Daniel Erlandsson Arch Enemy
Erlandsson Strips Down For Will To Power
You co-produced Will To Power. What did that involve?
“It’s not just the actual recording. It’s more being involved with every step of the process from the very first demos and ideas. The drums are laid down before anything else and that was done in Studio Mega outside my hometown, Varberg in Sweden. That’s also where we recorded the drums for our last album War Eternal. It’s an old barn basically rebuilt into a studio and they started recording before it was entirely finished, but they were so chuffed with the sound that they chose not to complete the interior. You can still see holes in the roof, but whatever works.”
What kit set-up did you use for the sessions?
“I used the kit that I have here in Sweden which is a Pearl Carbon Ply Masterworks kit. It’s basically 6-ply maple with a layer of Carbon Ply on the in and outside of the shell. This time I stripped down the size of the kit a little bit. I ended up using just one kick drum, two rack toms and one floor. When you have a bigger kit, you tend to use all of it all the time. I felt like the songs needed a little more of a stripped-down approach in the playing, that’s why I started to rehearse the demos using a smaller kit. I ended up getting so used to it that I brought it into the studio. It worked perfectly.”
Do you mainly work off the guitars and let Sharlee D’Angelo’s bass follow your drums?
“I would say that the music we play is so heavily guitar-oriented that I work mainly with the guitars, trying to find cool accents within the riffs. That’s what I follow the most, then Sharlee comes in and sometimes he plays along to whatever I have recorded, which works out fine. Then after a few years of playing the songs live, they start to take on a new shape. For example, we have some older songs that we’ve been playing live over the years and there’s parts where me and Sharlee interact quite a bit that we didn’t do on the album.”
Do you try to think melodically as well as rhythmically?
“Absolutely. It’s hard to explain. For example, you hear a riff and you add the drums and you have a certain idea of what you want to emphasise in that riff and that’s definitely a melodic thing. And you think about the song as well. You don’t want to play too much in a certain part. You want to get the best out of the song.”
Were there any tracks where you tried something new or that challenged you?
“Hmm. That’s a good question. Not to make it sound boring or anything, but I wanted to hold back a little bit and let the songs breathe – not all of it because there are some pretty progressive, technical moments as well. It’s definitely a challenge to just hold back and play the most basic stuff you can imagine.”
Daniel played a smaller kit and went for a stripped-back approach on WillToPower