Epica’s Issac Delahaye Interviewed.

Planetmosh managed to catch Issac just before the band kicks off on tour again to promote the latest album ‘Requiem For The Indifferent’. And we get exclusive news on a forthcoming U.K. tour!

First of all, thank you for taking time out to talk with us during what is a very busy period for the band. You’re just about to start the European leg of the current world tour, how have the fans reacted to the new material so far?
Isaac: Tomorrow we’re leaving for our first tour of the new album ‘Requiem for the Indifferent’, so it’s exciting times for us indeed! The reactions are absolutely great for the album; we only hear positive things. I guess we made a very diverse album which is interesting for every type of metalhead, because this time we also get good reactions from journalists who usually didn’t like our genre in the past. Concerning the tour everything is going according to plan. Some venues are already sold out, others are well on their way. So I assume fans love the new stuff. Can’t wait to rock out again!

You’ve had to adjust slightly with Yves decision to pursue a different path, was new bassist Rob Van Der Loo the ideal replacement considering you all know him really well?
Isaac: Most of the Epica camp knew Rob already from MaYaN, and as he’s one of the best bass players out there and a very nice guy, it was a pretty obvious choice indeed. The couple of shows we’ve already done with him prove that we made the right choice. He blends in perfectly, as if he’s been playing this stuff for ages already.

The new album has been getting excellent reviews from all corners of the globe, how do you feel it differs from previous Epica releases?
Isaac: For ‘Requiem for the Indifferent’ we slightly changed the way of songwriting, as we implemented the vocal lines much earlier in the process. In the past vocals were mostly only added after the song was written. This time we added vocal melodies already after the initial ideas of a song, so we could build everything around it, giving Simone much more space and making her voice the most important thing. Other than that, we just worked our asses off for this album, spending time on every single little detail. It was a very stressful period, but as long as the result is there, I’m happy.

I understand that Simone was involved at an earlier stage of the writing process this time, was that the intention from the outset?
Isaac: It kinda evolved pretty naturally. We’re pretty much touring all the time, so we were exchanging ideas for songs, and Simone already started adding vocal lines from the start. Then we went to the studio with Sascha Paeth to do some preproduction, and also there the main thing was to get the vocals right. And actually it’s a pretty logical thing: without a catchy vocal line, you can add as much stuff as you want, but the song itself won’t get better.

Your lyrics nearly always carry a strong social comment, be it about mankind or the natural world. Has that always been an important part of your writing?
Isaac: This is just stuff which interests us. We’re not trying to have a perfect world, with love, happiness and all that because that would be boring, not to say impossible. You need balance in life: good and bad, black and white, etc. We just point out things where this balance seems completely gone. That mostly has to do with a certain kind of extremism: political, religiously, human greed, etc. Referring to the album title we just wanna say that whenever we would all stay indifferent for these things, nothing would ever change. In that way the message isn’t much different from ‘Design Your Universe’, where we point out that if you really want to achieve something in life, you just need to go for it, create it, design your own world, live your dreams.

Going back to the current tour, I notice we don’t get to see you in the U.K. this time, are there any plans to come over in the near future?
Isaac: Yes! With the last world tour we had a separate UK tour, and we want to do that again. It would have been easy to have a London date for the upcoming tour, but then you neglect quite a big part of your country. So we decided to come back later this year and play more cities there. So keep your eyes open, we’ll be back!

You’ve also added a V.I.P. upgrade to some of the forthcoming shows, what extras do the fans get with this?
Isaac: In the past we always had a worldwide official fanclub. But with all the social media it’s getting impossible to have exclusive news & pictures for the fan magazine. Therefore we decided to stop the fanclub and start the VIP upgrade. You pay a little more, but then you meet the band, you get some goodies, early access to the venue and the merch booth, signatures, a tour poster. It’s a good way to keep contact with fans personally.

You’ve always come across as an excellent live band, do you find it easier to express yourselves onstage rather than in the studio?
Isaac: Personally I prefer being on stage than being in a studio. The actual performance is so much fun: interaction with fans and within the band, trying to play as good as possible without losing the live feel. We also invested a lot of money for the new production. Extra light, stage risers, backdrops, stage decoration and little details here and there. It’s much more than just going on stage and play, and that’s what keeps it an interesting business.

I guess touring will take up most if not all of 2012 but what future plans do the band have after that?
Isaac: We’re basically touring nonstop, so that’s what we’ll do until we record our next album. In December Epica exists for 10 years, so we’re planning something to celebrate that.

Are there any ideas floating around for new material yet?
Isaac: Sure! We always write music in between tours, and then at a certain time we put all of this on a big pile and decide which songs we will use for a new album. After that we start working on it as a band. But for now we’re still in the process of collecting ideas individually. So let’s first travel the world and play the new stuff!

Finally, the band will soon celebrate its 10th anniversary, looking back you must be really proud at what you’ve achieved, how would you sum up the first 10 years of Epica?
Isaac: I’m not a founding member, but I know the guys and girl since the early days. It was really cool to see the band grew so fast and steadily and it seems like this is still happening. We’ve had some lineup changes through the years, but it always changed for the better, so we’re all ready for another 10 years!

Many thanks for speaking to us here at Planetmosh and best wishes for the remainder of the tour. Simon Bower.
Isaac: Thanks! The pleasure is all mine. Take care.

Epica’s latest release ‘Requiem For The Indifferent’ is out now via Nuclear Blast.



About Simon Bower

Rock/Metal junkie living in beautiful Anglesey.Love live music and have a musical taste which can go from Cannibal Corpse to Kate Bush in the blink of an eye.