Fun Interview with Julian Barrett (Tarja, Asspera, Adrian Barilari)


Interview by Jessica Clingempeel

Some quarantine fun with Julian Barrett

What made you want to become a musician?
When I was 7, a friend of my family lent us an electric guitar. When I played for first time a fell in love for ever with this incredible instrument. Since this moment up today, all of my thoughts are about music and live performances.

What are some of your hobbies outside of music/career?
I really enjoy play futbol, soccer, with my friends. I do it 3 or 4 time at week.

If you had to be anyone else for a day, who would that be and why?
I’m happy to be who I am, My life is exactly as I always dreamed it would be.

Do you have any pets?
No, I have a terrible allergy problem.

What is your favourite animal?
Dogs, but I really like Cats to.

Are you an Herbivore, Carnivore, or Omnivore?
Omnivore, I respect animals, I think the fucking meat industry could be so much better and don’t make the animals suffer.

A new law has passed where only one genre of music is allowed, which would you choose? (It is totally alright if you choose Disney music! No judgment here.)|
ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is your favourite country?
Argentina.

What foods do you love to devour?
I love PASTA!!!! with cream ohhhhhhhhhhhh

Apple or Android? 😉
ANDROID PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where are you from?
Argentina

What was your favourite possession as a child?
My bike. It set me FREE !

What is your favourite possession now?
My brain

What motto do you live by?
Don’t vote for IDIOTS

Do you play video games? If so, what do you like playing the most?
Yes, old arcade games, and PES always

Which gaming platform do you prefer?
Just my PC

Any particular soundtrack you would recommend to people?
All music is great.

Are you into any comics, manga, or anime?
No. Never.

You are now stuck on an island with only one item (cannot be phone.) What is the item you choose?
A Guitar, sure.

What is your favourite colour?
LIVING COLOUR!

You can bring one famous figure from our past back to life, who do you choose and why?
Steve Ray Vaugham, my favorite blues guitar player!

Any embarrassing moments to tell?
When I was 16, I told a girl that I was 18. When she discovered the truth it was really embarrassing! jajaja

Were you a good student or a class clown in school?
Bad student, Little clown some times. jajaj

Ocean or Mountains?
Mountains ALWAYS !

If you had to play in a film, what kind of part would you want to play?
I did it in a Zombie Film, was really fun! “EL CAZADOR”

Top 5 Musicians/Bands
PINK FLOYD
PANTERA
METALLICA
AC DC
BLACK SABBATH

Top 5 Books
CHARLES DARWINS: EL ORIGEN DE LAS ESPECIES

Fun Interview with Christian Kretschmar (Tarja)


Interview by Jessica Clingempeel

Some quarantine fun with Christian Kretschmar!

What made you want to become a musician?
There’s music on my mind, all the time

What are some of your hobbies outside of music/career?
Besides being a passionate photographer, I love to cook

If you had to be anyone else for a day, who would that be and why?Donald Fagen, then I’d actually comprehend his mind-boggling chord progressions (and his weird lyrics)

Do you have any pets?
No

What is your favourite animal?
Dogs, preferably big

Are you an Herbivore, Carnivore, or Omnivore?
A curious omnivore

A new law has passed where only one genre of music is allowed, which would you choose? (It is totally alright if you choose Disney music! No judgment here.)
Oh no, tough one… then it’s pop, because that’d be the widest spectrum I guess

What is your favourite country?
I think France is a very beautiful mix between north and south, in every sense

What foods do you love to devour?
A great pasta or risotto always gets me

Apple or Android? 😉
Apple, since a long, long time

Where are you from?
From Germany, some small town rather north

What was your favourite possession as a child?
My bike

What is your favourite possession now?
A humble piece of land with plenty of oak trees in Upper Normandy, France

What motto do you live by?
I don’t really live by any ‘motto’, but if, it would be: “What we think, we become”

Do you play video games? If so, what do you like playing the most?
Not at all

Which gaming platform do you prefer?
Errrmmm 😉

Any particular soundtrack you would recommend to people?
Everything from Ennio Morricone

Are you into any comics, manga, or anime?
No, sorry

You are now stuck on an island with only one item (cannot be phone.) What is the item you choose?
A Fender Rhodes suitcase ’73 MkII (needs power though)

What is your favourite colour?
When it comes to colours, it’s always the combination for me

You can bring one famous figure from our past back to life, who do you choose and why?
Nietzsche, because I have so many questions

Any embarrassing moments to tell?
I once, about thirty years ago, messed up the German national anthem, live in front of a few thousand people. Ugh 😳

