Simone Simons, the vocalist for symphonic metal titans, Epica, recently sat down with Metal Wani’s Carl O’Rourke to discuss the band’s newly released and highly acclaimed album ‘Omega’. Simone also spoke in-depth about returning from the bands sabbatical, living and writing with her bandmates under one roof, adapting their recording arrangements due to Covid, how she feels about the ‘Omega’ in comparison to ‘The Holographic Principle’ as well as what lies ahead for the band, and much more.
On whether or not she was hesitant about writing for a new record after being on tour for an extensive period of time supporting The Holographic Principle, Simone reflected on her experience of how she felt leading up to the writing sessions for ‘Omega’,
“Yeah, you never feel 100% ready, but you should sometimes just go for it. I am a person that needs a little push every once in a while, otherwise, I don’t get out of my comfort zone and that sometimes is what you need. I think I just became a little bit afraid after the writing for The Holographic Principle which took place in such a hectic time in my life that I felt musically drained and not inspired at that time. But I thought that was going to be the same. It was one of the reasons we had time off from the road, to catch up with our own energy levels, our family, our friends, be home for longer than a couple of days, watch my son grow up! Spend time with him and you know just being, having a little more of a regular lifestyle for a change.”
“After all of the touring that we’ve done and the pace that we’ve had with every 2-3 years, new album, write, record and tour all at the same time, then I became a mother and I had to combine family life with touring and that just, in the end, totally drained me to the point where you get this love/hate relationship. But having Joost as a producer who is also very motivated, he’s a workaholic, he is super professional, organized, having somebody like that is very important when you have a bunch of chaotic, unorganized musicians! [Laughs] So him writing that email, or coming with the schedule, first I thought ‘I don’t know, that’s too soon’, but if you don’t set a date, if you don’t start somewhere then when are you gonna start? It was the right email to send and I just went with the flow and it all turned out for the better in the end! [Laughs]”
Discussing her thoughts on whether ‘Omega’ feels like a more balanced record than ‘The Holographic Principle’, Simone shared,
“It (The Holographic Principle) has amazing songs on it, but it’s not one of my favorite records, to say it frankly. It was very hard to digest for me to listen to. Getting the mix, the songs, the writing was also at a time where, you know, I was already kind of hitting that drained battery mark. Writing vocal lines while being on tour promoting ‘The Quantum Enigma’ in a very, you know, non-peaceful grounding, having other things on your mind. And for ‘Omega’, we came out of a sabbatical. We also took, we took a week off together and rented a house so we could all sit at the same spot and write songs together instead of doing it digitally. All of that had a huge impact on the sound and also, of course, our mental state of mind us. The music is a little bit of a reflection of how we feel as well at that time in our lives. So for ‘Omega’, everything does sound more balanced because maybe we as persons also are.”