16/04/2012 – Interview Marco Hietala

Hi Marco, thank you for the interview! How are you doing?
As you can hear, I’m enjoying myself!

The European leg of the Imaginaerum World Tour started a week ago. How is the tour going so far?
So far, we’ve been doing some really good shows. The fans were very enthusiastic and the band has been in a relax and good mood. It’s fantastic if you can combine those two things together.

There’re a lot of visual effects, like pyro’s and confetti, during a Nightwish show. Do you find the visual aspect of the show really important?
To be honest, I don’t think the music really needs it. Somehow the band has been successful and we managed to get some income over the years which we could spend. Therefore we wanted to do it big this time with pyro’s, confetti and big screens. Of course you combine that with the music and hopefully we succeed to create something great this way.

What are the plans for the rest of the Imaginaerum World Tour?
Now we’re doing the European tour. In May we’re at home, so we have some time to recharge our batteries for the festival season. In June we start the festival season and afterwards (Autumn/Winter) we’ll be touring in North and South America. Then there are still a few other places we need to visit.

Will there be another (smaller) European tour in 2013?
We’re not sure yet!

The last tour, Nightwish released a live CD – Made in Hong Kong. Are there any plans for a live CD or DVD for this tour?
No, I don’t think so! With Made In Hong Kong (And In Various Other Places) we wanted to show how the band sounded at that moment. For a live CD or DVD we actually see whether there is a good opportunity, a good place or a nice environment to do this. At this moment, we’re not making active plans for a live CD or DVD.

Imaginaerum was released a couple of months ago and sold gold in several countries. What kind of feedback did you receive from the fans and the media?
As always, you get some good and bad reviews, but in general we made most of the people happy. The album is selling good and most of the people seem to like it. We have the opinion that Imaginaerum is the best album we have made so far. The album is full of life and it has different kind of atmospheres. The album also shows that we dare to break boundaries.

What are according to you the key success elements of Imaginaerum?
The honesty and integrity of the band. We are basically free to do what we want and we don’t have a record company that tells us what we should do. That also helps us to be honest, so we can make music that satisfies all of us. The secret why the people like the music is because it’s not calculated and it’s not music made by recipes.

On Imaginaerum you wrote The Crow, The Owl and The Dove. How come that the most “metal dude” of the band writes the softest song on the album?
I actually write a lot of acoustic songs and that’s why I got this one as well. I played the riff to Tuomas and he liked the song. He told me I definitely had to keep the song for the band. I had a certain atmosphere in my mind and then Tuomas came up with those lyrics that suited the song really well. Tuomas really felt the serenity of the song.

What was your inspiration?
Of course I had a certain atmosphere in my head, but in this case it was the riff that inspired me. I was just repeating the riff and the rest of the song just came naturally. Sometimes you have a story in your mind, but that was not the case this time.

Troy is playing a bigger role on the new album and during the live shows. How is it to work with him?
We got to know Troy during the Dark Passion Play sessions in the studio. I wasn’t there but the guys met him there. I met him for the first time during the recordings of The Islander video. We ended up playing some shows together and so you get to know people. And in this case we get along very well.

Imaginaerum is also based on a movie. Did you enjoy playing in the movie?
Yeah, that was a whole new experience! We were there for only a few days. The days were really long and there was also a lot of hassle, chaos and action. There were also times when you had to wait in hot places and then you had to do the action again and again. So, I can imagine it can be really heavy if you do it for a long period. But for me it was a new experience and I really enjoyed it.

Do you have more information about the release date of the trailer and movie?
The current release date is scheduled in August of this year. They’re still doing some last minute stuff and apparently there are still things that have to be done. But most of the things are done though.

How do you feel about the release of the movie? Is it the same feeling when you’re releasing an album or is it different?
I’ve been in bands and releasing albums for more than 20-25 years. The first albums are the most exciting. To be this long in this business ruins the excitement for the movie. But of course I’m still waiting for it to happen. It’s going to be interesting times. From what I’ve seen from the story, it seems that if we get everything right, it’s going to be a hell of a trip. I really hope that all the pieces and edits fall into place. From what I’ve seen, all the possibilities are there.

With Imaginaerum, Nightwish made an album and a movie. Aren’t you afraid the expectations will be too high for the next album?
We still have the possibility of doing the first live show on the international space station (laughs). There are still possibilities to carry out some ambitious project. You don’t do this without a reason. I still see the opportunity to go further or we can just go back to the roots and make everything a bit easier. It depends on what kind of songs we’re going to write and what ideas we already have. I am sure we are not going to make a movie the next time šŸ˜‰

Describe each bandmember and Troy with one word!
Anette: mad
Tuomas: thoughtful
Emppu: carefree
Jukka: calculated
Troy: serene

1. Taikatalvi
2. Storytime
3. Wish I Had An Angel
4. Amaranth
5. Scaretale
6. Slow, Love, Slow
7. I Want My Tears Back
8. Come Cover Me
9. The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
10. The Islander
11. Nemo (Acoustic)
12. Last Of The Wilds
13. Planet Hell
14. Ghost River
15. Dead To The World
16. Over The Hills And Far Away
17. Finlandia
18. Song Of Myself
19. Last Ride Of The Day
20. Imaginaerum

Interview by Bloemsel

Thanks go to Nightwish, Nuclear Blast & Rudy De Doncker

Ā© Wish Upon A Star – Nightwish Belgium