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(About being the only woman in the band) The guys can get pretty messy and tell me that I’m like their mom. I tell them to drink their smoothies and remind them that they all need to stay healthy. It’s always me that’s bitching about cleaning up, flushing the toilet, drinking smoothies, stuff like that. It’s really fun to hang out with other female singers in the genre like Cristina Scabbia, Floor Jansen, Tarja Turunen and others and talk about what it’s like. I’m not the only female singer dealing with mostly guys. You always have little things with each other; with guys, they might hit each other and the next day things are good. Girls are just different. But they know how to handle me and I know how to handle them.

(About men vs. women) Guys will never fully understand women and the other way around is true. Just try and live in peace. Guys get angry and yell, but girls are angry for weeks, so think like a man on the road. Guys will not think like women. It’s up to us to make it simpler and break it down to the core and not be so emotional. Grow a beard and get some balls.

(About studio vs. tour) I like the spontaneous, one try, one version instead of playing it over and over again to perfect it. Onstage you have the adrenaline, the feelings are sincere and you live in the moment. I like the interaction, the energy, the fans. In the studio you have the mic and you have to do it again and again. It makes you feel like a robot.

(About men) I like men who are caveman style, like Vikings, but I also have a fascination of the more androgynous guys and feminine.

(About Amanda Somerville) Amanda and I are best friends, plus she has been involved with Epica from the start. She has been a vocal coach, performed backing vocals, and assisting with a whole host of actions. She is basically like a seventh member of Epica.

(About her voice) It took me a while to like my own voice. I said I don’t think my voice is that special, but my boyfriend who is a great musician whose opinion I value said it is very special ! […] I actually like my vocals now. It took me a while to get there.

(About being unable to perform for several shows because of her staph infection) I didn’t want to do it, but I had to regain my health, so I could continue with Epica in the future. Honestly, it was still difficult to say, “No, I can’t tour !” I did not want to disappoint our loyal fans […] The fans were very understanding about it, I really did not want to let them down. I was faced with a very tough dilemma.

(About how she prepares before a show) I always do my own hair and makeup. I take one hour before the show, I put on some headphones to listen to some music, I drink my Redbull Light and do some vocal exercises and try to forget about the chaos that’s around me like the screaming caveman band members [laughs]. That’s my thing.

(About the writing process) Sometimes we have already topics we want to write about. We start to scramble some sentences together. Sometimes the music is inspiring you to write more, but sometimes the lyrics are inspiring the music. So it’s fifty/fifty. Sometimes lyrics are done really fast. Mark is very good in writing lyrics. The music, when he has the chorus, he writes fitting lyrics. I guess I’m more of the one who writes lyrics before, and then I have to adapt them to my vocal lines to make them flow nicely.

(About terrorism) My husband always reads the news but I try to stay away from it because it’s quite depressing. What’s going on around the world now is scary. Wherever you go, there’s the risk of a terrorist attack. I read about the Bataclan attacks – we’d played there and it didn’t feel real. We had a show ourselves the next day and we held a minute’s silence for the victims. We shouldn’t let our fears stop us from enjoying life. Music is such a strong tool, it’s like a guide for life so I think that as long as there’s music, there’s hope.

(About touring when she was pregnant) It was so different and beautiful, everyone in every country was so kind to me. Also on the last show, the sole idea that I’d need to stop touring to become a mom was super intense.

(About funny stories and crazy requests from fans) Big signs on the audience asking me to rape them, which is kind of funny because it happened more than once. Also I have been married many times, because plenty of guys asked me to get married with them, and to avoid being impolite I always say “yes”, and I hope they understand that is a joke… We also have some very crazy fans all over the world, that follow us everywhere, to our hotel, airports, they book rooms near us, they approach us while we are having breakfast, and we never get really used to that, because we don’t really consider ourselves huge famous people. So fans can get a bit weird, when some fans talk to you and they know everything about you, even some very personal things and I have no idea where they get that kind of information, as I(m just a normal person. Also, many fans asked us to sign their body, because they wanna get a tattoo of that, and then it is weird to see them coming back to show us their tattoos done, and even some with my face on their bodies, so that is kind of weird, but at the same time I feel honored as it shows a huge dedication from them to us. Still, I would not get a tattoo of my boyfriend’s face on my body, no matter how much I love him !