Ahead of the band's headlining performance for the first night of the inaugural Knotfest Finland, Tuomas Holopainen and Kai Hahto of symphonic metal titans Nightwish sat in for a quick discussion about Finnish pride and their affinity for aggressive music with Knotfest correspondent, Sophie K.
Pulling no punches, the conversation quickly dove into the kind of fanaticism of metal in Finland and how there is no country like it in the world. To further prove that statement, Holopainen asserted that only in FInland do bands like Dimmu Borgir and Children of Bodom top the charts. He emphasized that there was no asterisk there, these bands didn't top the "rock" charts, but the charts overall. That kind of love is very specific to Finland and for Holopainen, it means there is no other place like it.
The pride in FInland went further when the topic of gatekeeping in metal came up. Both Holopainen and Hahto explained that the Finnish, Scandinavian people, especially when it comes to extreme music have always been very open-minded. The guys cited the mesh of bands like Finntroll, Apocalyptica, and Nightwish - all of whom color outside the lines of conventionalism when it comes to metal music yet whom are all celebrated for their diversity.
The guys also dove into what it was like to deliver Human. :II: Nature during the stall of the pandemic and how the inability to tour in support of it was time of readjustment and reflection. Though there was a real sense of disappointment in sidelining such a massive project, the forced period of respite allowed the band to recoup and find a sense of refocus that only allowed them to get stronger as a unit - especially after some very crucial personnel changes. Being away from the stage for so long, there is a collective sense of joy to be back performing for fans the world over.
In addition to offering high praise of their fans, Holopainen revealed that the Nighwish has been keeping productive and thus are already dissecting demos for what will be the band's next album - great news for one of the most loyal bases in the world.
Stream the complete interview with Nightwish from Knotfest Finland below.