Were you a good student or a class clown in school?
Neither

Ocean or Mountains?
Ocean, all the way

If you had to play in a film, what kind of part would you want to play?
The part that gets me the academy award for “best supporting actor”, preferably as the villain 😎

Top 5 Musicians/Bands
The Beatles, Steely Dan, Talk Talk, Tears For Fears, Miles Davis

Top 5 Shows/Movies
Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Seinfeld, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Shawshank Redemption

Top 5 Books
The Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
Chaos, David Mitchell
The Hyperion Cantos, Dan Simmons
The Selected Works Of T.S. Spivet, Reif Larsen
Silk, Alessandro Baricco

Review of “The Best of Tarja” in Prague


Review by Jessica Clingempeel | 21.01.20 | © Photos & Videos belong to me, J.C.

Tarja had two special shows, one in Romania which was filmed for DVD, and one in Prague which I attended. She played the best of her solo career in new arrangements that would only be heard at these shows. I was looking forward to this show so much wondering what would be in store. Attending the soundcheck gave me a glimpse of what was to come that night and it made me even more anxious.

The show was about 2 hours long and included 16 talented and wonderful musicians. The setlist included songs from every album, some performed many times on stage and some rarities that were missed including Naiad. Tarja has always shown just how professional and dramatic she is at her shows, putting on the best and giving her all to her audience, even when sick or just about burnt out. This was no exception and of all the shows I have been to, this by far was the best.

Every musician gave a flawless performance and you could see that each of them had good chemistry. If there were any mistakes, I did not really notice nor did anyone else as the audience continued to get louder and give more love through each song. The only complaint I would have would be the lighting. The lighting was beautiful, but at times flashed so much that it was hard to see the stage and musicians and was, at times, hurting my eyes.

One of my favourite performances of the night was ‘You and I’ as it is one of my favourite songs by Tarja. Beautifully written and beautifully performed. Other favourites included Love to Hate, Diva, I Feel Immortal, and Tears in Rain which was performed alongside with Clèmentine of Visions of Atlantis. Clèmentine did such an amazing job and her voice matches Tarja’s perfect. Falling Awake was performed with Toni Turunen, Tarja’s younger brother. He has much range in his voice and you can tell music runs through this family’s blood. Naiad was another great performance where all joined in together including Chiara Tricarico. You can see the full setlist below.

You can tell a lot of work was put into these shows and into the new arrangements of these songs. Having seen photos from the show in Romania I cannot wait to have a copy of the DVD in my hands. I only wish the show in Prague was also recorded as the atmosphere of the audience was wonderful, the theatre was beautiful, and the show was just top notch. Maybe they will put some of the fan’s clips onto the DVD as a bonus. 😊

Setlist

Some videos/clips I took

Shadow Play
You and I
Demons in You
Diva
Falling Awake Clip

Tarja on In the Raw


Interview by Jessica Clingempeel | January 15, 2019

With each album, you have grown, gone bigger, and have gotten even better. Did you feel the challenges for this album were easier than previous times or harder?

Through the years I have realised that I have become more relaxed with my album productions. This has to do with the fact that I have already pretty many albums behind me and the work including it’s challenges are not unbearable tasks for me any longer. Of course I am always facing new challenges during songwriting and production, but I am not judging myself as hard as I used to do in the beginning of my career. Experience definitely helps and the confidence I have gained as well, but this didn’t happen overnight. 

The orchestration in this album is beautiful and I can see this entire album being performed with an actual orchestra. Have you had any thoughts of doing something like this?

I have been lucky to work with several symphonic orchestras in my career, so this could be a really nice idea to work on. Anyways, I don’t have any plans for it at the moment.

You had previously stated that this album is the most personal and that you went through some things, such as health-related issues, which led to this album. Would you care to discuss some of those moments and to help listeners understand you and your songs better?

Actually I prefer not to bring these issues to the light of day, yet. The music helped me to overcome some of them and understand myself better, so that’s why I wanted to write about these things on my album, but my personal life belongs to me. 

Was there any one song that you struggled with or did the lyric writing become easy once started?

The lyric writing has never been an easy process for me, nor it was that this time. I had all the doubts of the world around me when I started writing the lyrics, but once I got the first song down, I felt I was ready for the challenge. 

You, along with Alex Scholpp, were the main writers of In the Raw. Did you write with anyone else apart from Alex?

With Alex I wrote actually two songs on the album as I did with Mattias Lindblom. There are other writers involved who had been writing with me along the years. Those are Julian Barrett, Erik Nyholm, James Dooley, Johnny Lee Andrews and Bart Hendrickson.

