Nightwish live photos

Source: Metalhead
07/18/2009       Artmania Festival        Sibiu         Romania

Nightwish live photos

07/09/2009 - Masters of Rock Festival - Vizovice - Czech Republic
Source:

Problem i en kärleksrelation när man är ung / Att inte våga visa kärlek

Source: Sjukvårdsrådgivningen
Part 2

Nödvändigt med respekt
Ett ganska vanligt problem i kärleksrelationer är att den ena inte visar sin kärlek öppet inför andra människor, utan bara visar sina känslor när man är ensamma. Partnern kan då känna sig bortvald, och det kan kännas både obehagligt och respektlöst. Respekt är en av de få saker som man faktiskt kan kräva i en relation. Om man känner att ens partner inte visar en respekt när man är tillsammans med andra, ska man tydligt säga ifrån. Man kan fråga vad en relation betyder för henne eller honom, och beskriva sin upplevelse av att vissa gånger känna sig uppskattad och andra gånger känna sig osynlig. Den andra kanske är omedveten om att det uppfattas som obehagligt eller att hon eller han beter sig så här.

Om man är homosexuell kan det här problemet vara svårare att lösa eftersom det finns fördomar i samhället mot homosexuella. Det kan göra att man kanske förväntar sig extra mycket respekt och bekräftelse från sin partner samtidigt som det också kan vara extra svårt för partnern att visa kärleken offentligt. Om den ena inte vågar visa sin kärlek för andra kan det kännas väldigt kränkande. Att prata med varandra om hur man känner brukar vara den bästa vägen till att komma överens, förstå och respektera varandra. Ibland får man också ge saker tid att mogna och växa fram.

Att inte låtsas om sin partner när man är ute bland kompisar kan vara ett sätt att känna makt eller oberoende, som en del mår bra av att känna. Om man blir utsatt för det kan man kräva respekt genom att säga att man inte accepterar beteendet. Då kanske ens partner ändrar sitt sätt att vara. Om han eller hon inte gör det, är det viktigt att man åtminstone försöker visa sig själv respekt genom att försöka få till stånd en förändring i relationen eller, om inget annat fungerar, kanske avsluta förhållandet.

Problem i en kärleksrelation när man är ung / Att vilja ses olika ofta

Source: Sjukvårdsrådgivningen
Part 2

Viktigt med både trygghet och frihet

Människor har olika stora behov av frihet och trygghet. För vissa betyder närhet och trygghet nästan allt och man är beredd att göra väldigt mycket för att få uppleva det i en nära relation. Om man är ung och känner sig osäker kan en trygg relation kännas som det bästa som kan hända, och det kan det också vara. Tryggheten i en relation kan ge möjlighet att utvecklas vidare och man kan klara av många andra svåra saker i livet om man har en bra nära relation.

Å andra sidan finns det många som känner sig ganska trygga i sig själva och har ett stort behov av frihet, eller som är rädda för att komma en annan människa riktigt nära. Då kan en relation där partnern vill att man ska dela allt bli problematisk.

Alla har olika behov av närhet
När det gäller olika behov i en relation kan man inte säga att det ena är rätt och det andra är fel. Alla är olika och behöver olika saker för att må bra, och i en relation har man ansvar både för sig själv och för den andre. Som ung har man ofta tränat sig mest i att ta hand om sig själv och därför kan det bli svårt när man i en relation plötsligt måste tänka på både sina egna och den andras behov. För att en relation ska fungera bra måste man prata med varandra för att komma fram till vad man vill ha ut av relationen och vad man kan ge till varandra.

Om man känner att man själv alltid vill vara nära och att det inte är lika viktigt för den andra, hamnar man lätt i en känsla av underläge. Man kan tro att man själv är den som älskar mest, och att man inte är värd lika mycket kärlek tillbaka. Men ens pojk- eller flickväns behov av att umgås med andra behöver inte betyda att de inte älskar en.

Prata om saken tillsammans

Ett råd för att lösa situationen är att den som vill umgås mest som par funderar över vad som ligger bakom behovet av att alltid vara nära. Den andra bör fundera över vad det betyder för henne eller honom att också ha andra kompisar. Man bör försöka förklara och beskriva sina egna behov så noga som möjligt, och lyssna noga på vad den andre har att berätta. Om man berättar för sin partner att man till exempel känner sig ledsen eller rädd när man är ensam kanske det är lättare för henne eller honom att förstå varför man alltid vill vara nära.

Man kan sen diskutera vad man kan ge varandra. Den som har ett stort behov av att träffas kanske kan försöka träffa sina egna kompisar när den andra har annat för sig? Den som ofta vill träffa andra kanske kan avstå från en utekväll ibland för att bara vara tillsammans med den andre? Om man ska hitta en kompromiss är det viktigt att man försöka sätt ord på det man känner. Ingen kan läsa ens tankar. Om man båda två är överens om att fortsätta vara tillsammans men inte kan lösa problemen på egen hand, kan man ta kontakt med till exempel en ungdomsmottagning för att få råd.


Problem i en kärleksrelation när man är ung / Svartsjuka

Source: Sjukvårdsrådgivningen
Part 1

En känsla som måste få finnas

Svartsjuka kan bero på flera olika saker. Oftast gör det inte så mycket om man bara är lite svartsjuk, det kan helt enkelt vara ett uttryck för att man är rädd för att förlora den man tycker om. Ibland kan det vara bra att berätta för sin tjej eller kille att man känner sig lite svartsjuk. Det kan göra att man kommer varandra närmare och den andre kan bli glad att få veta att han eller hon är så viktig för en. Men alla är olika, för vissa kan det tvärtom kännas jobbigt att den de är tillsammans med behöver en så mycket.

När svartsjukan blir ett problem

Tyvärr kan svartsjuka många gånger leda till att ens partner känner sig fångad och kvävd. Då är det viktigt att man pratar med varandra och försöka komma på orsakerna till svartsjukan. Är det kanske så att det finns en anledning som man inte kan bortse ifrån? Den man är kär i kanske inte är riktigt säker på vad han eller hon vill med relationen och därför till exempel flörtar med andra. När man är ung är det naturligt att man vill testa sig fram, och det kan vara svårt att vara helt säker på sina känslor. Man kanske också vill veta hur attraktiv man är och därför flörtar med andra, vilket kan vara väldigt sårande för den man är ihop med.

Man kan aldrig kräva att någon ska älska en. Om ens partner är osäker på sina känslor så måste hon eller han själv få komma fram till ett beslut. Däremot kan man i en relation alltid kräva att bli respekterad av den andre och man ska också alltid respektera sig själv. Eftersom man är två i en relation måste båda vara beredda att fundera över sin egen del i problemen för att kunna reda ut dem.

Om man känner att det är alltför smärtsamt att vara ihop med någon som inte verkar vilja satsa lika mycket på relationen som man själv, kanske man måste fundera på om man ska göra slut.

Kontrollbehov och rädsla kan ligga bakom

Det förekommer också svartsjuka som är ogrundad, det vill säga inte har någon egentlig orsak. Den typen av svartsjuka kan vara mycket problematisk och visar sig ofta som misstänksamhet och kontrollbehov.

Om man tycker att ens egen svartsjuka är ett problem har man goda chanser att kunna påverka den så att den minskar. En av orsakerna till ogrundad svartsjuka kan vara låg självkänsla, att man har svårt att tro att man duger som man är. Behovet att ha någon sorts kontroll över partnern kan då dyka upp. En annan orsak kan vara att man har svårt för att känna förtroende för andra människor. Om man har svårt att lita på någon får man lätt ett behov av att kontrollera den andre. Är svartsjukan väldigt stark kan det vara bra att prata med någon utomstående, till exempel en kurator eller psykolog på en ungdomsmottagning eller vårdcentral, för att få hjälp.

Svartsjuka som leder till våld

Den allvarligaste formen av svartsjuka upplevs ofta bara som ett problem av den som utsätts för den, och inte av den som är svartsjuk. Den som är svartsjuk har då ett mycket stort kontrollbehov och börjar ofta förolämpa och hota sin partner. Den här typen av svartsjuka kan i många fall leda till våld.

Grunden för den här typen av svartsjuka är inte vanliga relationsproblem, och handlar heller inte om att man visar sin kärlek. Det handlar snarare om att skaffa sig makt och om ett behov av att kontrollera andra. Det är vanligare att det är män som känner den här typen av svartsjuka och att de låter den gå ut över kvinnor.

När den ena parten hotas eller misshandlas av den andra på grund av svartsjuka, är det ofta för sent att rädda förhållandet. Tyvärr är det enda sättet att undvika att bli utsatt för mer våld oftast att lämna den man är ihop med. Oavsett vilket kön man själv och den man är ihop med har, bör man omedelbart försöka ta sig ur relationen om man blir misshandlad. Om man är den som misshandlar ska man försöka få hjälp för att kunna ändra sitt beteende. Kvinnor som blir misshandlade kan vända sig till en kvinnojour eller en kvinnomottagning. Män kan kontakta kriscentrum för män om de befinner sig i en relation som innehåller våld. Oavsett vilket kön man tillhör kan man vända sig till sin vårdcentral, en ungdomsmottagning eller socialtjänsten.

I kapitlet Fördjupning och länkar finns information om tjej- och kvinnojourer och kriscentrum för män, dit man kan vända sig om man behöver stöd.

Interview with Epica 8

Source: Rock Eyez
Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: October 4th, 2005

Hello Simone and welcome to Rockeyez.com. Tell me, in your eyes, what Goth music means to you?


This is a question I get a lot these days. Nowadays gothic seems to have become a word to generalize metal music with female vocals. It is hard to describe, a lot of people think we are a gothic metal band, but when we played at real gothic festivals we were the odd one out. I would like to describe Epica as symphonic metal with female voices. We have a lot of elements in our music and everybody interprets it in his own way. That is fine by me.

 

 

In your youth you played flute and you had singing lessons. What kind of kid were you in high school?


Very shy and withdrawn. I liked to watch TMF and MTV when I was at home. At school I enjoyed the music lessons very much. During the last year I auditioned for a role in our musical. The part I auditioned for was Marilyn Monroe. Unfortunately I didn’t get the part because another girl was very good at acting and I was standing there very still. They really liked my singing so they decide to write an extra role for me. I had to sing “All At Once” from Whitney Houston.

 

 

Before Epica and any other band you were in that recorded material. What was the first garage band you were in?


Epica is my first real band. I rehearsed with another band two times but we were more interested in playing with our dummy guns than working. It was a black metal band; don’t know if they still exist.

 

 

What was the feeling you had the first time you stood in front of a big crowd singing?


That was for this musical. I was sweating like a little pig he-he. Very nervous of course, my singing must have been terrible. One of the three times I had to laugh during the song because Marilyn was amusing the crowd and it was hilarious! Luckily I got myself together and finished the song. There were about 200 people each night.

 

 

Did you win any awards as a youth?


No, unfortunately not. I wanted to participate to the Soundmixshow for kids; I loved Tony Braxton’s ‘Unbreak My Heart’. I was singing that song along in the car radio of my neighbor. I never enrolled.

 

 

You mentioned that the first time you heard Nightwish that was your passion. But what was the first record you ever bought or was given. Plus what was the first concert you attended?


I was already listening to metal music way before I got a Nightwish album. The first album I bought was a single from the Dutch band K’s Choice, “Not an Addict.” Oh, I remember I also bought a compilation CD when I got my first mini CD player. I don’t think I still have it.

 

My first concert was Art Garfunkel; I went there with my mother. Without Simon, Art is a bit dull. Still it was it was impressive my first concert.

 

 

How did Epica get signed by Transmission Records?


Mark already knew them because After Forever was signed there also. They knew Mark had talent and told him they were interested to sign his new band. We recorded a demo and they loved it. We are very lucky they believed in us. Because of them we could record a real CD with a wonderful producer Sascha Peath.

 

 

Your first CD “The Phantom Agony” came out in 2003 which had much success. How does the new CD “Consign to Oblivion” differ from that CD?


The success is even bigger but the music itself is a bit different. The sound is more mature, my singing is more versatile. I do not sing only classical, also pop and rock. I use various techniques. Yves our bass player seemed to have hidden talents. He also composed some songs with Mark. Both of them are great admirers of film music. This is why it has a lot of that element.

 

 

The arrangements were done by Miro this time. He had worked with Rhapsody and Kamelot and he did a good job on our last album.

 

How long did it take to record “Consign to Oblivion”?
It took place in the Summer of 2004; I think we were working on the recordings for about 3 months, which is usual for a CD recording.

 

 

Which song was the most difficult to record?


For me singing wise it was “Dance Of Fate.” Don’t know why exactly, it took me a while to get the feeling there, it is not one of my favorite songs to be honest.

 

 

Let’s get to some of the songs. “Force of the Shore” has some demonic vocals and grunts. Is the band reaching out to the death metal scene with this particular song and a few others on this release?


I would say that this is the rough edge Epica has in their music. We always had grunts in our music. Mark has a good voice for that so it would be a waste not to use it since we all like it.

 

 

“Mother of Light (A New Age Dawns)” is a killer song. The power on this song is amazing with low harmonies of aggressive vocals. Tell us about the recording process of this song?


Now, this is one of my favorite songs! I love to play this one live. The audience reacts wonderful to it. About the recording process I cannot tell you much since I was only there for the choir, grunts and vocal recordings. First of all the verses were only sung with grunts, but every time I heard it I had a singing line in my head. I sang it to Mark and he liked it so much that we also recorded it. The song has a lot of choir parts in it, my singing, the grunts of Mark, ah, it is just a great song! Ha-ha.

 

 

“Trois Vierges” is one of my favorite tracks. How was it working with Roy Khan? and how did you approach him on the song?


It was great that we could have him for this song. We asked him also some time ago but he was too busy and didn’t want to do anything besides Kamelot. When we met in the studio where they were finishing their album we talked about it again and they told me they were also searching for a female singer for their first single. So we did a little trade. Luckily for me they also wanted to record a video clip. So I flew to Sweden and had a great time!

 

 

With Goth music becoming more popular with the first ever US GothStock Festival would there be a chance that Epica could be playing more dates in the US and could there be a chance that the band would attend the 2006 US GothStock Festival?


It would be great if Epica could play there. We are certainly interested. We want to play everywhere!

 

 

Would Epica consider doing a full length movie sound track?


We already released a soundtrack CD, it is called “The Score”. Mark and Yves love to write film music so if they would get another offer they wouldn’t say ‘no’ he-he.

 

 

Seems that Holland is the mecca for Goth and medieval music is there a reason why?


It is true that there are a lot of female fronted bands. You could say that what Holland is to gothic metal, Seattle was for Grunge. I cannot really give you an explanation for it.

 

 

If you had a chance to do something that you have not done yet musically what would that be?


I would like to play the cello, piano and sing at the same time! No, serious an opera would be wonderful. I want to discover if I have talent to play another instrument. Time will tell…

 

 

Are your clothes custom made?


Some clothes are custom made. I have a deal with HorsNorm. They are French; I have a dress and some corsets and cat suits from their company. I designed them myself and they made them for me. The other clothes that I wear I found in stores all around Europe.

 

 

What is you favorite track on the new CD?


For the moment, it is “Consign To Oblivion.” I also like “Mother Of Light” and “Quietus” a lot!

 

 

The booklet that comes with “Consign To Oblivion” has pictures of ancient statues. is there a meaning behind those pictures?


Since Mark has written some songs that are about the Maya’s we thought it would be also nice for the artwork of the CD. It is something new, special.

 

 

Were there any songs that were recorded for the new CD that you did not put on the record?


There is only one instrumental song that didn’t make it till the end. “Palladium”, it is Yves’ song. It became a bonus track on our first single. For our second single we had to record two new songs just to have a bonus track. One of them is a cover and the other is a ballad called “Linger,” we already played that song live.

 

 

If you had a chance to record, a song with another male or female vocalist, who would that be?


I guess Tarja from Nightwish, it is also a request from many of our fans, and I wouldn’t say no. I think our voices would blend together very well… in a classical piece even more.

 

 

If you had one fantasy dream come true what would that be?


Travel around the world with Epica. Become a good singer and make a living out of it.

 

 

What is your feeling about religion? 


I believe in myself and in the strength of the human mind. Don’t underestimate the power of your own mind. There is probably something supernatural but I don’t read the bible or convert to any religion.

 

 

Would you consider doing a solo project?


For now I don’t have the time for it. Also not really the ambition, I just started singing in Epica and I want to see how far this band can get. We have achieved a lot already in such a short period. I want to see if the sky is really the limit.

 

 

Simone, Rockeyez would like to thank you for the amazing new CD and the chance to talk with you. Would you like to say anything in conclusion?


Pleasure is all mine, thank you for your sincere interest in Epica and I am glad that you like our new CD. As soon as we know anything about touring in the USA, it will be on our website!

 

 

Rock Eyez Review of 'We Will Take You With Us' by Epica.


Interview with Nightwish 117

Source: Metal-Rules
27th of March 2004
Article and all pics by Luxi Lahtinen

Pre-listening session at Finnvox Studio for new Nightwish album, "ONCE".

In mid March I got an invitation from Tuula Salminen of Spinefarm Records to a pre-listening session of Nightwish´s forth-coming album at the famous Finnvox Studio. How could I turn down such an invitation? Of course I didn´t, and I went there by 11.45 AM on the 27th of March and soon noticed that I was the first person there - besides 3 fine ladies from Spinefarm Records who kept me company for a short moment. I asked from one of them whether Tuomas Holopainen was somewhere near by and at that very moment he stepped into the room with us and I decided to take advantage of this ´golden opportunity´. I went to Tuomas and politely asked him whether he might have a few minutes to talk with me while waiting for the others to arrive. Being a true gentleman like Tuomas is by nature, we found ourselves soon sitting around a table on the other side of the big room and I started inquiring some things from him concerning their anxiously waited new album titled ONCE.


So Tuomas, how would you say this new album ONCE differ from your previous album CENTURY CHILD as wholeness?


Well, how could I put into words? I would say that CENTURY CHILD was more or less kind of a "proto type" for this new album even if I naturally couldn´t be aware of that at all. On CENTURY CHILD we used a full orchestra for the first time just to give more depth into our songs and added a bit heavier aspects into them, too. But on this new album ONCE, overall we have doubled all these elements; brought both more heaviness and orchestrated parts into our new songs. Our new stuff on ONCE mostly is based on very riff-laden song structures as well as we have never used this many classical orchestra parts for our songs as we did with the songs for ONCE. I could also say that ONCE is kind of a sequel to CENTURY CHILD, but everything on ONCE has been done better and in a more massive scale.


