Is this still a project or it has finally become a full time band?
This is definitely a full-time thing for me now. We’ll be playing as many shows as we can in 2015, starting in the US in February and then coming to Europe. We are already writing the second album, we'll be recording it next year along with touring as much as we can. We have to get out there to promote this record.
Which were your first thoughts when you brought back to life ARMAGEDDON after your departure from Arch Enemy?
After doing my two solo albums I had the urge to return to more intense music, and to focus more on guitar playing and arranging, rather than singing and writing lyrics. I wanted to write good, catchy metal, and I wanted to have a band where I could do less singing and focus more on riffing and soloing. I knew I wanted to make the best metal album I’ve ever done and I was extremely motivated to write a great record without compromise.
How did you get the new members? How was working with them in the studio?
Well, Sara I’ve known for years, she is a guitar player originally and offered to play bass in ARMAGEDDON . She writes the majority of the lyrics and also contributes to the music. We wrote the album together. I met our guitar player Joey through giving guitar lessons, he was a student of mine for a short period. Like me, he is a blues-based player and can improvise freely and that’s the most important thing for me in and another guitarist. We speak the same language musically. He brought our singer Matt into the project, they are from the same area in Connecticut and have played shows locally together with their old bands. The hardest part was finding a drummer, we tried out three different players who didn’t fit before deciding to have a guy by the name of Nick Bunczk do the album as a session player. Finally I met Márton in NYC, he is from Hungary and used to play in classic Hungarian band Pokolgep.
When did you start composing the songs of this new album?
It took about 2 years of arranging and demoing. I’m satisfied with the songwriting, I think it’s some of the best work I’ve ever done.
Every ARMAGEDDON album has a different spirit according to your mood, right? What were you looking for or which was your mood when you recorded this new album?
I would say that this album has the best elements of all three previous albums combined. I guess it’s a bit of everything stylistically, death, thrash, power, black… but I don’t think in terms of genres like that when I write, no musician does. This is just metal the way I want to hear it and write it.
Now that you live in NY, which are the main differences that you have noticed between the NY metal scene and the swedish scene?
There are more musicians here, there’s a bigger scene for everything so it was easy to find members.
ARMAGEDDON started as the Amott brothers’ project, isn't it? When this came to be only the Chris Ammot project?
Yes, the first album Crossing the Rubicon was largely my brothers concept. On the second album I started to collaborate with a singer and writing more melodic metal. I decided to keep the name ARMAGEDDON for it and then for the following album THREE I decided to sing on my own.
Why did you keep the name ARMAGEDDON? Why didn't you changed it for: "Chris Amott Project" or something?
I like the name ARMAGEDDON , and it’s linked to me making metal music outside of Arch Enemy.
Why did you release the last two ARMAGEDDON albums through a japan label? Don´t you think it made difficult to more people could know your music?
It wasn’t meant to be only released in Japan, it just got shelved a while. At that time, if we were to release it outside of Japan, the label Arch Enemy are on (Century Media) would have the rights to it. Our manager back then advised me against it due to our record deal not being very good. At this time we were also getting very busy with Arch Enemy and it just got put on hold. Embrace the Mystery and Three were released in 2009 as a double CD, and I am working on a worldwide release for Crossing the Rubicon to come out next year.
Do you think that ARMAGEDDON has been away from the main stages? Would you like that ARMAGEDDON be as popular as Arch Enemy (for example)?
My goal is always to reach as many people as possible with my music. I hope to grow ARMAGEDDON into whatever it can be.
Now that you're with Listenable Records, will we see a wider presence of ARMAGEDDON ?
Listenable were one of the first labels to express interest in releasing the album. They seemed genuinely excited about the music and I knew we would be a top priority for them. That’s a great feeling for a band, to have a label like that to work with.
Apart from ARMAGEDDON, are you working in some other project? Is it true that you are painting? It would be great to see some of your stuff!
I am not painting at the moment, but it would be nice to start again. I need quite a large space to do it and I haven’t got that right now. I am focusing on music mainly. Right now we are filming and editing our new music video, after that I will do few guitar clinics in Sweden, then a run of US shows in February. I have other projects too, for example next year I will film an instructional guitar DVD.
What is coming for Chris Amott during this 2015?
ARMAGEDDON will definitely tour in 2015, we are setting it up right now with the booking agents etc. In February we'll do a 2 week run in the US to warm up. We are working on our live show now, we will play the album in its entirety. We are excited to play and our shows have a fantastic raw energy. And like I mentioned before: I am filming a guitar instructional DVD next year that will feature songs and solos from my whole career, Arch Enemy, ARMAGEDDON and solo albums.
Will we see ARMAGEDDON on stage during this New Year? Is there any chance to come to Latin America?
We will come at some point in the future. We’ll see what kind of offers we get from promoters.
Everybody out there (on metal scene) knows your name and sound because of your relationship and influence on Arch Enemy unique melodic sound, how would you invite new guys to listen to ARMAGEDDON ? I mean the main differences that you would like to show on this particular new album, we have listened to the material and let me tell you is quite brutal, yet melodic. EXTREMELY GOOD!
Thank you! To Arch Enemy fans I want to say that this album contains in my opinion some of my best guitar work to date, and I hope they will check it out.
Do you have any final comment for all the fans?
I hope to be back to play for you soon. I love playing in Mexico and South America.