Ya falta muy poco para el cumpleaños de Tarja, y queremos regalarle un collage muy especial! Para formar parte del mismo, sólo tienen que enviar sus fotos con Tarja, o fotos que le hayan sacado a ella a email@example.com con el asunto “Cumpleaños de Tarja”, y su nombre y nacionalidad como quieran que figure en el regalo. Pueden enviar todas las fotos que quieran, cuantas más recibamos más lindo va a quedar, pero les pedimos por favor que no tengan marcas de agua. Tienen tiempo hasta el día 16 de agosto a las 18 hs (horario de Argentina). ¡Esperamos sus fotos!
Tarja’s birthday is coming soon, and we want to give her a very special collage as a present! To be a part of it, you only have to send your photos with Tarja, or photos of her that you have taken yourselves to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: “Tarja’s Birthday”, and your name and country the way you want it written in the present. You can send as many photos as you want, the more we receive the nicer it will look, but we ask you please not to put any watermarks on them. You can send them until August 16th at 22hs (Central European Time). We will be waiting for your photos!
Tarja Turunen: “Quiero que el mundo experimente el amor de los argentinos”
Buenos Aires, 31 de julio (Reporter, por Tomás Balmaceda). Convertida en uno de los nombres más importantes del metal sinfónico en todo el mundo, la cantante Tarja Turunen habló del lanzamiento de un disco y DVD en vivo grabado en Rosario.
Durante casi una década, la finlandesa fue la cara del conjunto Nightwish, hasta que en 2007 encaró una carrera solista que cosechó muchos seguidores, especialmente en Argentina.
Esta repercusión en el país y una relación sentimental con un productor local la trajeron a Buenos Aires, en donde vive algunos meses del año. Y luego de girar por el mundo durante 2010 y 2011, sintió que era el momento de registrar en un show.
“Quería tener una placa en vivo después de mi segundo disco de estudio porque tenía la cantidad suficiente de material y de experiencia como para que el producto final sea bueno”, contó.
Así comenzó el proyecto que se concretaría en el Teatro El Círculo de Rosario. “La decisión la tomé por lo bella que es la sala y por el amor de mis seguidores allí”.
“Una de las razones fue el hecho del amor que la gente de Argentina me tiene. Quería que todo el mundo pueda experimentar la hermosa energía que sentí en esa noche en Rosario. Es una respuesta sobrecogedora y emocional de mis fanáticos y en muchas ocasiones casi me largo a llorar de lo feliz que estaba”, aseguró.
Así nació “ACT I”, un material que se editará a fin de agosto como CD y DVD en todo el globo y que muestra lo más destacado del trayecto solista de Turunen y tiene indicios de lo que vendrá en su carrera.
“Le puse ACT I -’Primer acto’- porque siento que es sólo el comienzo, representado por el show de esa noche, todo lo que sucedió en Rosario no va a volver a ocurrir de nuevo, cada concierto es diferente, por la atmósfera, las personas, mis sentimientos”, contó.
Allí, la intérprete encuentra en el teatro rosarino el escenario perfecto para su estilo grandilocuente y trágico. “El Teatro El Círculo es una sala de ópera y, como en las óperas, los actos son parte de una obra más grande. Éste es mi primer acto ¡y espero que vengan mucho más en el futuro!”, confió. (Reporter)
Tarja Turunen: “I want the world to experience the love of the Argentinean people”
Buenos Aires, July 31st (Reporter, por Tomás Balmaceda).
Turned into one of the most important names of symphonic metal around the world, singer Tarja Turunen spoke about the release of her live album and DVD recorded in Rosario.
For almost a decade, the finn was the face of the band Nightwish, until 2007 when she faced a solo career which harvested many followers, especially in Argentina.
This repercussion in the country and a sentimental relationship with a local producer brought her to Buenos Aires, where she lives some months of the year. And after touring the world in 2010 and 2011, she felt that it was time to record a show.
“I wanted to have a live album after my second studio album because I had enough material and experience to make a good final product”, she told.
