Delain - Interview @ Zenith (Lille, FR) - 28.04.2007
Just before their first concert in France, we did an interview of Martijn and Charlotte from Delain. They answered our questions extremely nicely… We could have guessed since, well, Martijn is a Westerholt, and Charlotte is as cute and nice on stage than off stage!
Metal-Ways: It's the first time for you in France, or maybe Martijn you played with Within Temptation already?
Martijn: Actually not, I left in 2001, and they just started playing in France about two weeks after I was gone. So this is the first time.
M-W: So tonight you'll meet the French audience. Did you already hear something about the French audience?
Charlotte: Well, actually, most of the countries where we come, I hear about those typical things, but I doncr't actually know what the French audience is about.
Martijn: We're going to experience that tonight. We're very curious.
M-W: A few bands told us that French people are crazy...
Charlotte: Well, that would be nice.
M-W: There were 7 months between the release of the album in the Benelux and in France, why is that?
Charlotte: Well it was kind of a strategy of our label.
Martijn: At the beginning, it's a project, and it's already a miracle that a label like Roadrunner signs a new band. At first, they would like to see how the band is doing.
Charlotte: And if we did ok in Holland, they would release the album in France. And (laughs) we did ok!
Martijn: Yes, now we know that we probably did ok because we are released in France, and it's going to be released in Germany in October.
M-W: The album has been released in France, but do you know if the first single Frozen will be released as well?
Martijn: No, I don't know actually. They're negotiating in Holland with the new single and with the new video clip.
M-W: Did you hesitate a lot for the choice of the first single?
Charlotte: No, actually not. We didn't think from the beginning like "Frozen is going to be the single", but after we recorded it, listened to it over and over, it was like "Yes, it should be Frozen".
Martijn: That's also because it has specific elements in one song, which come back in the album. You have a soft part, you have a guitar solo, you also have a good guitar riff, all kinds of elements brought back in one song.
Charlotte: When people hear Frozen, they know what they can expect.
M-W: About the video clip of Frozen, did you already had an idea of what you wanted before discussing with the company that did it, or did they propose some ideas to you?
Charlotte: They proposed things, and we said: "we like this, we don't like this", and eventually...
Martijn: Yes, they give you a lot of scripts and then you say: "we like this, we don't like this, we do like this element of that script." So then you can mix your stuff.
At first, we would have shoot the clip in an opera, but there were already a lot of bands having clips done in an opera, so we didn't like the setting, and we preferred the clip shot in a hotel. So we did the shoot in a hotel. Those are minor examples of things that you change.
M-W: And was it fun for you to be in front of the cameras? Was it the first time for both of you?
Martijn: Yeah actually, because the first clip of Within Temptation was an animation. Actually, Charlotte did the most of the camera works.
M-W: So how was it? Was it fun?
Charlotte: It was scary as hell! (laughs) At first. But it was a lot of fun. I think I kind of get into it, because at the end of the day, I was really comfortable in front of the camera, while at the beginning of the day, I was shaking in my boots.
M-W: When you saw the video clip for the first time, did you like it?
Charlotte: Yes, I liked it very much but it's strange to watch yourself on a computer.
M-W: Did you already think of a second single? Will it happen?
Martijn: It will happen! But I'm not sure I can already tell you what the first single is going to be. It's going to be shot somewhere next week.
Charlotte: Yes it's the 8th of May.
M-W: Where will it be shot?
Martijn: In Holland. We did the other one in Germany.
M-W: So you don't want to tell the name of the song? :)
Charlotte: I'm not sure if we should...
Martijn: I would like to tell, but I'm not sure if it's already possible. What do you think it's going to be?
M-W: Well, I would have said The Gathering, but Marco Hietala does a lot of the vocals, so I don't know if you would choose this one...
Martijn: And, if it's not going to be The Gathering, what song do you think it will be? (laughs)
M-W: Hum, I don't know the titles by heart...
Martijn: Me neither!
M-W: I heard that 7 months ago, the song Day For Ghosts was broadcasted on a website, maybe it's an indication...
Charlotte: I don't know, I actually think that song would be too loud for the Dutch average crowd... but it would be a nice one!
M-W: You have a lot of guest musicians on the album, so were you afraid of the reaction of the audience? Did it go well? Did you get feedback?
Martijn: Actually, we were not afraid at all, because in the production, sometimes you hear like "that's already done", or "you're doing something too much like Within Temptation", and I don't care, because I just want to make music what comes out of the heart. It's just our music, and if we think that's beautiful, that's ok.
Charlotte: It was a challenge to make the all thing work live... hum, of course we can do the all thing live, but there are still people that expect Marco doing the concert, in Holland.
Martijn: You know it's like some people think that this all process was thought: "ok we've got to do this move, we've got to do that move". Actually it all went naturally. At first it was a project, and then it turned into a band. It was not like we thought when we start as Delain: "ok we first gonna do the project and have a lot of guests, and then we're going to play live with a band" or something. That wasn't the logical way to do it.
M-W: About the guests, George (ex-Orphanage) already went on stage with you, do you have other plans, like... hum maybe Sharon on No Compliance?
Martijn: Good question... Sure it's gonna happen sometime. Not tonight, because actually we didn't practise yet. If we do, we simply would ask her to. I'm 100% sure that we will do that sometime in the future.
Charlotte: Ad from Epica already played with us.
Martijn: Now, we have to add some other guests to our collection of live appearances!
I also already talked with Marco, and he's alright about that, and if we're going to play in the same festival, it should happen.
And also with Liv Kristine, it's the same story. I'm going to ask her for a concert that we're going to do together: the Female Metal Voices Festival, in Belgium. For sure, we'd like to have surprises. It's always fun to do, and also for the audience.
