DATE OF INTERVIEW:
3rd March 2014
METAL DISCOVERY: Despite the hard time you mustíve had emotionally when parting company with Nightwish, is it now a very exciting time for you to be making this fresh start, and completely on your own terms as well?
ANETTE: Yeah, of course, and I think itís important that you go out from something that has been a bit harder to try and look ahead, and I did that quite fast. I was focussed and I wanted to do this album and get it out, and I think it went quite fast too. So I think itís a good way to have this out now, one year later or one and a half or something. Of course, Iím also a bit nervous how it will go because Iím a new, fresh artist; I donít have a band behind me; I donít have big management and stuff in that way, that brings you up on the bigger scene. So I have to start from the beginning now and, of course, itís a bit nervous too but I hope for the bestÖ [laughs]
(Anette Olzon on her mixed sentiments of excitement and nerves with going it alone)
"...I think itís important that you go out from something that has been a bit harder to try and look ahead, and I did that quite fast. I was focussed and I wanted to do this album and get it out...Of course, Iím also a bit nervous how it will go because Iím a new, fresh artist..."
Anette Olzon - promo shot
Photograph copyright © 2014 Patric-Ullaeus
Interview by Mark Holmes
Official Anette Olzon Website:
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ANETTE OLZON DISCOGRAPHY
Thanks to Peter Noble & Guido Schindlbeck for arranging the interview.
Presence of Mind (w/Alyson Avenue) (2000)
Omega (w/Alyson Avenue) (2004)
Dark Passion Play (w/Nightwish) (2007)
Imaginaerum (w/Nightwish) (2011)
MD: So exciting but also a little bit scaryÖ [laughs]
ANETTE: Yeah, of course, because you have to stand on your own two feet now. Thereís not a band behind me, itís only me now!
MD: I think the album has got mass appeal because it crosses a few different genres and so forth, but it seems to me that once an artist or band has been so heavily associated within a particular genre - in this case, the metal genre Ė however they progress and diversify their music, it seems difficult for them to reach fans beyond that genreÖ
MD: So do you worry that your Nightwish association might prove a bit restrictive in being able to reach out to a more pop-oriented audience, for example?
ANETTE: Yeah, I mean, of course I think about that since my music is very different. And, in a way, especially in my home country where Nightwish isnít that big, and where metal is really metal and, you know, we are a pop country, I would really like to sell some more albums in my home country. I think that would be really nice but itís really hard and it hasnít been so many interviews yet, and then itís been only the rock magazines, so weíll see. But maybe if they hear the music, hopefullyÖ itís all about the PR too.
MD: Yeah, exactly. It can just take a lucky break sometimes to get a bit of airplay on a particular radio station and then it can snowball from there, so hopefully you can reach out to that kind of crowd.
MD: One of the people you worked with on the album was Stefan ÷rn who wrote and produced Swedenís 2011 winning entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, of course, so I have to ask you Ė if the opportunity ever came up for you to represent your country in the contest, would you ever want to do that?
ANETTE: Yeah. I mean, actually, I did send a song this year and I didnít get in, butÖ [laughs]Ö thatís how it goes! I think I would really like to do that. This year, however, here in Sweden, the contest has been not so good Ė quite bad songs and the whole show has been with a lot of negativity. So maybe now is not the best time to be in that competition! [laughs]
MD: Exactly, yeah! Maybe next year.
ANETTE: Yeah, maybe next year or when thereís a better feeling about it. But of course I would compete for Sweden; you always want to do that for your countryÖ [laughs]Ö I think itís good exposure, especially if you want to be seen in your home country, because they get a lot of focus in the media and stuff. It depends if you want to be only selling albums abroad or so on, and you donít care about your home country, but if you want to be famous in your home country you need to do that; here in Sweden, for sureÖ [laughs]
MD: Thatís the one, yeah! Are there any plans to tour with the record yet?
