INTERVIEW WITH TUOMAS HOLOPAINEN TO NIGHTWISH NEW ERA
Hi Tuomas! Welcome to New Era! It was a great pleasure and emotion, meet you in São Paulo. We already miss all the band! So you can also meet us. The fan club was founded in 2013, after the official announcement of Floor Jansen as new vocalist. But do not deceive! We are very very old fans … haha. Just felt the right time to build a cool work for fans of this band we admire so much. Well, after that, New Era also developed its social side. We created “Ever Dream Group”, which helps different people in different situations in the state of São Paulo. It is our small contribution to others to have hope, and above all, never stop dreaming! I hope you feel at comfortable answering our questions! Let’s go?!
NEW ERA: A load of websites have been praising Nightwish’s concert in Rock in Rio. G1’s website, for example, said “The band definitely deserved to play on the bigger stage tonight.” and “Their music had an epic approach with the fans singing every song that they played”. Rolling Stones’ magazine wrote: “Nightwish confirms its success with Brazilian fans with a technically perfect show”. Floor was chosen a “best singer” of Rock in Rio, by the UOL Website, far ahead of second place (14.1%, 4.873 votes). Floor had 69.1% (23.320 votes). How did you feel playing in one of the biggest music festivals in the world for so many Brazilian fans? Did you expect that much recognition?
TUOMAS: Thanks for sharing, I didn`t know that. That`s mind-blowing! No, I didn`t really know what to expect, but it felt like a big honor to finally have a chance play in Rock In Rio, and we surely made the best out of it, enjoying every second on stage.
NEW ERA: Being a famous person has its pros and cons. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being famous? South Americans are known for being a very passionate people, with that in mind, what should be the ideal limit between the idol and the fan?
TUOMAS: The only advantage I can think of is that occasionally I get to do interesting things and projects unavailable to me if I didn`t have a public status. For example, writing the theme song “Lohtu” for the Finnish Live Aid / Childrens` Hospital 2017 – project, or having a chance to go hiking with my mate Tony Kakko to promote the hobby of hiking for a Finnish tv – show. Things like that are fantastic opportunities with a meaning.
But I do struggle greatly with publicity, even though I can handle it. Attention, recognition and worship make me feel extremely uncomfortable and this illusion called “stardom”, I do not enjoy in the least. Music itself should be the target of passion, not the people behind it.
I recommend everybody watch the British documentary “Starsuckers”, it nails the phenomenon wonderfully.
Then again, I`ve been there to a certain extent myself. When I first met some of my heroes like Richard Dawkins, Don Rosa, Robin Hobb or The 3rd And The Mortal, my knees went wobbly, and I had my camera ready in an instant…
NEW ERA: Your work don´t easy. Have people powered and involved becomes very important, right? Local producers, a good venue to play, an organization…
TUOMAS: We have a fantastic team and the best crew in the world. I`m a firm believer of everybody in the caravan having their own specific roles / work duties, and concentrating on them. There are no control freaks in our organization, the band chooses to be blissfully ignorant about certain areas of the business. I never had any need to be `on top of anything`, but music itself. The management, local promoters, technical crew, etc. are all top notch at what they do, and we happily let them rule their part of the kingdom, under gentle supervision, of course.
The band`s passion and focus lies purely in the art – part.
NEW ERA: Evolution is a very interesting subject and maybe scient lost one of its best contributors (haha). And I say that because I’m a biologist, passionate about my profession! Do you consider yourself an extremist like Dawkins? Or just someone that sees the facts, numbers and understands evolution as the best explanation possible.
TUOMAS: Dawkins is not an extremist, or a fundamentalist, that`s a common misunderstanding. He`s outspoken and strident, yes, but not extremist or aggressive. He has a scientific approach to everything, but always an open mind for reasonable, civilized discussion.
But he doesn`t take prisoners when at war with dangerous supernatural nonsense or fundamentalism. I`m very much the same.
Evolution is a proven fact, in the same caliber as gravity or the fact that The Earth orbits The Sun and not vice versa. It`s the most beautiful, humbling, eye-opening fact there is! I hope we`ve been able to raise some awareness about evolution by natural selection and the connection of all living things with “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”.
NEW ERA: “We were here” has become a kind of “scream of the liberty” in Nightwish shows. A mantra … That’s right, the objective has been achieved? Do people from various corners of the world, at some point they can be only one?
TUOMAS: When writing the line, I never thought it would end up having such an effect all around the world. But it works great, in the context of the song, and also as a live mantra. A beautiful token of appreciation of our existence.
NEW ERA: When composing “Dead Gardens” you would have said that were in a difficult moment, with a “writer’s block”. You’ve been through with this again, after this episode?
TUOMAS: Never in such a scale as during the songwriting of “Once”. Hope it will never happen again.
NEW ERA: I perceive that you have some habits during show. How to keep your eyes closed in the first minutes of the show, and to blow fingers. Blow your fingers, should be linked to the use of the keyboards… But close your eyes is a concentration, or a momentary shyness or you had not perceived that do it?
TUOMAS: I like to play with my eyes closed a lot during the show. It helps the concentration, to reach the essential of the songs, creating a lovely little personal microcosm for the duration of the concert.
Blowing the fingers… I can`t recall the origin of that at all. It`s a habit with no actual practical benefit to anything, it just feels nice to have an occasional cool breeze in an often sweaty inferno.
NEW ERA: The Nightwish New Era fanclub put together life stories from the fans, where your music was really important somehow. How do you feel knowing your songs changed the life of thousands of people ? What did you think about the book “A Lifetime of Stories” and our gifts? I really want to know… Is our wine any good? (haha)
TUOMAS :The book was amazing, thank you very much for the beautiful effort! I will treasure it.
The wine was a great treat, as well. I recall it going down fast, with a huge smile on our faces.
NEW ERA: You said: “Once I had a dream. And this is it! “. And nowadays, you still have a dream? What would it be?
TUOMAS: Of course, I have my share of ambitions yet to be fulfilled. We all do. At the moment my dream is to truly perfect my veggie sausage – and rye bread recipes.
NEW ERA: Last question, and already thanking you in advance for being patient and really nice with us in person, could you leave a message for your fans from Nightwish New Era?
TUOMAS: All our gratitude for the passionate support, we all appreciate it through the roof. Thank you!
Tuomas asked us to reinforce that he is not on Facebook, Ttwitter or Instagram.He didn’t visit discussion forums. And all profiles “Tuomas Holopainen“ are false. All communication for social networks, is given only by administrators and managers of Nightwish. So, if you had the impression of having had a contact with Tuomas via the internet, we emphasize that I didn’t own Tuomas! Thank you!
Interview by Stefani Diniz | English translation: Felipe Fernandes | Portuguese translation: Renan Bologna | Support: Eric de Haas