Interviewed by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
Charlotte: Hey, this is Charlotte, good to talk to you.
Myglobalmind: Good evening Charlotte, I finally managed to get in contact with you [after initial phone problems], guess I will just have to speak quickly?
Charlotte: Yes, I guess so, and if we don’t have time for all your questions then maybe we could reschedule for the rest. Let’s see what we can do with these anyway.
Myglobalmind: I understand that the band is currently in the studio, is that recording the next album?
Charlotte: No, we actually meet in the studio every Tuesday and Thursday evening usually to work on material for the next record. This is something that we do almost all of the time; we just meet and work on music. Now we have started writing and are working like crazy for our next record.
Myglobalmind: It’s been a busy time for the band; you have recently signed to a new label — Napalm Records. I’ve read that you have also broken your arm while out doing that label signing?
Charlotte: Yes I did, we were very happy to seal the deal with Napalm Records and we went to celebrate, by getting to know each other. Their headquarters is in an Austrian country with some slopes there. We thought we would do some winter sports and then I broke my arm. Right away they made fun of me because of how bad Dutch people are at winter sports because they are Austrian. So yeah, I was a good joke. [laughs]
Myglobalmind: Interlude, Delain’s next release, is due out shortly, what was the idea
behind that release? It is a mix of new, covers, different song versions and some live tracks?
Charlotte: Basically, we have selected a lot of songs over the years and we thought that we will release them on the next album or the next single. At one point we put all the tracks together and we figured that
we have got enough material to have an album. Actually all this material, we considered too cool to be considered B side material. We thought that it deserved a record of its own. We reworked and remixed everything and Interlude is the result.”
Myglobalmind: Was that to ensure that the band’s name remained in the public eye until the next album, or a record company obligation?
Charlotte: Yeah, we thought that we had all this cool material now, so if we release it on a special disc it will be like a very cool record for fans to have. It may also be a nice introduction for new fans. In the
meantime we can work on a new record, and the wait for the next record will not be so long as the wait for We are the Others when we had April Rain released.
Myglobalmind: There are a couple of new tracks on Interlude can you please tell me about those?
Charlotte: There is Collars and Suits and Breathe on Me; they are both new tracks and really fun tracks. Collars and Suits is kind of about the label trouble that we have been through. We worked with a lot of great people but at one point we just got a bit frustrated and this song is the result of that. I don’t want to lash out at anybody because everyone was working with their best intentions. It was just a very unwanted situation. Then Breathe on me is like a more light hearted kind of, flirtatious kind of track. It’s actually about my star crush [laughs] on Nick Cave who I am a huge fan of.
Myglobalmind: I have heard just snippets of the tracks from the tasters that the record label has issued. Regarding the cover songs featured on Interlude, some have been previously released. Are there any new cover songs on there?
Charlotte: Yes the covers are Small Town Boy, Such a Shame which is a cover from Talk Talk, and the other one is Cordell which is a cover by the Cranberries. ”
Myglobalmind: There are a couple of UK bands in there, was the UK a major musical
influence on you personally?
Charlotte: It’s a big coincidence but actually yes I do listen to a lot of UK bands. My favorite band is Radiohead, and it is a subconscious thing, but yes, I guess that they are an influence.
Myglobalmind: Who picked the Cranberries selection then?
Charlotte: I think that may have been picked long ago, it was one that we had already played a lot live. I think Ronald our previous guitar player was the one to say that we should play this song live. When we played it live, a lot of people said that we should make a studio recording. That is exactly what we have done.
Myglobalmind: There is also a DVD as part of the package, what can fans expect to
find on that? Is it a mix of both live and studio footage?
Charlotte: It is live footage, at Metal Female Voices [the tenth edition]; there are also a lot of videos from our career. There is a lot of backstage material, special features and stuff that we filmed along the way. My favorite is probably a special performance at 77 Thousand Tons of Metal [a metal cruise], which we went on in January and was awesome.
Myglobalmind: You are known for your unique and different stage outfits, are they self-designed, or designed for you? If so do you have a creative input into those?
Charlotte: Either I buy them, or we have had certain outfits designed for us. We talk to a designer and give them the things that we want. Sometimes we have a stylist for photo shoots and stuff. The stage outfits though are just our own work. I never knew that we were known for that.
Myglobalmind: Apparently so according to my background research.
Charlotte: Oh, well that is kind of cool. [laughing] Okay.
