This interview no need introduction. Everybody knows Sweden's supergroup Arch Enemy and their female vocalist Angela Gossow. This interview was done in April, when a new masterpiece "Wages Of Sin" was released in Europe and America.
You've been singing with Arch Enemy for a year and a half now, but not everyone knows how this came about. Can you briefly explain how you got here and how your career has been thus far? When and how did you discover you have a talent for singing?
I am screaming in death metal bands since 1991. My previous bands were Asmodina and Mistress, both German underground acts. In 1999 I got in touch with Arch Enemy because I interviewed them for a magazine. They asked me for a tape of Mistress, I sent it over. In 2000 they split with Johan. And put a list with possible new vocalists together. Chris put me on that list, he liked my vox and thought, a woman could be an exciting new face in the band. I auditioned in late 2000. We recorded one song, Enemy Within, in the studio. I matched their expectations 200%. The new fronter of Arch Enemy was found. Me. I am a lucky bastard, haha!
Have you learned Swedish yet?
I am too lazy. We are communicating in English.
Why has Johan Liiva left Arch Enemy? Was it due to a misunderstanding between him and Michael Amott, or something else? Perhaps his ambition was to become the leader, like it happened with Furbowl, and currently is with NonExist?
No, they weren't satisfied with his vocal style and life performance. Johan is a very shy guy. He doesn't have a real leader attitude. I mean, I am becoming the new leader in Arch Enemy now. Nobody tries to stop me from this. They wanted to have a strong front person. That's one of the reasons why they chose me. I have lots of attitude. They were totally tired of having a vocalist who tries to avoid giving interviews.
Although I admire Johan's talent, it seems that the change of vocals was a good move on the part of Arch Enemy. Your amazing voice better suits the band... you sing more aggressively than him.
Well, I like Johans vox too, especially on Black Earth. But the new Wages Of Sin Material needed more vocal aggression and I definitely deliver this.
You appeal more to the media... what about the fans? Have they accepted the fact that Arch Enemy features female vocals now?
They are super positive! We were a bit afraid of the fan reaction. Bullshit. They love the new Arch Enemy line-up.
Would you be able to sing "clean vocals" ?
Yes, I do it in the shower daily
What are your inspirations? What kind of music do you listen to regularly?
Traditional Chinese Folk, haha! No, I am actually still a total death metal maniac, I love Carcass, Death, Morbid Angel, Testament, Slayer, Pestilence. I also listen to classic metal like Judas Priest. I love Nevermore and Candlemass. I really like the new Rob Zombie. And Rammstein. And some Pop stuff.
Most lyrics are written by Michael. Do you plan to have more input in the lyrics in the future?
For Wages Of Sin there were only 4 Songs left without lyrics, so I wrote them. I already wrote all lyrics for the next album, which we might record later this year.
It's already been a year since you launched "Wages of Sin" in Japan, yet it's only appearing in Europe and USA now. What are the reasons for this?
Our Management tried to renegotiate our deal with Century Media. It didn't work out. In the end there was some kind of cold war going on between them. And Arch Enemy was stuck in the middle, with a new album in our pockets. We basically delivered it to Japan Toys Factory and CM at the same time. It took us nearly one year to find some kind of solution. Business sucks!
What about "Burning Japan"? Is there any chance that it will come out in Europe?
You can order it anyway at every good online store (yeah, i bought this cd on Ebay many months ago - Eldzik). As far as I know, CM plans to release it now.
Since we're on the subject of past recordings, is it true that you're planning to re-record your debut album "Black Earth"? If so, what's the reason for this?
We were playing with this idea. But we think, its better to record some new stuff. I guess, it will be released too through CM now anyway.
Do you know if Christopher is going to continue his solo project Armageddon? If so, do you think that he will return to playing his melodic death-metal as it was in "Crossing the Rubicon"? To be honest, "Embrace the
Mystery" is totally out of my taste.
He recorded a new album with Armageddon now (called "Three" - Eldzik). With him doing the vocals. Its more classic 80s heavy metal. Far away from "Crossing the Rubicon". Armageddon is more a freestyle project than a band.
I've heard some rumours lately, about a new project (called Krux i think - Eldzik) by Michael and Leif Edling (Candlemass)and Peter Stjarnvind and Jorgen Sandstrom (both from Entombed). Could you give me some details on this?
Haha, Leif just had a chat with the blabbermouth.net guy. Something like "If I could play with my dream musicians, I would from a project with." The next day it was up on blabbermouth. True gossip. But Michael wouldn't say no. They are really good friends.
What is the role of Sharlee D'Angelo in your band? Is he hired only for special events or is he a full-time member of the group?
He is our masseur, beauty stylist and animateur. Besides this, he is a full member and gets a wage like everybody else in Arch Enemy.
Last year you had cancelled you concerts on Wacken and in Japan. As a reason it was said, that you are experiencing temporary troubles with your throat. But others claim that you have a fear of performing in front of large crowds. Could you comment on that?
I can tell you, its worse performing in front of 50 stiff people who are too cool to act than having a big metal party in Wacken! The first thing I experienced quite often with my old bands. Besides this, I played already on a few festivals with my old bands. No, I am not afraid. I had a bad throat infection and lost my voice. I was close to suffer from bleeding vocal chords. I had six months of intense vocal coaching now to pretend shit like this in the future. It happens to the Deftone and The Haunted vocalist recently too.
Recently on metal scene there have appeared quite a few women roaring into the microphone. What's your opinion of Rachel, from Sinister, who seems to be the second most well-known death-metal singer after you. As for me, her singing is too dull....
She has been involved for many years now, being the former Occult vocalist. I like fighters and she is one. Nobody can bring her down. And I also like her vocals.
So called underground media had announced you as the queen of metal (just after releasing "Wages of Sin"); I'm sure you have never heard about the polish band Immemorial, (it's not the swedish Immemoreal!). Well, in this polish band it was Marta who was the singer for a couple of years, and now she has her own project - Enter Chaos - composed of Devilyn, Azarath and a few other well-known polish death-metal musicians. I have a strong impression, that they might become a significant competition for you and your group.
I know Immemorial. I guess I know every band with female vocalists. I am very interested in this subject. This "female against female in metal" competition thing annoys the fuck out of me! I mean, hundreds of male fronted death metal bands can exist peacefully next to each other and the few female fronted ones are supposed to compete or what? You guys are hungry for some cat fights??? Well, you will not get this from me! I think, women should be loyal, supporting other women in metal. Not fighting. Oteps vocalist is cool. Sabina Classen is cool. Cadaveria is cool. Dani from Uppercut is cool. And each of us has her own vocal style. And I am sure, Enter Chaos will sound cool. So whats the problem?! Queen of Metal - well, I guess this matches my personality. I am the beauty and the best, hehe. But it wasn't me who brought up this term! Sabina Classen is the queen of thrash metal. And Rachel is the queen of low grunts. We are all queens somehow.
Before we say thank you and good bye, tell your fans in Europe, when will they be able to see you and Arch Enemy performing live?
We have some cool tour offers for Europe on the table now. So you might see us very soon! Check news on http://www.archenemy.net
PS. All pics was taken from Official Arch Enemy site.