Big thanks to Tuomas for sending us his answers!
1. I'd want to know your honest opinion about Donald Duck comics nowadays... What do you think of them?
* Still enjoying them! Obviously many of the stories these days are dreadful, especially the "superhero-orientated" ones, but we can always go back to the classics. The Duck fanatics all over the world are eagerly waiting for the next Barks or Rosa to surface…
2. What in the world should we pay/bribe you to play Nymphomaniac Fantasia live?
* We might consider it for a full case of 40-year old Laphroaig and a trip to the moon.
3. Your opinion on burkini ban?
* I`m heavily against it, it feels like a step towards authoritarianism. If we ban that, then shouldn`t we also ban nuns and priests, buddhists, jews and hindus using their traditional outfits in public? Now, I`m loudly against religious oppression, and forcing women to wear something they don`t want to wear because ancient texts say so is absolutely horrible, as any sane person would agree. But should we take their right to wear it if they wanted to? No.
It`s a different issue when burkinis (or any other traditional costumes) are worn, for example, in public pools, under the silly term of "religious freedom". You`d be violating hygiene directives, of course you can`t do that.
I`m an individual freedom absolutist in the sense that you should be able to be and do whatever you want, believe in whatever you want, dress however you want and have consensual sex with whomever you like, as long as you`re not hurting anybody.
4. If you could live in any fictional world from book or a movie for a year, what world would it be ?
* Excellent one!! I`m struggling between Moominvalley, the village from the movie "The Village" and Hobbiton. Not fair. Impossible!!
5. Any chance of seeing anything from AFF with Troy singing your parts?
* There most certainly is!
6. You are often accused in self-plagiarism (whatever that means) because the songs from EFMB sounds like your older songs. What can you say about this? Is it lack of inspiration or it's just purposely, like your trademark?
* Oh, dear… These questions are just great!
We`ve always played our game on a huge field when it comes to the varieties in musical genres & influences, instruments used, song structures and lyrical themes. Naturally every member has his or her quintessential way of singing, playing and writing songs, which can be recognized throughout the albums, our trademark building-blocks to create the music we love to create.
Music is about searching and self-discovery at its core, but to deliberately do everything, writing, playing, singing, in a way it`s never been done before just for the sake of uniqueness, is a dangerous path.
When it comes to bands guilty of "self-plagiarism", Nightwish surely are on the opposite end of the spectrum.
7. Nightwish has released the demo versions of some songs from Dark Passion Play and Imaginaerum. Is there any chance you'll do the same with EFMB songs? How about the 35-minute-long version of The Greatest Show on Earth? Will we have the chance of listening to it some day?
* With EFMB we basically skipped the demo phase of recordings. The first version of The Greatest Show is somewhere on a floppy disc in one of the dozens of disc boxes in one of the dozens of cardboard boxes in the deep dungeons of my cellar…
8. What's the first thing you do when you wake up?
* I have a terrible habit of instantly grabbing my iPhone and reading the news. Something that I need to alienate myself from. I`m very much pro-technology, but these devices have become awfully addictive extensions of our flesh-and-blood hands, and have seriously twisted the way we experience the world and other human beings as social animals.
The second thing I always do is make coffee. I cannot function at all without it.
9. What is your opinion about Tarja and Anette perform some Nightwish songs on their solo concerts? There was a direct request to you?
* I`m totally fine with them performing NW songs, why would I be against that?! Anyone is free to cover our songs.
10. Is there any Nightwish song in which you wouldn't feel so comfortable to play nowadays, if yes, why?
* Bye Bye Beautiful and Master Passion Greed, for obvious reasons. Nymphomaniac Fantasia for even more obvious reasons.
Playing The Poet And The Pendulum also feels a bit uncomfortable to me personally, but due to its more ambiguous nature it`s doable.
11. What do you think about electronic music/sounds and its use in conjunction with classical music as in the Interstellar soundtrack?
* When done with a good taste it`s fantastic! Interstellar soundtrack is a prime example of that, it`s actually my top 3 Hans Zimmer album. My biggest musical hero Vangelis is the Grand Wizard of that stuff.
12. Are you aware of the issues with the Blu-Ray of Showtime Story time running at only 96% of the correct speed (sluggish). Will Vehicle Of Spirit be free from this error?
* We are, it was huge slap in the face. The band was not aware of this until all the Blu-Rays were already printed and in sale. We were very vocal about the issue towards the personnel responsible for the error, but got only a "this is how it`s always been done, everywhere, even in Hollywood, what are you talking about, etc." for an answer…
Vehicle Of Spirit will be free from this error. At least we`ve done everything in our power to do so.
13. Did you read or watch anything inspiring during the EFMB tour?
* The British tv-series "Black Mirror" had a massive effect on me. The most thought-provoking drama I`ve seen in ages, highly recommendable to everyone, especially during these technology-driven times. A word of warning though, the stories go uncomfortably deep under your skin and never leave. Especially the episodes "White Bear" and "The White Christmas" will haunt you forever.
The latest book to give me the serious goosy bumps was Brian Sykes` "The Seven Daughters Of Eve".
14. How would you categorize your beliefs according to Dawkins' Belief Scale Scoring Rubric?
* I`m a solid 6. (As is Dawkins). I`m intimidated of people who are stridently in categories 1 and 7.
People are often confused of semantics when it comes to the terms atheism and agnosticism. The important point to remember is: they answer to two different questions;
"Do you believe there`s a God?", and "Do you know there`s no God?" My answer to the first one would be no, making me "an atheist" in that sense. My answer to the latter question would be "of course not, nobody does", making me "an agnostic".
