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Amaranthe Interview 2013

Amaranthe Interview
The Note; West Chester PA on July,18, 2013
Interview with Elize Ryd & Jake E.; two of the three talented leading vocalists

As someone that was practically bred on video-gaming, the heart-pounding, accelerated electronica music heard in first person shooters like the classic N64 game, Goldeneye, is very memorable. This type of energetic music is extremely effective with pervading your mind with the right quick-thinking reflexes necessary for success in these types of video games. Without this type of frantic music, I am not sure I would have felt nearly as pressured to find the elusive golden-gun in Goldeneye multiplayer gaming sessions.


When I first heard Amaranthe’s “The Nexus,” I was instantly reminded of my visceral reaction to that type of iconic video game music from my childhood. Amaranthe’s “The Nexus” brilliantly injects your entire mind with that same type of adrenal high that makes you feel elated and prepared to mosh or head-bang like a brain-starved zombie. Each of Amaranthe’s songs have an intoxicating combination of different vocal ranges sung by three vocalists, comprised of a male growler, female vocalist, and male vocalist .Impressively, each of these vocalists have a unique range that delightfully mirrors the complexity of their fused sound of progressive metal and an innovative techno sound that underlies the predominant metal sound.

Creatively, their music videos are meticulously designed to reflect the stark innovativeness of their sound. For example, their video for The Nexus, has a cinematic feel that synchronizes itself visually with the frenetic pace of the music. Many of their other music videos for their other popular singles, including Burn with Me and The Hunger, has that same exciting cinematic feel, as well.

After talking with both Elize and Jake of Amaranthe, I gained even more appreciation for the ingenuity of the band’s music. Since the interview was recorded in a small, yet fantastic venue, the thundering sounds of the electric guitars and drums being tested for the band’s sound check quickly made it impossible to carry on a conversation in the balcony of the venue. Since the interview was not a grand-scale operation and just a casual conversation, the interview was quickly moved to the quietest area possible in the venue, which happened to be a janitorial basement. (This is just proof that anyone working in the metal genre pretty much is a low maintenance person.)

After the performance, the band happily greeted their intensely passionate fans, and took the time to sign autographs and take pictures with each fan waiting to meet them. These were the same awesome fans, who proudly sang a pitch-perfect rendition of Amaranthine and never stopped moving during the course of the band’s electrifying performance. Having now interviewed the two leading vocalists of the band and been blown away by their impressive live performance, I am sure that a majority of the US fans of this highly talented Swedish metal band are already waiting breathlessly for their next US tour.



Justin:  So, how long have you been in West Chester?

Jake:  A couple hours.

Elize:  We just went to Walmart, and then got some stuff. And, we just had sound. That’s what we’ve been doing so far.

Justin:  So basically all the pre-planning before the show.

Elize:  Yes, so we haven’t had time to see the city. But, it looks really nice.

Justin:  This is one of the smaller suburbs outside of Philly, so I don’t know the scene here. It’s a suburb, so there might not be much of a scene.

Jake:  Exactly. We have no idea.

Justin:  I don’t know the places to go because I came from a whole different area.

Jake:  Where are you from?

Justin:  Well, I’m also from outside of Philly. But not this county.

Jake:  Oh, okay. I understand.

Justin:  But, there was this very nice coffee shop a few streets from here. It was called the Lincoln Tea Room. But you can’t get alcohol there, so it’s not a great “post-show” place. So last night, I saw the pictures from Facebook, and I was very shocked by the turnout, all the people.

Jake:  There was like 450 in all, or something like that.

Justin:  I saw all the people and they looked thrilled to be there. I didn’t expect that-because didn’t your band develop sometime in 2009 or 2010-ish?

Elize:  Yeah, I know. Everything’s been so fast.

Jake:  Yeah, everything’s been so fast.

Justin:  Yeah, and now your videos have about two million views.

Jake:  Yeah, our videos are totaling over 10 million now. 10 million views in three videos, that’s kinda good.

Justin:  So, you’re taking advantage of this increased number of fans in the US?

Jake:  Yeah, Yeah Exactly. The US audience has always been with us since the beginning. We had some problems with the first album, we actually never released the first album in the states. But, people still bought it from-

Elize:  Itunes.

