Epica Interview by: AphroditesChild & the 2006 Ozzfest board members
1). RMS writes: How is it playing with such greats as Mercenary, Evergrey, Freak Kitchen and Jorn?
Mark: Very nice, because sooner or later you want to see all these bands live and if you play together you can see them for free
Ad: I really liked the performance of Jorn: great band, great singer. The perfect headliner for the festival in my opinion!
2). AC writes: You are a band that lives up to its name Epica. Your sound is classic yet powerful, progressive, and commanding. Do any/all of you have classical training?
Mark: none of us, Coen is studying at the conservatory but the pop direction. Simone took some classical singing lessons. All the rest are self taught.
3). Jimbob writes: Who were Simones influences as a frontwoman?
Simone: The reason I started with singing was because I liked Nightwish, so I would have to say Tarja Turunen.
4). Mark you did a fucking excellent job covering Death's Crystal Mountain! What are your main vocal influences.
Mark: Itís not a surprise that I mention Chuck now ;-) but also Jan Chris de Koeijer (Gorefest) and Max Cavalera have influenced me.
5). Jimbob writes: I thought I heard some black metal screams in between some growls, can you elaborate?
Mark: Thatís right I like to combine both worlds, death and black metal influences. During my days with After Forever I only did the screams but within Epica nobody else wanted to do the grunts so I had to do it myself ;-)
6). Stratogammaween writes: After 2005 Release of "The Score - An Epic Journey".... and it having been gratefully received by fans, are any plans for another "score" album?
Mark: Perhaps but first we want to release a normal band album
theshredder85 Asks the following:
7). "How do the American crowds differ from those overseas?"
Mark: They differ in weight ;-) I donít think the crowds differ that much. It depends also of the region in Europe. In Spain the crowd is different from the crowd in Germany. I donít think itís possible to name any differences. For sure both crowds are enthusiastic
8. What songs do you enjoy playing live?
Mark: Consign to Oblivion, Seif al Din, FaÁade of Reality, Mother of Light, the Phantom Agony, Cry for the Moon. The heavy songs.
9). Which do you like to play more, Festivals or Tours?
Mark: After some tours Iím dying for the festival season and after the festival season I canít wait for the club shows.
Ad: They both have their good and bad things, itís is so overwhelming to play in front of a big crowd, but on the other hand itís also nice to be a bit closer to the audience. Like I said, they both have their good and bad things.
10). How did you come up with the idea of doing the song "Memory" from the musical "Cats"?
Mark: I heard Simone singing that song for her singing lessons. I loved it right away. Her voice fits perfectly to that song. Even better than most of our own ballads.
11). Any chance we can see a U.S. headlining tour in the future?
Mark: We hope so, the plan is to release a new CD in the beginning of next year and afterwards we want to do a world tour, so also USA and Canada.
12). Are their any bands you would like to tour with?
Mark: I would still like to tour with Nightwish, I think itís a great package.
Ad: Also Withing Temptation or After Forever would be cool I think.
13). The orchestra parts in your songs are really good. Who composes them?
Mark: Thanks J Mainly Yves, Coen and I. In the studio we finalize the details with Miro.
14). How do you decide on what Simone sings and what Mark sings?
Mark: The brutal parts are for me and the melodic parts for Simone. If we canít decide (like Quietus) we make two versions ;-)
15). Do you try to meet fans at all your shows?
Mark: Yes, itís very important for us to stay in touch with our fans and meet them after the show.
Ad: Of course, itís always nice to meet fans and hear their feedback about the shows.
AphroditesChild Asked the following:
16). Do you have any wild stories of things that have happened while on tour?
Mark: haha every tour some ďwildĒ or ďfunnyĒ things happen. I will tell about a funny thing: when we played in Brasil a girl was hanging at the window of our car and didnít want to let go. She was throwing presents inside of the car and screaming to us to let her in. It happened while the car was driving. In Brasil the fans are really crazy, but we love them.
Ad: I once had to ran through the streets with only my boxers because the rest of the band was chasing me to rip them off haha. I almost made it (only had to do the last 50 metres without;-)
17). What are some of your hobbies and other interests?
Mark: My hobbies besides music are cycling, tennis, fitness and swimming. I also love to walk in nature.
Ad: I like to go running once in a while.
18. Is there a band or person that you admire or emulate and who is that band or person?
Ad: People that I admire: Hans Zimmer, Martin Gore, Jason Becker, Virgil Donati, wow to many to list up here.
19).What made you decide to make music a career?
Ad: My mom and neighbor played the guitar already and also a lot of my friends started playing guitar so I kind of rolled into it
20). What is behind to name of your band?
Ad: When we entered the studio to record TPA we still didnít have a band name. We saw Kamelotís latest album lying around which was entitled Epica. We all thought it was a cool name and when we found out that the meaning of it fitted some of our lyrics very well we went for it. In the beginning Kamelot wasnít to happy about this, probably because they were afraid it would be bad publicity for their album haha. Be so far we did 2 tours with them and they see it also has a positive side;-)
21. What was the most embarrassing moment that happened onstage?
Ad: We once played on a festival in Poland when my wireless system for my guitar went down so I had to play with a cable. But the stage was so big, I didnít even make it halfway up the drum riser. I felt so bad, but luckily I can laugh about it now:-)
22. There are some bands that do some autograph signings and acoustic
sets in music stores have you ever considered doing that?
Ad: We already did that a couple of times which was very fun to do and Iím sure we are going to do it again.
Thanks for the interview everyone and keep up the the awesome work!!
Hear Epica at their Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/epicaband
Visit thier website at: http://www.epica.nl/
Simone Simons ( Vocals )
Jeroen Simons (Drums)
Yves Huts (Bass guitar)
Coen Janssen (Synths and piano)
Mark Jansen (Guitars, grunts & screams)
Ad Sluijter (Guitar)