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Interviews > Nightmail - Tuomas
Nightmail - Tuomas

The Fans - Nightmail
June 2006

Christiane (São Paulo - Brazil): I wish to ask you what an ocean soul means for you...

Tuomas: I guess it's the best way of describing me in two words. Some things are better left unexplained.

Saga (Tampere): What do you wish for your future? What is the best thing in your life at the moment?

Tuomas: The people around me, creating the new Nightwish-album, the nightly campfire and the weekly Donald Duck -comic. The future is open; A fact which makes it so interesting. I hope the future brings lots of happiness through blood, sweat and tears.

Laluna (Norway): What is it about the ocean you find so fascinating?

Tuomas: Beauty,wildness and mysteriousness. Water is my element.

Shawna (Quebec City, Canada): I'm just curious to know what do you think your life would have been without Nightwish? I mean, did you have a career in mind when you were younger, other than making music? Starting a band is risky business so I was just wondering if you ever had a plan B or something?

Tuomas: I believe my life would be more serene, more balanced and possibly more boring. I was supposed to become a marine biologist, that was my childhood dream. I studied environmental sciences for a year in a university but then music took over. There's still a great deal of a scientist and a naturalist hidden within me, but the "academic constipation" was the thing that bothered me the most. I'm not regretting my choice. Hope I never will.

Weston (New York): 1. What is your approach to writing lyrics? Do choose a subject and force yourself to write about that because you want to or do the lyrics just start to gradually come to you before you've even chosen a subject?
2. What is one thing that is or at least you think is missing from your life?

Tuomas: 1. The subject always comes first. Meaning that I always know what I will write of, before putting down the first line.. After that starts the flow of mind. Sometimes writing lyrics can be a living hell, though. There's the good story but the lines just don't fit the vocal melodies, it doesn't rhyme in right places, the singer cannot sing this particular vowel from this particular note, this line has too many S's, etc.
It's still the most satisfying job imaginable.
2. Serenity of mind.

Anna (Pennsylvania, USA): What is your favorite Disney movie?

Tuomas: Beauty and the Beast, Fantasia, Sleeping Beauty

AnaCaramella (Brazil): Is there going to be any lyrics in the new album that are made by other members of the band?

Tuomas: Lyrics, no. Music, yes

Javiera V. Orchard (Chile): What is the greatest dream you want to make true, with Nightwish, and without the band?

Tuomas: The greatest dream with Nightwish is still to make the best album and play the best show. Revealing my other, personal dreams here would end up being corny and long-winded blablah.

Matti (Finland): Tuomas, on my nemo flag you're holding a cross... I wonder if you're religous of any kind??

Tuomas: Not religious, more like a thinking, open-minded individual. Religions and their dogmas are not necessarily bad. Human beings interpreting them are.

Hannah (Illinios, USA): Tuomas..when you named the band..was there any special meaning behing it?Was it something you made up right on the spot?

Tuomas: Nightwish was just the name of the first song we ever did.

MT (Serbia): Tell me honestly, were you ever in love with Tarja?

Tuomas: One misleading word now and I will be in tabloids once again...
Let's say that we had a special and emotional relationship without any romantic attatchments. The fire was burning between her voice and my songs.

Giannina Huguet (Santiago, Chile): 1. What's going on in For My Pain camp lately? Do you think you'll keep with that project in the future?
2. Have you ever been stalked by a fan, in a way that scares you?

Tuomas: 1. For My Pain is a therapy project, that's why it's done on a when-there's-time-basis. At the moment everybody's so busy with Eternal Tears Of Sorrow, Charon, Reflexion and Nightwish that it would be impossible to do anything together. Still, the plan is to make future albums and some songs already exist. We just have to wait and find the time.
2. No, I haven't.

Asena (Istanbul): Do you engage in any creative activities besides music? (E.g. drawing, painting, photography, etc.)

Tuomas: No, it's all music for me. I can't draw worth shit.

Macu (Saarijärvi): On Once-album there was "traditional" symphony orchestra. Do you have any plans to make a concert together with symphony orchestra?

Tuomas: It's been our dream for a long time already. Originally the Once-tour was supposed to end with this kind of a show but because of various reasons we decided to postpone the production into unknown future.

Mika (Joensuu): You wrote the song "Hiljaisen Talven Lapsi" for Timo Rautiainen's album "Sarvivuori". It's absolutely masterpiece. Did you write that song particularly to Timo Rautiainen or was it old unrecorded Nightwish -stuff?

Tuomas: This song (Child Of A Silent Winter) was written particularly for Timo's solo album. It was actually the 2nd song I ever did "for a request" (after "Sleeping Sun"). I was quite suspicious about the band's reaction towards the song but it does fit well to the album, despite it's bombastic/melodramatic elements.
Writing lyrics in Finnish is still quite a challenge, though.

Mikko Pöntinen (Kouvola): Do you use paper and pen for noting songs or do you use computer for that?

