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Nightwish & Anette Media

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During the next upcoming weeks we're sure there will be some more interviews. We do know people feel the need to discuss this matter, we decided to put this topic for discussion relating Nightwish and Anette. (Interviews about her music are to remain in her own topic inside the music section of this board.)
 
We ask that people remember to respect each others opinion and not to let any debate get too heated and even worse, out of hands.
 
 
There’s a new interview which we gonna post here. Part 1 is about Nightwish and Part 2 about her new CD, Part 2 will be out later during the next week and will go to the music section.
Big thanks and all credits to the interviewer Carl Begai of http://carlbegai.com / http://www.bravewords.com/


 
 
ANETTE OLZON – Careful What You ‘Wish For

By Carl Begai

There’s no doubt that the controversial firing of former Nightwish vocalist Anette Olzon in October 2012 made her out to be the bad guy, turning any press she does for her forthcoming solo album into a potential exercise in character assassination. It doesn’t help her situation in that the Nightwish camp has been quick to refute many of her recent accusations of backstabbing and mismanagement that have apperared online.
Quite frankly, I was prepared to be stonewalled when asking questions about Nightwish due to the fact Olzon came across as a self-centered diva when she slammed the band for playing to a Denver, CO audience in 2012 with stand-in vocalists Elize Ryd (Amaranthe) and Alissa White-Gluz (The Agonist) after she fell ill. Turns out I was way off the mark and had to give Olzon the benefit of the doubt.
Thus, in the interest of giving her solo album Shine a fair shake we’re getting the Nightwish debacle out of the way first, to be followed soon by a full story on the new record.
 
Rather than dig for the scurvy details and assorted dirt kicked up before and after her firing, the focus is on Olzon getting booted in the middle of the North American tour for Imaginaerum. It’s not a move most bands can afford to make in today’s music industry economy, sure as hell not without a back-up plan. And yet, 48 hours after Olzon was cut loose former After Forever vocalist Floor Jansen had taken over her post on stage, becoming the band’s permanent singer less than a year later.

“It’s hard for me to say why the firing happened when it did because I don’t really know what happened behind my back,” says Olzon. “I think there were some thing happening that I didn’t know about. It has become clearer to me now that they had some sort of a plan when I told them I was pregnant. I actually think they had some suspicions I was pregnant during the summer festivals, so I think they may have had a back-up plan.”
 
Olzon pegs the band’s reaction to her pregnancy as the primary reason for the falling out. She also claims Jansen wasn’t as much of a last minute consideration for the Nightwish line-up as people think, albeit in a temporary capacity.
 
“We had some discussions during the tour in America about how to cover the remaining gigs for the tours that were coming up, and we did have something of an argument before that. I didn’t want to have a substitute singer in the band, I wanted to do the South American shows. I would have been too pregnant to go to Australia so I wanted to push the dates back, but Tuomas (Holopainen / keyboards, founder) didn’t want that. Discussions about a substitute came up and at first I was like ‘Yeah, well…. okay…’ but when they mentioned Floor it was an automatic ‘No’ from me. I didn’t think it was a good idea because I knew what would happen; I knew the fans would love Floor because she’s a metal singer and I’m a pop singer, and I wanted to keep my job. Because I couldn’t do the Australian tour, I think that’s when they started thinking about a new singer. We had a bit of an argument, then I got ill, and after that…. I don’t know if they planned this.”

“They say it wasn’t like that – that the pregnancy wasn’t an issue – but if I wasn’t pregnant I don’t think this situation would have happened. Of course we had some problems before with different opinions about how touring should be, how many gigs in a row, the places where we played. We didn’t fight because of that, though. If I didn’t want to go somewhere and they did, we went because the majority decided. I had my 3-year-old son with me, so we did try to solve the touring problem. I can’t say it was definitely like that because they say it isn’t, but for me that was the problem.”
 
