Epica is a symphonic metal band with a progressive metal edge. Hailing from the Netherlands, Epica has built up a huge following around the world. I sat down with guitarist and vocalist, Mark Jansen to talk about their upcoming album, how things are progressing for the band so far and their excitement about headlining this year’s Dubai Rock Fest. 

Do you get nervous before a performance? 
It depends on the show and how long we didn’t play for before the show. If we haven’t been playing for a while there would be more nerves. 

How often and for how long do you practice?
As a band we don’t often rehearse, just for big shows and a new album. But at home we prepare our parts very well. Before every tour I make sure that I can play all the songs of the set. 

Is there anything you feel strongly about that you’re trying to highlight?
I can enjoy the interaction between crowd and band a lot. The more energy, the better our performance. Especially in Latin America, we play a lot of these kind of shows. I love them. 

If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?
I am already food, just don’t show up in areas where too many hungry sharks swim.


How was celebrating your 10th Anniversary with your concert ‘Retrospect’ in the Netherlands like? 
It was amazing, celebrating the 10 years with all those fans. A sold out one [show] in our own country. 4,500 people! It was an evening full of highlights which passed by very fast as we had so many things to think about during the show. 

Since your band has been around so long, are you noticing a second generation of fans at your shows?
Yes, we have seen kids coming to our shows who are adults now and also young adults who are bringing their kids to the shows. So there will be enough new Epica fans for the future. 

What should I expect from your new album? 
We have started to work on the new album and it’s a real band process; we work in small groups on new songs and, so far, have written already about 14 new tracks. I am very happy with the results so far. 

What inspired your wardrobe in your concerts/music videos? 
We work with a designer who knows our taste. She designs great clothes and hopefully we can work together for a long time. It’s important to think about all aspects of the show, also the clothes. 

Are you excited to play at Dubai Rock Fest with all the other headliners? 
Absolutely! It’s our first time and we cannot wait. New experience and new energy!!!

For more on Epica check out their website at www.epica.nl

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