Interview with Nightwish 65

Source: Mireth

At first tell me something about the bandhistory, please.
Nightwish started out as a solo project by me in the fall of ` 96. I was already playing in two other metal bands (Nattvindens Grat & Darkwoods My Betrothed) at that time but I felt I could not get enough space in them, so I began with Nightwish. At first we were an acoustic band; only acoustic guitar, synths, vocals and some flutes. But after our first demo we realised that it would be even better with drums and distorted guitars. So we recorded 7 new songs and in the May of 97 we got a record deal from Finland' s Spinefarm. "Angels Fall First" came to shops in November in Finland and in April in Germany. People here liked it very much, and even though we' ve done only 8 gigs to far, "Angels Fall First" entered the Finnish top 40-charts and our single hanged in there for 8 weeks. This was a huge surprise to all of us and it gave us a lot of confidence.


What was your main intention to start Nightwish?

I just wanted to express my feelings in the best way possible - in the form of music.


Please introduce the band´s members to our readers. How did you get in contact with them?

We all are old schoolmates from the tame school here in Kitee. Tarja is 20 years old lady, who at the moment studying music and singing in Sibelius Academy. She is very talented, niee and pretty girl whose passion is classical and opera music but she is also very motivated as far as Nightwish is concerned. Emppu and Jukka have known each other from the time they were born. They both are more or less self-educated musicians with a great sense of humour and motivation for practicing. They are 19 years old. I am 21 and I am working as a stand-in teacher in the High school of Kitee at the moment. Music is the major part of my life, too. Sciences have also been very close to my heart and one of my dreams is to become a biologist some day.


Which meaning is hidden behind the name Nightwish? Why did you choose this name?

This is a cliche, but I love the night and its magic and I love to wander around at nighttime and let my thoughts fly. Often I dream and send wishes to the stars, talk with the nature etc. Another point is, that in my opinion the purpose of life is to have dreams and wishes, and to try to do anything to make them come true. If you make a "decent nightwish" and try to follow it the best you con, your life is going the right path.


How would you describe your musical style? By what is your music influenced?

I would say we are symphonic heavy metal with gothic and klassical influences. (What a short term...) I ‘ve also heard descriptions like "Fantasy metal" or "Art metal". Whatever they mean... it is always hard to say what has influenced our music. We listen to lots of different kinds of music.


What about your female vocalist, did she had a special education (she is great!)?

She has studied singing professional only for one year now.


Tell me something about your debut album "Angels fall first". How had been the reactions from media, fans etc? Are you satisfied with the album?

We are quite satisfied with the album ourselves, and that' s the most important thing. But also the media and fans have liked it quite a bit. We have a homepage in the internet, and 95 percent of the comment there have been positive.


What about your lyrics? Do you prefer certain topics? When did you write the lyrics - any special ritual?

Lyrics are very important in our music and I work with them a lot. I don' t have a special ritual in writing the lyrics, I just have this idea in my head and after that I usually compose the basis of the song and then finish with the lyrics. I am not into those "two-dimensional" or allegorical lyrics, I prefer "tale-like" lyrics with simplicity and a certain amount of deepness.


Some words about the lyrics of each song of "Angels fall first", please.

I love fantasy literature & movies, fairy-tales and staff so in "Elvenpath" I just wanted to give honour to the imaginative worlds already created or yet to be found. "Beauty and the Beast" is a sad true story, need I say more... "The Carpenter' is a very dismal and bitter song as far as the lyrics are concerned. It deals with my aspects over religious issues and the hypocracy, which is a spreading disease in today's world. "Astral Romance" was the first heavy song ever written for Nightwish, and the lyrics reflect from the band' s name. Again a sad true story in "Angels Fall First". "Tutankhamen" is an Egyptian dream of mine. "Nymphomaniac Fantasies" should be thrown to the deepest pit found on this earth. Infidelity and disloyalty are the worst sins that mankind has created and I wanted to express my feelings in the form of music. The result turned out to be rather corny, however... "Know why..." is a song about freedom, dreams and my sister's hobby. That' s it. I love Finnish landscapes and nature, especially in lapland. "loppi" was born after I was hiking there one summer. It was a great experience.


Tell me something about the way you compose the songs.

At first I usually have the idea for the lyrics and then I compose the buis of the song mostly with my synthesiser. I love that process, and I always get very excited when I get good ideas and melodies. Proper arrangements are also very important for our music and we work with them a lot as a band.


Do you have a favourite song at "Angels fall first"?

My favourite song is "The Beauty and the Beast" even though I don' t like my own voice that much.


To what kind of music or to which bands do you like to listen to?

Tarja loves classical music but she' s also into soul, spiritual music and metal (Stratovarius, Helloween, Type 0 Negative) Emppu & Jukka listen to mostly heavy metal tike Stratovarius, Dream Theater (older), Rainbow, Dio, Y. Malmsteen etc. I listen to the same bands but also bands like The 3rd & the Mortal, My Dying Bride, Therion, Arcturus... My very passion is, however, film music and new age (Kitaro, Mike Oldfield, Enigma, Era...).


Are you sill working at new material? If yes tell me something about it (In what way does it differ from your current album? Do you have a lyrical or musical concept? When will you enter the studio?...)!

I have the songs composed for the second album and we have already started to rehearse them. The material is a bit faster, heavier and more technical, but still very bombastic and atmospheric. We will enter the studio in August.


Are you satisfied with your label? Will the next album also released by Spinefarm Rec.?

Yes, we are satisfied and the next album will be released by Spinafarm.


Three wishes concerning the future of Nightwish?

Be able to do more gigs, make better music and make these two wishes come true.


Describe the area where you live.

We live in a small town of Kitee in the eastern part of Finland. It is a very nice and natural place for us to live in. There are lots of woods and lakes around, which is a great thing, at course.


What do you think about the Finish underground metal scene?

I think it is top class. We have some great bands tike Children of Bodom, Sentenced, Pecoryah and Embrare.


What do you like to do at our sparetime? Any interesting hobby?

Music is our life and most of our hobbies, but I like hiking, reading and of course, drinking now and then. I think the same goes for all of us.


Two of you are into the finish army now, am I right? Is everyone forced to go to the army in Finland or is it possible to choose social work? And what do you think about this?

Yes, we are forced to either go to army or to social work, but it is over 5 months longer, so they decided to suffer more but a shorter period of time. I went to military band ( I played the clarinet, which is my main instrument) so it was not that bad for me, but the army sucks bad, no matter what...


Are you also involved with other bands?

Not that much yet but in the future we will. We' ve done a couple of gigs with Children of Bodom and Antidote.


Did you make bad experiences with rip-offs so far?

No we haven't.


Last words.

Thank you for the interest and support. We hope to see you on the gigs in the future.


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