Interview with Nightwish 62

Source: Hard Force Magazine

For several months we have been informing you of the spreading of melodic doom from Scandinavia. After Trail Of Tears, Theatre Of Tragedy or The Sins Of Thy Beloved come Nightwish with a magistral second album. Powerful riffs, astonishing lyric vocals, slave folklore touches and an enormous production are the strehgths of an amazing "Oceanborn".


Your album "Oceanborn" is a magnificent surprise. Personally I've only discovered Nightwish lately. Where do you come from?

From Finland! In fact the story began about three years ago while I was playing in two metal bands. I wanted to set up my own project so I left everything to create Nightwish. At the start the project was supposed to be acoustic and we only had acoustic guitars, keybards and female vocals... After our first demo we introduced a more metal style by adding drums, bass and electric guitars. We recorded a second demo which drew the attention of Spinefarm and we got signed. This demo was re-released as a true CD and first album towards the end of 1997. Our new album was recorded in November 1998 and will be out as you read these lines.


It's a incredible story for a young band...

Yes! The band is only two-and-a-half-year-old and we've already had a contract. We are totally conscious we are lucky, but I think our hard work helped us to succeed. We all had solid experience in groups before founding Nightwish.


You seem to be very young...

We are! I'm the oldest member of the band and I'm 22.


Did school, your family or others put a brake on your musical career?

No, not at all, but I want to say that we don't see this career as musicians but more as composers. I really don't like the folklore surrounding rock musicians. But who can tell what we'll be doing in ten years? Personnaly I hope I'll focus on something else.


Can you talk about your first album which remains rather unnoticed in France.

As I previously said, it was basically a demo. Though professionally recorded, the disk didn't receive all the attention a first album would normally deserve. The production, but also the songs weren't maybe up to it. It was more acoustic than "Oceanborn". We've had a taste of success in Finland while the rest of Europe hadn't reacted at all for unknown reasons. I hope "Oceanborn" will make up lost time.


It seems that Scandinavia undergoes a major boom of melodic doom. Do you think we're assisting to the rise of a new scene?

Indees there is the emergence of such bands in Scandinavia. In Finland I know about ten very good bands that are following our path. This kind of music will appeal to a new generation. We don't want to have something to do with death or black metal anymore.


We are immediately struck by the production quality of the album.

It may sound hard to believe, but we did record our album in the studio of a small town. We worked there during two months and we wanted to pull out all the stops. The quality of the sound comes mainly from the superb mixing work done in a studio of Helsinki, reputed as the best for this kind of music. We realised the rest of the production with a friend. We are truly happy to have done such an album in those conditions.


What are you doing in your life parallel to your music?

Tarja is a Conservatory student. At the moment she's studying sacred music and next year she'll be specialising in opera. Emppu works in a carpet fabric. Jukka and Sami don't work; they spend their time playing music and drinking beers, mostly Sami. Personally I'm a teacher.


I'd like to know more about the beautiful Tarja, astonishing by her class on "Oceanborn".

She was a friend from school and we all were in the same school for several years. She never took part in a metal band before Nightwish and was singing pop or jazz. When we offered her to join Nightwish, she was suspicious, but she decided to make a try which turned out successful. From then on she had been very interested in metal music. She takes lots of singing lessons and regularly gives classical concerts as well.


There are some slave sonorities in your album.

Yes but we don't intend to mime anything existing. We are as much influenced by metal music as by folkloric or original movie soundtracks such as "Braveheart". It's a natural mixing. These are our roots and it comes a bit from our conscience.


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