This is how the project that would take place at Teatro El Circulo in Rosario begun. “I made the choice because of the beauty of the place and the love of my followers there”.
“One of the reasons was the love that people from Argentina have for me. I wanted everyone to experience the beautiful energy that I felt that night in Rosario. It was an overwhealming and emotional response from my fans, and many times I almost burst into tears of happiness”, she said.
Thus “Act I” was born, a CD/DVD that will be released at the end of August all around the world and which shows the highlights of Turunen’s solo career and has a few hints of what’s to come in her career.
“I named it ACT I-’First Act’- because I feel that this is just the beginning, represented by that night’s show, everything that happened in Rosario will never happen again, every concert is different, because of the atmosphere, the people, my feelings”, she told us.
There, the singer found in the Rosario theater the perfect stage for her grandiloquent and tragic style. “Teatro El Circulo is an opera theater, and like in the operas, the acts are part of a larger play. This is my first act and I hope to have ,many more coming in the future!” she confided. (Reporter)
Eduardo: Some years ago, I already listened to her, as a band’s frontman, and she lived in a place very far away from the rest of the world. Life’s circumstances made her leave the band in which she sang, she became a solo artist, and almost my neighbour (laughs). She lives only a few blocks away from my home. Tarja Turunen, good evening! How are you?
Good evening! I’m very well, how are you both?
E: We are very well, really relaxed, doing radio at this hour, which we love. I’d like to introduce you to Maitena…
Maitena: A pleasure talking to you, Tarja!
E: So tarja, we know that you are experiencing a lot of things, you are presenting your first live CD and DVD of your solo career.
Yes, that’s correct. Yeah, it’s supposed to be released on August 24th, if everything goes well. Very soon. Here in Argentina with NEMS and in the rest of the world with Edel Music.
E: Great. Tell us a little bit about where this concert was recorded.
At Teatro El Circulo in Rosario.
Yes, I chose Teatro El Circulo because last year, in 2011, I was lucky enough to get to know the place, and I loved it, it is really very beautiful. The stage, the architecture, everything! Very very beautiful. And we arranged everything to be able to shoot and do everything in that same place. And I loved it. Everything went very well, the production and everything…it wasn’t something very easy though, because I had to bring everything from Buenos Aires to Rosario, everything means the lights, the sound, it was a total mess!
E: You mean, you couldn’t fit all that in a suitcase!
(laughs). No! But everything went well, luckily.
E: It is very good that you did a special setting to record the DVD when you could have easily made a good live CD or DVD from many different concerts, and mix them, but the fact that you did everything especially for the occasion, I think that it’s really nice. There were two shows, right?
Yes, because I already knew the place. That was it. And I always love the people here in Argentina, they always treat me really well. Always, in all my concerts, I was lucky enough to always…always…it was really nice! Very, very, very nice for me.
E: And…I got stuck at how you got stuck, that’s all! About the Teatro El Circulo, you told me that you loved the architecture, the place and everything…I imagine that the capacity and the acoustics of the theatre itself might have had something to do with your choice as well.
Yes, it has a lot to do with it, because my music isn’t all heavy metal, my music is a lot more open, these days I have acoustic songs, more rock than heavy metal, so the acoustics of the place are also related to the choice, to why I chose this theatre. And it is incredible, really it’s so beautiful, and you will be able to see it very well on the DVD. The way that we filmed it, all the fans screaming…we were there for quite a long time.
M: Tarja, and about the song selection, we know that it will have sons from your solo albums, Nightwish classics, and also some covers. Which covers would those be, if you can tell us?
Still of the night by Whitesnake, Phantom of the Opera from the musical, Over the hills and far away…and what else…Where were you last night, by Ankie Bagger.
E: Great! Do you know the advantage that you have, Tarja, and I’m sure you know this? You can sing any genre!
I had been asked if I was ever going to sing Tango, no, no! (laughs)
E: No, but if you had to do it, or you wanted to do it, you could do it well!
