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Lunedì 10 Settembre 2007 02:00

EPICA - part I (English version) Simone Simons

Written by  Alberto Viale
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EPICA - part I  (English version) Simone Simons


Let's start from your new album, The Divine Conspiracy. We know it's the first full lenght concept album. We've read on the site that “This concept deals with the theory that, as a test, God created all kinds of different religions and released those upon humanity to see if they would be able to find the true nature of them, realizing that in all religions it is actually the same.” Tell us more about this.

That is basically all that needs to be said. The important outcome to all of this is that after realising that all religions share the same meaning, people would live in harmony with each other again.

Is there a concept behind the album artwork too?

Yes, the meaning behind me being butt naked is that I represent an innocent human being that changes as he/she goes through life, we change on the inside as well as on the outside. I also represent Eve, taking the decision to eat the apple and therefore becoming mortal. The whole album is about the course of our lives, from the beginning till the end.

Have you written some lyrics for this cd? If so, Which one? What is the main topic? I remember you said you were in Germany, so you haven’t, due to what I’ve understood trough the bad communication…If this is so,. You can jump this one.

I have written: Chasing the Dragon, Never Enough, Death of a Dream, Living a Lie, Sancta Terra and Higher High. All lyrics fit to the concept. Chasing the Dragon is about a drug addict. Never Enough deals with very greedy people. Death of a Dream is about the position of women in society. Living a Lie is about a couple who’s baby will die at birth. They strongly believe that God will save him. Sancta Terra is about a suicide commander who believes he will go to heaven after his dead, but he ends up in hell. Higher High is about a deceased person who looks down on us and sees that we are will still be the same and that nothing changed about our way of life, discriminating, living in fear and hate. He wants us to make the best out of life and not waste it or throw it away. Higher High is a beautiful ballad which didn’t make it to the album. It will still be used as a bonustrack.

The first official single from the album will be the song 'Never Enough', of which two videos will be made. I know the videos were recorded in Belgrade. What are your expectations about it?

It is a very easy song to listen to and the video is very powerfull. We hope that it will create interest in Epica.

imm

Tell us something about the Fear Factory cover, Replica...

Fear Factory is a great band and we always liked the song. Another nice side story is that after Mark left AF, many people called us Replica instead of Epica. A bit of self-mockery is not bad at all. You have a special guest on this album: I'm talking about Mr. Sander Gommans. I think that many fans can put the word End to the eternal struggle between After Forever and Epica. Right? How was the experience with someone who, months ago, had the same problems with Transmission? Did you felt that your situation was very close to After Forever?

After Forever was struggling much longer with Transmission than we. Having him on the album is a new beginning for both bands. Both of us have a new record deal and a new album. Let’s look into the future and not in the past. All things have cleared between us.

Do you think there’s a link between your album or do you consider them as separated works?

No, I don’t think that there is a link between us, just that Mark used to be in the band.

Do you think Epica has changed from the very beginning? If so, which are the main changes?

We have all grown in many ways. During the Phantom Agony were just a young band although some of us had already some experience. We were still searching for our sound. I believe that with our new album we really sound like how Epica should sound like.

Your album was on line about a month ago yet. Your bandmates were really disappointed. What is your opinion about file-sharing?

I am also very disappointed I must say. Those promos are just for the journalists and not for the fans yet. Downloading an album which is not out yet is in my opinion more illegal than downloading it after it’s release.

Arabic melodies, orchestra, choirs, grunts, screams, a female voice and a heavier sound. Do you think Epica could offer something different from the other bands of the female fronted metal scene?

Definitely more music; the album is 75 minutes long ;)

This year You collaborated as a guest for different musicisans (Kamelot, Primal Fear, Lucassen) . It seems you’re really popular ;) . Does it flatter you? How was the experience with them?

Of course it flatters me, I get recognition for my singing and it nice that my voice fits more bands than just Epica. With the other bands I can show a different side from my voice as well as my character.

