Tagged: Elize Ryd

Bang Your Head festival 2012 – recap

Bang Your Head-weekend in Balingen, Germany, is over. It’s been two interesting days. Part one has been published in the Firewind-blog here.

It’s not every day that you see Venom in the catering or Cronos walking around in his stage outfit in broad daylight (or have the dressing room across from the ladies room for that matter).

Swedish sleaze/glammers Crash Diet were like glued to their chairs in the backstage area all day on Friday. The only time they moved was when it started pissing down in the evening, and theyhad to move inside. After that, they didn’t move from the catering tent until god knows when. When I left after Venom on Friday night, they were still sitting there.

I forgot that Elize Ryd from Amaranthe was with Kamelot. She walked into the catering as well, right after Kamelot finished their set, being very particular with what was on the menu and what she could eat. :)

Another piece of entertainment was seeing a few half-naked musicians both days when going to and from the ladies room (not my fault it was in the dressing room area, lol…!). 

Some guys who were working at the indoors-stage were staying at the same hotel as Anett and me and one morning, at breakfast I heard them talking, in German (I can pick up on a lot of German as long as they don’t speak too fast or at the same time). One guy was somewhat upset about what had taken place the night before.

– I couldn’t believe it…! Four girls in the front row called EXODUS singer to come over, and when he went there, ALL FOUR of them FLASHED their tits in his face! What the fuck! This is a THRASH-concert, it’s not a fuckin’ STEEL PANTHER-show!

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a guy complain about chicks flashing their boobs, but this guy certainly didn’t like it, lol! :-)

I could enjoy listening to a “private show” on the stage right after Firewind, when Armored Saint‘s singer John Bush was warming up. Usually you hear singers warm up with scales, but he was singing at the top of his lungs, as if he was already on stage. Pretty cool. :)

Walked into the indoors arena on Friday afternoon, as they had signing sessions there during the day. Arch Enemy had a looooong line of fans standing in line to meet “Barbie of death” Angela Gossow and the guys.

Some fans were so taken by the situation that they just stood there like paralyzed staring at Angela and wouldn’t move. There were cameras and people everywhere. I left, couldn’t see much but could establish that the band was as popular off stage as onstage. :)

When Thin Lizzy hit the stage, it was raining again. The festivals this year have been haunted by bad weather. Ricky Warwick walked out on the runway, fearless of the rain and stated: Here’s the deal. YOU get wet – WE get wet!  He stood by his word.

It was guitarist Damon Johnson‘s birthday that day and he looked like a happy kid in a candy store when looking out over the crowd. :-) Excellent show!

[Birthday child]

Went to the VIP tent after Thin Lizzy because the rain kept getting worse. But shortly after there was a loud bang and it was the beginning of Venom’s show. The rain was really pissing down at this point. When I came to the stage I was surprised – it was almost empty. I could easily walk to the front of the stage. There were fireworks and fire and god knows what else in Venom’s show but… the crowds were gone.

DAY 2. (Axxis, Primal Fear, Primordial, Sabaton, Gotthard, Pain)……….. coming up. 


What triggers sexism in some rockers?

So Lita Ford is about to release a new album soon, and it was, as usual, on Blabbermouth yesterday.

Another thing that’s “as usual” are all those strange individuals on Blabbermouth who are filling the newspages with the weirdest comments

The article was 100% about Lita’s music, yet the very first comment on there was: “Gonna do some MILF porn Lita?”

Another brainiac continued with another ever so intelligent comment that included, among other things “she s***ed Chris Holmes nasty alcoholic c**k for a few years in the 80’s

It’s an interesting phenomenon, because I’m pretty sure that the pimplefaced teenage boys (I hope to god that these stupidass comments were NOT written by any ADULT….) got a heartattack just SEEING a picture of a WOMAN on their macho metal pages. All those sexually frustrated, morons turned into Beavis & Butthead in about two seconds by the mere sight of a woman among their male heroes.

Oh horror – I mean, really?! How DARE she exist in their little narrow macho-metal world?! Only LEMMY is allowed to rule that world of theirs, definitely no chick. They forget that this particular chick has even recorded a song she wrote with said legend….

[Lemmy and Lita = Can’t Catch Me]

But it’s always, always the same shit when a woman enters the world of metal. It’s all that sexist bullshit she has to listen to from a bunch of insecure dweebs who are convinced that they are exerting an imaginary power by acting as if sexuality is something that they are entitled to by nature, whereas women should be grateful if they “GET” some. You know, kind of what they were thinking back in the 50’s.

