Simone Simons

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Not to be confused with Simone Simon.
Simone Simons
Epica Rockharz 2015 14.jpg
Simone Simons performing at Rockharz Festival in 2015
Background information
Born (1985-01-17) 17 January 1985 (age 32)[1]
Hoensbroek, Heerlen, Limburg, Netherlands
Origin Netherlands
Genres Symphonic metal, Classical music, Progressive metal
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, piano, flute
Years active 2002–present
Labels Transmission, Nuclear Blast
Associated acts

Simone Johanna Maria Simons (born 17 January 1985)[2] is a Dutch singer-songwriter. She is the lead vocalist of Dutch symphonic metal band Epica.

Early life and formation[edit]

Simons was born in Hoensbroek, Netherlands. She has a younger sister by the name of Janneke who was born on Simone's second birthday.[3] 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.[4] 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,[5] which remains her favorite Nightwish album.[6] 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.[7] Simons sang in a choir for a few months, and later joined Epica.[8]


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”.[9] In late 2002, the band courted Helena Michaelsen[9] (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.

Simons in 2012 during a concert in South America

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,[10][11][12] gothic metal[13][14][15] and symphonic metal.[16][17] Another component of Epica's style is power metal;[16] their former guitarist Ad Sluijter having described the band as “a bridge between power metal and gothic metal.”[18] Simons has expressed a preference for the group to be described as symphonic metal[19] though the founder of the group Mark Jansen notes that they do not mind being called gothic metal.[20]

The music of Epica is aggressive, bombastic[21] and excessive[17] with some songs being “epic, grand and majestic” and others “more subdued and introspective.”[14] The band is also known to have progressive tendencies[22] while a gothic atmosphere and sentimentality is also present in their music.[14][17]

Personal life[edit]

Simone Simons, 2009

In January 2008 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 United States tour until May 11, 2008, when Simons performed again at their show in Bibelot, Dordrecht.[23]

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."[24]

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.[25]

Simons and long-time partner, Kamelot keyboard player Oliver Palotai have a son, Vincent Palotai, born on October 2, 2013.[26] In December 2013, Simons announced on her blog that she had recently got married to Palotai.[27]

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.[28]


With Epica[edit]

Simone Simons performing with Epica, 2014




Other releases[edit]

Guest appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Simone Simons. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
  2. ^ "Simone Simons / Band / Epica". 1985-01-17. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  3. ^ "Smoon's Snoepjes (Smoon's Candies)". Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  4. ^ Archived May 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Simone Simons – Official Website". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  6. ^ "Twitter / SimoneSimons: Fav NW album is 'Oceanborn'". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  7. ^ "Simone Simons 3rd interview in". Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  8. ^ "Simone Simons : A New Age Dawns – Fã Clube Oficial Brasileiro do Epica". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  9. ^ a b "Epica – Metal Storm". Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  10. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. Simone Simons at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  11. ^ "Musical Discoveries Epica". Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  12. ^ "Musical Discoveries Epica 2008". Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  13. ^ "Artists :: EPICA". MusicMight. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  14. ^ a b c Bowar, Chad. "The Divine Conspiracy Review". Retrieved March 30, 2008. 
  15. ^ Smit, Bas. "Consign To Oblivion Review". Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  16. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "The Phantom Agony Review". Retrieved March 30, 2008. 
  17. ^ a b c Fox, Keith. "The Divine Conspiracy Review". Archived from the original on March 2, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2008. 
  18. ^ Cursed With Oblivion. "Interview with Mark Jansen, Simone Simons and Ad Sluijter of Epica". Archived from the original on January 16, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2008. 
  19. ^ Rademacher, Brian. "Interview with Simone Simons of Epica". Retrieved March 30, 2008. 
  20. ^ Vayner, Ofer. "Interview with Mark Jensen of Epica". Retrieved March 30, 2008. 
  21. ^ Van der Wal, Kim. "The Divine Conspiracy Review". Retrieved March 30, 2008. 
  22. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Consign to Oblivion Review". Retrieved March 30, 2008. 
  23. ^ [1] Archived November 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ ":: Metalist Magazine :: Interviews :: Epica – הקונספירציה חוזרת לישראל ::". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  25. ^ "Twitter / SimoneSimons: I love tattoos on other people". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  26. ^ "Simone and Oliver have a little boy!". " October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2013. 
  27. ^ Simons, Simone (2013-12-25). "Vrolijk Kerstfeest! ❯ SmoonStyle". Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  28. ^ "SmoonStyle ❯ A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog by Simone Simons". Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  29. ^ "First singer for Avalon II revealed!". Avalon 7 October 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  30. ^ "New Album "Secret Garden" Announced By Angra". Metal Underground. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  31. ^ "Guest Musicians". New Ayreon Album. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Helena Iren Michaelsen
as vocalist for Sahara Dust
Vocalist for Epica
since 2003