How did it feel to start making songs for your follow-up album? Knowing that CENTURY CHILD was so well received in every corner of the world and it received rave reviews in almost every single magazine worldwide. I bet starting thinking and eventually writing new stuff for ONCE under those circumstances simply must have caused at least a bit pressure on you because you obviously want to top yourself as a song writer as far as follow-up albums are concerned, correct?


Yes, that is correct indeed. Of course there´s always some pressures haunting there behind your previous successful attempt to make a great record and making ONCE differs rather radically from everything what we have done earlier. Making ONCE has been really hard task to make; we have been spending time to make this album longer than with any of our other albums, but I still think that the experience we have got out of this all has also been the most rewarding to us all in all. We had absolutely enough time to make this album, so we didn´t have to rush any things for ONCE as has happened with the making of our previous albums. Right at this moment I feel very good about our new album. I have to say that I have lots of confidence toward this new album of ours and I feel very proud of being a part of making of it even if no one would buy it. It still was worth making, that´s for sure.


Excuse me, but it sounds pretty ´odd´ to me when you said you didn´t have to rush things in the studio to make the album done ´coz nearly 99% out of all bands kind of tend to rush things when a deadline for some recording in a studio is almost reached, bands simply have this strange tendency to run out of their time in a recording situation for some reason or the other...


He-he... as strange as it may sound to you, we have been 5 months in the studio, making this new album. We entered the studio in the mid October 2003 and during the X-mass time we had only one week off from the recording of ONCE. But otherwise we have been recording the album daily up to this very day; sometimes more intensely, something a bit less intensely.


When you had a clear enough picture in your head for how the songs would eventually turn out, did you ever feel, even a few times during the whole song writing process, that the musical steps you have taken might be too much for some Nightwish fans to handle? Possibly way too drastic changes musically compared to your previous stuff, maybe crossing the line a bit too much for what´s accessible Nightwish stuff and what´s not from the Nightwish fans point of view?


Actually I wanted to do an album where each single song could be like a soundtrack in miniature. When I was composing songs for our previous album CENTURY CHILD, I realized that´s the thing for Nightwish I really wanted to do ´coz overall to do something where we are good at and feel comfortable for us. And now when I listen to songs on our new album, I feel very strongly about the stuff we have done for this album. There´s a very strong ´soundtrack´ish´ feel in each song we have done for ONCE and I´m really happy how the whole album sounds like. Also, there´s lots of tiny little surprises here and there in our songs on the album. I think it´s kind of nice to wake up people every once in a while and do something different musically for each new album you do. For example one song has been sung in Finnish ("Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan" ), then we have one a real Native American Indian in one of our songs as a guest ("Creek Mary´s Blood" ) and then there´s even a song on ONCE which is almost a "danceable techno Heavy Metal song (?)" where this certain metallic beat rumbles through the whole song. With this type of ´surprises´ we have spiced some of the songs on ONCE...


Last time we talked, I recall talking a little bit about Marco´s contribution for the song writing of Nightwish in the future, too. Has he participated in the song writing of ONCE and how much did he become involved with that?


Marco gave me a couple of ´raw sketches´ on CD-R, containing some plain riffs as well. I checked them through and ripped a few things out from it and there´s one song on the album that Marco has done almost completely from the beginning to the very end by himself and that song is the last song on ONCE called "Higher than Hope". Also Marco did one riff for one other song on the album, so I could say that Marco´s involvement with this album is more visible than on our last album CENTURY CHILD. As for me, I still have done all the lyrics for this album, though.


What about Emppu; what was his role with the song writing for this new album of yours then?


Emppu did one riff for one song too, and the rest has been done by me.


But still as I assume that even if both Marco and Emppu had come up with a respected bunch of cool and useable ideas for ONCE, you were again so-called the main ´filter´ at the end of the tunnel who selected the gold out from a less valuable metal, so to speak...


Yes, I agree... it was my duty to be this main filter again to look a little bit after what kind of stuff I wanted to get in for this album. If I remember right, Emppu introduced 3 riffs of which I wanted to use one for this album and Marco introduced a couple of song structures plus 3 riffs to me and from those I decided to use one of Marco´s song structure in whole for ONCE and one of his riffs as well.


Now when you have been playing and hearing all these songs on ONCE like a few hundred times or so, can you already tell whether one of them has grown as your own favorite song for some reason or the other?


I have to tell you that right from the very beginning, since that moment I got this certain song completely finished, "´Creek Mary´s Blood" is the one I consider as my own highlight of my whole career as a song writer. I feel like this song has got something very personal for me; there´s lots of great moods and feelings going on in that particular song and I have to say that I also feel like I´m pleased with that song most. Of course there´s always a chance that my favorite songs off the album may change daily, you just never know. For example the first single song off the album called "Nemo" felt really damn good in the beginning as a song, but nowadays I kind of want to wash my hands from it simply because I have heard it so many times. "Creek Mary´s Blood" is still my favorite off all the songs right now.


What type of song is it musically? Is it an ´epic´ song or something alike...?


Yes, it is indeed! It clocks in at the 9-minute mark and another lengthy tune on ONCE is "Ghost Love Story" is about 10-minutes or so... These two songs are the longest songs this new album and the rest of the songs are like 4-5 minutes in length.


I read from your website that you even did one song ("Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan") in Finnish for the first time in the entire history of Nightwish. What made you end up trying out one song in your native language of Finnish?


Well, it was basically just an experiment more than anything else to see how one of our songs would sound like when sung in Finnish. It wasn´t any kind of pre-planned thing to do at all; more like a spontaneous idea to find out whether it would work out for us or not. And it did work out very well in my opinion. The song sounds very good to my ears at least. It´s assumable one of the best ballad type of songs that we have ever been capable of churning out, I think. This song has been made of minor ingredients; there´s only Tarja´s voice, piano and the orchestra in this song and that´s it. The band doesn´t play in that song at all.


ONCE will be released 7th of June 2004 worldwide. What kind of expectations do you have for it and how you expect people will receive it when they get a chance to buy it from their local record stores?


Hmm... a tough question. First off, I have to say that this album may be a bit more complex and difficult album in my opinion to be absorbed by people compared to our previous album CENTURY CHILD, for example. When people listen to it for the very first time, they probably may get some confused and mixed feelings out of this album as the stream of information on this new album may be too much to handle for a listener at one listen only. So hopefully people can be patient and let the songs grow up in them a little bit ´coz I can guarantee it will rewarding for them.


Last week you had a bunch media people from different countries here at Finnvox in the same situation as a similar pre-listening session was arranged to them as well. What kind of feedback have you got from them concerning ONCE?


Most of the feedback that I got from them, was very positive indeed, I can tell. I was very flattered by some of their comments. On the other hand, many also told me afterwards that as the sound on ONCE is so massive and monumental, they need to give a few extra spins to it in order to get it better absorbed into their minds and enjoy the album at fullest. But overall people got pretty excited about it all in all as wholeness.


Obviously after the album is out, you start a massive tour to promote it and I can even bet many of your concerts have already been sold-out in advance. Is that correct?


Yes, you are right. Many of them are sold-out already. During this summer we´ll play at many festivals, then we´ll do our first ever US/Canada tour as a headlining band and it will last 3 weeks. Right after that we will come back to Central Europe again, then continue from there via Scandinavia to South America. We will have a break from touring from the beginning of X-mas 2004 to January 2005 and continue touring right after January. Our purpose is to be on road a year or a year and half to promote our new album, but I guess it´s a bit too early to say more about our plans for the next year.


That was it Tuomas. Thanks a lot for sharing your time. Now we´d better run to this pre-listening session with others that's been arranged by your record company Spinefarm Records.

Thank you, too. Yeah, we´d better to do just that.


And finally the main thing... my short analysis on each track on ONCE. But please do keep in your minds that all of my comments for each track on ONCE are based on only one spinning of the album and even most of the songs were either raw mixes or un-mastered versions (or both), so my comments about each song do not offer that much in-depth insight into them by any means. My comments were basically just meant to scratch the surface of the songs on this new album a little bit and that´s basically all.

Let my notes guide me and may God forgive me if my notes weren´t precise and accurate enough...

"Dark Chest of Wonders" (final mix, un-mastered)

Wow... absolutely one of the heaviest Nightwish songs ever penned down!! The shredding guitar riffs simply rule in this song; Emppu´s guitar riffs are some of the heaviest he has ever conjured up for a Nightwish song. Quite a straight-forward song all in all if referred to the whole back catalogue of Nightwish songs and kind of a well-chosen starter for the whole album in general.

"Wish I had an Angel" (final mix, un-mastered)
Again, Emppu´s heavy and even murderous riffage took me by surprise. Another surprisingly heavy song on ONCE. The first verse is sung both by Tarja and Marco together, followed by a chorus which Marco sings alone, soon followed a duet with Tarja again. The song reminds me of "Slaying the Dreamer" off Nightwish´s previous album CENTURY CHILD due to its immense heavy moments. I don´t hesitate a bit by saying that "Wish I had an Angel" must be one of Nightwish´s heaviest songs without doubts. I just loved each second of it.

"Nemo" (final mix, mastered)
The song reminded me of a more like traditional Nightwish stuff that all of us have heard from them with some well thought-out harmonies and stuff. Having a very catchy and somewhat pompous chorus part which sticks to your mind like a gum in your fingers, it´s no wonder why they ended up choosing this particular song for their first single off the album. Tarja really shines with her magnificent vocal parts in this tune as she always tends to do.

"Planet Hell" (final mix, mastered)
A very soundtrack´ish beginning which sounded very epic thoroughly, with lots of strings and horns (and possibly some other classical instruments as well... I cannot remember any longer, sorry!) are being played in this tune by courtesy of The Academy of St. Martins in the Field that was e.g. used by Howard Shore while recording the music for the "Lord of the Rings" -trilogy. Marco´s opening up of the song with his no less than powerful and incredible vocal parts, soon being followed Tarja´s absolutely tantalizing vocalism, though. It sounds like the chorus part has been thought out for the song really carefully again as it´s as memorable and all the way catchy as something can be in the first place. As a song, it´s overall a relatively fast tempo song and became one of my instant favorite tracks on the album. This song really made me hungry for more...

"Creek Mary´s Blood"
(raw mix)

Tuomas´ own favorite track on ONCE. The song itself honestly did remind me of some sort of a soundtrack for a Wild West movie with some massive scenes, presenting life of the Indians culture (... or whatever!). However, on this, Nightwish performs together with a real Native American/American Indian and a multi-instrumentalist called Mr. John "Two-Hawks" who is originally from the Lakota tribe. John plays flute, sings and reads a poem in Lakota language which Tuomas has made the original text for. The song has a great epic and beautiful feeling and it´s one of the two so-called ´epic´ songs on the album, lasting more than 9 minutes. I happened to like the song very much myself, too. It sounded quite different what we all have used to hear from Nightwish before. But as whole, "Creek Mary´s Blood" is a very interesting piece of work from Nightwish, definitely something totally new and refreshing compared to some of their familiar concepts as far as Tuomas´ song writing elements overall are concerned.

"The Siren" (final mix, un-mastered)
This song has a very cool instrumental beginning, supported by a set of string instruments. Somehow it brought some certain Eastern sounds/vibes to my mind and the song had quite a varied amount of tempos in itself and I couldn´t help it a bit, but admire Tarja´s breath-taking, nearly a siren-like vocalism in this track in question. No wonder why people generally consider her voice one of the best amongst other female singers...

"Dead Gardens" (raw mix)
The song represents once again one of the heaviest tunes in the Nightwish roster. A heavily riff-based song where Emppu doesn´t show any mercy for his 6-string and the song turns out to be quite a somewhat straight-forward as a song to be a Nightwish song. Uh... I´m afraid that´s all I can remember about the song in question...

"Romanticide"
(final mix, un-mastered)

First off, don´t let the title of this song fool you. Namely in this tune Nightwish keep on pushing themselves toward heavier corners of Heavy Metal music... "Romanticide" is nothing but a cavalcade of strongly crunching riffs being churned out from Emppu´s own ´riff factory´; varying from mid tempos to some unexpected, faster tempos and Marco´s vocalism reaches a very intensive and even an amazingly aggressive level. As a song it´s a very heavy and angry Nightwish song indeed, strongly riff-based and undoubtedly one of the most metallic songs not only this album, but also compared to everything they have done in the past. Again, there´s a tiny chance that many Nightwish fans may get a bit surprised due to some really hectic intensity levels of "Romanticide".

"Ghost Love Story" (final mix, unmastered)

One of the tracks on ONCE that has a really strong soundtrack´ish feeling of a movie, starting straight from the very beginning of the song which in fact contains lots of heaviness (Emppu´s guitar work definitely rules overall in this tune!). The song basically develops like this way: From some less smooth waters of the beginning of the song, is followed a short part full of calmness and magical beauty from where the song starts developing again toward some heavier moments that are soon followed some more peaceful waters structure-wise once again. What also needs to be mentioned, the song has its orchestrated moments being played by a bunch of classical string instruments that provide more colorful nuances and harmonies for the song. A very cool song this one in my opinion as well...

"Kuolema Tekee Taitelijan" (raw mix)
This song is both melancholic and sorrowful sounding "ballad" type of Nightwish song, being sung in Nightwish´s native Finnish language for first time in the band´s history. Sounded rather strange to my ears at first because of the used language in the song, but I got used to it relatively soon anyway. Lots of classical instruments can be tracked down from this tune, too: cello, harp, some horns, different strings (I guess!).

"Higher than Hope"
(raw mix)

This is one of the two songs that Marco has done from start to finish for ONCE. The song starts off a simple acoustic part, Tarja joining in soon with her captivating vocal parts that are followed next by a duet together with Marco. As the song keeps on developing, it finally ends up having quite an epic, heavy, and melancholic atmosphere with all these ingredients in the very same soup. Also, a varied amount of classical string instruments can be spotted as well. I have to say as whole, it´s a well-executed song and works out a very good closer for the album. One of the two lengthy tunes on ONCE.


Interview with Nightwish 116

Source: Revelationz
2004
By: Roy Kristensen
Photo: Kristine Dufey

I’m a lucky bastard. My favourite two passions are travelling and music,
and with Nightwish I get those two together – Tuomas being lucky


Well, Tuomas, how are you these days, being in Norway and going to Bergen soon?
“Hmm, I don’t know about this Bergen thing, since it’s a playback session. To do the signing-sessions and give away autographs are cool, but doing playback is more like a necessary evil. It’s not that I feel bad about it, but it’s not something I really enjoy.”

 

As Tuomas says, signing-sessions are cool and he likes it because it’s easy work, people are cool and he gets free drinks. I guess he’s feeling fine being in Norway these days then, 21st of July?
“Yes, it’s very, very good.”

 

L I V E


When I meet Tuomas in a hotel in Oslo, he’s very sweaty. Actually I had just been jogging myself and was more or less in the same state, without the alcohol of course. So, I assumed it had something to do with three concerts in four days, being all that sweaty and exhausted? Tuomas begins to laugh, and explains me the obvious…
“Nah, we were just having one hell of a party upstairs, and I was dancing all over. About the concerts, it’s just fine. You see, we’re playing in the same place all three days, so can leave the equipment in there, which makes it a lot easier for us.”

 

Is it hard to play three shows in four nights?
“No, not at all. As I said, we don’t have to carry the equipment back and forth. We just relax all day, and then we do our job a few hours. It’s really easy.
Nowadays it’s easier to tour. It’s all about making schedules and getting a day off at least every third day. We never do more than two shows in a row. When we did the tours for “Wishmaster” we could stay on the road for three months and we did maybe 5-6 shows in a row. That was really bad for us, and especially to Tarja’s voice. So, now we have this deal where we don’t do more than two days in a row. And we’re not touring for more than one month at the time. In addition two of us have children. And it’s good to our mental health as well.”

 

I see. Speaking about Tarja’s voice, I really understand because she sings with a lot of power and conviction.
“You see, it’s harder for her than the boys. We can be a bit sick and still do the show, but she can’t sing if she’s in fever you know.”

 

Yesterday I witnessed a spectacular show. There were loads of explosives, a cool water-effect and confetti all over the place. How important is this to you?
“It’s not the main thing. Our music will always be most important. However, I think our music is very visual, bombastic and cinematic and we want to bring that into the live situation as well. Thus, lots of pyros, lots of lights.
Actually, this is the first tour we do where we can afford this. These things cost a lot, and we have finally got the opportunity to use pyros properly. It’s good for the band’s stage-performance. Our pyro-technician and I work this out together. I show him the set and we talk about where it is best to use the effects.”

 

Due to the high amount of effects I had to ask Tuomas about the combination between the music and the effects, and if he’s afraid the effects take away some of the focus on the music? Tuomas doesn’t hesitate a second.
“No, not at all. It’s like being in a circus, and it gives the audience something more than just the band.”

 

I was told a few days after the interview that Tarja almost fainted on stage due to the heat on stage. I guess we should blame the pyro-technician since he brought outdoor-explosives and used it inside Rockefeller. Well, it’s metal you know, so what can you do? The show must go on.
How do you decide which songs to play live?

“I choose the set-list. The others do have ideas, and I listen to them, but in the end it’s I who decide. I’m pretty hard hearted when it comes to these choices. I include old songs in our set, because when I go to see one of my favourite bands, i.e. Metallica, I would become rather disappointed if they did only new songs. Obviously we have to do a lot of news songs, but we must never forget the old ones.”

 

But no “Ghost Love Score”?
“No, we didn’t, but it’s the song we have to practice for the European tour. This song seems to be everybody’s favourite from the album, so we have to give it a try despite all the work with the mini-disc. We’re not sure if it’ll work in the end, but we’ll do our best.”

 

You didn’t do any songs from the two first albums this time.
“We’ve done those songs for six years now. Songs like “Elvenpath” and “Beauty And The Beast” were included in every show for six years. You just have to leave some songs out, and I think there’s no room for those tracks anymore.”

 

How does the audience react to that?
“I guess some hardcore fans miss them, since they’re used to those from the beginning. Some even think “Angels Fall First” is the best album yet, and they miss “Beauty And The Beast” a lot. It has turned into a cult-classic.”

 

I assume there may be a day where Dimmu Borgir doesn’t do “Mourning Palace”.
“To us it’s the same with “Wishmaster”. We hate to play this song, since nobody in the band likes this track anymore. But, it’s a must.”

 

I begin to laugh a bit and tell Tuomas that I can see them on stage being forty-fifty years old still doing “Wishmaster”.
“Actually, we’ve talked about daring to leave the song from the set next year. After all, everybody has heard it by now, so…”.

