Tuomas Holopainen Says He Was ‘Completely Devastated’ After Marko Hietala’s Departure From Nightwish

In a new interview with Metal Hammer, Nightwish keyboardist and mastermind Tuomas Holopainen discussed the band’s upcoming online show, An Evening With Nightwish In A Virtual World, while also discussing how it will be performing without bassist and singer Marko Hietala who left last January after 20 years with the band.

“He was with us for 20 years, so it’s gonna be really weird,” Tuomas said. “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 realized 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,” he added. “And another point was that it’s been 24 years and quite the ride. This is not the way to end it.

Nightwish will perform in a tavern called “The Islanders Arms” built in a virtual world for two nights — Friday, May 28 and Saturday, May 29, 2021. On both nights, the fans will experience an unforgettable one-and-a-half-hour performance, hearing songs live off the latest album, Human. :II: Nature., for the first time ever. These two nights will have their own, slightly different setlists.

On January 12, Hietala announced his departure from Nightwish via following statement: “Dear people. I am leaving Nightwish and my public life.

“For a quite a few years now I haven’t been able to feel validated by this life. We have streaming company big guns demanding 9/5 work from artists of inspiration while unfairly sharing the profits. Even among the artists. We’re the banana republic of the music industry. Biggest tour promoters squeeze percentages even from our own merchandise while paying dividends to Middle East. Apparently some theocrasies can take the money from the music that would get you beheaded or jailed there without appearing as hypocrites. Just a couple of examples here.

Marko Hietala

“This past year forced me to stay home and think. And I found myself very disillusioned about these and a lot of things. I found out that I am in need of that validation. For me to write, sing and play, I need to find some new reasons and inspirations. ”My Walden” so to speak. And it’s even in my book that I’m a chronic depressive. It’s dangerous for me and the people around me, if I continue. Some of the thoughts a while back were dark. Don’t worry, I’m fine. I have my two sons, a wife, the rest of the family, friends, a dog and lots of love.

“And I don’t think that I’ll be gone for good,” he continued. Conspiracy is the word of the day. For the people who like them I need to say that my 55th birthday is now on 14th of Jan and I’ve certainly done my time for now. Blaming for instance Tuomas is an insult to both him and my free thinking. This is a very sad thing to all of us too. Have a care please.

“But of course now we’ll know, if some go there on purpose.

“There are a couple of things agreed on that I will do on 2021. Otherwise I kindly and with respect ask the media, bands, artists projects etc. to not ask me for anything within the next year. I have some reinventing to do. I hope to tell you about it on 2022. It’s not a promise though.

“I am so sorry about this.

“Marko Hietala

“P.S. Tony Iommi is an exception to the ‘no contact whatsoever.’ Childhood hero takes a precedence.”