Tarja Turunen, former vocalist with Finnish epic metallers Nightwish, is set to release her debut solo release My Winter Storm on November 12.
Recording the album in Ibiza, Ireland and Los Angeles with producer Daniel Presley (Faith No More, The Breeders), the album has been the culmination of three years of ideas since her dramatic ousting from her former band, when she was issued with an open letter outlining reasons for her dismissal shortly after their show at Helsinki's Hartwall Arena on October 21, 2005.
K! caught up with her while she took a break from filming the video for her first single I Walk Alone in Germany. Here's an extract from this week's Kerrang! magazine:
What does the new record sound like?
"I had a very clear picture of it in my head as long as three years ago but it was very hard for me to convey it to the record company, the producer and the musicians! It's a combination of things - heavy metal guitars and of course my voice, which I'm using as much as I can in a classical way. I'm also making songs with very catchy melodies and there's a lot of inspiration drawn from film soundtracks. In Los Angeles, we worked at Remote Control studios, which is owned by the film composer Hans Zimmer. I'm a big fan of cinema and love how the music in films sounds so huge! I wanted to know what it is that these film guys are doing that makes it sound so big, even if it's just a cello and one voice. I had the idea to create that sound in three or four minute songs for my solo album."
Do you feel that this is a better musical expression of who you are than what you've done previously?
"Yeah, when I'm singing, I'm very much into the moods and feelings behind what I'm doing. Now that I can use the whole range of my voice, it feels very nice. I have never sung so low as I did on one of the songs on the new record and there's a song on which I sang my highest notes ever! I really have used a huge range on this album - around three octaves - because the moods are changing in every song and this reflects that."
With the Nightwish split being really public, how do you feel looking back on your time with them now?
"Great! I have to say that I'm really proud of everything. I have no regrets. I grew up as a woman in that band for almost nine years and also I found myself as a singer in that time. It was a struggle for several years, learning how to use my classical voice in a heavy metal band. But I feel really great that I got to do everything that I did with them and I got to learn so many things and be a part of making beautiful music. I really do love the music of Nightwish."
For the full story, pick up this week's Kerrang! magazine.