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Delain Interview 2012
Written by Robin Stryker   
Thursday, 16 February 2012

How do I love Delain? Let me count the ways. Well actually, having only 10 fingers and sub-par math skills, suffice it to say “a lot.” Whether as charming dinner companions, putting on a powerhouse live show, songwriting, or blogging about their musical adventures, Delain pursue their craft with equal measures of passion, humor and intelligence.

Delain

Sonic Cathedral’s Robin Stryker sat down with Martijn Westerholt (keys) and Charlotte Wessels (vocals) for a long chat about Delain’s upcoming album We Are The Others, label politics, the “sketchy” world of burlesque art, and much more! Read on for exclusive news about the new album that may shock you.

Robin:  Thank you so much for talking with Sonic Cathedral today about We Are The Others!

Martijn:  You are very welcome! (laughs)

Robin:  Let’s talk a bit about the elephant in the room before moving on to sunnier topics. Honestly, Delain fans expected a new album in early 2011. We saw the studio reports from a Dutch farmhouse (along with cameo appearances by roving cows and cats), but then we didn’t hear anything further about the album for nearly a year. What happened?

Martijn:  I expected the same thing back in 2011. (laughs) What happened is that Roadrunner, our record company, went through a MAJOR reorganization. They were sold to Warner Music, and a lot of people left the company, were fired or restructured, etc., which meant for us that the guy who signed us and assisted us with our album process from the record company side was fired. They needed a new A&R manager for us. There was none in Holland, so it was quite a search to get the new structure working.

In the end, we had a new management, which also is the A&R and artist relations with Roadrunner. That took a lot of time, which meant that the whole album process was on hold as well. So we lost a lot of time there. It was very frustrating, but we didn’t have any control over this. So yeah, it’s just how it went, and we had to deal with it.

Robin:  Well, we are very much looking forward to actually being able to get our grubby little paws on We Are The Others. For fans who may not be familiar with Sophie Lancaster … there is no Sophie Lancaster Day here in the States … would you fill us in on the story behind the album title?

Martijn:  It’s about the bigger social problem that is here in Europe (and of course, also in the States) about minority groups in society, which some people cannot accept for one reason or another. There was a story in England about a young teenager couple who were walking down the streets, and were just beaten up by a couple of other teenagers because they looked goth … you know, black hair and the whole cliché about goth. One of this couple, the girl Sophie Lancaster, was beaten to death, and this was a very tragic example of this major problem.

This story was something that Charlotte really, really was touched by. She was shocked when she heard it, and wrote lyrics about it that turned into the song “We Are The Others.” That’s also the main theme of the album.

Delain

Robin:  Charlotte, what was it about Sophie Lancaster and the hate-crime against her and her boyfriend that touched you so deeply?

Charlotte:  I remember when I first heard about it … it wasn’t on Dutch news, I just heard about it through Internet networks and the goth scene … there was this movie made about it, a short film of about four minutes. I saw it, and I just cried. It’s so incredibly sad! After seeing the movie, I didn’t really DO anything with it until we were working on “We Are The Others.” But the basic idea of the lyrics was there. It was just supposed to be a song about “we are the others” and a feeling of togetherness. On the one hand, being proud of whoever you are, whether you divert from the norm in whatever way you divert from the norm. But on the other hand, it is also kind of a song for “others”. We just wanted a song about acceptance.

We’ve been thinking for such a long time: “How do you say something like that without becoming preachy?” In the end, we’re musicians, and people want to hear a good song. I don’t know whether I would be the person to say: “You should accept everybody.” I just don’t know. And then at one point, I remembered the story of Sophie, and I remembered just how touched I was by hearing that story. So I thought: “Well, maybe if we share that story, then …” If you tell that story, you don’t even have to say “can you see that this is wrong?” because everybody will know. So I thought the story spoke for itself, and it kind of felt good to do something with the feeling I had when I heard about her. Yeah, it feels good to have a song for Sophie; you know? Because it’s such a sad story. If the song can make anybody think twice, then I think it is a very good thing, and I hope that it will. We will see about that.

Robin:  Does the theme of acceptance and being an outsider carry over to other tracks on the album, or is “We Are The Others” a one-off track?

