Former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen has embarked on a solo career with the release of My Winter Storm. The album was certified gold on the first day of its release, and was recorded all over the world. I managed to catch up with Tarja today, a possiblity kindly arranged by Adam from Spinefarm UK, and the result is below. Enjoy!
Hi Tarja! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today, it's much appreciated! How are you doing today?
Tarja: No problem at all! I am very fine thank you, it's a dark morning here in Finland
Your new album, "My Winter Storm", has done incredibly well since its release in Europe - especially as it's your debut album! How do you feel about that?
Tarja: Well to be honest, I'm very very happy about it. I'm proud of it! It feels like a very new beginning for me, and for a debut album I can't complain. You know how it has been, I mean there have been millions of new people that I have worked with for this project, it's kind of.. everything has been so new for me, and I am happy that I have been able to go through that process - and to kind of be succesful in that, is a very good thing!
Ok excellent, so you're quite proud of the result then?
Tarja: I am very happy with it, yes, very happy.
It's clear from the variety of the songs on the album that you're both able to please existing Nightwish fans, and attract a newer audience - was this intentional, or just part of the creative/writing process?
Tarja: Uhmm yeah, you know how it has been, it's been a long process for me to work on this album. Actually, the planning for this album took me around one year. And uh, to plan everything carefully because I knew what I wanted to have, but it was so hard for me to go to get my idea through to the many people [that I worked with] to get the songs how I wanted. I was not really thinking of how to please the existing Nightwish fans, it was very much to do with the emotion that drew me through the whole process. The interest of music, what I am really interested in with music is now heard in the album, and my passion in music. For the first time in a way, of course it is not a heavy metal album! It's got it's heavy side with it's heavy guitars, but other very quiet orchestral songs - that variety is completely the interest of music in me.
Perhaps slightly too early, given you've only just released "My Winter Storm", but do you have any ideas or concepts in your mind about material for the next album?
Tarja: Yes I have! Well you know, I am already working on the new album: I am making new songs, I am writing new material! I'm in the beginning [of my solo career] and I am very anxious to go on, I can't just stop thinking of new material and writing new songs and planning for the next release or the one after that! You know, I am like that, I cannot just stop, do nothing and just, you know, I am brainstorming all the time, and yes, already thinking about the next album!
With regards to Classical Music - do you still want to be able to pursue this? I heard somewhere along the line you were planning on doing a classical tour, is that right?
Tarja: Yes, yes of course! I'm having sessions with my singing teacher, she is in Argentina and I am frequently going there when I visit my home there I'm doing very intensive work with her and the thing is, I have a plan to do a so called Classical Tour maybe in 2010 around that time, and probably in Asia, I haven't been there making classical concerts yet - and there have been requests from Japan and China, and that would be fantastic! I love classical music, it's a part of me, but it's not the only part of me: it's the healthier way of thinking and making music, and it's a very healthy process for me to be able to do and keep going on that, you know. Everything that I do as a singer is based on classical training with my voice, so I have to go on with this.
Your upcoming European tour, "Storm in Europe" starts in May - are you looking forward to it? Are you spending a lot of time preparing for it?
Tarja: Oh God, I am! I'm really looking forward to it! I am now preparing myself for the tour to come, physically training every day, I'm also training my vocals. It's a kind of preperation for the tour to come that I really need - I need these couple of weeks to really prepare and get my head into that. Unfortunately I am not coming to the UK this time! It's a shame, damn, I am not happy about that! The thing is that the Agent is working and I'm really hoping to get some good news on this, as I'm going to make another European tour later in the year!
Ok, so you hope to be able to head to the UK later in the year then?
Tarja: Yes! Very, very definitely!
I shall be looking forward to that then! How do you feel about touring with a new band?
Tarja: Oh, it's very different! But everything is different, the whole situation is different, but the thing is: I am happier than ever! These guys, they have been in the music business for 20 more years than me, most of them! They have seen all of it, they have seen all kinds of situations that I haven't yet, and I'm learning from them very much, every day. We are working together very fine, and everything is good! I am so happy, you can't imagine! The last tour that I made in Europe, I was so full of energy and so happy! And above everything, the happiest thing that I saw was the people in the audience: there were same familiar faces that there have been for so many years now, but on the other hand there were new people, and that is making me very very happy! Come on, this is only the beginning and hopefully if I'm healthy enough, and have a few lucky stars above me, there will be something to go on with!
By way of closing, looking back on the past few years and how things have turned out for you - are you happy? Would you have changed anything?
Tarja: Well, it has been such a learning process for me, so many new things happening all the time. It has been for me a big wonder, you know a blast of new things and I really want to go for that! It has been a big challenge for me but I have made it so far. I am happy that there are so many people helping me and working for me, and yes it feels good, so I think I am heading in the right direction, and there is definitely a future which is good to know!
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today! Have a wonderful day, and best of luck with your Europen tour!
Tarja: Thank you very much, and no problem!
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