Interview With Arch Enemy
Interview By Luxi Lahtinen & Marko Syrjälä
Intro and Live Pics by Luxi Lahtinen
Transcription by Cid
This was the very first time ever when we Finnish Thrash bangers, Death Metal mongers,
Black Metal trolls and people alike, got an opportunity to see Arch Enemy here in Finland
and spreading their own metallic plague over us like true doom angels of diseases. Arch
Enemy was booked for Sunday 13th of July at Tuska 2003 festival and was definitely one of
the first priorities for us as far as the whole Sunday´s menu of live acts was concerned
at that day. Take a note that the band´s latest album ANTHEMS OF REBELLION wasn´t
even out a
few months when these popular Swedish metallers conquered the stage during the Tuska
2003, and this particular interview we pulled through with both Sharlee and Michael was
done a couple of hours before prior to the Arch Enemy´s show-time at so-called Sue
-stage at 4.45PM in the afternoon. Sharlee and Michael, the true gentlemen of the band,
answered politely and a bit jokingly to our questions about the forth-coming Arch Enemy
album titled ANTHEMS OF REBELLION and so on and
well, you have got a pair of sharp
and healthy eyes for yourself in your head, so just allow them to wander around a little
bit in order to find out what they had to say about the album and some other things
in general, will ya?
Interview with Arch Enemys Sharlee DAngelo
So what can you tell us about the new album, Anthems of Rebellion?
Its sort of a round, shiny, silver thing (uh!)
that you put in your CD
(*laughs*) Really?! Are you kidding us, he-he..!!
Its a new concept we came up with
, you know, this is
actually a very hard question because theres like so much and so little you can say
about it, so itd be better if you went into specifics.
Ok then, as you requested
How would you actually compare it to your previous
one, WAGES OF SIN? What are the main musical differences with that new album and with this
Well, if you look pretty much at all our previous albums theres always like a
certain amount of progress from album to album. There always a little bit of a difference
between them, but I think theres not so much difference between WAGES
one as there was from say BURNING BRIDGES to WAGES. There is still the same thing, it
still sounds very much like Arch Enemy, but, I mean there was something we started
a little bit on WAGES, was to have some more straight forward songs and not so much
not so complex
not so much like instrumental masturbation and all that,
so just try to concentrate a little bit more on the songs you know, as most bands do when
they grow up.
An amount of the keyboard sound has been added to this new album
I´ve been told?
Yeah, its not as much as you know, like we would need a keyboard player,
its more like
its more like adding some weird sounds here and there
to spice things up a little bit. I dont know whether well be doing that
live in the future or not, its hard to say, but yeah, there are a little bit more
sounds, a little of metaltron and things like that. And you know
add to the vibe of the whole thing so
Like creating more atmospheres behind your songs and making a more thick sound for
the album that way and stuff
Exactly, but you dont want a keyboard player on stage, no
Why not? Every band seems to have a keyboard player nowadays onstage, so why don´t
you add one into your live line-up then
HELL NO!! Unless youre like you know, Deep Purple or something
But basically what were trying to say is that those keyboards out there are
just creating more atmospheres for your songs and that´s the way they are probably always
going to be for Arch Enemy, right?
Exactly, so its not like big chords here and there. Its more like a bunch
weird sounds and those types of things
And you are not trying to sound either too polished or commercial by having more of
that keyboard in your sound?
it could be very Bon Jovi then, he-he!!
I was wondering, how did you end up choosing this title Anthems of
Rebellion for the album in the first place?
Its a title that Angela came up with actually quite a while ago, and it seemed
like a good theme to write songs around. Because as opposed to let´s say WAGES,
where all the lyrics were more about ´abstract evil´, like within
or outside somewhere, about the things that you feel, but you cant really
touch. So here, its more concrete stuff things that happen. Things are
much more based on reality and its about most things that you do, I mean you do
rebel against everything thats around you and society in your own little way even if
you dont start a riot or... In everything you do, you try to change
things a little bit, you know, personally. So I think thats what its more
rooted on reality a lot more than it has been before.
