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Full Name: Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen

Date of Birth: 25th December 1976

Place of Birth: Kitee, Finland

Tuomas is the youngest in his family, his father Pentti recalls that Tuomas was born with a “lucky cap”. At seven years of age; his Mother signed him up for piano lessons. He studied Jazz and classical musical styles at a music college, and also studied clarinet and tenor sax. Tuomas stayed with his “Granny Tyyne” during some of this time, and it is said that Granny’s stories helped fuel Tuomas's imagination into fantasy.

Tuomas enjoyed his school life, working hard and thus his English teacher considered him to have a great mind and a great thinker who would go places. This teacher was said to be disappointed that Tuomas ended up as “just a musician.”

Tuomas was very intelligent for his age, by the time he was 2 he had learnt every letter. He says one of his earliest memories was sitting in the hospital with his mother when he was 2 years old after breaking his leg, he looked and read the word “X-ray” from the wall and the nurses couldn’t believe a child this young could read.

I AM Tuomas Holopainen,

It is fun to be AT HOME.

MY FRIENDS are in Kiteenlahti,

SCHOOL is fun,

I FEEL good feelings.

MY PARENTS are happy people,

I LIKE school.

I DON’T LIKE to be raised,

I LIKE TO DO crossword puzzles,

I’M ANNOYED BY vaccinations

: Extract from Tuomas’s school work on how Tuomas liked his childhood at 13 years old.

His brother tried to influence him into his taste in music.  When in the second grade, the students took in their favourite music to school, Tuomas took Popeda's song "John Holmes" which happened to have obscene lyrics. This caused Tuomas to be sent to see the teacher over it, who happened to be his own mother.

His favourite sport is tennis, in which he entered many competitions and even won third prize in a district tournament.

Tuomas joined the army band in July 1996, where he played the clarinet for nine and a half months, since then he has rarely touched it again.

He joined his first band, Dismal Silence, in 1993 when he returned from being an exchange student in America. This was the first time he had played keyboards. He played in several bands over the years, including recording keyboards on several albums for Darkwoods My Bethrothed. He also appeared on two Nattvindens Gråt albums and played for Sethian.

Around 1996, Tuomas, realising he had grown tired of the limits of being a session musician, being the “hired hand” and having the urge to write himself, began thinking of forming his own band. It is famously known that the idea for an acoustic, mood music playing project came to him on his family's Island while enjoying a sauna and sitting at a campfire. At that time The Third and the Mortal, Theatre of Tragedy and The Gathering were an inspiration to him to write his own material.

While in the army he wrote 3 songs: Nightwish, The Forever Moments and Etiäinen, which they recorded as a demo in December 1996, with Erno "Emppu" Matti Juhani Vuorinen (guitar) and Tarja Turunen (vocals), who was an old classmate whom he had known since they were 13 years old, and had played in the same jazz band as him.  This project wouldn’t be anything serious with no gigs. They sent the demo to Century Media, Massacre and Spinefarm, where they didn’t receive any replies. They also sent it to Soundi magazine’s demo review where the infamous “Shitty band, shitty equipment, no commercial potential!” comment was made. He decided he liked the name of the song 'Nightwish', so the band inherited the name

They worked and produced their first demo; Angels Fall First in 1997 now with Jukka Antero Nevalainen (drums) having joined him in his project.  Due to Jukka and Emppu’s musical influences and Tarja’s strong voice, he decided to turn his project into a metal act.

While on tour as a session musician, Tuomas nervously approached Ewo with the demo they had made. He played The Carpenter to Ewo who took them on. The album was then released November 1997.

Tuomas then moved to Kuopio to study. At this point he heard The Carpenter had risen to number 15 in the charts, and he wondered to himself “What have I gotten myself into.”

The search for a bass player began and they turned to Sami Vänskä, who had already played with Tuomas in Nattvindens Gråt. He joined before the band's second album Oceanborn. For Oceanborn Tuomas said he had learned not to open his mouth again so he turned to friend Tapio Wilska who also worked with Nattvindens Gråt, to do the male voice on the album.

Tuomas considers Oceanborn to be the band’s first album, as Angels Fall First was meant only as a demo. His main influence when writing Oceanborn was Stratovarius, and he believes it is very apparent in the music of the album.

Not long after, Tuomas was asked to compose a “4 minute top” song for the Germany release, which ended up being Sleeping Sun, but Tuomas didn’t like the restrictions he had on composing. Also around this time, an idea for a side project “For My Pain” came to light, but due to members of the bands included being busy with their own things, this was postponed for a later date.

