AMARANTHE – An Interview with Olof Mörck

Even if now the band is having a well-deserved break, we were able to catch up with the leader of the band, Olof Mörck, during their Dutch stop in Utrecht. Read with us about the upcoming band’s plans and how the band has survived (and thrived) during the pandemic.

AMARANTHE - An Interview with Olof Mörck

AMARANTHE - An Interview with Olof Mörck
Photo by Bartosz Szydlowski

Even if now the band is having a well-deserved break, we were able to catch up with the leader of the band, Olof Mörck, during their Dutch stop in Utrecht. Read with us about the upcoming band’s plans and how the band has survived (and thrived) during the pandemic.

Finally, this tour is happening.

Finally, this tour [laughs]

How many times was this tour pushed forward?

Say it like this, it was on 19th July 2019, the first time I received an email discussing this tour. That’s how long it has been up in the wings. We’re looking forward to solid half three years on which we were busy talking. As you know, then six months later, it should have happened at the beginning of 2020. It was something we were already hoping for. We managed to put forward a great package of bands. Since then, it has slightly changed. And what’s not to like about it?

Amaranthe’s last album, “Manifest,” was released on February 2020. So, almost two years ago. On that, which was the feedback from the press and fans? And, due to the limitations given by the pandemic at that time, how logistically to promote it?

The album feedback was fantastic in every way; I don’t use the following word lightly, but it was overwhelming. The previous two albums appeared to be successful, and with “Manifest,” we attempted to produce a worthy successor to those albums. The band was in a good spot when we composed that album. We wrote so many good songs during promotional tours, and the tour with Sabaton was the last time I met you; when we came home, we headed straight to the studio.

Yeah, I remember that during our last interview, you mentioned that.

So, “Manifest” is precisely the follow-up to that. Everything that we prepared the last time we scrapped 90% of that. We didn’t consciously start from scratch, but we realized that the ideas following that tour had a great mood. Despite what we have seen what works with the audience, we were still exactly writing the music that we wanted ourselves. We know better what kind of vibes with and to the audience transmit.

It was a good learning process playing 24 big arenas before composing a new album. About the “Manifest” promotion, we were lucky to have planned a small promotional tour during the pandemic. We went to Finland, Germany, and other places in Northern Europe to plan and have as many interviews as possible. Per se, the promotional cycle lasted around four months. We concluded the promotional round in November 2020.

However, it was still quite a lot of work. Compared to the other musicians which whom I had an album in the pipeline, the feeling of pandemic boredom kicked in much later. In the end, it felt good to keep ourselves busy. Besides the phenomenal reception of “Manifest,” it was one of the exceptional cases where the streaming numbers were proof for themselves. Indeed, “Manifest” represents the most successful album of our career. It parallels 1 million streams on Spotify that exemplify even more what “Helix” and “Maximize” have collected after being respectively released four and six years ago.

The numbers you have already mentioned are gigantic. And they are related to the “Manifest” promotional cycle that concluded in November 2020. Out of the blue, you find yourself without anything on your hands. How did it feel for you?

Yeah, exactly. There are two sides to it. The first one is experiencing massive disappointment when you have an album about which you feel strongly. And the only thing you would like to do is perform it in front of an audience. Subsequently, we had this tour lined up with many summer festivals. But, the other side of the medal is that Amaranthe has been touring for ten years non-stop.

AMARANTHE - An Interview with Olof Mörck
Photo by Bartosz Szydlowski

I’ve been following Amaranthe for a long time, and even I’ve forgotten how many times I saw you guys live. However, I’m aware of how much ethos you have with touring. Let’s say that the pandemic for Amaranthe also came for good.

It’s terrible to put it like that because it’s a horrible event for everyone. Unfortunately, there’s always a positive side too to each dreadful event. For example, if we consider how disastrous the pandemic was for Italy. However, once we realized the whole situation and its consequences, we started some things from scratch. And we began to reconsider how to gather the band as a functioning unit. With it, a professional and goal-oriented attitude without repeating the same mistakes of the past.

Recently, Amaranthe experienced a lot of critical line-up changes. How these events impacted the band’s morale?

When you remove the foot from the pedal, you face several issues. For instance, as with Hendrik, as it is great to be constantly on tour, he realized that there are also other priorities in life. So, now that we have gathered all the pieces together, and after five weeks of touring with the new formation, I can tell you there’s a better functioning unit than before. During the pandemic, everyone had the time to re-evaluate their life priorities.

“Find Life” is the new single that sees the collaboration with Patrick Ullaeus as a video director after collaborating with Poland’s Grupa 13. What can you tell me about both single and video? Why get back with Patrick after so much time?

First of all, the rationale behind this release was that it is one year since the last song, “PVV.” And we had some great song tunes left. We felt that “Find Life” was different than the other material. It’s more mature. It has a bit darker vibe than usual. We thought that before the tour, we could release it to show another musical side of the band. It’s not necessarily the future, but we needed something fresh to offer our fans.

Instead, what about Patrick we haven’t worked with him since 2018 with “Helix.” Patrick has been with us since our onset, as you know. Though, after “Hunger,” he shot eleven more videos. He’s good at capturing the individuality of the member. This time we wanted a more intimate video and more focused on the band’s members with less spectacularity. The scenography concocted in the early stages was a simple black background, the firepit, and the band members themselves. And let the personalities of the member rather than a lot of preparation and effects.

Then, in collaboration with Beyond the Black’s Jennifer Haben, “Make It Better,” which follows “Adrenaline”‘s flamenco version, “Adrenalina.” Is it an idea to collect together all these little pieces of music in a release?

We have already released the “Manifest” bonus version that contains all the tracks. While “New Life” represents a new cycle for Amaranthe. I’m not sure if it will be on the new album. I cannot answer that because it depends on how the following songs will turn out. But the way is looking right now is something we have released in between because it felt right.

You just affirmed that Amaranthe is momentarily busy with composing. What at this moment can you say about it?

As always, it’s a project that makes it difficult to predict when it will reach its conclusion. I can say that it will happen when we visit the studio. What I can say right now is it’s officially 100% Amaranthe. It will be a continuation of our last album, “Manifest.” At the same time, there’s a different vibe to it that I’m excited about it. And Elize has been giving her best out. The outcome will probably be more mature and well-thought.

Unfortunately, we reached the end of our interview. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to our questions.

Thanks to you and Grazie mille. It’s always a pleasure.

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