CHRISTOPHER AMOTT (Eng.)
– Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with your musical career?
I just played a show in Japan at the annual Loudpark festival. It was ok considering we didn’t have a bass player. His passport got lost in the mail, he couldn’t travel. I managed to get a friend to record some bass to use as playback through the PA… but that was kind of a mess too… haha. Oh well, we will be going back next year, it will be a better show next time. The crowd was great though.
– First off an obligued question; why did you feel the need of leaving ARCH ENEMY and focusing on your solo career? I guess it may give you total freedom to do and express whatever without dealing with other’s tastes and opinions. Anyway you already left ARCH ENEMY some time ago for a couple of years so, is this a definitive departure?
Life is short. I don’t want to do things that I’m not 100% into unless I don’t have an option. I knew I’d be happier doing my own thing, and I am, in fact 100% happier now.
– As I said, you left the band to pursue your solo career but, when and how did this album start to be shaped?
I’m always writing and when I have enough material for an album I make one. Right now I’m working on a metal project which I will be mostly focusing on. This is not a solo project, but a sum of equal parts. This band features Matt Wicklund from God Forbid and Van Williams from Nevermore. Matt and I have been writing songs and I am very pleased with the results.
– Getting a bit deeper into this new opus, is entitled «Impulses», which is a pretty evocative album’s title, just as «Follow your Heart». Both titles give certain feeling of honesty and freedom, are these terms that could be applied to your solo career? Are you doing things by impulses and just following your heart?
By Impulses, I mean electrical impulses or sound waves. I was thinking about music being just an impulse traveling through the air.
– In that sense, is your solo career similar to ARMAGEDDON? As, though you had some members, they were changing all the time and you were the mastermind behind the act.
That’s correct – the three Armageddon albums were different in style and in how much I wrote for them. The last one was definitely a solo album.
– You have already done some shows in support of your new «Impulses», both in the US and Japan so, how has the reaction from the crowd been?
I guess not many of them had heard the material yet, but people responded well to the music. A lot of it is quite accessible.
– The album has finally been released after some delays but, what caused those delays? I’ve read this is what happens when you are striving for perfection so, could you say you are 100% satisfied with the final outcome?
I was looking for a label to release it but I decided to do it on my own. All the promotional tools are there for free – Facebook, Youtube etc. so I decided to take care of the release and the promotion myself. About being satisfied; I think it’s easy to find flaws in your own work, and I’m always trying to improve my songwriting from one album to the next.
– «Impulses» is jut a superb album as a whole, anyway there are some tracks that manage to stand out, as opening tune, «Lone Wolf». This is the longest song on the album and one of the most complete ones, mixing all the elements you’ve ever used I’d dare say. It’s a song that contains differentiate parts so, how was it born? Was creating it like putting all the pieces together?
First of all, thank you for those kind words! It definitely was a process of putting the pieces together. All songs come about in different ways but for «Lone Wolf» I had a few different parts which I put together. It was a fairly quick process, usually the first instinct is the one to follow when it comes to songwriting.
– It also has an enormous blues flavour, but the whole album has it. Was this musical direction something you were looking for or do you just let things flow naturally?
I’ve always been a fan blues & soul music. My mother is an big music listener so growing up I would be exposed to all kinds of music, mainly classical and american soul music from the seventies.
– Anyway «Impulses» is a rockier and more aggressive record compared to «Follow your Heart» so, could we say your solo career is now heading toward this direction or simply each album represents a moment in time?
As I said earlier in this interview, I am focusing on a new metal project right now, so the way I think it will be in the future is that my solo career will be a place where I can explore new things, and I will save the aggressive guitar-heavy music for my new metal band.If I have one criticism towards «Impulses» it is that it’s too diverse, too many styles thrown together on one album. Having two different projects will change that for the better.
– And talking about comparisons with «Follow your Heart», what could you say are the main differences between your two solo albums?
Well, the budget was considerably larger for the new one, I spent a lot more recording «Impulses». This one has some metal elements which the last one didn’t have… I was more into playing the type of guitar playing I’m known for this time around.
– For this album you’ve written the lyrics, done the songwriting, you’ve had to care about all the instruments (except for the drums) and also the vocals so, how was the songwriting process like? Though you already sung on your previous effort, do you feel totally comfortable singing, and onstage playing guitar as well?
I recorded rough demos of the songs without drums, then I would play them for Ludwig (the drummer). I always have a basic idea for the drum groove but usually the drummer makes up his own parts unless there’s something really specific I want.
– All this about «Impulses» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Atmospheric, Original, Diverse.
– And finally, what does future have in store for Christopher Amott? What are your near-future plans?
Just more music, and music-related work. I like to stay as productive as possible. The plan is to debut the new band we are working on in before the summer of 2013. I will post news about this continuously on my Facebook page, and I’m also launching a new website soon, www.christopheramott.com.