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2005: End Of An Era (Tarja and the Open Letter)


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Nightwish sack female vocalist after lengthy world tour

Dramatic dismissal blamed on Tarja Turunen's greed and diva-like behaviour

 

Finnish power metal act Nightwish has sacked its female vocalist Tarja Turunen. The singer's dismissal came hard on the heels of the final homecoming concert of the successful band's recent Once tour, which played to a packed house of 11,000 at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki on Friday.

 

The group, which emerged in the mid-1990s from the small eastern town of Kitee (see attached article) has become one of the biggest export items on the Finnish popular music scene. Friday's concert brought to a close a tour lasting around eighteen months and involving 150 gigs on several continents.

     

By all accounts, the decision to cut Turunen loose had been brewing for some time, but when it came the dismissal was brutal and very public. A blunt open letter on the band's website, which was also given to Turunen after the Hartwall Arena show, included the following:

      "Dear Tarja,

      It is time to choose whether the story of Nightwish ends here or whether it will still continue an undetermined period of time. We have been working with this creation for 9 years and we are not ready to give up yet. Nightwish is a way of life, something to live for, and we are certain we can't let it go.

      Equally certain is the fact that we cannot go on with you and Marcelo [Turunen's husband, see below] any longer. During the last year something sad happened, which I have been going over in my head every single day, morning and night. Your attitude and behavior do not go with Nightwish anymore. There are characteristics I would never have believed to see in my old dear friend. People who don't talk with each other for a year do not belong in the same band...

      ...To you, unfortunately, business, money, and things that have nothing to do with those emotions have become much more important. You feel that you have sacrificed yourself and your musical career for Nightwish, rather than thinking what it has given to you. This attitude was clearly shown to me in the two things you said to me in an airplane in Toronto: 'I don't need Nightwish anymore', and 'Remember, Tuomas, that I could leave this band at any time, giving you only one day's warning in advance'.

      I can't simply write any more songs for you to sing.

      You have said yourself that you are merely a 'guest musician' in Nightwish. Now that visit ends and we will continue Nightwish with a new female vocalist. We are sure this is an equally big relief to you as it is for us. We have all been feeling bad long enough..."

     

The letter was signed by the band's keyboards player Tuomas Holopainen, who has also been responsible for the lion's share of the compositions and lyrics in the band's songs, but he states that the decision was taken by the four male members of Nightwish unanimously.

      References in the letter to diva-like behaviour and to greed, opportunism, and broken promises suggest that this is more than merely a case of the traditional "musical differences".

      There have also been suggestions that Turunen's husband and manager - Argentine Marcelo Cabuli - has played a role in the proceedings. Tuomas Holopainen compared the situation with that afflicting The Beatles in the late 1960s, as the figure of Yoko Ono allegedly began to drive a wedge between her husband John Lennon and the other members of the band.

     

Tarja Turunen herself issued a statement to the evening YLE news stating her shock at what had happened. She felt the way of bringing the subject out into the open was cruel and sad.

      As the letter noted, the group intends to go on with a new female singer. Whether the search for a replacement for the soaring vocals of Turunen has already begun or whether a new vocalist might even have already been found was not revealed.

      "I would rather not comment on that. The sentence is there that Nightwish has always had a female vocalist. We shall not be going on as a four-piece band", Holopainen commented to Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday.

      Tuula Salminen of Spinefarm, Nightwish's recording label, stated that the company "had smelt something like this coming for some time".

      She said that the record company trusted that the decision was a carefully considered one: "Everyone understands that the band would not have chosen such a radical course of action unless they had been forced to."

     

Nightwish came into being in 1996, and the band have sold around 2 million copies of their records worldwide. Their album Once was the biggest-selling album in Finland in 2004.

      Tarja Turunen has of late been concentrating on a solo career. She will be appearing in recitals of Christmas songs and carols in December and next year will be recording a CD of similar songs. In addition she is engaged to sing at the Savonlinna Opera Festival next summer.

      Turunen studied classical singing at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and subsequently at the Karlsruhe Academy of Music. Holopainen stated that Turunen's solo projects were not an issue from the group's perspective.

     

It remains to be seen how the events of the weekend will play out for the future success of the classically-influenced goth band, whose popularity has been growing, particularly in Central Europe.

      Nightwish's album Once reached #1 in the Greek, German, Norwegian and Hungarian charts, in addition to here in Finland, and the CD sold platinum in Germany. As Tuomas Holopainen freely admits, Turunen was the image of Nightwish, front and centre, but Holopainen can take the credit for much of the songwriting.

      The pairing of an operatically-trained and attractive and charismatic "front woman" and some melodic songs in the "symphonic power metal" or "opera metal" genre was clearly a symbiotic and fruitful one, at least until last Friday, when the wheels fell off with a vengeance.

      In a final ironic twist, the sold-out Hartwall Arena concert on Friday was recorded for live CD/DVD release - under the title "End of an Era".

 

From <https://web.archive.org/web/20060903005100/http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Nightwish+sack+female+vocalist+after+lengthy+world+tour/1101981387494>

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Sacked Nightwish vocalist responds with her own open letter

"Band members never took me seriously", Tarja Turunen writes

 

Sacked Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen has published an open letter to her fans on her personal website.

"This is a moment of grief and pain", she writes.

Turunen describes the situation where the letter of dismissal was handed to her. Tears of joy after a successful Hartwall Arena gig turned into tears of sorrow.

"I sense great anger in the letter", Turunen writes.

She disapproves of the way private matters have been made public and the way her husband has been "involved" in this.

According to Turunen, the other members of the band never accepted her Argentine husband and manager Marcelo Cabuli.

She wonders what might have prompted this:

"The fact that he was born in South America? The fact that I chose marriage, and did not go on as the band's own girl? The fact that I was the only woman in the band and was never taken seriously by the other members? My husband was the one who helped me to get my voice heard."

The singer, who is currently in Argentina, announced she would hold a press conference once she returns to Finland.

"This doesn't mean that you should expect this conference to be an instrument to attack anybody. It won't."

Tarja Turunen's letter can be read on her personal website. (See link below .)

 

from: https://web.archive.org/web/20051029081815/http://www.tarjaturunen.com/en/tarjaletter.html

 

Since last Sunday morning, I have been asked to express my position by magazines, newspapers, radio and TV stations, fan clubs and fans from Finland and from all over the world. So many in total that it is physically impossible for me to find the time to reply to them all individually. Hence I decided to put down a couple of words in this text to let my fans, family and friends and the public know how I feel after the recent events.

This is a moment of grief and pain and I find it very hard to speak.

At the moment I am in Argentina. I hope you can understand that after this shocking life change comparable to a divorce, I didn’t want to stay alone at home in Finland. My husband had booked his tickets to Argentina many months ago and I decided to travel with him at the last minute.

But the fact that I am in Argentina and the long distance should of course not be an excuse not to comment on the situation.

Last Friday 21st of October was a day the whole band had been waiting for a long time.

Practice started early in the morning. I was very sick and nervous because of the fact that I was not even able to sing during the rehearsals.

