Delain - Interview @ La Boule Noire (Paris, FR) - 25.01.2008
Just before a sold-out show in Paris, we interviewed Charlotte Wessels from Delain. We talked about their recent European tour as headliners. Charlotte gave us a lot of information concerning their upcoming album. To conclude, she drew a little portrait of each band member.
Metal-Ways: This is your first tour as headliners in Europe. How is it going?
Charlotte: Until now, it went very well, especially in Germany. We weren't sure about how it would work out because the album hasn't been released for a long time there. We were wondering if they even knew us. But eventually, all the venues were pretty well filled, and people responded very enthusiastically. So it was good.
M-W: Was it different from playing as a support act for Within Temptation?
The audience was better because they came for us, and not for another band. However, some audiences with Within Temptation were very exciting, like that last time in France, but you really can't compare those things. Of course the venues are smaller because you are starting out. But, I rather play in full small venues than in huge deserted venues. It was good.
M-W: What is coming next? Are you going to add some more gigs, or will you focus on the writing of the album?
Well, both. We're focusing on the album right now. But, of course, some really great festivals come up and we want to do them, so we will be doing both. Summer Breeze is confirmed in Germany [editor's note: it has been cancelled]. For most of the Dutch festivals, I'm not sure yet.
M-W: About the new album, how is the writing process going?
It's going very well. We have like a whole pile of pieces of songs right now. We're trying to get as much as possible so we can really pick the best ones out. It's so early. It's still very rough. I can say that it's going very quickly. From the way we are working now, I expect the album to be released on time, which I hope will be this year. I guess that the recording is planned for the end of the summer, something like that.
M-W: So you didn't plan your holidays yet?
No, I want to, but I can't right now. Actually, I'm sure that I will have holidays because Martijn is getting married in May, and I think he's going to America for the honeymoon.
M-W: You already played two new songs in Zwolle: Stay Forever and Start Swimming. Both of them are rather calm songs, mid-tempo. Is the whole CD going to be like that?
Some songs will be heavier. That's something we're really trying to do. We're trying to make the hard parts even harder and the soft parts even softer. So you get a huge conflict. Because personally, I really like when every song is sounding completely different, and every part in every song is sounding different. So I think there will be a lot of louder songs and faster songs on the album, especially because Ronald and Martijn are really BRUUUUM [editor's note: imagine a loud sound!].
M-W: Did you already think about some guests for the new album?
[With a huge smile] I thought about it a lot, because you can imagine that, for us, this is maybe even more exciting than for you. But, right now, we are looking for people to approach. We haven't asked anyone yet. So I'm not going to tell you who we're going to ask, because otherwise, if people read this, they'll know who has said yes and who has said no. But I'm really excited about all that!
M-W: In Zwolle, you played two cover songs: How Can We Hang On To A Dream from Tim Hardin, and Cordel from The Cranberries. Will one of those songs be used on the album?
That was just for that evening. We wanted to do something special. Ronald chose the one of The Cranberries, and I chose the Tim Hardin one. I think we are going to do some more different covers [Editor's note: they played Both Sides Now from Joni Mitchell on the Dutch radio 3FM on the 26th of May].
M-W: Again about the album: did you start writing some lyrics? Is there already a special theme?
I started writing. I've got like 40 pieces ready. Actually, at this point, I'm trying to write something every day. Since something different comes up every day, there's not a general theme. I think I'm the only one writing... Actually, Ronald did one line in a new song! It's a very honorific one, because you know the song Stay Forever? Well, he wrote the 'Stay Forever' part!
M-W: Are there going to be some more grunts on the new album, or only clear voices?
Yes, there will definitely be grunts.
M-W: You toured with Within Temptation which is a very experienced band. Did you learn from them?
That tour was about learning every day. I don't know if that's because we played five days in a row, or if that's because of them. I guess I did learn from them, because I think Sharon is a great singer, and she's very experienced, so sometimes, before the shows, I heard her singing her lines and I was like "Ok she sings those things before she gets on stage". I hate singing the "Lalalalalalalalala" [singing scales]. I really can't get myself to do that before the show.
M-W: So, how are you doing exactly?
Well, I have a few songs which go from there [showing a low note] to there [showing a high note], and I sing them, and then I hope I've got the whole "Lalalalalalalala" done.
M-W: We tried to find some information online about the Amenity demo. But it's really difficult to find anything, even on your website. Is it a deliberate choice?
Yes. For one thing, the songs weren't finished. So you might have noticed that there are songs on there which were partly used for the Lucidity album. It's like work in progress. And I think that there's a part of us that really wanted to make, with Delain, a fresh start. And it would have seemed like it was a band that broke up and made another band up.
M-W: Can you give us a little description of each band member: the way you see them?
Let's start with Martijn. He's kind of the godfather of the band because he started the whole thing. He's very responsible. He tries to keep everyone focused. But when it comes to it, he's like the biggest goofball of all.
We have Ronald. Today is a good example of what I'm going to say. We were driving to the tollbooth. He had a measuring thing. He stepped out of the car and he started measuring the cabin in which the woman was sitting. And he was screaming "85! 74!", and she was like "Who's that guy?" He's the one that does this kind of things, like moon everybody on the highway! He'd probably want me to say something sweet: he's very adorable as well.
Rob has a lot of other bands and projects. I think he is the most 'into the music' every time of the day. He's not the easiest to really get to know, but you can really depend on him.
Then we have Sander. Sander is from Groningen. People there are known to be really down to earth. And Sander is really down to earth. He really fits into the whole thing I think, because at a point where some people might start to worry, because the situation is bad, he's always the one to say "Ha! We will be ok!" So that's really good to have him.
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No gig planned.