A lucky choice
New singer, new luck: At the Nightwish camp a new era dawns with the Swede Anette Olzon. As a precursor the band allures with the first and internet-only single ‘Eva’. In an exclusive interview with Sonic Seducer Tuomas Holopainen reveals how representative the song really is and how the Finns were able to end their long search for a new singer.
The unusual happy Tuomas Holopainen apparently feels quite comfortable while talking about his new favourite topic: The new Nightwish-singer Anette Olzon. It doesn’t seem to bother him a bit that the new front woman is not a local Finn. “We were searching for an excellent voice connected with a likeable personality and the skills for extensive touring”, the Finn roughly describes the requirements specification. It was quite immaterial if the singer would be from Uganda, China or Scandinavia.” But he cannot deny that the ability to communicate in English and Swedish without any problems and the small distance of 90 minutes by plane contributed to Anette’s successful application. But in the end other factors led to the decision for the Swedish woman. “Anette is an extremely warm-hearted and thoroughly honest person”, Tuomas tells. “These characteristics meant additional advantages together with the big capacity of her voice. She is able to sing very softly but she can also rock with a lot of energy – and all that without any disturbing undertones.”
Especially Anette’s melodious singing is something former critics in the internet have to complain about. Their reproach is lacking individuality. But you can point out that many listeners describe especially extremely distinctive voices like for example the young Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) or of course Tarja Turunen as unpleasant. In addition you can hear even while listening to the ballad ‘Eva’ that Anette’s singing style is a lot different from the expression of her predecessor. “Well, that is exactly the point”, Tuomas takes over the defence. “Tarja sang in her own style. And nobody can do that better than herself. That is why we were never searching for a copy of her but wanted to take a different direction.” This plan can now be considered as finished.
Now a new chapter in the Nightwish-history begins which will become more noticeable than before because of the change at the microphone. The choice of a ballad makes the changes a bit easier. “I do not like choosing a single”, Tuomas confesses. “Our new album covers a huge range, from the epic mammoth-song ‘The Poet and The Pendulum’ over the ballad ‘Eva’ to the brutal heavy-piece ‘Master Passion Greed’ – how should one song be able to stand alone for all of them?” With this he answers the rhetorical question by himself. ‘Eva’ with its melancholy represents the gloomy side of the new Nightwish-opus. According to Tuomas’ statements not even the despaired ‘Century Child’ reaches the darkness of the upcoming feat. Hopefully his announcements will become true. A very nice atmosphere in the studio contributed to the presumable success of the new silver disk. “We laughed a lot and our creativity bubbled sparkishly without any interruptions”, the musician reports. “I just started feeling the pressure that we spent about 500.000 Euro on the new album during the mix.” Hearing this will make a lot of his colleagues feel dizzy since they could produce one hundred discs with that sum without problems. But they do not engage the London Session Orchestra which recorded for example the soundtracks for blockbusters like ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ or ‘Harry Potter’. At the time of the orchestra recordings at the beginning of this year the band had made its decision for Anette but still wanted to keep it secret. “For us it was all about protecting her so she was able to concentrate on her job in all calm”, Tuomas explains. Her job was to record her vocal parts which traditionally stands at the end of Nightwish’s recording process. To get there the Swede had to assert herself against 2.000 other applicants of which ten candidates reached the shortlist. “Anette convinced us right from the beginning both with her voice and her personality”, the band’s boss emphasizes. “But we absolutely wanted to play safe and took up a lot of time with the search and the decision. But all the others always had to compete with Anette who sent us one of the first applications. She was and is a real lucky choice.” Good things come to those who wait – hopefully…