About Me

Interview with The Dark Element

The Dark Element is the new music project led by former Nightwish singer Anette Olzon, along with Finnish guitarist and composer Jani Liimatainen, former Sonata Arctica. In 2016, Frontiers Records offered Jani Liimatainen a new album deal, reporting at the time that Anette Olzon would be the lead singer. The first self-titled album was released on 10th November 2017, recorded with bassist Jonas Kuhlberg and drummer Jani Hurula. The new album “Songs The Night Sings” has recently seen the light of the day and it was a great reason for Metal Imperium to have an interesting conversation with Anette Olzon.

M.I - How did The Dark Element come together? 

It was Frontiers Records who asked Jani to make an album with his songs and they wanted a singer to sing on the project. They asked me and I was a bit hesitant since I didn’t know Jani or his music and I also hadn’t done any new music for a long time. I decided to take a chance and that’s where we are today.

M.I - What’s the major difference between The Dark Element and the bands you were previously involved in?

This is not a band but a project so it’s easier in many ways but also harder in some. When we started this there were no talks about playing live, only recording an album and for me that was good since I didn’t want to tour that way having a regular job career outside music nowadays. So only being in the studio worked for me and still does. Now after two albums that have been quite popular, the request from the label and fans to play live has risen more. But both Jani and I are quite busy and, for me, touring isn’t something I am so interested in doing due to my regular job. The positive side from being in this is that I am very free to sing as I want, Jani and I are in quite good control of what we want to put on the album and that’s not how it’s been in my former bands.

M.I - Do you think that the project attracted many listeners due to the fact that Anette and Jani have played in huge bands such as Nightwish and Sonata Arctica before? Do you feel that somehow this adds extra pressure and responsibility?

I guess the fans who have appreciated our work in our former bands have had an interest in our new stuff but I don’t think that’s all there is to it. The music attracts too many different listeners since it’s catchy, melodic and has that Abba vibe that I believe many find interesting. When it comes to the last part of your question, I don’t see why our former bands or careers and any responsibility would have anything to do with what I do now or in the future. Both Jani and I have done music our whole lives and before those bands so they are not all in our lives or careers or what defines us as musicians.

M.I - What enables you to creatively reflect pain without further hurting yourself?

To sing about something painful is actually a good thing and may heal you so it’s opposite to hurting yourself more.

M.I - When did you think it was time to prepare a new album? Because this one was released exactly (2-day difference) 2 years after the first one! Was it thought out to be like that?

Jani and I didn’t plan to release it exactly 2 years later. We were done with the album already last spring but then it’s always up to the label when they want to release it so maybe they planned it like this.

M.I - “The Dark Element” included 11 songs in a total time of 51:55 and “Songs the Night Sings” includes 11 songs in a total time of 55:55. I guess this wasn’t just a coincidence! What’s the meaning of all this? 

This is something Jani has to answer, not me (smile).

M.I - Both albums have been released by Frontiers Records. Such a huge project must have received tons of record deal offers… why have you opted to sign to Frontiers after all?

As I said earlier, this is a project formed by Frontiers so that’s why we are signed to that label. If it would had been me and Jani starting this and then sending demos to different labels it might have been another label we’d work with, who knows? Today it’s also possible for bands to release their music all by themselves, I’ve done that with some of my own solo songs and that is a good way to own your own music. Of course, if you have a good label that promotes your music correctly and doesn’t steer you in everything a label can be good to have.

M.I - Tell us about the new album! Is the second album a sequel to the first but boldest? What can fans expect of it?

It’s for me a good sequel following up the first one. We’ve done it a bit bigger, heavier and bolder and that’s what Jani and I opted for going in to it. I like this album a lot more mainly since it’s heavier and has new elements to it. If the fans feel the same I don’t know but I hope they’ll like it.

M.I - Which of the songs translate what you are as a band?

All of them.

M.I - How would you characterize the album style/sound?

Melodic metal with an Abba feel to it (smile).

M.I - You stated that the album is very heavy, but still hyper melodic, can you explain?

It is heavier but the same catchy melodic choruses and vibe to it and that’s what we want it to be.

M.I - “Silence Between the Words” is a beautiful song. Was this inspired by your experiences?

Since Jani has written the song I can’t say what meanings or feelings he was writing about.

M.I - How’s the reaction to the album been so far?

It’s been good as far as I have read by the fans in our social media.

M.I - Is there a difference in terms of sound from the first album to the new one?

More symphonic elements and heavier otherwise it’s in the same vein as the first.

M.I - Do you think that Symphonic Power Metal is gaining prominence in the music world?

I actually believe it’s been less popular in the last years, so no. The fans who appreciate the bands playing this will listen and buy the albums but others are probably not so in to it anymore. Any genre always has their following and so does symphonic metal.

M.I - Are there any plans to tour in order to promote the album? 

No, not any plans for this at the moment.

M.I - Please share a message with your Portuguese fans and readers of Metal Imperium Webzine.

I hope the readers that liked the first album will like this one too and I wish you all a merry Xmas and a happy new year!

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Susana Galveia