Ex-NIGHTWISH Singer TARJA TURUNEN On Benefits Of Being A Solo Artist: 'There Is Nobody Telling Me What I Should Do'

January 15, 2019

Keefy from Ghost Cult magazine recently conducted an interview with former NIGHTWISH frontwoman Tarja Turunen. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On how she prepares for long tours:

Tarja: "Physical and vocal. As I am a lyrical singer, I really have to work hard. I'm still really training on a daily basis on my vocals. Because of the lyrical training, it never really ends. That's my way of being, you know, being an artist like I am. The physical part goes along with that. I passed the 40s. I'm not that chick-y, young girl chick anymore who can handle the long tours without any physical problems. Yeah, I need to take care of myself. It's constant preparation for what's coming up and since I knew already a long time ago that I have a really tough ending of the year, like a lot of touring we had to do, I've been training a lot."

On the current condition of her voice and whether she's "getting better with time":

Tarja: "Yes. I think I am. [Laughs] To be honest with you, seriously, I feel like I'm in the best physical, but also singing condition at the moment. I am at my best. Of course, the life changes you have along the way, what you experience in a way, you carry those experiences within you. Otherwise, it wouldn't make any sense. You appreciate the things that have happened and you really carry them along with you. So, for me, it's been such an incredible journey to accept that I am not perfect. The thing is that, I'm trying to be. I'm a perfectionist for sure. When it comes to my singing, always on spot I need to be. That's a hard job because my audience is aware of it. They also seek it in a way. Like, 'She's perfect. We'll see a perfect performance.' In a way, I also have forgiven myself that, 'Okay, hey, I'm just a human anyway, after all.' But, it's a hard job."

On her work/life balance:

Tarja: "I'm a workaholic. My listeners, I think, they know me as a workaholic already. But, you know, work is my love. I am privileged with a love of mine. If you think of people, the majority of us, we can't do what we really love. I am really grateful that I can work with my dream. Yes, I've been very productive in the last years, but I'm enjoying the balance I have nowadays as a lyrical singer but also as a rock singer. I've been finding that it's a bit hard to find the harmony between my classical musical activities and the rock activities. Obviously, the priority is within the rock still because it takes the majority of my time. But, nevertheless, I've been doing lots and lots of classical musical projects. They are the ones that really keep me…it's a bad word, it's 'insane' in a good condition because they really make me work hard vocally. When I get over those projects, I'm always ready to hit the rock stages again. They live within me, those two worlds. Very different, but they live within me and that's why I've been productive because I feel the harmony. I enjoy the harmony."

On the song sequencing for her recent "Act II" live album/DVD:

Tarja: "It was a lot of work, actually. People might think making production for a live album won't take that long as compared to a studio record, but for me it is as important of a record as any of my studio records. Because, working for 'Act II', first of all, took me months. If you think about it, it's not just the live video, it's an arty kind of way of production with all the post-production involved and all that. Plus, the pictures and picture selection that I chose from thousands and thousands of pictures that were sent from the fans. I wanted my listeners to be part of that work of mine. I always kind of want to have them part of my work because I know today, people are taking pictures. I love photography myself. When you go to perform and I see cameras all around and people are just having telephones on all the time, so people are taking pictures everywhere. The videos are uploaded before I even get to hit my own bed in the hotel room — I'm going to check how bad I did. [Laughs] The work for 'Act II' really took me six months on a daily basis, at home working on the edits. First, the music, then the video because it's like eight hours and-a-half of material, including all the festivals and all the additional stuff that is there. But I enjoyed working on it. Obviously, at some point, I really hated checking out my own wrinkles on my big fucking screen at home. [Laughs] I'm very picky about them. [Laughs] As I said, I'm a perfectionist, but, I'm so goddamn happy that I can do it on my own. There is nobody telling me what I should do, how I should do. I'm working on my own."

On her 2019 plans:

Tarja: "New album. I've been writing a lot of songs. I've been writing in the meantime before hitting the road. I'm still working on lyrics and all of that, finishing it up. I need to finish the album writing before the end of the year because in January I'll be hitting the studio for the production. Next year, you can expect a new rock album."

Tarja's most recent studio album, "The Shadow Self", was released in 2016.

"Act II" — filmed during Tarja's world tour "The Shadow Shows", during which the vocalist circled the world 7.5 times with over 300,000 km traveled and played over 200 shows in 40 countries in front of one million people — was released in July on earMUSIC as 2CD digipak, 3LP gatefold (180g, black),DVD, Blu-ray, limited mediabook 2CD+2BD (including two full live shows filmed at Hellfest in France and Woodstock festival in Poland as bonus) and digital.

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