France's Duke TV conducted an interview with ARCH ENEMY guitarist Michael Amott prior to the band's January 23 concert at Le Bataclan in Paris, France. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the fan response to ARCH ENEMY's latest album, 2017's "Will To Power":
Michael: "The setup was good with [2014 album] 'War Eternal' coming into this album, 'Will To Power', but you never know what the fans are going to like. If the songs are a little bit different…I never really take anything for granted. We just write the best music that we can and we put it out there and see what happens."
On the lyrical themes on "Will To Power":
Michael: "There's no concept to the whole album, really. There's a lot of different topics and themes. But, you know, our music has always been on the darker and heavier side. I always feel that we have quite a lot of variety as well. There's a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, somewhere. There's some beautiful melodies and a lot of nice harmonies."
On "Will To Power" track "Reason To Believe", which features clean singing from Alissa White-Gluz:
Michael: "We have, actually, a kind of a ballad for the first time in the history of the band. I wrote the music for it together with my brother [Chris], actually. He used to be in the band. It was just sitting around as an instrumental demo for quite some time. I actually wrote lyrics for it, showed it to Alissa, she really liked it and we discussed how we could make a ballad with ARCH ENEMY because we've never really gone into that area at all before, so it was something totally new for us. For a long time, I wanted to have kind of a softer ballad-esque type of song. A lot of my favorite bands have that, even IRON MAIDEN or JUDAS PRIEST or BLACK SABBATH have kind of ballad moments where they can take the heavy show to a different place and then come back very heavy again. I thought that would be great for the concerts as well, make it a more interesting and dynamic show, so that's what we've been doing now."
On the band's penchant for melody:
Michael: "Growing up in the thrash and death metal scene, I was doing only that for quite a few years, then when I started ARCH ENEMY, I wanted to incorporate more guitar melodies, more dynamics, more beautiful melodies with the heavy stuff as well. This kind of mixes with what we wanted to do. That's what we keep doing, which I think we're getting a little more refined and better at doing it, trying to find different ways to do it. Of course, now we have Alissa as a vocalist, she's opened a few doors musically as well. She can do more things with her voice. Yeah, it's always been about having that balance between melody and heaviness."
On why ARCH ENEMY writes and records new music:
Michael: "We're not writing pop music here. We're actually trying to 'express,' we're not trying to impress. We're not trying to get good chart positions and stuff like that is not something we're really thinking about when we write music. It happens now because the band has gotten a really big fanbase which we're very thankful. That's not the reason why we make music. We make music to express something."
"Will To Power" was released in September via Century Media Records. Co-produced by Amott and drummer Daniel 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 White-Gluz.