ARCH ENEMY Singer: 'Religion Is A Tool For Power, An Excuse For War, A Strong Source Of Income'

ARCH ENEMY frontwoman Angela Gossow recently answered several questions submitted by the visitors of her official web site. A couple of excerpts follow:

Q: Would you like to be mom?

Angela: I am not sure. I have the utmost respect for parents. It is real tough to raise kids in our society. You can protect them only for a very short period of time. As soon as they get into kindergarten or school they are under the influence of others. And the media isn't helping it either. There are many bad role models for kids out there today and only few good ones. A lot of parents start losing their kids sooner than later to the wrong role models, drugs disorders. To see your beautiful child turn into a troubled, unhappy, mobbed teenager isn't easy. I am not sure if I am up for that challenge. I meet teenage kids every day at our shows. A lot of parents fail miserably in protecting their kids and being there for them when they need to be. I try to be a little there for them, but most kids simply need stability in their lives. And where I am at right now, there is no stability. And for this world – I don't see much hope. I do fight to make a difference, but a lot of people don't. Too many simply don't care. Environmental destruction, war mongers, nuclear weapons – not the paradise I would like to see my kids live in..

Q: Who is (besides your parents) the most important person in your life? And why?

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Angela: Michael Amott. He has always stood at my side.

Q: In a magazine interview you stated that you were too intelligent to be happy, which I thought was a very powerful statement in regards to all the global conflict taking place. Could you emphasize on that statement more?

Angela: I can put 1 and 1 together. Given the ignorance and denial a lot of people live in I assume they can't to the maths. Everything we do has an impact on this planet. Each one of us has a responsibility and can make a change. Every day I open my eyes I can see what is happening and I understand what is going on. There are many out there who don't have that social intelligence, the knowledge of this world and its creatures. All they can see is "me, myself and I." They simply look the other way and switch off that part of their brain — or they probably never used it in the first place. There are many who fight for survival, who are too poor or don't have the education to make a difference. I understand and I don't expect them to change the world. But most of us live in a wealthy society and have everything they need. Yet, they are never satisfied and walk over bodies to get what they want. I see so much carelessness and ignorance amongst us. Being a sensitive and caring person a lot of people and their actions make me sad and angry. Basically, I am having a hard time blending out reality and to be mindlessly happy.

Q: Angela, could you tell us if ARCH ENEMY is going to make an album with the best live songs from the "Black Tyranny Tour" or even a DVD on this tour?

Angela: I am not sure. We do have plans but a DVD is actually very expensive to make and doesn't sell that well. A lot of kids out there expect to get everything for free from the artist nowadays. We simply can't afford this and as it looks like right now, we can't afford to invest money into shooting a DVD. So if you want to see a live performance of the "Rise Of The Tyrant" material — you got to come out the shows.

Q: Why do you suppose metal isn't as widely accepted and praised here in America as it is over in Europe?

Angela: Metal in Europe has no mainstream acceptance either. What we got is a very lively festival culture and a lot of them are catering to metal fans. I think America's problem is the dominating role religion plays in politics and social live. Religion obstructs freedom and the acceptance of opposed forms of art. And metal still goes against the grain.

Q: What have you experienced to write songs like "Enemy Within", "The Last Enemy" or "My Apocalypse"?

Angela: I grew up with a parent who suffered from bouts of depression. There was talk of suicide or simply leaving the family behind. I had to struggle with this for years as this had a profound effect on my mental state as well. For years I felt left alone, un-safe, forever falling down a narrow dark tunnel. Nobody would hold me or stop me in my fall. I had borderline depressive phases where I was thinking about giving up ("My Apocalypse"). But suicide ("The Last Enemy") always seemed like an unacceptable "non"-solution for me. It's full flight. You run away from life. There were times were life was not very enjoyable, but I always felt hope and saw a light at the end of the tunnel. I dealt with the depression that was brought upon me by childhood experiences. I looked for help and went to a therapist for a while. Getting an outside view, somebody to talk to who wasn't so deeply involved emotionally did help me a lot. I found a way to look at it form a distance and to walk away from self-distraction, self-hatred and mental conditioning. You do imitate your parents and a lot of people live their parent's lives. I didn't want that. I neither wanted to relive their unhappy relationship nor did I want to be a self-loathing individual. I wanted to be free. I have achieved that but I remember my dark feelings. Sometimes they still do creep up on me. But once you know "The Enemy Within", it gets much easier to fight back.

Q: Are there ever any people who look down upon you because of your position in the metal world?

Angela: I am here to inspire, to encourage and simply to have a great time. I came a long way, starting out in an underground band to become the most recognized extreme female singer in the metal world. Whoever looks down on me has surely not tried what I am doing and most certainly has not achieved even half of it and must be very arrogant and intolerant. And I don't waste my time with idiots. I couldn't care less.

Q: What (do you think) happens when we die? What happens to our soul? Where do we go? Do you believe there is a higher dimension where we go to? Is this (earth) the hell, or is there a place lower than this existence? What (do you consider to be) the truth? There are so many different religions in the world, why is this?”

Angela: I can recommend the book "The God Delusion". It will answer many of these questions. Religion is a tool for power, and excuse for war, a strong source of income. I most certainly do not believe in religion or in a god who is interested in every single human being's fate. There is no god. You are responsible for your own happiness. You got this one life on earth — make the best out of it and enjoy it, whilst it last! Long story short: I am an atheist.

Q: With being with a band like ARCH ENEMY, where does most of the fun come from?

Angela: We have total artistic freedom. We have great fans. We get respect and recognition for what we do. We travel the whole world. We get along great and have the same goals. We work very hard — and we get results. We are an efficient metal machine and that's a lot of fun and very rewarding! And today I am sitting in a grey, cold parking lot in England and I am trying to remember these fun aspects very hard. Haha.

Read the entire question-and-answer session at this location.

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