When it comes to Nightwish, I have been flying the Anette flag for a few years now. She is unquestionably best known for her years in that band. For reasons I’m not even sure I can explain, she’s always been my favorite Nightwish singer. More importantly though, she is a fiercely devoted wife and mother; a lovely human being whose passion lies in caring for others.
Since her last days in Nightwish, she’s released solo material and has been involved with different projects including her new project, The Dark Element whose album is to be released via Frontiers Music in November.
She seems as happy as ever and we are very grateful she has taken a few minutes out of her day to answer our email interview. Enjoy!
There has been some debate regarding the following; There is a clip online of you doing a show in Brazil and at the end of “The Pit and the Pendulum” you walk off stage. Some have said the reasons were; people shouting mean things, the smoke coming up and bothering you and also personal reasons. What is your response on this and again, I completely respect if you are uncomfortable about answering.
Anette: it was many factors and one was that when I walked in on stage there was a smoking machine that blew smoke on me and since I have asthma and problems singing in a dry room and smokey areas I immediately started to have problems singing and it continued through the show so when poet and the pendulum came and singing under hard circumstances struggling I just broke down. I was tired from heavy touring, some problems in the band and a big home sickness missing my son. All things combined just made me break down and on top of it all I had gotten death threats before some shows in South America where they said they wanted to shoot me in the head in front of my son and I was really scared. We even had extra security so as you can see it wasn’t one thing that led to the break down but many in combination. A sad evening nevertheless and I felt very ashamed afterwards.
After having suffered the flu in Denver and missing the show, you decided you were well enough to perform in Salt Lake City. How did you find the strength to make it through?
Anette: I wanted to do the show for the fans of course and it was my job to sing so it wasn’t more than to do it. As an artist you know the fans have waited to hear and see you and it’s very hard to cancel a show so it’s not something I’d like to do and many shows during those years I was ill but still came on stage.
What was it about the music that kept you going during the turbulent times toward the end or was it simply the devotion of the fans?
Anette: I am very loyal and devoted to my job so even if we had bad times I still kept going those hours on stage and in those moments I never cared about anything since I loved to sing and be on stage. That feeling is what make me do it in every bad day cause I love to perform.
I read that you were studying nursing. If that’s the case, what made you decide to do that?
Anette: I already studied at the uni when entering Nightwish and studied science behavior but when I came home from the last tour I decided to change and go into nursing school since I want a job that always will be needed for and I have always loved caring for others so it’s a very rewarding job to do.
“Shine” and “Lies” were two of the singles and videos that you released in recent years. Do you think your solo work was more of a inward reflection and a therapy for yourself or were they more for the fans with a message of overcoming obstacles?
Anette: yeah it was and I wrote the songs after that whole turmoil in South America in 2009 and the long exhausting tour we made. It was very therapeutic to write songs about my childhood, my mums illness that happened at that time but also love songs for my son and husband. So it was more for me than for those listening.
I read on your blog that you still suffer from “night terrors.” Do you think that these have influenced your music at all?
Anette: I don’t know but they are horrible and I have them very frequent. It’s also hard since I am an adult and I understand it’s not reality but in the night when they occur I can’t think rationally and I’m extremely scared and need to wake my husband to ease me down.
The most recent solo release you’ve had was “Vintersjal/Cold Outside.” You’ve got the album with the Dark Element project coming up. What can you tell us about The Dark Element?
Anette: It’s a great thing I’m very happy I am a part of. When I was asked to do this project I had no idea of how Janis songs would sound so it was a bit of a gamble until I heard the first demo and I could relax, cause I immediately heard it would be a great album. And it’s been a positive vibe from both magazines and fans so far so I hope it will be a big success of course.
Do you have any plans to do some more solo material?
Anette; Not at the moment but who knows in the future when I have time to sit down and make some songs again.
Some time ago (2016) you appeared on a talk show hosted by David Hasselhoff who appeared to know nothing or have done any research prior to you coming on. He also seemed drunk. How in the world did you get through that without strangling the man? :o)
Anette: haha well I was honored to meet with a childhood idol as he is, an icon I must say and yeah he was truly a character but I must say it was so much fun to be in the show. A great memory!
Ok let’s say that I stole your Ipod. What do you think would be the biggest surprise that I wouldn’t expect you to be listening to?
Anette: haha, well I have lots of music I listen to and it’s very varied so hard to say but maybe some Swedish rap song?
Many, many years from now in an old abandoned home, a very distant relative locates a box in the attic. In the box they find a CD with your name and something to play it on. What do you what them to know, just by listening to the music about the work you created throughout your career?
Anette: oh wow what a nice question and a hard one too! I would love if they could hear that I loved what I sang, that they could feel what I sang and that I meant what I sang. That’s what I want the listener to hear when I sing. And that I did more than one thing in music.
Thanks Anette for your time! You’re the best.
The Dark Element debut album will be available in early November via Frontiers Music: