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2007-09: News from the DPP tour


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Nightwish-singer ANETTE OLZON: "Now I understand Tarja Turunen better"

(MeNaiset 15.1.2009)

Vacation and distance from the band's guys have helped Nightwish's Anette Olzon to deal with the stress that made her collapse in November.
­- The atmosphere was tense and inflamed but the issues have now been solved.

"A big fight cleared the air"

The sliding doors to the airport lobby open rarely. It's quiet on Helsinki-Vantaa (airport) and the grey day doesn't seem to begin even though the clock already ticks the afternoon.
Singer Anette Olzon is used to travelling. The biggest tour of Nightwish's career is still unfinished but the group got three months of vacation around the turn of the year. They'll reunite on March 11th when the Dark Passion Play- tour continues in London.
This time Anette has left her large pink suitcase home and hurtles through the doors with just a hand bag. The black hair from the start of her Nightwish days has turned blond and I meet a reformed singer in a long honeyblond look and glasses.
Anette is recognized everywhere but with the new look she's been left surprisingly alone. The new disguise won't probably work long but Anette is happy.
- The old Anette is back! I was blond in my former band and this is closer to my natural colour than the black. The circle has closed in a way.
The singer has relaxed from touring by spending a luxury weekend in Stockholm where twenty-something-year-old boys came to talk to "a little older mama."
- I'm that old! Well not really, apparently me and my sister still look quite alright, the 37-year-old Anette chortles.

A refreshing fight

Anette glows energy even though the stress of the South-American tour and meltdown in the middle of a show in Brazil still heat the back of her head. Outsiders speculated what caused it but according to Anette she left the stage due to loss of her voice caused by the smoke machine.
- It's a big deal for a singer to loose one's voice on stage. On the other hand if the same situation had happened six months earlier I definitely wouldn't have walked off stage. Also the stress and bad feeling in the band erupted in Brazil.
Anette says she's an emotional woman. If the situation between the band would've been normal she'd been stronger. The long tour started to show in everyone.
According to Anette the atmosphere on the road was tense and inflamed and under the stress she didn't know how to have as thick of a skin as a performer as the guys had.
- They've had ten years of school in this business. I only have two years behind me. When people become tired of each other they become alienated. Every group needs a war sometimes and we hadn't had one during the whole time I was in the band. We'd rather tiptoe around each other than argue.
Talking about the tour at the end of the year gives Anette chills but the relief after the fight is even greater.
- A big fight clears the air. Everyone was tired but we got things solved. There's no point in dwelling in the past, you have to think ahead.
In creative work too much is sometimes just too much. Anette has had to get used to that the plans in the morning have by noon been mixed and the palette has been built all over again. And again. And again.
- On stage though everything is fine and we all have fun. The hassle outside the stage causes the most stress. It's not just about music, you have to constantly deal with new people and things around you, Anette ponders.
While clearing the everyday life in the band Anette decided to change a few things. She made a deal with a well known manager office Hagenbyrg. Anette believes that in the long run the know-how of a big company will also help King Foo Entertainment who manages Nightwish.
- It was a hard decision for me because I didn't want problems with the band. I said that I have different needs in these things than the guys. I for example need clothing sponsors which doesn't interest the rest of the band. Now I have a person for that kind of stuff.
Also the fact that the manager is Swedish has helped Anette's job. Against the expectations in the beginning working in English has been a little more complicated for Anette. Also King Foo has worked with the guys for ten years and because of the long history is more at their service.
Anette emphasizes that it's more about making the practical things more fluent, not a separation from the band. Now she doesn't have to get snappy if the manager hasn't done something and the rest of the band doesn't have to worry about Anette's special needs.
- I understand now that Tarja Turunen surely had a reason to take her own manager and so do I. That doesn't affect my desire to be in the band though. I believe this decision will help us all.

