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Amaranthe seems to have reinvented themselves with their latest release ‘Helix’. With new singer Nils the vocal parts have developed a lot and got a more prominent position in the songs. It is a good tradition to get in touch with the band and have a chat. We look back in time and towards the future with bass player Johan Andreassen.

By: William Pezy | Archive under heavy / power metal

Last time we spoke the album ‘Maximalism’ was just released. It turned out to be the big next step and a huge success. How do you look back at the last two years?
The last two years has been pretty intense in many ways! We clearly stepped it up since then and now we also upgraded with a new singer, Nils, that clearly was the best choice to take over after Jakes departure. And as I see it he is not only a replacement but also an improvement for us. We also starting to work with Angela Gossow as a manager and new booking agency on top of that has really kicked us up in higher level of the business! So the last two years had been great and the future looks very promising.

Now the new album ‘Helix’ has been put out last month. What is the story behind the title of the album?
It is about that we wanted bring a bit of mystique into it....maximalism and massive addictive are pretty obvious titles. And also Helix is part of the DNA strain so if you do not want to make you own assumptions you can say that we are trying to find the core element of the Amaranthe sound!

Amaranthe is known for its contrast in music. With the previous album you went even more extreme. ‘Endlessly’ was to me one of the best songs on the album but for me the album also showed a band searching for its direction. With the new album the industrial sounds have progressed but also the vocal lines have progressed and differ from the previous albums it shows me a band that has reinvented itself. What has happened the last years to become to this point?
In my personal opinion, ‘Maximalism’ is in the feeling our punk album in the meaning of us doing things exactly as we want to do it, not listening to outside people in that sense! It is the same with ‘Helix’ actually but we wanted to bring out a more darker and heavier side of us!

In my review I wrote about Nils: ’He is able to deliver very interesting duets with Elize and seems to take over her role in moments as being the clean, more melodic vocalist. It is surprising to witness moments where one would expect Elize to find out Nils is taking up the vocal part.’ When Jake E decided to leave the band it also made room for the possibility to take a new approach. Can you tell us about the motivation and search for a new singer? What made Nils the right fit?
We know Nils for quit sometime and we also had some other people in mind but Nils was simply the one we wanted! We tried him out live and it was simply amazing to hear how he totally nailed it and also him being a really cool dude off stage also helped of course! From the beginning we understood that this guy has his shit in order and he brought new energy and inspiration to all aspects of the band!

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With an increasing fan base, tours might become more intensive. How do you keep mentally and physically in shape while touring and afterwards?
I have no idea actually. You find your own little tricks to cope! Morten concentrates on findings gyms and working out, some go out sightseeing and all that. Me, I try to go for long runs because it is really a big relaxation for me and it cleans body and mind in my case! Everyone has his or hers own tricks up the sleeve!

’Helix’ seems to be showing more emotion than the previous records, this seems difficult to combine with the industrial parts of the music. Can you tell us a bit more about the song writing process of this album?
The writing is something that is mainly done by Elise and Olof, they have this amazing ability to switch on the creativity and they know each other so well. Henke and Nils were also part of the writing with Olof, but mainly its done by Olof and Elise! But also when we record we have a great dialogue with our producer Jacob Hansen and might change some things or finish something together! Also Morten and me did a sort of composing parts on drums and bass. For me it was the first time I tracked directly with Jacob Hansen and that was a great experience.

What are your favourite tracks of the album and why?
Oh that is a hard question. I really like all of the songs a lot because to me they all feel like hits! But if I have to choose I would say ‘GG6’, ‘The Score’ and ‘Iconic’!

You are a musician, so it is obvious a lot of well-known artists inspired you to start to pick up an instrument yourself. Which other musicians do you admire?
Mainly for me I would say Cliff Burton and Duff McKagan! But as a musician and artist I admire Dave Grohl and also Devin Townsend, all because of different reasons.

Who is still on you wish-list to play music with and why?
I would love to go up and rock out with Pearl Jam or Foo Fighters!

Knowing there are a lot of bands and that relatively just a few stand out, what new band do you think stand out?
Honestly, I don’t listen that much to new music because it doesn’t grab my attention or interest! I guess you can call me an old school grumpy fucker hahaha... But I actually like the new BMTH stuff.

As you have quite some experience in music: what’s your coolest experience as a musician?
Personally it was me getting endorsed by Warwick basses. Those basses have always been my favourite and as a teenager I just to rip out there adds from Bassplayer Magazine that my brother had and posted them all over my bedroom wall! My friends had naked chicks on their wall, I had basses... hahaha!

What are the current future plans for the band?
World domination of course! The plan now is just to step it up a couple of notches and make bigger and better!

Alright, this wraps it up for now. Thanks a lot for answering my questions. If there is something you like to add to this interview, please feel free to do so…
No, thanks for having me and also to all our fans out there buying our stuff and support us in many different’s all thanks to you guys!!!

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