Also nervous because the concert programme was going to be longer than usual for a Nightwish concert. Furthermore we were going to have a special guest to perform with us, more wardrobe changes for myself than usual and for the first time big screens and bigger production on stage.

Not to forget that the concert was going to be recorded and filmed.

The five of us had finally made it to play Hartwall Arena.

Even though every one of us knew in advance that the concert was sold out, finally on stage, we saw that screaming, applauding and standing people took every seat. The feeling was unbelievable.

I will never forget how amazing it was to experience the Finnish audience’s gorgeous reception.

When the concert was over, I cried of happiness on stage. Happy tears because I was able to do my best as always even though I was sick. Happy tears because our long tour got the greatest possible ending and happy tears because of the best recognition an artist can get: applause and smiling faces.

At that moment I didn’t know that I was going to cry again soon.

After the concert, the guys of the band invited me backstage to join them and asked me to hug altogether. This felt strange as it was the same kind of hug we traditionally came together for before every concert. That tradition remained between us, even though the tension and increasing pressure already existed since a long period of time.

The immediate feeling in me was to thank them, which I did loudly but without any reply.

After this, they gave me a letter and asked me to read it the following day. The same letter that is now public.

I read it and was shocked.

I didn’t know what to say and still at the moment that I am writing these lines, I don’t.

I sense great anger in that letter and I continue to have very confused feelings about it, but I don’t want to reply to this anger with an even greater anger. Private matters should never be taken to the public.

I know this moment we are going through is very sad for everybody, including the guys.

While there would have been so many different possibilities and ways to express what they wanted to tell me with the letter, I remain unable to understand the way they chose to handle this. I am sorry that the guys got me so wrong. I don’t recognize myself at all from the way they described me.

They mentioned mean things about me, but the fact that they involved Marcelo, my husband, crossed the line. He is the man I love, my friend and has been my biggest support over the last years.

We have been band mates for 9 years, experienced good times and not so good ones. I thought I knew them, but I was wrong.

Still everything that has happened is not enough to make them evil in my eyes.

Now comes a time to calm down and reflect upon all of this.

I need to put my feelings together again and I promise to come back to public soon.

I will announce a press conference where I will be talking about my future plans. This doesn’t mean that you should expect this conference to be an instrument to attack anybody. It won’t.

The wonderful music we created together won’t be touched by recent events.

Thanks a lot to all the people who are supporting me during these sad times. My family, friends, colleagues, and the great number of fans. I love you and I really feel I have not failed you.

Tarja

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"A Hispanic in the Nightwish works"

Financial success, artistic ambition, and a power struggle broke up the Finnish rockers

 

Mape Ollila: Nightwish.

Like, 2006. 380 pages, EUR 39.00 (in Finnish)

 

      Review by Jarkko Jokelainen

     

      The butler did it!

      Well, no, since this is after all a rock band whodunit, it wasn't really the butler, it was the manager!

      The fall-out from the great Nightwish rift, which shocked the entire nation last October, continues in the band's long-awaited history, released on the world last week.

     

The book points the finger most firmly in the direction of Marcelo Cabuli, husband and personal manager of the band's former vocal soloist Tarja Turunen. With every turning page, the charges against the Argentine Cabuli get heavier and heavier.

      The portrait of Marcelo Cabuli depicts a money-grasping, less than honest, arbitrary, and manipulative manager who was engaged on setting up his wife's solo career and who drove a wedge between her and the other members of the power metal band.

      Nightwish's contractual dealings and touring plans became a painful exercise, as there was "a Hispanic in the works" at every turn.

     

Against this background, it is somewhat awkward that the defendant himself does not get a hearing in the book, even though the other sources close to the band are given full rein to open their hearts and mouths. Not even Tarja Turunen gets to comment on her husband's doings.

      It is probable that the decision is the couple's own, but this does not disguise the fact that it is the book's greatest drawback. The author Marko "Mape" Ollila has sought to be even-handed in his coverage, but in part for the reasons above, this band-history inevitably becomes a speech on behalf of the male members of the group and other figures in the background.

      Nightwish would seem on the basis of this work to have been so divided into two distinct camps that both sides of the story cannot be fitted between the covers of one book.

      The book itself does reveal that the sacked vocalist Tarja Turunen is planning her own biography.

     

Not even a 380-page illustrated volume such as this is able, then, to offer the final word on the fuss that surrounded this incident last October, which swelled to quite astonishing dimensions in the media.

      Once again, it is only a rock band. They do have a tendency to self-destruct and to drift into arguments over differences, musical or otherwise.

      In the Finnish experience, the Nightwish story is one of a kind, but as far as the end-result goes, there is nothing very new here under the sun.

      The book describes in quite frank and brutal terms how financial and chart success, artistic ambition, and a power struggle have eaten away at the personal relationships inside the band.

     

The actions of Marcelo Cabuli may have been the straw that did for the Nightwish camel, but the members of the band, too, could do well to take a look in the mirror. And this includes the composer and keyboards player Tuomas Holopainen, generally seen as the leader of the group.

      "Yeah, but I'm the guy who gave these people the opportunity for that rock glamour thing and to play music in a band and see the world and all that", Holopainen pours out liberally, adding his suspicions that none of any of this would have come to anything without him.

     

If this is really the attitude, then it is hardly any wonder that the going gets tense and weird every now and then!

      Especially as only a few pages earlier we have heard how Turunen - to everyone's surprise - brought her operatic singing style to the band's performances, and how the heavy rock backgrounds of guitarist Emppu Vuorinen and drummer Jukka Nevalainen made the music heavier than it was.

      Errrr... and what is it that Nightwish is primarily known for? Surely it is the fusion, into something called "symphonic metal" or "opera metal", of classical singing and heavy rock?

      Might it possibly have been that without these surprising turns of events, Holopainen's acoustic numbers would have remained on the drawing board or as songs strummed around the campfire, and that the band's name would not have travelled outside Finland or the eastern town of Kitee.

     

The Nightwish story offers up  a spectacular dramatic arc, and Mape Ollila grabs it with both hands.

      He has clearly been close and personal with the people he has interviewed for the book, and this shows up in the candidness of the statements that find their way onto the page. No stone is left unturned, whether it is about personal chemistry, contractual wrangling, or simple old-fashioned "rock stars getting trashed".

      The chain of events that led to the sacking of Tarja Turunen runs throughout the book, but the work has other merits.

      This is the first occasion when the nature of the international rock business has been examined in such comprehensive detail in a Finnish volume. The most detailed portrait of the characters involved is that of Tuomas Holopainen. A multifaceted image of Holopainen's escapist view of the world is presented.

     

In the end, it is probably most interesting to read just how these innocent young people from rural Kitee became a worldwide success-story: the band have performed and toured in 40 countries and have shifted nearly three million CDs.

      There are a number of surprising factors that pop up and influence the tale - not least the Finnish school system. It turns out that each and every one of the original members of the band was at some time the pupil of the enthusiasitic music teacher Plamen Dimov, who also incidentally provides violin back-up on the band's second album Oceanborn.

