ARCH ENEMY Frontwoman: 'F**k All This Pop Death Metal!'

Ofir Messer of Israel's Metalist Magazine recently conducted an interview with ARCH ENEMY frontwoman Angela Gossow and guitarist Christopher Amott. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Metalist Magazine: Angela, you took more direct approach with your voice this time than with what you did on "Doomsday Machine", using only a one-vocal-track. What made you change your perspective about doubling vocals?

Angela: I've been playing around with a lot of effects, because it was very exciting getting into the studio. Pro-tools had a real strong variety and there are a lot of cool effects you can use for the voice, but ultimately I grew tired of this. That played well for me on the first three records of ARCH ENEMY because I got excited, and every time I went to the studio I was like, "Oh my god, all this new stuff... I can try this and I can try that," but now I just want to do music that would be honest and have direct approach. I played enough with effects on the last 3 albums and this time I just wanted to have it stripped down, and be me. Also there are many people that say, "I only heard the effects, and that was crap," and I just want to shut up those people, this time it's really me. [Laughs] Tere are no effects and playing around. So I think it will silence a lot of people who had their doubt in the last couple of years. That's a very nice approach on this record, everything is live. I've done it all, I tried every kind of effect on my voice, and now there are no effects at all so it's cool.

Metalist Magazine: Now that Christopher got back with ARCH ENEMY, how was working with him again?

Angela: It was good, because he was very positive when he rejoined the band; he was actually excited to record an album and he obviously would be, because he was eager to bring some of his stuff in it. He was very productive and rehearsing a lot, and I think he put some really good parts on the songs. He was really up for it, and that was good to get somebody in the band who was really excited... [Laughs]... to be there... Obviously, he also recorded the last album but on "Doomsday Machine" he was just leaving the band so it was bad attitude, really, he hasn't been excited the last time. But now we had good atmosphere.

Metalist Magazine: Are you still in touch with Fredrik Åkesson [who replaced Christopher on guitar for the last 2 years]?

Angela: Of course, we are still good friends. He's got a new good band, so we don't suffer from a bad conscience anymore. He said "Whatever happens, and if you ever need a stand-in guitar player again, you just need to call me," and we said, "Of course". We're good friends, there's no bad blood at all.

Metalist Magazine: Christopher, how was it, recording with your brother and the rest of the band together again in the studio?

Christopher: It's like I've never been away. They haven't done any albums without me, so that's good. It worked pretty smoothly, and I was pretty well prepared, I was very happy to be back to recording, with a lot of energy. It was a lot of fun to record this album, the solos and everything. It's great.

Metalist Magazine: What have you actually been doing these past two years?

Christopher: I was supposed to study, but I was a music teacher for a year, studied a bit philosophy at the university, and I played. I had a trio who played 70s blues-rock covers, me, a bass player and a drummer, while I did the singing, and we played in local pubs. I did a little bit of traveling, went to Portugal, and that was fun. Basically, I was doing this and that.

Metalist Magazine: Back to "Rise of the Tyrant", from first impression I can definitely say it goes back to the days of "Wages of Sin" with many great melodic lines, but also much more aggressiveness. What made you do this sort of throwback, rather than continue what you developed with "Anthems" and "Doomsday"?

Angela: I think it's just something we have preferred. There are so many bands looking for the modern sound and I think that people got really tired of it, of over-produced keyboard driven stuff. You know, honest rock and metal should be with guitars only and that’s what we wanted to bring back, that's what ARCH ENEMY is really about. Especially with Chris coming back, it's just the brothers, a lot of guitar harmony, lots of solos and that's what makes metal cool — not all the synthesizers and new bullshit that has taken over, and especially with a lot Swedish bands trying to sound American, we're so bored with that. We just want to sound really Swedish... [Laughs]... really European, and really basic metal. No compromise, no stupid clean vocals and all this crap, we just want to be pure fucking metal. Fuck all this pop death metal! [Laughs]... I'm so tired of that, everybody is cutting their hair short and having this keyboard player on stage. That's not metal.

Metalist Magazine: What do you remember from your early days as metal reporter? Do you miss doing it?

Angela: Well, of course, a lot of my best memories were from when I interviewed ARCH ENEMY and also MORBID ANGEL — these interviews were very funny, but it also was very very nervous to me, because I was such a big fan of these guys and I was extremely nervous and excited. Now days, I understand that some people are still very nervous when they meet us, they are shaking, or they look pale, and they can hardly ask the questions, but I understand why because I felt like this as well back when I started out — I was so excited to meet my idols really, I was such a fan of these extreme bands. Oh, but the best interview was with ROCKBITCH... They are from England, five women that play naked — they do a whole freakish show on stage. So when I was interviewing them, they just released an album, and they were all basically naked; the singer who I was interviewing, she wore only a jacket, with no pants on and no bra... I thought it was quite funny to see all these guys, they were totally irritated because they could hardly keep their eyes straight, and they were starring at their pussy and all that... [Laughs]... That was the funniest interview I've ever done.

Read the entire interview at www.metalist.co.il.

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