No, it’s not like that also, it’s been many years since I have been working with my voice. I am still practicing, I still have a teacher here in Argentina, and I have my students also. But it’s a lot of work, with my voice, every day I have to do this work, because it makes me feel good. So, it’s the only thing I can do well! (laughs)
E: Well, well, don’t sell yourself so short either! You must do something else well, other than singing. I don’t know, how are you as a cook?
So so! (laughs). I am practicing.
E: What do you usually cook, when you have to do the cooking? Which is your best dish?
Salmon. As a Finnish woman…
…salmon. Fish in general.
E: Good! I thought you were going to say something like a “milanesa” with french fries, and I would have thought, well, she learned a lot! (laughs). Well, I imagine, this has been going on for several years now, the comfort that you feel working as a solo artist and not typecast in the heavy metal genre exclusively, I guess that…nothing, you must feel very comfortable, more free.
Yes. And that is something that Argentina also gives me. Freedom, that I don’t have in my home country. Freedom. That is, I feel a lot more free here than there, because I am a very famous person in Finland, not as a heavy metal singer, but as an artist, so it is very different my life in Finland than it is here. I am a lot happier here.
E: I’m sorry, but in which way is it so different? Is it a matter of exposure?
For…I don’t know how to say it, because of fame.
E: Yeah, ok, yes. You are not so exposed. I imagine that here, anyway, even though you are not as famous as you are in Finland, because of how you look, having a certain beauty which does not come from this country, on the street, even though people don’t know you, someone must have said something to you!
Sure, sure. It always happens to me when I leave my house, my fans always recognize me, they approach me, they take pictures of me, and so and so…
E: But, I mean, people who are not fans, someone who does not even know who you are, who sees you from a taxi, for example…
No, no, but they don’t talk to me! It’s different. People here are different. In Finland people don’t talk to me, but everybody knows who I am (laughs)
E: Aaahhhhh, that is the famous “Latin blood”! And the other thing I wanted to ask you, Tarja, is, going back to the previous topic, is it my own feeling or the people who were, or are Nightwish fans didn’t turn their backs on you, but the other way around? That they have accepted you in this new solo career.
Yes, luckily that’s what happened. Because I think that it is honest. It has to do with honesty, that I make my music with my heart, and I try to always do it in the same way. With honesty, I mean.
E: Yes, it’s noticeable. When I was telling you before that you can sing anything, and you said you couldn’t, there is something in between that I didn’t mention, maybe I was talking about your technique, but when you have to pour your feelings, not any music is the one you like.
No, there are singers, there are many singers who can’t convey emotions. And I can’t even speak without emotions. That is something that always has to be present. Very present.
M: And is there acting work involved when it comes to express those emotions when you sing? At least from you?
I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you…
M: If there is an acting work, or acting training that you do also…
No, no. For me, it wasn’t like that. OK, I have studied a lot, in many universities dedicated to music, I have studied music a lot, and to be on stage as well, I had to study a lot how to sing, how to act, but about emotions, they don’t teach you much about that in music schools in general. You have to learn how to communicate with your audience, with your people, your fans. And that is honesty, I think. Music is emotion, that’s it.
E: Nothing more, nothing less! Without it, they are only chords and nothing more. So, 26th of August you told me, right?
E: 26th of August, the release?
E: 24th, very well. On the 24th of August then, Tarja’s first live CD and DVD will be released, the first of her solo career. Someone we have here, and it’s awesome that she is here, that we have her close by and that we don’t have to wait for her. recorded in 2 shows at Teatro El Circulo in Rosario, as part of her “What Lies Beneath” tour, right?
Yes, as a part of the tour. After the concerts in Rosario, the tour went on to Paraguay and Brazil, and it was very nice, very nice concerts in Rosario.
E: Well, we will have the pleasure of seeing it, we have to wait until August 24th. Well, Tarja, I send you a huge kiss…
Thank you! Same to you!
E: Send a big hug to your husband!
E: And we will be seeing you one way or another! Ok?
Perfect! Many greetings! Kisses! Bye Bye!
