Within Temptation’s Sharon den Adel: “There are more better days than bad days”

(Image credit: Press)

It’s been a big couple of years for Dutch megaweights Within Temptation, but with their planned tour with Evanescence getting nudged back, we thought we’d help Sharon den Adel pass the time by fielding some of your questions. Who knew Shazza had such a problem with ducks?!

How are you doing now after your hard patch where you made the solo album? Tammy Black (Facebook)

“That’s sweet. Really, it’s a process. It’s been two years now [Sharon’s father passed away in 2018] since that period was going on. Of course, something doesn’t really end but the sharp edges get off. The music really helped me, and also being on tour again for Resist really helped – it was a very positive tour for me. So, it’s getting better, but it’s like, wounds heal, but they heal slowly. But there are more better days than bad days, that’s the good thing.”

Do you see a time in the future where you’ll release a compilation album of rare/unreleased material from your back catalogue? @jaimcferran (Twitter)

“Not really. Maybe b-sides; there were a few jams which were pretty good, actually, looking back on it. Maybe if we made a new arrangement on [the songs] or something we could try. But a lot of things that didn’t make it to b-sides were really bad, I think. Ha ha ha!”

What’s the best way to address the issue of the number of bands with female musicians on festival bills each year? Ben Willmott (Facebook)

“That’s a difficult question. My opinion about it is: of course I would like to see more women on the bills of festivals and on radio. I think the more visible women are, the more seeds will be planted. I think it’s even harder in a country like America to get on the radio or get any exposure when you’re a female because it’s more masculine; they just wanna hear men’s voices. In Europe I think it’s slightly different; we get more support just based on the music. But that’s just my feeling. Maybe I’m wrong.”

(Image credit: Within Temptation)

Which Within Temptation album brings back the greatest memories? @krystianc1997 (Twitter)

“It’s not like one period was the best period of our lives, but I must say we had a lot of fun on the Unforgiving tour. It was like a Monty Python movie on the road! It was one of the funniest times that we had on tour. We still have a lot of fun because most of those people are still there. A lot of the crew members are very dedicated and have been with us for over 10 years – and all these people are having a really, really hard time [during the coronavirus situation), because they’re all self-employed.”

How many times, and with how much ferocity, did you swear when Ice Queen repeatedly broke the PA at Bloodstock 2015? And did anyone get fired? Andy Taylor (Facebook)

“Oh my god! Ha ha ha! Heart attack after heart attack after heart attack. We have a certain orchestration that supports the music – [for Bloodstock we did it] totally differently, and people didn’t even notice. It was like, ‘Why did we even make the effort?’ Ha ha ha! I will never forget that show. ‘Oh my god, how can this go so wrong?!’ It was so nerve-wracking.”

What’s your favourite movie(s)? Scott Sitompul (Facebook)

From Dusk Till Dawn is one of my all-time favourites. I’m not really a horror addict – although some people in my house are – but that movie surprised me so much. I like that you think you’re watching a road movie, then suddenly all hell breaks loose.”

Would you rather have one giant duck or an army of tiny dinosaurs? Rachel Williams (Facebook)

“I don’t like ducks much so give me the dinosaurs.” 

Will you do a collaboration with Floor Jansen again? @MartVila (Twitter)

“I don’t know! I think working with somebody has to do with if you have the right song for someone. It’s about those kind of choices, not about the person themselves.”

If you were a superhero what would your name be and what would be your one weakness? Nick Jeffree (Facebook)

“Ha ha ha! These are very difficult questions! My superhero name would be Catlady and my one weakness, apart from ducks, would be singing along with really bad songs. Whenever I see a karaoke bar, I have to go in and do karaoke. So if I was trying to rescue someone and there’s a karaoke bar… I’ll be in the karaoke bar! What’s my song of choice? Something from Grease, of course!” 

What tips would you give to aspiring women in metal, to help inspire them to reach the levels you have reached? Cynthia Luna Frost (Facebook)

“I think in general, for anyone wanting to go into music, it’s easy to be like someone else, but it’s so important to find something that you love doing, because that will make you maintain it and try to make it better. Ambition is the most important thing when you start making music, and your vision will determine how special you are. Uniqueness and vision is a good recipe in music and will make sure that you’re different from all the others.”

When making music for Within Temptation, do you write the lyrics before composing a song? Or does the tune come first and then the lyrics? Zaina Z. Arekat (Facebook)

“I start [writing lyrics] when trying to make music and vocal lines. Most of those words stick because they have a certain emotion, but it’s always afterwards that it’s difficult, because you know you have a direction that you want to go and you have [some placeholder] lyrics that you have to change into something real with the right emotion. But the words have to fit! It’s a lot of work, but it does make you stay as close as possible to the demo. For me, it doesn’t really work to write lyrics out before I start singing. What I do is that when I feel like [the music is] going in a certain direction, I’ll start writing lyrics so that I can fit them in. But most of the time, they come out of the blue and I have to shape it!”

What do you think about the current state of the fashion industry and do you still create and design at home? Muses Of Metal (Facebook)

“Well, every single time we go on tour I still work with the designer for the band. Fashion nowadays… there are a lot of things going on! You have to find something that suits you and fits you. For me, music is the most important thing, always, but fashion is a nice thing to be busy with. I like to do the clothing of everybody and those kinds of things.” 

Was it strange suddenly being widely acknowledged for an album that already was three years old when Sony re-released Mother Earth? Petromax Skavholm (Facebook)

“We felt when we wrote the album, ‘This is a really good album, why is nobody playing it? Why is it so hard?’ We sold out venues, but nobody was writing about it or playing us on the radio. The people who should have us on their radar for new things weren’t picking us up. But people loved it so much, they were going nuts when we were playing! So we didn’t know what was happening, but when it did get re-released afterwards, it was confirmation that we were right about our own music, and that we did have something special. So it was really nice to see that people really did like the album. It was a compliment to our music, and that was really nice.” 

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.