesterday when I talked to the guy who's making the props, so nothing concrete, but there will definitely be the pyros and maybe some screens, since now we're making a movie, it would make sense to put some stuff from the movie there. Maybe some props related to the film or stage. We'll have a Celtic pipe player with us for the entire tour, so that's something unique too. It's being planned!

FinlandCalling.com: You said that one day you were hoping to play the Royal Albert Hall. Is that still an ambition of yours?

Tuomas: Yeah, it all started when we started to think that we need to do this show with the orchestra and the choir at least once in our life. And where would we do it? Well the natural location would be the Royal Albert Hall because we want to use the same orchestra and the choir that we usually do. And to fly over 100 people somewhere else in England. I think London would be the perfect place for that.

FinlandCalling.com: Have you planned it for this tour, or it just something that you want to do, but haven't turned it into practice yet?

Tuomas: We haven't made any concrete plans about it, and it's something that, when we do it, needs to be so well planned in a big way, and it's going to take years of planning. I have my doubts that it will be on this tour, but maybe after the third album with Anette, we would be ready to do that. The thing is that WITHIN TEMPTATION did a wonderful DVD and show with the orchestra, DIMMU BORGIR, OPETH. And these are all such wonderful releases, so we need to find a new angle to do it as well, so we need to put a lot of thought into it. It's not just about playing with the orchestra. It will be cool, but we want to take it a bit further.

FinlandCalling.com: How different was it for you now that you had Anette [Olzon, vocals] as a member of the band for a while and knew her voice and abilities, while on "Dark Passion Play" you didn't know who was going to be providing the vocals for your work?

Tuomas: It wasn't as different as you would imagine, actually. It was just that now I had a concrete voice in my head doing the vocals when I was writing the songs, and I knew her vocal range, her strengths and weaknesses. But it wasn't much different. I think she sounds fab on the new album. Something happened to her, I mean she did a wonderful job on "Dark Passion Play", but her singing is now taken to a different level on "Imaginaerum". It's not about me writing the songs for her voice, it's about her being relaxed and confident. After surviving the tour, after surviving the fans' reaction, maybe she feels like she's in the band and she can be herself, her versatile self.

FinlandCalling.com: In the press release you said "Imaginaerum" stands as a testament to what NIGHTWISH have always been about. Taking it further, how would you then describe what NIGHTWISH is all about to someone who has either not heard the album or is completely new to the band?

Tuomas: It's a bit of a melodramatic statement, to be honest. I just realized at some point that "Imaginaerum" is in the very core of the truth that NIGHTWISH is about. And it's about celebration of life, the privilege of existence and all the beautiful, fantastic stuff on the planet. Gospel of imagination and memory being with the band from the very first song we did. It's about the celebration of imagination.

FinlandCalling.com: On a completely different topic, would you ever do a feature with a band from an entirely different genre?

Tuomas: I'm not a prisoner of genre by any means, I listen to all kinds of music. For me it has everything to do with the feeling and the song itself, so I definitely see myself doing something completely different or working with people from other genres as well.

FinlandCalling.com: Have you considered an acoustic gig at all?

Tuomas: I love acoustic stuff, and I'm sure that something that we will do with NIGHTWISH in the future as well. There would be even a full-length acoustic album, acoustic shows... I'm pretty sure.

Read the entire interview from FinlandCalling.com.

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