15. You mentioned you've played Skyrim, have you expanded into any other games?
* I`m more of a board game nerd, and never was into console games. Skyrim was great, though, as was The Last Of Us. Both were insanely addictive so I need to see there`s nothing in my calendar for at least a month before starting Witcher 3…
16. Have you a favorite fossil creature?
17. Over the years, are you increasingly attracted by the classical music? Are you still attached to your « first love » (Zimmer, Elfman the film score in the broad sense of the term) ?
* I listen to quite little music these days, and when I do, it`s mainly film music, celtic music and classical. Occasionally it`s great to take a nostalgia trip into those mind-blowing teenage - era albums which made all the difference back in the days. The 3rd And The Mortal, Metallica, Gary Moore, Moonspell, Tiamat, Xentrix, My Dying Bride, Amorphis, Stratovarius, Pantera…
18. Have you ever thought of making a song were you play clarinet instead of keyboards?
* If there ever comes a need to create another "torture chamber ambience", like through the mid-section of "The Poet And The Pendulum", sure!
I believe the last time actually I played the clarinet was April 18th, 1997.
19. Are you excited for any upcoming releases music/book/movie
* The final chapter of The Kingkiller Chronicles Trilogy by Patrick Rothfuss would be my #1 on this list. Then there are the upcoming Dark Tower films, Richard Dawkins` new essay anthology, the remake of Stephen King`s IT, Del Toro`s version of "Pinocchio", Sonata Arctica`s upcoming album and the new seasons of Walking Dead and Outlander.
20. Earth is 4.6 billion years old . If you could choose an event, only one, to witness in all this time, what would it be?
* To see the iconic "red hand" painting of the Chauvet Cave being made, to actually see the individual Sapiens the hand belonged to…
21. Are there any unreleased (as in fully completed, much like The Heart Asks Pleasure First was) songs remaining in the vaults or do they only exist as unfinished demo recordings or ideas that you've written down somewhere?
* Absolutely nothing, "fully completed", that is. Everything`s been released in one form or another. I do have dozens of floppy discs and a few dictaphones full of bits `n pieces of unused ideas, riffs, melodies and mindless racket.
22. What makes you laugh out loud?
* Laurel And Hardy, Fawlty Towers, Ricky Gervais, Borat, Studio Julmahuvi, Troy`s conjurings and manifestations, too much wine, the 2 geniuses of the 2016 US presidential election.
23. What`s your favorite dish to cook?
* I love outdoor / open fire cooking, as well as baking traditional Finnish rye bread. Indian is my favorite cuisine and I like doing dishes like Tarka Dal, Sag Aloo and Aloo Gobi.
24. If something happened and you couldn`t play in Nightwish anymore would you prefer others stop playing as "Nightwish" or to keep up playing without you?
* A very interesting one. If everyone in the band would be willing and happy to continue doing shows without me, absolutely yes! I would have no problem with that scenario at all. It`s a difficult situation to imagine, though, and I think I might have a problem with others creating a new Nightwish album without me taking any part of it.
25. Do you believe in prophetic dreams?
26. With the exception of Kitee, in which part of the world would you like to live?
* It`s difficult for me to imagine living anywhere else, but if I had to choose, I would pick Lapland or the Lake District in Cumbria.
27. How old were you when you pierced your ears?
* I`m glad you asked. I think I was 23. And off they went a couple of years ago. (I was in a dental x-ray and had to take them off, never bothered to put them back on afterwards).
28. Did you in any way inform Sharbat Gula that you wrote a song about her?
* I did send the EFMB - album with a brief message about the band and that song to Mr. Steve McCurry, the man who took the famous "The Afghan Girl" - photograph, also requesting if he possibly had any contact info to Sharbat Gula herself. No reply, unfortunately.
29. Why do you guys downtune the pre - Century Child songs?
* Because it makes the technical side of things on stage much easier with different guitars and basses, as simple as that. Instead of 4 guitars we now only need 2, etc.
To us those songs sound equally good dropped, as in the original tuning, so this decision was made early on. Made the technical crew very happy.
30. Your biggest fear in your life?
* Losing the people I love. Nothing else comes close.
31. Did booze or maybe pot help you finish or create a song?
* Pot`s not my thing, and hangover is said to be a highly creative state, but I still prefer a sober, clear minded autumn-, winter- or spring morning when it comes to fruitful songwriting. But sure, a merry larruping solves a puzzle, or plants an idea every now and then!
32. Does music ever move you to tears? If so, what artist or song?
* Music moves me constantly, but actual tears don`t come that easily. Songs to guarantee wet eyes every time I hear them include the original Walking In The Air, Forever Young (Alphaville), Wonderful Life (Black), Fields Of Coral (Vangelis), Dives And Lazarus (Vaughan Williams) and Ride On (Christy Moore), to mention a few.
33. Addressing to the marvelous line "I do not wish to evade the world, yet I will forever build my own": do you agree that for a human being it`s generally vitally important to create a personal world that we consider our life as a success if we manage to do it, and as a fail if we don`t. If yes, why do you think it`s so?
* If someone was to ask me the key to happiness I`d say two things: Be nice to people (and all living things), and find a passion. This "passion" can be anything from different forms of art to sports cars to politics to horses to charity work to basketball to living your whole life in a monastery. Once you find your passion, you create your own personal world around it. A safe haven where you feel utterly comfortable, at home, where you can leave a mark to this world. That`s the definition of a personal world for me, and yes, I think it`s vital for human happiness. The meaning of life is not a complicated thing, it`s something different for everybody.
It`s a such powerful play we get to take part of, and we all have a chance to contribute a verse. What will your verse be? (As our beloved Uncle Walt (Whitman) said.)
34. Are there some certain emotions or themes in your music?
* This was my favorite question of them all.
Thank you everyone for sending the inspiring questions, I had a fun time answering these! - Tuomas