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Translation Backstage-Interview Amaranthe at Lido Berlin 4 April 2014

Finally we are able to present you the interview with Amaranthe. After Sandra had been grilling the guys from Smash Into Pieces, she also took the chance to conduct an interview with the gentleman from Amaranthe that same evening. Sorry, there were not only men, but also the wonderful singer Elize. We asked Amaranthe among other things how they are writing their awesome songs, what music they are usually listening to and we also tried to find out more about their new songs. Particularly interesting and almost hard to believe: On the new album will be songs! We really did not expected that but read for yourself.

Sandra: You are currently touring with Smash Into Pieces and Deals Death. How is it going so far and which city do you think went the best?

Jake: Berlin went the best. It was the best show!

Olof: I really don’t think there were enough people to say it was the best….

Jake: I think it was the soundcheck actually. *group laughter* (the interview was before the show in Berlin)

Elize: It’s really hard to say actually. But of course you have your personal favorites shows. Maybe… I think first of all it’s when you feel you connect with the audience. And that was especially I think in Milan for example and also in Budapest… also Prague.

Olof: Oh yeah the Prague show but more like all the shows have been awesome but as Elize says we all have our special favorites of course but the tour has been going great as well and the openers are really good, we are very proud. They are attracting new fans to themselves all day at every show. I think the tour in general has been really successful.

Elize: Yeah it’s actually hard to point out any favorites because it’s been so good every day .

Jake: If I had to choose my favorite show it would be the one in Madrid. When it comes to connecting with the audience. It really seems like pretty much all the shows but one was really good and that one was in the middle of the mountain so I guess that’s why.

Sandra: Which one was that, the one that didn’t go that well?

Olof: I have to say that the people that were there were actually really really awesome but there wasn’t many of them because there was no big city around. Small small city. It was in Switzerland. But it was a beautiful day and beautiful mountains so we still had a good time.

Sandra: The concert today is taking place at a location where 50 years ago just 100 meters away from here people died because they wanted to cross the wall to live in freedom. Did you guys know that? Did you guys get a chance to see the remains of the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery or is there no time for that at all?

Olof: Is it actually just outside?

Sandra: Yeah if you actually just go into the direction where the East Side Gallery is at.

Olof: Okay I didn’t know that.

Elize: Yeah I actually knew that and was thinking about it the whole day. I really wanna go there. It’s been something I really wanted to do as long as I live. Probably we should just ask someone how to get there.

Sandra: Yeah, it’s towards Warschauer Straße.

Elize: I think I will eat and then go there actually. Check it out.

Sandra: The East Side Gallery is actually the remains of the Wall which got painted after it fell. I mean if you guys have time you should go see it.

Jake: I have actually been there before though, but not today. I went there by cab. I actually had no idea it was that close though. It was a long time ago, I would like to see it again.

Elize: You can come with me later!

Sandra: Let’s talk about your new album which is supposed to be released this coming autumn. There were a lot of hits on your album “The Nexus”. Looking at that success are you guys now under more pressure for the next album or are you guys just going to trust your gut?

Jake: I think that we actually felt more pressure on our shoulders in between “The Amaranthe” and “The Nexus” album because the first album skyrocketed so fast. As a small band, new band you are not really supposed to get that kind of success directly so we were a bit nervous to see if we could get the songs out of us for the second album. Now we’ve been more or less doing this every day. Touring, touring, touring, writing, writing, writing. So I don’t think we have the same pressure now as we had then.

Olof: I think the pressure is less but there was a sense of a pressure this autumn when we started to work on the basic concepts, because before we even started to write the songs, we were sitting down trying to find new sounds, new prospectives of the sound. And I think at the point when we had actually found them it was kind of easy thing to write the songs and I think the pressure really lifted up. Now when we went on this tour and started to look back a little bit on the songwriting because we’ve been writing writing writing all up till point when we started this tour. We’ve been playing some songs on the tour bus and all of a sudden we realize that if we still have another month to write before we enter the studio…or 3 and a half weeks at least, now we are starting to feel very very confident. The material is not only as strong as “The Nexus” but it actually might be much much stronger, so it’s definitely a huge step forward.

Elize: I personally feel extremely much more confident now with the songwriting because since the second album was so well received. So now it’s just continuing with what you want to do and what you love and the people will hopefully like it. 

Sandra: Comparing your upcoming album to the current one, is it going to be with a little more pop or metal music?

Olof: I’m going to say it’s gonna be different Pop than “The Nexus” because a lot of the influences were like Techno and Pop from the late 90s or something like that.. that kind of keyboards I think the Pop sound is much more current in both the metal and the Pop side it will be much more updated. So if you listen to the American Top 40 of right now instead of 15 years ago that’s what the album sounds more like. I think that’s the best description pretty much.

Sandra: The melodies on your songs are very striking. Are the chorus-melodies developed first and then you work on the rest of it or is it the other way around?

Elize: It’s different every time actually. Sometimes you just get an idea in your head and then it maybe works better as a verse and then you just write the chorus later or you just carry a chorus in your head. It’s actually easier to have the chorus first and then build a verse out of that but of course everyone know the chorus is the hardest thing to write because it needs to be catchy and strong but I think so far we have.

Olof: Yeah it just depends. I think there has been some slightly different way of working on this album. If we start with a musical part, a musical intro for example and then we can build the chorus up on that.

Elize: It’s been built very much on the new sounds.

Olof: Yeah just like Elize says it’s been different every time, it kind of grows. Sometimes it’s the song title, like with the song “Automatic” for example. We were just talking about the song title and all of a sudden we had a song. We can’t really tell where it really happened . Most of the time it will start with a vocal line of a verse, of a chorus and some other time it will just start with the riff or keyboard sound but usually it’s the vocal line… well typically.