Myglobalmind: Following on from that on the artistic side of things, the cover of Interlude has been designed by the same person that did the sleeve for We are the Others. Was this a development of a particular theme or concept? Or did the band just like the artist?
Charlotte: Actually it was the latter, as I had been a fan of the artist Glen Arthur forever. I was so, so happy when we got him to do the cover for We are the Others, we really liked that cover and got a really
good response to it. We hoped that we could continue the style of it; he wanted to do it again so, yeah! It’s only a continuation in that it’s the same artist!
Myglobalmind: In view of the bands previous work We are the Others seems to
signify for me a change in musical direction for the band? Was that a conscious decision that the band made or just a natural progression?
Charlotte: I think it is a bit of both. We did make the conscious choice of working with a couple of external producers for the first time. Some external writers also, once we had written the material to just see what we could adjust and maybe improve. I think that was a very conscious choice to try something that we hadn’t tried before. As for the music itself and the things that we wrote I think that was still natural as it comes to us when we write. That itself is influenced by a lot of things and things from our career, like the fact that we have been playing a lot live. It influences you on the level that you want to write songs that work well live. For example we didn’t have one ballad on the last record and I think it was because we were in this constant life of living fast. The music then became faster as well. It does get influenced by a lot of things. We never really thought that OK now we have got to change our style-and I don’t think that we really did actually.
Myglobalmind: Just checking our time as I’m aware that you have another interview
scheduled. I don’t want to overrun?
Charlotte: The next one is scheduled on Skype, which I have open on my computer. We can continue to speak, so once he calls I will be, “Oh, goodbye.”
Myglobalmind: On the last album you highlighted the Sophie Lancaster case on a song. Are social issues and projects something that the band is very proactive in generally?
Charlotte: Not generally, but I am currently studying Social Studies which is occupying my mind a lot, so I cannot help but take that into lyrics. It’s a much more personal thing. We are a band and we are about
music, not specifically about politics. I do think that everything you put out there says something, does something, and may influence people, even if it is just the way that they see you as a band. If we are going to say something, then I will say something that is close to my heart.”
Myglobalmind: You have made several guest appearances over the years on different things, e.g. Daymar, [Charlotte laughs and corrects my pronunciation], Elysium, Serenity, and Nemesea. Is that something that you feel offers you something different from Delain? A fresh creative challenge maybe?
Charlotte: Basically I just like doing music and there is something cool about doing music for somebody else’s records. You can contribute to something cool which isn’t another release weighing on your shoulders. [Laughs] I basically like doing guest appearances here and there if I like the music or if I like the people. I don’t just do anything but when it comes to music I always like a challenge. This year I have made the music for a new Dutch TV series called Queer Amsterdam, which has just premiered. That was another whole new challenge and I did some completely different things, and it was interesting. I think you should keep on learning now and then doing some different things.”
Myglobalmind: There are elements of different musical styles, e.g. jazz, though going back to your early musical experiences. It wasn’t just a rock influence?
Charlotte: With the jazz thing, it wasn’t really that I just liked jazz. It was more that where I come from the music education was a bit old fashioned. Everything that was not classical music they called “jazz”. That was the background to your information, which is actually correct. I did jazz lessons, but in their language everything that is not classical music is called jazz. I do like several music styles and have a very broad music taste. I am like a rock girl in my heart but if something cool comes along in a different music style
then I just don’t say “no” because it is different. It can touch me on other levels.
Myglobalmind: Leading on then from what you are saying, have you any plans to make a
solo record or explore different musical styles and genres?
Charlotte: Not a solo album, I don’t really like the words “solo album” as it implies that you don’t like to work with other people. As I mentioned I like to do different stuff but I never do it on my own. I don’t play or record an instrument good enough to do anything on my own. I always work with people. I love working with people and I like working with different people. For example that thing for the TV series
I am seeing whether I can publish that in some way. Some nice songs came from that, so maybe. Who knows? I am sorry I have got to hang up the other guy is calling [the next interview]. We will talk later, ok? Thanks.”
Myglobalmind: Thank you very much for chatting to Myglobalmind.
Charlotte: Thank you, bye.
Due to the limited and short time of the first part of the interview due partly because of a busy interview schedule, Charlotte was kind enough to setup a second part to chat with us even more. What a doll!!! Thanks Charlotte
Exclusive Interview with Charlotte Wessels (Vocals)(Delain) Part II by Myglobalmind Webzine on Mixcloud