WhiteRaven

Tarja Turunen pt. III

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10 hours ago, Afrodite said:

Blast from the past!

Translation below:

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Singer on stage

 

Tarja Turunen, the vocalist for the band Nightwish, told a reporter at Nyt how it feels to perform in front of a screaming sea of people.

 

“Getting to the concert venue is quite hard nowadays. Fans are everywhere already at the hotel and on the concert venue most eager fans have lined up since seven am. I always go to the venue through the backdoor, with slight fear.
First time we went to South-America four years ago, we couldn’t believe it to be true. We thought that who knows us here first of all? And then: There were thousands of people yelling on the street and following our car. Running behind the car for many blocks and yelling and screaming. At times we stop and there’s 150 people waving the car, licking and banging the windows. They’re incredible people there. They really are able to show their emotions.
In South-America it’s not two security guys, it’s twenty security guys. There I’ve really been more afraid than ever before. It was really shocking. People tried to get as close as they can to pull out that last strand of hair, at least one. Cursing and fighting. Girls faint and dads faint.
In the long run it’s troublesome, especially as a woman. The guys get away from things a lot, they are able to just slip away from many situations. But I can’t. All eyes are on me.”

 

“I usually have my own room in concert venues. I start to apply my concert make-up. The boys say: ‘Oh, now you go into the magic box again, you always come out looking different’, hah-hah!
Then I start to think pos-i-tive-ly. I think that everything is bright and today is a good day no matter how bad the day has been. Getting the brightness and clearness into the voice demands a lot of positive suggestion. For example like this: today will be successful and people will listen that I can sing. Or like: yesterday’s performance wasn’t that good, but today’s will be.  
I focus a lot on the eyes, I sing from my eyes. That means that the audience can see my every gesture. It’s mimicry. It’s so important in singing that the face isn’t dead. The eyes make a face more vivacious, so I think about them a lot.
The breathing exercises usually last about ten minutes. Then I start to warm up my voice nin-nin-nin-nin.

I go through every song in my mind, even if the setlist has been the same for the past fifteen shows. I go through the words or sing them quietly in my mind. I walk nervously around the room.
Sometimes I forget the lyrics. Terrible panic strikes: how does the song go? Then I focus and focus, and then it comes. But that panic takes over your mind so badly: if I didn’t remember it backstage, I won’t during the show either.
Being nervous about a concert is different than forgetting the lyrics. Being nervous about a performance is very positive nervousness. If there’s a big show coming up, you’re nervous already that morning. It makes your stomach function!
The boys run to the toilet at least a half hour before the show.
I try to really provoke myself, dammit the gig is now. I go through in my mind how I feel, the people are already there. If I’m not nervous 15 minutes before the show, the show will go badly.
Once I wasn’t nervous at all and I told they guys. They said, heck, now Turunen out of that door and listen to the noise out there. Didn’t have to listen to it for more than a minute. I came back backstage: Huh! Now I’m nervous.
This is indeed positive nervousness, but forgetting the lyrics is panic. It begins with shaking and trembling fingers – this is not nice at all, help this fool.
I go to say to the boys that hey, do you remember the lyrics. They very rarely do. I then have to do the work myself.”

 

“Just before we perform we spend a moment with the band. Going through where we are now and are there changes in the setlist. Or if I’m sick, we’ll discuss early on whether we need to leave a song out. The bassist and guitarist pluck their instruments.
Then we hug.
It’s really wonderful that we are so close. It’s always a warm moment. And if someone is having a bad day, we encourage them even more.
The manager comes to give us the sign that here it goes. The intro blasts on. The drummer goes on stage first, people start to yell and lights hit the drums. The drummer begins to play, others go on stage.
My turn is to go on last. I fill myself with positive energy: they will like it. It’s an incredibly great feeling. I’m in a sort of ague.
When I come on stage, the audience’s reception is amazing. I can feel it inside that I’m now warmly welcomed here in the middle of the stage to sing. Hell of a noise! It’s always some sort of narcissistic spot to let your ego grow.
When I open the microphone you always wonder a little, that is everything okey, can the sound be heard. If the sound is crappy then it needs to be changed. The first song goes in a bit of a haze: hello, here we are, what is this audience like.
 The second song goes with a totally different feeling. If every audience member has their hands up all the way to the back, it improves your mood. But if only the first six rows have their hands up, there’s a lot of work to be done.”

