TROY DONOCKLEY (NIGHTWISH): ''It felt like 'Elan' was the best opening statement for the new Nightwish...''
Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland and was formed in 1996. Up to now they did a lot of tours, concerts and albums what made them one of the most popular bands or third best selling band and musical entity in Finland. This March they released eight album named “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” and started new worldwide tour. We caught them in Wienna and had opportunity to speak with Troy Donockley. He revealed all magic that is hidden on new album and even invited us for Christmas dinner.
Objavljeno: 16.12.2015. 11:05
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You're on tour now for some quite time. How the tour has been going so far? Do you have some anecdote?
We started touring in March/April so we've been into America, we've done all festivals thru the summer and big South America tour which is generally where all anecdotes come from because South American fans are... Lets say enthusiastic. And now, this is our third week in Europe, it' been wondrous.
When I talk to the bands, they always say it's a big difference between America and Europe.
Huge difference. Completely difference. But not as much strong contrast as South America. South America is different from everywhere. But the difference between the US and Europe isn't that much, really. There are all English speakers like most Europe is, which is handy. But, yeah... Size. Massive, epic drives. But I think that's about it.
In period when you were announcing new album, you had two newcomers. You were the one, now officially, and Floor, but then came problems with the drummer. How much did those changes affected in making album?
Massively, really. But, Jukka was there at the beginning. When rehearsal started in Finland, Jukka was actually there. So, the initial sessions were drummed by Jukka. It wasn't that extreme difference as you think. Also, Kai understands Jukka style, he knows Jukka very well. So, when Kai stepped to help out, most of music was done quite easily.
But when you compare album with previous material, there is same amount of pipes and whistles, but you did quite a bit of singing, right?
Yeah, which was nice, it's nice to do more singing. We do intend to do more in the future as well, more harmony singing. We did some harmony singing on the album, but it's a path that will be interesting to go down, we have three voices and we do a little bit of harmony singing in the set. That's a nice thing.
Well.. You had first appearance with Nightwish in 2007., eight years now...
Yeah, it doesn't feel like. It feels like seconds to me. But it's been eight years, eight crazy years, quite adventure, we've done so much in eight years, it's hard to describe it. But with this album I think we hit particular eye, I think is the best album yet. Personally, for me. And “Greatest Show on Earth” is all favorite song now.
We'll come to that one, but let's talk about single “Elan”. Why did you chose that song for the first single?
It was probably because it's the subject matter and it's not that only resonate the way we were all feeling at the time, we thought it would be unusual choice for the first single as well, who would also express the way we all felt. We had a great feeling about “Elan”, we all felt really optimistic and really happy and excited about the future and the song reflects that.
So we can say it has a very strong role in concept?
Yeah, I think so. If you listen to it within the context of album as well it's like a lovely breath of fresh air, like breeze of sunshine within the album. It felt like it was the best opening statement for the new Nightwish.
What about inspiration for the video? It has very nice scenes.
That just kinda evolved with the director. We like the idea of having a lot of older people and pensioners dancing around, we thought that would be a good idea. And it looks really sweet, it looks very abandoned. Again it fitted with the concept of “Elan”.
What's the idea about cover? How can we connect it with Charles Darwin?
Well I suppose the obvious connection is if you look into the art work you can see all the key and components of evolution and biology. And natural selection, you can see dinosaurs, you can see bacteria, animals, human but you can also see that the central point is the helix of DNA which is source of life.
What about you? Do you read philosophical books?
Absolutely. We all do read a lot and currently, well of these last five years it's been a case of deep excitement with books of science. So we've been reading a lot and get really excited and encouraging children to read. Because science is, no matter what you believe, very inspirational. There is all inspiring magic in how rainbow works and speed of light or how gravity works. There is more magic and power than any old myth or old religious books that were written. We are all excited about astronomy, evolution and biology.
So I guess your aim is to teach younger one?
Inspire. If we can inspire young people through music, through this new album especially to get interest in and engage themselves into the science rather than traditions of culture. If we can encourage them to think for themselves, that would be great success. We're musicians, we're not scientists, we're not philosophers, we're not teachers... But, very least that we can do is try with our work, ideas... share our excitement. We get spectacular e-mails and messages from all people, old and young people saying “We've discovered so much from you”.
I was wondering... You all love science and scientist, there is also single called “Sagan”. Is there anybody else that you would like to put in a song or album in the future?
Hahahaha I'm not shure, I think we kinda finished with that now. I think we pulled everything out, we pulled all stuff on this album. And I think is clear now to people we do love this subject. It has to evolve when you have the piece that is 25 minutes long called “The Greatest Show On Earth”.
I hear that the song was originally up to 40 minutes long?
Oh yeah, I think it was 40 days long hahaha It was really epic. I think now it has perfect length.
When it come to recording, was it challenge?
Well... No more that “Imaginaerum”. But it was more exciting, because you had that massive piece you had to put together and we had all kinds of... When we were recording the choir and the orchestra in London, it was so perfect. In the studio it was feeling that this is gonna be something unusual, something special.
Now, we already have feedback from fans and critics, but I'm wondering... How do you feel when you listen to the album?
Well... Because we've been playing it all the time we really haven't listened it. I mean... I haven't listened album since it came out. But we play it every night. Almost. And it's still exciting. I think this album, more than any, will always have really important path in my musical life.
Anything you'd like to say to Nightwish fans that might be reading this?
Croatian fans? It's a shame that whole Croatia couldn't came to Wembley for our last show. That's a shame. But I would like to invite them all to my house to Christmas dinner. All Croatian fans. I make really good sausages and mash hahaha :)