|Born on: 28.07.1970
Michael Amott (born July 28, 1970 in England, Britain; raised in Halmstad, Sweden) is a British/Swedish guitarist, songwriter, founding member of the bands Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars, and Carnage, as well as a member of the legendary death metal band Carcass. He is the older brother of Christopher Amott. Some major influences in his music have been Michael Schenker and Dave Mustaine.
Michael began playing guitar as a teenager. Influenced by players such as Frank Marino, Dave Mustaine, Michael Schenker, and Uli Jon Roth Michael's style features a wide vibrato, memorable melodic lead lines, furious sledgehammer riffs, and a love for twin guitar harmonies. He has stated in guitar magazines that he has a preference for pentatonics, and his soloing style is frequently compared to that of Michael Schenker.
Michael co-formed the death metal band Carnage in 1988 with singer Johan Liiva, and released two widely traded cassette demos, gaining instant underground interest. Plagued by constant lineup changes, Carnage would eventually record their only album Dark Recollections with Michael as the sole original member, but by the time the album came out on Necrosis records in 1990, the band was broken up.
Wasting no time, Michael was recruited by scene leaders Carcass in 1990, and released the seminal album Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious in 1991. A musical turning point for the long running grindcore band, the album was hailed by many as a death metal masterpiece, featuring the furious guitar work of Michael Amott. The band would go on to release their best selling album Heartwork in 1994, helping to define what is now known as melodic death metal, comprised of Michael's fluid lead lines, and the twin guitar work of Michael and Bill Steer.
Michael left Carcass in 1993 due to creative differences, and decided to form a classic rock influenced band, Spiritual Beggars. The band released their debut album Spiritual Beggars in 1994, which led to a European record deal with Music for Nations, who released Another Way to Shine in 1996.
Still heavily into extreme metal, Michael accepted an offer in 1996 from a new Swedish record label, W.A.R. Records, to record a melodic death metal project in the same vein as Carcass, whose Heartwork album was now considered a melodic death metal masterpiece. Michael contacted original Carnage vocalist Johan Liiva, as well as his younger brother Christopher Amott, who was attending music school at the time, and put together Arch Enemy. Featuring then session drummer Daniel Erlandsson, the band's first album Black Earth was originally intended to be a one-off project, but the album's first single, "Bury Me An Angel" received unexpected airplay on Japan's MTV Rocks! program, and in 1997 Arch Enemy was signed by major Japanese label Toy's Factory, and invited to tour Japan. Michael decided to put a full band together, recruiting drummer Peter Wildoer (Darkane), and bassist Martin Bengtsson.
After the Japanese tour, Michael returned to Spiritual Beggars and released Mantra III early in 1998, now featuring Per Wiberg on keyboards. In April the same year, Arch Enemy returned with Stigmata, their first album released outside of Japan, now on Century Media records. The album would prove to be a critical success, and Arch Enemy toured for the better part of the year. Later in 1998, Michael also contributed solos to the Candlemass album Dactylis Glomerata.
Arch Enemy returned in 1999 with Burning Bridges and Burning Japan Live 1999 which would prove to be Johan Liiva's last recording with the band. Michael went on to release Ad Astra with Spiritual Beggars in 2000, then returned to Arch Enemy, and recruited amateur German vocalist Angela Gossow to replace Liiva in 2000. Arch Enemy released Wages of Sin in 2001, and propelled by the new frontwoman, the band achieved new worldwide success. Arch Enemy toured worldwide in support of Wages of Sin, and Michael did not return to his Spiritual Beggars project until late 2002, releasing On Fire, again on Music For Nations. In 2003, Arch Enemy released Anthems of Rebellion, again on Century Media, and for the first time, Arch Enemy received US MTV airplay with the video for "We Will Rise". The band would reach new heights in popularity worldwide, and toured constantly until the release of 2005s Doomsday Machine, which saw the departure of Christopher Amott, who would go on to focus on his education. Michael returned once again to Spiritual Beggars in 2005, releasing the album Demons. He also recently performed a guest guitar solo on The Haunted's One Kill Wonder, for the song, "Bloodletting", and the latest Kreator record, 2005s "Enemy Of God", for the song "Murder Fantasies".
In 2006, Amott made his voice acting debut when he appeared on the Adult Swim show Metalocalypse. In the episode "Snakes 'n Barrels", he voiced scientist Dr. Amomolith Chesterfield and Snakes 'n Barrels bassist Antonio Tony DiMarco Thunderbottom, who would end up getting his memory erased during the first song of their reunion show.
Today, Michael is busy touring the world and recording with Arch Enemy, Michael does not rule out a return to Spiritual Beggars in the future.
In 2008, Carcass re-united along with Michael Amott and are currently on a tour playing at several European festivals such as Wacken '08. Frontman Bill Steer stated in a 2008 interview that new material from Carcass is a possibility.