      Furthermore, little Kitee seems to have taken a surprisingly sanguine and positive view of its rock ambassadors, right  from the very earliest days.

      Which just goes to show that when you are out conquering the world, it does no harm at all to have things in good running order at home.

     

Helsingin Sanomat / First published in print 12.5.2006

 

From <https://web.archive.org/web/20060902235246/https://www.hs.fi/english/article/A+Hispanic+in+the+Nightwish+works/1135219915891/>

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nightwish – The end of an era
from Rock Hard 2005-12, translated by Oceanborn, from: http://www.en.nightwish-bibliotheca.com/article.php?id=290


The cooperation of Nightwish and Tarja Turunen is history. A few hours after the last show of the ‘Once Upon A Tour 2004-2005’ in Helsinki Tuomas Holopainen sacked the image of the band. Rock Hard accompanies the band at their last common weekend and finds out the reason for the split as the first magazine in a moving interview.

The calm before the storm
During the approach to Helsinki Finland shows itself from its most beautiful side. It is a sunny autumn day. The woods and the meadows shine in different tones of brown and green and the white clouds are reflected in the steel-blue lakes. All the passengers at the airplane are pressing their noses against the windowpane to admire the nature. Only a young American pesters a stewardess with an unbelieving expression if she is really sure that Finnland is not a part of the Netherlands.
The drive to the hotel passes by in no time because the radio of the bus driver plays songs by HIM, Children of Bodom, Green Day and Europe. But Nightwish seem to be the true heroes of the Finnish music scene at this weekend. Their show in Hartwall Arena is announced on the radio every few minutes. The Finnish quintet does have the whole town of Helsinki in its grip. Not only on the radio the reports about the last show on the next evening follow hot on each other’s heels - in the daily press, different teeny mags and for the ladies at the hotel’s reception desk Tarja and Co are topic number one as well.
But then the first disillusionment comes up because of a phone call with the band's manager Ewo Rytkönen. The rehearses for the upcoming gig will last until midnight, so there will be no time for the planned interview with Tarja. “Tarja is not available for an interview anyway”, the blond giant adds. No explanation is given why Miss Turunen will not do the interview which was planned for a long time.
The situation gets really strange when we find out that Tarja doesn’t stay in the same hotel as her bandmates.

11.000 fans and an unforgettable gig
In the next afternoon the lobby of the Sokos-Hotel –the place where Tuomas Holopainen, Marco Hietala, Emppu Vuorinen and Jukka Nevalainen settled down- becomes the main meeting point for friends, colleagues and family-members of the band. With his Volvo manager Ewo takes along fan club-representatives from all over Europe, webmasters of the band’s websites, photographers and journalists. In the middle of all you can see John Two-Hawks who came from the USA only for the gig and who tries to find his way through the crowd together with his wife while shaking a lot of hands. Tuomas stands a bit more at the side and doesn’t seem to be in a real talkative mood. But Jukka who is there together with his pregnant wife Satu and his mother runs from small talk to small talk. Finally the whole group heads to Hardwall Areena in a line of taxis. For the band it’s not the first drive of the day to the arena because in the morning they have already been there to rehearse the whole set for the recording of the DVD.
In the backstage-area of the arena where smoking is strictly forbidden the atmosphere is tense. From the dressing-room of Sonata Arctica you can hear someone singing. Tuomas runs through the hallways regularly with a petrified expression in his face. And Marcelo, Tarja’s husband and personal manager, organizes some hot tea because his wife suffers from a cold. The petite woman has a dressing-room of her own in which she vanishes right after her arrival.
At 8 o’clock p.m. Sonata Arctica start their gig with the songs ‘Misplaced’, the opening track of their current record ‘Reckoning Night’, ’Full Moon’ and ‘Blinded No More’. Although a lot of Nightwish-fans are still standing at the bars and snack-points inside the hall there are several thousands of spectators on the stands already. The atmosphere is good. When front man Tony strikes up a birthday-serenade for keyboarder Henrik ‘Henkka’ Klingenberg after ‘Broken’ countless voices roar a happy Finnish ‘Happy Birthday!’ During ‘Last Drop Falls’ the first listeners take out their lighters and wave them in the air. Jukka and Tuomas watch the gig and the reactions of the fans with serious expressions from the side of the stage. After an hour the five Finns end their performance. ‘The Cage’ roars out of the speakers and to the rhythm of the audience which is clapping faster and faster Tony shouts ‘We need some vodka!’ into his microphone.
A quarter of an hour later everybody has to leave the hallway which leads to the dressing-rooms because Nightwish have to prepare for their gig. Somewhere you can hear Marco doing some loud warm-up-exercises for his voice while the first La Ola-waves run through the hall. After twenty minutes Nightwish are finally ready for the last show of their Once-Tour which lasted almost one and a half years and included nearly 150 gigs all over the world. Tuomas wears a hat, takes deep drags from his cigarette and heads to the stage like a cowboy, being the first one. Behind him walk the rest of the guys and finally Tarja and Marcelo follow. When the intro begins the La Olas inside the arena get bigger and the audience on the seats stands up for standing ovations.
Behind a black curtain, invisible for the audience the group awaits their performance for the last time. Tuomas crouches in a corner turned away from the others and lost in thoughts. Marco grins and rehearses some final singing parts once more and Emppu hugs Tarja who is visibly nervous for a few times encouragingly while Marcelo tugs at her dress hectically. When the intro is almost over the five Finns form a circle and stand there arm in arm with their heads together in the middle to encourage each other. John Two-Hawks is next to them; he raises his fist and shouts something to Tuomas. The light inside the hall go out, yelling can be heard and Nightwish enter the stage – in the back of it there is a huge backdrop with the logo of the current record.
When the first notes of ‘Dark Chest Of Wonder’ can be heard loud cheering rises and the pyros blow up into the air. The quintet overruns its fans with bombast that has a class of its own. Blood red light illuminates the stage during ‘Planet Hell’. Fountains of fire shoot up during ‘Ever dream’ and Tuomas raises up his arms in a pose of victory. During ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ thousand of lighters illuminate the dark arena. With a similar atmosphere the show goes on with ‘The Siren’. On five video-screens that are hanging next to each other pictures of the ocean appear and white-blue spotlights create a cold light on the stage. Tarja changed from a yellow dress into a black one. The enraptured atmosphere is only interrupted from the enthusiastic stamping of the crowd and the posing of Emppu and Marco that fall on their knees in front of each other theatrically.
For ‘Sleeping Sun’ Tarja sings on one of the high pedestals that are standing on the left and right side of Jukka. On her opposite side Emppu contorts to the sounds of his guitar at the altitude. When a magical snowy landscape and pictures of a starry sky appear on the screens there is a real goose bumps-atmosphere. In front of the stage you can see an ocean of lights and bright handy-displays moving from side to side into the rhythm of the song. While Marco sings the Pink Floyd-Cover ‘High Hopes’ there is some time for Tarja to get into the next black dress. Countless times the Finn with the great voice runs off the stage and changes her clothes hectically.
In the meantime Tuomas has opened a bottle of red wine which lies in a self-created holder under the keyboard. During ‘Bless The Child’ and the celebrated ‘Wishmaster’ fountains of fire bang into the air again while pictures of dark woods appear on the screen in the back. The ballad ‘Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan’ is sang by Tarja alone. The rest of the band uses the time to have a breather behind the drums. Tuomas takes a few deep drags from his cigarette and exhaustedly watches the screen behind him which shows pictures of the band. At the end of the song thundering applause is heard which changes into hysterical screams when the first notes of the ‘Once’-hit ‘Nemo’ sound through the hall. Tarja smiles brightly and blows kisses to the crowd. During the bombastic ‘Ghost Love Score’ the impressions overrun the listeners as well. The stage is illuminated in blood red light, pyros are banging and out of four ‘cannons’ so much glitter is being whirled into the air that the security almost drowns into the red and white rain of scraps.
The great final starts with John Two-Hawks solo-song ‘Stone People’. The American creeps on the foggy stage dressed in a native-american costume, plays his flute and strikes up a meditative singing. For ‘Creek Mary’s Blood’ the band joins him. Emppu and Marco pose on the pedestals. And Tarja who is dressed in a bright white cocktail dress now strechtes up her arms theatrically. With the Gary Moore-cover ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’ and ‘Wish I Had An Angel’ the gig ends after two hours. Pyros blow up into the air in short intervals, the band bows for the crowd and the fans thank them with standing ovations.
After the performance there is a celebration in the band’s dressing room together with family members, friends and colleagues. Tuomas brought along half of his relatives including their partners. His nephew proudly runs through the party-turmoil with a VIP-sticker, his sister tells about her studies in Germany and mother Holopainen chats with Wilska, the singer of Finntroll. Jukkas wife Satu and the relatives of Marco and Emppu eat snacks and drink some Finnish beer. Tarja doesn’t seem to be able to win something from the throng and leaves the arena shortly after the show. Tuomas doesn’t seem to be in a mood for partying as well and with a tired face he urges the others to leave the place already at one o‘clock. But the night is not over yet. Emppu heads to the city-center with some friends and Jukka takes his friends and colleagues to a bar until three o'clock.

