Nightwish have been busy – announcing a new band member and preparing for the release of their latest documentary DVD Showtime, Storytime next month. Despite that as Tuomas Holopainen was sitting down for his morning coffee at Nuclear Headquarters in Germany he still managed to find the time to talk to Undercover FM.
Undercover FM: What can you tell us about Showtime, Storytime?
Tuomas Holopainen: The original plan for this DVD was to release just like the tour documentary part of it. We wanted to make a really long and thorough and deep tour documentary of the band. What goes on, on the Imaginaerum Tour and a lot of interviews about the band and do a bit more serious insight into the whole thing because on the previous short documentaries we have released are more about drinking and partying and fooling around, so we wanted to show kind of like the serious side without forgetting the comic footage naturally. So that was the original idea but then only a few months ago in June we got a message from the record label Nuclear Blast saying that we actually needed to include a live show to go with the documentary as well to make the release much more understandable. I was a little bit against that in the beginning because we only had like seven or eight festival shows left at that time so it would have to be one of those festivals that we shot the live part from and doing a live DVD from a festival just didn’t really strike my fancy. We ended up doing that in Wacken Open Air – the biggest audience we ever had, now when I saw the final result about two weeks ago for the first time, I am really happy that we did it because it looks awesome!
Undercover FM: Of the eight venues that you had left to play how did you decide which one you were going to film the DVD at?
Tuomas Holopainen: Well there were only a few festival left so it had to be one of those and Wacken was the biggest one we had left so we knew it was gonna look good and also they had the filming equipment there from the festival side already so it made it by far the easiest choice for practical reasons.
Undercover FM: How did the decision to do a DVD come about?
Tuomas Holopainen: I’m not quite sure whose idea it was originally but it goes back to the end of 2011 even before we started the whole tour. Somebody said ‘what if we bring along a documentaryist for the whole tour?’ It would mean that we would be able to do a really nice and thorough documentary. It might have been the drummer of the band who came up with the idea.
Undercover FM: Why do you think this documentary is so important for the band?
Tuomas Holopainen: I think it’s just really interesting for the fans, for the people to see what’s really going on, on tour. It reveals a lot of stuff. It’s really touching, it’s interesting and it’s also incredibly funny at time. So it’s good stuff for fans, and for us as well after forty years or fifty years when I’m sitting in my rocking chair reminiscing all these times it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.
Undercover FM: Will we get to see what the best and worst parts of touring are?
Tuomas Holopainen: I think it gives a really honest picture of what it’s like to be on tour with Nightwish.
Undercover FM: What do you think the best and worst parts of tour are?
Tuomas Holopainen: Just to be on the road with your best mates doing the thing that you love – which is music and at the same time you get to see the world. I just enjoy the road trip romance, it’s unbelievably good stuff, we all feel privileged to be able to do that. Sometime though you might get a bit home sick – you know there are people with families in the band and it can be a bit difficult especially for them but thank heavens for modern technology and Skype and all that – so it’s much easier these days.
Undercover FM: What can you tell me about your newest member Troy?
Tuomas Holopainen: Such a wonderful personality! He has been with us for the past six years already and he did the whole Imaginaerum Tour with us – played on every single show and he has the musicianship, he can play almost anything. It’s a wonderful addition with his Celtic instruments and singing both for the albums and live situations. He’s also a very wonderful personality, whenever he enters the room he lights up the whole space. So it was a very easy decision to ask him to join the band and he gave us an immediate ‘yes I’d love to!’
Undercover FM: So you mentioned that he’s been playing with you for six years, why is it only now that he’s been announced as the newest member?
Tuomas Holopainen: Well six years ago he did Dark Passion Play Album and he did a few shows with us then – he wasn’t with us for the whole tour. All the shows that we did together just convinced us that this is a really good match. The pipes sound awesome live and we became really good friends with him. Then we asked him for the whole Imaginaerum Tour and now after eighteen months it was just obvious that he needs to stay for good.
Undercover FM: What do you think he contributes to the band that you didn’t have before?
Tuomas Holopainen: Balance, some sort of humour, able to laugh at things, he’s a smart guy so he also brings some wits into the band but also on a more practical level it’s a nice little spice here and there to hear the Celtic influences, to get the backing vocals, to also get some solo vocals from him. It also gives me more opportunities as a song writer when I know I have a piper in the band.
Undercover FM: What is next for Nightwish once the DVD is released next month?
Tuomas Holopainen: The idea is just to take it really easy from now on until next year. We’re going to enter the studio in July and record the next album and if everything goes as planned we should have the new album in our hands by the beginning of 2015. So we’re looking at the release some time during the first half of 2015.
Undercover FM: Do you think you’ll come to Australia when you release your next album?
Tuomas Holopainen: You bet! Australia is my favourite part of the world!
Undercover FM: What do you have to say for your Aussie fans reading Undercover FM?
Tuomas Holopainen: In 2015 there is going to be a new album and a new world tour that will include Australia – so I will see you all there!
Showtime, Storytime will be released November 29th – make sure you keep an eye out for it! Otherwise check out the trailer for it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_czsLPig_0s