Festivalphoto interviewed Elize and Olof from Amaranthe at this years Bloodstock festival.
Festivalphoto: First of all, well done on a great set on the Jaegermeister acoustic stage earlier.
Olof: Thanks for being there and watching the show.
Festivalphoto: OK, first of all, for the benefit of anyone who hasn't heard of Amaranthe yet, can you tell us a bit about the band?
Olof: The main thing that people keep asking us about is the main thing about the band - we have three vocalists, which is one female vocalist - Elize, one male clean vocalist which is Jake and one growler which is Andy so that really contributes to creating quite a unique sound but for us its definitely not a gimmick - "oh look at us just because we have three singers". For us its more like a self evident thing, exactly how the music should be interpreted, so its basically modern melodic metal.
Elize: We're three people, actually six people with different influences and idols, especially the three of us that write the songs, we have like I put the things I love into it and the others put their things in and the others see oh my god this is really a mix of what everybody likes. We didnt try to make it sound like anything specific we just, yeah, wrote what we liked.
Festivalphoto: Was it a specific decision to have three vocalists or did it just evolve?
Olof: Actually it was kind of a coincidental thing really.
Elize: From the beginning in Olof and Jake's project, Me and Andy, and we thought maybe we can do a part where there is growl and you and Elize can do the clean parts and then we did one song with the three of us, then decided why not write all the songs like this, and thats what we did
Festivalphoto: How would you describe your music? Power metal?
Elize: What we heard is it's got a new name in Sweden.
Olof: Its really funny we read this in a review in Sweden Rock magazine and they called it Death-pop
Elize: I also heard it on a radio station, they talked about our song being a new style and they called it pop-metal
Olof: I think with all these labels its very understandable that people have a need to categorise things to make it more comfortable but with us because we have so many diverse influences it's difficult to classify because we do have pop influences sure but at the same time we have some really very heavy influences and we listen to a lot of that kind of music. Me and Elize were listening to Napalm Death before and will be watching Morbid Angel and At The Gates later, so we bring all that to it and I think that diversity creates something very very special instead of just trying to be niche. I think sometimes its good to be very specific about what you're doing but I think with Amaranthe we're trying to be universal, we're not trying to exclude anybody if you know what I mean. We do have power metal in their so to some extent we could be called a power metal band, but we also have death metal and all these different things.
Elize: I think its nice not to be worried about these categories, but maybe someday we'll have our own musical genre
Olof: The Amaranthe style *laughing*
Festivalphoto: You played the UK in April supporting Kamelot. How did you enjoy that?
Olof: Its always good with Kamelot, it was actually not the first time - we actually did a tour with them back in 2010 but we didnt come to the UK back then. Touring with Kamelot its like coming home to a family, Elize and Jake toured with them as guest vocalists all over Europe, and with Kamelot in the US now.
Elize: On the tour we did with Amaranthe, I also did backup vocals with Kamelot, so for me it was a pretty busy tour. We know them really well and we've worked together for a few years so its really like going out with a big family.
Olof: And we had Simone (Simone Simons - Epica singer) with Kamelot on that tour and she and Elize are really good friends so its one big happy family. Also on the tour we had Evergrey who are from Gothenburg so its people we;ve known for ten years, it was a great package actually. In the Fall we're going to tour with Hammerfall who are also friends.
Festivalphoto: Is that tour coming to the UK?
Olof: Sadly its not. Actually on the original schedule it was going to come to the UK, but because Hammerfall have got a tour in the UK later on in December I think then that leg of the tour got cancelled so we're playing all over Europe for nine weeks but not the UK, so to compensate for that we're looking at some Headline shows in the UK, I think in December. We're definitely going to play London and hopefully somewhere around the midlands.
Festivalphoto: A lot of bands come over from Europe and their "UK tour" is just one night in London
Elize: Yeah we heard that. We'd like to do three or four shows - hopefully, that's what we'd like to do, so everybody has the chance to come see us.
Festivalphoto: Your debut album was released through Spinefarm earlier this year. Is it selling as well as you hoped?
Olof: Oh yeah, the sales have been completely mindblowing. Actually the UK is one of the best countries as well, I think after Sweden, Finland and Japan. We had really nice chart entries in these countries also, especially in Japan - we were number 9 in the international charts pushing down Justin Bieber, Britney Spears and stuff like that.
Elize: and lady gaga.
Olof: Yeah so it's been really good and we learnt today that we're the bestselling band on Spinefarm UK at the moment, so that's definitely a good sign for us.
Festivalphoto: Especially as a new band.
Olof: Yeah we're a very new band, and even if you've been in the business for a long time you don't expect that as a completely new band so a bit overwhelmed and very grateful for how the UK audience has given us this support, its very cool for us.
Elize: Thank you UK.
Festivalphoto: What bands do you think have influenced your music?
Olof: A lot of different bands. From the heavy side a huge influence of mine is Soilwork and In flames, that melodic death metal genre, and obviously Scar symmetry with more progressive melodic stuff. You know pop-rock bands like Queen are also a big influence, it might be hard to spot, but for the big Choirs and choruses.
Elize: And Abba.
Olof: Definitely Abba.
Elize: That was my first love and we're inspired by how they sing their choruses
Olof: And if you're from Sweden its in your blood, you have to be inspired by Abba somehow. If you were to ask At The Gates for example, you can say that "You are influenced by Abba" - its not a question its a fact, because its in our Swedish blood.
Festivalphoto: What's your favourite song on the album?
Elize: My favourite song? It switches from day to day. Sometimes its "1000000 lightyears", sometimes its... Oh wait thats not on the CD.
Olof: Which one?
Elize: "Splinter in my soul"
Olof: That's a B side on a single thats been released in the UK (Rain)
Elize: or sometimes its Amaranthine, but I like all of them. OK if I choose one then I choose "1000000 lightyears"
Olof: I think for me as well, like Elize says it kind of shifts
Elize: It depends what mood you're in
Olof: Yeah and we really put a lot of love, perfection into every single song so from our perspective there's no fillers or anything like that, but I have to agree a bit with "1000000 lightyears" its a very proud moment, me and Elize writing that song together - thats why we like it *laughing*
Festivalphoto: In the band, do you all write songs?
Olof: It's mainly Me, Jake and Elize. From the beginning it was me and Jake writing together and bringing Elize into the songwriting team was around halfway into the album and then we did a really major part together, me and Elize, and I think she really understands the songs, so I think on the next album its going to be a very collaborative effort - the three of us all the time.
Festivalphoto: Have you started writing for the new album yet?
Olof: We'll start to do that in maybe a couple of weeks, something like that. She's going out on tour with Kamelot so maybe me and Jake will start to do some sketches and ideas and then when she comes back we're going to, well we'll go on tour first then after that we'll go into full songwriting mode, possibly write some stuff on tour as well.
Festivalphoto: How are you enjoying Bloodstock so far? You've done your acoustic set and you have your main set later tonight.
Elize: Ok I can answer. Its one of the best festivals I've been to, and a few years ago I did a lot of festivals with Kamelot doing backup vocals, so I've been to all the huge ones, Wacken, Rock am ring, and others. This one is not so big as those but its really nice people, genuine, you can get really good food if you want to, and drink, and listen to a lot of great bands of course. I would like to stay a couple more days here.
Festivalphoto: Thank you both very much for your time.