Metal Hammer recently conducted an interview with NIGHTWISH keyboardist/mainman Tuomas Holopainen:
Metal Hammer: You recently played a secret live show in Hamburg as SUSHI PATROL. How did it go?
Tuomas: "Actually we did three secret shows with different names, first was in Estonia, second was in Helsinki Finland and the third in Hamburg. They went incredibly well but I have to be honest I don't think I've been so incredibly scared in my life! The audience were so respectful to Anette [Olzon, new NIGHTWISH singer], I think they really liked what they heard. It was an incredibly encouraging experience. During these three shows I think I only saw one middle finger. We're about to have our first show under the name NIGHTWISH in Tel Aviv."
Metal Hammer: Why Israel?
Tuomas: "The original idea was to start in the U.S. but we wanted to go to Israel as well — these people have wanted to see NIGHTWISH for many many years. This is the first weekend we have free for the next year so we had to start off there."
Metal Hammer: What were you so scared about doing the first shows?
Tuomas: "The previous singer was such a strong icon for the band so we were worried how the fans might respond to Anette. We were worried something bad might happen onstage. Plus we hadn't played together for two years so whether the routine is still there or not remains to be seen and how Anette would cope with the audience how she would be able to do the old songs in particular."
Metal Hammer: This is Anette's first time playing bigger shows. Have you had any advice for her?
Tuomas: "We've been having a lot of group therapy! [laughs] We need to be more open about everything talk about everything that annoys us and all the needs that we have no matter how vain they seem. We need to plan everything ahead more carefully. There are four in the band who have families with kids and these things matter the most. So we have to schedule the tour so we have some spare time and time with our families."
Metal Hammer: Do you have any specific plans for the live shows?
Tuomas: "My philosophy is it's all about the music and the show should be equal experience whether you have any extra lights or pyros. When we have the chance and the venue is big enough we love to emphasise the visual side of the show as well by using pyrotechnics and all kinds of confetti and stuff. None of that's going to be used in the U.S. because the venues are so small but we'll definitely do something in Europe. I'm not quite sure what yet."
Metal Hammer: Are you confident you can break the U.S.?
Tuomas: "I have my hopes but it's still the hardest market in the world for this kind of music for a band who isn't from the U.S. It's seems like we're bubbling under over there at the moment so I really think anything can happen. We're going to put a little more effort into America this time. I'm always up for a challenge. If we can sell more albums and play bigger venues it's a pat on the head. It's not like we're going to go there and try to 'conquer' America."
Metal Hammer: Do you have a message for British NIGHTWISH fans?
Tuomas: "We all have very good memories from the last time we played the UK — all the shows were sold out and I always say when people ask where the wildest audiences in the world are, I always say that outside of Finland it's the UK and Canada. So thank you for being so welcoming."
Watch fan-filmed video footage of NIGHTWISH performing the song "Amaranth" on October 18, 2007 at the Nokia Theatre in New York City: