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Nightwish's Tuomas Holopainen: "I always dreamt of being a science nerd"

What began as a flash of teenage inspiration 21 years ago has turned into one of Finland’s biggest selling musical exports. Prog uncovers Nightwish’s phenomenal journey so far

M idsummer has a long association with magic, and it was on that powerful evening back in 1996 that Tuomas Holopainen shared a dream that he had with his then bandmates. The 19-year-old Finn was enjoying a couple of beers with members of Darkwoods My Betrothed and Nattvindens Gråt at his family’s summer cabin. It was here that he made the announcement that he wanted to start a new acoustic project. Despite the late hour, the midnight sun was still bathing the lads in its warm light and igniting their creative juices, which were flowing as freely as the drinks.

“I remember telling my mates that I really had an urge for songwriting, and I thought I would form a band of my own. It was to be just a little, fun project with a female vocalist,” remembers Holopainen. “We have a guestbook in the cabin and I found the entry I wrote that night. It says, ‘Tuomas is thinking of putting a band together’…” he smiles fondly as he recalls the innocent idea that led to the creation of one of Finland’s biggest and most exciting bands.


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