“If I would have been (former vocalist) Tarja, I wouldn’t have been nervous about having Floor step in as a substitute because I know the fans would wait for me. They would have been saying ‘We want Tarja back.’ But, I’m Anette and I’ve received a lot of hatred against my voice and my persona since I joined Nightwish. I remember thinking that if I agreed to Floor coming in to substitute I would end up thinking ‘This whole thing again?’ when I came back. I could see what would happen.”
 
“Of course I knew we had our gigs to do, and I was pregnant so it was my own fault, but it was only one small tour that I wanted to push back. I could have done all the other gigs and I didn’t understand why they needed a substitute singer when I wanted to go. Maybe they felt that they wanted to have another singer. I think that’s what they wanted, but they weren’t quite honest about it. I guess when I said no they got frustrated. Maybe when I got ill they saw a way out. Of course, then I got angry when they did what they did and wrote something in my blog. They got pissed off at me, I was pissed at them, and it led to where we are now, I guess.”
 
During a recent interview with Holopainen , he revealed that in spite of the bad blood between Nightwish and Olzon there was every intention of including her in the band’s new Showtime, Storytime documentary. The production was 80% complete when Nightwish were ultimately forced to take all interview and live footage featuring Olzon off the DVD at the insistence of Olzon and her management. Asked to explain her reasons for the move, it’s the only time during the discussion where Olzon truly sounds bitter.
 
“First of all, I didn’t think they would do the documentary because… what kind of documentary could it be?” she asks. “I could just see they could do something like what they did with Tarja to make it look like I was the evil person, because that’s what they’ve done before. I was really suspicious about the whole thing, and of course I was really angry because they fired me in a really bad way. I wasn’t happy about the situation. I didn’t want to be looked at in a weird way on a DVD, and I didn’t want to be compared with Floor. There were many reasons. I was angry, I didn’t want to have anything to do with them, and I didn’t want those comparisons again.”
 
Regardless of the bad taste left in her mouth, Olzon admits the Nightwish experience was a valuable one with long-reaching positive effects on her approach to music and life in general.

“I’ve changed since I joined the band. My mother says I’m quite a different person. When I joined Nightwish I was still that young girl with a dream of becoming a professional singer, where everything would be just fun and glory. My mom is a singer, she’s been in the business, and she knows that’s not how it is when you’re in a band. So, at the time she was like ‘Okay…’ (laughs). She says that I got a lot from the Nightwish experience because I’m wiser and experienced, and I won’t take ********* anymore. She can see that I have tougher skin now.”

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I think this is a great way to do this. Thumbs up mods :)

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Annette should keep the focus on her new album and tour.  Stirring the pot again only makes her look bad.  Her concerns about some fans reaction to Floor replacing her temporarily were probably well founded, but if she and the band had approached the situation with confidence,  (i.e., Annette's our girl, and she'll be back soon!) I'm sure they could have minimized the trouble and moved past it.  I'm sure the boys in the band are far from perfect, but I think they handled this situation as well as can be expected.  They should not respond to Annette, and keep their focus on the next album as well.  Slinging mud never goes well for anyone involved.

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This interview shows how misleading the one at Me Naiset magazine was. Anette's pregnancy really wasn't the reason behind her departure (although nobody really believed it in the first place). As it now seems, perhaps it led to the events that followed, but the real reason (surprisingly?) was that Anette thought Floor was too good to replace her, even if temporarily. And the situation was deadlocked. Somehow I do understand Anette, but at the same time I think that the lead singer of Nightwish should have better self-confidence than that. 

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I also think that if it was announced that Anette is staying and that Floor is just helping the band during the last part of the tour (because Anette is pregnant and not cause band had a fight once again) and noone's leaving, it would be ok and not that much of going through hell again for Anette once she gets back from her maternity leave. Especially if it was announced "Anette is pregnant, congratulations, let's be happy for her family, but don't worry about the rest of the tour, we've found a decision. And btw Anette is our girl, we'll reunite in 2014".

Ever since the release of iRum the crapstorm towards Anette was way, way more moderate than during the times of her new nw singer announcement, fans who enjoyed 2 albums with her liked her and the way NW was with her, the band went on a mayor world tour sometimes playing the largest arenas in their history (in France, Switzerland, Czech Republic and so on). So in a way everything calmed down and the band followed its path with less and less damage done to Anette personally (which doesn't put to zero everything she went through at the beginning, though).