E: Tarja Turunen, here on “De esta noche no pasa”, telling us about her first live solo CD and DVD which was recorded here in Argentina, in Rosario. Really, how well she is treated here, and I mean it. I don’t know why. There’s a matter of feeling. And from having her in Finland…I’m sorry, I’m going to change the topic for a second, I don’t want to enter into the details of why she stayed here, the important thing is that before we had to wait for her to come here, and she lived in Finland, and now she lives only a few blocks away from me! And it’s not like I ran into her at the supermarket or anything, nothing, I haven’t seen her, only here in the radio once, the goddess of ice.
Act I is the name of the DVD that Tarja is releasing, which comes in a DVD version and a 2 audio CD version as well. And we have Tarja Turunen over the phone, and she will tell us a little bit about it. Tarja, are you there?
Yes! I am here! Hello, Cesar!
Hello, how are you? Everything OK?
Everything OK. Fantastic!
I am glad to hear that. It’s been a while since we last spoke, so this is a good opportunity for you to tell us how is your career right now. The tour is over, you’ve been recording some new songs, or at least writing them, and now this DVD will be released, which was recorded in Rosario, right?
Yes, in Rosario. I loved it.
Why did you choose to record in Rosario? Why in that particular concert?
I chose that theatre, Teatro El Círculo in particular, because last year, in 2011, I was lucky enough to get to know the place and I loved it. The hall is beautiful, the stage, and everything…the history, the architecture, everything is beautiful, so we arranged everything so we could record and film in that same place.
How about the technical conditions, the sound? Did you like that too?
Oh, my God, don’t talk to me about that! Don’t ask me! That was the most difficult, we had to bring everything from Buenos Aires…everything means sound, PA, backline, lights, lasers, everything you see in the production. And that was difficult. Why? Because theatres in general are not used to working with artists like me, or bands in general, they don’t have anything, just the stage and a beautiful place, that’s it! (laughs)
And are you satisfied with the results? Because I know it’s a very demanding production, and I also know Marcelo and I know that when he is in charge of a production he is very fussy, and it’s good that he is like that, very meticulous.
Yes, he is, but everything went really well. I am very happy. We are very happy with how it turned out. Right now I am still working with the video editing, we are (working) with the cover art also…there’s a lot of work to do still, but I am very happy with how it looks now, at least so far I am very happy (laughs). I hope that people will like it.
Why did you choose “Into the sun” as the first single and preview of the DVD?
Into the sun is a very positive song. It’s about positive life. I wrote this song with some Swedish friends and we were sitting on a terrace next to the ocean and it was a very beautiful day, so I wanted to write something pretty. Together with the record company, my record company Edel from Germany, we decided that this had to be the single. Beacuse on the DVD there are 2 new songs, the other one is called “Never Enough”, but “Into the sun” is more…it’s a ballad, it’s beautiful, and I love it. So, that’s why.
The DVD revolves more around your solo career, what came after Nightwish. Correct?
Why did you decide to use so little Nightwish material in it?
(laughs) Noooo, why did I have to put any?
No, no, it’s not that you HAD to put it, these are decisions that one makes, and obviously people are always going to ask you these things because somehow your career is tied up to that memory also.
You know, I wanted my two albums, My Winter Storm and What Lies Beneath, to be well represented on my first DVD. The amount of songs that this DVD has is huge, there are many songs on it, and Nemo is the only hit from my previous band, and I felt like it had to be there. Nemo, and there are other songs that we used to play with the previous band, like “Over the hills and far away”, the covers.
Ah, The Phantom of the Opera!
The Phantom of the Opera…songs like that. Those are in it. And I loved singing together with Diego Valdez, who is an Argentinean singer.
Yes, yes, he is wonderful! I ask you also how is the next…I mean, in which stage is the studio follow up of What Lies Beneath.
Yes, now at the same time that we are working with the DVD, I am already working with the studio album. My new album. And we have already recorded drums, guitars, here in Argentina.
Oh, look at that!
