Chris Peters of Australia's Heavy magazine recently conducted an interview with former NIGHTWISH frontwoman Tarja Turunen. You can listen to the entire chat via the Spreaker widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On her new live album, "Act II":
Tarja: "I'm very happy. Actually, the work for the live album, even though it's a live album and you might think that artists in general end up working not so much for their live albums, I'm working a lot. It me took many, many months to finish the product, but I'm super-happy with it because it's kind of an important album for me to be able to show where I'm at the moment as an artist. I'm very happy with the final results. You know, it's always a pain in the butt to check yourself on screen and work on the video edits and all that because I'm very critical when it comes to my own performance. I have to bear myself for a long time. [Laughs] It was a fun process anyway."
On the differences in releasing a live album versus a conventional studio album:
Tarja: "Actually, the whole thing of being a solo artist has been such a learning process for me. Since I departed from my previous band, NIGHTWISH, it was the whole beginning of my career, there was stuff in the air. I had to learn so much. After all these years, being alone, creating your art and finding your way, finding the path I wanted to take, writing the songs, being more comfortable and confident in what I do, it's been actually an incredible joyride. Actually, the whole freedom that is around me nowadays, I wouldn't change that at all. It's a really, really beautiful thing."
On whether she planned in advance to release a second live album titled "Act II":
Tarja: "Well, when I was working on 'Act I', certainly, or naturally, I thought that hopefully after a couple of more studio albums, I could come up with 'Act II'. Now that I have released 'Act II', hopefully there will be a chance for 'Act III' one day, obviously. The first, 'Act I', is representing the first two studio albums of mine and 'Act II' is representing the last three studio records, so, in that sense, well, hopefully, one day there is a chance for me to come up with another live album. I enjoy doing these kind of things. I have a great band with me. I have great people working with me. We have good times, we have fun on the road. I'm still enjoying a lot of the touring aspects. I think that I will become very miserable if I wouldn't be able to tour. I love my audience and the performances, so it's important."
On the idea and concept behind the live performances captured on "Act II":
Tarja: "The 'Shadow Shows', the tour that I made for almost two years, it's really representing the latest record of mine, 'The Shadow Self' record. It is an album that is actually, I would say, it's very natural, the whole learning and all that I've been doing as a solo artist. It really represents me. It represents my passion in music. Also, it's kind of a self-discovery that I went through writing the music for the album. It's kind of talking about the two sides in us, the darkness and the light that is in all of us, naturally. You see me performing, I'm very happy in performing, but there is a certain amount of darkness in me that without the darkness, I don't think I could deliver music or I could create music. I find that darkness very beautiful. Don't get me wrong — it's not like I love writing the songs in the dark in the night or something like that. No! I could write songs on the beach, but the interior darkness, we have it all. We have it. For me, it's the power that I have to create, so I'm celebrating of having embraced that darkness in me, how silly it sounds, but it's really like that. This tour has been like that. The celebration of that life of mine. I feel so goddamn good at the moment. That's what you can hopefully see in 'Act II' in the live DVD."
On whether she's happy to have become a solo artist after being fired from NIGHTWISH in 2005:
Tarja: "The past is the past. I got to share the stage with Marco [Hietala], the bass player/singer of NIGHTWISH last year. I met him since I haven't seen him in 12 years or something, so we shared the stage in Finland, there was a tour called 'Raskasta Joulua', which is a heavy metal Christmas tour. I went there after one of the soloists and I sang some songs with him. It was actually a really good meeting. We felt really good embracing each other on the stage and people were crying; the audience was crying. It was a good thing for us. They have their own life, I have my own life, everything is fine. Time heals. Also, the thing is that you're an adult. You need to think and live your life. You only live once. That's how it is."
"Act II" was released on July 27 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.