There surely would've been some folks claiming that Floor is the new Messiah and that Anette shouldn't come back, but, I think, in the end Anette's refusal to be substituted by Floor wasn't the primary reason she decided to leave or guys decided to fire her and change singer once again. To me it is more about a will to continue together or not given the circumstances (their talk about how band and singer see the band going different ways), the commitment to the band.
Perhaps it became clearer with time to any of them (guys and/or Anette herself) that no matter how enjoyable their union was in the studio, it was hard for Anette to keep up with the touring life having so many stresses and health issues, to leave her expanding family at home and being away etc., which in a way led to even greater problems. What I'm trying to say is if they felt it all was worth it (Anette's mental sufferings in the beginning, her health going down and thus her at times weak performances etc), they would surely continued making music together. But since they felt insecure (I think a lot of "what if" thoughts crossed their minds during that time, like "what if she doesn't come back from the maternity leave?", "what if her health regresses even more making her unable to give her best on stage at even greater amounts of shows than before (at times leading to cancellation or postponing the tour/its legs) " etc), they sort of decided to cut it before everything went to hell and start afresh with someone more suitable to the job, who has experience and enough power and health to endure the life of an actively touring musician.
It isn't quite beautiful from human point of view, but the issue is too complicated to be looked at just from one side.

 

 

Post edited to remove swearing. Please remember that this is the no swearing part of the forum. - Dandelion

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Anette's plan of doing the South-American shows during her pregnancy was pretty unrealistic... Long travelling, hot small venues, different bacterial strain combined with flu would have made her go to hospital again and fly back home fairly soon, I think. She had given such an interview to Finnish Seura magazine (it was published in spring 2012 if I remember right) where she talked about her dreams of still having one more baby, so no wonder that the guys started to have some "suspicions". It's quite normal in the working life to find a substitute for the time of maternity leave, and it's only fair to tell the employer about the pregnancy as soon as possible.

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I think she overestimated what people's reactions might have been if Floor were invited as a subsitute singer. If both Nightwish and Floor had made it clear the collaboration between them was temporary, fans obviously wouldn't get their hopes up for having Floor replace Anette. For example, when Simone was sick, Epica went on tour with Amanda Somerville, who explicitly stated she had no intention of becoming Epica's permanent singer. Of course Anette is no Simone, and that's where the problems start. She obviously objected to a substitute out of self-interest, not wanting to lose her job. During the DPP tour, Anette's self-confidence got hurt because of the negative reactions from so-called fans. Although her decision is totally understandable from her point of view, it sounds selfish if we think about the whole band's interests.

 

This whole conflict probably has something to do with Nightwish members having second thoughts about continuing with Anette. "They didn't want Anette anymore, so they fired her." is a superficial way to look at it, but it has some truth to it. I don't mean the band decided they didn't like Anette's voice anymore, but her intentions for expanding her family and her recurring health issues would continue to step in the band's way. Also, Anette's lower vocal range and lack of classical training limited the band's ability to dig into older songs to play in concerts. For example, they left out Wishmaster in the iRum tour due to Anette not being comforable with it (well, to be fair, Tuomas grew tired of that song too). With Floor, they reintroduced Bless the Child to the setlist, a song beyond Anette's vocal range. Instead of making adjustments for the sake of keeping Anette, they preferred to find a more suitable singer for the band's intense touring schedule. If it were Tarja (or even Floor) I'm sure they would go out of their way to reach a compromise instead of insisting on just one solution. There's a good reason why Anette doesn't have such a strong fan base as Tarja or Floor. After all, Anette is a pop singer. She never felt her heart belonged to metal music. Of course, then it's also Nightwish's fault for hiring her in the first place, but then it becomes a whole new discussion.