Jake:  And stuff like that. It was amazing, we always had their support., always been writing to us to please come to the states. Now, we’ve finally had the opportunity to come here, which is a dream come true for us as well.

Justin:  It’s definitely a dream come true for us, we’re like a small little niche, the symphonic metal fans or fans of this type of European metal genre, which covers a vast variety of different bands.

Jake:  Yes, exactly.


Justin:  So, I’ve noticed that you have other dates besides just New York, because some smaller metal bands sometimes only have one show.

Jake:  We had that last year. We only played in Atlanta.

Justin:  Was that ProgRock?

Jake:  Yeah- Progrock, Progpower.

Justin:  I’ve always wanted to go to that festival.

Jake:  It’s an awesome festival. Anyone that wants to go there should be obliged to go there because it’s a fantastic festival. Glenn Harveston is the one that has the festival. He has been working his ass off all year long. He doesn’t get a profit from it. He’s just doing it for metal fans in the states. So, they’ll be able to see their favorite bands, which would never have the possibility to come over to the states. He’s doing a hell of a job there.

Justin:  One of the other writers for our magazine used to be the one selling all the t-shirts there. He knew a lot about Glenn, and how hard-working he was.

Jake:  Yes, he’s fantastic.

Justin:  Also, he’s able to compile all these very popular bands, like Kamelot, and Delain. They had Delain last year.  Music-video wise; I just got into your music about three months ago. I saw the video for the “Nexus,” and you have all the band members coming out of these-

Jake:  Cryotubes.

Justin:  Then, you have this sorta cinema scene. It’s like something from the “Call of Duty” video game. And even with “Burn with me-”

Jake:  Have you seen “Hunger,” too?

Justin:  No, I haven’t yet.

Jake:  Oh you have to see “Hunger.” “The Nexus” is the continuing of the story from “Hunger.”

Justin:  That’s actually one thread of the question I had. Story-wise, concept-wise; How are “Burn With Me,” and “The Nexus” connected? When I saw the videos, I was trying to piece them together-

Jake:  Well, “Hunger” and “The Nexus” are not specifically from the lyrics. “The Nexus” video is not quite like “The Nexus,” the song. It was to go with the whole album. That is the same thing with “Hunger,” on the first album. The second video to go with that album was “Amaranthine,” which we made as more or less a standalone video.  We’re more focused on the meaning of the song, more than the actual idea of the whole album.

Justin:  And, on any further albums, would you continue with these very ambitious music videos with lots of special effects?

Jake:  Absolutely.

Justin:  Because each of them are like action movies/films.

Elize:  We are actually going to record our-

Jake:  Third video.

Elize:  Yes, third video, here in the United States, in Las Vegas and LA. So?

Justin:  That should be pretty cool-

Jake:  Yeah, we’re actually going to fly a producer and a film team over from Sweden. So, it’s going to be a killer video. And, this one is going to follow up where “The Nexus” ended. But maybe, a couple years earlier.

Justin:  Bring in the “Call of Duty” people to infiltrate Las Vegas-

Jake:  No, No; I don’t think we’re going to have any weapons in this video.

Justin:  Oh, okay. Weapon-free.

Jake:  No, it’s really cool.

Justin:  Maybe more centered around gambling?

Jake:  Nah, not really. We just need these cool locations, but the idea of the video is just that I think it is so boring to see a band playing on a stage, or something like that. I would like for the fans, or even if they’re not fans to see it, to tell their friends that this video is fucking cool. I think we succeeded in that area because all of the views shows that there is a big following.

Justin:  I think you’re tapping into the people who want some exciting music videos, instead of the bands that just do a vanity performance.


Jake:  It’s not only about the song itself. Of course, you do the video to that song to sell the album.  But, the video also sells the band. Like, this is a cool band.

Justin:  So, it sells both.

Jake:  Yeah, Yeah; Exactly.

Justin:  Package Deal! And, I was going to ask about the vocal aspect of your whole band. You have someone that does the growling, you do the male vocals, and Elize does the female vocals. I’ve actually never seen that kind of element for a metal band. You usually only see only one or the other.

Jake:  It was just pure coincidence from the beginning. We started out the band as just a fun project with Olaf. We didn’t add a female singer until later.

