Published on Monday, 06 October 2014 16:38
Interview with: Anette Olzon
Conducted by: T.V.
Swedish singer Anette Olzon who got hers recognition mostly because she was bold enough to stepping in the shoes of Tarja Turunen after her departure from legendary Finnish band Nightwish in 2007. She recorded with them two albums, Dark Passion Play (2007) and Imaginaerum (2011). In that time the fans of the Finns were divided between the haters and lovers of a band without their darling Tarja. I believe that you all remember how many harsh words were then going on through media and social networks after that inglorius North American tour in 2012 when Anette was suddenly kicked out of the band and soon replaced by Floor Jansen. Anette Olzon then recovered from that shock and earlier this year released her debut solo album named Shine through earMusic. Shine is nothing else than a masterpiece in the fields of darker yet melancholic pop rock genre, shining mostly because of its catchines, powerful vocal performance, professional songwriting, deep, yet insightful lyrics and amazing production. Still Anette is not only that and beside everything mentioned she also did some interesting guest appearances, earlier in her career she took part in the Swedish AOR band Alyson Avenue and recently she recorded vocals for the new album of another AOR project Sapphire Eyes and yet that's not everything. Now Anette lives with her boyfriend, and Pain bassist, Johan Husgafvel and they have three sons, Seth, born in July 2001, Nemo, born in July 2010 and Mio born in March 2013. Many other interesting things Anette revealed in the interview she kindly answered.
T.V.: Hi Anette! Thank you for taking some time to answer my questions. You are on your own now, with a solo album recently released, so how do you feel about everything?
T.V.: You already had some live shows as a solo artist and I'm curious how the audience accepted you performing solo as Anette Olzon?Anette
Anette: At the moment I don't do so much with my solo career since I´ve started to study in the university and have to focus mainly on my studies, so it´s calm and peaceful. I have four gigs coming up in Spain in November so that will be fun though!
T.V.: Shine was released in March this year, so the initial enthusiasm, I think, calmed down and I wonder how do you look now at this album of yours?
Anette: I still love my album and I also believe that when I'll release my next album this album will get even more recognition because I believe it's a really good album.
T.V.: Indeed is a good album and it was in the making since 2009. So, how much of your personal touch is in it? It was written completely by yourself or it's done in major part by other composers?
Anette: I´ve been there writing all the songs together with my co-writers, so I´ve been part of it all and I've been there through the whole process.
T.V.: The production on the album is really fantastic. You worked on it also with some great names like Stefan Örn who is songwriter and producer of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest winning track "Running Scared", plus some other renowned producers. It was mixed by Nicklas Flykt and Ronny Lahti, who is known for his work with Loreen and Roxette. Tell me how it was working with those experienced guys?
Anette: It was really nice and all the guys are so kind and talented. They made the whole process really easy.
T.V.: I remember reading somewhere that this is kind of a healing album for you after your mother got sick of cancer and yours departure from Nightwish, and that can be sensed also from the lyrics. How much truth is in those sayings?
Anette: I wrote the album from my heart and during 2009 while I was still in Nightwish, so I didn't know the whole situation would come and therefore there is nothing about the break-up in there, except from one song I wrote in 2012 - "One Million Faces". And that song came out of the sadness from the break-up with the band. All other songs are very personal and I wrote them about my life and mainly sad things, yes. I believe we have different faces and I keep a sadder side inside that I do not show to others so it has to come out somewhere and writing songs about it helps.
T.V.: And beside that what are other things that inspires you when you're writting lyrics and music?
Anette: It can be anything, but I do have a special thing for sad songs and lyrics.
T.V.: Shine was released by earMusic and I'm wondering how this collaboration with such a big label started and how are you satisfied with them?
Anette: I think its been an ok deal with them. They haven't done such a big PR for the album as I`d wished for, especially in Scandinavia. They are also a more rock/metal label so I guess it's harder for them to release a more pop/rock album like Shine.
T.V.: Some weeks ago you announced that you are working on a new song, any updates about it? Are you already working on a new album and if yes when can we expect it?
