Andrew Haug, the former host of Triple J Australia's "The Racket" radio show (originally "Full Metal Racket"; 2001-2011), last week conducted an interview with Tuomas Holopainen, keyboardist and main songwriter of the Finnish symphonic metal band NIGHTWISH, for Australia's recently launched first-ever dedicated 24/7 rock and metal online radio station, AndrewHaug.com. You can now listen to the chat below.
Holopainen told Finland's MTV.fi in November that he was pleased with the addition of singer Floor Jansen to the group and that she was only getting better with each performance.
"We have done 13 shows with her [so far] and every concert has been better than the last," he said. "We are taking it day by day as much as we can. The vibe in the band is marvellous. We are enjoying every moment."
Holopainen has known Jansen, who is Dutch, for more than 10 years already, having previously toured with her former band, AFTER FOREVER.
"We are very much on the same wavelength and we have a similar sense of humor," Holopainen said of his new bandmate.
Stepping into NIGHTWISH was made easier for Jansen by the fact that she has extensive experience in both classical and rock music.
Following AFTER FOREVER's split, Jansen launched a brand new project called REVAMP, which has thus far released one album and recently entered the studio to record a follow-up effort.
"We have been in the same circles since the late '90s," says Tuomas. "She has toured a lot and has spent a lot of time recording and performing this genre of music. So it was easier for her to come into the band."
Jansen made her live debut as the frontwoman of NIGHTWISH on October 1, 2012 at Showbox Sodo in Seattle, Washington following the abrupt departure of the band's lead singer of the past five years, Anette Olzon.
"[Floor is] a vocal coach herself, so she's very professional," said Tuomas. "The fact that she had about 40 hours to learn 15 songs is quite revealing. She practically learned our tour set on the flight from Amsterdam to Seattle. We're talking about a high-level professional and her attitude is fabulous as well. It can be seen in her stage presence. She clearly enjoys what she does."
Asked about the reasons for Olzon's sudden exit from the group, Tuomas told U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine: "I'm sure it came as a shock to everybody. We came out with a statement [regarding the split], which pretty much says it all. It still is a private matter, and that's all we wanna say about it, like, ever. It was an amicable divorce, so to say, and made in good spirit, and we are just looking to the future. There really is no reason to go back into all the details and all that. I mean, this is not politics, this is a rock band."
Regarding whether there is a chance that Floor will become the official new NIGHTWISH lead singer, Tuomas said: "The way that we have decided is that we're gonna continue with her until the end of the festival season in 2013 — just have fun, just do the shows the best we can. I mean, the atmosphere in the band is so good at the moment, [we want to] just enjoy this what we have right now. They try not to think about NIGHTWISH at all for a few months. Everybody take a little vacation. And we already have the rehearsal place for the next album booked in 2014 — from July to September. So that's how far we have planned. But when we do the last festival show next August, after that, it's gonna be total nothing for a few months. So I would say everything is possible, but that's really not the thing that we want to be thinking about right now, because there's absolutely no reason to."