M-W: One more question about Sharon: on No Compliance, she has a special voice: the voice of early Within Temptation, you know the creepy voice...
Martijn: Yes the bitchy kind of voice!
M-W: Yes, we call that the witchy voice. Was that you that ask for this voice, or did it just happen this way?
Martijn: Actually I was at all recording process, with everybody, except with Sharon, because I know that she's going to do something that I like. I know how she works, of course. There was such a lot of confidence that I just gave her the song, and she recorded it like this. That's how it went.
M-W: A lot of German magazines expect from you a really good future. They are expecting a big success. How do you feel about that, are you happy of the success you have now?
Charlotte: If people say that they expect more success, that's only a good sign I think.
Martijn: We just take it one step at the time. We're trying to enjoy everything, and have fun. It's always cool to hear that people have confidence in you.
M-W: What would be your best and worse concert experience?
Charlotte: Well I don't really have like a worse concert, but I had some experiences on stage that are really bad, that I learned from. Just a while ago, I had my ear receiver from my ear-pieces that didn't work. That was like I already had to go on stage, and the song already started. Then I noticed that it didn't work. So I gave it to the sound engineer, and the first song I sang completely without hearing myself, because the pieces didn't work. And I guess that was terrible both for me and the people in the audience. Huuum... and then I got it back, and the batteries were backwards.
Charlotte: (laughing) That was really silly, and that's something that you do one time, and that you never do again.
Martijn: And good experience... there are a lot actually. You know it's like how you look at things: if you have a really great crowd, it really kicks ass to play, but on the other hand, it's also like a challenge to have an audience that you really have to gain over, and if you succeed, it kicks ass as well. I remember a show where there were a lot of people who didn't really like this kind of music. And they are looking at you and they're not doing a lot because they don't know it. And then you succeed, you convince them.
Charlotte: Yes, you can have a huge concert, which is cool, because it's so huge and you're playing in front of a lot of people, but you can have like a small concert and 50 people are like going crazy, and that can be just as cool.
M-W: Do you have a different approach of the concert if you're playing as a support act like tonight, or as the leading band like in Holland. Do you expect the same things?
Charlotte: Well, we expect the same things from ourselves. We are not going play a different show, of course it will be shorter. It's only the knowledge that some of these people are not here to see us, but that's about the same thing with festivals. That is a challenge to get them over.
Martijn: This could be easier than a festival, because here you have people who are already a little bit in your kind of scene, but that don't know you. So this could be easier. But with the festivals, it's different because there are people coming that are totally not in your scene, and that is more difficult.
For me, it's strange: supporting my old band, and my new band...
M-W: Have you already any ideas for a new album? Will the spirit will be the same as this one? Will it be a concept album with guest musicians?
Charlotte: That will be a smaller part of Delain, that it was with the first album. Because, that was really all of the musicians, except for us. And now we will have some guest appearances probably, but it won't be the identity of Delain to have like, so many guest musicians. But it's an extra. People wonder who will be the next guest musicians of the new album... That's very nice elements to keep in it.
Martijn: It's also refreshing in the all process of making. It's very interesting. I definitely would like to keep that. But now we're a band, so it's going be a smaller piece. And it's also very important that we keep the soul of Delain like when you hear it, you can say: "ok this is Delain". That's very important.
We already started writing parts, just the beginning. Small pieces.
M-W: Are you inspired?
Martijn: The writing of the first album was a very long time ago, and such a lot of things happened in the meantime...
Charlotte: Yeah, for me that only makes it easier, cause the more things happen, the more you can write down.
Martijn: For me, it's difficult, because the last time, I had a very quiet period, cause I had my disease, and now things are happening. I'm very busy, and for me that's difficult to write. I have to adjust to that situation.
M-W: About future guest appearances? Do you have an idea? Are there bands that you really like?
Charlotte: We do have a lot of people that we would like, but we have actually no plans of who exactly it will be.
M-W: In your dreams, who would it be?
Martijn: (laughing) I know for her ...
Charlotte: Thom Yorke, from Radiohead. It's one of the few bands that I can say that I'm really a fan of, because I actually like everything they do.
Martijn: For me actually, I really don't know. I'm not sure. And first I would like to see it that would work. Even if I'm a big fan of this person, I would asked myself: "Would he fit in our music"?
Charlotte: Yeah, because Thom Yorke, it's an utopia, but he wouldn't fit into our music at all.
Martijn: Are you sure?
Charlotte: Maybe, maybe, that would be a challenge.
Martijn: I followed Nightwish from the beginning. It's a music that I really really love, and already having Marco on the album, that's really cool!
Charlotte: You did once mention Corey Taylor.
Martijn: Oh! Corey Taylor, that's true. Or the Opeth guys also.
M-W: Last question, what are you doing besides metal music?
Charlotte: Hum hobbies. I have a job, next to Delain, so that takes a lot of my time, but that's not something that I'm necessarily happy with. (laughs) I like sports, I like arts, particularly art history. Yeah, reading a lot, and drawing, and all kinds of things. It gets the mind clear.
Martijn: And for me, I'm actually kind of a nerd when it comes to TV stuff because I like the science fiction stuff: Stars Wars... this kind of stuff. And also the fantasy stuff like Lord Of The Rings of course. But also like Labyrinth with David Bowie, The Dark Crystal.
Most of the time, I had a job besides this one: I did publicity stuff for a festival in Holland. But besides that, I'm totally busy with Delain.
Check Martijn and Charlotte's video message here!
Delain's official website: http://www.delain.nl
Delain on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/delainmusic
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Charlotte and Martijn answered our questions before their first show in France.
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