Justin:  What really persuaded you to join this band?

Elize:  It was mostly because I liked the music; the action, the theatricality, the style of it. Also, I like that I am able to write music for the band. They gave me a space to write. It really adds something, and gives you the experience of being a part of a band. I always loved writing music.  Being a part of this band is something very different from what I used to do. It’s different from just learning words for songs or just having different musical jobs where you have to audition every year to get a role.

Justin:  It really has opened up doors for you.

Elize:  Yes, it has!

Justin:  You’ve been featured as a guest vocalist for Kamelot, I’m a huge fan of Kamelot.

Elize:  Oh, I can see that.

Justin:  As evidenced by my t-shirt.

Jake:  I was actually in the band for two years, myself.

Justin:  What, for Kamelot?

Jake:  Yeah,Yeah.

Justin:  Really? What role did you play in the band?

Jake:  Same as Elize.

Justin:  Guest vocalist? I listen to their music all the time. Wow, a new fact that I learned today.

Elize:  Maybe, you can find some of their old videos.

Justin:  I’m going to have to now!

Elize:  Say videos for Progpower, for example.

Jake:  I sang for Roy Khan

Elize:  Yes, he was a back-up singer for Roy.  So automatically. It was not like “Oh I got a great gig.” It was not like my purpose. For instance, it just happened, you know?. So sometimes, you go somewhere, and you don’t know what you’re going to do.

Justin:  Yes, it’s something you can’t always foresee. I saw on Xystus Facebook page that you might be a guest on one of their future albums. They made a huge rock opera in the past that featured Simone Simons as one of the guest vocalists.

Elize:  Oh yeah, It could be.. I have something that is coming up, and it might be that one.

Justin:  Oh okay, so it might be that one?

Elize:  I’m not sure, It’s under discussion, though, with my manager.

Justin:  So, nothing is finalized then?

Elize:  Correct.

Justin:  I noticed that there is a pop aspect to your music. Was that something inspired by what is popular right now in Europe, such as techno music?

Elize:  No, I don’t think so, actually. Both me and Olaf like all kinds of music, and so does Jake. I think it also is my voice that inspired that element because I can do those lyrical things, which not a lot of people can do. On the other hand, I can do the more operatic thing I do for Kamelot. It also fit the music really well. Of course, we also wanted to add a more modern touch to it. Right?

Jake:  Yes.

Elize:  That was the plan.

Justin:  No one has done it before. Some people have, but they haven’t taken it to that level where you have the experimentation of the three vocals.

Jake:  Exactly, with three vocalists, you can also do more stuff than with one. The guy has one range and the girl has one range, as well. So...

Elize:  The growler only has one range.

Justin:  You just get that aggressive feel of the song, then.

Jake:  Yes, exactly.

Elize:  It’s really cool to write music for Amaranthe because, as you said, it gives you so much opportunity to describe stuff and characterize the songs.

Justin:  So, in the future, if this tour proves to be successful. Do you think you would do a larger US tour?

Jake:  Yes, the tour is already in the plan. This tour is already successful. We had great resales on most of the gigs. And, the idea is to come back here next year again on a larger scale, maybe supporting some bigger band.

Elize:  That is of course the plan. We all love the United States. Jake’s come here before, and I’ve come here before. My boyfriend lives in the states. This is really somewhere where we want to grow. It’s really one of our biggest dreams to really make it big here. I really hope it could work; we’ll have to see how things go after this tour.

Justin:  I hope you guys gain more followers here. You guys have the type of metal music people like, not even just that. Metal fans are always hungering for something different.

Thanks to Jake E. and Elize Ryd for the interview opportunity! Moreover, thank you to Thomas from Roadust Management for scheduling this interview! As always, I have nothing but the highest gratitude for Lauren Hughes (one of my best friends), whom I am always indebted to for taking such fantastic pictures at each of these concerts. All the fantastic pictures on all my articles thus far are the product of her talented eye for photography. More importantly, Lauren was the one responsible for recommending this band’s brilliantly fierce and addictive music to me a few months ago.

I wish all the best for Amaranthe in their future endeavors, and I really hope they tour once again in the states. The metal genre practically thrives on this type of fresh, energetic talent that has single-handedly reminded me of just how insanely fun metal music can be.