Nightwish Lash Back Over Olzon Claims
Nightwish have released a statement lashing back at former singer Anette Olzon, who last week told Prog the band had fired her in 2012 instead of splitting by “mutual understanding,” as had been announced at the time.
Olzon said she believed she was dismissed because she was pregnant with her third child and added she’d been treated the same way previous frontwoman Tarja Turunen had been.
Now the band have addressed specific comments she made in Finnish magazine Me Naiset, describing her claims as “misrepresentation and defamation.”
Nightwish say via their website (in Finnish): “This ‘one woman against Neanderthals’ is an easy to way to take advantage of our history. Anette’s departure was not due to pregnancy or illness – we found she was a misfit in our working community.”
In response to Olzon’s suggestion she was fired almost immediately after telling mainman Tuomas Holopainen she was pregnant, the band state: “Anette told the band of her pregnancy a week earlier. Everyone congratulated her. Anette herself offered the opportunity to hire a replacement vocalist. Later she reversed her decision, and the difficulties really began.”
Referring to her comment that more money went to the male members of the band than to her, they report: “Anette has been paid a fifth of everything. We have no reason to lie, because this cake has provided enough slices for us all. The band’s financial affairs have always been managed openly, honestly and fairly. The books exist.”
Olzon also said: “Mentally heavy was the fact that the boys decided everything for me. I did not have any say – if Tuomas came up with, ‘Let’s go to Africa now,’ we went.”
Nightwish reply: “Neither Tuomas nor any other of the boys of the band can single-handedly decide where we take off to and when. Managers and promoters discuss possible gigs, records and other publications, and all band members’ wishes are taken into account. All these details have been negotiated with Anette and her manager – the emails are in a safe place.”
They add: “In order to enjoy touring it is only right and proper to do things at a comfortable level. Anette and her family got their own tour bus in Europe and America. The expenses were paid by the organisation, not Anette or her company. Others of the band didn’t get the same advantages.
“We neither want to nor intend to comment on this more now.”
In the magazine interview Olzon said she felt abandoned after falling ill on tour days before she was replaced by Floor Jansen, saying: “None of the band came to hospital to see me. I suggested we cancel gigs until I was well but the boys refused to negotiate on the issue. I was still recuperating when Floor was flown in to replace me.
“There were tangles in my private life while we were on tour, but I didn’t want to tell the band. I think the guys saw I was breaking down – but they didn’t offer much support. 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.”
But the vocalist – who’s poised to release her solo album Shine – added that she still hoped to talk things out with Holopainen, reflecting: “I’ve often thought about calling Tuomas; I don’t think this has closed yet. Only now can I say I’m happy; the bad experiences have had a purpose.”