What kind of touring plans do you have after the album has been released?
We still have a few festivals to do now, but as soon as the album comes out I think
were going to do a short headline tour in the US and then after that were
going to do a bit in Europe along with Nevermore, and then after that I think were
going to do a bit more European touring and then go back to the states and then in January it
could be Japan, Australia and
And maybe in Scandinavia and a show or two in Finland, too
I dont know if the Nevermore tour is going through Scandinavia. I dont know
if its going to come to Finland. Theres always a problem there because like
theres always some extra cost of taking several buses and trucks on the ferry over
and then do only one gig and thats always a problem with Finland.
Yeah, I know. That´s the way it used to be in the past when bands were trying to
arrange some gigs to Finland, but we do have some new cool venues here in Finland, so I
guess if you ever come to Finland for doing gigs again, you should get more than just
one-off gig to Finland in order to make it a bit more profitable for you in the first
Exactly!! Sometimes its hard to get to gigs. I dont know, but
there are still gigs being added to that tour, so you never know.
As for playing more ´obscure´ countries
have you ever considered playing,
let´s say f.ex. in Russia some day?
That would be good, yeah cause I met some from Russia last night who came here
specifically to see us, so it would be a time for us to go to Russia
that would be a
good little trip.
By the way, this is a little off-topic question, but what is the current situation
with Mercyful Fate and Witchery at the moment?
I think that was Mallorca
(!) Yeah, Mercyful fate
I think King just wants
to concentrate on his own stuff right now, so
Were being attacked by
even though hes from L.A., but I mean (*laughs*). So yeah, the King
just wants to do his own stuff right now, so I dont know, we havent done
anything with Mercyful Fate since 99. So I dont know when its going to
happen again, well just wait and see. As far as Witchery goes, we have an album in
the plans, so we just need time cause some are super busy with The Haunted and I
havent done anything but this for the past 2 years.
How was it to open for Iron Maiden in Oslo? You had 2 dates with them there as far
as I can remember
It was great!! It was just fantastic!!! I was dreading it a
little bit just because of the Maiden crowd. There are a couple of bands
like Metallica or Kiss or Maiden where its hard to open up for them because
the crowd seems to go for one band and one band only, so I thought
uhhh... they are
probably going to throw stuff at us or ´something´, heh! Or so I was thinking anyway,
you know. I was thinking to go onstage with a helmet on (*laughs*). But they were
really great actually! Out of like 9000 people I think there were like 200 people who knew who
we were from the beginning, but I think we won a few over for our side, making some new
Arch Enemy fans in those two certain gigs there. Because we worked hard for
them, so it was a good thing. Especially the second night because you could tell that
there were a lot of people who came there both nights. And when they came back, they came
early because they had told their friends you gotta see this band, so we
had a better pit going on the 2nd night.
I read from somewhere youre going to have a special edition for this new CD
coming out, too
As a matter of fact, yes, we will.
A double CD with some extras in it, in a digi-pack format and everything
Yeah, theres an extra disc with something like 4
yeah, 4 live tracks from
different places all over the world and theres also 4 songs off the album that are
the 5.1 mix. So this is a little something for the people who have like their own home
Is this a special format for the European markets only or for everywhere?
It´s gonna be for everywhere. Theres no difference between f.ex. a Japanese
edition and American edition, whatsoever. It will be the same for everywhere else, too.
I heard the vinyl version is also coming out. Is there going to be anything extra on
No, I dont think so. Theres probably going to be less (*laughs*), but I
think we could fit the whole record in one album if recorded it for a vinyl. Otherwise
sometimes, they just take a song away to be able to squeeze it all in one disc, y´know.
Are you going to do some sort of promotional video for this new album, too?
Yes, we actually finished shooting at 6 oclock last
when it was...
uhh? Yesterday! Yeah and after that we just took the ferry here.
You had Andy Sneap producing the album. He is known as a damn talented and
professional producer, demanding of musicians a lot while being stuck with him in a recording
studio. Is that correct?
