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Delain: Music is pure emotion

Delain is a Dutch gothic rock project initiated by (ex-Within Temptation) keyboardist Martijn Westerholt, featuring a number of guest musicians, e. g. Marko Hielata (Nightwish, Tarot), Liv Kristine (ex-Theatre of Tragedy, Leaves´ Eyes), Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) or guitarist Ad Sluyter (Epica). As new talent the singer Charlotte Wessels (ex-To Elysium) contributed most of the vocals on the debut album “Lucidity”. STALKER chatted with Martijn to find out more ...

Where do you see the differences and similarities between Within Temptation and Delain?
It´s logical there are similarities between Delain and WT. I was part of WT for more then 5 years. That part is no part of Delain. This period musically shaped me. Besides that my brother writes most of WT´s songs. We have a similar taste (perhaps it´s genetic).
But of course there are also differences. I think Delain is rawer then WT. What is typical “Delainish”, is Charlottes voice, which is different than a lot of opera and powerful kind of voices in bands in the genre. Another thing what makes us different is the way we play live, and the way we look. We´re not typical black cloth wearing people. We´re more ”pop” when it comes to image.
Besides that we will make it a Delain tradition to ask guest musicians on albums. I think Delain has its own sound, and I would like to keep that sound. You don´t often see that in this genre.

It may be hard to predict expectation-wise, but what do you think what kind of audience you are gonna attract with the Delain album “Lucidity”?
I can refer to the audience we had so far. It´s all kinds of people coming to see us. Naturally also the Within Temptation and Nightwish fans, but up till now also a lot of people who aren´t very familiar with the WT/Nightwish genre. I guess we are a bit crossover to these people. So I´m very curious what the countries, where we´ll be released with Lucidity, will bring in terms of audience. We will see. I look forward to it!

What is for you the sense of music?
Music is pure emotion. This emotion you have to bring over to the listener. If you´re very good in bringing emotions over to the listener, you´re a good musician. So I hope people experience that when they listen to Delain. For me music is very important. It touches me. (Not all music of course, lol!)

Characterize a typical Delain fan!
Haha, that´s a good one. Typical Delain fan is…..indescribable because there so very diverse. Perhaps it´s typical that there is no stereotype (besides perhaps the fact they often wear Delain shirts).

Can you already pay your bills with your music?
Some bills, but not all (yet)

Do you have any ambitions with the band for the future?
Yes, to make the next album better then this one, and the album after that better then the 2nd. We want to play a lot abroad. That´s the ambitions we´re aiming for right now, and we start with playing with WT in Germany and France in October 2007.

What´s the best thing about being on tour?
Meeting the audience everyday. That´s really great to experience every time. See and meet a lot of different places and people.

What do you think is achievable with music?
Have people enjoying your music. That´s the biggest compliment a musician can get, and it gives your music the purpose to exist. If your music touches people, you achieved the best thing possible with music.

What is for you the most nonsensical or bizarre band at all?
Ow, that´s a good one….hmmm let me see. Spinal Tap, Rockbitch, but I know there are many many more.

What would be your profession if you weren´t a musician?
I think I would be a history teacher. I love history, and I think I would pursue it when I didn´t pursue making music

What´s your strongest character trait?
I know what I want, and I pursue that

What are your weaknesses?
Im often uncertain about myself

Who was the producer of the album?
Oliver Phillips together with me.

Are there things that annoy you, like meetings with the press, for example?
Of course there are things that annoy me, but not the meetings with press actually. Stage managers often annoy me and say that things are impossible to do. They never seek for solutions, only to problems to make sure they don´t have to do complicated stuff. Besides that often they don´t listen very well, what results in unnecessary discussions or mistakes

Do you think you will ever reach a point in your development, as a band and as artists, where you´ll create something that´s perfect?
No, because I think something what is perfect is not good at all. Imperfections are a rule in our universe. So there wouldn´t be something right if it´s perfect. The ultimate goal is to be very satisfied with the result. This (fortunately) often succeeds

How are band-related things decided? Is there a simple democratic majority or do all of you have to agree?
No, to me, the democratic system doesn´t work in bands (is my experience). There has to be somebody to decide on the critical moments. Besides that I think compromise in music is deadly to the music itself. Of course everybody has to have an input in the music. Everybody should do the thing with the music he or she is best in.

Thanks and good luck with your CD….

Author: Marc Hoek, transl. K. Weber, photos: Delain
Date: 2007-09-29

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