Charlotte:  It is mainly in the song “We Are The Others.” I think it has to do with the fact that I started studying Gender Studies half a year ago. It’s just that, when you think about how much injustice there is because of the fact that we are not all the same, this is something that really, really bothers me. I started doing this [Gender Studies] quite late in the process of writing the album, so it kind of seeped through -- largely so in “We Are The Others.” The rest of the songs, a lot of them were actually already done. So when it comes to lyrics, I do think it will be a recurring theme because it’s really in my head all the time right now. So a lot of inspiration comes from that source right now.

Robin:  Do you consider Delain’s music to be outsider music?

Martijn:  Yes, of course. I’m sure in the States (similar as in Europe) it’s not really mainstream. It can be crossover, but it’s not really mainstream music. In a sense, we are kind of “others” as well. So, yeah. We don’t want to be preachy or anything, but it’s just a very big general subject that gives inspiration to us.

Robin:  Charlotte, congratulations on finishing your Art History degree! As Delain’s resident art expert, would you tell us about the album cover for We Are The Others, which I understand was designed by one of your favorite artists?

Charlotte:  Thanks for congratulating me! As you’ve heard, I’ve taken kind of a career switch, when it comes to the academic field, because I didn’t continue to do Art History for my Masters; instead, it’s Gender Studies. But art, whether it’s visual or music, it’s always a very big part of me. Glenn Arthur, who designed the front cover, I’ve been a fan of his work ever since I first saw it. Yeah, I’m a very big fan of the original Art Nouveau style and everything Art Deco and Alfons Mucha (for example) … I really love his work!

I like how Glenn Arthur puts that into a modern code and mixes it with these steampunk images. I guess from the first time that I saw his work, I thought what he is doing in the art field is actually a lot like what we are doing in the music field, since there is this really fine aesthetic to his work. That is also within our genre -- like you have a lot of polished and crisp female vocals ... (a crashing sound, followed by Charlotte laughing) There’s another cat out on the snow. She’s alright; there’s a little snow monster running inside right now! Sorry. (skittering cat footsteps fade)

So his art is very aesthetic, but always with a very dark undertone. And I think we are doing the same thing -- only with music -- so I thought it would be a really cool match. I’ve written a couple of blogs about his work, and we got in touch. At one point, he told me that he liked our “Smalltown Boy” cover, and I thought: “Wow, he likes our work! This is cool. Let’s ask him if he would be up for collaboration.” And he was. We gave him the lyrics for “We Are The Others” for inspiration, and this drawing on the front cover is what he came up with. I really love the outcome of the cover! I’m really, really, really proud of it, and that we had him on board.

Delain

Robin:  Speaking of art, I’ve also seen you blog about Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, and would love to hear more about it.

Charlotte:  This actually does have to do with Glenn Arthur because I was following his work and, every now and then, he posted pictures of what he called “Dr. Sketchy’s.” It turned out to be this art movement where they do life drawing, but they do it in bars with burlesque models and underground performers. It’s like art school, but against all rules! So you can drink and listen to music, and it’s not so sterile; you know?

It just looked like sooooo much fun, so I thought: “We need this in Holland, too! I want to go there.” But I found out that there wasn’t any. So that’s when I contacted Dr. Sketchy’s head department, and I asked them: “Can I start one in Holland?” And they told me: “There are two people working on it in Amsterdam.” So I joined them, and now we just had our third Dr. Sketchy’s session. It was completely sold-out in the comedy theater in Amsterdam, and it’s going remarkably well, so I’m really happy! From thinking like “oh, that would be cool to have in Holland” to now we actually have it and a lot of people really enjoy it, so it’s just a really cool project on the side.

Really a fun thing about Dr. Sketchy’s is because there are so many different people coming. There are professional artists, cartoonists, a lot of tattoo artists because we work with these pin-up models a lot, and there’s a lot of people who just want to try their luck in drawing. There’s nothing judgmental, you can just go. The only thing that you have to do is bring a pencil and paper, and just have fun. That’s it! So it’s really nice. You don’t have to be quiet … you can cheer at the models whenever they do a pose that you really like, and you can talk to them. You know, normally in art school, there is this kind of invisible wall between the people and the models. So it’s just a lot more open and friendly.