Absolutely, yeah!! I couldn´t agree with you more. He really is
!! I mean, he
wont settle for second best. You have to do it again and again if hes not
satisfied. And sometimes it is like he doesnt even know what it is that hes
after, hes just like: Yeah, there you have it
! and you go:
What? Wheres the difference
?!. But then he explains you this and
that and you´ll realize eventually that he still was right. It was this little ´extra
edge´ that he was after, and its like... Its not like its going to be
perfectly played in that way. Hes just after a certain feeling, a certain impression
in the playing and all that stuff. Hes got a very weird way of getting that out of a
band and doing that, he pisses people off. And then so you get more aggressive, so I think
thats part of his tricks (*laughs*).
So you could say youre all very pleased with his production on ANTHEMS OF
!! Also, hes very good at what hes doing, you know as
an engineer he knows his equipment so well, so hes super fast!! You dont have
to wait for him to sit and fiddle with it.
How do you personally like the first album of Sinergy, after four years of its
release, where you played the bass?
Well, I mean, now in hindsight, I liked a lot better right after it was done. But
I´m pleased with it any more. You know, I had never done anything like that
before, but it was certainly fun thing to do anyway.
Have you heard their other albums, too?
Yeah, I have indeed!! I thought some of their songs are quite good actually. Their
second one was good, too. I thought it was a lot better than that first one. But that was
sort of an experiment and I have good memories of that, so
Ok, thanks for your time Sharlee. It was a pleasure to talking to you. See ya at
Thanks guys!! See ya soon
Interview with Arch Enemys Michael Amott
we are Luxi and Marko from Metal-Rules.com
Sharlee: They want the facts
Michael: So, this was like a deadline for Sharlee then
(*laughs*) Kind of
yeah, I guess. Ok Michael, your turn for ´those facts...´
Ok guys... go for it!
We have the very same question for you as a starter that we just asked Sharlee a
little while ago. How do you like the new album, overall the outcome for it? What are your
personal feelings about it right now?
Im actually really pleased with it. Im very excited about it. I mean, I
always am about the latest album. Its the latest piece of work weve done,
We were working on it for a long time; worked hard and it came out really good. I
mean, I dont listen to it because, its our album, you work so hard
its the same as with everybody else, I guess. You work so hard on something and now
its coming out and its like, y´know, in the beginning when you do rehearsals
and writing the songs and pre-production, demos
I dont know. Also when
youre in the studio youre recording your albums are like theyre your
babies, you know. But now its all grown up and you just give it to the public
and everybody goes and kills the baby. (*laughs*)
(*laughs*) Are you afraid of what some critics may say about your ´new-born baby´
No, I mean, its not like that, I dont feel that personal about it.
Its just about getting it out there and everybody has an opinion about it. Its
kinda cool when youre actually writing a record because its only a small
circle of people that actually write the album, y´know.
You recently played a couple of gigs together with Iron Maiden. How was that from
your own point of view?
I guess you can imagine how it was. That was simply amazing!! We were
surprised that so many Maiden fans really liked our stuff which is quite different to
Maiden, of course!!
Have you been able to do any promotion for this forth-coming album yet?
Actually we were in promotion in America a couple of weeks ago. We went to see this
female cover band called the Iron Maidens in New York. That was pretty funny.
Sharlee just told us that Andy Sneap was producing your album and he was indeed
quite demanding person with you guys
Yeah, I think he was relatively easy guy to work with us after all. I think we
sometimes fall into sort of Uh, this habit of being a little bit too
know, I mean, were pretty good when weve been playing a long time. Were
pretty good, we can play pretty much
we can make it sound good pretty easily I
think. Its not like when I started out playing when it was a real struggle to get it
to sound tight and all that stuff. Now its more like you just... I mean, BURNING
BRIDGES for instance and BLACK EARTH we made them pretty quickly and they still sound
pretty good I think. Andy went just to raise the bar, you know. He wants us to get to the
next level you know what I´m saying. And for that you have to work hard and I guess that
was a new experience for us. Recording in Gothenburg, at Studio Friedman, Fredrick would
just set the sounds, the basic sounds and then hed kind of come and go and wed
be like there alone recording a lot of guitar parts. This time Andy was there ALL the time
just watching you playing and you really
nothing really slips through you know?