The musicians came here.
The musicians are the same ones you had on your previous album?
With Julian Barret also?
Yes…we have worked a lot together with Julian making songs, composing songs together also…that is very nice for me, to have someone here in Argentina with whom I can work with. And the musicians, Doug Wimbish, Mike Terrana on drums, Alex Scholpp on guitars, and keyboards…
People who dont know how to play, obviously!
Yes, yes, they will play with me! (laughs)
And also, the creative team is the same as last time? You had some Swedish and Finnish friends who collaborated with you. Are they in this now?
Yes, they are involved, most of them are, but I am writing alone a lot more and this is something new in my life, but I love making the songs…I already have my sound, my style. I found my style, so I want to have something more in my life.
So those who told you that the first two albums were sort of “transition” albums, they were kind of right. Now you feel more involved with a particular style.
Right, right. On my previous album, What Lies Beneath, I already have my dream come true. I think so. I found something very special with the album, so I am more free for the future. I know what I want to do, and I am fighting a lot.
I take this opportunity to ask you, I heard a comment, a rumour, that you were recording with some other people and that you were a group called Harus.
Harus is my classical group. Yes. We already released a live DVD and a CD. And Harus is something that we do, for instance, we are going to do concerts together at the end of the year in Finland. They are classical music concerts, and now we are going to play Christmas songs.
I see. And from here until the end of the year, which are your plans? As Tarja?
Ooohhh, my God! (laughs) Lots of work! Not concerts, but a lot of work with the DVD, which will be released at the end of August or beginning of September…
Those are the estimated dates? End of August, beginning of September?
Yes. And after that, I have to…I want to finish the recordings of my new album before the end of the year, so I can have more time for me to record the voices a little bit after that, next year.
Yes. This takes a lot of time, to do the production for the album because I am the producer, I have nobody else, so it’s a lot of work for me. But nice work!
One of the nicest works there is, or so they say. But it is very demanding.
Yes, it is, And in December I am doing a tour in Finland, plus some concerts in Russia and Germany. But that’s it.
Well, so now at least we have an idea of what to expect from you. Will there also be concerts to support the release of the DVD here?
No, no no no no, we have already finished the tour, it’s done. It’s over! I am tired. Let me be at home! (laughs)
Great. Tarja, thank you very much for the phone call, to support the release, and also a big thank you to Marcelo who sent us exclusively the song.
Sorry about my Spanish!
No, your Spanish is fantastic! Don’t complain about it! We have had very long conversations without any words in English and it turned out great!
Oh, thank you!
Here the novelty is that we are doing it over the phone and I can’t see your face while you tell me something, that’s the only thing, the rest is perfect!
Thank you very much, Tarja, a huge kiss and hugs to Marcelo.
Same to you! Greetings! Bye, kisses!
Entrevista en español: http://www.tarjargentina.com/entrevista.php?id=32
A month prior to the first Tarja live CD/DVD/BLURAY, we’d like to introduce you to one of her talented musicians: Christian Kretschmar.
Before we conducted this interview we didn’t know a lot about Christian, and as we did, we hope that you will get to know him a little better! His other projects, his family and his love of music!
How did you meet Tarja? How did you end up in a band with her?
That’s very easy, she gave me a call! (laughs). Actually not a call, it was an email, from Marcelo. But maybe you know that I play in a band called Schiller…
Schiller, yes! You did that song with her…Tired of being alone.
Exactly! And from there she knew me somehow. And there’s another connection through a friend of Marcelo, who is a guy I know quite well, and she was looking for a new keyboard player, so she gave me a call. And of course I said yes! New adventure! I didn’t know anybody there, it was very exciting. I remember totally coming to the first rehearsals because I’d never met anybody in person. Just had a couple of phone calls with Marcelo and…nobody in the band, I’d never met Alex before, though he is German, but there’s no connection…there was no connection…
There is now!
Of course there is now! Or Max, or Kevin…Mike…so that was my beginning in the band. The first tour was in 2009, it was quite a long tour, 6 weeks, through Europe completely. And after that…she called me again!