 

What about “Creek Mary’s Blood”?
“No, we can’t do it because we would really need John Two-Hawks on stage, and he doesn’t have the time to travel with us, so… We’re gonna have these gigs with the choir and the orchestra by the end of the next year, but we don’t know the time or location yet. I guess we’ll do them a few times in a row, and it’ll probably be some places like London or Berlin, or… We want to do a DVD for this event, an event that is like a dream come true.”

 

Well, we better start saving some money now.
You’ve done numerous shows now, and it all exceeded on the “Wishmaster”-tour a few years ago. How do you think you work together as a band on stage?
“The best thing is that you cannot learn to play live by practicing, you learn to play live by playing live. It doesn’t matter how many hours you spend in the rehearsal room, because you learn the routine up there. We always get better and better after a few shows, everyone knows what the others will do, it’s like a symbiosis.”

 

With only one guitarist, I thought on beforehand that Nightwish could sound somewhat weaker live. Have you ever considered two guitarists on stage?
“Umm, yeah… I thought about this for five minutes a few years ago. What we’re doing is not that guitar-based compared to other bands, and our keyboards can even be considered as our second guitar.”

 

You aren’t afraid the keyboards and the music those deliver are loosing too much power on stage? And why three keyboards on stage?
“Well, you should never compare the studio album to a live situation. We always start with blank sheets when we begin to rehearse the songs. It’s not an aim either to make the songs sound exactly as on the albums. What’s the point doing that? We could do the set with only two keyboards, the third is for visual reasons.”

 

Tuomas is seemingly serious, so I tell him I won’t let anybody know. Jokes aside, and Tuomas continues:
“I use the third keyboard as well, since it’s easier to work with three compared two to. And, it’s nice standing there in the middle of these. It’s like an altar…”

 

It’s not an altar of sacrifice I assume. Come to think of it, Luca Turilli told me it was boring to do the same solos as on the album, so there you go. I like bands that differ the tracks a little bit compared to the studio albums. Since it is Tuomas who’s written 98% of Nightwish’ music and lyrics I had to ask him how he feels being on stage with ‘his’ children?
“Sometimes it’s hard, other times it’s fine. Usually it’s a grandiose feeling, they’re my songs, they are personal to me, and they are made in this little house in the countryside in the middle of nowhere. It’s very special when we’re in South American, Europe or wherever and there’re two thousands listeners singing the same songs. I’m gaining this perverted satisfaction, and we’re sharing the feeling in this interaction. It’s a musical orgasm.”

 

What’s the most enjoyable thing being on stage? Tuomas thinks for three seconds…
“Enjoyable? It’s a euphoric feeling, and sometimes I just close my eyes and go into the songs and become one with it. I start seeing the song in front of me. This may sound a bit corny but…, every tenth gig or so I get this incredible feeling. I really am “Walking In The Air”. And, when all those people singing our songs I get those most wanted goosebumps. It’s a very harmonic feeling.
It’s not always like that. Sometimes it’s more like work, and then I just try to have fun.”

 

To what extent do the audience affect… Tuomas knows exactly what I’m going to ask and he says:
“That affects our performance a lot. It’s a mutual reaction. If the audience is cold, meaning they do not clap their hands or yell or anything, we’re trying to do our best but it’s not that easy. Luckily this doesn’t happen often, since metal people usually are into ‘the thing’ and have a good time.
The show yesterday was pretty good, and in the end those in the balcony were singing along and having a good time.”

 

I saw that in “From Live To Eternity” Jukka did the show without wearing any shirt. Wouldn’t this be a great idea for the whole band? Tuomas looks at me and starts to laugh.
Seriously speaking, how do you recover after playing a gig? You seem to be pretty exhausted, and not all of you can do the show without wearing any shirt I guess…

“Before the show everybody has a ritual. The guys and me usually get a drink or two, while Tarja doesn’t. Personally, I always have these 10 minutes in solitude where I go through the set in my head and see in example where I have to change the sounds and other things I have to do during the show. Nobody is allowed to bother me during those minutes. After that we have this ‘hugging thing’ where we hug each other and get each other going.
After the show it’s drinking water, drinking beer and having a good time talking to people. You know, it’s always nice to hear if the audience enjoyed the show, that brings back some energy.”

 

So, it’s really hard work playing live. Not that it surprises me because you seem all pretty sweaty after a performance. Do you work out or anything like that to keep in shape?
“Yeah, it’s pretty exhausting doing one and a half hour of music on stage. It’s really like working out, and I confess that I should take more care of my body in general. I think Jukka and Tarja are the ones who’re sporty in their freetime. Still though, we’re not as old yet. To me the most important thing is that I get the obligatory eight hours of sleep.
It’s a good thing doing a trip to Norway like this. A few occasional interviews, the shows and the rest are about chilling out. I can sleep as long as I wish.”

 

Yeah, you can sleep as long as you wish, Master. Though, not now because we’re turning into another subject, namely the albums Nightwish has created thus far.


A L B U M S

Tuomas confirms that Nightwish was started back in ’96. I suggested we should travel a bit back in time, so I asked him how he considered “Angels Fall First” looking at it in retrospect?
“Well, there was a period where I felt a bit embarrassed about the whole thing. But I guess I grew up a little bit. I think there’s a lot of effort into that album and a lot of innocence, we didn’t care about anything. I think it’s a sweet album, though I admit the production is really poor and there are some corny lyrics in there (Tuomas smiles)”

 

I had to listen to the music during my research for this interview, and it surprised me that this album is quite strong. After all it’s only a debut album, and it’s better than several other albums that have been praised in the press, like the first album of Lacrimas Profundere, Within Temptation, Theater Of Tragedy’s debut. And I think Tarja sang pretty well. Tuomas agrees to the last remark and says he stands behind every song. I smiled and said that he had short hair and did some vocals. Tuomas laughs:
“I would rather say I tried. I think my singing is the worst aspect of our debut album. Hehe, I learn from my mistakes.”

 

Wasn’t it you who did the vocals for Nattvinden’s Gråt?
“No, it was Wilska. I only did keyboards.”

 

With Nightwish I feel I can do almost anything and it would still sound like Nightwish”. I can fulfill all of my musical perversions – Tuomas being perverted


“Oceanborn” was a huge step forward. It has catchier melodies and is bigger than your debut. In a way you seemed way more confident on this album. Wasn’t this your breakthrough in Finland?
“Yes, it was. It managed to enter the nr. 5 in the hit list, and we got a big name in our country.”

 

How did it do in the rest of the world? As far as I’ve understood “Wishmaster” was your step forward outside Finland…
“Yes, that album did well and especially “Century Child” was successful. “Oceanborn” was our step outside the underground. If I remember correctly, it even entered the German charts at 90-something. We gained some success from it, and I think it has sold like 150.000 copies, which is pretty good I’d say. To me it’s the only album that can be referred to as classic.”

 

Personally I think “Oceanborn” is better than “Century Child”. Tuomas can understand that.
“Many people say that, and I totally agree. Even if it’s not the best-produced album, nor is the arranging of the songs that good, we consider this album to be created when our band was at its best. The expectations weren’t high, there was no pressure and all the doors were open. We were crazy like hell, we were pushing that album and having a lot of fun. I think you can hear that in “Oceanborn”.”

 

When I listen to it I get in a good mood. It’s an uplifting album I’d say…
“Yeah, I totally agree. I think it has the same innocence as our debut, but after that it was gone.”

 

“Wishmaster”… Hmmm, there’s something about it. I don’t know, some heaviness, some seriousness… Tuomas sees my point and says:
“Yes, there is seriousness. It came with the pressure, and everybody was expecting this album so much. Fact is, my favourite Nightwish albums are “Once” and “Oceanborn”. I’m not that much into “Wishmaster”. “Century Child” is OK, but there sure is something about “Oceanborn” that I like.”

 

Wishmaster” naturally owns a better production and the arranging is better. But it lacks something…
“…spirit”, Tuomas helps me. When I think of the whole package I think the colour thing related to “Nightwish” is interesting. “Angels…” is red, “Oceanborn” is blue, “Wishmaster” is red, “From Wishes…” is red, “Over The Hills…” is blue, “Century Child” is dark blue and now “Once” is lightly blue. Is this a twist of fate, or are the choices consciously made?
“When I start planning the covers, I see them in front of me. In “Oceanborn” it had to be blue, since I saw an image of a girl in the sea. “Wishmaster” had to be read, but with the new cover I didn’t have any idea how it should be. But I wanted it to be pretty white. And then I saw the fallen angel in front of me.”

 

Tuomas says that “Oceanborn” is the album that gave Nightwish the identity they have today. Nightwish is a symphonic and very melodic metal band. They have released five full-lengths by now and to me “Once” is their best. But already “Oceanborn” and “Wishmaster” are really magnificent albums. So, I had to ask Tuomas how he develops the band instead of making “Oceanborn” pt. 2, pt. 3 or “Wishmaster” pt. 666?
“It’s very important to think a little bit ahead. I try to never make the same album or even the same song twice, I search new ideas and aim to bring in new elements all the time. With Nightwish I feel I can do almost anything and it would still sound like Nightwish”. I can fulfill all of my musical perversions. You know, we have this really heavy song “Slaying The Dreamer” which is closer to Pantera. On the other hand we have one epic track which includes an Indian chanting his words. “Wish I Had An Angel” is reminiscent of Rammstein. We have ballads. So, we can do anything and it still sounds like Nightwish.”

 

Do you think there’s any limit to Nightwish?
“I don’t think so. You have to use some common sense. You won’t find any jazz or electropunk in our music. I think we work fine together as a band, and what we do simply is Nightwish.”

 

“From Wishes To Eternity” is a live album that can be considered a summary of your three first albums. I guess this release makes it less necessary to do the older songs, or is the reason that they bore you?
“Well, we’re tired by them and we have to leave songs out to make room for the new songs.”

 

Yesterday (21st of July, 2004) you played for one and a half hour. Is that your regular playing time?
“Actually, 1.30, 1.40 is the top limit. And we have to do a song in the middle of the set without Tarja’s vocal because she needs to rest. There are some things with her voice that people don’t understand. I mean, even us in the band don’t really get this. And we have to be careful with the pryo-techniques as well.”

 

Why a Megadeth cover? Tuomas admits it wasn’t the most obvious choice.
“It was a last minute thing. We thought about a lot of different songs, but couldn’t find the right one. Then Marco came up with the idea of doing a Megadeth cover, and we all agreed in the end.”

 

Hehe, they didn’t go for “Hangar 18”. I guess Emppu’s fingers wouldn’t survive. Nor would be band, Tuomas suggests. Well, “Symphony Of Destruction” did well enough for me.
“Century Child” is a more brutal/darker album compared to “Wishmaster”, and I’ve read that you thought it could be your swansong. As you write in “Slaying The Dreamer”, “…Swansong for the Wish of Night…”. Why did the album hurt so much?

“Yeah, this album lacks the whole and the humour that’s present on the other albums. It’s really hard and dark. I mean, with Nightwish I’m always writing a kind of diary of my own life. At the time there was a bad feeling within the band and I had a hard time myself. It was the shittiest year in my life, and I was doing those songs being in that mental stage. Whenever an artist, a painter or a musician makes something you can rest assured his or hers mental state of mind will reflect the final result. I was feeling really bad back then, and of course it reflect the songs on the album.”

 

How do you feel about revealing yourself to the world? Tuomas says that he has been asked the question a lot, but he doesn’t think about it like that.
“I just make the music and the let it flow from ‘here’ to ‘here’ (he shows me, moving his hand from his body into the air). A lot of people feel associated with my songs and themes, and that gives me a kind of perverted satisfaction. Some think in the same way and share the same feelings – that’s cool.”

 

Did you solve the problems?
“Yeah, actually we did. He’s one of the solutions (points at their manager Ewo Rytkönen). We got a new bass player, and now we feel that we can focus on the musical matters.”

 

I think Tarja sung wonderfully great even back in “Oceanborn”, though she improved a lot on “Wishmaster”. But, I think it is on “Century Child” that she seems to have control? She’s confident and she varies her voice more than ever. Like in “End Of All Hope” she gives all power, while on “Ocean Soul” and “Feel For You” she is more safe and controlled if you see what I mean. How do you view her development thinking of the development of Nightwish?
“It’s a continuous learning process, and she’s getting better all the time. When we did “Century Child” we changed her voice a lot, and that’s one of the major criticism we got for the album. “Why is she singing this ‘popish’ way”, we were asked all the time?
Tarja is very talented, and her voice is not one-dimensional. She sings in a classic way, but she can just as well sing in a more popish style. She can be easier to the listener’s ear, and with “Century Child” we wanted to try something different. After all, the three first albums were quite operatic. I think it felt right, and her voice fits the songs on that album.”

 

So, it’s due to the development that you felt ready to do “Phantom Of The Opera”, since her voice would be compared to Sarah Brightman’s no matter if you did a metal version of the track? I mean, it’s pretty daring to do this song…
“I guess so. But I had this song in mind for year, and I don’t really know why we didn’t do it earlier. I think this song fits in the album. Speaking of “Phantom Of The Opera”, it is this song that made Tarja start singing. She heard this song when she was like seven years young, and after that she always wanted to be a singer. I love this song and the opera as well, and when we did the album I went to London to watch this musical.”

 

Yeah, I think this is a fantastic musical. I went to Denmark three years ago together with a fantastic woman. And we became quite surprised when they began to sing in Danish. Tuomas is surprised and laughingly doesn’t know what to think. Well, it was really strange the first ten minutes but after that we loved it, and since they sung in Danish it made everything an even more special event to us.
Nightwish has surely developed throughout the years. How do you view Tarja’s development thinking of the development of Nightwish? In a way I feel that you’re skills and hers have walked hand in hand. I mean, you would probably not have been as enthusiastic if she hadn’t developed and vice versa…

“I have never thought about that. I think the doing a new album is a learning process, and we’ve been through a learning process playing together for so many years.”

 

How hard was it to write the lyrics for “Century Child”? I mean, you probably worked a bit more than you did with “Nymphomaniac Fantasia”… Tuomas begins to laugh. We’ve talked a bit about this already, but still I ask “Once” more. How hard was it to write these lyrics, knowing that people would read it and look closer at you…
“Eh, frankly speaking I didn’t care. Things were really bad and I remember writing the lyrics coming home from a bar at five o’clock am. I was really pissed off. So, usually it was like that and I went to sleep. When I woke in the morning I read the lyrics and surprisingly found them rather good, though I got rid of all those ‘fucks’. They don’t fit in Nightwish at all.”

 

I laugh. But, how do you develop the lyrics into the final result?
“I work a lot with them. Usually I have an idea about the song before I write the music. Basically I write whatever comes to my mind when I’ve thought about what I want to say. Then I start rearranging them so that they fit the vocal-melodies and making ending-rhymes. I think phonetic rhymes are good enough, as I think it would turn out too corny in the end with real rhymes.”

 

Do you have an idea of the whole album from the beginning, or is it more like a coincident in the end? Like, this is song number one and the next I write will be number two…
“I guess it’s pretty much the whole thing. When I start doing the album I have a list of the songs in my mind; this song here, that song there, one ballad, one heavy track, another ballad… and so on.”

 

Both “Wishmaster” and “Century Child” ends with big tracks that are varied and heavy while “Once” ends with the beautiful “Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan” and “Higher Than Hope”…
“It was obvious from the beginning actually, to include “Ghost Love Scroe” as the final track on the album. Then we thought about it and figured that since we’d done this four times by now, ending the album with a massive long track, we wanted to try another solution. So, it ended up as the ninth song, and in the end we all saw that “Higher Than Hope” would be the perfect ending of the album.”

 

Do you know how the listener feels about that?
“I don’t know. You tell me.”

 

“Yeah, I shall tell you” I say to Tuomas. “The first time I heard “Once” I thought I should kick you in the head when I got to meet you. After several listenings I reconsidered my first thought because it feels right after all. Yeah, normally you, Rhapsody and most other bands have this epic long song as an end of the album, but with the new album you’ve made something different. It’s nice to get a moment of silence by the beautiful Finnish song. “Higher Than Hope” is also a ballad, but it’s bombastic and lifts me up again. Instead of being exhausted, I’m relaxed after listening to “Once”, and I like this feeling.”


“O N C E” – T R A C K B Y T R A C K


“Dark Chest Of Wonders” is heavy and bombastic, and I was surprised that you opened with such a straight-in-my-face track. How did it end up as the first track?
“It was obvious from the beginning, and we didn’t doubt about it for one second. The song makes no sense, there are so many styles of metal into four and half minutes. So, we wanted to introduce the listener to the album and show what’s to come, a kind of prelude if you will. Add to this that we wanted to open with a kick-in-your-face track and show that Nightwish is not going balladish.”

 

“I Wish I Had An Angel” is even heavier in times, and it is your most brutal track. How did you feel after you had recorded the track and discovered its heaviness?
“It was a natural development. I didn’t think I had to make harder songs or a heavier album. I guess one reason could be that I used the electric guitar when I wrote the music, so something like 50% was written by using the guitar. I can’t play the guitar, but still I managed to make melodies and riffs. I experimented and found out how to make these. You know, learning by doing.”

 

“Nemo” is the successful single. Are you pleased with the video?
“Let’s say like 90% of it. There were some schedule problems, so we had to rush a little bit towards the end. Still though, it’s definitely our best video so far.”

 

I inform Tuomas that there’s a program on one of the TV-channels in Norway that invites the viewers to send a SMS and vote in their favourite video. “Nemo” is one of the top-5, so there’re a lot of opportunities to watch it. Tuomas likes what I tell him. But why did you choose this as your first single?
“Again a very obvious choice. If you look at the whole album, I’d say there are only two songs that are actual singles, “Wish I Had An Angel” and “Nemo”. We thought “Wish…” would be too much of a shock, so we ended up with “Nemo” as the first single. This track is not one of the best songs on the album, but it has the necessary catchiness to it, especially in the chorus, and there’s no double-bass drum so maybe some radios would play it. It’s also short enough, so it was obvious to us.”

 

When I heard “Nemo” as a single I didn’t really know what to think. I’d heard about the orchestra and choirs, but after “Nemo” I became less interested. However, when I got to hear the whole album the track fell into place, and even if it still isn’t the best track I like it quite a lot, despite the lack of major orchestration. Tuomas explains:
“The choice of “Nemo” as a single was one of the reasons I put “Dark Chest Of Wonders” and “Wish I Had An Angel” as the two first tracks. Those who thought Nightwish had turned into some Gothic Rock band had to think twice when they got to hear the album.”

