Tagged: Spiritual Beggars

The Metal Gods (but not THOSE “Metal Gods”…!)

I took a short little roadtrip from Malmo up to Halmstad yesterday (approximately 1,5-2 hours) to see an All Star-band featuring ex-Firewind and current Spiritual Beggars-vocalist Apollo Papathanasio. One of my favorite singers, without a doubt – a Swedish version of Tony Martin. Can’t go wrong with that!

When he was with Firewind, I would catch a whole bunch of shows each year, but after he left, the gigs have become a lot more infrequent. Just one-off shows here and there that you really need to keep track of 100% not to miss them..!

But we call eachother here and there and that’s when I get a little update on the “latest news”. The last time we spoke, he mentioned these two shows, a very unpretentious event at a local rock bar. Well, hallelujah! Like I had to think long and hard about that (not!!). I went! When I arrived it was really hot in Halmstad and lots of people on the streets.

It didn’t look like there would be a lot of people in the club at first, but that’s pretty common for summer indoor-gigs. There aren’t many people at those. Most people I know are out of the country in vacation now. But, as it started getting closer to showtime, the place was almost full. Not only full, but full of enthusiastic people. :) At some point when Apollo was looking at the crowd, he just laughed and went: “I think I know every single person in here!” I bet he does!

Metal Gods

From what I heard, these guys never had much time to rehearse as they’re busy doing other things, so if you consider that, it was awesome. And for me it was like Christmas! It’s not every day you get to hear one of your favorite singers, sing songs by OTHER bands that I like (and SONGS that I love)! JUDAS PRIEST! WHITESNAKE! 

The setlist was as follows:

And it was a cool lineup too – dudes that know their business:

Apollo Papathanasio – vocals (Spiritual Beggars, Firewind)
Chris Amott – guitar (Arch Enemy)
Ludwig Witt – drums (Spiritual Beggars, Grand Magus)
Pär Wallmark – bass (Last Tribe)

I loved the whole concept of it – small show, not widely advertised maybe, the guys in the band and the choice of songs. BINGO!

After the show, I just hung out for a bit, talked a little with Apollos wife. Not easy to have a conversation in all that noise but what can you do. :)
I had to get going, it was getting late and I had a bit of a drive ahead of me, so she went to get him for me. I’ve left gigs before without saying bye to an artist I know, but because the guest list was super duper mega exclusive (so few people on it, it was ridiculous) and I was on it, I at least wanted to wave and say bye-bye before leaving.

Anyhoo, Apollo came out from the backstage area and said he wanted to introduce me to “the guys”. The only person left by the time we got there, was Michael Amott (Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars) who wasn’t in the band, but was talking to someone. Instead, we ended up checking out some photos from Thessaloniki, Greece on Apollo’s cellphone that I was in, and didn’t know about. :)

“Have you said hi to the guys yet?” he asked. I said that I hadn’t seen anyone, and it was okay, they don’t know who I am anyway, haha!
“That’s exactly why I want you to meet them”, he laughed. Well, I guess there’s some logic in that! ;)

Chris Amott and Per Wiberg (keyboards, Spiritual Beggars) were outside talking, so I was introduced to them. Didn’t stay long there though, driving in the middle of the night after having been up since 4 am, is usually not a good idea.

So – I took off. The whole show is on video by the way. Will be up here later, but here’s just a little preview! There will be one more show on the 19th – so guess where I’ll be THAT day? :D

My year in rock – 2013 retrospect

We’re a few days into 2014 already and I never really had time to do the usual look in the rearview mirror to summarize what 2013 was like for me.

Compared to the past 5 years, it was less eventful than usual, and a lot of it has to do with my father’s passing. I cancelled some gigs I had planned to go to and well, just wasn’t in the mood for anything really, but there were still a few highlights in 2013.

January started with Gothenburg Sound Festival where I met up with FIREWIND-drummer JO NUNEZ who was playing with NIGHTRAGE.

