Interview by Tony CannellaThe last time we spoke with Elize Ryd of Amaranthe, the band was in the midst of a hugely successful North American tour supporting Within Temptation. Now the band has once again returned to North America, but this time as a headliner. Amaranthe is still touring in support of the excellent “Massive Addictive” record which continues to gain momentum. Prior to their show at the Palladium (which is rumored to be haunted) in Worcester, Mass. We spoke to Elize once again and guitarist Olof Morck to get the scoop on all things Amaranthe. Welcome back to Femme Metal and welcome back to North America.
Elize: Thank you very much.
Olof: Thank you.How has the tour been going so far?
Elize: So far we’ve played three shows. It feels fantastic and we are like always extremely excited to be back here in the U.S., especially since we’re headlining this time. It’s been amazing.Have you actually seen your fan base growing since the last time you were here with Within Temptation?
Olof: Yeah, sure. It’s a little difficult because when you are opening up or supporting it’s hard to know how many fans are your actual fans. The closest comparison we can do is when we headlined the last time which was almost two years and if you just look at the numbers I think in some places we increased by 400%. Yeah, it’s growing, it’s growing pretty damn fast.On this tour one of your lead vocalists Henrik Englund is not with you. How come he decided to sit this one out?
Elize: His girlfriend is having a baby and is due in two weeks which would be in the middle of the tour. It’s his first kid and since he’s the father he of course wanted to be there when she’s giving birth. We understand that 100 %. It wasn’t even a discussion because he would be stressed and his girlfriend would be stressed, so we just said that we will do the tour because it’s important for us to come here. It wouldn’t be possible for us to come later this year because we have other plans. Since “Drop Dead Cynical” has been played a lot on radio right now, we just had to come here. He’s home and having fun hopefully and we are here and we brought Olle Ekman who is from Deals Death. We toured with them in Europe so we know him. He’s a nice guy.How has it been working with Olle, so far?
Elize: It’s been good. I was very worried to begin with, like always when you bring someone else on stage.I imagine it must be a stressful situation to bring somebody new in just before a tour.
Elize: Yeah, I was really nervous, but it has turned to be extremely good.
Olof: I concur. I was going to add also, like the whole chemistry thing. There’s this magic that happens when you go on stage and we’ve been having some extremely good shows with Henrik, and he’s a really big part of that of course, so it is really scary to take one of those parts out and just put a completely different part in and see what happens. I think we were very lucky actually – we chose a really good guy – but there was some luck that the chemistry actually works a lot better than I thought it would. I thought it would be good and it works excellent.
Elize: For us it feels good. I just hope that the audience is not disappointed.
Obviously, you are currently on a headlining tour. What can fans expect when they come see you this time around?
Elize: They can expect to hear more songs than last time. We have a little different lighting, better sound. Our sound guy is amazing! Hopefully we are entertaining (laughs). Like we always said we want to spread energy, hope, and joy, everything to the fans.“Massive Addictive” has been out since late last year and it really seems to be picking up steam. For instance I was watching a hockey game a few weeks back and I heard “Drop Dead Cynical” being played in the arena.
Elize: We were so excited about that!That is an awesome thing. Can you see the record gaining momentum?
Olof: Yeah, we can see it in real time. There is this crazy cool application that Universal Music has launched where you can follow different things like streams and Spotify and plays on YouTube and you can just see that it’s really picking up. Also, there is this web site called Metal Insider, they have like this metal by numbers so you can actually follow the record sales, not from the record company but from a metal web site and it’s really cool to see that. Usually when you release an album you sell a lot at first and then it goes down and you don’t sell anything after a certain period even if you are a really big band, but the cool thing is that we sold a lot and then it went down and now it’s actually going upwards. Every week we sell more and more albums. It’s a very cool thing.Have you been compiling ideas for your next record or is it still too soon?
Elize: We have ideas all the time. Every day you get new influences. We want to wait and try to tour as long as we can and then when we feel like the timing is right hopefully – in not too long – we will start to create new things.
Olof: Exactly. I’ve been thinking about it and with the response that we’ve been having on this record, not only in terms of success and album sales, but also the general feeling of love that we’ve gotten from the fans and a lot of new fans as well, also a great feeling on stage and great chemistry within the band. I think this is going to be by far the most fun album to write and it’s probably going to be the best one, I have a feeling. So it’s something that we’re not going to do prematurely. When we start doing it we should be super, super excited about it.I actually just checked out your new video for “Digital World”. What can you tell us about it?
Elize: The director’s idea was to make something simpler this time and something with a white background. I was sitting and thinking about how I would like the video to be and I said, “well, it should be something similar to the photoshoots we did for the booklet for the album”, because I really love those photos, I think everybody looks so cool. For “Digital World” I thought that would be a perfect combination. So I dropped the idea, we spoke about it and that’s what happened. It’s nice when you’re in sync with the director.
Olof: I think everybody in the band was also on the same page. We’ve done a lot of very action kind of movie style videos which were a bit all over the place. I really love doing those videos and I’m still excited about those, but I think that everybody at that point when we were making this video wanted something that was very slick, very forward and very instantaneous. It’s the perfect video for the perfect song.Your videos are always quite good and your live shows are very energetic, so the obvious question is, have you given thought to releasing a DVD?
Elize: We have for a long time. We just need the right budget and to pick one city that we like most (to film in) which is going to be impossible. We think big and we want it to be big and like massive and all that.We’ve come to the end of this interview. It’s always a pleasure to speak to you guys and we wish you the best of luck in the future. Do you have any final messages to the fans to wrap this up?
Olof: We’re super excited to be back here and to play at the haunted house, the Palladium once more, it’s going to be fantastic. We just wanted to say a big thank you to all our fans across America that have supported us so far, we are super thankful to be here.
Elize: We love you all very much.
Photos by John McMurtie