Interview with Nightwish 58

Source: Carpe Noctem

CARPE NOCTEM: Tuomas, what is the theme of the song Kinslayer, which we just heard?
TUOMAS: The Kinslayer has a very weird subject. It`s about the shooting in a school last year in Colorado. Where these two kids went to the school with guns and killed thirteen of their school-mates, and finally killed themselves. It`s a very horrible event and i wanted to make a song about it, because it`s full of symbolic.

Are the lyrics more or less about the same thing on your new album?
TUOMAS: I think they differ a lot. I think we have a fantasy side in our lyrics, but there`s also a lot of real life experiences and my own personal visions in it.

You were asked to write a song about the Lord of the rings. What came out of this?
TUOMAS: Lord of the rings is my favourite book of all times. I´m a very big fanatsy fan and the Lord of the rings is the biggest thing that ever happened to me in that era. But i still haven`t done a full song or a concept album, we will see what the future brings.

So, there no concrete plans about that?
TUOMAS: Not yet.

To talk about Wishmaster, how long did it take you to write the songs?
TUOMAS: It was a much shorter period than for example Oceanborn. It took half a year to write the songs, and we used about a month and a half in the studio.

How did you compose the songs?
TUOMAS: I am the main song writer. I do all the songs and the lyrics, the basic structure of the songs, vocal lines and i create the soul and the concept behind the songs. But we arrange the songs with the whole band. Everyone has his or her privacy in his own instrument.

So other Nightwish members are allowed to put their ideas into the songs?
TUOMAS: Definitey, they have a lot to say. I work with my own songs so much, that i become blind with them, so new ideas are always very welcome.

Did you ever study music?
TUOMAS: I think Tarja is the only of us who has studied music professionaly, she is studying singing at the moment. I have been going to a music school for eight years. When i was a smaller kid my main instrument was the clarinette and piano was only my second instrument. But when i joined my first band i left everything else but the keyboard.

What kind of keyboard are you playing?
TUOMAS: I am playing older models of Korg. I have a Korg Trinity Pro and a Korg 354.

What would you say about your musical roots?
TUOMAS: I have been listening to Metal since i`ve been a littel kid, but nowadays i also like to listening a lot of classical music and film-music. I think these movie-soundtracks is my biggest passion in the era of music right now.

Any special favourites?
TUOMAS: Vangelis, Braveheart, Titanic, Hans Zimmer ( ?? )

What do you think of the term goth-music for your band? You will play in Leipzig at the Goth-Festival, but i think your music is very positive.
TUOMAS: I would agree with that. But to be very honest, i am not really sure what the term "goth music" means. I always have the idea that it is something dark and not so positive thinking. And i think we have a part of that, too. Some of our themes and songs are very dark and serious, but we have also positive sides. We have wishes and hope in our music as well.

Tuomas, what does the music of nightwish create in the listener?
TUOMAS: It is very hard to say. The most important thing i would say that it just has to create a feeling. Nowadays there is too much music which is based on technic or samples. For the music buisness i think that most of the music nowadays they lack the feeling, which i think all music should be based on. I would just like that people get a feeling that they can drown in our music and get big emotions and feelings.

Would agree that it tries in most cases to crate a positive feeling?
TUOMAS: Erm, ja, in some songs. For example "Dead boys poem" is definitely not a positive song. It is very sad. But "Crownless" or "Wanderlust" try to create a very positive feeling, because the lyrics are about positive things.

How did you learn to produce?
TUOMAS: I don´t know. It is a natural thing. And along concrete thing to mention is, that our sound-engineers are wizards of making sounds and the technical stuff work. So, that`s it, I guess.

Are you satisfied with the result?
TUOMAS: Yeah, i am very satisfied with the result. We had a very good budget on this album, and a lot of time in the studio. Evertyhing sounds like we wanted it to.

Is there any special thing you would have done better in the end?
TUOMAS: Well, maybe some song structures or some parts in an arrangement, but very little. I am very staisfied with the whole album.

What is your opinion about comparisons to "Therion"?
TUOMAS: Ja, that is like a necessary evil, because everyone wants to compare everything. I think our music is pretty hard to compare with other bands, but if you have to, i am very satisfied with comparisons to "Therion", because they are also a very big influence to me. I really like their music.

How important is the band for all of you? Can you live with the money, or do you have jobs in the meantime?
TUOMAS: Only one of us has other jobs and Tarja is studying. But the rest of us is trying to cope with the music, which is pretty hard to be honest, almost impossible.

You made a single to the eclipse. What was the idea behind it?
TUOMAS: It was the idea of our record company Drakkar, in germany. They told us that there would be a total eclipse of the sunand they asked us to compose a song about it. We said, why not and composed a ballad.

As your music is based on keyboard harmonies, would you like playing wuth a whole orchestra?
TUOMAS: Yeah, i dream about it every day, about using real orchestras and real choirs when playing live, but also for the studio. But this always comes to the matter of money, time and organizing things. It is always so hard to produce it live, so far we have gone the easy way and used keyboards. But i am very sure that in the future we will doing something like that.

As you consider a tour through soth-america, would you consider Nigthwish to be a live-band?
TUOMAS: We are both, definitely. At first we were supposed to be a project, only a studio band. But when we started giving gigs it turned up to be okay and i think we have grown a lot in that area, too. So i think we are both.

As you use many tracks in the studio i could imagine that it is hard to do live performances. Are you able to cope with it?
TUOMAS: After "Oceanborn" we did a very long tour without any tapes. We just led it with one voice and with our own instruments. It worked out really fine. We were surprised about it ourselves, but on Wishmaster we have used male-choirs, a lot of speeches and many backing vocals, so it will be necessary to use some tapes now. In five or six songs we are using tapes when playing live.

Are there any differences in the crowd when it comes to Finland or germany?
TUOMAS: I think people in germany are very polite, i like them very much. They come to concerts even on sundays or monday evenings. They are not so drunk like everybody in Finland, they are jsut having a good time. Playing a gig in Finland on sunday evenings is out of the question, you can never do that. And also the more south you go the more hot the people are. For example in spain the audience is very wild. So it differs a lot within the countries.

And that`s why you want to go to south-america?
TUOMAS: Yeah, they told us the people are very fanatic there, too. We are really looking forward to.

When will you play in germany and wil you come to Göttingen?
TUOMAS: I have no idea if it is included in our headliner european tour, which will start on october the fifth. It is not up to us wether we play in Göttingen or not, but we hope we will play there.(laughs) We are also playing in Leipzig at the Wave-gothic meeting on ninth of june and also in Wacken open air on fifth of august.

By the way, i looked just on your cover. Has it anything to do with Nils Holgerson?
TUOMAS: (Stille... anm.d.R.) Actually the cover is based on the "Dead boys poem" song. So it´s like a controversial, but that`s it.

In your booklet you speak of "ocean souls"! What is an "ocean soul"?
TUOMAS: This is something i really don`t want to explain. I just find myself, my character as a human being as an "ocean soul".

Tuomas, thank you very much for your time at this hour.


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