Shortly thereafter, I went to the US to see a few FIREWIND-shows and meet up with the new singer KELLY SUNDOWN CARPENTER for an interview at the Gramercy in NYC. Went to Atlanta and the Masquerade as well, pretty cool venue.

Got stuck in a blizzard the day I was supposed to fly home from JFK via Toronto, and made it home in the very last minute. Drama!

Swedish bands CRAZY LIXX & H.E.A.T played at KB, show got interrupted by the fire alarm and the club was evacuated.

Went to beautiful ICELAND with my friend Henny, that was a trip I won’t forget anytime soon – Iceland is a fairy tale country and I hope they never let the ways of the “outside world” change what they’ve accomplished. It’s amazing.

[This isn’t even Photoshopped – it actually looks like that!]

Gigs, there were a few. IRON MAIDEN played at Malmo Stadion, I spent all day in line to get a front row spot. Well worth it!

MEGADETH played at Vega in Copenhagen, they had just released Super Collider and played the title track from that album live for the first time. Dave Mustaine also brought a kid up on stage, not a usual sight at Megadeth shows. :)

STEVE HARRIS and his British Lion played at KB in Malmo, and although the attendance was low, to say the least, it was insanely cool to see a musician of his caliber that up close! I got dust from his sneakers in my face when he stomped on his monitor, he was THAT close. It wasn’t as bad as people say, the band had a good time and that’s what I remember the most.

Another memorable gig was PAUL GILBERT in Gothenburg, at Sticky Fingers. Been a fan since forever, Paul is amazing. There are some fantastic shredders in the world, but Paul is unique. I love his goofy style, his dry sense of humor, his playing, his way of interacting with the crowd… It was a great show.

After Apollo Papathanasio’s departure from Firewind, I decided to keep track of his other projects, so I went to Hamburg, Germany to visit my friend Su and see Apollo with SPIRITUAL BEGGARS. A few months later made a last minute decision to see the band in Thessaloniki, Greece as well.

Apollo also visited me in my home in Malmo for a video interview and a nice lunch. Awesome dude.


Of course, there were a bunch of FIREWIND shows this year as well. Rock in den Ruinen in Germany, SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL, and of course, the tour of AUSTRALIA. I opted out of all other shows because I needed the $$ for Australia.

SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL was a weird festival this year, it was only days after my father’s passing, but I had to go to fulfill my duties to Sweden Rock Magazine and also to my friend Su who was visiting from Germany, SRF was her bachelorette party.

Memorable interviews: DAVID COVERDALE (WHITESNAKE), love the man, he rocks!

[A short clip from that interview]

And finally meeting LITA FORD for the first time ever. She was great, I’m glad she didn’t turn out to be a bitch.

Also saw her shows in Gothenburg ad Sticky Fingers and Malmo, KB.
Went to the UK twice in May to see WHITESNAKE, Thunder and Journey. I could see Whitesnake a million times and it still never gets old. :)

GUS G came to Malmo for the SWEDISH METAL CONVENTION, had a great time with him and Andy R, thanks to Pontus for bringing him to the convention. Also met Tallee Savage and her sister Amanda, Jorn, Anders Johansson (YNGWIE, HAMMERFALL) and a bunch of other people.

(Anders Johansson (Hammerfall, Yngwie), Pekka and Gus in the VIP-room)

Gus G and Paul DiAnno:

Straight after that…business class with Emirates to Sydney via Dubai, went on a safari, met koalas, saw the first Firewind show of the Australian tour, continued to Brisbane, met up with Clint, flew to Adelaide and then finally Melbourne. Stayed there for a week after the band had left. Met a few more koalas and then some really nice people at his BBQ party.

The free BAR in business class at my Emirates-flight to Sydney. :) It didn’t suck. ;)

Came home, got another tattoo and saw BLACK SABBATH in Copenhagen.

An old friend, singer of the Swedish sleaze-band NASTY IDOLS, Andy Pierce, passed away at the age of 45, something that I still can’t quite grasp…


Finished my year in the US visiting friends and checking out two gigs that I wrote about in my previous blog, both Savatage-related.

