Arch Enemy: Interview with Angela Gossow

Arch Enemy's Angela GossowBased in Halmstad, Sweden, Arch Enemy was formed by guitarist Michael Amott after his departure from Carcass in the 1990s. Johan Liiva, formerly of Carnage, was the original singer. The band’s debut, entitled Black Earth, was released in 1996. Michael Amott wrote all the songs himself on this album. Arch Enemy then released Stigmata, in 1998. This album obtained the attention of a wider audience, which gained the band popularity in Europe and America. The band went on to release two more albums which were released worldwide.

In 2001, vocalist Johan Liiva was replaced by German journalist and death metal vocalist Angela Gossow. The band really began to develop their true potential once she made her first album with them, Wages Of Sin. The album marked the first time a band of this fierceness in the metal genre was fronted by a woman. The album received much praise and the band has made history since. The band’s 2003 album, Anthems Of Rebellion , was also immediately hailed as a metal masterpiece. The band headed back out on the road and completed high-profile US tours over the next few years with Slayer, Hatebreed, Cradle Of Filth and Iron Maiden. Late in 2004 Arch Enemy returned with the Dead Eyes See No Future EP—which includes exclusive live tracks recorded in Paris, three covers by Megadeth, Manowar and Carcass, as well as an enhanced version of their amazing “We Will Rise” video clip.

Arch Enemy made their triumphant return to the US recently on Gigantour, sharing the main stage with Megadeth and Lamb Of God. This is the last US tour to support Doomsday Machine, their latest album, which debuted at #87 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. The band also recently released Live Apocalypse, their first ever DVD. The two-disc set contains a full concert from The Forum in December 2004, three songs from Manchester (December 2005), interviews and several videos.

I was able to catch up with Angela, the petite, sexy, German blonde. The day I spoke with her, she just finished signing autographs at the FYE booth at the Phoenix, AZ, stop of the Gigantour. Angela worked with Melissa Cross, famed vocal coach who calls herself “Queen of Scream” and she advised Angela to keep her vocal usage to a minimum after a live performance, but she took a few minutes to whisper to me what’s been up with Arch Enemy and Dave Mustaine, as well as her pajamas and her yoga mat.

Hi Angela, thanks so much for spending time with me today. Let’s jump right into your new DVD. What involvement did the band have in putting it together, aside from, of course, performing live?

Michael Amott [Arch Enemy guitarist] was heavily involved in choosing the scenes and cutting the live show together. He spent a couple of days with Paul Smith on this in London. I went through all the tapes we collected over the last few years and picked out stuff for the ‘behind the scenes’ extras. The artwork was directed by Michael again. Basically, we were involved in everything. We are control freaks. And we do a 200 percent double checked blind tested quality control after that, haha.