 

“Planet Hell” is my favourite track on “Once”. It has everything. Was it a hard song to produce thinking of its complexity?
“No, not really. For me the longest songs are the easiest ones to record. It’s hard as hell to do an interesting song that’s not more than four minutes. I like to do these songs where the moods and tempos changes, like “Dark Chest Of Wonders” and “Ghost Love Score”. Even “Nemo” is four and a half minutes, and that’s 30 seconds too long for the radio. “Planet Hell” has the best intro we’ve ever done for a song, but it’s not one of my favourites because it’s a bit boring musically speaking even though I like the intro. However, it has the best lyrics for the album.”

 

“Creek Mary’s Blood” is totally different from everything you’ve done so far. Was it hard to gain an atmosphere which would make the listener go back in time to the Native American’s peek in time?
“I watched “Dances With Wolves” several times when I did this track. It’s my all time favourite movie, and I wanted to capture the mood and how it made me feel. In addition I read a couple of books on the subject. This song ended up being my favourite Nightwish song, and I can assure you I’m a 100% satisfied with it.
I spent a lot of time with “Creek Mary’s Blood”. I had to make the lyrics good enough, and it wasn’t that easy to get hold of the Native Indian guy that chants. Now that I hear the final result I’m very proud of the song.”

 

One interesting aspect with it is the way it moves in waves. Tuomas understands what I’m trying to say.
“I didn’t want to do a long ballad, that’s for sure. So, I included the hard section in between two nicer parts. I wrote the Lakota-lyric in English and it was like this (he shows me two hands close to each other). Then the guy translated it into Lakota and it became like this (he shows me the same two hands far away from each other). You know, it turned into one and a half minutes of reading.”

 

When I hear Johnny Twohawks begins to read/sing his part, I travel back in time and it’s like I’m right there in the middle of it all. Cowboys, Indians and all that…
“Cool. If you can see that, it’s the biggest compliment you can give me.”

 

On “The Siren” Tarja really has to sing as a, ahem, siren. She’s marvellous on this track, and I wonder if you had to record her several times, because to me it sounds challenging?
“Actually this was one of the easiest songs to do. Guess which one that was the hardest? (imagine me looking like a question-mark - Roy) We had to record it over and over again three times. For the first version of the track we spent like eight hours doing the stuff again and again. This is a really hard song to sing, and track is “Nemo” (you got me there, Tuomas – Roy). “The Siren” was pretty much OK and Tarja was just improvising the “glrghglrghlgrh”-stuff (Tuomas tries to show me, but it sounds more like he’s drowning or something, and we laugh – Roy).”

 

“Dead Gardens” is a track that is less intriguing but has the most beautiful refrain you’ve done so far. Why didn’t you choose this as your single? I mean, it’s catchy and listener-friendly in my opinion…
“Yeah, but I wanted our first single to include some orchestra and choirs since there had been a lot of hype concerning this. “Dead Gardens” is one of the two tracks without these elements, so we couldn’t do it. This track was the first one I wrote for the album, and it deals with ‘writer’s block’. I had a huge writer’s block when I stared doing the album, and I was really pissed. So, I got the idea to make a song about these feelings and it kinda broke the ice.”



“Romanticide” is again a brutal track, and towards the end it’s very sexy. After the chorus it turns and goes into a catchy tune. Do you feel the difference recording such a track which has its light moments compared to the more brutal tracks, like “Wish I Had An Angel”? Or maybe you don’t think about this at all…
“No, I don’t. I just tell the guys how the riffs are, and they play it.”

 

Thinking about it, is it different to record the various songs?
“Yeah, we try to get each song into its mood. Like, whenever we record a ballad we have to have candles in the studio. It helps to set the right mood, and it may even inspire us to develop a song, to add small things and to make everything better. When we have the energy and are feeling real good, we do the hard songs and the solos. Towards the end of the night we may be a bit drunk and tired, then we do the ballads.”

 

“Ghost Score Love” is the major track on this album. It’s perfect, though it’s not my favourite track. I do wonder though, did you have a vision of this before you did your time in the studio?
“I knew the song before we begun to record it. I knew it would be long, because I had done the lyrics and made the various parts. I just visualized the whole story and did it from beginning to end. Many people are asking me; “how are you doing this? You’re a genius…”. But, it’s the easiest song of the whole album. I knew it was going to be a long song, and didn’t have to think too hard about the arrangements, I just let it flow.”

 

Do you think you can overdo this track, without making a soundtrack like those for The Gladiator or Conan?
“Overdo? No, never. There’s no such thing with Nightwish as overdoing (we laugh). Seriously, we can always do better, that’s something I am confident about. I’m sure we will do even better on our next album, which I guess will be out in three years or something. Something new is going to come, it always does.”

 

Can we expect more orchestra and choirs next time? There’s no doubt in Tuomas’ mind.
“For sure. But we’re always playing by the rules of the song. If the song requires it we take it, if it doesn’t we leave it out.”

 

When I hear the latest Dimmu Borgir album, there’s a lot of orchestra on the album. And when I listen to it in my headphones, I often get surprised by hearing something I didn’t hear the last time I listened to the album. The same effect can be heard on “Once”. I mean, I’ve heard the album more than 50 times by now, and why didn’t I hear that before… Is this something you think about when you record the album?
“I try to think about the album as a whole, and I struggle to be neutral about it. It’s more like focusing on what’s good or not. But, we’re recording so many tracks in each song, so I understand if you hear something new every time. Even I do.
Every string part that I do with my keys I records two or three times. On the top of that there’s the orchestra, which is doubled as well.”

 

“Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan” (no, I didn’t pronounce it correctly, since Tuomas corrects me). So, the obvious question is of course why you did a track in Finnish?
“To be honest, it was just a curiosity. I even had the lyric in English in case it didn’t work with the Finnish version, but when Tarja sang the song I was very touched by it. In my opinion it’s the best ballad we’ve done so far, and the Finnish language doesn’t sound corny. Normally I think it does. On beforehand I thought the song would be the B-side to the single, but when Tarja started to sing I immediately heard it was the most beautiful thing we have ever done, so it had to be on the album.”

 

I don’t speak Finnish, and I had to hear the song numerous times before I got used to the wickedness of it. Then I realized Tarja’s vocal turned into an instrument of its own instead of being the vocalist of Nightwish.
“This is the key-idea of everything I do with Tarja, I want her to become an instrument on the same level as the guys in Nightwish. We are not a ‘Tarja’s band’, we are a unity where every instrument plays an equally important role.

 

“Higher Than Hope” is a superb ending for a superb album. Howcome you ended “Once” with a bombastic ballad instead of the more obvious “Ghost Love Score”?
“It feels good. It kinda pays homage to the whole album. “Higher Than Hope” is based on a true story, on something sad that happened so I thought it is worthwhile to be included as the last song of the album.”

 

“O N C E” – A L B U M


So, thinking of the album as a whole, did this capture your vision and mission?
“For the first time it did. “Once” is our fifth album, and it’s the first one I don’t have to push the skip button when I listen to it. On every album there’ve been one or two tracks I don’t like. On “Century Child” I have to skip “Feel For You”, I don’t like “Crownless” from “Wishmaster” nor “The Riddler” on “Oceanborn”. On “Once” every song has its justified place on the album, and I’m really satisfied with it.”

 

The album is very fluent, and it floats in a way that makes it comfortable. It’s thorough the way I sense it.
“Yes, that’s what I was after, and I am glad you see it like this.”

 

Instead of diving into each lyric, I want to ask about two of your lyrics. The first is “Planet Hell”. The obvious interpretation is that you don’t give much hope for mankind?
“I don’t think we should be expecting the end of the world, because it has already happened. The lyric is naïve, but it’s just the feelings that I have when I’m looking at the world today. I have lost all hope by now, life is just a struggle to manage everyday-life on this Planet Hell.”

 

We’re not being political or anything, but do you know how people react towards your lyrics? I assume they write you and tell you…
“Not about this song, more about the personal songs like “Nemo” where they tell me they feel the same as I do and that I put words (and music) to their thoughts. “Planet Hell” is not such a personal song. It’s not a political song, it’s not an anti-USA song, it’s just how I feel about our planet.”

 

So, what do you actually feel about USA?
“Do you really want an answer to that?”

 

Nah, I didn’t have that in mind. But, if you have something you’d like to tell, feel free.
“I like the USA. I have always been a fan of her, I have a lot of friends there and it’s one of my absolute favourite countries to visit and to travel in. I don’t agree with Bush, but that shouldn’t take away the good things about this country. It has now become a trend to be anti-USA, but it shouldn’t be that simple. It’s not a black/white issue, there are always at least two sides to the story. So, don’t blame the American people, blame the politics. (PS, go the Anti-American ??? article – ED)”

 

When I read the lyric for “Planet Hell” I think that you really want this world to become a better place for all beings?
“I wish, but I really don’t see any hope.”

 

Well, after all you are the “Wishmaster”. Tuomas laughs and grants three wishes for everybody. He continues:
“I write my lyrics being honest, I don’t think about the reactions concerning my thoughts and words. In this way people can make of them what they want, to each his own interpretation.”

 

Do you wish to affect people, since Nightwish is a bigger band now, selling loads of albums and people are more interested in what you actually have to say?
“Maybe in the sense that I want people to feel better about themselves, enjoy life more and escape to the world of music. As said, I don’t want to be political and write about environment issues, I rather want to invite them into our world and let them dream for a while.”

 

Usually it’s a grandiose feeling, they’re my songs, they are personal to me,
and they are made in this little house in the countryside in the middle of nowhere – Tuomas on playing live


How is your life these days?
“Really good, actually.”

 

Thinking about “Romanticide” it seems to me that you aren’t the luckiest around? I mean, “…Romance is lost…” and “…Heart once bold Now turned to stone…”?
“Yeah, well, it’s more like growing up loosing your childhood innocence. I have had my fair share of unlucky love, but at the moment things are very good. I can understand that people interpret it like that, but it’s more like romance is lost within myself, so I don’t see things the same way as I used to when I was a kid. The sky is not that blue anymore.”

 

It’s cool that we interpret things in different ways.
“Yes, but now I’m telling you how I think about this and now everybody’s going to interpret it like that.”

 

Well, could be but personally “Romanticide” is still about unlucky love to me. However, I understand your point, Tuomas. This is also why I try to come up with thoughts based on the lyrics and often tell my interpretation first, before I ask about the interviewee’s opinion. When it differs I feel good, and so does the writer of the song. I mean, the typical questions, “what’s “Nemo” about?” and “what’s “Ghost Love Score” about?” are boring. Thinking of the topic I wonder if you feel we need more happiness, love and innocence in the world?
“Innocence was the word I was going to say, but you said it yourself. Don’t forget the child in yourself, and remember to watch Disney movies.”

 

Don’t you think it’s a bit strange that you’re asked about ‘this’ and ‘that’ now that Nightwish has turned into a success, while ten years ago nobody cared?
“Well, I’ve never thought about it like that. If people are interested in my opinion that’s fine, it’s just a part of the show.”

 

Where do you find inspiration to come up with new ideas all the time, Tuomas? I have enjoyed your music even since “Angel’s Fall First”, though it was “Oceanborn” that really did it to me…
“Imagination is my main source of inspiration, no doubt. In addition I gain extremely much inspiration from soundtracks and movies. Danny Elfman, Hanz Zimmer, James Horner, they’re all great. Lyrically I write from my own imagination about my own life, it’s like a diary. And let’s not forget about Disney. It’s half my life, I’ve been to Disneyland three times and despite the commercialism I love it.”

 

From talking to you for more than an hour I figure you like splatter movies as well?
“Oh yeah, “Braindead” is incredible and it’s funny as hell. “Bad Taste” is a classic and don’t forget about “The Evil Dead”.”

 

Go figure. Isn’t it just typical that Tuomas have a go for splatter movies as well? He reminds me of, uhm, me.


T H E E N D (o f a l l h o p e)


Well, Tuomas, we’re close to the end so let’s Finnish off with a few shorties.


What’s your favorite colour? (thinking of the covers, I guess blue/red)?
“Ehh, uhmm, purple.”

 

So, why is it blue and red on the cover albums, I ask but Tuomas just laughs.
Who’s your favourite keyboardist?

“Hanz Zimmer and Vangelis. Those two are equal.“

 

Favourite country besides Finland (and it’s not allowed to answer anything else but Norway)? Tuomas begins to laugh and asks me what I want him to say? Well, I just forward the next question instead.
Favourite country besides Finland and Norway?

“Thailand. We haven’t played any shows there, but I have been there on a vacation and I’m going back in January. It’s incredibly beautiful, but people are kind. There are a lot of countries I do like, I have mentioned The States, I like Canada and so on.”

 

You’re very lucky, but do you manage to see anything in those countries during your tours?
“Yeah, actually. I’m a lucky bastard. My favourite two passions are travelling and music, and with Nightwish I get those two together. Then I love Disney, and Nightwish will play in Disneyland, so it’s all just great to me.”

 

I suggest that Tuomas can’t stop writing music. He’s addicted to it. Tuomas laughs a bit and says:
“It’s like a drug, a good drug. I’m going to write music to the day I’ll die. Everything I see and sense around me is transformed into music in one way or another. I’m thinking like; how can I transform this into music?”

 

It’s a good thing you can make your money from the music. It’s like a dream come true for you?
“Yeah, I am lucky. There are so many people who’d like to live from music, but they can’t afford to try and have to do their regular jobs. I make enough money from this, and I’m very grateful for this.”

 

In which track do you think Tarja does her best vocal performance?
“I have to think about this a little… I have to say “Higher Than Hope”. She was very emotional when she sung it. The song meant a lot to her as well when she did it. I have never seen her like this. The same thing that happens in the song happened to her a month prior to the recording of her vocal.”

 

Name your three favourite bands (and Rhapsody has to be one of them)?
“Yeah, I would have mentioned Rhapsody no matter, so in addition you get Metallica and My Dying Bride.”

 

Well, that’s it. So, what’s next?
“Actually we’re going to the rehearsal room to practice a couple of songs. We want to change our setlist a bit because we’re already somewhat bored. I assume “Ghost Love Score” will be one of the new songs in our set list. We will tour, drink booze and have loads of fun. Thank you.”


Interview with Nightwish 115

Source: Rockpages
2004

While the memories from this year’s Rockwave festival are still fresh, one of the groups that delivered the goods and fully justified their reputation were Nightwish. Rockpages found the main composer and keyboard player of the Finnish band, Tuomas Holopainen, at the backstage area a few moments before their first ever performance in Greece. Having their new album “Once” as a main topic of our chat and Queensryche as a musical background, everything went smoothly, although Mr.Anasontzis had to prepare right away for K.K.Downing and Ian Hill. What a pressure…

 

Interview: George Anasontzis and Sakis Nikas

 

Rockpages.gr: Are you looking forward to playing today’s show?


Tuomas Holopainen: Very much. It is one of the most anticipated concerts. There is always an extra tension when you are playing in a country for the first time. We don’t really know what expect. So, it is a very special moment.

 

Rockpages.gr: Do you know that “Once” is on the top of the Greek charts?


Tuomas Holopainen: Yeah, I just heard it! It is incredible and I thank you.

 

Rockpages.gr: It is obvious that “Once” is much heavier, guitar-oriented and offers more duets of Marco and Tarja. How come?


Tuomas Holopainen: I never think ahead of these things. I just write the songs and I haven’t any intention of…let’s say doing a heavier album. The songs came up pretty naturally and they ended up as they were conceived. Maybe, it had to do with the fact that this time I used during the writing process my electric guitar, while in our previous records I was using keyboards.

 

Rockpages.gr: How did Creek Mary’s Blood, the Indian song, come up?


Tuomas Holopainen: I am really fascinated with the Indian culture. It is my obsession. One of my all time favorite movies is “Dancing with the wolves” and I have read many books about Indians. So it was time to do a song for them and it is actually my favorite piece on the album.

 

Rockpages.gr: What is the concept behind  “Once”? We noticed that the word “once” appears in the lyrics of 4 songs and the album opens with the phrase: “Once I had a dream…”


Tuomas Holopainen: There is not actually a concept behind “Once”. Every song is an individual story and the word “once” has a different meaning in those songs. But if I had to state something with “Once” is really the what the first sentence of the album says: “ Once I had a dream and this is it”.

 

Rockpages.gr: So, what is the dream?


Tuomas Holopainen: We learned from our previous records. The writing sessions of “Once” were great and it’s the first time that I feel so confident for an album.

 

Rockpages.gr: Was your dream fulfilled?


Tuomas Holopainen: I think it was fulfilled with “Once”, because I consider it to be our best record. But I have a lot of faith in our next album, which I think it will be much better.

 

Rockpages.gr: All right! When should we expect it?


Tuomas Holopainen: It’s really hard to say, but definitely not before 2007.

 

Rockpages.gr: Do you think that maybe it’s time for a side project? We were talking with Liv Kristine a couple of months ago and she mentioned how much you had in common, musically speaking…


Tuomas Holopainen: Right. But the truth is that we have booked concerts with Nightwish up to end of 2005. And then I take one year to write the next album and 6 months in the studio. If you add these, you’ll see that the album will be out in 2007.

 

Rockpages.gr: Do you think that those other bands with female vocals, like Lacuna Coil  or After Forever follow your steps?


Tuomas Holopainen: I don’t know. Don’t forget that The Gathering or Theatre of Tragedy were before us. Also, Within Temptation started at the same time with us.

 

Rockpages.gr: Yes, but none of these groups achieved the amount of your success. It is not an exaggeration if we say that Nightwish made the female vocals a fashion.


Tuomas Holopainen: All right! (laughs) I am just flattered to hear this. But to this day, I haven’t heard a band that sounds like Nightwish. All of these bands have a very unique style. I have to say also that there is an uprising of metal bands, due to the success of Evanescence.

 

Rockpages.gr: Are you looking forward to your first headline tour in U.S.A., with Lullacry as a support act.


Tuomas Holopainen: Very much. First time in U.S.A. and headliners! There is definitely something going on there. Anything is possible in that country. I never would have thought, a couple of years ago, that we had a chance there. But as I said there is a growing interest for metal acts, thanks to Evanescence.

 

Rockpages.gr: What is the secret behind your success? The novel thing of the soprano female vocals, the good compositions?


Tuomas Holopainen: I think it is the whole package. These days, people are looking for something new. All had been said and done in music. When you see or hear something unique, it always catches your interest. A charisma is also needed! Tarja is our charisma…so we have a good package. Also people appreciate our honesty. Nightwish were never a product. We started our own thing and we continue on this path.

 

Rockpages.gr: You applied for the Eurovision contest as participants for Finland…


Tuomas Holopainen: Correct. There were 270 candidates and we ended up in the third position. But the truth is that this contest represents everything that I hate about music!

