Norway's Metal Express Radio recently conducted an interview with WITHIN TEMPTATION frontwoman Sharon Den Adel. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Metal Express Radio: You have released the new album, "The Heart Of Everything", surprisingly fast since your prior release. How come?
Sharon Den Adel: This time we did two things differently than in all the other years. We didn't have to re-release "The Silent Force" album over and over again, which always takes a longer time and a longer period of promotion and takes away time from writing new songs. So we had the first simultaneous release for "The Silent Force" and that gave us more time to write this time. Besides that, we had a lot more inspiration somehow. I don't know why, but after we finished "The Silent Force" we still had a lot of ideas. Our heads were still full of music, so we started to write quite quickly, which ended up being a new album in two and half years, which is pretty fast for our reputation (laughs) because normally there's four years in between our albums. It was really nice for us. Also, it's nice to focus on music instead of always promotion and doing the re-releases all over the place.
Metal Express Radio: Do you feel any pressure during songwriting due to the big success of the previous albums?
Sharon Den Adel: No, because we've always had success with albums before. The thing that you do have is more of the artistic pressure like, "Can I write a good new song again that I'm totally happy with?" And, it's always the question. At the moment, I'm totally empty after writing so many songs and I think the rest of the band is as well. We really need to reload now again to have new ideas. I'm glad that I don't have to write at this moment, because I think we emptied ourselves completely with the last album. (Laughs)
Metal Express Radio: The new album seems heavier than "The Silent Force" with more guitars this time ...
Sharon Den Adel: Yeah, I totally agree with that. That was also one of our own aims ... again, it was a natural development. The last time we were very orchestral and we also wanted to have the guitars very much up there with "The Silent Force", but the thing is that they didn't really work well together when we had the mix for that album. That was the first time that we had such a big production and sometimes you get some problems and one of the problems we had was that the orchestra and the guitars were too much in the same frequencies, so we had to make a choice between the guitar and the orchestra. We had to put the guitars a little bit down because it was the first time for us that we could work with big choirs and an orchestra and it was like a big dream for us. So, we chose a little bit more orchestra than the guitar sound, but for this new album we wanted to do it differently, so we could have both really out there. Besides that, we also wrote more songs that were riff-based. There were a lot of riffs and a lot of experimental things in there. Also the mandolin and the distorted cello, so we did a lot more things and more experimenting in a way.
Metal Express Radio: You have just released a single "What Have You Done?" that features Keith Caputo (LIFE OF AGONY). How did you end up going for this one?
Sharon Den Adel: Well, it's not something we choose normally. It's more a thing of the record company. But, I have to say that it also had our approval very much because we like that song and we thing that it's refreshing for WITHIN TEMPTATION, again because we never sang a song with a male vocals outside of the band. Of course, Robert was used to be growling on the early albums, but he's a member of the band. So, we thought that it was a nice song with a lot of energy and that's one of the reasons it was released as the single.
Metal Express Radio: How did you hook up with Keith?
Sharon Den Adel: We were at a festival in Holland many many years ago and we saw LIFE OF AGONY playing. They were playing the first album they had out called "The River Runs Red" and we got totally swept away especially by Keith, but also of course by the whole band because it was such a cool performance and such nice music. We always remembered his voice and that made such a huge impression on us, so when we made this song we thought of him to have as the male voice for the song. We just called him and asked if he was interested in doing this song together with us. He was like, "Well, I know your band, but LIFE OF AGONY is very different from WITHIN TEMPTATION, but send me the song and if I like it I'll call you back and we'll see what we can do." He called us back pretty fast, "Hey, I like the song, let's do it." (Laughs) So, we just recorded the songs a couple of weeks later and the voices matched very well together. It turned out great and you can hear him doing a lot more variety than what he's doing in LIFE OF AGONY, which is of course a little bit different style of singing.
Metal Express Radio: WITHIN TEMPTATION used to come out with a live DVD after each studio album, supported by a tour. Are you planning to do it with the new material as well?
Sharon Den Adel: Yes, because our lives are going so fast because we are always so busy, and for me personally, the reason to bring out these DVDs is that when I get old and grey in a chair surrounded by my grandchildren, they'd probably be like "Could this be grandma?" (Laughs) It's like a memory for us as well as for the fans, and I think it's very nice to put all our memories on a DVD. I think that's the best thing after the CDs, because it's so nice to remember all the good times you had together. So, I'd like if we continued recording and releasing DVDs of our future tours.
Metal Express Radio: Won't you be bothered by the fact that maybe in the USA you'll be compared to bands like EVANESCENCE even though you have been on the scene for a much longer period?
Sharon Den Adel: Yeah, you're totally right, but that's going to happen anyway. We just make the music we like and we've been doing it for a very long time like you just said, and we're not gonna change ourselves because another band had more success, because it's not about success and competition. Both bands sound different, but it's easier for some people to compare. When we go to France and to Finland we get compared to NIGHTWISH (laughs) and when we go to Italy we get to compared to LACUNA COIL, or when they come to Belgium or Holland they get compared to us, so it everybody has the same problem and everybody gets to compared to each other and we don't mind that. It's logical in a way and it's something we get used to anyway.
Read the entire interview at www.metalexpressradio.com.