Arch Enemy's New Vocalist Doesn't Let Broken Ribs Keep Her From Fighting the 'War Eternal'
Changing band lineups is always a daunting task with the risk of being ostracized by fans. Fortunately with the personal endorsement and invitation from former Arch Enemy vocalist Angela Gossow, Alissa White-Gluz's and Nick Cordle's introductions to the melodic death metal giants allows attention to focus on talent and the new album "War Eternal," rather than potential feuds.
As the new edition of the band releases their 10th full-length album today on Century Media Records, Arch Enemy has already commenced their world tour introducing "War Eternal" and their new band mates, including former The Agonist vocalist White-Gluz as their new roaring front woman. Somewhere in the middle of conquering Sweden Rock Festival over the weekend with Arch Enemy, a guest appearance with Kamelot and the beginning of the European tour dates, White-Gluz's internal rampage combusted onto a stage riser, generating a compound fracture in one of her ribs.
During one of several resting periods awaiting a fan meet-and-greet in France, White-Gluz spoke about the possible Arch Enemy fan polarization, "War Eternal" and how her straight-edge convictions are affecting her painful recovery process.
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OC Weekly (Rachael Mattice): I heard that you're suffering with a few broken ribs right now? What are you doing for pain management? I know you're trying to pull through with performing, but do you foresee canceling any shows?
Alissa White-Gluz: I guess I went a little too hard at one of the first shows and actually broke the stage riser into a bunch of pieces. I landed on the pieces of steel and wood, which then stabbed me a bit. I hit my head, shins, elbows and my ribs. Fortunately, most of my body is ok, but my ribs are severely bruised and there is a compound break as well. I'm just finding ways of coping with the pain on stage, and just resting as much as possible when I'm not on stage.
The first few days I thought it was fine, but a few days later it was really swollen and it hurt to breathe and move. I was still going on stage though. I had a friend there that was able to take me to the emergency room and translate everything for me. I got X-rays, an ultrasound and blood tests. The doctor wanted to give me injections of morphine and said I absolutely could not perform.
There is also no organ damage, which is something I was worried about because the broken rib is right next to the liver. My head is fine; I don't have a concussion. You can't really do anything to heal the compound fracture in the rib other than just wait.
I'm straight-edge and I'm really opposed to animal testing so I told them I didn't want any morphine. I know it's nearly impossible to find pharmaceuticals that are not tested on animals so I'm really trying to deal with the pain holistically.
Adrenaline really numbs out all pain. When I'm on stage, I don't feel it unless I do a really stupid move. I'm diving into my yoga breathing and take a mind-over-matter approach to it. It's definitely some of the worst pain I've ever felt. It sucks because I can't move around the way I want to on stage; I can't be as energetic as I want to be. I can't work out.
I never even considered canceling any shows. The band saw me fall and just told me not to slow down and keep going. I've been icing it in between songs and during guitar solos. Canceling shows is not really an option. It's not an injury that's going to heal overnight anyways so there is no point in canceling a bunch of shows. I'm just trying to give as good of a performance as I can.
Since you're in Europe touring right now, what have been some of the tour highlights so far as your premiere as the new vocalist?
So far all of the shows have been really great, even the show where I fell was great. The fans have been very welcoming. Not only were the fans chanting the band's name "Arch Enemy" over and over, but they were also chanting my name "Alissa" over and over again, which is very encouraging.
It feels great to be on tour; we have a really great crew, a really well-organized stage show for the fans to watch. It feels amazing to be in this band and I can't wait until I'm 100 percent healed so I can go nuts again.
We have a U.S. and Canada tour with the deals being finalized now. We'll be announcing the dates this week and the dates will be this upcoming fall.