Simone Simons - Epica
Epica are excited about their new release - the double live CD called - The Classical Conspiracy. I was asked to personally speak with Simone Simons about this amazingly epic album. We also spoke about her health conditions, her personal life, and a myriad of topics. Enjoy our Maiden to Maiden mettle on metal conversation.
MettleMaiden: Hello there Simone, I'm so glad to speak with you. I imagine you don't have too many interviews with other true metal maidens? My first question is about your work on the Xystus album - Equillibiro. That is a bombastic effort, and quite an accomplishment. Your performance as Lady Sophia is quite astounding. How did you become involved in this project and why did you choose to do it?
MettleMaiden: Yeah, the DVD is extremely limited, and includes two CDs containing music from the whole show. I sure would have loved to have been there, or at least watch the DVD. It sounds like you really enjoyed the experience. Speaking of live performances, the new Epica album - Classical Conspiracy was recorded live in Hungary with a 40 piece orchestra and a 30 piece choir. This seems like the next logical step for Epica. How did this project come about?
MettleMaiden: I know! I grew up studying classical music as I play the piano and the flute.
MettleMaiden: Yes we interviewed Oliver in Chicago, last fall, when he was on tour with Kamelot and Edguy. He mentioned his band Sons Of Seasons, he also plays with Doro. He is quite the busy man! He really enjoyed speaking with my husband - Michael "MettleAngel". You actually met us in Cleveland when Epica toured with Kamelot, a few years ago. Michael & I interviewed you in the basement of the Agora.
MettleMaiden: As is our home, Michael and I are always playing music, and our son is attempting to learn how to play various instruments. I see you have added ex-members of God Dethroned to your line-up, including your new guitarist: Isaac Delahaye, but he did not play on the live release. As concerns - The Classical Conspiracy, how did the band decide upon the order and selection of classical songs, and movie scores for this album?
MettleMaiden: I noticed that you also have an interesting allotment of theme songs on the album, as well.
MettleMaiden: So am I! I grew up on the Star Wars movies. That is the true Trilogy! I really did not see the need for two more Pirates movies. This leads me to a question about your videos. In the concept for - Never Enough - I can't figure out how the video adapts to the theme behind the song. The video seemed so pop oriented, with tales of infidelity.
MettleMaiden: I'm not much of a window shopper. When I go to the store, I get what I want, and get out. You will only catch me at a shopping mall, so I can walk around and get some exercise. I may stop to get a coffee, but that is it. I totally concur with you, because the most important souls in my life are definitely my husband - Michael and my son Stephen. We even take our son with us to shows, he's a real headbanger!
MettleMaiden: Definitely! I still proudly wear my Epica babydoll shirt, that I bought. Stephen has an awesome collection of metal and rock shirts, and he can always use another! Sometimes we both fit into the same shirts. This frustrates my husband, because we can always find our size in the clearance bins at places like Hot Topic or Spencers; whereas, his size is the most common, and seldom marked down.
MettleMaiden: Lately, all three of us have been struggling with ongoing illness. It is becoming a challenge to stay healthy. I'm sure you can relate to this, as when Epica was on tour in the US last year, you became quite ill. It was disheartening, because, you were unable to perform for several shows. We were going to see you in Cleveland again, when we were made aware of your ailments. We heard that, Amanda Sommerville of Aina was asked to fill in for you. What happened? Are you fully recovered now?
MettleMaiden: Again I can relate, as Michael is always the exception when it comes to antibiotics, or even over the counter medicines. He's the kind of guy who when he takes Nyquil, he is wired, and up all night. I sincerely agree that the most important thing is your health, I'm sure the fans understood. Are you fully recovered?
MettleMaiden: How did you choose Amanda to cover for you?
MettleMaiden: That's wonderful to have such a great and reliable friend, overseas. I've always been impressed with her Aina project - Days Of Rising Doom. That was her baby. She created her own language for the story she created for that album. She had so many guest appearances, like Candice Night and Toby of Edguy, and other key members of Avantasia contributing. I celebrated the fact that the entire second disc included an instrumental rendition of the album, narration, and unreleased material. The packaging was also killer. I've heard she has a non metal band, also with Sascha Paeth (guitar), Miro (keyboards), Olaf Reitmeier (bass) and Robert Hunecke-Rizzo (drums).
MettleMaiden: I wish she would make another album, it has been six years. Now, that The Classical Conspiracy is almost out, will you be returning to the states anytime soon?
MettleMaiden: Maybe by that time our son can attend. He had a blast when Leave's Eyes came here, even playing with their son, Leon, who is the same age, save a month. Well, I cannot tell you what an honor this has been for me. As a woman I love to speak to other women about metal; especially, ones who are metal and still feminine about it. It a world of mostly men, that is not a normal; construct. Several of the metal chicks, whom I've come across are very masculine, and act like men! I don't see why ladies can't also enjoy metal. I know this is what Doro has been championing.
MettleMaiden: That is very reassuring. Thank you again for the information. I'll let you go now and allow you a chance to rest before your next interview.
MettleMaiden: Now that's mettle!