Anette Olzon Central@ Your 1st Source on ex-Nightwish singer Anette // Wednesday, 10 November 2010
02.-21.03.2007 - Vocal recordings
Written by Anette on May 13, 2007
So, it's time for me, the new vocalist, to write a studio diary about the vocal recordings for the new album.
My journey to the new album recordings finally ended quite late to a very nice studio where I was greeted by some of the guys and the engineers. Since it already was evening we just had dinner and relaxed to start the big work the day after.
The actual first recording day started with a very nice and steady breakfast at 09.30 and then we started working on getting the right microphone for me and some good hearing. Then time for some recording of the first song, which is an up-tempo song with good "kick" in it and where me and Marco are dividing the singing between us. Went smoothly and we were finished already after a couple of hours. Since I was gonna start recording another song the same day, I took a small nap to have some new energy for the next song. After dinner the recordings continued and the second song was on its way. It's a song with some different ways of singing technique which needs focus and attention and lot of heart in it, so we just worked on the verses for some hours before callin' it a day and head for some relaxation and just being together. This place is very good since we can stay in the same place and totally be ourselves, which I really like because of all the secrecy that are surrounding us these days....paparazzi's everywhere...Since the guys are totally hooked on scary movies, that's what we're watching every evening and I must say my nerves will need to have some rest after these weeks...;=)
Woke up early and in a very good mood so I took a lovely morning walk, enjoying the sceneries before breakfast. Then a little test-singing to get my voice all warmed up before starting recording harmonies on the second song, which went very smoothly. Took a break in the afternoon where we got out, had some nice fun and just were relaxing together, going on fast engines among other things....Very nice ;=)
A little bit later in the evening we started to work on "Eva", the first song that will be released in May, but only as a download. This is a soft and sad song with lots of emotions. It worked out very well and we felt that the day had been very fulfilling so we called it a day. Again I slept with the lights on, because of the horror movies...
After breakfast the work on Eva continued by working with the harmonies and that extra touch to get the song completed. I feel very good knowing that this song is the first one that will let you all hear my voice in Nightwish and I sure hope you all will get as touched by the song as I do... truly amazing song! Since it all went so amazingly smooth with the recordings, we started with another very beautiful song right afterwards.
This song is gonna be so amazingly good with all the orchestra and the choir, it's a pleasure to sing it every single time, so I truly just enjoyed the whole afternoon and then I relaxed by myself the whole evening. Singing songs with so much emotions makes so much come to surface and I just needed to have me a bit of a laugh so I only watched funny things on TV that evening....no horror movies...
After a relaxed and good nights sleep we just took it easy and didn't start until after lunch with the harmonies for the song we did last night and we were finished with this one by dinner time. After dinner we started our fifth song and this is again a song where Marco and I divide the singing between us so I sang my lead parts and then we called it a night.
Woke up very early since my cell phone got a sms...arrghhh... at 8.20...puiihhh...then I felt that I could just take a nice shower before breakfast and try to wake up. I felt a bit tired and decided to take a very long walk to wake the body up. Felt good to really exercise and it always helps me to get better focus when I start the singing later on. Today Marco was coming to do his parts on some of the songs so then I could just sit and listen to him while he started doing the song I had started on. As usual sounded super good and it's always a pleasure hearing him sing. This song is gonna be very powerful and after Marco had done his things I did my harmonies in the choruses and some this and thats before it was dinner time and a break to rest the voices a bit. We did a hell of a lot harmonies in this one and I felt almost dizzy after having all these different notes in my head...;=) But the song was finished and after the break it again was time for Marco to sing on one of the songs that is his song. This one is a more accoustic song with a celtic feeling and Marco has made the music for this one too. I do some adding background vocals on this one and I recorded them after Marco was finished.
Today Marco continued recording a song he sings by himself, so I had a relaxed and nice day just watching him and enjoying his vocals. It's a very angry song and as you all know, Marco can sing very powerful and he sure did... Later in the afternoon he left and I started to work on the 14-minute masterpiece by recording the first verses and it all went well. Took it easy in the evening, had dinner etc and then just went to bed after listening to the songs we had recorded up 'til now and it's 7 songs already done! Wow, that is totally amazingly good work and we all felt that we could use some rest and vacation for some days so we decided to take the weekend off and then start again on sunday afternoon.
Back to work again after some nice couple of days off. Started right away with the 14-minute song again and the whole day was dedicated to that. It felt like the body and voice had relaxed so good and it always take some time to get back to business again, so we all took it easy, bit by bit until all my parts were done and now only Marcos vocals needed to be added. The song has so many different elements, both lots of power, emotions, softness and roughness. Everything combined makes this a total experience, like a movie, as you all will hear later on... Then relaxation after a good hard days work before going to bed.
