One of the biggest female-fronted Metal bands ever Epica are set to play in Lebanon this August 2nd at Byblos International Festival 2014. Since there is no confirmed press conference for this event, here’s our official interview with Epica’s guitarist Mark Jansen before the big day!

  • So how’s your ongoing tour going? What are you expectations going to a small Middle Eastern country like Lebanon?

Mark: The tour is going great, last week we played the Parkpop fest in the Netherlands for the first time and that was a blast, about 100.000 people going crazy. We look very much forward to come to Lebanon, as well for the first time! During the last 4/5 years we got more and more requests from fans from Lebanon to us to come and play and now it’s finally going to happen, cool! Our expectations are that it will be a great concert with passionate fans. Those are usually the best concerts and as we come over for the first time I expect the fans (that have been waiting for many years) are going extra crazy 🙂

Epica - by Stefan Schippers.

Epica – by Stefan Schippers.

  • Tell us more about your latest album “The Quantum Enigma”. What’s it mainly about and which song do you recommend most to first time listeners?

Mark: We have rediscovered the importance of working together as a team. Internet has brought us many advantages and made it easier to send each other files by the internet but you miss some personal contact by that. This time we sat together and rehearsed all the songs as a band, we worked on those songs as a band and we recorded those as a band. All of this with a new producer: Joost van den Broek. He did an amazing job and brought some new energy to the band. Also we worked with a new mixer: Jocob Hansen. He added some refreshing new elements to the mix as well. The guitars sound heavier than ever before! I would recommend the song Victims of Contingency, a heavy but short track. So an ideal song to get a quick overview of how the new album sounds like.

  • Epica has been well known for having some Middle Eastern flavored music. Which member would you say is most attracted to that culture and why?

Mark: I think it’s me, I love Arabic scales and the atmosphere of Arabian traditional music. In the Netherlands we lack good traditional music so I am very much into other styles and cultures which inspire me.

  • Some of your older fan base are worried you will only play material from the newer albums. What’s your take on that?

Mark: We will play music from most of our albums, even the earlier albums. So these people don’t need to worry 🙂

Epica - by Tim Tronckoe.

Epica – by Tim Tronckoe.

  • You are set to play on a stage built next to the oldest port in the world, located right next to the sea, with an ancient citadel in the background. Your comment on that…

Mark: I love the idea and the scenery looks amazing! I am much into atmosphere and it must be magical to play at this place!

Byblos International Festival 2014 Location

  • Should we expect any Tour Tshirts with Lebanon on the list? That would definitely be a must-buy for collectors and dedicated fans! What about other merchandise?

Mark: When we fly in we usually don’t bring too much merchandise with us as the flight fares are extremely high nowadays. So the more mercy a band brings the more you pay, which you eventually never earn back. But I hope we can bring mercy and maybe even with tour dates!

  • Your first ever gig in Lebanon is 1 month from now, what do you have to say for Lebanese Metalheads and Epica fans in general?

Mark: We as Metal fans are not listening to the easiest music. Often other people judge us for that or think we adore satan. I would like to say to the Lebanese metal heads: never let anyone tell you what music you have to listen to, no one can change our taste for (good) music 😉 Stay who you are, respect! And see you soon!!!

  • Links

Info about Epica live at Byblos International Festival 2014

Facebook event page