Hailing from Sweden and Denmark, Amaranthe started out some years ago and since then, they've managed to conquer the metal scene. People have been critical about their modern melodic death metal style with huge pop influences first, but with perseverance and skill, the musicians have been able to establish as one of Sweden's great bands. Dedicated to music, the band and hard work, Amaranthe will be releasing their third album "Massive Addictive" via Spinefarm Records on 20th October while being on tour. Here's what drummer Morten Løwe Sørensen answered to my questions about the new album and the near future of Amaranthe.
PoM: There has been relatively little time between your last release "The Nexus" and "Massive Addictive", how did you manage to write the new material in such short time?
Morten: We actually had to write big parts of "Massive Addictive" while being on tour, something we had never done before, but luckily it worked very well! Also, some of the songs were actually written while in the studio recording.
PoM: Has there been a certain plan of how "Massive Addictive" should sound like or has all the songwriting been more or less free?
Morten: Both yes and no. There is always a vision for each album, but also room for creativity in the studio. I think there is definitely a theme throughout the album, but at the same time each song separates itself from the others in a degree they haven't before.
PoM: I've already been very impressed by Henrik Englund's vocals on tour early this year and now also on the new album, how has it been to work with him in the studio and in which way do you feel that he influenced the band in general?
Morten: Yes, he is absolutely awesome! He has been very easy to work with! Growling and screaming is very effortless for him, so he is capable of recording for hours and hours without losing his voice, which allows for lots of different approaches. And also live he is always delivering his best. Never heard this guy having done one single mistake on stage so far or losing his voice.
PoM: The song "Massive Addictive" sounds very different from all the other songs you've written until now. Can you tell me more about the idea behind the music and lyrics of this song?
Morten: Yes! In my humble opinion, its probably the heaviest and at the same time most catchy song we've ever written! That song doesn't really sound anything like the "old" Amaranthe. but I think it's really easy to hear it's Amaranthe. I think that song kind of just "happened" by itself almost. The lyrics I really don't know too much about since it's Jake's work. But personally, it's one of my absolute favorites on the album.
PoM: Has there been one particular song that has been tough to finish or a song you had problems with during the songwriting process?
Morten: I wouldn`t say any song has been tough really, but there has been some challenges with the arrangements for certain songs I guess. A song like "Over And Done" was the very last song to be done! Actually on the very last day! Also, there were some challenges, having to write and then record the drums for me immediately after the songs were finished, or in some cases half finished! But it only sparked the creativity. And personally, I had to improvise a lot and try out tons of ideas before I was happy with the result. For example "An Ordinary Abnormality" I had to literally start recording drums right after it was done.
PoM: Do you have one favorite song from the new record and why?
Morten: It's always hard to just mention one. Playing-wise, the most fun song to play is probably "Dynamite" or "Trinity" because of the groove and the heaviness. They both work really well live as well! For listening, I would mention "Massive Addictive" or "Skyline" where there is a lot of stuff happening.
PoM: Is there another video planned for any song of "Massive Addictive"?
Morten: Yes, there is! Probably several :-)
PoM: You've been touring the US and Canada with Within Temptation, how does it feel to play in big venues as a support for one of the great and established bands of metal?
Morten: Yes! As of right now we have just finished that part of the tour and it has been absolutely amazing! We've had great crowds every single night. Lots of people know our songs and even the few new songs we were playing!
So now we are already planning our next visit to the states.
PoM: As you now have a good amount of songs to choose from, how do you decide which songs to put on the setlist for gigs in general, but also considering that you get relatively little time as a support act?
Morten: That's always hard! When we don't have time for a full set, we have to choose the more "safe" songs that we know will work, even for an audience who might not even have heard us before. There are several songs that we have removed from the setlist along the years as we get more songs to choose from. By now we have kind of found out what works really well live and not so well. Having said that, we also like to play some of the more intricate songs, so it doesn't get "too easy" digestible for the audience. But it all depends on how much playing time we have. There is definitely a huge difference between a 40 minutes festival set compared to a 90 minutes headline set.
PoM: How has it been to perform unpublished songs live and how did the audience react to the new material?
Morten: It has been really good actually! On this tour, we have played "Digital World", "Trinity" and "Drop Dead Cynical" which the two latter ones have been released already, so the audience already knew them!
In the next part of the tour, we will play even more, but by that time the album will have been released too. But it's always interesting to see how the crowd reacts. Some listen closely, while others just go crazy!
PoM: Since Amaranthe's music contains lots of keyboard melodies, did you ever consider hiring a tour keyboardist?
Morten: Actually we have never considered that. First of all we would need even more room on stage, and we are already 3 singers all around the place! And I don't really think that kind of keys is even supposed to be played. Even though it's kind of dominating at times.
PoM: Is there anything - musically and lyrically - you'd like to experiment with in the future of Amaranthe?
Morten: Oh yes! This is just the very beginning. There is so much more to be done both musically and with the 3 singers. We feel like we have only just scratched the surface.