ANETTE: Yeah, we found a really nice booking agent here, one week ago, and I think heís working on it so, hopefully, I would like to go out and play quite soon. But itís in his hands nowÖ
ANETTE: HopefullyÖ I would like to come to the UK so youíll have to tell people to book me! [laughs]
MD: Oh absolutely, thatíd be marvellous. Iíll spread the word around some of the promoters!
ANETTE: For sure, do so!
MD: Obviously the albumís only 38 minutes long so, when you do get out on the road, do you have any other new songs in reserve?
ANETTE: Yeah, Iím doing new songs. If thereís a need to do some covers I will do it but, otherwise, I do have some songs Iíve done with other bands too. Iím writing new songs for the main purpose that I do have some. I do need some more songs on the set, for sure.
MD: Otherwise itíll be a very short gig!
ANETTE: Yeah, well, you can always talk a lot!
MD: Yeah, exactly! You do seem to be good at talking!
ANETTE: But, actually, I did more songs for this album that didnít come through because, the thing is, I had fifteen or sixteen songs but then, of course, they say that you shouldnít have too many songs for an album. They say ten is quite enough, so it wasnít my choice. I do have more songs that didnít fit into it and Iíve actually done one new song already, this last week, and I have something more in my head, so there will be more songs. And itís a good thing to try them out, you know, in a live show before you go and record your next album, because weíll know which songs workÖ
MD: Yeah, and which bits of songs work as wellÖ
ANETTE: Exactly. So, yeah, there will be more songs, for sure.
MD: Would you ever want to revisit Nightwish songs in your live solo sets, or is that something you want to leave completely in the past?
ANETTE: To be honest, I wouldnít mind doing it because I like the songs and Iím proud of the songs that weíve done. I mean, there are many songs I would love to do. But I know, also, that Tuomas, I donít know whether heíd like me to do it, and that out of respect to the songwriter, I donít want to disrespect him by taking his songs and doing them while they still play with the band. I mean, theyíre going on tour and Iím sure Floor will sing a lot of songs that Iíve done and it wouldnít be fair to compete in that way. So itís not that I wouldnít do it because I donít like them anymore, itís a bit of respect for him too. Weíll see. Maybe one day weíll meet and heíll say, ďhey, do some songs from NightwishĒÖ ďokay, I will do itĒ. But, for now, Iím not gonna do it in the first thing.
MD: You have enough powerful songs of your own, anyway!
ANETTE: Yeah, thatís what I mean and, I think, Nightwish is continuing their path with those songs and I think itís better this way. They will do them live and I will do my stuff.
MD: The final thing I wanted to ask Ė as you seem to be such an optimistic person, what makes you shine in life most of all?
ANETTE: Oh, my children. Simple answer. My children, yeah, they make me shine, they doÖ [laughs]
MD: And have you baked some cookies yet? I also read earlier that you were going to bake some to make them smile?
ANETTE: Yeah, we did cookies. We made heart cookies. Iíll put them on the blog later. It was like a stamp. You make some butter cakes and then put a stamp on there with hearts. But then, when we baked them, you canít see the heart as well, like not so good as I thought, but I will try to do them again. But they looked good and they were really yummy!
MD: Awww. Did it bring smiles to their faces?
ANETTE: Yes, theyíre eating them and theyíre like, ďcan we have more?!Ē Itís a good thing I donít eat any cookies because I would be too big then, but my kids love cookies!
MD: Marvellous! Right, thank you so much for your time, itís been a real pleasure speaking with you.
ANETTE: Thank you so much and have a really nice evening. And hopefully Iíll see you in the UK thenÖ if you get me there! [laughs]
MD: Definitely, Iíll spread the word! And best of luck with the album when it comes out everywhere. I hope it sells really well for you because itís absolutely fantastic.
ANETTE: Thank you so much. Itís really nice to hear that. Thank you. And maybe Iíll talk to you again then.
MD: Definitely. Cheers then, bye!