Sandra: On “The Nexus” you guys have a song called “Electroheart”. Its chorus reminded us a little bit of ABBA. Are you guys aware of that? Have you heard someone making that connection before?

Jake: I actually don’t remember that I heard a specific song been called ABBA before but I heard us being called ABBA before.

Olof: Yeah I definitely heard it before , people have mentioned it sometimes but I think while we have the ABBA stuff in our blood, I don’t think that we were in that song particularly influenced by ABBA. But of chourse since I have to claim responsibility for that chorus, my influence was probably Techno-bands from the 90s that were probably influenced by ABBA because it’s very much like a 90 revival/dance song pretty much. This is why some guys in the band were like: “Really? Should we really do this?” I think now when we play live today it works very well.

Sandra: Is there going to be a similar song like this one on the new album?

Jake: We can not say that. Then it’s not a surprise! But there will be songs on the next album !

Olof: You are not supposed to say that!

Sandra: No shit! I’m looking forward to that.
You guys are currently touring all over Europe.
Thetechnical demandsof yourmusic are veryhigh.How long do you have toprepareyourselfbeforeyou goon tour?

Jake: For a real tour it’s actually couple of months. Yeah to get all the transportation, the crew… the technique, to gather all the information from all the venues and compare that to the demands, change stuff that they don’t have. That has to be rent or that needs to be fixed or we can not play at this venue or play at another and everything so for a European tour or an U.S. tour at least three months preparations.

Sandra: Do you have a ritual before you enter the stage? Maybe something you guys always do?

Jake: We change clothes! *Everyone is laughing*

Elize: Change clothes! Usually if I am lucky I have this routine to go to sleep actually. Like one hour between 7 and 8.

Sandra: How long is that before you go onto stage?

Elize: 1 hour 45 minutes or 1 and a half hours from when I wake up.

Sandra: And you guys? Anything you like doing before you enter the stage?

Olof: Well for me it’s always try to warm up as much as possible. Sometimes I start early in the day with the guitar play. Typically I might be playing for 1 and a half hours or something like that but if I can then I could play for like three hours, it helps me to play much better on the actual shows. So that’s my number 1 thing.

Jake: On this tour I’ve actually been trying to play like 30 minutes of video games. I have so much other stuff to think about the whole day so I need something to clear my head, just think about something completely different. So when I turn the computer off I can focus on the show.

Is there any partying going on after anAmaranthegigor is everyone hidinginhis bunktodraw strengthfor the nextconcert?

Olof: I guess the audience will actually go to another club after they’ve been to our concerts. *Everyone is laughing*

Elize: I think actually everyone is getting into a party mood that’s what I have experienced. From what I see people are getting really hyped because the music is pretty up[beat] except for me of course because I never drink alcohol. I actually go to bed around like 3. It’s still pretty late because it takes a while to get out of all the adrenaline, the focus and you know…everything that happened. It’s very hard to just go straight to bed. That is for me at least pretty impossible.

Olof: I mean absolutely there is some stuff going on but it used to be a lot more for everybody 1 and a half or 2 years ago.

Sandra: And now you guys are just getting kind of tired?

Olof: No not really it’s just more that we’ve been touring so much that if you do that all the time, then you are gonna be totally screwed.

Sandra: Yeah I can see that, especially with her voice.

Olof: Yeah definitely, if you are a vocalist then it’s a 100 times worse.

Jake: If she parties like the other guys then her voice will be fucked up. *Everyone is laughing*

Elize: We don’t hear each other so much. They’ve been good. Play low music…

Olof: Most of the time!

Elize: I usually sleep with ear plugs so I don’t hear much. Actually…just to correct myself… I go to sleep between 3 or 4am. I try to.

Sandra: On May 23rd you guys are playing on the Metal Svenskan 2014. Old school bands such as Saxon, Helloween and Kreator will be there as well. Is there something connecting you to these bands? Do you maybe listen to their music or even own their music?

Jake: Absolutely. Now Helloween for example is not what it used to be, it’s only one member left of the original line-up but if Helloween hadn’t existed I would’ve never started singing.

Olof: I discovered Helloween quite late. There are a lot of old school bands that I like but not some bands in particular. Helloween make some really good songs but most discovered them long before I did. But it’s a great band for sure.

Sandra: And what about Kreator or Saxon?

Olof: I didn’t listen to them so much when I was growing up but nowadays I’ve seen them a million times on festivals . They are excellent, great great bands but I think I was more into like the melodic death metal and gothic when I was little.

Sandra: That actually leads me to my next question. What are you guys currently listening to? What do you love listening to before you enter the stage or also during the day?

Olof: Our new album! *Eveyone is laughing*

Olof: We actually have been listening to it quite a bit so we already started to get a bit tired of it . But when I’ve been writing music and we’ve been composing I’ve been personally listening to a lot of contemporary modern music . A lot of Pop music actually. I’ve been listening to the Top 40 U.S. charts every day for the last three months or something like that which I actually really really enjoy. There is a lot of good stuff out now actually. I don’t want to name any specific acts because then I will just get my ass kicked for referencing those acts but right not in the current music scene in Pop music there’s a lot of really cool music stuff going on actually.

Elize: I listen to Spotify actually. I think it’s fun to just listen to everything. I go into people’s playlists and listen to them. I experience all stuff all the time. On this tour I’ve been listening all the time actually to Lana Del Ray – Born to die.

Jake: I’ve been listening a lot to Smash Into Pieces and Death Deals actually. *Everyone is laughing*

Elize: Yeah especially before the show!

Olof: I can say for Jake that he’s been actually listening a lot to the music for Assasin’s Creek 4. Mainly.



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