Finnish singer Tarja Turunen says that her involvement with NIGHTWISH was "a very, very important part of [her] musical history" but insists that she has established her own audience which has passionately embraced her musical output since she was unceremoniously fired from the group nine years ago.
Asked if the fact that at some of her recent solo concerts she has only played three songs from her NIGHTWISH days means that she would like to separate her past from her artistic present, Tarja told Greece's Metalpaths (hear audio below): "Actually, I play only one song [from NIGHTWISH] or [sometimes] no song [at all]."
She continued: "Of course, it's a part of history — it's a very, very important part of my musical history. It brought me where I am, [and it made me] who I am today. Of course, it's a part of me, and it always will be; I don't have any problems with that. It really showed me also a totally new direction musically in my life.
"It's very hypothetical to think where I would be if I wouldn't have chosen to sing [on] that first demo that was offered to me. But, on the other hand, I have a life of my own.
"Today, as an artist, I have my own music, I am basically producing my own music, I have my own audience, which, a good part of that audience also could be fans of NIGHTWISH, or were fans of NIGHTWISH when I was there.
"I love music, and that is what I care for, and that is what I deliver for people."
Turunen added: "In my live set, of course I play songs… Now I'm going to present my new album for you [when I come to Greece] and also play some songs from my previous albums.
"Having fun — that is what I base everything [on]. All my work goes to that. I want to have fun. I don't want to spend any moment of my life not feeling to have fun, [or] at least try. So that is what means to me, seriously — to see a passionate audience in front of me, an emotional audience in front of me. And that is what I care for, seriously — to make people happy with my music."
Asked if she has checked out the two NIGHTWISH albums that were recorded after she was dismissed from the band and what her thoughts were on what she heard, Turunen said: "I haven't been listening to their albums. Sorry. I haven't been interested in listening to their albums. I don't know the music. I heard some songs on the radio. Like, sometimes if I was in Finland, I heard their singles or something like that on the radio, but that's all I know. I mean, I haven't been interested in looking for that."
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. In the letter, the other members of NIGHTWISH wrote: "To you, unfortunately, business, money, and things that have nothing to do with emotions have become much more important."
Dutch singer Floor Jansen made her live debut as the frontwoman of NIGHTWISH on October 1, 2012 at Showbox Sodo in Seattle, Washington following the abrupt departure of the band's lead singer of five years, Anette Olzon.
Turunen followed her most recent rock album, "Colours In The Dark", with the exclusive tour CD "Left In The Dark", which was previously only available bundled with a ticket for the "Colours In The Road Tour 2014". "Left In The Dark" was released on July 4 via earMUSIC.
"Colours In The Dark" charted in 12 countries, with four Top 10 entries, and was praised by the media and, more importantly, by the fans.