Alex Haber of Heavy New York conducted an interview with frontwoman Sharon Den Adel of Dutch metallers WITHIN TEMPTATION prior to the band's March 2 show at PlayStation Theater in New York, New York. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether WITHIN TEMPTATION takes a "new approach" with every new studio album:
Sharon: "We try to. We don't always succeed as much as we want to sometimes, but this album we definitely did a total change, I think. Well, a total change, we still have elements of WITHIN TEMPTATION in there that we had before because you can never change one-hundred percent. We did use a lot of new elements that we never had before [on new album 'Resist'], where in the past, we were more or less always the same kind of elements but you had different…we emphasized different things more. This time, we had different elements that we never used before. We had some urban influences that is something that is totally new for us."
On whether she needs to hear the music before writing lyrics:
Sharon: "I just start singing. That's basically how it happens; I just start playing piano or guitar, I just start singing and I immediately have an emotion to the music, then lyrics come afterwards. Sometimes, I think a lot of things are in your mind subconsciously and I think these things always come up when I'm writing and afterwards, I try to make lyrics out of it. Sometimes I have a subject up front, but a lot of times, I don't and I do it afterwards. But, a lot of basic words that are important for the eventual song are already in there, which is necessary, because it's very hard to change everything at the end. First, I write melodies, then the lyrics come. That's how it works for me mostly."
On whether collaborating with various singers like Jacoby Shaddix (PAPA ROACH) and Tarja Turunen (ex-NIGHTWISH) helps her expand her vocal style or help her learn new things:
Sharon: "Well, why I ask them is because they add a color that I can't or they have something specific that we need for a song. We always look at the song, like, 'Okay, what do we need if we're going to do a duet? What kind of ambience or what kind of color can we use for this song?' Then you ask certain people who can do that. So, it was with Tarja, it was only the exception [for the song 'Paradise (What About Us?)']. Tarja was more because people always saw us like we had some kind of competition going on, which we never did. The lyrics are about paradise, so it's showing all the people there's no competition between us. We never actually met before we recorded the song. It was like, of course, we knew each other by name and we knew the band and the music, but we never actually met and had a nice conversation with each other. For [rapper] Xzibit [who appeared on the band's 2014 'Hydra' album], that's a different world from where we're coming from. I could never do what he does. I learned a lot from him, actually."
On combining classical and operatic singing with metal:
Sharon: "Actually, I don't have any education at all in music, but I'm probably one of the few in the band, but the guys, they all went to a special school for music. But how we combine it, I think putting people together with different backgrounds, what they listen to music-wise, I think. Like I said before, Robert [Westerholt, guitar] coming from the metal scene and also have having symphonic things that he likes, Ruud [Jolie, guitar] also likes YES, so a lot of symphonic, prog stuff he likes. If you put all these people together, how we started, everybody had different backgrounds is what they were listening to and if you put it in a melting pot, you get WITHIN TEMPTATION. Of course, certain things get emphasized and certain things don't get emphasized. That's where we come from. That's our background."
On whether she considers "Resist" to be a combination of WITHIN TEMPTATION's previous efforts:
Sharon: "No, actually, it doesn't. I think you always take your past with you. Everything you've done, you can't let it go, it's who you are. We try to bring something new to our songwriting and we are very much influenced by a lot of urban stuff. That makes this album more, well, a little bit of a groovy album, which we had never been before. We had never been a groovy band and we love to be groovy and we were never [that before]. This is the first album where I can say 'We have a few groovy songs.' But, of course, you always combine what you are. It's nice to take things outside of your scene and implement it into your music, but we'll always be WITHIN TEMPTATION. That's who we are; it's in our genes, it's what we write. It's nice to have new influences to spice things up."
"Resist" was released February 1 via Spinefarm Records, the specialist hard rock label of Universal Music Group.