I: Hello Tarja, I can't see you looking tired, even though you've been running around couple of days. How do you keep such a happiness in your face?

T: Can't you really see these circles around my eyes? Ha ha ha... You're just being polite...

I: Good make up..?

T: Or good make up artist... (laughter)

I: Tell me how is it going?

T: Very good. I'm starting to get busy, because release of the new album is getting closer, in the beginning of September. I'm meeting international press, it keeps me busy plus my gigs. So I have promoting and touring at the same time.

I: From Poland to Finland, and then from Finland to Iceland to shoot video.

T: Yes. It's so wonderful to get to Iceland for the first time, I've never been there before. So it's really cool. There's probably gonna be dramatic scenes.

I: What is the video going to be like, can you tell anything about it?

T: I'm gonna wear an insane dress...

I: That's your style...

T: Yes...ala Sirja Tiilikainen. It has shades of black and white like the new album is gonna have. Very clear shades, but dramatic, dramtic, just like the music.

I: What is your life like, when you have to do gigs and promoting all the time? I heard from your spokesman that yesterday you enjoyed a little bit of regular life, you went to the movies with your husband and enjoy your free time.

T: It's important to find small breaks every now and then, cos otherwise it's like living in a mouse wheel. Though you can't really call our every day life a regular life, because we have home in Buenos Aires and our life in there is very different from what it was like in Finland plus that my jobs takes us always around the world. Of course it's tough, but if I didn't enjoy it, it would be much tougher.

I: What are the things you enjoy in your free time?

T: Oh...Good wine (laughter) food, friends, maybe a good book, a movie of course, sauna, we even have one in Buenos Aires. Normal things like these, and I also enjoy silence.

I: About that wine...How often you can be seen partying in Helsinki night life or in Argentina nightlife, and when was the last time?

T: I would say that's very rare. You can count those times with this hands fingers. (shows hand). I'm not really a night partier, those times are behind. But sometimes it's nice to spent an evening with friends. I call them at my home or visit them in their homes, and then I might take a bottle or two. But it's in a safe enviroment, I enjoy being with people. I don't really have need to find new people to my life, even though it might sound cold, but that's the way I feel.

I: It does sound pretty cold...

T: Yeah, and it is, and I don't mean that I don't enjoy people being around me but...

I: The safety net is there already?

T: Yes it is, and thank God it's very healthy too.

I: And the single comes out tomorrow?

T: Yes, oh my God, yes.

I: New stuff?

T: Yes. Falling Awake, it's as rock as rock can be.


I: Your first solo album came out in 2007, before that you released a Christmas album, and the second album comes out this autumn. What was it like to work on the second album?

T: It was a long process. Big jump to the new challenges because I now I write songs, lyrics and I work as a producer as well on hte album. Those are big new things in my career, but it's a brave thing and the final result probably shows people the direction where I'm going. It's very clear album from the start, and I'm very proud of it.

I: What's the thought on the album? What kind of questions did you think as a producer when you were making this album?

T: Not so many questions, but maybe I thought about some faults that I've seen in my life, enviromental things...Not so much telling people what to do but as a nature lover myself, I wish oceans were clean and sharks weren't killed...things like that, and also relationship things and what's in here *points chest* what lies beneath.

I: The most important?

T: Yes.

I: The album was also made in London among other places, if I understood right?

T: It was mixed in London.

I: What other places you worked on it?

T: We recorded the band in Hollola, Finland, in the middle of nowhere in February when it was -30°C. I took my beloved band there in the middle of nowhere and they enjoyed it very much. The coldness and nature and silence in Finland was very exotic, but we went to work there and we got good results. Also Slovakian National Orchestra and Choir that plays on the album, were recorded in Los Angeles. The vocals were recorded in Buenos Aires and in Finland. The mixing was done in London, in Austin Texas and in Los Angeles.

I: Did anything surprising happen during the recordings? You took the boys to cold Hollola, which is something they haven't got used at all.

T: Every day something happened.

I: Tell some funny story.

T: You'll have to see the making of, it tells everything. We had insanely funny, it was really nice. It's also when there were people who are nice to hang out with, it wasn't just that now we're playing and recording, but the good mood was also outside the music. So we had very good moments. The whole spring was very positive vibes, and there was no need to work with tears in our eyes.

I: Did you take the boys to the sauna?

T: Every night, except the drummer didn't go even once. I don't know why, the American drummer Mike Terrana... I just couldn't get him into sauna once in whole three weeks, even though he stayed in Finland resting after the recordings. "It's so wonderful in here, so quiet and calm and I can't hear even birds singing". He stayed here so he was able to sleep after hard work and he said that he has never slept as well as in here in Finland. But I just couldn't get him to sauna.

I: But you tried to talk him into it?

T: Yes, every day I was like "come on Mike, come on. Come with me"

I: You just said that the songs comes from the heart, the lyrics. Can you say which one of your "own children" is most personal?

