Finnish vocalist Tarja Turunen (ex-NIGHTWISH) recently spoke with Andy Rawll of Record Collector magazine. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the process of making her forthcoming album, "In The Raw":
Tarja: "I would call it a little bit of pain. I think a certain amount of pain is needed [for] something good [to] come out, when you're talking about being creative. But it's a good pain, because it cleans me. After I finished writing lyrics for the album, I felt so empty, so — in a way — clean. But at the same time, I felt that I could never write a single song again. Music came easy for this album. That was the easy part. I felt so energetic, and I wrote songs every time back home from a tour... That was easy, but then, at the end of last year, I felt so exhausted because of the huge amount of touring... but I'm very happy I went through that, because I feel it's [my] most personal album ever so far."
On the album's musical direction:
Tarja: "I wanted to make it sound really raw, and I worked very, very hard with Tim Palmer, the mixing engineer, who's been mixing my albums ever since my second album. He knows me very well. We've been going through a journey, but this time, I said, 'I know, Tim, this is not your sound, but this is how far I want you to go if you are willing to do that with me.' It was good to go there, because now, finally, I feel that the band is there to support my big voice. I have been in front of a symphony orchestra plenty of times, and I have their full support. I feel that support. There's 80 people playing right behind me when I'm singing. I know I can count on them... but that same thing has to happen with a rock band. Now, I feel it finally that they are there for me. Don't take me wrong — I don't have a band; I'm a solo artist. These guys that are there behind me, backing me up, they've been — most of them — working with me more than 10 years. Now, sound-wise, this album made the difference, and I feel that I'm not alone anymore... I feel more or less like when I felt, or when we felt as a band, when we came up with [NIGHTWISH's] 'Once' album. It was and is an important album. I feel that this album is my 'Once'. For personal than this, I doubt I can ever go beyond this. Like it or not, it's an album that needed to be born for me."
On the album's "Goodbye Stranger", a duet with LACUNA COIL's Cristina Scabbia:
Tarja: "We've been friends for [years]. We've kept in touch and seen each other here and there. [In] recent years, there's been a lot of talks about making music together one day. Then this song came. Naturally, I wrote the song for my voice. I don't write duets — I write songs for my voice... With Cristina, it was fantastic when I finally [asked her to participate]. I was recording my own vocals and I started to feel, 'Hey, this might be really great to try with her.' The song really felt like I needed to have her in it."
On the new song "Silent Masquerade", which features guest vocals by KAMELOT's Tommy Karevik:
Tarja: "Tommy is an incredible singer. I've been following his career, and I adore his voice. It was actually very late in the production when I started to feel like the song needs something else. I had recorded my vocals already for it, and I felt, 'This needs something else'... I talked to him on Skype. We had a nice conversation, and I had to wait for his vocals until [it was] very late, because he was on tour. He delivered me over 40 tracks of vocals. I was so happy. It was so astonishing to have him working so hard on my song."
"In The Raw", Turunen's seventh solo album, will be released on August 30 via earMUSIC.