Exclusive Interview with Mark Jansen, February 2008

On February 2008, Mark kindly agreed to answer an interview for (union between Eternal Silence & Another Me). Hope you enjoy the interview while reading! :) Thanks a lot Mark for taking your time and be so cool with your fans!!

A lot of things have happened since our last interview in June. What’s your balance for 2007? Which was the best thing that happened to you so far?
Mark: The tour with Sonata Arctica was great, great package with Ride the Sky, Epica and SA. Full venues, great crowd and between the bands a good atmosphere.
The deal with Nuclear Blast was also a highlight.

2008 started and you already had a pretty tight schedule for January/February, but most of it has been cancelled due to Simone’s health. Now, it's been a bit more than a month from the last concert you did – What have you been doing during this month?
Mark: I have been composing some new music... We have been working on the classical pieces to be played on the 14th of June (show with classical orchestra).
I have been to the USA as well for 10 days.

We know that you're really near to Simone; how's her health?
Mark: She will have some tests this week and these will show if she's still infected or not. It's a very nasty virus and it can take a while unfortunately.
I have visited her just before my travel to the US and we had a good time but she's still very worried about the virus.

So, the first and only single so far for The Divine Conspiracy was released in August, 2007. Although it's a label decision (and though we know that you don't want many singles), usually a single is good opportunity for releasing an unreleased track. Have you thought of releasing any other single?
Mark: NO, I think one single is enough and there are no more unreleased tracks anyway, we did release them all already ;-)

During the North American Tour, you've played a solo-Simone version for “Living a Lie" several times. When will we have the chance to hear it?
Mark: To be honest we were playing the solo version as I didn't know my parts by head yet.
Since I've learned them we prefer to play the grunt version haha.

What have you planned for the rest of the year (I mean, after the postponed Dutch tour during May-June)? When will the South American Tour take place?
Mark: First of all let's hope that Simone recovers soon. That worries me most still.
The idea and plan is to go to South America by the end of this year. The South American fans had to wait too long already. And we love to play over there :)

And now that you have toured and played the whole 'The Divine Conspiracy' album live, what's your favorite song, live?
Mark: Fools of Damnation: it contains many challenges and it's a great live song.

You've already done some special gigs with fireworks. Have you thought of doing that outside the Netherlands?
Mark: In the Netherlands we have a good access to some companies who can do that. Outside the Netherlands it can be risky, but for sure we'll do it also outside the Netherlands in the future.

On some of those concerts you've also played some special songs (e.g. Death of a Dream, The Divine Conspiracy). Have you thought of playing any 'special song' for the postponed Mexican/Colombian tour and/or the next South-American tour?
Mark: We don't know the setlist yet. But we're always up for some surprises :)

One of the highlights of this year will be for sure the Miskolc show with orchestra and choir. How is it going to be? Is it going to be filmed for a DVD? It'd be great!
Mark: I hope we can manage to record it. it will be a big event, we have to work hard for it but we have already started.
We will rehearse the days before the fest with the orchestra. I’m getting nervous already, haha!

Ariën joined the band officially in December, but you've already done some gigs with him and recorded the album with him. Why/how did you choose him? Do you think that Ariën will give something new to the Epica's sound?
Mark: On the Divine Conspiracy we can already hear what kind of influence he has on the sound of the band. His drum skills are so great; it's a dream coming true to work with such a guy!!!

And now that the “the Embrace that Smothers" concept is finished, can you give us an idea of the next album's lyrics/concept? Are you going to continue with 'A New Age Dawns’?
Mark: I have no idea yet. Music-wise the new album gets into shape but lyric-wise I have no idea yet.

So,that's everything! Thanks a lot for taking your time. Could you please say some words for Epica-Fan and our visitors? Thank you so much, see you on tour and lots of good luck!!!
Mark: It's great to receive so much support from all the fans over the world during these difficult times, we'll never forget that!!!