That was it – in a nutshell. Less travel than usual 2013 but I’m already looking forward to the Steel Panther European tour in the spring and Gus G’s solo-debut! Welcome 2014!

Went to Thessaloniki for the “Beggars”!

So,,, I ended up in Thessaloniki, Greece last weekend – a last minute spontaneous decision, just because I was lucky enough to come across a cheap ticket and couldn’t think of any reason why I shouldn’t go. :) As I keep telling people – it beats sitting in front of the TV anytime!

Spiritual Beggars is quite honestly a band that I would never have listened to if it hadn’t been for Apollo, whose voice I absolutely love.

[From Saturday’s show…. How could anyone not love that voice? :)]

Thessaloniki almost feels like home now, I love the city and the people. I know my way around the city center now too, so it’s great. A taxi driver, sent by the hotel, picked me up at the airport, holding a sign with my name on it, taking me through the busy streets of “Thessaloniki by night” – which was very busy even at that late hour. I landed at eleven in the evening and there were people, cars and music everywhere!

The happy driver explained that the people of Greece love to go out and meet friends in cafes and bars. No doubt. :)

Hotel Astoria was great the last time I stayed there for the Firewind 10th Anniversary shows in December, but THIS time….not as much.

THIS time it was only slightly better than a park bench.

It probably would have been more quiet in a PARK. My room was facing a dirty back yard where a night-club’s loud “oomphhh-oompphh“-music was keeping me awake till 6 in the morning. Then when they closed and it finally got quiet, the cleaning ladies started making a lot of noise outside, banging with the doors, brooms, vacuum-cleaners and yelling to eachother across the hall! So much for a good nights sleep.

Oh yeah, and there were mosquitos everywhere too, buzzing in my ear, making sure I would get no sleep whatsoever that night. No extra pillows, no extra towels, no soap in the dispenser, the fan in the bathroom sounded like an airplane at takeoff, no air conditioning (only heating, which was definitely NOT needed) and barely any power outlets for my laptop and cellphones. It’s safe to say that it was the worst room I’ve had in Greece, ever (except that place in Athens that had PLASTIC sheets, lol!).

They are usually very high standard, even at budget hotels. But at least the staff was super nice and very kind and friendly, so no complaints there. I guess I could have asked for a different room, but I had already made myself at home, hung my clothes in the closet and all that, I just didn’t feel like packing again and moving to another room so…. Whatever. It was close to the venue, that’s the most important thing.

Went for a stroll downtown on Saturday morning, sunny beautiful day – it’s such a beautiful city, I love the vibe. This is my 4th time there in two years, I’m beginning to feel right at home. ;) Ended up at Starbucks for the sole reason that there’s Wi-Fi there…


When I got back to the hotel, I met Elias, who’s a Greek promotor that I met when I did the video interview with Gus G last summer. Nice to see a familiar face, just greeted him and continued on my way.

About two hours before the Beggars were due on stage that evening, I met Apollo outside the 8Ball Club. The band was going to get some dinner. I was invited to join but declined. Food – that’s “band time“. :)

Doors opened shortly after that and I told the guy at the door that I was supposed to be on the guest list, He just gave me a look and without a word kind of waved as a sign that I guess meant “yeah whatever, get in“. Then as I had passed him, he went: “Daniela – yes?!”
Well… yes. :)

The opening band wasn’t bad at all, no idea who they were, but they sounded good. A female singer with a very powerful and strong voice.

Minutes before Spiritual Beggars went onstage, Panagiotis walked in – the guy who runs Metalpaths and who was my “stand-in camera guy” for the Gus G interview at Mylos. He’s a huge fan of SB so he looked very excited and full of anticipation. Nice to see another familiar face!

And one of Firewind’s techs was there as well, he came over with a happy face to say hello. I asked if he was a Spiritual Beggars fan, but much like me, he was just there because of Apollo.
See, this is one of the reasons I love to travel – anywhere I go in the world, I will probably meet somebody I know, it’s a great feeling.

