Since it's probably going to be quite quiet here, I though I'd share this oldie I found rather entertaining. Translation on FB or below, scans on FB.
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NIGHTWISH GOING ON A BREAK AFTER A SOLD OUT TOUR
The Kitee native Nightwish’s career has advanced further in five years than anyone could have imagined. The shy fledgling of the Angles Fall First era has today transformed into a peacock proudly showing its feathers. Nightwish continues on the path it has chosen and resigns itself to a long break at the peak of its popularity. Soundi saw the ecstasy of success in Germany and Austria.
Nightwish’s Century Child –album sold over 100 000 copies in Germany alone and the band is attracting more than just “ordinary” fans. For example the lead figure of Manowar, Joey DeMaio, has notified that he’s coming to the show in Westfalenhallen in Dortmund. Tuomas admits that he’s waiting to meet the heavy legend.
- I was in Spinefarm’s toilet when my phone rang. Hello, it's Joey DeMaio, I heard from the receiver. That was indeed a shock. Good thing I was on the toilet or I would’ve soiled myself!
- Joey has provisionally asked me to write songs for a new project. We will discuss the matter today, Tuomas, who went jeans shopping, says on the back yard of the concert hall.
Nightwish’s sold out European tour kicked off in Belgium the night before last.
- It was about sixty degrees in the fully packed club in Antwerp… It was definitely the hardest gig of my career! I was fully drained and after the halfway point I just waited for the ending bow. Luckily I stayed conscious, Holopainen huffs.
- This one guy gave us quite a surprise there. He talked to us at first like no big deal until he pulled out his wallet. He had tickets to all our 13 shows in Europe! Jukka rushes in clearly excited.
- I just heard a stupendous thing. Some nut online paid 450 euros for a ticket to tonight’s show. Think about it, 450 euros!
The group quiets down to think.
- You never get used to this, Tuomas gushes.
- These things came behind the corner so unexpectedly. The only thing you can do is to smile… I at least am waiting pessimistically for the worst option.
Roadies are carrying in Nightwish’s, Charon’s and the Dutch, who were asked to join the tour from Holopainen’s request, After Forever’s stuff. Nevalainen and Holopainen have time to reminisce stories from the road.
- Our guitar tech Kimi was stuck on a car ferry between Denmark and Germany on the way here. He went to use the toilet a couple of minutes the ferry was due to arrive and then we didn’t see him again, Tuomas starts.
- The boat let cars and people out and quickly took the next people on board. We explained to someone that this dude is still inside, can’t you wait a while. They couldn’t. So Kimi went off sailing back to Denmark without a phone or any money. We had to wait hours for that ship to come back. So the tour had a funny start, Jukka smiles.
- Our other tech Tero for one managed to lark about in Moscow. He couldn’t find his hotel room while being piss drunk. He had to go to the toilet real bad and eventually Tero peed into a dumpster on the hallway. A security camera was suitably in the same spot and soon two harsh security guards were dragging Tero to be interrogated.
- The men didn’t speak any English but gave some hand signals and Tero didn’t understand anything. The interrogation didn’t go anywhere, so the security dudes took Tero back to the trashcan full of urine. Our guy figured that there was no other way out of this than to give the men all his money. In the morning we found out that the hand signal meant prison…
Tuomas remembers a recent show in Amsterdam, where more than a few audience members were smoking substances categorized illegal in Finland.
- There was a blue smoke veil over the top row the entire time. Tarja of course took a deep breath while singing and suddenly she just fell to the floor completely out of it… So she’s been high once in her life. Though completely passively, Holopainen laughs.
TERRIBLE DOUBLE CHIN
The bands’ busses are parked next to concert venue’s fence so early arrived Nightwish fans see many glimpses of their favorites. The group leaning to the fence is downright shocked when the vocalist, who is trying on the cloak of a superstar, walks up to talk to them. One girl bursts into tears after shaking Turunen’s hand.
