Kyle McGinn of Dead Rhetoric recently conducted an interview with vocalist Elize Ryd of Swedish melodic metallers AMARANTHE. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Dead Rhetoric: 2017 was a tough year with Jake [E] leaving and the search for a replacement looming. Do you feel that the band is in a good spot with Nils [Molin] now?
Elize: "I do feel that we are in a good spot; thank you for asking. Usually you don't want to make a big buzz about changing members in a band, but it's much more work for the remaining members than you could imagine. It was very stressful, I must admit. The remaining members are the ones who have to take care for the future and I was very dedicated to the situation we ended up. We found Nils, who is from Stockholm and he is such a nice guy, who is very humble and an amazing vocalist, so it all turned out good in the end."
Dead Rhetoric: Do you feel that stress lead to the creation of a heavier album?
Elize: "Absolutely, to be honest. We didn't hold anything back. It was a perfect opportunity. This type of stress had been in our lives for a few years. Maybe since the end of 2015. From my perspective, I'm a very expressive person and it's not easy to express yourself in society. There are very few places where you can go and really loosen up, and that's what music means to me personally. It's where I can really express myself and get my emotions out. Listening back to 'Helix', I can hear that there was a lot of stress being released, but also from a positive perspective, we knew that we had found a new member and that everything was going to be fine again, so it was also a very positive process as a band. Music is the best way for me to express myself. I always felt that it was the only way for me to free myself from these different states and emotions. I could always connect with music, and not so much with other things except dancing. That was also a way to express myself through my body. I love that. I think when I listen back to 'Helix' now I can hear a lot of positive energy. It seems like we are happy again. [Laughs] During the songwriting process, there was nothing to be ashamed about, and there was nothing that we needed to hide. You don't have to hide away from yourself or others — there's no reason to do that. Everyone has their own issues; it could be anything. Breaking up from a longtime relationship, that's what it's like to divorce from a previous [band] member. You get emotions from that which need to be expressed."
Dead Rhetoric: As you were saying, AMARANTHE has been around for about ten years. At this point, it seems AMARANTHE has been a big influence to a new crop of modern metal bands, do you agree? I know I've heard some newer bands that have a bit of your sound to them.
Elize: "Yeah, I know what you mean. I've seen a few bands as well actually. From my perspective, people are not questioning our concept as much anymore, as they used to. That's proof that it has made its stamp in the scene. Some younger bands have been inspired, and they do not judge you in the same way. I think that's also the same thing with other professions. The older generation rules the world, and then the younger generation comes in with their crazy idea, like Facebook and Google, and now they are taking over the world. We have a different perspective, and I can see that the younger audience doesn't judge us because they don't have anything to compare it with. They weren't living in the late '60s/'70s when metal was being created. Those people might think, 'What the fuck are we [AMARANTHE] doing? We are ruining the metal scene.' I see that there are so many more people from the younger generation enjoying metal, and if they enjoy AMARANTHE, they also enjoy DARK TRANQUILLITY, WITHIN TEMPTATION, GHOST and ARCH ENEMY because they have explored the genre. It's very nice to see that we don't have to defend ourselves. We can feel proud that we have opened up the gates for those from the newer generation. Some bands are inspired by us, some bands are inspired by '80s bands, and some are inspired by totally different bands. It's proof that we have existed for so long that we actually inspire other people. That is fantastic; it's amazing. It goes for all bands. Everyone is inspired by someone. I was inspired by NIGHTWISH and EVANESCENCE. Even though we didn't turn out sounding that way, it's still a very big part of why I thought about joining the metal community. It all matters when you feel like you are keeping the genre alive, you can inspire people to join in and explore other bands. It's a fantastic community. It's the best!"
You can read the entire chat at this location.
"Helix" is due October 19 through Spinefarm Records. The disc was recorded at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark with producer Jacob Hansen (VOLBEAT, EPICA, DELAIN).