Exclusive Interview with Ad Sluijter, March 2006

Interview by: Juan Pablo (Sir_Jota)
On March 15th, 2006 I interviewed Ad. We were talking about epica as Sahara Dust, about the new dvd and the new album, some things about their recent visit to South America in December 2005, and some questions about him.

Why did you choose first the name “Sahara Dust”?
Ad: We just couldn’t find a cool name, so we just gave ourselves a temporary name until we could come up with a cool one :)

Why Helena (Epica’s old singer, they didn’t record nothing official with her) left the band?
Ad: Well, we just did a few rehearsals with her (in that Sahara Dust period) but we found out pretty soon that it just wouldn't work out between us, so we asked her to leave.

I asked you that before on a Private Message in the official board, and you answered me perfectly, but sometimes is good to visitors to read this questions. Are you thinking about a new single? Which one would you choose? (Although the decision is from the label)
Ad: We are not thinking of releasing another single, but it's always the record label who decides to release another one or not, so we'll just have to wait and see. Hmm I think I would choose the Last Crusade… but we don't have anything planned though.

Excellent Decision! ;-)
Ad: to not have anything planned? ;-)

It was for The Last Crusade! :P. I know that you played all the songs live except “Another Me (In Lack’Ech)” (and obviously remixes, and single and orchestral versions). Why haven’t you played it?
Ad: haha you've done some research. We just wanted to keep that one for a special occasion… hehe

Well… Let’s talk about the new DVD. What can you tell us about it? What about the Epica “renewed show”?
Ad: Well, to be honest Transmission was a little bit too excited with announcing stuff before even gathered with the band, haha. So when it was announced we would be having a renewed show we were like "euuuh ok *indecision/pensative smilie*". But we worked out some special features for this show and it's gonna be great.

That sounds awesome! Are you thinking about doing a live cover in the Paradiso show?
Ad: a live cover?

yes... a cover to another band, as Follow In The Cry.
Ad: ah ok I understand, well not Follow in the Cry. But if you have done your research (which you probably did) you have to know that we haven't been playing that cover for a long time. We do actually have another cover at the moment, which is Crystal Mountain from Death; which is more like a real cover, since Follow in the Cry was a song from Marks' previous band [After Forever] which he also wrote.

And now… the new cd. When will you enter to studio? What can you tell us about it?
Ad: We will be entering the studio at the end of this year… we already finished a lot of songs and it contains some pretty hard stuff, hehe.
There is also going to be concept again. Like with previous two cd's, but I can't tell yet what they are about.

Will it be like Consign to Oblivion, in the aspect of a lot of orchestra and choirs in most of the songs?
Ad: well, like with TPA and CTO we will be having an orchestra and a choir again.

I know it’s a bit early to ask this, but what songs will keep in the live setlists, after the releasing of the cd?
Ad: haha, that's a very premature question! Haha … will probably be a mixture of all 3 the cd's, with the main focus of course on the latest release

So, let’s talk about you!
Ad: Go ahead! :P

Which was your first band and what’s your experience from it?
Ad: the first band I played in was at school, just some friends of mine who we played some covers and later on some own stuff, but I left pretty early. Since they were more into promoting the band, telling everyone that they were in a band, well basically everything except writing songs and practicing, haha. This was when I was 14 or 15 or so.

I had one band after that, which was pretty serious. I recorded a demo with them and did some gigs, but left the band when I was going to university. :S Their musical style also went into a different direction I didn't feel comfortable with so…

Well… I know that you’re a Math’s teacher. When did you end the career? Did you work as a math teacher?
Ad: I am studying to become a teacher in maths.

So you’re actually on it.
Yes, I still studying ;-). It's pretty hard to combine with the band… every time I have an exam I am on tour and stuff like that :S. Well… I just want to graduate first, and then see what the band will bring. If it doesn't work out I can always be a math teacher ;-) but I am pretty confident though hehe…

Which are your most important influences? Do you have any “idol”?
Ad: as for composing I am influences by Hans Zimmer a lot. As for playing guitar I am influenced by bands like Carcass a lot… And as for idols, I am absolutely crazy about Depeche Mode, hehe

I realized that! What do you mostly like of them?
Ad: what do I don't like would be a shorter answer. I really like all music they have made, so from beginning to the end. For every mood you have a different cd hehe. I like the way of songwriting a lot. I like the way they use harmonies in singing lines. I like the way Martin's voice sound (warm). I like the way Dave's voice sound (dark) etc. Only think I don't like that much is that Dave tend to lean more into the main man/performer instead of focusing on his singing live, of course you have to be a frontman as well, but he could spend a little bit more attention to his singing hehe

Who is the best female singer nowadays according to your opinion? (And why)
Ad: hmmm that's a difficult one, you mean in metal only or in general? Hmm… let me think… there are so many singers, which all have something unique I like. It's hard to choose one

In General. And you can name more than just one ;-)
Well, I like the Dutch singer Anouk a lot, but that's not because she's a great singer, but also a great songwriter. I do like Emma Shapplin a lot because of her vocal capabilities.

Which were the shows that you liked/enjoyed most?
Ad: mmm… I liked the first show in Sao Paulo a lot. 3000 Brazilian people going crazy!

What’s your impression about South-America and specially Argentina?
Ad: We played in Argentina once (on that same tour), in a theater which was pretty strange, since it was the first time we saw seats in a venue haha, but it was great. Beautiful city as well :).

When will you come again? I just can’t wait!
Ad: Well about the gigs, we don't know, we are dependent of the promoters, so we will just have to wait another offer

Hehe, hope they do an offer soon. So this is the end of the interview. Please say something to our visitors!
Ad: hmmm. Enjoy the silence

(until we come again ;-))

THANKS SOO MUCH for answered all this questions, I’m so glad to talk with you. It was a big pleasure.
Ad: No problem :)