- Tarja, Tarja, the fans keep repeating. The singer listens patiently to sobbing people and answers to peculiar questions the best she can. Tarja turns to me smiling.
- This one fan has all the Nightwish publications in multiple editions and tens of different posters. Apparently I should sign all of these… Oh no, there’s old pictures where I have an unthinkable double chin, the singer says.
Turunen sign the autographs and wishes everyone a good day. Some fan gives the singer pieces of paper, with the fan’s home address and an exact itinerary. Tarja might not have the time for a visit.
Familiar routine continues inside Westfalhallen: roadies are working hard and the band members spend time in ways they see fit. For example by eating or talking mere nonsense.
- During Sinergy’s tour we wondered why no one has come up with a proper cure for hangover. Like something you take the next morning after partying. That would make you immediately feel good and you’d just remember that oh yes, I read a couple of books in the hotel room last night, Hietala tells. The man’s emerging hangover may have some cause for these thoughts.
I ask Marco to describe a normal day on tour as accurately as possible. The man thinks for a while.
- Now this is from my perspective… I do a show, the house is full of people, the people go nuts, I drink a couple of beers, I may be a bit nuts, I go to sleep in my sarcophagus, wake up, the car is moving or parked, technicians are taking stuff into the house, I go in to get some bread, coffee and soda, wait around, do the check, eat dinner, do a show, the house is full of people, the people are completely nuts, I drink a few beers and am a bit nuts.
FRONT ROW IN TEARS
As the night falls Manowar’s Joey DeMaio shows signs of life. Finally Joey, his girlfriend and a couple of friends arrive a few hours late. The American artist shakes hands with the Finnish entourage. I try to snap a picture of Tuomas and Joey, but the bassist politely declines. He hasn’t shaved you see.
- I’m a hard Nightwish fan, Joey explains indoors.
- You should’ve seen when I got the Oceanborn album. I listened to it long and hard, the man flatters without any sign of sucking up. Tuomas, Tarja and Marco watch wide-eyed.
- We’re going to play only two Oceanborn songs today, Tuomas apologizes. DeMaio isn’t startled by this but keeps praising Holopainen. Hietala in turn tells that his girlfriend is a huge fan and Joey writes some words for the bassist prettier half. Already Charon and After Forever get to play for a full hall. In the meanwhile Nightwish gets ready surprisingly casually.
Tarja does her makeup and warms up her voice. Tuomas is still talking with DeMaio. Marco, Emppu and Jukka are taking it easy: the guitarist is changing strings, Marco reminisces the dirty sentences he taught to Roope Latvala’s parrot and Jukka is warming up his limbs. It’s hard to imagine that the band climbs on stage in front of 3000 fans in fifteen minutes.
As the lights die down the audience bursts into wild applause. The intro starts and noise increases to infernal measures. Still a couple of minutes to take shots of salmiakki. Suddenly the air electrifies so you can almost see it. Jukka walks behind his kit and Bless The Child starts with a boom.
Tarja doesn’t basically have to do anything to create a mood. The latex wearing singer can make people scream with a movement of her little finger. Most enthusiastic ones in the front row openly shed tears during Sleeping Sun – and DeMaio might not be far from tearing up either since Sleeping Sun is his favorite song.
ENGAGEMENT IN SOUTH-AMERICA
After the show all hell breaks loose backstage.
- We have our own way of taking pictures, Charon’s Jasse rails holding a disposable camera.
- First you take a picture of something and after that you throw the camera over your shoulder, the man clarifies. The sentence is followed by a descriptive demonstration after which the camera lies in the dressing room corner looking sad.
There is reason to celebrate in the Nightwish camp. The concert was a success. The guys in the band know however that if you’re going to have beer you need to do it backstage, since there are no parties on the bus. Tarja needs to sleep so her voice holds up for the entire tour. It certainly isn’t easy for Turunen to calm down because she has heard about the documentary plans of German TV. On the other hand the most ecstatic concert situation is forgotten in daily activities. About half an hour after the show Turunen is already in the shower room washing her sweaty underwear.
