Prior to NIGHTWISH's performance at the British festival Bloodstock Open Air on August 12, vocalist Floor Jansen spoke with "The Unchained Rock Show" about NORTHWARD, her new side project with PAGAN'S MIND guitarist Jørn Viggo Lofstad. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the origins of NORTHWARD:
Floor: "It had been written ten years ago, back in 2008. It's a rock project, [a] different kind of music as you will know me from — different from NIGHTWISH, different from REVAMP or AFTER FOREVER. It was written in a year where AFTER FOREVER initially had a sabbatical, and I wanted to do something musically, and something I didn't before. When I met Jørn Viggo, the idea came to be, and we wrote the music and even started recording. Everything was sort of ready to go, but then my whole situation changed, because AFTER FOREVER never continued, and we had to put it away for the time being — which became ten years. It was never the plan, of course, but then again, life... you can't plan everything. Things just happen that way. When NIGHTWISH was going to have a year off in 2017, I contacted Jørn Viggo in '16 — 'Hey, I'll have time next year. Shall we go through our material? See if it's still up to date? And if so, shall we finish it and record it and release it? Almost ten years in between actually writing and recording, while developing yourself as a musician, as a person, it could really well be that we had to rewrite everything. But it really felt like this is good music, it's timeless music. Some of the lyrics might be dated, but that doesn't mean that it's less true. There was only one lyrics that was never really it, and I rewrote the whole thing, but the rest really was, apart from small adaptions [sic] here and there, a copy of the demo, but then recorded properly."
On going from symphonic metal with NIGHTWISH to the guitar-driven hard rock of NORTHWARD:
Floor: "It's not that far away as making an experimental jazz album would have been if we did that, but is rock and it's not metal. It's not prog-metal; it doesn't have the typical prog influences; it doesn't have orchestras, choirs; I'm not singing opera — it wouldn't fit in rock. So it is a rock album, but you can't really say it's typically this or that. It's pretty diverse within its genre, with all the sub-styles you can think of. We really got inspired by different kind of rock and different kinds of bands. Of course, there were two of us who have a different background, different things that we really like, so all that together became what it is. [It's] definitely different than people might expect if you really think, 'This is going to sound like NIGHTWISH or PAGAN'S MIND.'"
On the guest appearance by her sister, Irene (AYREON):
Floor: "There's one guest singer on the album, and that's my sister. That's really cool, because we've been doing music together [and] we've been singing live together — we are on live DVDs [together] — but never an actual album recording. This was about time, and a lot of people have been asking about it, so one and one really became two on this album. Super-fun, because I actually recorded her myself."
On whether the band will perform live:
Floor: "I don't see that happening... Don't think of this as a band. It's really Jørn Viggo and me who started this project... It's not a band; it's a gathering of musicians that we found fitting, and who gave their best and enthusiasm on the album... I am on the road back with NIGHTWISH, so when all of that is stopping, we will make a new album with NIGHTWISH. And I am a mother of a young child. That combination, I find plenty. I think this project deserves all its love and attention as we have put into the recording, but live is quite something else to set up and do properly as well. That's a whole new thing, and I don't really see myself [having] proper time for that."
NORTHWARD released its self-titled debut album on October 19 via Nuclear Blast.
NIGHTWISH's upcoming disc, which is expected in 2020, will mark the band's second full-length release with Jansen, who has been touring with the group since 2012.