Last May I was in the Czech Republic to see the non-replica production of “The Phantom of the Opera”, and this amazing band comes from the same country. I had the pleasure to chat with the incredible, strong, and fearless leader of After Evolution, the one and only Nikolette Olsson. Here’s what we talked about!

Hello Nikolette! How are you doing at the moment?
Hello! I’m fine, what about you?
I’m good, thank you! “War of the Worlds” is out now. What are your feelings when your records are released?
I feel really good about it because it was a long time before we have recorded it. We had some complications with the band, so I am really happy that it’s finally out. I feel great, and the band feels great as well, so amazing feelings.
Let’s say you’re in a big crowd: how does someone get your undivided attention?
If a man has long hair, it has my attention in a second, so I know he listens to alternative music like metal, rock or something like that. If it’s a girl, it depends: if she’s got some nice colourful hair and some alternative style as well, gothic, metal or some dark styles. Then I’m like, “Oh jeez, I like that style, and I like that hair!”.
Nice! Do you remember who was your first music teacher and what was him/her like?
My first music teacher, I remember it was before I started to play the piano. It was the flute, I was three years old, and I wanted to play some instruments, so my parents decided that they would try something easy with me. The teacher was a woman, she was quite young, about 25 years old, and she was nice to me. My mother went up to hear if I was good and she told her that I’m really talented and that I should move to something not that easy like the violin. She was cool, and I was so sad when I stopped playing the flute because we were good friends and she was so great.
Can you share a funny moment that happened in the studio with the other band members?
We were in the studio with the producer, so we asked him if we could cook somewhere because we were kind of hungry, so he showed us the microwave. It was in Italian because we were in Italy, and the bass guitarist told us he would take care of that. The producer showed him how to use everything and told him especially not to touch the plate in the microwave because there were 3 bands before us, and they broke the plate. He was sick of buying new plates, and Adam was like: “Of course, I wouldn’t break it; why should I?”. So we made some food, and he made a mess in the microwave. He wanted to clean it up because he didn’t want to let it dirty, so he took the plate and broke it. The producer came and said, “Is everything okay?” and he told him, “You know, I wanted to clean the plate in the microwave, and it is broken; I’m so sorry”. It was kind of funny. He makes us laugh every time; he’s a positive and funny person. If we are in a bad mood, there’s him, and he has a lot of jokes, he does a lot of fun.
What is the best trait you have that is also a trait from your mom or dad?
There are a lot of musicians on my mum’s family side. I got musical talent from them; she’s not a musician but a family person, so she just wanted me to do music. My dad and his side of the family are very artistic, they love drawing, and they draw very good, so that’s why I edit photos or do digital art and stuff like this.
Well can you leave something for us mere mortals? 🙂 Do you think that it’s harder for women to be in the metal industry?
To be honest, I think it’s still harder for women because when I was starting the band with our guitarist Michal, he was totally okay with me composing everything, and he would do just the guitars. But sometimes, some members were not satisfied that I was the leader of the band and I had the final word. So many times they told me, “Why should it be you to compose everything, to decide about everything, why not Michal? Why not me?” and I told them “Okay, so can you compose anything?” and they’d say: “No I can’t but Michal can.” Michal said no! Some ex-members were just not satisfied with the woman leader, and also there are still a lot of people like producers, and others telling me that bands led by a woman are not a good idea, but if I will sleep with them maybe they will change their mind. I was like, “What the f**k? If I were a man would you speak to me like that?” and they just told me “It’s up to you”. I heard generally in the music industry, for women it’s kind of harder because there are a lot of male composers, male producers, male managers, male musicians and even sometimes women don’t support other women. I met a female composer, and she told me that she wanted to work with another female colleague; she told her specifically not to work with her for two reasons: first, she wants to be the only woman in this group and second, because she likes how men approach her if she’s the only female. It’s crazy, but I know that if you’re a woman in the music industry, the fans react to it much better because female fans are really supportive of other female artists and men likes a beautiful girl on the stage. In this way, it’s easy to be a girl in the music industry, but in another way, it’s also hard to make everything work; you will have to fight harder and work harder if you are a girl in the music industry. There was another thing which really made me mad, like totally. There was an engineer at a live concert we had, and I’m also doing the technical side, like we’ve got the orchestras in the computer. We are sampling them because it would be hard to have a whole orchestra all the time behind us! So he came to me and told me, “Who is taking care of this technical side?” and I told him “It’s me,” and laughing, he said, “Okay”. I was like, “What the f***?” and he went to the guitarist and asked him “How does your stuff work technically?” and he told him: “Man, I don’t know, ask the singer. That’s her work.” He was like: “Oh, okay”, and he went to the bass guitarist: he told him the same. He went to the drummer: he told him the same, and then he came to me. He said, “So tell me what you have, I know that you don’t understand it, but if you can tell me, I will figure it out”. I exactly told him how to connect everything, that some things have to be in the right channel for the in-ears and stuff like that, and he just did everything in the opposite. It didn’t work, and so he just came and said, “Why isn’t this working?” and I was like “Did you connect the in-ears like it has to be?” and he told me “No, I put it into the left channel.” and I said, “You have to put into the right channel like I told you”. He was angry, but he did it, and it worked. Why are you doing this? Why are you complicating this thing for both of us? Just because I am a woman?
Oh wow… I am so sorry these awful things happened to you. Being Czech, how many accents can you imitate? What’s your best one?
I don’t know if I really am good about it, but other members are. Our bass guitarist loves imitating the Russian language because it’s similar in some words to the Czech language. We were for a month in Italy, and we tried some Italian accents, with the gesture as well! If we are just making fun of some accents, it’s like Russia, Italy and Britain. My favourite one is Italian! 
As an Italian, I appreciate that! I’d like to play a game with you: what would you do if someone calls you right now and tells you that you’ve inherited 1 million of dollars?
Well, it would be a great thing for me! Who wouldn’t love to have millions in their accounts? Maybe the first thing I would do is call the guys in the band and say, “We can record another video clip!”. Then I would buy some place, a garage or something where we could have our own room for recording and rehearsing because we have to rent some every month. We can’t leave our things there, it’s not ours, and we can’t be there all day because there are other bands, so it would be maybe the second thing to have our own studio for the band and also for me would be much easier. And I don’t know, maybe go shopping for girl things!
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! Would you like to add anything to FemMetal readers?
I would love to thank all readers for taking the time to read this interview. We appreciate it if you like our music; we would be really happy if you watched one of our video clips! We would love to meet all of the fans and readers at one of our live shows, not just on Facebook and Instagram. I appreciate all of the support we’ve got.

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Benedetta Baldin

Hi! My name is Benedetta, I’m 29 and I live in Northern Italy. My passion has always been music: I started taking guitar lessons when I was 6. Now I work as a sales representative, but in my free time I interview talented people, I spread the word about my favorite band (MoonSun), and I go to concerts or travel around Europe. I am a huge collector of anything Tolkien-related, autographs, merchandise, and CDs. I am quite an original person and don’t mind being the voice outside of the choir (even though I play in the church’s choir!).