What is your opinion about Sonata Arctica? You'll be on tour with them in November.

I can tell you more about it after the tour. I just know them by name and after the tour I can probably sing a long with all the songs haha.

It will be your third time in Italy this year. Do you have any good memories about our country?

Yes, I liked it very much and am looking forward to come back and see a little more of the country. My parents just came back from a holiday in Italy and it makes me a bit sad that I never have enough time to see everything haha.

I've read that you were in a black metal band before Epica. Tell me the truth, Did you do grunts and screams there?

I was not really in the band, I just joined one rehearsal very long ago and was too scared to sing haha. So not really no.

We've talked about The Divine Conspiracy concept before. What is your relationship with religion?

I believe in nature and in the power of the human mind. Believing is achieving, if you work hard enough for something you will succeed. As far for other religions I think it is good for people to have something that gives them strength, solace and comfort as far as it doesn’t become too extreme and that we lose grip on reality. We have a gift and that is our ratio, we should also use it.

The past period has seen many departures in the female fronted metal scene: I'm talking about Tristania, The Gathering, Vision of Atlantis and Nightwish. Do you think the female frontedd metal scene is going to an end?

No not at all, I believe that apart from relational differences between the band members, those women were part of the band for very long, they wanted something new. I can understand that.

imm



What did you think when you read that there were several rumours about you as the new Nightwish singer? Did it created some problems with the band?

We all knew that I would never become the singer of Nightwish. I wish Anette good luck and hope that she can cope with some fans which might not like her since her voice is the complete opposite of Tarja’s voice.

I know you are or you were a Nightwish fan. What do you think about their new singer? Do you like their choice?

I was as much a Tarja fan as I was a fan of Nightwish.

Give me an adjective for these singers:

Sharon Den Adel: special voice

Tarja Turunen: great vocal performance on Oceanborn

Floor Jansen: versatile

Cristina Scabbia: melancholic voice

Angela Gossow: scary but very powerful

Anette Olzon: good pop voice

Simone Simons : crazy

I have met all singers except Angela. Cristina and Floor I know best of all. All women are very different from each other and all special in their own way.

When we met the first time in Milan you told me about how people can feel themselves alone being on tour and how it was difficult for you at the beginning. Are those feelings changed now?

Touring has it’s pro’s and contras. You just have to find a way to amuse yourself and Skype a lot.

How is being a girl in the metal scene? Are there some male musicians from other bands who tried to chat with you? I want the names!!!! :P

I am not giving any names haha. I like to hang out with guys and feel quite at home in the metal scene. I never had any problems dealing with guys.

I know that you live in Germany now and that you also give some private lessons, Am I right? We can say you painted a new page in your life. So, Did you find “your solid ground or are you just wasting time” ? :D

I never really wasted time in my life. I indeed entered a new phase in my life and am very happy in Germany together with Oliver.

I know you're in love with another musician. How is to be in love with someone who does your same work, who meet so many fans (and groupies) , who is always touring the world? Is it a problem for you?

He wasn't friendly to groupies and will never be, so when it comes to that part I can blindly trust him. I miss him a lot when we are apart but know that we still have a long time together so all that touring is just relative. I try to tour with him as much as possible and he does the same so we will make it work. Sharing the same home together is also helping a lot.

You're still young but how do you see yourself in ten years? A woman with a family and children or do you see yourself as a woman devoted to her own career?

I would like to combine both. I always wanted to have children and sometimes my clock is ticking. I just take out the battery and enjoy life a bit longer before I start to change dipers.

Are you taller now? Or do you still use those high heels you showed me in Milan? XD

I am still 1.68 and that only changes when I wear different shoes.

Well, close this interview as you prefer. I think this is something like...our 3rd interview together hehe. I don’t know if you’re happy about it... :P By the way thanks for your patience and kindness and a big hug from Italy. We’ll see each others in Milan if I’m still alive :D

Simone: Ciaaaaaaaouuuu

Alberto Viale