Living their dream
Famed band Arch Enemy is set for its first performance in India. In an exclusive interview, the key members of the team talk about their fascinating journey
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Posted On Tuesday, August 02, 2011 at 07:06:18 PM
Emerging from Northern Europe, Arch Enemy has become one of the most successful bands in the world now. The supergroup has mastered melodic death metal like none other. Mirror managed to infiltrate the ‘Enemy’ camp and strike a conversation with guitarist Michael Amott and vocalist Angela Gossow. Amott is the founding member of bands such as Spiritual Beggars, Carnage and Arch Enemy. Gossow, described as “Gorgeous Growling Lioness”, is one of the few successful female metal singers in the world. Arch Enemy will have its first ever India performance on November
19 in Mumbai.
The only band to switch from a male vocalist to a female. How has the decision been made?
Michael Amott: It was a coincidence that we came across Angela and her talent as a vocalist. We invited her to Sweden and she stunned us with her singing. We instantly realised that this could be a cool, interesting collaboration.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
I'd say we are more critical now and we spend more time on arrangements. But the ‘fun’ remains intact.
Tell us more about Khaos Legions, your latest work?
We had four years to write Khaos Legions. We released Rise of the Tyrant in September 2007 and started touring across the world for 18 months. We recorded and mixed a live double album + DVD in 2008. Then Arch Enemy took a break while I did the Carcass reunion festival dates and tours. In 2009, we got back together with the band and recorded The Root Of All Evil album. We were touring the world in 2009 and 2010. Maybe that’s why it took long to come up with Khaos Legions.
Have you heard of any Indian band?
Not yet, frankly.
Can you tell something we don’t know about Arch Enemy?
The band members love Indian food.
Over to Angela
You had a torrid childhood. Yet you had a meteoric rise.
Angela: I think most people experience rough times as teenagers. It is not easy waking up to this world. Society, parents, teachers and even your peers, everybody is pulling at you. That's when the rebel in you raises its head. I am very individualistic and personal freedom is my thing. I broke free by discovering music, metal. It spoke directly to my heart, it was very different and it goes against any sort of social mainstream. But I had to pay a price as well and I struggled hard with eating disorders for a while. The goal is to overcome such self-destruction. I found my way out. I was never prone to suicide; I always fight till I come out on top. I also want to give hope and strength for those who struggle — with my words and with our music.
From a fan to the vocalist of the band. How has the journey been?
I started singing for a death metal band in 1991. I joined Arch Enemy in 2001. I have been a vocalist before Arch Enemy even released their first album Black Earth in 1996. I was a big Carcass fan, and I followed their members closely after they disbanded. I loved the albums and it’s pretty surreal still to this day that I got to join them after they parted ways with the former singer. That is life — you never know what it has in store for you. I was always very driven to turn my dreams into reality.
And I kept that spirit when joining Arch Enemy.
How does it feel to be one of the most successful female growlers around?
It is rewarding. It shows that hard work, dedication and passion pay off in the end. Don't dream your life, live your dream. That's my motto. And it has worked out. It has been a rollercoaster ride, but the end result is to live the life I want to live. It is very powerful.
So does the style of music put strain on your voice?
Yes, of course. We tour a lot, play many shows. I cannot party and I have to take great care of my voice and my general health. I am a vegan, I eat healthy food, I exercise a lot, I do not drink at all and I do not smoke.
What comes to your mind when you hear India?
I spent three weeks in Kerala, experiencing the real India very closely. It was not a luxurious holiday resort, but a very simple, traditional Ayurveda clinic I lived in. I got to talk to many Indian people, especially women. India is a place of constant change and full of beauty, resources and possibilities. We will play in Mumbai in November and I am looking forward to the experience. I just hope there wont be any terrorist attacks from extremists.
Are you aware of any Indian band?
No, not really. They don't get any exposure in Europe. But I will do some research online to see if I can discover some. Also, when I land in Mumbai.
Also confirmed on the band's Facebook page.
Would have preferred Bangalore but fuck it.. it's Arch Enemy FFS!!!