WITHIN TEMPTATION's SHARON DEN ADEL Defends Her Right To Express Her Political Views Through Band's Songs

October 18, 2023

In a new interview with Robin Hignell of FaceCulture, WITHIN TEMPTATION frontwoman Sharon Den Adel was asked if she and her bandmates have gotten any pushback to them voicing their political views in some of their recently released songs, including "Wireless" and the title track of their new album "Bleed Out", which have highlighted such current topics as the war in Ukraine and the suspicious death of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman "detained" for not wearing a hijab. She said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yeah. A lot of people said, 'Just shut up and sing. Shut up and play. We're not interested in your view.' But I think that is what music is about. It's about thoughts, about philosophy. It's about so many things, and especially the big topics in the world, because that inspires us. And I think anything that inspires you is your right to talk about. And that's the difference also with living in a democracy. I can say whatever I want to say, within certain limits, of course, but I am free to do so. And that's the difference, instead of living in Iran or Russia or whatever, [where] I would have been in danger by now. And, of course, it's not without danger saying these things, because people can react really heavily and we have noticed that as well. But when you write about it and you have a certain feeling towards it…"

She continued: "We have played so many times in both countries, like Ukraine and Russia, and we met a lot of beautiful people and had a great time in both countries. But the fact that for us, it was so clear that Russia is the aggressor here and felt so sorry for a sovereign country like Ukraine to be attacked like that. And, yeah, it just made no sense to us. And we were very much in shock about it because we never thought after the Second World War, we would ever see a war like this with this magnitude, because, of course, there are more wars going on. We had Sarajevo, of course, but it's not like a superpower like Russia. That's a whole different ballgame. It's very dangerous. And I think he… well, it doesn't stop with the Ukraine. And I don't think we need another country that's gonna be oppressed. We need more democracy everywhere, I think. And thinking of that, hoping that we can support them until the end, because it will only turn worse for everyone if there's more countries like Russia who are oppressing their population. And especially so close to home, because that's a two-and-a-half hour flight from our own airport. It's just the same distance as Barcelona for us. So it's a no-brainer."

Sharon went even further in a separate interview with Kerrang!, saying: "I don't think we will ever play in Russia again. It'd be naïve of us to think that. In the past we've had a great time when we played there and we met some lovely people. This is what 'Wireless' is about — ordinary people being used as marionettes in someone else's game. In Russia there is only one real information platform, the government.

"They started this war by saying they were liberating Ukraine," she added. "There are people who think they're doing that, maybe like their grandparents did in World War Two, but in fact they're not being told the truth. I don't believe that everyone in Russia wants this war. The majority is oppressed, though there is, of course, a strong minority that believes what [Vladimir] Putin is saying."

In March 2022, WITHIN TEMPTATION was one of the artists who took part in a telethon concert in support of Ukraine. "Save Ukraine - #StopWar" united more than 20 countries and bring together more than 50 participants. The marathon was broadcast from Warsaw on the Polish TV channel TVP. In addition, broadcasters from many countries around the world, including Estonia (EBR),Lithuania (LTR),the Czech Republic (ČT2),Georgia (GPB / First),Albania (RTSH 2),Montenegro, Slovenia, Latvia (LTV),Croatia (HRT),Slovakia (RTVS),Austria (Puls 4),Cyprus, Canada (OMNI) and others, rebroadcasted the marathon on their local channels.

In an interview with Greece's Rock Overdose, Den Adel stated about her band's participation in the event: "For us, it was an honor to be asked for it. I think as a band and as people, we really value freedom of speech and freedom and democracy. I think as a band, people sometimes say, 'Don't be so political,' people say, 'Don't be so expressive and don't take a side on things.' But as a musician, I think it's important to represent who you are, not just in music but really stand for what you make and what you are saying in your lyrics in a way. And things that are happening in the world inspire us to write music, and then you also have to take a stance and what side you are. I think when it's so obvious where there's an aggressor and where there is a country being violated, invaded, you should take a stance and then it makes it much easier even to be very clear about where you stand in this whole conflict. Of course, it's something that we are keeping ourselves updated with every day because we find it very sad to see that a country that wants to be a democracy is invaded this way. So we are very honored to be asked also to play for this event, this marathon, and happy to do it."

WITHIN TEMPTATION, the renowned Dutch symphonic metal band, will release its eighth studio album, "Bleed Out", on October 20, via the group's own label Force Music Recordings.

"Bleed Out" will be released in multiple physical formats and across all streaming via WITHIN TEMPTATION's own label Force Music Recordings in a joint venture with Bertus Distribution for worldwide distribution and Amped Distribution for the U.S. and Canada.

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