Thursday, May 29, 2014

Michael Amott of Arch Enemy Had Realistic Outlook On Changing Vocalists

Michael Amott, ARCH ENEMYMichael Amott, guitarist of Arch Enemy had an interview with Guitar World about the transition from legendary lady Angela Gossow to spunky newcomer Alissa White-Gluz (ex-The Agonist).

Being the common-sense guy that he is, Michael anticipated the reaction to be varied:

I was worried more last year. Back when we were putting [the new ARCH ENEMY album 'War Eternal'] together, and I was sort of like, 'Okay, it's not going to be Angela singing. It's going to be this new girl.' Alissa's really great, but still, it's somebody different. Metal fans don't really take to change that well... I knew it had to be really good.

And the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive so far. I was expecting it to be more like 50/50, but it's been a lot more positive."

That, to me, was really great to hear. It shows the band still cared about their authenticity and how they would sound going forward with a new singer, and didn't take any steps lightly without a lot of thought and consideration.

It's also great to hear they've been getting such a great response - they certainly have endeavored to deserve it!

About the sad departure of Angela Gossow, Michael had this to say:

"As far as the actual singing part, I don't think it was an easy decision for her.

It wasn't such a big surprise, really, when she said she finally wanted to bow out as a front person for the band and singer, because the writing has been on the wall within in our camp. But, you know, the fans really idolize her and she was a very iconic front figure and she was like the first woman in a successful metal band doing it at the level that we've done it. But it took a while for us to get our heads around what we were going to do, like, were we going to stop the band? But then we realized we actually love playing and we've still got a lot of music in us."

Now that I can definitely understand. You can't just give up on a project you really, really believe in - no matter what the obstacles. Yes, I was very sorry to see Gossow retire from singing. Still, despite as big a blow as that was to us, the way they have handled it and the steps they have taken to preserve what made us love them prove that they are going about things the right way and they made the right choice not to give up on Arch Enemy.

As Angela Gossow has a sharp eye and mind for business, there's still no doubt in my mind that their choice to recruit Alissa was, in part, due to the fact that she had already enjoyed some success and would undoubtedly carry some of that with her, bringing new fans to the world of AE. Michael Amott confirms in this article, however, that it wasn't the only factor considered in choosing to go ahead with a new voice.

I mean, we could've almost lost Arch Enemy entirely! Not yet, world... I'm not ready.

One thing he said nearer the end of the interview really resonated with me, because I felt it too...

"I have to say the first rehearsal with Alissa was really strange… She sounded so awesome, but I was thinking, like, you know, I wrote this song for Angela and now somebody else is singing it, and it just felt weird. But she sounded great. But it felt, I don't know, weird. And then I called the other guys later that evening, the other guys, original guys, Sharlee, the bass player, and Daniel, the drummer. They brought it up as well that it felt so weird. It took some getting used to. So I can understand for fans it's gonna take time for some people to get into this."

Yeah, Michael Amott, I felt a little weird watching that first video, too. I liked it, and I loved the most recent video they put out, but it was definitely weird.

Vocalist changes are the most extreme because like it or not, an entirely different voice means the band sounds almost entirely different. It sounds like a new band. I guess, in a way, it is.

I, for one, have a special spot in my cold, hard heart for these guys and hope to see them flourish.

Full article here.

ARCH ENEMY

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