Interview : Charlotte Wessels – Delain (2009)




Interview by Marcy Bell

The lovely and talented Charlotte speaks with Femme Metal about the new Delain‘s album “April Rain” during their tour with Sonata Arctica and more… read all the interview and you will discover more about Charlotte and Delain.

Hi Charlotte, tell us about “April Rain” Delain‘s new album. What are the differences between this new work and “Lucidity”?

The main difference between “April Rain” and our debut album “Lucidity” is the fact that “Lucidity” was recorded as a project and “April Rain” is a real band album. Back when “Lucidity” was written and recorded Martijn and I didn’t have the expectation of Delain becoming a live band yet, mainly because of Martijn‘s health problems which withheld him from playing live. When the album was done however things got much better and we felt the urge to continue this thing as a proper live band. “April Rain”, however still mainly written by Martijn, Guus and me, was also composed with this live band. Every member had their influence on the sound of this album and some really contributed a lot in the writing process.

Mainly all the lyrics are written by you and the music by Martijn and Guus Eikens. Where do you get the inspiration for the writing process? Can you describe it?

Life is the best inspiration. I experience exciting things, good and bad situations, I’m surrounded by interesting people, so I’m nowhere near a writer’s block yet! Sometimes I really sit down with pen and paper thinking “I really want to write something now” and pick a topic and go. But more often the words or melodies come spontaneously when I’m in a train or walking through my town or when I’m lying in bed. When I think of something I try to record it (on my voicemail if there’s no computer around) because I tend to have a lot of idea’s and forget half of them by the time I’m home.

How long did it take to record “April Rain”? Did you recorded it in the Nederlands?

I don’t recall how long it took for all the stuff to be recorded, because we all recorded separately at different times and places. Guitars for example we recorded at home, Vocals, drums and base were recorded at different locations in Germany and the Cello was actually recorded in the USA!

Now you are going on tour with Sonata Arctica? What are your expectations?

I had high expectations of touring with Sonata. It’s a band I’ve been listening to a lot when I was about 15 years old so I feel a lot of sweet nostalgia listening to their music. As I’m writing this we’re already halfway through the tour and the experience has been awesome so far. The three bands; Winterborn, Delain and Sonata Arctica are a great match I think. We get lovely responses from the audience and I’ve been singing Sonata’s song “Last Drop Falls” with them at several occasions. We’re enjoying ourselves!

Recently Delain were headliner at the Metal Female Voices Fest. It was your first time at this festival, wasn’t it? How was it?

Actually it was already our third time playing at this festival, it was very nice to be headlining this time. This festival is always good for meeting the colleagues and lots of fans of female fronted bands.

Do you feel that Delain popularity is growing and growing?

I hope so.

Charlotte, what is you music background? Did you take any vocal lessons? Do you play any instrument?

I play the clarinet, a beautiful instrument but not of much use when it comes to songwriting, accompanying your own singing (singing and playing the clarinet at the same time is physically impossible, I can tell.. I tried) or playing in a metal band. So I’m trying to also learn some basics on piano and guitar but I should practice more. I had two years of jazz singing lessons and two years of classical lessons and then quit for a few years. I’m now seeing a vocal coach again to keep my voice in shape for the long touring. I’ve lost my voice one time on tour and I don’t want that happening again, so I’m learning how to use my voice properly instead of just screaming my lungs out every night in a row.

How do you combine your private life with life on tour? Is it difficult? Positive and negative sides?

For me right now everything is still fresh and new enough to be very excited when we’re on tour and not miss my own home too much. I do have my moments of missing my love, my family, my cats or just my own bed, but that doesn’t get to me too much. Maybe these things will change in time, probably it will get more difficult if you’ve been touring for a longer time, but I don’t know. Time will tell.

What are your biggest heros or models?

Probably the bands I really like myself. I hope I can mean as much to some people with our music, as my favorite music means to me.

How is your relationship with your female colleagues in other bands?

Just fine! They always say that metal is a men’s sport so I think we girls should stick together!

You are from the Nederlands, so how is your relationship with bands such Epica, The Gathering and Within Temptation?

You run into each other a lot, so it feels like we’re colleagues. There were members from both Epica and Within Temptation on our first album. With Within Temptation it’s a special relationship of course because of Martijn‘s background as a Within Temptation member and the family he has in the band.

You are so young and so talented. Give some advices to young girls who would like to follow your steps.

You’re making me shy.. haha. Uhm, well I don’t know, I don’t think I did anything special except for taking every possibility that came to me when it comes to bands and music. But maybe that’s a good advice. Of course it might mean that at one point you’re in three bands and a project at the same time, but it’s a great way to gain experience.

How is your relationship with internet? Do you stay in touch with your fans and friends with any of the new social network such as MySpace, Facebook or Twitter?

Pfff, It’s awful, when entering a venue the first thing everybody does is looking for wifi. You can see everybody wandering around with their laptop in their hands searching for the best connection while screaming “What’s the key? What’s the key?” in panic. We have a lot of social networks, Myspace, Facebook, Hyves (Dutch thing) but personally I like Twitter the best. I’ve become a real twitter addict lately.

Future plans for Delain?

Making a kick-ass third album!



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