NIGHTWISH Singer: ‘I Believe We Learn From Everything In Life

Nightwish France recently conducted an interview with singer Anette Olzon of Finnish/Swedish symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

Nightwish France: How was your recording of [the new NIGHTWISH album] “Imaginaerum” compared to [2007’s] “Dark Passion Play”?

Anette: It was really nice and relaxed. The best time was for sure the demo recordings where just me, Tuomas [NIGHTWISH keyboardist/mainman Tuomas Holopainen] and Tero [Kinnunen, engineer] were in the improvised studio at Röskö, the camp in Finland, and I had my family with me. No stress, no pressure, just singing the songs after the first listening and improvising and that’s my kinda thing. The real recordings were also nice but there’s this thing that I love with being the first time I sing the songs and I can interpret them with totally fresh ears. After some months of listening to the songs over and over again, it’s not the same feeling and therefore we ended up taking some takes from the first demo recordings instead.

Nightwish France: Your voice in “Scaretale” sounds quite new, a bit like a witch! Was it your idea?

Anette: Tuomas and me always have a talk before the recording where I ask what his idea of the song is so I can go into the mode and interpret it the way he wrote it. He said that the song was about all of a child’s nightmares and when I started to sing, it felt natural to bring in the mean witch voice to it, and when I “spit” at one point, the guys were a bit shocked, but we kept it and now it’s a fun part of the song.

Nightwish France: How would you describe “Imaginaerum”?

Anette: It’s a big album again, like “Dark Passion Play”, and saying it’s like “Dark Passion Play 2” is a good way to describe it. Still bombastic, lots of stuff going on, needs more than one listen and it’s like a ride on a roller coaster.

Nightwish France: Are you happy to go back on tour?

Anette: I am looking forward to it; it will be fun to be on stage again. I do not like the travelling part and being away so long, but that’s something that comes with this job.

Nightwish France: How do you imagine the forthcoming tour? Tuomas said it will be a smaller one, but will there be some other changes compared to the “Dark Passion Play” tour?

Anette: It will be smaller and shorter, but still bigger venues over all. The stage will, of course, look different and be suited for “Imaginaerum”, but if there will be any other changes, you have to wait and see.

Nightwish France: Since [you joined] NIGHTWISH, you’ve [made] several [guest appearances] with bands like BROTHERFIRE TRIBE, PAIN and THE RASMUS. How did they occur? Would you like to do some more?

Anette: I was asked by these bands and it’s been so fun to sing with them all. I have done another song with a Finnish band [SWALLOW THE SUN]. Also a very nice band and a nice song. I like to do these kinda things but I always try to choose the songs I like and also not do to many of these things, ’cause people can get tired of hearing me everywhere.

Nightwish France: On August 13, 2009, you’ve played two NIGHTWISH songs with an orchestra in Stockholm (“Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan” and “Meadows Of Heaven”). Can you tell us more about this experience, and why did you choose these two songs in particular?

Anette: This was a concert in a celebration of Finland and Sweden and I was really happy to be asked to be a part of it. I felt I wanted to show the Finnish people my gratitude for welcoming me into NIGHTWISH and therefore I chose to do Kuolema, even if I am so bad at Finnish. “Meadows Of Heaven” was also a song I felt I wanted to do live, since we had never done that, and when given a chance to perform with such a good orchestra, I needed to take that opportunity to try it out live.

Nightwish France: Is your solo album still planned? Can you tell us more about it?

Anette: Well, there are no set plans for the release, but I am pulling strings at the moment to get some really nice people to help me get the songs produced and ready so that I can release them hopefully in 2013. Let’s see what happens.

Nightwish France: What is your feeling regarding your first years with NIGHTWISH? If you could, would you change anything since 2007?

Anette: If you would have asked me [this question] in 2009 after the hard tour and everything that went on in that tour, I would have said that I would never do it again ’cause it was really hard years for me. So many things happened during those years and I went from being “Anette” to the singer in NIGHTWISH, taking a role after another singer who was loved by the fans. I think I have learned a lot of things from everything that went on and I am stronger today, so I wouldn’t change anything, ’cause I believe we learn from everything in life — good or bad things.