In the following weeks, we will give you the full translation Sharon den Adel had with the Dutch magazine VROUW Glossy. This week, part three of the honest, pure and open interview with the singer of Within Temptation.
Read the previous parts here.
Have you, later as an adult, talked about it with your parents?
“Yes. And if you’re having a real serious conversation with your parents, you notice how many emotions surface. They are defined by their childhood too. My parents are super sweet and sensitive people. But because of their own experiences and the time they grew up in, they have a hard time talking about feelings. They felt I was too emotional, so that clashed. They were always busy, so I got the feeling they weren’t there for me. I felt lonely a lot. But on the other side, there was a lot of love and we did a lot of fun things together. The past year I’ve had very good conversations with my parents. Especially with my dad. His dad died when he was young, there wasn’t a lot of money, so he took on a lot of responsibility at a young age. Later on he worked hard to provide the best for his family. And I had the feeling he was never there because he was always working. In the conversations we had he told me: ‘I’m sorry that I didn’t see you needed me and that I couldn’t be there for you’. It was intense but very beautiful. I’m happy I could have some quality time with him before he passed. It brought us so much closer.”
You’ve been together with Robert for over 20 years. How did he support you the last couple of years?
“He was super kind and understanding. He had a midlife crisis too, but 10 years earlier than me. He fell in love with somebody else and in that time, we weren’t together anymore. At that time, we just had our first baby. I put him on a pedestal and was too clingy. But that ended quickly. In that time we had a lot of fights, which was good because it clarified a lot, but I almost lost him. I had to fight like a lioness to keep our relationship. But eventually we came out stronger and had 2 more kids.”
How did you make it, what is your secret?
“We’re partially the same, creative and chaotic. On the other hand we’re opposites, but we compliment each other. I’m into details, a neurotic person that tries to get everything in the right direction and keep hinges under control. He’s a chaotic person that only cares about the big things. I’d like to be more like Robert sometimes and let go a bit more, but I’m afraid that it will end in complete chaos. We just came back from vacation. Drove all the way to Spain, to a little vacation home, which ended up to be closed. Turned out he booked it for the wrong week. That’s typical for Robert.”
You have 3 kids. Is motherhood something you’ve always dreamed of?
“No, not at all. My biological clock started ticking when I was 31. I thought kids were annoying sometimes. I think that was because some parents didn’t discipline their kids and let them take over a restaurant, haha! That was until people around me got kids and that made me think: ‘Gosh, those kids are so much fun! There’s more to kids than I thought’. The fact we have 3 kids shows how much I like being a mom. The beautiful thing about having a family is that it puts things in perspective, that there are more important things than having a career.”
What kind of mom are you?
“I’m strict but very sweet, I think. I try to take everything they say seriously, sometimes maybe a bit too much. All three of them want attention and show that in their own way. They have a hard time coping with the fact I’ve been away so much. I get that, I’ve experienced the same with my dad. The history repeated itself. That’s why we’ve decided not to go on tour for 6 weeks uninterrupted. We tour in 2 week intervals. It’s not the most practical thing for the band, but my kids come first now. They are having a hard time coping with the loss of their grandfather. They grew up with both grandparents around a lot, because I was away so much. What my dad couldn’t do for me, he tried to do for his grandchildren. I can be there for my mom too, to help her with her grief.”
If you look back at the last couple of years, what have you learned?
“That you are who you are, with positive and negative sides. You can’t change the past, but you can talk about it. Pick yourself back up and process it, in my case through music. When I couldn’t write for the new Within Temptation album, other songs lead me to My Indigo. It was a way of coping. Music was my savior again. My inspiration came back, so I wrote songs for the band again. During our vacation we even were able to shoot a new videoclip. I’ve managed to put things in place, but I’m still very emotional about it all. I think I’m starting a new phase of life. There will be new things on my path, but also old things that need restoring. Those will always have a place in your life. That might take a couple of years. I haven’t found my balance quite yet, but I’m on my way!”
Thanks for reading part three of the interview. On Wednesday 24 October 2018, the fourth and final part of this interview will be published online.