Especially in this case, when we’re talking about Lita Ford – THAT kind of behavior becomes nothing but BRAINDEAD and embarrassing. Why? Because she is not the kind of chick who gets offended by rough talk. First of all, she’s more vulgar than most of those little teenage nerds. If you think that the usual sexist talk is intimitading to someone like her – think again.

Back in the late 80’s, early 90’s, she was interviewed by RIP or Metal Edge, I forget which one it was – and stated that if she hadn’t made it as a musician, she would have pursued a “career” as a callgirl. Because she liked the idea of ​​unbridled, unconditional sex.
That was a pretty “shocking” statement back in those days. She was very “SO FUCKIN’ WHAT??”

Her songs have always been about sex in all forms, I guess her last one, Wicked Wonderland, was no exception. And her stories and pics from her and her ex-husband Jim’s “sex-room” and their endorsement of a site that sells sex-toys and what have you….
The whole thing with the nervous teenage boy who’s trying to be cool in the safety and security of his anonymity, just becomes even more stupid. He chose the wrong chick to try his amateur, clumsy version of classic master suppression techniques on.

That crap is just such old news, and I don’t know how it still manages to survive among some retarded groups out there, in 2012.

It’s always the same. I saw some pretty nasty shit being said about Elize Ryd of Amaranthe for instance.

What is a guy thinking when he writes a comment to a music video, saying “She can sit on my face!”? And then there will be OTHER Beavis and Buttheads out there cheering it along.

I heard all that stuff back when I was singing in a band too. I’m not easily offended either. I mean, I joined my first band when I was a teenager, and trust me – I heard more intimate stories than I bargained for. The guys forgot I was a chick when they acted like boys do – so, yeah, every exaggerated sexual conquest was reviewed in the rehearsal studio.

After a lifetime of that, you get jaded, to a degree. But sometimes, in some situations, I still can’t help thinking “when is this shit gonna be OLD NEWS, it’s just getting so… old“.

Every time I got up on stage, there was some dude, whose pals he was trying to impress, that yelled: “Show your tits!!”

In the end, I got so sick of hearing it, that I decided to address it with a sense of humor instead of bitching about it.
So, one evening I put on a whole bunch of t-shirts, tried my best to make it look like it was only one, and then did a bit of a “striptease” – taking off one t-shirt after the other, layer after layer.

I thought they would get the irony of it, but when I got to the last top, there was still some idiot who yelled, with a beer in his hand, “show your tits!”. I gave up. Some just don’t have a sense of humor or the IQ to understand irony and when they are being mocked.

I just hoped and wished that things would be different in 2012. I’ve been a rocker since I was 13 years old. When I started, there were very few female role models, and Lita was my first real source of inspiration – just because she did things her own way.

“Better sexy than ugly” is what she used to say with a laugh. She made being feminine something cool, something fun – not something political or aggressive. It was just the way she was. I admired her for it.

And after all the work she’s done her whole life, there are still caveman-people out there making the same stupid remarks now that they did back in 1983.

It’s not all just negative, that’s not where I’m going with this. Things HAVE changed a lot. We see more and more women at festivals – both in the crowd and on stage.

Last year, at Sweden Rock Festival, people worshipped Joan Jett and they got up early, dispite their hangovers, to see Lee Aaron.

Doro has always had extremely loyal fans who absolutely adore her and Girlschool have most certainly earned their legend-status just as much as their male colleagues.

It’s definitely better than it was in 1983, but I just wish that some of these “developmentally disabled”, to put it nicely, would become a thing of the past, altogether.

Maybe another…20 years from now…? Who knows.


AMARANTHE: “It’s sure to piss off a lot of people!”

Camera guy Henrik and I went to Copenhagen a few days ago to hook up with AMARANTHE, the new Swedish/Danish band whose CD has been on repeat in my car stereo for two weeks now. I simply love their sound. I get a kick from the unique concept and from the very high quality of their work, all the way from musicianship to production.

When they go onstage, you don’t only get one charismatic frontman, you get three. Well, two frontmen and one frontwoman. Seeing them on stage is like an explosion of energy – they all give everything they’ve got – and with all those different personalities, it works so damn well.

Though time was very limited, I managed to catch them for a short chat. They had just finished their set and it was the last day of the tour.
Meet Amaranthe.

JAKE E. – clean vocals (in this intervew “J“)
ELIZE RYD – female vocals (in this intervew “E“)
OLOF MÖRCK – guitars & keyboards (in this intervew “O“)
JOHAN ANDREASSEN – bass (in this intervew “J.A“)

D: You’re new in this constellation but you’ve been in the business in other bands before. What’s your background?

O: I’ve been playing with a band called Dragonland for the past 10 years. I’ve also been playing with Nightrage for 4-5 years and done a million other things. Collaborating with these two in other constallations.

