Nightwish and Former Member Anette Olzon Trade Barbs on Singer’s Exit
Former Nightwish vocalist Anette Olzon just dropped a huge bombshell about her exit from the Finnish symphonic metal act. In a new interview, Olzon claims she was unceremoniously fired from the band and likens her departure from Nightwish to that of original vocalist Tarja Turunen.
In October 2012, it was revealed by Nightwish that they had parted ways with Anette Olzon. “Another chapter of the Nightwish story has ended today,” the band wrote in a statement. “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.”
The original statement released by Nightwish was very vague, but while speaking with Me Naiset recently, Olzon finally told her side of the story.
The singer says she was fired shortly after revealing she was pregnant with her third child and being hospitalized with a stomach flu during the band’s 2012 North American tour.
“What happened to Tarja happened to me — I was fired,” says Olzon. “I suggested we cancel shows until I was well enough to return to the road but the boys didn’t want to even consider that. Floor Jansen had replaced me before I had recovered.” Olzon also states that no Nightwish member visited her while she was sick in the hospital.
Olzon continues, “I wondered what I had done wrong to deserve this. I was also, of course, worried that I wouldn’t be able to support my family. “Brazil and Argentina was scary. People were pulling my cheeks, grabbing and pulling my hair. It was causing so much anxiety that I had panic attacks. I was stressed out over my personal life while we were on tour, but I didn’t want to take it out on the band. I believe the boys saw I was falling apart, but I didn’t get much support from them.”
After reading Olzon’s Me Naiset interview, Nightwish responded to the claims of their former singer in an official statement:
Welcome to the laundry room…
The interview of our former vocalist Anette in Me Naiset magazine is full of twisted truths and defamation. This ‘one woman vs. the Neanderthals’ scenario is an easy to way to take advantage of our media history.
The split with Anette wasn’t because of pregnancy or illness. We discovered her personality didn’t fit this work community, and was even detrimental to it.
These claims we can invalidate right away:
Claim: Moments [before being fired], Anette had told Tuomas Holopainen of her pregnancy
Truth: Anette told of her pregnancy to the whole band already a week earlier in Montreal. Everyone was congratulative, and Anette herself offered an option of hiring a replacement vocalist if she can’t manage everything, which was already agreed on. Later she took back her decision, and the difficulties really started. Fear of losing money and position seemed obvious.
Claim: The boys of the band decided everything for me
Truth: Neither Tuomas nor any other of the boys of the band can singlehandedly decide where we take off to and when. There have been discussions inside the band and support of people on a personal level. Also Anette. Managers and promoters discuss about possible concerts, record releases, etc., and wishes of all the band members have been taken into account. All these details have been negotiated with Anette and her manager. We have the e-mails.
To keep the touring life bearable, it’s reasonable and right to make things comfortable on a personal level. Based on these discussions, Anette was given liberties from interviews and fan meetings. She and her family got an own tour bus and driver in both Europe and America. The expenses were paid by the organization, not Anette or her company. Others of the band didn’t use similar benefits.
Claim: Other income went directly to the men
Truth: Anette and her company has been paid a fifth of everything that was done during her time and with her. We have no reason to lie, because this cake has provided enough slices for us all. The finances of the band have always been handled openly, honestly and evenhandedly. The books exist. How individual members spend their share is up to their own responsibility.
We neither want to nor intend to comment this more now.
Doing the laundry is tiring. Remember to help your ladies with that occasionally. [via Blabbermouth]
Vocalist Floor Jansen, who replaced Olzon, and musician Troy Donockley were recently named full-time members of Nightwish.