Son's name tattooed on her leg

Artists in jobs filled with change have different ways of making themselves feel at home. For Anette one way was to tattoo her son's name Seth on to her right leg. The boy already old enough for school is the apple of Anette's eye. Even though her job requires being away from home a lot, Anette rejoices about the long free everyday things they do together.
- Of course it's hard sometimes. When I'm away a lot he asks when he could come along on tour. We play near home rarely and he has his school so the visits don't happen often. I anyhow feel great how proud of me Seth is.
Anette tells her son loves the whole band. The band members are his idols and he wants to be a guitarist when he grows up. One of Seth's top moments was when Nightwish performed on Metal Town-festival in Gothenburg.
- Seth came onstage to bow with us. I of course want to protect him but I had to allow him that chance. He says it was so cool to be on stage that he wants to come along next time and he decided to become a rock star when he grows up.
Taking a family on the road isn't unusual especially in big bands. For Nightwish though it isn't possible so far. They live in buses for long periods of time and family life with nannies wouldn't be possible in those circumstances. Instead there's quite a rock show going on at home. The guitar gotten from Nightwish's Emppu Vuorinen has been in a lot of use when Seth puts on his own concerts in the living room.
- Maybe he'll be the next Emppu, who knows? They do look a little alike, Anette laughs.

Divorce in bedlam

During the past year and a half Anette has experienced indulgence from the media but also the flip side. Especially her performing outfits have been criticized. Anette isn't greatly affected by the comments. She is going to keep on supporting Swedish designers by wearing their clothes in the future.
During the meltdown in Brazil the media grabbed to Anette's family affairs. Her now ex-husband had to answer the strangest questions and wonder where on earth the papers had gotten the idea that they were fighting over the custody of their son.
Anette has noticed that the style of the media has changed especially in Sweden and she has hired a personal coach to help her deal with the fame.
- Last spring was a hard time. I felt like I needed help with the media. At least I learned that you can't win with everything. If I comment on something things might turn even worse, Anette sighs.
Now she thinks she might become a media coach for other stars in the future.
­- You can never know when the band thing ends or I loose my voice for good. I've always been interested in psychology and studied it. I believe I might have a lot to give.
The behaviour of Nightwish fans earns praise from Anette.
- Our fans don't discuss our personal things on the internet. They understand that everyone occasionally has bad moments.


Anette is a great sushi lover but now the sushi restaurants in Helsinki are on a siesta following lunch. Luckily traditional Finnish food also works and Anette eagerly sticks her spoon in the fish soup. In front of her meal she paints the scenery of her own future. Even though Nightwish is now the most important thing a person with a family has to think further about her career.
- Though I now enjoy having three months of spare time I can't just be and do absolutely nothing. It's good to have quiet moments when you have time to think what you want from life. In the middle of a rush you just try to please everyone and get everything done.
The limitation of life makes Anette reflective.
- Every moment could be the last one. You should enjoy life and leave unpleasant things behind you. If you stay and ponder every unpleasant thing or person you'd go mad. And there are a lot of shitheads, Anette sneers.
At one point Anette dreamt about her own barbershop but now the dreams have gotten clearer. To the daughter of a seamstress clothes have always been a passion and Anette plans to one day design her own collection. She has found a night school in Stockholm that teaches clothing design and studying interests her as soon as the tour with Nightwish ends in September.
- My clothing has been criticized but I'd like encourage women to dress personally. Many female singers especially in harder music look the same which is a shame in a way. Also I think it's smarter to invest money on something than to simply blow it away. Why wouldn't I invest on my own clothing store?
Anette starts to talk about the men in Nightwish who have also gotten excited about styles. The criticized white coat worn onstage by Tuomas Holopainen was in Anette's opinion a good choice. Also Emppu is interested in clothes and even the anti-shopper Marco Hietala surprised eveyone by buying three coats and three pairs of pants all at once.
As her own style idol Anette mentions Nina Persson from The Cardigans. And though the Swedish fashion is very simple and black Anette plans to keep playing with styles in the future.
- Making my own collection may be a long project but you have to start somewhere. You have to have goals in life to aim for. Many artist run a record company after their careers but I don't see myself in that role. I'd rather invest on something I love.
With at least the same amount of passion Anette invests on her other loves. It's hard to hide the happiness glowing on her face.
- I'm really happy now. I again have someone important in my life, Anette smiles and this time isn't talking about her son.


