Chad Bowar of About.com recently conducted an interview with vocalist Sharon den Adel of Dutch hard rockers WITHIN TEMPTATION. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
About.com: Your new album, "The Unforgiving", is a concept album based on a comic book. Was it an existing story, or something written specifically for you?
Sharon den Adel: It was specifically written for us. We helped develop it. The basic story came from Steven O'Connell, and we gave him some ideas of our own. We also worked with Romano Molenaar, who was the artist. He worked on the Wolverine comic in America.
About.com: How did the idea of the comic come about?
Sharon den Adel: There were two main reasons we chose to do the comic. One was because we grew up with bands that did a lot of concept albums in the late '70s and '80s. Also because we grew up with comic books and liked them. The past five years a lot of movies based on comic books came out, and it reminded us how much we enjoyed them. This album brings back some of the musical influences of the '80s. We wanted to bring some of that back. Nowadays everything is about downloading and just one song.
About.com: How would you describe the sound of the album?
Sharon den Adel: With our previous album we had a concept in our minds how we wanted it to sound. After that album we felt we finalized our sound and couldn't do any better. We wanted to take a step in a new direction, explore a little bit again. We ended up getting inspired by bands from the '80s; not just metal bands like IRON MAIDEN, but pop bands like FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD and their song "The Power Of Love" with the synthesizer sound from the '80s. We didn't do it in every song, though.
About.com: You worked with producer Daniel Gibson again. What is it about his style that's such a good fit for you?
Sharon den Adel: He's become a friend. When you start with a new producer, it takes a long time to get to know each other. Why split up something that works? We're always on the same wavelength. We grow together toward a new sound each time, and really complement each other.
About.com: With every album you've become more successful, garnering more fans and playing bigger venues. Does that increase your expectations for this album?
Sharon den Adel: No, not really. Every time we have to prove ourselves again. You're only as good as your last album, that's how we see it. There's always a question if people will like it, because we always change a little bit, and if they will go along with the changes and understand what we're trying to do creatively.
About.com: How would you compare trying to break through and attract a fan base in Europe compared to North America?
Sharon den Adel: It's difficult, for different reasons. North America is bigger, so getting where you go requires traveling a lot of miles. Everything in Europe is close by. That's one thing. Also the culture is different. You see that with radio stations. It's very divided in America. In Europe in certain regions, everybody listens to certain stations. In America everything is more scattered. And when it comes to heavier music, they aren't used to as many female voices on the radio. It's more male-dominated. We actually made two radio versions of our single. In Europe they are more orchestral-oriented, and America is more guitar-oriented. It's interesting to see the differences in different countries, how people experience music and what they like about your music. You can't please everybody, you can only be who you are.
Read the entire intervire at About.com.