Prior to the group's December 1 performance in Tempe, Arizona, ARCH ENEMY guitarist Michael Amott was interviewed by Metal Wani's Jackie Mtz. You can now listen to the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On the response to the group's latest album, "Will To Power":
Michael: "It's been phenomenal — mind-blowing, really. It's our tenth studio album, and you think, 'Who's going to go out and buy our tenth album?' [Laughs] 'We've made so many already.' But actually, it's been super-well received, and some of our highest charting positions around the world. It was No. 3 in Germany; it was No. 1 in Japan; and it was, like, top five around a lot of countries in Europe. In the States, it's a different market over here, but it still did very, very well for us — is doing very well. People are finding out about it every day over here. We're converting people every day to the cause."
On whether the writing process for "Will To Power" differed from that for 2014's "War Eternal":
Michael: "The writing was pretty much the same, but it's always a little bit different. I did most of the writing myself, musically speaking, together with Daniel [Erlandsson, drums], and we got it done that way. Lyrics, on 'War Eternal', Alissa [White-Gluz, vocals] wrote five songs and I wrote five songs, and we did it the same way this time — split it evenly between us. I've always written lyrics for the band, so that's why I keep doing that — it's something that I enjoy doing. I don't know if it was that different, really. We wrote quite a bit of it in Mexico for some reason. We were on tour down there, and me and Daniel stayed and rented a place down by the beach and turned that into a little studio and made some demos down there. About half of the music for the album was put together down there, and the rest was done a little bit here and there in Sweden and so forth.
"I'm always writing, so it never really stops. I'm so established in my style — I've made so many records and written so many songs — that I'm not really... of course I'm inspired by things, but not necessarily other people's records. I don't really hear somebody else's record and go, like, 'Well, we should do something like that. I guess I've been doing it so long that I just have my style — I just write and do what I do."
On how the band's dynamic has changed over the years:
Michael: "The dynamics change when you change people, of course, but we have a stable core of myself, Daniel and Sharlee [D'Angelo, bass]. We've been here for twenty years. The core remains intact, but it's great to have new people as well. Fresh blood can be a great thing."
On where he sees the band going from here:
Michael: "I've never had a long-term plan — just do it album by album, tour by tour. Well, not tour by tour — we kind of plan for about a year or two in advance. Bands are volatile things; you can't really plan the future, or predict the future. It's hard keeping a band together, because it's different lives, people want to do different things, people want to leave, people want to take a break, people change. And the market can change as well. But the one thing that does surprise me is that it keeps going up and up — ARCH ENEMY keeps getting more and more successful. I don't really know why that is. We work hard, but I don't know why it's going so well. If I knew why, then I'd write a book."
On whether the band has any plans to slow down:
Michael: "We're going to keep going. I don't really know another life. I've been touring professionally since I was 20 years old. I feel more natural here in a backstage room getting ready to play a show than I do sitting at home. That's kind of weird, I guess. [Laughs] It's been great, but there's also a lot of sacrifices, of course. I've given up a lot of things that people... I make a great living, but it's not like I've got any time to live it. [Laughs] I just do this, but I'm at my happiest when I'm playing my guitar on stage and doing this, or being creative in the studio or writing new music. When I'm not doing ARCH ENEMY, I jump in and do another one of my projects. I'm just always doing music."
ARCH ENEMY recently completed a North American co-headlining tour with TRIVIUM. On January 12, the group will kick off a European headlining tour, during which they will be supported by WINTERSUN, TRIBULATION and JINJER.
"Will To Power" was released in September via Century Media Records. Co-produced by Amott and Erlandsson, the disc was mixed and mastered by longtime collaborator and friend Jens Bogren (OPETH, AT THE GATES, DIMMU BORGIR). The LP's cover artwork was designed by Alex Reisfar.
"Will To Power" marks the second ARCH ENEMY album since the departure of longtime singer Angela Gossow and addition of her replacement, former THE AGONIST frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz. It is also the first ARCH ENEMY disc to feature guitarist Jeff Loomis (ex-NEVERMORE), who joined the band in late 2014.