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Sharlee D' Angelo (Arch Enemy)

Interview with Sharlee D' Angelo from Arch Enemy
by Maria Kallinikou at 25 January 2009, 10:19 AM

Just a couple of hours before ARCH ENEMY hit the stage on Swiss ground, I had the chance to talk with Sharlee D'Angelo for a bit of everything and fish out some news…

Hello Sharlee glad to meet you.

Glad to meet you as well, and to be here.

You have a new DVD out since last November and tell me, how is it going so far, do the people receive the tour ok?

Certainly, ok it is only the beginning, the first show in Holland was sold out and then on Saturday we had a little special gig for our 25 year anniversary in Dusseldorf, but ah it seems like lot people are here as well tonight.

Well yeah for a Monday evening the place is packed

I think as well, it is unusually packed, it is like a party on a Monday, I did not expect to be so crowded, at least on my experience, and is a good surprise I think.

And what are the news you are getting as far as the DVD is concerned?

Oh yeah! We got an over response from people, as I get from the press, everybody seems to be liking it and I am quite happy with it you know.

I did not have the chance of seeing the whole DVD but I saw the trailer and it is fucking amazing, and Japan is a big music market, lots of bands have done bonus tracks for their releases and DVDs there. ARCH ENEMY have done bonus tracks for Japanese versions in the past as well. I red that you prepared an EUROPE cover that you haven't released yet and you recorded it at the same time you recorded Rise Of The Tyrant, what about this?

Well I do not know if it is actually on, I haven't actually seen the Japanese version from that one yet.

It is not on yet.

It's not, well it will, on something else then but it is actually the second EUROPE cover we recorded (laughs). So yeah, you know, it is sort like that, to support the national heroes. It is from the Wings Of Tomorrow album as well, which is our favorite and that's the album before they got really famous, but we always like them and special John Norum, as a guitar player, he has been an influence as well. Well I hope that this cover will see the light of the day.

I hope as well. People in the press have defined Rise Of The Tyrant as the best album ARCH ENEMY have released so far. What is your opinion on that?

Well it is hard for me to say.

Because it has some new music elements, it is thrashy in some parts and has lots of variations.

It is always a part of the thing, if people think that your latest album is your best one, then, at least you are in the right direction. It is not like it is with metal people, that they think Naaah, they have sold themselves after the first album, and if people like the stuff that you are putting out, well that is great. But in the music is hard to say, we do not sit and say oh! you know? We need to top the last album. it's not about that. We are hoping it is about doing what we feel at the moment and it usually, especially, with our heavy touring schedule, I think it reflects the lot of what kind of music we have been writing by spinning on the bus. Like after shows you get in the bus go down the highway and have a drink or two and somebody plugs the ipod in. I think the whole Doomsday tour we listened a lot, to old school thrash so I think that's coming to play and you know we just want, basically, more of everything (laughs). That is what we're trying to do…

But it is also important to balance this influences, isn't it?

That is what we always do, we try to have like, you know both the hard/heavy and thrash stuff, some heavy, a bit of death metal influence here and there and of course it never means that we will get away from the super soft melody part either, because you know we are all really gaylike , not that we are totally girls you know what I mean.. (laughs out loud).

Haha, yes you are a female fronted band, but ok…

Haha, she is probably the one with the most supercore, hardcore male taste of music in the band, she likes all the old school like really grindy Death Metal, whereas the rest of us,  we are into like all other stuff so… (laughs)

So, she becomes passionate and goes Alright let's do it.

Yeah, kind like that. When she joined the band, we had written most of the music for the Wages Of Sin and she came in with fresh ears and basically like an outsider, like a fan, she said Oh, you know that part is boring, that part is alright, I like that and that. She was really super help and gave us good tips actually. Because you got four musicians in a rehearsal room and sometimes we get a bit too obsessed with our own playing, so is good to have someone who comes in, as a metal fan and say I like that part, or I do not like that is boring, better take that out and put something like that, will sound more powerful and we are like Yeah, that is not a bad idea. She came in and she had lots of good ideas in that sense and you know she is probably more metal than anybody else. (laughs)

Since the Rise Of The Tyrant it has been almost one and a half year, have you been working on new songs?

