Interview mit Sharon [Within Temptation], 10.10.2007, Köln, E-Werk
Sie kommen aus Holland und „The heart of everything“ ist ihr neuestes Album. Die Rede ist von Within Temptation! Momentan sind sie auf großer Welttournee und natürlich hatten sie auch einige Konzerte in Deutschland. Das letzte fand am 10. Oktober in Köln statt. Ich traf Within Temptations Sängerin Sharon vor der Show zu einem Interview.
L: Sharon, nice to meet you. How are you doing? It`s the last gig of this Germany-tour here and how have been the shows so far?
S: The shows have been very nice. A lot of people came to the shows and most shows were almost sold out or sold out and there was a good ambience. We enjoyed it very much. And we`re glad to be back here in Germany. Unfortunately it`s already the last show. Goes quickly. (laughs)
L: You`ve published your new album called “The heart of everything”. If you compare this album to the previous one, in which points do the albums differ from each other?
S: I think that this album has become more heavy in a way that we were more guitar-orientated. And also there is more rhythm, heavy rhythm and up-tempo-songs in it. We have learned a lot from “The silent force”…that was the first time we had used a big orchestra. And it became more orchestra-dominated than the way we wanted to. Actually we wanted to have more guitar-sound as well, but it was the first time that we used this big orchestra and it didn`t totally work like the way we had in our mind. But we learned from that. And this time we used again a big orchestra. But this time we did have the heavy guitars in the front. We needed to find a nice balance between orchestra and the band. And I think this album succeeded better in that, but it doesn`t mean that I don`t like “The silent force”. It`s just different, different than we had in mind how we wanted to do it in the first place.
L: Is there any anecdote you can tell us about the recordings and the production of the new album?
S: Oh, it was funny. The orchestra on ”The silent force” was recorded in Moscow. But this time we were in Prague. And (laughs) we had some language-difficulties. And every time we tried to translate it and the people of the orchestra were always like “Mmmmm…I have to have my break now”, you know? And they couldn`t do a certain part and they had to do it over and over and over again. We asked them for the forth time to do something over, cos they really didn´t get it. They were like “Blablabla”. Oh, it sounded so nasty. But we couldn´t understand what they were saying. And we saw their faces…”You wanna us say it again? Yeah, alright.” (laughs) So it was funny, but in the end everything worked out and the language-barrier went better after a week. But it was a big challenge to get everything done there in the way we wanted it.
L: “The howling” for example was produced for a video-game called “Spellborn” and there is also this trailer existing. What kind of effects or elements did you choose to create this certain atmosphere in this song that you really realise that it belongs to this video-game?
S: Well, we used images from the video-game, of course. And normally when we make a video, you can see the whole band. But this time it was just me, because it was just for this trailer and like a special thing for the fans. We used these images from the video and this is the only thing you can see. So everything you see more or less is from the video, from the game.
L: Okay. With the proceed of your single “Frozen” released this summer you support some kind of charity organisation. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
S: Ja, it`s called “Child Helpline International”.And it`s an organisation that helps children that have problems, domestic problems at home, meaning like that they have physical, sexual or mental abuse in their environment. They can call or email or send, you know, a sms to this organisation to talk. And there are representatives in a 150 countries. Because we are an international band, you need an international company who can help people. And I think that when you make a video or touch a subject like this, which is so heavy for people and if you know how many people have this problem, it´s such a big taboo still, so that is a good way to help people. They can contact this organisation.
L: And then soon on the 9th of November you will publish the next single “All I need”. Why did you choose this song? What is so special about this song?
S: I think lyric-wise this song is something that a lot of people can relate to. It´s about the fact that a lot of things, you know, everybody gets this point in life…And that is what the song is about, that you´re trying to hold on to the things that are important, that you try to find something that you can believe in and which is worth living, if it`s family or the love of your life or (laugh) things that make your life worth. And this person in the song is really disappointed of another thing, because a lot of people are fake or things don´t turn out the way she had hoped they would do. And this is what the song is about and I think it`s something that a lot of people can relate to.
