Within Temptation

Interview date

07 Février 2011




Interview Ruud Jolie (by phoners)

The new album will be out in more than a month, but you already do the promotion. How do you feel about this release?

It's been a while, so we are all very excited to present some new music obviously. And this time, it's really nice because we've made a concept album and apart from the music and the lyrics, we also added three short movies and a comic book. I think we have six issues now, and there is already a sort of prequel or whatever you'd like to call it on the website. So yeah, we are very excited, it's cool.

The cover of this album divides your fans, were you surprised by the different reactions you had about it?

No, I wasn't surprised at all. It's very different and it is something really different than what you can expect from Within Temptation. So I could imagine that people were... shocked ! (Laughs). But some people really, really liked it, and some people really hated it. You know, if you decide to do something radically different as we did, it's logical to expect this kind of reactions. But we are not too concerned about it, it's a normal reaction!

And how would you describe the new style of Within Temptation?

Well, the thing is with "The Heart Of Everything", the previous album which was released four years ago, we had the feeling that we had made the best album that we could in that genre. And instead of running out for certain influences or writing for the recording, we just let everything happen. Therefore, the sound is pretty much different again, but we always did different albums. Of course, it's still Within Temptation, but something new and something fresh. We are people who like to improve ourselves, at least do different things every time. And this time we had a lot of influences from the eighties, it's the time we've grown up with. When you are growing up, you are open to a lot of influences and I think that you find influences that follow you for the rest of your life. So we have a lot of influences from the eighties, like Iron Maiden, old Metallica but also things like Franky Goes To Hollywood, Billy Idol, Chris Isaac and that kind of stuff.

As we talk about something different, a change, you decided to put online "Where Is The Edge" which is the song that reminds the most "The Heart Of Everything". Why did you decide to reveal this one first?

Well, that's because that song goes with a new movie that is going to be release about disappearing. And I think it was decided to take that song because it fits the movie very well.

What do you prefer, a traditional track by track or an unusual one?

Oh, it's very interesting! (Laughs) Is it about the lyrics and other stuffs?

No, it's about finding an animal that describes the best each songs!

Oh, it's very, very difficult! I don't know if I can even try to do it! To be really honest, I don't even know all the titles of the new album by heart! It's really bad, I know! Wait, I have them on my Ipad so I'm going to try. I'm really bad with titles, even for my own band and all bands. That sucks ! (Laughs). I'm good with names, but not with titles!
(He listened to all the songs while he answered) "Why Not Me" is the first song and is pretty much a monologue. I'm gonna play it. What animal? An old but wise animal... An owl? Maybe... I would say an owl, otherwise it will take five hours! (Laughs). What is the next song? "Shot In The Dark"... I think that's a leopard. The next one... This is also a leopard ! (Laughs). This is an eagle, definitely.
Why do you want to know this? Are you an animal lover?

Yes I am. But I think it could be something nice and original, because sometimes it can describe much more than words, you can also understand things behind the nature of the animal.

Yeah ! But you have also your own imagination with the animals obviously! I wanna know yours! (Laughs).

"In The Middle Of The Night"... I also think it's an eagle! I think that "Iron" can be a horse for example!

A horse? I understand. It makes sense. Let me listen to "Faster"! I think that this is one which is a horse! "Fire And Ice"... A fish, a kind of fish... Like a dolphin or something like that. What do you think with "Fire And Ice"?

I was thinking about a cat, but not a crazy cat... A cat that loves being on your knees...

Like my cat! I've got two cats! I can see why you say that ! The next one (talking about "Iron"), that's a crocodile ! "Where Is The Edge"... I would also say a type of bird. But I don't know what kind of bird. A big bird... Can it be an eagle as well?

I think it can be!

So an eagle ! "Sinéad"... That's a mouse! "Lost", it's a snake to me! Oh no, the next one is a snake! "Murder" is a snake, and "Lost" is a more friendly animal... What do you have with "Lost"?

A friendly dog, a dog you can rely on, like a dog for blind people.

Oh yeah ! It makes sense ! I agree with you ! "A Demon's Fate", it's a whale to me. "Stairway To The Skies", to me is also like "Fire And Ice"... No, a kind of bird, but I don't know what kind of bird ! So, do we have a couple of matches? Do you agree with some of mine?

Yeah! And you do with some of mine, so it's nice!
You also recorded six solos in this album. How did you work for them?

To be really honest, not all of them are mine. Our engineer also recorded a couple of guitar solos. I recorded the ones that I did in my own studio. I hung around, playing some stuff, trying to do something fine and that was it!

And how were you involved in the composition of this new album this time?

Zero percent ! (Laughs). Sharon and Robert worked on it and also Daniel Gibson our producer and Martijn Spierenberg our keyboard player a little bit.

We need some time to adapt ourselves to this new album and the compositions. Aren’t you afraid that people won't give it another try if they don't like "The Unforgiving" the first time?

