Date : 2005
Realised on the 10th of February, 2009, Paris
Ptite Note and Galathrandir went to Paris to see Charlotte and Martijn from Delain, and interviewed Martijn, keyboardist, composer and creator of Delain... Here is the first part of the interview, mostly about April Rain.
Galathrandir, Ptite Note : Hello, how are you ?
Martijn : Fine, and you ? No problems with storms, nothing happened ?
G : No thank you ! As you know we are from the Metal Symphonique website, and we like to come to see bands with real fans working in our team, so I'll let Ptite Note ask the questions !
M : Okay, that's fine for us also to see familiar faces !
Ptite Note : Okay, so first, how would you describe your music ?
M : Ummm... A music with a lot of contrasts. With a lot of hard guitar riffs and hard parts, but also with a more sensitive part, and we tried with the new album to get it with even more contrast, even more hard and soft parts. And it is very symphonic, with a lot of melody.
P.N. : Why the title "April Rain" ?
M : That's mostly a Charlotte's department because she writes the lyrics, she made the choice of "April Rain". But this song is an important one in the album, a lot of stuff which comes in the song are also in the entire album. The song is about the fact that you can see things positively or negatively, it's just the way how you look at it. So you have people wo can only see negative but don't see beautiful things. So as this is an important song on the album we chose to name the album after it.
G : So you saw it as an introduction of your new album. We see it like that because it is the first track so... The sound is also quite new...
M : Yes ! That's true, and it is also one of the first songs I wrote for the new album, one of the oldest new songs.
P.N. : Why did you choose to have less guests ? (There is only Marco Hietala invited on April Rain)
M : Actually it was not even a fully conscious choice, but we were just writing and it was easy because we have the band members now, we know each other's qualities, so there was less needs for guests, althought we still like to play live and make music with different people. But it is also because there was not a lot of time, we wanted to make our album in a certain amount of time, and take all the time we need so the process went fast and if you want to have guests you need to make appointments... So it was for practical reasons, for no need reasons. And we also wanted to show people that we are a band, and that we don't need guests to make music !
G : That is really the feeling that comes out of this album, that you want to show everyone that your are a singular band.
M : Exactly.
P.N. : At the beginning of Delain, the titles of Lucidity were not intended to be played live as it was just a studio project. Now that Delain has played and will keep playing live on the future, does things change ? Does this change your way of composing ?
M : Yes. It is more in your mind, because Lucidity was just a project, I never would have thought back then that we would play it live. We still have to find out because we did not play the new songs live yet, but I think they will be more suited for playing live. I have a really good feeling about it. I had this in the back of my head when writing, like "this guitar riff would sound great for live, I hear it for big speakers". We write things differently, even not consciously but subconsciously.
G : You've already played Go Away and Invidia, what were the reactions of the public ?
M : The reactions were good, we already noted that those songs worked better on stage that those from Lucidity. I'm very curious about the other songs ! Actually last tuesday we hired a venue, just for ourselves, to play live for the first time, and this was really magical for us. For the first time we heard the stuff live, without audience, but we heard it for real, and it was making me chill, it was magical !
P.N. : Was it more difficult to play Lucidity songs ?
M : Yeah, they are very melodic, but they are also a little bit more easy than the new songs. The new songs are also faster, that's coincidence, because for twelve years I've wrote more slow or doomy things, and when writing for this second album I wanted to try something else. I also think that faster songs work better live.
P.N. : There are heavy songs like Go Away, but globally the album and the atmosphere are quieter, with less hymns like The Gathering before. Do you agree, and why ?
M : Yeah, it is more guitar-orientated. I think that it gives it more balls, it is heavier, that is what the album was aimed for. I think that a song like Virtue and Vice, track 6, could be developped a bit in the vein of The Gathering. The exception is Nothing Left, the last song, it is more slow, and bombastic.
G : And it goes well since it is the last song, we except that kind of song to end the album.
M : Yes, "Lucidity" had Pristine, and this is also a slow song which is also a close song.
P.N. : What reaction do you expect from the fans ?
M : I expect them to be a little bit surprised, because it is different, but the same. I mean, you hear that we are Delain, but the songs are faster, more heavy, the production is more "FETS ?". Charlotte also developped, because she was seventeen when first sang the vocals, a young girl ! Now she is twenty-one, which is still very young, but she experienced a lot during the past years. So I expect people to be surprised about her, and about the songs themselves. I also noticed that people were wondering how we would do on our own, without guests. I already knew for myself that it was no problem whatsoever, because I have been writing songs for a long time. But I think people can be surprise about our new album ! I don't know if they are, but I can imagine ! (laughs)
G : We'll see ! personnaly I was impressed by the work on the keyboards, compared to "Lucidity" where it is more a "keyboard" sound, whereas now you have a more orchestral sound.
M : Well, that is good to hear, because that is what it is aimed for. It is also because the album is mixed further away, so they are less proeminent than on "Lucidity", and then it is more like an atmosphere. The balance is different.
P.N. : You will be quite busy for the upcoming months : promotion, first part of Kamelot, headline tour... Do you plan to go in France or anywhere else ?
M : Yes, actually we are gonnay play indeed first with Kamelot, and then a headline tour in Germany, and we are planning to do a gig in Paris in May. We actually want to do a tour in France before the summer or after the summer, we have to see how it works out with our schedule. But Germany and France are the most important countries for us. Besides that the audience is France is really good, Germany is more like a "look" audience, and you really have to lead them, and in France they are taking their own initiative, which is totally different but really cool.
P.N. : And anywhere else ? America, rest of Europe ?
M : Well, I think that we could go to South America next year, to Japan, but we don't know that yet. But I think there is a really good chance that we are going to do that next year. But first we had to focus on western Europe, to get a good basis.
P.N. : And what about summer fests ?
M : Actually the release of our album is a bit late for festivals this year, so we are going to do some festivals, but I can imagine that most festivals will happen next year. They book their band very early, in December or January, and our album is going to be released in March so...
P.N. : Were you expecting Delain to become what it is now ?
M : No. I thought to myself "don't expect anything, it is gonna be a disappointment or a surprise". All you can do is try your best and make the music you love to make, and hope that people like it. In the end it is beyond what I expected, way better, a big surprise, really inspiring, and I am really grateful.
>> Voir la deuxième partie de l'interview