J: Yeah. I originate from Dreamland. Did albums with Dignity, guesting on Dragonland, Hammerfall, was part of Dream Evil for a short while and a lot of guest stuff…

E: I’m educated in singing and dancing. Not exactly musical but it’s very similar, at a performing arts school in Gothenburg. So my plan was to work, in some way, in showbusiness. I worked two years as a cabaret artist in Gothenburg, and in 2003 I met these guys, Jake and Olof. I was guest vocalist on their album.

D: Which one was that?

J: The first Dreamland album.
E: That was before I started my education actually. My brothers played in metal bands.
It inspired me very much and there’s been metal in the house since I was 1 year old.
The singer of Falconer came to my school and asked the teachers if they knew someone who could sing on their album and so I auditioned for them. That was the first studio job as a professional.

D: What you do is pretty unique and different from other bands. How did that whole thing even happen?

O: It was kind of a coincidence, because when Jake and I started working on the project, we had the idea of doing some kind of All Star-project together with some people from the music business in Gothenburg. Basically we were talking to people from In Flames, Hammerfall and Evergrey, and they really liked the stuff that we showed them.

The idea was to do some kind of Gothenburg version of Avantasia, with Jake as the lead singer. The first we tried out was Elize and Andy and we got these different voices on one song. We sat down and listened to it – and we realized that this was something quite special and unique. The idea took off from there. We made Amaranthe a priority band instead of just a project. That was basically the beginning…

J: It’s funny cause now we’re on tour with Evergrey, and Rikard Zander, their keyboard player, was on the project for quite a while. He actually played on Leave Everything Behind, the first demo we did. And now we’re on the same tour. It’s a pretty small world.

D: So this is a band that’s gonna stick around for a while? You’re not just gonna do this and then go back to your other bands?

J: Of course, we still have our other bands, but the main focus is Amaranthe.

O: Yeah, it started as a side project but now it’s the main project.

J:  Andy, for example, is still with Within Y. So far it works. We’ve been doing this for about two years, and as long as everything is working out, we can still play with our other bands.
We love to play music – that’s why we’re in the business.

D: How would you describe your music to people who haven’t heard you before?

O: I think you came up with a pretty good term in your review from Sweden Rock Magazine, I think you called it deathmetal pop? I think that’s kind of funny… I mean, we don’t really see ourselves as some kind of pop band at all, but there are some influences from that kind of music. I just find the term quite funny because it’s sure to piss off a lot of people.

In the foundation there’s definitely melodic death metal, but then we just add a lot of melodic vocals and catchy choruses and stuff like that. There’s definitely a lot of inspiration from bands like Soilwork or In Flames but then on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, you’ve got…

J: Joey Tempest! Haha!

O: Yeah, Joey Tempest! I mean, anyone who can write a really good song… for me personally, I think that Amaranthe is a tribute to songwriting. We’re not in the business to impress some guitarist.

J: Yeah, some call us ABBAranthe. But ABBA has the most Top Ten singles on the American charts, so… We love them. They were the kings of making great choruses.

E: For me they were the first big idols. I always wanted to be one of the ABBA girls. They inspired me to want to become a singer.

D: You kind of stirred up a whole lot of emotions in the business. People can’t make out what you are, are you pop or are you death, then they end up hating you?

J: We still consider ourselves a metal band. That’s what we are. We have our influences from a lot of stuff but mention one band today that doesn¨t have influences from other stuff.

D: Has people’s attitude changed now that you’ve been out playing? Before you left, there was a lot of stuff being said on the internet…

J: It’s still like that. People still think it’s either shit or the greatest thing. Me and Olof said that from the very beginning, that either you hate us – or you love us. There’s a thin line there. There’s a lot of people who really want to have an opinion just to have an opinion. I think that is cool.

O: As long as they have an opinion, they actually care. I was talking about this yesterday in a different interview… One thing that’s very important is that – people could be giving us some pretty fantastic reviews, and the comments would say the same if you went to our youtube videos but… For us it’s very divided, and that means that people who don’t like us, still care. That’s definitelty a big step up. You know that you started to matter.

There have been some pretty extreme discussions on internet sites, like on Last FM for instance. There’s a lot of bitching back and forth. People have very strong opinions. I think we had over 2000 comments on Last FM in only a few weeks. People from the site basically had to tell people to shut the [beeep] up. “If you’re gonna continue this conversation, please start a forum for it”.

J: What I’m saying is that it’s so amazing to stir up that kind of emotions. It means that you’re affecting people. We’ve got our own hardcore fans. We love these fans and for everyone else that doesn’t like it… well, listen to something else!