 

Despite my ranting, I don't want to come across as an Anette hater. In fact I started listening to the band when she joined, but in time I began to appreciate Tarja's voice more than hers. Now I'm really happy that Floor has joined Nightwish, but I don't really wish they had taken in Floor instead of Anette back then. Anette did a hell of a good job on DPP and iRum, but she simply couldn't bear the responsibilities of being Nightwish's lead vocalist. And, let's be honest, her live performances were really disappointing at times.

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I'm in totally shock right now and a little bit sad that Anette shows that kind of insecurity about herself compared with a singer like Floor, I know Floor is an incredible singer but every singer has it's own ''shine'' I think she shouldn't feel scared about it, many people appreciate her work in NW. It's just sad to read this coming from her. 

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I don't think she was scared that Floor could sing better than her just that the fans would be more welcome towards her, and let's face it there would be many fans asking for Floor to stay and Anette to live since she is not a "metal singer" and does not fit with the "image of the band".

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Anette Olzon's interviews are inconsistent. E.g., in the Me Naiset interview she told that she was fired after a short time after telling about her pregnancy to Tuomas Holopainen, they did not fight in Nightwish and she would have liked to cancel the US tour gigs until she gets well. In Carl Begai's interview Anette Olzon now tells about their repeated arguments and discussions how to manage the tour (this means she was not  fired shortly after telling about her pregnancy) and avoids mentioning that she needed to go on a sick leave, probably for the rest of the US tour, because she had lost her voice due to laryngitis and also needed to go to Sweden for medical examinations due to her liver cyst. So, it was not only the seven Oceania gigs Anette wanted or needed to cancel, but more.

 

Anette told Carl Begai that she wanted to do the South American gigs and blamed the band mates of wanting to have a substitute. IMO, the South American tour would have been too risky for Anette and her baby, and it was a reasonable decision from the band mates not to take her there. She has had unrealistic plans even before, e.g. in 2011 she imagined to be able to sing after a rib fracture first in one, then in two weeks. Anette's pregnancy was not normal and she was over 40 years. She had elevated blood pressure, poor appetite, was throwing up a lot, slept badly and was exceptionally tired, e.g. at the beginning of Dec 2012 she had to spend  many days  in a row resting. Besides, Anette suffers from recurrent infections and had already had eight infections in nine months in 2012. Heat and long flights are strenuous physically, and at least previously South America was difficult for Anette also mentally.

 

It might have been possible that the NW guys got suspicious about Anette's pregnancy during the summer and started to make some back-up plans. Nothing wrong in that. However, the plans could not be accurate before Anette revealed the pregnancy news on 19 Sep 2012. On 20 Sep the guys contacted Floor and asked her to join the tour in November. At that time the guys could not know whether they wanted Floor as the permanent singer or whether she was willing to accept the offer.

 

I believe Anette when she said that she did not want to appear on the documentary because she was angry but blaming that Tarja was portrayed in bad light on the EOAE DVD is baseless. And why to wait more than 5 months after the split before denying the use of the material  where she appears. I see her behaviour as a sort of revenge, which in the end was more harmful than useful for her.

 

Anette Olzon was obviously very uncertain about her position in Nightwish and chose a bad strategy to defend it. Future cannot be predicted with certainty, and it would have been wiser to accept Floor as the substitute and wait what happens. IMO, refusing to accept a substitute for the sick and maturnity leaves was a valid reason to fire Anette Olzon and she was not fired due to pregnancy in itself.

 

Edit:

In Carl Begai's interview Anette Olzon belittled The Oceania tour, she wanted to postpone this "small tour", but Tuomas Holopainen did not approve it, for understandable reasons, which Anette obviously does not want to mention. The Oceania tour was not a small tour time-wise and with travels back and forth needed almost three weeks. It would have been difficult to find a slot for it later because Tuomas and Marco have been busy with their projects all the time. Besides, Nightwish does not want to let the fans down and lay off the technical staff in the middle of the tour. These guys also work for other bands and projects and might not have been available for Nightwish after the proper Imaginaerum tour.

And how did Anette plan to do the Japan tour? These are less pleasant options: to take the 2-month old baby with her on long travels or leave the baby at home and milk her breasts frequently and throw the milk away.

