We talked with Michael Amott from Arch Enemy.
Metalhead Zone: Hello Michael. It’s a pleasure to have you for an interview again.
Amott: The pleasure is all mine, good to talk to you again!
Metalhead Zone: As Turkey’s most visited rock and metal portal, we did a poll last year. It was the ‘album of the year’ poll and Arch Enemy placed to the top! And of course you placed in number one again in another poll which is all about ‘most exciting band which is going to have a live show in Turkey this year’. Shortly, Turkish metal listeners are crazy for Arch Enemy and you fold all the headliners. Turkey loves you. Why do you think this is?
Amott: You can’t imagine how happy I am to hear that! That makes us very proud, to know that the Turkish metal fans have been enjoying Arch Enemy and our War Eternal album! I would think it is very difficult to explain exactly why people like certain music things, it is such a subjective experience with music and all forms of art. When I write songs and we put them together as a band we are not thinking about being successful, we are merely expressing ourselves as song writers and musicians. However, it is very gratifying and rewarding to know that we are reaching the hearts of fans around the world!!!
Metalhead Zone: Before our previous interview, it was a huge member change and Alissa White-Gluz has recruited the band. After a year with her, what do you want to say her effect on band? What did she bring to Arch Enemy?
Amott – Yes, the change in the lineup was a big challenge of course. But I also feel that the band is very much energized by this. In a way I can say that we have new blood in the band, but the heart and soul is the same as it always has been. Alissa has been very well accepted by our fans I feel. She’s definitely bringing a lot of energy and professionalism to the live show and I’m super happy with how much we have achieved together in a relatively short time. This is most definitely a new exciting chapter in the history of the band. I can’t wait to see what we will create together in the future!
Metalhead Zone: You recruited the famous progressive metal guitarist Jeff Loomis who’s known globally. Can you please tell us the first touch and joining process?
Amott: I’ve been friends with Jeff Loomis for 15 years and we’ve toured together in the past when he was doing the Nevermore band. It was a very easy process, just a phone call and that was it. There’s a great friendship there and we’re having a good time together, on and off stage!
Metalhead Zone: Fans are wondering something. We want to carry that to you directly. Turkish audience are wondering that can we see you on stage with Carcass just for one song on the fest? That would be awesome really!
Amott: That’s up to the Carcass guys, it’s their performance. If Jeff and Bill want me there, I’m ready to jam!
Metalhead Zone: I know it’s too early but I have to ask. We loved the last album War Eternal! With Alissa, it was very strong. After new recruit, when do you think to start a new album project with Jeff Loomis?
Amott: I’m glad to hear you enjoyed “War Eternal”! It has been a very popular album for us indeed. I have already written two new songs, they’re in a rough demo stage at the moment but it’s sounding very promising. You’re right though, it is a bit early to talk about a follow up to the “War Eternal” album… I also look forward to working with Jeff Loomis on some new ideas. At the moment we are focusing on the heavy touring schedule at the moment. Realistically, we’ll start working on a new album sometime in 2016.
Metalhead Zone: I’m gonna ask this one for just myself. I like your solo guitar technique to ‘baglama’ which is a cultural instrument for Turkish people. Do you have a curiosity for electro baglama or something else belongs east culture?
Amott: I have a curiosity for all kinds of music, especially if it involves String instruments. I actually really enjoy the sound of the electro baglama! I am not sure if it has been an influence on my playing though – but who knows? I am influenced by so many things and have taken inspiration from a lot of different kinds of cultures and their music.
Metalhead Zone: Do you have a ritual before the shows? Could be as a band or just alone.
Amott: Personally speaking I just stretch my body a little bit, make sure I’m warm and I also warm up on the guitar for a minimum of 30 minutes. As a band we do get together right before a performance and have a little moment with a secret “word” that gets us focused and ready.
Metalhead Zone: Last year in Turkey you had an unlucky situation with sound system. We think that it won’t be any hidden and silly agreements this time. These are all limiter facts and they are killing your music and our joy. What do you want to say?
Amott: I think everyone knows what happened at the concert last year. I lost all respect forever that day for the headlining act. To enforce such extreme limitations on the Arch Enemy show was very unfair towards the Turkish metal fans. This time will be a very different story!
Metalhead Zone: It’s gonna be awesome to see you again here. See ya!
Amott: Yes! We can’t wait to bring the REAL Arch Enemy show to Turkey this time!