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2007: Anette joins NW (Interview with Tuomas and more)


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Here's a transcript that I thought you might find interesting, from back when Anette joined NW. Be warned, it's a long one, but full of gems. It's all salvaged from the old official forum, thanks to those who made the interview and translation possible.



BY Estevão on 6th of June [2007], translation by Flavinha from the official NW forum


Rock Hard Valhalla: Well, let’s start with the beginning of what we call the “New Era” to Nightwish. As we know, the demo CD that Anette sent to you was one of the first ones you got, right?

Tuomas Holopainen: Yes! Actually, was one of the first twenty that we received, already on November of 2005.

RHV: We know that when you got this CD, you got really surprised with her interpretation for Ever Dream, and has even said that the way she sung it was the best that you have ever heard.

TH: Indeed, and I can say that she became a parameter for everything we would receive. I mean, she totally came out of the bushes, totally from nowhere and sent a demo with only one song, Ever Dream. I opened her pack, read her letter, put the CD to play and was totally amazed with the material, after all, I didn’t know what expect and we didn’t have any idea about what kind of singer we were looking for. Her voice amazed all the band! Everything sounded so natural, so easy and good that everyone enjoyed. More than a singer, I can say that Anette is a good story teller. She has a very particular form to give life to the lyrics, because usually, she understands what they say. Anyway, as the whole incident with Tarja happened just 3 weeks before that, we decided to take it easy and wait one more year, since the last thing we had was hurry.

RHV: This is good, because gives me the impression that even being too early for you to think in a substitute for Tarja’s place, at least you guys could relax about the quality of the material that you were about to receive.

TH: Absolutely! I can say that was exactly this way. On that moment, we had the impression that there’s lots of amazing singers around the world, so, we believed that that everything would be ok (laughs).

RHV: After all, have ever existed other singer that made your choice more difficult or Anette was like a black diamond since the very beginning?

TH: Well, to be honest, from the almost two thousand demos that we received, I can say that fifty of them impressed the band to a point that made us send to these people an instrumental copy of Once, so they could sing some Nightwish’s songs to us. So, from these fifty, we chose about ten, with whom we met and played some songs live, on the studio. In the end, the decision was really, really hard but was unanimous between us that Anette should be the chosen. And I really think that we picked the best one.

RHV: Well, after listening the new album a few times, I can only agree! (laughs)

TH: Good! (laughs) It’s that thing, you know… first we only knew the basic: that she is swedish, thirty five years old, a nice background, which is really good but we didn’t have any idea about how she was as a person. So, we had to meet her a couple of times to know her better. The problem firstly was how she would be personally. But in the same moment that we met her for the first time, we realized that she is a really nice girl and would be a lot easy for us to get along with her.

RHV: True. Particularly, I have the impression that in a few months, she had already more fun with you guys than Tarja had in almost ten years with the band. For instance, she was in parties with the band, likes to rehearse, traveled to Germany to see Tarot’s gig and has just returned from Disney with you.

TH: Yes, she was there too! As you can see, we’re getting along really well. We had great moments with Tarja too, but in the end was different. Anyway, we are living happy days with Anette, everything looks really good, although, you never know what can happen. I mean, we know her for only five months and you can’t say in such a short time that you really know a person. I know there’s secrets in her that we don’t know yet and vice versa, everything is a constant learning process for us. But yes, at the moment everything is really, really good.

RHV: It brings me to a weird and different question: are you afraid that she could not stand the routine and Nightwish’s frenetic rhythm and maybe decide to leave the band in one or two years? I mean, do you have some contract to avoid it or it’s just better let things roll naturally?

TH: Of course we talk about it, but we don’t have any kind of contract with her. You know, people usually change their minds all the time and suddenly any member can leave the band. Everybody changes mind sometimes. I don’t think that we have to do any kind of contract about that, like we were forcing her to be with the band for more five years or for more two or three albums. For now, we all agree that she is a member of Nightwish, recorded an album with us and will be touring and promoting the new songs. We hope that she stay with us for the next twenty years, but it’s better to walk day-by-day.

RHV: It’s been really touching to see the way she talks about her new band’s mates and her entry on Nightwish to the European Media. She seems to be really glad with that!

TH: Yes, she is a very kind person, a true genuine character. This is what I respect the most in her. She is totally ordinary, humble and simple person, as the guys are. She’s not a star at all! She is simply a nice girl, nice to hang with and sings very well. And that’s all we need at the moment.

RHV: Just to make It clear: Did the band, somehow, ever thought that only an already known singer would have chance to get the job?

TH: No, not at all. Actually, it was as simple as this: we didn’t care about who she would be, we just wanted a nice voice and a really good “guy”! (laughs) We never looked for a famous or not famous person. It’s so true that we ended up with a Swedish girl! Even with this historical love and hate thing between Finland and Sweden, we got a Swedish. (laughs) Good that 99% of the people don’t care about these things, just the way it should be.

RHV: Talking a little bit about the songwriting process of the new album, Dark Passion Play. You always said that you imagined Tarja’s voice to compose the vocal lines. How was these time, to compose vocal lines for the new songs? Has something changed or you already had an idea about what you wanted?

TH: The process was exactly the same. I heard that voice in my head, but didn’t know what kind of or who’s voice was. I stayed there, thinking in the vocal lines and hearing that voice in my head, as a guide. Actually, doing these songs was extremely easy for me. I wrote fifteen songs in only four months, which is the easier songwriting process for me until now.

RHV: It scares me in a good way, because the album is so huge in many aspects that’s hard to understand how such thing can be written in such a short time (laughs).