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Agreed. She never seems to tell the same story twice.

 

However, this is not the first time she's called this a job. She said in a very early interview around the release of Dark Passion Play that she basically didn't know what she was getting herself into, that she just wanted a secure job. Earlier this year, she said she couldn't stop touring because she was worrying about not being able to provide for her family. In this interview, she says she wanted to keep her job. It seems pretty clear that this was all Nightwish ever was to her, another job (and one that paid well, too).

 

I knew she didn't want to be replaced by Floor. Called it pretty much right away. Not very surprising, but disappointing. If you want to be the singer of a band you need thicker skin than that. It's also pretty telling that she refers to herself as a pop singer. She was in a metal band. I wish she would have said something along the lines of "I've received a lot of criticism for my musical background, but I've worked really hard and immersed myself in metal ever since I joined the band. I would definitely say that I've changed and grown as a metal singer over the years and will continue to do so". But no. It appears that even after having spent five years in a metal band, she still doesn't consider herself a metal singer. In comparison, Tarja most definitely did not consider herself a metal singer at first and it wasn't until she started to own up to being one that the metal audience really started to embrace her name in metal (and not just her voice).

 

It really just seems that at the end of the day, Anette wasn't cut out for the job.

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I know she has a point about feel scared about the fans but I think she wants to justify her lack of commitment to the band with this argument. I don't know, I'm still in shock, she said many times she was strong and she didn't care about those critics but it seems was quite the opposite and the way she sees herself as a singer in the metal scene it's just :( 

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Maybe she came up with this new version of the story about the split because she realized that saying bad things about the Nightwish guys did not make her more popular among the Nightwish-fans. And Nightwish-fans are people who may potentially buy her album... (this is just a hypothesis though). 

 

I'm not surprised that she didn't want to be replaced by Floor, as I've been suspecting that for a long time as well. I must say that I understand her reaction: Floor is indeed really beloved in the metal world; no doubt that many people would have wanted her to join Nightwish even if the guys had stated that Anette would come back. Yet it's also understandable that the guys chose such a strong  and beloved singer to replace her. Don't forget that they were in the middle of a tour and that many tickets were already sold for the upcoming gigs. If the replacement-singer thay had announced would have been less beloved or less good, many people would probably have asked for refund.

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So she wanted an inferior singer to replace her for the rest of the Tour, so she wouldn't feel outshined? I think as the Boss of a company if one of your workers get's pregnant, you have to replace him with someone equally as good as you or even better..and that's exactly what the guys did. Or would she prefer they would get some crappy singer, totally let the fans down, who pay a lot for the ticket's...but that doesn't matter as long as she feel's good. Good luck with the album honey...after all the crap she stated in the last month's im not even downloading it...

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Group dynamics are always interesting. An excluded member can always sense when they are being excluded; there are certain verbal and expressional cues. Hard to explain, but Anette probably sensed the rest of the band was not happy with her. I can completely empathize to where she's coming from when she reacts in this way to being replaced. And in a way I think she's right to be cautious about the DVD; bad media sells, and it's highly likely that there would be a sizeable population purchasing the documentary to simply see the drama unfold. People loooove drama, and I don't think it's unreasonable that Anette thought the DVD would portray her in that way.

 

Both sides probably just got fed up with each other. That's how most friendships/relationships end--a stressful environment, building up of tension, and genuine exhaustion. Usually take the easy way out. But you can't just ignore your lead singer's text messages, so in this case a last-minute firing and replacement was probably easiest. I don't really think I have the right to say what Anette should or should not have done given I don't know much about the situation nor do I know any of the parties involved. It's hard to say whether I would have reacted in the same way had I been in her shoes. We don't really know. But I'm glad she seems happy, and I hope she finds out from the horse's mouth why she was actually fired (she doesn't seem to know, but if she finds out, I don't really want to know. It doesn't have to be on the media, but I think she has the right to know why she was fired).

