Not only do Swedish Melodic Metal rockers, Amaranthe, celebrate the diversity of life and enlighten listeners worldwide, they are a band that stands out amongst the metal masses for the fact that they have three lead vocalists. Amaranthe are better than ever over their fourth studio album release, ‘Maximalism’, and have continuously raised the bar lyrically over their dreamlike melodies. I caught up guitarist, Olof Morck, to discuss the year ahead, growing up in Sweden and Denmark, touring, tattoos and more.
Congrats on the success of your recent fourth studio album release, ‘Maximalism‘. Tell us about the creative and recording process that you experienced with this album.
Thank you! The creative process was a bit more focused and thought through this time, as we took nearly 5 months off from touring this time, to focus solely on writing and composing. For the actual recording itself we recorded half the album in Gothenburg, out hometown, which made it possible to go home and clear your head in between every working day. For the other half we once again employed the services of our long time producer Jacob Hansen, in Denmark.
You have set yourself apart from the masses in a variety of ways, but in particular, you have three lead vocalists. How has that chemistry come about amongst Jake, Elize, and Henrik?
It sets in quite naturally – three vocalists is still a new thing, but for us it’s something we have worked with for eight years now. We don’t think too much about who should sing what, most of the time it comes to us without forcing it.
Boy, did you get your fans in the US and Candida ruled up with the announcement of your 2017 tour dates. What are you looking forward to and what can fans of Amaranthe expect this time around?
The general reaction on Facebook and social media was quite immense! It has been a year plus some months since we toured North America, so it goes without saying that we are very excited indeed! There are a bunch of favourite cities and venues we are looking forward to see again, and maybe most of all to play the 70 000 Tons of Metal cruise, sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to Haiti. And all fans can expect a brand new show, compared to last time!
Let’s talk tattoos. Tell us about some of our favorite personal pieces and the artists that brought them to life.
I am certainly not an expert on tattoos, but I remember being very young and looking up to all of our local musicians (more on them in the next question), and admiring their badass tattoos, which were all made by the same guy and studio; Alf Henriksson at No Fear Tattoo here in Gothenburg. So whenever you see a Swedish metal band performing, chances are great the he is behind it.
How has being brought up in Sweden and Denmark influenced your artistry as musicians?
Growing up in Sweden in the 90’s was very inspiring, being surrounded by tons of world class bands and artists. Gothenburg in particular produced a great number of acts that would go on and become world renowned, at least in the metal genre, such as In Flames, At the Gates, Dark Tranquillity and so on. The Swedish music scene is very vital still, and it has continued to be an inspiring place to live and work.
What are your thoughts on the Swedish music scene at the moment? Any standout bands or musicians that you’d like to give a shout-out to?
I was proud to see strong releases from In Flames, Evergrey, Dark Tranquillity and so on during 2016, which proves that the scene is as strong as ever. On the more pop side, Tove Lo, Zara Larsson and Icona Pop has done their part to put Sweden on the musical map, so there really is plenty going on in this frozen Nordic country.
Imagine you are talking to a human being who has never heard a second of your music. Give a description of your sound by metaphorically affiliating your sound to the characteristics of an animal.
Wow, that is something new! I would compare it to a cat; a cat can be fierce, a perfect predator and a merciless hunter, as our music can be brutal and relentless. But a cat has a sweeter side, being very friendly and mellow in the right context – just like the softer side of our music.
If I were a tourist who has never been to Sweden and there were two travel destinations that you highly recommend checking out, what places would you recommend and why?
I would recommend the Old Town in Stockholm. It is a very well perserved medieval town, with numberless winding streets and alleys, all in a very charming setting – the perfect time machine. I would also highly recommend the far north. Its mountains, rivers and valleys rivals that of New Zeeland, and it all has very Middle Earth kind of feeling to it. Highly recommended!
Other than extensive touring around the globe, what do fans of Amaranthe have to look forward to in 2017?
We will be releasing a new video in the first weeks of 2017, which is a clip that we are very proud of! 2017 is mainly focused on touring and festivals, but towards the end of the year we might perhaps start looking at new music, who knows!
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
Thank you for your continued support, and looking forward to see all of you on the road in 2017!