Anette Olzon says that she is "proud" of her performance on NIGHTWISH's "Dark Passion Play" album.
Olzon originally joined NIGHTWISH in 2007 and recorded two studio LPs 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.
On Saturday (September 26),Olzon took to her Instagram to write: "So I've seen some of you sharing that it's 13 years ago today since the release of Dark Passion Play. Can't believe it's been so many years now but this album is of course very dear to me. It was what made me able to live on my music finally at the age of 36 and it's been my dream since childhood to be a singer full time and the dream came true when I was chosen to sing in NIGHTWISH.
"The recording was 3 weeks for me where me and Tuomas [Holopainen, NIGHTWISH keyboardist/mainman] lived in the forest during Finnish winter time. We recorded songs, we had fun and it was a great time we had. I didn't know the boys that well in that time but the tour that came with the album was massive and I got to see the world. It was both an exciting time but also a stresful time since I had no idea how big the band really was when I joined and I had never been on a long tour so it was heavy job both mentally but also physically.
"I have so many nice memories and the thing with this album was that it was so much loved by the non metal fans too. It was played in the radio here in Sweden and was number one in the children's top list and we won the amazing Echo award with it. So I will always feel so blessed to have been on this album and I am proud of my performance on it. The songs were not written for me and it was challenging many times to record them. But thanks to all of you who have bought it and for all the support we got with it.
"Happy birthday to me, the other NIGHTWISH boys and of course to Dark Passion Play."
This past February, Olzon said that she was "sad in many ways" about her departure from NIGHTWISH, explaining that she and her former bandmates "had a nice thing going on for many years." In an interview with Wayne Noon of "Rat Salad Review", Anette reflected on her time with the band, saying: "I don't wanna talk about how it ended, because every time I say something, their whole fanbase jumps on me, so I have to be very careful with what I say. But I was sad [about the split], because I felt we had kind of a nice thing going on for many years before it started to be a bit difficult between us. And we were also quite different how we wanted to work; I'm a Swede and they're Finns. So I'm sad in many ways, because it was fun — in the fun days. But I'm also very happy that I'm not there because of the touring schedule."
She continued: "It was very stressful for me to be away; I was almost never home. I was away six weeks, then I was home maybe one or two weeks, just unpacked my bags and then I went off for five weeks again. It's not a lifestyle I felt I wanted to continue for more than that. And actually, now I feel that I have a good life with music and a normal job, and I can decide myself what I wanna do and no one tells me what I have to do. So, I'm a free spirit more now than I was at that time."
Olzon also addressed the incessant criticism that was leveled at her for stepping into the shoes of original NIGHTWISH singer Tarja Turunen, whose operatic vocals were far different from Anette's more pop-oriented approach.
"You don't know how people will be, but, of course, I was the one who got all the hate, and it was, of course, very hard for me to handle that situation," she admitted. "If I was the original singer, I wouldn't have all that kind of bad YouTube comments that I have. And they follow me around quite a lot. It has been better now — people have started to stop saying so many bad things. But, like I said, if I say anything in any interview, they twist and turn it. It's kind of sad that we can't be free of speech, so I'm a bit careful with what I say. But I'm happy about the years we had, and it's great that they still continue doing what they do. And if they're happy, I'm happy. And that's how it goes."
Not long after Olzon was fired from NIGHTWISH eight years ago, she claimed that an argument arose between her and NIGHTWISH when she asked for an Australian tour to be postponed during her pregnancy. 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.
Since the end of her five-year stint with NIGHTWISH, Olzon released a solo album, 2014's "Shine", and formed THE DARK ELEMENT with former SONATA ARCTICA guitarist Jani Liimatainen. The group's self-titled debut album was released in 2017; a follow-up, "Songs The Night Sings", came out last November.
Olzon and noted progressive metal vocalist Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X, ADRENALINE MOB) released a collaborative album titled "Worlds Apart" in March via Frontiers Music Srl. The project was issued under the moniker ALLEN/OLZON.