After a month it will happen. One of this year's most waited records will come out. Nightwish's boss, Tuomas Holopainen, knows already that the lyrics will be examined carefully and there will be headlines about them.
Tuomas Holopainen jumps up from his chair at the negotiation room of band's manager agency in Helsinki. He has just finished talking on the phone. One of
the countless interviews is finished. Holopainen says that during the last two months he has done about 200 interviews. And there is no end ahead.
- Let's speak about something else than music. Please? Holopainen wishes.
The reason for the interview hassle is Dark Passion Play, the new album of the band, which will come out pretty much after a month. The record is no doubt one of the year's most waited since they have also a new singer to be introduced.
- Just now, I wish the album was already out. There has been awful waiting all the time. First we had to finish the record, then wait for the single being published. Then the video was shot and we waited for seeing that. If the album had already been released, people would get the right picture of it.
The album has already leaked in the net which was, according to Holopainen,
due to be happened. He pities that it happened so early.
- I don't believe that it affects a lot to the record sales. More annoys that fact that the joy and mystic of waiting is spoilt because of the leak. The mysteriousness connected to the album release vanishes when the album leaks song after song, being some crappy versions, and the people on the forums are guessing what the lyrics might be.
THE EVIL GOT OUT
Holopainen composes basically all the time. The intensive time of composing
new album's songs was located the time followed by the ending of the previous tour. Just when the hassle in the media because of Tarja Turunen's firing was hardest. Holopainen says that songs have never been born so easily like then.
- The songs wrote themselves because the emotions were so strong. 13 songs of the record were the way to get away from it all that happened around me.
When the working period was on its fastest, Holopainen hardly went outside
and the whole day went through near the keyboard.
- I had this period in january and february, when I woke up at 10 am., composed 10-12 hours, watched some movie and went to bed. I might smoke a cigarette on the balcony or pick up the post but I didn't meet anybody.
The new album offers tough music and lyrics. The album starts with the massive 14 minutes long song, the Poet and the Pendulum, which is Holopainen's requiem, cleansing rite off the past. In the lyrics, Holopainen even kills himself.
- I remember that moment when I made the song. I had so unreasonable burning inside me and need to let it all out because it felt so bad. If I read the lyrics now, I feel a bit strange. I love life and would never want to end it, but in the song I'm able to kill myself. I really don't have suicidal thoughts. Didn't have during the song writing process.
After the album is released, from the lyrics will surely be fished out everything possible applying to Tarja Turunen. Holopainen acknowledges this too. Bye Bye Beautiful is an aggressive compotition but it's matter of bittersweet goodbyes to the former lead singer.
- It seems more aggressive than the story really is. Nobody is blamed or hated there. No-one was innocent, it just happened and it's sad. Besides, already in the song title is a compliment.
After the Turunen's kicks, it was wondered in the media whether Holopainen was in love with Turunen. Now suspections will have more "proves". (hum, that sentence is a bit hard but hopefully you understand)
-Yeah, I'm pretty sure that after the album release the biggest headlines will be about the lyrics. They will be teared in shreds, Holopainen sighs.
LOOKING FOR LOVE
You can also sense from the lyrics that it's about a lonely soul's journey through feelings floating in the life, deliberation of loneliness, egoistism. But Holopainen can't be a lonely person. There's always something happening around him.
- I am lonely but I've been blessed so good people around me that I shouldn't complain about anything. Maybe the love which is larger than life is still on its way. It might be that kind of longing which can be heard also from the music. Perfect love means complete harmony, not that that I'm looking for a perfect girlfriend. I would be in balance with the world. I would have my own cottage and potato patch, perfect love and a husky dog barking in the corner.
However, Holopainen admits that finding the One in his position is not easy.
- Maybe the people are afraid of the position which I have fallen into as a well-known person. I'm not the easiest people to be approached like, for example, Jouni Hynynen who is friends with everyone. I have an invisible wall. It have come on its own because I'm shy. And I don't want to seem as a desperate bachelor. I'm really happy person and love comes if it comes. Besides, this present state is inspiring.
