Merle Travis

BIOGRAPHY – Michael Amott

Swedish guitarist, Michael Amott has made a name for himself as one of the great contemporary metal guitarists by slugging it out in bands like Carcass, Carnage, Spiritual Beggars, and currently, Arch Enemy. Born in London on July 28, 1970, Michael, the older brother of Christopher Amott, began playing guitar as a teen. He cut his teeth on Hardcore Punk and Thrash bands. Over time, however, he began to take his style to a new level, as he studied Dave Mustaine, Uli Jon Roth, Adrian Smith and Michael Schenker.


In 1988, Michael helped form the band, Carnage, which gained notoriety on the underground circuit, thanks to their widely traded cassette demos. Unfortunately, by the time their debut album, Necrosis, was released in 1990, Carnage had disbanded. In 1990, Amott joined Carcass, and their 1991 debut, Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious, broke new ground in the Death Metal genre. The masterpiece, Heartwork, Carcass’ highest selling album, was released in 1993 and helped define the term, Melodic Death Metal. Michael left Carcass this same year, forming Spiritual Beggars, which was more orientated toward Classic Rock.


Michael, along with his brother, Christopher, and Carnage vocalist, Johan Liiva, formed Arch Enemy. This band was supposed to be a one-off project, however, Japan’s MTV Rocks! program began playing the single, “Bury Me An Angel,” leading to a 1997 record deal with Japanese major label, Toy’s Factory. A Japanese tour followed, but after this, Amott went back to Spiritual Beggars and released 1998’s Mantra III. Later that same year, Michael and Arch Enemy recorded Stigmata on Century Media records, and it garnered critical praise, thanks in part to being released worldwide. In 1999, Arch Enemy’s last two albums featuring Liiva on vocals, Burning Bridges and Burning Japan Live 1999. Amott, along with Spiritual Beggars, released Ad Astra in 2000, but then Michael returned to Arch Enemy and recruited an amateur German frontwoman, Angela Gossow. This proved to be a brilliant move, because 2001’s Wages Of Sin, catapulted Arch Enemy to new success worldwide and a world tour followed. This kept Michael occupied until late 2002, when he went back to Spiritual Beggars and released On Fire. Arch Enemy was able to break through in the United States with the 2003 release, Anthems Of Rebellion and its hit single, “We Will Rise.” Christopher Amott left Arch Enemy in 2005, upon the release of the incredibly successful Doomsday Machine, in order to concentrate on his education. This same year, Michael’s Spiritual Beggars project put out its last album, Demons. Nonetheless, Michael does not rule out returning to this project sometime in the future. Arch Enemy released Rise Of The Tyrant in 2007, and despite currently touring the world, this remains their most recent album.


Carcass got back together in 2008, and toured up through March 2009. Michael has also appeared on albums by Candlemass, Kreator, and The Haunted. He has added his voice to the cartoon Metalocalypse, voicing two different characters in the same episode.


Michael Amott used to be endorsed by Krank Amps, and later with Randall, which put out Michael’s signature Ninja V2 model. Currently, he is using various amps as he continues his quest for tone. Dean Guitars, which endorses Michael, released a Michael Amott signature guitar, and before this, Amott was endorsed by ESP Guitars. Zoom Corporation announced its Michael Amott signature G1M pedal in 2009.