ANETTE OLZON Would 'Never' Reunite With NIGHTWISH: 'They Treated Me So Badly'
November 17, 2019
A&P Reacts recently conducted an interview with former NIGHTWISH and current THE DARK ELEMENT frontwoman Anette Olzon. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what inspired the title for THE DARK ELEMENT's second studio album, "Songs The Night Sings":
Anette: "This is always the record company [Frontiers] that chooses these things. We don't have so much to say. I don't know how much Jani [Liimatainen, guitar] had a say, but I think when they decided that this song should be a single because we always have a say, but they are the ones responsible in the end deciding singles. So, when they decided this, I guess it was a good name for the album. It's quite perfect for it. It is songs the night sings. It [has] a bit darker songs, but still very melodic, so it suits it fine."
On whether "Songs The Night Sings" moves THE DARK ELEMENT's sound "forward into the future":
Anette: "I told Jani already that the first album that I liked a bit more heavier guitars, for instance, and that I thought we could have a little bit more up-tempo [songs]. Then I guess Jani also felt we should do it bigger and bolder and more bombastic in a way. [Laughs] So we just made these songs and I think he was not so afraid of exploring more different things this time. The first album is always hard how people respond. We got a good response, so I think it was a bit easier to just be a bit bolder this time."
On how the creative process in THE DARK ELEMENT works:
Anette: "This is how it goes: Jani is the creator, so he always makes the songs, then he sends me the demos and the lyrics. This album, actually, he asked me to send some lyrics that I felt like writing and I did, and he picked some of the lyrics for 'Pills On A Pillow', for instance. I had been in a little more creative process this time. Otherwise, he sends me the demos and I start to listen to them a little bit, then when I enter the studio, I change the keys so it fits my voice because he sings them. Normally, I raise them quite a lot in the studio. Then I send my files and my choirs, the harmonies, I do as I want to and all those ad-libs and things. Then, he takes over the process and then he sends it to the mixing guy when he's done with all the files and adding some guitars in the end and stuff like that. So he's the creative mind, of course, but, I do have some say when it comes to the vocals and the harmonies, that's what I do."
On whether it was easier for her to make "Songs The Night Sings" versus THE DARK ELEMENT's 2017 self-titled debut:
Anette: "Yeah, for sure it was. I mean, the first album I didn't change the keys so much as I did now and he was a bit more saying how he wanted it. Now, he knows that I know what [to] do, so he trusts me if I say 'I changed this' or 'I did this,' he's, like, 'Okay, go for it.' We respect each other and we know each other. He knows my voice now and he had some concerns about some songs before I recorded them, like, 'Hmmm…can she do this? Is this working with her voice?' But, actually, then he got them and he was, like, 'Yeah, it worked!' It was very easy this time, very easy for both of us, I believe."
On whether she would ever reunite with her former NIGHTWISH bandmates onstage:
Anette: "No. Never. Because I can say it like this: There are things they have to do before that will ever happen, and they have still not yet done that. They treated me so badly that, I'm really sorry, but how it is and how it's been, I cannot see that happening ever."
Olzon originally joined NIGHTWISH in 2007 and recorded two studio albums with the band before being dismissed in 2012 in the middle of the group's North American tour. She was replaced by former AFTER FOREVER singer Floor Jansen. Olzon later claimed that an argument arose between her and NIGHTWISH when she asked for an Australian tour to be postponed during her pregnancy. Mainman Tuomas Holopainen suggested that Jansen should front the band on a temporary basis, but Olzon said no.
Anette explained in a 2014 interview: "I would have been too pregnant to go to Australia, so I wanted to push the dates back, but Tuomas didn't want that. Discussions about a substitute came up, and at first, I was, like, 'Yeah, well, okay.' But when they mentioned Floor, it was an automatic 'no' from me. I didn't think it was a good idea, because I knew what would happen — I knew the fans would love Floor, because she's a metal singer and I'm a pop singer, and I wanted to keep my job."
A year after NIGHTWISH fired Olzon, the band released a statement denying that she was dismissed because of pregnancy or illness. "We discovered her personality didn't fit this work community, and was even detrimental to it," the group said. NIGHTWISH went on to say that Anette was initially receptive to the idea of hiring a temporary replacement if she couldn't "manage everything," but that she later "took back her decision, and the difficulties really started. Fear of losing money and position seemed obvious." The band also insisted that "Anette and her company" were "paid a fifth of everything that was done during her time" with NIGHTWISH.
"Songs The Night Sings" was released November 8 via Frontiers Music Srl. The follow-up to 2017's "The Dark Element" was mixed by Jacob Hansen, who has previously worked with VOLBEAT and AMARANTHE, among others.
Joining Olzon and Liimatainen in THE DARK ELEMENT's current recording lineup are Jonas Kuhlberg on bass and Rolf Pilve on drums.