Simone Johanna Maria Simons (born 17 January 1985) is a Dutch soprano. She is the lead vocalist of Dutch symphonic metal band Epica.


 [hide*1 Early life and formation

Early life and formation[edit]Edit

Born on January 17, 1985,[2] Simone's interest in music manifested itself at a very early age. Simone started playing flute for 2 years after joining music school at the age of 12.[3] 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'sOceanborn,[4] which remains her favourite Nightwish album.[5] 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.[6] Simons sang in a choir for a few months, and later joined Epica.[7]


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”.[8] In late 2002, the band courted Helena Michaelsen[8] (from Trail of Tears) as its frontwoman, but shortly after she was replaced by the then unknown Simone Simons, who was Jansen’s girlfriend at the time.

[1][2]Simone 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,[9][10][11] gothic metal[12][13][14] and symphonic metal.[15][16] Another component of Epica’s style is power metal;[15] their former guitarist Ad Sluijter having described the band as “a bridge between power metal and gothic metal.”[17] Vocalist Simone Simons has expressed a preference for the group to be described as symphonic metal[18] though the founder of the group Mark Jansen notes that they do not mind being called gothic metal.[19]

The music of Epica is aggressive, bombastic[20] and excessive[16] with some songs being “epic, grand and majestic” and others “more subdued and introspective.”[13]The band is also known to have progressive tendencies[21] while a gothic atmosphere and sentimentality is also present in their music.[13][16]

Personal life[edit]Edit

[3][4]Simons performing with Epica in 2014,

In January 2008, it was announced on Epica's website that Simone 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 Simone performed again at their show in Bibelot,Dordrecht.[22]

Being asked about her appearence as one of the factors that attracts attention to Epica, Simone 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.".[23]

Among her inspirations, Simons cited metal bands such as Lacuna CoilNightwishTristaniaKamelotWithin TemptationDimmu BorgirTiamat, some classical music such as Mozart. While appreciating tattoos in other people, Simons said she won't ever get one.[24]

In late April of 2013, it was announced on the Epica Facebook page that Simone and long-time partner, Kamelot keyboard player Oliver Palotai were expecting their first child in late summer 2013.[25] Their son, Vincent Palotai, was born on October 2, 2013.[26] In December of 2013, Simone announced on her blog that she had recently gotten married to her long time-partner Oliver Palotai.[27]

Simons runs a blog called "SmoonStyle", wherein 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]Edit




Other releases[edit]Edit

Guest appearances[edit]Edit

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