E: What I’ve heard so far is that they hear us and… like my family for example, friends… they’re like “I don’t like the screaming…” whereas the metal fans are like: “we don’t like the chick“. “Can you remove her or remove the keyboards…?” But – that’s our thing! We are three different characters. Actually, most of them start to like it after a while. They say “I was a little bit sceptical in the beginning but now I love it”. I don’t think that you have to either like us or not like us. I think you can also start liking us – if you like music.

D: But how do you handle stuff, I mean, I’ve seen some pretty degrading comments about you. How do you take that?

E: In the beginning I cared a little bit but… Now I realize that there’s no point to care about it.

J: But that’s like what we were talking about in our last interview as well [we met in Gothenburg a little while ago for another interview]… If this would have been our first album ever, and we had been 20 years old, and people said negative things about us, we would want to send an e-mail to these guys telling them to shut the fuck up. But now, we’ve all done like 10 CD’s each and you just don’t care as much.

Like the comment I told you about last time, “Kill the guy with the dreads – other than that it’s a great band“. You know, I don’t care.

O: At the end of the day, I think that the negative voices are always gonna be there. If you look at the youtube video for Hunger for example, there’s like a 50% ratio of negative comments, people have very strong opinions. “Is this pop, is it mainstream?“, etcetera etcetera… But if you look at the staple measuring how many people actually liked it, there are maybe 2700 people whereas the dislike is maybe 150!
That means that everybody who didn’t like it actually commented on it, cause they feel so strongly about us – and to me that’s even more amazing than for us just getting straight A’s in every review.

But on this tour, we’ve definitely been feeling the love from the audience. It’s quite amazing. Even in distant countries…. like for instance in Krakow, there was a phenomenal response in Krakow, they knew the songs, sang along… So, even if you had some negative comments, it’s quite mindblowing to see the response from the crowd.

E: (gets ready to leave) I have to go, I’m doing a show with Kamelot [Elize sings backing vocals for Kamelot as well]. The show starts in five minutes!
I just want to say before I go, that I really like our fans and I’m really happy about that. You need to be very open minded. Some people are like “we don’t recognize this style” or it doesn’t fit in this box or that box, But there has to be an opportunity to create new things and that’s what we wanted to do. That’s what we’ve done and our fans are open minded.
We love them! They’re awesome!

D: You’ve been on tour for a while now – what are some of the highlights?

J.A: I can’t pick out a specific moment, but the highlight has been the people on the tour. We’ve been getting along so good with everyone. No arguments, no nothing. Everybody’s been good friends. There haven’t been any problems at all.

J: I also must say that… Evergrey have been touring around for 15 years and we shared the same bus with them. At first you’re thinking: “Okay, this is a big band“… You don’t know what to expect, but they treated us like we were in the same band.

J.A: We’re equals.

J: Yeah. On the bus, we’re the same guys, we shared the same catering, the same dressing room, everyone’s been great all the time.

O: Obviously, we’ve been touring with Kamelot before, and they’re totally like brothers. The help and support that we’ve gotten from them on the last tour and this one has been just amazing.

D: It’s gonna be really hard for you guys to go back to normality…. What are you going to be doing in a few days, Johan…?

J.A: Well… I’m gonna go to work! I’m going to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning, and I’m gonna get off work approximately at the same time as I used to get out of bed on the tour! So it’s gonna be quite a big changeover. So I’m probably gonna be totally fucked up for a week.

J: For me and Olof it’s a bit better cause we can and we’re gonna sleep for a week probably!

D: What are your plans for the rest of the year?

J.A: Quick answer! World domination and Iron Maiden opening for us! That’s the first plan!

O: The schedule is really full at the moment, for example, we just booked our first show in Japan, on the 1st of July, and we’re gonna play at Metaltown, Bloodstock and a lot of different festivals throughout the summer. And in the fall we will probably, most likely, do another European tour. We’re playing a lot of gigs in Finland as well.

D: Headlining?

J: Yeah. A few headline shows in Finland and probably around Sweden and Norway. And also, you’ll be the first ones to know that last week we were the 83rd most listened album on Spotify. Not in the metal category, but of all categories!

J.A: We’re going for world domination! So Kenya, here we come! Yeah! Bruce Dickinson and Steve Harris are gonna call us and say “Please can you let us open for you!

J: Yeah, Bruce is always calling me.

D: I’ll let you guys go, I know you’re dying to watch the hockey…

J: Yeah, Sweden is gonna beat Finland!

J.A: I know the current score! 1-0 to Sweden!

Yeeeeeeeeeaah! We love Finland.

[For the record – Sweden lost to Finland 1-6 in that game…..]