It happens. Bands go through lineup changes, but for those involved, some of the cuts are felt a little deeper. That was the case for Nightwish, who said farewell to bassist Marko Hietala back in January of 2021, and according to keyboardist Tuomos Holopainen, he wasn't sure the band would survive it.

Hietala announced his decision to leave the band, citing depression and a disillusionment with the music industry. While the band members knew of the bassist's concerns, it still affected them when he decided to exit the group.

“That was devastating,” said Holopainen to Metal Hammer. “We knew about his problems, but it still was a huge shock to us all. For about 48 hours I was convinced that that was the end of the band. I remember calling Emppu [Vuorinen] like, ‘Can you believe what happened again?’ We laughed: ‘You think this is the end? Yeah.’"

The keyboardist adds, “Then some time passed, our management called me, saying 'think about it again, you have had 26 years of…quite the ride, you want it to end like that?' And I was like ‘That’s a really good point. If we go out, let’s go out and stylishly.' I mean, we have survived bad things in the past as well. So maybe we can survive this as well. Then a few weeks later, things started to look a bit more bright. I felt, ‘Yeah, let's try it once more,' then Jukka [Koskinen] came along. The stars have been out of line so many times, it's nice to have them aligned now."

Indeed the band has moved forward, currently working to finish up an album trilogy. The current thread started with 2015's Endless Forms Most Beautiful, continued with 2020's Human :II: Nature and is currently a work in progress on the third installment.

“I immediately knew after getting that album [Endless Forms Most Beautiful] done that, ‘Okay, we have to do more songs about this, because there's so much more to explore and tell the world. We're not done with this’,” he says. “And the same thing happened after Human. :II: Nature, we’re still not done. So let's do one more. At least one more." The keyboardist says "major surprises" will come with the third effort, but that it feels like "a natural continuation" from the last album.

Nightwish are currently wrapping up their 2022 touring in Europe and will kick off 2023 dates with shows in Asia. Stay up to date with their touring here.

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