R13 How's the tour going?
R13 Why was it cancelled in September?
MAIt was only postponed, our main support act pulled out and we didn't want to go in without a good support act, we want to give a really cool package and now we've got Strapping Young Lad.
R13 How did you get Strapping Young Lad?
MAWe asked them and they said yes, which was cool.
R13 What's it like having to go on stage after Mad Devin Townsend?
MAOur first time was yesterday, but it's going great, I'm really excited about it.
R13 Are the venues you play in Britain smaller than the ones you play in Europe, and America?
MAIt varies but on the whole they're the same, sometimes smaller sometimes bigger. We're getting a really good crowd on this tour, we've been all around Europe, Australia, America and then back to Europe and then the UK.
R13 What was it like to play America? I saw Darkane and Soilwork whilst I was over there recently and there seems to be an influx of Scandinavian bands, especially ones from Sweden?
MAWe did the Ozzfest tour, things are going pretty well for us over there. The Scandinavian bands aren't really popular, it's all still an underground thing. It's something new I suppose, something fresh.
R13 How are the sales of 'Doomsday Machine' coming along?
MAPretty good, it's our biggest selling album so far.
R13 How many units?
MAI've no idea, it's sold a lot more than 'Anthems of Rebellion' already which was a step up from the previous one before that.
R13 Do you have a personal favourite Arch Enemy album, I know Steve Harris from Iron Maiden has a soft spot for 'Piece of Mind'?
MANot really, each album shows where the band were at that point.
R13 Do you consider 'Doomsday Machine' as a departure for Arch Enemy?
MAWe tried a few different things and song writing ideas, also production but I wouldn't say it was a departure for us because it is metal.
R13 Have Arch Enemy achieved the sound and direction they've always been after?
MAWell the basic idea of Arch Enemy is to play extreme underground metal. We're classic metal with the guitar harmonies but with the aggressive vocals. Classic metal mixed with extreme metal is what we're about.
R13 Certainly on metal forums, some fans say that your later albums are too much of a departure from the first two albums.
MANo one bought them so I don't know where they got it from. It's like they're purists, they just like being part of an elite.
R13 I know what you mean because I was called a 'fan boy' for starting to listen to Arch Enemy at the 'Burning Bridges' album
MAYou started listening too late, the band was over and done by then. (laughs)
R13 Do you think 'Burning Bridges' is the blue print for Arch Enemy today?
R13 Production wise?
MAThe production sucks on that album.
R13 So do you think you've become better songwriters since then?
MAI think so. We've become better song-writers, better arrangers.
R13 Don't you think your music is just as intense but you're better at writing hooks?
MAYeah, but that's classic metal.
R13 Which do you consider to be your breakthrough album? 'Doomsday Machine'?
MAI don't know, it's been gradual for us, it's not been instant, it's been a gradual build. (Puts his arm at a 45 degree angle)
R13 Does that annoy you? The fact it's taken six albums to get some decent recognition?
MANot really, we've been making a living out of this for a few years now, and it's a very solid foundation, and we're very grounded, we know what we're doing business wise and artistically. We know exactly where we want to go, there's no inner turmoil.
R13 Was it a shock when Chris Amott left the band?
MANot really a shock, no. He'd been wanting to leave for a while, he just wanted to go on and do other things than playing in a band, you can't stop someone doing that. The rest of us are totally into it though.
R13 Is there room for Chris to come back maybe for the writing process?
MANo, we'll just continue as we are, we wish him the best of luck. I'll next see him at Christmas, he is my brother of course.
R13 As Arch Enemy get bigger and bigger, what will happen with Spiritual Beggars?
MAThe keyboard player plays in Opeth now, so scheduling it is a nightmare.
R13 How long have you been playing the guitar?
MAOh, a long time.
R13 What made you pick up the guitar in the first place?
MAI just wanted to be a band, that's what I wanted to do. I started to write songs and lyrics immediately, I knew what I wanted. I got more than I wished for.
R13 What is your preferred equipment?
MAI have my own model guitar coming out, it should be out over here in January, it's an ESP model that I designed. It's exciting, those are the sorts of things you never think are going to happen.
R13 The reason I got into Arch Enemy was initially the music and then the vocals grew on me, when you solo you incorporate a lot of melody in to your playing. Are you conscious of this or is it something that comes naturally?
MAYeah I try to put in a lot of melody but we don't want clean or melodic vocals. If you put a traditional metal voice over Arch Enemy we'd just be another power metal band. The contrast makes it interesting for me, it's like we've got the melodic guitars and the death metal voice, how can we make this work? We've been doing this for a long time and we don't feel as though we need the clean choruses, we try and keep it full of energy and people are into it.
R13 What's your highest point of Arch Enemy so far?
R13 And the lowest?
MAI can't recall a certain low point that was so bad I didn't want to continue. It's been a roller coaster ride with many victories and defeats. The good points overshadow the bad, mostly good stuff though. We've been lucky being part of a band, we work extremely hard at what we do. I've worked this band every day for nine years and now the band are doing really well, a lot of people are getting into it, it's part of my life.
R13 If you had the chance to do it all over again is there anything you'd do differently?
MAI did it my way.
R13 How do you record, is it live or pieced together?
MAEarlier albums were more live because of the budget, it wasn't live but we did them much quicker. Now we spend more time on recording because we've got a bit more money. This time we paid a little more attention to detail to get it the way we wanted it. Next time we may just thrash it out a bit more, get a bit more attitude. It's kind of fun though, making the perfect record, I think 'Doomsday Machine' is sonically too perfect, it's almost too good.
R13 You work a lot with Andy Sneap, would you work with anyone else?
MAWe've signed our lives away.
R13 When you write is it on your own or all together?
MAWith Arch Enemy we tend to write riffs and then piece them together. Sometimes a little more, maybe a riff and a melody. I work a lot with our Drummer Daniel, we work well together.
R13 Are you the brainchild behind it all?
MANot really, my brother wrote a lot of stuff and Daniel writes a lot of stuff. You have to know what works for Arch Enemy. I wouldn't want to take credit for something I haven't written. It's a collaboration, it's the collaboration that makes it fun.
R13 How's the tour going?