Date : 2002
Réalisée le 15 septembre 2009 à Paris par Anthony D. et Galathrandir
Gala': How did you prepare the tour?
Simone: Well, we have a new album so we had to practice a lot to be able to sing the songs live as on the album – same for the guys to play it – as it's a new album, so a lot of rehearsing. Normally, how I prepare for tour is also I work in a gym to become physically strong. So I'm gonna work out more and more. You have to be sure to know all the songs, to have your suitcases... Don't forget to clean underwears and socks and stuff ! (laughs)
Gala': What did you think of Kells music? (Note: The band with which they played last year in France)
Simone: I really like their cover, but that's basically the only song that i've heard because I was busy in the backstage getting dressed and doing stuff. The singer is very nice, I talked to her, but I haven't heard the music that well, I remember that song, but that's a cover song. Anyway I've seen them performing this song live, they're quite energetic on stage. And they seem to be doing very well in France !
Gala': Yeah. We're happy for them too. Because in France, metal bands don't work so well.
Anthony: How do you feel about current symphonic metal music?
Simone: Pff! How do I feel about it? I honestly don't listen that much to metal, at the moment. One of the few metal band I listen to is Opeth, so that's not like a new modern band, they are around for many years. I do have to say I think there's kind of a little evolution going on within the female metal scene because, only look at The Gathering, The Gathering has a new singer. Which is not really metal but metal fans like it. Singer from Tristania left, they have now an Italian singer which does not sing in an operatic way so that's totally different. Tarja left Nightwish which have a different singer, Tarja has her own project, After forever doesn't exist anymore, Within temptation has a break. So it feels like at the moment, there is our new CD which is... Yeah, Mark said, he made a joke like we were the last Mohican who still have a female fronted metal singer with a grunter, or so. (Laughs) It's weird because The Gathering I know for so long, Anneke is not the singer anymore, Nightwish that I've known for so long – they were the one who gave in the push – they have now a totally different singer.
Gala': And what do you think of the pop rock evolution of the singing of Nightwish?
Simone: I grew up with Oceanborn and Angels Fall First. And those – I'll always stay true – those are my favorite albums. I like Dark Passion Play, but it's not like Nightwish was to me in the beginning, I get a little nostalgic feeling I get when I listen to the first two albums. Anette is a really sweet woman, I've actually met her, here, they were doing press while we were doing it for the Divine Conspiracy. She's a great singer, and it worked out, she is now with Nightwish, and Tarja is doing her own stuff so now in the end we have two things. But I can understand a lot of fans still miss the old days, the old songs of Nightwish, but I think for Dark Passion Play she fits. I'm really curious to hear the new album but I heared that's gonna take a while before that's released, it's gonna be released in 2011, I heard so. In a way the road is kind of open to Epica to "rule the world"! (Note : funny joke refering to a Kamelot song) We're gonna tour like hell, of course! (Laughs) But I was actually hopping for Nightwish to come with a CD a little sooner because i'm curious how the second CD would sound like.We'll see. But that's more my expertise to a female of the metal scene, so... But a lot of things are changing!
Gala': No, but you're right, you're really right. Lyrical symphonic metal is quite rare these days, In France we have a few, I thinks it's the same in other countries but I can talk mostly for France. Here we have a few bands that stick to lyrical operatic metal, but it's difficult for them because they try to do operatic things and and that quite doesn't work really well, compared to, like Nightwish Pop Rock. Because Nightwish works really well even with the pop rock feeling, so, maybe people prefer pop rock things to lyrical one. We'll see with Epica!
Anthony: My turn? (Laughs) Tell us, what do you think about symphonic metal regarding nowadays society?
Simone: Well... I don't really get the question... I notice that the metal scene is growing in popularity, you see more young girls walking around in black clothings and metal merchandise. Last week I was with my boyfriend at an amusement park and I saw one person walking around with an Epica sweater so that was kind of funny, that's a public place and I see myself walking around in the back of somebody else! But overall, you still notice people who don't know metal have kind of little bit prejudices because to them it's the same like hip hop or r'n'b is to me, I don't know it so well, for me I think it's all the same, you know one big artist and you compare it to all. So I think that's what a lot of people think about the metal scene, they think we sound like Metallica – although Metallica is not metal – but, you know, stuff like that. But in the younger generation everybody knows a lot of metal band and also a lot of people who are not really into metal go to metal festivals just because they like to go to festivals... My parents and my grand parents they don't love that much but they like the ballads, so... My mom asked me to make a compilation of Epica ballads so she doesn't have to push forward all the time! (Laughs) Thank you mama!
