U.K.-based music journalist Dave Ling has posted the following message on his web site:
"Just returned home from a couple of very productive days spent with NIGHTWISH in Helsinki. After a terrifyingly early start on Wednesday morning, irrepressible band manager Ewo Rytkönen collected me from the airport and we sped off to guitarist Emppu Vuorinen's studio, 20 minutes or so outside of the city centre. I conducted a fascinating and unexpectedly candid interview with keyboard player/leader Tuomas Holopainen in which he confirmed my suspicion that 'Bye Bye Beautiful', from the new album 'Dark Passion Play', was inspired by the band's estranged former singer Tarja Turunen — famously sacked via open letter back in 2005. Included in its chorus are the lines: "Did you ever listen to what we played? / Did we get this far just to feel your hate? / You chose the long road but we'll be waiting." Oddly given the above, however, Holopainen explained that he has attempted to contact Turunen by text messages (without success) since the split, and that he hopes to re-establish friendship with her again some day in the future — though the band are perfectly happy with their new frontwoman, Anette Olzon.
"After the interview I was invited to sit back, crack open a can or two of Karhyu beer and observe as the new-look NIGHTWISH ran through a large chunk of their upcoming live set. The instrumental players had rehearsed for the previous couple of weeks, but this was just the third time they'd all played with Olzon. I was impressed. Obviously, Anette's voice is very different to that of operatic diva Turunen, but she sings the old songs far better than I'd expected. According to Tuomas, the show will be a fairly equal split between numbers from 'Dark Passion Play' and the group's catalogue. It would be grossly unfair to give the game away regarding the song-list at such an early stage, but hearing Olzon's interpretation of 'Nemo' back-to-back with 'Eva' made the reasons for her recruitment immediately obvious. And their new take on the last album's standout cut 'Wish I Had An Angel' was absolutely rampant!
"Prior to yesterday afternoon's return flight to London, I did an interview with Olzon over lunch. She's a very confident and personable lady. Then again, given the fact that the single 'Amaranth' had just gone gold in Finland (commemorating sales of 5,000 copies) after just two days, NIGHTWISH have every reason to feel proud of the way they've bounced back from the rumpus with Ms Turunen."
An e-card for NIGHTWISH's new album, "Dark Passion Play", can be accessed at this location. The CD is scheduled for release on September 28 via Nuclear Blast Records (most of Europe), September 26 via Spinefarm Records/Universal (Finland) and October 2 via Roadrunner Records (USA).
NIGHTWISH's video for the group's new single, "Amaranth", has been posted on YouTube. The clip was shot in Los Angeles with director Antti Jokinen (BEYONCÉ, WYCLEF JEAN, KORN, MISSY ELLIOT, STRATOVARIUS, SHANIA TWAIN, CELINE DION).
NIGHTWISH shot two videos in Los Angeles with Antti Jokinen, reportedly at a cost of 270,000 euros (approximately $362,000). "We saved time and money by doing two videos in one session," NIGHTWISH leader Tuomas Holopainen told the Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat.
Behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the new NIGHTWISH video, "Amaranth", has been posted at Nightwish.com.