Raymond Westland of About.com Heavy Metal recently conducted an interview with keyboardist and main composer Martijn Westerholt of Dutch female-fronted symphonic metallers DELAIN. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
About.com Heavy Metal: A lot of things happened before [the new DELAIN album] “We Are The Others” got released. Can you explain what happened?
Martijn Westerholt: It was a very turbulent period, because by the time we finished the album, our record label was taken over by Warner Music. Apparently they were looking for the next NICKELBACK and they thought we had some crossover potential to a more mainstream-oriented public. When they heard our new record, they really didn’t understand it, so the album got shelved, much to my frustration. Luckily, Cees Wessels [Roadrunner founder] did see the potential and he bought our record from Warner to release on his other label, CNR Records. There was a lot legal hassle going on, so it took a lot of time before that corner was turned. We were lucky though, because many other records got shelved.
About.com Heavy Metal: Irony has it that Roadrunner is going to merge completely with Warner Music (in Europe). Your thoughts?
Martijn Westerholt: I think it’s a shame, really. Roadrunner is really strong brand within the metal community and they really have the know-how how to promote a band like DELAIN, something the people at Warner Music don’t have a clue about. And for us as band, it’s a shame as well, because when you’re signed to Roadrunner as a band, it really meant something and it would open a lot of doors for you. Now we’re signed to CNR Music in the Netherlands, but we still have to deal with Warner Music who are releasing our album overseas. It’s not an ideal situation, but we have to make the best of it.
About.com Heavy Metal: The music industry is in a state of flux and album sales have pretty much collapsed. How does it impact your life as a musician?
Martijn Westerholt: I’m in a lucky position that playing in DELAIN is actually my real job, so I don’t have to worry about any other jobs. Despite the recent upheavals within the music industry, I’m still able to make ends meet. It’s getting more and more difficult and sometimes I wish I could devote more time to writing and composing music than to the business side of things. Someone has to do it and bills need to be paid. It’s not all doom and gloom, though, because the current situation stimulates bands and musicians to be creative and it also brings new opportunities.
About.com Heavy Metal: I understand you’re already working on a new DELAIN album. Can you tell anything about the musical direction?
Martijn Westerholt: Yes, we already started the creative and writing process for the next album, but it’s too early to say anything definitive about the musical direction. One thing I’m really sure of is with the new album I want to write music I enjoy and not to push myself into really experimental avenues. If this means that the new album will be very much in line with “We Are The Others” or our previous material, so be it. I really want to get the fun back again of being in a band and compose new music. I lost a lot of that, because of all the label hassle we went through.
Read the entire interview from About.com Heavy Metal.
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