Xander: Hej Tarja, an honour and pleasure to be talking with you! How are you today?
Tarja: Thank you! I am really fine. Touring lot with my new album and working with other projects at the same time too.
X: Nottingham was my first time seeing you perform solo and I must admit I was truly impressed, a fantastic performance and I think half of what made the show so enjoyable was because of how much fun you looked to be having, how was it for you and how has this tour been?
Tarja: As you mentioned, I am really having a great fun in performing my songs nowadays. There is a positive energy around the people I work with and that helps me to keep my mood up. For me it was a pleasure to visit Nottingham for the first time alone and also to see the cute city you have. We had a beautiful, relaxing off day there the day before the show.
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X: It's actually been four years since you've been to the UK, where have you been?
Tarja: Oh hehehehe. Everywhere! During the last four years I have been touring with my previous album 'What List Beneath', Beauty And The Beat classical project, Christmas project and I also became a mom meanwhile. There has been a lot of work, but also lot of fun and new challenges.
X: Can we expect to see you again this summer for a festival?
Tarja: I doubt that, but I hope for that in 2015.
X: You've a great backing band, especially your drummer, Mike Terrana, his kit is awesome! Do you ever have a play on his drums?
Tarja: Yes, I did! I have actually really played his drums during the project called 'Beauty And The Beat' where Mike was singing and I was playing the drums. You will see that pretty soon on a DVD that is going to be released through EarMusic in May. This project is based on classical music and it's a side project from Mike and I.
X: And Is it right that you have your kid with you? How does being a mother on tour compare?
Tarja: That's correct, yes. You might think that it is very hard to combine the motherhood and artistic life, but for me it hasn't been that since I have my husband with me always on tour. Our daughter has one of the parents always near by, so she feels safe and loved. Of course we have needed to organise things a bit differently during tours considering that there is a baby around, but it is only matter of taking care of the things in advance and when something happens. Our daughter is already a world traveller and I feel it is actually doing really good for her to see different kinds of things almost daily.
X: I was surprised to read you live in Argentina! That must be a big change compared to Finland?
Tarja: It is absolutely a different culture down here in Argentina than in Finland, but I enjoy it. People are more open minded, the food is excellent, the sun shines during every season and I feel that I have more space to breath here. I truly have found a new home in Argentina, even though of course I miss some things from Finland.
X: But I guess the difference in climate, lifestyle and culture must be a great inspiration for song writing?
Tarja: It has really affected me. I believe that the environment has a very big influence in arts in general. For me living in Buenos Aires has shown me the real colours of life. There is always something literally happening around here and the life is not taken for granted. People appreciate and celebrate life.
X: Do you miss salmiakki?
Tarja: Oh YES! Would you be so kind and send me some, please!
X: I think its horrible, especially the liquors like Fisk, yukk, it makes me cry!
Tarja: Oh NO! It is one of the best things that comes from my country :)
X: What local delights have you found in Buenos Aires?
Tarja: The meat! I am a carnivore! The Argentinean meat is just tasting so good that I hardly ever eat meat abroad because I always get disappointed about it. Other than meat is the wine. The Argentinean wine industry is rising up it's head.
X: So lets talk about your latest album, 'Colours In The Dark'. Could you sum up the album for the MetalTalk readers?
Tarja: It is my third solo rock album. As already in the title, the melodic rock music is coloured by soundtrack kind of moods.
X: My favourite track off it is 'Victim Of Ritual', Maurice Ravels 'Boléro' is a piece I love - so to hear it fused with your vocals, drums and guitars is pretty cool! Why did you choose to write a song around it?
Tarja: I always love to combine classical music with rock. As classical music is my background in music, it gives me the pleasure really to work on the songs like 'Victim Of Ritual'. If you listen to some other songs from me, you will discover other famous classical pieces I have used already in my previous records. Nevertheless these kinds of songs are always challenging to write, but I am having composer friends that are fully aware of my tastes in music and when we sit down together, magic happens. I wanted to have a grand opening track for the new album and the marching rhythm of Bolero really takes you to a journey, this time to my journey.
X: The video for the track echo's the album title, but also looks inspired by the Indian Holi festival, is that so?
Tarja: I saw some images from the Holi festival and they inspired me to go to India to shoot album cover photos with the photographer that took those impressive photos I saw on internet. The video and the whole album actually are speaking about the colours of life and how important the fact of enjoying my life has become in the last years.
X: You have also covered Peter Gabriel! Is he an idol of yours?
Tarja: You could say so, even though I have never really have idols. Peter Gabriel has been a great influence to me in many ways.
X: What have been your favourite tracks to play live from the album?
Tarja: 'Victim of Ritual' is great fun, 'Medusa' is another one of my favourites.
X: Ok, now I want to give you a pop quiz! What was the first album you bought - and in what format?
Tarja: It was a cassette, a collection of classical hits.
X: What was the first gig you went to?
Tarja: I loved Bonnie Tyler's voice when I was young, so I took a train alone (400km!) when I was 10 and travelled to Helsinki to listen to her with my local friends.
X: Who is your musical guilty pleasure?
Tarja: Lady Gaga.
X: If you could be a man for a day, who would you be?
Tarja: Paulo Coelho, the writer.
X: If you were a superhero, what would your power be?
Tarja: I would love to be able to read the minds of the people.
X: Your house is on fire, what one item do you save?
Tarja: My grand piano. I would run out with the piano on my shoulder :)
X: Jack Daniel's or Jägermiester?
Tarja: Jägermeister is good for the stomach if you have a stomach flu :)
X: Do you like to party or take it easy whilst on tour?
Tarja: I need to take it easy, otherwise I wouldn't have the voice I have.
X: Favourite pizza topping?
X: And finally, (although cheesecake isn't hugely known in Scandinavia or south America) what is your favourite flavour of cheesecake?
Tarja: Blueberry cheesecake
X: Yummy! Thank you so much for your time, I really hope to see you again very soon!
Tarja: Thank you very much! It was a pleasure. Take care of yourself! Love, Tarja