"We wanted to refresh our sound" – hmv.com talks to Epica
Dutch symphonic metallers Epica are about to release their sixth album Quantum Enigma, as with all their other records, it's one with a big question at its heart. We chatted to Simone Simons and Mark Jansen from the band to find out all about it…
So your new record Quantum Enigma is a few days away from release, how are you feeling? Nervous?
Mark: "I was nervous before when I had the first reactions from people, but they were good and now I have a really good feeling about it."
Have you had the album finished for a while?
Simone: "We finished it some time ago, so we've had a while to disgest it and make sure we are happy with the final result."
You recorded at home in Holland this time, was that something you'd pushed for?
Mark: "This was our first time recording in Holland, we've always gone to Germany before, we thought this time 'Why don't we record at home?'.
Why did you make the change?
Mark: "We wanted a new start, some new ideas, but without losing the rhythm of what we do. We went to a new studio, got a new producer, we have a new bass player too, we really want to refresh our sound. We are moving forward, we're still Epica, but we're finding a new balance."
You worked with producer Joost van den Broek this time out, what did he bring to the process?
Mark: "He was a great motivator, he has a lot of energy, he was working literally day and night with us for the whole of making of the album. He has a great ear and really helped with arrangements. He played a very important role."
What kind of album is this lyrically?
Mark: "The album is very observational, it is influenced by how everything is around you. Everything you see is an illusion; reality is a strange concept, so I guess you could say it's an album that asks 'What is reality?'
So it's very much a concept album?
Simone: "It's a concept album, everything fits together, in a philosophical and literal manner."
What do you guys have lined up for the rest of the year?
Simone: "We have some really great festivals lined up, then after that we're off to tour the world. We're busy for many months after this."
Epica's new album Quantum Enigma is released on Monday (May 5th) and is available to pre-order in hmv stores now.