A huge party and a letter with consequences
Saturday is the day that everybody’s looking forward to because on this day there shall be a huge ‘end of the tour’-party at a secret place. Like the day before everybody except Tarja who departed in the morning meets in the lobby of the Sokos-Hotel. The band seems to be relaxed. Marco and Emppu joke with their friends, Jukka helps Ewo to get everyone into the arriving taxis and John Two-Hawks and his wife search the newspapers for articles about the concert.
The party takes place in a comfortable wooden hut about 30 minutes drive from the city centre. In front of the door there is a little tent and inside some paella is prepared. Inside by the fireside the first drinks find their way through the throats of the people. Outside the sun goes down. The atmosphere is cheerful. Everybody brought some friends along. Wilska raises is glass to Henkka, the keyboard- player of Sonata Arctica and a small group of men takes a sixpack of beer and decides to pay a visit to the sauna by the lake.
And finally Tuomas has some time for the interview which was planned for days. “We have to do it right now before I’m too drunk” the creative mind of the band tells with a strangely depressed expression in his face. In the whole hut there is no really calm place so we withdraw into the small, uncomfortable kitchen.

Tuomas, you seem to be really tired.
- The preparations and the show itself were strenuous. I got almost no sleep during the last days. But it was worth it – we did the best gig of our career. It was a perfect ending. And in addition to that it was the biggest DVD-recording of a Finish band ever.

Can you already tell when the DVD will be published?
- Probably it will happen in spring 2006.

Some time ago the German band J.B.O. (a German Fun-Metal band who does parodies of other bands with really strange selfmade German lyrics) was asked if they can imagine doing a parody of Nightwish. Their answer was:’That is impossible because this band already is a parody of itself’.
- Well, this is how we are. We do everything with our hearts and we always like to do one more step. For me this is a lot of fun. Sometimes we really have to laugh about ourselves. Self irony is of high importance when you have a band of your own. I like the Heavy Metal-culture because you don’t have to take yourself completely serious all the time.

You can see that the fun isn’t neglected for you when you look at this self-made bottle-holder under your keyboard in which you always have a bottle of wine.
- This thing was created by a friend of mine. It’s really useful because I love to drink red wine during our shows.

You’ve also been to the USA during the Once-Tour. How big was your success over there?
- For us the venues we played were quite small (capacity of 1.000 - 2.000 people). But it was a great start and I’m sure that you can have a lot more success with this kind of music over there.

Do you think that the comet-like rise of Evanescence opened the door in the USA for you?
- I’m convinced that their success helped us. Evanescence and Nightwish have a lot in common and in addition to that front women in general are quite a big thing at the moment. You mustn’t forget that.

But don’t you think that the competition is bigger because of that?
- I don’t mind it that much because I still see us as the pioneers in this music-genre. We were the first ones who combined Symphonic-Metal with a classical singer. In this business everything is not only about talent or the matter who is the better or the worse singer. In the end the winner is the one who has the best song writing and who creates the most thrilling atmosphere. And you need a lot of luck.

Tuomas shifts on his chair. He takes a deep breath and looks at me seriously.
- There is one thing I need to tell you. Tarja is not a member of the band anymore. You are the first journalist who I tell this. At the moment only a few people know about the decision.

The features of the keyboard player relax. He looks like a big burden falling from his shoulders. Then he takes a letter out of his pocket.
- This letter includes it all. I have to put it to the internet in a moment. My biggest wish is to continue Nightwish with a new singer. At the moment I’m not sure who this is going to be. I’m still shocked and the situation has to calm down first. Then we can go on planning the future. This decision is the biggest tragedy of my life.

How could it get that far?
- Tarja and I didn’t talk to each other for a year. The situation got worse and worse. There were only two ways out for me: either to quit the whole band or to go on with another singer. Of course Tarja is the face of Nightwish but has only been a guest singer right from the beginning. That’s what she said herself. She didn’t write any single song, she didn’t write any vocal parts and she never took part in the arrangement process for the songs. In the recent past she hardly did any interviews or took part in meet and greets. And she didn’t come to our sound checks for a long time already. That is why I think that I have the right to make this decision. For many people Nightwish is Tarja but this is wrong!