TH: Yeah, I know, but that’s it! (laughs) It was a really emotional moment to me, when good and bad dramas were around me, and that affects you in a certain way, makes you want to write songs. That is what happened this time. This is how I explain that.

RHV: Getting a bit back to Anette, how was the firsts rehearsals with her, singing old and new songs?

TH: The first rehearsal with her was actually the first time we met either. She came to the studio, we talked a little bit and rehearsed with her six old songs, as we agreed. The songs were: Higher Than Hope, Nemo, Wish I Had An Angel, Ever Dream, Sleeping Sun and The Siren. When she started to sing, everything sounded so good, we all felt convinced about her qualities. After that, we were just jamming for more two hours. Only on the next day, when she back to the studio, where we had already recorded the basis of the new album, that she tried to sing three new songs: Sahara, Bye Bye Beautiful and Eva. She has done a great work on these tracks too and we felt really satisfied since that.

RHV: Straight about Dark Passion Play now. Obviously, all the problems between the band, Tarja and her husband, Marcelo, was the inspiration source to write this album. How was to compose about all that stuff?

TH: Was incredibly easy. Songs are emotion’s manifestations, from different feelings. You can’t write songs when you’re empty inside, when nothing is happening around you. That time I was suffering of the worst pains and feelings you can have in your life, but on the other hand, when all the problem was gone, I felt the uppermost relief. So, I was feeling good things too. Those feelings mixed and all that influenced me in a natural way. All this can be noted on the album, all these problems. Of course is not only a concept album about what happened between me and Tarja, there are other themes too, but definitely this affected me a lot.

RHV: One can hear and feel that on Dark Passion Play. It’s not even necessary to read the lyrics. The album actually transmits this bombastic and tragic air many times, since we have this so massive sound with a beautiful and dramatic voice of Anette’s. I would even say that the album doesn’t sound like an ordinary album, but like a score to a tragic theater’s play sometimes.

TH: Hmm, yeah, you are right. This was a good term! Theater play. Sometimes even I think that some track is not a single music, but is a theatre play theme. It fits perfectly, for example, on the first one, The Poet And The Pendulum. Although the whole album is, actually, ridiculously huge (laughs). In every aspect. And it can be a sign that maybe it’ll become a timeless album, because there no chance to understand the entire album after one single listening. You have to listen repeatedly to start to understand everything and really see some sense on that, which is good, because you not only create, but give to the public something more challenger.

RHV: Some days ago (Note: this interview was made on 6th june) Eva leaked before its release date on the internet. By one side, I was positively surprised with most people reacting to the to the voice changing, on the other side, being honest, I should say that the song doesn’t fit even a little with the reality of Dark Passion Play, because...

TH: (interrupting) Yes, it’s true! One of the things that I really don’t like on the music industry nowadays is the fact that you have to release singles. You end up putting the music in some kind of altar, and in the end it doesn’t make justice to the whole album or the song itself. I really hate the fact of being necessary to release singles on the market. Eva doesn’t represent in any way the content of Dark Passion Play, but, as always happens, was chosen to be the first hit. But, as you said, after all was a relief, because we felt a huge support from media and fans. And it was time to stop hiding Anette as well, that was a hell of a work! (laughs)

RHV: Talking about that, what did you guys do to keep her in the shadows for such a long time?

TH: We always avoided to be seen together at the airport. Inside the plane we were sitting totally apart and distant from each other. When she needed to come to Finland, we booked different hotels, with different names and all these kinds of things. We took a lot of care with these details and I think we got a good result.

RHV: Indeed! Yet about our previous question, there’s one “funny” thing about the leaking of Eva. A lot of people insists on judging an album and even the whole future of a band based on one single song. I’d say these people will so burn their mouth after hearing the whole album! (laughs)

TH: (laughs) Yeah, and those people should be ashamed! I can’t just believe there’s still people this dumb, judging an album based in one single song or even a 30 seconds sample of it. What a shame! I couldn’t care less. At least we know the most part of the fans, liking Eva or not, understands that’s just a first single, a nice ballad, and will definitely give the whole album a chance. Just the way it should be.

RHV: So let’s back to The Poet And The Pendulum, the first track. It is, by far, in my opinion, the best Nightwish’s song ever made. As I said before, this one sounds like a theater’s play, since it seem to have five different songs in it. Also there’s a lot of movie-like sounds, giving a tragic atmosphere to the track. Tell me a bit more about this song.

TH: It’s a song… (stop and think). It’s a very personal song, about the uppermost self hate and self disgust you can feel. The feeling that you’ll never stop doing wrong things in your life. On this song, I actually killed myself. There’s a line that goes like: “Today, in the year of our Lord, 2005, Tuomas was called from the cares of the world”.

RHV: Oh, now it’s clear that this heartbeat fading is yours then...

TH: Yes, exactly. The heartbeat fades away. But after that comes the resurrection! (laughs) The last tree minutes is like my ressurection. Jesus-like! (laughs) But seriously again, it was something that I really had to do. Is the most ugly and disturbing lyrics I’ve ever wrote, but I needed to do it. Now I feel a certain relief with that.

RHV: Since we’re talking about bombastic things, how was working with London Session Orchestra and with Pip Willians again?

TH: It was so fantastic, just like the first time, but in certain way even better now! (excited) I know I’ve said this when we recorded Once, but these people are such musical and passionate at what they’re doing. I can only say it’s a great honor to see them playing our songs. It’s fantastic! And this time wasn’t just the orchestra and the choir, but a gospel choir too, which was very cool to record, some celtic instruments and the “boys sopranos” singing in The Poet And The Pendulum. We ended up being eight days at Abbey Road Studios. So cool!

