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NIGHTWISH Keyboardist: 'I Detest Digital Stuff To The Bone' recently conducted an interview with NIGHTWISH keyboardist/mainman Tuomas Holopainen. A few excerpts from the chat follow below. What are your thoughts on digital-only releases? Do you see yourself going that way in the future or do prefer to have the actual hard copy as long as its possible?

Tuomas: I detest digital stuff to the bone. Maybe it's the thing for the future and that is a scary thought. I don't even own an iPod and I have never downloaded a single thing from the Internet, I don't even know how it's done. I want my CD in my hand so I can see the cover and read the lyrics, everything. Just my opnion. You seem to be a person that is very in touch with nature. I remember on the "End Of Innocence" DVD you spoke of your family's cabin with fond reverence. When you were down and out in 2001 between "Over The Hills" and "Century Child" you went to the woods with Tony [Kakko] and that was a very rejuvenating experience. How do you think that being in touch with nature and having an appreciation for nature affected your songwriting in the early days, and then how do you think touring the world and seeing all sorts of difference cultures affected your songwriting if at all?

Tuomas: I think that everything you see and experience in life affects your songwriting on a subconscious level. But the fact that I've been living in the middle of nowhere in the woods all of the thirty two years of my life, that has certainly affected what I am as a person and that way to my songwriting. I'd like to think that the songs I do are quite organic. I take alot of inspiration from the beauty of the world, the beauty and the purity of nature which I have witnessed my whole life. If I was a city slicker, I think I would be doing something like industrial metal. I think that there is a strong connection with nature in everything we do. Have you written all your songs while home in Finland? Or have you composed songs in various places like the beaches in Japan or down south in Australia? Not just riffs or ideas but whole concrete songs.

Tuomas: I have never completed a song anywhere else other than my own room in my house. I'm gathering ideas all the time wherever I am. Right now I have a notebook — actually, two notebooks because one is full already — and they are full of ideas, lyrics, riffs, melodies, little lines. Touring the world I get inspired all the time by people I meet, different cultures and experiences. I feel the world so strongly and it feels good. But it is impossible for me to find the mood to complete a song in an environment like this. [touring] I need my peace and solitude at home for a few months to be able to put it all together. What is your favorite aspect of the music industry and what is your least favorite part? This could be anything from the songwriting process, to touring and seeing cultures, record label politics. Basically, what is your favorite part of being a professional musician and what is your least favorite?

Tuomas: By far my most favorite aspect is the songwriting process. The part where I get to be by myself at home and do the songs and then introduce them to the band and rehearse them. All of this, bringing the ideas together and creating music out of nothing. That is by far my most favorite part. Of course I like touring, I like meeting new people, being in different countries and seeing the sights, but that's secondary. The business part is by far the worst. I have taken a really naive approach to all of that. I don't talk about that and I don't want to hear about it because it takes all of my energy away. I am such a child when it comes to all this business stuff. People around me and even in the band, they criticize me a little bit that I should know where I'm going with the money and I just say that I can't deal with it, that's why we have the managers. We have two of them and our drummer, Jukka, takes care of all the business. I trust him completely. I have no idea how much we get for these shows, I don't know what the ticket sales are, I don't know how much money we are making and I don't want to know. It really gives me the creeps. Does not knowing all that stuff and not stressing about it, does it feel like it allows you to be more pure?

Tuomas: Yeah, exactly. Because I know myself. And I know my limits. Not dealing with that stuff in a way helps me to make better music. It sounds corny but that's the way it is. I even quit my e-mail so I don't even have that anymore. Whenever I would wake up and check my e-mails, there would be twenty new messages and it would all be record label crap, money business and all that. I just can't do this, sorry. So we made a deal and I stay out of it. Let other people who have the understanding and the interest to do that do it. Because you write such very profound lyrics and because NIGHTWISH's popularity is growing more and more, do you ever feel that someone might have misinterpreted a deeply personal song that you have written in a horrible way and also in a sense do you feel that you have a bit of responsibility for these people who do take these songs in and think the world of them?

Tuomas: It's a really scary thought. I have thought about this alot in the past few months about the responsibility. It's an immensely scary thought. Some people have taken the songs that we do and the lyrics so deep into them and they are almost reading it as a bible. Sometimes you meet the fanatic fans and you see what it means to them and it's like... it is important, it is music and it's poetry but it isn't the whole world. That's something that I have a hard time coping with because I feel the responsibility on my shoulders and I'm not so sure if I can take it always. I've seen the effect that I or another band member can have on a fan. It takes one minute of your life to go and see somebody and take a picture with him or her, sign an autograph and chat a few words. And they live five years longer because of that you can see it in their eyes, it means the world to them. Sometimes you simply can't, though — you don't have the time or the energy, and you just can't do it. Later on you feel like, "I could have done it." I have that power to influence people and make them feel really good or really bad by not meeting them or doing something wrong unintentionally and that I have a hard time coping with.

Read the entire interview from


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