Today we recorded a song that from the beginning only was ment to be a bonus track, but after recording it I think we all felt that it needs to be in the album...;=) It's a very happy, melodic song and it has a chorus that really get stucked in the head immediately. We were done after a couple of hours and in the afternoon a journalist came to visit us, listen to the new songs and interview me. He was the greatest guy and we had such a blast during the evening and it ended quite late in the night... There even was some singing done by this journalist and Tuomas...growling which will be heard during the most aggressive song on the album....very funny night of recordings, I can assure u, with lots of laughs...;=)
After a hard nights partying we all were tired and took it easy. I had to put on a nice make-up, nice clothes etc and do the interview and photo shoot. I was a bit black under the eyes from the lack of sleep, but since I don't drink so much, I felt quite alright. In the afternoon the journalist left home and we started working on a song which has ethnical elements in it. I even do some sounds inspired by "same-jojk". So it's a mix between sandy desert meeting Lapland and it's a big piece of music as always;=) The evening ended in front of the TV before going to bed.
I woke up with the biggest headache and really not felt good at all. My body was aching and I immediately took some painkillers for the head and got back to the bed for some hour. Unfortunately nothing helped and when I tried to start recording a new song, nothing worked and we just had to take a day off for me to rest. I took some flu-medicine and put myself in front of the TV all day and just relaxed. Bad day, but we have time for a days rest so nothing to do really....
Since I still didn't feel so good I rested the whole morning and didn't start recording until 13.30, where we recorded what is gonna be a bonus track. A very happy, nice song that sounds very Finnish and Scandinavian to me. Worked well and we were ready with that one around 19.30. It was time to relax a bit.
Took it easy during the morning, just a nice walk as usual and then at 13.30 we started recording again. Todays song was quite high to sing for me so I was a bit worried about the voice, due to the flu, but after some warm-up takes it sounded good again. The song is a softer one and when I recorded the demo for it I immediately loved to sing it. It has very nice lyrics and a melancholic feeling in the chorus that just gets to me. I enjoy to sing it because of that. After dinner and some continued recording, I took a sauna before some TV and bed. I felt so much better now and that made me happy since there were still 2 songs to go....
Weekend again, but we continued recording since the days are running faster now.... This day we had a song that Emppu has done the music for and Tuomas the lyrics. When I first sang this for the demo-recordings it was quite weird and hard to sing, because of its melody, that are very up and down....but Tuomas had a moment of deep thinking and then he asked me to sing more straight instead, changing the melody, and it turned out so cool... I think this song is the weirdest, but at the same time, so great in it's beat and melody....and we experimented the whole day and there were many: "no, can we do that??" to be followed by: "wow, sooo cool....". A very funny day and one of the ones where we had to try out so many things and then really think deeply to solve some problems along the way. But when the singing was done and Tuomas recorded some “demo-keyboards” on top, the feeling among us was that it's a great song with spooky elements in it... I think it's a combination between The Grudge and Tim Burton's movies... And when it was time for relaxation after another good day, we counted the recorded songs to 11!!
Sunday and last day for my vocal recordings!!! Only one song left and this one is a bonus song, which we don't even know yet if we're gonna be allowed to release since the original composer hasn't said his yes yet....but we keep our fingers crossed and of course we record it anyway... It's a very, very beautiful song and Tuomas lyrics are so good and suit it well. For me, I felt a bit nervous about this one, since it goes extremely high in the end and there were some difficult parts here and there for me to get over. But the guys were so nice and helpful and when we started to work on it, I just let the song flow and it went very well. Did the harmonies as well and then Tuomas recorded some demo-keyboards on top and it sounded amazing! I sure hope the composer will say yes, cause it would be so disappointing if we can't release this one...
So, I was done with the recordings and now Marco came back to do the things he had left here and there in the songs. As always he turned up, did great vocals and his voice added so much to the songs. At the same time as he recorded, I had some guests to entertain. Some record company people and also other guests. We all had a nice day. The whole day was buzzing with people and we all had a nice meal together in the evening, before they left again and we could relax and go to bed.
The thing that remained now was to listen through all the recorded songs and fix some minor things, before we said that everything is ok to go to the mixing table and mastering. The day was mainly just packing, fixing cd's to everyone and eating our last dinner together. Then in the evening, we had a party!! Super nice party and I must say that I had kept myself sober and very good all the weeks, due to being able to sing good...but this night I could just let go and drink and have a blast with the guys....
I didn't fall asleep until early morning and even if I didn't feel so good the morning after, it was sure worth it!! Super nice evening!
Sooo.....3 weeks of recordings, being away from home had come to an end....and I felt both happy and sad at the same time...;=) Mixed emotions, of course... since the whole period of time had been so tremendously rewarding and at the same time lots of hard work....but mainly I felt very sad leaving this place where I had slept for so many nights, had so many laughs, chewed my nails in fear after watching the horror movies, eaten superb food, been together with my new family and been singing in all the various ways I can, using my voice as fully as I can.... what a great time!!! And best of all, it's only the beginning... See u all soon!!!