Anthony: You probably know that metal is misfitted in France, like a devilish music, indeed. Is it the same in Holland?
Simone: Devil music you said?!
Gala': Yes, in France you can say “I listen to Epica” and people think “Ah! Devil music with a lot of guitars and stuff, they talk about Satan!”
Simone: Yeah, I know, there's no Satan in our lyrics, but people think within the metal scene there's Burzum and all the other band... I always forget it... Mayhem! Those are the only kind of satanic band with suicide and blood.
Gala': Do people in Holland think the same thing about symphonic metal bands?
Simone: We have certain villages in Holland which are strong believers of Christian faith. And they kind of form protests when there's a metal festival. I'm not quite sure which one it is or if it isn't Belgium, even. It's kind of funny, though.
Gala': In France too. And I think we have the same problem with the Hellfest.
Simone: I think it's kind of funny because those people think we're all Satan worshipers. But look at me, do I look like I'm worshipping Satan ?
Gala': Of course not!
Anthony: I don't think so...
Simone: I also don't believe in god but I think those people are a little bit narrow-minded, that they don't allow others. This is art and art is creativity. We're not preaching that they all should worship Satan. I don't think there is any devil, if there would be a devil, it's in every one of us, it's the same with god. Everybody, has a little good and a little evil in them.
Anthony: You coul used what you just say as new lyrics! What do you think about pure classical music and pure metal music?
Simone: Well, Epica is definitely not pure metal because we have a little bit of classical in it.I like both, but I like them more combined, because they both have great things in it. To just listen classical music all the time in the end gets a little bit boring for me. And the same with metal music that's why I think the Classical Conspiracy was such a great solution. To have classical masterpieces, some people were sceptical, they thought “Those are masterpieces! Don't ever touch them or change them!”we basically didn't change them we just added something, we didn't take anything away. I think it works great. I had to listen to classical music every Sunday morning when we had breakfast, my dad wanted to listen to it, but as I was a teenager, I was rebellious to classical music so I didn't appreciate it as much as I do now, I think, because back then I didn't have the peace to listen to it as I have now.
Questions audio :
Anthony: First of all, do you have anything to say to people who like your music?
Anthony: Do you have any particular message to your French fans?
Anthony: It's lovely! ... Ok, now you have two minutes to convince people to buy the album.
Anthony: Speaking of singing. Would you mind if we asked you to sing something. Anything!
Gala': Even not Epica! Whatever you want!
Gala': So, finally, we have a little game to conclude the interview. We're gonna say to you a few words, and you have to answer really quickly of what our words evoke to you.
S: My life.
A: Female front band.
S: Kick ass!
S: Can be useful for everybody but not for me.
A: Red hair...
S: My trade mark.
S: My trademark!
A: "Trois vierges".
S: Roy Khan. To sing with Roy Khan was really nice. He's a friend of mine, I really love him.
S: Je t'aime!
G: It's the quarter in which we are, here. You know, with sex shops and stuff.
S: Sex shops! (Laughs) Yesterday I walked the streets and I saw a guy who were like “Hellooooo!” I had a leather jacket and I just realised “Shit! I'm in a sex corner! I hope he didn't think I was a hooker” Because I was wearing a really tight leather jacket and a short skirt... I thought “shit! They really tried to get me to work to the Moulin Rouge!” (Laughs)
Anthony: I nearly got hooked by coming there!
Simone: Yeah, they just take you in, they just pull you in, it's dangerous. I have a little funny story about that. We were in tour with Koen Herfst, a different drummer. He was walking up and down here and suddenly he came in the backstage totally breathless and he said he got pulled into a sex shop, and he got a drink and everything, and in the end, they wanted him to pay a lot, and there was this huge body guard which came and he got totally scared. And yesterday I was drinking a tea at a Starbucks, I wrote my boyfriend, "I'm sitting here and reading a book", and he said “be careful, because somebody nearly got stabbed” because it's kind of dangerous at night. And I almost wanted to write him back “thank you! Now I can't be in Starbucks anymore!" It was raining and I just ran back to the hotel. I think he's over protective!
Anthony: Thank you!
Simone: Oh that was it ? Thanks !
Gala': Thanks a lot !