ARCH ENEMY's MICHAEL AMOTT: 'In Many Ways, I'm Still Living My Teenage Fantasy'

February 7, 2023

During an appearance on the latest episode of the "Scars And Guitars" podcast, Swedish guitarist Michael Amott reflected on his three-and-a-half-decade career as a member of some of several acclaimed extreme metal acts, including ARCH ENEMY, CARCASS, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS and CARNAGE. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "In many ways, I'm still living my teenage fantasy. I just walk around with my head in the clouds and full of riffs and metal. I think about stuff like that all day. And that's my job, and that's what people want me to do. I'm very, very fortunate in that way. My job is to wake up, have coffee and start playing guitar. And that's great. I play guitar for hours each and every day. How cool is that? That's kind of unbelievable, really.

"When I started playing this music, the music that I was interested in, that I wanted to play, when I was a young teenager, I never saw that as a potential career or something like that," he explained. "Because the kind of music that I was interested in playing was not popular. A lot of times, there weren't even albums out with this kind of music. This is before there were records; there would just be tapes and demos and live tapes and underground rehearsal tapes of bands from all over the world playing this extreme music. And that's what I was interested in. And then, of course, there were some established bands, but you'd go see these bands and you'd think they were big, but there was nobody there. There would be a hundred people there to see what you thought was an established band. It kind of made me realize, 'This music isn't that popular. Not a lot of people are into it.' But that all changed in the '90s, and it became more of a business. And it became more of a… I wouldn't say 'mainstream,' but there was a way to market and sort of spread that kind of underground metal. The scene became so much bigger. I guess I saw that happening when I was in CARCASS in the early '90s. Suddenly there would be thousands of people at certain shows. It was, like, 'Wow. This is really something. How did this happen? How can so many people be in one spot at the same time really enjoying this level of noise?' [laughs], you know, this kind of level of extremity that we were doing. It was really interesting to see it grow like that. And, of course, nowadays people have expectations maybe. If you start a band, if you're starting out now, that it's gonna be… I had zero expectations of anything like this happening in my life. I always thought I would have a normal job and then I'd do music as a hobby. But as it turned out, I've actually never been employed in my whole life — properly employed — so I've always done this. So it's kind of crazy. I never expected that."

Michael is the older brother of Christopher Amott, who is the current guitarist for DARK TRANQUILLITY. Some major influences in Michael's music have been Tony Iommi, Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth and Dave Mustaine.

Amott was ranked one of the "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists Of All Time" by Guitar World.

ARCH ENEMY's 11th studio album, "Deceivers", arrived last August via Century Media Records.

The band played its first post-pandemic show at the opening concert of its "The North American Siege 2022" tour with BEHEMOTH and NAPALM DEATH last April at The Marquee in Tempe, Arizona.

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