Robin:  That sounds like a really fun time! Let’s rewind a little bit into the album process itself. Delain had done a major headlining tour in the Spring of 2011, where fans got to hear a couple of tracks -- “Get The Devil Out Of Me” and “Milk And Honey” -- from the upcoming album. How much did playing those songs live affect what you ultimately recorded?

Martijn:  Well, that’s a very good question actually because, to our surprise, it did affect the process. We only played them live to give the fans something new. We wanted to share with the fans what we were making at the moment, and those two songs were still in the making. But when we played live, we really noticed what worked and what didn’t work, and what triggered a response and what didn’t trigger a response. And we used this knowledge in the further development of the songs. It was not intended, but it was very interesting to see.

It also made us try that with other songs. Normally, we don’t play the songs together when we write. We don’t play them with the whole band, because you don’t work with the whole band in writing the music. At least we don’t. But we experimented with a lot of processes while writing songs, and one of those processes was playing live. It was very, very interesting. But there were also processes where we just started from scratch with writing. With this, it was very interesting to have a sneak view of how a song works, or how it doesn’t work. So yeah, I think we’re going to do that again with songs ... to not be afraid to play them, even if they are not finished yet.

Charlotte:  Playing live did influence me a lot. When working on the previous album, it’s no secret that I really love working with backing vocals. Usually, I really used loads and loads and loads of them, and sometimes it was kind of problematic when I had to perform live. I thought: “Okay, so what vocal am I actually going to sing?” And what do you do with all those extra vocals that make up a big part of the music? I personally don’t like to have loads of stuff on backing tracks.

So I think for writing the melodies and writing the lyrics, I might have chosen to be more direct in a way -- to have the lead vocal be the one strong thing. The backing vocals should be there to make the song better, but the song shouldn’t need them to be complete. When you need less stuff on backing tracks, I think it will make the live experience more of really a LIVE experience. Not that I have something against the backing tracks. In this genre, sometimes you have 100 tracks of keys and, well, we only have one keyboard player. (all laugh) There’s nothing illegal about it, but I just like to do as much as possible live. So within the vocals, I tried to have it that way -- to have the lead vocals stand out and be the only thing that matters [vocally], and all the rest is extra. This is kind of a way in which live shows influenced the writing also.

Robin:  You have described the process of writing this album as having gone into much more detail before entering the studio, including a writing camp in Stockholm. Would you tell us about that?

Martijn:  We also experimented with the people we wanted to work with. We never worked with a producer before … I was the producer with the previous two albums. At this time, we wanted to work with a very good producer. Let’s be frank. I’m a musician, I’m not a producer. This producer team consisted of three people: Jacob Hellner, who was the producer of Rammstein, and also Frederick Thomander and Anders Wickstrom, who are very well known for their co-writing work with artists like Scorpions, ‘N Sync, and all kinds of things from very hard music to very poppy music that is totally on the other end of the spectrum.

We went into the studio with them in June. Indeed, not to record, but just to look at the material we had and see: “Okay, what do we have here? What works and what doesn’t work.” Then we went through all the songs, and they told us what was their impression about it. They also came up with solutions for particular problems. It was very, very interesting, but also sometimes difficult for me because I was not used to working with so many people at the same time. We were working with seven people in one room, writing a song. That was really something that I had to get used to, because normally I was used to doing it alone. But I learned a lot from it, and that is something I always like in a production. Every time, with every album, you learn so much because they are very good.

Delain

Robin:  Martijn, as a composer and writer, is it sometimes difficult to set your own feelings or ego aside? You write something and love it, but someone else comes along and says: “Eh, I don’t think it works.”

Martijn:  Yes, it is, of course. Even more so if you are used to working alone. In the end, I can still always say: “I’m sorry. I don’t agree, so we’ll do it my way.” I was free to do that, which was a relief to know. But I never … well, almost never … used that because I’m very open to other people’s suggestions. Ego should not be something that stands in the way of making a better song. I wanted to get the songs as good as possible, and they came up with very good suggestions indeed. But sometimes it’s also a matter of taste. When you come to this part about taste, yeah, then you have to be very careful not to lose yourself in the music and writing process. This was something that I sometimes really had to guard against. You also have to dare to try it out. It’s something you really have to dare, because it’s sometimes very scary, but it worked out!

