Confessions: Nightwish's Tuomas Holopainen
He's masterminded one of the biggest European metal bands in history, but even Nightwish's Tuomas Holopainen has made some mistakes
As the leader of Nightwish, Tuomas Holopainen has taken the Finnish symphonic metal superstars to dizzying heights. But even he is not immune to the attention of crazed stalkers, making a fool of himself on blind dates and drinking enough to dance up a storm when Eye Of The Tiger comes on…
What's the strangest thing a fan has ever done for you?
There was one woman who wanted to marry me so badly that she actually sent me a certificate of her divorce, and she had already booked a church. I’d met her once before, and this was truly scary – I kinda ignored her and she got really, really pissed off. I told her it was too weird for me, but when I got to my hotel room, there was a message slid under my door that had some pretty nasty words in it.
What's the worst thing you've ever done on a date?
I passed out on a blind date once. I had been single for a very long time so when my friends suggested it I was like, "Hey, why not? You have to try everything once." I’m not the kind of person who would go on a blind date – it’s the last thing I would ever do – but I’ll give everything a shot, so I won’t be on my deathbed thinking, "I never went on a blind date!" I was so scared and it was so awkward that I got really drunk to break the ice, and I got too drunk and passed out.
Have you ever been arrested?
I have not! I’ve never been to jail, I’ve never been arrested, I’ve never been in trouble with the police, and I’ve never even got a speeding ticket! I try to behave; some rules are meant to be taken seriously.
What are you most vain about?
I consider myself as a person who’s not vain – I spend about five minutes in front of the mirror – but I have to admit that I have a real soft spot for my songs. I have a good sense of humour and can laugh at myself, but when people say horrible things about Nightwish and my songs, that’s what I take personally.
Ever had a lie you've told backfire?
Not that I recall! I always try to be honest, but I also believe very strongly that there are some truths that you shouldn’t say out loud. You’ll just end up hurting people, so it’s best to stay quiet.
You must have some bad habits. What's your worst one?
There is one thing, and it doesn’t really annoy other people as much, but it’s my constant worrying. I worry about things like the future of the band, human relationships, things that there’s nothing I can do about. I lose sleep about it, it’s really annoying. I also drink far too much coffee and I smoke!
Can you dance?
Hmmm. I dance about once every two years, when I’m really, really drunk in a bar. But as long as you enjoy your evening, it doesn’t really matter what you look like, does it?! What kind of drunk am I? The social part of me comes out, and the daring part of me comes out – I might be more open to dancing!
Is there a specific song that gets you on the dancefloor?
Have you ever gone through a fashion phase you seriously regret?
I had my 90s syndrome, which is blue jeans up to [my waist], and ending [ankle-length], with white tennis socks and sailor shoes. It’s really ugly.
What was your most ridiculous impulse buy?
A rowing machine! It happened about six months ago because I noticed that I had gained eight kilos, so I thought, "Okay, this trend can’t continue, so I need to do something." I paid 700 Euros for it, used it for a week, and now it’s sitting in my basement.
Have you ever uttered the words "Don't you know who I am?!”
I have never, ever done that – that’s something I deliberately try to avoid because it’s the most stupid, arrogant thing you could do. But, on the other hand, when I go to a bar in my hometown, I don’t usually have to pay for any drinks!
What's the most embarrassing thing you've done at a wedding?
When my brother got married about five years ago, I dressed like a Scottish warrior. I just decided to do something special, so I had the kilt and a huge sword. It wasn’t embarrassing, but some people were like, "What the hell is wrong with you?!"