RHV: The gospel choir did a wonderful job in Meadows Of Heaven! It’s a very strong song and will impress a lot of people. How did you come with the idea for this song? After all, mixing heavy metal with this groovy choir voices isn’t a thing that people expect.

TH: THAT’S where it came from! (laughs) I intend to always raise new things, try and experiment new elements in our songs. After Once, I started to think: what kind of music could exist in the world and we didn’t try to do yet? (laughs) Or what kinds of instruments moi, things, we could use. Suddenly, I realized that the gospel choirs are amazing, because it has a very strong sound, people sing in a very genuine way! Then I said we would need to have one of these choirs in the new album. I told Pip Willians about the necessity of a gospel choir in a song and he booked one of these, which made a wondeful job in Meadows Of Heaven. But you can listen to the choir on the chorus of Eva as well. They ended up doing some stuff in this song too.

RHV: The end of Meadows of Heaven, with the choir’s singers doing some solos is absolutely amazing! This is for sure one of the best songs of the whole album.

TH: Yes! And that part with the solos was totally improvised! Those people never heard the song before starting recording it, actually. They just started to sing those “Heaven, heaven” in every possible ways. I told them they could do whatever they wanted, except to mention the words “Jesus” and “halleluia” (laughs). Then they started to laugh, and that made me realize that they have a good sense of humor. It’s one of my favorites too. At the moment, I’d pick The Poet And The Pendulum, Sahara and Meadows Of Heaven as my favorites.

RHV: I don’t know if you have already heard it, but some fans of Nightwish usually joke and say that they always burn their mouth, because when they think you can’t come with something better and bigger, you actually do that. Do you think that the fact of you are always growing on the music, in a certain way, makes some pressure on you to always write better songs?

TH: (laughs) This is cool, but I see that more like a matter of personal opinion. I know that we are in a constant evolution, from one album to the other. I really don’t know what to say to the word “bigger”, but it is being better all the time, although I really don’t have any idea about what will happen in the future. Dark Passion Play is so big that I don’t know what we’re gonna do next, if we will keep this line or if we will sound totally different. I really don’t know.

RHV: Even being a huge album, in Dark Passion Play you can notice a lot of moments where Anette’s voice stands out a lot in the middle of that mountain sound. It’s the case of songs like Amaranth, Cadence Of Her Last Breath, Whoever Brings The Night and also Meadows Of Heaven. Besides For the Heart I Once Had, with a very high chorus. That songs suffered some kind of change on the studio or they ended up on the album exactly the way they were written?

TH: To be honest with you, Anette was able to sing all the vocal lines I’ve wrote. There isn’t anything that we had to change and that impressed us a lot. Of course that some songs were harder, like For The Heart I Once Had, but this song is difficult for any person to sing. But she recorded it perfectly. There was nothing written by us that she couldn’t sing.

RHV: Eva is just a single for download. Firstly, you wanted to put an edited version of The Poet And The Pendulum as the first real single, with video and everything else, but Amaranth was chosen in the end. How was all that and why this changing?

TH: It’s true. There was so many things happening at the same time. I really wanted The Poet And The Pendulum as the first single, but then we started to discuss it and all kinds of problems started to appear. They were saying that nobody would play the video of the song, etc. And the obstacles kept coming. So, somebody suggested that we should put Amaranth as the first working single and I just agreed, for me it’s just fine. As I said to you previously, I don’t care about the singles, is the total content of the album that really matters to me. And I think Amaranth is very good, because it has less than four minutes, is very catchy and works very well as a single.

RHV: What makes it very interesting is that even having a comercial appeal for being a single, at first Amaranth would be just a bonus track from Dark Passion Play! (laughs)

TH: Yes! (laughs).This is quite funny, actually! It was the last song in my list of preferences among the fifteen I’ve wrote! And even after recorded, without the vocals, it was still like a bonus track for us. Only after Anette recorded her vocals we felt that this track gained a lot of life, and then we started to like it a lot. Now it’s here, first single! (laughs) I don’t want to sound repetitive, but I hope people understand that is just a single, because this song doesn’t represent the whole thing either.

RHV: Something that the band brought back in Dark Passion Play, after some albums, was an instrumental track. In the case, Last of the Wilds, that makes you feel like dancing around a bonfire (laughs). Why have you decided to record a track like this again, after all these years?

TH: To tell the truth, I don’t even remember if this song was born like an instrumental track. We just let it roll to see what would happen with it in London, in the additional records. Then we heard the performance of Troy Donoclkey and Nollaig Casey with their Irish instruments. They was there, jamming this song so delightfully that made us really impressed and then we thought that It had to be instrumental! It is like a cool war between Ireland and Finland, you know? We have Emppu on the guitars and Senni Eskelinen playing the kantele, a typical finnish instrument, and they have their Irish instruments. And everybody keeps dueling for five minutes, all the time, which I think it’s a great idea. Everything works on this music, I love the final result. It really makes you want to be drunk and start do dance around (laughs).

RHV: Well, a bit about the polemic side of the album. I even think that you’re already waiting for this question. Are you prepared to deal with some people, both media and fans, that will probably not understand lyrics like Bye Bye Beautiful and Master Passion Greed?

