THE DARK ELEMENT, the new project featuring former NIGHTWISH vocalist Anette Olzon and Finnish guitarist and songwriter Jani Liimatainen, made its live debut this past Thursday, June 7 at the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden. Fan-filmed video footage of their performance can be seen below.
THE DARK ELEMENT's self-titled debut album was released last November via Frontiers Music Srl.
Since word of this project got out, fans have been frothing at the mouth with anticipation for its arrival. And no wonder considering the talent involved. Anette is widely known for being the immaculate voice on the hit albums from NIGHTWISH, "Dark Passion Play" and "Imaginareum". Jani has been busy in CAIN'S OFFERING alongside STRATOVARIUS singer Timo Kotipelto, but left a deep mark on the minds of all power metal fans thanks to his time in SONATA ARCTICA.
Jani told That Drummer Guy about how THE DARK ELEMENT came together: "It was actually kind of a coincidence. I was in northern Lapland doing an acoustic tour with [STRATOVARIUS/CAIN'S OFFERING vocalist] Mr. [Timo] Kotipelto and I got a message from Frontiers [Music Srl] and they asked me if I would contribute as a songwriter for one album and just write songs. I told them that I'm pretty busy at the moment, but in two weeks I could try. I just made the deadline and set them one song. I guess they liked it, because it went on the album. Then it took like one week, Serafino [Perugino] from Frontiers asked if I wanted to write and produce a whole album. I said 'Sure, why not?' Then they asked me if I wanted to work with Anette. I've been lucky to work with a lot of great male singers like Timo Kotipelto and Tony Kakko [SONATA ARCTICA] and all those guys. I said I wanted to work with a female singer for a change. They were like 'Okay, do you have someone in mind?' 'Actually, no.' They were like 'Okay, let's see about this.' It took a few days and they got back to me and asked, 'Anette Olzon. How do you feel about her?' I said 'Yeah, I remember her from NIGHTWISH. She has a really cool, pop sound. That would work perfectly. Let's do this.' It just happened. It was just one of those things that happened. I never would have thought of making an album with Anette. Now, it seems obvious, like 'Why not?' But back then, this thought would have never crossed my mind. When they got back to me with it, I was like 'Sure, it's a great idea. I love her voice.'"
Regarding how he approached songwriting for THE DARK ELEMENT, Jani said: "I had a rough idea, of course, that I wanted to make, how would you say, a not-too-complicated album. Make songs that go straight to the point that are catchy, but still heavy. Already at this point, I knew Anette would be singing on this, but then when I started communicating with her and sending demos and when I got the first demos back with her vocals, I was, like, 'Oh yeah! This is how it's going to sound. This sounds cool. Now I know what we're doing.'"
As for his thoughts on the band's self-titled debut album now that it's released, Jani said: "Of course, it's the same as with every album, when it's actually finished and you get the master, you listen to it once or twice and check that it's okay, then you kind of push it back a bit. For instance, this album, when I got the master, I had been working on it for almost one and a half years already, so I was pretty sick and tired of the songs. [Laughs] Then I gave myself some time and went to do something different, like I was away for a while and now that the promotion cycle is starting, I went back, I was at the gym and I listened to it for a while during my workout and said, 'Hell, this sounds pretty good. There is nothing to be ashamed about.'"
Liimatainen has already begun composing material for THE DARK ELEMENT's second album.
Thanks to Jimmie for shooting this great video of Last good day Sweden Rock Festival ?Posted by The Dark Element on Friday, June 8, 2018