Amaranthe – On the Road Again

Wednesday, 27th May 2015

Dead Rhetoric: How much thought and care do you take in organizing the set for a headlining show?

Mörck: It’s actually very, very difficult with this band. We have a lot of different tunings and a lot of different keys. You have to be really aware of which song you put in which place, otherwise the singers will get very confused with the different keys. I think we have like 12-13 different keys for all the different songs for the 20 songs [in the set]. You also need to think about the general flow. You can’t just put the hits in the beginning or wherever.

But I think we found, pretty much, a perfect setlist. It works really well because at the end of the set, just before the encore, everyone is always screaming their lungs out. Obviously we are doing something right. Even if it’s more of a quiet audience. Some audiences are a little bit more spoiled, even if they are really into it. Like the New York audience for instance. They were a little bit quiet for the first two or three songs, but by the time we played the last few songs, they were screaming. That’s the dynamic you want to work for.

Dead Rhetoric: Going along with that, three albums in, are there any songs that you feel need to be in the set list?

Ryd: I don’t think we could do a show without playing “Amaranthine.” That would be terrible!

Mörck: Or like “Hunger” or “The Nexus.” Or “Drop Dead Cynical” for that matter, at least here in the States.

Dead Rhetoric: “Drop Dead Cynical” was being used in an NHL hockey game right?

Mörck: Yeah, that was so fascinating. We had just played in Budapest. A friend of mine was watching the Red Wings on TV in Sweden and he was like, “I just heard your song on an NHL game.” We couldn’t believe it. Then we got the word that they were playing it at every Detroit Red Wings home game. Then someone filmed it for us and we put it up on Facebook. It was so surreal.

Dead Rhetoric: What differences do you notice with a North American crowd compared to a European crowd, now that you’ve spent some time with both?

Mörck: Every audience has a lot of similarities somehow. They will sing along, jump, and scream at the same places, but there is always something that sets them apart as well. I’m not sure that it’s easy to point at the specific things, but I think American audiences hold up very well in international terms. Very enthusiastic and loud, they give us a lot of energy. The American audience is absolutely fantastic, they are one of our favorite, if not our favorite, place to play in the entire world.

Ryd: I agree. One big difference is that people actually understand what we are saying. Sometimes, when you go to say, a European country that does not speak much English, and you say something [in English] you aren’t sure that they are understanding what you are saying. But here you know, if I have the wrong grammar when I speak. It puts a lot of pressure on other things.

Mörck: But it’s also really nice, when you are interacting with the fans, doing a meet and greet, or doing an interview. It’s one thing that you need to think about your English, but it’s another thing that you don’t need to speak extremely clearly or using only very simple words. If you are doing an Italian interview, for example, you might have to speak like a three year old or they may not understand what you are saying. You can’t use irony, sarcasm, or metaphors – you have to be very direct and clear.

Ryd: In Europe, we have to bring our own monitor technician because it’s almost impossible to connect with the locals. But here in the United States, it’s simpler because everyone can speak easily to each other. That’s another big difference, so it’s very nice to be here.

Dead Rhetoric: On the road, are there any tricks that you do to keep from going insane sitting on the bus?

Ryd: The trick is to try to have fun. Now we are very spoiled [with the bus]. We get along well, so that makes the experience a lot better for everybody. Sometimes you are tired and you just hang in the bus, but just to know that you can actually do something, it makes the touring life a lot easier. It also helps to see it as a vacation, and remind yourself that this is something that many people would love to do. So live in the moment and do whatever you feel like is right for you and try to have as much as possible. Trying to have fun makes things a lot easier.

For example, in this venue right now, which we are all pretty scared about – it’s actually pretty exciting. There have been some interesting things happening today. Our tour manager took a picture earlier, and there’s something on the screen, making a ring around the picture.

Mörck: Did you hear the stories about this floating orb here [at the Palladium]? I think our tour manager just got a picture of it.

Ryd: Then they took another picture and it was gone. So it must be something that just crossed his lens. The backstage area is the most scary place, which is why we are staying here [on the bus]!

Mörck: There’s this energy about this place that is super scary.

Ryd: It makes me dizzy actually. I lose my balance. I’m very easily affected by things that you can’t explain.

Dead Rhetoric: I had not known about that until my earlier interview with Santa Cruz. Speaking of which, I heard that they were pranking you on the last date of the European tour pretty hard. Do you have any plans for revenge?

Ryd: That was actually so fun, I enjoyed it so much. I didn’t really get offended, but the only thing I was thinking was how the audience was handling it. There was a lot of inside humor. Thanks for reminding us!

Dead Rhetoric: Do you intend to go into the studio at some point this year to follow up Massive Addictive or plan on pushing the live front a bit harder for a while?

Mörck: As soon as we feel the urge for it – I’m already starting to feel it a bit. We could definitely even start today and do something really good. But we should be really excited about sitting down and doing it. In general, there’s a lot of stuff happening at the moment, so there’s no need to force it. But at the same time, we don’t want to wait too long either. I think with all this touring and the reception for Massive Addictive, we are going to bring a lot of really great energy into the record, and we don’t want to do that prematurely.

Dead Rhetoric: So how do you push yourselves forward, with three albums in? You have a sound that’s completely and uniquely your own, so how do you keep pushing the boundaries like you have yet stay true to what you’ve done?

Mörck: Oh my god, you just wait! We already have some ideas. We are going to take things much further. The way that we do it is to be even more brave and more bold with it. We have so many different influences, so there are so many different directions that we can go. We don’t have to choose one direction; we can go in all these different directions at the same time. It’s a very powerful tool that we have in the stuff that we are writing. We are not going to push it to 11 but 15!

Amaranthe official website

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