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Arien Van Weesenbeek (Epica)

Interview with Arien Van Weesenbeek from Epica
by Dimitris Karametros at 23 May 2010, 5:05 PM

EPICA is an extraordinary music crafting machine, avoiding the easy way in music crafting each new album is filled with powerful images from our own past, present and future, shortly before EPICA's live in Greece, drummer Arien Van Weesenbeek takes a few moments off to answer our questions.

Greetings Arien and welcome to METAL TEMPLE, I am very happy about this opportunity since I am a major fan! How's everything going?
Hi! I'm doing fine, thanks!! I've been home from touring for a little over a week now, and it's good! Getting ready for the next shows and festivals.

"Design your Universe" was eagerly awaited by fans, can you tell us a little bit about the concept of the new album?
Lyrically the main concept would be the freedom of speech, expression – creating your own world with mutual respect for the world around you. Musically the concept was to make a heavy killer album, haha.


EPICA diversifies from other similar bands by choosing lyrics around religion and human evolution. Can you tell us about the themes that influence EPICA's songwriting in general?
Mark is the one who writes most of the lyrics. He gets his ideas from books, the news, and from real life and its downsides. There's enough to write about the things that are happening; wars, governments, pollution of any kind, greed…. Though we try to be hopeful with the lyrics, we have enough to write about this world.

There is a shift in the music style in "Design Your Universe", more aggressive drumming and guitar playing, some say that this is happening due to you mostly and Isaac, because as former members of God Dethroned you brought a certain aggression to the band, is it true?
It might be true, because I approach EPICA's music from a metal-perspective, rather than a jazz-flavored approach that Jeroen had. I try to give as much energy as I can, on record and on stage. That's what Isaac does as well. I guess with the two of us, we might have added more aggression, but it's also the way that the basic ideas were written by the other members of the band.

Tell us a little bit about your part in bringing over Isaac to EPICA.
Ad decided to quit the band, and we all knew who could do the job instead, and even add more guitar solo's, because that's what we were looking for as well. Isaac stood in for Ad once, a long time ago, and it left a strong impression. I knew Isaac from GOD DETHRONED, so we all agreed he'd be the man for the job. All we had to do was convince him to join the band, haha. We're very glad that he did, and it goes really well and we have a great time!!

Should we expect that this new energy will hold a major place to future EPICA albums or was it used just for the theme and mood of "Design Your Universe"?
I don't know what the new album will sound like, but we'll always make heavy music with a lot of energy!! We won't go soft!!


I was wondering who is responsible for the album cover in "Design Your Universe" which is amazing and exactly to the albums theme?
The artwork designer is Stefan Heilemann. He also was responsible for the band pictures for this album. He did a very good job, and the cover reflects and fits perfectly to the title of the album. It's also a pretty unusual cover, at least to me, and not too busy-looking.

Tell us a little bit about the future plans of EPICA, is there a chance that we will see a new live DVD soon?
First we'll do a lot of summer festivals, and later this year, a tour in the USA again, and maybe in Europe, but we're still working on the details. I don't suppose we'll put out a DVD this year.

We will see you soon in Greece, I will be there definitely, but can you give us a small taste of what we will see and listen on stage?
Killer Death Metal!!!! hahaha

Thank you very much for your time anything final you wish to add is welcome, see you soon on stage here in Greece!
You're welcome, and see you in Greece!! Cheers!!



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