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Within Temptation’s Sharon Den Adel

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Photo by Paul Harries Photo by Paul Harries

With over three million CD and DVD sales, thirty Gold and Platinum Awards and a bevy of international music awards, Within Temptation has awed fans around the globe.

At the front of this brilliant ensemble of musical genius stands Sharon Den Adel, an icon of exquisite gothic power. I was blessed with the opportunity to speak with Sharon recently and ask her a few questions about her amazing music career, as well as Within Temptation’s recent release Hydra.

With such an expansive music career, what do you think is the key your longevity and success?
The organic flow of the music in general. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t but we have to change and evolve. We stand for change without losing our identity. Plus there is the fact we didn’t go sky-high with our first album. We grew gradually from country to country and that allowed us grow and evolve over time. We have been around for a really long time and I think people are used to the fact that we change with each album.

What different approach did you take with the creation of Hydra and what has been the response?
With our new album we changed the way we wrote the album and strove for more up-tempo songs. At first there was a lot of bashing going on when we even mentioned it. People can be very traditional in their thinking and don’t want change. And people in the media were like “Oh, What are you doing? Rap? I don’t know about this…” But I met the same people months later and they would say, “I didn’t like it at first, but now everyone at the magazine is playing it all of the time. It’s now my favorite song!” Some people will never like a song and that’s okay. Music is personal.

Do you think that your exploration into the multimedia cross-platform of comic books and movies, etc. has brought you a new segment of audience at all?
Not exactly, no. Just because we are comfortable with it doesn’t always mean that our audience will be also. Really, it is America that is into comics more than anyone else around the world. But, things don’t always work out the way you plan them, but it really worked for the album because it was based on a comic and it was a good concept. People really enjoyed the album, but they weren’t that much into the comic aspect of it. They also really enjoyed the movie.

Do you think you’ll ever experiment with something like that again where you bring in artists and writers and filmmakers?
Yeah of course! Why not? Because I think you have many different ways of doing it asides from the way we did it this time. Perhaps next time we will do it as a real comic type film instead of a book because people today are more visual. They want to see things rather than hold an actual paperback book in their hands. They’re from a different generation. That was my generation. We have a very big perspective and a very wide audience with ages from 13 to 67 with our main audience being 18 to 45. But, yeah, I think that people will always be into that kind of thing—people will always want something tangible that they can hold in their hands.

Since your experimentation with multimedia do you feel that the new advancements in technology and social media are affecting the choices you make as a band and the direction of your music and your tours?
I’m addicted to Twitter—I’m the one behind our Twitter mostly. And a lot of things that I tweet about are also being put on Facebook, as well. Facebook is something we do all together. But, I think it keeps you in touch with the world and your fans better and on a daily basis. It’s the future and it will continue to be even more so moving forward.

You have said that your album Mother Earth was the album you felt really allowed Within Temptation to really break into the mainstream. What was it about that particular album that opened that door for you and how do you feel it differs from your new release Hydra?
There weren’t a lot of bands at that time doing what we were doing. It was a very different and refreshing album. It actually took a long time for it to become a success, actually. It was released at the beginning of 2001 and much of the mainstream felt it was a bit too strange still. But in Holland, Belgium and Germany, they were really ecstatically liking it. We were still a very new band with only one other album released before that. But Mother Earth allowed us to start playing bigger venues in no time. We then released our first video, which became available for selection where people could call in and for a dollar or something people could request that the video be played within a few minutes. But as for what fans of Mother Earth can expect with our new album is, as I mentioned, a very catchy up-tempo high-energy album. Our fans have come to expect something different with each new release and I think they’ll be very happy with the outcome of this one.

As we wrap things up, is there anything in particular you would like our readers and your fans to know about the new album and tour?
The Hydra tour kicks off on February 20th in Eindhoven, which is a sold out show! We have dates throughout Europe until May. All of the dates are listed on our website (www.within-temptation.com/ontour). We hope you enjoy the new album!
[Editor's note: North American Tour dates this fall!]


Featured writer

Jessika Hulse

Jessika has long prized music for its ability to express, enrapture, and entertain. Her childhood fascination with the grim and fanciful has manifested in a host of interests and hobbies - nearly all of which are accompanied by a soundtrack. She is an avid collector of antiques, curiosities, and of course, all things musical.

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sharon den adel, hydra tour, hydra album, within temptation