She partners with Finnish guitarist and songwriter Jani Liimatainen the founding members of the power metal band Sonata Arctica. He has also performed with Cain’s Offering, Altaria and Stratovarius vocalist Timo Kotipelto (his band mate in Cain’s Offering) for the band’s first album.
IMM: Hi Annette, thanks for talking about your new album and band. This album is fantastic! I was wondering what has been happening with you since your album Shine was released three years ago?
Annette: Hi and so nice that you wanted to do this interview. Well, after Shine I felt I needed a break from music to think about what I wanted to do in life. I was quite tired of the whole business and everything that came after I ended in the former band. I decided to go back to university and start fresh to study to be a nurse. I´ve done that for the last years and worked on the side in hospitals and elderly homes. I have also done some singing on different bands and projects but just when I´ve had the time for it.
IMM: When did you meet Jani (Guitars, keyboards, programming), Jonas Kuhlberg (Bass)
Jani “Hurtsi” Hurula (Drums) to work on these songs and who decided on the name of the band?
Annette: Actually this started off as a project that Frontiers records came up with the idea for. They wanted to do a full album with Jani´s songs and needed someone to sing on them. He wanted a female singer this time so they asked me and I´m very happy that they did. All three guys I never met during the recording sessions since I recorded all my stuff here in Sweden and they did theirs in Finland. But we did meet for the first time during our video and photo shoot we had in Gothenburg earlier this autumn. Was very nice to finally meet them all and see who they are in person and they are super nice guys all of them.
IMM: Are any of these songs written for the Shine album or all new with Jani? Did you write the lyrics?
Annette: I didn’t write anything on this album, its all Jani´s work and that’s what I felt was good for me since I was very busy with my studies and work.
IMM: How many songs were written for the album and how the songs were chosen for the album including extra songs? Eleven are on the album
Annette: I don’t know if Jani wrote more than these songs, I have only gotten the songs on the album and then we also recorded a Japanese edition bonus track for Dead to me,
IMM: What are references for the songs such as “My Sweet Mystery”, “Dead To Me”, “The Ghost And The Reaper”, “I Cannot Raise The Dead”, “Heaven Of Your Heart”, Only One Who Knows Me”, “Here’s To You”?
Annette: Once again, its Janis work so I don’t know but I guess he´s picked stuff from his life and maybe had some thoughts behind them so that the lyrics would work for me to sing.
IMM: How many days and nights to do the videos? Any performance videos planned?
Annette: We only needed one day for the videos and then I did some shoots at home for the lyric video for Dead to me and that took about one hour. These videos are kinda performance videos but let´s see if we can do some live shots when we will play live.
IMM: What does the album cover represent and who designed it?
Annette: Frontiers had an artist they wanted to have to do the cover and he and Jani talked some about what Jani wanted and he came up with some ideas and then me and Jani decided this was the one. For me, it represents the darkness in the album in some of the lyrics but then the eye holds the light inside of it to represent the hope and positiveness in the melodies.
IMM: The band has been doing some shows as the opening band performing songs from the album. For 2018 will band perform songs from your Shine album and some Nightwish songs when the band does headline shows, and as opening and direct support depending on the time you get to perform?
Annette: No, we haven’t done any shows yet but hopefully we´ll do some next year. We might add something from my solo but no plans to do NW songs.
IMM: Are there talks for considering performing at United States, Canada, and Latin America and maybe Asia and other countries?
Annette: We have gotten offers from some different countries but we have to wait and see where we will be playing. Jani will be in South America next year with his other band with Kotipelto so fans can see him then at least.
IMM: Plans for another album based on the positive response this one is getting?
Annette: I sure hope so, if Jani has more songs inside of him to write.
IMM: Hope you and the band can make it over and to hear more music. Thanks for your time
Annette: Thanks, I sure hope we can come over and play for you all in the US. Always loved to tour the states so I would love to be back!