Vocalist Angela Gossow of Swedish/German extreme metallers ARCH ENEMY recently spoke to U.K.'s Terrorizer magazine about her first couple of years as frontwoman of the melodeath heavyweights, as well as offer her thoughts on the tag "female-fronted" and why metal's rebellious nature has always appealed to her.
On the impact that bringing in a female singer had on ARCH ENEMY:
Gossow: "When I joined the band and we made [2001's 'Wages Of Sin'], we initially got some positive responses, but when it was finally released the whole ‘No way, it's a chick!' thing started, because that was actually quite new back then. So we got a lot of attention, media coverage and support through that, and we supported bands like IRON MAIDEN and NILE, and it was just surreal. I didn't think about it much at first, but there was a lot of press that came because of me being a woman. It went in a direction that had me thinking, 'Right, I thought we were emancipated, but now we're back to this thing of there being a chick in a band?' We had to consciously work against that — we'd be regretting it ten years down the line if we became established as 'Angela And The Enemies.'"
On the term "female-fronted metal":
Gossow: "What does it mean? That the singer has tits! [Laughs] It doesn't say anything about the music, or the quality of the musicianship, and that's something that we've always tried to sail around and avoid. It's a bad thing for us, and other bands go well with it and it's okay if they're comfortable with it, but we're not a 'female-fronted' band. We're an extreme metal band, and that's all I want us to be remembered as."
On her kinship with extreme metal itself:
Gossow: "Metal is a type of music that deals a lot with personal freedom and rebellion, thinking for yourself and questioning authority. It's a music that is loud and demands attention, and it's the sound of freedom. That's been my life philosophy in the way that I live my life, and when I joined ARCH ENEMY I made that a reality, because there's nothing more free than being in a band. Metal is the type of music that says, 'Go fuck yourself. This is my life and I have the basic rights to use it.'"
You can read more on Angela's life growing up and the band themselves — as well as grab yourself a mega-sized Angela poster — in the current issue of Terrorizer, out now.
Click here to order your copy.