Very high energy, ballsy, in your face rock’n’roll, it’s labeled “stoner rock” – call it whatever you want, it’s just good old back to the roots rock!

Seeing Apollo with this new outfit is very cool. Now he’s the guy in denim and the “Jesus Christ Superstar“-screams that resembles Ian Gillan more than Tony Martin on stage. This just fits him to a T, I thoroughly enjoy watching him do his thing with Spiritual Beggars.

Michael Amott is the cool guitar hero, you instantly see people gravitating towards his side of the stage with their mobile cameras and fists up in the air.
This whole “all star band” is simply impressive. It’s on a high musical level, yet it’s not about showing off by bombarding the crowd with a shitload of solos every two minutes, it’s enough that people already know what these guys are capable of. They’ve seen and heard them do it with all their other bands and projects.

After the show, I went outside to get some fresh air (they still SMOKE indoors in Greece, it’s a bit of a shock to a Swede where it’s not allowed to smoke in public places) and was talking with Panagiotis. A guy walked over and said:

– Excuse me, I have to ask – are you from Sweden?

– Yes, I am.

– And you’re a journalist, right…? Is your name Daniela?

– Yes…

– I know who you are. You have a great voice, I’ve heard your song on YouTube. Very good!

He smiled, shook my hand, said it was nice to meet me and left. It was explained to me later, that he was from a band called Redrum. I got a link to their video and hey – this wasn’t bad either! :) Check it out:

Panagiotis had to leave. I stayed out in the fresh air, Apollo would be out soon. He came out eventually and we all went to the hotel to hang in the lobby for a little while, with his very sweet cousin and her husband/boyfriend/friend (shame on me who didn’t pick up on the relationship, but very nice people! :D).

While the other guys in the band went back to the club to have a few free “band-drinks”, Apollo decided to just chill and hang out instead, they had an early wakeup call the next morning.

I think we were all pretty beat, I was for sure after not having slept at all the night before, so I couldn’t wait to get some sleep. Called it a night maybe around 1 am or something, was nice to see Apollo, meet some friendly people and just chat for a bit.

The next day I went to the airport WAY too early and ended up absolutely hating Istanbul airport where I had a stopover for a few hours. What a drag.
But – in the end, I’d do it all over again! :)


Gig-time in Greece again

Spiritual Beggars playing two gigs in Greece this week. I wasn’t gonna go.
I did check flights last month just to see if I could make it a weekend-getaway maybe, cause I haven’t been anywhere since my dad passed away, and it’s time to do something soon.
Australia is coming up, but, I figured maybe something smaller and closer.

Unfortunately the routes were hopeless – three stops, long waits, sometimes up to 28 hours (!), absolutely stupid flights going to Stockholm, Riga (in the OPPOSITE direction of Thessaloniki!) then to Istanbul in Turkey before finally reaching Thessaloniki. No way. And silly expensive. I could go to the STATES for those prices. Forget it.

I was sitting on the bus this morning, tired and bored, on my way to work – and just decided to check those flights again, out of habit. I wasn’t on a mission, just killing time.

And there it was – the PERFECT flight! Only ONE stop and 50% cheaper! I got so excited, forgot about how tired I was, immediately texted my boss to check if I could leave work a little earlier on Friday, got a “yes of course” and went to book that flight. Then the f**** cell just freezes…! It NEVER does that – but of COURSE it had to do that right then…! F***k.

Got to the office – RAN up the stairs, 4 floors, turned on my PC – went online…. and THAT ticket, for that price, was – of course – gone…. Only those expensive tickets left. Oh well.

I had to check just ONE more time about an hour later. Just out of curiosity.
And THERE IT WAS!! The cheap and short flight! I grabbed it as quickly as I could and it was all mine!

I was so excited, so glad, haven’t felt that way since my dad passed.
Eventhough I’ve been trying to continue living life as normal, I haven’t been 100% the same since dad had to leave this world for the next.
The most important person in my life, who’s always been there for me, is missing and it takes time to get over that – at least “get over” it enough to focus on what I’ve got instead of mourning what I don’t have.

