ARCH ENEMY guitarist Jeff Loomis says that he has a lot of musical ideas that he is hoping to contribute to the band in the future.
Loomis, who was the main songwriter in his previous group, NEVERMORE, joined ARCH ENEMY in late 2014, but was not involved in the writing for the latter act's latest album, 2017's "Will To Power".
In a recent interview with All That Shreds, Jeff admitted that playing with ARCH ENEMY was "a big change" for him. "ARCH ENEMY's a six-string-guitar band, and they're tuned down to C, so it took a little bit of getting used to for me to learn some of their approaches to the way they write music," he said. "ARCH ENEMY has a particular formula in the way that they write songs. It's much different than the way I write. It wasn't too hard for me, as I felt pretty focused learning the songs. I think it was a good thing that I got thrown into the whole mix quickly. It made me learn everything very fast and I just quickly became familiar with the songs like that."
He continued: "Since joining the band, I have a lot of musical ideas that I'm hoping I can contribute in the future. I did write three or four songs for the last album, but they didn't make it, only because it wasn't in the style that they were looking for. Fortunately enough, I was able to play guitar solos on the latest album, so that makes me happy.
"I'm looking forward to the future to maybe writing some songs with them and becoming more of a member so to speak, you know, so that's cool," he said. "I'm delighted with my position. I'm very fortunate to play in front of so many people every night and to be able to tour the world and see so many cool places. I consider myself a lucky guy."
When the interviewer pointed out to Loomis that some people got the impression he was not getting any freedom to give creative input to the ARCH ENEMY songs, Jeff responded: "If you were to reverse the whole thing and make me Michael [Amott, ARCH ENEMY guitarist], for instance… Let's go back to when I was back in NEVERMORE, right? That was my band — I called the shots in that band, I wrote the songs. And we, like ARCH ENEMY, had the ever-revolving door of guitar players coming in and out that wanted to write and participate. We granted that to some players that wrote cool songs, like Steve Smyth and Tim Calvert. For the majority of it, it was Warrel Dane [vocals] and I that wrote most of the music. It's kind of the same thing with ARCH ENEMY. Michael and Daniel [Erlandsson, ARCH ENEMY drummer] handle a lot of the writing. They know what ARCH ENEMY is supposed to sound like, simply because they are the founders of the band, plain and simple."
Loomis went on to say: "I didn't want to be that guy that came into the band and said, 'Here are 10 songs and they're going to be on the next album.' That's not right to do that. So I'm just giving it time, and I'm just hoping that on the next record, maybe there will be that opportunity. I can see how people think that. I completely understand… [I'm] just going to have to give it time and see what happens."
Amott said last year that Loomis is "a strong songwriter" in his own right, "but not in the style of ARCH ENEMY, I feel. He's always writing and recording with his own stuff. He has a project called CONQUERING DYSTOPIA, he has his solo stuff, [and] he obviously wrote most of the NEVERMORE stuff. I've always respected him, and continue to respect him, as a guitar player — he's amazing and an amazing human being; he fits in perfectly," he said. "[There's] a great chemistry [between us]. But, you know, I've always written most of the music, so it's difficult to… I don't really wanna change the sound of the band too much. The band sort of started around my songwriting and my ideas, and those continue to be the most dominant ones, I guess. But, you know, who knows [what can happen] in the future?"
Amott also spoke about how Loomis's addition to ARCH ENEMY has changed the sound of the band. He said: "Well, [Jeff is] playing some lead guitar on the album, and his style is very different to our previous guitar players — my brother [Christopher Amott] or whoever else was playing with us. But we have very constrasting styles, which is great. And he can play a lot of stuff on the guitar that I can't play, and I can play stuff that he can't play, so we just have that great… But when we lock together in the harmonies an the motifs, I think it's very strong. He's got a lot of classic metal as well inside of him. I think he's just been working in a different field for a very long time, he's not really… But he started off, obviously, with the same kind of roots that… We have a lot of common ground."
"Will To Power" was released last September via Century Media Records. Co-produced by Amott and Erlandsson, the disc was mixed and mastered by longtime collaborator and friend Jens Bogren (OPETH, AT THE GATES, DIMMU BORGIR). The album's captivating cover artwork was designed by Alex Reisfar.
"Will To Power" marks the second ARCH ENEMY album since the departure of longtime singer Angela Gossow and addition of Alissa White-Gluz.