Arch Enemy's Nick Talks of the Eternal War

Over the last years Arch Enemy has seen a lot of changes coming between them. But times change and with change comes the future, with the release of their ninth album "War Eternal", under their belts there is no turning back. Guitarist Nick Cordle discussed the album and plans for the future ahead.

1. Why did you want to join Arch Enemy? Was it due to the style of music that you enjoyed and knew this is what you wanted to do, or was it due to a whole other reason entirely?

Nick: I was already on my way out of Arsis when I got a call from Michael and Angela.  Arch Enemy had been one of my favorite bands for a long time, and it's a place where I feel at home musically and just in this style of work.  Everything is very meticulous with this group … it's a real band of music geeks!  So obviously it was a big opportunity for me … it's opened a lot of doors for me, and has turned out to be a really nice group to make music in.

2. How has the transition into joining Arch Enemy been since your arrival?

Nick: It was pretty easy once we got started.  That first week of gigs in Japan was absolutely nerve-racking, hahaha!  The stress of that probably took a few years off my life.  But it was a great experience and I can't wait to get back there for Loud Park this year.  Then much later, when we started working on music, it was nice to discover that these guys all like to work on music much the same way I do.  Lots of demos, very detailed self-criticism, and really not letting anything escape until it's perfect.

3. Why did you want "War Eternal", “As The Pages Burn”, and "You Will Know My Name" as your first set of singles/videos off this album?

Nick: It's a really diverse album!  There's a lot of different kinds of songs on it and we utterly failed to come up with a consensus.  Between the band members there were nine songs suggested for videos and singles.  “War Eternal” was one of the first songs Michael and I wrote together, and we felt pretty strongly about it from the beginning.  Sometimes you know immediately when a song is solid, and sometimes you have to listen to it months later to figure it out.  But that one was obvious.  I think we all liked that one, “As The Pages Burn” offers a glimpse into the darker, heavier side of the album, and “You Will Know My Name” is one of the tracks with real orchestra on it – this was a new experience!

4. What's your take on ‘War Eternal’ as a whole?

Nick: I'm really proud that we managed to keep the intensity turned up all the way for the entire album!  As a whole it leans darker and heavier than people expect, I'm sure.  I'm really excited for the release.  We worked so hard for so long on it that I'm beyond ready for people to hear it.  Ask me again in ten years what I have to say about it and I might come up with something intelligent, haha … but for now I am sure we made the best album we could possibly have made, and I'm extremely proud of that!

5. What would be the cinematic equivalent of ‘War Eternal’?

Nick: “Casino Royale.”  I'm going with that.  It's our “Daniel Craig kicking everybody's ass” moment.  Hahahaha!

6. Can you elaborate on the ‘War Eternal’ artwork? Do the five animals represent each one of the band's members?

Nick: That's one interpretation.  I've also heard that they represent the final five cylons from Battlestar Galactica.  The choice of animals (pigs, rats, etc...) also suggests some meaning to some people.  It's more important for others to find meaning in it, and not necessarily my meaning.

7. What are your favorite tracks on the new record and what do they mean to you?

Nick: “Never Forgive, Never Forget”, “No More Regrets”, “On and On”, and “Down To Nothing” are the ones that seem to be settling as my favorites.  “Never Forgive” is probably the fastest, maybe the heaviest Arch Enemy track ever, and “Down To Nothing” is a really intense closer.  Their meaning to me is rather personal … it has to do with keeping priorities in order, and focusing on what's important.  Good music will prevail over anything, you know?  Years from now when I think about how I've spent my time, those songs will still be there, and whatever frivolous nonsense happens to be in our way now will be gone and forgotten.

8. What else do you guys have in-store for the rest of this year?

Nick: The schedule is absolutely slammed, and it's awesome!  It's a full summer of festivals and club gigs, Loud Park, Russia, a massive EU tour with Kreator, and a U.S. tour with Kreator … I won't be home very much and that's just how I like it.

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