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Charlotte Wessels (Delain)

Interview with Charlotte Wessels from Delain
by Danny Sanderson at 11 February 2016, 12:30 AM

When a band releases an E.P., you know there's a new album on the horizon; excellent news to fans of Dutch symphonic masters, DELAIN. Riding a wave of a stellar new E.P., titled "Lunar Prelude", the release contains two new tracks, shadowing a new full-length on the horizon, as well as a re-recording of "Don't Let Go", a few live tracks and an orchestral re-imagining of one of the new tracks. Danny had a few words with vocalist, Charlotte, about the inner workings of the new EP, what it means for future material, and incorporating unexplored vocal techniques into future material.

You've got a new EP, "Lunar Prelude", coming out in February next year. What can fans expect music wise from this new EP?

Production wise it continues where The Human Contradiction left off. We were rather pleased with the mix, master, and we are classical arranger as we did on that record. Of the two new tracks on the record, “Turn The Lights Out” is a rather dark song inspired by Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, the lyrics are written from the perspective of his rather iconic personification of Death (and we wonder why people call us goth occasionally.. ;)), the other, “Suckerpunch” is an upbeat, optimistic ‘fight song’ about facing and defeating your demons, about breaking with what weighs you down.

Does this consist of material that was left over from the sessions for "The Human Contradiction ", or will it act as a precursor for a new record?

It is a precursor for a new record. The title ‘Lunar Prelude’ itself is pointing at the next full length studio album that is due later this year.

Outside of recording, you have been touring extensively across the world, and you just come off of a lengthy European stint with Scar Symmetry and Eluveitie in support. How did these shows go, and do you have any fond memories from this particular tour?

Uhm, no. That was Epica.

We however have been touring extensively with Sabaton, Nightwish, and most recently we did a headline tour with The Gentle Storm and Amberian Dawn in support. They were all amazing tours that connected us with so many new people across the world.

Merel Bechtold is now a permanent feature in the band. How is she fitting into the band, and has she left her stamp on the new EP?

She is! We’re really excited to have double guitar power on stage and it’s such a joy to have her be part of the family as well. You must imagine we spend a lot of time together on tour, it’s so important to have a good chemistry in the group. As for her part in the new material we’re happy to see that she’s getting involved. When there’s a group like this where the main writers have been working together for over ten years there’s always some experimenting and trying around in how new members contribute to the process; that kind of workflow doesn’t grow overnight, but I definitely see her getting more involved.

Next year, just as you have in 2015, you'll be touring extensively, playing throughout America and many major festivals. What can fans expect from these shows?

We’ll be giving our all to create a great experience between ourselves and the audience. Also I think there will be lots of big things happening this year as we’ll be celebrating our ten year anniversary as well as releasing our new album along the year. Only good things to come.

Do you have any musical recommendations or messages for our readers?

I want to thank everybody for taking the time to see what we’re up to and reading this interview! Since we’ve just announced The Charm The Fury as special guests for our “Suckerpunch" show, I’d recommend giving them a listen, as well as our upcoming EP of course (I have no shame)

In regards to future recordings, are there any musical territories of elements you would love to incorporate into your music?

I am very happy to go with the flow and take whatever ideas and inspirations come to us in the writing room. So I don’t feel the need to go to a certain place or sound, however I’ve been training different vocal techniques including grunts to make sure that wherever the song takes us, there will be a bigger chance of me being able to cover the vocals within my own vocal palette so to speak.

The artwork on the new EP is really stunning. Who created the artwork for this release, and does it tie into the record in any way? How important is artwork to the band in the overall scheme of your image and aesthetic?

The artwork of the EP was painted by Glenn Arthur. We’ve worked with Glenn for the cover of We Are The Others, as well as for our special record Interlude in the past. He is one of my favorite artists and it is such a pleasure to work with him always. I think the artwork and aesthetic of a band are very important. I’ve bought albums just for their amazing cover art more than once and I think that when a band has a signature sound, their signature look should fit. In general I’m a pretty visual thinker and usually see colors and patterns for every song, so perhaps I’m a bit of an extreme case when it comes to appreciating the aesthetic of things but I know that for the general picture as well, it never hurts to have an awesome artwork.

2017, although it is still some time off, marks the 15th anniversary of the bands formation. Do you plan on commemorating this milestone in any way, and how do you feel about reaching this age as a band?

15 years ago I was thirteen, haha. We usually count from the release of our first record in September of 2006. Before that, we did not think of Delain as a band, rather a project, I myself have known Martijn from 2004 I guess. Anyway what I’m trying to say is I don’t know exactly from what point you are counting but we are preparing to celebrate our ten year anniversary in 2016. We are really proud of all the things we’ve done in the last ten years and we are planning to celebrate accordingly.

Over the years, you have had guest musician spots on your records from some of the most prominent and influential names in the genre. Do you have any dream collaborations, and if so, who would they be with, and how would you approach them musically?

I’ve got a very long list, but on the top of it I guess, if the sky is the limit, would be Nick Cave.


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Edited 06 February 2023

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