Tuomas commented that he felt empty after completing Oceanborn, that he could never write another song again. He had given everything and all his creative energy had been drained. He believes that Oceanborn and Angels Fall First were the two albums where you can really hear the enthusiasm and the “lost innocence”.

Tuomas has admitted that Wishmaster and Century Child were not easy for him to write.

Summer of 2001, Tuomas was at a gig with Vänskä and some others. Among their possessions Vänskä had a bag full of pornographic material. At the end of gigging they returned to Kitee, where Tuomas's mother collected them. They emptied the bus and put their gear in his Mother’s car, including the bag with the pornography in that they all forgot about. The next morning Tuomas awoke to find the contents of the bag laid out on top of his keyboards. He claims this to be one of the most embarrassing events to ever happen to him. He had to persuade his Father and Mother that they did not belong to him.

In autumn 2001, Tuomas ended Nightwish. He claimed it was mainly down to self-hate, a life crisis. He was not satisfied with what he had done in his life, the fact that personal relationships were not working.  Everything built up until after the last gig in Nivala, Tuomas called it quits. He called Spinefarm and said “End of story, Nightwish is through, I won’t do it anymore.”

After a while he realised how far they had gotten in the 4 years that had passed, and Nightwish didn’t deserve to die like this. The main thing for Tuomas was Nightwish couldn’t continue with Sami in the band. One of his biggest regrets is not being able to tell Sami himself about how he felt. Tuomas had to go to Ewo to break the news that he was fired from the band. It was around this time that the side project For My Pain surfaced again, and the members started planning a debut.

The search for a new bassist made Tuomas decide he wanted the bassist to also be able to sing. Only one name came to mind. Marko Tapani "Marco" Hietala joined Nightwish in 2002 for the album Century Child.

The release of Century Child saw Tuomas starting to compose with Orchestras from Finland and the UK; this would change the band's musical style and become a main element within their music. Tuomas claims it gives him more freedom and ability to let his creative nature run wild. The orchestra has been a big part in studio releases since.

In 2003 Tuomas released an album called Fallen with For My Pain. This project has since been put on hold again. He also worked with metal band Kotiteollisuus, playing on the album Helvetistä itään and later the album 7.

2004 was the year of US breakthrough. Once was released and the band toured places they had never been before. Also there was a DVD made of the final concert, End of an Era. It was this concert where the famous letter was given to Tarja about her dismissal from the band.

After Once, Tuomas fell into what he calls his “dark period”, a time in his life filled with depression. He could not open tabloids without reading something about himself or Nightwish.

Tuomas played keyboards on Timo Rautiainen’s solo album “Sarvivuori”, he also wrote a song on this album.

In April of 2007, Tuomas joined up with Nightwish member Marco to write a song for Finnish film Lieksa!. This song became While Your Lips Are Still Red, and the first song he had written specifically for a movie. Tuomas has expressed on many occasions that writing film music is his greatest ambition. In this period Tuomas also played keyboards for Kylähullut on their album Lisää persettä rättipäille. He also played on their second release Peräaukko sivistyksessä and can even be heard singing on both of these.

Mid 2007 the search for a new vocalist for Nightwish came to an end and Anette Olzon was named. They then proceeded to record the band's next album Dark Passion Play. This was followed by what Tuomas calls a mistake in touring. They made the tour too hectic and a lot of stress took place within the band once more. After a short break after the South American leg of the tour, Tuomas admitted all the stress had calmed down, and they felt alive and excited again.

Tuomas was announced producer of Finnish rock band Indica’s album in 2008.

Tuomas Holopainen has also said that his biggest inspiration is film score composer Hans Zimmer. Some of Nightwish's lyrics make references to fantasy novels, including Wishmaster, Escapist, and Wanderlust which have elements from the Dragonlance series. The music of "7 Days to the Wolves" is inspired by Stephen King's The Dark Tower series.

Tuomas Holopainen has said that his work is often inspired by film music and fantasy novels. Nightwish's first album was a mixture of acoustic mood music and melodic metal, and the next two albums had elements of power metal, but on later albums influences from film music such as Beauty of the Beast, Ghost Love Score and Wishmaster.

Imaginaerum was released in 2011 and was to be the last album with singer Anette Olzon. The singer was replaced by new vocalist Floor Jansen while the band were on tour in North America in 2012. A movie of the same name was also release by the band. The band since released a DVD called Showtime, Storytime which only features their new vocalist after Olzon refused to be seen and heard on the DVD.
Tuomas' solo album, Music inspired by The Life and Times of Scrooge, was released in April 2014 and Nightwish released their newest album Endless Forms Most Beautiful a year later.


