ANETTE OLZON - Careful What You 'Wish For
February 2, 2014, 5 years ago
By Carl Begai
There’s no doubt that the controversial firing of former NIGHTWISH vocalist ANETTE OLZON in October 2012 made her out to be the bad guy, turning any press she does for her forthcoming solo album into a potential exercise in character assassination. It doesn’t help her situation in that the Nightwish camp has been quick to refute many of her recent accusations of backstabbing and mismanagement that have appeared online. Quite frankly, I was prepared to be stonewalled when asking questions about Nightwish due to the fact Olzon came across as a self-centered diva when she slammed the band for playing to a Denver, CO audience in 2012 with stand-in vocalists Elize Ryd (AMARANTHE) and Alissa White-Gluz (THE AGONIST) after she fell ill. Turns out I was way off the mark and had to give Olzon the benefit of the doubt.
Thus, in the interest of giving her solo album Shine a fair shake we’re getting the Nightwish debacle out of the way first, to be followed soon by a full story on the new record.
Rather than dig for the scurvy details and assorted dirt kicked up before and after her firing, the focus is on Olzon getting booted in the middle of the North American tour for Imaginaerum. It’s not a move most bands can afford to make in today’s music industry economy, sure as hell not without a back-up plan. And yet, 48 hours after Olzon was cut loose former AFTER FOREVER vocalist Floor Jansen had taken over her post on stage, becoming the band’s permanent singer less than a year later.“It’s hard for me to say why the firing happened when it did because I don’t really know what happened behind my back,” says Olzon. “I think there were some thing happening that I didn’t know about. It has become clearer to me now that they had some sort of a plan when I told them I was pregnant. I actually think they had some suspicions I was pregnant during the summer festivals, so I think they may have had a back-up plan.”
Olzon pegs the band’s reaction to her pregnancy as the primary reason for the falling out. She also claims Jansen wasn’t as much of a last minute consideration for the Nightwish line-up as people think, albeit in a temporary capacity.“We had some discussions during the tour in America about how to cover the remaining gigs for the tours that were coming up, and we did have something of an argument before that. I didn’t want to have a substitute singer in the band, I wanted to do the South American shows. I would have been too pregnant to go to Australia so I wanted to push the dates back, but Tuomas (Holopainen / keyboards, founder) 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. Because I couldn’t do the Australian tour, I think that’s when they started thinking about a new singer. We had a bit of an argument, then I got ill, and after that…. I don’t know if they planned this.”
“They say it wasn’t like that – that the pregnancy wasn’t an issue – but if I wasn’t pregnant I don’t think this situation would have happened. Of course we had some problems before with different opinions about how touring should be, how many gigs in a row, the places where we played. We didn’t fight because of that, though. If I didn’t want to go somewhere and they did, we went because the majority decided. I had my 3-year-old son with me, so we did try to solve the touring problem. I can’t say it was definitely like that because they say it isn’t, but for me that was the problem.”
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Olzon's debut solo album, Shine, will be delayed by one month, "due to some problems with the mastering and also that we need more time for the video and so on."
The new release dates via earMUSIC are as follows:
Sweden - March 26th
Germany, Finland, Russia, Spain - March 28th
France, Benelux, Poland, Czech Republic, Norway, Denmark, UK - March 31st
Italy - April 1st
North America - April 8th
Shine has been produced with the collaboration of some of the most successful teams in rock and pop in Scandinavia: the producer Stefan Örn (songwriter and producer of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest winning track ‘Running Scared’), Johan Glössner and co-produced by Anette Olzon and Johan Kronlund. The album was mixed by Kronlund, Nicklas Flykt and Ronny Lahti (known for his work with LOREEN and ROXETTE).
Check out the first lyric video for the song 'Fallen' below:"I am so thrilled to finally release my first solo album,” says Anette Olzon. “I’ve been working on it for a long time by now... The album is very personal with songs I have started writing already in 2009 but also very recent songs. The overall message of the album is that life can be really dark and filled with hardship and sadness, but you can always choose to see some light coming through, to make you stronger and full of life - making you SHINE... no matter what."
And what about the musical direction? “In the end, it is a rock album,” says Anette. “Well, a pop rock album maybe, or would you call it pop metal?” We have heard this one before, didn’t we?
Whether we can define Shine a metal album, rock, pop or “pop rock” what would be hard to miss is how strong the songs are and what an extraordinary album it is. It exceptionally masters the borders between melancholy and hope, between fragility and power, because it showcases an artist who doesn't rest on her laurels but heads boldly into the future. Because it shines.
See what Anette has to say about Shine below: