The Epica experience returns to Australia for three shows next week as they continue to promote their latest album ‘The Quantum Enigma‘.

There might even be a taste of new material thrown in as the band are in the final stages of recording a new album due out in September.

On Friday 18th March you can catch the band at Max Watt’s in Brisbane, then on Saturday 19th they’ll do Max Watt’s in Sydney followed by 170 Russell in Melbourne on Sunday 20th March. Tickets are available if you want to head along.

Their latest album ‘The Quantum Enigma‘ sounds larger than life, expertly mixing sharp guitars, angelic choruses, evocative synthesizers, mindboggling drum work, and of course, another soaring vocal performance.

Joining them on these dates will be Voyager. With five full-length albums under their belt, the five-piece from Perth continue to build on their strong reputation.

Ahead of the tour, this week we caught up with Mark Jansen from Epica to answer our Hotseat questions. Take a read of his answers below.

THE BASICS
Name : Mark Jansen
Band : Epica
Job In Band : Guitarist, singer, songwriter, lyric writer.
Website Address : www.epica.nl
HOME
Hometown : Reuver
Hometown is best known for : What Seattle was for Grunge is Reuver for Symphonic Metal, and its nature.
Best venue in your hometown : The Schakel
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : Gorefest in the village next door.
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : Played only three times in my hometown with three different bands: 1. After Forever – first gig of the band ever in our rehearsal room, 2. Epica @ The Schakel. 3. MaYaN @ The Schakel. All three of them were cool. But if I have to pick one than it’s the sold out Epica show.
THE BAND
How did the band first come to exist? I founded the band after my departure from After Forever
How long has the band been going? 13 years
Is there an interesting story behind the name? Epica comes from a Kamelot album and it means a place in the Universe where you can find answers on all the questions of life.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… ‘The Quantum Enigma’ is our latest release. It’s been recorded with a new producer. Before we have recorded all our albums with Sascha Paeth. The only reason to change was to refresh our sound a bit as Sascha has delivered great work. The album has been recorded in the Netherlands with producer Joost van den Broek and became cd of the month in quite some renowned European metal magazines. The meaning behind the title is that we can’t observe little particles in quantum physics without influencing them. Therefor the very act of observation changes everything around us and we don’t know how it looks like when we are not observing.
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? We won the Export Award in the Netherlands as being the biggest metal export “product” (I hate the word product to describe our art but anyway). It is a big achievement when you win this award so I’m proud of it even though it’s just an award after all haha.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? When I got to see a Guns N’ Roses concert back in 1993 I knew this was what I wanted to do in my life too.
Any band, album, or song that you personally credit as a major influence? Megadeth – ‘Rust in Peace’. The first metal album I bought in my life and which I probably played the most. I bought it just because I liked the cover but my intuition proved to be right as the music was awesome as well.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? After Forever, we were playing Symphonic Metal as well.
Most prized music related item you own? My home studio definitely, it might not be just one item but the computer itself was already quite expensive.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? I love to be surrounded by nature, I like to cycle, walk with my dogs, swim, run as long is it’s in nature.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… Visiting new places and playing the shows with the best crowds.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… Leaving my home, my pets and my girlfriend.
Any item you seem to always forget to take on tour? My sleepfitts, earplugs to not wake up at 6 am in the morning when the cleaning ladies start knocking your door or shouting to each other in the corridor haha.
WATCH
ON THE STAGE
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? Bananas
Got a favourite place you’ve toured… and why? The whole world is my favourite place, I need variation and every place has it’s unique atmosphere. There not just one place that stands out for me.
Got a favourite venue you’ve played… and why? Paradiso in Amsterdam. That place is magical and the story behind our first performance there is funny. The promotors didn’t want to book us as they said our style of music was not popular in Amsterdam. That’s the kind of thing that bands get to hear sometimes when they’re not from Amsterdam itself or being an international band. We thought literally fuck you. We rent the place ourselves. The only option was on the 4th of May. Which is a very bad day for a concert as it’s the day that Netherlands remembers its deaths of the second world war. Anyway it was the only date we could get there so we took it and sold out the place!
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? Yes, during our last south american tour I decided to ride my bike on the day of our first show. I climbed a highest category mountain with a jetlag. So when I got back and ate I started feeling extremely tired while we still had to play the show. I got on stage and got a black out. I didn’t remember the chords of the first 3 songs. After that it became better haha. But I was feeling very ashamed. I’ll not ride my bike while having a jetlag and a show on the same day anymore. I’ve learned my lesson well haha.
Any pre-show rituals? We always wish each other a good show and box with our fists against each other.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? The hardest part is flying and playing on the same day. Especially when you have to do that a few days after each other with just 3/4 hours of sleep each night. After a while that starts killing you. We don’t use any drugs and personally I don’t like coffee so you can imagine I need my sleep.
RIGHT NOW
Last song you listened to? Death – Symbolic
Last album you picked up? Iron Maiden – Book of Souls
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? Pearl Jam – Ten
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? Universal Mind Project, their album is not released yet but the music is very good. I participated on a few of their songs with grunts and I was blown away by the quality of their/his (it’s a project of one man with many guests) music.
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? We come over to Australia, we’ll play China and New Zealand as well. When we come back from that tour we start the vocal recordings and when we’re done with that we start doing summer festivals, in September of 2016 the new album will be released and after that our world tour to promote the new album will start.
IF ONLY…
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? Death – Symbolic, from the beginning to the end an absolute killer album. We once covered Crystal Mountain and that worked really well.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? Than it would be the Heideroosjes covering our latest album, it’s the punk band of our drum technician (the band was very famous in the Netherlands but they stopped), we once were asked to cover one of their songs and made a special version out of it (Nothing’s Wrong), so I would be curious what they would come up with hahaha.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? Pink Floyd
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? Wembley Arena in London.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? I am not so sure if I would like to do that, I can’t stand someone telling me what to do and how to do it. That’s why I’ve always played in bands that I founded myself.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band. Not to sound disrespectful to those bands as they are quite big but it would be a dream package: Opeth and Anathema.
PLUG TIME
Got any final words? I’m very much looking forward to our upcoming album release in September of this year. We have tried to top the Quantum Enigma, even though that’s a very popular album. Let’s see if we have succeeded :)
TOUR DATES

EPICA
With guests VOYAGER
MARCH
18th – Max Watt’s, Brisbane [18+]
19th – Max Watt’s, Sydney [18+]
20th – 170 Russell, Melbourne [18+]
—> Tickets available now.
—> For more information, visit [Here].

TOUR POSTER
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