Arch Enemy's Angela Gossow Talks Atheism, Veganism, And More In Interview With Maximum Rock
Band Photo: Arch Enemy (?)
Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy recently conducted a Romanian interview with Maximum Rock Magazine, in which she discusses issues such as atheism, veganism, and the use of satanic themes in metal music. Excerpts from the interview can be read below.
Maximum Rock: I read your biography and some of your answers to the fans and I can see that you are a really committed and determined person and really involved in political issues, with a strong and right attitude against racism, globalization and stuff like that. How do you think you can raise the awareness regarding these issues among youngsters?
Angela: I think people look for answers, I think that’s what’s great about the young generation, that’s why they’re most likely to make changes and start up little revolutions, you know… Because you’re more rebellious as a teenager, a lot of people get tired when they get older and I think it’s important to stay in the dialog with young kids. I tell as much as I can about me, about what I believe in and a lot of people pick up on that because they look actively for inspiration. Some have questions and I try to answer them and make them realize that we’re living in an age where we all know that our world is dying for one thing and we know that wars are not the answer to any political problem, yet environmental destruction is still ongoing and there’s still a lot of wars raging. It’s absurd. The war in Iraq is not over despite the fact that it’s out of the news. It’s a very confusing time people live in and it’s very frightening as well… It feels a bit like end time, doesn’t it? I don’t really preach about what I do, I only answer questions, like when people ask me why am I a vegan, I explain it to them, or why am I an atheist, I explain it to them. But I’m quite careful with these things because I definitely don’t want to be a preacher, there’s enough preachers out there and a lot end up in politics and religion and I mistrust preachers. I rather practice and set an example. I think it’s important to let people know what I believe in, because I feel responsible for my actions and I also feel responsible for telling young kids the right things.
Maximum Rock: Being an atheist myself, I want to know why are you an atheist?
Angela: Because there is no God. I’m surprised to see that people still believe there is one, it’s like saying I believe in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. Science is so advanced by now and people have been trying for thousands of years to prove the existence of God and they’ve all failed miserably. Looking at the world at this stage it is obvious it is a godless world and the church is only bringing shame upon themselves by making headlines with child abuse and messages like “do not use condoms” in countries and places like Africa where AIDS is still spreading like crazy. It’s kind of an evil institution and I believe religion is only been used for the abuse of power and waging of wars… Yeah, I’m a die-hard atheist. Regarding Satanism, I think it is Christianity turned upside down, essentially praying to the same gods and there’s no god standing before me! I do not accept any authority, not even a divine or a satanic one.
Maximum Rock: Talking about the relativity between good and evil, the perceptions of it…
Angela: Yeah, it’s very comical. There’s lots of cult bands and they are quite popular like The Devil’s Blood, Watain and Dimmu Borgir and it’s just… I mean, I just think “Really? How old are you?”
Maximum Rock: Well, guess you gotta see the humor in it, it’s like watching cartoons on stage. Hehe J....
Angela: Haha! I mean the music ok, it’s cool, whatever, but I mean the stuff they sing about is … I think it’s a great opportunity to have an audience, can’t you preach something that makes sense and has purpose?
Maximum Rock: Maybe in their world it makes sense…
Angela: Nah, I don’t know. I think there are more important topics in the world to talk about than some god with horns.
Maximum: The title of your last studio album, the word “tyrant” has a special meaning for me, you know in Romania we had like 50 years of communism, of tyranny…
Angela: Oh dear… Still? Haha. No, I know. But you never know, sometimes it’s lingering underneath.
Maximum Rock: Yeah, in the mentality…
Angela: Yeah yeah yeah… I know of course and we obviously had that too in Eastern Germany. It’s been a long journey, yes… Communism is indeed tyranny, but capitalism can be as well. You know a lot of people asked us if the title ‘Rise Of The Tyrant’ was directed towards George W.Bush, the US president at the time. The US is supposed to be a democracy but has been governed in the way of tyranny for eight years, completely destroyed… And I’m not sure if Obama has brought a turn for the better, to be honest. I think the bankers rule the world by now, the very powerful rich people and this is a tyranny, it’s money tyranny. “Rise Of The Tyrant” - you can interpret it very globally. It’s happening everywhere and all you can do is have your own rebellion, in your own life. I try to get through the holes in the net, escape the system as much as you can, there are ways, but you have to be quite clever. Every net has holes and you can get through them, but you have to try really hard. One way to do it, is being in a band, travel around and don’t live anywhere for too long, that’s a good thing… Escape the system, you know…
Maximum Rock: The nomad style.
Angela: Yeah, I think we’re pretty much anarchistic in Arch Enemy. As a band and as individuals.
Maximum Rock: Why are you a vegan?
Angela: I only eat raw foods, vegan. For instance in the summer I go in the forest I pluck lots of berries, leaves and I eat them straight up. It’s a very healthy lifestyle because I do not cook, boil and destroy any kind of vitamins and minerals. I’m very fit, I’ve never gained too much weight in my life, I was always very slim and very strong, because my diet is extremely healthy. And I do not hurt any other living being, except plants, but plants do not have any feelings, so… And they have no memory whereas animals have. I really oppose any kind of violence or killing and I do not exclude animals from that. I feel that animals are equal to humans, because the human being is just an animal really, we are animals, you know. When you look at our evolution, we are Homo sapiens, an animal and I do not understand why we have set the rule that we can cage, breed, mass produce and slaughter animals in a massive amount that no other animal would do. We don’t go out and just kill one animal and feed off it for a week, but we over consume it so much that a lot of people get sick from meat. They get lots of heart diseases, heart attacks, stomach cancers, all kinds of cancers that come from the over consumption of meat and we have to pump those animals so full of hormones and medications because they would actually die in those conditions they live in otherwise. The meat that we eat is charged with so many antibiotics and creates all type of hormonal dysfunctions and obviously they get other side effects from it, like impotence for instance…So, yes, I think the meat business is a very disgusting, unhealthy, environmentally damaging business and I don’t want to support that in any way. I have to say that I’m very proud that all of Arch Enemy, including Sharlee D’Angelo and Daniel Erlandsson, as well as Christopher and Michael, they are all vegetarians by now, due to health reasons or just simply because they understand the impact of the meat industry. It’s one of the most environmentally damaging and cruel industries in this world and if you are against animal testing, like any kind of testing of products, you can’t go around by saying but I’m cool with breeding pigs and cows in unbelievable conditions and having them slaughtered and shot. It’s the same. So, I’m just against animal cruelty and I think eating meat is part of it.
Maximum Rock: You’re right.
Angela: You understand? Haha… And I think once somebody understands it’s his/hers responsibility to act accordingly. And if you don’t act then your conscience will tell you that you are weak. And I’m not weak. I’m a strong human being. When I understand something, I understand the consequences and I act upon those. I think this is everybody’s responsibility to take action and turn your life around and live up to to what you have learned, your knowledge.
Maximum Rock: But, do you drink coffee?
Angela: No, I don’t drink coffee. No.
Maximum Rock: How about alcohol?
Angela: I don’t drink any alcohol. I don’t smoke. No. I think I’m gonna live for 120 years probably. Hehe.
Source: Maximum Rock
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