ARCH ENEMY Interview with Angela Gossow
XM: So, you're about to kick off the North American Khaos tour after playing quite a few festivals these past three months. Can you tell us how those went? There must have been some pretty memorable shows.
Angela: Yeah! It's been awesome. We are one of the lucky bands that actually come from Europe, so we get to easily do all of them. I don't know how many we did. I don't know if it was 30 or 40. We also played our own shows in between to fill up the gaps a little bit. We played four new songs and they all worked great, and the festival too. Which, is a very special sort of audience. Because, it's quite a cross over of audiences, a lot of people, so you need to really project something to get them going. We've had fantastic response to them so we're very very happy. They've been road tested, but we're changing the set list a bit now for the Khaos tour because it caters to more of the hardcore fans. So far it's been perfect really.
XM: And, it's been three months now since you released Khaos Legion. So are you excited to get back on the road again?
Angela: Yeah! I just hope we have a really good turn out otherwise it's probably going to be our last tour. The U.S is very expensive as a start up. Like, start up costs with Visa's and you have to get the proper business management because the I.R.S is very aggressive on your ass otherwise. Insurance... There's all kinds of stuff. It's quite expensive. I mean, we're going to come and we have a great line up. We're bringing out DevilDriver, Skeletonwitch, and Cthonic. I'm very positive that it's going to be packed. Despite all the doom and gloom economy and all the bad news over the past couple of weeks. We've always had great audiences in the U.S, very passionate people. Sing along on the songs, thrashing, circle pit, mosh pit, all that stuff. It's very action packed. We're looking forward to getting back into clubs, we've just been playing really big shows. It's awesome to be on a festival stage but it's not as personal. It's nice to actually connect with our audience and hardcore fans in a smaller environment.
XM:: You just mentioned there had been some bad news over the past couple of weeks and doom and gloom...
Angela: Yeah. The U.S is not doing well economically. It's been down graded to like a double A credit rating. A lot of people don't have jobs or just lost thier jobs or have to fear for thier jobs... I just don't know how much it will affect live shows. I'm not sure if people have the money to spend on tickets these days. It's difficult times. We have it as well in Europe. The European Union is also very shaky and we've got a lot of countries with serious financial problems. We can tell, we notice that. People are like, "Well. I'd love to come a show but I'm out of job right now and can't afford a ticket." So, we're always a little worried. But, sometimes when it's bad times people go to shows even more because that's the only fun part in life. Everything else is so shit. Music can be a life saver as well and I think that it can put a bit of light into your shitty day. I hope that's more the case. That's kind of what we want to do, we want to make sure that people have a great time for four or five hours that evening. Just, forget about all the shit that's been going on and the bad news.
XM: And planned later this year you're going on the Khaos over Europe tour, which you've arranged a local support band contest. Tell us about that and what made you want to do this?
Angela: Yeah. There's a lot of young talent out there but it's really really difficult for these bands to get on good shows or good tours. Now a days, actually, a lot of bands do like, buy-ons. So, the support band actually have to buy themselves on the tour. Which, I think is appalling. It goes against anything that I thought the metal scene stands for. I thought it was about supporting each other and helping each other out. We want to bring that spirit back a bit. Not only have big names on the tours or bands that have labels with a lot of money power. We want to give small bands the chance to get in front of a big audience. I think that's a cool way to do it. I think we'll be doing this a lot more in the future.
XM: And it's actually been like four years sine Rise of the Tyrant came out. Do you feel you've achieved what you wanted to with Khaos Legion?
Angela: No. I don't think we're ever fully going to achieve what we wanted to. What we are looking for is to play more and more places, there's lots of places out there in the world that we haven't played yet, you know? Although we are an internationally successful band there's a lot of places we haven't made it to. We're growing as a band in terms of getting better musically, and we have that goal for every new album. Also, we have the goal to play better shows, play more shows, play shows in exotic places and strange locations. Also, in places where right now you're not allowed to play shows. Like, we would like to tour the Middle East at some point or North Africa. It would be also exciting to play in Libya or Syria or Egypt at some point! This is kind of what we want to achieve. We never feel like we've achieved everything. But we're really happy with the album and it's the next step in Arch Enemy history and it's great to go out and just tour on it.
