Interview – Within Temptation
Lena: Hey Sharon! A face-to-face interview would be nice right now, but we got used to doing a lot of things online due to „social distancing“. How are you?
Sharon: I’m very fine, thank you. Alive and kicking!
Lena: Right at the beginning I would like to talk about your new album, it is still in the making. Every of your albums is a step to something new. What was the biggest „invention“ for this upcoming album?
Sharon: First of all, there’s no album yet: there’s just one song at this point. ‘Entertain You’ has something from the RESIST album but is also a step forward towards a different sound, both lyrically and sound wise. It still has the RESIST vibe, but sound- and lyric wise it’s a little more direct.
Lena: It is great that Within Temptation has already released the single „Entertain you“ – the first song on your own label. What is the background of this song?
Sharon: For us the song is about the lack of respect in our society for each other. The lack of respect especially towards certain groups in society that always gets picked on because people are maybe gay, transgender, have a different religion or none, different skin color or whatever stupid reason they get picked on. It’s a lack of education on the matter in our schools.
It’s about the people who are running this world, some of them who turn out to be utterly incompetent and this didn’t happen in just one country. In times like these when we need to work together because it seems that Walt Disney was right, it’s a small world after all, and we’re now throwing mud at each other and to journalists, calling it fake news when they ask the questions needed, other countries that seem to be making fake news to undermine our democracy: all together it’s creating an “us against them” mentality. The elected should be our beacon of light – an example how to act during this pandemic.
Lena: Especially your first albums (e.g. „Mother Earth“) are partly inspired by historical events. More actual than ever it is that current events and happenings are reflected in art. To what extent will you take up the „Corona Crisis“ and the current world events and changes in society in upcoming songs?
Sharon: Well, corona won’t be in there, because I’m so done with corona and everything that’s associated with it haha, but other world events are going to be a huge inspiration for the rest of the album. A lot of things are happening in this world right now, so enough to to write about.
Lena: In contrast to that, maybe right now we prefer the „escape“ to other worlds, not having the mirror held up to us. If you now refer to the title „Entertain You“. Do you sometimes just want to entertain? Do you want people to have fun, dream and forget reality?
Sharon: for many years we were inspired by old historical events: William Wallace, 2nd World War et cetera – past historical moments and people. Because these topics were so epic, it made it easier for people to suck into this fantasy vibe that the band also has, besides the fact that we were actual historical inspiration. Nowadays and on the last album, the songs are more about the reality of life around us. We don’t have the intention to change people’s mind: we just want to process our own emotions about what’s happening in this world through our songs. We don’t want to lecture people, but relieve our emotions – although we think that most of the current issues are important to address.
Lena: And how do you manage the balance between „taking you to a faraway world“ and sensitizing and awakening people to a topic? Is it possible to combine both in one album, or is there a focus in every album?
Sharon: Actually, all we want to do is is make music. Wee don’t want to lecture anyone, but if people ask us what the lyrics are about, we are always open about it and tell it in interviews.
Lena: Especially in the current situation the social media, which sometimes have become too much for us, have become more important again. If you follow people on Instagram private: What kind of people or areas of interest are they?
Sharon: All kinds: I follow from different bands to art to fashion. It could be all kind of stuff!
Lena: Your „Worlds Collide Tour“ with Evanescence we all are so excited about had to be postponed. That`s a pity. Does the unwanted „time-out“ make you appreciate concerts, tours, dates more again? Are you more thankful for all that again?
Sharon: Well, you realize how much you love being on stage. Besides that I don’t mind the extra time at home of course, I’ve aways known that I need both the live concerts and the home time: balance between my personal life and the band has always been important.
Lena: You once said „There is only growth coming from change“. Sometimes you are forced to your luck. Have there been private reflections on old hobbies or new passions in the last weeks and months?
Sharon: My new passion is making playlists to work out to! I’ve made playlists before but during the lockdown that’s become a new passion, and because of it I found a lot of new bands that will inspire me in any way!
Lena: And in what way did you and the band profit from social distancing?
Sharon: We didn’t, except for spending more time with my family.
Lena: It’s great that you design your stage outfits yourself. Do you sometimes go to fashion shows and which designer is your inspiration?
Sharon: well, I work with other designers and I never make my clothes myself. I work with a Dutch designer called Jan Boelo – that I really adore. And one of my favorite designers, an international star, is Alexander McQueen.
Lena: Unfortunately, these face masks have become an integral part of everyday life. What is your favorite: self-made or bought
Sharon: Always self-made!
Lena: Are you more of a summer or winter person?
Sharon: a Summer person.
Lena: Is there a ritual that you perform as a band before every gig?
Sharon: We give a crazy handshakes in a very specific order.
Lena: And for me always the most interesting question: What is your absolute „must have“ on every tour?
Sharon: White wine, ginger and pink M&M’s haha ;-).
Lena: Dear Sharon, I thank you for your time and I am looking forward to the next concert of your tour that I can experience live.
Sharon: thank you for the interview!
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