Within Temptation's Sharon den Adel opens up about her new project My Indigo
Dutch seven-piece Within Temptation are a symphonic metal juggernaut. With career sales in the many millions and tours that fill arenas across the world, they've become trailblazers for epic metal, all driven by the powerhouse vocals of singer Sharon den Adel.
But after 22 years of going hard, the band is taking some time apart, time den Adel has decided to use to launch a new project named My Indigo, with songs inspired by electronica and folk rather her usual hard rock. The album, which is self-titled, is out and available here in hmv's online store.
We spoke to den Adel about the new project and why these songs were too quiet for Within Temptation...
You’ve spoken about the fact that you took some time off from writing before starting work on your solo album. What got you writing again?
"After my time off I allowed myself to write anything I felt like and be open-minded for any kind music. That really helped and what eventually came out where these intimate, very direct and personal songs. Nothing like Within Temptation, which is big and epic most of the time. You need to be in a certain state of mind to write certain kind of songs. It needs to match. The way that felt at that time was like the music of My Indigo."
When did you realise that the material for My Indigo wasn’t something you could use for Within Temptation?
"I knew immediately because it simply didn’t sound like Within Temptation, it wasn’t that big or epic."
How did you decide on this new sound? Did you follow it naturally, or did you make a conscious decision for the record to sound different from what we’re used to?
"It was a natural process to choose this direction, I wanted to make Within Temptation songs but that simply wasn’t coming out so it was a natural process."
What made you decide on the name My Indigo for the project? What does the colour represent to you? Is it a theme run throughout the album?
"It fits with the mood of the music. It’s light but also moody like the colour indigo. It’s my indigo as it’s my personal view on things and these songs are my stories."
You worked with Daniel Gibson on the album, what did he bring to the process?
"Daniel is a very talented producer, musician and songwriter and we like working with each other. We go back a long way."
How many songs did you write for the album? How did you decide which ones made the final cut?
"About 25 at least! It took me a while to find what I was looking for. The ones with the best vibe and lyrics survived, and got a place on the album."
What song took the longest to get right?
"'Star-Crossed Lovers'! We totally re-wrote it 3 or 4 times."
And which came together most quickly?
"'My Indigo', 'Indian Summer' and 'Crash and Burn'. Somehow all the pieces fell into place."
You’ve got a few different collaborators on the album, including members of Within Temptation, how did you decide who to collaborate with?
"From Within Temptation, there’s my partner Robert (Westerholt) and the others happened by coincidence. Daniel had writing sessions with them and asked me to join. In the end, the songs ended-up on my record but that wasn’t the intention from the start!"
What other artists influenced the sound of the record?
"Music from the 80’s when I grew up; Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, Sting, Chris Isaak but also music from today. A hint of deep house, Florence and the Machine…"
And finally, how is your live set coming together? You must be excited to showcase new material...
"Well, we only have 45 minutes of music record so I’ll play every song and some covers!"