On the other side of the backstage Nightwish’s manager Ewo Rytkönen is mixing alcohol and dairy products.
The party mood quickly spreads among tour staff and it doesn’t take long for the first gentleman to hang upside down from the pipes on the roof. With his pants around his knees.
- Tommi got engaged in South-America, Tuomas tells about man.
- The couple met in a pole bar. Next day they went on a date and after that Tommi payed for her flights to all other gigs in Brazil. After the concert in Curitiba we were eating and Tommi got down on one knee in front of the girl. The Brazilian said yes.
NO TO PINK
Next morning in South-Germany dawns sunny. The band’s busses have arrived to the town of Abtsgmünd and the Summer Breeze-festival. Nightwish would be the obvious main act by record sales but the Norwegian Dimmu Borgir is still headlining. With Nightwish’s approval though.
- Ooh, it was disgusting to go the toilet at night. Someone had thrown up in there, Tarja reports upset as she scrambles out of bed.
- And there was pee on the floor. I stepped onto the wet spot.
Oddly enough everyone assures they pee sitting down…
The Finnish press has always given a spick-and-span picture of Tarja – probably Finland’s most well-known heavy metal singer has a tamer image than the current Miss Finland!
No, Tarja doesn’t smoke nor drink nor run after men with long hair, but it’s high time the readers of Soundi knew that Turunen can curse and “be one of the guys.” She wouldn’t manage with Nightwish otherwise.
Marco huffs as he gets on the bus. The security guys have told him to wear the festival’s pink artist-band around his wrist. The man’s wristband still hangs from a strap around his neck.
- I’m not wearing pink! That’s not negotiable. End of story.
Nightwish’s signing session disrupts the waiting atmosphere. The band sits down at the exact given time on a bus where the signing takes place. The side windows are opened and a couple of thousand fans try to get closer to the artists. Chaos is complete. The security isn’t happy and the heavy magazine Hammer’s tent is at risk to fall down. Finally the staff has the situation under control with a temporary fence. Nightwish writes autographs for over an hour but hundreds of eager fans are still left with nothing. Lastly the security personnel ask autographs for themselves.
- I’ve heard some bad news, Ewo says with enthusiasm after the hassle.
- All the shows in Germany are sold out in advance! Even the four thousands ticket to Köln’s Palladium!
- Phwe, the tour is already mostly surreally big. We still could have played in bigger venues, Holopainen marvels.
- Nightwish’s next tour will surely be booked into halls HIM is playing in Germany, Charon’s tour manager Toni Peiju tells.
As darkness falls Nightwish takes the stage at Summer Breeze. Even Tuomas admits he was nervous when he glanced at the mass of 12 000 people.
The audience has waited for Nightwish all day and the band conquers with an idiot-proof setlist of hits. Hietala introduces some of the songs, but the man’s stories go over most people’s heads. Before one song the bassist ask the women to pay special attention to the hairiness of his legs.
The representative of Summer Breeze comes to talk with Tuomas right after the show. She thanks for a great gig and politely asks if a few South-American fans could come to say hi to the band. Holopainen says yes and a couple in the forties shyly comes to the bus. The English speaking Brazilian man explains his wife is on her first trip out of the country. Just for Nightwish.
Tuomas, Marco and Jukka talk to the couple and sign autographs. Yet the Brazilians are most excited about meeting Tarja. The singer soon shows up and the tension relaxes; the woman sobs and the man is deeply moved.
- Let’s go and see hamburgers, Jukka ponders later. Dimmu Borgir’s set interests also the other members of Nightwish. Not for long though.
