Ex-NIGHTWISH Singer ANETTE OLZON Talks Balancing Full-Time Job As A Nurse With Her Various Musical Projects

February 22, 2020

"Let's Discuss With Lance Hall"recently conducted an interview with former NIGHTWISH frontwoman Anette Olzon. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On finding the time to partake in various Frontiers Music Srl-backed musical projects, including THE DARK ELEMENT and now ALLEN/OLZON, her new venture with SYMPHONY X singer Russell Allen.

Anette: "This [ALLEN/OLZON] was recorded last spring, one year ago. When I got the question to do this, I was actually recording THE DARK ELEMENT's second album. I was first saying 'Well, can we do it in the autumn? I'm quite busy.' But they were, like, 'No, no, no, you have to do it now!' I just entered the studio for one album, then straight into the studio. I do have a regular job, actually — I'm working as a nurse. It was like working full-time Monday through Friday, then entering the studio and recording. It was a bit busy and I was quite happy I got some vacation in the summertime. But, you know, it's fun still. I love to sing. It's great. I'm really happy that they asked me to do all this kind of stuff. That's fantastic."

On the writing process for "Worlds Apart", the debut album from ALLEN/OLZON:

Anette: "The whole album was done when I joined the project. It's only [producer/songwriter] Magnus Karlsson who has made all the lyrics and the music for this. The only thing Russell and I have contributed, of course, is our voices. I did harmonies in my own way and some screams here and there and all those things. That's my duty from my point."

On how she interacted with Allen and Karlsson during the making of "Worlds Apart":

Anette: "Actually, me and Magnus had met. We met after we started the recordings. We were at a show and I met him, then I met him a couple of times. He lives very close to me, actually. He lives half an hour from where I live in Sweden. But, yeah, I haven't met Russell. I've e-mailed him a little bit. We wanted to do a real video with both of us in it. We tried to get that together, but Russell had just finished some touring and he was a soccer dad. I think he has his kid on a team where he's a coach or something. He didn't want to leave his family and that's totally acceptable. We have e-mailed, but we have never met on Skype or seen each other.

On whether she heard Allen's vocals while she was tracking her parts:

Anette: "Actually, when I entered the studio, Russell had started recording, so I think I got three or four songs with his voice. Then the other voice, which was mine, was actually sung by Magnus. So it was two guys, then I had to form and make my own melody lines and put it up and stuff. Then, actually, one or two songs, I recorded before Russell, then he got me and Magnus. [Laughs] But, it was nice to hear the end result."

Since the end of her five-year stint with NIGHTWISH in 2012, 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", was released in November.

Over the past 14 years, Allen — best known as the frontman of long-running progressive metal group SYMPHONY X — has released four acclaimed collaborative albums with Norwegian singer Jørn Lande (MASTERPLAN, AVANTASIA, JORN). The first three ALLEN/LANDE releases were produced and written by Karlsson, with the fourth and most recent — 2014's "The Great Divide" — produced and written by ex-STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki.

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