Kind of shocking isn’t it. I know that I never expected any news like this, but let’s recap the story as it played out from the other day until early today. My Saturday morning on 9/29 was begun by coffee to wake me from the needed slumber after Down’s killer NYC show, when the Finnish Ambassador (my friend Sam in reality) sent a text to inform me that Anette Olzon had fallen ill, was in the hospital and that Nightwish had performed without her by using Alissa White-Gluz and Elize Ryd as Metal Understudies for lack of a better word.
The band wrote to the public saying:
“We were in hell today. Vocalist in a hospital. Show about to be cancelled… But nobody gave up an inch. With the help from the ladies Elize and Alissa from Kamelot we actually managed to pull of a relaxed and great show! The crowd doing the mass karaoke with the band playing was absolutely amazing. We were humbled and grateful at the same time. This is unity and help from friends and fans. Anette is already recovering thanks to the medical staff and whatever powers there exists. The shows will go on. We give our greatest respect to Alissa, Elize and the crowd in Ogden Theatre, Denver. You rule!!!”
My personal take on this was that the guys had no choice but to do the show because the amount of money to be lost would really compromise the efforts for a lot longer than any band wants to have happen. Remember a cancellation only finds the band themselves losing money but everyone else still must be paid out for their work. Since Kamelot had two capable female singers along for the tour, Nightwish was smart to ask both Alissa White-Gluz and Elize Ryd (from The Agonist and Amaranthe respectively by the way) to act as understudies for Anette. Sure the show would be a little looser than preferred but at least it would still happen and be something that kept the ball in motion and allowed Anette the chance to get back to necessary Metal fighting strength.
Unfortunately this really seemed to distress Anette who after posting about her coming down with a kind of flu added this posting on her personal Official Blog.
” This flu……sucks! I have NO hearing in my right ear now so I hope my dear monitor guy Aksu can give me some extra volume tonight;=) Soundcheck felt ok, I do have a very bad throat, but as you all know, during DPP tour I sang with almost no voice many times so I am sure it will be quite ok. Either way I do it for you all;=) Thanks for your support! And you know, this is just music. Like life, sometimes we get ill and shows do get cancelled. Rihanna wouldn’t ask Britney Spears to sing for her if she was ill;=) To think a show is more important than the humans in the band is for me, so totally not in this world. See you all from the stage soon!
And one more thing….. I was never asked if it was ok they used Elise and Alica in the show last night. I don’t think it’s a good decision they made and I’m sorry for those of you who came to see the whole band but got something else. But I was very ill and this decision wasn’t mine. Tonight I’ll be on stage doing my best despite illness:-) See u in some hours!!”
Clearly she felt hurt by the decision and perhaps acted out of quick anger without talking to the band first. Let’s face it, we all get pissed off in life at one time or another and there is so much more going on behind the scenes in a band life than anyone could possibly know about unless they are right there. I didn’t agree with her comparison of herself to Rhianna or Britney Spears of course because those are Pop singers who the band works around their own schedule more than her own as a member of a band who she is still only a member of for a few years. Perhaps she should have sat back and thought a little more about it before pressing “post” on her blog because the very next morning when I hit the Official Nightwish site to see the latest I read the words below this next photograph.
“Another chapter of the Nightwish story has ended today. Nightwish and Anette Olzon have decided to part company, in mutual understanding, for the good of all parties involved. In recent times it has become increasingly obvious that the direction and the needs of the band were in conflict, and this has led to a division from which we cannot recover. Nightwish has no intention of cancelling any upcoming shows, and as a result we have decided to bring in a substitute vocalist starting in Seattle 1.10.2012. Her name is Floor Jansen from The Netherlands (ex-After Forever, ReVamp), and she has graciously stepped in to help us complete the Imaginaerum world tour. We are all strongly committed to this journey, this vehicle of spirit, and we are sure that this will lead to a brighter future for everyone. We forever remain excited about the adventures to come, and we are extremely proud of the two beautiful albums and the wonderful shows we shared together.”
Needless to say I was very shocked by this development and never expected to find something like this happening only three weeks into the North American Tour. I admit that the timing seemed strange and wondered if the very public complaint that Anette made just pushed any issues they were having between them over the brink. I say that because it reminded me of former colleagues in the corporate world who sent venomous emails to superiors or said something to the wrong person on the job and were gone the next day. Yeah, this kind of stuff really does happen out there so why would band life be any different. “Mutual understanding” aside, I am going to venture to guess that even if Anette was planning on leaving post tour that this blog posting of hers made the band powers that be say “thank you Anette, you take care of yourself now”.
As a music journalist and true blue Metal fan, Nightwish is very important to me because like I have noted a few times over the years, they were the first band that I ever wrote about based on my enjoyment of them for a few years before even undertaking this passion. So in that I want for their best and continued success despite any obstacles. Should they not offer Floor the full time role, or if she turns them down at all, my hope is that the band brings on someone new who brings us back to the sound we loved with Tarja. I just don’t want to see someone leave another up and coming or interesting band to join their ranks and cause disruption. The important thing is that Nightwish not lose any of the momentum they were building for their new music and the film project “Imagenarum”. I will not enjoy if a new search process finds them absent from visiting places like the USA for awhile again. I do think that Floor is a great choice to at least help them finish the tour because she has the ability to do the more super sonic stuff that Tarja did as well as the style of Anette.
I say good luck to Nightwish, and yes even to Anette who I felt was still a solid addition to the band even if it didn’t work out in the end. Anette added a final post to her blog which reads as copied below. I am sharing it here because I am not sure her turning off the blog means deletion or just ending the postings from here on in.
Dear blog readers: With this I say farewell to you and this blog. This blog was a way for me, as the singer in NW, to keep more in touch with you NW fans. Now when this chapter has ended, there is no more need for me to do this blog and from today I close it. I want to thank you all for being my readers for so many years, for your loving support and I wish you all a happy and healthy life! Stay kind to others and live life easy! Lots of love, Anette Olzon (from now on just Anette Olsson;=)
I’m going to mentally process all of this news but will surely be on the positive side in the end. I just had such an amazing time at the show when it stopped in NYC and never imagined anything was brewing that would lead to this. What do you readers think about it all? I will leave the comments area open for your views as I would love to hear them.
Official Website: www.nightwish.com
PS: The photos in this posting were all shot by me and obviously feature Anette across various tours that Nightwish did in New York City over the past few years. I hope you like them.