  • Korg N364
  • Korg KARMA
  • Korg TRINITY
  • Korg OASYS
  • Korg Triton
  • Korg TR
  • Korg Kronos

Life Motto:

Tomorrow and yesterday are always equally far away, Carpe Diem.

The world is built on feelings. 


Mom & Dad, MacGyver, Moominmamma, Vangelis, Hans Zimmer, Walt Disney, J.R.R. Tolkien


Potoska Publishing, Scene Nation

Random Facts:

  • Most of his songs are about his feelings and life experiences.
  • Tuomas says that he gets his musical inspiration from film music and fantasy novels.
  • He was not a fan of heavy music until he attended a Metallica and Guns 'N Roses concert in Kansas City.
  • Uncle Scrooge is his favorite Disney character.
  • His biggest inspirations are Greek composer Vangelis and German composer Hans Zimmer.
  • In winter 2005/2006, Tuomas says that he watched the film "The Village" 10 times a week, often 2 or 3 times a day. He referred to this film as "'Escapism' at its best".
  • Tuomas often describes himself being an escapist, and has written a song about it with the same name.
  • Disney has inspired him since he was just 2 years old.
  • His favorite director is James Cameron.
  • His favorite book is "The Lord Of The Rings" by J.R.R.Tolkien.
  • His favorite authors are J.R.R.Tolkien and Stephen King.
  • His favourite colour is dark purple.
  • His favourite ice cream flavour is vanilla.
  • He is 184cm tall.
  • He classes his eye colour as blue & grey.

Favourite songs (Non Nightwish):

Walking in The Air by Howard Blake. 

"This is the song from the animated movie 'The Snowman.' and it's the first song that I would take with me to a desert island. I think it's the most beautiful piece of music ever written, and it brings back memories for me because in Finland every Christmas eve they show 'The Snowman' on TV. Which makes it a big part of Christmas. We decided to cover it in homage to the greatest song ever written"

One by Metallica.

"I really was not into hard music at all until I saw Metallica in Kansas City in 1992 when I was 15. I was on a foreign exchange thing and the family took me to see Metallica and Guns n' Roses in this huge arena. I remember when I saw Metallica I didn't expect anything but when they came out with all these pyro technics and explosions and stuff I was 'This is the coolest thing I've ever seen' and I turned into a metal fan instantly."

Why So Lonely? By The 3rd And The Mortal

"When I heard this song on Finnish metal radio was when I discovered females in metal music. That album is still one of my favourites today. It brought back that whole idea of females singing with metal bands and definitely without it, Nightwish would not exist."

Over The Hills And Far Away By Gary Moore.

"That was the first music video I ever saw, about 20 years ago and just immediately fell in love with it. I think it's filmed in Ireland. It’s Gary Moore playing with all this Irish scenery which looks incredible."

The Battle by Hans Zimmer

"From the soundtrack to the movie 'Gladiator' this is probably the best piece of film music ever written and it really started me off as a film music maniac. It’s about 10 minutes long and it really captures everything that’s great about that movie soundtrack. You can really visualise the bits of the movie in the music. I really got into it from seeing that film."

Fields of Coral by Vangelis.

"If I had to name one song I’ve listened to the most times in my life, it would be this song. Literally thousands of times. And it really hasn't lost any of its appeal at all. It’s seven minutes of fame of the same thing over and over again, but the atmosphere in it is huge. I've fallen asleep to this song so many times, it's heavenly"

Sear Me MCMXCIII by My Dying Bride.

"My Dying Bride have had a massive impact on me, particularly in my lyric writing. I think Aaron Stanthorpe is one of the best lyricists in the whole world, when I was at high school, there was this girl, and she didn't know anything about me until I went to her and gave her the lyrics to this song and told her 'This is how I feel about you' after that we were together for a couple of years!"

Frozen by Madonna.

"This song itself is incredible but what makes this song great for me is the video, because it's probably that best one ever made. I love all the imagery and atmosphere in the video. It’s quite dark and it looks like something we might do in a video. With all the landscapes and girl dancing and stuff"

Tuomas Also Loves:

Carcass - 'Heartwork'
Queen - 'The Show Must Go On'
Rammstein - 'Sonne'
Herbie Hancock - 'Chameleon'
Pantera - 'Mouth For War'
Xentrix - 'For Whose Advantage?'