Interview with Yves Huts, Septiembre 2008

The same day of the concert in Buenos Aires (September 18th, 2008), the "Eternal Silence" staff had the chance to interview Yves, Epica's bass player, who kindly agreed to answer some of our questions before they'd start doing the soundcheck. Hope you enjoy reading this interview! :)

Thanks a lot to Yves for taking his time and answering our interview, and also to Volumen 4, who made this possible!

"Eternal Silence" Staff: First of all, we'd like to thank you for this interview
Yves Huts: No problem!

E.S.: So, this has been your very first time in El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, and most of these shows have been sold out. How do you feel about that?
Y.H.: Oh, it was great

E.S.: And you have achieved that in a few years…
Y.H.: Yeah, I don’t know what the reason is that so many people want to come to our shows in Latin America, but apparently, in the whole South America and Mexico, we’re very popular there for our concerts, and it’s great. So, I think we’re gonna do something about that, maybe come back more frequently, because it’s super.

E.S.: How was the crowd there?
Y.H.: Crazy. (Laughs) Like… that’s also something different from Europe, they appreciate us but they don’t express themselves as passionately as here in Latin America. So it’s everywhere, in Latin American countries, in Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina; all they go crazy.

E.S.: Was it as you had expected, being your first time there?
Y.H.: Well I kind of expected it, because it would be weird if some Latin American countries they go crazy and then a few ones they go like “hmm”. I kind of expected it, but I didn’t expect so many people coming to our show.

E.S.: This is your third time in Buenos Aires, it’s another venue and it’s almost sold out, also this venue doesn’t have seats. What are your expectations for tonight?
Y.H.: Tonight… I think it will be like the previous two shows, like, the audience doing a good job. We’ll try to do our best and give the audience a good time and it’ll be great, I’m sure it’ll be great.

E.S.: So, you say that it’ll be like the previous shows, but do you expect to find any differences?
Y.H.: Well, last time the capacity of the venue was seven hundred or something? The capacity of this venue is the double or so; so this time there will be more than double of people, it will be as double as much fun (laughs).

E.S.: One of the highlights of this year has been, for sure, the Classical Conspiracy. What did you feel about this show?
Y.H.: That was a great challenge and a great experience, work with a real orchestra again. And also we made some special classical songs; and put some classical songs and soundtrack songs, and converted them to a metal version. We put some drums, bass and guitars on there. It was a challenging experience because we’ve never done that before, but in the end the result was perfect, everything was ok, there was a lot of people. Of course we were a little nervous because we didn’t know how it would end up, but we worked for like half a year on that, arranging the songs and stuff like that, making the tablatures for all the artists. It was great. We recorded the show and if everything goes well, we’re gonna release a live cd.

E.S.: That’s great! And that was the next question (laughs)
Y.H.: If everything goes well, we might do it. We’ve got the recordings - then we’re gonna see if we can use it, but there is a big chance that we’re gonna release the live album.

E.S.: Do you know when?
Y.H.: No… I think before our next studio album.

E.S.: Many people is going to wait for that release.
Y.H.: For the live album you mean? Ok, I hope so! (laughs)

E.S.: So, Transmission Records have reopened their website, haven’t they?
Y.H.: Yeah, the guy behind Transmission records started another record company and well, instead of fighting each other, we just want our albums to be back in the stores. So we try to be cooperative with him and we just want our albums to be available, again, all over the world.

E.S.: Is there any news about the release of the Live at Paradiso DVD, then?
Y.H.: Oh yeah, he’s been working on that too, and I think he’s going to release the Paradiso DVD. But when it’s going to be, I don’t know; but there’s some progress. The last few months there was some progress but I have no idea when it will be released. I don’t worry about that anymore. Too much worries in the past about that.