TH: I don’t even think about it, to be honest. And I truly don’t care. Strong themes like those make me write songs, that way I can get rid of my bad feelings. That’s what made me a musician. There is no way in the world that I would just hold what I feel and avoid this kind of subject. And this is the result. If it offends someone, what a pity, but I had to do that. When you listen to these songs, when you read their lyrics… (pause) Maybe people will understand that they were not made to offend anybody. For example, Bye Bye Beautiful was made in really good terms, with sense. It’s a sad song, I’d say and it’s not about blaming someone, it only tells what I was feeling.

RHV: Yes. If I understood correctly the meaning of Bye Bye Beautiful, I’d say that it’s much more about everything that the person lost when she couldn’t see what Nightwish was all about, what the band’s essence.

TH: Yes, exactly. And like the lyrics says: “you chose the long road, but we’ll waiting”, it’s a way to bring at least half of the guilt to myself. It’s not a mocking song, it was never my intention to mock people with it. No one of them, actually. It’s just about writing to feel free of those bad strong feelings I had at the moment, nothing else.

RHV: And even with a strong theme, Bye Bye Beautiful it’s a extremely exciting and catchy song, so much that I can guess it will be the second sing of Dark Passion Play, with a videoclip and everything else, right?

TH: Yes, that’s correct. At the moment we’re here in Los Angeles (USA) shooting our next two videos, for the songs Amaranth and Bye Bye Beautiful. I cannot say anything about them yet, but it’s gonna be GOOD! (laughs)

RHV: Lyrics apart, Master Passion Greed scares in a good way, because it’s so heavy. And only Marco sings on this track.

TH: It’s a simple thing actually. I do the things the most natural way possible and this song had to be like that, heavy. Anette don’t sing on it because would be unfair to put her inside one subject she have nothing to do with. That’s why only Marco sings Master Passion Greed. It can even sound selfish, I know (laughs), but we cannot think on fans’ reaction when we’re doing music. We only do what we like and what we want to, if someone don’t like Master Passion Greed, then just skip it and don’t listen to the song.

RHV: Marco wrote an entire track singed by him, called The Islander, and so did Emppu, with Whoever Brings The Night. How was to you to work for the first time with tracks totally made by other members?

TH: It’s totally clear to everybody that all of them can bring songs to Nightwish. If these songs are between the best ones and fit the whole thing, of course they’ll be used on the band. Marco just appeared with this acoustic melody e during the rehearsals that turned to be a very interesting track. We could add some nice celtic and Irish touches on it. On the other hand, Emppu showed us this bunch of different riffs and it was a rough work to find a proper vocal melody to fit this song (laughs)! It’s a typical guitarist-song, lots of riffs and Anette sings really well here. But just for the record, I still keep doing all the lyrics (laughs).

RHV: About the upcoming tour, you’ll start it on USA and Canada, and I believe that one of the reasons for that is the fact that Nightwish and Tarja’s name aren’t that big there yet, so it’d be easier for the band. Tell us about it.

TH: Yes, this is one reason. But the main reason is because we had to cancel two tours there in the past years, so I believe that we owe this to the fans. Besides that, we have a brand new singer and I would be scared to death if we needed to start the tour playing in some big European arenas. It’s gonna be good to put things in their right place with Anette, you know? Nobody knows us there, we’ll play in venues with capacity between 400 and 2000 people and it will be a good warm-up for her too. After five weeks, I believe we will be ready to face our already known and traditional public.

RHV: The obvious question: Do you already have an idea of when Brazil will be included on the band’s schedule?

TH: God, I really don’t know yet, because there will be two years of touring! (laughs) But, as I heard from the agency dudes, I believe we will be back in Brazil in 2008, probably in the second semester.

RHV: About the plans of doing a big show with an orchestra, like was planned to happen in the end of the Once Upon a Tour. Do you still have this idea to play at the legendary Royal Albert Hall?

TH: We’re gonna try it, for sure! Last time didn’t happen, but we will try our best to make such an big event like this happen with this album. It’d be nice to do it to end the tour, which should happen only in late 2009. Then we would have the orchestra, choir, Irish instruments and even dancers if that be the case. That would be one of my biggest dreams coming true! I don’t know about making it at the Royal Albert Hall, but it needs to be done in some really beautiful, old and theatrical place like that, for sure. This is not a festival thing to do. Something big like that needs a better acoustic and everything else.

RHV: Before finishing it, what’s your feeling now, after everything happened between you and Tarja, after a long process to pick up a new singer, recordings, new album etc?

TH: I’m feeling relieved, pretty good actually. But a little sad too, cause of what happened. Even If I think now that is part of our history. I really wish all the best to Tarja and her career. And about Nightwish, I really think that the new album is really good. I couldn’t be more satisfied with it. Same thing with the new singer, we’re really happy about her and for being able to tour again. God only knows how people will react at the shows, we cannot just predict that, but let’s just hope for the best.

RHV: Well, it’s your final space now to make some final considerations. Feel free to give us a message.

TH: I just would like to say that the band is really relaxed right now. The atmosphere between the members is the best since a long time and I would like to tell the fans once again not to take single songs too seriously. Just wait for the whole album, give it a chance, listen to it a few times and them say if you like or not. I really think it’s worth getting because it’s a big work. And, of course I can’t wait to play there again. I hope to see you all soon! To know that we’re starting to book some shows in Brazil already makes me anxious! Until there, take care!



3 questions from fans to Tuomas Holopainen:

Thiago Cardoso – Curitiba/PR: Nightwish has already been in Brazil four times. What place did you like the most? And what place do you want to know?

