INTERVIEW: EPICA

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Ever since Epica emerged on the scene at the end of 2002, the band has been living in a whirlwind of studio recordings, interviews, screaming fans, live performances and a rock ‘n roll lifestyle. On the eve of their 10th anniversary show, we sat down with Mark Jansen to talk ‘Retrospect’, MaYaN and preparing to tour Australia.

By Julia Lay

You will be live streaming your 10th anniversary show “Retrospect” on the 23rd of March, can you tell us a little more about that?
It’s our biggest show to date. With a big orchestra and choir plus many guests and extra’s like pyro and fireworks.

It sounds like a large scale event, how much planning was involved?
One year upfront we started planning this event. Especially Coen and Isaac worked their asses off. But also our crew and manager spent many hours of their spare time working on this project. Of course the remaining band members had quite some tasks as well.

Have you got any plans to release a live DVD?
We’d love to, but first we’d like to see the outcome of the images before deciding if we release it on dvd.

You are also in MaYaN, is it difficult to balance your duties between the bands?
It’s difficult but not impossible. Epica is priority and when there’s time left MaYaN steps in. I love touring and writing music so it’s a great thing to have two bands and be able to do what you love also.

Epica will be doing 4 shows in Australia, what are you looking forward to doing the most during your spare time here?
I look forward to see the country for the first time and I have quite a few friends in Australia who want to show me around.

You have 5 albums to choose songs from now, will you play more songs from “Requiem for the Indifferent” or spread it out between all the albums during your debut tour here?
We will play songs from all our albums. A best of set so to say. I think that’s most interesting for our fans.

You usually have VIP meet and greets at your shows available. Do you get any strange or memorable gifts from fans?
Dolls with big strange penises for example in Chile [laughs]

Do you have a favourite song to play from “Requiem for the Indifferent”?
My favourite to play is Serenade of Self-Destruction but also Storm the Sorrow.

You tour a lot and have played at a lot of festivals. Do you get time to see other bands play and who are your favourites to catch?
Yes we love to check out other bands as well. I personally like to see Opeth live. But also Symphony X, Kamelot and Nightwish are bands I enjoy to see live.

I hear you have plans to release another album in 2014. Has the writing process commenced on that?
Yes we have written already quite a few songs. But after Retrospect we’ll finally have some time to work them out.

Your inspiration to write seems to come from the news and real life events. Will the next album have songs with similar topics to your other albums?
We don’t know yet what the topics will be, but for sure they won’t deal about dragons, knights and swords!

If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it be?
Slash, I was a big fan of him when I was a kid.

What are your plans for the rest of 2013?
Play Australia, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Mexico and some summer festivals in europe. After that we want to record the next album.

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Many thanks to Mark for taking the time to chat to us. You can check out Epica’s upcoming tour dates at: http://www.epica.nl

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