Metal Blast recently conducted an interview with former NIGHTWISH singer Anette Olzon. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Blast: Having been a member of a band like NIGHTWISH is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you achieved a fame that would have been much harder, or impossible, to achieve on your own or with ALYSON AVENUE. At the same time, much like [former NIGHTWISH singer] Tarja [Turunen], your music will always be compared to NIGHTWISH. You will always have that "former NIGHTWISH singer" tag attached to you. Is it hard for you to live as a musician under that shadow?
Anette: In a way, yes, I think there will always be that comparison. It can be a curse, as we all know. It can be difficult to try to do something different on your own as people will always compare you and expect the kind of material that you created and performed with that band. But I also think it is a blessing, because more people will recognize me and give my new music a chance. I just hope that people will be open-minded to something new.
Metal Blast: I recently watched a video your first tour with NIGHTWISH, when you went to Belo Horizonte, Brazil. You're inside of a van and the fans were trying to get your attention screaming and hitting the doors and windows. Was it scary for you, as a young woman, to be suddenly accosted by all these fans?
Anette: Yes, it was. Normally you don't get that famous overnight. I think if I had stayed with ALYSON AVENUE, we would have eventually made it and it would have been more gradual, but in joining NIGHTWISH, who already had such a huge following in so many countries, I went from have almost no recognition to being essentially a celebrity almost immediately. It was a bit strange too. If you've never been that famous, and it hasn't occurred gradually, you don't fully understand people's behavior towards you. Now I've gotten used to it and I'm not afraid anymore, but it was a shock. Most of the time people are friendly.
Metal Blast: Have you ever had a bad experience with fans in person?
Anette: There have been some. Some people yelling at a show in America, shouting “Fuck you, Annette"… I'd just say "Okay, love to you too." Of course there have been some middle fingers, some death threats…
Metal Blast: Who the hell sent you death threats?!
Anette: It was mostly in letters and over the Internet and on my blog. There were times I was scared and felt it was too much, so I had my manager contact that person. There were times though, like when someone threatened to shoot me in the head, that we hired more bodyguards for that show. You're not afraid on a daily basis, but sometimes you get those feelings. You can't think about it because you never know what will happen. I think there are very few people that would actually do something though; I think that a lot of it were people who were so frustrated that Tarja wasn't in the band anymore. It's understandable that when you love something so much you get upset when it's gone… but this is too much!
Metal Blast: Since your departure from NIGHTWISH, you've been portrayed as a diva who just threw a temper tantrum and left the band. Do you think that kind of coverage has been the exception or the norm?
Anette: It was really hard for me. You can always say "no comment" and say nothing about what happened, or you can open your mouth, as I have done. It was really hard for me to decide if I should say something or if I should keep quiet. But I felt that in order for me to move on, I needed to tell my story. I also knew that there would be a lot of hate and negativity directed toward me; I can feel that many people do hate me because I have told people my truth. At first people were a bit more negative, but since then it has been less and less of that. I hope that now it can become more about me and "Shine". I know there's some negative PR, but people who know me would say it's a big laugh, me being called a diva. I just hope that all the negativity will fade away quite soon so we can all move on.
Read the entire interview at Metal Blast.