The world of Metal is very diverse. Thousands of artists ranging from raw and abrasive–to angelic and otherworldly—and all points in between. Amaranthe brings us pretty much all of those elements. Formed in 2008 in Gothenburg, Sweden, this band features THREE vocalists! Elize Ryd: Female vocals Hebrick Englund Wilhemsson (extreme male vocal) Nils Molin (melodic male vocal) Since forming, they have released 4 albums, their latest being Maximalism on Spinefarm/Universal. With each album, their sound has become more and more accessible. They bring us multi-genre metal. Hallmarks include killer guitar work, soaring female vocals, outstanding Metalcore vocals, pitch perfect hard rock vocals and a very tight and precise rhythm section. Additionally, they employ perfectly placed keyboards and even some electronica. MHF has been granted a bit of time Amaranthe. Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule.
Thanks so much for your time. How are things in your world?
Elize: Things are great, thank you for your time as well. 🙂
At the moment we are in the middle of arranging our luggage for ProgPower USA.
I’ve listened to all 4 albums. With each one, your sound is more and more complex. Additional layers and elements. Do you have a specific goal in mind with each album? If so, how do you determine what it is and is the mechanism for achieving it?
Elize: This is mostly based on a personal obsession. We want more all the time, renew and develop our songwriting, compose music which we feel is current from both a personal, and mechanical perspective. That is the goal. I believe that being limitless is the key to renewal and maximum creativity. We have always been very inspired by the response, which somehow is the leading force. We put up also leading goals, nothing is ever by chance when we start the making of a new album. But then again it can find different paths along the way. It is alway a very organic journey, and we love to keep it that way.
We go through the specific programs we use, and then we feel what style, subjects and emotions we feel needs to get out of our system. We changed the tuning after the second album as an example, to “change” the sound a bit, we find new ways to use the instruments and voices. We experiment with how much of each and every color we can use and still keep most of it black.
What is your songwriting process? With 3 vocalists, each contributing equally, I imagine it can be challenging. I am sure there are never conflicts?
Elize: It may be hard to believe, but since the very first album (with few exceptions) I have brought my contribution to the table together with Olof alone, for that reason, to avoid distraction. We have always been able to work painless as a team. We are very open minded towards each other and humble toward our creations.
There are many bands today with similar elements. How do you feel you stand apart from the crowd?
- A combination of many different genres.
- Three vocalists
- We are constantly developing as bands, musically and live
Your 4th album, Maximalism turns toward having the electronics closer to the forefront. It also has a more precision sound. Is this a natural progression of the band or an intentional shift? It may not appeal to some of the harder Metal fans, but I say people should listen to what they want. What do you feel the next stage of the band will be?
Olof: It was an experiment what we could do with our sound, and as to not get stuck in the same style. It is not necessarily a linear progression, and the next album might head in a completely different direction. Unpredictability in our sound is key and central to Amaranthe. And, the first ideas we are having for the next record are turning out HEAVY!
I’d like to visit a few isolated points. “100,000 Light Years” from your first album. Great song! I love the guitar riff. I play guitar myself and appreciate the work done here….in addition to many other of your songs. Noting that not all MHF readers play guitar, can you share your influences/techniques?
Elize: The Riff is based on a vocal melody I came up with. I still have the recording of it at home. I sent it to Olof, and he played it on his guitar, and realized it would be a great Riff. So that was the ground that built the rest of the song. This song is one of my personal favorites, and Olof’s as well. The vocal melodies and lyrics are based on an emotional journey. A state of mind we both were in at that time in our lives.
Olof: In terms of solos, my technique is founded in the 80’s guitar heroes, such as Malmsteen, Vai, Gilbert and so on, but I have always kept an open mind to any great player that I have heard. I also play violin, so Vivaldi, Corelli, Geminiani have been a great influence of my phrasing and technique.
“Amarathine” and “Endlessly” are breathtaking. Can you tell us the stories behind these songs?
Elize: Thank you. Endlessly was written and composed in a very short amount of time, Olof played some chords meanwhile I sang a melody, together with the words that then later became the original lyrics for the song.
There is a true story behind Amaranthine as well, but since it’s not so pure as people might imagine, I will leave it up to each and every one’s imagination to figure it out. Or ask Olof when he is drunk.
I thoroughly enjoy the acoustic versions of your songs. “Trinity,” “True” and especially “Burn With Me” are amazing. Any thoughts of an all acoustic album…or at least an acoustic compilation album?
Elize: It would be fantastic and a lot of fun to do an acoustic album. Even though we love energy and extreme sounds, most of the songs could stand out even in its most naked and revealing form, without all the instruments and effects. It’s definitely something we will consider more.
A personal anecdote:
Kamelot opened for Nightwish in Denver, Colorado Sept. 28, 2012. Elize (one of Kamelot’s back-up singers at the time) filled in for an ailing Annette Olzon. She and Alissa White-Gluz did a phenomenal job performing the Nightwish songs. It was truly a magical evening. So from a fan perspective, thank you!
(Lovely words, and a lovely picture! It was a quite unreal experience. Thank you!)
Finally, what is next for Amaranthe? Tours, DVD’s, movies, …the sky seems to be the limit.
Elize: I will say like Simone Simons said last time I asked her about their future videos etc, -ask our management. Haha! No, but of course, that is actually true, it’s always up to the Recordable, based on budgets and boring stuff like that. We think Maximize was the last video from the Maximalism album. But you never know. There will be other video for the future, and our vision is to very soon record few live shots with Nils. In October we will do a full European with Nils for the first time. We are excited. 🙂 It’s a co/headline tour with Eluveitie from Schweiz. Followed by a tour in South America with Delain and Tarja. Full Norway Tour and two shows in Russia. And as always I will jump on the Raskasta Joulua tour in Finland starting in December. And so the year will be over. We have a new record coming up. So during the first half of 2018 we are gonna put full focus on that.
Thank you for your time. We wish you all the best.
Thank you very much for taking to us. It was a pleasure!