Why didn’t you talk about these obvious problems?
- That’s really complicated. We have never been able to get along with Tarja’s Argentinean husband Marcelo who is her personal manager as well. He destroyed everything. She trusts him blindly but in my opinion this guy is a serpent. For him everything’s only about the money. You cannot imagine how much he changed Tarja in only one year. I had no chance to get close to her because Marcelo was always by her side and demanded for more and more money. Tarja is a really nice person but because of Marcelo she changed really drastically. When you are alone with her she is totally different. If there is a person who can claim Nightwish as a band of his own then it has to be me. I wrote all the songs and all the lyrics and I do 90 percent of the interviews. And then this Argentinean guy who doesn’t belong to the band comes along and controls everything. We cancelled our second US-tour because for Marcelo the fees were too low and the halls were too small. For official appearances he demanded for an extra fee for Tarja. I could name you countless examples. For this guy everything is only about money, money, money. That’s just like it was with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
This attitude doesn’t work with the rest of the band. Marco, Emppu, Jukka and I, we love to play music and to express our feelings on stage, to travel the world and to get to know new people. Our idealism has always been the most important thing. Actually I can’t blame Tarja for everything because I believe that she is blind and doesn’t understand what is really going on around her. For her Marcelo is the king. What he says has to be done. In May 2006 we will publish a band-biography which will deal with these problems in detail. In this book you can read the true story of Nightwish – including all the ups and downs.

And there was no possibility to talk to Marcelo?
- That didn’t work. No member of the band was able to cope with him. We are just too different. Besides most of the time both of them arrived at the hall about five minutes before the gig and left directly after the last song. Tarja’s attitude towards Nightwish hurt me the most. She always said that she sacrifices her whole live, her voice and her career as a classical singer for us. She didn’t appreciate the possibilities that the band offered to her. Instead she complained that we play music that she doesn’t want to sing to. She saw herself as the victim. For us guys and especially me Nightwish is everything. This band is my life and that is why I was willing to agree to all their demands. Tarja never had to travel by bus. We paid the tickets for her so she could fly with Marcelo from gig to gig. She only slept in the best hotels. We accepted that she didn’t do any interviews and didn’t come to the sound checks. But although we did everything for her she hardly put any passion and energy into the band, Instead she complained about our consumption of alcohol and about our manager. Actually she was hardly involved in our daily-live but she controlled everything.

Is it true that Marcelo works in the South American music-business?
- He is the owner of an Argentinean record-company.

When did you make the decision to sack Tarja?
- This decision was already made some time ago. Even last year I told in all the interviews that Nightwish couldn’t exist without Tarja. But then something sad happened. She told me on a plane in December 2004: ‘I don’t need this band for my career anymore. Keep in mind that I can leave Nightwish anytime.’ These sentences hit me really hard. They really hurt. I couldn’t really believe it but she really meant what she said. At the beginning of the year us guys had the first serious talks about the option to fire her. We decided to await the end of the tour with the hope that the whole situation would get better. But in the end we realized that there was no other possibility. During the whole year we had to swallow down all the shit. Because all the concerts were booked we couldn’t say anything. We had no choice but to give our best on stage and await the last show.

Do you think that Tarja as a solo-artist can have the same huge success that she had with Nightwish?
- You never know but to be honest I don’t believe that.

When did you tell Tarja that she is not a part of the band anymore?
- I told her yesterday evening directly after the show. To be more precise: I went to her and handed the official letter over to her with the words: ‘Here is a letter for you. Thanks for everything. Please read it tomorrow morning.’ Since then I haven’t heard of her.

How did Marcelo react to the letter?
- He wasn’t there. I wanted to be alone with Tarja.

Do you think that she suspected something?
- She just said:’ Ok, thanks, then I will read it tomorrow’ but I’m sure that she had a suspicion. It was too obvious. We didn’t exchange any personal word for one year, nothing worked and she knew that I didn’t like her husband. It was clear that something had to happen. Who knows what she is thinking at the moment.(sighs)

Were you nervous when you handed the letter over to her or did you stay calm?
- I was far away from being cool. During the last two days I wasn’t able to eat anything and I got no sleep at all because I only had to think about this one moment all the time. During the gig I forgot about the letter but afterwards I was standing totally next to me. I was shivering all over when I went to Tarja’s dressing-room. It was terrible.

What do you think – what will the reaction of the fans be like?
- I’m not scared of the future, the choice of a new singer or my future decisions. My biggest concerns are the fans and the media because you don’t know how they will receive Tarja’s departure. I have a good conscience and I’m sure that I made no mistake but still I fear the descriptions in the media. Many people do not look behind the scenes. For them Nightwish is Tarja’s band. She is the beauty; we are the beasts, drunk punks who act rude with each other. That is the picture people have who don’t deal with it in more detail. Tarja is really popular. It will be easy for her to turn the tables and describe her firing as a lucky chance. She can claim that it’s the best for her not to be a part of Nightwish anymore because we never cared about her in any case and drank too much. I really hope that the media will not show us in a wrong light and that the fans will accept the truth. There are a few really fanatic Tarja fans out there. You never know what they are able to do.

Will you provide yourself for the media in the next weeks or will you dive under until everything has calmed down?
- Actually I thought about disappearing from the scene and going on holiday but that would be the easy way out. I want to defend the band and I want to tell the true story. That’s what I owe us and the fans. When you are on a stage you take responsibility. That has always been our attitude. We never disappointed the fans, not even when we were ill or tired or just in a bad mood. Unfortunately Tarja had a different attitude towards this matter.

So you will have no time to recover from the stress on tour in the next weeks.
- I suppose that I will sit by the phone until Christmas to explain everybody what happened between us and Tarja. I hope that I can at least have some holidays next year.

In an earlier interview you told that you have difficulties to separate your job from your private life. That would mean that you have some hard months in front of you.
- I already suffered the whole year. It can’t get any worse. Actually I’m really happy that I finally talked about all this. At the moment I have a real chaos of feelings inside of me – it’s a mixture of sadness, of hope and of relief. I’m sure that Tarja suffered from this situation as well. It’s not easy for both of us and it won’t be easy for a long time. But in spite of everything that happened I do not hate Tarja. I’m just completely disappointed. Nightwish will go on with a new singer and she will cause a stir with her solo-projects.

Do you already know when you will start with the recording of the new album?
- We’d like to go into the studio in September 2006. I hope that the record will be published at the latest in spring 2007. But I am in good spirits that there is a future for Nightwish.

When you think back: what was the ultimate high and the ultimate low of the previous carreer of Nightwish?
- That may sound crazy but the best experience was the show yesterday. It was great; it was the best show of our whole career. The worst moment came twenty minutes later when I had to give the letter to Tarja.

You told that in your opinion Tarja is blind and doesn’t understand what is really going on around her. Do you believe that this will change one day?
- I really hope for that because originally she is a really good old friend of mine.

 

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It's been 15 years already without Tarja. Time flies I guess. Today I realize that NW have been Tarja-less for a lot longer that Tarja-ful, although I wouldn't have said so spontaneously. Probably because they've recorded more studio albums with Tarja than without her.

Anyway, that's 15 extra years of longevity that many fans wouldn't have predicted back in 2005, with the main face of NW gone. Good job riding out many storms over the years.

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This year for "Open Letter Day" let's remember Tarja but especially the Tarja-Crystals that were released shortly before she and the band split ways. These must be worth a fortune today! 😁 Have you got yours?

