Nightwish
1996
Finland
Music group
The idea of Nightwish was "born" in July 1996 at midnight when Tuomas was spending a night with his friends around a campfire. The first three songs, which were acoustic mood music, were recorded between October and December 1996. At that time the band had three members: Tuomas, Tarja and Emppu.

We wanted to try what the music would sound like if drums were added (Jukka came to the band) and an electric guitar was used instead of an acoustic one. After a couple of weeks of training we went to studio in April 1997. At that time we recorded seven songs which can be found on the limited edition of the album Angels Fall First.

In May 1997 Nightwish signed a recording contract with Spinefarm for two records. In August Nightwish went to the studio and recorded four new songs. Before the release of Angels Fall First, a single called The Carpenter was released and at its best it was number eight on the official singles chart in Finland. Angels fall first was released in early November and it was at its best number 31 on the official album chart in Finland.

Nightwish played their first gig in Kitee on the 31st December 1997. After that Nightwish played only seven gigs in the following winter because Jukka and Emppu were in the army and Tarja was busy with her studies. Nightwish and Spinefarm extended the contract to include three records instead of two.

In April 1998 the filming of the first video, The Carpenter, started. It was ready in early May and was played in Jyrki. Tuomas and Tarja were also interviewed in that show (this happened in late May). In the following summer the bassist Sami Vänskä joined the band. During the summer songs for the new record were rehearsed and the band went to studio in early August. The recordings were finished in late October. On November 13th, Nightwish played a gig in Kitee of which a video for Sacrament of Wilderness was filmed. A single of that song was released on November 26th and the new record called Oceanborn was released on December 7th.

Everybody was surprised by the success of Oceanborn. It went up to fifth place on the official Finnish album chart and the single Sacrament of Wilderness was the number one on singles chart for weeks. In winter 1999 Nightwish played a lot of gigs all around the country for three months and played also in the Lista chart show program. In spring Oceanborn was released outside of Finland. In May the band started to play gigs again and toured the country for two and a half months playing in almost all of the big rock festivals. At the same time the single Sleeping Sun was recorded, which was written for the eclipse in Germany. In august the single was released in Germany and it also included the songs Walking in the Air, Swanheart and Angels Fall First. In Germany alone the single sold 15.000 copies in one month. In august Nightwish learned that Oceanborn and Sacrament of Wilderness had sold gold. At the same time it was confirmed that Nightwish would do a European tour of 26 gigs with a German band called Rage.

In early 2000 the band entered the studio again for the recordings of our third album. A welcome interruption to the repetitive studio work came when we took part in the Finnish qualification for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Sleepwalker. Nightwish cleared the first round of the qualification but the final position was second despite an overwhelming win in the public televoting.

The album Wishmaster was released in May and the Wishmaster Tour started from Kitee, the home town of the band. After the show the band received gold discs for the album Oceanborn and the singles Sacrament of Wilderness, Walking in the Air and Sleeping Sun. Wishmaster went straight to number 1 on the Finnish album charts and stayed on the pole position for three weeks. In those three weeks it also reached the gold disc mark. Wishmaster was approved by both the fans and the media and it was named the album of the month by the German magazine Rock Hard in their issue 6/2000, past the long-awaited new releases by Bon Jovi and Iron Maiden.

Wishmaster also debuted in the national German charts at No. 21 and No. 66 in France! The "Wishmaster World Tour", which started from Kitee, continued first to the big festivals in Finland and then to South America in July 2000. The three-week tour in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Panama & Mexico turned out to be one of the band's greatest experiences so far. This was followed by successful shows at Wacken Open Air, Biebop Metal Fest and the first headliner European tour with Sinergy & Eternal Tears Of Sorrow. In November Nightwish also played two shows in Montreal, Canada.

The next project of Nightwish included the making of a full-length concert DVD & VHS with a limited live album (only for Finland). The concert was performed in Tampere on the 29th of December 2000. The material was released in April 2001 in Finland and worldwide during the summer of 2001. At the end of the show Nightwish were given platinum discs for "Wishmaster" and gold discs for the single "Deep Silent Complete"!!!

In March 2001 Nightwish entered the studio again to record their version of Gary Moore`s classic "Over The Hills And Far Away", with 2 new songs and a remake of Angels Fall First's "Astral Romance". The Finnish release for this EP was in June 2001. The german (Drakkar) version of "Over The Hills And Far Away" includes 6 live tracks in addition to the 4 unreleased songs.

The year 2002 was one filled with many successful events for the band. Nightwish acquired bassist Marco Hietala (Tarot, Sinergy), who added another dimension to Nightwish’s enveloping sound. Marco, in addition to his commanding bass lines, contributes powerful male vocals. The band returned to long time recording home Finnvox Studios (Stratovarius, Children Of Bodom, Sentenced) to record drum tracks. They then moved to their hometown of Kitee, Finland to record guitars, bass and keyboards. In March 2002 they returned to Finnvox to record vocals, choirs and percussions, and to mix the album. The overall feeling of "Century Child" is monumental.

With the release finished, the band embarked on an aggressive European tour. Nightwish also played sold-out shows in Canada and Mexico, and they made their first US appearance headlining the 2003 sold-out ProgPower Fest in Atlanta, Georgia followed by additional sold-out shows at the L’Amour IV Festival in New York.

Their 2004 album, 'Once', led to Nightwish video clips being shown on MTV all over the world and inclusion of their music in US movie soundtracks. Their biggest hit single, Wish I Had an Angel (2004), made it onto two film soundtracks as a means to promote their North American tour. The band produced three more singles and two music videos for the album, as well as Sleeping Sun, from the 2005 "best of" compilation album, 'Highest Hopes', prior to vocalist Tarja Turunen's dismissal.

The extensive search for Turunen's replacement, during the course of which anyone could have been considered by submitting a demo, ended in mid 2007. The former Alyson Avenue frontwoman Anette Olzon was revealed to be the new singer on May 24. The band recently released a new album, 'Dark Passion Play'(which features the charity single Eva, the single Amaranth, and the single Bye Bye Beautiful) on September 28, 2007.

Since 2012, the lead singer with Nighwish is Floor Jansen. She fronted the Dutch metal band After Forever and after they broke up she started her band ReVamp. The second album Wild Card has recently been released worldwide. After graduating from the Rockacademie in Tilburg she continued studying music theatre and opera at the National Conservatory for two years. She featured as guest vocalist on many albums such as Ayreon, Star One, Devin Townsend, and Mayan. She starred at live shows on Lowlands, Games in Concert, Christmas Metal Symphony, Doro and many more! Today she is the singer of Nightwish. A live dvd from the massive show at Wacken Open Air 2013 and a documentary of the Imaginaerum album tour will be released on November 29, 2013.
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