Interview with Coen Janssen: everybody gets from Epica what one wants

  • 06/06/2016 - 08:30 Read: 3897  Rate this item
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Many of us got used to interviews with the leaders of the band, thus forgetting that it’s the team work with unique contribution of each participant that results in the music we adore. And of course each musician has things to tell. So right before the recent show in Minsk Epica’s keyboard player and a sweet guy Coen Janssen agreed to give an interview to MH. Enjoy!
MH: You play in Belarus for the second time and I don’t know guys what you’ve seen, but you have a picture of Belarus in mind I guess, don’t you?

-         Not really. In Dutch name we say “White Russia”, so we think it’s Russia, I don’t know if you are… But I like your flag (laughs).

MH: And what would you tell to your friend who has never visited our country about it?

-         The weather is really nice, we had a nice day yesterday. I know that Mark went out to see some stuff in the city and I’ve been in the hotel and did some work. He said it was really beautiful and we’ve had a nice church in front of the hotel. It really looks different than in Holland.

MH: OK. As musicians you travel much thus having lots of stress. How do you cope with it while touring? Don’t you have a problem of distinguishing one place from another?

-         Well, the venues are all the same and the hotel rooms and airports are all the same, it’s boring… But countries are totally different. This looks a little bit like Baltic States or Russia, you know… There’s not so much stress going on actually for me because I have way more stress at home with two little children (laughs) and here I can relax.

MH: Yeah, it’s nice to have a rest sometimes.

-         Yes.

MH: Soon we have an open air festival here, would you like to take part in smth. like this in future?

-         Sure!

MH: And what do you like more: playing in a club or at the festival?

-         The festival season has started again, so now I’m really looking forward to playing festivals. But you know when you’re playing festivals all the time you long for being in the club again. Now I want to get outside and play the festivals. But we are not going to do that many festivals this year because we’re in for the next year when our new album is out.

MH: Good you’ve mentioned the new album! It’s called the “Holographic Principle” and will be released on September 30th. Unfortunately we won’t hear anything of it today I guess…

-         No, not yet.

MH: What about a small present to Belarusian fans and revealing some secrets about it?

-    Some secrets? Well, the album cover and the title were a big secret, which leaked of course… There aren’t many secrets I can tell. We had a lot of fun recording it and we’ve just finished. It’s actually still being mixed a little bit, so the final version is not really complete. But the sound is really big and we have only real instruments on it now. No samples, real brass, real woods, real strings, real percussions… You can really hear the difference, it’s so alive. I’m really curious what the fans will think about it. We love it!

MH: Sounds amazing! I’m looking forward to it!

-         Me too!

MH: How long did it take to prepare the material?

-         We’ve been working on it for about a year now and we started recording on Christmas. So we’ve been in the studio for five months, it’s the longest time we’ve been in the studio ever. But you know there was a lot of work to do and I think you can hear that in the end. But you have to wait few more months.

MH: It has been said that the newest album contains more Epica than ever before. What does it mean?

-         Well, everybody gets from Epica what one wants: if you like heavy music we can offer it. We have quiet, atmospheric, soundtrack parts… This time I think all the elements that are Epica worked out better. So I think we took a step up and that’s what you can expect. If you like our music for whatever reason you can buy it without even asking yourself. You’re not going to be disappointed.

MH: I see. Nowadays Epica is a well-known brand. Being a Dutch band it involves lots of people into Dutch culture or even learning Dutch. Is it possible to hear some songs in Dutch from you in future?

-         No, because we as Dutch people don’t really like to hear music in Dutch language. Of course we have the Dutch singers with terrible music, but most of the pop music and things that are huge In Holland are in English.

MH: I’ve recently heard the band called De Dijk and they sound pretty decent…

-         Yeah, we have a few exceptions and there are some good Dutch bands of course, De Dijk is one of them. But I don’t think it would really fit the metal style… But how is it here in Belarus?

MH: Yeah we have bands that sing in Belarusian, some mix it with Russian. But many choose English since it’s international and everyone wants to be famous.

-          Yes, we do the same. Holland is such a small country and except for it and Belgium no one speaks Dutch…

MH: And when you compose a song do you keep in mind how it will sound live or postpone that question for the time of playing live comes?

-         Well, I think you compose what you want to hear. In some cases it’s a good live song and in some cases it’s just a good song to listen to that may be would not work that well live. But for the new album I wanted to create some atmosphere and particular direction.

MH: As we know Simone has a blog SMoon Style where she shares secrets of marvellous looks. And what about you guys, do you have some secrets of looking good on stage?

-         No. Just keep smiling and drinking beer (laughs).



Interviewed: Gella Inspired
Photo: Epica official website




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