(Hesitant) Yeah, but it's their loss! Because it will be a shame if they don't give it another chance because in my case, the album that I listened to when I was younger and that I still listen to now are usually those albums that took me a while to get used to. Usually with me, if I like a song intensively, it's not always the case, but I know that for me, it also grows old very quickly. And for a music that it's hard for me to get through, that also means there is always new stuff to listen to, to explore... So those albums stay with me for a longer time! There are some albums that took me a while to like, and once I did, they are with me forever.

You have already released your first video clip "Faster", but we don't see the face of the new drummer. Wouldn't it be better to introduce him before so his face wouldn't have been blurred?

Well, the thing is that we don't have our new drummer yet! And it would have been weird to show him because people would have thought that he is our new drummer. But he isn't, therefore we decided to high up the level of mystery (laughs) about the new drum boy. You know, it was fun because there was a lot of speculations on the internet about who he could be and stuff like that.

As we said before, there will be some short movies which will accompany the album. How will you introduce them ? On a DVD, on Youtube, before each video-clip, on a special edition of the album?

(Hesitant) I'm not sure I'm allowed to tell you about that! But don't worry, there will be a way to get the movies!

You did some backing vocals on "The Heart Of Everything", but is it you we can hear on the song "Lost"?

Nope ! I only played the guitar this time. And I don't know who did it actually!

So as it's not you, I can't ask my question!

(Laughs) Oh ! What was your question?

I was wondering if one day, we could listen to a duet Sharon/Ruud!

Oh, maybe one day, but not on this album... Maybe on the next one! I don't know yet!

You are used to have bonus tracks on each singles you release. How will that happen this time? Did you record some other songs which are linked to the concept or songs that are self-supported?

We have recorded plenty of songs! So I'm sure that they will be released on time. And we have movies for some extra songs. So yeah, we have some extra songs which are going around.

And so, was it hard to choose the songs that actually are on the new album?

(Hesitant) The things is that when you are recording an album, during the process, you already do a selection of which songs will be on the album. Of course, this time it has something to do with our concept. And also the order of the songs on the album is very logical, at least for us. It wasn't that hard to choose.

I think you won't like this one... The band has had this special idea so the fans can get their name on the album. Was it a way to see how much they can do for the band or was it just a publicity stunt?

That's a very smart question! (Laughs). You know the thing, this day, is that it's always great when people talk about you. We've been waiting for a while, people were really waiting for us, our last album was released four years ago... And a thing like Facebook is great, as you said to get the fire going ! But another reason why we did it is that I can imagine that it's really cool to have your own name in the artwork of the album you really want to listen to. So, we also did it for the fans, it's really cool. I would love it if I could see my name or whatever on the new Iron Maiden album! But Facebook is really big and cool. And it also gives you a chance to interact with your fans a lot and that's really nice.

Do you already have an idea how you will play the more pop inspired songs live, if you will play them the same way or if you'll play them in a little bit more metal way?

Oh no! It's too early to think about that! We won't play any gigs before August. So... I think we are going to think about that the last week of July! (Laughs). It's too early for that. But we are all happy that this album is going to be out now. We are in the middle of some promo stuff and after that, Sharon and Robert will have their new baby and I'm gonna continue with my own project. So we will see that in the summer I guess.

And you won't have a release party for the album?

Like an album presentation? We've done one a couple of weeks ago in Amsterdam for the press, but a special one, a concert... I don't know actually. When we will start playing, the album will be six months old so to do a CD presentation... And besides it will be in the middle of the festival season. After that, our European tour will start. I don't think so. But you never know it with us, it's totally possible that we are going to do one but... I don't know if that is the case this time!

You talked about your project. How is it going?

My own project? Well it's going very well! I've got a project which is called Maiden UniteD and that's an acoustic Iron Maiden tribute but not a tribute in the typical sense of the word. A tribute with me and some friends of mine, we've recorded the "Piece Of Mind" album with new acoustic versions and the album was released in December. And we are going to do some gigs in April again. And my own project called For All We Know is being mastered right now and it will be released in April. And hopefully I will be able to do some gigs with this one too. You know, the fact that the Europeen Tour was postponed wasn't so bad for me, even though I know people were waiting for us to play some gigs again. Now I have some time to play with Maiden UniteD and maybe with For All We Know and I'm going to do some gigs and record a new album with Anneke van Giersbergen and Agua de Annique and I will do some other stuff. A lot of stuff is going on. I'm also a teacher... Yeah I keep myself busy. It's very nice!

And how is it to be the "sex-symbol" of Within Temptation?

The sex-symbol? (Laughs). It's the first time that I officially hear that!

Oh really ? I hear a lot of girls saying "Oh my God, this is Ruud Jolie"!

Yeah, I know ! But actually, I don't understand that. There is something that we say in Dutch, I don't know if we say it in English as well, this is the literal translation : In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Maybe I'm not so attractive, but the rest is so damned ugly! (Laughs). Maybe it's the case, I don't know! But in every way, it's not a good thing to say! I don't know. It's nice, it's cool, but that doesn't concern me that much !

Have you something else to say to your French fans?

Well, I hope to see some of those French fans in the first week of October. The sixth, seventh and eighth we will play in Lille, Nantes and Lyon and in November the sixth, we will play in the Zénith, in Paris. So I hope to see them there, it would be nice!

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