 

Rockpages.gr: So, why did you apply?

 

Tuomas Holopainen: We wanted to make a statement to all those conservative music people.

 

Rockpages.gr: Queensryche are now playing on stage, as we are speaking. You are right after them…Any comments?


Tuomas Holopainen: This is incredible! Queensryche is a legendary band and we play above them like we did in Spain with Sepultura. Wow! (laughs)

 

Rockpages.gr: Final question: would you like to tell us which would be the three albums that you’d take with you if you were abandoned in a island?


Tuomas Holopainen: Vangelis’ Oceanic, probably the best record ever, Metallica’s Black album, it started the metal mania in me, and the soundtrack of Gladiator.

 

Rockpages.gr: By the way, “Once” sounds a little bit like, Metallica. Were you influenced at all?


Tuomas Holopainen: Maybe, subconsciously! (laughs)

 

Rockpages.gr: Tuomas, thank you.


Tuomas Holopainen: Thank you, guys. See you again.


Interview with Epica 7

Source: Rockpages
2005

"The Finnish guy won't do any interviews - probably".

 

Darn those lines! I have just prepared so many things for Timo Kotipelto... Okay, now what? I've GOT to interview somebody. Till I heard, from the person in charge of the interviews "Well.... Simone Simons from Epica is here, too". Say what?

 

The interview took place at the Club Gagarin 205 office, along with the boys from the other webzines. It was a fine press-conference, the first one in her career. I just want to mention, and I'm sure that the boys will all agree with me, that the 20 years old, Dutch singer is BEAUTIFUL! She's an angel! An angel having no problem to talk with some lil'dev'l like me, hehehehe...

 

You were asked about the new Epica album and you used the phrase "adult album". What led you to characterize the album that way? Would you like to talk to us about the very essence of the album, regarding the preparation, the recording, the production?

 

Yeah... that album was something different. We all worked upon it, it was a "team-work" album, in contradiction to the first one, that was Mark's (Mark Jansen) work. We have worked with ideas we've all had, there was cooperation, there was a schedule. I really had fun at the recording sessions. My vocals are better. It was kinda experimental during the first album. I have taken classes for my vocals, on the other hand... it was my first recording, I sound better now, have more "self-esteem". We are all together in this album, as I said.

 

Would you say it was more "professional"?


Sure. Everything was in order. I knew exactly what I had to do. I do think that this album is more "taken care of", more "fine" in every detail...

 

Do you think you could call it "clinical"


Mmmmm, no, I'd say that things went as they should, though.

 

Would you like to do something else, a project outside metal? Like music for the cinema?


Yes, of course. That's why I'm "working" with my voice. I'm studying to sing all different kinds of stuff. I really like cinema music. I'd love to do something about that in the future. I think I'm gonna do something.

 

Simone was asked by my other colleagues, about women's place in metal. "Well, there are always that people saying "Boobs!", just by looking at a woman behind the mic. We are trying to show, to prove that we are as good as guys on stage or in the studio". Simone said that she really admires Tarja from Nightwish, Floor Jansen from After Forever, Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil. She's met them in the past. At some point she was asked "what's your opinion about the cliche that "Bands with female vocalists don't belong to metal"? Her heavenly green eyes flashed and she simply said "Totally bullshit". Right on, Simone....


You referred to Epica, said that you started the band cause you were feeling "true musicians". That's fine. What's the target for Epica? What do you want to do? Sell millions of records? Universal recognition? Be around after twenty years? What?


We're new here, just started. We want to "stay". I'd love it if Epica could be around for many more years. To make albums, to go on tour, to visit countries, to travel around the world. I just wanted to say that we are open to all proposals, as long as they can cover our expenses, the band, the crew. Plus, to make something out of it and some money for us. We want to make music which we'll share with our fans. We want to be able to play everywhere. I also like to say that I want to do other things, too. To work with my voice, to sing other stuff...

 

Spread your wings, right?


And fly, fly away....

 

Simone had to leave to get ready for the show. We have to go, too. We chit chat for a couple of minutes, complimenting her, inviting her to Greece - again, wishing her best of luck. The gal is fine, the gal is right, the gal likes metal. So do we, so do we.. A Lot!

 

Costas Koulis


Interview with Nightwish 114

Source: Rockpages
2006

It’s Friday night and I’ve just read an article about Nightwish. About what “really happened” and what didn’t, about what’s gonna happen. A rather spontaneous smile “climbs up” my face. Whatever I don’t get I can simply write it down. Then, all I have to do, is wait a few minutes. In a few minutes, Tuomas Holopainen, the man behind the keyboards, the songs and the very existence of Nightwish, the famous Finnish band, is going to call me and explain to me what “really happened” and what didn’t as well as about what’s gonna happen… Costas Koulis

Rockpages.gr : I saw that “End of an era” dvd is ready. What does it mean to you, what does it represent?

Tuomas : It represents the end of an… era and also the beginning of another era but… I have a strange feeling of bitter sweetness. Αctually the idea came in 2004, we had to do the last show of this huge tour something special, so the idea was there, ages before anything started going wrong.

Rockpages.gr : I’m not going to ask anything about the conflict right now because I wanna know all the info about the new album. I read that you’re writing new material.

Tuomas : (laughs) Actually, I wrote all the songs for the next Nightwish album already.

Rockpages.gr : Fourteen, right?

Tuomas : Actually fifteen. It’s been a really creative time for me since October, the emotions have been upfront or something but I’ve been able to create songs so easily and so fast, so, practically, all the songs for the next album are already done, already made. Actually, I spent two weeks in the studio, we will all start rehearsing the material, the whole band, at the beginning of June, we’re entering the studio in mid September. So… everything’s looking really well… now all I need is a singer! (laughs)

Rockpages.gr : Writing all the material, as you said, means that you have titles, lyrics, themes, melodies and probably the vocal melodies in your head, as well as in your files. So, is it okay if I ask about the title or song titles or even the style of the album?

Tuomas : (laughs) Yeah… I’m not going to get into the titles, because, you know, I don’t know everything yet! (laughs)

Rockpages.gr : But you do!

Tuomas : It’s really too early because it’s gonna be a year from this day when the album is finished, so we’ll probably talk again. The way I feel about the material at the moment… the style is not gonna change that radically, if you think about the music, there are a lot of elements same as in the previous albums, the orchestra is there, the choir is there, the really heavy guitars are there, the ballads… the formula is pretty much the same but, of course, the biggest difference will be the vocals, because it will be a new singer. Also, musically, there are new aspects, that haven’t been there before. I love to experiment with different things that will shock the audience. Overall, the feeling in the whole band is positive, everybody seems to be quite happy with the material and everybody’s anxious to work with it.

Rockpages.gr : A little before you said “… to shock the audience…”. When I first listened to the “Once” album, for instance, I was shocked by “Creek Mary’s Blood”. It was a huge statement in music. You mixed everything in there. The choir, the orchestra, everything. Are you preparing such a surprise for us in the next album as well?

Tuomas : I believe so, yes, there would be some minor details here and there that will shock the people, not one song in particular, which will be discussed. (laughs)

Rockpages.gr : So, the entire album will shock us, right?

Tuomas : Yeah, it’s very important to keep the whole thing interesting. There’s no point doing the same album with the same songs over again. You always have to find something new. Challenge yourself.

Rockpages.gr : Regarding the vocals now… you practically invite people to send demos, info, biographies to the website, in order to do an audition maybe?

Tuomas : Right.

Rockpages.gr : Isn’t that a bit risky? Have you thought of choosing a well-known artist or it just popped into your mind “let’s do an audition and get the best from that”?

Tuomas : Well… I think that would be a bit like… (e.n. deep breath) not the decent way to approach it, you shouldn’t be too certain of yourself… this way it works really well for us, so far we have had 450 demos.

Rockpages.gr : That was my next question… about the response.

Tuomas : (laughs) We haven’t had a single audition yet, we haven’t met any of the candidates or anything like that, so we are still waiting because there’s like 20 demos each day, but I’m quite surprised by the activity of the people, because the boots that need to be filled are huge. So the people are more brave than I thought or just ignorant! (laughs) The new vocalist, no matter who she is, she’s gonna go through hell, when it comes to the fans or the media…

Rockpages.gr : You used the word “she”… does it really have to be a woman? Have you ever considered to move on with a male vocalist?

Tuomas : Well… never even crossed my mind, to be honest. I love doing music for a female voice, I don’t know why. It has been there for 5 albums, I just think it would be such a cheap trick to let Marco sing from now on. It’s always gonna be a female voice in the band, that I can give you my word for.

Rockpages.gr : When the whole story with Tarja broke out, after all these words exchanged back and forth, have you ever thought “let’s stop this, let’s terminate Nightwish and start something else”?

Tuomas : All the time. Yes. Exactly. And that’s why, you know, this is interview No 19 that I’m doing today…

Rockpages.gr : 19?

Tuomas : 19, yes.

Rockpages.gr : Am I the last one?

Tuomas : You are the last one, yeah.

Rockpages.gr : Good! Then you can go to bed early.

Tuomas : (laughs)… I think, out of these 19 you are only the 3rd one, who’s not like asking and digging and asking… you know… “tell us more about what really happened”… I said that before, I’m not talking about that matter anymore. I really wanna end the whole thing. From the bottom of my heart I wish Tarja all the best with her career and we are moving on, so let’s just forget and do the vest we can, but people want to dig and go on and the thing that bothers me the most is that Nightwish had to become something like a public soap opera… when you hear the word “Nightwish”, the first thing that comes into your mind is “oh, yeah, that bunch of those who fired their singer”, you don’t necessarily think about the band or the music anymore.

Rockpages.gr : But have you ever thought of stopping the band from going on?

Tuomas : Quitting the band…?

Rockpages.gr : Start a new band, a new project…

Tuomas : No. I want to keep this. You know, this is pretty much everything that I’ve had in my life for the past 10 years. It’s something I’m not willing to give up…

Rockpages.gr : I must say that Nightwish is the closest thing regarding metal meeting O.S.T.

Tuomas : This is a big compliment. Thank you.

Rockpages.gr : I think that it’s the ultimate “Soundtrack metal” band… have you ever thought about your next movement, after the “metal phase”? Is it to become a huge O.S.T. composer, like Vangelis, whom you admire so much, or John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith?

Tuomas : (laughs) It’s my ultimate in creating music, but, at the moment, I’m so happy with this band, I wanna fulfill my dream with Nightwish first. Someday, in the future, when I have the time and I’m too old to tour, I will start this “soundtrack thing”. It’s something I really like to try and I think it’s something I can be “into”…


Rockpages.gr : So, you have that in the back side of your mind…


Tuomas : Absolutely!


Rockpages.gr : I read about the book as well. Happy about it?


Tuomas : It’s really good, I think. The thing I want to emphasize here it that it’s not written by the band. There’s an author who’d written it. I’m just one of the interviewed persons in the book… but I love the honesty of the book, it doesn’t put anybody to the stand. It’s honest. Sometimes, when I read the book, I find some much shit (laughs), sometimes I laugh my ass off and sometimes I cry.


Rockpages.gr : Are these the “serious exposures” from the Nightwish world, to quote the book?


Tuomas : Yeah, anecdotes from the road. I think the result is pretty good.


Rockpages.gr : Let’s go back to the new album. It’ll be ready next year, so you’ll hit the road…


Tuomas : … in 2007.


Rockpages.gr : You haven’t planned anything yet, right? Because it’s so far away…


Tuomas : We have to make the album first. (laughs)


Rockpages.gr : Will you release a single also, like you did for “Once”, with “Nemo”?


Tuomas : I guess it’s necessary evil. I hate that. But, these days, you know, the normal policy is to do that, it would be stupid not to release a single. Personally, I don’t like that, because it puts one song on the spot.


Rockpages.gr : Thank you so much for your time. All the best.


Tuomas : Thank you. Talk to you again soon.


Interview with Tarja 6

Source: Rockpages
2007

We met with Tarja Turunen at her hotel, the very next day after her gig in Athens. A lil’ bit after breakfast and just before the… Parthenon visit, beautiful soprano talked to us about the tour, the next tour, her solo album, the new label, Metal and Opera. The “Voice of Finland” was so cool, we had some great laughs and we also were so jealous of Mike Terrana, who gives her a hug every day before practice! We’d do it three or four times… every hour! Our sincere thanks to Alexandros and Konstantinos from Universal Music.

 

Interview by Costas Koulis & Dimitris Kazantzis

 

 

 

Rockpages.gr : How’s the tour coming so far? Satisfied with your performance?


Tarja : Very much! To be honest, very much. It’s very different than the previous concerts and I feel I can get in more contact with the people… Now I’m much more relaxed, I’m happy and I also think that people can see that. Of course, the music is also very different… It’s funny; I was looking at the audience last night, very young kids but also grown people. The tour has been really good. There have been ten concerts and only two left from those ten… I’m so sad that everything ends…

 

Rockpages.gr : We read you’re going to be back next year.


Tarja : Yes, yes. We start in April… I can’t tell you yet where we’re gonna play first, cuz the organization planning is going on now… you have to wait a lil’ bit longer… but yes, I’ll be touring next year and the following year (laughs) and the process for the next album will also start next year.

 

Rockpages.gr : Let’s talk about the new album… I think it’s excellent! Is it exactly what you really wanted to release?


Tarja : It’s exactly telling about me. It’s a very personal album, it’s about my interest in music, it’s about my passion, it’s about my dream. It’s a very honest album and a very innocent one. I didn’t spend that much time on production… everything was ready in three and a half months. The planning took one year. I was thinking, thinking, processing… It was easier to call the musicians in the studio and play… the feeling in the studio is captured in the album.

 

Rockpages.gr : So, is the next album going to be that way also, are you going to follow that road?


Tarja : I’d love to discover a little bit more about the cinematographic sound, because I have great people that work with me.

 

Rockpages.gr : I’m gonna take that a little further. The “I walk alone” video you did… A boy and a girl and an evil character… like Hansel and Gretel.


Tarja : Yeah, yeah! Exactly!

 

Rockpages.gr : That was your idea, right?


Tarja : You know… I was working on the script with the director… I gave him the four characters… there are four characters on the album. It’s like a short movie… fantasy meets spookiness! So, the whole album is going that line. If you put a movie, it would be a fantasy movie with “scary” elements.

 

Rockpages.gr : How did you feel playing the dead boy?


Tarja : (Big laughs) Great! Seriously, there were people coming to me asking “Are you THAT”? I love to act, I love to play, I have many actor friends, I have been in contact with the theater life all my life, I have been there, I tried some musicals, I have been doing it but not that much, of course. I’m not a professional in that field at all, but I would love to explore a bit more.

 

Rockpages.gr : I’m gonna go back to the album. It became Number 1 in the Finnish charts. How did that make you feel?


Tarja : It’s my album… it’s very personal… the success… I was very happy about it! I remember we were shooting for a TV show on that day… when the charts came out, the record company people went like “No 1! Wow”! Very, very happy!

 

Rockpages.gr : In the new album you did a cover of Alice Cooper’s “Poison”. How did you decide to do that? It’s like a separate thing…


Tarja : Yeah, totally different… it’s a guitar-based song, with a trillion of backing vocals. In my album, the guitar solo changed into a cello solo (laughs) and yes, it still has a lot of backing vocals, but very different, the spirit in the song… and that was my goal. I wanted to have one cover for the album. And, believe me, it was so hard to make my decision… the record company, my friends, my family, we were all talking about it. Then, one day, I was driving my car, in Finland… Spring time… April or May… alone… hundreds of kilometers… relaxing, listening to Rock on the radio, keeping myself awake (laughs) and then Alice Cooper’s “Poison” came… and it stroke me! I thought about how I should make the song if it was mine and I was having such a good time in the car, thinking about it. When I went back home, I checked the Internet if there was another cover of that song. It was a dance band, with a girl singing… I called the record company and I said “What do you think if I do Alice Cooper’s “Poison””? And they loved the idea! Of course it’s a classic song, very important, even for Mr. Cooper himself!

 

Rockpages.gr : I would like to ask you about December 6. It was a very special day for you, because you got to perform for the 90 years of Finland’s independence.


Tarja : It was very beautiful. I was very honored for the invitation to perform that day… If I was considered as the voice of Finland…  it was fantastic, but on the other hand, it was a very big event, because it was a big arena with thousands of people and the symphonic orchestra… I thought that I would be a lot more nervous, it went so fast… and everybody seemed to be happy. The orchestra, the conductor, the people… It was so fast, I didn’t have the time to feel nervous… I was very honored to be able to be part of that. Finland is a good country… I have another home country, Argentina and, to be honest, all the problems in Argentina make me feel more differently about Finland.

 

Rockpages.gr : Speaking about Finland, it has become one of the biggest European scenes, with a lot of good bands. What’s happening in Finland? Is it a secret?


Tarja : I would like to be able to answer you (deep breath)… the thing is… unlike Sweden, where the government is helping regarding music business… that does not happen in Finland. Finnish musicians struggle to make money, to be successful. I have done it with Nightwish… we struggled a lot. Even though success came very fast… On the other hand, there are many radio stations supporting Metal and Rock. It’s like a country of Metal! There are so many bands already touring abroad, being successful… it’s fantastic! Also, many bands from abroad, when they come to perform in Finland, they feel the difference.

 

Rockpages.gr : Symphonic Metal with soprano voices is very popular today. Your opinion about the future of this kind of music?


Tarja : Well, let’s see… you never know… trends are coming and going, like in music. People are getting tired so easily… sometimes it’s just a hype that comes and goes… I have no idea how this would be… I hope it lasts.

 

Rockpages.gr : Are there songs-all time classics?


Tarja : From these bands?

 

Rockpages.gr : Yeah.


Tarja : That’s a good question… In general, I would like to work with Liv Kristine, she’s a good friend of mine, she has a great solo album. I’d love to work with her.

 

Rockpages.gr : You have signed with Universal. Are you satisfied with your label? Are they treating you the way you expected they would?


Tarja : I was nervous in the beginning, when there were many record companies approaching me… I was very nervous… If I made a deal with somebody who had no idea of who I am, as an artist, what kind of style I have, what kind of image I have… I wouldn’t like to have somebody to work with me, who would want to change me. That was my concern. If I start to work with people that I don’t know before… hmm… would they want to make me like Britney Spears, you know… but, in Universal Germany there were people I have already been working with. And that made my decision. It was a more personal contact. Yes, I’m happy with them.

 

Rockpages.gr : Have you ever thought “What am I doing here, I’m an Opera singer” and leave Metal, focus on Opera, become the "new" Maria Callas and that’s it?


