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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Chant a Nightwish Upon a Shooting Star

Once Upon A NightwishOnce Upon A Nightwish by Mape Ollila
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first heard of Nightwish was on youtube while looking for Pagan themed music. The first song I came across was a song with Annette Olzson on vocals called "bye bye beautiful" I also thought the band was an all girls band until I took a second look. The next song I came across was "I wish I had an Angel" To b e honest I could not tell the difference between the two vocalists and hence liked them both. In fact Nightwish got better with each and every record. I have been hooked on every single album of theirs. Sad thing is that female vocalists keep leaving the band. I wonder why.

The book traces their beginning even before they became a band. Tuomas was a dreamy keyboard player who put together the whole thing. He loved Donald Duck and Disney Land and he writes his music in order to take you to another world. Empuu is the hyperactive guitar player who may have attention deficit disorder by the sound of things. Always energetic and yet alll overthe place and forgetting things.Sami was the bass player who partied too hard and Jukka was the drum player. Tarja the female singer was the bands figure head and the most fragile of all the band members.

All of the original members came from Kitee, Finland. At the time of Nightwish's birth the metal scene looked rather dismal and Finland never produced much by way of good musical bands. Nightwish changed all of that. All of them received their training from Plamen Dimov a Greek ,Bulgarian who emigrated to Finland. Tuamos was not only the creative force behind the band he is also the one who got it exposure. While touring with another band he let some music producer listen to the music and he liked . From their they made it into an Album called "Angels Fall First" it garnered a positive response even if it was still a bit rough..around the edges. They toured a lot of small places around Europe and the community of Kitee was instrumental in helping this band get off the ground. Ocean Born was their second effort. A totally new and improved sound and lots of new exposure. Wishmaster being the third took things to another level. Tuamas could be a taxing band leader. So taxing that he pushed Tarja until she cried. The Wishmaster tour also took them to South America where they would run into Marcelo, a somewhat devious promoter.
Things in the band have always been heavy. The book gives you glimpses behind the scenes of what rock band have to got through while traveling.Substandard living conditions, sometimes no showers, living on a bus for weeks on end and endless partying. The boys got crazy and Tarja being a classy girl was not cut out for such heavy antics. The business end of politics is often behind some of the disappointments as album releases and tours are always postponed or cancelled. Even at this stage there was tension between Tarja and the rest of the members. Part of it was that a refined woman cannot put up with excess party antics of uncouth males and number two touring is very stressful.

Later on when Tarja would marry Marcello and he became her manager. He would not only advocate for her needs but also interfere with the band business. He torpedoed deals by asking for too much money. Tarja also began thinking that she was doing the bands a favor by singing for them. In a sense it got to her head a bit. Thanks to her and Marcello they would cancel gigs and wwhole legs of a tour. Tarja hated touring. They would go on to make Century's Childe and then "Once" the album Once really broke through for them and it seems that Tarja and Marcello were holding things back.

In the end the band let her go and in Finland it generated major controversy. The book ends off with Nightwish looking for a replacement. End of review. At the end of it all they got Annette Olzson who lasted for two albums and then left mid tour of Imaginarium. Now it seems Floor Jansen is with them. I hope they can hold on to this one.

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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.