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Finland's Nightwish satisfied, exhausted by album/film project

for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Finland's Nightwish "has always been about ambitious things...going over the top and doing really weird stuff" according to founder, keyboardist and composer Tuomas Holopainen.

But with last year's "Imaginaerum," the sextet has outdone itself.

Besides writing a concept album "about the power of imagination" -- which hit No. 27 on the Billboard 200 and in the Top 10 of the Top Hard Rock Albums and Top Rock Albums charts -- Holopainen envisioned a companion movie that would treat each of the songs as short stories. But in short order that shifted into a full-length feature film -- a "really weird one," according to Holopainen -- that's slated to debut Nov. 10 in Helsinki and then seek worldwide distribution.

"We just tried to do something magical, a little bit different," Holopainen, 35, says of the "Imaginaerum" enterprise. "And doing this album with the film is one of those things, definitely. But I never knew how big of an ordeal it would be, just getting the financing and getting it shot and getting the producers took years and years and about $3 million Euros.

"It was a huge project, but I'm feeling really good and really proud about it. I have no regrets."

But what will Nightwish do to top it?

"Luckily at the moment we don't have to think about it; we're just trying to survive this tour and enjoy it the best we can," Holopainen says. But he says "there are already some ideas hanging in the air" that Nightwish will start working on in early 2013, though he's not predicting what direction the next project will take.

"I can tell you we're not going to do a sequel to the movie; that was a pretty consuming project," he explains. "But you always need to challenge yourself and the listeners and come up with a new hook for each album, so I'm sure we'll find something that does that."

Nightwish and Kamelot perform Sunday, Sept. 23 at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 and $30. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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