Maximum Rock Mag recently conducted an interview with vocalist Angela Gossow of Swedish/German extreme metallers ARCH ENEMY. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Maximum Rock Mag: So, what's going on with ARCH ENEMY? What are you guys doing now?
Gossow: Well, we got a couple of shows coming up actually this week, we're playing four shows in Holland, Belgium, Germany and Poland, then we go back home to continue writing the new album. Then we go out again in November, we play four shows in the U.K., a headline tour, we haven't been there for a while. Then we come back and go straight to the studio in the beginning of December and start recording the new album. Working title is "Fuck You All"! No! Just kidding! We've got 12 songs for now but I think we're going to end up with 15 or 16 songs, I don't know… We have two months in the studio, December and January. The album has to drop in May. We start playing festivals then already in support of the new album. We're kicking off with the Metalfest festivals where we headline, then we're just gonna do the European festivals season, full on; there's tons of shows, bigger and smaller festivals. Then we go either on a festival trek in the USA or we will start touring Asia, India and Australia.
Maximum Rock Mag: Let's talk a bit about the direction of the new album? How is it gonna sound? What should the fans expect?
Gossow: ARCH ENEMY's trademark is extreme stuff with a lot of melody. Right now the extreme stuff is definitely over the top, so I think we will try to write 2-3 more melodic tracks; it's very extreme at the moment, a lot of blast beats, you know... I'm so excited about it, we haven't written an album since 2007, we've got a ton of riffs, there's gonna be a lot of riffs in every song I think because we've got so many and we're just really hungry for a new album!
Maximum Rock Mag: I read your biography and some of your answers to the fans and I can see that you are a really committed and determined person and really involved in political issues, with a strong and right attitude against racism, globalization and stuff like that. How do you think you can raise the awareness regarding these issues among youngsters?
Gossow: I think people look for answers, I think that's what's great about the young generation, that's why they're most likely to make changes and start up little revolutions, you know… Because you're more rebellious as a teenager, a lot of people get tired when they get older and I think it's important to stay in the dialog with young kids. I tell as much as I can about me, about what I believe in and a lot of people pick up on that because they look actively for inspiration. Some have questions and I try to answer them and make them realize that we're living in an age where we all know that our world is dying for one thing and we know that wars are not the answer to any political problem, yet environmental destruction is still ongoing and there's still a lot of wars raging. It's absurd. The war in Iraq is not over despite the fact that it's out of the news. It's a very confusing time people live in and it's very frightening as well… It feels a bit like end time, doesn't it? I don't really preach about what I do, I only answer questions, like when people ask me why am I a vegan, I explain it to them, or why am I an atheist, I explain it to them. But I'm quite careful with these things because I definitely don't want to be a preacher, there's enough preachers out there and a lot end up in politics and religion and I mistrust preachers. I rather practise and set an example. I think it's important to let people know what I believe in, because I feel responsible for my actions and I also feel responsible for telling young kids the right things.
Maximum Rock Mag: Being an atheist myself, I want to know why are you an atheist?
Gossow: Because there is no God. I'm surprised to see that people still believe there is one, it's like saying I believe in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. Science is so advanced by now and people have been trying for thousands of years to prove the existence of God and they've all failed miserably. Looking at the world at this stage it is obvious it is a godless world and the church is only bringing shame upon themselves by making headlines with child abuse and messages like "Do not use condoms" in countries and places like Africa where AIDS is still spreading like crazy. It's kind of an evil institution and I believe religion is only been used for the abuse of power and waging of wars… Yeah, I'm a die-hard atheist. Regarding Satanism, I think it is Christianity turned upside down, essentially praying to the same gods -vand there's no god standing before me! I do not accept any authority, not even a divine or a satanic one.
Maximum Rock Mag: Why are you a vegan?
Gossow: I only eat raw foods, vegan. For instance in the summer I go in the forest I pluck lots of berries, leaves and I eat them straight up. It's a very healthy lifestyle because I do not cook, boil and destroy any kind of vitamins and minerals. I'm very fit, I've never gained too much weight in my life, I was always very slim and very strong, because my diet is extremely healthy. And I do not hurt any other living being, except plants, but plants do not have any feelings, so… And they have no memory whereas animals have. I really oppose any kind of violence or killing and I do not exclude animals from that. I feel that animals are equal to humans, because the human being is just an animal, really; we are animals, you know. When you look at our evolution, we are homo sapiens, an animal and I do not understand why we have set the rule that we can cage, breed, mass-produce and slaughter animals in a massive amount that no other animal would do. We don't go out and just kill one animal and feed off it for a week, but we overconsume it so much that a lot of people get sick from meat. They get lots of heart diseases, heart attacks, stomach cancers, all kinds of cancers that come from the over consumption of meat and we have to pump those animals so full of hormones and medications because they would actually die in those conditions they live in otherwise. The meat that we eat is charged with so many antibiotics and creates all type of hormonal dysfunctions and obviously they get other side effects from it, like impotence, for instance… So, yes, I think the meat business is a very disgusting, unhealthy, environmentally damaging business and I don't want to support that in any way. I have to say that I'm very proud that all of ARCH ENEMY, including Sharlee D'Angelo and Daniel Erlandsson, as well as Christopher [Amott] and Michael [Amott], they are all vegetarians by now, due to health reasons or just simply because they understand the impact of the meat industry. It's one of the most environmentally damaging and cruel industries in this world and if you are against animal testing, like any kind of testing of products, you can't go around by saying but I'm cool with breeding pigs and cows in unbelievable conditions and having them slaughtered and shot. It's the same. So, I'm just against animal cruelty and I think eating meat is part of it.
Read the entire interview from Maximum Rock Mag.