With such a hectic year, it's great to be able to publish an interview with Delain vocalist, Charlotte Wessels on Femetalism. The band are currently celebrating a huge milestone in their history, and the release of their upcoming new album Moonbathers.
First of all, thanks for taking the time to talk to Femetalism! Secondly, congratulations on your 10 year anniversary! How does it feel to be celebrating such a milestone? How are you and the band celebrating?
We are celebrating through our 10th anniversary show on the 10th of December in legendary Dutch pop temple Paradiso. It will be a night full of nostalgia where we will play a show reflecting on the 10 years behind us with lots of guests, a fitting festive stage production and the entire show will be recorded to be released on DVD/BluRay/CD and Vinyl. The vinyl will also hold a documentary and we have some more exciting things up our sleeve surrounding the celebrations. The entire show and recordings are funded directly by our loyal fans through PledgeMusic.
You released your EP Lunar Prelude earlier this year and your new album Moonbathers is due out in August. There is an obvious night time/moon theme running through these releases. What is the inspiration behind these themes?
We started writing for the full album even before we knew we were doing the EP. Since we had the luxury problem of back to back tours we decided upfront that we would chop the writing and production process in several chunks, rather than the traditional way of basically writing and recording everything in one go during a break from tours. With the process divided in smaller parts we could really utilise the smaller timeframes at home between tours to work on the album and because of this approach, we already had a few songs done over a year ago.
Relatively early in the process I was looking at the lyrics and some of them were dark to the point of being morbid! There is a lot of thought about endings, both figuratively and very literally; songs about death. Negative emotions are a trigger for my creativity, but though most of my lyrics originate there, I don’t want to glorify it. So as a lyricist I try to make sure that there is always some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. I also realised that when I feel bad, I listen to sad music and it makes me feel better. So I embraced the idea that it’s possible to find comfort in that dark place, and I went looking for a metaphor for finding that light in the darkness, that comfort. For me, the moon is still the ultimate icon of light in the darkness. So I chose Moonbathers, rather than sunbathers, as a metaphor for those who find comfort in darkness. So that title was there very early already. It was a while after that when we decided to do the EP. We had a lot of requests from fans and the label alike, and since we already had a few songs for the new album ready we figured it would be cool to give people a preview of some of them along with other material. As it was literally a prelude to the new album that would be Moonbathers, we wanted to reflect that in the title without giving away the new album title. That is why we chose the title Lunar Prelude.
The new album features a Queen cover - how did that come about and what was it like to cover such a great track?
It was Martijn’s idea as he really loves the track. I must admit it was a bit daunting to cover a track by the giants of Queen. Big shoes to fill. But with the personal blessing of Brian May we set out for it, it was a wonderful challenge and I like the results.
The artwork for this album is once again beautiful. Your collaboration with Glenn Arthur obviously works well for you. How do you commission such work and he capture the essence of your music so magnificently.
The process is different every time. Sometimes we commission original artwork, other times we work with an existing piece and adjust it to our themes. The artwork of Moonbathers is a combination of both. The cover is a re-design of an existing work and the rest of the album is filled with new original artwork.
You have been crowdfunding for the 10th Anniversary show and live recording. How has the process gone?
It has gone wonderfully well. We reached our goal at record speed. And to be honest I am happy that we did, because it turns out we’re going to be needing quite a bit more than we initially expected. But people are still going to our campaign and we’re getting new pledgers every day so that is great! We will be adding new products and exciting perks in the next couple of weeks.
Why did you decide to crowdfund through Pledge Music?
There are many platforms doing this type of things and many of them do it very well. One of the things that we liked about Pledge Music is the way they encourage their artists to donate a part of their pledges to a charity of their choice. We are donating to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation and now that we’ve reached our goal a part of every pledge will go to them and help them do their work to Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere. So make sure to check if there’s anything for you if you haven’t already.
What are you looking forward to about the 10th anniversary performance?
We are always so focussed on the future that I am very much looking forward to a moment to actually stand still and reflect on what we have done. I am sure that it will be a very emotional night.
You’ve already performed at Download Festival here in the UK so far this year. This was your first time at Download - how was it?
It was amazing. We were lucky enough to spend the entire weekend at the festival and we had an absolute blast. I don’t only have fond memories of our performance and the crowd’s response, but the entire festival atmosphere and the wonderful gigs by other bands we’ve seen performing there. Great festival all together.
What other festivals can we find you and which are you looking forward to most?
While I am writing this I am on an airplane to perform at Metaldays. I have never been there before but I have heard amazing things about the festival and it’s location at a lake in a beautiful area. I am very much looking forward to see if it lives up to its reputation!
As we reflect on the last 10 years, it’s also nice to look forward too. What do you think the next 10 years of Delain is going to look like?
I hope we can continue the road that we are on; make new music, perform it for more and more people around the world. Have fun on the road with our friends.
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Moonbathers is out on August 26th. Pre-Order the album here.
Originally posted by Emma Sheridan on Femetalism.