Yeah, but werent you getting nervous at least a bit when he was there kind
of keeping an eye on you guys when you were playing certain single instruments, solos,
etc. for the album?
Yeah well, we were initially, but not really after all. I mean, Ive done a little
bit of work with him before, like he mixed WAGES OF SIN, so I knew him a little bit. The
other guys were a little bit more, may I say ´prepared´, you know because like bringing
in the new guy into the band for a few months and well, what happened was that he came
over to Sweden first and we did some demos in our rehearsing room and stuff like that and
that worked out really well, I think.
Is there, however, any chance for you that you might work with Fredrick again in the
Oh yeah, I mean, Im not closing any doors, but we just opened a new one for us,
you know? See what it was like to work with somebody else. I think we made a few albums
and I was personally working with Spiritual Beggars, I dont know, I did probably 5
or 6 albums with Fredrick within the 90s. So you just want to try something new every once
in a while.
I assume you have heard Fredrick´s own band called Dream Evil at least a little
Yes, I have heard them... I think they are pretty cool. I mean, Im happy for him
that hes doing something fun, you know. I heard the first one cause he was
working on it for a long time and I think its a good piece of work.
You have also played live one song from your new album (We Will Rise). How was the response from your audiences for that song?
!! I mean, weve had such weird audiences. For example we were playing
in the front of Maidens audiences a few nights ago, so the reaction was pretty much
the same for all the songs
pretty good actually. A lot better than what we thought
first, but they didnt really know our music and then you play big festivals like we
played the Donington one and we played The Fields of Rock with Metallica and
its sooo big
You cant really see the audience, just to the horizon
basically and you just play, well, you know what its like with those big festivals.
Hard to judge really what the reaction is actually
its pretty good, I think.
Were going to be playing today so
hopefully everybodys going like:
Fuck that new shit
(*laughs*) You havent played any songs off the STIGMATA album for a
well, last year we played Beast of a Man a few times and we
played Diva Satanica that kinda came out on the
on the BURNING BRIDGES
album I think, but in Japan that was on the STIGMATA album. But youre right, I mean,
we havent played much of that stuff because we wrote that material and we went into
a bit of a more technical direction or progressive or whatever and its just fucking
boring to play live. I mean, it REALLY IS FUCKING BORING!! (*laughs*) Its just the
longest songs and
well, it doesnt have the same energy to it and live I just
wanna kick ass basically. I dont wanna have my guitar up here and have people go
like: Oh hes such a great guitar virtuosity, blah-blah-blaa
just fuckin´ dont care about that kind of shit!! I just wanna reload energy
of course we have solos and you know and some technical
well, what I am
trying to say is that our music isnt technical for us at all. Sometimes people say
you know: Oh you guys are really so damn technical
, but to us its
not technical at all, its just music that flows naturally. I think with STIGMATA
that was a bit constructed album; it was kind of premeditated album, so it was kind of a
step into the wrong direction as we felt afterwards. So we went back to something simpler
on the next album, you know. I think every album has been a little bit different from each
How about your old band Carcass? I heard some rumours that Jeff is maybe doing some
music again? Are you still in contact with any of those guys?
Is he..!? Hmm
I dont know about that. I dont know anything about it
What about the rest of the guys from Carcass then? Have you been keeping in touch
Im in contact with the other guys. I know Bill Steers is doing his Firebird band
Thats right, so we have heard, too
Any more questions? (*laughs*) Tapes over? Or are we still rolling..?
(*laughs*) Nope, we are finished with you ´coz the tape finished with us just a
couple of seconds ago
(*laughs*) But thanks a lot Mike for sharing a little bit of
your time with us and all the best for your gig later this afternoon!!
Thank you fellows!! See you guys later
Check out our
2002 interview with Michael Amott!
Band Website: www.archenemy.net
Label Website: www.centurymedia.com