 

“During the concert the emotional side evolves with the songs. I try to sing Tuomas’ [Holopainen, Nightwish’s keyboardist, composer-lyricist] songs in the meaning he has written them. So that I just don’t sing, I tell a story and make music.
All music starts with feeling. Tuomas has said when composing that he can’t produce this music without emotion. We’re such emotional people, and especially Tuomas who gives birth to this music.
It took me years to learn to sing with Nightwish: a classical singer in progress jumped into heavy music and on a stage in which I had move constantly. I couldn’t stand in front of the mic stand for the whole show and focus on technique: is my breathing right, is my technique in singing right and is the voice coming out right. Rehearsing that took years.
I’ve kept a level head especially in this matter: I haven’t gone and done wildly whatever. I’ve always wanted to do what I’m doing the right way.
I try to constantly drink water between songs. But sometimes I’ve drank too much. You need to be able to ration that too. If I’d throw up on stage that would take a serious toll on my image. We usually have two shows on consecutive days and then a day off. That’s very hard for a singer physically.
I’ve been such a theater person since I was a little kid that it’s easy for me to be on stage. And it’s not acting, I really feel what I sing. I can’t say it’s a role. Of course I’m the singer of Nightwish, but it’s not an act. Everything I show on stage starts with myself. No one has modified that.
Voice is the largest part of my identity. I get into the mood through my voice. Just what I think backstage: think positive. So that the most beautiful voice would come out – corny to say this – the purest voice would come, my own voice.
The energy from people helps immensely. I concretely exchange energy with the audience. I’m in contact with my eyes a lot. You’re probably some kind of perverse lionheart, when you enjoy it so much. If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t be doing this work.
Sometimes I say to myself that today give a little less than 110 percent. But it’s purely impossible when you see the reaction in people and the huge anticipation they have. If the audience is reacting less, you have to push much more. If the audience is reacting more you get to enjoy the feeling. Enjoying the mood usually begins halfway through the show: your voice and body are starting to warm up, it’s getting easier to sing, it feels like now this is easy. You don’t have to work so much anymore.
During ballads and lighter songs people can hear my voice when I just stand in front of the mic. I feel people watching and listening. Those are wonderful moments. I enjoy those moments so much, when I’m completely still and sing.
I feel the warmth in myself, the audience and the guys: this is our thing. At that point comes deep self-confidence: no one does this work better than me and us. If people really enjoy, if I see someone moved to tears in the audience for example, it really feels like I can manage the next two weeks with this. That I want to be a singer.
Then when we get to rock out after a slow song, it again creates a different kind of feeling. I wouldn’t have before imagined that I’m out there headbanging and moshing, a classical singer! People ask where does it come from. Of course it comes from within myself.”

 

“When we come off the stage, you can see people’s disappointment. I’m completely worn out at that point when I walk down the stairs – there’s always stairs. I’m in a complete ague, there has to be someone to transport and catch me, so I don’t roll down the stairs. I start to change clothes all sweaty.
There is a three and half minute break. That’s so important emotionally and physically. Then back on stage. People are pretty happy at that point. We play a few songs, hit songs. Those very nightwish-like songs. My singing is much more sure after the break than during the beginning of the show.
After that I thank the crew, the audience, maybe tell when we’ll be coming back.
Then I take out my earplugs and hear the noise. It’s something incomprehensible! I’ve many times thought that you could lose your hearing listening to this. The noise is really that loud: the screaming and crying. It feels like we’ve done our work well.
We gather in front of the drum kit, take each other’s hands and take a bow. The feeling is superb at that point. Better than sex!
Many times I’m moved to tears. That emotion is so deep: can this be possible that people react like this? When there’s so many of them, as far as the eye can see. You’re so full of energy and joy. It feels that I never want to leave this stage.”

 

 

 

That was incredible - I really enjoyed reading that.  Thanks so much :):):)  especially this line:

"The energy from people helps immensely. I concretely exchange energy with the audience. I’m in contact with my eyes a lot."

And:

"During the concert the emotional side evolves with the songs. I try to sing Tuomas’ [Holopainen, Nightwish’s keyboardist, composer-lyricist] songs in the meaning he has written them. So that I just don’t sing, I tell a story and make music."

Love it :):) 

Also @sahara - I am also a 32-year-old Tarja fan...it is not such a bad thing to be :)

 

 

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20 hours ago, Symphoniker said:

@DamianIt was during the Sitra Ahra recordings. It wasn't to replace Lori (she was still in the band back then), it was to replace Katarina Lilja. Floor was busy writing and recording the first Revamp album, so she declined, but AFAIK, she actually thought about the proposal but turned it down in the end. They eventually chose Linnea, but that was after Floor rejected the offer.  And Baki is right. I'm not actually saying one is better over the other, but that actually, I do think working with Tarja wouldn't be a walk in the park. I'm not saying she's a bad person but that she sure has her ego, and I do not imagine her sharing stage with 3 other singerst what @Baki said is correct. 

Alright then. Totally agree with you. Yeah, I wouldn't have thought of Tarja either if it was to replace Katarina, from the vocal types approach. And I can't think of Tarja leaving her solo career only to join Therion. It would've been a BIG mistake to me, so definitely happy with the final outcome for each of the singers involved.

