Intervista Arch Enemy (Sharlee D’Angelo)
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Interview by Davide Sciaky
Hi Sharlee, how are you doing?
I was talking with Jocke from Amon Amarth just now about how this tour is all about Sweden, both this European leg, and the American leg too, all the bands on the bill are Swedish, it must feel a bit like being home.
It’s weird because… yeah, sort of, but it didn’t feel… it felt weird, especially in America, four bands, because you’re used to, it’s always a mix of bands from different countries, very seldom it’s like this.
So, now it’s like, crew members that don’t understand what’s going on [laughs] late night parties with Swedish ‘80s disco [laughs] and everybody’s like, “What the hell is this? What are you listening to?!” [laughs]
Arch Enemy is a big band for Death Metal, and it’s been growing in popularity for years. In a live setting a lot is about the production, about making something memorable, have you introduced anything new to your show lately, or have you got plans for the future?
Well, we have a new stage set for this tour.
Next year we are not gonna do that much touring, but for the next album cycle yeah, there’s definitely a lot of stuff in the planning, whatever we can cram in and, you know, we’re trying to have the best ideas possible.
We’re brainstorming, the band and the light guy in our crew, we’re just spewing out ideas and see if there’s something that sticks.
As you said, you want to make something memorable and try to be somewhat original, having something that people haven’t really seen before.
Is there anything you can tell us already?
No, no, that would ruin the surprise [laughs].
No, yeah, we have a new concept, we’re gonna have a big Viking helmet on stage, oh, no, that’s… [laughs]
At the beginning of the year you released “Covered in Blood”, an album of covers. Why did you choose to do it, and how did you choose the songs? There are many of bands that have very little to do with your music, like Manowar, Mike Oldfield or Europe…
The reason why the album came about is that we did a vinyl boxet, and then we had the idea to… we have done one or two covers for B-sides, Japanese bonus tracks and so on almost on every album, so we thought it could be a good thing to gather them all in one album, so we put that in the boxset.
Then the boxset was sold-out and people were, they really wanted it so we released it as a stand-alone thing.
It’s all music that we listen to ourselves, there are some Metal bands in there, and there are some very not Metal bands, and it’s fun to rearrange stuff and try to make it as much your own as possible.
It’s a little bit of everything in there, and it’s also a good tip for people who might not have heard of some of the bands in there and might want to check them out, you want to educate people a little bit [chuckles].
So, it seems like it went well: when you do these kinds of things sometimes people are like, “You should stick to your own stuff”, and sometimes the love it, and it seems like was the case.
It seems like they do.
But, I mean, everybody can’t like everything, some people are just like, “If you record something it should be only Metal” but, yeah, uhm, why not try something different.
But it was a cool thing to just get everything on one album, so I think we’ll continue doing covers, maybe there will be a “Volume 2” in a few years [laughs].
Talking about your next album, have you been writing any music yet?
Yeah, yeah, we are constantly writing bits and pieces of music, and whenever we have time try to demo stuff, but you just do rough demos of things.
So, we have loads of pieces of music, only a few finished songs, because usually we write on the road but it’s pieces of music, and then we need to have time off to sit individually or together and make them into songs, rearrange things and try new things.
So, yeah, usually that’s what we do when we’re off the road, so most of next year will be spent doing that.
Do you already have a plan on when to enter the studio?
No, not yet, we’ll see how the writing process goes along.
I mean, at some point we’ll have to come up with a studio date because if we don’t have a deadline, we will never get things done [laughs].
“Will to Power” was the first album to feature Jeff Loomis, do you think that after the experience of working together on that album, and after more years of playing together, the next album will see an even stronger collaboration with him?
With that album most of it was already written so, he contributed to a lot of stuff to the songs anyway, even if he didn’t write the songs per se.
But we are open to anything, all the best ideas get used.
That’s another thing I wanted to ask you, if you write on the road, I imagined he didn’t contribute too much to the songwriting of “Will to Power” as he joined you not long before the album.
No, no, I mean, he did anyway, he definitely put his mark to the songs in the arrangements, and of course the solos and everything.
There’s definitely a Loomis stamp in there.
Last year around this time there has been a bit of an ugly mess with the media when you banned a photographer from your shows. The things, at least publicly, had been dealt with by Alissa and Angela, when did you find out about it? I mean, is it something that you discussed with the band before it went public, or did you hear about it like everyone else out there?
No, yeah, It was just some stupid thing that happened and we found out about it later, and it was just blown out of proportion.
It was just a very, very small thing and some misunderstandings, I don’t know why people made such a big deal out of it.
Did you discuss with the others about it after it blew up like it did?
Yeah, but it calmed down pretty quickly, so I haven’t given it much thought at all.
Recently, Mercyful Fate announced their reunion: you’ve been with the band for 6 years and recorded 4 albums out of 7 they released, so you played on most of the albums of the band.
True, I have never thought of it like that, but you are right, yeah [laughs].
Were you contacted for the reunion?
No, they didn’t ask me, but I think their original idea was to have Timi on bass, then Timi got sick, and now he sadly passed away, so that’s why they hired Joey Vera instead, but I think he’s gonna do a fantastic job.
Style-wise, his playing style is closer to Timi’s than mine, so I think it’s gonna be great.
I’m hoping I get to see it, at a festival here or there or something, if it’s not at a festival I’m probably gonna travel to see them.
I’ve never had a chance to see them, so I’m looking forward to that.
It was such a long time ago, even the ‘90s version was… in the ‘90s!
The last show played was in ’99, so it’s 20 years ago.
I was asking because I thought that, once it was clear that Timi could do it, I thought they would have called someone with a shared history, so you.
Yeah, no, they didn’t, but I think they also figured that I’m very busy [laughs].
There has been a bit of a controversy with Michael Denner net being invited to the reunion, what do you think about it?
I have no idea since I have not spoken to any of the parties, I have no idea how and why this happened.
As anybody else I think it would have been good if Denner was there, because at least if it was Hank, Denner and King that’s sort of like Denmark’s Halford, Tipton and Downing, you know what I mean? [Laughs]
That would have been ok, because I don’t think that Kim Ruzz has… he hasn’t been musically active in so, so many years, and then of course Timi was supposed to be there… so it would have been good if at least they had the three of them there.
I have no idea why this happened but, then again, Mike Wead is a great guitar player, so it will sound fantastic anyway.
This was my last question, thank you for your time. Is there any final message you have for our readers?
Thank you to everybody who comes out to the show and takes the time to listen to our music!