Sharon den Adel (vocals) from Within Temptation
Five years after their last album, ‘Hydra’ in 2014, the Dutch Symphonic Metal band WITHIN TEMPTATION will release their new studio album, ‘Resist’, via Universal Music on February 1st, 2019. Next to a more groovy, urban and electronic sound than fans are used to from WITHIN TEMPTATION, ‘Resist’, at first glance, could be the soundtrack for a dystopic Science Fiction movie. But RESIST is not inspired by the danger of Galaxies far away but our modern futuristic society. The message is: “Wake up and defend your freedom”.
“The technologies of today, especially social media and the internet and how it does damage to the world by observing in a way that goes way too far”, inspired the ten new tracks. Finding a visual and lyrical concept for the urban sound of ‘Resist’ was not easy, so the production of the new album was harder than expected. But finally, WITHIN TEMPTATION is back and will continue their successful 2018 world tour this year and play on various festivals after already releasing the singles ‘Raise your Banner’, ‘The Reckoning’ and ‘Firelight’ with much success on streaming platforms. In our Interview, we talked with lead singer Sharon den Adel about the new album, future plans and what the band is up to in 2019.
Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: Hi Sharon, I hope you are having a happy new year so long? What is WITHIN TEMPTATION up to in 2019?
Sharon: A lot! Since our European tour is over, we will be on tour in North America fort the next months. Maybe there will also be a South America tour. Apart from that, we will play many festivals during 2019. But there are still so much opportunities and not everything is planned yet, there is still work!
RoD: How is the tour going so far? Tell me a little bit.
Sharon: The whole European tour was great! We played almost 40 shows by the end of 2018. It was amazing. The fans were very enthusiastic about the new music. I see this as a good sign for the upcoming release of our album.
RoD: Without ‘Resist’, there would be no WITHIN TEMPTATION anymore, you said. What do you mean by that?
Sharon: It was a long process to get to this album. At the beginning it was difficult to find a new direction. And for me, creating music at that time was also difficult because I personally wasn’t in the mental state to write.
RoD: What was the musical challenge for you during recording the new album ‘Resist’.
Sharon: Our tight schedule! We never had so little time between writing and recording. It was very hard to get it done in time. Normally we have to years for an album, now we had only one. But after a certain point we got in and it went faster.
RoD: The new album stands out through its science fiction aesthetics at first glance. Which concept underlies it? Is the album inspired by a certain book or film or such a thing? What is its message so far?
Sharon: No, it was not inspired by a book or any fictional story. On ‘Resist’ we have a more modern sound than on the albums before and we needed a visual field that fitted the music. That’s why we chose the SF-aesthetics. We were also inspired by the technologies of today, especially concerning social media and how it does damage to the world.
RoD: WITHIN TEMPTATION has always advanced and pushed further the musical boundaries from album to album. Every album is more bombastic than the last one. On ‘Resist’, did you also try something new concerning the arrangement that has never been there before? To me, there seem to be some electronic elements.
Sharon: Yes, there are some electronic elements. But what’s also different is, that there are more groovy sounds on the album than ever before. We were inspired by urban music during the time the album was written and combined this with our heavy guitars.
RoD: During the years WITHIN TEMPTATION developed from a fantasy-inspired gothic and symphonic sound and such aesthetics into the direction of a more urban and harder sound with elements of Power Metal and Pop. Fans have positively noticed that the new single, ‘Raise your Banner’, is uniting the “old” with the “new” WITHIN TEMPTATION. Is there any vision of the future sound of the band?
Sharon: That would be great, if we knew that already! But that’s a difficult thing. We never know where the whole thing is going to when we create music. All of this is a very organic change. You never know what kind of inspiration is there around that forms the sound when you write, what’s going on in the music industry and what surrounds you. So there isn’t any concept yet. It’s a process.
RoD: On ‘Raise your banner’ you are supported by Anders Fridén, the main vocalist of IN FLAMES. You said that WITHIN TEMPTATION and IN FLAMES are having the same musical roots. Could you explain that a little more?
Sharon: We both are heavy bands, that’s the biggest thing we share. And we came around at the same time. So our development is quite simultaneous.
RoD: You already sang/ worked together with many other artists not only from the Metal and Rock biz; there even was a collaboration with a rapper (Xzibit on ‘And we run’). Are there any duet partners you would like to collaborate with in the future and have not yet?
Sharon: This is not the criteria, on which I choose my duet partners. It all depends on the music, on what the song needs. We decide that on every album anew. It’s always about finding a voice that fits the sound, whether it is a male or a female one.
RoD: A couple of years ago, WITHIN TEMPTATION covered a couple of Pop songs for the Belgian radio station Q-music. Your solo project ‘My Indigo’ with its Indie Rock sound also differs a lot from the music WITHIN TEMPTATION is creating. Is there any other kind of music you can imagine to make? Is there a genre that tempts you and you would like to try anytime?
Sharon: Not really. I always write the music I feel at the moment, there are no specific genres I want to be into. In the past, the songs that didn’t work for WITHIN TEMPTATION I released as a part of my solo project ‘My Indigo’. Apart from that I don’t have enough time for more projects, my day has only 24 hours.
RoD: Are there any further plans for your solo project ‘My Indigo’? Are there any other projects to expect from you apart from WT?
Sharon: I am not sure yet. First of all, I need to find time. I would love to, because I do this project for myself but WITHIN TEMPTATION is my Number One priority.
RoD: ‘Raise your Banner’ is an ode to the brave that stand up against tyranny, suppression and discrimination, as you said. Are there topics you absolutely want to discuss in lyrics and are there any you would not want to write songs about?
Sharon: I always write what I feel. And you never know what the future brings. A couple of years ago I never thought I would make a duet with a rapper. On our new album ‘Resist’ the lyrics are more political than ever before. It’s about the danger of being controlled by modern technologies. There are countries in the world where you get more observed by the internet than in others, where it gets dangerous. But in general this development is a danger to everyone’s freedom. We are losing our democracy if this goes on. If you can’t be anonymous on the internet anymore and get observed, that’s very bad, and it goes way too far.
RoD: WT is creating epic concept albums for over 20 years in which a lot of effort is put into, concerning the music, the lyrics and the visual appearance alike. What do you think about the upcoming culture of streaming services and the way the reception of music has changed, respectively, how you perceive this development?
Sharon: Well, every ten years, something new comes up und you need time to get used to it. In all these years we have gotten to know so much new and always tried to adapt. If you want to exist, you have to adapt to. There are problems, like, there are songs that are copyright protected on the internet and others are not, but you can’t control everything.
RoD: At the end, is there anything you want to tell your fans?
Sharon: Since there are many shows and festivals where WITHIN TEMPTATION will play in 2019, we hope to see many of our fans there. Thanks for the Interview.
RoD: Thank you for answering the questions and much success with the upcoming tour, festivals and album.
Promo pics by Set Vexy