EPICA guitarists Mark Jansen and Isaac Delahaye spoke with Guitar Interactive at this year's Download festival in the United Kingdom about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to 2021's "Omega" album. Mark said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We already started working on new music. I don't know, actually, the status of every bandmember, because everybody is now in their own home studios making music. So I know that I am; I know [Isaac] is, because he talked about it. But I don't know from everybody. I don't know, for example, Rob, if he has already [written] some songs. But personally, it's going well, and I'm in a flow of inspiration."
Added Isaac: "Well, I have a two-and-a-half-year-old, so my flow of inspiration is not really one hundred percent. But, yeah, I'm working on a couple of ideas, and, actually, for the next album I thought I kind of have to… You always wanna reinvent yourself; don't do the same thing. So I'm still scanning, like, what can I do to break out of the usual way of writing? If something happens with that or not, we'll see. But I just like to think it over and see what else I can do with those seven strings. So that's happening right now. Then after the festivals, we have some writing camps where we all get together and start to [put all the pieces] together, work on each other's ideas."
A couple of months ago, EPICA frontwoman Simone Simons told Czech Republic's Backstage TV about the band's plans for a new LP: "After this year, all the festivals, we're gonna start writing a new record… All the bandmembers start writing songs in their home studio by themselves, but I haven't heard any of those songs yet… When inspiration strikes, we just start writing. But we're gonna schedule writing sessions. And we're all excited to write a new record."
Regarding how the songwriting works in EPICA, Simone said: "Well, it's mostly that first they have some music, some demos, and then I start to come up with vocal lines for that. That is mostly how it goes. The guys start writing the songs and then they give me a listen so I can already come up with vocal lines and then they can continue writing the songs to support the vocal lines. Sometimes songs are written really fast; sometimes it takes long. And inspiration can strike at the weirdest times. So it's good that we always have the phone that we can quickly record melodies, whether it's for vocals or like a guitar riff or anything. Everybody has a home studio, so it's very practical to quickly record ideas. And then we get together. Because we live in four different countries; we don't live in the same village. And then we actually sit together and finish writing the songs."
EPICA played two shows as the support act for METALLICA — on May 17 at Stade De France in Paris, France and on May 28 at Volksparkstadion in Hamburg, Germany. EPICA was added to the METALLICA bill as the replacement for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH.
Last November, EPICA released "The Alchemy Project" through Atomic Fire Records. The EP was co-written and performed with diverse guests ranging from extremists like FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, Niilo Sevänen (INSOMNIUM) and Björn "Speed" Strid (SOILWORK) along with melodic masters like Tommy Karevik (KAMELOT),keyboard legend Phil Lanzon (URIAH HEEP) and Roel Van Helden (POWERWOLF) to a once-in-a-lifetime song with Simons, Charlotte Wessels and Myrkur.
Just one day after the release of its anniversary reissues "We Still Take You With Us" and "Live At Paradiso", EPICA celebrated 20 years of existence live last September at 013 in Tilburg, Netherlands, the same place where they played their first show (supporting ANATHEMA) back in 2002.
EPICA was formed by Jansen after leaving AFTER FOREVER in 2002, and the band quickly gained attention outside their home country, taking big steps towards becoming the leading symphonic metal superpower they have long proven to be. After their ambitious debut "The Phantom Agony" (2002) and the surprisingly eclectic sophomore work "Consign To Oblivion" (2005),the road took them to new heights via their first concept masterpiece "The Divine Conspiracy" (2007) and their global breakthrough "Design Your Universe" (2009). 2012's opus "Requiem For The Indifferent", 2014's bedazzling "The Quantum Enigma" and "The Holographic Principle" (2016),cemented their reputation as not only one of the hardest-working metal bands in the business but also as one of the best. With "Omega", the final part of the metaphysical trilogy they began with "The Quantum Enigma", they reclaimed the throne without so much as the blink of an eye, amassing three million-plus streams during the first week of the album's release.
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