Interview: Tarja talks new Christmas album


Concert Crap: What made you decide to release a Christmas album?

Tarja: I have already released a Christmas album before, but this more traditional kind of album was only released in Finland 10 years ago and consists mainly Finnish traditional Christmas songs. I got an idea for my very first international Christmas album when I started to think that like in everything in life, there are two sides in things. So is the case in Christmas. Mostly it is seen as a happy family celebration, but for many people it is truly a sad time of the year. This album is meant for all those lonely people that cannot find joy in jingle bells or other people’s happiness during Christmas time. We all have lost someone dear to us and those lost souls remind us of themselves in Christmas time. I hope my album can give a little peace of mind and a feeling of hope for those who seeks for it.

CC: How did you go about arranging the reimagined carols on the album?

T: The direction of the album was very clear to me since I started to think about the album production. I wanted the sound to be as cinematographic as possible so that any song on the album could be part of a movie soundtrack. I didn’t even think how many thousands of other artists have made their covers of the songs, because I knew how I wanted to work the album myself.
I had for a long time wanted to make an album in this direction with Jim Dooley. Now that I got the idea for a Christmas album, I thought of him for the arrangements, because I already knew what I could expect from him. He has been working with me over 10 years already, on all my rock records, so he knows my taste in music pretty well! Jim is LA based movie/soundtrack composer and very talented in his line of work.

CC: Why did you choose those specific songs on the album?

T: The songs that appear on the album are somehow important to me or my favourite Christmas songs. Some of them I have been performing in my countless Christmas concert tours and the others I have wanted to record already for some time. I also chose songs that make the album interesting for my listeners.

CC: What’s your favorite Christmas carol?

T: It still must be the Finnish traditional Christmas song called “ Varpunen jouluaamuna”. I recorded this song for my first Xmas album many years ago and I keep on singing it in every Christmas concert of mine.

CC: What are some holiday traditions you’re looking forward to celebrating this year?

T: I am happy to travel with my family to New York for this year’s Christmas. I am on tour until 22.12 and after that we fly together to US. I won’t be preparing Xmas this year at home, because my husband doesn’t want me to stress about it after an already stressful year. I am happy to cook the Christmas ginger bread cookies with my little daughter in New York and go to skate with her in the city. So this year’s Christmas won’t be a traditional one for me, but I am really looking forward to have a great time with my family.

CC: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

T: Just want to thank you all for the support and love. I see you next time on tour in September next year! Happy holidays to everyone!

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Post and interview by Karen Shalev

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