Interview With Delain

By Eckhard Doll

Over the past one and a half decades, Delain has become one of the major Dutch metal acts touring the world and becoming more popular with every album release — albums made with Cubase. I had the chance to talk to Martijn Westerholt, keyboardist and founder of the band.

Martijn, the last interview we did was almost ten years ago. Since then, Cubase has reached version 10 and Delain has released five very successful albums and is about to release another EP in February. Busy times! To me, Delain doesn’t sound like any other symphonic metal band. You have found your own very modern and unique signature sound. But it’s not only the sound, it is also the visual aspect with unique cover artworks and music videos to go along with it. Has this always been your and Charlottes (Charlotte Wessels, vocals) goal to not “only” write music you have a passion for, but to really stand out and create something very special?

First, thanks for the kind words! It has been 10 years already? Yikes! Haha, time really flies! It has never been our goal to stand out, but we are just stubborn in doing our own thing and not following certain procedures other artists do.

I guess the automatic consequence of it is that things go a little bit differently in some aspects. Artwork is one of them. Charlotte has a very keen eye for art and has an educational background in that area. Regarding the music I make, I guess things just evolved in my own way since the starting point of when I played with Within Temptation. I somehow never get tired of the saturated fat guitar sound (that’s how I would say it in Dutch, but I’m not sure how to say that exactly in English!) and orchestral elements in music. I love dramatic, epic, big bombastic music. Always have. I also love the ’80s vibe in synth music which is why electronic elements show up from time to time in our music. This combination is a bit different than other music in our genre.

At the same time, other band members changed over the years. Did these changes have an impact on the way you work and compose?

After the first album, the way of writing slowly evolved and nowadays Charlotte Wessels, Guus Eikens, and I write all the tracks together and I produce it afterwards. However, our guitar player’s role (Timo Somers) grew in this whole process. He contributes a lot nowadays with guitar arrangements, riffs, and drums. In all, I’m very proud of our team as it has developed into clockwork that ticks just right.