Amaranthe Interview

Amaranthe

Spinefarm Records

Amaranthe, featuring a triple-pronged vocal attack, are back with their latest album Maximalism. One of those vocalists is Jake E, who fills us in on the album along with some of his other endeavors.

Chad Bowar: Was there anything unique about the songwriting process for Maximalism compared to your previous albums?
Jake E:  Yes, there was. On this album Olof (Morck, guitar/keyboards) and Elize (Ryd, vocals) were working more or less on one side while I worked alone on my end. They had an idea of making the album flirt more with the “poppy” side while I had an idea of making it sound more like the first two albums. It clashed a bit and as we are three songwriters. I think four of my songs ended up not making it in the vote. So I guess I will have to use them for something else.

How has the band’s style/sound evolved on this one?
I think the album is the “poppiest” album the band has done, but as well there are some really heavy tracks as well. So it is a pretty diverse album overall.

What inspired the album title?
I can’t really answer that as it was Olof that came up with it. But I guess that it means more of everything, in a way.

What led you to work with producer Jacob Hansen again?
We actually used two different producers on this album. For some reason the press release didn’t mention Jakob Herrmann (Top Floor Studios in Gothenburg). Jakob produced and recorded everything except the vocals, mix and master.

But the reason we decided to continue working with Hansen is that we had the mindset that why fix something that ain’t broken? Jacob is just a phenomenal vocal producer and by this time we know each other so well that we feel so comfortable around each other. I even went straight back to his studio after we were done with Maximalism to co-work with another album where I produced and he was engineering.

After the success of Massive Addictive, especially in North America, does that increase your expectations for Maximalism?
Of course you want every album to be bigger then the last one, but I personally have no expectations that the band is gonna be superstars overnight. As long as our fans think it’s a good album that could give them something, then I am happy.

What are your upcoming tour plans? Will you be doing a North American tour at some point?
The band starts off with a EU tour around the release of the album and will then continue to do as we’ve always done. It’s probably going to be two rounds in the States, another EU run then festivals and hopefully Japan, South America and maybe even Australia.

What has been your most memorable Amaranthe show or tour?
The second night in Tokyo 2016 together with Helloween is something I will always remember.

What’s the best concert you’ve attended as a fan?
Probably Rammstein in Stockholm 2012. I might be wrong on the year, but that was a very inspiring show.

Tell us about the movie you’re shooting near Boston.
I have started to expand my career into working as a producer/songwriter/host of my own radio show at piraterock.se as well as finally starting up a life long dream to become an actor.

I have one role in a Swedish movie coming out in 2017 (already shot). The movie is called 1% The Voice Within. The film I did in Boston was an independent movie that I see as a way into the business. We will see what will happen with it. It will probably end up as a crowding project in the end. And finally we can make a full movie of it.

The film is based on my lyrics on the first two albums.  It was an American screenwriter that started this project and then later contacted me. So I had actually nothing to do with it from the start. I hope to be able to get more castings in the future because I really love it. So if anyone in the business reads this, hit me up! (laughs)

How did you land the production gig for the Ember Falls album, and how did it go?
I actually got it from Spinefarm. They first just wanted me to help the band write a couple of songs and help the band with their songs in general. But after a while they asked me if I would consider producing the whole thing.

At first I was a bit skeptical about it, but I said “WTF, I can do this,” and the end result came out amazing. Mikko and Thomas (in the band) supported me all the way and Mikko and I ended up as a great team during the recordings. I think this album will be very well received when it gets released!

You recently signed a management deal. Do you have plans to record a solo album?
Not many know, but over the years I have worked with everything behind Amaranthe, both on the management side as well as on booking side of things.  I must say I know the business pretty well but I felt that with all extra work coming in I needed someone to help me on my personal endeavors. News will follow, but I can reveal that I have some really cool thing in the pipeline.

What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
I love the new I Prevail album as well as the new Evergrey disc. That is more or less the only new music I’ve had time to listen to recently.

Who are your all time top 5 Swedish bands?
Europe, In Flames, Hammerfall, Abba and E-type

Anything else you’d like to mention or promote
Thanks for all your support and please keep an eye out for what is happening on Jake.se and Amaranthe.se

(interview published October 21, 2016)

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