Tuomas: I never use a computer and almost never write notes. The only time I did that (write the basic chords and melodies) was for the orchestra and choir of the Once-sessions.

Samuel 3v. (Tampere): Did you like dinosaurs and dragons when you were a little child?

Tuomas: The dinosaur-thing never really hit me but dragons and other fantasy creatures sure did. Oh, and Nalle Luppakorva, the hupsis-men, indians, wolves, Brothers Lionheart and the horse Histamiini, too!

Unknown (Unknown): You headbang quite a lot during your concerts, have you ever headbanged too far and hit your head on the keyboards?

Tuomas: Just once, I think. My hair, necklaces or wristbands get caught in between the keys quite often, though. Trying to free myself from the situation is rather embarrassing during the show.

Unknown (Unknown): Are the chances good for a Fall 2007 USA tour in support of the new album?
Where does the inspiration come for the beautiful music you seem to always write?

Tuomas: US tour in 2007 is possible, even likely.
Inspiration (I'm not a big fan of the word) comes from having those big emotions within, that you just have to let out. Everyday experiences, dreams, fears, wishes and so on. Making songs drills a hole in your head and channels the steam out. It's my asylum and a defence mechanism against the world.

Unknown (Unknown): Do you sometimes think that we girls in the front row are crazy? On End of an Era -DVD at least it seems we are...

Tuomas: Of course you are, and so are we. But above all, you are the real thing. Thanks for that.

Unknown (Unknown): Where is your favourite place to go hiking?

Tuomas: Around Kiilopää, in UKK national park in Finnish Lapland. The shores of Polar Sea in northern Norway.

Unknown (Unknown): 1. How did you come to appear on Children Of Bodom's "Trashed & Lost In Helsinki"? Was it just a coincidence, like you being in Tavastia club and the guys suddenly turning up?
2. How do you / the entire band get along with COB? 'Cause I noticed they where mentioned on some thanks-lists in your cd-booklets... It would be really awesome if your were like friends with COB, cuz that would mean that 2 of my favourite bands would be friends.

Tuomas: 1. It was pure luck (or misfortune). As I recall, we were there with John Two-Hawks watching the Tarot-show.
2. We get along great. Alexi and I were even on a vacation together once, in Orlando, FL.

Unknown (Unknown): Which is the most beautiful or wonderful place of the world you have ever visited? Why?

Tuomas: This list would be the size of the Bible... The wilderness of Lapland, the Blue Mountains near Syndey, the underwater experiences around the world, just to mention a few. Because of the natural beauty and wildness.

Unknown (Unknown): How did it feel to be amongst the London Session Orchestra, hearing them playing your songs ???

Tuomas: These musicians are phenomenal and I feel extremely honored to have them play our music. Cannot wait for the upcoming sessions with them.

Unknown (Unknown): It's so difficult to think of a question to ask you. What do you think, why is that?
If you could wish for a book to be filmed, you being in charge of the score, which book would it be?

Tuomas: Because everything's already been revealed. Far too much, that is.
The book would be Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" -epic.

Unknown (Unknown): 1. You said that if you had chance, you would go back 20 years in time. What would you do?
2. If you could choose a Disney, or Lord of the Rings caracter to represent you, who would you choose? And why?
3. You are loved around the world. There are people that love you like you were a God! Girls that would do anything to see you for a moment. What do you feel about this? Do you have a message for those people? For those girls?
4. If today was your last day on Earth, what were the first three things you would do?

Tuomas: 1. Learn to live by looking at myself back then.
2. Beast from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast". (NOT the incredibly cheesy prince-figure at the end of the film).
3. They love the music, not the person. That's very flattering, still.
4. Plant a tree, write a song and quit smoking.

Unknown (Unknown): 1. The more recent Nightwish albums have large orchestra and choir parts in them. Do you write these yourself? What role do you have in the orchestration of your music? Also what made you choose to change your style? (Alice)
2. I often see you in photographs and in concert wearing crosses. Also, some people believe there is a religious connotation in your lyrics. Do you intend for Nightwish to promote Christianity or are you just pious / wear crosses as a fashion statement? (Jacob)
3. Your lyrics are very romantic, yet you appear to your fans as celibate. Is this a privacy issue to you? Are you homosexual? (Janine)
4. Some bands use keyboards to immitate sounds in everyday life. However, I have not noticed any motor / blender sounds in Nightwish, so what would you say is the main role of keyboards in Nightwish? (Sung Bin)
5. What kind of family were you raised in? Both parents? Siblings? Extended family? What were the occupations of your parents? Are you still close to your family? (Cassandra; Diane)
6. Do you enjoy interacting with fans or do you strive to stay out of the limelight?
Are you afraid to end up like John Lennon? (Nora; John)
7. What Nightwish song do you find the most challenging to play and why? (Andrew)

