Anthony Morgan of Metal Forces recently conducted an interview with guitarist Michael Amott of Swedish / German / American extreme metallers ARCH ENEMY. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On the departure of his brother Chris from ARCH ENEMY:
Michael: "I think he's into other styles of music, as we all are. We all listen to a wide variety of music, but when we come together and create music together, it sounds like ARCH ENEMY. You should ask him why he left ARCH ENEMY, though, really. I don't really know. [laughs] We talked about it. It'd been quite obvious for a while that he hadn't been at his happiest playing with ARCH ENEMY, and he wasn't as into it as the rest of us are. He was out of the band between 2005 and 2007, so it didn't come as a great shock to us when he told us. He wanted to leave and pursue other interests. It wasn't shocking to us or anything; we were kind of expecting it."
On forthcoming ARCH ENEMY DVD, "Live Khaos":
Michael: "We put one out in 2004 called 'Live Apocalypse', and that was filmed in London. It was an entire London show, and then we filmed one entire concert in Tokyo, Japan in 2008 which was called 'Tyrants Of The Rising Sun'. I think this new DVD is gonna be more different; it's gonna be from different shows, different festival shows. I don't think there'll be one whole show. I mean, there might be. I don't know. It depends on how many DVDs it'll have. Maybe it'll be a two-disc or three-disc DVD, or maybe it'll be just a single disc. I'm not entirely sure yet. We've got a lot of different material that we wanna put on there. We filmed a really cool small show in [vocalist] Angela Gossow's hometown of Cologne, Germany (on December 13th, 2011), which is very cool footage that looks incredible. We then have another big show from Japan actually (October 15th, 2011), which we did last year in a big stadium in front of 15,000 people. That's a very big, epic scale show, so that's a bit different again. Then we have some stuff from the Philippines. We've got footage all over the place, really. We're filming a little bit this summer as well. We film wherever we go. We're going to South America at the end of the year — all over Latin America — so we might film some stuff there as well. We're gonna try to put it all together sometime. Whatever it is, we're gonna try to make it very cool and fan-friendly. Something that the fans can really sink their teeth into, and get excited about. It's gonna be from all around the world I think though. Some crazy footage, a bit more chopped up."
On ARCH ENEMY's next studio album, provisionally scheduled for 2014:
Michael: "I try to raise the bar a lot every time, but it's getting more and more difficult because we've made some really damn fine albums. It's getting harder and harder, but we try to raise the bar. We try to push ourselves even further, and come up with new lyrical concepts, new music, new tones, new riffs, new ideas, and new ways of creating extreme metal. I have about three, maybe four new song ideas I'm working on. I'm slowly starting to write new material. Right now the direction sounds very extreme, but I don't know. We might tone it down a bit. [laughs] It's very busy, I'd say probably more technical guitar wise, more melodic and faster, and not as mid-tempo and heavy as the 'Khaos Legions' material. I'd say it's faster, more up-tempo, and with more crazy guitar work."
On the forthcoming SPIRITUAL BEGGARS album:
Michael: "We've met up a couple of times in the last year. I've actually written a bunch of songs for that; we've actually written and demoed up about ten songs, and we've got another three that we haven't demoed up yet. Those three are just in our heads, or are more simple demos with drum machines and stuff. We've got about 13, maybe 14 songs ready to go. The demos sound great, so I'm really excited. It's always gonna be classic rock inspired, very heavy rock with a lot of DEEP PURPLE, MAHOGANY RUSH, BLACK SABBATH, of course, URIAH HEEP, RAINBOW, and all those old heavy bands. Really cool bands from the early '70s are gonna be in there. These new demos sound really, really killer. I think we've stepped it up a little bit in the songwriting. It sounds very, very catchy with lots of energy. I don't know. To my ears it sounds like a cut above 'Return To Zero', so I'm pretty excited about it. We're gonna try to meet up in June, finish the pre-production, have some intense rehearsals for a week, maybe do some more demos, and then hopefully start recording or something. We've got some time off in the fall I think from the ARCH ENEMY schedule. There's a window there in September, October I think, so we might try to record the album then. Hopefully we'll get a new SPIRITUAL BEGGARS album out next year in early 2013. That's an idea that we have, anyway. I do SPIRITUAL BEGGARS stuff in between breaks in the ARCH ENEMY schedule. It's just something that I really enjoy. It's just a different side of my guitar playing, and my creativity. They're great guys I play with in that band as well."
On CARCASS' plans for the future:
Michael: "I'm not working with CARCASS at the moment. From what I hear they're working on something new, but it's not with me. I'm not included in it. I don't know. I don't comment. [laughs] I don't really know what they're working on, so it's not really for me to say, but whatever it is I wish them well, of course. I had a great time doing the reunion shows; we played a lot of shows in 2008, 2009, 2010, and I had a fantastic time at those shows. I'm a very busy guy as well, so I could see why I wouldn't be included. I've pretty much got a full-time thing going on with ARCH ENEMY, and I'm with SPIRITUAL BEGGARS on top of that. It's very difficult for me to fit in a third band with touring and everything."
Read the entire interview from Metal Forces.