Interview by Miriam Cadoni

Photo by Patrick Ullaeus
Photo by Patric Ullaeus

Every release of Sweden’s Amaranthe is an event and it has to be accordingly celebrated. Despite the precarious circumstances, the sixth “Manifest” and first full-length for Nuclear Blast has been released back on October 2nd. So, the occasion was ripe for an interview with Elize Ryd. As stated in the interview, “Manifest” is full-laden of different meanings. Behind it, there’s a general re-evaluation of the values of life. But, let’s discover together what Elize has to say about it. Enjoy it!

Hi Elize, welcome back to Femme Metal Webzine. How are you and how life is treating you in these precarious times?

Well, thank you so much for having me! I’m very glad to speak with you again. Despite the circumstances, I am doing ok. We’ve been so lucky that we manage to record the album and that we have something that we can looking forward to. Unfortunately after the lockdown, I lost my grandmother.

However, there’s always something good to look forward to: my sister is having a child in 3 weeks. And, still there are other things that you don’t usually have time to reflect on. So, now I have time to dedicate to it, since I’ve not took care for like 20 years [laughs]. So, I’m supposed to get back on it.

First of all, I’m sorry for your grandma and secondly, the next time I’ll call you Auntie Elize

Yes, exactly. I’m so excited about it…

So, “Manifest” marks your first release with Nuclear Blast. In which way this record deal has influenced Amaranthe and the record itself?

I think, the main idea was like “we are together 10 years and we’ve been through a lot of stuff [laughs] but we’re still here”. We’re still going strong and even if, sometimes can be difficult to imagine that something new can happen but we have ended the new era and begin with a new one.

Basically, we wanted to reflect on what we have done so far, what we like ourselves, what kind of production we do best, what kind of songs and vocals melodies suit us best. Our new release represents a sort of musical resume and since we have experimented a lot, we wanted to manifest for what Amaranthe stands for.

Well, I had the chance to see the making of videos related to the production of “Manifest” and I have seen that most of the its recording process happen during the lockdown. So, for both you and the band, how was it record such record during a particular and delicate period like this one?

After getting some perspective, I was also curious to see how that would have worked out. And it’s quite impossible to not take everyday for granted, like you normally do. Since I felt that we had a chance to do this while nobody wasn’t sick or dead, it made the whole situation very realistic.

I really like a sentence in the press release where it affirms that ““Manifest” is the latest step in the evolution of Amaranthe“. Compared to “Helix” and taking in consideration this sentence too, what would you like to add?

For sure, it got a little bit heavy and straightforward. There are some extra elements that we brought from our past and some stuff we came up especially for this album. However, we really satisfied with “Helix” because it led into this album and it’s nice to always feel that something happens.

Photo by Johan Carlen

Out of Manifest, it was released the groundbreaking single “Viral”. What does this single represents for the band and what insights can you share about both video and song?

Actually, the song was supposed to be about social medias in general in the same way that “Digital World” from our third album “Massive Addictive” was. Both songs describe the two sides of the coins, the negative and the positive one. They both celebrate and criticize those aspects. When we were in the studio, we finalized the lyrics and then, due to circumstances, it happened that “Viral” turned out to speak about the Coronacrisis.

Mostly, it relates on how it affects people and that, basically, we are on the same page. Of course, this was really inspiring and for us, it was not too tempting to write about the developing situation and the fact is we always want to stay up-to-date when it comes to lyrics. Instead about the video recordings, I can say they happened in the middle of the night and so, we were incredibly tired and it was also a rushed recording.

I can imagine…

The issue was it needed to be dark outside and we recorded in the middle of the night, it was really funny.

Recently, it was released the second single “Strong” who features also Battle Beast’s singer Noora Louhimo. How this collaboration born? Additionally, since you always shot the videos with Sweden’s famed director Patrick Ullaeus, how was for you to shoot this video together with a different director such as Ville Juurikkala?

We already recorded the promo for “Maximize” with Ville and up to this moment, it’s one of the most viewed videos on YouTube. Probably this success is due to the fact that this video stands out, if we compare the videos that we have shot with Patrick. But it’s nice to work out with other videomakers, it’s always nice to have a fresh prospective and don’t get stuck in the same environment, even though we recorded with Patrick most of our promos.

Of course, we love his job and but Ville has a different style and I thought it correctly fit for this song in which the dark side gets fully explained and depicted. For example, I really love the videos that Ville shot for H.I.M.. Considering that Noora is from Finland and the coronacrisis was already getting complicated the situation, I had to ask a special work permission for enter Finland and luckily, I managed it to film it in Helsinki.

In the end, it was something I was really happy to do because it would ended up that we weren’t even able to do it if my special work permission wasn’t issued. Anyway, Noora is really artistic person and we a lot of ideas around the video. The end result looks like really simple but it embodies a lot of messages in it.

I’ve recently learned about the contribution to the music theme of Adult Swim “12 oz” and it totally become one of my latest guilty pleasures. I have to admit that. Do you plan to record an extended version of this and mostly, how Amaranthe ended up in collaborating with them?

Actually, everything is really funny. Well, it happened that have contacted us because the writer is a big Amaranthe fan. Despite the fact we haven’t been there in 5 years and we were supposed to be there this year with Battle Beast, we have a big career in the States thanks to the success of our single “Drop Dead Cynical” which led to a lof of booked tours and the funny thing is, you never know who your fans are and this fan happened to work for Adult Swim‘s channel, who also is one of the authors for the series [laughs].

He directly contacted us with this offer and of course, we accepted it. For this cartoon, we have also recorded an additional song which hasn’t still released. Also, me and Olof we have done some voice acting for this characters. So, I cannot until everything will be released because it was extremely funny [laughs].

I’ve also learned that the European tour together with Beyond the Black was rescheduled. Hopefully and finger crossed, it will happen next year. What are you looking forward for?

Well, I’m much really looking forward to it and to be back to it and see the audience again. It’s gonna be such an amazing feeling when it will really happen, we are still keeping our finger crossed that everything will go as supposed and I hope it will be better, kind of back to normality.

So, Elize, this was my last question. Please be free to say hi to your fans and our readers. Thank you so much for taking time to speak with me again.

Yes, it was amazing. I like the website, you’re doing great. Thank you so much all the support, we love you guys so much. I can wait to come back on tour and meet you all again.

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