Interviews Music

Tarja strikes back

{mosimage}Tarja Turunen happens to be one of most important female singers in Europe, apart from a super famous public figure in Finland. FREE! Magazine had access to an exclusive interview with the owner of such a divine voice!

Singing for the children

The venue is in Jäähalli and the gathering of artists is aimed at a very good purpose: to help ill children to receive better treatments at hospitals. A Christmas concert organized by Kummit that will be broadcast in the national Finnish TV, with very special guests such as Anna Abreu, Jenni Vartiainen, Katri Ylander or Antti Tuisku. But our main goal is to get Tarja Turunen to comment how her situation and plans are after the recent release of her new CD: My Winter Storm. Just a couple of months ago Nightwish released their new album featuring the Swedish Annete Olzon as their new vocalist, so comparisons are up to you… If you purchase the new Tarja´s CD, do not expect to find the same kind of songs that in her period with Nightwish. Amazingly, a great balance between opera and metal has been achieved all along the album, but the style is more personal and far from the classical Nightwish´s compositions.

With not big effort, we get some minutes alone with the ex-singer of Nightwish, who looks extremely smart and beautiful in a black Marimekko dress. A few words in Spanish help to break the ice (she is married with the Argentinean Marcelo Cabuli, and spends long periods of time in her husband’s native country) and Tarja answers friendly the questions that FREE! Magazine has for her, just some minutes before leaving the backstage to perform on stage. You can notice that she feels happy and satisfied taking control of her solo career, and the good vibes are transmitted all over the chat.

Enjoy the chance that our publication offers, since it is not easy task to find English interviews with Tarja Turunen online!

New album, total control

Tarja, please tell us a bit more about your new album. How was the recording process?
It was a long process. It took me 1 year to have everything ready. We started in June and we ended at the beginning of September

And you worked among others with famous producer Daniel Presley.

Yeah, with Daniel Presley and with many new people for me. I was choosing musicians to play with me, one by one because of their background or their personality, and the whole orchestra, everything… the whole production! I had a very clear picture of what I wanted and how I wanted the album to sound like.

Is there any special track that you like from My Winter Storm?
They are all my babies. It depends on. If I am tired, maybe I like listening to The Reign or Our Great Divide but then when I need some energy I like My little Phoenix or Lost Northern Star.

Are you spending now most of your time in Argentina?
Well, as much time as in Finland. I have been always on the road for the last couple of years. It changes that when I am in Finland I am never at home. That is the point… I feel like just being “somewhere”. But when I am in Argentina, it feels like being at home, and it is a nice feeling indeed. I like people there, because they are nice and open, but also very calm, far from the stereotype that Finnish could have about them.

I saw you recently singing a cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit during the presentation of new Marimekko´s collection in the centre of Helsinki. How did the idea of covering that particular song come up?
Actually I had the pleasure to sing this song before in a church, in Lahti, Finland, with an electric organ. And I really liked it. The song brings me very good memories from my teenage years. Of course it was a big surprise for the audience to hear Smells Like Teen Spirit from Nirvana sang by me!

Everybody pays attention to what you are wearing on stage. Do you work actively in the design of your clothes?
I have a tailor in Helsinki that is working with me. I only wear what is designed for my performances. The tailor is a very good friend of mine. I have a lot of freedom to use my head, my imagination and give him advice. The design that I use in the cover of My Winter Storm is from him. I am also working closer with Marimekko, as you can see with this dress that I am wearing now.

Not looking back in anger

And you also work very close with your family. For example, you collaborated in the album of your brother Timo. How is the experience of working with your relatives?
Yes, he is coming with a new album at the beginning of New Year. It is very exciting. He is playing kind of traditional Finnish folk pop, singing in Finnish. The whole family is in music business in one way or another. My other brother is playing with me on tour. Actually he is playing with me tonight in the drums (on other tour dates Tarja counts with Mike Terrana, who is considered to be one of the best metal drummers in the world)

I suppose that you must feel bored of everybody asking you about Nightwish, but well, since they released their new album just so recently, I wanted to ask your opinion about it, in case you have heard it.
Of course I have heard it! I have not heard the complete album, but some songs from the radio so far, and I like it. It is Nightwish and the spirit is there in their music.

Do you ever feel like you would like to sing those compositions with them?
I don’t really have that kind of thoughts in my mind. I have many other things going on in my head. I am full with my own career, honestly.

And what plans does Tarja Turunen have for the future?
There will be a world tour starting in April 2008. The plan is to relax, try first in small places and see how it goes. I am not in a hurry!

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