martedì 27 gennaio 2015

EPICA - Interview

This is a special moment for our little blog. Epica is the greatest  symphonic metal band in Holland.
After the gig in Milan, on the 24th of November, we had the opportunity to ask them something about the band.
Their drummer Ariën talks about the new album, feelings and much more.

LFdM: Hi guys, thank you very much for this interview, It’s a great honor for us.
Ariën; you’re welcome!

LFdM: Well, - Let's start talking about the new album! After these first six month, how do you feel?
Ariën; I feel very good! The album’s doing very well, and we got very good critics. We’re very happy how the album came out and the positive reception it got.

LFdM: The album shows a great sound evolution compared to the past ones. It’s more lively and fast,  even if your style is always unmistakable. How much time did you work on it?
Ariën; We started working on the album more than half a year before we actually went into the studio for the recordings. We started writing the songs at home, exchanged ideas, putting all the ideas together, and started jamming in the rehearsal room. We had our producer Joost van den Broek with us for feedback, and to take care of the details of the musical parts. We surely made some progression with this album, and the songs are more compact and powerful, in a nice Epica-coating.

LFdM: Has the change in the production brought the effects you wanted? I mean, the final result was exactly what you had in mind or was something completely different and unexpected?
Ariën; The final result was precisely how we wanted it to be. We got a clear, powerful and heavy sound, and it’s still Epica.

LFdM: People use to classify a genre, to label it. Your style, although there are little changes in each album, is always the same.  Do you ever feel the need to totally change your sound and break this rule?
Ariën; We always start from scratch when we write songs, and we see from there which direction it goes. We don’t limit ourselves from the start by forcing the music into a specific direction.

KFdM: To release a  new album is almost like to give birth to a child, in my opinion. You can see its first steps, and you grow along with it, both emotionally and technically. What did “The Quantum Enigma” give you? And what did your previous albums give to this new one?
Ariën; TQE gave me a very good feeling, and it was fun to make this album, all the times in the studio, there was a good and relaxing vibe. We made a careful planning, and it was pretty much going through the list and putting everything together. This album and this time was extra special, because we went to a different studio. Instead of the Gate studios, we went to Sandlane, and worked with different people, and with Joost van den Broek as producer.

LFdM: Each title has a story.  What is the story behind "The Quantum Enigma"?
Ariën; Not everything is what it seems, and we can’t see a lot of things that are actually there in the world and universe. It can be metaphorically too; regarding human behaviour, social problems, religious issues etc. Life is a mystery sometimes.

LfdM: You have a great audience, loyal and always ready to follow you around the world. Is there a special audience to whom you are extremely close?
Ariën; All audiences are great, and very loyal to us. And we to them. I think though, that the more ‘outgoing’ and crazier audience can be found in South America, haha. Those fans are going wild!! Needless to say, it’s a pleasure to play for such a group of metal-maniacs!

LFdM: Let's talk about live performances. Do you think this album is more suitable to be played live or not?
Ariën; I think so, yes. So far we’ve been playing quite some songs of the new album, and they groove and they’re catchy. And they mix quite well with the older material.

LFdM: Again talking about the live shows, how do Simone train her amazing voice?
Ariën; She doesn’t drink any alcohol, she doesn’t smoke, and she warms up before the show. I think that, at home, she sometimes practises and every now and then she follows singing classes.

LFdM: With each and every album, the orchestral parts seem to be more accurate, refined, stretched to perfection. Where does this desire to master this particular music style come from?
Ariën; It’s what we do. We want to be doing what we do in the best way, and go for the best result possible. Otherwise, what’s the point? When I’m playing drums, I want to do that the best way possible, and I can have a bad time when I screw it up, haha.

LFdM: What is the main inspiration behind "Design your universe"?
Ariën; To shape, fill in, and live your life the way you want, with respect for other people. You can live life anyway you want, and set your own goal.

LFdM: Philosophy, Metaphysics and also quantum physics. How did you transform all of this into an album?
Ariën; Mark and Simone write the lyrics. They always have their eyes and ears open to what’s going on in the world. Mark is also much on the internet, looking for information and topics to write about. Somehow he can transform them into typical Epica-lyrics.

LFdM: To end this interview, let's talk about your future projects. Are you already thinking about new material or are you planning to go on hiatus for a while and enjoy your success?
Arien; First we’ll do some intensive touring; South Africa, Greece, the US, South America, summer festivals. We’re going to be busy!

Thank you again!

(Interview by Michela and Dora, editing by Alessia)

02. ‘The Second Stone’
03. ‘The Essence Of Silence’
04. ‘Victims Of Contingency’
05. ‘Sense Without Sanity (The Impervious Code)’
06. ‘Unchain Utopia
07. ‘The Fifth Guardian (Interlude)’
08. ‘Chemical Insomnia
09. ‘Reverence (Living In The Heart)’
10. ‘Omen (The Ghoulish Malady)’
11. ‘Canvas Of Life’
12. ‘Natural Corruption’
13. ‘The Quantum Enigma (Kingdom Of Heaven, Part II)’

Label: Nuclear Blast
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