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It's such a sad episode, but in brief Anette got pregnant in the middle of an important world tour and refused to accept a substitute in fear of losing her job, trying to convince that she herself is a super woman who can handle all the other gigs except Australia/New Zealand in January, despite her pregnancy. She didn't seem to think about the health risks at all... That sounds somehow desperate. 

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As far as i remember, Magnus said this (AO got freaked out when guys told her that FJ is coming) far before this interview was made...Way go Magnus...more than a year. I cant dig up in forum that posts, bit it was great discussion between Magnus and Stormfather about that matter. It would be nice of Magnus can find that. Maybe it was in AO split thread. Cant remember...but i want to read that again. Magnus was sooooo right...

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she has the right to know why she was fired

I think deep down she knows the reasons, cause they're basically are all there on the surface. Touring schedules were an issue among them; Anette's regressing health was affecting the band's live shows/touring schedule as well as her mental and physical condition; she probably thought that NW wasn't that much about business, but more like a bunch of friends having good fun (when in fact, I think, it's rather a mixture of both where business prevails when NW is on tour/approaches the album release etc); and all of them back in 2007 underestimated the lack of Anette's experience in the area and her unwillingness to dig deeper into the band's history (a simple check of the touring dates might've helped, as well as getting to know how negatively nw guys faced Tarja's refusal to tour extensively and to switch her attention to non-NW stuff during the album release/promotion/touring time slot).

And in the end Anette refused to accept the offer regarding the substitute singer which lead to a split in opinions regarding the future doings of the band, and here it is, it just gets clear she eventually doesn't fit into quite strict working scheme of NW and is tired of accomodating herself into it. Maybe they didn't want to get rid of her before, cause she did a good job and was a nice addition to the band, maybe they felt ok about minor complications and issues, thought they could work through them without another "divorce" etc, but if you look at it from business perspective, her refusal might have very well been the final shot.

 

I would be very surprised to know Anette doesn't really understand what led to her dismissal. She says she was fired in a very horrible way believing her pregnancy led to it, but I'm sure it could have been anything else concerning her health e.g, given the fact the band didn't want to reschedule or postpone anything while Anette didn't approve their choice. It just happened that pregnancy is the elephant in the room which gets the most attention and theories around the split.

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The problem with Anette wasn't that she is a pop singer, because there's plenty of pop singers that could pull off NW songs very very well. The problem with Anette was that she was rather average live and was lacking on the technical side (pop singing needs technique too, you know? It's not all about autotune and lip-sync). She didn't even seem that committed to improving and widening her style. I never understood why the band refused to rearrange the songs to suit her better, at least lowering the key here and there, though. They all seem to be rather lazy musicians nowadays, maybe they were bored.

 

Also, the band choose Floor because she was already familiar with their songs, and they knew she would take less time than any other professional and available singer to learn them in time. And they knew her and they knew they weren't taking a jump in the dark by hiring her, they knew she was professional, has charisma and stage presence and could handle the kind of gigs they do.

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And in a way I think she's right to be cautious about the DVD; bad media sells, and it's highly likely that there would be a sizeable population purchasing the documentary to simply see the drama unfold. People loooove drama, and I don't think it's unreasonable that Anette thought the DVD would portray her in that way.

 

According to Tuomas, and I see no reason to doubt this, she was given the opportunity to watch and approve the final edit. If there had been any scenes showing her in a bad light, she could have asked them to edit it out.

 

I've lost count of all the lies and inconsistencies in Anette's various statements. She doesn't come across as credible in the slightest. Then there's the blatant hypocrisy. She's worried about how she'd be portrayed in a Nightwish documentary, but at the same time she's writing a "Book about NW". Not to mention all the not so subtle digs at the band. If she had only kept quiet, like a classy person, I would have still been anticipating her solo album. But the way she behaves is just a major turn-off. She's insecure and immature. I know she was bullied as a kid, but it seems to me she never got over it and still thinks of herself as a victim. As much as I liked her in Nightwish, in the aftermath of these events two words spring to mind: loose canon.

 

 

Magnus must be an insider.

Ha! I wish :P

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