Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland, formed in 1996. The band just finished their worldwide "Decades" tour, celebrating two decades of making music, and plan to spend 2019 working on a new album. Three members of Nightwish graciously sat down for an interview with Nightwish World Community, Facebook's largest Nightwish fan group.
With us are Tuomas Holopainen, the band's founder, leader, keyboardist, and composer; Floor Jansen, the band's vocalist; and Troy Donockley, a multi-instrumentalist who plays the uilleann pipes, tin whistle, low whistle, guitars, bouzouki, and bodhrán.
On behalf of Nightwish World Community, I want to thank you for doing this interview. We're 14,000 Nightwish fans from around the world, and it's a privilege to talk to our favorite band. Here are some questions from our members:
1) Leonie Haverkamp from Netherlands asks: "Question is for the whole band. If you could be someone else in the band for one day/show, who would you be and why?"
Troy: I'd be Floor; so as to wear her sickeningly fabulous footwear. I'm FED UP of her upstaging me every night, and don't get me started on that "Warrior-Basque" outfit...
2) Joel Flink from Sweden asks: "My question to mostly Tuomas and Floor: how did you come up with the 'new' ending for Ghost Love Score?"
Tuomas: As far as I recall it, Floor just made it "her own" on the spot, it wasn't consciously constructed that way. Many times that's the way best ideas come about.
Floor: It just came naturally actually. I just started singing it more free and Tuomas and the rest of the band liked it. Then after a few times this ending 'appeared' as music is creative and unbound, and it was loved so much we kept it.
3) Janelle Pumariega from Cuba asks: "My question is for Tuomas. If you had the opportunity to choose the world of a book to live in after you die, what would it be?"
Tuomas: The world of the Moomin books.
4) Denise Lisboa from Brazil asks: "Who is the noisiest and quietest member of the band?"
Troy: It depends on the time of day.
Floor: I agree to this haha !
5) Angi Wagner from Germany asks: "Will there be a chance to see Nightwish live with a big orchestra and choir?"
Tuomas: This must be a top 3 - most often asked questions of all time. And for an understandable reason, sure.
There definitely is a chance, that's something we've been brainstorming more or less seriously for the past 15 years. But no tangible plans have ever been made. I think it would require to be a bit more than your "normal" band gig with the orchestra if we ever were to do it. "NW featuring live orchestra & choir, with special guests; Davids Attenborough and Blaine + the whole of Cirque Du Soleil Ka, performing live on the surface of the Moon."
6) Andrew Marlowe-Cremedas from the United States asks: "My question is for Tuomas: The early Nightwish songs feature a lot of Christian imagery and lyrics, and later the new album Endless Forms Most Beautiful is more of an atheist album dedicated to science. What lead to you becoming an atheist, and do you at all still relate to some of the Christian imagery in Nightwish?"
Tuomas: Hello Andrew! The term "atheist album" is a bit silly, what does that even mean?
But the album's thematics are heavily influenced by science, and beauty of the natural world and our rare existence, yes.
Religions are fascinating, though, and their history and imagery are inspiring tools for creating art.
I became a freethinker (secularist, atheist, agnostic... whatever, it's all semantics) after realizing I have a (loose) belief in something I know nothing about. I suppose the biggest realization came from the fact that out of the 3500 existing religions in the world today, I happened to lucky enough be born to the single correct one...???! I felt a deeply uncomfortable twitch of arrogance.
That, and also, actually reading some of that "Good Book" made quite the difference.
I'm happy to stand before the big questions and say "I don't know", until we know better. And to know better, science, backed up by reason & evidence is the only way.
7) Mandy Handforth from the UK asks: "My question is for Troy. Is there any other instruments you either want to try and play or instruments you can already that you would like to play on a Nightwish track?"
Troy: Hiya Mandy! Though I can't play the instrument, it would be the Bb Tuba. Seriously. Its a grand instrument with a mammoth sound; and it's hilarious when it wants to be. Plus, its the most Metal instrument on earth. Literally.
8) Miranda McCarthy from the United States asks: "My question is for the whole band, or anyone who wants to answer! If money, schedules, and travel were no object, who would you love to go on tour with? What's your dream tour lineup?"
Tuomas: That dream has pretty much already been fulfilled, and I mean it. All the bands we've toured with have been wonderful, and I don't need to go further than Sonata Arctica, Delain, Amorphis, Arch Enemy & Beast In Black ( to mention just a few! ) to create a dream tour line-up.
Floor: I love being on tour with just us. But if we would tour with others I'd invite Skunk Anansie and Halestorm for some rock.
09) Shannon ODonovan from Ireland asks "My question is for: Tuomas. Would you ever release a novel or book of short fiction or poetry?"
Tuomas: That'd be superb! Short fiction is my thing, I've been writing some stories over the years and it would be nice if they saw daylight sometime in the future. If not, they still were good fun to write. It is a small island on my treasure map of unreached destinations, and will take some time to find the coordinates.
10) Helga Szavalenszky from Hungary asks: "What would young Tuomas think of present-day Nightwish?"
Troy: He loves it.
Tuomas: I do, don't I ?
11) Nathalie Borisova from Poland asks: "My question is for Floor. Who does your makeup and who is responsible for your style (clothes, jewelry, hair, etc.)?"
Floor: For shows it's 98% of the time me who does my own make-up. I do my own styling and ask for help of clothes designers and make-up artists to realize the look in have in mind.
12) Alexandra Reyes from North America: "My question is for Tuomas: Are you interested in composing music scores for video games or films from the fantasy genre?"
Tuomas: Oh, yes! And it's not about the genre, just something that would be interesting and worthwhile to dive in to! A nature documentary, a historic epic, an episode of the Black Mirror, the next Elder Scrolls game...
13) Michel Azevedo from Brazil asks: "What are your guilty pleasures in music? Are you listening to something other than Rock/Metal?"
Tuomas: I like 90's Euro - disco. No joke.
Floor: We all love many styles of music. I play different kinds of music for various settings, film music when I read, heavy rock for cleaning, metal for work outs, good pop at home in the kitchen, it all depends on the mood.
14) Nathan Menser from Australia asks: "Being in Nightwish allows for many opportunities musically and with touring, and you have achieved a lot; but what desires/goals do you still have as musicians that are yet to be ticked on your wish list or bucket list?"
Troy: As fate would have it, my deep musical goals were realised a long, long time ago. It's lovely to be relatively free of personal ambition and I highly recommend it - just floating down the river to the open sea... That's not to say I don't have a collective ambition for our wondrous band because that I do!
15) Ann LaLoona Purann from Germany asks: "My question to the gorgeous Floor. How on earth do you manage this high frequency headbanging and circling without getting seasick or losing balance? It is beyond me... is there a trick? Any practice tips?"
Floor: Ehm, yeah, no.....I always just did it and never strain my neck, I let my body do the work and my head is relaxed as much as possible. I do warm up the muscles a bit nowadays before the show. I think the adrenaline of the show gives me the energy to do it and not to get dizzy.
16) Carlos García from Colombia asks: "For all Nightwish members: If you weren't in the musical scene, what would your profession be or what'd you think you would be doing right now?"
Troy: A lion tamer -and I'm not joking.
Tuomas: A biologist or a crossword puzzle composer.
And finally, a question from me, to anyone in the band who wants to answer: Do you have a favorite Nightwish song?
Troy: Yes, it's the last song on our forthcoming album.
Tuomas: I feel the pressure.
Thank you again, Nightwish, for doing an interview with our fan group!