T: There are many, but let's say Underneath. It tells about feeling good spiritually, which is how I feel at the moment. And how in the middle of all the rush you gotta find yourself, and your own goodness from within. Many people have said after listening to it, that "Tarja this is very beautiful and so sad". It sounds like it's sad with melancholic melody and the orchestra, but on the contrary, the message is very beautiful.

I: So you have released your past to that songs?

T: The past, the present and the future.

I: You've also said that you're a perfectionist. Did you have to cry in the studio in Hollola?

T: For happiness, yes. Couple of times, I'm very sensitive person.

I: What was it like to produce an album?

T: It was a big thing, and at the moment it was the only possibility for me. And of course I was damn nervous earlier, until the day the drummer walked in to the studio and we said "hi" and started to put together the drum kit and take samples. Until that I was nervous and thinking if I can handle it. But the first day showed that everything's gonna be ok. There were many difficult decisions to make but...

I: What kind of decisions?

T: If the guy plays three takes and asks "is that it, or should I change something"? Then we changed something and...Also when a musician is recording, it goes to such a personal level that one wrong word for a musician who's in a recording situation, might ruin the whole day. The most important thing was positive attitude, that's what brought the best results.
Every musician is different. For example if I record vocals and some sound guy says "that sounds like an ass", it ruins my day. It's emotional things that it's about.

I: And you also probably must be very strong to be able to be work as a producer, and able to say yourself that this sounds bad.

T: Yes, yes, absolutely.

I: With your first album you were compared to Nightwish a lot. Was working on the second album some how easier, or was it more difficult?

T: In a way it's funny that those comparisons were made, because music can't be compared, they were two different things. I never wrote songs for Nightwish but now I have for myself, so it's a completely different thing. But I hope people see where I'm going with the second album, it's a very different direction.

I: Do the songs come out easily?

T: It depends on the day, my mood, where I am... Usually when I compose, I compose with piano. That's my instrument, it's such a melancholic instrument and sounds melancholic. It's never easy, but sometimes it just snaps like "this is a good chorus..." My iPhone and I are risk while I'm driving. When a melody comes, I'm like "damn, I gotta turn this on and la la la la... " and there it is saved. It's very brief, but sometimes I just sit in the front of piano like now I write a song.

I: So was Tarja a risk in the middle of traffic?

T: Yes, many times.

I: But nothing bad hasn't happened?

T: No, not yet anyway, thank God.

I: But songs are born everywhere?

T: Yes, but I need silence, calmness, maybe light around me when I write. Here in north when some say that gloominess is what gives inspiration, it's pretty much opposite to me. Light is the inspiration.

I: Do you write lighter songs then?

T: Not necessarily. I've written very dark song in Caribbean beach, which is one of the heaviest songs on this album. So you can write good and darks stuff on the beach as well.

I: You were just talking about reviews. How much do you read articles about yourself? Do you find them interesting in generally?

T: It's very little that I read in the end. But criticism is always good, either it's negative or positive. You'll always learn about it. But of course I wouldn't be human with feelings, that if I get negative criticism, of course it feels bad, it's always the same. I don't think anyone can be so cool that doesn't feel anything. But it's very little that I read, because it's a fact that I can't please everyone, understanding that is important.

I: That was more about music, but has there been stories of you that has made you mad, that has nothing to do with music?

T: No, not at all. I've been in a lucky situations in that the media has written respectfully about me. It's been very nice to notice that.

I: I have to quote Anette Olzon from Me Naiset magazine: "Now I understand Tarja better after conflicts inside the band". Have you heard about this? And what does she mean with this?

T: You must ask her about it.

I: You don't wanna start guessing?

T: No I don't. Of course I hope all the best for her.

I: Can I also ask you if you've ever have anything to do with her? (Meaning did they ever meet or something like that)

T: No I haven't.

I: In Metro magazine you talked about you biological clock that is ticking...

T: Oh, really, wow! (very freely translated) Razz

I: ...But your excuse was the album, that it must be made before that. Which happens first, your third album or the baby?

T: Well I have no idea how it is. I don't think like that, things happen when they happen, and I think it's also healthier way that has been better in my case. It would be nice to have a little toddler next to me, but it happens when it happens.

I: Have you thought any names?

T: Nooo, let's not go that far yet, Herre Gud (=Oh my God in Swedish) I hope I spelled it right. Razz

I: But you do want kids?

T: Of course, of course.

I: How about fitting tha schedules?

T: I worry about that when the time comes. I think it's only a matter of attitude.

I: Why don't you have any gigs in Finland?

T: I would, I would, if people were interested in me in here. Artist does gigs where people are asking for her, of course.

I: Does that mean that Finnish people are not interested in you?

T: Like I said, artist does gigs where people are asking for her. I have many concerts, but unfortunately they're outside Finland.