Anette: I´m doing some songs and some projects but I cant talk about any of it yet. In this business there are always secrets and hush-hush, so it can only be revealed when it's meant for it.
T.V.: Ok, I understand. Those who follow your Facebook profile couldn't miss a cappella interpretations of some Nightwish songs. What's the purpose of those and it seems that your fans accepted them very well...
Anette: I had wishes from fans to hear me sing the songs, so I did it, and especially songs I hadn't performed live with the band such as "Turn loose The Mermaid". They were happy about it and my a cappella videos have gotten a great response. To show that you don't need to have a studio with microphone and stuff to record and show your voice and also I want to show that I am not all perfect. I sing because I love it and I love to try new things. Having fun with music.
T.V.: You shot a video for the amazing song "Lies". How it was shoting it and I'm interested if there's any other video clip in preparations?
Anette: No singles or videos are coming, no. It was fun to shot it, but it was so cold..bra..
: The gigs I´ve done so far have been all good and the audiences have been really nice and positive about them.T.V.: Can you tell us if there's a tour through Europe or even overseas on the schedule in the near or not so distant future?Anette
: No tour is planned at the moment. As I told you I am studying now and also I have small children and I don't want to leave them for long periods as I did with my oldest son. Those days have to come later on in the future when they are older.T.V.: Do you ever perform live any of Nightwish songs?Anette
: No, not yet.T.V.: Recently you announced Axl Ludwig Ayez and Johnny Benson as new members of your line-up. Can you give us some more words/details about all the musicians you are working and play live with?Anette
: Well, these two guys are rockers from Malmö and I haven't played with them before so we´ll see how it works out. For me, since I only hire musicians and not have a band, I can and will exchange musicians if needed but I do hope these guys will work perfectly, both musically as well as in coolness on stage.T.V.: I can't skip this question and look some years back in time. How it was stepping back then in the shoes of Tarja Turunen and replace such an icon? I remember there was some kind of war going on online between the fans and non-fans of Tarja?Anette
: I didn't understand the whole situation at first, cause I didn't understand how big of an icon she was. And then in the beginning I didn't think about it at all because I was me and did my thing, but when the hatred started to flourish to my mail box, to the internet, to shows, then I asked myself what I was doing in that situation and it really made me insecure and unhappy.T.V.: And there were a lot of harsh words between you and the rest of Nightwish after that inglorious American tour. How do you look at everything right now?Anette
: I am calmer of course and I don't hold a grudge to anyone in that camp, even if it was one of the worst things I`ve had to go through and the scars will be there forever.T.V.: Were there any tensions inside the band even before your departure or it happened just out of nothing?Anette
: Not before I told them I was pregnant during the tour, then the turmoil started.T.V.: You did some collaborations with acts such as Pain, Brother Firetribe, Swallow The Sun and Rasmus. How it was working with them and which one was the best one? If I can add, I really loved the Pain's "Follow Me" and Swallow The Sun's "Cathedral Walls"!Anette
: I loved my dear Pain
heads so that's the one I cherish the most and also Brother Firetribe
. Firetribe is doing music I love and close to where I come from and the guys are all so kind and sweet.T.V.: Have you already got any enquirys to sing and become the frontwoman in any other band. Are you even looking out for joining any band right now?Anette
: I do some projects singing with others but no band at this moment. Not looking for a band since I don't have a lot of time even to do my own music.T.V.: Ok, but you sing also in AOR project Sapphire Eyes and if I'm not mistaken the band has a new album on the way. It seems that you are open to various styles of music?Anette
: Yes, I sing almost everything and I do things I like and do not care so much about the genre and so on.T.V.: You are in a relation and live with another great musician, Pain's bassist, Johan Husgafvel, and have three sons. How do you deal with and divide the time between music and family?Anette
: We both help each other out so we can do almost everything we want and I want to have him with me on the road, so we always try and fix, so he can play the gigs and get our parents and family to look after the kids while we are away.T.V.: I think that would be all. What would you like to say in the end to our readers and your fans?Anette
: I hope you continue to follow me cause I will of course never stop doing music and next year will have some fun things for me in store, so stay tuned.
Anette Olzon links: Official website, Facebook