AMARANTHE Bassist: 'We Do Exactly What We Like' And 'We Don't Listen To Anyone'

March 7, 2019

Kaaos TV conducted an interview with guitarist Olof Mörck and bassist Johan Andreassen of Swedish melodic metallers AMARANTHE prior to the band's February 16 concert at Jäähalli in Helsinki, Finland. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the touring cycle for their most recent studio album, "Helix":

Olof: "You can look at the figures, just like with the album itself. It's sold better and streamed better. The same thing with this tour. There's a lot more people in general. We actually started this tour as the main support for POWERWOLF, which was a lot of fun. But, to be honest, the difference that I can really sense, the version of the band because we have a new singer, Nils [Molin], the band has been around for a long time as well, figures aside, the 'Helix' tour we are doing right now is by far the best tour the band has ever done. Also, we have a new crew and management and everything. Everything has been super-smooth and flowing perfectly."

On co-producing "Helix" with frontwoman Elize Ryd:

Olof: "We've been working on the music since the first album, and just to clarify, Jacob Hansen is the producer and we were the co-producers and writers. Anyway, to write together with Elize is always a pleasure and it's a big collaboration. It's actually never happened that we sat down and tried to write a song and nothing came out because there's always ideas. So that's always really great. It's a little bit special in the sense that we didn't have that much time to write the album, but, to be honest, we had the opportunity to take more time but the album would have been released later and the label was fine with it. I was talking to Elize about it and she said, 'Obviously, we can do it in two months.' To be very honest, I think it turned out all the better for it. We were super-focused. It wasn't like two weeks of songwriting then go on tour and play a couple of shows for a few weeks, then come back and do that for a half of a year, which is what we've done before. This time, we were one-hundred percent focused the entire time we were composing. It turned out excellent. It's my own personal favorite album."

On whether "Helix" is AMARANTHE's heaviest album to date:

Johan: "As Olof said, they wrote the songs in two months and to me, it really shows that the songs are just perfectly evolved. They are not overworked and there are no compromises on any of the songs. Make it heavier? We're pretty down-tuned on this one. There is one song, 'Unified', where I down-tune my bass to G, which is almost unplayable. But it makes the song extremely heavy and cool. As I said, it's not overworked. It's perfectly balanced between being too much and being too little. It's just in the center of being perfect. That's how I see it. That's my five cents about it. [Laughs]"

Olof: "I would say you have one thing with the tuning, of course, because it's going to make the sound heavier. It's also a very metal-inspired album, if you know what I mean. Sometimes we have a tendency to balance things. We have a lot of pop influences and sometimes we decide to go a little more pop just to piss everybody off. It's a good reason for writing music, obviously."

Johan: "Not everyone agrees on this, but, to me, AMARANTHE is actually a punk band in that sense because we do exactly what we like. We don't listen to anyone. We don't take direction from anyone, let alone the record label or people like that. We do exactly what we want to do, sometimes to piss people off, sometimes just because we want to do it that way. So, we are actually a punk band. 'Maximalism' would be the punk-ish album because there's a lot of pissing people off on that album. Actually, the same for 'Helix'."

Olof: "I would also say that beside the obvious side that there's a lot more metal in it, it's also lyrically heavier, if that makes any sense. In that aspect, it deals more with deeper issues, more personal things. It would take a long time to get into it right now, but it's more connected to ourselves as people, basically. Also, things we have gone through in the last seven or eight years, being a band like this, out on the road all the time, it can be a bit of a challenge, actually. It's an inspiring lyrical theme."

"Helix" was released in October through Spinefarm Records. The disc was recorded at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark with Jacob Hansen (VOLBEAT, EPICA, DELAIN). The follow-up to 2016's "Maximalism" marks the band's first release with DYNAZTY's Nils Molin, who officially joined AMARANTHE in July 2017 as the replacement for Jake E.

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