Tuomas: It’s impossible to mention just one place, because all the shows we’ve done in Brazil were awesome! I know it sounds too corny and cliché but it’s true. And a place that I would love to play is the North, in the middle of the Amazonas, in the city of Manaus for example. This is a place we’ve never been yet and would be pretty cool to visit.

César Galvão – Londrina/PR: To the new tour, do you intent to use the same keybords set that you used on Once Upon A Tour or we should expect some changes?

Tuomas: I’ll use basically the same. I still use KORG’s keys, because they sponsor me and I really think they are the best for the kind of music we play. Maybe I can change on model or other, but the basic set to the shows will be the same.

Various: What can you say about the way Anette sings the old Nightwish songs? Do you think the fans will enjoy?

Tuomas: Everything we heard she singing so far, like Ever Dream, The Siren, Higher Than Hope, Nemo, sounded really wonderful. We really liked the result and we are all very delighted with everything she did on the songs. At the moment, this is what really matter. When the shows start, I know many people will say that they hated the way she sings, but at the same time, many people will like a lot what she have done. Only time will tell.


3 questions from fans to Anette Olzon:

01. Jonas Santana – Catanduva/SP: Every single career has pros and cons. As a singer of a famous band like Nightwish, what do you think it will be the good and bad for you?

Anette Olzon: Well, it’s hard to answer to that before start to really live it, but I think the positive side it’s the fact that I’ll be able to work with music full time, as I’ve always dreamed to, and I’ll meet many different places in the world. The negative side could be the fact of being the only woman in the middle of many men, maybe I could feel alone every once in a while. And the tight schedule could be, for sure so cruel to a singer, if she got a flue, for example.

02. Flávia Lorenzon – São Paulo/SP: Your former band, Alyson Avenye, was awesome! Even knowing that Nightwish is now your priority, do you think you would find some time to them if they decided to get back to play a few shows?

Anette Olzon: The boys are already busy with another band and now I have Nightwish, so I don’t think we will see Alyson Avenye to play again. It’s been a while since we got separate ways, each of the guys is doing their own things, so I really don’t think it will happen.

03. Erika Méier – Brasília/DF: How is your relationship with the other Nightwish members now?

Anette Olzon: As every job or team work, it takes some time until you really know the people you’re dealing with. Always happens to have this kind of honey moon, when anybody have nothing bad to say about the others etc. After some time I think we will have more serious talk, as like any other group, but nothing that could become a real problem, as long as we keep a good communication. At the moment everything is fine and we’re spending a great time together!


From <https://web.archive.org/web/20090217220743/http://www.eaglescry.de/Articles/NWVal0707.php>

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  • 2 months later...

Ok here are more records from the time Anette joined NW.

First, a diary written by Anette about her recording the vocals for DPP, before she was actually revealed as the new singer.


(from https://web.archive.org/web/20070625204447/http://nightwish.com/en/band/reports?c=7)

So, it's time for me, the new vocalist, to write a studio diary about the vocal recordings for the new album.
My journey to the new album recordings finally ended quite late to a very nice studio where I was greeted by some of the guys and the engineers. Since it already was evening we just had dinner and relaxed to start the big work the day after.
The actual first recording day started with a very nice and steady breakfast at 09.30 and then we started working on getting the right microphone for me and some good hearing. Then time for some recording of the first song, which is an up-tempo song with good "kick" in it and where me and Marco are dividing the singing between us. Went smoothly and we were finished already after a couple of hours. Since I was gonna start recording another song the same day, I took a small nap to have some new energy for the next song. After dinner the recordings continued and the second song was on its way. It's a song with some different ways of singing technique which needs focus and attention and lot of heart in it, so we just worked on the verses for some hours before callin' it a day and head for some relaxation and just being together. This place is very good since we can stay in the same place and totally be ourselves, which I really like because of all the secrecy that are surrounding us these days....paparazzi's everywhere...Since the guys are totally hooked on scary movies, that's what we're watching every evening and I must say my nerves will need to have some rest after these weeks...;=)

Woke up early and in a very good mood so I took a lovely morning walk, enjoying the sceneries before breakfast. Then a little test-singing to get my voice all warmed up before starting recording harmonies on the second song, which went very smoothly. Took a break in the afternoon where we got out, had some nice fun and just were relaxing together, going on fast engines among other things....Very nice ;=)
A little bit later in the evening we started to work on "Eva", the first song that will be released in May, but only as a download. This is a soft and sad song with lots of emotions. It worked out very well and we felt that the day had been very fulfilling so we called it a day. Again I slept with the lights on, because of the horror movies...

After breakfast the work on Eva continued by working with the harmonies and that extra touch to get the song completed. I feel very good knowing that this song is the first one that will let you all hear my voice in Nightwish and I sure hope you all will get as touched by the song as I do... truly amazing song! Since it all went so amazingly smooth with the recordings, we started with another very beautiful song right afterwards.
This song is gonna be so amazingly good with all the orchestra and the choir, it's a pleasure to sing it every single time, so I truly just enjoyed the whole afternoon and then I relaxed by myself the whole evening. Singing songs with so much emotions makes so much come to surface and I just needed to have me a bit of a laugh so I only watched funny things on TV that evening....no horror movies...

After a relaxed and good nights sleep we just took it easy and didn't start until after lunch with the harmonies for the song we did last night and we were finished with this one by dinner time. After dinner we started our fifth song and this is again a song where Marco and I divide the singing between us so I sang my lead parts and then we called it a night.

