Dutch Symphonic Metal Within Temptation is a band founded in April 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt release their 7th album “Resist”.
Sharon talks about the new album and after Hydra when the band was at a crossroads and her solo album recharged her and the group.
IMM: Hi Sharon, this is an honor to talk to you and been listening to the band for years. When I listen to this album, the music is heavier and bolder yet is still the band’s sound.
Sharon: That’s what we try to do and try something new. We try to implement something new from our inspirations and evolve a bit and try new things. Life gets boring especially after so many years when making music after so many years already and it doesn’t get any easier (Laughter).
IMM: True and the quality is what it’s important as well.
Sharon: I agree is why it has taken five years and didn’t know if there would be a new album in the beginning and was a bit lost and like which way do we go? It was long journey and we finally found it and we’re happy the way it turned out the way it did. We were never a groovy band but have to say for the first time we have some groovy songs on this album (Laughter).
IMM: After Hydra and the band settle down, you went to record a solo album My Indigo and as you said the band was at crossroads and recording the solo album helped recharge your batteries.
Sharon: In the certain genre that we are it is very powerful music and when we came back from Hydra, I didn’t feel very powerful. And it was logical in a way that I couldn’t write the typical songs and everyone I was working with including me asked which direction do we want to go forward on the sounds not like Hydra, The Unforgiving or the other albums we did so far? What is the new challenge to take on music wise? I didn’t know and nobody really did and we really challenged and at the crossroads. And My Indigo did help for ideas again for Resist though the music genre are so different and I think you always learn something different out of your comfort zone. My Indigo is different from Within Temptation and I did learn again what was maybe necessary to write this album.
IMM: With the title and what is happening in different countries and has been going on for centuries but with the technology, the information gets out faster. The messaging, the discussions and arguments are same.
Sharon: Yeah it is the same but if people are worried like in the past and I can only talk about when I growing up in the eighties. In the Netherlands in the eighties big groups of people were protesting for something for everyone like against the bombs from being dropped. We afraid of that and people went out on the streets protesting and wanted governments to talk to each other and now there is still much to be angry about and wonder or worry about more now than then and everybody goes on the internet and they don’t have the right facts and throw all their ideas on the internet without success because it’s not gathered. I wonder what happens and I think at America is different when they are protesting for better things than against their salary check which they are doing in the Netherlands now a days for that they are protesting that they are not getting enough money from the companies that their working for. That’s when they go on the streets because that affects everyone. That’s what I miss from my generation.
IMM: With the release of the new album or currently with new releases the record labels are pressing a “limited” amount of cassette tapes. Many people not all got rid of their cassette players for home and certain year autos do and don’t have tape players. And stereo companies are not making the cassette players but can change again. I understand the nostalgia and for those who want a physical product.
Sharon: At the Netherlands you can buy a cassette deck for around 20 Euros (approx. $18) and is more like a fun thing you can have. My son who is 9 years old got all the cassettes from my father is listening all different music and to all these bands like The Eagles, Queen, and he thinks it’s like vinyl though doesn’t sound as good but has something physical in his hands and with the walkman I have in my house and I enjoy it very much.
IMM: The cover for the new album has a comic book type super hero?
Sharon: It is a futuristic type of guy that isn’t a comic book type but has a cape (Laughter). We found the picture on the internet from an artist that was working on it and we loved it so we bought it. It was exactly what we wanted that he has artifact in his hand and you don’t know who is the bad or is the good guy wearing a cape? (Laughter) Wearing a helmet and everything and the science fiction type of clothing is he big brother the bad guy or the good guy and I think in every different situation you will have a different opinion. Going to different countries will have different opinions and is an open question to have for theme for the album. Nothing is black and white; you can see every problem and solution through a different light and different opinion about it. It’s nice to have the discussion always. It’s more of an inspiration source.
IMM: When did the group starting the music for the album, about two or three years ago?
Sharon: No, we had some of the songs two years ago. The actual writing and recording during the summer of 2018. The end of summer of 2017 we started writing and during 2018 we were writing and recording three songs together and then writing and recording three new songs and doing it again and did it twelve months time.
IMM: So you all just went non-stop in the studio.
Sharon: Yeah we working every week trying new things, new songs and new ideas. It was ongoing but really nice. But also nice to immediately see something like twenty demos and narrowed them down to ten more or less. We started recording then two years passed or maybe a year or where you still have the feel of the song then write it and then a few weeks later you are recording it. For us it’s much better way to write and save the flow of the song then to lose it along the way. Try to have the same kind of vibe when you are writing it.Sometimes you lose the kind of demo. It’s called demo syndrome because you write it on the demo but can’t get it right on the album because they so short after each other.
IMM: Are there songs recorded for this album that didn’t make it that will be released for another album or out takes?
Sharon: Yes, there are some songs at the time we didn’t finish and we didn’t know how finish them so we let them rest like a good wine you have to put it away and it matures. You get better ideas and might be able to finish it. One song we did record but didn’t end up on the album and we don’t know what we are going to do about it. We might change the theme of the song, though we like the song the intro on it we didn’t like so we are going to change and maybe put on a new album or release as a in between. But we don’t know yet but we’ll see in the mean time and we’ll see what we have to do.
IMM: Maybe release another live album with a full orchestra in the future
Sharon: That’s always an option for us like the Black Symphony show we did in the Netherlands and took out of the Netherlands ten years ago we did that in a big venue. You want to deliver the same quality and is difficult to perform at every country and with same quality orchestra and the one we had in the Netherlands are top to do it with. That they play with all big stars all over the world and when they need a orchestra they use this one when they are at the Netherlands. And it is expensive and looking at the countries themselves and takes a lot of time and logistical problems to make it happen and we are still open for ideas that we might take up again in the future. For the moment we are going away a little from the orchestra and we still use symphonic parts in the music in certain parts of the songs not like in the past where we had a orchestra in very single section. Now is more in certain parts where we think is beautiful we have it, and where we think the guitars takes over, the guitars takes over and doesn’t drown in all this big orchestra arraignment (Laughter).
IMM: For this tour how many songs will be performed from the new album and the other great songs from the previous album?
Sharon: Well there will be a lot of songs from the old albums and will change the set list a little bit to find songs to fit with the new album. And did make a different sound with the new album and find songs that fit with the new album and that there is a gap between the songs. At Europe we had pretty cool one, a really nice set list that was seventy percent from the old albums and thirty percent from the new album something like that.
IMM: That is what the band is working on now which songs for North America tour?
Sharon: Yes, to see which songs to open with for each show and to keep it interesting for us as well or otherwise it stays as a easy thing to do and is fun for us to have different songs every night.
IMM: Thanks for your time and keep making the quality music.
Sharon: Thank You, Bye