NIGHTWISH bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala recently spoke to Denmark's Antenna webzine about the commercial success of the group's latest CD, "Once", and the comparisons to bands like EVANESCENCE and WITHIN TEMPTATION, among other topics. An excerpt from the interview follows:
Antenna: Do you think that the success of similar bands like EVANESCENCE and WITHIN TEMPTATION have had an effect on the recent success of NIGHTWISH? A sort of wave?
Marco Hietala: "I don't know. EVANESCENCE is big, of course, selling millions and millions of albums, so that might have boosted the whole concept of female-fronted metal groups to a certain degree, but I guess the main reason for this band's success is the hard work that has been done in the years before. That is a very big part that one shouldn't forget about."
Antenna: Are you a fan of any of these other bands?
Marco Hietala: "Well, certain songs. I have heard the albums from both of the bands. I do like some of the stuff but not everything. That's just the way it is. Usually there is hardly any bands out there these days, of whom I manage to listen to their entire album. I'm maybe too picky about my music, but I'm not listening to anything except groups from the '70s and '80s. Some rare groups, which I'm refreshed by, and that gives me a certain boost. Groups like METALLICA and PANTERA or SOUNDGARDEN from the '90s. I'm not really into new stuff anymore, I suppose. It has kind of grown into me that everything's been done before, already."
Antenna: How does it feel to become so successful during your time in NIGHTWISH? It only took you a few years, and then you were on the top of the charts?
Marco Hietala: "Yeah, to me it was like jumping on to an already rolling train, when I joined NIGHTWISH in 2001. I knew that things would be happening and that a lot of thing would get big, but to be honest, I didn't understand at first, how hectic things could be. Of course, my wife and kids would like me to be at home a little bit more [laughs], but you can't help it. I'm the one who brings bread to the table nowadays."
Antenna: How do you feel about NIGHTWISH becoming more and more commercial and getting still more merchandise? Sometimes you see kids with NIGHTWISH cell phone covers, ring tones and all this stuff?
Marco Hietala: "Okay, I think to be commercial in that way, selling more merchandise and stuff like that, I guess, if we wouldn't say okay to that, then somebody would print these things anyway and make the money of it without percentage to us, so I'll guess you'll have to live with that. On the musical side of things, we have never really thought of being commercial like that. When Tuomas [founding member of NIGHTWISH] gets an idea, then we just go with the flow. We never really think about, if we have had any success with stuff we have done earlier. We just work with the new ideas, we get. We do it for the people in the band. If that gets successful then all the better."
Antenna: Do you think that there is a danger of losing some of the spirit and grandness of the band if NIGHTWISH goes too commercial?
Marco Hietala: "No, I don't think so, because the spirit and the grandeur are first things. I guess at least it sums up at the first things. I'm not sure the grandeur is the main thing, but the spirit of all things are first. The basic ideas are certainly the punch of the metal group, and then to have the atmosphere that deals with the vocals, keyboards and orchestra and stuff like that. These things you will have to keep doing, but you'll never know what kind of songs we'll come up with. Maybe we'll be doing some kind of rockabilly with operatic vocals next time [laughs]."
Read the entire interview at this location.