Shaq of Metal-Rules.com recently conducted an interview with ARCH ENEMY guitarist Michael Amott. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Metal-Rules.com: In the past few years you guys have really broken through in North America. Do you think there is any particular reason for that happening?
Amott: I don't know why, maybe because we've been touring here a lot on a lot of cool tours. We've supported SLAYER, we've supported IRON MAIDEN, we've supported MEGADETH, those were pretty good gigs. We did Ozzfest, so we've had a lot of opportunities to make a lot of new fans. Every day we play our own shows nowadays we meet people that say, "You opened for SLAYER and that's how I found out about you guys." We were on Gigantour last year with MEGADETH, it was a very cool tour and we got a lot of new fans. We've just been coming over here a lot, a lot of headlining stuff as well, on a smaller level. We're keeping at it.
Metal-Rules.com: Let's talk about your brand new album, "Rise of the Tyrant"; the album is very much in the vein of older ARCH ENEMY, was this intentional?
Amott: A little bit, I think so as well. I think this album has the elements of the old ARCH ENEMY and also the stuff we did on our last two records. What we wanted to do was to make something that was extremely action packed, lots of intricate arrangements, little things that keep changing and every time they come around they're a little bit different. Lots of harmonies, lots of speed, lots of power, lots of guitar solos. We really wanted to make an intense metal album that was fun to listen to.
Metal-Rules.com: How did the return of your brother to the band influence the album?
Amott: Well, he had an influence. But I've been writing on this album for two years before he rejoined. So, most of it was actually done, as far as writing went. We did do a couple of co-writes together; like "The Last Enemy" and a song called "Vultures" which closes the album. Those were co-writes that we pretty much did from scratch. I really wanted his flavor as much as possible on the album because he has a different style and moods for the sake of variety I think it's good to have his flavor on there as well. I tried to put as many of his little parts as possible across the songs that were already completed.
Metal-Rules.com: Angela didn't use any vocal effects on this album which had become kind of common on the last couple. Was this her decision, or had this been decided by the band?
Amott: I don't know. We never really used any more effects than anyone else in the studio. On the last album she double-tracked everything, which basically means that you record everything twice exactly the same. Everything you have heard Ozzy sing is like that, everything you've ever heard Chuck Billy sing in TESTAMENT is like that, nothing out of the ordinary. But this time she wanted to do single takes, we ripped through it a lot quicker, and I think she spent a lot less time on it and it came out sounding really killer. Every time is different, every time you make another album the guitar tone is going to be a little different and the vocals are going to be a little different, the drums, everything. Everything comes together, you drag everything into a new room, a new studio, a new engineer, it's going to come out sounding a little different but it is still going to be ARCH ENEMY.
Metal-Rules.com: One other obvious difference this time around is your use of Fredrik Nordström instead of Andy Sneap. Was their any particular reason for this and do you think it had a big impact on a final result of the album?
Amott: Yeah, the album sounds totally different than the last one; I guess it did have an impact, no doubt. The main reason for that was just because we wanted to do something different. We worked on so many projects with Andy Sneap that we wanted to try something different, and to try and not make everything sound too similar. Andy is one of my best friends on a personal level, and I think he is one of the best metal producers out there; he's actually one of the top names now. He's awesome, probably the best out there. We also wanted to record in Sweden, so we could be at home. We thought that going back to Fredrik would a cool thing, you know; just a little bit different.
Read the entire interview at Metal-Rules.com.