These days, it’s hard to categorize music and label bands,especially metal given the number of elements and influences that bands incorporate into their music. This is exactly the case with the energetic Swedish metallers Amaranthe. Following the huge success of their first two albums, the band are all set to release their third album, ‘Massive Addictive’ and let me tell you there could not be a more appropriate name for an album. It’s fun, heavy and just a brilliant combination of different styles. That being said I had the absolute honour of speaking with the beautiful Elize Ryd who was just so lovely!
The band are currently on tour in the United States alongside ‘Within Temptation’ and Elize greeted me with a smile I could hear over the phone as she told me about how it’s been going. “ Hi! I’m good! Things are really great at the moment, our tour of the US with Within Temptation has been really exciting and a very positive experience. The audiences have been fantastic, huge amounts of people! I’m so happy that we got this opportunity because it is a perfect match for us and we are really grateful. It is beyond what I expected , and i don’t usually like to have any expectations but it really is better than I imagined it to be. We’ve had a lot of sold out shows and the fans are so adorable.” ( No, YOU’RE adorable)
I’ve heard some of Amaranthe’s stuff before here and there but this new album is really something different and unqiue. Elize spoke to me about the album, how it came about, the title and whether there’s any underlying concept. “Well, initially we talked about calling it ‘Trinity’ from one of the songs, but I personally didn’t like it because i used to have a cover band with the same name when i was younger. We kept talking and eventually agreed that ‘Massive Addictive’ would be a cool name and I completely agreed! As for the ideas, we started getting different ideas for another album just before we started recording for The Nexus. Each of us wanted to have a few different elements on the album, for instance we all wanted to have some new keyboard added to the music. So like that, we kept exchanging ideas back and forth, eventually we came up with something that would sound amazing and on which we could build our songs. Also, we wanted it to be modern because we like keeping up with the times and try and stay ahead rather than behind. For me personally, I wanted to challenge my vocal ability by pushing myself a little more and see how far i could go with it. But yes, we have a little bit more of everything on this album – it’s harder, catchier and a lot of fun!”
My favourite thing about these guys is the fact that they really do dare to be different and it has certainly paid off for them! Th array of elements that make up their music is creative and original and she spoke about how this unorthodox style wasn’t something they had planned from the start and how the band came to be. “ It just happened! I know my voice can be very poppy, very ABBA-ish – all the vocal lines are pop-influenced melodies and there’s a lot of harmonies. Initially, I was just good friends with Olof and Jake, both had metal bands so I went over one day, shared some ideas and showed it to them for songs that they had been working on. There was no plan for me to even be a member, but when I did add my vocals on the demo, and then there was the screaming coming in, the response was amazing. It was just supposed to be guest vocals, but people were very surprised and said they had never heard anything like it before – the voices blend together so well! So when we got that positive response after putting the songs up on Myspace, that’s when we decided to keep this set up and continue to work together. Its a coincidence that made this happen, they could’ve called someone else , some other friend and then this would probably never happen!”
Going into further detail about the tracks, she gave a little insight into what some of the tracks themes centred around. ” Take ‘Unreal’ for instance – it’s about sport! Or if you look at it in another way, every person’s life is like a game in a way. Even though I’m not into sport, I got inspiration to write this song from my dream of actually wanting to see a Superbowl game – where Amaranthe would come in and perform this song, cheer the crowd and just have a good time! ‘Digital World’ is also a positive song but can have a negative aspect if you look at how digitalized the world has become today and we’re in this place in life we’re a little bit afraid of how the future is going to be if everything is digital, and so we wrote this song to pay attention to that. “
Going into the artwork of the album cover which is very tranquil and pretty might I add, Elize explained to me the meaning behind it. ” We wanted it to be new and fresh but on the other hand, it’s also different from the previous two because we are not featured on the cover. It’s very simple but also if you look at it closely, it has some hidden messages if you look very closely!”
Harsh vocalist, Hennrik Englund Wilhelmsson is the new addition to the band, having joined them this year for his debut release with the band and we talked about how this change has impacted the band. “Hennrik is an amazing,versatile vocalist and musician and is a very open-minded person! It was a very smooth transition because Hennrik had already joined us on our tours, more than a year ago so he has been with us and he did such a great job! That’s when we decided to keep him in the band.”
What does this lovely lady enjoy doing when she’s got some free time? ” Write music! *laughs* I enjoy spending time with the girls, and to just be at home, drinking coffee and staying in my bathrobe all day! That’s all I want to do really when I’m not working and touring with Amaranthe.“
Now this is probably one of my favourite moments from all the interviews I’ve done. On asking her who some of her musical influences were – “ I think it’s mostly ABBA – ‘ YOU CAN DANCEEEE, YOU CAN JIVEEE, HAVING THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE’. *died* You like ABBA? ( Well now I do! The woman burst into song for me and this happened a couple of times – LOVE HER). I sang along to their songs a lot when I was younger and that’s what formed my voice so they are definitely one of my first idols. But later on I listened to Queen, I really love Freddie Mercury’s singing, I like Christina Aguilera too, really strong voice – (and then) FREEDOOOM FREEDOOOM FREEDOOOOM. (Pretty sure I looked like an idiot at this point with my jaw on the floor, in sheer awe of this one’s voice!)
Finally, asking her whether the band had any plans to head down to Australia, ” We have been thinking about it for a long time, it is one of the biggest dreams for us. We really want to go to Australia, I want to meet Kangaroos! They’re so cute! I mean I’ve heard so many great things about Australia so hopefully we come there very soon, if we’re really lucky, next year maybe! We’ve also been talking about coming to India actually! (Wot? *died again*). We really want to go there, especially me, because it is one of the places we have not been to, I’ve heard how great it is from bands that have come there!”
I told her I would take her out for local coffee here – “YES! Oh my god, I would love that! That’s so sweet of you, I’m very excited now, I’ll see you there!” Seriously, can I move to Sweden?
Elize, as you can see, was just the sweetest thing and it was an absolute pleasure to talk to her on behalf of WoS!
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