And now she keeps calling you.
And now she keeps calling me!
What’s it like being in a band with people from so many different countries and backgrounds?
Hmmm…I was already quite used to playing with people from different countries, but not with Finns (laughs).
Are they very different?
They are diff…they are special. There is only one Finn in the band, so…it’s only Max. but he’s a Finn, he’s a proper Finn. No, that’s just a joke, I’m just kidding. I was already pretty used to dealing with different characters from all around the world…but of course every band is very special. The whole kind of music was very new to me, that was the biggest adventure for me, to get used to that kind of playing, it was kind of different from what I did before. So that was my biggest challenge there…rather than dealing with the Finn (laughs).
You are still playing with Schiller, so how do you manage being in both bands at the same time?
I pray for a good schedule to God! (laughs). No, but I try to arrange the things, you know, there are some landmarks, like big tours, album productions and stuff, and you try to advance that early enough, if that’s possible, but of course there are some crossovers that you cannot avoid. So then you have to make a decision. Maybe send somebody else who is playing for you, if it’s possible, but it never happened in these both cases, so…
Very lucky!…so far (he knocks on the table).
What can you tell us about Schiller, for people who might not be familiar with the band?
It’s actually not a band, it’s a project. Actually it’s one guy! (laughs). His name is Christopher and he actually is Schiller. And he invites people to play with him, to sing with him, but he writes the songs, he’s the mastermind. He’s a keyboard player as well, and he…how can I put it…there are different versions of Schiller. There’s a big version with different vocalists from all over the world, which Tarja was a part of in one album, and that’s changing all the time, then there are instrumentalists invited, like Mike Oldfield was there one day…and there’s a core band with 2 drummers, 2 keyboard players, where I am the second one, Christopher is the other, and a bass player and a guitar player…and that’s the core band, and we invite singers, make tours…sometimes it’s only instrumental and purely electronic, we did that right now, it’s only 2 drummers and 2 keyboard players, both drums are purely electronic…so it’s a variety of different versions, and very interesting and very challenging as well, because to play 2 hours of purely instrumental electronic music is something very different from what I do here.
It’s like ambient, electronic music, I like it very much. I really enjoy being part of that project.
So, you play keyboards, you also play cello, what made you choose these instruments?
(Sighs). That’s very easy. My parents are musicians both. My mother plays piano, she’s a professor in a music conservatory…she was, she’s retired now, my father’s a singer, so it was very obvious that I had to..not had to but that I wanted to learn an instrument. And I wanted to play piano, because there was a piano around. I went to my first piano lesson with a piano teacher who was not my mother, because she didn’t want to give me lessons in the very beginning, and I played and he said “You are extraordinarily ungifted for the piano, so you should learn something else, not piano”.
Oh my God! Wow! That was harsh!
Yeah, well…I was about 5 or 6…and he said to me “Why not cello? It’s a nice instrument. It has a nice singing voice and it’s very beautiful.”
And I said “Here’s one…cello!” So I started with the cello and, obviously I returned to the keys not so much later. And I hope I’m not that “extraordinarily ungifted” (laughs).
We don’t think so!
No, but it’s a lot of fun to…actually, I play a lot of instruments, so…I play bass…and I started in my first pop band I was a member of, I was a percussion player. And I sing quite a lot. So, I cannot play saxophone, guitar, but I love music, that’s the key, so whatever instrument you give me I try to play it and if it works…
Which one is your favourite? Keyboards, or…?
Hmmmm actually, the most fun for me to play is bass. But by far I’m not a good bass player like Kevin is, or something. I had a couple of bands where I played bass, and it was a lot of fun, but I cannot tell what’s my favourite instrument. Keyboard playing is for sure the main thing for me. And cello, because I did it always, and some people discover that and they say “Hey, Max has 2 cellos!” But I play one of them! (laughs). So that’s the way it is.
So, you’ve been here in Argentina before…
Last year, that was my first time!