L: I have already seen some pictures of the video-shot. Can you tell us a little bit about the video-shot? What is the story behind that video?
S: Well, the story is very short and very simple actually. It`s a dream. A lot of times she sees a lot of schizophrenic things, you know, happening in her mind…
L: It´s you in a hospital-bed there…
S: Ja, and they are monitoring my dreams, so they are analysing what I`m dreaming. And that`s basically the video and it just suited best with the lyrics, because it`s very difficult to express things which are very symbolic, which you can´t really show in images like “hope”. How do you express “hope”, you know? Or “believe in something”or “keeping something real” or “people who are fake”. You can image that very well in a way of a dream. That´s why we did it in that way.
L: In your videos and also on stage of course you`re always wearing wonderful dresses. Do you design them by yourself?
S: Sometimes I do and sometimes I do it together with a designer. And sometimes I just buy certain things and combine things, trying to make something nice out of it. (laughs)
L: Do you have an idea how many dresses you already have?
S: Ohh, too many, too many. I need an extra closet. (laughs) But I think over 20, maybe 25 or something at least.
L: Do you have a favourite one?
S: The “Mother earth”-dress is my favourite, but it`s a little bit broken and I have to fix it, before I wear it again. (laughs)
L: Do you collect anything – beside the dresses of course?
S: Yes, the passes that we have on festivals. I´ve got a lot. I´ve got really a lot. But we just moved from one house to another house in Holland and I`ve heard my father has maybe thrown away a few of the passes, so I have to kill somebody when I come back. (laughter) No, he was just cleaning up some things for us, because we`re so busy. And things get thrown away that you don´t want to get thrown away. But let`s see how our house will look like, when we are coming back home…
L: How is your little daughter? Is she here or at home?
S: She is here. And we have a Nanny with us and so she`s taking care of Luna now. (laughs)
L: You`ve already played on so many festivals, but is there any festival you prefer to play at?
S: Well, Mèra Luna is my all-time favourite. Yeah, I really really like it. But we also played at Earthshaker this year and it was also pretty amazing. But what I like so much about Mèra Luna is that the people and the things that are happening on the festival are sooo crazy. It´s like such a fun to watch people and you´re busy the whole day with watching people and having fun. And you have to be really sure what you gonna wear by yourself on stage, otherwise you gonna be under-dressed, you know, undressed. (Lea laughs) I`m meaning like they are so extremely dressed that everything I`m gonna wearing would look like simple. So I have to be somehow extreme (laughs), otherwise I´m not extreme enough for them.
L: It`s also the same on the WGT…
S: We have never played there. Yeah, I would love to play there. But we have never played there. I don´t know why. But it never happened, so hopefully in future one day.
L: Do you remember one festival-show that really impressed you the most? Some really nice festival-experience?
S: Well, it always changes, because every year there is always one festival or two or three that are very special. But it changes through the years. There is not one that you really think it`s like really special, because there´re so many. And special things are happening all the time…this year we played at Download-Festival in England and that is really a metal-festival like Earthshaker. A lot of people there and three stages and everything. And it was crazy. What happened was that we normally have this orchestra on tape, but on that day everything broke down. And we were like “Oh nooo, our orchestra is gone. Ahh, what we gonna do?” And we just started playing and nobody even noticed it and I was like “Okay…” (laughs) “Why do we record an orchestra?”. And a lot of people felt it was more heavy also in a way, because if you don´t have the orchestra, they said “It`s more metal then”. It was interesting, very interesting. And it was also funny in a way and afterwards I was like “Oh my god” (laughs). I died a 10.000 times, but nobody noticed it…
L: You`re guest-musician on the Delain-album “Lucidity”. You`re singing “No compliance” on that CD. Will you perform the song tonight together with Delain?
