Nightwish’s leader talks new mu­sic, new shows and why they’re chang­ing up the for­mula

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Hammer Contents - words: ali cooper

What’s their Blood­stock head­line show gonna be like, and when’s the next al­bum com­ing? Tuo­mas Holopainen re­veals all…

it’s noW three

years since we’ve had a new Nightwish al­bum. The symph-metal megaweight­s re­cently re­con­vened af­ter some down­time to play a US tour, and now UK fans can look for­ward to the Finns’ head­line spot at Blood­stock and arena dates at the end of the year. We grabbed band mas­ter­mind and founder Tuo­mas Holopainen to find out about their big­gest shows ever, fam­ily life in the fold and whether we’ll get new mu­sic sooner rather than later…

Where are nightWish at right noW, tuo­mas?

“We started the year re­lax­ing and re­hears­ing, then went into seven weeks’ in­tense tour­ing Amer­ica for 34 shows. We were afraid of how it would work with Floor’s lit­tle new­born baby but we didn’t have a sin­gle prob­lem, it all went so per­fectly with the nanny be­ing with her all the time. How­ever, as a band, we’ve de­cided that was the last seven-week leg we’re ever go­ing to do; I see a lot of con­ti­nu­ity in Nightwish, so if we still want to ex­ist in 10-15 years, we need to re­think how much we can tour.”

so in the process of calm­ing doWn life on the road, you’ve signed up for a nine-month-long decades tour…

“We had an 18-month sab­bat­i­cal with­out a sin­gle show last year, so we’re all en­er­gised to hit the road again. Plus this is nowhere near the two years we toured Dark Pas­sion Play, those dark days are be­hind us. For the Decades tour, we’re hand­ing out the com­pi­la­tion al­bum dur­ing the shows, which we thought was a bril­liant idea. The setlist is 90 min­utes of at least one song from each al­bum ex­cept An­gels Fall First. I was in dis­be­lief when I heard we’re play­ing Wem­b­ley again, plus an­other two big UK shows in De­cem­ber – I’m re­ally proud

and I’m happy.”

be­fore that, you are head­lin­ing blood­stock for the third time af­ter 2003 and 2008. hoW crazy is that?

“It’s very im­pres­sive, es­pe­cially on UK soil be­cause the UK has been quite the chal­lenge for some bands like us. I have good me­mories of Blood­stock, even though it’s al­ways muddy and wet. The Brits and the Finns get on so well be­cause we share weather – the more mis­er­able, the bet­ter!”

have you ramped up your pro­duc­tion for that head­line set?

“We’ve put a lot of ef­fort into the video screens, which we used on the pre­vi­ous tour, but this time it’s big­ger than ever. Plus we now have some on the ris­ers to make a 3D ef­fect, and we’ve in­cluded them in ev­ery sin­gle song this time. To­gether with the pyro and some other lit­tle spe­cial ef­fects, it’s go­ing to be quite the pro­duc­tion. We love com­ple­ment­ing our mu­sic and the the­atrics at ev­ery show with big pro­duc­tions – we’re not try­ing to blow ev­ery­body up!”

When can We ex­pect to hear a neW nightWish al­bum?

“I’ve been busy song­writ­ing for the next al­bum for the last eight months. When­ever I’m at home, I’m in my stu­dio com­ing up with some new riffs I’m re­ally ex­cited about. Sur­pris­ingly enough, I al­ready have 80% of the new ma­te­rial done but the idea is to fin­ish this win­ter tour first so we can give the al­bum the time it de­serves, then start record­ing next sum­mer. If ev­ery­thing goes as planned, we’re look­ing at a spring 2020 re­lease. The pre­vi­ous al­bum was big and the tour was quite long, so this time we need a long breather to come up with some­thing worth pub­lish­ing again. We don’t want to rush things.”

Will Jukka nevalainen be mak­ing an ap­pear­ance on drums again?

“I’d be very sur­prised if Jukka ever comes back as a full-time drum­mer, even though he’s much bet­ter when it comes to his in­som­nia. We’ve been talk­ing about him join­ing us on tour for a few guest ap­pear­ances, to do a few songs with us, which we’d love be­cause he still has the pas­sion and fire burn­ing in him and it’s killing him that he can’t tour with us. He’s still the CEO of the band’s com­pany, so he’ll al­ways be very closely in­volved.” Nightwish head­liNe Blood­stock iN au­gust, theN re­turN to the uk iN de­cem­Ber – see p.109 for dates.

decades (Best of 1996-2016) is out

Now via Nu­clear Blast

“80% Of THE NEW


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