Tuomas: 1. I write the basic ideas, riffs and melodies. However, I have little knowledge of arranging songs / writing notesheets for an orchestra so this is when Mr. Pip Williams comes along. He writes the scores based on my ideas, often adding some completely new elements into the arrangements. He's a fantastic guy and we owe him big time for everything he has done.
This symphonic style has always been our trademark, but only on the previous two albums we've had the chance to add the real thing to the keyboard sounds.
2. It's not a fashion statement nor promotion for Christianity. I have my personal reasons for wearing that piece.
3. It's always so nice to get feedback of one's appearence. I like girls.
4. The keyboard's main role is just to play its required parts in every song, equal to any other instrument. Naturally I use it as my main songwriting tool.
5. My mom is a retired teacher, my dad is a retired engineer. I have two elder siblings, a sister (urologist) and a brother (assistant to a pathologist). It's quite a weird pack but we are all very close.
6. I'm not afraid of those things, a meteorite can hit my head anytime anywhere. I enjoy hanging out with the fans whenever it's possible but when it comes to the limelight and publicity, I'd rather stay in the background.
7. Bless the Child is a surprisingly difficult piece. The string staccato parts give me the cramps.

Unknown (Unknown): What do you mean by "cultural differences" in your letter to Tarja as a reference to Marcelo? Is there something wrong with him being latin american?

Tuomas: It was the band's letter, not mine. What we mean by cultural differences is that we see some things differently, because we learned them differently with our mother's milk. The way things are handled in music business in South America and in e.g. Europe, differ quite a bit. This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact of anyone being Latin American. I have lots of good friends from there, and I'm the least racist person in the world, if that's what you are implying.
But if somebody (doesn't matter where he / she is from) comes along and starts controlling my creation and life's work, I want to understand why this happens and why there isn't a solution to the conflict. The answer is greed, and the fact that we see things from such utterly different perspective, even without any deliberate bad thoughts. Partly due to cultural differences.

Callum Thomson (Sydney, Australia): Do you have any advice for an up-and-coming power metal band? To give you an idea of our current formation we have: Lead/rythm guitar / vocals, Bass guitar/vocals, Drums, Keyboard/vocals (female) and Opera vocals(female)/Midi arrangement. Thanks for any help! -Luca ps. Why didn't you take voice lessons?

Tuomas: I can just offer a cliché of following you heart and rehearsing / working like hell. Feet to the ground but head to the heavens.
I don't sing because I don't enjoy singing. I am traumatized by singing like a mule in front of 25000 people at Wacken Open Air some years ago.

Unknown (Unknown): I've always wondered about your song making process... Which one comes first, melody or lyrics? Which one is easier to make?

Tuomas: At first I always have an idea of the storyline of the song. After that it's all about painting that particular story / state of emotion with music. The lyrics usually come at last. For me the songs are short movies that you can see with your ears.
Occasionally the music for a song can end up being something that was not planned, it doesn't tell the original story anymore. This happened in for example "Stargazers" and one upcoming song.
I consider myself a slow writer, and both music and lyricas are an equally hard task.

Louise (England): Do you watch or play any sport?

Tuomas: When I was younger I used to play tennis and Finnish baseball. These days it's just occasional jogging, gym, hiking etc. I mostly follow the Finnish baseball league but also the big events in soccer and ice-hockey. As a matter of fact, I'm completely hooked to the soccer world cup.

Persiancat (): Does your sweet persian cat ever visit cat exhibitions? What is its official, registered name?

Tuomas: I don't know. They are more like my mom's cats than mine. Nauskis and Kurnaus are the names.

Mari (Joensuu): How have your rehearsals been going so far?

Tuomas: Just great! We rehearsed 15 songs altogether. So out of the 16 we had, only one didn't make it to the finals. The demo recordings will begin in a week.

Beezqp (Poland): People want your autograph on album covers, hands, posters etc. I think it's cool to write your name on Nightwish's cover, but it's rather boring... What was the strangest thing you put your signature on?

Tuomas: Ass, tits and The Bible

Janne (Vaasa): Can you tell us are you going to record any cover songs for the forthcoming album or don't you know it yet? :)

Tuomas: We will record one cover song. I have high hopes for it, but whether it'll end up being on the album or not, I don't know yet.

Charon (Kontilahti): Have you ever felt inadequacy as an artist/musicmaker? Can you be satisfied and proud of your work? How do you feel when you play your songs and hear people's reactions? And last...if you can change your role with any fictional character, who you want to be (Donald Duck, Jack Sparrow????).
Tuomas, you make wonderful music! THANK YOU FOR THAT!

Tuomas: 1. Constantly.
"Child Of A Silent Winter" is all about that feeling of inadequacy. As a human being as well as a musician.
2. To a certain point I can be proud of the worlds I've created and maybe I'm getting old, but now I can look back at everything we've done and laugh at it with pride.
3. Robinson Crusoe
Thank you for the beautiful words.

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