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The Metal Pit interviews Arch Enemy's NICK CORDLE. The band has just started a tour with new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz who replaced Angela Gossow and their new cd WAR ETERNAL will be released this week. (June 9,10). Nick has been in the band since 2012 but this is his first studio album with the band.

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You have been in Arch Enemy for a couple of years now, but ‘War Eternal’ is your first time in helping to record and create new music with the band. What was the recording experience like for you, and did this make it feel like more of NOW you’re really in the band?

The recording experience was pretty easy, mostly because we had taken a lot of time and done very careful preparation for it.  There were so many demos ... we were really meticulous with these songs.  So when it was finally time to record the album it was a bit more workmanlike.  Tracking guitars for ‘War Eternal’ is no different from tracking guitars for my own demos at home, you just do it a little more carefully because you know it's going out to the entire world!

 

What have you learned from working with a talent like Michael Amott?

Mike is a real pleasure to work on music with ... he and I come from very different musical backgrounds but when we're working on new ideas we have some of the same things in mind.  Always trying to hear how an idea fits into the bigger song structure, hearing where the vocals will go, etc ... thinking about that kind of thing from a very early stage, even when it's just one guitar and a drum machine.  He's got a childlike enthusiasm for making new music!  Sometimes that guy is about 15 years old.

 

Looking back to when you first joined Arch Enemy, what was the transition for yourself going from your old band Arsis to being in Arch Enemy, and playing to bigger crowds and more media surrounding the band?

The transition was actually pretty easy for me.  I went from a situation where I was the tour manager / accountant / driver / merch guy / guitarist to a situation where I could focus on playing the guitar, and I've gotten a lot better on the guitar since then!  One person can't do it all, it's not possible.  So the main thing is just that now I can focus on things which are actually important, like actual music!  In other ways, it's not so different really.

 

What was the best part of working and playing alongside one of the most influential singers in metal, Angela Gossow?

I always got along really well with Angela.  It was nice to be around someone who takes a lot of initiative and takes on a lot of work herself rather than hiring it all out.  I'd been an Arch Enemy fan for a long time and remember when Angela joined the band, and what a huge deal that became ... She'd been a favorite of mine.  So it was a cool experience and I'm glad I had it.

 

And now that Alissa is the new vocalist, what do you think she brings to Arch Enemy that might differ from Angela?

The floodgates come crashing down!  We can do whatever we want now.  Alissa has an enormous range of things she can do with her voice.  She brings a ton of energy and a real hunger to get out and tour the world as well.  Once we got to work with her on the new material it was pretty clear to me that we had the right person and now that we've had a week of shows, everybody here has absolute confidence in her.

 

What are your favorite tracks off of ‘War Eternal’?

I love the really fast heavy ones, hahaha!  I'm a thrash kid at heart.  So some of the brutal stuff ... “Never Forgive, Never Forget”, “No More Regrets”, “Down To Nothing” ... and then some of the more classic metal oriented tracks like “War Eternal” and “As The Pages Burn”.  My taste in metal runs a bit old fashioned and heavy, so that's what I try to bring in musically, and what I wind up liking in our sounds.

 

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How do you think ‘War Eternal’ rates against other Arch Enemy albums?

To my ears they're all pretty different from one another so it's a little hard to compare, say, ‘Burning Bridges’ to ‘Anthems of Rebellion’, you know?  The thing that I find about ‘War Eternal’ is that it maintains the intensity from start to finish.  I think there's a sharpness and refinement to it that brings out the best qualities in this kind of music.  And I think it just comes from having beaten these songs into oblivion, iterated through them a bunch of times, and really leaving no details to chance at all.  It runs a little heavier than most Arch Enemy albums, and we pushed the guitar stuff to a pretty high level.  The new songs are the most difficult songs in the live setlist by far ... we really made our lives more difficult, haha!

 

What made you want to leave your former band Arsis and join Arch Enemy?

The truth is I was already on the way out of Arsis when Michael and Angela called me.  I know that's not the most dramatic story, but that's reality!  Arch Enemy was a favorite band of mine for a very long time and I immediately felt more at home here.  Arsis – I love James Malone to death, and I think the world is richer when he's focused and working on music.  But this is a better place for me to be, more natural for me musically, and a place where I can focus and create a lot more effectively.

 

With you still being fairly new to the band (along with new vocalist Alissa), do you think Michael, Sharlee and Daniel are rejuvenated with the new blood in the band?

You'd have to ask them, haha ... I think there's a lot of energy and excitement in the band right now.  We're having a completely stupid amount of fun on stage.  There was already an idea for the new album to be a little faster and heavier, and it worked out fortunately that I was around to help with that.  It's a band full of music geeks and we're all really happy with the new album, so yeah, things feel good right now!

 

What are you personally mostly looking forward to during the tour to promote ‘War Eternal’?

I haven't toured in my home country since 2011, hahaha!  I'm really happy about the US tour billing.  We're gonna announce that in the next little bit ... stay tuned for that!  The other main thing for me is Loud Park.  My first trip to Japan in 2012 was probably my favorite run of shows I've ever done, and I can't wait to get back at those fans with the new songs.  It puts a smile on my face that I won't be home for a long time now that we've gotten started!

 

Thanks Nick for taking the time to answer my questions. Good luck with the new album and the tour.

Thanks for the support!  Come see us this year!