NIGHTWISH mainman Tuomas Holopainen has finished composing two new songs for the group's next studio album which is not expected to surface until 2007, the keyboardist revealed in a brand-new interview published in the Finnish newspaper Keskisuomalainen. According to Holopainen, the band are hoping to begin recording their next album in September 2006, but if need be, they are willing to push back the projected recording sessions for their next CD even further so that a suitable replacement for the recently departed singer Tarja Turunen can be found.
Like 2004's "Once", the group's next CD will likely take at least six months to record, which means that the new singer's contributions to the new album will not be put down on tape until sometime in early 2007 — giving the band more time to find the right person to replace Tarja.
Holopainen told the Keskisuomalainen newspaper that the band's style will not change now that Turunen is gone. The next NIGHTWISH album will follow the same musical path as the band's most recent releases, but with a new female vocalist.
"It will be interesting to see how many singers will apply for the position," Tuomas is quoted as saying. "After all, Tarja is is a first-rate singer, and replacing her will not be easy.
"The new singer will be chosen not only for her singing skills. She must also be beautiful, charismatic and she must possess a great deal of self-esteem.
"We will not necessarily pick a Tarja clone," Holopainen continued. "We will be open to a slightly new sound, especially when it comes to the vocalist."
Although the band's requirements for the new singer are high, Holopainen knows that the group's fan base will not necessarily welcome their return with open arms.
"Of course, we will get a few beer cans thrown on the stage when we fist start playing out with the new singer," Tuomas said. "Some of our fans are die-hard Tarja devotees and those people will never accept the fact that we can go on without her."