Interview – Martijn Westerholt – 25/01/16

Kris caught up with Martijn Westerholt from Delain to talk the upcoming release Lunar Prelude and the Suckerpunch show this week.

Kris – Really big thank you for this for me and PlanetMosh today, we really appreciate it.

Martijn – No problem, my pleasure.

Kris – Firstly I wanted to ask; you guys have been really busy working away at Lunar Prelude, how is the recording process going?

Martijn – Really good, this time we worked in stages; normally you write first , then record and then mix, but this time we chopped it in three parts, so we recorded first a few songs for Lunar Prelude, now we are busy working on the album recording a couple other songs and now we will record the last songs in April or May so there is less pressure. It’s a little less efficient and a little more expensive, but because of that you can tweak more and yeah the pressure is off a bit and that’s a good thing. It’s been pretty busy because we got a tour with Nightwish coming up and a special show in the Netherlands this Friday. A lot of stuff of planning and this has to continue as well so it’s a lot of stuff at the same time but we survive!

Kris – We have been treated to a preview track Suckerpunch, which I absolutely loved; is that an indication of where you are going with the album?

Martijn – In terms of production it’s the same and we have the studio to thank for that for mixing, but this is a bit of a hint at the direction.  In terms of songs we have pretty diverse songs this time, we have a couple of pretty soft ones, and we also have a couple of pretty hard ones, I think there is definitely some more diversity this time.

Kris – Could you tell us a little bit more about what inspired the new EP?

Martijn – Well the thing was it started a problem as we had so much touring going on first with Sabaton and then Nightwish, and then we did a headline tour and also went to South America with Nightwish, and before you know it a year is gone.  The writing process took place and everything happening at the same time and we thought you know we should get the fans something because the album was late, so lets give them some songs already; lets do a new EP to warm them up and that’s how we started with the idea and it’s the first single for the new album and a song which will be on the new album. At least we give the fans something, so that is the idea for the EP; when it comes to the lyrics this is really Charlotte’s department, my department is the music and of course we discussed the music, and the lyrics as well. Charlotte writes the lyrics and together we write the music and my role is more being the producer, and tweaking the sounds and focusing on the music itself, but of course there is a theme there; the EP is Lunar Prelude and the album title is moon related as well, but I’m not even sure if the album title is released yet but it is part of the same them. It has something to do wit the moon, I can say that already. So that is a little bit of story as to why the EP is being released before the Album.

Kris – So in a few days you have the SuckerPunch live show, can you give us some insight on what to expect?

Martijn – Originally this was actually planned as a closure of the last album cycle for The Human Contradiction, but it grew into something; more an open introduction to the new album cycle, an introduction to SuckerPunch like a premiere for it, so all things came together for it. It will be a special show with some special guests, we will play some new material and also some material we released on The Human Contradiction but have never played, we will play the song Scarlet for example, we’ve never played that before, and it’s gonna be special. It’s sold out and we are really grateful for that and be people being curious, we expect a really nice vibe.

Kris – Last year you announced the addition of a guitarist Merel Bechtold, I caught her performing live with you in London and she really is a talent and a great addition to the band. Has that added to the writing of the new EP?

Martijn – It doesn’t really influence us as we always write with the same team of Me, Charlotte and Gus; Gus is actually part of Delain but he just doesn’t play live, he is involved in all the writing. Together we write about 90 percent of the material but we are still open to material, we are open to that but it isn’t a must have, and of course it brings more cohesiveness to the band and feels like you are doing stuff together. Merel is talented in writing but she is still very busy with finishing other stuff, she joined up with Delain but also has other stuff to finish, so she is really in the process of growing into the band, she just recorded this Friday her first material for this new album, so she is on the new album playing guitar and that’s good.  Also Timo’s part grew a lot, he does a lot of guitar arranging and it’s really a positive contribution to making the new material. So we do see some growth with the contribution of the band members, but at the core it’s still me, Charlotte and Gus.

Kris – Last year I was very lucky and I caught your show in London, on that tour you did a competition for local bands to open for you. I really like the opener for that show Courtesans, they were brilliant. Is that the kind of thing you would look to do again in the future?

Martijn – I remember when we were starting our career with Delain that it’s very nice if there are other bands giving you a platform to show yourself, and I remembered that, and it was an idea from our manager, we have a British manager she’s really good and came up with the idea, Charlotte immediately liked it.  So it was really nice we had a lot of bands applying for this and we were really grateful they looked forward to playing with us, we were able to pick and there was a lot of good ones.  It was really nice I would definitely like to do this in the future.  The girls in London they rocked!

Kris – It was a hell of a good show, I loved it!

Martijn – Actually London was special, there was magic in the air, I will remember that show.

Kris – Lastly can I just ask what to expect from Delain this year ahead?

Martijn – Interesting question; a lot of touring, a lot of playing live, new material, a new album and also our tenth anniversary since the release of the first album so we going to do soomething with that as well; we are planning and working on that, but we want to keep that a surprise for a little bit longer with what we are gonna do for that. There is a lot we will do; a headline tour plus go back to the states, and we have a lot of festivals going on including Download in the UK.

Kris – Excellent I will see you there.

Martijn – We are really looking forward to that.

Kris – Thank you very much for your time today, we really appreciate it. I am very excited about all that is to come from Delain.

Martijn – You are very welcome. You are gonna be at Download?

Kris – Definitely!

Martijn – Oh cool, perhaps see you there!

Kris – Thank you very much from PlanetMosh!

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About Kris White

Music Journalist @, Bassist at FyreSky, EK13 Photography, Creator at Poisoned Cogs
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