Tarja : Focus on Opera… it can happen, you know, it can happen… in fifteen years…

 

Rockpages.gr : It’s in the back of your head, right?


Tarja : I don’t have it in the back of my head, because I have to be very realistic. I’m not ready as an Opera singer. I haven’t done classical music seriously ever, because I was in a Metal band, finishing my studies at the same time. I haven’t taken five years off, saying “Goodbye Rock, goodbye Metal”, because I wanted to do only classical music… I haven’t done that, I’m still not doing that… So, classical music and classical education and training has helped me so much to sing my own music. To sing different kinds of music. I enjoy being in front of a classical orchestra, singing, but it’s not telling the whole truth about me. It’s not completely me. It’s part of my interests, but not completely. This is my interest now (e.n. points at her album), at this moment. And how will it last? Till the next one comes, hopefully. But if I’m healthy, with the right mind to perform at the opera one day, I would love to do that. I would love to see if I’m able to do it. Because I’m not sure if I could.

 

Rockpages.gr : Do you believe that your voice is a gift? Or is it the result of hard work?


Tarja : I believe… both! I had a lot of training, but to be able to touch the people… you have to have a gift. There are trillions of singers, that can correctly hit every note, that – technically – can sing a million times better than I can. But they can not touch you, they can not move you.

 

Rockpages.gr : Are you planning to release another single?


Tarja : Yeah, we shot a video a couple of days ago. In the middle of the tour.

 

Rockpages.gr : Which one is it? (e.n. Tarja is not answering, she’s just smiling to us) Oh, but you can tell… it’ll stay between us!


Tarja : (Big laughs) I should ask the record company people (e.n. they are sitting a few feet away from us. She is shouting)… Is it a secret? The new single? Can I tell? (e.n. laughs – the label people go like “Sure”!)… Okay… we shot a video for “Die Alive”…

 

Rockpages.gr : Is it the same style?


Tarja : It’s spooky! There are some rats… they are trying to hunt me… it’s a very spooky video. It’s about the storm. Actually, the storm – my winter storm – is helping me in that video.


Rockpages.gr : The new direction in music business today is downloading. Do you agree with that “system”?


Tarja : You know, the music business is changing a lot… it has changed a lot… and I, as an artist, also have to adjust to that, some way or another… the business turns to “song business”, for downloads… so I feel that the albums have more value today… it’s not easy any more! The business supports the songs, not the albums. We, as artists, have to do things differently or have to have something else to offer to people, to get them to buy the album. In a way it’s very sad… that is what makes me sad!

 

Rockpages.gr : Do you feel that something is missing, regarding your career?


Tarja : You know… (e.n. pause) it’s very hard… I have gotten very much in such a short period of time. Many things have happened. Many good things… People tell me “Tarja, come on, this is great, you must enjoy all this”! I have great things in life, I have great people I work with and, seriously, I have to think about it every day… that I have to enjoy this, because it feels good.


Rockpages.gr : Do you feel walking alone sometimes?


Tarja : Last night… I was telling the people… I’m not walking alone, I’m walking with you!

 

Rockpages.gr : Thank you so much for your time!


Tarja : Thank you, thank you so much!


Interview with Epica 6

Source: Rockpages
2007

While the upcoming album by Epica, entitled "The Divine Conspiracy", was at the mixing process, we had the opportunity of a little chat with Epica singer Simone Simmons. She was in a good mood and very talkative, despite the lack of time, discussing with great enthusiasm about Epica's new album, the Mayans civilization, her trip to Egypt and her encounter with the Finnish gossip media, while we were trying to avoid fixing in her eyes. Interview by George Anasontzis and Sakis Nikas.

 

 

Rockpages.gr: In what phase are the recordings of the new album?


Simone Simmons: Well, we have actually finished recording and now Sasha (Paeth) is ready to do the mix. I heard some songs with arrangements and vocals edited and it sounds amazing.

 

Rockpages.gr: What is the concept this time?


Simone Simmons: I cannot say anything about it...

 

Rockpages.gr: You can't reveal anything or you don't know anything...?


Simone Simmons: I do know everything (laughs).

 

Rockpages.gr: You mentioned Sasha. How important is Sasha to the making of your sound?


Simone Simmons: Well, Sasha also works with the rewriting of the vocal lines and since we worked with him in previous albums, it's just a winning team, and we really love to work with him. The studio is very comfortable; it's an old farm, which they rebuilt into a studio. It's in the north of Germany. So, yes, Sasha is a great guy to work with and he will give you a good result, like Kamelot and Rhapsody sounds...

 

Rockpages.gr: Consign to Oblivion was influenced by the Mayan culture. How did you choose this concept?


Simone Simmons: That was Mark's idea. He wrote three or four songs for the "A New Age Dawns" that were about the Mayan culture, he read many books about it and he really got inspired by their way of thinking, that we should avoid the loss of nature. The ending of the song, "Consign to Oblivion", is about how we are losing ourselves and we only think about the material world. We don't think about the people as a community any more, everybody is working for himself, we are very selfish and we forget to take care about nature. Just drive more cars and pollute the world.

 

Rockpages.gr: I guess you agree with that...


Simone Simmons: I agree with that.

 

Rockpages.gr: Have you watched "Apocalypto" by Mel Gibson?


Simone Simmons: Mark has seen it and he didn't like it. According to him and what he read about the Mayans, he didn't recognize so much about it, and it was just an action movie. Well, you can ask him later cause I didn't see it. It looked nice on its website though. It's mainly Mark who's really interested in the Mayan culture and I agree with him on the main ideas, but I never read books about it. Actually I have more connection to the Egyptians. Mark and I went for a holiday there and I really liked it. I liked the art... we went to the Museum in Cairo, and I was very angry because our guide, she had two little children and she had to leave, but we wanted to stay in the Museum, because there was so much to be seen. I have many warm memories from there... Well, the guide was a little bit annoying and also because I have blue eyes, people were coming after me all the time...

 

Rockpages.gr: Maybe they wanted to buy you.... They tend to do this.


Simone Simmons: Yeah, yeah (laughs). But anyway, I felt like home and when I entered the land, I could feel the history. I think Mark has got more connection with the Mayans and I'm closer to the Egyptian culture.

 

Rockpages.gr: Any connection with the Greek civilization the way you have with the Egyptian?


Simone Simmons: Well, I like the food here, the people are very nice, I already have a nick name, "Kouklitsa". The mother of a friend called me kouklitsa.

 

Rockpages.gr: You know what that means?


Simone Simmons: Yeah, little doll. And Simounita. That's how they call me. The people are very hospitable, I like the music. Last time, we went to a restaurant. It was very cozy, the weather is great, I like Greece. I also liked Thessaloniki. Now I know a few Greek words I can say, like efcharisto, kalispera, kalinixta and kalimera. Moro mou...

 

Rockpages.gr: What can you tell us about the Nightwish rumour that appeared at some moment?


Simone Simmons: (Laughs) I am a friend of Tuomas, but that doesn't make me the singer of Nightwish.

 

Rockpages.gr: There wasn't any proposal?


Simone Simmons: No, no, no. I was just talking to him in a Finnish festival, last year, in July, and he was there to visit some bands, and he said to me "Oh Simon, now we're talking together and you realize we will be in the gossip magazines". And it took a while and then I got a call from Mark saying, "Hey, you're at the Finnish gossip magazines and they say you are the new singer" and blah blah blah. Anyway, I guess it doesn't harm, because now we had some problems with the dvd, no drummer and no record company. We were still a little bit in the picture, so we didn't mind in a way that... it's a little sign that you're becoming more well known, the people start to think of you and want to know what you're doing all the time.

 

Rockpages.gr: So, the Finnish gossip media like writing about metal music...


Simone Simmons: It's the Finnish gossip magazines because in Finland gothic music is so popular, it's a mainstream music in a way. There, you are a biggest star than you are in Holland for example.

 

Rockpages.gr: There seems to be a lot of bands, like After Forever, Within Temptation, Epica, coming from Holland, which is a small country, that play the same kind of music. Isn't it a little peculiar that a lot of bands at the same place and the same time, play the same genre of music?


Simone Simmons: There are several explanations for it. I think it's becoming a little bit the culture of the young people, you know, gothic music is becoming really popular, so more people know more about it and start new bands. I think so far we have pretty much talented bands coming from Holland and one of the first one was of course the Gathering, which you cannot really refer to gothic anymore, as it was during the Mandylion time... Finland has a lot of gothic bands, the whole Scandinavia, it was, let's say like the birthplace of those bands...

 

Rockpages.gr: How do you feel about all these female fronted bands?


Simone Simmons: I like it. I think girls get more power now (laughs).

 

Rockpages.gr: But how does the rest of the band feel that the female singer gets all the lights. What would the band or any band of this kind, be if they had a male singer?


Simone Simmons: It's the same with all bands, it doesn't matter if it's metal, rock, pop - well, in pop you mostly don't have bands but just a singer -, but it's mostly that the singer, male or female, gets most of the attention because you are the face of the band, you do the interviews, you are on the poster, and if you have a pretty face, that will be exploited of course to sell more. But I always say, that if people give me a comment like "You have a pretty face" that's ok. But first of all, I'm a singer. I'm not a model. That's my job and what I'm doing in the band. The whole physical thing is part of the wrapping with the photos... If people listen to the cd, it doesn't matter if you're pretty or ugly because they just hear your voice. But if you do to the show and there's this huge bear standing on stage which is a woman, then it's not so nice to look at. You have to present yourself in a good way, but that is a small part of it all.

 

Rockpages.gr: I think Therion is like that...


Simone Simmons: Yeah, I've seen them, but somehow, they are not trying to be sexy. They're just standing like this.


Interview with After Forever 6

Source: Rockpages
2007

During the promotional tour for the new, self titled, After Forever album, Floor Jansen, mezzo-soprano for the band, visited Athens and… we couldn’t simply miss such an opportunity. Beautiful and… TALLful (1,83m) singer sat with us in her hotel room, talking about the new album, Nuclear Blast, new singers on the block and many more. Interview : Dimitris Kazantzis, Costas Koulis

 

Rockpages.gr : This is your first time in Greece…


After Forever : Yeah!

 

Rockpages.gr : After Forever is one of Greek people’s favorite bands, but you haven’t played live so far. Any reason for that?


After Forever : Well… I think it’s because we were working with a small independent label in Holland and the promotion and distribution here and in a lot of other countries was not very good. We never had the opportunity, we had concerts confirmed and then got cancelled…

 

Rockpages.gr : Your new album is gonna be released in a few days…


After Forever : Yes, the 20th of April.

 

Rockpages.gr : Congratulations, the album is excellent!


After Forever : Thank you!

 

Rockpages.gr : Satisfied with the final result?


After Forever : Yes, of course!

 

Rockpages.gr : Can you please tell me the differences between the new album and “Remagine”?


After Forever : Well, I think that this album is more like a compilation of all the styles we’ve had in the past, so there’s a little bit of “Remagine” in there, but also the progressive elements of “Invisible Circles”, more melodic, atmospheric, and metal stuff from “Decipher”, and the catchy things from “Remagine” and, for the first time, we did some industrial things… I think the sound is heavier, is better… with my voice, I did some “experimenting”, using my voice in all different “places”, from real opera to “lighter” voice to rock voice… this is more like a total overview of us. “Remagine” was part of an evolution and this album represents who we are, that’s why it became the self-title album, feel like this is a new start. Of course, most bands make their first album the self-title one, we chose to do it now, because we want to show who WE are today, who we were in the past and who will continue to be in the future and it’s like a new beginning, with the new company…

 

Rockpages.gr : You had more time to work with your voice this time?


After Forever : No, not really… it’s like growing… when I first sang in an album I never had any singing lessons and I started studying at the same time and continued to study over the years. In different levels. At first I studied at the Rock Academy, then I studied about pop and rock music, took extra classes about music theatre. When I finished, I continued the music theatre studies for one more year, then one more year of opera. I developed my voice in all kinds of different styles. And, in this album, during the song-writing process, I had more space to work on my melodies, play with different sounds, it’s like a puzzle… it’s a part of our evolution as a band and mine, too.

 

Rockpages.gr : You’ve had some special guests on this album. Doro, Jeff Waters… Can you please tell me more about this collaboration?


After Forever : I don’t feel that After Forever sound is similar to their sound, but we do have some influences from their music. And we thought it would be cool to emphasize that in our music… the real metal sound… to have Jeff Waters to emphasize the real metal stuff. He was at this show we did in Berlin, he really liked it. We didn’t get to meet afterwards. Sander, our guitarist was brought into contact with him, he’s a huge Annihilator fan and when we were doing “Energize me”, he thought it would be cool to have him as a guest and Jeff said yes right away… as for Doro… we thought it would be great to have a combination of her style, front heavy 80’s metal style with ours. Today, most female singers do lyrical stuff and she’s more on the rock side. She’s one of the first ladies in rock and we’re honored to have her in the album.

 

Rockpages.gr : This is your first album with Nuclear Blast. Satisfied with the promotion?


After Forever : Yeah, very much! It’s a new thing, just a couple of months “old”, they are totally enthusiastic about it, it’s a real metal label, a well-oiled international company and, yeah, it totally goes for us…

 

Rockpages.gr : How did it happen? The “marriage” with Nuclear Blast, I mean.


After Forever : Well, after it was announced that we’re looking for another record label, after finishing with Transmission Records, we got a lot of interest, a lot of companies, big, small, metal or even mainstream. We had a lot of offers to check out… Nuclear Blast is, of course, one of the biggest labels in the world; for us, for our ambitions, this was the best option.

 

Rockpages.gr : First single is “Energize me”, it will be released as a “download single”. Are you satisfied with the whole “downloading” system?


After Forever : Well, it’s not the same everywhere, so we’ll also have the single “regularly” in stores. I think it’s a good thing, this whole evolution, It’s accessible to more people this way, in countries the album is not released yet.

 

Rockpages.gr : Do you think you will do some classical music in the future?


After Forever : Well, I did study it. We’ll see… Opera world and rock world are entirely different…

 

Rockpages.gr : If you had a girl, a young singer, in front of you, asking for advice, what would you tell her?


After Forever : To take singing lessons, for sure. If you want to do something in music, you have to know what it’s about.

 

Rockpages.gr : Your band is part of a scene, regarding metal and female vocals, into metal and not old-school rock and roll. How do you feel about it?


After Forever : It’s cool to be part of that scene. The more bands appear the bigger the market gets… Nightwish, Within Temptation, Evanescence – of course. It’s still growing, it’s still expanding.

 

Rockpages.gr : About this 2006 release, the “Mea Culpa” compilation… who’s idea was it?


After Forever : Transmission Records. We do not support this release at all. We didn’t get involved in choosing the tracks or…

 

Rockpages.gr : … it was in the contract, right?


After Forever : They could do it. It was in the contract, they could do it. But we don’t have anything to do with it…

 

Rockpages.gr : Should we expect you here for a show?


After Forever : We’re scheduling our tour now. We’ll start with some festivals in Europe, not Greece unfortunately, then some headlining appearances, then probably go to the States. The world has just become bigger, with Nuclear Blast. Keep checking our website for more updates. Altho, now that I’ve come here…

 

Rockpages.gr : Floor, thank you so much for your time.


After Forever : Thank you, you guys!

 

Rockpages.gr : Ehm… how tall are you anyway? (laughs)


Interview with Epica 5

Source: Metal Storm
01.04.2004
By: Undercraft

The Phantom Agony album, song by song with Mark.

01. Adyta "The Neverending Embrace" :
This is our intro of the CD, the lyrics are written by Simone. It's a prelude to the Embrace that Smothers part 4, 5 and 6. The main thought behind the Embrace that Smothers is that when mankind sees that there's just one god, all different religions melt together into one. All religious wars come to end end and so on. It's kind of an utopia but let's keep the faith!

02. Sensorium :
This is a philosophical song. Does chance exist, I don't think so. I don't belive in chance. But even without chance we can have our own free will. We are responsible for our acts, although nothing happens at chance.
It also deals about exploring minor parts in science instead of having a total overview. Creativity comes from the overlap between all sorts of knowledge and/or spirituality.

03. Cry for the Moon "The Embrace That Smothers - Part IV" :
This song deals about a priest who raped a child. When I wrote this lyric, this was a hot topic in the news. The basic idea behind the song is that also behind the doors of the church there are a lot of sick minds hidden. The basics of most religions are good but in this society there are a lot of sick people. With the phrase "In the garden of Eden, where the apple gets a youthful face" I try to say that Eva did eat the apple according to the bible story but this priest did also eat the apple by raping a young child. The worst thing is that often the church is afraid to loose their "good name" and so they pey the parents to keep it silent. This has to stop.

04. Feint :
This song deals about the murder on a dutch politician called "Pim Fortuyn". He was murdered because of his opinion. It's a highly poetic lyric.

05. Illusive Consensus :
Again a lyric which has been written by Simone, in short it's how love between two persons can die slowly and turn out into hate.

06. Facade of Reality "The Embrace That Smothers - Part V":
This song is dealing about the 11th of September NY, fundamentalism and religions. Power is the keyword, gaining power and use therefore religions. Especially in the middle east (arabic countries) religion is still very important in people's lifes. When people think it's good to die as martyr then the step is much smaller to offer your life for God. Others misuse this to gain more power.

07. Run for a Fall :
I've written this song after my departure from After Forever, I had to write down my frustrations. Fortunately nowadays the relationship between me and AF is good again J

08. Seif Al Din "The Embrace That Smothers - Part VI" :
This is the last song in the Embrace that Smothers cyclus. It's specified on fundamentalism again. Extremism is all kinds of ways is never good.

09. The Phantom Agony:
The last song on the album is dealing about dreams, sometimes it's hard to say if a memory is a dream or if it happened in real. Some people think we do live in our dreams and lifetime is a big Façade. With Lucid Dreaming you can get controll of your dreams and create a new world within the unknown.

Interview with Epica 4

Source: Metal Storm
By: Malcolm
04.11.2003

I took a little chat, with the precious young singer from "Epica" and talked about "Epica" as well as everything around "Epica", such as Mark Jansen, Tours and the album "The Phantom Agony".



01) Your debut, "The Phantom Agony" was released in June; can you describe the album a bit closer? Background, theme, recording etc.

Simone: We record our album in Wolfsburg, Germany with the famous Sascha Paeth. For me it was the first time recording a whole album. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot of it. Sascha is a great guy to work with and he made me feel comfortable. We spend 3 months in Germany to record the album, a wonderful time!!!
The concept of 'The embrace that smothers' continues. The rest of the album is just individual songs, with their own content. Mark writes a lot about political issues, believes, I write mostly about things that happen in your life that people can refer to.


