DELAIN: ready to make the big step forward
Silvia: There is one band obligor with the Dutch rock-scene nowadays. With their debut 'Lucidity' and single 'Frozen' their reputation is instantaneous acquired.
What started as a project is now a well performing band and recently supported Within Temptation on their European tour and also they won the Dutch nomination for the MTV New Sounds Of Europe award. Enough motive to collect some band-members for a social talk at the backstage office in Hengelo.
- Silvia: Sitting on one line, the three members are looking at me: it almost seems a trial, but with this distinction that the atmosphere is unconstrained. Momentary it is a hectic period: 'Frozen' land high in the Dutch top 40 and they appeared on radio- and tv shows. No reason for nerves?
Singer Charlotte Wessels react in a minute very spontaneous: "Of course! When we went to the studio this was absolutely not the prognosis, solely I hoped that the song would be on the radio. We are a bit more accessible than other bands in the scene. At the same time Within Temptation released the new single 'What Have You Done' and seriously I was wondering if there was any space left for us. It is truly one surprise when that happened, but that makes the prospects therefore higher: new people will come to our show who maybe only saw the video."
Rob van der Loo, bass and well-known from the prog-band Sun Caged: "The single is still useful nowadays. When the album was released I noticed that the underground scene was tackled and now you reach a wider audience. Then there is a bigger change to perform on festivals."
Charlotte: "It is a good start. In the beginning from the release of the album I thought that the internet community is very large due to the fact that many people respond on the guestbook and fora. Obviously that isn't totally true, because it is restricted and still TV has a large part in obtain new fans and I think half of the fans know us due to the single. So it has a lot of impact."
- Silvia: Yet you're not truly within the metal underground?
Rob: "Accessibility is often seen as commercial. I can imagine that when someone like Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) and Marco Hietala (Nightwish) are guests on the album."
Drum player Sander Zoer: "In previous bands (for example Nemesea) it was just fun to play. With Delain it is too truly the purpose to build a reputation and reach a higher level. I had that impression immediately when I spoke with Martijn Westerholt, the founder of the band."
Rob: "Most of us are fulltime musicians and in the end you want to reach something. Of course you do it for the fun, otherwise I could play in a pop band." [/I]
Charlotte: "You adjust your prospects. I have been started with Delain when I didn't knew if we could get a record label and even not sure about the guest musicians.. Martijn had a plan and it was a big question if it even would continue. On a certain moment there was a label and than you're going to adjust things: Ok maybe we need a video. And when that is ready you think about a rating in the charts. That is not something you think about when you start a band."
- Silvia: The release came out when Epica and After Forever were in the studio, the right climate?
Sander: "It was the right circumstances indeed."
Rob: "There was some delay. One year sooner was the scheme, but it worked out well."
Charlotte: "There are some factors. Within Temptation had a new video. When the radio station can choose between us and them, well than the choice is soon made. When you wait until nothing is in your way, than you never can do something. Timing is substantial, but not decisive I believe so.
Rob: "We never can secure the moment that we can say: "Now we are there and there is nothing left to do or worry about. Even a band like Within Temptation has somewhat worthy themselves to focus on. That keeps you alert what's very important"
- Silvia: With you guys it is an extraordinary story, because the project is developed until a band. Within one hoary 2002 Delain performed on a small stage from the 'November Rain' festival as teamwork from some musicians.
Charlotte: "I have watched that gig indeed, because the drummer is a good friend of mine. It is one big family in Zwolle."
- Silvia: With switch from a project towards a band people needed time to get used to it.
Sander: "Many people had problems with that. Martijn and Charlotte became the face of the band. Together with Martijn I cache the myspace page. I still get questions like: , Is it a band or a project?' I think that is only finished when we have recorded a new album with all of us."
Rob: "Working with guest musicians a pleasure, and will remain, also on the next album. Right now I have the responsibility from Marco Hietala (Nightwish), because I replace him on stage. It is his bass sound what you hear on the record and I have to represent that during the show. I am pleased that I am not doing his vocals haha.
You want to make it truth live… many people said 'A girl of nineteen years old can't replace Sharon or Liv Kristine. They have so many experiences and are doing this for such a long time. "While Charlotte wrote all the vocal lines, so she really can sing it."
Charlotte: "Even the vocal parts from Marco I have put together and of course every musician gave his own turn to it. Luckily none of them changed it very much; it staid all very near the original idea, otherwise it would have been a bit troublesome. It was just nice to do it and live it is great when you have a guest on stage like George Oosthoek (grunter Orphanage) or Ad Sluyter from Epica."