Woke up very early since my cell phone got a sms...arrghhh... at 8.20...puiihhh...then I felt that I could just take a nice shower before breakfast and try to wake up. I felt a bit tired and decided to take a very long walk to wake the body up. Felt good to really exercise and it always helps me to get better focus when I start the singing later on. Today Marco was coming to do his parts on some of the songs so then I could just sit and listen to him while he started doing the song I had started on. As usual sounded super good and it's always a pleasure hearing him sing. This song is gonna be very powerful and after Marco had done his things I did my harmonies in the choruses and some this and thats before it was dinner time and a break to rest the voices a bit. We did a hell of a lot harmonies in this one and I felt almost dizzy after having all these different notes in my head...;=) But the song was finished and after the break it again was time for Marco to sing on one of the songs that is his song. This one is a more accoustic song with a celtic feeling and Marco has made the music for this one too. I do some adding background vocals on this one and I recorded them after Marco was finished.

Today Marco continued recording a song he sings by himself, so I had a relaxed and nice day just watching him and enjoying his vocals. It's a very angry song and as you all know, Marco can sing very powerful and he sure did... Later in the afternoon he left and I started to work on the 14-minute masterpiece by recording the first verses and it all went well. Took it easy in the evening, had dinner etc and then just went to bed after listening to the songs we had recorded up 'til now and it's 7 songs already done! Wow, that is totally amazingly good work and we all felt that we could use some rest and vacation for some days so we decided to take the weekend off and then start again on sunday afternoon.

Back to work again after some nice couple of days off. Started right away with the 14-minute song again and the whole day was dedicated to that. It felt like the body and voice had relaxed so good and it always take some time to get back to business again, so we all took it easy, bit by bit until all my parts were done and now only Marcos vocals needed to be added. The song has so many different elements, both lots of power, emotions, softness and roughness. Everything combined makes this a total experience, like a movie, as you all will hear later on... Then relaxation after a good hard days work before going to bed.

Today we recorded a song that from the beginning only was ment to be a bonus track, but after recording it I think we all felt that it needs to be in the album...;=) It's a very happy, melodic song and it has a chorus that really get stucked in the head immediately. We were done after a couple of hours and in the afternoon a journalist came to visit us, listen to the new songs and interview me. He was the greatest guy and we had such a blast during the evening and it ended quite late in the night... There even was some singing done by this journalist and Tuomas...growling which will be heard during the most aggressive song on the album....very funny night of recordings, I can assure u, with lots of laughs...;=)

After a hard nights partying we all were tired and took it easy. I had to put on a nice make-up, nice clothes etc and do the interview and photo shoot. I was a bit black under the eyes from the lack of sleep, but since I don't drink so much, I felt quite alright. In the afternoon the journalist left home and we started working on a song which has ethnical elements in it. I even do some sounds inspired by "same-jojk". So it's a mix between sandy desert meeting Lapland and it's a big piece of music as always;=) The evening ended in front of the TV before going to bed.

I woke up with the biggest headache and really not felt good at all. My body was aching and I immediately took some painkillers for the head and got back to the bed for some hour. Unfortunately nothing helped and when I tried to start recording a new song, nothing worked and we just had to take a day off for me to rest. I took some flu-medicine and put myself in front of the TV all day and just relaxed. Bad day, but we have time for a days rest so nothing to do really....

Since I still didn't feel so good I rested the whole morning and didn't start recording until 13.30, where we recorded what is gonna be a bonus track. A very happy, nice song that sounds very Finnish and Scandinavian to me. Worked well and we were ready with that one around 19.30. It was time to relax a bit.

Took it easy during the morning, just a nice walk as usual and then at 13.30 we started recording again. Todays song was quite high to sing for me so I was a bit worried about the voice, due to the flu, but after some warm-up takes it sounded good again. The song is a softer one and when I recorded the demo for it I immediately loved to sing it. It has very nice lyrics and a melancholic feeling in the chorus that just gets to me. I enjoy to sing it because of that. After dinner and some continued recording, I took a sauna before some TV and bed. I felt so much better now and that made me happy since there were still 2 songs to go....
Weekend again, but we continued recording since the days are running faster now.... This day we had a song that Emppu has done the music for and Tuomas the lyrics. When I first sang this for the demo-recordings it was quite weird and hard to sing, because of its melody, that are very up and down....but Tuomas had a moment of deep thinking and then he asked me to sing more straight instead, changing the melody, and it turned out so cool... I think this song is the weirdest, but at the same time, so great in it's beat and melody....and we experimented the whole day and there were many: "no, can we do that??" to be followed by: "wow, sooo cool....". A very funny day and one of the ones where we had to try out so many things and then really think deeply to solve some problems along the way. But when the singing was done and Tuomas recorded some “demo-keyboards” on top, the feeling among us was that it's a great song with spooky elements in it... I think it's a combination between The Grudge and Tim Burton's movies... And when it was time for relaxation after another good day, we counted the recorded songs to 11!!
Sunday and last day for my vocal recordings!!! Only one song left and this one is a bonus song, which we don't even know yet if we're gonna be allowed to release since the original composer hasn't said his yes yet....but we keep our fingers crossed and of course we record it anyway... It's a very, very beautiful song and Tuomas lyrics are so good and suit it well. For me, I felt a bit nervous about this one, since it goes extremely high in the end and there were some difficult parts here and there for me to get over. But the guys were so nice and helpful and when we started to work on it, I just let the song flow and it went very well. Did the harmonies as well and then Tuomas recorded some demo-keyboards on top and it sounded amazing! I sure hope the composer will say yes, cause it would be so disappointing if we can't release this one...

