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