Nightwish's Tuomas Holopainen once took Alexi Laiho to Disneyland and the pair had a lovely, lovely time

Tuomas Holopainen and Alexi Laiho and Mickey Mouse
(Image credit: Katja Ogrin/Redferns, Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images, Elena Di Vincenzo/Archivio Elena di Vincenzo/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Metalheads don't tend to register high on Disney's target audience, or choose their theme parks as ideal holiday destinations, as far as we know. 

So, learning that Nightwish's keyboard wizard Tuomas Holopainen once took Children Of Bodom vocalist/guitarist Alexi Laiho to the family-orientated park where the two Disney-loving Finns had a whale of a time might be the most wholesome thing we've heard this week.

In conversation with Metal Hammer, Holopainen shared this oh-so-pure anecdote when asked if he had any favourite memories of Laiho, who passed away on December 29, 2020, aged 41.

“First thing that pops to mind was that we were both huge Disney fans and theme park fans," he explains to writer Rich Hobson. "We actually went to Disney World in Orlando together for a five day trip in the beginning of 2001. We just had a lot of fun.

"Also, I remember him coming to our place here in Eastern Finland where I live and we would just watch loads of old Donald Duck cartoons and then play a lot of board games, drink like hell.

"All that childish stuff; just talk about things, listen to music and have a good time. That was something that I really adored about him. He was a kid just like me, there was still this sense of innocence about him that he just wanted to have fun, play guitar, you know, hang out with friends and make the world a better place. Which is kind of my philosophy in life as well.”

If you were wondering what Holopainen's favourite ride is at Disney, we got you: it's the Haunted Mansion.

Elsewhere in the conversation, the Nightwish keyboardist reminiscences about the first shows he played alongside Children Of Bodom, and his first meeting with Laiho.

"We got along really well, from the start" he says. "There was a bit of rivalry going on in the very beginning after the debut albums, because they came out, I think two weeks apart. 

"At that time, both bands were the biggest, most promising newcomers on Spinefarm. But we got along really well from the beginning. And a couple of years later, we became best friends and were until the end. I have nothing but good things to say about the guy.” 

You can read more from Tuomas Holopainen in an upcoming issue of Metal Hammer magazine.

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.