S: I`m not sure yet, I´m gonna ask in a minute, because I´m not sure what their setlist is for tonight. But if they want me to join, I´ll be there. (laughs)
L: I already had a telephone-interview with Charlotte and also asked her, if you will perform this song together. She said that it would be great, if you will come on stage! But she didn`t know your schedules either… (Sharon laughs)
S: So probably I will be on stage. (laughs still) Well, I like to sing the song. It`s a nice song and it`s nice playing with Delain…
L: I didn´t wonder that Delain is support-band on this tour. But how did Within Temptation and The 69 Eyes work together?
S: Also very good. There are always some people that have to get used to some band they didn`t know. But there were a lot of people that really liked them as well. So I think it was a really good line-up with both bands and they worked very well together. And they are great people as well. So I`m really glad that they are on tour with us.
L: And how did Within Temptation and The 69 Eyes find together?
S: Oh well, through our management actually, because we already had Delain on board. And then we felt like “Ok, then we need something different as well”. If everything sounds a little bit the same or is too much the same, then it gets boring also in a way. So we felt like The 69 Eyes is also a little bit different from Within Temptation, but has a lot of similarities as well. They are dark in a way and very melancholic.
L: But they have a male singer…
S: Yeah, a male singer, but Delain they have a female vocalist, so I think you have some differences here and there. And this is a nice line-up, I think. It´s great.
L: How would you complete the sentence “Music is…”?
S: …everything! Everything to me. (laughs)
L: If you would have to assign the band to a colour, which colour would it be and why?
S: Red for passion.
L: What does luxury mean for you?
S: Luxury is a little bit necessary, but not the heart of everything. (laughs)
L: Would you prefer summer or winter?
S: Summer always. I`m a summer-person, although we make winter-music. I prefer the summer because of the warmth. I`m always cold.
L: Why do you think that Within Temptation`s music is winter-music?
S: Well, our music is of course very melancholic and dark in a way, so that´s more winter-music, I think. It`s not Reggae. (laughs) You know? It doesn`t sound like summer-music, but I am really a summer-person, yes.
L: Is there any music-style that you really don´t like?
S: (break) No, I think I like pretty much everything. But in every category, you know, like if you have House, I don`t like the really Beat House. That is not my kind of thing. But there are certain songs I do like. It`s so that there is nothing that I really don´t like. I actually like all kinds of music more or less. I also listen to the very heavy metal like the death-metal like “ttktkkttktk”. I can listen to that.
L: Does it depend on your mood?
S: No, it has to do with…I like melody a lot, so if there is a nice melody into it, I will probably like it. But if there is no melody, I probably will find it very difficult to like.
L: Or if you can´t understand anything what they are singing? If there`s just this “Brrrrgroooo”. (tries to grunt)
S: Yeah, that`s also difficult. But it depends. If there is also again after that a nice melody-line, I still like it.
L: Do you still remember the last CD you bought?
S: Puuuhh, that´s a long time ago, I think. (thinking) That`s a really long time ago, cos I´m always getting CDs from friends, because they are always trying to inform me “You should check out this, you should check out that!” But the last CD that really surprised me – that is maybe a better question – is “The second wave” by a band called Khoma. Yeah, I love them. This band is a project from different kind of bands that I don´t even know by name. There are some Swedish people in there, I think, and Norwegian combined with some English…from everywhere and a few people are from the Cult Of Luna. I have never heard about the band before, but I love Khoma and they`re writing a second album now. They used to be on Roadrunner Records. But nowadays they`ve gone to somewhere else unfortunately. (snuffle) But I`ll check them out when they have the new album out. (laughs)
L: Is there any historical event you would have loved to experience or take part in?
S: Huuuh, that´s the good question…because we wrote a song about the war between the English and the Scottish, you know, like the story of William Wallace, which is the Braveheart-movie…I would have liked to see something of that (laughs), because in the movie it looked very fascinating. But of course the reality is always different, but it would have been nice to be there…go with the time-machine “Hello – Bye bye! I`m going back to a real toilet now. (laughs) Or something…a real shower!”
L: “Movie” is a good point…if you would create the soundtrack for a movie, what genre would it be?
S: Oh, it could be anything actually. It could be really a Vampire-movie, it could be a Braveheart kind of movie or something Epic probably. (laughs)
L: Would you love to take part in a movie some day as an actress?