 

Tarja-Crystals came to Tarja-Shop! Read the introduction:
" If you ever heard the expression "carved in stone", imagine then an image of Tarja carved in crystal with the latest Laser technology. But not only that! The image of Tarja inside the crystal is in 3D, what means that you can turn the crystal from left to right and you'll see Tarja's face more real than ever before. You'll see from Tarja's right ear to her left ear, and the image has volume, same as a real person has. You will never have the chance to be so close to Tarja, unless you are really in front of her. All packaging of the initial units are autographed by Tarja.

Have a piece of Tarja at home! " TARJA-SHOP

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On 10/7/2020 at 8:56 PM, Fugazi said:

Nightwish – The end of an era
from Rock Hard 2005-12, translated by Oceanborn, from: http://www.en.nightwish-bibliotheca.com/article.php?id=290


The cooperation of Nightwish and Tarja Turunen is history. A few hours after the last show of the ‘Once Upon A Tour 2004-2005’ in Helsinki Tuomas Holopainen sacked the image of the band. Rock Hard accompanies the band at their last common weekend and finds out the reason for the split as the first magazine in a moving interview.

The calm before the storm
During the approach to Helsinki Finland shows itself from its most beautiful side. It is a sunny autumn day. The woods and the meadows shine in different tones of brown and green and the white clouds are reflected in the steel-blue lakes. All the passengers at the airplane are pressing their noses against the windowpane to admire the nature. Only a young American pesters a stewardess with an unbelieving expression if she is really sure that Finnland is not a part of the Netherlands.
The drive to the hotel passes by in no time because the radio of the bus driver plays songs by HIM, Children of Bodom, Green Day and Europe. But Nightwish seem to be the true heroes of the Finnish music scene at this weekend. Their show in Hartwall Arena is announced on the radio every few minutes. The Finnish quintet does have the whole town of Helsinki in its grip. Not only on the radio the reports about the last show on the next evening follow hot on each other’s heels - in the daily press, different teeny mags and for the ladies at the hotel’s reception desk Tarja and Co are topic number one as well.
But then the first disillusionment comes up because of a phone call with the band's manager Ewo Rytkönen. The rehearses for the upcoming gig will last until midnight, so there will be no time for the planned interview with Tarja. “Tarja is not available for an interview anyway”, the blond giant adds. No explanation is given why Miss Turunen will not do the interview which was planned for a long time.
The situation gets really strange when we find out that Tarja doesn’t stay in the same hotel as her bandmates.

11.000 fans and an unforgettable gig
In the next afternoon the lobby of the Sokos-Hotel –the place where Tuomas Holopainen, Marco Hietala, Emppu Vuorinen and Jukka Nevalainen settled down- becomes the main meeting point for friends, colleagues and family-members of the band. With his Volvo manager Ewo takes along fan club-representatives from all over Europe, webmasters of the band’s websites, photographers and journalists. In the middle of all you can see John Two-Hawks who came from the USA only for the gig and who tries to find his way through the crowd together with his wife while shaking a lot of hands. Tuomas stands a bit more at the side and doesn’t seem to be in a real talkative mood. But Jukka who is there together with his pregnant wife Satu and his mother runs from small talk to small talk. Finally the whole group heads to Hardwall Areena in a line of taxis. For the band it’s not the first drive of the day to the arena because in the morning they have already been there to rehearse the whole set for the recording of the DVD.
In the backstage-area of the arena where smoking is strictly forbidden the atmosphere is tense. From the dressing-room of Sonata Arctica you can hear someone singing. Tuomas runs through the hallways regularly with a petrified expression in his face. And Marcelo, Tarja’s husband and personal manager, organizes some hot tea because his wife suffers from a cold. The petite woman has a dressing-room of her own in which she vanishes right after her arrival.
At 8 o’clock p.m. Sonata Arctica start their gig with the songs ‘Misplaced’, the opening track of their current record ‘Reckoning Night’, ’Full Moon’ and ‘Blinded No More’. Although a lot of Nightwish-fans are still standing at the bars and snack-points inside the hall there are several thousands of spectators on the stands already. The atmosphere is good. When front man Tony strikes up a birthday-serenade for keyboarder Henrik ‘Henkka’ Klingenberg after ‘Broken’ countless voices roar a happy Finnish ‘Happy Birthday!’ During ‘Last Drop Falls’ the first listeners take out their lighters and wave them in the air. Jukka and Tuomas watch the gig and the reactions of the fans with serious expressions from the side of the stage. After an hour the five Finns end their performance. ‘The Cage’ roars out of the speakers and to the rhythm of the audience which is clapping faster and faster Tony shouts ‘We need some vodka!’ into his microphone.
A quarter of an hour later everybody has to leave the hallway which leads to the dressing-rooms because Nightwish have to prepare for their gig. Somewhere you can hear Marco doing some loud warm-up-exercises for his voice while the first La Ola-waves run through the hall. After twenty minutes Nightwish are finally ready for the last show of their Once-Tour which lasted almost one and a half years and included nearly 150 gigs all over the world. Tuomas wears a hat, takes deep drags from his cigarette and heads to the stage like a cowboy, being the first one. Behind him walk the rest of the guys and finally Tarja and Marcelo follow. When the intro begins the La Olas inside the arena get bigger and the audience on the seats stands up for standing ovations.
Behind a black curtain, invisible for the audience the group awaits their performance for the last time. Tuomas crouches in a corner turned away from the others and lost in thoughts. Marco grins and rehearses some final singing parts once more and Emppu hugs Tarja who is visibly nervous for a few times encouragingly while Marcelo tugs at her dress hectically. When the intro is almost over the five Finns form a circle and stand there arm in arm with their heads together in the middle to encourage each other. John Two-Hawks is next to them; he raises his fist and shouts something to Tuomas. The light inside the hall go out, yelling can be heard and Nightwish enter the stage – in the back of it there is a huge backdrop with the logo of the current record.
When the first notes of ‘Dark Chest Of Wonder’ can be heard loud cheering rises and the pyros blow up into the air. The quintet overruns its fans with bombast that has a class of its own. Blood red light illuminates the stage during ‘Planet Hell’. Fountains of fire shoot up during ‘Ever dream’ and Tuomas raises up his arms in a pose of victory. During ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ thousand of lighters illuminate the dark arena. With a similar atmosphere the show goes on with ‘The Siren’. On five video-screens that are hanging next to each other pictures of the ocean appear and white-blue spotlights create a cold light on the stage. Tarja changed from a yellow dress into a black one. The enraptured atmosphere is only interrupted from the enthusiastic stamping of the crowd and the posing of Emppu and Marco that fall on their knees in front of each other theatrically.
For ‘Sleeping Sun’ Tarja sings on one of the high pedestals that are standing on the left and right side of Jukka. On her opposite side Emppu contorts to the sounds of his guitar at the altitude. When a magical snowy landscape and pictures of a starry sky appear on the screens there is a real goose bumps-atmosphere. In front of the stage you can see an ocean of lights and bright handy-displays moving from side to side into the rhythm of the song. While Marco sings the Pink Floyd-Cover ‘High Hopes’ there is some time for Tarja to get into the next black dress. Countless times the Finn with the great voice runs off the stage and changes her clothes hectically.
In the meantime Tuomas has opened a bottle of red wine which lies in a self-created holder under the keyboard. During ‘Bless The Child’ and the celebrated ‘Wishmaster’ fountains of fire bang into the air again while pictures of dark woods appear on the screen in the back. The ballad ‘Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan’ is sang by Tarja alone. The rest of the band uses the time to have a breather behind the drums. Tuomas takes a few deep drags from his cigarette and exhaustedly watches the screen behind him which shows pictures of the band. At the end of the song thundering applause is heard which changes into hysterical screams when the first notes of the ‘Once’-hit ‘Nemo’ sound through the hall. Tarja smiles brightly and blows kisses to the crowd. During the bombastic ‘Ghost Love Score’ the impressions overrun the listeners as well. The stage is illuminated in blood red light, pyros are banging and out of four ‘cannons’ so much glitter is being whirled into the air that the security almost drowns into the red and white rain of scraps.
The great final starts with John Two-Hawks solo-song ‘Stone People’. The American creeps on the foggy stage dressed in a native-american costume, plays his flute and strikes up a meditative singing. For ‘Creek Mary’s Blood’ the band joins him. Emppu and Marco pose on the pedestals. And Tarja who is dressed in a bright white cocktail dress now strechtes up her arms theatrically. With the Gary Moore-cover ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’ and ‘Wish I Had An Angel’ the gig ends after two hours. Pyros blow up into the air in short intervals, the band bows for the crowd and the fans thank them with standing ovations.
After the performance there is a celebration in the band’s dressing room together with family members, friends and colleagues. Tuomas brought along half of his relatives including their partners. His nephew proudly runs through the party-turmoil with a VIP-sticker, his sister tells about her studies in Germany and mother Holopainen chats with Wilska, the singer of Finntroll. Jukkas wife Satu and the relatives of Marco and Emppu eat snacks and drink some Finnish beer. Tarja doesn’t seem to be able to win something from the throng and leaves the arena shortly after the show. Tuomas doesn’t seem to be in a mood for partying as well and with a tired face he urges the others to leave the place already at one o‘clock. But the night is not over yet. Emppu heads to the city-center with some friends and Jukka takes his friends and colleagues to a bar until three o'clock.

