Marco Hietala has dimissed the suggestion that NIGHTWISH is a dictatorship, insisting that everybody in the band “has their say.”
Since its inception twenty years ago, NIGHTWISH has been the guiding vision of keyboardist and main songwriter Tuomas Holopainen, with many fans speculating that the rest of the band is minimally involved in how the NIGHTWISH songs eventually turn out.
Asked by PlanetMosh in a recent interview how much input he has in the songwriting department, the NIGHTWISH bassist/vocalist replied: “Actually quite a lot. Obviously, Tuomas writes most of the songs and lyrics but there are four or five songs on the latest album where I got music written, a couple where I got some lines of lyrics written, and then when we get together to rehearse and arrange, everybody has their say.”
He continued: “Every democracy has their president and Tuomas, he’s not a dictator or tyrant — everybody has their say. When you write songs with keyboards you cannot really tell if something is uncomfortable for a bass player to play, so sometimes things will have to be changed that way, but there’s also the fact that we have really free sharing of ideas in the rehearsal room so anybody can come up with something and we’ll try it out and see if it works, and that’s how it goes.”
Holopainen spoke about the songwriting process in NIGHTWISH during a December 2015 interview with GuitarMania.eu. He said: “The way it works in NIGHTWISH is that I am very much a solo worker. So I try to make all the songs — even the arrangements — as ready as possible, as much as I feel that I have to give to the songs. Most of the riffs, even some drum fills and stuff like this. I just try to make it as good as I can do it by myself. And then I introduce the songs and demos that I’ve done on my own to the other members of the band, and then we start the rearranging process. You know, ‘Could you come up with a better riff for this one?’ ‘Would the bass line be different in that one?’ ‘What about if the vocal line is like this?’ And sometimes the songs change a lot — like song “Nemo”, for example, changed a lot during the arrangement process. And sometimes they are almost to the drum fill as they were on the original demo. So that’s the way it goes for us. When it comes to guitars, I try to come up with riffs on my own — like the “Scaretale” riffs are all mine, for example. But then again, in a song like “Nemo” again, and “Alpenglow”, on the new album, it’s all Emppu [Vuorinen, NIGHTWISH guitarist]. [He would say to me], ‘That’s okay, but it could be more interesting if I did this.’ [And then I say], ‘Yeah, that’s excellent. Do it like that.'”
He continued: “I try to make it as ready as I can; that’s the way I like to do it. Because all the songs are very much storyline-orientated; I have a story from beginning to the end. And in order to bring that story to life, to tell that story, you need the full song, with all the little details here and there. And that’s why I try to make it as ready as possible.”
Asked how much influence the other members of NIGHTWISH have during the songwriting process, Tuomas said: “Whenever they feel like that could be better; it’s as simple as that. Same with Floor [Jansen, vocals]. ‘I mean, this vocal line is really nice, but how about I do this little thing here, a little note there.’ ‘Oh, yeah, that’s perfect.’ Or on the new album [2015’s ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’], the song “My Walden”, the structure of it was pretty different originally, and it was actually Troy [Donockle] who came up with the idea of kind of, like, putting this there and that there and the tempo change there, and it really works. But sometimes everybody seems to be really happy with what I had in mind originally, and then we stick with that.”
NIGHTWISH recently announced that it will take a year-long break in 2017 following the completion of the touring activities for the group’s latest album, 2015’s ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’.