S: Well, I must say that I´m not really into that, but maybe if something comes on your way that is funny, then (laughs) I would do it.
L: If you could take the role of another person for one day, just being another person for one day, which person would it be and why?
S: Mmm, unfortunately he is dead, but I would have liked to know how Gandhi saw things through his eyes. (laughs) I`m really a big fan of Gandhi. But being Gandhi or so is of course very different than reading about him or reading about philosophies and things like that.
L: In three days there is an event taking place where you are nominated for an award…
S: Yeah, something like MTV, but then from Benelux it is and it`s called TMF.
L: Exactly. Are you still nervous before such events or is it quite of normal for you?
S: Sometimes I am, because there is no control how it`s gonna sound on television, because you always need somebody who understands to make a right balance between things. Although you play maybe a great set on stage, but what you hear on television is totally different sometimes. So that`s always a little bit “I hope it comes across”. Otherwise it sounds like too heavy guitars and no vocals or vocals very loud and no guitars. So now I hope it will sound great again. But we played so much now lately in America and also in Germany now and in France a little bit, that I`m not scared anymore now. So that´s fine. (laughs)
L: How was the tour in America?
S: Heavy, because it was really a little bit back to basic for us again. Smaller venues, not that small, because we also played venues like tonight for around 2000 people or something and that was also nice. But also some smaller ones. But it felt like a second youth, because normally when you go back to play smaller places again, it`s because you`re in a new way back. But this time it´s because you`re starting up again in America. And I like the starting up period also in a country, because it´s exiting not knowing how people will react to the music and how people and media will pick it up or not and see what happens. It`s exiting, yes, it`s heavy work, hard work, because it`s really rock n roll plug`n play. (laughs) But it`s nice to go back to the basic-thing again.
L: Is there any place in this world you would have love to have a gig some day where you have never been before?
S: We need to go to South America again. That`s definitely. We`ve been there before in Mexico, but just one time. And it was crazy. (laughs) But in a good way of course. And also we would like to go to Greece, because we haven´t been to Greece and they are also like “You should come to Greece! We have good Souvlaki.” (laughs) They really want to see us as well. There are some countries I really wanna see, also Australia…
L: Would you love to spend your holidays next time there?
S: Yeah, probably…maybe just combine it with another show, because we`ve been playing a lot in Japan lately. We gonna go back there and maybe combine it with Australia. Yeah, we can try that.
L: I`ve seen you live on stage two years ago also here in this venue and you`ve always this great wonderful decoration on stage. What can we expect this evening from the show? Okay, I`ve already seen a bit of the decoration when I was upstairs…(laughter)
S: Well, of course it`s a new album, so you gonna see a lot of projection again on stage. But then referring to the lyrics of these songs, the projections gonna be a little bit different. And I think they`re better in a way, because they are really specially made for the songs. Sometimes you`ll see parts of videos coming by and also I think, it`s less static in a way than it was last time. It`s a little bit more organic now. And well, we will perform just a mixture of all the new songs and just trying to make everybody a little bit happy. (laughs) So I hope you`ll enjoy the show.
L: I will.
S: Okay. (laughs) Thank you.
L: What is the first thing you`ll do when you´re coming back home from this tour?
S: Enjoying my house and well, my cat run away five weeks ago, because we moved from one place to another place and I just got a call yesterday they might have found him. So I will see if it`s him. And he seems to be alive and well. So I hope, I really really hope it`s him, because if you don`t see your cat, it runs away and you don´t know what happened, that´s really awful. It really happened to me once, so I don´t wanna have that again. So I`m really glad they found him hopefully.
L: Sharon, I thank you very much for this interview.
S: Yeah, thank you, too.
Interview for: darkmoments & Terror Verlag & fhradio
Band-Photo: taken from within-temptation.com
Interview-Photos & Photo Sharon: taken by Alex M., (c) auroraborealis
Website Band: www.within-temptation.com
(c) darkmoments, Terrorverlag, fhradio