Traveling around the world and meeting other cultures; those are in short the major sources of inspiration for singer, songwriter, composer and guitarist Mark Jansen, both as a person and a musician. The latest proof of his unlimited interest in the world around him is the album The Phantom Agony, the colorful debut album of the recently founded Dutch band Epica. Mark Jansen and his fellow musicians harbor a great interest in other cultures, especially Arab ones. The warmth with which people treat one another there, but also the music from that part of the world. The varied sound of Epica reflects all that. Also influences from other parts of the world, including South-America found their way to the songs that figure on the debut alum. The band also intends to do a lot of touring in order to add as much as possible to the gamut of experiences and impressions.