- Oh my, that sounded like Survivor. I thought it would be much more hard core, Marco shakes his head after a couple of songs. Tarja on the other hand loses interest because of Shagrath’s screaming. An understandable reaction from someone training to be an opera singer. Turunen thinks she might be better off going to talk with Anneke van Giersbergen from The Gathering. Probably about girl stuff.
After Summer Breeze the program has a 600 kilometer drive to Austria’s capital Wien during the night. Almost all the musicians and roadies head straight to bed as the drivers lead the caravan on nocturnal roads.
The festival that can hold 5000 people was found on the outskirts of Wien after searching for a while. The time has made it to the afternoon and it’s shockingly hot in the city.
Nightwish is the absolute headliner of the night. The warm-up will be done by for example Hypocrisy, Sodom and Tiamat. I tell to Hypocrisy’s Peter Tägtgren and Tiamat’s Johan Edlund that I’m doing an article about Nightwish and both men assure they like the Finnish band. As a guarantee to their words the men list their favorite songs.
- The band has its own style. Heavy, rock’n’roll or whatever it is. Nice to see them perform, Peter tells. Tuomas arrives there just at the right time because Tägtgren’s other band Pain is one of Holopainen’s favorites.
We retreat a bit to the side with the keyboardist. He has promised to tell me about his trip to America in August.
- There’s this family in San Diego. They are huge fans of ours. The father, mother and son like us incomprehensibly lot. But the kid has an incorrigible cancer and will die before Christmas. They said to me one time that come and visit us, at least for the funeral, Holopainen tells.
- I dropped by there in August and it was a pretty senseless emotional experience for a Finn. The boy wouldn’t even see me or his family anymore. They just cried all day and I didn’t quite know what I could do. It was a really hard time…
In Wien Nightwish shows they are worthy to be headlining. Even if you are looking at the show with blue-and-white glasses on, the Finnish-Swedish match ends clearly 6-0 today. Tiamat ja Hypocrisy don’t get a reception anything near to Nightwish. The band is happy with their show, once again. A little later I’m left standing on a deserting side street in Wien. Nightwish’s caravan starts the travel towards Hamburg. And Reeperbahn.
Nightwish’s big voiced front woman Tarja Turunen recently moved to Germany to continue her singing studies. This decision started the rumor mill that Nightwish would have reached the end of its road after Century Child World Tour.
- I have a tough winter ahead regards to school but that won’t break up the band. Nightwish will continue after the break without a doubt!
Tarja does admit that leaving Nightwish has crossed her mind.
- I burned out in autumn 2001. Things in school were screwed up. I didn’t have the energy to climb up that hill in Finland anymore. Everyone in school was asking what I was doing there. Then I left to Germany and everything changed.
- I Finland I’ve only been poked fun because of Nightwish, but in Karlsruhe both the student and teachers have been really interested. Most amazing thing is that about ten singers and cellists came to see us perform at Bang Your Head –heavy festival.
- Thinking of German festivals, the performance in Wacken comes to mind. I was going from Kuopio via Helsinki to Hamburg but the plane was forced to land in Pori due to fog. Finally I made it to Wacken just little before the performance. It was really nice to do my makeup and warm up my voice in the car on the way from the airport to the festival.
- Another little less funny gig memory from Mexico. I had on black pants that had ripped from the crotch during the show. You could see my white underpants, so the front row had something to wonder about. I noticed it only after the show. I was so ashamed!
- I did some classical concerts recently in Argentina and Chile. Nightwish fans of course got wind of them and a lot of people showed up. Classical events don’t usually have that many people… A few singers came with me from Germany and they were totally shocked about the reception! People cheered wildly to them too.
- It’s been really hard sometimes and many would have surely quit this along the way. Yet I’m so proud of Tuomas’ compositions and I want to see where this leads. I have developed as a singer too thanks to Nightwish.
- But indeed, being a woman in these circles… It is tough. Smoky venues, uncontrollable moments on stage, guys partying at night and all that. I’ve many times cried backstage after a concert when my voice is tattered.