I: I was just in Estonia, and you had a show in Haapsalu and they were like "yes, Tarja is coming to play here this is the biggest thing in * (=probably some Estonian news paper, I don't know what exactly he said)" It's little bit different in Finland.

T: It was really good gig in there. And they had American Car Beauty Show, really cool. And since I 'm a car freak already it was really cool to go there day before to take pictures of those cars.

I: Did you find a new car for yourself from there?

T: No I didn't. Well of course there were many cars that I'd love to take home...

I: How does the car freakness shows in you?

T: Well I have a little Fiat 600 which got nothing to do with American cars though...But I've polished and fixed and tuned it up and hified (is that a word?) it. I do hifi stuff every day anyway.

I: But you don't get a new car every year?

T: No.

I: How did you tune up your car?

T: Well the hifi gear are huge. I can play music so loud that some day I might blow up the windows of it.

I: But it can't be heard outside the car?

T: Oh yes you can, it's Fiat 600.

I: Everybody knows when Tarja is coming...?

T: Oh yes.

I: What's the craziest thing a fan has done for you?

T: My fans are unbelievably wonderful. Everything I've got from them, gifts or like the last very touching thing was that I got a certificate that says Tarja Soile Susanna Turunen-Cabuli is a godmother for a great white shark baby in Canada. I started to cry, it was so touching that the fans have recognized this kind of thing. Also in Slovenian shore has a dolphin called Tarja, and it was named about five years ago. The Slovenian fans write and send pictures of the Tarja dolphin. And they say Tarja is a traveler just like me, and sometimes it arrives (to the shore I guess) and some years not, so that's funny.

I: Have you seen the dolphin?

T: No, unfortunately I haven't seen it.

I: Would you like to see it some day?

T: Of course, that would be awesome.

I: But people don't come outside your door or travel to Kitee because you used to live there?

T: Yes, yes they do, and to my old home in Kuusankoski as well. Quite a lot actually.

I: What does it feel like?

T: it's pretty wild, and it's also wild that many fans are traveling around the world to see my concerts. Many times I've seen same faces in different countries. They've definitely seen my good and bad days.

I: It must be expensive to travel?

T: I've many times thought about that myself. They've told that they go to work and save the money so they can travel around. That's pretty wild.

I: Always to see Tarja's concerts. Are you afraid of performing? You seem to be very self-confident.

T: No, not at all, it's a huge pleasure. Of course I'm very exited every time before concert, and that gives me extra charge and helps me to concentrate, but it's got nothing to do with being afraid.

I: If you're not afraid of performing, what are you afraid of?

T: Being afraid is very strong expression...I'm not even afraid of the dark. SPIDERS! That's actually my phobia.

I: Are there lots of spiders in Argentina?

T: Yes. *whispers* Huge ones! It's awful, I can barely watch spiders on TV. I just turn to some other channel.

I: But you haven't seen them at home?

T: No.

I: Let's go back to Finland, how often are you ask to be in different tv-shows?

T: All the time. I've been asked every year during many many years. But it's always been that the time isn't right or that it takes too much time.

I: So you had to say no many times?

T: Yes.

I: What does it feel like? Is it all that simple?

T: It's a fact that I can't do everything at the same time.

I: What are your next goals in music?

T: Well the new album is of course the biggest thing, and it's very personal album for me. So the album and touring in the future. I hope everything goes well and I stay healthy. It takes a lot of work.

I: How much concerts have been sold?

T: Till the end of the year at the moment and in March I have South American tour and in April I return to Europe. The beginning of the year is off, but everything is booked to the end of May.

I: Is there some particular gig that you are waiting for?

T: I'm waiting for the whole tour actually. I'll go touring with Alice Cooper in November.

I: That sounds wonderful.

T: That's what I'm waiting for very exited, to see his spectacular theatrical stage show.

I: You have two brothers in Finland. Timo and Toni, they both are doing gigs and music. They were also in your album if I'm right?

T: Yes.

I: Is there going to be any project with them?

T: That would be fun. Yeah, my brothers sung on Still Of The Night cover. It's not gonna be on the album, but it will be heard as a bonu material. We're all very different singers and personalities and we're all doing different style of music, which is a nice sounding thing since after all we're the same family and the same basis and the ambition. And we're all Leos. And I'm very proud of my brothers, and I wish them only for the best. It would be very nice to make music together.

I: Is that a promise?

T: *laughter*

I: Is there gonna be a churh tour or something in Finland with all of you together?

T: I hope so. Of course I wish it was possible, it would be wonderful.

I: But you're not gonna start rapping?

T: No.I have some sense left.

I: My next question would be that do you wanna rap one of your forthcoming song, but you expression looks like you don't.

T: What? Njet!

I: Is that a no?

T: That is clearly a no.

I: But I think this is it.

T: Alright.

English translation: Orion