Spirits of the Sea was dedicated to the crew of ARA San Juan. Have you received any comments from those close to them? Did you personally know any of the families?

No, I haven’t been in touch with the families nor I knew them personally. 

I have read elsewhere that the U.S. may be seeing you again with this album. I know you cannot tell much when it comes to touring but, are there any estimated dates at least?

We are currently and constantly working on the album tours worldwide, so I have my high hopes that I will do at least some shows in US with this album. Thank you for the patience.  

In January you will have two special concerts that will be recorded for a DVD. What was the idea behind doing this and also the guests that were selected to participate?

I am celebrating my 15th year as a solo artist this year, so I thought it could be a nice idea to have a great party with the musicians that have been working and supporting me through these incredible years. I am not planning to do a world tour with this project, but willing these concerts to remain as something very special and unique. There are no invited, guest musicians in these shows, but a complete line up of musicians who are performing all the songs in the show together with me. 

When will we see Outlanders come to life?

Hopefully soon! 🙂 I am recording the last bits and pieces after the best of concerts and my idea is to finish with the production during this spring time. So….I am pretty sure you will be able to hear soon what Torsten and I have been working with during millions of past years. 

—Just a few select questions from some of your USA fan club members—

Luis: How was the orchestral process like for In the Raw? Which orchestra/choir did you use this time or was it all digitally produced orchestral sounds?

There was no live orchestra involved this time on the album, but we used samples. Aren’t they sounding amazing? 🙂

Matt: Will My Winter Storm ever get an anniversary box set release?

We don’t have that release in our plans at the moment, even though it’s a nice idea. 

Shanell: Are there any songs on your list that you would love to do a cover of?

Covering a song is always a huge challenge, because I need to have a reason for doing it. Also in my productions I always want to respect the original song, but at the same time I need to feel the song as one of my own ones, so it is difficult to choose one particular song to cover. I am doing lots of cover songs in other projects of mine, when I sing with the symphonic orchestras for example, so I am not really missing the chance to cover songs for my albums necessarily. But saying all this, maybe you will hear me covering a song for my future record anyways! HA!

Kathleen: What inspires you to write songs? I would love to know what inspired ‘Oasis’ as it is my mother’s favourite song and still calms me today.

Many things are inspiring me to write music. For example my crazy life, things that I explore or experience during my journeys with music and people that I meet with their incredible stories. But also music itself inspires me. For Oasis one of the biggest inspirations was scores/ film music. I wanted to write a song that would make me feel peaceful and calm, no matter there is a storm outside. I am happy to hear that you and your mom can enjoy my song. 

In closing, are there any last words for your fans and readers?

I want to thank you for the love and support. I really hope to get to rock with you soon with my latest record! Thank you for keeping my storm strong. 

With love, Tarja

Review of Tarja’s Christmas Show in Tampere


Review, Photos, & Videos by Jessica Clingempeel | December 17, 2019

If you are looking for a great Christmas experience, then catch one of Tarja’s Christmas shows. I have been wanting to catch one of Tarja’s classical/Christmas shows and finally this year I was able to mark that off my bucket list. I had tickets for her last two shows, plus a ticket to Raskasta Joulua at the Hartwall Arena where she was supposed to participate. Unfortunately, two shows were cancelled due to illness.

The Tampere show ended up being Tarja’s last show of her Finnish Christmas tour. She had been battling the flu for a while, and after Tampere she just could not go on. When watching her perform you would never know she was sick. She made those high notes seem effortless and the entire night was spectacular. She was dressed in a beautiful black gown and a smile stayed on her face the entire night.

Her setlist included many favourites from both of her Christmas albums from ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’ to classic Finnish songs from her first Christmas album, Henkäys Ikuisuudesta and several Ave Marias. My favourite of the night had to be What Child is This. Tarja was accompanied by three other known musicians; Max Lilja (cello), Julian Barrett (guitars), and Guillermo De Medio (keyboards); who did an outstanding band solo of Little Drummer Boy.

The venue, Tampere Cathedral, was a beautiful church which made the atmosphere more magnificent. The church was also filled with fans, both local and international. The show sent chills down my spine as her voice filled the entire cathedral. I left that night in awe and wish it hadn’t ended. I was looking forward to the next night in Kuusankoski, but as said before, was cancelled understandably. I hope to catch more Christmas shows next year as it is an experience to not miss.

