OSA- Cadence ocean

Live to Tell the Tale

The story of Nightwish: in their own words!

Part 2: The Late '90s

AFF 04

The result of this experimental project became the band's first album, Angels Fall First. The making of the album was just their first attempt at bringing together the eclectic blend of musical styles that would make Nightwish special.

Tarja Turunen:
"I would have to say that it was overall a completely new experience for me to sing on a heavy metal record. I hadn't ever done anything with that type of music before. I was just started taking lessons for a classical singing and it felt kind of strange that I got this somewhat extraordinary opportunity to be a part of something like this, y'know. I wasn't even quite sure what I was doing back then when I was singing my vocal parts in the studio for Nightwish's first album. I was really skeptical about myself whether I can even sing my vocal parts for all those songs on that album. I was honestly kind of lost, heh! But luckily everything still went well for me now if I'm looking back to those times. Somehow this once so little classical music student managed to sing her vocal parts for that particular album quite successful way indeed. And I think it was a very unique thing back then to have a female vocalist for a heavy metal album who even sang classical music."
(Metal-Rules.com, June 2004)

"We started in 1997 as a project-band, the same year we recorded our first demo. I went to the studio and sang, and they were happy with my work. At that time without a record deal wasn't a band, so in 1998 we signed it. Then everything went so fast, we recorded our second demo, which ended up as an LP that fans know as Angels Fall First. We never thought about this big success. It can be labeled as the Cinderella's Tale."
(Cursed With Oblivion, July 8th, 2002)

1998- promo 05

But unlike your typical fairy-tale, Nightwish did not have a "happily ever after" at first. The differences in the personalities of the bandmembers and differences in their approach to making music would clash during the making of their second album, Oceanborn.

Tarja Turunen:
"Now when I'm thinking of those times concerning Oceanborn, in my opinion Tuomas wasn't that capable of writing song compositions that were especially meant for my type of vocals. That's what made it a very hard and difficult album to sing. He wasn't even aware of a wide range of my vocal skills back then. I think if you are a singer, it's very important that a composer of songs has also ability to pay attention to certain vocalists' needs to be able to sing his creations 'coz vocals are one of those instruments there just like guitar or drums are.
  "[...]I remember when I was singing my vocal parts for Oceanborn, I was sitting and crying on the floor and the other guys were yelling to me: 'Sing, dammit!' [laughs]
  "It was quite a tough experience for me after all to get my vocals recorded for that album, but on the other hand the songs on Oceanborn are also quite complex and difficult structure-wise all in all, even for us.[...]"
(Metal-Rules.com, June 2004)

Tuomas Holopainen:
"The recording sessions of Oceanborn were a total hell and way too long so the success was a huge relief for us."
(Battlehelm interview, 2001)

1999- Porukka

Amidst the turmoil of the Oceanborn recording sessions, a diamond would emerge from the rough and become a Nightwish classic...
Tuomas Holopainen:
"We had a song called "Sleeping Sun" that was our nominee for the Finnish qualification for the Eurovision Song Contest and which we recorded in London, this unnamed 'mega-producer' taking care of the production for it and so on. Unfortunately the production for it was kind of 'so-so' and in my opinion it's the worst-sounding Nightwish song we have ever done!"
(Metal-Rules.com, March 2002)

Tarja Turunen:
"Our song "Sleeping Sun" was one of the nominees for Finland and just like you mentioned, it was chosen as No. 1 song out of all nominees by majority of votes given by the Finns. It still was a good experience for Nightwish in this kind of 'questionable' song contest, but eventually I think I should be glad that we weren't chosen to represent Finland to that particular song contest because those type of competitions have not been meant for a band like us. The positive thing was that we got a great bunch of new fans for Nightwish by the help of that song, so in that sense it was worth it."
(Metal-Rules.com, June 2004)

The story continues...