Interview with Nightwish 92

Source: Rock Hard
September 2002

Nightwish translated interview from the french magazine "Rock Hard" of September 2002.

Rock Hard : Last week you played in the bang your head festival. Wasn't it adventurous to play a new album in front of so much people?

Tarja : No, it's not like that that we see things. It's always a real pleasure to play during festivals, even if the feeling is obviously comletly different compared tothe intimacy that you can have in a little club. Moreover we have been confronted to some technical problems during this date. But sincerly, considering how reacted the public, the infatuation for the come back of the band, we can only keep great memories of this concert. We played new songs that fans knew pretty well since Century Child was on the 5th place in the German charts, that's our record! We never even imagined we could realise one day such a performance!

RA : Precisely, when u began to play with Nightwish, did you feel that you had a real potential, and that in the space of some years, you would become one of the main bands in the actual European metal scene ?

Tarja : No, no one in NW imagined that it could happen! Even the label Spinefarm didn't believe in it. They only accepted to release our first album because they found it had an exotic touch, cute, and that I was a woman who sang in a metal band...It was a very naive approach and Spinefarm gave us a lot of liberty and never intervene. Well with time, we began to understand that NW was growing more than what we ever imagined.

RA : Seems like you felt that as a difficulty, didn't you ?

Tarja : Yes, that's true, mainly in Finland where we became very famous and where it's very difficult for me nowadays to have a normal life. That's why i live now in Germany : it allows me to study there without having to do journeys all the time. I'm very happy of this situation because i can also have a well adjusted private life, it's relaxing! (laugh)

RA : Though, you just told us that you were on hte 5th position in the German charts, I guess even there you are a star!

Tarja : It's true that every day, people come and ask me "Oh aren't you Nightwish singer??" Even in the school where I study, I had problems : some fans send mails there and teh secretary is bored! at the beginning shhe didn't know i was from a band and wondered why i received so much letters! No one in this school knew it, but as they saw that their was a lot of animations around me, i had to explain to everyone that I was from a famous heavy metal band! It was very funny, because at the beginning no one trusted me as in "real" life i'm incredibly good and unassuming. When they knew all, everything was ok with the other students, now they consider me as a normal srudent.

RA : And what happened with your professors ?

Tarja : They are very satisfied now, but i don't think it was the same at the beginning (laugh)! In fact classical musicians have a terrible reputation : we imagine them always in a bad mood, taking themselves seriously, and ill at ease. I guess my teachers are aware that's i'm very lucky to be able to study singing and to play in a metal band at the same time. Moreover, things are much easier here in Germany because musique is takes a very big place in people's life and rock is not considered as a minor lind of music. My professors are very open minded.

RA : What are the differences between Tarja singing in NW and Tarja singing Classical music ?

Tarja : Of course on stage it's the same person, but i allow myself to be more extrovert : i sing in a classical way everyday, i invest a lot, and i work a lot on my voice...I fact it could be close to a kind of sportive training, which unfortunatly doesn't give me the occasion to let of steam. When i'm on stage, i'm happy, smiling, i clap my hands, i jump, in brief, all what i can't do in class (laugh)! Otherwise in private life, i'm a happy and nice person. At least it's what i hope! Anyway, the main difference between those 2 Tarjas, is that i'm much quieter in my everyday life.

RA : Lately, people talked a lot about the break of one year that hte band is going to take, to allow you to put yourself completly in your studies. Don't you think the other members of NW will be bored without you ?

Tarja : I don't think so because they also have a lot of projects! i know that Jukka will also return to his university studies, Marco will go back to play with his previous band. Well not Sinergy, but the one in which he was before...and that i can't remember the name (laugh)! oh yes, Tarot, a very VERY old band! Emppu also has a side project...I've to admit that i'm very happy to know they are busy : i'm pleased to know that during my absence they won't stay slumped watching tv (laugh)!

RA : It's a this period when NW is pretty famous that you take this break, sincerely, don't you think this break could be dangerous for the band ?

Tarja : Dangerous? no, i don't tthink so. For five years we released 4 albums, 1 EP, made a DVD...Honestly i think the danger could be due to too much work, and too much exhibitions...besides, the reaction of fans is very positive : they respect our need to take a break of 1 year

RA : But ine 1 year will you all really want to come back? Don't you think you will all be tempted to continu your personnal projects?

Tarja : No, but what i know is that during this year, i'll miss a lot of things from NW. Moreover, we won't disapear completly since we will give some unexpected concerts

RA : Do you know that there are many RUMOURS about your future in NW? how do you see your future and teh balance between metal and classical music ?