Always. Constantly. We are settled and practice our songs for the tour, but the 23 hours a day that you are not playing, what will you do? You're still playing your instruments and stuff, sitting and doing warm up and you come up with new riffs and things. So when it comes to discipline, and you sit down and write the album, everybody has a lot of ideas already, so we just sit down for a month and turn these little things to songs. And there are lots of things you left over and you thing Well, I do not like that much at the moment and so you record the next album. And then you know what? You find out Wow, do you remember that riff? Ah, yeah!, because I know there is somebody that likes that riff when everybody else doesn't and then you realize that it might fit in a song perfectly.

For example there is lots of things that we've used, like the in I Will Live Again from the Tyrant album. I remember we played it together for our first sound check here at this very venue. You see it is the little things like that, and I remember another song, that we were in the dressing room and we wrote it right there.  So there is lot of things all the time that come in and stick to your mind and at the time you thing Well maybe it's not so good but after three years down the line it might fit perfectly. So yes, there is a bunch of material but during touring period we cannot make much.

Let's leave ARCH ENEMY for a while and allow me to ask you about other bands of yours. How is it going with SPIRITUAL BEGGARS, since 2005…

Yes I know (smiles).

…they had included also some Japanese recordings in the last album as well

Of course, of course, as always. Well the thing is, it is hard to get it happening with what everybody is doing at the moment. Me and Michael we released Demons right before Doomsday Machine came out and then we toured more heavily than ever, so… And now everybody is doing so much. It was easier before than now. I would love to do it one day but I do not know if there is a market for us now, if anybody cares if we are there or not. It would be fun anyway.

Don't want to keep you long but tell me which in your opinion is the most effective ARCH ENEMY album so far?

It is hard to say exactly what it would be, with the change of the years as well, it used to be always something like Wages. Wages Of Sin was the album that people really liked, but now it seems like, that Nemesis is one of those songs, the effective songs. Through these years is what I can say from the people's reactions. Right now I thing that the most loved song by audience reactions is Nemesis, because it has an anthemic chorus and it is probably, together with Ravenous, the best of the moshpit songs. It is mid tempo but still really ferocious so people spontaneously are starting forming moshpits. Always with those two songs! But if it had to be one, it would be Nemesis.

What in your opinion defines a good album?

I think a good album is something that to me it must have a good balance as well. Because if you have 50 minutes of pure old school death metal and good blast bits like forty minutes, it is not much fun is it? So, it must have a little bit of everything, it is like sitting down and having a meal, you don't want just one thing, you have a three course meal, you have a good starter and good main course and then a nice desert. A good album, has to have a lot of different ingredients whatever sort of music it is, that all agree together. And of course the most important ingredient in any music, is the heart

I totally agree.

In order to be a songwriter you need to be passionate about it. That's the thing. Within songs and the play you can hear the passion. Of course you need to be talented but that is following. I think that talented people do it because they love it, because they have to do it in order to survive.

I heard that you have been confirmed for 'Dubai Rock Festival.'

Yes that is so exciting,

Any further plans?

We will do this tour now and then a bit of Christmas break. Then we will go to the studio to continue something we have been working for a long time and had no time since we have been on the road, it is a compilation we are recording of songs from the first three albums with today's line up.

Is there going to be a new material as bonus?

No, it is going to be strictly old material. Because there is lot of people they are asking for songs from those albums but when we play them, people in general do not know much about them. So we do not have such strong reaction in concerts. Of course the old versions are out, but we do it for the people who might want to listen something like that. After that, we have a bunch of festivals, South America, Australia a bit more Asia.

You could do China as well.

I do not know, not so far. I would like to go and have more time than the last time. Cause you know we had like one full day, play the gig and then back on the road. China is a big country and we did not see anything. We will see what happens. Hopefully, some time next year we will go to the studio and record something new.

That would be excellent. Thank you very much for your time, and I wish you all the best for this tour. Looking forward to seeing you on the stage.

Thank you as well. Hope you will enjoy the show.


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