An interview with Christopher Amott

An interview with Christopher Amott.

13040_xlMost people will know Chris from his work with the mighty Arch Enemy, yet he has also done a lot of work on a side-project called Armageddon, releasing three very well received albums under that name.

Unfortunately there was a big silence for over ten years, but now we finally have a fourth album titled “Captivity and Devourment”! Livereviewer had the opportunity to fire some questions towards Chris and we gladly took it!

First up, thank you very much for this opportunity.
It’s been quite a while since people heard from Armageddon. Was it hard to get attention for the band and the new album?

Of course some people are familiar with the name, and that helps. It wasn’t overly hard to get attention from people in the industry.
I think I have it easier than most, just because of my past in Arch Enemy.

How have reactions been so far? Are they meeting you expectations?

The reactions have definitely been mostly positive, and rightly so, I think it’s a great album and I’m very proud of it.
It took about 2 years of arranging and demoing. I think the songs turned out really good and I think it’s definitely one of the best record I’ve ever done.

ArmaI remember buying a double-package of “Embrace the Mystery” and “Three” some years ago and I was fully expecting something along the same lines. I actually had to double-check the information sheet to be sure it was the same Armageddon. Was this a conscious change of style or did it just sort of happen?

I had no intention of maintaining any continuity compared to the older Armageddon albums. I’ve always considered every album a fresh start with this band. After doing my two solo albums which were highly vocal-oriented, I had the urge to return to more intense music, and to focus more on guitar playing and arranging, rather than singing and writing lyrics. I wanted to write good, catchy Metal, and I wanted to have a band where I could do less singing and focus more on riffing and soloing. I just knew I wanted to make the best metal album I’ve ever done and I was extremely motivated to write a great record without compromise.

If memory serves me right the previous albums came out in Japan first and later got re-released in Europe as the aforementioned double-package. Right now the album had a worldwide release. Is it because the previous style was more in demand in Japan?

They weren’t meant to be only released in Japan, they just got shelved a while. At that time, if we were to release them outside of Japan, the label Arch Enemy are on (Century Media) would have the rights to them. Our manager back then advised me against it due to our record deal not being very good. At this time we were also getting very busy with Arch Enemy and it just got put on hold. Like you mentioned, Embrace the Mystery and Three were released in 2009 as a double CD, and I am working on a worldwide release for Crossing the Rubicon to come out next year.

Speaking of the previous albums, it’s been quite a while since they came out. To be blunt, why did it take so long? The new album is great!

Thank you! No particular reason other than being busy with Arch Enemy and my solo career.  We were a busy band with Arch Enemy during the years since the last album, and  I didn’t have the need to release any metal or death metal style material outside of AE since I was one of the main songwriters there!

Can you tell us how you found the new musicians supporting you on the new album?

5432B4B7-christopher-amotts-armageddon-ink-deal-with-listenable-records-captivity-devourment-album-release-confirmed-imageWell, Sara I’ve known for years, she is a guitar player originally and offered to play bass in Armageddon. She writes the majority of the lyrics and also contributes to the music. We wrote the album together. I met our guitar player Joey through giving guitar lessons, he was a student of mine for a short period. Like me, he is a blues-based player and can improvise freely and that’s the most important thing for me in a another guitarist. We speak the same language musically. He brought Matt into the project, they are from the same area in Connecticut and have played shows locally together with their old bands. The hardest part was finding a drummer, we tried out three different players who didn’t fit before deciding to have a guy by the name of Nick Bunczk do the album as a session player. Finally I met Márton in NYC, he is from Hungary and used to play in classic Hungarian band Pokolgep.

It was quite literally a few days after I finished my review of the album that news hit that Matt had left the band. Was it a big surprise? I hadn’t heard about him prior to the album, but he has one hell of a voice.

We had a feeling it was not going to work out with Matt, unfortunately. We wish him the best. He has some personal issues that prevent him from touring with this band.

Luckily you managed to find Antony to help out with the tour. How’s that working out for the band? And will he stay on, or does the search continue?

We’ve made an agreement with Antony that we will try it out for this tour and see how it goes. We’re very thankful that he can help us out on such short notice.

So how’s the current US tour going? Are fans picking up the new songs?
Well, the tour starts in a couple of weeks. It think it’s going to be great.
The shows we’ve played locally so far have been killer. We are excited to play and Armageddon just have this fantastic raw energy on stage!

And are there any plans to bring the band to Europe?
Yes, we are discussing with a few booking agents in Europe at the moment, we’ll see what kind of offers we get.

armageddonlogo2014_638Do you already have other future plans for Armageddon and is it safe to say that Armageddon really is back?
This is definitely a full-time thing for me now. I’d like to be touring extensively next year, starting in the US in February and then coming hopefully to Europe. I’m hoping to grow Armageddon into whatever it can be. We are already writing the second album, we’ll be recording it next year along with touring as much as we can. My goal is as always to reach as many people as possible with my music.
Are there any last words you would like to say to our readers?
Thank you for the support! Hope to see you at the shows!

Thank you very much for your time and your answers!

Check out our review of “Captivity and Devourment” over here:

Text by: Robert Popovic


Related posts

Interview with Patrick Mameli from Pestilence


Interview met Jonny Petterson (o.a. Wombbath, Just Before Dawn)


Interview with Lee Aaron