ARCH ENEMY Guitarist: 'A Lot Of Americans Are Trying To Sound Like Swedish Bands'

Kyle Jongerden of the Vermont Cynic recently conducted an interview with ARCH ENEMY guitarist Michael Amott. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Vermont Cynic: Why do you think heavy metal is becoming so popular in America?

Michael: "I mean, everything seems to go around in circles. Now people seem to be more open. A few years ago it was bands like GODSMACK. That stuff was still pretty heavy, I guess, but it had a certain atmosphere, a 'nu-metal' tag or whatever. I don't really know, I'm not from here so I don't really know what goes on too much. I just know there's an increased interest in what we do, that's always exciting. There are some bands that are doing really well, like KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and SHADOWS FALL. They're doing really well and it's cool. I don't really follow it too closely so I don't know what that is. We've just been doing what we've always been doing.

"When we started out, no one was interested over here. For the first three albums nobody even really bothered to schedule an interview for us over here. There was no interest and we definitely didn't tour. And then suddenly, yeah, things come around and it's like, 'Yeah this band's really cool,' and it's like, 'Oh, yeah, they've got guitar solos,' but it was before anyone was really into us.

"We really haven't changed for this tour [Ozzfest]. We're evolving as a band but we're doing what we're going to do. We don't pay attention to what goes on. We don't know what things are happening. Something that we thought about was that we definitely want to retain our European sound, our European feel. I know that some European bands are trying to sound American, it seems that way when you listen to stuff. Then a lot of Americans are trying to sound like Swedish bands. I definitely want to keep our European metal atmosphere."

Vermont Cynic: If you could create a genre to describe ARCH ENEMY, what would it be?

Michael: "Pure metal (laughs). It's just metal to me. Extreme metal I guess. There are labels and labels you know. I understand heavy metal, I understand thrash metal, I even understand death metal. But now it seems like these boxes are getting smaller and smaller and it's not that fun sitting in a box that small and like, 'This is what we are.' Then you do a song that's different and everybody will say, 'Well that's not what they should be doing, it's a bit weird.' Music is an art form, it's supposed to be creative, you're supposed to have fun with it. Be creative and be an artist."

Read the entire interview at


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