Robin:  Charlotte, if I understand correctly, you had both a larger role and a different role in writing We Are The Others. Would you tell us a bit about that?

Charlotte:  When we started out with the first record [Lucidity], Martijn basically had written all the material, and I came in and wrote some lyrics and vocal lines. But from the very beginning, our collaboration was always very good, so it kind of naturally grew. With April Rain, I was already there from the beginning when Martijn was actually writing the music. So the good thing about that was I didn’t only have to adjust to the music, but the music could also adapt to me. But we were still very much working in separate stations -- like Martijn would work on something, I would work on something … already on the previous record I would work with Guus Eikens who has been writing with us for a very long time ... and it would really be like a back-and-forth. So I would work with Guus, Martijn would work, and we would come together, and sometimes it would be the three of us. But there was a lot of working on separate islands.

What I really like about this album is we started out working in that same way, but … and this was also very much influenced by some remarks from Jacob Hellner, who said: “You’ve got to create this one identity.” And he said that he could really hear that we were working on separate stations. So, what we have basically done is sitting together with no idea whatsoever about what we were going to write, and to just come together with the writing team and say: “Okay, we’re going to write a song. In what kind of mood are we?” Or where we had a little bit more songs: “We have these songs. What kind of songs do we still need?” And then we started writing from scratch, all of us.

This is a challenge because, usually when you work on your separate island, you can think of ten ideas, remember the best one, and take that to the writing session. But now, basically this only works if you throw any idea that you have into the group, and this is a challenge of course. It’s like being in your underwear, in a way, because you have to really share your creativity within a group. But the songs where we managed to write together with all of us, I think they turned out to be the most interesting songs on the record. We still have some songs that were written by other combinations or other teams -- some songs were just written by Guus and me, and some songs were still written by Martijn. But I think there is this much more balanced combination of identity on this record. I think it turned out to be really interesting, and it’s been difficult here and there.

As you can imagine, we first wrote with our writing team -- with Martijn, Guus, me, and sometimes Oliver. We had those songs ready, and then we went to Sweden and were there with Jacob, Fredrik and Anders. So we were six people in a room working on these songs, and then you have to AGREE with six or seven people about what is going to happen with a song. This is what I think Martijn called “a process from hell” here and there. This is just really complicated because, not only do you have different opinions about what is good or not good, but also different taste. So we really had to find a way to achieve what is best for the song … the song would really be central in these writing sessions. In the end, I think it worked out REALLY well. I’m just really happy and proud of the songs that we have now, and I’m also really happy about my own involvement in the process. I’m just proud as hell of the result of all this, even though it’s been challenging here and there.

Robin:  Have the band decided what the first single from We Are The Others will be?

Martijn:  Uhm, well Charlotte and me do that together with our management -- with the A&R at the record company -- and also with the producer. We talk about what we think is the best single candidate. Right now, we’re thinking of “We Are The Others.” Personally, I also think “Are You Done With Me” would be a very good candidate. We’re still not completely sure about it. Even at this moment, we are rewriting “We Are The Others” in a little bit different atmosphere to see if it works better, because an album track is something different than a single track.

But this is only fun to do. It’s like, if you have a good song, you can play it in country style or you can play it in hip-hop style. It doesn’t really matter. If it’s a good song, then it works either way. But it’s not always fitting for radio, for example. So we’re still working on it, and it’s very fun to do. I’m not sure yet where it will end.

Delain

Robin:  Previously Delain led into the new albums with a music video, like the “April Rain” video for the April Rain album. What is the current thought, as far as a music video for We Are The Others?

Martijn:  That, definitely, we should have a video for a single. But since we are not entirely sure yet whether “We Are The Others” is going to turn into a singles version or perhaps we are going to take another song, we cannot shoot the video yet. But we are 1000% sure that is should be there. So it WILL happen, we will make a video for sure.

Robin:  I’m intrigued by the thought of Burton Bell from Fear Factory doing what is described as “a most violent duet” with Charlotte. Considering that there have not been violent duets on previous Delain tracks, how did this collaboration come about, and what were you going for with “Where Is The Blood”?