So, I was done with the recordings and now Marco came back to do the things he had left here and there in the songs. As always he turned up, did great vocals and his voice added so much to the songs. At the same time as he recorded, I had some guests to entertain. Some record company people and also other guests. We all had a nice day. The whole day was buzzing with people and we all had a nice meal together in the evening, before they left again and we could relax and go to bed.

The thing that remained now was to listen through all the recorded songs and fix some minor things, before we said that everything is ok to go to the mixing table and mastering. The day was mainly just packing, fixing cd's to everyone and eating our last dinner together. Then in the evening, we had a party!! Super nice party and I must say that I had kept myself sober and very good all the weeks, due to being able to sing good...but this night I could just let go and drink and have a blast with the guys....
I didn't fall asleep until early morning and even if I didn't feel so good the morning after, it was sure worth it!! Super nice evening!

Sooo.....3 weeks of recordings, being away from home had come to an end....and I felt both happy and sad at the same time...;=) Mixed emotions, of course... since the whole period of time had been so tremendously rewarding and at the same time lots of hard work....but mainly I felt very sad leaving this place where I had slept for so many nights, had so many laughs, chewed my nails in fear after watching the horror movies, eaten superb food, been together with my new family and been singing in all the various ways I can, using my voice as fully as I can.... what a great time!!! And best of all, it's only the beginning... See u all soon!!!


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A few more details about how Anette came to be chosen, according to a November 2007 interview with Tuomas.

(from https://web.archive.org/web/20080331230746/http://www.beyondearcandy.com/site/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=149)


VD: You had 10 female vocalists in the end, what about Anette really captured and attracted you about her?
TH: It was the voice and the personality. Those two things combined, and a lot of experience in music. But basically the voice was exactly what we, I mean, it was an instant click, that yes. It's nothing like Tarja but it still holds the power and the emotion so she will not be a copycat. And the other thing was the personality. She's from Scandinavia. We share the same state of mind, the same really bad sense of humor; you can talk to her about anything [laughs]. She has a good sense of humor and a really good self esteem as well. Staying in a bus for five weeks with fourteen guys, you really need have to have a good sense of humor. And in the very end, it was more like a matter of heart. What you felt right here among all the candidates. And now when I look back at the whole thing I think it was really easy to pick Anette. It was a unanimous vote for her.

VD: There were a lot of rumors on the internet about the new singer being this girl in this band, or that girl in that band. Did you guys consider even, inviting another female vocalist that was already in the music industry?
TH: No, all of these girls, like Simone of Epica, Liv Kristine, Vibeke of Tristania, all of these, we never ever contacted those at all. They have their own bands and we did not want to interfere in any way. There was not a single one we ever contacted. We just put our trust in all the demos that were sent to us.

VD: How many demos did you get in the end?
TH: A bit over 2,000.

VD: And you went through all of them?
TH: Yes. Well, it was in the period of about 14 months so it was alright.

VD: In the beginning, I'll be honest; it was weird because it was a big change. I know that Once cut down a lot on the operatic style. But after I listened to it a couple of times, I thought it was for the best and maybe we need somebody better like this.
TH: Yeah, that is a really healthy approach towards the whole thing. At first it was incredibly divided. You hate her or you love her. It still is but it's coming down a lot. People are starting to accept. Seeing that this was the best choice, I mean, because the last thing we wanted to have was a copycat of Tarja, so no operatic, no classical.


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  • 1 year later...

This is how Anette was introduced, on the Nightwish official website, on May 24, 2007. The original links have been replaced with working links to the same material.


The new singer


The day we have all been waiting for is finally here. Today, Nightwish introduce their new lead singer.

So without further ado, click the following links to get to know Liv Sarah Marcela Vibeke Anette...

» Anette's fact file
» Interview with Anette
» Video-greetings from Anette

» Promotional photos: #1 #2
» Promotional band photos: #1 #2

Photos: Ville Juurikkala (www.villeakseli.com)
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First interview with Anette, published on the Nightwish official website when she was introduced as the new singer.

What is your musical background? Have we already heard you sing in other bands?

I was born and raised in a musical family. I have been singing since childhood and was forced by my mum to play the oboe for 8 years! I was with mum on tour with her band and sang with them now and then. I then competed in several talent shows from 13 years of age.

My first band was a cover band, named Take Cover, with older guys when I was 17, then I got into a band called Alyson Avenue, first just as a studio singer, then took lead role and we have released 2 albums since 2000. At age 21 I had a lead role in a rock opera/musical in Helsingborg called Gränsland and then got in at Balettakademien in Gothenburg. I have been in many different bands and choirs, and have done studio jobs and weddings during the years. I recently sang a duet on Michael Bormanns (ex. Jaded Heart-singer) album "Conspiracy".

I have taken singing lessons in my earlier days at Music Conservatorie in Copenhagen, Denmark, with a private teacher and nowadays when I need a private teacher, in Malmö Music University. I have been singing almost any genre there is.

Tell us about the steps of becoming the new Nightwish singer. Sending in the demo, getting the first answer, meeting the guys for the first time, etc..

