Radio Metal recently conducted an interview with keyboardist/mainman Tuomas Holopainen of Finnish symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Radio Metal: The new DVD ["Showtime, Storytime"] is the perfect introduction to the new NIGHWISH lineup that was officially announced [earlier in the month]. When you decided to release a DVD with Floor [Jansen, vocals], did you already have in mind to make her place in the band official? Or, at least, did seeing the live footage convince you she was the right choice?
Tuomas: We were actually quite convinced already in the beginning of summer. We made the agreement in June. We asked her if she wanted to be part of the band last June, and we also asked Troy [Donockley, multi-instrumentalist]. They both agreed. Then we decided to keep silent until next year, just to calm things down. And then, a few weeks ago, I started writing the credits for the DVD — the "thank you" list, and all that. Then came: "NIGHTWISH are…" How do I put Floor and Troy here? "Guest vocals by Floor Jansen"? That sounds ridiculous! That's when I realized: "Why should we stay silent about this?" So we talked with the band about releasing the information now. It's also good promotion for the DVD, that Floor and Troy are official members.
Radio Metal: Did you ever consider not asking Floor to stay and looking for another singer?
Tuomas: We just kept all the doors open for the first part of this year. We were just having a really good time on tour. She was a replacement; we didn't think that she was definitely going to be the one. But week after week, we grew into the idea that this was really good. Why should we look anywhere else? As long as she agreed, of course. We didn't take it for granted that she wanted to be in the band. In the beginning of June, we asked her: "How do you feel about this? Do you wanna continue?" And here we are now!
Radio Metal: Was the decision easy for her to make? Floor went through a serious burn-out in 2011, after REVAMP's first album was released. Wasn't she afraid it could happen again with a busy band like NIGHTWISH?
Tuomas: Yeah, we talked about this. We don't want her to quit REVAMP either, everybody has side projects. We really asked her: "Are you sure you want to do this?", and she was 100% sure. I think it's gonna work out fine. We have a really good management and record label, so she doesn't need to worry about that stuff the way she has to do with REVAMP. It's gonna be much easier.
Radio Metal: How do you explain that the fans were not as scandalized, or at least as skeptical, by Floor's arrival in the band as they were by Anette's [Olzon]? Is it because she was already known in the metal world, or maybe because they've realized that what really matters in NIGHWISH is the music, and not the identity of the lead singer?
Tuomas: I wish I could answer that! I think maybe a little bit of both. But the fact that she was already quite well-known and respected in the metal genre… She has been doing this for 14 years, so people knew her. She didn't come out of nowhere. That really helped the transition to be smoother.
Radio Metal: Retrospectively, considering the fact that Anette had no lyrical singing capabilities, do you still think Anette was the right choice for NIGHTWISH at the time?
Tuomas: Yes, I do. I've said this many times. When I listen to "Dark Passion Play" and "Imaginaerum", I don't think there is another person who could have sung those songs better than her. I really, honestly think so, and the rest of the band does, as well. That was not the issue.
Read the entire interview at Radio Metal.