Martijn:  It started actually in this farmhouse as a try-out -- “Let’s try something different” -- like a little bit different character kind of song. Charlotte started to try different techniques in her singing (and almost shouting) in the chorus, and that was the beginning of the “Where Is The Blood” track. I liked it very much; our co-writer Guus, who plays guitars with us and writes with us, he liked it; and Charlotte loved it. So we started to develop it a bit more.

Delain has always been a band that loves to work with guests. I’m always very interested in working with musicians outside our own group because it’s very refreshing and also very surprising, as far as what comes out. Charlotte had very good contacts with Burton, and since the Wacken festival in August of 2010, she always kept in touch with him. We were in the studio with Jacob Hellner, thinking about the song, and I really thought that this song needed a voice like that. So I asked Charlotte if she could contact Burton, and he was very much up for trying it out. Yeah, it turned out really, really great! It is one of my favorite tracks now. This is exactly what I mean about when you work with guests that you get such positive energy and surprising results. It worked fine, and I’m very pleased with it.

Robin:  I still have trouble wrapping my head around a hard-core Delain duet, and would love to get your perspective, Charlotte. Also, is “Where Is The Blood” a song that Delain will play live, or will it be reserved for when you tour with a band that has a harsh vocalist?

Charlotte:  To answer the live questions first, I definitely think we should be able to pull this off, since Otto can do some grunts, and I’m sure that he can do something similar to this. I mean, he should be able to give it a twist to do it live, and I think this song is too cool to not play live. So I think we’ll manage to find a shape and form for this song to perform it.

So this song is like a classic break-up song … a love gone bad song … and the lyrics in the chorus are “if I hurt you so much, then where is the blood?” So it’s just a really ANGRY song. We started with this song by experimenting with different styles of using my voice actually, and I ended up SCREAMING at the microphone. It was just really intense! But while we were in the studio recording it, a part of us was still thinking “A) Is it intense enough?” and “B) This is a song about somebody.” Actually, that the “somebody” should be involved in the picture as well. So we thought about making it a duet.

Burton C. Bell was one of the first ones who popped to mind for me because I met him at Wacken some time ago, and we got along and stayed in touch. I just dropped him a line to tell him: “Listen, we’ve got this song, and I think you would sound great on it. Would you be interested?” He was really interested, and he completely NAILED it! I love the way he sounds, like at the violent part in the chorus. But what I think is really interesting is that there is this part in the verse, and here he actually sings very low and mellow. That’s just something that I hadn’t heard from him so much before, so it was really cool to hear him doing this emotional job in singing. It just sounds really cool and really sexy, and I’m really happy that song is on the record. It’s really one of my favorite songs on the album right now.

Robin:  Of all the tracks on We Are The Others, which did you personally slave over the most in writing and composing?

Martijn:  Hmmm, that’s a good question. I would say ALL. (all laugh) For me, it really was a process from hell, this whole album process. That sounds negative, but it’s not because I never learned so much. It was only so much hard work, thinking about it and thinking about it and thinking about it, and as Charlotte said several times, going into detail and talking about it with several people. Thinking back, I think the most difficult track … geez, that’s really difficult to say which track that would be … oh, “We Are The Others” I think, because we all like this track very much and want this to be the single. We thought about it so much, how we could make it perfect. To pursue perfection, we’re still struggling with this song, although it’s really cool already. So I’d say “We Are The Others.”

Delain

Robin:  When you find yourself stuck for inspiration, what do you do to recharge your batteries or get your head into a different space, so that you can come back and look at a song with fresh eyes?

Martijn:  I sleep over it, literally. (laughs) Or I’ll play a video game or watch a movie, and then look at it the next morning. There is nothing so refreshing as getting up in the early morning and starting to listen to stuff you did the previous day. This always works. Also, sometimes you really have to leave it be, and then you get a desire to make music again: “I feel like writing!” You know what I mean? When you feel that, you should grab it and IMMEDIATELY start composing. So, I would say sleep over it, then start the next morning and listen to what you have. That almost always helps.

