By: Ken McGrath
Already a force to be reckoned with on mainland Europe Hollandís Within Temptation have begun to make serious inroads into the UK goth-rock/metal scene. Signing to veteran label Roadrunner Records and winning a World Music Award hasnít done them any harm either. The Dutch quintet is composed of Sharon den Adel (vocals), Robert Westerholt (guitar), Jeroen van Veen (bass), Martijn Spierenburg (keyboards), Ruud Jolie (guitar) and Stephen van Haestregt (drums).
Yes their brand of female fronted heavy rock/light metal will be and delight to anyone who has found joy with Evanescence but itís in European goth rock that they have their roots. Symphonic power metal, lyrics rooted in fantasy and semi-operatic vocals have been comfortable bedfellows on the European metal scene for aeons. Within Temptationís latest effort, ĎThe Silent Forceí, (which only secured a UK release since they hooked up with Roadrunner) has already clocked nearly 500,000 sales, with the first single to be lifted from it, ĎStand My Groundí, climbing into the top tens across the continent. But itís only recently that metal fans in the UK and Ireland have sat up and taken notice. Band leader Robert Westerholt (guitar) admits that the success of Evanescence opened up new grounds for them to explore and conquer, but that said all it really did was provide an open window through which they could access a new audience. Over time they would have surely found a door. And itís not just them either; Finlandís Nightwish and Italysí Lacuna Coil are already becoming big names in countries where almost a year ago few would have known their names.
Shortly before he was due to go on stage for Within Temptationís biggest ever headlining show on British soil Blistering.com got a hold of Robert for a very quick chat about success, awards, and dance music (?).
ON WINNING THE WOLRD MUSIC AWARD FOR BEST SELLING DUTCH ARTIST:
ďWell it was itís like all the awards which we received lately. Itís nice that you get those awards. Itís a bit unreal I must say that youíre THE best selling Dutch artist internationally. Itís not, I think, that we had that many big selling Dutch, great artists lately but itís of course nice to see now that youíre doing well and that youíre doing well internationally. Thatís the same of course with every band.Ē
ON THE DUTCH MUSIC SCENE:
ďI think in dance Holland always does very well and we had 2unlimited in the past and Vengaboys in the past. There are a lot of dance artists (like) DJ Tiesto, who is a worldwide known DJ. A lot of underground dance things, but Iím totally not into dance, I donít really know exactly how it is. In the past, in the Ď70s, we had the more rock orientated acts. A lot of bands had rock hits but internationally thereís not many rock acts really coming out now from the Netherlands.Ē
ON SUCCESS IN EUROPE:
ďWe do very well in Finland, Spain, Portugal and Germany, of course. Some countries like our songs better than others. I think also we are not typically a one hit band. Some bands have one hit that spread all over the place and it remains that hit, but weíre a band thatís developing. Itís a little like conquering country by country (laughs).Ē
ďWe donít practice really on our instruments, thatís something I always do very badly. Our guitar player (Ruud Jolie) heís a guitar teacher so heís really technical. I donít practice my instrument, I just moreÖ I like song writing, but every day at least four hours. Itís not my cup of tea. Iím just busting my brains for a great tune or a great song. Thatís what I try to do. Of course itís also about getting your inspiration thatís very important. That you think about stuff. Get yourself loaded up. Thatís why I think music is very important, you have to get your input from somewhere, that youíre inspired to write. So you learn during time how to do that.Ē
ON THE DEAL WITH ROADRUNNER RECORDS:
ďWell we didnít have a proper release in several countries, (so) it was a collaboration with BMG and Roadrunner and then our management also had a role in there of course to get our records out in countries BMG wasnít able to do a good job (in). Itís very important that the label likes your music and like I said, in record country every country can have a different opinion on something and weíre very lucky now that we can have a good release through Roadrunner in several countries. Itís like a normal release for Roadrunner in the UK, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.Ē
ARE YOU JUST CONCENTRATING ON THOSE TERRITORIES?
ďIt depends on what comes across. Weíre always, of course, open to new things but you can only concentrate on some countries and of course we also want to write a new record, so weíre not trying to get our record released anywhere that we canít play
ďWe donít relax a lot (with) interviews and the concert. Of course after the show, thatís the time when you have a drink and sit down and thatís the moment when you relax. If you have a day off or something, we try to see as much as you can. Itís very hard Ďcause youíre in every country, in every city, but you never see some things, so when you have to opportunity you really try to do that.Ē
With new territories like the UK being won over it is not going to be too much longer before the US and Canada become targets. Within Temptation have already set their sights on touring Australia and Japan, but whether they can reach the levels there that they have on the continent is another story though. Get ready folks, the European invasion is underway. [END]