Dutch Symphonic band Delain released their fifth album ‘The Human Contradiction’ this past April and have spent much of the year on tour supporting with Nightwish.
On June 4, 2014, it was announced that drummer Sander Zoer would step down from the band due to personal reasons although he would continue working behind the scenes with Delain. Replacing Zoer would be Ruben Israel, who had stepped in for Zoer during Delain’s tour with Kamelot. Zoer will continue to perform until September. Charlotte Wessels took time to talk about the tour and a new album with Craig Newman.
HA: How are things going on this run?
Charlotte Wessels: We’re having a blast touring the US with Sabaton and Nightwish at the moment. The tour has been great so far.
HA: After the North American tour last year with Sonata Arctica and Xandria and then going back to perform at Europe was the band going to take time off and work on new music?
CW: Even though we’ve filled up most of the time between tours with headline shows in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe, we’ve found some time to write new music. We have about six or seven songs pretty much worked out, and some very interesting ideas on the shelves. We expect to release our new record in 2016.
HA: Earlier this year or late last year when the Nightwish dates were posted with Delain as support you were able to headline some shows. Could North America see some more Delain headline shows in the near future?
CW: What we do is we see how many off-days there are, and whether it would make sense to plan headline shows on those days in the area we are that moment. Whenever this is possible we like to go for it. If we plan US tours in the future, we’ll keep the same strategy.
HA: When working on new music, does each member bring songs in and who chooses the titles and the themes including the lyrics? And is the whole band in the studio during recording and mixing?
CW: Our main writing team consists of Martijn Westerholt, Guus Eikens and myself. We usually write the songs until we are confident of the structure and melodies. This can start either from scratch, or from an idea that one of us brings into the writing room. When the song is at a point where we are confident about the structure and melodies, the rest of the band gets involved, starts practicing and sometimes refining their own parts. From there on some things happen more on separate islands. For instance, Martijn works on the arrangements, I write the lyrics (incl. themes/titles). As for the recording, this usually happens at several different studios, sometimes at the same time. During mixing Martijn will be there as he has been in a producer role for most of our records, and some band members might join in as well.
HA: Speaking of new music, you guest on a new Kamelot song, “Under Grey Skies” for their new album, ‘Haven.’ Did you record your vocals with the band at the studio? Or record them while traveling and send it to Thomas Youngblood of Kamelot?
CW: I actually got the request for this guest appearance while we were on tour with Sabaton early this year. Since the deadline was rather tight I had to record the vocals while traveling. I got a chance to record the song the day we were performing in Athens. I really love the track and I am so happy to hear how it turned out.
HA: Back to the question regarding the new album. Will there any differences on compositions and sound? And any guest singers and/or musicians on the next album or future albums? And who would you like to collaborate with?
CW: We really liked the production of our latest record ‘The Human Contradiction,’ so we might just do something similar for the upcoming record. As for the compositions and guests it is really too early to tell, partly because we haven’t finished writing for the album yet, and partly because we wouldn’t want to spoil any surprises.
HA: What pranks have you gotten from other bands while performing? And what pranks haveyou all done to others?
CW: Sonata Arctica once started playing “The Final Countdown” right through our song “Pristine.” Sabaton showered us in little jelly beans and we in turn have done anything from dressing up our sound engineer in an angel suit to throwing bananas at the band and crowd dressed in a monkey suit. You know. The usual!
HA: What is the most embarrassing moment that you remember on stage and videos? I’m sure there are many but one that stands out?
CW: There are many? THERE ARE MANY? You are making me very insecure right now.
HA: What music and other entertainment projects and other interests do you have? And what other music artists would you like to collaborate with? Perhaps Sharon Den Adel, Anneke van Giersbergen, Elize Ryd, Liv Kristine, Kari Rueslåtten? You all could make an album together, I’m thinking …
CW: We have actually collaborated with some of these artists. Check out our first record ‘Lucidity.’