RussianGlow, the largest Russian-speaking Nightwish fan community, is proud to present its first English material: an interview with Tuomas Holopainen, the mastermind, songwriter and keyboard player of Nightwish.
Tuomas Holopainen: “I don’t want to start the songwriting process for the new Nightwish album without the enthusiasm”
The interview was taken on May 20, 2016 before the concert Nightwish in Moscow.
The visit of the iconic Finnish band could not be missed by symphonic metal fans. A huge audience, most of it hungry for a Nightwish show, gathered up in the Crocus City Hall.
It took a lot of blood and sweat, but, together with Ilya, I managed to take an interview for the largest Russian Nightwish fan club, RussianGlow, with Tuomas Holopainen, and to talk with the keyboardist on the plans, the making of the new Nightwish album, and the goals and unfulfilled wishes of the iconic Finnish band.
- Of course, my first question will be about the new album. Have you got any plans for it? Have you maybe rehearsed it with the band already? Anything about the new album.
- The new album… er… I pretty much have absolutely no idea. I have a certain schedule when am I to start doing the songs… Of course there are a few preliminary ideas already, but I think it’s gonna take a little while. I mean, after this album I… let’s say I feel really well-fed, and so does the whole band. For me Endless Forms Most Beautiful is definitely the pinnacle of the band’s career. And I don’t want to start the songwriting process without the enthusiasm and the idea that I can actually talk this. At the moment I don’t feel that at all. Because I’m really satisfied with the album, especially with the song The Greatest Show On Earth, it’s something that… yeah, wow, this is… at least on the personal level I’ve always aimed for. So next year is gonna be an off-year for Nightwish. It’s gonna be a sabbatical. And after that we have some plans, but… 4-5 years at least until the new album is out.
- There are certain people that I would like to collaborate with or get them to do something for the albums, yes. And…
- I’m not gonna tell you! (laughs)
- Yes. Because if it happens, it’s gonna be a lovely surprise for all of us.
- What about your instrumental music? You’ve already made the album “Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck” with Don Rosa, and what if, for instance, Hans Zimmer’s management offered you to work together with him, would you agree?
- It would depend on so many different things: what the schedule is, if the context of what kind of music to write, for which kind of film…
- Have you ever seen him?..
- About two weeks ago in Prague, yeah. I actually got an e-pass to go and meet him.
- That’s interesting: Tuomas Holopainen goes to a meet’n’greet as a fan!
- I deliberately skipped because the concert was so incredibly beautiful that I didn’t want to break the illusion of meeting him. As for plans… yeah, next year there’s intriguing thing happening when it comes to music. I wanna concentrate on different things and so do the other members of the band. Then in 2018 we have some plans already. But you were asking about the new album, so nothing new there yet.
- So can we expect to see anything new from Nightwish in 2018?
- Already this year actually, because live DVD is coming out hopefully by the end of this year.
- It’s been on the discussions for the past 10 years at least. Just that the timing hasn’t been quite right yet. I would definitely assume that we will end up doing one at some point. Hopefully we will… the time just hasn’t come yet. I’d love to do that, though.
- I read that you talked about an acoustic album at the end of Nightwish career. You said ‘we started with an acoustic album and it will be in the end’.
- It’s a thought play which I find in a way romantic: you start off acoustic and then when you know that the time has come to finish the band you would make like a farewell album so that the circle closes. I don’t know if it’s ever gonna happen but I like it as an idea.
- We just need to know that you have no plans to finish Nightwish.
- No, not really.
- Yeah, for the past three years, I think.
Ilya: So you have no plans for playing with them, or, maybe, on some occasions?
- Maybe. I kinda fancy the idea. I really do. Since we have an off-year now, maybe I’ll do a few shows with them, if it’s OK with them, next year. But I haven’t seen the guys in a while. Great people.
- Three most important things in my life… They kinda tend to change from year to year, from time to time, but I can mention like at the moment. The things that come to mind… number one would be my family, number two would be music/the band, number three… er… let’s see. Mmm! The garden!
- Is it really? Do you have plants in you tour bus? (laughs)
- No, no (everyone laughs), it’s all at home.
- I can imagine it: if we go to your dressing room there will be a small garden in the corner.
- Okay, you can go and check!
- A life goal…
- Yeah, let’s talk about life goals!
- It’s a good subject, I mean… Harmony, balance, trying to be as good as you can to other people, find your place in life and just enjoy what you do. It’s as simple as that, I think.
- What helps you restore the harmony in your soul and relax after a long tour?
- Well, that would be definitely staying at home.
- And how can you relax in the tour?
- Books and movies are really good (laughter). Yeah. Books and movies. And doing crossword puzzles. Just really normal mundane stuff.
- I bet. But I’m not telling you (laughs). It’s not so funny when you tell them.
- I hope there have been enough to cheer you up and to make you miss the touring and write the new album as soon as possible!
- You can be sure about that! (laughs)
- We’re running out of time, thanks for the interview and for spending time with us!
- You’re always welcome, see you!
Thanks to Nightwish management and Ewo Pohjola for the accreditation!