Below, exclusive videos by me. Please only share the youtube links or the webzine. Uploading anywhere else is prohibited.

A Review of Tarja’s 2019 Festival Shows


Review by Jessica Clingempeel | October 17, 2019

This year I attended three festivals that Tarja participated in. The first was Chania Rock Festival in Crete; the second was Z7 in Switzerland; and the last was with Evanescence in Trnava, Slovakia. Every show she played songs from her previous album ‘The Shadow Self’ and some oldies, along with Dead Promises from her, then, soon to be released album, ‘In the Raw’.

I will start with the show in Crete. This was my first time travelling to Greece, beautiful country, just too damn hot! The flight from Athens to Crete was delayed, but that was okay as I got to hang out with Kevin Chown, former bass player for Tarja, and my awesome boyfriend. We were on the same flight to Crete with Kev. The festival consisted of two nights with about five bands each. I was only there for Tarja and Demons & Wizards. Tarja performed the first night and was the last act to close the day with and what a way to end the day. Despite the heat and having chosen to wear all leather, she kicked ass and the audience gave much love to her and the band. At the end I went backstage where I met with Tarja and even she admitted wearing her outfit wasn’t the brightest idea and that it was “SO HOT”.

The bands prior to her set were not all bad. Uli John Roth was up right before her and while I enjoyed his guitar playing, he could choose a better singer, or just stick with solo guitar playing (Uli even watched Tarja’s entire set and after went to meet with her.) Tarja was definitely the highlight of the first night though. The second night ended with Demons & Wizards. You’re seeing that the big acts were the ones to end the nights. 😉 We watched their show from a higher spot on an old ruin. What a great view that was, not only of the band, but of the sea as well. I recommend this area to all future participants of this festival. Tarja and Demons & Wizards both get five out of five at this festival.

Honourable mentions: Carthagods, Rotting Christ, and Uli John Roth.

Next round, where I travelled solo, was Pratteln, Switzerland. Again, beautiful country, but very expensive. This is also where the trip ended up with me in the hospital having emergency surgery for an ovarian torsion. Kudos to the nurses and doctors who took care of me. They were very nice and very professional.

Serious Black was on first, not my favourite, but not all bad either. Do not put this band off, give them a listen first. Next up was Rage feat. Lingua Mortis Orchestra. They were a better act and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Finally, the main act I was there for, again, Tarja. The setlist was pretty much the same as Chania, but still a damn good show. It was more energetic, to me anyways, than the previous, that may have been due to it being less hot. Lol Another five star performance.

Last, but not least, the show with Evanescence in Slovakia. Thankfully the weather held up most of the day as rain was in the forecast. Another country I have never been to and another one that was enjoyed. First band on was Veridia. I did not care for this band, at all. To me, it felt like watching Britney Spears trying to sing metal. It just did not work, but a lot of people in the crowd seem to enjoy them and they are definitely energetic, but I will pass.

Tarja was not the main act for tonight, as Evanescence was, however Tarja was definitely the highlight. I am not saying this because I am a huge Tarja fan, but because it is fact. I have also been a huge Evanescence fan (early era). This was the greatest show of the year by Tarja, for me. It marked the last show for The Shadow Self tour and sadly was also the end of a chapter for one member, Kevin Chown. He will be greatly missed, but you can still see him play with Bach as he begins his next chapter.

Every member in Tarja’s band puts their whole heart into their performance. There were some sound issues, but they kept giving the crowd their all despite the fact. I got the chance to see Julian Barrett perform for the first time as well alongside Tarja as he was filling in for Alex. Damn good guitarist.

Evanescence did not disappoint either as Amy Lee went back to her roots and what made the band, THE BAND. The setlist was full of oldies and played just as the albums were recorded. I have to give them five stars as well, but I did not stay for the full set. We left early as Kevin Chown invited me back to his hotel to hang for a bit, along with the rest of the band. Tarja had already turned devices off at this point and went to sleep. The band are very cool people, we had a chat about different foods which started with Christian (keyboard) asking me if I tried Haggis yet since I was visiting Scotland for six months (lol), hockey, and just life in general.

Tarja shows are always amazing to watch, very energetic, and you can tell the support and love the band have for one another. I definitely recommend everyone to attend one, or many, of her concerts. You will not be disappointed. Not only, but every show I got to meet some friends for the first time and other wonderful people. Stay tune for my review of Tarja’s Christmas concerts in Finland.

Dork mention: I love how Tarja notices my short ass in the crowd every time and she will smile, point, and wave to me. 🙂

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© Jessica Clingempeel