A glance beneath the surface

Since the split from Nightwish, the exceptional soprano Tarja Turunen worked hard on her solo career.Her album "My winter storm" from 2007 wasn't just a personal success. The new album "What lies beneath" will be released on August 20th, the single for "Falling awake" on August 6th, right on time to the singer's performance at Wacken open air. Even the finn is using the usual mix of metal and classic on her new record, it's still worth to listen carefully - because as the title says, there is lots of new stuff beneath the surface which is revealed little by little.

Tarja, what's the biggest difference between the new album and it's predecessor?
The biggest difference is that I composed and texted myself. Especially composing is the biggest step for me since I have started to make music. Due to this, the songs are much clearer and reflect myself in a better way. I am very very happy with the result.

Which deeper meaning is behind the album's title?
There are so many strange things you find out about people: Why they lie. What they are hiding. What lies beneath their surface. There are so many things you can't recognize at the first sight, becuae it can be wrong and mostly can't show the correct impression of a thing or a person. That's what the title is implying and that is what the songs are about. The album title inspired me to the songs of the album because it was set very early - for almost two years.

You have composed and texted. Did you do this on your own or were others involved as well?
Some of the people who already worked on "My winter storm" worked on the album as well, like Michelle Leonard, Kiko Masbaum, Angela Heldmann or Vacuum from Sweden.

How much metal and how much classic is in the new album?
There are classical influences but also influences from movie themes and of course metal. Since I am connected to metal for many years now I love to combine these forms. To me, metal ans classical music are close to each other and the album is a mix of both - there are songs with characteristic guitars as well as songs without any.

Are you generally closer to classic or the metal genre?
I have always been connected to both sides, so I don't see myself closer to one than to the other one. It's a challenge to me to play rock shows and see the fans headbanging to my music. And of course I can't go and sing an opera after that, I need some distance then. But I love what I am doing and I wouldn't want to have to choose between them. But in the end, rock is my kind of thing.

You have had a photo shooting for the cover and you have reported about it on your homepage enthusiastically.
Yes the result of the shooting was exactly what I wanted. People's first reaction was "Oh man, how pretty you look there" . and then they took a closer look and discovered something different: scars. But not at first sight.

And those scars are of course connected to the album, it's title and the meaning behind it?
The scar is of course a reference to the album title. I wanted to create an illusion for the spectator. Jens Boldt, a photographer from Hamburg took those pictures and Dirk Rudolph designed the cover. The fake scars seem very realistic and that's how they were supposed to look, but not in a too obvious way. You have to check twice until you see them, just like you always discover something new if you have a closer look at something. It's everywhere in our lives that you discover something which becomes obvious after a second glance or even more often.

Did you discover something new beneath your own surface during the recordings of the album?
I am very happy as an artist who made this album and found out that she can write songs by herself. i am not frightened of new things to come because you never know what is going to happen, but I am very shy and I find it awesome to see myself a bit more brave than I am used to.

What did you do between those two albums?
I did a lot of things. Lots of concerts. I was touring almost all of the time, 3 years in a row. Then I took a break to relax and wrote new material of course. I was very lucky to have helpful people around me all the time. I never experienced so much support from all sides before.

Right now you are not living in your finnish home.
Yeah, actually the street is my home because I am on the road all the time. Right now I am in Argentina with my husband. It's beautiful there and people there are incredibly frank, but still there is a certain melancholy above it all.

And how is your connection to Finland, to your former colleagues?
There is none. Absolutely zero, actually less then zero.

English translation: Karina