Delain recently headlined the Dames of Darkness Festival in Bilston, near Wolverhampton and Nico was able to grab hold of the band’s founding member, main songwriter and keyboardist, Martijn, for a chat about all things Delain, the band’s recent move to Napalm Records and other things.
Nico: Hi Martijn, it’s nice to finally meet you. How are you doing?
Martijn: I’m fine, I’m great thanks.
N: Good to hear. Our first question actually comes from a fan: which albums have inspired you to become a musician?
M: That’s a good one..Well I don’t know if albums triggered me to become a musician, but my first albums I bought were We Can’t Dance, by Genesis, an album from The Police I think. And slowly the music became a little bit harder and noisier. So it just evolved like that.
N: In your opinion, what are the best and worst parts about being in a band?
M: The best parts are that you meet a lot of people from a lot of cultures. You come in a lot of places. It’s not like people think, that you do a lot of sightseeing, because most of the time you don’t have time for that. But in general of course you do see a lot of places and that’s very nice. Perhaps the best thing about being a musician is that if you write music, it ends up on your album and you see an album being born. That’s terrific, that’s magic. And that’s one of the best parts I think. The worst is that its hard work and you have to be creative with financial means. It’s a lot of pressure. People always have an opinion about you or about your music so you have to deal with that otherwise you shouldn’t be a musician. I think that’s the bad thing.
N: Delain’s most recent two albums, We Are The Others and Interlude have a more accessible sound than the previous two albums. Do you think this is the sort of sound Delain is going to be going for in the future?
M: To be very honest, it’s not that we do something like that deliberately; like ‘okay let’s make a softer album now’. For example with Interlude we had a lot of material which we didn’t use yet and we had a lot of requests from fans asking for releasing a DVD, releasing special material and that’s what we did. Coincidence had it that this was more of the softer material. And with our last full album We Are The Others, we just went with the flow and it can be open to use grunts again in the next album for example. I just don’t know, it’s about what comes out of your mind and then we go with the flow and see what happens.
N: Earlier this year Delain signed to Napalm Records. What were the reasons behind moving from Roadrunner Records to Napalm?
M: Well, Roadrunner was bought by Warner, like the big label who people also know from movies for example. Their music department is Warner Music and they bought Roadrunner. They fired a lot of people and I actually saw this label going down, which was a shame. They originated in Holland actually, they were a really big label, a really good label. But when we released We Are The Others there was a transition going on and for us it was really, really bad. It were really hard times and fortunately at a certain point we were free to go. And then we talked to a lot of other labels and we ended up with Napalm because Napalm thought the same about what direction we wanted to go. It was the best deal and I think this label fits us really well. We are also as of yet still very satisfied to work with them and from what I understand also the other way around. So it’s good that we changed.
N: Recently you [Delain] released Interlude and just last year you released We are the Others. Have Delain started writing any new material for the next album?
M: Absolutely, we’re very busy with that right now because we would like to release a new album beginning 2014. Then we’re going to play with Within Temptation. It would be very nice if we can release around that time. On the other hand you can never control a creative process. You can stimulate and guide it to a specific direction and the more time you have to write the faster it will go of course. But it’s going to be a challenge to get it done but we’re working on it. So we’re writing new material as we speak.
N: Will there be any main concepts within the new material, like with We Are The Others it was celebrating being different and not being part of what society classifies as the norm.
M: In general we do aim to have a general theme in an album, but we’re not there yet. So for now I don’t know, I just don’t know.
N: Obviously big things have been happening for Delain this year: signing to Napalm Records and being announced being to tour with Within Temptation early next year. What does it feel like to suddenly have a huge buzz around you since the release of We Are The Others?
M: That’s of course very good, it’s always good for a band to have a big buzz going on. Actually, last year was very difficult for us when we were still at Roadrunner. I even thought about quitting completely because what we wanted with that album didn’t happen. People who we worked with for a very long time were going and now it’s completely turned around, flipped over to a very positive vibe and it can go very fast. I’m very happy about that and it supports the band members as well of course, having this buzz going on. I’m really happy with that.
N: When it comes to writing new material, where do you draw your inspiration from?
M: It can be a lot of things. It can be a song I heard, a movie I’ve seen. Most of the time it’s just feeling like writing and then things come out. There’s not really a concrete thing which makes me write. It’s just a general urge to make some music. Most of the time we’re together: me, Charlotte and our current writer Guus. We work together on it and it just happens.
N: Which band, excluding your own band Delain, would you say is your favourite on the symphonic metal scene at the moment?
M: That’s a good one! I’ve always been a fan of Nightwish. I’ve been a fan of the writing of Tuomas, so I would say Nightwish.
N: Are there any other plans for Delain this year besides playing at Dames of Darkness and playing the Metal Female Voices Fest in Belgium in October?
M: We’re doing a really special show, it’s actually our last show, in November in Holland. That’s going to be a really special one with special effects, guests etc. And we’re going to do the support tour of Kamelot for the US in September. And then it’s writing and recording new material.
N: Out of the two current tours that you’ve got coming up, which one would you say is the one you are looking forward to the most?
M: That’s a good one..I think our special show is one I’m looking forward to. I’m looking forward to all of them actually. And I’m looking forward to the tour for the US because I like the country a lot. And I’m looking forward to seeing new places so I look forward to that as well.
N: If you could replace the soundtrack to any film with your own music, which one would it be and why?
M: The soundtrack? That’s a good one…That’s a difficult one…I think We Are The Others would fit a movie very well. So I would take We Are The Others but if I have to choose one movie now… Perhaps a Marvel movie, like The Avengers or something like that, or Iron Man. I would like that very much.
N: Sounds like good choices. Do you have anything you would like to say to our readers before we finish up?
M: I hope that they like our latest release very much. I hope they can enjoy it and I hope to see them soon at a show. That would be nice.
N: Thank you for your time Martijn, have a good show tonight.
M: Thanks a lot!