TARJA TURUNEN on Rock Overdose:” I enjoy the freedom that I have, artistically, more than ever”

Tarja Turunen took a break from her busy schedule to talk to Rock Overdose and to Chris Brintzikis about the headlining show, in this year’s Chania Rock Festival, as well as her upcoming album, “In The Raw”.





Rock Overdose: Hello Tarja! Welcome to Rock Overdose! Summer Festivals season has officially started and as we’ve seen you’ve got a pretty busy schedule. Are you ready for it?


Tarja Turunen: More ready than ever! I am actually really looking forward to get to rock in many wonderful places during this summer.



Rock Overdose: Greek Metalheads are more than happy because your summer tour includes Greece and more specific, Chania Rock Fest! How does it feel to back in our country?


Tarja Turunen: It has always been a pleasure to visit Greece. My fans are incredibly supporting and caring over there, so I have felt welcome every time.
I am super excited now that I have the opportunity to perform in Crete for the first time. I have only visited the island once before in my youth, so it feels amazing to return there.


During my first visit as a tourist when I was 18 years old, I had no idea at that time that I would be performing there in 20 years of time. Thank you for the opportunity!


Rock Overdose: What can we expect as far as the set list is concerned? Is this going to be a “best of” list or are you going to focus on your latest releases; perhaps something special for your Greek fans?


Tarja Turunen: I will be performing songs from all my albums, including one song from the forthcoming new album “In the Raw”. The set list is going to be a killer and I am sure the people will enjoy rocking with us!



Rock Overdose: As I mentioned before, you have a tight schedule and as soon as you finish the summer festivals, you almost immediately start the Raw Tour. Where do you find the strength to keep up with such intense program?


Tarja Turunen: My schedule is tight and life filled with work related activities, but I do enjoy my work. I also take time off from everything, so that I can get rest when it’s truly needed. As I have a versatile career consisting activities in both classical music and rock, sometimes it’s getting a bit chaotic to be a mother and an artist at the same time. But, as I said; I enjoy the freedom that I have nowadays, artistically, perhaps more than ever, so I tend to take everything out of it now that I still can.


Rock Overdose: How do you relax in your free time during the tour?


Tarja Turunen: I usually go for a long run in the mornings, even before breakfast. When I am running I don’t think about work related troubles or problems, but I just try to relax and enjoy the feeling. Also if I get to enjoy my day off in a city where I haven’t been before, I love to do some sightseeing.



Rock Overdose: Many people thought that your departure from Nightwish was going to be the end of your career. Here you are though, more active than ever! Did this harsh opinion kept you motivated and inspired you to go even further?


Tarja Turunen: Who thought that my career would end? The band perhaps? Ha-ha. I had dedicated all my life for music, so the fact that I didn’t continue with the band didn’t make me feel that my passion with music could end at all. I have always been a hard working woman and as I didn’t have any other options, nor I wanted do work with something else than music, I spread my wings.


Rock Overdose: “In The Raw” is the title of your new album that will be released on August 30. How was the whole composing and recording process?


Tarja Turunen: Composing process for the album was truly awarding this time, because the songs were born without too much of an effort. I was composing songs at home when I had little breaks from touring. I finally had gotten rid of my doubts in writing music, so it felt amazing. I also wrote with my guitar players and writers that I had been working with before and it all happened very naturally. But when it comes to lyrics, well, that was a painful process.


I didn’t see any other direction to go than very personal one this time. I had to come out with these personal stories, so that now I can feel the new energy getting in me again. When I finished the last lyric for the album, I felt SO good about my work. It cleaned, purified me totally. Now that is over, I can breathe again.


Recordings took over in many places of the world, as I work with several session musicians and mostly all of them have studios at home where they want to record. I recorded my own vocals at home in Spain. This way we all work in a much nicer, stress free environment.


Rock Overdose: “Dead Promises” was the first single of the new album, a song that, to my ears, sounded heavier, darker and more “back to the roots” than the songs that appeared on “The Shadow Self”. Did you have the same approach on the rest of the songs?


Tarja Turunen: In the songs on the album that have the same elements than on the “Dead Promises”, my approach, of having the guitars sounding in your face, rough and raw, is the same. But naturally, as in all of my previous albums, there are also songs that don’t have this “band” feeling as they don’t have electric guitars etc. For example the song that lies in the core of the album called “Golden chamber” has only beautiful symphonic orchestra and my voice in it. I like breaking the boundaries in the world of music. If I wouldn’t do that, then it would not be true me.


Rock Overdose: The album also features some well know guests like Björn "Speed" Strid, Tommy Karevik and Cristina Scabbia! Was it fun working with them?


Tarja Turunen: Surely yes it was! They are all amazing singers, very distinct voices and super talented. I am honored to have them singing on my songs.


Rock Overdose: I’d like to thank you for your time! The last words belong to you!


Tarja Turunen: Thank you for having me! I would like to take my chance to thank you all for the support and love. You are my strength and energy that keeps me going strong. I am eternally grateful for it. Now I am looking forward to rock with you soon like never before! See you soon! Love ya!



For Rock Overdose




Chris Brintzikis