TUOMAS HOLOPAINEN: NIGHTWISH Is A ‘Vehicle That Can’t Be Stopped By Anything’

A week before NIGHTWISH‘s split with singer Anette Olzon, David E. Gehlke of Blistering.com conducted an interview with the band’s keyboardist/mainman, Tuomas Holopainen. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

Blistering.com: I read that for the first show of this tour in Atlanta, Anette was very late and almost didn’t make the show. In those situations, is there a plan B? Do you go on with the show? What would you do?

Holopainen: You can’t in those situations. It was a really scary situation. She had such a bad stomach flu that she couldn’t fly. She actually flew into Atlanta three hours before the show started, so it was cut really close. I’m happy we made it and no harm done. But we don’t really have a back-up plan. [laughs] We would have had to cancel the show if that would have been the case.

Blistering.com: Marco [Hietala, bass] can do some of the vocals, but there are some he wouldn’t be able to do.

Holopainen: It wouldn’t be right. We’ve always had a female singer for 16 years and the nature of the songs are composed for a female singer. It wouldn’t be right.

Blistering.com: Can you compare Anette on this round of touring to when you first had her out after “Dark Passion Play” in 2007?

Holopainen: She’s more relaxed. There’s nothing to prove anymore. On the first tour, no one knew her, so people came and tried to see what’s like and all that. Now, people can concentrate on what’s really important, which is the overall show and not just her and her voice.

Blistering.com: On those initial tours with her, were you skeptical as to how she’d do?

Holopainen: We weren’t really scared at any point. We have a lot of confidence in the whole concept of NIGHTWISH and the way we think is that it’s a carousel or vehicle that can’t be stopped by anything. That’s the way it goes. We can’t let anything stop it.

Blistering.com: Are you starting to feel a sense of finality to the whole “Imaginaerum” process?

Holopainen: I had a really weird feeling last Tuesday when we saw the movie completely ready for the first time. We were in Montreal and they organized a screening for us, all the actors and the guys who worked on the movie. It was really emotional and an empty moment to see the whole thing finished because we started to work on this project in the summer of 2007, so it’s been five years in the making. Without any exaggeration, a few of us when into hell and back to get it done. [laughs] It was a really rocky road to get the thing finished because of financial reasons and a million different things. There were some desperate times, but now that I’ve seen the result, I feel really happy and proud for the whole band.

Blistering.com: How much of the band is in the movie? Are your parts cringe-worthy?

Holopainen: Luckily, we are only in two scenes. We have cameo roles and don’t have a single line the whole film. We hired professional actors for the movie. I think that was the only way to tell a believable story. We don’t know how to act. You see the band in two scenes in the background playing as a band. That’s something we felt comfortable with because it was like shooting a music video.

Blistering.com: It makes me think of when KISS starred in their own movie in the ’70s. Sometimes it’s best that musicians just stay musicians and not try their hand at acting.

Holopainen: It was actually the director that wanted to write us a little role, and I said “Don’t you dare!” Whenever I see Justin Timberlake in a movie — no matter how well he acts, he’s still Justin Timberlake. [laughs] It takes something out of the movie. It takes something out of the credibility of the movie, and we didn’t want that. He’s not the best actor, but he’s not that bad, but still, I can’t watch movies with him…there’s something wrong with the picture.

Read the entire interview at Blistering.com.

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