NightWish komt met een nieuw album getiteld Imaginaerum en tevens maken ze hun filmdebuut met een gelijknamige film, die volgend jaar uit gaat komen. Ik heb onlangs in het Mint hotel in Amsterdam het album al mogen beluisteren. Na het beluisteren van deze zeer interessante en gave plaat mocht ik ook nog eens bij Marco ( bassist, vocals ) aanschuiven voor een goed gesprek. Hieronder het resultaat.
Thanks for doing this interview.
Marco : You’re welcome
How is it to be in Holland for this pressday?
Marco: Well I don’t know. I mean We are here in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and I like the town. I have been here before. We have been doing interviews for about a week in different cities throughout Europe and it seems it is going pretty well. We had full days and short nights but we are playing the album to the journalists for the first time. The majority of the people have really enjoyed it. So we suck up a lot of that energy ourselves and when you get that good vibe going on all the time then it’s really no bother.
I was one of the lucky people to listen to “Imaginaerum” just now. I must say I am very surprised, pleasantly. Because you guys show a lot of variety on this album. Loads of theatrical stuff. Even Jazz on it.
Marco: Even Jazz yeah. Well on one small piece. Again this thing, the variety and everything comes pretty much from the basic. I hope I don’t kind of sound like too proud or anything. But there is a kind of integrity among us in the band. We tend to do things just the way we want to do that. We don’t really bounce of any walls of mainstream. We don’t listen to record company advice like : You guys really need a “Nemo” number two or whatever. We just do things we want to do. Because the more you do in music the more you listen to different things and all that. Everything that feeds your head, eventually comes out when you make music. The variety of music that we bound is something we are open to. We are totally open for it. And that is the secret to these things I think.
There is not only the album, there is also the movie. The movie goes about a man who suffers from dementia. Is this also a personal related point of view, or do you have relatives who suffers from dementia or is it pure fiction.
Marco: This is fiction. I mean of course, well everybody must have some relatives who have gone slightly of the edge when they get older. With this case it’s pure fiction. It gives you a nice framework. It starts to this guy’s minds memories, nightmares, dreams, fantasies. Which are twisted because of the sickness. Because of his past sins. He got to find his way back to walk through al these things. That’s the whole idea of the movie. And if we talk about the album then you don’t really have that storyline . It isn’t really a conception. More like dramatic. It has also the same kind a vibe to it. With “Imaginaerum” you find your way to fight through the human heart’s darkness but also it’s ability to good things as well. There you have the connection. But of course in the movie, you really need to have a story. That goes from the start to the end. With the album you can actually listen to the music in pieces and deal with the same kind of overall theme. But it’s still all a different story.
The band also got a part in the movie. I read that you guys already shot your part. How was it to shoot a movie?
Marco: Strange, interesting heavy work. But we actually managed to get the whole movie already in the wraps. So it’s now in it’s editing process. For us, we are not really acting in the movie. We are going to be appearing in some places and mainly doing what we do. Perform.
But in this case perform also means that we fit the scene. Wherever you got a certain setup we had the costumes and we had a little bit more of an flamboyant performance then usual on stage. To fit the more theatrical aspect of shooting the movie. So there is a certain characterization but no roles. No actual roles.
Now I would like to take a little sidestep from Nightwish. Cause you are also a member of Tarot. What’s going on with Tarot?
Marco: Well I have been living in this circle. Since 2001 when I joined Nightwish. That whenever Nightwish is active, doing an album, being on tour, Tarot rests and when Nightwish quits with the tour, then Tarot gets active. This is how I see it. It seems to continue still and now we are on that part of the circle that Nightwish gets active and Tarot is out to rest. But now that we have like our 25th anniversary with the Tarot guys, we did a remake of the 1stalbum from 1986. We also managed to put down on those recordings a few new riffs and ideas for these songs. So we got stuff to go back to when this Nightwish tour for “Imaginaerum” is starting to wind down. I think we are going to head down to the studio and start work on the album.
So you guys always got a busy schedule. But when you got time of, you are a big fan of reading horror and fantasy books.
Marco: Yeah and especially science fiction. Yeah that is like my biggest influence probably.
Does that also inspire you to write the music?