02) "The Phantom Agony" is selling very well in your home country, Holland and not to bad around the world either, what is your reaction of the fans and the press?

Simone: Their reaction is GREAT! We love them; we had no negative critics at all. Of course our main goal was to make an album, to think that everyone would like it is just wonderful!


03) How does it feel to so young and fresh and enter the Metal world? And with someone like Mark by your side? I mean, it's no mediocre band you are singing in.

Simone: I didn't know what to expect. I was going to record an album, after that I did not know what was going to happen. We didn't expect to get so successful. I am still not used to that. In the beginning it was hard sometimes, but now I am more experienced because of the many shows that we have done in such a short period.


04) I guess you have answered this question a thousand times, but how is it to work with Mark?

Simone: A lot of fun :) But don't think that because of the fact that I am his girlfriend he doesn't get mad at me


05: How did you become the Lead singer in "Epica"? I mean, did someone tip them about you or did you take a shot and went to an audition?

Simone: I met Mark in the summer of 2001 on the After Forever chat. We got along great and I told him that I sing. He was looking for a singer for his side-project, perfect :) When we met we not only became musical partners :) But after a while Mark was getting very busy with After Forever, but then suddenly he was kicked out in April 2002. I supported him in everything but it was wise not to become the singer of his new band, because I was too young and unexperienced to be in a professional band. After a long search for singers, and me taking singing lessons I finally became the singer of the band, which made me very happy


06) I know that you have Tarja Turunen in Nightwish as a big idol, at least she was. Do you ever think that you can beat her? And became a big idol yourself and win the boys hearts?

Simone: It is not about beating :) I respect every talented musician. But I have already received mails of boys :) But making music is about feeling happy. Music makes me happy and it makes me even happier when people like our music. I love it when the crowd is singing along with Cry for the Moon


07) How does the future for "Epica"? Do you have some material for a new album? Any bigger tours? Outside of the circle around Holland, like to Sweden or the rest of Europe? And is there any solo project planed?

Simone: We are already working very hard on the new album. We are on schedule We are planning a tour through Portugal, Spain and France in 2004. Which I am looking forward to!!!


08) This is a hard one, I think. What is your favorite track on "The Phantom Agony"? I know it maybe can be hard, because it's your album and you sing the Live and so, but try. Mine is "Cry for the Moon", by the way, damn good song.

Simone: Sensorium, it is a song that sings a long A big bang when we come on stage, this song contains a lot of energy and wisdom.


09) What is your biggest dream? This is a very interesting questions I think, but with a to obvious answer.

Simone: To have a big house with lots of animals and Mark of course. And concerning the band a big tour in Brazil, Mexico, and Sweden Everywhere, I love to travel and we as a band are privileged to do it.


10) Do you have something to way to all your fans out there? And to all the readers on Metal Storm as well.

Simone: I hope that you will enjoy The Phantom Agony, as well on the album as with us on stage


11) And last, is there anything that you think I have forgotten? Something you want to add?

Simone: Thank you for this interview, it is my first Swedish interview Thank you for having interest in the band!!!! Many kisses and see you one day in Sweden!!!!!



A big thanks to you, Simone, that you took some of your precious time and answered my questions, I appreciate that. Thanks and good luck to you and the rest of the band, I hope to see you in Sweden some day.


Interview with Nightwish 113

Source: Metal Storm
By: Melanie Haack
22.10.2003

Just one year ago there were a lot of rumours concerning Nightwish's future. Tarja wanted to concentrate more on her studies in Germany so the band announced that they gonna take a brake. Even though it has never been said that this is the end of Nightwish, the media startet to speculate about it. At the lastest since Nightwish played more than 20 shows this summer everybody should have recognized that we'll get more of this great Finnish band. The first thing will be their second DVD called "End Of Innocence" (already released in Finland) which is no Live-DVD like "From Wishes To Eternity" is. The recordings for the next album will start in November. Jukka (drums), Marco (bass, voc.) and Tarja (voc.) are now telling you more about the break, the DVD and the new album.

- In June you started to play gigs again… I was a bit surprised when I heard this 'cause I thought that the brake would take longer. Did you know from the beginning that you'll come back live so soon?

Marco: It was supposed to take a little bit longer but it got out of hands. We were meant to do a few shows during the summer... a few festivals.
Jukka: Well, they got more and more and now we had something like 22 shows.
Marco: It was kind of mistake...
Jukka: ...but a nice mistake.
Tarja: It is really very funny to think about the official "break" for one year, because actually there wasn´t any real break. When I decided to move back to Finland when my studies would be over in Germany the booking agency started to book shows. Since the beginning of this year we knew that we will be quite busy the whole summer. For us it has been great fun to play these shows all over the world and see the response of the people. Sometimes everybody of us needs some time for ourselves, so the break which didn´t last that long gave us already enough and it seemed to be good to move on.

- Let's come to the DVD: "End of Innocence" includes a documentary part. Of what is this documentation made of?

Tarja: After three huge tours in all around the world, we had an unbelievably amount of good off- stage and on- stage material for a new DVD. We still needed to have something very special for the documentary, so the answer was found when the Finnish music journalist Mape Ollilla, who has been closely working with us since the very beginning, asked Tuomas for an in-depth interview. The interview was made and filmed at his summer cottage in Finland with Nightwish members and crew. The result is the 204 minutes long End of Innocence, which tells the band's story with our own words from the beginning to the present day. It is funny, honest, maybe even shocking in some points but it is the real story of Nightwish, of these years that we have been going through together.
Marco: From what I've seen I can say about the DVD that it's kind of tragedy with a lot of comedy.

- I read that we can see something about the first gig that Nightwish ever did...

Marco: Yeah, you can see a part of the very first Nightwish show, which was played in Kitee in the year 1997.

- Do you remember how you felt before going on stage?

Jukka: Actually I do. It was kind of scary. We thought it would look a little bit better but it's some kind of comedy. You'll see...
Tarja: I remember that I was frightened and the rest of the guys were, too. It was a great fun but still a terrible thing to do. Before that day I had never thought of being a heavy metal singer and then there I was going on stage with a heavy metal band which didn´t even feel real! I had bought my first leather pants with my mother couple of days before!

- I guess when looking at all the material it was like a journey through your music life with Nightwish. Some funny things, some already forgotten things, some sad moments, too. What was it like for you to see all that stuff?

Tarja: Of course, it is touching to see it yourself. To see all our bad moments and to laugh about the happy and funny ones. It hasn´t been that long way and everything has happened in a very short period of time, so I just wonder how hard it has been to handle all this. Not easy at all but we have made it though!
Jukka: It was very nice to see what has happened through the years because there were parts that I had already forgotten. We could take a look back and see where we have gone.
Marco: For me it was a very good experience to see that whole thing, to see the progress, the work they have done and everything that has happened. It was definitely more real for me then. It made me feel like I am now part of something that has a real history.

- When you saw the material: Would you do everything concerning Nightwish the same way again?

Tarja: As I mentioned before, it hasn´t always been easy to handle things in the best way but still today I can say that Nightwish wouldn´t be the same now if we wouldn´t have gone through these things like we did in the past. I wouldn´t change anything I think. Maybe only from my side I should change the fact that I wasn´t enjoying that much of the good moments on our journey before. I should have done that.

- Whose idea was that whole thing by the way and who is responsible for what comes in and in which way it comes in?

Tarja: The idea came from the interview we did at the summer cottage in Finland. Of course, the story itself has been in Tuomas' hands: He decided how to edit the material. We checked it millions of times and were taking out the shitty material and leaving there the good ones. It has been a hard work because in the beginning we had over 50 hours of material!
Marco: We really had tons of stuff! One of the first versions of the documentary part was something like three hours long...

- As second part we've live material from Summer Breeze Festival 2002 and from the 4th of July in Norway.

Marco: Right. The concert in Norway was a club gig.
Jukka: It's just some extra stuff. It's not really professional recorded or anything. It's put there to have some live shots.
Marco: You get everything out of the sound but they are not really professional.


- Tarja, you moved back to Finland. So are you totally ready now with studying? What is it that you are called now that you have passed the exams?

Tarja: I have moved to Finland because I didn´t feel that good in Germany and my studies were in that position that I didn´t have much to do. I am still going to school, only taking some private lessons from my singing teacher on this autumn for a couple of weeks and the next year I´ll do the same. Then the final exam is still ahead and after that I will be a so called diploma singer.

- Let's now come to the next Nightwish album. On your homepage we can already read a studio diary. Is there a difference when working on the songs because Tarja is in Finnland now, too?

Tarja: There is not much difference because the way how we have been working hasn´t changed. Everyone of us in the band is living very far from each other, so the distance now is only a bit smaller than before. The recordings will start in November and for example I am going to be in the studio maybe only in February, so it takes time.

- Is there anything you basically want to make different in comparison to "Century Child"?

Jukka: I don't think so... I mean we don't think about it. We just make music and we wait what Tuomas composes and then put our stuff in it and see what happens... what comes out of it. The working process is pretty much the same as it was on the other albums. Tuomas makes the song, we go to the practising place and arrange them together.
Marco: From what I've heard about the stuff Tuomas has made I can tell you that it's gonna be a pretty heavy album.
Tarja: I guess it will be quite the same as Century Child was. But you'll find some new elements there this time, too.

- During the brake with Nightwish you guys were present in other bands. Now when it's going on with Nightwish... will there for some of you be in two bands? And do you think that is something you can manage... after all Nightwish isn't a small band anymore.

Jukka: Well, I am juggling between two bands but the other one of course isn't on that level of success Nightwish is. So it isn't that hard and actually we got the same agent, the same record company, same manager. So I don't have to worry about things getting crossed in any where.
Marco: Concerning me it is pretty much the same. Same label, same booking agent. All can be organized and of course Nightwish has precedence.

- You've been on tour in south America last year and it was a really successful one.

Marco: It was great!

- What is the difference between live gigs there and here in middle Europe?

Jukka: It's like paradise for bands there. They really got a nice attitude having a band come to play for them. They really go for it. Maniacs! It's a little bit different from here.
Marco: Europeans are a little bit more cool. They are more like listening to the music and enjoy it but people get crazy here, too. We are already waiting to get back to South America.

- Any plans what will come after the music business?

Marco: Taking it easily at the balkony on the seaside...
Jukka: If you still have the energy why not playing on stage when you are older? It could be nice. You don't have to think about it as a work because if you do so you gotta get tired of it. We all love this thing.

- What about going on tour with For my Pain, Sethian and Tarot?
Jukka and Marco: That could be a little bit too hard. It would involve a lot of drinking...


Interview with Nightwish 112

Source: Metal Hammer
(Greek version)
Mars 2009

Nightwish keyboardist and mastermind, Tuomas Holopainen, shares with us thoughts and confessions, with a shocking honesty. But, anyway, don’t be hurry to forejudge anything

Journalist: So, eventually, women are a big trouble, aren’t they?
Tuomas: (laughing) I won’t blame anyone who’s gonna say that referring to Nighwish.

J: But you push your luck too! Touring for 2 years? With a new member?
T: Yes, you’re right. To be honest, I confess, this decision was wrong. We scheduled 160 gigs for the first year and it might be overmuch. We made this decision because we couldn’t just hold it back, we wanted to get out there and perform. We had a new vocalist and a new album, we had been working very hard, we wanted to see if we could make it. We couldn’t hold back ourselves from touring. We wanted to see the reactions, to understand if we won the bet or lost it. The truth is that the very first months of the tour were amazing…

J: Where are you now?
T: I’m in Helsinki. We returned home but I haven’t been yet to my hometown. I live in Kitee, you know, it’s a place far away from here, close to Russian borders.

J: Are you alone there or with the other members of the band?
T: I’m all alone. The other guys are already to their families and occupy with their own matters. We need that more than anything else.

J: Are you in touch or you belong to this category of musicians who’s getting of the hook of each other?
T: No, we’re not like this, we are a family. We communicate all the time, SMS, calls…


J: What are you doing when you get home?
T: See my beloved ones, family and friends. Work on music stuff, not on Nightwish but on my own side-projects.

J: So you have any side-projects?
T: Yes. So do Marco and Emppu. At this moment, Marco is on tour for Tarot’s DVD.

J: Do you want to speak about your side-projects?
T: No, I can’t reveal anything. You’ll find it out on time. I am sorry, but really it’s impossible.

J: Ok. Are you in touch with Anette? She’s in Sweden, I guess, with her son…
T: Yes, she’s there. She needed to be there. She’s resting.

J: The tour will carry out?
T: Of course. At the moment, we are taking just a 3-month break. Next month we will take again to the roads. The tour ends in the middle of May but we arranged some summer festivals too.

J: So, you insist!
T: What can we do? Those performances had been already arranged. Plus we can’t ignore the invitations for the summer festivals. Besides, I guess this long break will benefit us. We will be back stronger and much more responsible.

J: What about the cancelled US shows?
T: We have already arranged new ones. Same places.

J: Which was the peak of the tour so far? And which was the worst moment?
T: I can’t pick up the best moment, because the whole beginning – I’m talking about the first 5-10 gigs – was a dream. We were full of energy and enthusiasm, even anxious too. The fans fulfilled the venues and it was a feeling of deliverance. Yes, it was deliverance to see the fans being still there! Of course, some of them left, but we gain new ones. Then, we could comment to each other ‘’yes, we made it’’.
About the worst moment, we can’t speak only for some moments, but a whole period, the last one before this break. During the last part of this tour, in South America, we all have reached our dead-ends. Our psychological condition had reached the bottom. Not only when it comes to nightwish members, but the whole crew as well, technicians, sound engineers, managers. We couldn’t hold on any more. Everybody missed their homes, their beloved ones. Tour-bus, hotels, changes, life on the road…it was too much.


J: Nonetheless, amongst the situation you just described, you will release the live CD/DVD ‘’Made in Hong Kong’’. Strategic action, I must confess, in many aspects…
T: Actually, the original idea was not mine. This concept comes from our company. Besides, I don’t like live cds that much. I don’t know if I can thump this release as much as they expect me to do, mainly because I don’t feel I gave any part of myself on it to be produced. I haven’t been devoted to this project, I haven’t put anything in, artistic or creative. I thought a lot about this decision of our company, I found it ‘’fishy’’.

J: The title is ‘’Made in Hong Kong’’ but it’s nothing to do with, right?
T: Indeed. Only the first song was recorded there and you can hear the classical ‘’Good evening Hong Kong’’, that’s all. The other songs were recorded to different venues, around the world. Don’t ask me where because I can’t remember! It’s in Germany, in Finland, in Chile which was our last show before the break…But I can’t remember nothing more nothing less.

J: The songs were chosen from the DPP cd. Was it on purpose, to avoid the comparison because your latter live DVD was released just 2 years before?
T: Not at all. I don’t have any problem with Anette’s performance – if I have had doubts, we wouldn’t have started our cooperation all along. I would like to have some old stuff but the problem was the bureaucracy. We would get along with a long term routine to get the green light. So, to make things easier, it was decided to use those songs that we wouldn’t have any problem with, and those songs were DPP’s.

J: There is also a documentary where we can find mainly your interview/narration. When did you shoot this stuff?
T: I think this documentary is the most rememberable stuff of this release, by far. And the most interesting. We shoot it during the last period of this tour, during the last shows. My narrative parts were shot in Chile. You can easily understand how the things have already changed, you can feel how tired we were, how exhausted we were

J: So, South America is a fatal place for you..
T : Maybe. But the truth is that the fans, there, are amazing. You can’t imagine what is going on. We are very lucky to have travelled around the world and have the chance to hear people tell us how important Nightwish is for them. And this is something beyond my sight. I mean when I’m at home, writing music, I want to share it with the fans and I am happy to see that you like my music, but I feel I can’t fully understand what is going on inside them, the connection between them and my songs. In South America, wherever we’ve been, the fans were following us like shadows! They were waiting for us in the hotel, they were standing and screaming to us, talking to us. I don’t have the right to say I feel upset with that, because it’s a great honour but it is something that brings embarrassment to me. When you are exhausted, you feel like you have just to deal with a daily routine. Of course, it’s nothing to do with the gigs but with all the others, the personal fight with yourself and the communicative skills with the others. This devotion and love of the fans is something I wasn’t sure how to hand it out.


J: In my opinion, the smartest moment on this DVD is the reference to the Brazilian gig and Anette’s walk-out. The way it was shot, including her explanation and your support declaration, I think, is the unnegiotiable, official answer for all that rumours…
T: What kind of rumours?

J: Many rumours. About walk-out,dismissal, stuff like that. Don’t tell me it’s the first time you heard that!
T: OK, let’s make it clear that for the moment Anette is the vocalist. Now, as far as the incident in Brazil is concerned, oh my God, I don’t believe people still fuss about that…

J: Anette said that she walked out because of the smoke-machine. Is that what really happened?
T: I believe her. Since she said that, it’s true. But, for sure, this was just the visible reason during a period which was very difficult for us. And it’s totally reasonable. People break down, it happens. But the smoke-machine is not the only reason. We were all tired, we were jaded. We were nervous and fed-up. Especially Anette, it was unfamiliar for her all that. We dropped her into the ocean and she made it really well. Lots of times we said each other ‘’I would never expect she could hold on for so long!’’. But she did. She disproved all the predictions. She made it very well with such a long tour, and she had a lot of times the crown against her. Her break-down at the end was normal. And let me tell you that during that gig, there were guys with middle fingers in front of her who were shouting many things…If you keep in mind all that, then you can’t be surprised with the incident.
J: How did you react when you saw the incident? Which were your thoughts?
T: I was anxious if it was an injury or something. We kept on playing waiting for some news. A technician came and told me that she wouldn’t return on stage so I thought ‘’That’s it. Finally it happened’’.

J: You kept on playing?
T: No, how could we? We played 2 songs and then walked out of the stage.

J: Would you do the same, if you were at the same condition?
T: I don’t know…I can’t answer that question.

J: As you have big experience on stage and you know the difficulties, do you think it was proper for a professional to walk out of the stage?
T: Well, I guess, due to my experience you just mentioned, I wouldn’t have done the same. But I can’t be sure. I think it’s impossible for someone to understand singers’ feelings while performing on stage. For the rest of us, it’s easier, we hide behide our instruments and play. The singer is a different matter. She’s responsible for the communication with the fans, everybody’s staring at her. She receives the biggest pressure, and the voice is something that can’t ‘’work’’ under any conditions.


J: Did you discuss each other about it backstage?
T: You can’t deal with words during those moments. We all understood what had happened. We didn’t bother her. She needed time, like all of us. Next day, we were all just fine. We could communicate and go on, the incident belonged already to the past. Eventually, not for all of us, huh?