So, now it’s the second time…what do you think about our country? Have you been able to see anything?
I didn’t see too much of the country. Last year I just saw, in brackets, Buenos Aires and Rosario, and Buenos Aires I am still deeply impressed by this beautiful city. For me it’s like…I would have never expected a city like this outside of Europe. It’s not that I think it’s European, it’s a wild mixture…for me, the first impression after a couple of days here, it’s like an extraordinary mix of Paris, London, New York…antiques everywhere, explosions, ten floors of wild, then some New York buildings in the middle of it, the Parisian street café next to a “parrilla”.
By the way, Marcelo, I head him say when we were in Spain a couple of weeks ago, he said “They speak a weird accent here, in Madrid”
Yeah, it’s very different, the accent here.
Different words! A lot of different words.
You don’t have “pequeña” here. It’s not “pequeña”, it’s “chiquita”.
It’s both, actually.
People always look at me like “What…?”
We use more “chiquito” than “pequeño”, but people will understand…
Yeah, people will understand what you’re saying. But “cerveza” (he pronounces it with the accent from Spain), nobody would like me to say that. You don’t lisp here. You don’t to that, I find it very nice, because it’s very hard, “Gracias”. This “shhh” is very funny to me. “Un pollo para ella” (he pronounces that in a “rioplatense” accent: un poshho para eshha). (laughs). That’s really weird! As a European, I really like Spain, I’m quite used to being in Spain, that’s very good. But it’s nice, it’s very Argentinean.
Every language that has spread has different accents, German as well…
And yeah, when we hear people from different parts of Germany, or Austria or Switzerland, and it’s different, different words, different accents…
Of course, if you go to Bavaria, or to Alex’s hometown, it’s very…the area where I come from in Germany, they speak a very clear accent…
You’re from the north, right?
I’m from the north.
I live in Hamburg, I was born a little bit south from there, like 250 km south, that’s the area where you don’t talk any accent, it’s very clear German. But the south, especially the area where Alex is from…he has a very nice accent. I really like it a lot. I envy him for that, because I think it’s a nice regional attribute to have an accent. But to come back to your question, I really feel extraordinarily well in Argentina because I have a big favor for red wine, and…
Yes, I eat, I love food in every variety, so I’m quite…I fit here. And the weather’s nice. It always has been friendly to me here, when I was here. I am a little bit sunburned in Argentina, from when we were in Costa Rica the last couple of days on the beach, so…that’s from there!
And, before you came here for the first time, did you know anything from our country?
Of course, a lot of football…
Yeah, of course! No, but actually not too much. Not too much, I just knew where it was. I don’t know…yeah, but of course the basic information, of your history, not too much but basic things…of course that Buenos Aires is the capital, but I didn’t know the details. Of course, after these short visits I don’t know much more, but I’m starting to gather my Argentinean knowledge.
But it’s a different “feel” when you are in a country…
Totally! Last time I was here for 4 weeks in South America, I really promised to myself that I gotta learn Spanish a bit more…but I failed totally (laughs). The last year was…my private life was a little bit, it’s quite exciting, because I have a couple of children in my home, so there was no time to really learn Spanish. But next time I come again, I will improve my Spanish.
I really like Germany, I think you have very beautiful things, very beautiful things from the past…
But the thing is, it’s a very small place! because when I didn’t know about South America, the distances you have here, if you see…of course, there’s a whole continent, but in Europe you are used to, let’s say, you enter the plane in Hamburg and 2:30 hours later you are in Spain. But if you fly from Bogotá to Sao Paulo, it’s 6 hours. And you’re only in a little bit of the continent, there’s lots more to go in the end, so that’s things you don’t know as a European when you’ve never been here. Maybe you can, in theory, you can say “Uhhh, ohhh!”, but to experience how big Brazil and Argentina are, if you fly over to Chile, pfff, 2 more hours to go from Santiago to Buenos Aires. Unbelievable!
Are you guys nervous about the DVD recording?