Marco: Yeah it does. Well for a traveling man it is really wonderful to have these tablet kind of things these days where you just can order a digital book from Amazone. I used to carry at best of times, I had well, 12 books in my suitcase when I was traveling somewhere. It weights like hell and takes a lot of room and all that. The tablets and the Ebooks for me are a sort of saviour actually in these days.
They are much lighter haha!
Marco: Yeah and also the fact that I am a not so young guy anymore. I would need reading glasses and with tablets I could put the text big enough so that I don’t need to carry my glassed around. There are all kind of good things. The books I read, basically everything I feed to my head. Whether it’s a book or a movie. Things I see or hear. I feed my head with these things and when I write a piece of music, with Tarot the lyrics. You always bring out the stuff you put in.
You are also a big fan of Geezer Butler’s (Black Sabbath bass playing. Is he a big musical influence for you?
Marco: For sure. The whole Black Sabbath thing for me started when I was 9 years old. So I was pretty young when I got hooked on that kind a stuff. But still, I loved the band immediately when I heard it. My brother, 3 and half years older, he loaned “Master of Reality” and also Sabbath’s most depressing and heaviest album ever. He borrowed it from a neighbours guy and came in and I was reading a book. My brother puts the album up and I went like whoa shit this is really scary stuff! This is really great. If we talk about influences sure Butler’s bass playing is something that really is essential for the Sabbath sound. And of course Iommi’s guitar riffs. They are influences to me.
In 2012 there is gonna be the European tour. On April 13th you will play in Amsterdam.
Are you looking forward to go across Europe again?
Marco: I am!. We have been doing this album for over a year already, if we talk about demo’s, rehearsals, personal demo’s and bring the songs to everyone to play. Then recording it. All different parts all through the winter. I am an inpatient guy. If I feel that we got something really good to present to people, I would want it out. And now it’s like it’s almost going to be released all over Europe and the States. It’s finally going to happen. We are going to do rehearsals, the tour starts in January. The hands are itching. It’s getting somewhere.
So you are up for some crazy energetic shows?
Marco: Crazy idiotic shit sure we will do that!
Energetic, I said “energetic” hahaha!
Marco: ah crazy energetic, hahaha ah well idiotic comes in for us to haha!! At least certain occasions. Yeah crazy energetic idiotic shit yeah! There is going to be a lot of that.
There has already been a stage planning back in Finland with al these technical guys we know and been around with us for already some time. There is a lightning plan they are doing and building up some stage props that we are going to have. We already, in this week while we are doing promotion, we are talking about things and having ideas and then send textmessages back to Finland with “can you build us this and blablabla”.
When you listen to the album it is an album that visuals my mind immediately.
You can see certain things happening when you listen to it.
Marco: Of course with the live shows, and of course I like the live shows when you got the band onstage and you got the amps and all that. Live shows with certain bands are really that intense. You got a big stage and you got the vibe to dig. They are live and doing their stuff.
That’s good. That’s what we basically had. We want to keep the live band. We want the big people there and the personalities big and all that. But it is nice to have a change and top the gig with some nice pyro technical stuff and lightning systems. Screens possibly. All kinds of little props and little gags you can do to the people.
Of course you had many highlights in your career and it would be hard to point one out. But can you try and give one?
Marco: There has been a hell of a lot good times all together. My 10th year is here now with the band and there has been a lot of ups and downs. I never still regret it joining the band at any of the time. Cause I have been going on kind of a hard and cold road for many years. Maybe if I had to pick one really big thing for me I think it was the first tour I started on. I got into a band that was already big and doing quite well. We have been to South- America and I saw the packed houses and people going really crazy. I was really like: Yeah, this is it. This is what I was looking for. The echoes of those things are still within me. Because I really enjoyed doing it.
It must be overwhelming I guess, standing for such big audiences?
Marco: Yeah and getting to shows where you actually manage to be a thing of importance to a lot of people. That’s really rewarding. It makes you. It humbles you at the same time it makes you proud.
I think this is about it, is there anything you wish to share with our readers?
Marco: Well like I said it’s been over a year that we started doing this album. It’s finally coming out. We have a change to give it to the people and will let them hear it. Actually it’s been like 4 years for we had our last album out. So big thanks and big respect to all those people who actually sticked with the band and had the patience to wait for this one. That’s absolutely great. No band is something without a fanbase or they won’t exist for long.
Marco Thank you!
REPORTER: RONALD VAN DE BAAN