Interview: Daniel Erlandsson of Arch Enemy
Swedish metal juggernaut ARCH ENEMY are poised to attack. Having set social media and earbuds alight with their incendiary brand-new album ‘Will To Power’, the band are thrilled to announce a run of headline dates throughout Australia. Timed perfectly to allow an appearance at the inaugural Download Festival Australia, ARCH ENEMY are a band ever growing in stature with a devouring compulsion to make the ultimate statement of heavy metal supremacy. We had a chat with longtime member and drummer of the band, Daniel Erlandsson ahead of their highly anticipated return to Australia.
First of all, it was a massive 2017 for Arch Enemy, a new studio album, countless live shows, award nominations, what was the highlight for you personally?
I think just releasing Will To Power, because it was like the pinnacle of a lot of work leading up to that and just seeing the reaction from the fans, reading comments on the videos and positive feedback at the live shows. Releasing the album was definitely the pinnacle moment on the year for sure.
We are of course very excited to have Arch Enemy back in Australia for the first ever Australian Download Festival in Melbourne and some sideshows that just got announced recently. Were you happy when you found out that the band would be featured on the lineup?
Absolutely, we've been talking about it for years now and it didn't happen on the last album cycle sadly, it's been like a 5 year gap between shows in Australia and in a way I think that's going to be a good thing. Maybe those who haven't seen us for a long time will be more inclined to come out to the shows, it's a fairly fresh and new lineup also when you compare it to our last visit in 2012, so it's going to be very good and I can't wait.
Australia has been missing out on that big time metal festival ever since Soundwave Festival went away a couple of years ago, how important are these big gatherings of bands that bring the metal community together?
I think it's very important indeed, because you can see the difference when you travel between the continents, for example Europe is packed and full of festivals all Summer long pretty much.
Then you travel to somewhere like America where it's a completely different thing, they have some festivals but it's not Europe at all.
Yeah, instead you might do 50 dates in a row over in the States rather than 5 big festivals and a few shows in between over in Europe right?
Yeah, exactly right man.
What's your fondest memory of Australia? Do you have any stories that stand-out?
I just remember the first time we came over to Australia which I think was back in 2005 or 2006, I'm not entirely sure. All of the shows that we played on that tour were absolutely killer, and we were just completely blown away by the country and the people, everything was just amazing because it was the first time we had been there you know? We played a place in Sydney called The Roundhouse, I think it was called that, it was round and big anyway. That was a fantastic venue and it's one of my favourite memories of Australia.
Being such a well established band now, you're always taking kick-ass bands with you on the road when you go out on tour. Is there anyone that you haven't played with yet that you'd like to share the stage with someday?
It's getting more and more difficult because we can headline and we can co-headline and pretty much draw a decent amount of people and it's kind of enough for us to do that. Of course you'd like to support some bigger bands as well, but it hasn't happened for a while now, personally I've always wanted to play with Judas Priest, so far that hasn't come through yet.
Arch Enemy will be touring 3 different continents in 3 months starting in January for Europe, then onto Japan and then finally Australia in March. What's your least favourite and most favourite thing about being travelling and touring?
My most favourite thing is always the show usually, that's what you look forward to the whole day and that's why we're here really. Sometimes you have bad shows and even if you do, it's still the most exciting part of the day and we always somehow manage to have fun and make it work. The least favourite, I don't know, you get used to sleeping on the tour bus and not getting the food you want to eat all the time, which is a minor thing really when you think about it. You get used to the little things that you would normally take for granted, some things can be a bit tedious but you learn to accept them along the way.
With Spotify and YouTube being great vessels for fans to access metal music nowadays, are you happy about the massive amount of views and streams that Arch Enemy has been getting on these platforms?
Hmm, well it is the current trend and you have to use that as a vessel to kind of like get our music out to people. Seeing that we get such a good reaction towards our music videos on YouTube, it's definitely a great tool for us to be able to reach out to people and to be able to get new fans who might not have heard us before. So, I think it's great in that sense and it's doing well for us, we can see the benefits of that when we tour. It's not all about album sales, even though that's really good when we sell a lot of albums, we won't complain about that.
A final message for the readers before you say goodbye perhaps?
It's been 5 long years since we've been there and it's about time that we got back there to Australia and play some really cool shows for our fantastic fans there. We look forward to having a good time there with you all.
Written by Steve Jenkins