Simone Simons performing at Santa Coloma Rock Fest in 2014
|Birth name||Simone Johanna Maria Simons|
17 January 1985 |
|Genres||Symphonic metal, Progressive metal|
|Instruments||Vocals, piano, flute|
|Labels||Transmission Records, Nuclear Blast|
|Associated acts||Epica, Amanda Somerville, Ayreon, Kamelot, Primal Fear, Aina, Sons of Seasons, MaYaN, Floor Jansen, Tony Kakko|
Early life and formation
Simons was born in Hoensbroek, Netherlands. She has a younger sister by the name of Janneke who was born on Simons second birthday. Her interest in music manifested itself at a very early age. Simons started playing flute for two years after joining music school at the age of 12. At the age of 14, she had one year of pop singing lessons, and at age 15, she switched to classical singing after listening to Nightwish's Oceanborn, which remains her favourite Nightwish album. At one point she was invited to join in a rehearsal for a black metal band; she joined it, although was a little afraid to sing. Simons sang in a choir for a few months, and later joined Epica.
In early 2002, Mark Jansen left After Forever over creative differences. He then began looking for musicians who would work towards a more classical/symphonic type of music project; this was initially named “Sahara Dust”. In late 2002, the band courted Helena Michaelsen (from Trail of Tears) as its frontwoman, but shortly after she was replaced by the then unknown Simons, who was Jansen's girlfriend at the time.
The band's line-up was completed by guitarist Ad Sluijter, drummer Jeroen Simons, bassist Yves Huts, and keyboard player Coen Janssen. The name was later changed to Epica, inspired by Kamelot’s eponymous album. Epica then assembled a choir (made up of two men and four women) and a string orchestra (three violins, two violas, two cellos and an upright bass) to play along with them. Still under the name Sahara Dust, they produced a two-song demo entitled Cry for the Moon in 2002. As a result, they were signed to Transmission Records.
Epica performs a blend of progressive metal, gothic metal and symphonic metal. Another component of Epica’s style is power metal; their former guitarist Ad Sluijter having described the band as “a bridge between power metal and gothic metal.” Simons has expressed a preference for the group to be described as symphonic metal though the founder of the group Mark Jansen notes that they do not mind being called gothic metal.
The music of Epica is aggressive, bombastic and excessive with some songs being “epic, grand and majestic” and others “more subdued and introspective.” The band is also known to have progressive tendencies while a gothic atmosphere and sentimentality is also present in their music.
In January 2008, it was announced on Epica's website that Simons was suffering from MRSA. This forced Epica to cancel many of their shows. In February, her condition improved, but she had not completely recovered. In March, Epica toured with Amanda Somerville, replacing Simons for their USA tour until May 11, 2008, when Simons performed again at their show in Bibelot, Dordrecht.
Asked about her looks as one of the factors that attracts attention to Epica, Simons said: "First of all the most important is the sound of the band, because beauty will fade one day, and I hope my voice won't [Laughs]... But, yeah, you have two aspects of the band – the music (the CD's) and then the live side of it (the show), and part of the show is also that it has to look nice, so I take good care of myself, I make sure that the fans have something to look at during the show."
Among her inspirations, Simons cited metal bands such as Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, Tristania, Kamelot, Within Temptation, Dimmu Borgir, Tiamat, some classical music such as Mozart. While appreciating tattoos in other people, Simons said she won't ever get one.
In late April 2013, it was announced on the Epica Facebook page that Simons and long-time partner, Kamelot keyboard player Oliver Palotai, were expecting their first child in late summer 2013. Their son, Vincent Palotai, was born on October 2, 2013. In December 2013, Simons announced on her blog that she had recently got married to Palotai.
Simons runs a blog called "SmoonStyle", where she writes about her fashion, makeup, food and experiences she has had as a member of Epica, as well as in her personal life.
- The Phantom Agony (2003)
- Consign to Oblivion (2005)
- The Divine Conspiracy (2007)
- Design Your Universe (2009)
- Requiem for the Indifferent (2012)
- The Quantum Enigma (2014)
- "The Phantom Agony" (2003)
- "Feint" (2004)
- "Cry for the Moon" (2004)
- "Solitary Ground" (2005)
- "Quietus (Silent Reverie)" (2005)
- "Never Enough" (2007)
- "Chasing the Dragon" (2008)
- "Unleashed" (2009)
- "Martyr of the Free World" (2009)
- "This is the Time" (2010)
- "Storm the Sorrow" (2012)
- "Forevermore" (2012)
- "The Essence Of Silence" (2014)
- "Unchain Utopia" (2014)
- We Will Take You with Us (2004)
- Retrospect (2013)
- Cry for the Moon (demo, 2002)
- The Score – An Epic Journey (2005)
- The Road to Paradiso (book and compilation, 2006)
- The Classical Conspiracy (live, 2009)
- Aina – Days of Rising Doom (2003)
- Kamelot – The Black Halo in "The Haunting (Somewhere in Time)" and appears in its video (2005)
- Kamelot – One Cold Winter's Night in "The Haunting (Somewhere in Time)" (2006)
- Kamelot – Ghost Opera in "Blücher" and "Season's End" (2007)
- Primal Fear – New Religion in "Everytime It Rains" (2007)
- Ayreon – 01011001 in "Web of Lies" (2008)
- Xystus & US Concert – Equilibrio in "Act 1 – My Song of Creation", "Act 2 – Destiny Unveiled" and "Act 2 – God of Symmetry" (2008)
- Sons of Seasons – Gods of Vermin in "Fallen Family", "Fall Of Byzanz" and "Wintersmith" (2009)
- Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned in "House on a Hill", "So Long", "All is Over"(2010)
- MaYaN – Quarterpast in "Symphony of Aggression", "Mainstay of Society", "Bite the Bullet", "Drown the Demon" and "Sinner's Last Retreat" (2011)
- Sons of Seasons – Magnisphyricon in "Sanctuary" (2011)
- Avalon – Angels of the Apocalypse (2014)
- Angra – Secret Garden in "Secret Garden" (2014)
- Countermove: The Power of Love (2014) Charity single for The Red Cross, originally by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
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- "Epica – Metal Storm". Metalstorm.ee. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
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- Bowar, Chad. "The Divine Conspiracy Review". About.com. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
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- [dead link]
- ":: Metalist Magazine :: Interviews :: Epica – הקונספירציה חוזרת לישראל ::". Metalist.co.il. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Twitter / SimoneSimons: I love tattoos on other people". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "The Epica family expands". "http://epica.nl. April 24, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
- "Simone and Oliver have a little boy!". "http://epica.nl. October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
- Simons, Simone (2013-12-25). "Vrolijk Kerstfeest! ❯ SmoonStyle". Smoonstyle.com. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
- "SmoonStyle ❯ A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog by Simone Simons". Smoonstyle.com. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
- "First singer for Avalon II revealed!". Avalon Opera.com. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "New Album "Secret Garden" Announced By Angra". Metal Underground. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Simone Simons.|
Helena Iren Michaelsen
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|Vocalist for Epica