Edit:

Speaking about the misfortunes of being Tarja :P I'm laughing right now because of the fact that it doesn't matter if you gained enough experience on stage, like 20 years, or how hard you've been studying to develope your voice and how accidentally you established a whole new image of women fronting power metal bands; Amy Lee will always be there to smash all that into pieces with her 3 albums in 15 years, short tours, even if she has no new material to promote in 7 years (3 new songs??)

Jokes aside, I'm really looking forward to this. Having these 2 artists sharing the stage for one night only is something I didn't even dare to dream about. I don't expect a collaboration from them, but who knows. Anything can happen.

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On June 6, 2019 at 1:12 AM, Afrodite said:

Blast from the past!
Translation below:

 

Yes, thanks for this!

I love reading performer's comments on the internals of the actual event. We all have our rituals, kind of like baseball or hockey  I guess (hopefully not quite as grounded in superstition?) I've found both in music and in sport that I perform much better if I'm slightly hungry - I mean physically hungry. The right amount is not so much that I'm thinking about it but enough that if I did I'd realize I could eat. If I'm "satisfied" I won't play as well. If I'm "full" it's terrible. Some light snack at intermission is great, but nothing too heavy. I eat (and sometimes drink) like a fiend after the show. And yes, having to pee during the performance is, well, quite distracting.

About nerves. I rarely play in a straight-up soloist role and almost never feel "nervous" in orchestra. Strangely I don't feel this much in chamber music either, where honestly everyone is a soloist. No-one is doubling your line, it's all you, baby. But nerves expressing in the shoulders, arms, and especially hands can be a disaster. I can't imagine coping with the challenges for a singer, jaw tension, dry mouth, oh God. There is a way, this will sound flaky, to "push" the nervousness to other parts of your body. It's still not great but can help avoid straight-up disaster.

About feeling it and connecting with the audience. I'll admit I have room to grow with the audience connection part. In orchestral playing this isn't so easy. The whole setup is wrong for it. In terms of feeling it, at times I have an almost literal out of body experience, when you are organically connected to this huge living HiFi system, the beast moving, swelling, crying, roaring and swaying. These moments make anything else that goes into it worth it. I can literally become mentally detached from myself - it's a kind of Zen thing. You are still very much in control of the technical parts, in fact it really can't happen if you aren't. It's an amazing experience.

Playing with ear-plugs.. I don't think she means in-ear monitors as this is an old interview. I hate it. It is very very strange. You can hear yourself quite well, and even the ensemble better than you might imagine (if you've done this at a loud show or night club you know what I mean), but nothing sounds "real". The tones are all wrong. When you spend years cultivating a particular sound, messing with that sound is... disturbing. I suppose professional grade plugs might solve this, not sure.Maybe this is why playing amplified messes with my head too - well, also because the goon on the sound board has more control over my dynamics and sound than I do. And yes, more monitors will help. The sound echoing off the back of the hall a quarter second late would drive anyone crazy. Maybe you can get used to earplugs, I don't know. As for going deaf, if you've ever sat near a piccolo you will know this is entirely possible! I can't imagine the volume on stage at a Nightwish show!

Very enjoyable to hear Tarja's take on this :)

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it seems like Tarja will be opening for Evanescence in Slovakia (maybe other european dates as well?) in September. Sounds interesting! I'd love for her to sing something with them.

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Yay nice interview.  She seems happy.  :) Thanks for that.

(And wow, I always forget how hard Tarja works...so many festivals, working on this album for last two years...touring in Russia and South America this year for album, then Christmas concerts throughout Europe...then world tour next year...no one can ever accuse her of not pouring all of herself into this passion :) It tires me out just thinking of it all...)

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On 6/9/2019 at 5:46 PM, Imagineer said:

it seems like Tarja will be opening for Evanescence in Slovakia (maybe other european dates as well?) in September. Sounds interesting! I'd love for her to sing something with them.

I feel like it should be the opposite. Evanescence should open for Tarja. Tarja works so hard on releasing albums, and Evanescence has only released what, 3, in 16 years? Lol!

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1 hour ago, Leila23 said:

I feel like it should be the opposite. Evanescence should open for Tarja. Tarja works so hard on releasing albums, and Evanescence has only released what, 3, in 16 years? Lol!

Evanescence are probably a hundred times more famous than Tarja (probably Nightwish too). They were played in mainstream radio stations and are still considered "mainstream" (not saying it in a negative way). Their crowds in concerts are a lot larger too. Even Nightwish and Within Temptation would open for them if that was ever to happen, and they are definitely bigger than Tarja.

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1 hour ago, Leila23 said:

I feel like it should be the opposite. Evanescence should open for Tarja. Tarja works so hard on releasing albums, and Evanescence has only released what, 3, in 16 years?