Charlotte:  For me, there are a lot of things that I can definitely NOT do when it comes to composing and songwriting. But there are always ideas. (laughs) I’m not saying that they are always GOOD ideas, but I do not so often really run dry of ideas. And if I do, I just take a shower, or do something that is relaxing and can take the thoughts in your mind from something that might have been stressing you out or occupying your mind too much -- like taking a walk, cuddling with the kittens, or doing some random cleaning in the house. Just drinking a lot works too. (all laugh)

It’s something I’m really happy about. There are a lot of things you can learn, but inspiration is not always given. I might have to knock on wood (knocks) because, now that I’m saying this, you will see that tomorrow that I’ll have my first real, real, real writer’s block. Fortunately, I don’t run into just not having any ideas. It’s more that, a lot of times, I have ideas that are completely not usable or something, but they are ideas, anyway. So yeah, that usually works out.

Robin:  You are lucky, indeed, not to suffer from writer’s block. It’s pure misery.

Charlotte:  You know, after another few albums, that will happen daily. But right now, I’m not there yet. (laughs) I’m not saying that it will be forever, but I’m hoping that it will last a little bit longer.

Robin:  Martijn, you are a huge history buff. Do you ever get to incorporate that interest into Delain’s music?

Martijn:  No, not really, but I do think about it. Perhaps with a future album, I will do that. When I’m on tour in different countries, I always read the history from that certain spot. For example, when I was in Georgia [for ProgPower], I looked up the Civil War history of that time. Yeah, it’s the same in Holland and France. It’s very inspiring. Until now, I never did, and actually I don’t even know why I didn’t. (laughs) It just didn’t develop like that, but perhaps in the future.

Robin:  We Are The Others is anticipated for a March 2012 release date. Any hints as to whether it will be the earlier or later part of the month?

Martijn:  I’m afraid it will be much later even, because when we finished the album … in fact, the exact week we received the master … we heard that Warner Music didn’t want to release us because they just don’t get metal. They just don’t get it. They bought Roadrunner to get this metal DNA into their body, I would say. I have the feeling … I don’t know because I’m not in the organization itself … but I have the feeling that they are still searching for the right working method.

The Roadrunner company wants to release us, and there are several people within Roadrunner who are working to release us nonetheless. So actually, for us it’s a nightmare. You finish your album, and then you don’t know when the release is. But you know that fans are waiting for it. We were so satisfied with the album, and also our producer was satisfied. But some executive nut-case just doesn’t get it, and decides: “Well, let’s not release it.” Other people do get it, and right now, they are talking about how and when to release it. It’s a nightmare! We don’t have control over it, and at the moment, we can only wait.

What we are doing right now is what we always do as a band, which is to take initiative into our own hands. That means we are not going to wait for those people. We’re going to play those new songs, and we’re going to make everything ready so that, if they are done with their struggle, we can release immediately. We have a lot of support within this Roadrunner company -- people who are giving us tools to move forward with a single and the planning. I still have hope that we can release in the spring, but at the moment I’m just not sure. And that is very frustrating. You’re actually the first Delain outsider to whom I’m telling this, so it’s kind of a scoop. But yeah, I’d rather have had a more positive scoop for you.

Delain

Robin:  I really appreciate you sharing that with Sonic Cathedral, Martijn. What about Delain’s upcoming European tour, which is already booked for April and May? Will the album release affect the tour?

Martijn:  Sure it does. It affects it in terms of promotion, but it does not affect it in terms of whether we are going to cancel it or not play certain songs. On the contrary, we are going to tour, and we are going to play new songs. We are going to do exactly the same thing we would have done if we would have had the release. But of course, it affects promotion because normally, when you release, you’re going to do a lot of interviews. There’s a lot of buzz created around a new release. Right now, that’s not happening. We’re doing it ourselves … arranging interviews for people who want to, like Sonic Cathedral for example … and doing promotion ourselves.

At the moment, we’re developing our own new live show with our new songs and artwork incorporated into that, which is always very fun to do. So we are just gonna do the tour, and perhaps we’re going to have a release within this tour. That’s also still possible, but I just don’t know right now.

Robin:  I was excited to read that Delain are doing your fourth show at Metal Female Voices Fest’s tenth birthday bash, and there are plans for pyrotechnics and fire. Is that right?

Martijn:  (laughs) Yeah, that’s right! We LOVE fireworks.