Travelling, planning a journey, the atmosphere at airports, the takeoffs, watching the clouds from a round little window and getting to new destinations, meeting new people, entering a new hotel room – I LOVE all that, it truly gives me my greatest kicks in life.

That – and music. So, combining those two is the best way of living life. At least for me it is. :-)
I was walking around like a ray of sunshine all day! Just because I haven’t been out anywhere for several months – which is a bit unusual for me. I’ve missed it.

So it feels like life is getting back to some sort of normality again, back to what I’m supposed to do before it’s my time to “move on” so to speak. Hopefully it’s not quite yet – but I’m going to do my best to live each day as if it really was my last.

I love Thessaloniki – it’s such a beautiful city, love the vibe and the nice, friendly people there. That and a cool gig – and October just got a whole lot brighter! :)

[Spiritual Beggars in Hamburg, Germany, back in April]


Apollo Papathanasio – in his own words

Finally – time to go live with the Apollo-interview that I did recently.

Read about Apollo’s visit here:
http://lita77777.blog.com/2013/04/07/if-all-interviews-were-like-this/ = [and photos from the set at www.facebook.com/intherearviewmirror]

The “camera guy” Henrik has been working hard all week editing the video. He did a great job, thanks Henrik!

And a big thanks to Apollo for taking time off on a Saturday to drive down to Malmo for this interview eventhough he had to be at rehearsal with Spiritual Beggars the same day.

Below you will find the full transcript of the interview – including parts that had to be edited out of the actual video (cause it was too long).

I also made a list of topics discussed in the video to make it easier for the stressed, modern rocker to find exactly what he/she wants to hear more about – straight away. :)

So here it is – Apollo Papathanasio in his own words. Enjoy.

Leaving Firewind, what happened?  0,38
How did the band react? 2,06
Are you still friends? 4,13
The harsh reality of the music business 4,49
What's happening with Evil Masquerade? (and Spiritual Beggars) 5,25
Joining 3 different types of bands (Firewind, Evil Masquerade, Spiritual Beggars) How/why? 7,50
Feeling like a full member of the band, or a hired gun? 8,55
The new Spiritual Beggars video 10,42
The Spiritual Beggars tour 12,37
Loves the music teacher job/influencing kids 13,46
The plans for this year 16,35
Solo-project and collaboration with In Flames-Niclas 17,43
A message to the fans 19,00


Hello Apollo, welcome to Malmoe. You had a good drive down here? Nice weather and all? It’s a nice day today.

Very nice, we should be outside!

Maybe next time! :)
You’re known for fronting many bands, but maybe mostly for fronting Firewind. A few months ago you quit the band and fell off the map. Nobody really knows what happened. This is your chance to give your version of what happened?!

It’s a long story. I felt that many times I couldn’t give 100% of myself and I felt that… I don’t wanna be the guy who pulls the breaks all the time because I cant take this gig or do that tour.
So, I started thinking about it and we talked about it many times. And in the end I decided to step down and give my place to somebody else.

You’ve been with Firewind for 10 years, did you think about this for a very long time or was it a specific moment that made you decide and feel that “this is it“…?

Yeah I felt that sometimes you can’t combine different things. I wanna do a lot of things… I also have my family and you have to make it economically. It’s not easy to play in a rock band. There are some duties… You have to be available all the time. I felt that I wanted to be able to do something else.

How did the band react when you told them that you were out?

Actually, they felt it. It wasn’t anything new, it’s been a process for a long time. We talked about it and there was no arguing. It was my own decision. I wish we could had played more shows, played 300 days a year, so that you could have made a living of it. Instead of playing in different bands – just play in only one band.
Then it would have worked. But the way it is today, people have to play in different bands… it’s not easy to combine all that stuff.

And sometimes I felt that eventhough I was there, I had my mind somewhere else sometimes. It has to be 100 per cent. 110 per cent.

Did you know that you were going to quit the band when you did the anniversary shows in Greece back in December?

