Mick Stingley of Rocksalt.mx recently conducted an interview with vocalist Angela Gossow of Swedish/German extreme metallers ARCH ENEMY. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Rocksalt.mx: This is your sixth full-length album with ARCH ENEMY. Are you still as energized and excited as when you began?
Angela: Yeah, this is sixth. I feel a lot better: perhaps a mixture of anxiety, excitement and having more knowledge about the whole thing. It’s just like dropping into cold water: it’s very exciting but at the same time it’s very nerve-wracking and now we’ve all learned to swim. And in a very good way, you know? It’s not just staying on the surface, staying alive, but to actually, you know, be able to compete with the best right now. And we’re just kinda like a big fish in a pond – a bigger fish — not so small anymore. So, it actually feels — I don’t wanna… it feels like if somebody asked you if you wanted to be 15 or 16 or 18 again. I neither want to be 18 again nor do I want to go back ten years. You know? I’m really happy where we are right now.
Rocksalt.mx: Did you foresee this kind of longevity with the band when you started out?
Angela: Well… I don’t dwell on the past at all. I’m very much here in the present. Always. I do plan the future, as, you know, when I do something I want to make it last — it’s just like with a relationship or anything I do. So we were always planning two, three years ahead, you know, but obviously you can’t plan ten years ahead, so: no. I didn’t think that I’d be doing this when I’m approaching my 40s! (laughs) But, hey — I am and it just feels really, really good. And my health is totally there — I’m actually fitter now than I was ten years ago, so that’s awfully interesting. I think women peak in their 30s and 40s. I think that comes very handy, you know? Because when they have kids and they have to multi-task and take a lot of shit and be very, very flexible. And it’s a lot. I think I’m actually peaking. I would say I’m stronger now than I was then. So, yeah — I didn’t put the years out ahead but I am glad we are still here and still relevant and that we can still do it. Yeah.
Rocksalt.mx: You said you were sitting around listening to music late at night when you’re stoned. And I want to make sure there’s no misunderstanding by what you mean by “stoned.”
Angela: Oh, I mean, obviously, weed — the stuff that grows outside in my garden and (laughs) it’s obviously not legal, unfortunately, but — that’s one of our political agendas in [ARCH ENEMY‘s new album] “Khaos Legions” is to legalize it. You know? (laughs)
Rocksalt.mx: Really? How come you’re not covering “Legalize It” by Peter Tosh?
Angela: Yeaahhh… that’s too obvious. But, uh…
Rocksalt.mx: Too obvious?
Angela: Well, yeah — maybe we should do it one day. Yeah, I think it’s an awesome recreational… herb. I wouldn’t call it drug, that’s so negative. It’s like, yeah, it’s something you can buy at a drugstore, hopefully one day. So let’s call it a drug.
Rocksalt.mx: What is the — you’re in Sweden, right?
Angela: Yeah – oh, yes! The young generation, they’ve had a couple of votes now. They’re trying to get it legalized. Which is good. It doesn’t do any damage to people, except when you’re prone to paranoia and schizophrenia then you’ve got to, you actually have to see a doctor if you’ve got problems like that. But for most people it’s very harmless, compared to hard liquor. And Sweden is very damaged by hard liquor. They have a very high alcoholic rate here, you know. Especially among teenagers, and drinking hard stuff… I mean, honestly, I’d rather see a 16-year-old smoke a spliff than having a bottle of vodka in their hands, you know. So I just hope; but they’re very tough on it. You can go to jail for it if you’re caught with a spliff. Yeah. It’s not nice. It’s not like California or anything like that. And then you’ve got obviously neighboring countries — in my country, Germany, they’re totally lax on it. If you get caught with it nobody says anything. And in Holland it’s legal. Yeah… I might have to move one day. I might have to relocate! (laughs)
Rocksalt.mx: Even in New York City now they have this thing, if you’re caught with less than an ounce they will let you go.
Angela: Yeah, it’s nice. Because I think that they could really use that money they are wasting on the war on drugs for better education, and maybe health care and all these things that have a massive shortage in the U.S. So that’s a good move, I think. I hope a lot of people and a lot of, different states, will catch up to that.
Rocksalt.mx: One would hope. And not to dwell on it too much: do you roll your own or do you use a bong?
Angela: Oh, I use a vaporizer. I’m an asthmatic, so I don’t smoke at all. So I use a vaporizer because it doesn’t irritate my throat at all and it helps my asthma a lot. And you know, since I’ve been using weed, I haven’t had to use any of my steroid inhalers. It really relaxes the airways, opens it up. And also, I will bake cookies with chocolate with it.
Read the entire interview from Rocksalt.mx.
Angela talking about weed – part 1 (audio):
Angela talking about weed – part 2 (audio):