Agree, at least in Europe! :)

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Another interview from today! (Click on the subtitles!)

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Nightwish is definitely bigger than Evanescence in Europe at this point. Evanescence has like 3 songs that people know and they're all almost two decades old. There really is no comparison. Are they bigger than Tarja though? I don't know. I feel like that probably varies from country to country. They're big enough to not be an opening act, but then again I feel like Tarja is way past that point as well and a double bill seems more appropriate. And I'm only talking about Europe now of course.

I'm happy to hear that the new album will feature more of her personal input. That's when she shines the brightest, I think. But I've already talked about this in greater detail in the past so no need to elaborate on it again. The first single is a bit meh, but then again that's usually the case regardless of whether the album is a hit or not.

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Well, I dunno about Europe and all, but personally for me, NW before EV, but Amy Lee before Tarja. That being said, if Tarja opens for EV in Moscow I'd be over the moon, that would be like 2 for 1 kind of deal.

I'd say EV are a bit more "heard of" than NW so to say, so there would probably be more casual concert-goers at their gigs, whereas NW fans are usually more dedicated.

But I don't think Tarja is more popular than EV, her fanbase mostly consists of NW fans. Her solo stuff isn't good enough to attract a lot of "new" fans, or frankly to keep some of the "old" ones too, there are enough quality bands out there, both metal and not.

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Tarja is definitely not more famous than Ev in Europe. Just check what venues they played in their last european tour: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthesis_Live And that was with full symphonic orcestras btw. And even if NW is bigger than EV in Europe, I wouldn't say they are that much bigger. As for people only knowing a couple of songs from them, well the "casual" NW fans also know a couple of songs only. I was at their show in Amsterdam and people seemed to only know Nemo, WIHAA and Tears Back... and that was in the first five rows.

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Whether Evanescence is bigger than Nightwish in Europe is not that important imo, they are definitely more well known than Tarja  the solo artist and able to play big venues in Europe, despite their limited output the last couple of years. This is a good chance for Tarja to present her music to a bigger audience, especially since I assume that people that are fans of Evanescence might also be interested in the kind of music Tarja presents. 

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Whilst I'm not a fan of Evanescence myself (something about Amy Lee's voice just grates on me), I do think that this is a good move for Tarja. Yes, arguably Nightwish could match (MAYBE exceed) Evanescence for popularity in mainland Europe, but if you asked the majority of listeners (i.e. not the fans that follow their forums and social media) to name their current/former members, most of them would probably struggle. Some might know Tarja as "the former singer of Nightwish" but not be aware of/ not following her solo career, others might not link her to Nightwish at all unless they hear her voice.

I've said before that touring with a band like Within Temptation would be good for Tarja - exposes her to bigger audiences than she can draw on her own, who would probably be open to the kind of music that she makes. It's a good oppurtunity to expand her audience. The same is true for Evanescence.

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11 hours ago, Himiko said:

've said before that touring with a band like Within Temptation would be good for Tarja - exposes her to bigger audiences than she can draw on her own, who would probably be open to the kind of music that she makes.

That tour will be AMAZING!!! :D

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On 6/17/2019 at 10:09 AM, Damian said:

I think this is the first review of the new album:

https://rawramp.me/2019/06/17/tarja-tarjaofficial-intheraw-albumreview-earmusicedel-tarja-deadpromises/

A bit too much poetic for my taste, but it's nice to read some first impressions.

Too poetic indeed. :lol: And I thought my writing was overwrought at times.  Wow.  Still enjoyed reading it.  Although that last sentence seemed a bit hyperbolic..."It is a work of drama and excellence and deserves more than five stars!"  We shall see.

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2 hours ago, Encaitar said:

Too poetic indeed. :lol: And I thought my writing was overwrought at times.  Wow.  Still enjoyed reading it.  Although that last sentence seemed a bit hyperbolic..."It is a work of drama and excellence and deserves more than five stars!"  We shall see.

The reviewer likes her, you can tell :P As you well said, we shall see.

So, as far as I've been told, Railroad is a ballad. If the fans were called to participate in the video, I guess it's a song about being grateful to her loyal fanbase yada yada. We'll have to wait until the videos are selected and finally edited in what it'd be her next music video.

 

OMG, there were a lot of interviews going on lately, thanks Afrodite for keeping us updated on your social media. I'll definitley watch all of them as soon as I have more free time the next couple of days.

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15 hours ago, Damian said:

So, as far as I've been told, Railroad is a ballad. If the fans were called to participate in the video, I guess it's a song about being grateful to her loyal fanbase yada yada. We'll have to wait until the videos are selected and finally edited in what it'd be her next music video.

The email said that we can also "air-guitar", so not sure if it's a full ballad. The sample definitely sounds interesting!

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