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FLOOR JANSEN: 'I could never leave NIGHTWISH'


NIGHTWISH singer Floor Jansen recently released a new solo single, “Fire”, via ADA, the division of Warner Music Group dedicated to independent label and artist distribution. Speaking to Finland’s Chaoszine about her decision to launch a solo career nearly 25 years after she joined her first band, she said: “I just never thought of it. I didn’t feel the need to do anything like that. I found and find NIGHTWISH very fulfilling, so that’s why I also took my time to really think about even do I wanna do it. The fact that I can do it doesn’t mean I have to do it. It has to be fun, it has to be good. And it has to coexist with everything else. It’s a luxury problem but still one you need to manage before it becomes an actual problem.”

Regarding how different it is for her to be writing and releasing her own music compared to working with a band like NIGHTWISH, she said: “The fact that I’m by myself makes it scarier and different. It’s more my brainchild than NIGHTWISH because is Tuomas‘s (HolopainenNIGHTWISH keyboardist) brainchild and I add my creativity and my personality and who I am in my own way into NIGHTWISH, and I’ve always felt that very fulfilling. But, of course, when you decide, okay, I’m gonna write, I’m gonna think of how the video will look like, I’m gonna think of how the image of the whole thing is gonna be like, work with people towards that… It’s, yeah, like I said, more of my brainchild in that sense. It brings a new level of excitement — a different level.”

Jansen also addressed the fact that some NIGHTWISH fans are concerned that she might leave the band if her solo career takes off. She said: “I think by now they should know how much I love NIGHTWISH as well. So there’s no need for concern at all; I could never leave NIGHTWISH. (Laughs) It’s just really fun to do this on the side, and NIGHTWISH gives me plenty of time to do it. And yeah, also creatively, it’s great to be creative like this.”
Speaking about how she is able to explore other musical avenues with her solo project that she wasn’t able to pursue with any of her previous bands, Floor said: “That was so nice with having two years during the pandemic to kind of test-ride that. Because my idea from the get-go was to not do metal or rock. I’ve been doing that for 20 years — 20-plus years. I’m already in one of the biggest bands you can think of, I’m already working with the best songwriter you can think of, so to do something in metal on the side would kind of feel like something weaker on the side. Why would I wanna do that? Plus I’ve already been doing it. You guys know how I look like in a metal band, so how do I actually look like when you strip it more down in a more ‘less is more’ kind of environment? Then it immediately becomes pop music, and that’s so broad, like metal — there’s so many styles. So how does Floor Jansen sound when she’s not doing metal or rock? That I’ve been exploring, and I really soon realized I actually don’t know because I’ve never been writing like that; I don’t really think in pop lines. Yet if I grab a guitar or a piano — also because I’m pretty crap at playing; I’m very basic — I come with basic ideas, and that sometimes is good when you wanna write in a pop form. But I could never do that by myself. So I had to find the right songwriters to work with. And key in all this was really working with Gordon Groothedde, a Dutch producer. When we started writing together, my songwriting skills really fell in place. He’s really, really good in what he does. And, yeah, I also noticed, besides the fact that pop and metal are musically so far away from each other, which is a bit of an obvious, but still in the process of finding my sound here, it became more and more clear to me where those differences lie. I also realized that, yeah, I think I kept developing myself as a singer, I feel confident with what I can do vocally, but songwriting-wise, I kind of stayed behind quite many years. So I’m reinventing myself there, I’m learning and it’s super fun to do, really — to take upon that part of being a musician more.”
Watch the official video for “Fire” below.

Born in the Netherlands, Jansen joined her first band, one of the world’s first symphonic metal bands, AFTER FOREVER, when she was only 16 years old. The group went on to release five albums from 2000 to 2007, before they broke up in 2009.

Jansen‘s next band, REVAMP, released two albums in 2010 and 2013, before she joined NIGHTWISH as a full-time member. NIGHTWISH‘s first album with Jansen as the lead singer was 2015’s “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”, which landed in Top 10s around the world. This was followed by 2020’s “Human. :II: Nature.” , which was also an international success.