Yeah, nervous and very, very excited! Because there will be a couple of new things…guests…surprises…and we don’t know what’s actually gonna go down…
Yeah, not really! So it will be all very exciting.
Have you played for a DVD recording before?
So you know the drill!
Yes, a little bit, but everyone is different, of course, so…and it depends on the night, every show is different, there are shows like this, and there are shows like that, shows where everything is fine, technically, shows where you have some problems…that’s usual! It’s a complex animal, a rock show.
You are recording 2, this time.
I don’t know if that’s better or worse…
We’ll see! That is something I never did before. Two nights being recorded. It’s something new to me, so…
Kevin was telling us that the shows are very different, one night from the next…
I think so, yes!
He said that brought the nerves because you’re not doing the same set list every night so you feel the pressure to get it right…
Yeah. Because usually you know the set list very, very well after so many shows, but we keep changing it everyday, quite a lot sometimes, so you never get used to it very much, and that keeps it very exciting!
It keeps it interesting for you guys!
I like it, actually, for me it’s totally OK if we play every night the same, because I never get bored playing the same songs. You can always try to improve what you do no matter what song it is, so for me it’s more the flow between the songs, and you know exactly what’s next, it’s like…I like it very much. I’m not at all bored playing 50 shows with the same set lists.
Do you have any plans after the shows are over? Either with Tarja, or with Schiller?
You mean after this tour is over?
Yeah! When you finish touring…
Hmmm…first of all, I’m gonna get home. That’s point one of my schedule. And then, there will be another tour with Schiller at the end of the year, November, December, big arenas in Germany…I don’t know, maybe Switzerland and Austria…until then, let’s see, I don’t know, actually.
Are you recording with Tarja for her next album?
That’s the plan, yes. But that, as a keyboard player, I can do it very good at home, working with the internet. So I don’t necessarily have to come here. Maybe I come here for a couple of days, I did it last time, but it was just for saying hello, and we recorded in Finland…
I think that Mike said that the recordings are going to be here, this time…
As far as I know, that’s the plan, yeah.
Finally, we ask all of her musicians this…what do you think about Tarja, both as a person and as an artist?
As I said before, the music is very challenging for me because I never did that kind of music before, and for me my favorite parts of playing keyboards together, there’s piano work, as well as synth, sounds…big symphonic orchestra arrangements…it’s the best of all worlds joined together. After a couple of years working with her, I can’t say a bad word about her. I feel very blessed to be invited to this still. See the world, play music, meet nice people…eat good steaks, have nice wine…could be worse! (laughs). Being away from your family sometimes is hard, of course, but that’s the deal. You can’t invite everybody to Hamburg to come to see the shows.
Does your family go to see you when you play in Germany?
Yes, of course! My son is a little bit young, he’s only 9 months, but my daughter visited us last year. She was in Berlin, sound check, in Hamburg of course, and we got her this huge ear-things…protectors, for her…pink! I guess they had a Hello Kitty logo on them, I don’t know…she loves to run around…of course she’s a little bit scared of Mike…nah, she loves to come, and my wife of course, she’s a frequent guest whenever I pass through. That’s one of the advantages of Germany, it’s small enough. And we always play in Hamburg, there’s no way out! You have to play a show in Hamburg.
Do you sleep at home when you’re in Hamburg?
Ahhh, that’s a very good question, since my daughter is a little bit…she’s very sad when I’m away from home, and I’m only there for one night, or not even for that because we travel to a town and we’re there in the morning, and then we play at night and then we drive away with the bus overnight, then I don’t go home. And we keep it secret from her, and then it’s better to return after four weeks…
And then she’s really happy!
Yeah, and we don’t have to say goodbye after just 4 hours. or just for one day, it’s a little bit too short. She’s too small. But usually of course I go home! To do my laundry…(laughs)
Thank you very much for talking to us!
No, thank you for coming here!
Interview conducted on March 2012 in Buenos Aires by: Erika van de Staaij and Soledad Diez
Transcription: Erika van de Staaij
Editing: Milagros Pérez
Fotos: Soledad Diez