David E. Gehlke of DeadRhetoric.com recently conducted an interview with NIGHTWISH keyboardist/mainman Tuomas Holopainen. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
DeadRhetoric.com: Let's backtrack for a second and talk about your [the new NIGHTWISH singer Floor Jansen]. I know you've known her for a while and did some stuff when she was in AFTER FOREVER, but, what were your first impressions?
Tuomas Holopainen: We did a tour together, I think it was 2003 or 2002, but over ten years ago. I've followed her since the first AFTER FOREVER album, which came out in 1999, I think. I was actually a fan of the band, and still am, and was very impressed by her vocals. When we toured together, I saw her live and it was like a sledgehammer into the face. She had such charisma and was in the right place all the time.
DeadRhetoric.com: That's what I was wondering — if you were able to sneak out and watch her during the tour. Was it also a word-of-mouth kind of thing?
Holopainen: She's a really friendly person, but she's also quite persistent — she knows what she wants to do. She's also very metal. [laughs] Genuinely metal, and that's not the most common trait in a female, and I say this in a very positive way. There's the contrast. She's very feminine and very sweet… but you don't want to fuck with her. She's the Amazon; she has the size and the looks and she'll punch you in the face if you say something wrong.
DeadRhetoric.com: We can always second-guess and wonder, but was she ever in the running when you had the make the singer switch the first time?
Holopainen: To be honest, no. We never considered her because she was doing really well with AFTER FOREVER at that time and we didn't want to go into other people's territory at the time. It didn't seem like the right thing to do at the time.
DeadRhetoric.com: Another hypothetical: She doesn't have the big shoes to fill like Anette [Olzon] did for Tarja [Turunen] — it's easier for her.
Holopainen: [pauses] I haven't thought of it in that way, but we need to always remember to give a lot of credit to Anette — she did her job. I don't think there's anybody who could have sung those two albums better than her, but when Floor came in, the transition of the vocalist was unbelievable. It was practically two days she was with us and the fans were going crazy. We got a lot of really good support from them — there was a lot of positive feedback to us and to Floor. It went much better than we ever could have expected.
DeadRhetoric.com: You initially said you were going to wait until 2014 to mull over the decision and let the dust settle, yet you just made the announcement recently. Why do it now?
Holopainen: Just practical reasons. We realized we were coming up with the DVD release soon and will be doing a lot of talking, a lot of interviews and promotion and it would just feel silly and awkward not to say things out loud. We knew what would happen already in June or July — we decided, so to be talking to you right now and you'd be asking about Floor, I'd just feel stupid. Because of this DVD release, we decided with the other guys in the band to go public with it.
Read the entire interview at DeadRhetoric.com.