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Interviews : “I’m surrounded by world-class musicians” – An Interview With Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy)

By on December 22, 2017

Arch Enemy – Alissa White-Gluz

The electric blue hair of Montréalais Alissa White-Gluz is more than just an inimitable brand for the vocalist par-excellence; it captures her aura and presents her as the master of ceremonies on the stages of clubs and arena’s around the globe as she holds court surrounded by a collection of the finest musicians in heavy metal.

Fortunately for Australian fans, we get our chance to catch White-Gluz front Arch Enemy in March for a run of shows that include the Download Festival.

Auditioning for Canadian Idol in 2006, it’s remarkable that the change since then has only been visually minimal, and professionally it could be said that all White-Gluz has been given is a bigger stage on which to demonstrate her considerable chops since the audition for the famed TV show over a decade ago. The bottom line is that White-Gluz is a natural singer, front-woman… and rock star, loitering in bars and clubs with tier two bands and musicians was never her destiny.

It’s actually been super organic and fluid since I joined (Arch Enemy), like very kind of accepting, and not a lot of – I mean, obviously, there’s pressure, but there wasn’t a lot of nervousness actually.”

There is a sense that all is going as planned. The previous paragraph is White-Gluz’s initial response to my query if it felt like there was a sense of destiny in her joining the famed Swedish metal band.

Somehow it felt very normal right from the beginning. I guess that’s probably because I was already friends with Angela (Gossow- former vocalist, now manager of Arch Enemy), and because she sort of hand-selected me… but yeah, it felt normal, it felt right…. (but) I never thought like, ‘Oh, one day I’m going to join Arch Enemy’. But low and behold, this happened, and it feels right actually. Like, finally… finally, after more than a decade of really struggling, it finally feels right. Yeah, I have a lot to be grateful for.”

Slogging it out with her previous band, The Agonist, has certainly paid dividends. Hearing that White-Gluz is a ‘captains pick’ doesn’t surprise, particularly since Gossow continues to be an integral member of the Arch Enemy collective. My own take is that Gossow’s selection of White-Gluz was a shrewd move allowing the band to cut through much of the noise generated on the internet by bands competing for the attention of the metal faithful.

I muse that it must be tremendous to walk on stage knowing that White-Gluz is surrounded, thus supported, by such epic musicians and performers.

“I’m surrounded by world-class musicians, and I have a business manager, who is herself a world-class musician, which is Angela of course. So, it’s really – I mean I’m humbled by it, and I’m also very excited by it because I just know that what we’re going to create is just – for me anyways and obviously for millions of people around the world, it’s just very good quality music. And I think one of the most important things to the longevity of a band, is that the members enjoy what they’re doing, and we all really do. We all love music, and specifically, we all love Arch Enemy.”

Australia first saw White-Gluz on tour with Kamelot in 2013. So what’s unique about fans and gig attendees in the great southern land?

I just remember having a really good time at the shows, lots of people singing along, really welcoming warm fans. Obviously, they are passionate about metal and about music in general, and just very friendly.”

The Australian edition of Download is a gig to highlight on the calendar and White-Gluz is effusive when discussing the bands

I’m super excited. It’s going to be only my second time ever in Australia, and I see a huge buzz and huge demand for Arch Enemy to come to Australia, so I’m excited to get there… we’re going to be playing lots of stuff from Will to Power (’17) and a lot of stuff of War Eternal (’14) but also a good amount of the old classics as well. And yeah, I’m just excited to get there, and meet everyone, and just have a good time!”


Catch Arch Enemy at the inaugural Download Festival Australia on Saturday, 25th March 2018 with the likes of Amon Amarth, Nails, Sabaton, Korn and many more. Head to the official Download Australia website to find out more and secure your tickets – www.downloadfestival.com.au.

In addition, Arch Enemy will be performing exclusive sideshows in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. Tickets on sale now via Metropolis Touring – www.metropolistouring.com/arch-enemy.

About

Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith