Arch Enemy guitarist Michael Amott has heard a number of bands grumble about Ozzfest, complaining that being on the annual heavy-metal festival's bill did little, if anything, to augment their careers. But Amott says the Swedish metallers have experienced the opposite — sales of Arch Enemy's 2005 album, Doomsday Machine, bloomed during and after the band's second-stage stint, and being on Ozzfest opened up several touring opportunities for them, as well.
That includes this year's Jägermeister trek, which Arch Enemy will be on until Saturday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Chimaira, Nevermore, God Forbid and Hate Eternal are also on the bill). And then there's this fall's Gigantour 2, on which, Amott said, Arch Enemy will definitely be featured.
"We know we're on ... the main stage, and I know it runs from late August to October," he said, adding that the only other band he knows will be on the bill is Megadeth — sort of a given, since Dave Mustaine organizes the festival. "We're excited about coming back to the U.S. once again. We're happy we can get work, you know? It's going to be a good tour for us. We did Ozzfest last year and we made a lot of new fans and sold a lot of records. It's great to come out on another big package tour, and I think there's probably a more traditional metal audience out there who could pick up on what we do as well through Gigantour."
Arch Enemy recently shot a video for "My Apocalypse" in Sweden with director Roger Johansson (In Flames), and it will debut on MTV2's "Headbangers Ball" this month. It's a performance video "with wind blowing, and we have great hair, and you can kind of see through our bodies, so you can see our skeletons — in red," Amott explained. "When [Johansson] told me, I said, 'That sounds pretty metal.' "
Before Arch Enemy do Gigantour, they'll issue a DVD called "Live Apocalypse" on August 8. The package will feature the band's final live set with Amott's brother, Christopher, which was shot in London in late 2004, before the second guitarist and founding member left. Fans can also expect band interviews, a segment in which Arch Enemy discuss and exhibit the equipment they use when they perform live, and the usual bloopers-on-a-tour-bus clips. "I'm super proud of it," he said of the two-disc set.
"We didn't want to focus too heavy on [behind-the-scenes footage]," he added. "Those things are kind of boring. I mean, how many times can you watch a drunk musician? But the interviews with the band are very good. A lot of people may never really get to know us. They only know us by picture, and they don't get to see you talk or know what kind of person you are — that you have a sense of humor, that you're not only just an iconic metal god."
He also said Arch Enemy have been working on material while on the road, which they've never done before. He says they'd like to start recording the follow-up to Doomsday Machine early next year.
"It's very different for us this time, because we never write on the road at all," he said. "This year, we've been writing a lot on the road. We're just making these little demos, really. But they're not proper songs — just riffs sort of thrown together. We've never been this far ahead of the game before, as far as material [goes], because usually we're scrambling for songs once we hit the studio. This time, we'll be very well prepared."
The rest of the week's metal news:
The ink has finally dried on Hatebreed's deal with Roadrunner Records. An official announcement was made this week that the band had joined the label's roster. Look for its forthcoming disc, Supremacy, to hit stores August 29. ... Animosity have lost bassist Dan Kenny and replaced him with Evan Brewer, formerly of Reflux. "Danny ... has been playing with us for over a year now, [and] we plan to continue to support him in his future musical ventures, as we are sure that he will soon be pumping out some serious, brutal death metal," the band said in a statement. Animosity will head out with From a Second Story Window, Cattle Decapitation, Misery Index and Job for a Cowboy for a tour that kicks off June 11 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. ... Despite signing on for Animosity's June bill, From a Second Story Window have been forced to cancel their May tour after being busted for driving without proper inspection tags. The Pennsylvania bashers had been driving a salvaged van illegally, since the state supposedly hadn't sent them the official stickers they needed after getting it inspected. "We got caught the other night and the cop let us go, but also he informed us of what would happen if we were pulled over and someone wasn't so forgiving, so we came home," the band said in a statement. "This was not easy for us to have to do. All we want to do right now is be on tour." The group's new disc comes out July 11. ...
