RockMidgets.com recently conducted an interview with NIGHTWISH keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
RockMidgets.com: So back to the present, you've just launched the search for the new singer, how is that going? Any good? Any terrible?
Tuomas Holopainen: "It's been overwhelming when it comes to demos. So far I've been listening to close to 500 different demos sent to me in the past two months or so and word is that I've got another 100 waiting for me at home. Some are good, some average, they are coming for all over the world and we have been checking out every single one of them, I want to emphasise that but absolutely no decision has been made yet and we are in no hurry. There are 20 coming still each day so we are taking our time. Personally I would be happy even if we didn't find anyone till the end of the year."
RockMidgets.com: So no deadline then?
Tuomas Holopainen: "Not really. All the studios have been booked for the next album and I have written the songs for the next album and we will enter the studio in September but you know for the past 10 years the singer was never in the rehearsal room so its not going to change like that. Obviously if we find a replacement next week all the better but it can be done this way as well."
RockMidgets.com: So if someone out there is thinking, I want to sing for NIGHTWISH, what qualities should they have?
Tuomas Holopainen: "The last thing we are looking for is a cheap replica of Tarja. I mean she did her job perfectly and her voice was perfect for the band so there is no use trying to top that in any way so I think that I will bravely go into new directions with the female voice. The most important thing she must have is versatility, she needs to be able to sing those high notes with a lot of force but also sing the ballads with emotion and some recognisable voice wouldn't hurt either. I mean there are a lot of good singers with personality out there but the most difficult thing to find will be the charisma, the right character because not only does she need to have the voice, but she needs to have a sense of humour and the best self-esteem in the whole world, because just imagine the hell she is going to go through when we announce her to the public."
RockMidgets.com: So you didn't think of doing this in the media's eye? Surely you could have done some kind of MTV or "Pop Idol" type show to find a new vocalist.
Tuomas Holopainen: "We were proposed that, there was one broadcasting company in Finland and actually one from abroad that suggested it to us that wanted to make a reality TV show like INXS did. I think it's a ridiculous idea and it would be really bad for the image of the band and I think we can take care of it ourselves."
RockMidgets.com: Thank goodness for that! Are you also fed up with all the speculation surrounding your new singer? It seems impossible to pick up a music magazine and not see some established singer associated with you guys, are you fed up with the press suggesting Sharon den Adel or Liv Kristine are gonna sing for you?
Tuomas Holopainen: "It's a really cheesy stuff for the media and the press, you couldn't believe the amount of rumours. Liv Kristine was on the front cover of one of the biggest magazines in Finland one day saying that she is the new singer of NIGHTWISH. Amy Lee was in the tabloids in the Finland saying she is the new singer and then Simone from EPICA. Pretty much every female metal singer has been announced as the new NIGHTWISH singer but you shouldn't believe anything and I truly trust people will not believe anything. I mean the only really reliable source for this information will be Nightwish.com."
RockMidgets.com: So you're all busy with the writing of the new album. Is it a solo effort or do all of you get together for a brainstorming session once in a while?
Tuomas Holopainen: "It doesn't really work that way for us. Songwriting is a really intimate and personal process for me so I really need the solitude and the time being by myself. I couldn't imagine NIGHTWISH doing an album of songs from jamming in the rehearsal room the way PANTERA did. It's a really good way and I really respect that but it's not our style. I sure hope you are not going to be disappointed. I am feeling really confident about the new songs, there's 15 of them already and the other guys seem to be really happy about them. All we need is a singer now."
Read the entire interview at RockMidgets.com.