What is there to say about Arch Enemy that hasn’t already been said before? The band, in my opinion, have already reached legendary status, having released classic album after classic album and are adored by fans and critics alike the world over.
But what sets Arch enemy apart from many of their peers is their relationship with the fans. The band are like a non stop touring machine and have travelled to almost every corner of the globe, even becoming the first metal band to play in the Maldives!
I sent an e-mail to the band to see if the band would be interested in doing an interview and within 24 hours, Angela herself e-mailed me back and helped organise the whole thing, showing once again their love for the fans.What a class act!
Here’s my chat with Angela in full.Enjoy!
Hi Angela, How are ya?
I am very well. Right now we are rehearsing a lot for the new Arch Enemy album. We will enter the studio in December this year.
You guys were just featured on the CNN’s “Connect The World”. How did you guys get involved in that?
CNN contacted us. They were trying to connect Sweden and Malaysia on their program ‘Global Connections’ and apparently they are a lot of heavy metal fans in Malaysia who really love Arch Enemy!
CNN is watched by millions of people. That’s some pretty nice exposure for you guys!You must be thrilled!
Yeah.. First Abba, then Arch Enemy. That kinda made my day, haha.
You guys are doing a few tour dates in Europe in October before your UK tour in Novemeber.Excited?
Yes. We love to go out and play. Its nice to escape the cabin fever of our rehearsal room and throw in a couple of live shows. We are a very passionate live band and kinda never get off the road for good.
I have to ask, why no date in Ireland?!You guys rarely come and see us!
It’s a shame, but we did not get an offer for Ireland for our November tour now. But this short UK tour we are doing now in November is just a teaser. We will do a lot more dates in 2011 and 2012 for the new Arch Enemy album (dropping May 2011) and then Ireland will be on the map of heavy metal domination for us again!
How did you guys find playing the Maldives?That must have been quite an experience!
It was very controversial in terms of politics and religion there. The new, young president of the Maldives invited us. Heavy Metal was banned there many years by the fundamentalist old government. The president wanted to set a sign and invited a band that plays real hard, sings about rebellion and freedom and got a female singer on top of that. We had a whole bunch of protest groups around the show and had the president’s police escort at the show. But we weren’t afraid. The show was very exciting and we had a lot of people there! It felt very passionate and real.
You guys are one of the first metal bands to play there. How did the show come about?
We were invited by the president in collaboration with MOHD, a company from the Maldives. Many shows fell through in the past – but we were very dedicated, didn’t care about the money and just went there. It was worth the headaches and hard work. Getting a show together in a place that has no infrastructure and equipment for this type of music isn’t the easiest thing to pull off. No booking agent or external manager would have touched this. But we are self-managed and I got it all happening in the end. We had a wonderful time there.
“The Root of All Evil” has been really well received by press and fans alike.You must be thrilled?
Never bad when folks like our stuff, haha.. But recording a new album is a lot more exciting. The Root Of All Evil was just a fun project for us – nothing too serious.
What made you guys decide to go and re-record these tracks?
We have a lot of younger fans who never connected to the original recordings. We wanted to re-introduce those 3 earlier albums to them in a new and more ‘up-to-date’ approach without taking anything away from the old recordings. So we picked a few of our fave songs from each record and re-recorded them.. hoping the fans would actually go and check out the original albums. A lot of them did! Mission accomplished – we got lots of cool, older tunes now we can incorporate into our live show when we feel like it.
Were you worried that hardcore fans might react negatively to you guys re-recording those song?If so, did this affect in any way you putting your own stamp on the songs?
Life is too short to worry. We are musicians, artists. We express ourselves we want to.. and not to please everybody. I am sure some hate it – but they can always go back to the original recordings. We didn’t take those away now, did we?
Did you guys speak with Johan Liiva before going ahead with the project?
No. Johan Liiva is good friends with Michael, but he didn’t write the music or the lyrics to any of these songs we re-recorded. Michael did. So the only person we had to ask was Michael ;-)
Which of the old tracks was your favorite to re-record?
Bury Me An Angel. One of the most brutal songs Arch Enemy have ever written.
“Rise of the Tyrants” was also extremely well received. It’s definitely one of the heaviest albums you guys have released! Did that just occur naturally?
Yeah. And the new album will get even heavier. We are far from being old and tired. We wanna shred, blast, scream and go nuts.
What are your favorite tracks of the new album?
I love ‘Rise Of The Tyrant’ and ‘In This Shallow Grave’. Very intense tracks.
Did you go and check out any of the Carcass reunion shows?
Of course. I am a huge fan and half my band is playing in Carcass. Fun to see Michael and Daniel on stage with me being part of the audience! I am so happy this reunion happened. They came full circle and got the recognition they deserved.
Any updates on a new album? Have you guys started writing?
Yes. We have 9 songs by now and still got a ton of riffs, ideas and melodies lying around. We will lock ourselves away from the 1st December on and the album is scheduled to be released in May 2011. Lots of hard work, but we are more than ready for it and just wanna kill!
Being a female singer in a metal band must attract a huge amount of attention from fans. Has it become easier to deal with over the years or has the attention just kept on increasing?
I don’t feel the attention is focused on me – but on the whole entity that is Arch Enemy. And that is very good as we wanna be out there, play shows, get around, sell CDs, get more fans. We LOVE attention because it gets us further and further.
How did you get involved in Metalocalypse?
Those dudes are big Arch Enemy fans and got in touch with us. Both me and Michael did some voice-overs. I am a very evil woman – Lavona. She sports a heavy German accent and wants to create a super race. Mrs. Hitler. The political ideas I believe in are the total opposite. It was great making fun of these kind of people.. and even better she totally failed in the end.
You specialized in online marketing. Are you heavily involved in maintaining Arch enemy’s online presence? What about other aspects of the bands management?
I manage Arch Enemy and run all financial and business aspects of the band. I oversee and decide all tours and book them in those territories we don’t have a booking agent for. Me and Michael run all online sites, promo, etc. We design all merch together as well and I do the pre-production for all shows as well. I am a work-aholic and just as tough in business as I look on stage.
You’ve started working closely with Melissa Cross, the creator of the Zen Of Screaming. How is that going?
No. I was just part of ‘The Zen Of Screaming II’ to represent the female extreme vocalists. She invited me to New York where we worked together for a couple of days and then shot the DVD sequences there. I have met her a couple of times again at Arch Enemy shows but we are not working together on anything else. She is also not my vocal coach. I know more than 99% of the coaches anyway about this style of singing.
Would you like to give vocal lessons in the future yourself?
I have done this and I also did a vocal workshop at the Music University in Cologne this year – in front of an international audience. The feedback was overwhelming. Extreme vocal styles are getting more and more popular and most singing teachers do not know how to teach it safely.
Finally, can we expect to see Arch Enemy in Ireland in the near future?
Yes, you can! Not only expect it but you totally deserve a full metal mayem Arch Enemy show!!!
Sounds awesome!We can’t wait!Thanks for your time Angela.
For all the latest Arch Enemy news and tour dats, please check out Arch Enemy.net
For all the latest news from Angela, please visit Angela Gossow.com