Speaking to Metal Hammer’s Dave Everley, Holopainen confesses that Hietala’s surprise exit from the band in December was a body blow for Nightwish, one he thought might signal the end for the band he started in 1996.
Talking about the prospect of playing his band’s upcoming An Evening With NIghtwish In A Virtual World livestream event without Hietala, Holopainen admitted that the experience would feel “really weird”, before revealing that he considered ending the band after receiving the news that the bassist was quitting.
“He was with us for 20 years, so it's gonna be really weird,” Holopainen says. “And when he announced his thing – this was last December when he sent us a group email – I have to be honest, I was completely devastated for a few days. I was almost completely sure that this was the end of the band.”
“I remember calling out guitar player, Emppu [Vuorinen], and saying, ‘Should we call it quits? This is too much, it just keeps happening and happening to us.’ He said, ‘Yeah, let's do it, there's no future.’ But then after a few days passed, we had a little meeting with the band and the management, and I realised the music is still there and that's the most essential part of this whole thing.”
“I want to write songs, the band wants to perform them, there's still so much to give to the world that we should give it one more chance. And another point was that it's been 24 years and quite the ride. This is not the way to end it.”
The identity of Nightwish’s new touring bassist will be revealed ahead of the An Evening With NIghtwish… event on May 28, says Holopainen.
“Their name will be announced a few hours before the first virtual show,” he says. “It's part of the big drama. The bass player will be for the duration of the Human. :II: Nature tour. After that we'll make some decisions.”
An Evening With Nightwish In A Virtual World takes place on May 28 and 29. Tickets are onsale now.