Delain's Charlotte Wessels: The 10 Records That Changed My Life

Charlotte Wessels

Delain have been making ever-growing waves since their debut album Lucidity in 2006, going on to release five full-lengths, a couple of EPs and a live album in the past 12 years. No rest for the wicked, eh? But what do the Dutch metallers listen to when not blasting out vast symphonies? We caught up with vocalist Charlotte Wessels to dissect her record collection and find out!

The first album I bought was…

Natalie Imbruglia – Left Of The Middle (RCA, 1997)

“It’s not one to be proud of! Torn was such a big hit and I really liked it, so I bought it with my money for my good grades. Some time ago, I listened to the rest of the record and there are some good songs on there. As far as sugary pop records go, it has some real emotional content.”

The best album artwork is…

Kate Bush – Never For Ever (EMI, 1980)

“It’s on display in my living room – it’s amazing. For a lot of people, that must have been quite a shocking cover. The music on it was phenomenal as well, but the cover is not at all conventional.”

A kid asks me what metal is, I hand them a copy of…

Black Sabbath – Paranoid (Vertigo, 1970)

“My parents used to listen to great music – Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and so on. I liked that it was dark, the real definition of dark, and you can tell it’s music that appeals to a lot of people because of that. Of course, Ozzy is an icon.”

The most underrated album is…

Hole – Live Through This (Slang, 1994)

“I started listening to Nirvana after Kurt Cobain died, and coming from this Kurt Cobain fandom, Courtney Love isn’t the first person you turn to. There are some really strong, catchy songs on that record. I don’t know why I’ve heard so many bad things about it. I think it’s pretty good!”

The album that reminds me of school is…

Korn – Follow The Leader (Epic, 1998)

“Nu metal shaped me a lot in those days. When we went to a bar after school on Fridays, those songs got the party going. If you look at the video for Freak On A Leash now, it’s very different. It would still stand out if it was released today.”

The album I wish I’d made is…

Florence And The Machine – Ceremonials (Island, 2011)

“If you put some heavy guitars in there, it’d be very close to my ultimate album. When I saw them live, they had two drum kits on stage and it was very heavy. It’s very dramatic and over-the-top, but that’s what I like about metal, too.”

No one will believe I own a copy of…

Sergei Rachmaninov – Rachmaninov Plays Rachmaninov (Gold Seal, 1979)

“It’s a lot harder to find a song you’re looking for with classical music. I once went through the entire classical section of a CD store and when I found the right track, I started crying! With lyrics, you can leave a lot to interpretation, but with classical music, you can point emotions in any direction, and that’s powerful.”

The album that inspires me the most is…

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – Murder Ballads (Mute, 1996)

“I get really inspired by his storytelling way of writing lyrics. He combines fairly simple folk-sounding song structures with really gruesome stories, which all evokes so much emotion. I saw him 10 years ago and then again last year, and nothing really changes! He’s incredible.”

The album I want to be remembered for is…

Delain – We Are The Others (Roadrunner, 2012)

“We struggled to get it out there, so that made me all the more proud when we finally did. I love the movement it created; we get letters from people saying that this record helped them. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined that a song of mine could mean that much to people. It feels like our biggest accomplishment.”

The album I want played at my funeral is…

Radiohead – Amnesiac (Parlophone, 2001)

“Radiohead have always been my favourite band. Pyramid Song would be a good funeral song. I do like Exit Music (For A Film) from OK Computer but I’ve actually heard it at a funeral and people are very shocked by the line ‘We hope that you choke’! At that point, you’ve already gone, so it’s not really your party anymore!”

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