Before their performance at this year’s Exit festival, music webportal Balkanrock got the opportunity to talk with one of the most beautiful sympho metal vocalists – Simone Simons. In addition to her enchanting voice and specific style, the front woman of the band Epica radiates incredible charisma.
With Simone we summarized the impressions from their recent performances with the band Metallica, we talked about the movies she likes, which artist she would like to collaborate with, and when Epica will surprise their fans with some new material.
Balkanrock: Last month Epica was chosen to open for Metallica some shows on their M72 World Tour. Please tell us something about that experience. What is like to share the stage with such a band?
Simone: It was amazing, mind blowing! First we got the call if we could do shows with Metallica and if everyone had time, because it was like in a couple of days. Magically we all had time and could not believe it. It still feels surreal. Even though we done three shows, they were all beautiful in their own way, Paris, Hamburg and Gothenburg. The Metallica familly was so nice to us. We met them in person and that was one of the highlights of my career. Still thinking about it.
BR: Is it true that your voice is classically trained?
Simone: Yes, I have had classical singing lessons over period of six years, sang in a choir, and worked with several singing teachers. But I had not attended Conservatory for a classical singing.
BR: How do you keep your voice in shape (do you have to skip certain food or drinks)?
Simone: The most important thing is to have a healthy diet, lifestyle and sleep a lot. Sleep is the most important thing because your voice is the instrument of your body, and you have to take care of your physical and mental health to keep on giving the best performance that you ever can.
BR: In 20 years long career Epica released eight LPs so far, and the actual one “Omega” was released in 2021. When can we expect new Epica LP in near future or a single?
Simone: We had released eight studio albums, we had released EPs, and the latest EP is called „The Alchemy Project“, which is a collaboration between Epica and our friends and colleagues in the metal scene. And that was something really new and exciting, and now we are going to all together, after we finish all the festivals this summer, to write a new album. Album number nine. So that is so exciting! If fans can’t wait until then, they have a lot of Epica music, along with „The Alchemy Project“ which was released 2022.
BR: Since on that project you had a chance to work with so many musicians, what was the most interesting collaboration for you so far?
Simone: I loved all the collaborations we’ve done so far. I think now „The Alchemy Project“ was the newest thing that we’ve done and to actually write songs with other people and I wrote song “Sirens” together with Charlotte (Wessels), which was also new experience for me and even though we’re colleagues for a long time, this was the first time we actually wrote together and was really nice working with her and I think all the music she has been releasing after she left Delain is amazing. So, I was very happy to work with her because I really like her style. And of course Myrkur because we were three girls video shoot together. It was so much fun and I think women in industry should support each other.
BR: Is there any male or female singer that you would like to share stage with one day (or to make a duet)?
Simone: An artist that I really admire is not really on the metal scene, although she loves metal. It’s the Norwegian musician, singer called Aurora. I really like her style and I think we could put together something. Who knows, maybe.
BR: If you could choose between spending a night with a book in your hands by the fireplace or a movie marathon night, what would it be?
Simone: Movie marathon with popcorn.
BR: What are your favorite movies?
Simone: I love movies ever since I was a child so I started with the Disney movies, the old ones, the classics, and the Tim Burton going from „Edward Scissorhands“ to „Nightmare before Christmas“ to „Sleepy Hollow“. I love anything from Jim Hanson. „The Dark Christal“ is one of my favorite childhood movies, „Coraline“ Neil Gaiman. I love fantasies and anything with aliens. The whole Alien saga I like, including „Covenant“ and „Prometheus“. I like psychological thrillers like „Seven“. I love aliens in general so, „Species“ and anything with aliens.
BR: Could you recommend something that you have seen in the last few months, but it’s worth watching?
Simone: Of course I’m subscribed to all those streaming platforms and currently watching „Penny Dreadful the original series“ with Eva Green and Josh Hartnett. But I’ve been watching a lot of „Game of Thrones“, I love „Dexter“, those kinds of series, „Dr. House“…
BR: Epica is coming to Exit festival. Although it’s a festival show and your time is limited on the stage, what can we expect from Epica on July 7th?
Simone: We’re always gonna give a 100 percent, even more if that’s possible, because we are aiming to have a good time, to entertain people, to connect with the people, to give audio and video pleasing show and to have a good time. Well, I’m very excited, I’ve heard many great things about the Exit festival. Can’t wait!
BR: Thank you so much! Wish you many more great shows and see you in Novi Sad soon! :)
Simone: Thank you! Rock on!