Tarja : Nowadays, to be a singer isn't an easy thing, for both kind of singing. In rock the competition is hard, vocalists are more and more younger, and it's constant fight to try to stay at the top. my main aim was to succes in classical because it i began with that, then NW arrived...But to be honnest, i've to admit that i don't imagine myself to be a heavy metal singer at 35 yers old...In fact i don't know at all what i will do when i'll be this age. I'm sorry but i've no idea of what will be my future...

RA : But you know where you'll be in one year, don't you ?

Tarja : Yes! i'll be in Nightwish!

RA : A new member arrived in the band, Marco Hietala, a bass player/singer, ex Sinergy...

Tarja : This guy is a adorable and a very good musician, talented and professional. He'solder than us, he has children, he's like our godfather in heavy metal. We have a lot to learn from him. His relaxation is incredible : we are all nervous berore a concert while he comes peacefully to shake our hands and runs on the stage! His contribution in NW is considerable.

RA : And this male vocal singing with yours, what do you feel about it ?

Tarja : it's like a real collaboration. We encourage each other. His integration was easier, when Tuomas began to write the titles of Century Child, he often wanted to add a male voice in the songs : Marco was here as a bass player and it was with pleasure that we invited him to sing. For us he was the perfect choice.

RA : A lot of persons are tempted to think that in the future, Marco would be the perfect person to take your place in the band and that you take his...

Tarja : (Laugh) Indeed, a lot of person ask this question, Tuomas and I are all the time answering it! Some even asked me if one day i could be singing the choirs in the band and dancing in the back of the stage! Yes it could happen, but they'll have to kill me for that! (laugh)! Don't worry about me, i am, and i'll still be the singer of Nightwish

RA : A special edition of Century Child is available with as bonuses, acoustic demos, from 1996. What do you think about them when you listen to them now ?

Tarja : I never listened to them since this time, i keep such a pur memory that i don't want to regret by listening to them now, i remember the recordings were very naives, fresh and innocents. I've teh same opinion about Angels Fall First which was at the beginning our 2nd demo, but sometimesi listen to AFF, but the 1996 songs are too much for me, they represent the birth of NW, and i've to admit that i'm scared to listen to them...

RA : NW has a very close relationship with south-america, how would you describe it ?

Tarja : People there are simply adorable, i went there very often for my holidays, specially in argentina. Recently, the situation in this countey worsten, but when NW went to play for the 1st time, 2 years ago, we were amazed buy how we were very well received, i can say without lying that the concerts we gave in south america are the greatest of all NW career, Well technically it's never easy to play there, there is always something mising, and the organisation is very mess, but all those little details are quickly fixed by the enthusiasm of teh public, there is there an intensity between the public and the band that we found that nowhere else.

RA : Seems like concerts are essentials for you...

Tarja : Oh my god, yes! it's terribly annoying to be in studio. Even if i've to admit that Century Child sessios were excellent, even if they were longer than the others. We had a lot of fun during the recording, but it was also very tiresome : we all wanted to play concerts! But i was really pleased to spend so much time in studio, i could use my voice as i never did it before.

RA : What do you mean ?

Tarja : Century Child is an album which is very heavy, its production is enormous and my way to sing is less in a classical style. I think the ones who'll discover NW with this album will never know that my backgroud is classical, they'll think i'm from pop or metal (laugh)!

RA : Last year you released the EP Over the hils and far away, with the eponym cover of GaryMooe, why did you do that ?

Tarja : This song was a real success in Finland while the musical sensibility of this song has nothing to do with scandinavia, as it's a typical celtic rock. It's maybe cause of this exotism that this song became so famous. Tuomas really wanted to do a cover with NW sound : Gary Moore is a rock artist from the 80's while Nightwish is a heavy metal band from the end of the 90's

RA : though, this cover is not really different from the original...

Tarja : Did you already listen to the singing (laugh)?? I think Gary Moore and I don't have a lot of similarities about our voices! I think our version is much more metal, moreover, we realised it was the ultimate song to play during our festivals : we play it at the end of the concert, and the reaction of the public is always incredible, it's a great summer song (laugh)!

RA : What do you think about the Heavy metal world ?

Tarja : I really love it, i learnt a lot, before entering it, i wasn't really scared, but i was suspicious : to be a woman in a men world disturbed me because i really thought i would not be accepted and more cause i came from the classical music...I had the very good surprise to never be bothered and quickly integrated : i really thank press and fans who never bothered me(laugh)! I learnt many things which are out of the cliché "sex drug & rock n roll" this conception of rock has nothing to do with what i lived

RA : Did you ever feel a kind of machism?

Tarja : He He...Of course! there are not so much girls in metal...

Translated by Christ_goth1 Thanks a million :)

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