Wednesday, September 7, 2011
A Non-Sunday Conversation with Michael Amott of Arch Enemy
Before “Khaos Legions” was released, you guys took a break from the studio for nearly 4 years, why the long pause from recording and what finally pushed you guys to decide that it was time to record a new record?
Michael Amott – Yes, in theory we had four years towrite "Khaos Legions"… We released the RISE OF THE TYRANT album in September 2007 and started touring a lot immediately all over the world for about 18 months. We recorded and mixed a live double album + DVD in 2008 (“Tyrants Of The Rising Sun – Live in Japan”). Then ARCH ENEMY took a break while I did the CARCASS reunion festival dates and tours. In 2009 we got back together with ARCHENEMY and recorded “The Root Of All Evil” album (featuring re-recorded older songs). We also did a few musical things on the side such as my brothers solo album and I wrote and recorded a new SPIRITUAL BEGGARS album (“Return To Zero”, 2010). Add to that ARCHENEMY festival dates and tours all over world again in 2009 and 2010, maybe it’s becoming more understandable why it took longer this time to get “KHAOS LEGIONS” out there… But we’ve really become quite good at staying focused and writing music while were out there on the road, and that really helped thist ime!
While recording “Khaos Legions” did you guys do anything different or was it just the normal studio trip that you guys were usedto?
Michael Amott – The recordings were done in a local Swedish studio. We had worked in the same studio before and that had resulted in a good productions (”Doomsday Machine“, 2005 and "The Root Of All Evil", 2009). This time it was a partially new studio in a old barn just outside our hometown. The bigr oom sounds great on drums. the owner/engineer has a good understanding of acoustics and he really helped us get a great drum sound on the album, which is an important foundation on any rock / metal album in my opinion. Actually the album is co-produced by Arch Enemy and the engineer. At this stage in our career we didn’t want the influence of an outside producer. We know what we want as band now and we just need a good engineer and good studio. We did most of the engineering ourselves, for example Sharlee D’Angelo (bass) recorded all my guitar tracks.
Over the last 15-16 years, as a band you guys havebeen all over the world, what would you say is the best country to tour in and why? On the flipside of that, if you could tour in any country that you haven’tyet, what would it be and why?
Michael Amott – Yes, we are fortunate enough to be able to tour all over the world succesfully and we try to reach new countries everyear. It’s an important part of what we do with Arch Enemy. Last year we were the first international metal band to play the Maldivesi n the Indian ocean. We played Morocco in North Africa earlier this ear! We’ll be playing more new places next year…
Outside of Arch Enemy, touring, making records and loving whaty ou do, what else do you guys find fun/interest in? Any hobbies?
Michael Amott – I have no outside hobbies outside of music, I do like acquiring guitars and amps and vintage effects – still, that’s very closely linked to playing in Arch Enemy I guess!!
To be honest, I just haven’t found any thing that can give me the rush creating music does. I still play guitar for hours everyday.
September 8th you guys embark on another US tour with Devildriver, Skeletonwitch and Chthonic for “North American Khaos 2011”, how excited are you guys to be coming back to see your American fans and what’s the difference between touring in America compared to other countries?
Michael Amott – Very much looking forward to touring in the US and CANADA again! We’ve always had a good time over there and so many awesome shows and cool experiences… So yeah, definitely excited!Touring North America and the US especially is different for us in the way that we’re in one country for a lengthy period of time, compared to touring in Europe, Asia, South America wherewe go from country to country every other day…
Followingup the last question, who are you most excited to see out of the bands on the tour if you had to choose one and why?
Michael Amott – We’ve toured with both Devildriver, and Chthonic before and it’ll be cool to see them again butI’ve never seen SkeletonWitch, so I’m looking forward to checking them out!
With “Khaos Legions” just being released back in May, how thrilled are you guys with the final product? On the flipside of that, did you expect the record would be making as much noise as it is around the world?
Michael Amott – I am very proudof the album and I think it is the very best we could do at that point in time – and that’s all you can ask of yourself I think! We know that we have a large worldwide audience/ fanbase butyou never know how people are going to react to what you put out there, so yeah – great tosee ”Khaos Legions” being received so well!
Even though you’ve toured with tons of bands over the years, if you could create a tour with 5 bands along with yourselves, who would you pick, who headlines and why?
Michael Amott – BLACK SABBATH (my #1 band of all time, and they’d headline), JUDAS PRIEST (THE Metal Gods!), SLAYER (My #1 Thrash band), ACCEPT (we’d need someTeutonic heavy metal thunder!), ARCHENEMY (’cos we would not wanna miss this epic tour!).
Over the years, you guys have probably witnessed some pretty funny things on the road, what would you say has been some of the funniest things you’ve seen while on tour? Also, what would you say is the most inspiring thing(s) you’ve seen while on tour?
Michael Amott – It’s always inspiring to see how parts of the world where heavymetal and such subcultures have been suppressed are openingup and free-will and culture is beginning to blossom. As far as funny things that have happened over the years, there really are too many to mention…!
Since we’re more than halfway through 2011, have you guys been looking toward 2012? If so, what are the main goals for Arch Enemy throughout 2012?
Michael Amott – We’re already booking shows for next year, the plan is to keep touring throughout 2012! I have already written a couple of new songs and bunch of riffs and stuff so I guess we have started working on the album already in a small way too…
After it’s all said and done, after the band no longer exists or you guys get old and hopefully not crippled, what would you look back on and say that you were glad you did out of everything?
Michael Amott – That we did everything we did to our best ability and reached a lot of people all over the world. And most importantly we did it on our own terms, no compromises.
Coming to the end of this interview, we would like to thank you guys for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions with us and if there are certain people you would like to say thanks to or shout-out, please do and have a great tour coming up.
Michael Amott – Thankyou for the interview!
Come and see ARCHENEMY / DEVILDRIVER / SKELETONWITCH / CHTONICH on the ”North American Khaos 2011” tour!
North American Khaos 2011
+ Special guests: Devildriver, Skeletonwitch, Chthonic
08 Sep 2011 – Baltimore, MD, Rams Head
09 Sep 2011 – New York, NY, Best Buy Theater
10 Sep 2011 – Worcester, MA, The Palladium
12 Sep 2011 – Quebec City, QC, Imperial
13 Sep 2011 – Montreal, QC, Metropolis
14 Sep 2011 – Toronto, ON, Phoenix
17 Sep 2011 – Winnipeg, MB, The Garrick Center
19 Sep 2011 – Calgary, AB, MacEwan Hall
20 Sep 2011 – Edmonton, AB, Edmonton Events Centre
22 Sep 2011 – Vancouver, BC, CommodoreBallroom
23 Sep 2011 – Seattle, WA, Showbox
24 Sep 2011 – Spokane, WA, KnittingFactory
26 Sep 2011 – San Francisco, CA, Regency Center
27 Sep 2011 – Los Angeles, Nokia Theatre
29 Sep 2011 – Phoenix, AZ, The Marquee
30 Sep 2011 – Albuquerque, NM, The SunshineTheater
01 Oct 2011 – Denver, CO, The Gothic Theatre
03 Oct 2011 – Minneapolis, MN, FirstAvenue
04 Oct 2011 – Chicago, IL, House of Blues