DH: When and how did Epica start out? Do you remember the beginning? Who had the idea for the name Epica? Is there a special idea behind the name?
Mark: We started the band in the year 2002. Some members played in the dutch band "Cassiopeia" already before or the belgian band "Axamenta" and me myself I played in "After Forever". We named ourself after a cd of Kamelot for two reasons. 1. we like the band s lot and 2. Epica means a place in the universe where you can find answers of all your questions. It's phylosphical and fitts to our lyrics.
DH: If you could choose between being a gothic or a metal band, what would be your choice? In Netherland there are a lot of good gothic and metal bands. Can you explain why this music is so popular in your land?
Mark: I don't want to chose because we are what we are. We are not specifically a gothic nor a metal band. Gothic filmscore metal fitts :) This music is big over here, like you had the grunge in seatlle you have the gotic metal in the Netherlands. A succesfull scene grows quickly but can end also quickly. We want to be a stable band that caqn go on for many years.
DH: Your new CD is called "Consign To Obliveon". Tell us something about the process of recording the album. Where did you record it and how long did it take recording it? How do you get in contact with you label Transmission Records?
Mark: I got in contact with Transmission Records in the year 1999. I recorded with the band After Forever a demo for them and Transmission signed us. After two records I left AF and stayed at Transmission with a new band.
We have recorded the album in Wolfsburg (Germany). It took us about 4 months to record and mix the album. We had a lot of fun during the recordings, you can see in on our dvd (included to the CD).
DH: Your sound seems to me very monumental and dark. How do get the ideas for those apocalyptic tunes? Is this something that is deep in your "musical" mind?
Mark: haha I don't know, I love dark music. Dark classical music, dark filmmusic and dark metal. In daily life I'm not depressed or something but I think I put my dark side into music and keep my bright side for normal living :)
DH: I like very much the song "Dance Of Fate" on your album! What is the song about?
Mark: That song is lyricwise written by Simone and it deals about changes in life and destiny. I don't know precisely. The song is one of the first songs we wrote for the album and we always knew that this would be our opening song :)
DH: Tell us something about the process writing such songs. Do you write them all together as a band? How do you get the melody for a song and how do you get the ideas for the lyrics? Are you influenced by any experiences or situations for writing them?
Mark: Most of the time I collect pieces of music from other musicians in the band and connect them with own ideas and built songs out of it. Togeter we make the songs stronger in the end and Simone writes a lot of own songing lines. Melodies for songs just appear in my head and don't know how this happen exactly ;-)
I wrote lyricwise about the maya culture. These people knew a lot about the nature and had a lot of wisdom about the universe. Nowadays we live in a world where only money counts and people try to make more money than their neighbours. Itís a race. Nobody will win, only stress. The mayaís made prophesies about the year 2012 as well, the end of 13 baktun. A period of thousands and thousands of years come to an end. I belief that people will get the ability to grow into higher dimension, for sure nothing will be the same.
At least I hope that they are right because we canít go on like this, destroying even raping the earth. Itís a shame! We should feel ashamed. Unfortunately people like Bush donít be ashamed of not signing the Kyoto protocol. Itís a crime! Kyoto is only a minor step in the good direction, not signing the protocol is equal to me to a huge crime.
DH: Simone, as a singer, you are always in front of the band. Is this always a very special moment for you personally? What do you think about the new songs on the album? Do you enjoy presenting them live on stage?
Simone: A singer is always in the spotlights that's right. It has advantages and disadvantages. It's great to be on the stage and have fun together with the audience. I like the new songs a lot, it was possible for me to experiment with different colours of my voice. Live it's great to play the new songs because the vibe is very good and the audiece reacts very enthousiastic.
DH: How does a gig from you look like? Will there be a special performance from the band? Can we expect Epica playing live in Germany soon?
Mark: Gigs always are special moments for us. We love to play live and we like to chat with the fans afterwards as well. During the show you'll expereince that we have a lot of energy. We have played a couple of times in Germany, as headliner and as support for the band Kamelot. Later this year we'll come back together with the dutch band Autumn. You can expect a fully dedicated band with much energy :)
DH: What are your next plans for the future? Will there be a European tour? Do you plan to record new songs?
Mark: we are working on our 3rd album already, because we want to do something very special with this one. We are gonna do 2 european tours and a brasilian tour. Furthermore we do to Poland and Turkey. A lot of things to come :)
DH: Thank you for the interview and go on and having fun with Epica. Your final words:
Thanks a lot, we will. I would like to thank our fans for the great support so far. Hope to see you all soon again!!!
Interview: Andreas Ohle