XM: So, how would you compare Khaos Legion to Rise of the Tyrant in terms of how you've gotten better musically like you we're referring to.
Angela: I have a hard time judging myself. These two albums are very different. They sound very different... We definitely haven't repeated ourselves. There's a lot of different elements in Khaos Legion because it took us so long. We had so much time to write it. It's a reflection of four years of songwriting, which means there's a lot of different influences on the album. It's very complex. I think Rise of the Tyrant was not as deep or complicated as this one, but it's still a great album. I think it's another Arch Enemy album, and that stands for very advanced musicianship and very high quality. I know that our fans like it, and I think there's some awesome tracks on there that will stay in our lives for some time. But, that's not as important for us. We want to go out and play live. That's metal to us, really.
XM: Do you have a personal favorite track from Khaos Legion?
Angela: Uhm... Hmmm... I really like From The Eyes of A Raven and City of the Dead.
XM: Now this one's a tricky question. If you could have been involved in the writing, recording, or production of any album ever which would it be and why?
Angela: Hmm... Yeah yeah yeah. I guess you'd usually say some classic album, which is quite obvious. I'd love to have been part of Morbid Angels Altars of Madness because it's my favorite record of all time. I think... I mean, I'm a child of the early 90's. Everything was a lot more mysterious and exciting and you really had to fight for new music. That album basically combines very extreme attitudes with very extreme music for the time. But it's very musical at the same time. It was just like a time when anything was possible, it was very creative. Yeah, I would have liked to be in that rehearsal room with Morbid Angel in 1990-1991. Just to see how they made these songs and what moods they were in.
XM: So, we're you very involved in the tape trading era?
Angela: Yes. That was the only way to get new music. You got all the demo's on tape, then later they were released on Vinyl. It took a while for American releases to make their way over to Germany and Europe. We did a lot of tape trading, and mix-tapes as well. All over the world just sending back and fourth tapes. I had obviously a little cassette recorder so we could copy. That's also how we did the demo's for my old band back then, with a cassette recorder. Very old school. It took very long but it was done with a lot of passion. You could tell.
XM: If you had to describe Arch Enemy's music in three words they would be...
Angela: Pure Fucking Metal!
XM: And Arch Enemy are booked up with tours until the new year. Any plans for 2012 as of yet?
Angela: Oh, yeah. Generally in 2012 we will do another European tour. January, February, we're going to more exotic places like Greece, Turkey, Romania, Isreal, probably Spain, Russia, Finland... That will be January and February. Then, in March, we're going to South America and Latin America. We're going to Asia, we're going to do a full tour in Japan and then go to Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, these kind of places. Then, we're going to start Festivals again in May. And, we're thinking about releasing an EP in May as well. Then, we're going to do the whole festival season again. We're going to do the second leg of the states in Autumn of 2012... Then, it's end of 2012 we're thinking about releasing a new DVD in the beginning of 2013. Then, a new album to be released at the start of 2014, which we will start recording in 2013. We have all the plans... I manage Arch Enemy, so I make all these plans. And we stick to our plans! We always do. I'm like a General in War. I have a strategy and I follow that strategy very closely.
XM: That's it! Thanks very much for your time. Final words are up to you if there's anything you wanna get out there...
Angela: Yes! Please come to the U.S shows. We need people there. We can't play the shows on our own. It's going to be awesome, there's going to be fantastic shows, great line ups. We have Arch Enemy, DevilDriver, Skeletonwitch, Cthonic, don't miss out. We want to rock out with you guys. And yeah, stay pure fucking metal.