J: Besides, you had to cancel some shows, because of Anette’s severe illness. Of course, health is unnegiotiable but did you feel a little depression?
T: You can’t do anything in such cases. We are human beings and we have all that difficulties. She did had a severe illness and the doctors couldn’t do anything. She had got the worst virus these period. She just needed to rest. And I have to tell you, it wasn’t only Anette, we were all ill these period. But, as I’ve mentioned before, for the musician is a different situation. You can play the guitar or the keyboards even when you are ill and nobody notice that. But when it comes to the voice, it is important to be in a good condition.

J: Do you think it is accidental that you were taken ill when you’ve had enough?
T: No! I think we were corruptible with all that and it was easy to come down. It was about physical and mental balance. For me, that’s why we came down.
The last news we had from Anette have been very shocking. She decided to hire a personal manager to cover the needs the rest of the members can’t occupy with. If I got it right, it’s about woman stuff.

J: You said it cool! But, tell me, honestly, how did you react when you got informed?
T: I won’t lie, I was shocked! I had this déjà-vu that freaked me out!

J: Why she decided to hire a manager?
T: We met each other and she explained us the reasons, in a way I understand her. She’s a woman so she has different needs from us, clothes stuff or something. On the other side, even though she speaks English fluently, it’s hard to communicate in a language which is not her mother tongue. A Swedish company assumed the management so she can use her mother tongue. For now, we are in a break, so I don’t have any experience from this mater.

J: So, Nightwish agreed with this decision?
T: For now, yes. We will see…

J: The fee of this company will be paid by Nightwish?
T: (little pause..) It’s Anette’s personal matter…

J: But since you are a team, shouldn’t the members’ needs get covered by the band?
T: Yes…I understand what you mean…(big pause)

J: How do you feel Nightwish will be after this tour?
T: We will be stronger and much more experienced for sure.

J: Do you have any ideas on the new album?
T: I have already started preparing some things. We have much time to work on the new album though. When all this comes to an end, we have to meet each other and discuss, to see who wants to stay in the band and who don’t. I hope everybody in the band understood that too.

J: Are you referring to someone special?
T: Yes…

J: Not to Marco?
T: No…

J: Not to Emppu?
T: No…

J: Then, to Anette?
T: I don’t want to continue the discussion on that matter.

J: Ok, last question. I guess your last show in Athens is among the worst moments of the tour, right?
T: About that, I wanted to say that there’s nothing to do with the fans who have been waiting to see us and welcomed us with warmth, which I won’t forget. But the promoter fuck it up! I’ve never met anywhere anybody worse. He put in danger our gig. There have been some statements (he means Anette’s statements) that we won’t return to Greece and I want to say that it’s not true at all, in no way! We love Greece and we know how warmly the people there support us. Of course, we will come back to Greece as soon as possible, when we have the chance. But we will be careful with some matters which have nothing to do with the people. And we will have a show that the Greek audience deserves.

J: You don’t want to tell me about the promoter?
T: No, it would be non-professional and at the end, it’s nothing to do with the fans

J: Ok, thanks for this discussion! Do you want to add something?
T: I want to thank you too for giving me the chance to explain to the Greek audience my feelings and Nightwish feelings for them. I hope to come there as soon as possible!

Interview with Nightwish 111

Source: Rock Sound
April 2009



English. Spanish translation.

(Traducción de partituradeamorfantasma)

Si pudieras pedir cualquier deseo sabiendo que se hara realidad, ¿Cuál seria y por que?
Tuomas: La vida eterna…
Anette: Eso es exactamente lo que estaba pensando.
Tuomas: Amo la vida, vale la pena vivir y seria una pena morir.
Anette: Digo exactamente lo mismo - No quiero morir.
Marco: Una buena vida – Puede ser únicamente eterna a medida que es buena.
Si la vida fuera un perfume, ¿Cómo seria tu olor?
Anette: El mio es realmente dulce.
Tuomas: El mio es agridulce.
Marco: Cerveza.
¿Qué tan duro es para ti dejar a tu hijo cuando te vas a un tour? Yo soy una mama y me imagino que es muy duro…
Anette: Es terrible. Marco sabe que tan difícil es también…
Marco: Si, para mi es el doble de duro porque tengo dos chicos, dos de 7.
Anette: La misma edad que el mio. Es muy duro.
Tuomas – ¿Cual es el color del traje de baño de tu abuela?
Tuomas: (Indicando su sombrero, riendo) ¿No lo ves? Aca esta!
Marco: ¿Ese es su traje de baño?
Tuomas: Si, y este es el color, como un color tipo violeta, solo me gusta usarlo como un sombrero cuando estoy en tour.
¿Has estado tentado de golpear a una celebridad en la cara? Si es así, ¿A quien?
Anette: Bueno, yo podría decir uno – George Bush. No soy una persona violenta.
RS: George Bush es una excepción a la regla.
Anette: Acordado.
Tuomas: Yo creo que podes causar mas dolor con palabras, entonces…
Anette: Nosotros no somos tan violentos como personas, somos muy buenos.
Marco: Ha habido ocasiones donde he sido tentado a atacar, pero siempre me las he arreglado para evitar la confrontación final.
Ahora que están cerca del final de un tour enormemente exitoso y van a sacar un álbum en vivo para mostrar a los fans que pueden entregar clásico y nuevo material en vivo - ¿Como recuerdan todo el ciclo de este nuevo álbum?
Tuomas: Como un excitante viaje de montaña rusa con un monton de giros y vueltas, subidas y bajadas, es la vida – te sentís vivo.
Anette: Cada dia es diferente y eso es muy divertido.
Marco: Si, ocasionalmente…
Anette – Habiendo pasado un par de años en Nightwish, ¿Qué arrepentimientos tenes en tomar la posición?
Anette: Actualmente ninguno, realmente no los tengo. Es como Tuomas dijo, “Es una montaña rusa y tenemos momentos de subidas y bajadas, pero tenemos un monton de diversión.”Con cada momento de diversión tenes que tener un momento de bajada también, es inevitable, entonces no, no hay arrepentimientos.
Si tu pudieras haber prevenido un porciento de las atrocidades de la Segunda Guerra Mundial teniendo actos sexuales con Hitler una vez al dia por la duración de la guerra, ¿Lo hubieras hecho?
Anette: Oh mi Dios! Bueno, creo que es difícil para estos dos actualmente!
Marco: Oh wow, tener sexo con Hitler…
Anette: Todos los días!
Marco: Ok, entonces quien va a ser la chica? Depende de eso.
Anette: Bueno, creo que podría hacerlo. Soy una chica pero no se…
Marco: Bueno, esto tendría que ser no muy heterosexual.
Tuomas: Mmm, si… Sin comentarios.
Marco: Bueno, no lo se, tal vez…Tu tendrías que evaluar esto realmente difícil. Cuanto podes glorificar este tipo de nobleza con esta especie de hazaña? Si, tendría que pensar acerca de esto realmente duro. Habria algún dinero involucrado?
RS: Podrias tener seis millones de Jevis.
Marco: Ok. Robinson, sos un pervertido.
Anette: Una pregunta realmente, realmente original sin embargo…
Tuomas: Si, realmente me gusto esta.
He escuchado de que tal ves toquen al lado de la Orquesta Sinfonica de Londres en el Royal Albert Hall, ¿Es verdad?
Tuomas: Es un rumor distante, teníamos algunos planes unos años atrás sobre esto, pero no tuve el dinero. No va a pasar en este tour tampoco, pero esto continua en un sueño. Tal vez en el futuro.
Anette: Seria increíble.
Marco - ¿Qué pensas acerca de la idea de la poligamia? Si piensas que es una buena idea ¿podría ser tu segunda esposa?
Marco: Poligamia?
Anette: Significa tener varias esposas…
Marco: Si, conozco el termino. Creo que es lo bastante difícil como esta.
Anette: Tal vez pudieran cuidar a ambos y tu solo relajarte.
Marco: No creo que resulte asi, creo que tendrían una…
Anette: Pelea de gatos?
Marco: No, creo que se pondrían en mi contra…
Anette: Las mujeres hacen eso a veces.
Tuomas – ¿Has tenido sueños recurrentes acerca de la misma mujer? ¿Como era ella?
Tuomas: Si, tengo este profundo y depresivo síndrome de mi madre cada noche…
Anette: Has averiguado de esto? Es la teoría de Freud.
Tuomas: No me importa.
Toco algunos instrumentos y cada uno tiene un nombre. Me preguntaba si ¿tu le pones un nombre a tus instrumentos también?
Marco: No, no realmente, quiero decir, lo amo pero no les pongo nombre. Han habido chicas que ame y no siempre recuerdo sus nombres tampoco.
Anette: No tengo un instrumento, solo mi voz, pero mi auto se llama Beta. No se porque, pero hablo con ella cada mañana. Ella es mujer y es un buen nombre.
¿Has visto alguna vez algo extraño pasando en la multitud desde el escenario?
Anette: No en esta banda, pero en otras bandas. Estaba con la banda de mi mama cuando tenia 16 y una pareja tenia sexo. Yo estaba como, “Oh mi Dios! Tengo 16 y estoy viendo esto, justo en el medio de la multitud!” Fue como un shock.
Marco: Si, unas semanas atrás vi algunos chicos en la audiencia bajarse lo pantalones y dejarle a la gente pegarles en las nalgas. Yo mas o menos les dije de hacerlo arriba del escenario.
Tuomas: Yo he visto cosas, pero nada que supere eso!
Anette: Creo que eso fue mejor que el mio…
Marco: Yo dije, “ Veamos si alguien tiene las agallas de bajarse los pantalones y dejar que la gente les pegue en las nalgas!” – Algunos lo hicieron!
Tuomas - ¿Qué piensas acerca de los dragones y compondrías una canción acerca de ellos?
Tuomas: Trato de evitar chiches lo mejor que puedo. Estar en una banda de heavy metal y cantar acerca de dragones bastante va a la cima de esta lista.
Anette: Creo que voy a escribir una canción acerca de dragones…(Tuomas mira a Anette fríamente) Ok, no lo hare, estoy bromeando.
Si pudieras crear otra banda con músicos conocidos, vivos o muertos, ¿a quien elegirías y por que?
Bueno, es difícil decir una banda, no soy muy buena en músicos porque mayormente escucho voces, pero me encantaría cantar con Andrea Bocelli, seria divertido. Ayer vi el musical de Queen, We Will Rock You. Me encantaria tocar con Freddie Mercury. Mi Dios, seria algo especial! Oh, y ABBA por supuesto. Tengo que mencionar a ABBA con mi formación sueca.
Tuomas: Me gustaría a Walt Disney para dirigir un video musical para nosotros. Seria interesante.
¿Cual es tu comida favorita y con que bebida y postre la disfrutas?
Anette: Filet mignon para mi, todo el tiempo. Nunca puede ser superado por nada.
Tuomas: Sopa cremosa de salmon con un pan de centeno caliente y vino tinto.
Anette: Si, vino tinto para mi también, de Chile. Tu solo podrías decir pizza o McDonalds
Tuomas: No, no.
Marco: A mi me gusta una salchicha de vez en cuando, y una cerveza.
Cuando visitaron primero los Estados Unidos tuvieron algunos problemas en lo que se refiere a sus Visas. ¿Qué fue todo y fue arreglado?
Tuomas: Fue hace mucho tiempo, no lo recuerdo ahora.
Anette: Fue antes que yo?
Tuomas: Si.
Marco: probablemente fue la dinamita que teníamos adjunta a nuestros cinturones.
Tengo pensado tener unos pececitos dorados y que sus nombres se deban a un miembro de Nightwish – ¿Les importa?
Anette: No, esta bien por mi…
Marco: Te vere en la corte!
Anette: Tal vez Nemo en cambio. Es un mejor nombre.
Tuomas: Si, Nemo.
Marco: Podemos acordar esto fuera de la corte si compro un orangután y lo llamo como vos.

Tarja photoshot by Rafael Mattey

Source:
Venezuela - by Rafael Mattey, www.mattey.com.ve

Interview with Tarja 5

Source: Kerrang!
July 2009



Kerrang 2009 (Translation)

Shortly after her four concerts in Buenos Aires and the collaboration with Rata Blanca in Luna Park, Tarja Turunen told us how she is preparing for the Metalway Festival and her expectations of "What Lies Beneath". At the Obelisk of Buenos Aires, she was interviewed by Cesar Fuentes Rodriguez. Pictures taken by Fernando Serani.

First of all, tell us how it felt for you to end your tour in Buenos Aires. You looked very emotional when you presented the band especially during the last concert.
Tarja: Yes, of course. Especially that my conciousness has grown in Buenos Aires and the people have realised my condition as an artist here, and the band was also very happy about finishing the tour here. We toured in many cities in South America, and I think that all of them would agree with me that we like it best here, the people are very nice, we feel safe on the streets, so playing one week in Buenos Aires was a good idea. On the other hand I was very happy with the shows, and everything went well, there will be many things to remember and keep in mind for the future.

You are heading to Metalway now, how does it feel to jump from a small and intimate place to a big festival?
Tarja: I am very excited because it will be the first show with my new album there. Since one and a half years since it was released, we didn't manage to combine the dates. And I am very eager to return to Spain, I have many fans there, I usually get in contact with them and I know they are looking forward to this concert and the ones in September. Of course that we will arm ourselves with a great setlist and we will clearly think what to do to please and entertain such an important audience. There will be many bands and their fans, and when there are so many people it's difficult to please everybody.

Last time you told me that you were to Ibiza. Would you like to spend more time in Spain?
Tarja: We were in Ibiza recording My Winter Storm, for a month, more or less. Before that I imagined Spain as party, party and party again. I didn't intend to go there before because that story of people dancing and partying all night didn't attract me much, but it was only in my imagination. I found an island of natural beauty, simple people and enough places to get lost. We rented a house, we recorded, had a good time, we were diving and traveling... very nice. Moreover, Barcelona is my favorite city from Europe. I love going there. As a matter of fact, I would like to live in Barcelona one day, a very beautiful city indeed.

About the band, I was surprised to not see Kiko Loureiro tehre, but it is obvious that it has consolidaded..
Tarja: Yes, I am working with Alex Scholpp on some songs for What Lies Beneath. Doug Wimbish is also helping me, even though he has many commitements and his position in Living Colour, Mike Terrana always tells me I am the first for him and to call him any time, Alex will be a father now, lots of things.. But yes, we really feel like a band, and I am very lucky to have these musicians with me, and eventually also Kiko.

With respect to your new ideas, do you intend to bring guests to interpret?
Tarja: Yes, I plan to have guests. There some songs that need special elements at times. The idea is not to make just a heavy metal album, but all these musicians that I have been working with come from different schools, which is very good because understanding the music with an open mind always benefits the result. Of course that before each song one starts to think about what the musician inteprets. I contacted some of the musicians that I like who were working on the album.

When will the album be released?
Tarja: The idea is to release it the following year. I finished about 18 songs, the lyrics are almost ready, and now I don't know when it will be released. I am very happy about the songs, the material is very mature in the composition but also in the lyrics, it feels very good to make it this way, with so much freedom and many people who understand me around.

Will there be any cover, like there was Alice Cooper's Poison on the first album?
Tarja: It was very difficult then. [laughs]

But it worked very well, so...
Tarja: I don't know yet. There could be a duet, I have the perfect song for that.

Some people were very surprised by the fact that you sang a cover of Seru Giran's "Desarma Y Sangra" at La Trastienda. You're not planning to record it, are you?
Tarja: No, definitely not. It's a nice song, and I sang it my way. Every time I do a cover I try to do it my way, but without ruining the original. I like the band and what Charly Garcia does. And besides, I like surprising people. [laughs]

And when you change your outfit on the stage, what is the reason behind that? Is it purely theatrical, or is there another idea?
Tarja: Since I was playing with Nightwish, I was trying to show to the audience how the songs "look like", to become in the same way the songs are. It's a part of the concert, for mi, I never got any comments from the band about what they saw. But I think that the people somehow expect me to do this. And today I think it is fantastic to chose my own outfits and to have this unbelievable artistic freedom to plan my concerts how I interpret them. I like the theater, I like the dramatic parts in my songs, and to show this in a theatrical way.

Do you feel different or weird singing Nightwish songs with a new band?
Tarja: [makes a face like"should-I-answer-this?"] I have a great band and the songs sound very powerful when these people play them. For me it is wonderful to be able to sing these songs now, that I couldn't sing properly at the time. When we recorded some of them I was in a learning process, and I couldn't give the best of myself for these songs.

Oh, you mean Passion And The Opera...
Tarja: Of course! For example. But now I can sing the songs I recorded with Nightwish a lot easier. I am a more mature singer and I know my instrument a lot better. And being with these musicians does nothing but help me.

At the moment you are preparing for the concert with Rata Blanca, that will be a special occasion. How is that working?
Tarja: Yesterday afternoon we had the first test, and I really had a great time with them. We will sing three songs, and two of them will be with Adrian [Barillari]. i think Walter [Giardiano] liked it, and I am also very happy about it. I like working with him.

When did this idea of working together emerge?
Tarja: Oh, actually a few years ago. but we never had the chance. Now we agreed on a big concert in Buenos Aires.

How was it to do a duet with Doro for her new album, "Fear No Evil"?
Tarja: It was great to know her better. When we recorded the two songs and talked on the phone and did the shows it felt very good because she has a very big career behind her and i respect her a lot. The things that I can do with my voice are nice, this is my characteristic and mixing it with a very different voice can be very difficult, but in this case it turned out very well. I can't make my voice more rough, it doesn't work, but when the completion is suitable, there is a chance that it will sound very well.

Then a duet with Angela Gossow would be out of the question. [laughs]
Tarja: I don't know.. Well I never thought about this before, but she could get a role with her voice in a certain song, telling a story, perhaps. But I think that it would be too much for my music, I don't know if I could go so far from the edge [laughs]. Many times I listened to her on the radio and I admire what she can do with her voice. There is no way I could do that with mine.

What thing? Forcing her throat so hard without ruining it?
Tarja: Yes. I really think that's admirable.

Some last words for the people who will come to see you at Metalway?
Tarja: That I am very happy to go there. And so is the rest of the band. returning to Spain is very important to me. I had a great time there and teh fans always keep in touch. I'm sure we will have a great time there.

Note: I (Arina) just translated this interview with Tarja. Credit for the original text goes to the Spanish Kerrang! magazine (July issue), for the scans goes to The_Riddler, and the beautiful pictures were taken by Fernando Serani.

More photos by Fernando Serani.



RSS 2.0