MEDIA DO THEIR JOB
The publicity treated Nightwish positively always until the autumn 2005 after which band has been treated like a puppet. The publicity has almost got out of hand and the music has got sidetracked.
- We have become a national soap opera. Although you didn't dig the band, you are still interested in how Nightwish is doing. "They had that sympathic singer, whom those boys so dramatically and brutally fired and then they hide the new singer." This all is so good for human mind. Well, we undermine ourselves but still.
The end of 2005 and the love triangle which was made a stink on the papers was according to Holopainen so good school, that after that nothing have felt anywhere. He has learned to put things in propotion.
- I have really learned to understand journalists, even the ones in trashy magazines. They too are just doing their job. They may not like it but you have to get the bread for children somewhere. In any subject, the best instruction is: try to take up other person's position for a while. If you wonder why one is doing or writing so and so, one is just doing one's job. After all, things have always many sides and nothing should ever be knocked out right away.
IN SNUSMUMRIKEN'S SHOES (Snusmumriken's (that's his Swedish name, in Finnish he is Nuuskamuikkunen) a character from the Moomin books which are basically ment for the children but some adults read them too)
There has happened a lot around Nightwish all the time during already many years. Still Holopainen has been able to retain some kind of childlike attitude and sincerity that keeps his creativity open.
- I'm systematically ignorant person regarding some specific things. There is lots of Snusmumriken in me. I'm intentionally lazy regarding some specific things because that way you get along better.
It's interesting that Nightwish's career is by no means the fulfillment of Holopainen's life.
- This has never been a dream for any of us. Well, maybe for Marco. Any of us others didn't want to be a musician or a rockstar when being a child. The dreams have come along the way. The new album is fulfillment of that dream we had two years ago. When I was little, I dreamed a possibility to travel around the world, explore the nature and be a biologist.
Third of that has become true.
- Yes, true. Exploring the nature hasn't left much time but I have seen the world. At the moment, I dream of new albums and songs which I can write for Nightwish or maybe also in some movie.
Holopainen is a searcher of perfection and even rather unconditional one.
- If you are looking for the perfection, you get pretty far. Perfectionism doesn't really mingle because it has led even this far in life. I'm extremely happy person. If essentially I have that kind of feeling that I've done my best and could do nothing better and even able to tell this with pure heart, then I feel extremely happy. Even though we have been given lots of criticism and especially in the previous interviews, it hurt but we couldn't have done better. That brings peace and warm to innermost.
Dark Passion Play is released 26.9. in Finland and 28.9. abroad.
THE MOST EXPENSIVE RECORD OF FINLAND'S ROCK HISTORY
Making of the Nightwish's previous album, Once, cost nearly 250 000 euros. Sum was found big but now band used enormous 500 000 euros making the album.
- Yeah, that's what I've heard. And band paid all that by itself, so the record company didn't participate in by no means, tells Tuomas Holopainen.
Nightwish's album is the most expensive record of Finnish rock history. According to Holopainen in the planning point they were thinking of the result, not the money.
- We thought that the album would cost what needed. Compromises would not be done. Especially in this point of career you must not think about that kind of things. It's just money.
During the sensation of firing Turunen, in the media they fished also band's companies and how much each of band's member earns. In Holopainen's opinion, that was only ment to feed the envy and peoples' desire for peeking.
- The purpose was to create antithesis when we were announced not caring about the money but still companies were doing well.
Holopainen says that he's not interested in finances. He doesn't know what band earns from the gigs or gets from the royalt contracts. He's hoping that they get their own back from the record sales.
- Then we could do the next record. Half million euros feels a big sum but none of the euros was waisted.
A major part of the sum was elapsed during the eight days in London Abbey road studios where the symphony orchestra and choir parts were recorded led by Pip Williams.
- If the record company had been paying, they would probably have suggested cheaper studios and Praha's symphony orchestra. We are in happy position because we can do whatever we want.