Amaranthe recently embarked on a European tour that saw them visit the UK for a run of dates. Ahead of their Manchester date (our review of which can be seen here), we sat down with vocalist Elize and guitarist Olof to have a chat. See below for tales of bus parties, Fifty Shades Of Grey and chemical reducers!
Thanks for the interview – can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about the band?
Elize: My name is Elize.
Olof: And I’m Olof.
Elize: We are both composers. Olof mainly arranges all the music, I partly do as well but I mostly arrange the melodic vocal lines.
Olof: The band has existed for four years – or six years, if you count all the years before the release of our first record – and we’ve been touring constantly since then. And here we are, in Manchester!
So you’re currently on tour with Engel and Santa Cruz throughout Europe – how have they been going so far? Has there been any shows that have stood out for you?
Elize: It’s been very, very good as a whole since we started the tour! I think one of the highlights was yesterday, actually.
That was Glasgow, right?
Elize: Yeah! We’d never been there before and we were very surprised about the response. They were totally crazy and we like that, of course! (laughs)
What can fans expect from the shows?
Olof: A lot of energy, and passion. We’ll also be playing a lot of new songs from our latest record, so people that have seen us before will hear a lot of new stuff too.
Elize: We like to include the audience, so we want to perform together with the audience and not just stand there playing our songs.
Any interesting stories from the road?
Elize: Well, there’s always something! Mostly every day looks the same and there’s nothing specific going on, so we have to create something every day which actually takes a lot of energy but so far we’ve just had a few really nice parties on the tour bus. We have this lighting system in the ceiling so you can push a button and switch the colours, which makes it feel like a club, and I love that! Then we play super good music and just try to have fun.
Olof: The weird thing is that there’s constantly stuff happening, we’re meeting people and meeting fans and all that, so we always have something sort of exciting happening at least after the show but when you look back, it’s actually hard to point out something specific that has happened.
Elize: Yeah, we spend so much time in the bus and then in the venue, but of course the highlight of touring is playing the show and meeting the fans.
I’m also going to be seeing you at Nummirock – what would you say differs between a festival show and a club show for you?
Elize: Well, a festival show is usually much bigger…everything is much bigger and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so much fun to play a festival. You have an audience there that may not be there to see you, so you have to perform for all the people that are there.
Olof: Exactly, and you also have the chance to win new fans, which makes these opportunities really important. It’s always really fun, and especially if you play an indoor festival such as Loudpark in Japan in front of 15000 people – that’s an amazing feeling.
Elize: I also have a story about when we played Wacken – we played in this tent and the tent was completely full and it was so cool because we didn’t expect so many people there. Afterwards I heard from fans that I met here in England that they went to Wacken and because it started raining exactly at the time we started to play, everyone went in the tent! And those people we met in England said they wouldn’t have come to see our show if it wasn’t for the rain, but since then they have really liked our music. And that’s something that wouldn’t happen in a normal show.
The weather was on your side that day.
Elize: I know!
Olof: It was a sign.
Elize: We were kind of like “we don’t want to play in the tent, if it’s sunny then everyone will be outside!” but we were lucky. Thank you rain! (laughs)
Moving on to some more random or quick-fire questions, if you could choose an animal to represent the band, what would it be?
Elize: Oh, I’d like a tiger! Or a panther…
Olof: Yeah, a panther or a tiger. Or maybe an eagle.
If you could replace the soundtrack to a movie with Amaranthe’s music, what would you choose?
Elize: Right now, I would like to replace the soundtrack to Fifty Shades Of Grey with our music!
Olof: (laughing) I will just agree with that!
Elize: Yes, because he likes it too!
Olof: Yes, I do.
Elize: We saw it together. Well, at first I saw it in the cinema by myself, then I went to Olof and said “I promise you will like it, it’s not as dangerous and girlie as everyone says it is!” And so we watched it together in the bus the other night.
Olof: I was very pleasantly surprised because people were saying a lot of shit about it; I went in with low expectations! It was good though, there was good chemistry between the actors.
Similarly, if there was going to be a movie released about Amaranthe which actors would you want to play yourselves?
Elize: I think I will say Angelina Jolie, even though she’s a bit older than me.
She could maybe be future you.
Elize: I hope so! That’s my goal in life, but I just have to make my lips bigger!
(Elize proceeds to pout and puff out her lips)
Olof: There, now you look exactly like her!
Elize: Now what about you?
Olof: I think Orlando Bloom, with his Legolas hair. He would be a great me!
What is your favourite word in Swedish and what does it mean?
Elize: I would say kärlek, which means “love”.
Olof: For me, that’s a very difficult question.
Elize: But what can be better than love?
Olof: Yeah, what can be better…
Elize: What about jag älskar dig?
Olof: That’s three words! (laughs) I will agree with Elize on this, but I would also like to add musik, which is of course “music”.
Nice choices! And to finish, if Amaranthe could put their name to a product, what would it be?
Elize: It would be something that would reduce chemicals. So if you have a sandwich with a lot of Es other chemicals in it, you can just spray it on the sandwich and it will take away all the bad stuff. I would love something like that, so I would happily put my name to it!
Olof: This is a hard question for me, but I think I would like to put my name to Olof Mörck Signature Blonde Hair Dye!
You have beautiful blonde hair, so I think people would trust your products!
Olof: Why, thank you very much!