The Dark Element features former Nightwish singer Anette Olzon. The band was formed by former Sonata Arctica guitarist Jani Liimatainen, who recruited his Cain’s Offering bandmates Jonas Kuhlberg (bass) and Jani “Hurtsi” Hurula (drums) to round out the lineup. Olzon fills us in on her new project.
Chad Bowar: How did your collaboration with Jani come about?
Anette Olzon: I was asked by the record label if I was interested in doing the vocals for a project album with Jani.
After releasing a solo album, what was appealing about being in a band situation again?
This is not a band, but a studio project. I felt I wanted to go to the studio again but since I am studying and didn’t have time to put work into my own songwriting, it felt like an easy thing for me to do with a project album like this.
Describe the songwriting process for your self-titled album.
Jani made all the songs and he started to write them when we decided to go ahead with the album. Other than that I can’t say anything about the writing process, you have to ask jani about that.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Being in the studio with Niclas, my best friend who is also my band mate in Alyson Avenue, recording this and having a very relaxed time. No stress, no producer telling me how to sing and just letting the vocals come out as I wanted.
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
It’s symphonic, metal and rocky with some Abba vibes in it and great catchy choruses.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
I have no expectations, it’s a great and fun album I am happy to sing on and hopefully others who listen like what we’ve done.
What has the response been to the songs you’ve released so far?
I have only gotten positive feelings from people, both in my social forums, from journalists and people on the street.
You did a video for “My Sweet Mystery.” How important are videos these days?
Not as important as in the old days with MTV but since YouTube is a big forum it’s always good to show yourself there and then a video can be a helpful tool.
Do you have plans to play live?
No plans yet but we’ve gotten some nice offers and we have to see if and how this will continue. We did this as a project and that’s still where I feel it is personally. I would like to sing with this, but I also have my family and a regular job which requires my attention.
How has your job affected your musical career?
I made a choice after Nightwish to educate myself at the university and I am almost done. I’ve had to focus on that and still am and music business isn’t a very stabile career so my regular work will have to come first.
Do the people you work with know about your musical background?
I never tell anyone who I am but they always find out somehow. So many in the hospital know me and that’s ok, but there I am not the artist but a nurse and it’s two very different lives.
Tell us about your shows with Alyson Avenue next year. Are there plans for new material with you?
We have been asked to perform in the Metal Fest Scandinavia and we felt it would be really fun to do a gig again so we’re very happy for this gig. No new songs or an album is planned at the moment but let’s see how it feels after the gig.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
No I believe we’ve got it all covered. Thanks for the questions and have a great day!
(interview published November 10, 2017)