Interview with Nightwish 100

Source: Drumhead Magazine
May/June issue 2009

Jukka Nevalainen (Nightwish) on Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater)
I was in high school and the biggest Stratovarius fan on earth, when a guy who hung out in the same circles told me about a band called Dream Theater, and their drummer Mike Portney. I was such of a diehard Stratovarius fan, and of their drummer Jörg Micheal, that I would have none it, but he just kept on bullying me. Finally, I decided to check them out and went to the nearby record store to buy 'A Change Of Seasons' and 'Images And Words'. From the very first moments of listening to 'Images And Words' I was hooked. I guess I immediately listened to the album four times in a row. I was just totally blown away. I mean it was something I had never heard before. I'd been listening to a lot of power metal like Helloween and stuff, but this was just something else. The rhythms and the complexity of the songs were on totally another level.
It took me al while to see Dream Theater live for the first time. It wasn't until 2000 when they came to Helsinki on the 'Scenes From A Memory' tour, and the show was just plain perfection. the amount of musicianship onstage was just overwhelming. Mike Portnoy also held a drum clinic at a club called Tavastia, and I naturally went to check him out. It was extremely educational, and I got many good tips. After the clinic, Mike signed stuff for the audience, and I was the very first one in the queue to get a poster signed. Needless to say: that poster hung on the wall of my crib for several years and reminded me of those great moments. I had ordered my new Tama Starclassic set just a few days before the drum clinic, so when they announced that the very set Mike played during that clinic would be sold for the highest bidder, I was extremely dissapointed. I considered canceling my order next day to be able to bid, but then decided not to. Now I think it was definitely the right decision.
The colours on that set were...quite distinctive, so it would have been weird to play it on the future Nightwishtours.


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