Angela Gossow – Vocals
Michael Amott – Lead Guitars
Christopher Amott – Lead Guitars
Sharlee D'Angelo – Bass
Daniel Erlandsson – Drums
Black Earth (1996)
Tonight we are speaking with one of the top Metal guitarists on the scene today. Michael Amott of Arch Enemy and Carcass. Michael thanks for your time. June 7th marked the U.S. release of the new studio album "Khaos Legions". Tell us about the writing and recording of the new material.
1. How long did it take to complete the album?
Michael Amott – Even though I contribute the lion’s share of riffs and initial song ideas, it’s very much a team effort. Everyone in the band is working hard on different aspects of ARCH ENEMY. We rehearsed as a full band while preparing for the recordings. We jammed and improvised a lot around our musical ideas and in the end Angela brought in her lyrical ideas and we started fitting everything together. The recordings were done in a local Swedish studio called "Sweet Spot". We had worked in that studio before and that had resulted in a good production („Doomsday Machine“, 2005, "The Root Of All Evil", 2009). This time it was a partially new studio in a old barn just outside our home town. The big room sounds great on drums. the owner / engineer Rickard Bengtsson has a good understanding of acoustics and he really helped us get a great drum sound on the album, which is the important foundation of any rock / metal album in my opinion. Actually the album is co-produced by Arch Enemy and Rickard Bengtsson. 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. All in all, it was a pretty smooth recording process and we took the recordings to the UK and had Andy Sneap mix the album which was awesome, he really took it to the next level sonically.2. The new album also contains two instrumentals "We are a Godless Entity", and "Turn to Dust". This is something that we don't see all that often, but something I have always thought was a nice touch to an album. Was this something you wanted to incorporate into the album from the start or a natural addition?
Michael Amott – That’s always been somthing that I’ve enjoyed on some of my favorite artists albums. So to us, it’s just a natural part of the musical journey and experience that an album should be. We’ve always had instrumentals on our albums, they’re nice breathers between the brutal sonic assaults we lay down!
3. The cover art for "Khaos Legions" is great. Who is the artist?
Michael Amott – Brent Elliott White. He’s a American artist and he did an amazing job of taking all the ideas we threw at him and turning it into a super cool piece of artwork. Very pleased with the cover!
4. Looking at what creates the music itself, tell us about how you came to work with Dean Guitars, and about your striking signature Tyrant Guitar.
Michael Amott – I was out of contract with my previous endorser back in 2008 and I was interested in trying something new. I put the word out and I had a lot of companies approach me and so forth. I just really dug some of the Dean Guitars I tried out and the fact that they were very dedicated to building me something that I would love to play. They weren’t afraid of hard work! We worked very closely on developing my ”Tyrant” series of signature guitars and it’s been a really rewarding experience, I’ve learnt a lot and I have fun playing these guitars which is what it’s all about!
5. Arch Enemy has just started a large tour. How long will you be on the road?
Michael Amott – We started the ’Worldwide Khaos” live campaign in May this year (2011) and it will for sure take us through 2012 and possibly beyond. It all depends, but we are basically prepared to keep going as long as the fans around the world wish to see this show! We are in position where we can tour all over the world, and that takes a while to do and it’s something that we enjoy very much.
6. Arch Enemy has over the years really built a solid fan foundation and is enjoying a great amount of success. How does it feel to be such a powerful and well respected band, and did it come as a surprise to you how much the fans connect with your music?
Michael Amott - It feels awesome, of course! But like you said, it’s been a gradual process of releasing albums and touring extensively and globally for many years. I havet to add that we’ve done it completely on our own terms, no compromises. Since 2008 we’re a self managed band and we run our business completely in-house, which makes it all so much better as well.
7. Seeing the success of Arch Enemy, what has been your proudest moment so far with this band?
Michael Amott – I’d have to say the Arch Enemy experience as a whole. The fact that we’ve made some great music together and are succesfully able to tour all over the world with a strong worldwide fan base is amazing to me and I value that very much..
8. You are now also working with Carcass, how did you come to join up with this amazing Death Metal band?
Michael Amott – Way back in 1990 I got the offer to join Carcass and I basically threw myself at that opportunity as they were one of my favorite bands at the time and also leaders in a new music scene. I left the band in 1993 and then we had the reunion shows during 2008-2010, which were incredible.
Right now I am focusing on Arch Enemy and the new ”Khaos Legions” album and subsequent touring activity.
9. We wish you and Arch Enemy all the best on the road. Please leave us with any final thoughts or comments and thanks for your time.
Michael Amott – Thank you to all for listening to the music and coming to the shows! See you soon!