Nightwish – Fly Dutchwoman, Fly

Sunday, 27th October 2013

Dead Rhetoric: Let’s not forget about the addition of Troy, and I remember you made a comment to me last year that “Marriage has ruined many a good relationships.” What then, made you add him as a full-time member?

Holopainen: When we were thinking about it, whether to make it “official” or not – it’s not going to change anything since he was a permanent member of the band anyway, like mentally, and he’s such a nice person and big part of the band. But just to make it official and easier for people to realize, and we got a lot of feedback from the last tour, like, “Who is this guy playing only four songs in the set? You never introduce him, but he’s coming with you and bows with you at the end.” Just to clarify this, we needed to make it official as well.

Dead Rhetoric: Do you see Troy’s role expanding?

Holopainen: I’m not quite sure; maybe a little bit. I’m pretty sure we’re not going to use him so he’s on every song of the album, or from beginning of the show, to the last encore. It would be a bit too much, but I think the strength lies that he’s there part-time. Same thing with Marco’s [Hietala] vocals – I don’t want to use them all the time. They sound more powerful that way. Same thing with Troy.

Dead Rhetoric: As for the DVD and the Wacken show in general, with 80,000 people present, what was the band atmosphere like?

Holopainen: I did my very best not to think about it being filmed. [laughs] All the shows we did in the summer went really good and were really relaxed, and I wanted to keep that touch. I kept telling the other band members “Let’s just go there and have fun.” We pretty much succeeded in doing so. It was the biggest show we’ve ever done – I don’t think we’ve played for 82,000 people before. It looked just incredible from the stage.

Dead Rhetoric: There’s an inherent risk with doing something like this on such a large scale. Did that enter your mind?

Holopainen: Definitely did. When I heard about this live show idea, it was in June, because this DVD was only supposed to be the documentary – no live show. But then the record label suggested to us that we needed to include the live show as well. At that point, the only shows we had were festivals, and the biggest one was Wacken Open Air. My biggest argument against it was that we had only one shot. What if something goes wrong? What if there are technical problems? What if there’s a thunder storm? We took the risk and it was worth it.

Dead Rhetoric: Prior to embarking on the tour for Imaginaerum, was it decided you were going to do a documentary?

Holopainen: Yeah, it was decided in November 2011, two months before the tour started. We wanted to do a really good, interesting tour documentary so that the director would follow us during the whole 18 months through all the legs of the tour.

Dead Rhetoric: When you started to have some “issues” for lack of a better term, did it make the shooting uncomfortable for the band?

Holopainen: It was just an incredible coincidence and trust me – it was a coincidence that the director happened to be on the U.S. leg of the tour when all of this started to happen. It was not planned in advance. He had booked the flights months in advance and just happened to be there when all of the hulabalew went on. It was kinda weird, but it made a good drama for the DVD.

Dead Rhetoric: We talked about being nervous for Wacken, but how about the Denver show when you didn’t have a singer. How nervous were you?

Holopainen: It was like a dream, a bad dream. I hadn’t been that scared going on stage for a couple of years, but that particular night, it was like, “What are we going to do?” You see me and Troy going on stage telling the audience what’s going on and originally, I was supposed to say something, but I asked Troy because I was too nervous.

Dead Rhetoric: I was going to ask you that, since you’re the unofficial band spokesman.

Holopainen: Two reasons: The other was that I was so nervous; the second is that we were dealing with such a delicate issue that we wanted the audience to understand exactly what was going on so maybe to play it more safe that the announcement comes from a native English speaker.

Dead Rhetoric: You wrapped the album cycle for Imaginaerum, so you must be glad to have it over. I don’t think you could have fathomed it going this way when you started everything at the end of 2011…

Holopainen: There are always the two sides to the coin. In a way, I’m really happy it’s over. It was a wonderful tour from beginning to end, no matter what happened along the way. It was a fantastic thing to do. I miss the band and crew already; there’s always this “post-tour” blues that I get. But in another way, it’s really nice to be home for a while and absorb myself into writing songs. Then, I’m going to meet all the guys and the girls next summer.

Dead Rhetoric: Perhaps with this cycle, it’s one of those “the best laid plans never come fruition” type of things. Is that how you see it?

Holopainen: No, we never planned this. [laughs] It just went into this and we did everything we had to do.

Dead Rhetoric: How’s the Scrooge McDuck project coming along?

Holopainen: It’s coming along beautifully. We just got all the recordings done about a week ago, actually. When I get back home from this promotional trip, I’m going to go the studio for two weeks and get the thing mixed and it’s already to go. I think the album release date is set for April 11th of next year.

Dead Rhetoric: So next up for Nightwish is convening next summer, right?

Holopainen: Yes, next summer, once I get Scrooge out of my hands. We will get together on July 1, 2014. Everything is set up.

Dead Rhetoric: Totally preliminary here, but will you tackle another concept album, or maybe try a meat and potatoes type of album?

Holopainen: Meat and potatoes, I like that expression! I think something like that has a lot of potential. It’s really hard to say anything just yet, but the only thing I can say is that it won’t be a thematic album. The songs I’ve done so far – there are four of them – they all deal with different themes, lyrically. It won’t be a concept album like Imaginaerum.

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