Interviewed by Thomas Schwarzkopf (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
If are currently searching for one of the hottest acts in Metal, then look no further then Amaranthe. This band is a little phenomenon, because they don’t fit in a special sub-genre, but nevertheless they are one of the most successful metal bands at the moment. With their latest release “The Nexus” Amaranthe seem to be unstoppable and are currently touring in the whole world. So I was really happy about the chance of having a little chat with the female vocalist of this band – the lovely Elize Ryd!
Hello Elize, great to talk to you. I heard you are very busy at the moment so what is going on?
Elize: Hello! Great talking to you as well! Yes, we’re pretty busy at the moment. We played our first festival this weekend at Sweden Rock. We have another 14 to go, but also a 2,5 weeks long headliner tour in the USA from New York to L.A. After the summer we will continue with touring spread all over the world.
Then let’s talk a bit about your main band Amaranthe. You are a really hot band right now and very successful all over the world. Many speak of you as the new “rock sensation”. What do you think is the reason for this?
Elize: We wanted to create something fresh and new within the metal genre. Me, Olof and Jake E had a strong belief in our music. We worked really hard to make it as perfect and satisfying as possible, for us. I can’t point out any specific reason besides that maybe the world was ready for a change at this point. Luckily a lot of people did receive the message we wanted to send out to them through our music, and we couldn’t be more grateful and happy for that.
Amaranthe has a very unique style, because you mix up so many genres: melodic metal, metalcore, melodic death metal – and we also find a lot of poppy dance elements. How fit this together and who had the idea for this? Was it a specific decision or did it just happen during the songwriting process?
Elize: It just happened. I came into the process pretty early and sang on two songs written by Olof and Jake E. I loved the rhythms, the lyrics and the melodies, even though I don’t have a typical metal voice it was possible for me to sing. The guys thought it sounded really cool and unique in contrast towards Andy’s growls, and the music. The Amaranthe sound was born that way.
Some people call your style “Abba Metal” and of course some melodies are like sugar so that they remind me of Abba, too. What do you think about this? I think many metal bands don’t want to be compared with Abba.
Elize: True, but I’m afraid you’re talking to the wrong girl here (laughs). I was the biggest ABBA fan as a kid, and they still inspire me when It comes to writing vocal lines, just like Jake and Olof gets inspired from the other genres you mentioned above. I think it’s healthy to push boundaries and don’t get offended by these elements. When we go out and play live we really can see that our music speaks to many different kinds of people. That was also part of our goal to connect genres and people.
Who is involved, when it comes to songwriting? Is there someone who brings the ideas for the more melodic stuff and someone else for the more harder parts?
Elize: The inspiration when it comes to ideas is pretty equal between me, Jake E and Olof. It’s different, of course more or less in every song. I think you would be surprised if I went through all songs and reviled who’s idea comes from who.
You are touring a lot in Europe, Russia and of course you announced a North American headliner tour. How do you prepare yourself for this and do you feel much under pressure?
Elize: I prepare with a lot of training, and rest. I spend as much time as possible with my friends and family to gain love and energy to be able to be away from them for such a long time.
How did you join the band? I think this step pushed your career further and further. Is this the kind of music you always wanted to do?
Elize: I was very good friends with Olof and Jake E, I sang on their projects before Amaranthe existed. They started to work on a project together called Avalanche. I put my vocal on their two first demos. After hearing the result they changed their minds about starting a Gothenburg All Star project, and instead start a band. They asked if I wanted to become a full time member – I said yes, and from that day on I’ve put my heart into the band as my own.
Most importantly I wanted to do something different and important with my life. I wanted to travel the world and sing. I didn’t know how, I just hoped that destiny would help me reach my dream. I have been focusing on hard work and faith my whole life. I still don’t know If I reached the highlight, or if there is more to discover.
What did you do before meeting up with the guys of Amaranthe?
Elize: I had a full time job as a singer and dancer at a Cabaret in Gothenburg.
Who influenced you as a singer and which bands do you like the most?
Elize: Freddy Mercury, Queen, ABBA, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion influenced me to sing as a kid. At the moment I’m into Lana Del Rey, SHM, Avicii, Kizz and Lady Gaga.
You also toured a lot with Kamelot. How did that happen?
Elize: It was thanks to Jake E, he used to be good friends with the leader of Kamelot, Thomas Youngblood, who heard some demos with my voice on it at myspace. He asked if I was free to make a tour, I was. And so it started.
You also joined Timo Tolkki on his new Metal opera project “Avalon”. What can you tell us about it? It seems like you have some kind of main part there.
Elize: Yes, I do! He also heard me sing on YouTube and found me perfect for the main female role. He contacted me through my homepage. Since I’m an educated musical artist I really found this interesting and something I really wanted to be a part of.
How was the work with Timo? He said there will be two more parts of Avalon. Could you imagine joining this project again?
Elize: I have no idea what his thoughts are for the upcoming parts. But of course I would be interested to work with him again. I really liked how the album turned out.
Are there any other activities you’re doing right now or in the nearer future (beside Amaranthe)?
Elize: Yes, there is, but it’s still a secret.
How do you choose such side projects? Which points have to be fulfilled to get you on board?
Elize: Great music, and developing for my voice and soul.
Some years ago you were handled as one of the top-candidates of being the new singer of Nightwish, after Tarja left the band. Sadly they didn’t choose you (by the way: in my opinion a big mistake). So now they have to search again for a new vocalist. Are you still interested?
Elize: Thank you! If it would have happened maybe there wouldn’t be any Amaranthe, at least not with me. It’s hard to say, Amaranthe is like my baby that I’m sharing with some of my best friends, so it would be very difficult to leave for just another job. And also since I’m part of the creative process It would be a huge thing having to leave that behind me.
Let’s talk about some general things. Which goals do you want to reach in life?
Elize: I always want to work with music. I want to be able to do that, and to have a family at the same time. Like right now, that is not possible. I want to be able to give the people I love all they want, and spread positive energy to the world.
What would have become of you, if you didn’t take the path as a musician?
Elize: Actor, or nature/animal activist.
What was the worst moment in your career and what was the best thing that ever happened to you?
Elize: The worst moment was when I didn’t have a job, I worked my ass of with the band without knowing if it was worth it. Best thing is probably right now, being able to look back and see that I made the right decisions.
You have also a Facebook Fanpage. Do you get many fan mails and that kind of stuff? I think you’ve got lots of male admirers. A friend of mine told me I should ask you if you want to marry him, haha. How do you deal with such things?
Elize: I take it very good, that must be the best compliment you can get from a man that doesn’t even know you. (laughs) I get lots of mails, It means a lot to me and I appreciate the contact I have with my fans on facebook very much!
What do you think in general about all that social media stuff, which influences the music industry very much?
Elize: I don’t know really since it’s nature for me. I can’t remember how it was before, and I can’t imagine how It would have been for us without it.
Do you have a message to your fans out there?
Elize: Yes, you are all fantastic! I’m looking forward to seeing you out there!
Elize, it was an honor to chat with you. Good luck on tour!
Elize: Same for me. Thank you!
Webzine Review for Amaranthe – The Nexus