“Marko informed us in December last year [that he was leaving the band],” Tuomas said. “And even though he has been very open about his state and problems during the past years, it still came as a bit of a surprise for us.
“So it was a really tough pill to swallow. And for a few days, I was actually quite confident that there’s no coming back, that this is it. I remember talking to Emppu [Vuorinen], the guitar player, and we were, like, ‘You think this is it?’ ‘Yeah, I think this is it.’ I mean, enough is enough. So much has happened in the past. Something that broke the camel’s back, as they say. Then, after some time had passed — a few days — we started to think that it’s been such a ride of 25 years, with so many ups also, that this is not the way to end it.”
“I think we still have something to give, and that’s the main point,” he continued. “The music is still there. We felt that there’s still so much music that needs to come out from this band that, ‘Okay, let’s give it one more shot.’ And then finding the new bass player was really easy.”
“It’s not like we do this just because we need to do it and there’s nothing else to do. On a personal level, I feel that there’s still so many stories and melodies that I want to share with the world with one lineup or another, so that’s why you want to continue and keep on going. I’ve said this a million times, that a lineup change is the ultimate energy vampire, and that’s how it really felt and still feels.”
Tuomas also discussed how band’s future setlist will be affected by Hietala‘s absence from the group. “There are some songs that are so profilic [sic] to Marko that we cannot do them, I think, ever again. I’m not absolutely certain, but, for example, ‘The Islander,’ ‘While Your Lips Are Still Red’ and definitely ‘Endlessness’ from the new album is something that cannot be performed without Marko.
“But then, after spending five days in the rehearsal room, there are some songs that actually work surprisingly well without Marko, that Floor [Jansen] or Troy [Donockley] is doing [Marko‘s] parts. And I was a bit suspicious about that, but then when I heard the new arrangement for those parts, I was, like, ‘Yeah, I think this actually might work.'”
NIGHTWISH will perform in a tavern called “The Islanders Arms” built in a virtual world for two nights — Friday, May 28 and Saturday, May 29, 2021. On both nights, the fans will experience an unforgettable one-and-a-half-hour performance, hearing songs live off the latest album, “Human. :II: Nature.”, for the first time ever. These two nights will have their own, slightly different setlists.
Marko Hietala made an appearance on Henry’s Pub livestream that was held on April 24th. Marko performed “Isäni Ääni” (“The Voice Of My Father”), taken from his debut solo album, Mustan Sydämen Rovio, which was released in May 2019. English version of the album, Pyre of the Black Heart, was released in January 2020. His performance can be seen at this location.
NIGHTWISH‘s latest album, Human. :II: Nature, was released in April 2020 via Nuclear Blast.