TARJA TURUNEN Explains Why 'All The Nordic Countries' Are 'Really Tough' To Live In

November 28, 2023

During an appearance on the latest episode of "Drinks With Johnny", the Internet TV show hosted by AVENGED SEVENFOLD bassist Johnny Christ, former NIGHTWISH frontwoman Tarja Turunen spoke about one of the major problems of life in Finland — the lack of light in winter. The 46-year-old Finnish-born singer, who currently lives in Spain — after previously residing in both Finland and Argentina — said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It is a really tough country to live in. I mean, seriously — all the Nordic countries, they are really tough. The climate is demanding.

"Environment is everything for us," she continued. "It's an inspiring environment in general for musicians to write songs about, all that, but it's a tough, tough place to live. Especially — I'm such a weird creature in general that I really need light. I started to feel the importance of light in my life. I don't necessarily need the sun and the heat, but the light, to wake up in the morning. [During the winter], it's pitch black. You start the day, it's dark as a night. You end your day, you have never seen light during the day. After some time, it will take [its toll]."

She continued: "Now, all these Christmas tours that I'm doing, I am always much more tired during the tour because of a lack of light. Seriously. It is like that. And I need to — I really need to remind myself to at least get some fresh air, to get out there and have a little walk or go for a run if the weather allows and really take care, because the body's there if the mind is there. Bodies work when the minds work."

The Nordic countries regularly top quality-of-life rankings and are often used as role models for good governance in equality, education, sustainability and economic policy.

In the last decade, every time the World Happiness Report (WHR) has published its annual ranking of countries, the five Nordic countries — Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland — have all been in the top ten, with Nordic countries occupying the top three spots in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022.

According to the University Of Melbourne, the WHR combines a mixture of quantitative and qualitative measures to give an overall ranking of "happiness". These include the experience of care, freedom, generosity, honesty, health outcomes, income equality and good governance. The WHR considers trust in government, GDP per capita, freedom from corruption, the sense of having someone to count on and incidence of mental health to all be of equal importance.

Turunen released "Dark Christmas", the sequel of her 2017 album "From Spirits And Ghosts (Score For A Dark Christmas)", on November 10. The LP includes enchanting and captivating renditions of well-known Christmas carols, such as WHAM!'s "Last Christmas", Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You", Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime", classics such as "Jingle Bells", "Frosty The Snowman" and "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer", as well as Tarja's brand new original song "Dark Christmas". The release is accompanied by 12 music videos — a video for each album song, as well as a full-length music feature film made available with Dolby Atmos immersive audio mix on all supporting platforms.

Turunen was fired from NIGHTWISH at the end of the band's 2005 tour by being presented with an open letter which was published on the NIGHTWISH web site at the same time.

Photo credit: Tim Tronckoe (courtesy of earMUSIC)

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