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  • 9 months later...

Interview with Tuomas in O Povo Online (Brazil) on 2008-11-14


(Google translated from Portuguese)



O POVO - How is the reception of this new album, Dark Passion Play, the first with vocalist Anette?

Tuomas - I think someone sabotaged the promotion of the album here in Brazil, because sales haven't been very good. On the other hand, the shows are being as full as ever, people seem to be happy with it.

OP - How has the tour been?

Tuomas - It's a tour that started a year ago, in October of last year, and it's still going on until September of next year, so it's a long tour. We played in Europe, Japan, China, Australia, USA, Mexico, Canada and now we have this Brazilian leg, which has been great, a lot of fun, especially as we have a new singer in the band. The schedule is pretty tight, we got to play 150 shows in a year, which is much more than what we did on the previous tour. It's hard, but it's worth it.

OP - How many times have you come to Brazil and what makes you always come back?

Tuomas - Five times. I like the people, the fans, their reaction to the music. This is probably the wildest country we know in the entire world as far as fans are concerned. It's completely different from our Scandinavian culture. People show their feelings, they go crazy, they follow you to the hotel, they stay at the reception all night. It's a little weird, but it's also something we like.

OP - The record has more elements than just guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. What formation used in the show?

Tuomas - Only the band. On the album, we had about 140 guest musicians, sopranos, Celtic instruments and stuff. But it's impossible to bring them all on tour. First because of the money, then because they wouldn't fit on stage (laughs). We then use samples in these parts of the show (with the instruments missing).

OP - Anette is coming to Brazil for the first time and, at the show in Belo Horizonte, she left the stage during a song and never came back. What happened?

Tuomas - She freaked out, she couldn't handle this way so different from the fans being here. There were a lot of people shouting the old singer's name, making obscene gestures (with the middle finger). Usually she can "let go" of it, she has a good self-esteem, but it's been hard to face fans and critics. I think it was a sudden breakdown, she just... lost her mind for a second. It's kind of scary, and we all feel for her and understand what she's going through. We hope she can calm her soul and do the rest of the shows. So far so good, she's feeling a lot better.

OP - Behind this dark look and the dark atmosphere that surrounds Nightwish, you are quite normal in hobbies: you like American series, comics. What do you do when you're not on stage?

Tuomas - We are all very normal. I do the same things everyone else does. My hobbies include reading, going to the movies. I collect Disney items/souvenirs, go to the gym to take care of myself, go out with my friends every now and then, dream a lot, sleep a lot...

OP - Brazil is synonymous with beach. Do you like going to the beach?

Tuomas - Yes, I'm a big fan of the sea, it's beautiful. The only thing I don't like is the heat. I'm from Northern Scandinavia, I have vicking blood running through my veins, so anything above 25° is too much for me, it takes my strength away. When you go out and go 35th, it takes all of your energy, and that's something I really don't like very much.

OP - How do you usually label Nightwish music?

Tuomas - I usually let other people categorize, but I'm happy with the term symphonic metal.

OP - Would you like to leave a message for the fans?

Tuomas - It's the first time we play in Fortaleza, so it has everything to be special. We don't know what to expect from the city, we don't know the people, it's going to be very exciting. And thanks in advance for being with us, despite all the rumors and comments that have been going on over the past few days. I hope you guys show up!

SERVICE: Nightwish Show. Tomorrow, 15, from 8 pm, at the Arena (Avenida Washington Soares, near the entrance to Cambeba). Opening shows with the bands Triarchy, Alliance and Semblant (PR). Tickets: R$50. Other information: 3254 2993 and 3224 2260.




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