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iheartguitarblog.com INTERVIEW: Arch EnemyÝs Michael Amott
posted on 2012-03-12
excerpt from iheartguitarblog.com Published March 9, 2012 | By Peter Hodgson
Arch Enemy are about to embark on the last round of touring for last year's excellent Khaos Legions. More melodic and with maybe a touch less death than you might expect from a melodic death metal band, Khaos Legions is also the last Arch Enemy album to feature guitarist Chris Amott, whose departure from the band was announced earlier this month. But mere line-up changes can't keep Arch Enemy down: new guitarist Nick Cordle of Arsis has taken up the co-guitarist throne alongside Michael Amott, and the band has a lot to say and do before they put the full stop at the end of Khaos Legions.
On to guitar matters now, I checked out your Dean signature model, the Tyrant, and its various incarnations at the NAMM Show this year...
I couldn't make it this year. I was on the road with Arch Enemy. My friend Vinnie Moore who also plays Dean said "What kind of career is that? Out there playing shows, touring the world? You should just be playing at trade shows like a proper musician career." [Laughs] Having said that, I really do love the trade shows. They're a lot of fun. I love to geek out on the guitars and stuff as much as anybody else. So I'll definitely be there next year, and I'll be at the Frankfurt Messe later this month.
So what were you after with the Dean? I liked your old ESP model - what were you looking for in your Dean that you weren't getting from the ESP?
Just something a little bit different. I wanted a thinner body. I was pleased with my previous signature model for a while, of course, but then you start thinking "Aah, I should have done this, I should have done that." Then when I switched endorsement companies I just wanted to put whatever things I'd been thinking about for the last few years - placement of knobs and switches, the little details... I also wanted a slimmer neck profile. I worked on that a lot with Dean to get something that was still comfortable. And I liked working with Dean. Y'know, they're an American company, their wood shop is in Florida so I flew over there... although I didn't get my hands dirty, to my detriment! But it was just fun to be around that kind of environment. I'd never done that before, actually. And to have input on that sort of level.
And you have signature DMT pickups designed with Pat Baker?
Yeah. I've just got the one pickup, a bridge pickup, and we're calling it TYRANT. It's very similar to the pickup I was using previously but it's got a little bit higher output and maybe a bit more scooped in the mids. It works very nicely for me. It's what's on the last couple of Arch Enemy albums. That's what you hear on Khaos Legions: that guitar, that pickup, everything, which is very cool. I'm very happy that I can use my signature equipment in the studio! [Laughs] It's good stuff. When you're in the studio, usually the engineer will tell you, "I know you want to use this guitar, but let's try another one. Okay, I like this one a lot more, play this," and you end up playing a guitar that you don't really like playing that much but that sounds better. And that didn't happen this time around so I'm very, very pleased with that. No problem taking pictures and video in the studio! [Laughs] I can actually represent Dean guitars, so that's nice. And I can really fly on that guitar. It's the guitar that I'm most comfortable playing, so it's just nice that I can play that on the album.
Read the entire interview - click here!