ARCH ENEMY’s ALISSA WHITE-GLUZ Says Her Debut Solo Album Is ‘Done’: ‘It’s Awesome And I Love It’
During a recent appearance on «Vox&Hops», the podcast hosted by Matt McGachy, frontman of extreme metal band CRYPTOPSY, ARCH ENEMY singer Alissa White-Gluz spoke about the progress of the recording sessions for her long-in-the-works debut solo album. She said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): «What happened was it was announced [in September 2016] that I signed [with Napalm Records] for a solo album. All I did was sign to do one, but I think a lot of people interpreted that I had an album that I was ready to put out. So, basically, when the news came out about this solo album, the only thing that happened at that point was that I just agreed to do one. And then I was on tour for, like, three hundred days of the year up until 2020. And so now it’s done, because now I’ve actually been home long enough to write the songs and get them done. And it’s awesome and I love it.»
Regarding a possible release date for the effort, Alissa said: «There’s nothing holding it back — it’s done — but I need to be careful with how I release it, because now there’s so many releases happening that I wanna make sure that the music gets the attention it deserves. So it’s not gonna come out at the same time as an ARCH ENEMY album, for sure, because that’s just not a good idea, but I will find a time to release it in a way that makes sense.»
As for the musical direction of her solo material, Alissa said: «It doesn’t really sound like ARCH ENEMY, actually. It’s still me, so it’s gonna sound a little bit like ARCH ENEMY, but it’s kind of different. I feel like it’s kind of an amalgam of that really interesting place that you’re at when you’re a beginner musician, because although I’m not a beginner vocalist or songwriter, I am a beginner guitarist — I’m very bad at guitar. So when I’m writing songs on guitar, I have an approach that is probably totally wrong, and that’s what, I think, makes it cool. It’s different — it’s an unorthodox approach. I mean, I can still play it, but it’s not my main instrument, so when I’m writing riffs on a guitar, I’m writing like a vocalist writing riffs on a guitar. Some could argue that that’s kind of how Michael [Amott, ARCH ENEMY] writes too, actually, because his riffs are so ‘sing-songy.’ But, yeah, so I wrote a bunch with Jeff [Loomis, ARCH ENEMY guitarist] and I wrote a bunch with a lot of other people, actually, which I don’t wanna spoil and announce them all now. But there’s clean singing, there’s growling, of course, and other interesting vocal techniques with the note screaming and some operatic stuff. It’s a heavy album. I don’t know what genre to call it. It’s totally self-produced in that sense. It’s honest. It’s exactly what I just felt like writing for this. So there’s some prog elements, there’s some rock and roll elements, there’s a lot of metal in it, obviously. But, yeah, I’m really happy with it. So I hope that other people like it too, basically.»
Back in 2017, Alissa said that her debut solo album would feature collaborations with a member of KAMELOT and at least one of her bandmates in ARCH ENEMY.
The ARCH ENEMY frontwoman said that the idea for a solo project came about as a suggestion from the band’s former lead singer Angela Gossow, who has been managing ARCH ENEMY‘s career for more than a decade and also oversees Alissa‘s personal affairs.
«[Angela] was, like, ‘Well, you need something. You need something that you can do, because I know you’re a workaholic and you’re not gonna be able to just sit there like this waiting for the next ARCH ENEMY tour,'» Alissa told France’s Duke TV. «And she’s totally right — I needed something else to be able to work on. And also, I have a lot of ideas that maybe don’t sound like ARCH ENEMY and it would be kind of silly to just force them into ARCH ENEMY.»
According to White-Gluz, her debut solo album will be released under the ALISSA banner because she wanted to «keep it simple» and «make it very clear who it is and what it is.» In order to make the disc, Alissa «did a huge life overhaul,» which included building a studio and investing a lot of time and money into learning how to engineer and record, program drums and improving at playing guitar. «Of course, on the album itself we’re gonna have real musicians playing all of these things, but in terms of just getting the style down and the songwriting, it’s something that I need to start on my own,» she explained to Duke TV.
At the time of the Duke TV interview, half of Alissa‘s solo effort had been written, and it contained some musical surprises. «It doesn’t really sound like ARCH ENEMY — it’s pretty different — but I think it’s pretty cool,» she said. «For example, a song that I’m writing with Oliver [Palotai, keyboards] from KAMELOT doesn’t sound like KAMELOT and it doesn’t sound like ARCH ENEMY, but it’s members of both.»
Former NEVERMORE guitarist Jeff Loomis, who joined ARCH ENEMY in late 2014, didn’t have any of his songwriting ideas included on the latter band’s last album, «Will To Power», but will play a prominent role on Alissa‘s upcoming disc.
«Jeff didn’t write with Michael, because Michael was already writing so well with Daniel [Erlandsson, ARCH ENEMY drummer] that we just actually had too many ideas,» White-Gluz told France’s Loud TV in a separate interview. «But all of Jeff‘s ideas are really good and I’ve heard them and they’re gonna be released, so people will hear them… Jeff is gonna be one of my collaborators on my solo project, because how can you say no to that? [Laughs]»
ARCH ENEMY‘s new album, «Deceivers», is scheduled for a July 29 release via Century Media.