A huge party and a letter with consequences
Saturday is the day that everybody’s looking forward to because on this day there shall be a huge ‘end of the tour’-party at a secret place. Like the day before everybody except Tarja who departed in the morning meets in the lobby of the Sokos-Hotel. The band seems to be relaxed. Marco and Emppu joke with their friends, Jukka helps Ewo to get everyone into the arriving taxis and John Two-Hawks and his wife search the newspapers for articles about the concert.
The party takes place in a comfortable wooden hut about 30 minutes drive from the city centre. In front of the door there is a little tent and inside some paella is prepared. Inside by the fireside the first drinks find their way through the throats of the people. Outside the sun goes down. The atmosphere is cheerful. Everybody brought some friends along. Wilska raises is glass to Henkka, the keyboard- player of Sonata Arctica and a small group of men takes a sixpack of beer and decides to pay a visit to the sauna by the lake.
And finally Tuomas has some time for the interview which was planned for days. “We have to do it right now before I’m too drunk” the creative mind of the band tells with a strangely depressed expression in his face. In the whole hut there is no really calm place so we withdraw into the small, uncomfortable kitchen.

Tuomas, you seem to be really tired.
- The preparations and the show itself were strenuous. I got almost no sleep during the last days. But it was worth it – we did the best gig of our career. It was a perfect ending. And in addition to that it was the biggest DVD-recording of a Finish band ever.

Can you already tell when the DVD will be published?
- Probably it will happen in spring 2006.

Some time ago the German band J.B.O. (a German Fun-Metal band who does parodies of other bands with really strange selfmade German lyrics) was asked if they can imagine doing a parody of Nightwish. Their answer was:’That is impossible because this band already is a parody of itself’.
- Well, this is how we are. We do everything with our hearts and we always like to do one more step. For me this is a lot of fun. Sometimes we really have to laugh about ourselves. Self irony is of high importance when you have a band of your own. I like the Heavy Metal-culture because you don’t have to take yourself completely serious all the time.

You can see that the fun isn’t neglected for you when you look at this self-made bottle-holder under your keyboard in which you always have a bottle of wine.
- This thing was created by a friend of mine. It’s really useful because I love to drink red wine during our shows.

You’ve also been to the USA during the Once-Tour. How big was your success over there?
- For us the venues we played were quite small (capacity of 1.000 - 2.000 people). But it was a great start and I’m sure that you can have a lot more success with this kind of music over there.

Do you think that the comet-like rise of Evanescence opened the door in the USA for you?
- I’m convinced that their success helped us. Evanescence and Nightwish have a lot in common and in addition to that front women in general are quite a big thing at the moment. You mustn’t forget that.

But don’t you think that the competition is bigger because of that?
- I don’t mind it that much because I still see us as the pioneers in this music-genre. We were the first ones who combined Symphonic-Metal with a classical singer. In this business everything is not only about talent or the matter who is the better or the worse singer. In the end the winner is the one who has the best song writing and who creates the most thrilling atmosphere. And you need a lot of luck.

Tuomas shifts on his chair. He takes a deep breath and looks at me seriously.
- There is one thing I need to tell you. Tarja is not a member of the band anymore. You are the first journalist who I tell this. At the moment only a few people know about the decision.

The features of the keyboard player relax. He looks like a big burden falling from his shoulders. Then he takes a letter out of his pocket.
- This letter includes it all. I have to put it to the internet in a moment. My biggest wish is to continue Nightwish with a new singer. At the moment I’m not sure who this is going to be. I’m still shocked and the situation has to calm down first. Then we can go on planning the future. This decision is the biggest tragedy of my life.

How could it get that far?
- Tarja and I didn’t talk to each other for a year. The situation got worse and worse. There were only two ways out for me: either to quit the whole band or to go on with another singer. Of course Tarja is the face of Nightwish but has only been a guest singer right from the beginning. That’s what she said herself. She didn’t write any single song, she didn’t write any vocal parts and she never took part in the arrangement process for the songs. In the recent past she hardly did any interviews or took part in meet and greets. And she didn’t come to our sound checks for a long time already. That is why I think that I have the right to make this decision. For many people Nightwish is Tarja but this is wrong!

