Metal Blast recently conducted an interview with new ARCH ENEMY singer Alissa White-Gluz. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Blast: When you were first offered the position as Angela‘s [Gossow] replacement, how much of a challenge did you feel you were going to face filling her shoes?
Alissa: Angela is very iconic and broke down a lot of barriers not just for women in music, but in music in general. It’s not a simple task to step in after her, but I feel confident in the album we wrote, and I know I have her support in this, since we’re all a team working towards a common goal. I’m just going to do my absolute best, and hope everyone enjoys it as much as we do.
Metal Blast: Angela is still involved with ARCH ENEMY, working in management. How much influence did she have on you being picked for the band, and what sort of influence does she still have in you and in your performance for ARCH ENEMY?
Alissa: It was actually Angela‘s idea for me to be her successor, so to speak, so she definitely had a big role in that choice. For now she doesn’t really have any influence in terms of the performance of the music, but she works very hard as the manager, so I speak to her every day about the business side of things.
Metal Blast: Did she give you any advice that you felt was important in terms of your performance in ARCH ENEMY?
Alissa: Yeah, I guess so; everyone in the band has kind of offered advice, because they all know what it’s about. She hasn’t really given anything specific, but she’s always been good at giving me advice. For years and years she’s been sort of a mentor to me, so if she offers it, I always listen. I mean, who better to learn from, right?
Metal Blast: It’s interesting because metalheads are quite an interesting breed, so to speak. Once fans develop some sort of sense of possession in regards to your band, they get very protective of the sound or what they want the band to be. For instance, when you think of Blaze Bayley replacing Bruce Dickinson in IRON MAIDEN, or Anette Olzon replacing Tarja Turunen in NIGHTWISH, there was a backlash where people said “That’s not what we want.” Was there some fear of facing the ARCH ENEMY‘s fans who associate the band mostly with Angela?
Alissa: Yeah, but we’ve been pretty fortunate in this case. I’ve seen a couple of singer switches happen right before my eyes, one being Roy Khan to Tommy Karevik in KAMELOT, and the other was Anette Olzon to Floor Jansen in NIGHTWISH. Those happened with me present, and I saw how well the fans took to these singers because they were presented in the proper way. That’s why we wanted to be careful with how we presented these news, and make sure that people knew that this is what the band wants. This is what Angela wants, this is what Michael [Amott, ARCH ENEMY guitarist] wants, this is what everybody in the band wants. We wanted to have new music right away, so fans wouldn’t have to wait and wonder what it was going to sound like; we showed them [the title track of the new ARCH ENEMY album] “War Eternal” right away, so that they could put their fears to rest. I obviously understand what it’s like. Even when Angela told me she was stepping down, I was, like, “Hey, wait, but I wanted you to keep singing!” [laughs] But people change, priorities shift, and this is what Angela wanted, so in the end it all worked out well for us, and we’re very happy with the music. We just hope that the fans will also understand that we’re still the same band, we’re still making the same music, and that it’s just a new era for us. So far, they have been very receptive to the music.
Read the entire interview at Metal Blast.