I had just heard of NW a couple of months before Tarja got fired, so I didn't know the band or its history at all. I first got into them because my sister's daughter is a fan, I felt that maybe I should listen to them since I am always interested in new music. I bought their collection album and liked it immediately. When I read about Tarja's departure, I was in an ABBA-cover band where the sound engineer said he thought I should apply, but since I'm not a classical singer, I wasn't sure. After some thinking I decided to ask two friends of mine if they could record background music for Ever Dream and they did. I went in and hadn't even practised the song, since I wanted to interpret it my own way. A couple of hours later it was done. I found an e-mail to Tuomas, got his address and sent the demo away and just one week after sending it, Tuomas answered me himself... he was thrilled and really loved my voice and the song! Wow, it was such a nice mail and I was of course totally happy.... he then asked me to sing 3 more songs, from an instrumental version of Once, which he sent me some weeks later. I then recorded Nemo, Higher Than Hopes, Wish I Had An Angel and I also did a bonus for them, Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan...with my poor Finnish they must have laughed their heads off...;=)

I sent the second demo and then I e-mailed Tuomas if he had gotten it. He said he had and he said thanks and good job, etc. I didn't wanna push him, since he had told me already in the first mail that they wanted to take it easy and melt all the hustle that had been with the media etc., so I tried to let it go and just wait.... Then in March, they put out the ad that they wanted demos, etc. and I felt that I needed to check with Tuomas if I should send in something more, so I mailed him and got a devastating mail back where he said that I was one of the best candidates, but that he could already then say that I wouldn't get the job!!! I was in shock, I didn't understand anything and he didn't say why... so I assumed it was because of my age or that I have a child...
But since I am very stubborn and really felt that this was meant to be, I sent an e-mail again in the summer asking if I could send them a live-dvd from my band, Alyson Avenue, and Tuomas said yes. I sent it away and in August, I received a mail from Ewo asking me some questions, which I answered. I then got invited to meet the guys in the beginning of September to try some songs out. I got there, met the guys and sang 5 or 6 old songs with them. The next day I went to Emppu's studio to sing some new stuff for them. It felt very good and they were such nice guys. I felt immediately that I wanted to work with them, since they were so down to earth and had very good sense of humour. When I landed in Kastrup Airport in the evening, I got an sms from Ewo that they all liked me a lot and wanted to see me again in a months time.. Soooo happy that I cried on the way home.

I got some songs to practise before the next time in the studio and went back in October. We first went to Tuomas' island in Kitee, partying and just being together in a very relaxed and nice way. Since I am a country girl too, I felt very good in Kitee and it was such an honour for me to be invited to a special place of Tuomas'. After Kitee, we had some test pictures taken of me and Tuomas with a make-up artist and a very good photographer. Then I went to the studio to record the songs I had prepared for and then I went back home, after 6 days in Finland... I got a mail from Tuomas the same night that they were gonna wait til next year to make a decision. I waited and was of course very nervous, but had contact with the guys and Ewo during that time and they were very positive, so it felt good.

Then January 30th, Tuomas called me and was talking about some other stuff and then he just said: We have decided that we are gonna give you lots to do the coming years....haha! He said it so calm and I felt that I couldn't scream then so I tried to be calm, but through the whole conversation I had difficulties listening to what he said... It took me many weeks to really, really understand that my long wait (1.5 years) was over and I got the job.

What do you think of the fans who say that Nightwish is dead without Tarja?

I can understand that the fans are worried, since a singer is very important to a band. But at the same time, I think that a band is all of its members and since the guys have decided to continue the journey, I hope the fans will stay with them (and me) and give the new album a chance. It's not the whole band that has changed - it's the same music, lyrics and feelings as before, with the exception that it's me singing now.

What are your feelings towards the day your identity will be revealed to the public? Are you looking forward to it or are you worried how the fans will react?

I am looking forward to it since I will no longer need to keep it a secret from my friends... and then I can go out with the guys in public, not worrying if someone will see me and spread a rumor in the newspapers.

Have you done long tours before? How do you think you'll cope with the fact that traveling and getting too little sleep will be hard especially for the singer?

No, I haven't done long tours, but have done musical and several shows in a row. So I know very well that it's gonna be hard. It will, of course, be a new and big situation for me to deal with. I am thinking about how my voice will cope with lack of sleep etc. so I am already now taking more vocal lessons to strengthen my voice for the tasks that are ahead, rehearsing the show at home already to get into the songs and be able to sing them with various techniques. But sleep is THE most important thing for my voice, so I'm gonna try and sleep as much as I can, whenever and wherever I can on the tour.

What do you expect from the forthcoming album release and the following World Tour?

I really do hope that this album is gonna be welcomed by the fans and hopefully we'll gain some new fans also. I hope people will hear that I like to sing the songs and that I really love what I do. The tour is gonna be a hell of a ride for me! I have been longing for this my whole life and here I am, going to see the world with my new "family"...it's gonna be the best time in my life, I'm sure!

Have you had any part in the writing and arranging of the new songs?

No, the songs were written long before I recorded them.

What is your first impression of the new material?

They are as usual very good songs and Tuomas has implemented the orchestra and choir in such a nice way on all the songs... It's an album with a lot of variety, the listener won't get bored...;=) As much as there are powerful songs, there are also very soft and emotional songs on the album. And there's also some ethnic stuff in there...

Tell us some things about yourself. What is important to you besides music?

I'm an emotional person, which means I live life through my heart and stomach, not always through my head....When it comes to what is important to me, I think I really need to feel that I can be myself with the people I am close to, that I don't need to be something I'm not... As much as I am a person who loves to be together with others, I still need my space and possibility to be alone too, to reflect and go into myself. I like to listen to other people, feel them and guide them if they're having problems or difficulties, but I don't give advice if I feel no one wants them...I don't like negative people, so I try and be around positive people if I can...;=) I don't like it if someone says to me that I can't do something, cause there is nothing I can't do! Everything is possible if you really want it to happen!

Is there anything else you would like to say to the fans?

Keep your dreams alive, never stop believing, cause anything is possible!!! Rock on and hope to see you all on tour!

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