Why didn’t you talk about these obvious problems?
- That’s really complicated. We have never been able to get along with Tarja’s Argentinean husband Marcelo who is her personal manager as well. He destroyed everything. She trusts him blindly but in my opinion this guy is a serpent. For him everything’s only about the money. You cannot imagine how much he changed Tarja in only one year. I had no chance to get close to her because Marcelo was always by her side and demanded for more and more money. Tarja is a really nice person but because of Marcelo she changed really drastically. When you are alone with her she is totally different. If there is a person who can claim Nightwish as a band of his own then it has to be me. I wrote all the songs and all the lyrics and I do 90 percent of the interviews. And then this Argentinean guy who doesn’t belong to the band comes along and controls everything. We cancelled our second US-tour because for Marcelo the fees were too low and the halls were too small. For official appearances he demanded for an extra fee for Tarja. I could name you countless examples. For this guy everything is only about money, money, money. That’s just like it was with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
This attitude doesn’t work with the rest of the band. Marco, Emppu, Jukka and I, we love to play music and to express our feelings on stage, to travel the world and to get to know new people. Our idealism has always been the most important thing. Actually I can’t blame Tarja for everything because I believe that she is blind and doesn’t understand what is really going on around her. For her Marcelo is the king. What he says has to be done. In May 2006 we will publish a band-biography which will deal with these problems in detail. In this book you can read the true story of Nightwish – including all the ups and downs.

And there was no possibility to talk to Marcelo?
- That didn’t work. No member of the band was able to cope with him. We are just too different. Besides most of the time both of them arrived at the hall about five minutes before the gig and left directly after the last song. Tarja’s attitude towards Nightwish hurt me the most. She always said that she sacrifices her whole live, her voice and her career as a classical singer for us. She didn’t appreciate the possibilities that the band offered to her. Instead she complained that we play music that she doesn’t want to sing to. She saw herself as the victim. For us guys and especially me Nightwish is everything. This band is my life and that is why I was willing to agree to all their demands. Tarja never had to travel by bus. We paid the tickets for her so she could fly with Marcelo from gig to gig. She only slept in the best hotels. We accepted that she didn’t do any interviews and didn’t come to the sound checks. But although we did everything for her she hardly put any passion and energy into the band, Instead she complained about our consumption of alcohol and about our manager. Actually she was hardly involved in our daily-live but she controlled everything.

Is it true that Marcelo works in the South American music-business?
- He is the owner of an Argentinean record-company.

When did you make the decision to sack Tarja?
- This decision was already made some time ago. Even last year I told in all the interviews that Nightwish couldn’t exist without Tarja. But then something sad happened. She told me on a plane in December 2004: ‘I don’t need this band for my career anymore. Keep in mind that I can leave Nightwish anytime.’ These sentences hit me really hard. They really hurt. I couldn’t really believe it but she really meant what she said. At the beginning of the year us guys had the first serious talks about the option to fire her. We decided to await the end of the tour with the hope that the whole situation would get better. But in the end we realized that there was no other possibility. During the whole year we had to swallow down all the shit. Because all the concerts were booked we couldn’t say anything. We had no choice but to give our best on stage and await the last show.

Do you think that Tarja as a solo-artist can have the same huge success that she had with Nightwish?
- You never know but to be honest I don’t believe that.

When did you tell Tarja that she is not a part of the band anymore?
- I told her yesterday evening directly after the show. To be more precise: I went to her and handed the official letter over to her with the words: ‘Here is a letter for you. Thanks for everything. Please read it tomorrow morning.’ Since then I haven’t heard of her.

How did Marcelo react to the letter?
- He wasn’t there. I wanted to be alone with Tarja.

Do you think that she suspected something?
- She just said:’ Ok, thanks, then I will read it tomorrow’ but I’m sure that she had a suspicion. It was too obvious. We didn’t exchange any personal word for one year, nothing worked and she knew that I didn’t like her husband. It was clear that something had to happen. Who knows what she is thinking at the moment.(sighs)

Were you nervous when you handed the letter over to her or did you stay calm?
- I was far away from being cool. During the last two days I wasn’t able to eat anything and I got no sleep at all because I only had to think about this one moment all the time. During the gig I forgot about the letter but afterwards I was standing totally next to me. I was shivering all over when I went to Tarja’s dressing-room. It was terrible.

What do you think – what will the reaction of the fans be like?
- I’m not scared of the future, the choice of a new singer or my future decisions. My biggest concerns are the fans and the media because you don’t know how they will receive Tarja’s departure. I have a good conscience and I’m sure that I made no mistake but still I fear the descriptions in the media. Many people do not look behind the scenes. For them Nightwish is Tarja’s band. She is the beauty; we are the beasts, drunk punks who act rude with each other. That is the picture people have who don’t deal with it in more detail. Tarja is really popular. It will be easy for her to turn the tables and describe her firing as a lucky chance. She can claim that it’s the best for her not to be a part of Nightwish anymore because we never cared about her in any case and drank too much. I really hope that the media will not show us in a wrong light and that the fans will accept the truth. There are a few really fanatic Tarja fans out there. You never know what they are able to do.

Will you provide yourself for the media in the next weeks or will you dive under until everything has calmed down?
- Actually I thought about disappearing from the scene and going on holiday but that would be the easy way out. I want to defend the band and I want to tell the true story. That’s what I owe us and the fans. When you are on a stage you take responsibility. That has always been our attitude. We never disappointed the fans, not even when we were ill or tired or just in a bad mood. Unfortunately Tarja had a different attitude towards this matter.

So you will have no time to recover from the stress on tour in the next weeks.
- I suppose that I will sit by the phone until Christmas to explain everybody what happened between us and Tarja. I hope that I can at least have some holidays next year.

In an earlier interview you told that you have difficulties to separate your job from your private life. That would mean that you have some hard months in front of you.
- I already suffered the whole year. It can’t get any worse. Actually I’m really happy that I finally talked about all this. At the moment I have a real chaos of feelings inside of me – it’s a mixture of sadness, of hope and of relief. I’m sure that Tarja suffered from this situation as well. It’s not easy for both of us and it won’t be easy for a long time. But in spite of everything that happened I do not hate Tarja. I’m just completely disappointed. Nightwish will go on with a new singer and she will cause a stir with her solo-projects.

Do you already know when you will start with the recording of the new album?
- We’d like to go into the studio in September 2006. I hope that the record will be published at the latest in spring 2007. But I am in good spirits that there is a future for Nightwish.

When you think back: what was the ultimate high and the ultimate low of the previous carreer of Nightwish?
- That may sound crazy but the best experience was the show yesterday. It was great; it was the best show of our whole career. The worst moment came twenty minutes later when I had to give the letter to Tarja.

You told that in your opinion Tarja is blind and doesn’t understand what is really going on around her. Do you believe that this will change one day?
- I really hope for that because originally she is a really good old friend of mine.

 

I'm slowly working my way through some older posts. Reading these passages makes ME stressful. Can't imagine what all of them went through! Thanks again for your time in gathering the info and posting them!

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7 hours ago, Spartanguy83 said:

I'm slowly working my way through some older posts. Reading these passages makes ME stressful. Can't imagine what all of them went through! Thanks again for your time in gathering the info and posting them!

Yes, what they went through was traumatic for everyone involved, and it's a wonder how they managed to tour for months and months while everything was going south with Tarja and Marcelo. And while many consider the End Of An Era concert to be their defining moment, it's crazy to think they were on the verge of implosion.

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  • 4 months later...

And here's the full press conference that Tarja held after leaving the band. Unfortunately it's untranslated, except for a summary in the YouTube comments below the video. Is there a translated video available somewhere? 🤔

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