- Silvia: Sander has the challenging job to supplant Ariën van Weesenbeek (God Dethroned, Epica)
"He is specialized in the blashbeats and the technical rapid drum parts. I truly can enjoy that when I hear it, but I don't want to play it that way. Like Delain, with more atmospheres, spherical things, I like that more. I try to make my own version. It went very fast with the formation of a band. I have told my parents regularly that story, to explain it again."
Charlotte: "We have recorded the album with all those guest musicians and it just a very cool product. Martijn and I were very enthusiastic. I remember that he said: I don't want to have a band what's performing every week.' On a certain moment we have that album and you want to do something with it. You get attached to the music and I think it is a good thing to have that attitude…and not like 'product, done.' She moves with her hands likes she throws away something. We want to go further, start to look for members and than it became a band. That is not a complicated story."
- Silvia: You have to gather the right persons around you…
Sander: "I can imagine that it was hard for Martijn to make a good selection."
Charlotte: "It wasn't easy to find the right people, but when I look back it went very smoothly and it couldn't be better."
Sander: "It also about the network. After Forever told me that I had to contact Martijn, because he was still looking for a drummer."
- Silvia: You just finished the European tour with Within Temptation.
Charlotte: "We have some very good experiences with the Within Temptation (WT) audience. In the Netherlands we did a try-out show on the fan-meeting of WT.
I have experienced there that there is many sympathy for Martijn, because he had to leave WT in a very unpleasant way, due to his sickness Pfeiffer he got just when they had a big breakthrough with 'Ice Queen.' He was obliged to quit. I can imagine also that those fans are very critical. They are all into that music and know a lot."
Rob: "At that time (fan meeting) we were just a month together. Previously we had some repetitions. Sander and I were not confirmed yet."
The memories are coming back…
Charlotte: "We even have practiced in an old school and in the living room from Martijn."
Rob: "Also went to the studio in German, where the album was recorded, to work on the best Delain sound; to make it perfect."
Charlotte: "All together in a small room for a week, well you get to know each other very soon."
Rob: "Our repetitions are a bit strange. It is not that we meet every week. Technical we are a complex band and it is better to hire a venue to practice for two days."
Sander: [I]"We live not very close together, so it is also a practical case. Also we have work besides the band and we can't make a living of it yet."
Charlotte: "We are a young band, we need to invest a lot now."
- Silvia: Lucidity has a very professional production for a debut. Also the structure of the songs and the many layers are a good trademark. Conclusion: not just "easy listen music".
Sander: "Absolutely. On stage it needs to sound very 'strictly' technically and you need to know each other well to have the right interpretations and chemistry. You can achieve that with many repetitions but most of all to play a lot of gigs."
Rob: ,, Also in a situation like today: Martijn has the flue and can't be there. We had something like that before with Ronald, the guitarist and vocalist. He wanted to do the gig, but with the flue it is a risk, because it's contagious."
Charlotte: ,, We will see how it goes, but we have had that than: so that is a new extra experience. For now we have to do it with the keys on hard-disk."
- Silvia: On the Metal Female Voices festival 2006 Delain made entrée among may gothic bands. It doesn't went very supple. They start to shout. Ironicly it often are the tough performance what stays vivid in the memory.
Sander: "We stept out of the car, building up drumkt, gig, breaking off the drumkit, in the car and off we were. I couldn't enjoy that."
Charlotte: "This year it was so different. At that time I had no idea where I was."
Rob: "Everything was so strange. We were on the way, scheduled later as a special guest. Theatre Of Tragedy couldn't play that night and full speed we be there earlier."
Charlotte: "They asked if we could be there in half an hour."
Sander: "We had dinner in Tilburg and wrap up the food, so we could drive further."
Rob: "I ran on the stage without changing clothes. We weren't ready when the curtain came down already."
- Silvia: To finish with a strong topic: every music journalist always wants to know what's the mystery behind the completion of the record. When I prudently notice that Martijn can answer that, Charlotte comes with a challenge:
Charlotte: "I have told that story so often, so try it out haha. It was a purposeful choice to record a lot in different studios. Martijn had some ambitious plans and the people who were involved: with a full planned calendar. We started recording even before the record deal. Martijn antechamber that we would run out. After the gig from Nightwish in Paradiso he spoke with the manager and just asked it. Also Liv Kristine had all the space to record her parts in the Mastersound Studio. That is why it became a multi-culti project.
- Silvia: Are you not afraid that people put a stigma on you?
Charlotte: "That is solely until a certain altitude. Persons see a name and become curious."
Rob: "I think that the ' ex-WT' etiquette will disappear after a while. Just see it as the "keyboard player from Delain."
- Silvia: It soon get time to enter the stage, it was a nice conversation from a band who stays down to earth and realistic. At the moment the band is busy with writing new songs.
More on: http://www.delain.nl
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