In a post on his Web site, producer Kevin Shirley (H.I.M., Judas Priest) said Iron Maiden will finish recording their yet-untitled, forthcoming album this week. "The last song for the record is on the console — we still have some keyboard washes to add, and then I'll finish up the mix," he wrote. "Yesterday we recorded umpteen guitar tweedles, ably executed by [guitarist] Janick [Gers], in four-part harmony, which led me to believe that if there is a hell, [Queen] guitarist Brian May will be the gatekeeper." ... We'll be glad when June 6 (6/6/06) passes and metal fans get back to their lives of blasphemy and misanthropy without everything revolving around the number of the beast. The latest gesture to Beelzebub's mark comes from the End Records, which, on said date, will release the black-metal compilation The Dark Psyche: An Aural Exhibition of Black Metal From Top Scholars in the Genre. It will cost -- what else -- $6.66. Dissection, Enslaved, Arcturus, Satyricon, Immortal, Darkthrone and Impaled Nazarene are among the 666 bands contributing tracks (just kidding, there are only 15). ...
Los Angeles experimental-metal band Crisis have gone on "indefinite hiatus," according to a statement issued by their label. "The bandmembers will be focusing on their personal lives, as well as pursuing other artistic interests," the statement read. "We are sorry that our fans will not be hearing any new music from [them] in the near future." The band's last album, Like Sheep Led to Slaughter, came out in 2004. ... Javier Carpio (a.k.a. Sob), ex-guitarist for New York hardcore-metal band Merauder, died of unknown circumstances last weekend at age 33. Carpio played on the band's three records: 1996's Master Killer, 1999's Five Deadly Venoms and 2003's Bluetality. Funeral services were held on Tuesday in Brooklyn, New York. ... Veteran British extreme-metal band Benediction suffered a setback last week when drummer Nick Barker (ex-Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth) broke his ankle in Estonia. The injury required plates and screws and will sideline the band for at least six weeks. Benediction's upcoming record, Killing Music, is tentatively scheduled for release in late summer or early fall. ...
Hour Cast will release their full-length debut, State of Disgrace, June 6. The Boston band recorded the disc in North Brookfield, Massachusetts, early this year, and Michael "Elvis" Baskette (Iggy Pop, Chevelle) mixed it. Ex-Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna and ex-Marilyn Manson bassist Twiggy Ramirez remixed tracks for the band last year. ... Moody metal group Tapping the Vein are almost done with their new album. The drum, bass and guitar tracks are all finished, and singer Heather Thompson plans to wrap up her vocal tracks this week. "It's sounding much heavier and dark, à la Katatonia," said drummer Eric Fisher of the record. "Less programming, much more band." The yet-untitled disc — the follow-up to 2002's The Damage — should be out by the end of the year. ... Hamilton, Ontario, shredders Threat Signal will release their North American debut, Under Reprisal, August 22. The disc was produced by Fear Factory guitarist Christian Olde Wolbers in Los Angeles last fall. Threat Signals recently shot a video for "Rational Eyes" in New York with director David Brodsky (the Red Chord, God Forbid). ...
Frontman Antti Filppu has left Finnish death-metallists Omnium Gatherum. "This is very unfortunate, but everyone considers this as the only way ... Omnium Gatherum is going to continue as a band," reads a post on the group's Web site. "We hope that Antti will continue to do his 'thing,' and [we] wish him the best possible luck. The name of the new vocalist will be announced later." Omnium are writing new material for an album they'll record later this year. It won't be for Nuclear Blast, though: The band and label have broken off their working relationship. ... Panzerchrist's forthcoming album, tentatively titled Battalion Beast, should land in stores in July — and when it does, expect the LP to feature nine tracks, including "The Gods They Do Not Give Us Long," "Infants' Graves" and "Lumps of Rotting Clay."