Interview by Tony Cannella
With the release of their new EP, “Lunar Prelude”, Dutch Symphonic metallers Delain are back out blazing a trail across North America with Nightwish and Sonata Arctica. The EP and tour have been receiving rave reviews and Delain continues to be a “must see” live band. Recently, vocalist Charlotte Wessels was kind enough to take some time out from her busy schedule to talk to Femme Metal. Here is what she had to say…
You are currently touring North America with Nightwish and Sonata Arctica again. How have the shows been going so far?
It’s been really great. We’ve toured with Nightwish before, in the U.S., in South America. Yeah, we’re just building off that. We know Nightwish and we know Sonata Arctica so the whole tour feels a bit like a reunion thing (laughs). The response has been really great, we’re happy.
You recently released the EP “Lunar Prelude”. Why did you decide to release an EP instead of a full-length?
Well basically, we’ve been touring a lot for the last couple of years; I don’t think we’ve ever toured as much as the last two years and this caused us to really change our writing and recording process, so basically what we used to do was to take a lot of time to write the entire album and then record it, but at this point we don’t even have that much time in-between tours that we can do that. What we basically did is we chopped up the entire process in multiple chunks. At this point we have recorded some songs for the new album already even though it’s coming out later this year. I think that the EP was a really good opportunity for us to share some of that with people who are waiting for the new album and also to have some of that new material out so that we can play it live. We play so many shows that we actually want to be able to play some new material too. It’s kind of traditional to keep the new songs within walls until a new album is released. I think for us, it is just a very nice opportunity to play these new songs live and let everyone know what we are working on.
The new EP has two new songs on it. The first single/video for the album is “Suckerpunch”. What can you tell us about that one, lyrically?
I think it is a very optimistic song. It does start from a kind of darker place where it could be regarded as a traditional break-up song but for me it’s more about breaking up with whatever weighs you down, whether it’s a toxic relationship or some of your own demons. I really feel that the song is about facing your demons, realizing what weighs you down and then taking it on.
The other new song is for “Turn the Lights Out”. What can you say about that one?
That one was actually inspired by Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” series, specifically the character of Death from that series, which is a character that I really love because in the series he’s the personification of qualities like death, dream and delirium. Death has always spoken to me in a specific way. In the comic series it’s a young Goth woman and she’s very kind and empathic. It is so different from all the other western personifications of death where you have the grim reaper, scary person. Something about the solitude of her task and the way she performs it in the story, I absolutely love it. I’m a big fan. So the song “Turn the Lights Out” is basically a song from the perspective of death, Inspired by that series – and then people still wonder why they call us a Goth band (laughs).
Delain has recently added a second guitarist (Merel Bechtolda). Why did you decide to add another guitarist?
Well, Merel had been filling in for Timo (Somers) at different locations. We started out as a band with two guitarists and then changed to one. When we played with Merel there was a very good chemistry with her in the band and there are a lot of songs that we always wanted to play live but that was just very hard without two guitarists. After a couple of those shows we tried to do some gigs with two guitarists and it opened up kind of a new spectrum of songs that we would be able to perform live that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. We became really enthusiastic about the idea. Two guitarists is always better than one. Merel is a great fit within the group. I’m also very curious how she is going to develop within the entire concept of the band and getting the new album together. Especially live, we already notice a big difference there, just in the fatness of the sound and those songs that we can play.
You mentioned earlier that you have some stuff ready for a new full-length. When can we expect that?
New full-length, I think in the summer of 2016.
What is next for Delain following this current string of dates with Nightwish and Sonata Arctica?
After this we’ll have to finish the new album, that’s really the thing that we need to do so we will be going into the studio for the last writing block and then we are going to do a lot of festivals and go back on the road as soon as possible.
Summertime is a big time for outdoor festivals in Europe. Do you enjoy playing all the festivals?
Yeah for sure. We’ve got some great festivals, this year we’ve got Hellfest, Download, a lot of good things coming up. Also at the end of the summer we have our 10-year anniversary as a band which we’re also planning to celebrate later this year. There is a lot of good things coming.
For your 10th anniversary, are you going to do a special show with guests or anything like that?
Perhaps. My lips are sealed (laughs). There will be news soon.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to Femme Metal Webzine. Now that we’ve come to the end of this interview is there anything you would like to say to the fans to wrap things up?
For everyone reading this thanks so much for the support, we appreciate it, it’s what makes it possible for us to do what we do. Much love.