E.S.: Your last album, The Divine Conspiracy, was in the internet much some months before it came out. What do you think about this leak?
Y.H.: We delivered the album to the record company, and the record company, three months before the release of the album, sent it to all the journalists. And yeah, one of the journalists, or a few journalists, put it online, although they had put some kind of protection on it. They'd cut the album in 99 pieces and some other protection that I don’t know; but anyway it ended up in the internet. Personally I was pretty pissed off; I was calling to my friends: ‘hey, wait for our new album’ and they said ‘but I already have it!’. (laughs)
So, I tried to fight it in the beginning, like calling the companies that protects the rights of the authors, but you know, you can’t do so much; once it gets on the internet it’s like a virus, you cannot help it. I’m very pissed off about that. You cannot blame the fans who just want to listen to it, but well, nothing to do about that.

E.S.: And about Arien, did he get used easily to the band?
Y.H.: Yeah, we (Coen and me) had already worked with him in a project, called “Project SIC” and we were all very amazed by him, like “wow” it’s like, you can hear it (laughs) (Note: In this moment of the interview, Arien was playing drums, doing the soundcheck). So then we hired him for The Divine Conspiracy and said that “if you want to join the band, you can” but he was like “no, I want to stay in God Dethroned, because Death Metal is my kind of music”. So we went looking for another drummer, and we found Koen, who was here (in Argentina) last time, also very good drummer; we said “hey, if you wanna join the band, you’re welcome” and he said also “no, I like my band more…”. We were still without a drummer, so the only thing we could do was hire Koen and hire Arien just as session members; but right from the beginning it was very easy to work with him. He is a very nice guy, very good drummer and you can work with him; he’s not an ego, he doesn’t have a big ego or something. So, after one tour, we hired him for an American tour last year, and after that tour he decided that ‘well, I feel good behind the drumkit in Epica and I’m going to stay”. That was good news for everybody, and well, right from the beginning, it felt really natural to work with him, no problems, it was ten times easier than the previous drummer.

E.S.: So, how do you feel the change? Now it’s easier to work with him.
Y.H.: Yeah, yeah, it’s much easier work with him. The change is not only in the drumming, because he has more possibilities in drumming, he can drum faster, he can record faster, you know… In his previous albums, most of them, he did it one day - not The Divine Conspiracy, that was one week; but he didn’t have any preparation; we just gave him the songs a few days before we went into the studio, and he listened to them and well, I think he recorded pretty fast also. So, that’s about it.

E.S.: Another thing that happened this year was Simone’s illness and well, Amanda Somerville replaced her during the North American Tour. How was that tour?
Y.H.: Well, we had to cancel a lot of tours, and the second time we cancelled the Latin American tour, the fans in Latin America were all pretty angry. They were calling us racists, and they said “you’re making the sickness up just so you don’t have to come to our country” and stuff like that. They were pretty angry because we didn’t cancel the North American Tour, which was right after that. But then they understood, because we took Amanda with us, and then I think that they understood that we were not making the sickness up, that we didn’t have any other choice.
And well, the tour with Amanda in USA was pretty good. We can work with Amanda in the USA, because we’re not so well-known there, but we couldn’t have done it with Amanda in Latin America, the fans would not accept that; but she is a very good singer. We didn’t rehearse once; the first time she sang with us live was in the first show on the tour, and I remember that we didn’t have any sound-check, we didn’t have nothing - she just went on stage, sang the show; and it was great. Not only that, she was also a very nice person to work with, very relaxed. She’s just a wonderful person, yeah.

E.S.: And anyway you had already worked with her on the studio albums, too…
Y.H.: Yeah, yeah.

E.S.: Well, this is our last question… What are your next plans for the rest of this year?
Y.H.: The rest of the year… we’re going to do some shows; on October we’re going to do some shows in our neighborhood, in Holland and Belgium; we’re going to play in Metal Female Voices Festival; then in November we’re going to do an European tour, this time a headlining tour. We’re going to headline, and we’ll have a support band, a Finnish band called “Amberian Dawn”.
Also, somewhere in between, we’re gonna work on the live album, the Classical Conspiracy; and then from December on we’re gonna work on the new album. Most of the stuff has already been written, but there’s still a lot of work to do with lyrics and stuff like that. And well, that’s our horizon so far. After the European tour we’re gonna concentrate on the new album.

E.S.: Thank you very much! Is there something else that you want to say to the Argentinian fans?
Y.H.: I hope to see you in great numbers tonight (laughs), you’re great! and… well. That’s all. (laughs)