Well…yeahh… Like I said, it’s been a process for maybe one, two years. I almost decided that I was about to leave, so the guys knew. We didn’t always talk about it, but I think they felt it. They knew that something was gonna happen. They were not shocked or whatever.

You never really made a “last show” or a farewell gig, you just somehow went “underground” and disappeared…

No, I can’t say I disappeared because I’m still gonna be a huge fan of Firewind and if they ever need anything I’m there for them. We have always been like brothers. I’m happy to have given my part in such a great band like Firewind.

So you guys are of course still friends…?

Of course, yes, yes! We don’t talk so much right now but after a while I think we’re gonna talk more. I mean, they are busy, I’m busy…. There’s no time for chats right now.

Are you at a point in your life where you realize that it’s not just about becoming a rock star – you’re experiencing the harsh reality of the music business?

Yeah, it is a tough business. You can go for doing something 100% full time and live in a tent or whatever to make it – or, like in my case, just do several gigs and record records but not tour that much. And in my case, that’s what it is.

But you’re still in Evil Masquerade and Spiritual Beggars, if you had decided to quit those two bands and made more time for Firewind, would that have worked? Was that ever a solution?

No, actually it has nothing to do with that, it has to do with how to make a living. If there had been more time for one band, really a full-time job, of course it would have been Firewind.

So many people try to make it, I know many guys who are in seven, eight bands just to keep it up. But I don’t think it’s good to do that, because you put your energy in too many different things and sometimes you lose that energy because of it. It’s better to minimize and focus on less things. So, it was not about choosing, or whatever. It has to do with how big the job is.

But you are still in two bands. If we take Evil Masquerade to begin with. What’s happening with that right now?

Yeah, we recorded a great album, Pentagram, it’s fantastic. Kind of doom with Rainbow and Black Sabbath-elements. I really like Henrik [Flyman] because he’s very creative. He has new ideas, that nobody else dares to do. He doesn’t follow a manual. He does what he likes. And with Spiritual Beggars it’s more straight forward rock’n’roll, which I like. Everybody decides together if we’re gonna do a tour or do gigs, so it’s easy. It’s two different kinds of types of business or whatever you wanna call it.

With Evil Masquerade, Henrik wants to push the band forward and get out more, which is difficult. It’s a small band. ‘Beggars is more established – since ’92, and there are people who really love the band. So it’s easier to do some touring. It’s a struggle for Henrik, I try to help him as much as I can. He’s touring with the band Lacrimosa and he keeps busy, it helps him find new ways to push Evil Masquerade.

When I look at the musical styles of the 3 bands that we mentioned – Firewind, Evil Masquerade and Spiritual Beggars… those bands are all in totally different areas of the rock spectrum…


What makes you decide that “Yeah, I’m gonna join this seventies band and then I’m gonna join this heavy metal band”?

Firstly, it’s good to play in bands who have different directions. I don’t think it’s a good idea to play in Firewind and play in a similar band that plays the same… there’s no point. If you wanna play in different bands you have to develop yourself to play in different styles. So I think it makes sense. Cause I really love the seventies, I always liked ‘Beggars. Since ’92 I’ve always been listening to what they released. It was an honor to join the band in 2009, I think, when they asked me.

Since you are singing in different bands – is it difficult to feel that you are a full member of one of these bands…? Do you feel that you’re just stepping in like a hired gun? Or do you actually feel like a member?

Firewind was, I think, the only band that I felt I was a member of. Cause everybody would contribute to the band, sometimes the ideas were bad, but in many ways it was perfect.

Evil Masquerade is the same because we’ve already made three albums, They did two earlier, before I was in the band. After three albums you feel that you’re “in“… But I think, somehow, that it has to be a band that’s starting together. Putting a band together from the beginning. When you step into new bands and become the last guy in, it will always be that you’re not a hundred per cent a member of a band.

With Firewind it was like a restart somehow. We recorded the album together. We went to the studio together, did some songs, and that made me feel that it was truly my band.

[Firewind with Apollo]

Evil Masquerade made something called Let’s Unite in Rock. Can you tell me more about that?

