'Creating Vapor Trails!'
Although originally envisioned by Martijn Westerholt as a musical project featuring a host of guest musicians, due to the high demand for live performances a real band was formed.
This lead to the Roadrunner release of Delain's debut album 'Lucidity' in 2006. The group of musicians quickly transformed into a solid rocking force.
Now Delain is nothing less than a real band. A versatile band with an impressive new album called April Rain.
The listener is immediately drawn in by sweet, waterdrop-like pianosounds. Then the rest of the band kicks in and the drops form a ferociously swirling river of sound, during which a heavy guitar riff mercilessly crushes.
In little under a minute 'April Rain' – the title track - has shown us a few of the many different faces of Delain. And at that point we haven't even heard singer Charlotte Wessels yet!
Chatting one-on-one with the lovely Charlotte Wessels (vocalist), I first wondered what had been her musical influences growing up and how many still factored into her music today? "I learned to play the clarinet at a young age. That got me into jazz music. I played and sang in a bigband for seven years in highschool. My parents loved bands like the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Genesis, although the last one I didn’t really like. Phil Collins’ voice always made me feel sad."
"Now I love music that’s kind of melodramatic, but back then I didn’t. My brother got me into the louder bands when I was in my teens. When I was 16 I took two years of classical training, but that I didn’t really like, especially when my teacher told me to ‘quit that little band of yours and audition in a choir’. I think all of these things influenced me in a way, but it’s hard to say which the most."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard your previous material, and was thinking of buying your band’s new CD 'April Rain,' how would you describe its sound? "That’s always a hard question. Probably something like symphonic rock songs with a pop-structure in a metal production, something like that :-)"
Is there a theme behind 'April Rain' and how did the band come up with the album title? "There’s not really one theme, but the songs tend to have a lot more positive message then the songs on our previous Album. April Rain is one of the songs where this is most obvious. The song is about seeing the positive side of things when you’re in a negative situation. Next to the fact that we just like the sound of the title ‘April Rain’, we thought that this was also a nice message for an album title."
On your Myspace page you mention that the song On the Other Side is your ‘little baby’ since it reflects on a difficult period you went through. How does it feel to perform such a personal piece of music with your fans? "It’s great to have the opportunity to share. It works therapeutically, I know it sounds lame but it’s true."
How easy (or hard) is it to create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderment's/accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "Very very hard. ‘Wanted by the public’ is very unpredictable and what someone would consider being original, another would not so.. the only solution I guess is just making the music that comes to mind and that comes from the heart and aiming at doing the best you can at that. There will always be people who love the result and there will always be people who hate it too so better make sure you love it yourself."
Your debut CD ‘Lucidity’ was composed mostly out of Martijn’s vision of a project band with lots of guest artists’ contributions... what was the experience with developing ‘April Rain’ now that Delain has forged into a solid cast of band members? "It was a very positive experience since the band members we found back then are not only good live musicians, but have proven to make a great contribution to the writing and recording process of April Rain. Everyone kind of has his own specialties when it comes to this, and although you have to find a new way of working when it’s not a solitary job anymore, we had not much trouble doing this."
I noticed on your Twitter page that your kitten Iggy recently broke her leg. How’s the little one doing? "Don’t you just love twitter? Iggy is doing fine. We had to keep her in a cage for a few weeks which was awful. She hated it and was complaining all day starting with soft miauwing, which got louder, louder and louder until she started making this noise which sounded like her crying ‘mama’. Heartbreaking I tell you. She’s out of her cage now, fully recovered and crawled up on my lap next to her sister (Roxy) as I’m writing this."
When not writing or performing what types of activities or hobbies do you like to do? "I study art history part time, starting my third year next week. Next to that I love working out, reading and writing, spending time with my love and cuddling with my pets."
Your press release states you’re planning on touring North America in the near future. When can I look forward to seeing you in the states? "We’re hoping to get to the States next year. It would be awesome!"
Finally, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine love Penguins... do you?! "I DO love penguins. I adore them! I especially love Pengu the Penguin."
"Check this!" - 'Pingu's Pancakes' on YouTube
"Cute right? Childhood sentiment :-)"
Interviewed by Ken Tebo
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