Robin:  We love fireworks, too! Charlotte, what are you most looking forward to at MFVF, and will you get a chance to reunite and cause some mischief with your metal sisters from Eve’s Apple?

Charlotte:  Yes, I certainly hope so. I know that a lot of the girls are going to be there. This is usually the fun part of Metal Female Voices Fest. You have the live show, which is usually really cool because the festival has been growing a lot in the last couple of years. I know a lot of people from the metal scene are really looking forward to the festival, and the fact that so many people are so happy when you get there, that makes up for any bad day that you could have. So I’m just really looking forward to the show. Also, since we have a very good spot this year, it’ll be exciting, and I’ll probably be a little bit nervous.

It’s really nice to know that so many of the Eve’s Apple girls will be there. I really like the idea of the Eve’s Apple platform because there are a lot of things about working in the music industry -- especially, being a woman working in the field of loud music -- and that information is not in the streets; you know? It’s really nice to be able to talk to other singers or musicians who are basically going through the same stuff, because we are. I mean taking a look at the Eve’s Apple Headquarters (the part that isn’t open to the public) and seeing what everybody is really happy about or what they are complaining about, it’s like we have so much in common, in a way. It’s just really nice to be able to share some thoughts about it every now and then.

I remember being on tour with Lisa [Middelhauve] last year, and it’s really nice to have somebody. I completely rely on my bandmates and love them. That’s the biggest support that you can have, of course. But still, there is something about the female rocker’s perspective that is just really interesting, and it’s nice to talk about it with others who are in the same boat.

Robin:  When you have big tour coming up and are going to be locked in a smelly tourbus for several weeks, what do you do to prepare for the tour? For example, do you go on vacation and lounge about on the beach?

Martijn:  Actually, nothing. We’re looking forward to it because it’s SO MUCH FUN. To say it in bad English: “I laugh my ass off the entire tour!” We have a very funny drummer and a very nice crew, and it’s always so funny hanging out with everybody. So actually, it feels like vacation to me … well not always, because sometimes it’s hard work of course. But we’re all really looking forward to it, and to travel and see foreign places. I think if you’re going to ask this question again six or seven months from now, perhaps I will say something else because we will have done a lot of shows already. But right now, I would say it’s almost a holiday.

Robin:  On the upcoming tour are Delain playing countries or cities that you haven’t played before? On the last tour, for example, you played in Poland for the first time.

Martijn:  That’s true. Actually, right now, we are going to be in Romania for the first time this summer for a festival. But during the EU tour itself, there are no new countries. There are new places, but not new countries that we are going to play. But this summer, we are going to do Romania for the first time. I’m very curious to play there. I’ve never been there, so let’s find out!

Robin:  Is there anything that you would like to tell Sonic Cathedral readers directly that you have not yet had a chance to?

Martijn:  Hmmm, let me think … I hope that people are looking forward to the album and can bear with some more patience. I can imagine that, for a lot of people, their patience is almost gone because it has been a long time since our previous release. But really people, it is COMING. The only question is if the record company and corporate guys can hurry up with their puzzling and struggle, and then we can offer the fans finally the new material. I hope they will love it.

Charlotte:  I would just tell everybody to hang in there! The album is really going to come, hopefully very, very soon. We are totally going for it 200%! So we will be touring, and we certainly hope to see a lot of people on the road and being able to have a chat with them after a kick-ass show. I hope to see them very soon.

Delain

Robin:  What I’ve heard from the live YouTube clips of “Get The Devil Out Of Me” and “Milk and Honey” sounds GOOD. Thank you so much for talking with Sonic Cathedral today. We really cannot wait to hear the entire We Are The Others album!

Martijn:  Thank you very much, and it was my pleasure!

Many thanks and much metal love to Lisa Middelhauve for making this interview possible.

Robin’s Postscript: I was shocked to learn that We Are The Others does not have a release date and that Warner Music is reluctant to release the album at all. If you are also eagerly awaiting Delain’s new album, let the band know ( ). I bet they would appreciate your messages of support during this uncertain time.

Photo credit for promo shots: Sandra Ludewig
Photo credit for live shots: Cedric Roussel at Pixlive Photography

Delain

Delain official site
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