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2017: Interviews promoting Vehicle Of Spirit


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A lengthy and interesting interview with Troy, talking about everything but the (then) new live album. 😆 Among the highlights, Troy discusses the Openly Secular coming out Tuomas and him made back in 2015, to mixed results among the fandom. You might remember that promoting their atheism garnered support in some ranks but also loud protests from more religious quarters. Nightwish lyrics had long moved past the religious undertones of The Carpenter, but this is probably a fascinating discussion for another thread!

Anyway, there's a video for the interview, and the text is available too, and I have provided some interesting quotes.


The Greatest Show on Earth – An Interview with Troy Donockley of Nightwish
By J Salmeron - 11/01/2017



  • I didn’t expect to join the band, but it was that change within the band in that tour [Imaginaerum], and the new direction that the band was taking, that made me realize that my true musical self could flower within the band, as a multi-instrumentalist, not just as a guy who plays pipes and whistles.
  • We intend to do a lot more; it has been a wonderful thing for Emppu and me to bring two electric guitars into the band, so that opens up lots of possibilities for some of the older materials with twin guitars and the guitars harmonies.
  • There are changes going in Nightwish, and I’m definitely part of those changes. We all introduce each other to different types of music. I was introduced to symphonic metal by Nightwish; I had never heard of them before I went to their session in London. I had heard of them through Pip Williams, the guy who does the orchestrations, since he sent me a copy of Once, wanting me to check them out because he thought I might like them since I’m into progressive rock.
  • [...] Jukka, Tuomas and I, [were] sitting in a hotel room in New Zealand, with a bottle of fine shiraz wine, talking about the book The Magic of Reality, by Richard Dawkins (as well as The God Delusion and The Selfish Gene). We watched a couple of his lectures, and I stupidly, after we had drank a few glasses of wine and said that it would be wonderful to have him in the new album, decided to promise that I would find him and get him. Of course, I woke up the next morning wondering “what have I done?! What have I said!?” 
  • When it came to the controversial aspects of that, with the recording of Richard Dawkins, we didn’t expect to get such venom from some quarters. Some people were like they were going to burn all of their albums!
  • We’ve had lots of frustrated Christians coming out and saying that the album has helped them to come out and shake that stuff off, thanking us for bringing it to them. Also, in that Openly Secular video, nowhere in there do we bash god explicitly. It’s about accepting the world as it is, instead of using supernatural.
  • If what we had was [Richard Dawkins] saying beautiful, universal things, statements of universal beauty and love, you couldn’t criticize them. It wasn’t explicit atheism; it was humanism, universalism. And that’s what comes out, for me, from facing the world and life as they really are.
  • But, don’t forget, me and Tuomas are huge Christmas fans. We love to sing Christmas hymns, we love to sing about baby Jesus, we love all that. We love the whole yuletide experience. Just because you don’t believe in supernatural beings doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy culture, especially an old, ancient ritual. There’s nothing like walking in a church that’s candle-lit, listening to a choir singing. It’s a beautiful, life-enhancing thing. It’s part of our world, and that’s a wonderful thing.


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