Med 63 dagar kvar till Sweden Rock Festival, fortsätter vi med serien “Inför Sweden Rock 2014”. Nästa band ut i denna serie är WITHIN TEMPTATION. Rocknytts Una Aleksic fick chansen att ställa några frågor till Robert Westerholt.
Symfonisk, dramatisk metal med sopransång. En inflytelserik hårdrocksvariant främst tack vare spjutspetsarna Nightwish och Within Temptation. Sistnämnda holländare debuterade 1997 och fick sitt genombrott 2001 med singeln “Ice queen”, hämtad från albumet “Mother Earth” (2000). De mäktiga refrängerna och Sharon den Adels lika mäktiga röst tog publiken med storm och Within Temptation har växt till ett av vår tids största europeiska hårdrocksband. Hitsinglar som “Stand my ground”, “Frozen” och “Faster” har redan i det närmaste klassikerstatus och bandets totala skivförsäljning uppgår till över tre miljoner exemplar. Within Temptations aktuella sjätte album “Hydra” har blivit listetta i sex länder, inklusive Sverige, och är i rasande fart på väg att bli deras hittills största framgång – inte minst i USA. Och enda chansen att se dem i Sverige i år är på SRF.
It’s been nearly ten years since your last visit to Sweden Rock; last time you played the festival was in 2005 – Do you remember anything from the show?
– Yeah it’s been way too long. It was a sunny day and for some weird reason I always remember the festivals we shared with Napalm Death. I love their sound, they create such an unique and ultimate sound of heaviness. Further than that I only reminder small bits and pieces, we had a bus as dressing room.
You recently released your sixth studio album Hydra, you have previously said that it was a perfect title beacuse of the many different sides of your music that are represented on the album. What reactions have you gotten from the fans since the release?
– I think it’s pretty fair to say that it’s been the release with the least critic from the fans, maybe the most well received album so far. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad sign but that’s what it is. The last album had much more outspoken reactions from haters and lovers, Hydra gets a lot of positive reactions.
Your show this summer is very awaited by the fans. What can they expect from Within Temptation at Sweden Rock this year?
– Because of the new album and heavy elements you can expect a more entertaining setlist than ever. We’ve developed a complete new show with décor and visuals, we become more experienced every tour its just like good wine, it keeps getting better and we’re having a lot of fun this tour.
.. And what are your expectations on the show, festival and audience?
– The Swedish are a fun crowd, we expect them to drink a lot and have fun like they always have been doing during our shows. Next to that we always love going to Sweden because of the amazing countryside.
You, along with Nightwish, are considered as pioneers when it comes to symphonic metal. Did you ever think that the band would be so dominant and important for the genre when you started out back in 1997?
– We didn’t expect the dominancy, because you never know what other bands will do or what the crowd likes. But we were aware of the fact not a lot of bands were doing this style of music, the combination of death metal and symphonic rock at that time was unique. Next to the fact that it started naturally, being unique was a main reason to make more of that kind of music. Apparently it appealed to a bunch of more people who were liking this type of music.
And one last question: Based on your former visits here in Sweden, what do you like most about the country?
– Snus, my producer got me hooked on snus. Sweden has something magical with her beautiful lakes and nature. We have a special relation with the island Gotland, that’s were our producer has his roots. We had a few writing sessions there for our albums. The feeling of peace in Sweden is very strong it gives this breeze of calmness which is very nice once in a while (until the weekend and all get drunk).