Delain are one busy band! The Dutch symphonic metal group has released five full-length albums, plus two EPs and a compilation album since forming roughly thirteen years ago, a prolific release schedule that you rarely see anymore from contemporary rock and metal group. Their latest release, February’s Hunter’s Moon EP (which you can stream/purchase here) features four new tracks, plus a collection of live songs and is particularly significant because it features the first release that includes Joey De Boer on drums and is the last with Merel Bechtold on guitar. Delain have been making the rounds in a major way on the touring circuit, currently hitting the significant European metal festivals before heading out on their own tour in September which will see the band out on the road with shows lined up all the way through March of 2020!
If you’re new to Delain, the group was formed by former Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt in 2002. After releasing a demo, the project was put on hold but Westerholt continued writing new music until in 2005 when he joined up with singer Charlotte Wessels. Several members have come on gone over the years but the two constants have been the one, two punch of Westerholt and Wessels. To get up to speed with where Delain is currently at, we hooked up with Westerholt last month at Download Festival to ask him about the band’s Download performance that had just occurred, their latest release Hunter’s Moon, and his previous Download experiences.
I’m joined now by Matijn from Delain. how are you doing today, sir?
Martijn Westerholt: I’m fine, how are you?
This is the fierce music video for “Masters of Destiny” off of Hunter’s Moon:
I’m good thank you for asking. Now, how has Download been for you?
Westerholt: Good, it’s been great. The vibe at Download is always special and of course the biggest metal festival in the UK and it’s important to us. It was a very important one for us so we’re very focused. Yeah, it’s good, I’ve just had dinner, we’re done playing and now we can drink a little bit and be happy.
Oh good. Now I did want to ask, shamefully, I did not get here in time to see your set, so I apologize, but how did the set go?
Westerholt: Pretty well, my experience with Download is that it is a very rainy festival, very wet and with a lot of mud but it was not raining when we were playing so I was quite surprised by that and we had a field full of people and the set went fine and it’s the first festival for us of the season so it was a little hard work to get everything productionally done well, but yeah I’m happy.
Your latest album, Hunter’s Moon was released earlier this year. I’ve listened to it and I think it’s phenomenal, but how do you feel it’s been received by other people?
Westerholt: Really good. Some people think it’s an album, which it’s not, some people say “hey, I’m disappointed that this album is not very extensive” but it’s not really an album so it’s kind of a compliment in a way, but our next album is going to be released at the end of this year, or the beginning of next year so in general it’s been received as an album almost so I’m really happy, yeah absolutely.
So, you’ve just said that you’ve got more material coming. Is there anything you can tell us about it? Do you have a title? What sort of songs are we going to be hearing?
Westerholt: Well we don’t have a title yet but we have about nine songs ready though, but we still need to pick the title and it’s going to be what people are used to from us, a lot of orchestral stuff, some synth influences. Charlotte is stepping it up with vocals and production wise with guitars, we want to keep it heavy with a lot of diversity. I think it’s going to be the best record we’ve made so far; I have a really, really good feeling about it.
Hunter’s Moon, dropped on February 22nd, 2019, via Napalm Records:
Cool, I’m looking forward to that. Now, going back to Download, you’ve played, and you’ve finished all this press, will you be going to see any bands today, or is there anyone you want to see?
Westerholt: No, no there’s really no time. It’s just play, doing interviews and that’s about it. I’ve checked out the poster and I’d love to see Tool, Hailstorm, I’d really quite like to see Opeth, but I think they are busy right now I fear, so I’m gonna miss that. There will be more opportunities this summer so I’m very happy.
So, you’re leaving today, where are you off to next?
Westerholt: Next, we’re at Graspop (in Dessel, Belgium) and then we go back to doing album recordings when we get home. So, it’s Graspop in Belgium, then after that, we’re doing Finland, then Czech Republic, Monsters of Rock and Spain I think is in there, so we do album production during the week and festivals during the weekend so it’s pretty busy.
At least you’re keeping yourself busy. Now, the last thing I want to ask, is considering the weather, how do you think it’s been for us all?
Westerholt: Very British. So, I think I expected this, and I think the English are cool because they keep coming anyway and I really admire that. I think I’m a princess when it comes to that so I will usually be at home, but the English people are nuts, so I have a lot of respect for that.
So, you have actually played Download before haven’t you?
Don’t look away or you’ll get a “Suckerpunch” from Delain’s Lunar Prelude EP:
What was the weather like last time?
Westerholt: It was exactly the same.
What year was that?
Oh, I remember that one! That one was horrible, you know what, last year was good, it was a shame you didn’t play last year, it was absolutely spectacular. So, one final question, apart from the new album, is there anything extra on the horizon for Delain? Are you guys going to be doing anything else?
Westerholt: Well, we all have our personal projects as well which we will pick up when we are done with the album, but when we’re done with the album we will be doing a lot of touring, we will be coming back to the UK in February if I’m correct which was just announced today and I think we will have to do Download again, but with good weather so perhaps that’s on the horizon.
Amazing. Thank you so much for talking to us today, I’m glad the set went well and try to enjoy as much as you can.
Westerholt: Absolutely, thanks.