WITHIN TEMPTATION's SHARON DEN ADEL Doesn't Understand Far-Right Surge In Her Home Country Of The Netherlands

April 20, 2024

In a new interview with Metal Musikast, Sharon Den Adel of Dutch metallers WITHIN TEMPTATION once again was asked about why she and her bandmates feel the need to voice 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): "Well, I think it's very difficult to separate your music from who you are as a person, of course. And seeing this happening in Europe, an invasion by Russia into Ukraine, and Kyiv is only two hours flight from [my home], and so it feels really in my backyard that this war is happening. And seeing the propaganda from Russia, setting up the European countries towards each other instead of that we are… We are trying to stick together, but the propaganda does get to certain countries, like Slovenia and Hungary and some others. And also in our own country [the Netherlands], this year we voted, apparently as a country, for far right, which I don't understand. And that party also, yeah, has a lot of same ideas as some other countries, which are pro-Russia. Not to say that our country is pro-Russia at all, but I think that was a vote against, that people weren't satisfied with the government that we have and thought it could be like a protest vote. But, to me, that's pretty stupid. In many countries now, people start to vote for far-right parties because they're fed up with the government, how it was, because, well, things didn't go perfect, of course, but on the other hand, to start voting for far right is another thing. But we are, as a country, very supportive of Ukraine, but it's more like the propaganda does reach certain people also in our country. And that worries me, because I think we should stand shoulder to shoulder to help Ukraine."

Den Adel also talked about WITHIN TEMPTATION's music video for the band's newest single, "A Fool's Parade", featuring Ukrainian producer and vocalist Alex Yarmak. Recorded amidst the streets of Kyiv with renowned Ukrainian video director Indy Hait, the clip captures Sharon at important Ukrainian landmarks. Asked what it was like to make a music video in the capital city of a country at war, Den Adel said: "Well, I was never scared to go there, because I was in good hands, to my opinion. We were helped to do this video and to organize everything, what we wanted to do in Kyiv, by the organization called Music Saves Ukraine. And they told us about the app that you had need to have. For instance, if you go into Kiev, which we did by night train from Poland, because there's no commercial flights from Amsterdam to Kyiv anymore. So we had to go by night train from Poland to Kyiv. And they told us to download an air-alerts app because everyone in Ukraine has that, and you can select a region that you are in and any incoming dangerous drones or airplanes, like MiGs, who are carrying a supersonic bomb or anything, they will put that in the app and you know what the danger is and how much time you have to go to a shelter. And there's shelters everywhere, even in the hotel that I was. And we once had to go underneath the metro station, because there was a MiG on their way. And sometimes it has a bomb, sometimes it doesn't. It's sometimes just looking and scouting where they can do something with the next airplane. And this time it wasn't wearing any supersonic bomb, which was good for us because it can wipe out a complete area in a matter of seconds."

She continued: "It's strange to be there, because normal life continues in Kyiv for 90 percent, to my opinion, when I was there, because when I left the bombing was actually intensified by Russia on Kyiv. But they have a good air defense system, which most rockets and bombs don't hit Kyiv itself, but the debris, of course, does, and the pieces of that, of the thing that they are trying to attack them with, it's coming still down on buildings and buildings do get hits and also bystanders. But if you know in time that they're coming, then you can go to a shelter. Most of the time it goes okay. So I wasn't scared because I knew this knowledge upfront. And, yeah, it is when the air alert goes off and when you see military people walking in streets, it's a different picture than the rest of Europe, of course."

Last November, the far-right Freedom Party (PVV) won the largest number of seats in the Dutch national elections. Many people believe the shift was triggered by economic and cultural anxieties that have whipped up fears about immigrants.

According to a press release from WITHIN TEMPTATION's publicist, "A Fool's Parade" "showcases the band's commitment to raising awareness of Ukraine's ongoing battle against Russia's invasion. The song itself serves as a condemnation of Russia's deceitful actions and sheds light on the harsh realities faced by Ukraine. WITHIN TEMPTATION remains steadfast in their support for Ukraine, with involvement in initiatives such as the Ukraine Aid OPS foundation, advocating for more much-needed solidarity." All royalties from the new single will be donated to Music Saves UA for the duration of the Russia-Ukraine war.

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 rebroadcasted the marathon on their local channels.

The "Bleed Out" album was released last October.

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