It was a guy in Australia, I think, whose relative died of cancer and he wanted to do something. He got in touch with Henrik and Henrik made this song. The idea was to do like back in the eighties, you know “Stars“, with Dio and all those people…? The all star project? The idea was to do something like that because it’s very rare today. Nobody does that.

It was an eighties thing, everybody used to do that…

Yes. It has to be simple, it has to be great and in the vein of the eighties. So Henrik made that great song, I like it. He called some people and everybody wanted to contribute.

You also just released a video with Spiritual Beggars…

Mike [Michael Amott] likes seventies vintage style. He likes new stuff and old stuff, it’s good to have from different worlds, We just decided to make it as simple as possible, as much as we could. So we did the recordings in a rehearsal studio and some parts of the whole band outdoors, It was to show people that we ARE a band, and we’re gonna keep going. The idea was to just make it as simple as possible. It’s real, you don’t have to put any effects on it. We only used old effects, like in the seventies, with the colors and whatever… Very straight forward, yeah.

You’re going on tour next week…?

Yeah, it’s gonna be great! The tour is only two weeks, but I like that, because you can put your energy into those two weeks fully. I prefer when it’s only two weeks here and two weeks there. I don’t really like 7-week tours. It’s too much, because somehow a band loses their energy along the way. So I think that two or three weeks is good. You go home for a month and then you can go out again. It’s the best thing to do.

[Spiritual Beggars – on tour right now]

Spiritual Beggars

You’re also working as a music teacher. Does it give you some kind of satisfaction to give the legacy of music to very young children and inspire them?

Oooh, yeah, yeah! Of course. I love my job, very much. It would be very difficult for me to leave my job. It gives me a lot. And I’m happy to contribute to students with my experience and teach them how they can work with their music, teach them how to play.

What ages are the kids that you’re teaching?

They are from around ten to sixteen.

Do they know that you’re touring with bands and stuff?

Yeah…I try not to talk about it but you know…Kids always find out…!

So, no metalheads that think you’re the coolest teacher they ever had?

Naah, It’s cool with music, everybody loves music. In that sense you can say it’s cool… I try to teach them what reality is like, to do new recordings, to play in bands… I put them together in bands and sometimes it’s like in real life, some people can’t work together and you can see it pretty quickly.

Have you influenced any kids that might not have been interested in music before, to start listening to rock’n’roll?

Yeah, I think I’ve made many students interested. Sometimes after two months they tell me that they bought a guitar or they ask me “I wanna buy a Fender, how much should it cost?”. Sometimes even parents want to play in bands, haha…! It’s fantastic, music is fun, it’s business it’s everything. You make good contacts, meet great people…

So what are your plans for this year, as far as you know right now? It’s the Spiritual Beggars tour – what else is happening that you know of…?

I’m gonna work a bit with Evil Masquerade, and these are the 20th anniversary shows with Beggars, so that’s why we’re putting out a new record. We’re gonna do the tour and we’ll try to do some festivals, in France and whatever, I don’t remember. And then some more gigs later this year.
And then, when this year is over, I will try to work with my stuff, together with some other people.

Any plans of doing something solo?

Yeah, I don’t wanna call it “solo” but I wanna work with other people. It’s just music, doesn’t matter if it’s solo or something else. I wanna work with people who I appreciate.
I have done many songs with Niclas Engelin from In Flames. We have like fifty songs that we can start working with, if he has the time. We will see what happens after this year. When I’m free and don’t have so much to do.

[Niclas Engelin – In Flames]

It’s not gonna be so much for Spiritual Beggars cause Michael is with Arch Enemy. So I’m trying to keep it cool this year and then I’m gonna start preparing something [in 2014]…

[Michael Amott with Angela Gossow – Arch Enemy]

Seems like there’s gonna be a lot for you eventhough you left Firewind!

Yeah. It’s always like that.

Do you have any message you want to give to your fans?

Keep on listening to heavy metal, rock’n’roll, and thank you for supporting me. We’re gonna meet again, soon!