Interview with Anette Olzon

The Dark Element

Last year, November, was the two year anniversary of my first interview with Anette Olzon, vocalist of duo project The Dark Element. On November 10 I got to interview Anette again, this time about The Dark Element’s sophomore album ‘’Songs The Night Sings’’.

‘’How have you been feeling after the release?’’

Anette: ‘’It’s been good, alway son that day you are so excited! People are going to say how they feel about it, if they like it or not, but it seems like many people do. It has been a great period up till now.’’


‘’That’s great to hear! I saw the album is on vinyl now too, that is very cool!’’

Anette: ‘’Yeah! It is a double red vinyl actually. It is a very cool item. As you know, it is a collectors item and then you see you have some fans, that are willing to pay for that, haha! And even the pack with the t-shirt sold a lot very fast.’’


‘’Last time around you said that Jani wrote all the songs and you did the vocals only, but I see you wrote the song ‘’Pills On My Pillow’’ for ‘’Songs The Night Sings’’.’’

Anette: ‘’Yeah, not the whole song actually, that is still Jani’s work, but I wrote the lyrics. We talked about it before at a gig we had in Finland, and I told him I would love to write them. So then he made a song and asked if I had lyrics lying around, because he couldn’t come up with them. He used a part of my lyrics and made a part of himself, so that is why I am credited as co-writer for that song.’’

‘’How did you come up with the lyrics you wrote?’’

Anette: ‘’It just came to me out of the blue, I just sat down with my phone and started to write what came into my head. I think I wrote two different stories and I sent it to him. Sometimes you don’t know what or why you are writing, they are just words in your head. It doesn’t have a connection to me or my personal life.’’


‘’However, I think it is a story a lot of people can relate to.’’

Anette: ‘’Exactly, and I think that is why Jani decided to use it. He felt it was something that he could write more words around, the chorus is more of my words and the verses and everything else is his. Who knows maybe on the next(!) album. As a songwriter it is really useful to sometimes get words from another person. Songwriting gets harder with every album, because you want to stay original with the words you pick.’’


‘’If you had to choose a favourite song of the album, one that you connect with the most, which song would that be?’’

Anette: ‘’It’s really hard, but my favourite from the album, that has been ever since I had heard it, since I recorded it, is ‘’The Pallbearer Walks Alone’’. Both for the music itself, and the lyrics are very deep, it has a deeper sense of meaning that is important to the world we live in today. In the previous album it was ‘’Last Good Day’’. I mean I like all our songs, but my favourite is ‘’The Pallbearer Walks Alone’’. I wanted it to be the first single, but the record label decided that it should be ‘’Songs The Night Sings’’, and then we got ‘’The Pallbearer Walks Alone’’ as a second single. I really wanted it to have a video, but unfortunately there was no budget or real story to make it happen.’’

‘’So it is the label that makes those decisions?’’

Anette: ‘’Well they ask us what we want but in the end they make the decisions yes. The entire project ‘’The Dark Element’’ is theirs, they put me and Jani together. The situation would be the other way around if me and Jani would have formed a band and then came to them. But as I said, I really like ‘’Songs The Night Sings’’ too, but ‘’The Pallbearer Walks Alone’’ brings a new side of us to the table that I really would have loved to bring out as a first single.’’


‘’Are there more music video’s planned?’’

Anette: ‘’No, we have three singles now and those will remain the only ones, as far as I know.’’

‘’Why is there still no big tour of The Dark Element?’’

Anette: ‘’I can explain that: when we started this, it was a studio project. We were asked to do one album, touring was not one of the initial plans, because you don’t know what will happen. Maybe people do not like the album. But luckily it was very welcomed, so we decided to do a small tour in Japan. Of course we had just one album, and it was not long enough to play a whole set, and we didn't want to play covers. So Jani said that we have to wait until we have at least two albums, and then we can do more gigs. Now that we have two albums, we got a lot of requests so that is very nice! But then Jani joined Insomnium, so there is a slight change in the story, and he is touring very intensely with them at the moment. So we have to say no to a lot of requests that come in, because he is not at home. So the problem is not that we don’t want to tour, it is just that Jani made a commitment with Insomnium, and The Dark Element remains to be a studio project. It is only logical of course, he needs to pay his bills too, haha! I have a regular job, as you know, so for me touring is not a money issue. But I would love to do some shows again, but the horizon looks a bit dark on that part for now.’’

‘’Is The Dark Element a band or a project? Because the first album was portrayed more as a band, and the second album more as a duo. A lot of fans are calling you guys a band, but I think that is incorrect.’’

Anette: ‘’It is not a band, and it has never been. On the first album it was Jani who said that he didn’t want to have a video with just the two of us. He thought it would look weird. But exactly what I thought would happen, happened. I have to explain to so many people that we are not a band. Then the label said that ‘’you can not say that it is a project!’’, but it IS a project, you can not sell it as a band because it is not. We still get a lot of questions: ‘’What happened to the bass player? Where is the angry drummer?’’. So this time we did something different, even different than planned because of the bad weather. We felt like it should only be me and him this time, just us and then hired musicians for in the studio. We discussed being a band, but we decided it was easier to make decisions with just us two.’’


And then Anette asked me how I felt about the album. I said that the album in itself sounds a lot heavier and a bit darker than the previous.

Anette: ‘’Yes, yes, after our last album I said to Jani that we can go a bit heavier if he wanted to. Personally, I like this new album better, but it is very hard to say that. But in the first album we didn’t know each other, so it was more of a ‘’test’’. Now that we do know each other and our capacities, everything went a lot smoother. The album it a lot more cohesive and it feels steadier than the first. Because on the first album you can hear or feel the energy going down a bit, and I don’t think we have that on this album.’’

‘’The only thing that I found ‘’questionable’’ is the album art in combination with the album name. The colours are very vibrant for an album with ‘’night’’ in the title.’’

Anette: ‘’Yes the colours are vibrant, but it is a sad painting if you look at it. It is a heart, but it is a wounded heart. It is made by a friend of Jani, Olli-Pekka Lappalainen, and it is a real painting.’’


‘’So I have asked all my questions, is there anything else you would like to say or mention?’’

Anette: ‘’I want to take the time to thank everyone, I think that is very important. I am so thankful for the support, for everyone that buys the album and wants to see a tour. I really, really want to do some shows but we have to wait for Jani and then we will see.’’


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Interview done on: 10-11-2019

Edited: 30-11-2019


By Tamar

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