TARJA TURUNEN FOR MNE MAGAZIN: My set list for Exit is a killer one

One of the best live vocals of Scandinavia ever Tarja Turunen is coming to Exit festival on July 7th to perform at Addiko Fusion Stage.
For this concert at Petrovaradin fortress in Novi Sad she promises a killer set list.
Today’s guest of Montenegro magazin started to sing at a very early age in the church choir. At age six, she began playing piano. Turunen studied singing at Sibelius Academy and Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe.
She co-founded ,,Nightwish” at 1996. where she combined her operatic vocals and metal sound, bringing to life and popularizing an entire new genre called ,,opera metal”. This is where she enters the world stage, bringing inspiration to bands from all over the world.
In this interview she tells us that she is truly very happy and honored if someone can find her work inspiring as she still finds music inspiring.
After leaving the band, she dedicated herself to a successful solo career. In 2006 she released a Christmas album called ,,Henkäys ikuisuudesta”, in 2007 came ,,My Winter Storm”, 2010. was the year of ,,What Lies Beneath”, in 2012 first live DVD ,,Act I” was released, in 2013 came ,,Colours in the Dark”, in 2014 ,,,Left in the Dark”, in 2015 her first classical studio album ,,Ave Maria – En Plein Air” was released, in 2016 ,,The Shadow Self” and ,,The Brightest Void” were released, in 2017 ,,From Spirits and Ghosts”, in 2018 came ,,Act II” and this year, 2019, on August 30th, will mark the release of the album ,,In the Raw”.
Apart from music and Exit festival, we talked about her forthcoming album ,,In the Raw”, regrets, proudest moment in life, words, Finnish music, her daughter and in the end Turunen had a message to the musicians she inspired and to all the girls and boys that are victims of bullying at school.
What inspired you to take the offer of Exit festival and come to perform there?
– It’s been too long since my last performance in that area, so I was delighted to get invited to the festival.
What do you expect from that show and will the audience hear songs from the upcoming album ,,In the Raw”?
– My set list is a killer one! I will be performing songs from all of my albums and one song from the forthcoming new ,,In the Raw” album as well. You will definitely have a great time rocking with us, so I am sure it will be amazing! It’s so nice to see my fans again.
On previous albums, you were inspired by Coelho, Bond movies, Queen and Muse music. What was the inspiration for the album ,,In the Raw”, apart from gold?
– After I had finished laying down the first demos for the album, the raw sound of the songs inspired me to come up with very personal album this time. That’s why I kept the rawness even in the name of the album, because I felt like I was facing myself during the song writing process.
In the first song from the upcoming album ,,In the raw”, called ,,Dead promises”, you sing: ,,Life won't look back for you.” Are there any regrets in your life and what are your proudest moments in life?
– I don’t actually have any serious regrets. I am trying to live my life every day fully and following my heart. When I see my daughter running around me, she makes me feel as very proud mom. At least I see through her that I have done something really good in this life.

In the song ,,Until my last breath”, that you quoted as your favourite in one of the interviews, you sing: ,,Words as weapons without a sound echoes dying unborn.” As we all know, words can ,,kill” or rise a person from the ashes. As a songwriter, what do words mean to you?
– Words mean a lot to me, but actions mean lot more.

You were a victim of bullying in the school. How did you deal with it and can you send a message to all the boys and girls out there who are bullied at school?
– At that time when I was bullied, I didn’t know how to handle it at all. I was basically left alone with this issue and even felt physically sick. Only later I have understood the gravity of this terrible time that I went through. Now I am cautious about it and talking openly about it. If you are having issues like that in school or anywhere else, you should come across with it and talk about it. These kinds of things shouldn’t be left in the darkness.

Finland is famous for its hard rock bands. What is it in the country and mentality of Finnish people that breeds this kind of music?
– We are not the only Nordic country that holds many metal/rock bands. I guess our nature has lot to do as an inspiration for artists in general. It is easier for the Finns to open up and confront the personal problems through art than in general within each other. Music and art is there to help us open up.
What does it feel like for you to know that you and ,,Nightwish” had been the influence to many bands, from my homeland Montenegro to all the world and what is your message to the musicians around the world?
– I have always been very hard working girl. I believe nothing comes to you if you don’t deserve it and work for it. Of course I have also been very lucky to find my place in the world of music, but that has happened by following my heart. I am truly very happy and honored if someone can find my work inspiring as I still find music inspiring. I thank you all for the love and support. I believe that as long as you feel you are living through your art, you are in the correct track in life. When all of it starts to feel wrong or you find yourself being dishonest to yourself, it’s time to look other ways.
Your daughter is interested in music. You two have sung ,,Deck the Halls” together. Will there be more joint projects in the future?
– We haven’t been thinking or planning to do anything together still. My daughter is musically talented, but I don’t push her. If music is something that she wants to do, that would make me naturally happy, but if not, it’s really up to her.
Bojana Radonjić
Photo: Promo