Jansen has toured extensively with the band and appeared on three of NIGHTWISH‘s live albums “Showtime, Storytime”“Vehicle Of Spirit” and “Decades: Live In Buenos Aires”.

In 2019, Jansen participated in the popular Dutch TV show “Beste Zangers” where she scored a big hit with “Phantom Of The Opera” together with Henk Poort. She was recognized with a Dutch Popprijs award — a prestigious accolade for artists that has made important contributions to Dutch music. In the same year, her first solo tour sold out in less than 24 hours.

Jansen said: “I’m delighted to partner with ADA as I move into this exciting phase of my career and start my journey as a solo artist. ADA is the perfect partner to help me reach as many people around the world as possible, while staying true to my indie roots.”

Sander Stijnen, head of A&R and ADA Benelux, added: “Floor has one of the most iconic voices and is a true legend in the music industry. I’m so happy we can work on her solo material, which has seen her grow and develop as an artist and songwriter. I think people are going to be blown away with the direction she’s taken with her new music.”

Less than two months ago, the 41-year-old Dutch-born singer, who made her live debut with NIGHTWISH nearly a decade ago, stated about the musical direction of “Fire”: “It’s a pop song, so it’s not metal, it’s not rock, but it’s definitely me.” Jansen went on to explain that the track will not necessarily be representative of all the new solo music she has been working on in recent months. “I guess it’s more of a mash-up of styles actually,” she said, referring to her upcoming collection of solo material, “though it’s not so extreme as in genres, like all of a sudden it becomes… Here’s a metal song and here’s a rock song and this is more poppy… I mean, pop music — the word of it — it’s short for popular music, and it kind of describes a lot, and within that it falls. I can only say that it’s not metal and it’s not rock, but it will have its influences and it will have a part of the sound. It can’t even be so that the first song is how everything else will sound like because, yeah, if you know NIGHTWISH and also for us, it’s always so hard to pick just one song that’s gonna be like the kick-off of an album but it can never really represent everything. And I guess it’s the same for this first song that comes on the 25th of March.”

Last summer, Floor said during an appearance on the “Breaking Absolutes With Peter Orullian” podcast that she had been working on a solo album since shortly before the beginning of the pandemic. “And it really kickstarted my own creativity that I haven’t really been able to use over the years,” she said. “It’s nice that it gets out. And I would like to do more of that and actually finish that album and make those steps and find a way to combine a solo career with NIGHTWISH and my life at home, which I even more value after spending so much time here in this green heaven in Sweden where I live.”

Jansen discussed the prospect of making a solo album during a 2020 interview with Metal Hammer magazine. At the time, she said: “After 20 years of rock and metal, I think I would like to do something else. I don’t mean stop with NIGHTWISH, but something alongside it.

“I was recently involved in a TV show in my home country in the Netherlands TV show ‘Beste Zangers’, which translates to ‘Best Singers’. That really inspired me to start writing, and the stuff that has come out is very calm.

“I would love to make an album where less actually is more. Something different — not because I’m bored, but because if you are already in one of the biggest bands in your own genre, and you have someone like Tuomas Holopainen as a songwriter, I don’t really see that I’d be adding anything by making another metal album myself.”

Earlier in 2020, Jansen spoke about a possible musical direction for her solo album during an Instagram Live chat. She said: “I cannot imagine it would be rock or metal — just because rock now I’ve done, and metal I’ve done a lot. And I’m already in one of the best bands, I think, that are out there, in my opinion, to my taste. Plus, if you’re in a band with a songwriter such as Tuomas Holopainen, it’s a little bit hard to come up with something — anything — better, I would say, and I only say that out of love and respect for him. Plus, after 20 years of metal, wouldn’t it be lovely to do something completely different for me? That’s how I feel.”

Jansen performed live with NIGHTWISH for the first time on October 1, 2012 at Showbox Sodo in Seattle, Washington following the abrupt departure of the band’s lead singer of five years, Anette OlzonJansen officially joined NIGHTWISH in 2013.

This year will see Jansen become the Dutch ambassador for Record Store Day on April 23, as well as participate in Germany’s “Sing Meinen Song”.

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