Page 35


that I would like to see changed, so these services would have to pay for the stuff that they’re using, the right way, and the right amount. I hope there will be some kind of clarification on this, sooner rather than later. Tuomas, do you still compose most of the band’s material? It’s pretty rare seeing a synth player write songs for a metal band... TH: Yeah, it gives a different perspective to the songwriting, and it certainly brings a certain edge to the sound. I do write most of the songs and lyrics, because originally they started as a solo project of mine, so it came naturally, being the main songwriter in the band. But there is a lot of contribution from Marco especially when writing, and I want to emphasise that Nightwish is still very much a band. I studied classical piano for 12 years, starting when I was just six, and I played in a classical orchestra, and my main instrument was clarinet. Then I also played saxophone in a jazz band, but I haven’t touched those instruments for the past 20 years! You’re busy making a new album at the moment; how has your approach to production evolved? MH: Actually, we have always produced the albums ourselves as a band, and we have had the same engineers since we started out for mixing, mastering, and recording. It’s never really been our thing to go to LA with a high class producer and try and find a new sound. I think over the years there is a big confidence in the band that we can do this ourselves and take hold of the ropes, keep it together ourselves and preserve our integrity. First, we have to like the record, and then it’s great that the people have continued to like the songs, too. TH: It’s also super cool that we have never had any pressure from the record labels. They have never suggested that we should use a specific producer or studio. Do you think building a relationship from scratch with a label is still possible today? TH: There’s a big reason to be thankful of the status we’ve managed to build in the past, because it gives us this freedom; and these days, in terms of record companies, I hear about young bands getting deals that include giving away percentages of the merchandising and the show revenue. We didn’t have that when we signed our first deals, so these days, for new bands, yes, it’s way, way harder. You’re all Genelec users. Can you tell me a bit about your relationship with the brand? MH: Well, here’s the thing. At the end of the



Genelec, the other band members have also taken an extra interest in the audio, and have now realised that if they take the time and listen, they can also hear the difference, and therefore they appreciate how Genelec kit is really working. That’s really cool. Also, Troy Donockley [pipes, flute, and whistle player] was really pleased when he got a set of Genelecs for his own studio. Which models do you use? MH: We have an 8040 DSP set as our nearfields, and then the Genelec guys brought us some 1037s, and they are HUGE babies! Sometimes, when the evening goes long enough, it’s very nice to hear stuff out of those speakers, as you can feel the huge sound pressure that comes out of them. TH: And all the neighbours really hear them as well... From miles away! [laughs] I can imagine! With such a powerful sound, you must need to crank it up now and again, but I guess you can’t do that all the time... MH: Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, the longer you can go with easier volumes is always better for control, and what you track down, but now and again we use the big ones for some nice sound at really high volume. The other nice thing about Genelec speakers is, they are also very non-fatiguing, which comes in very handy for our band!

‘80s, I went to train in a recording studio, and at the time, I really fell in love with the Genelec stuff. Also, the guy who mixes our albums is a sworn Genelec user, as is our mastering engineer, as is our recording engineer! [laughs] I had the luck of living in a town in the middle of Finland, just 90 kilometres from Genelec’s HQ, and some of the Genelec workforce were actually my neighbours, so we got to talking about the equipment, and ended up doing a kind of collaboration. It’s one of those deals that is really welcome, as Genelec is a brand that is respected for an actual reason. You hear the sounds perfectly out of any Genelec speaker, and the clarity when you’re mixing with Genelecs is just unparalleled. There is no better word for a Genelec sound than honest; it tells you what is there, if there is something missing, or equally if there’s too much stuff going on. I find it very important, but I am an audio freak anyway, so... [smiles] Are you all audiophiles? MH: It’s pretty much me and the guitar player... Who also has Genelec speakers! We are the most sound-oriented guys, but saying that, ever since we got into the relationship with

What needs to change in today’s industry? TH: For me, the biggest downside of the music industry today is that people don’t listen to albums anymore. I mean, the kids out there are not buying them and listening through; they’re not reading the lyrics out of the booklet, because there often is no booklet; and this reflects that people perhaps are not making albums either, anymore. They’re concentrating on single songs, and filling the album with crap. So this is a very concerning trend for me both as a musician and as a songwriter. MH: Again, it’s the technology that gives you more and more ways to quick satisfaction. You can listen to one song on your smart phone on the move, through often lousy headphones, but I would love people to take the time to listen to an album through good equipment, and feel all the warmth and all the atmosphere. I really hope that the younger generation will eventually get that...

Headliner Magazine #6  
Headliner Magazine #6