AMON AMARTH Frontman Says Working On New Album 'Strengthened The Band'

Karma E. Omowale of FourteenG.net webzine recently conducted an interview with AMON AMARTH vocalist Johan Hegg. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

FourteenG.net: How have you evolved as a musician both musically and personally and as a unit since the ["Once Sent from the Golden Hall"] early days? In what way and how?

Johan: Musically, I mean there's only minor changes, the music is pretty much the same as AMON AMARTH has always been but there are some stuff that we've incorporated into the music and this album has a lot of melodies into it both with harmonies and stuff like that. The solos are more intricate on this album than we've ever had before which is kind of a new feature for us but it's also one of the elements that really got brought forward with the fact that we could work with music full-time this time around. We could actually start to work out details in a better way than before.

FourteenG.net: Anything you learned during the recording of the album?

Johan: Not really. That's the one thing I really enjoyed about recording this album from previous one is that all of us were in the studio the whole time, even if we didn't really need to be there. [Smiles] We were there, you know! So everybody was sort of involved in the recording process one way or another. Really, it sort of strengthened the band and the unit as we are. We're a team! It really gave us a stronger feeling of that.

FourteenG.net: It shows with the album as it is your most epic yet, with the way you're beaming, you can tell just how proud you are of it!

Johan: Yeah, it's probably in my opinion, the best we've ever done. It's like I keep getting the question, "Which one is your favorite song?" [Laughs] I have nine, you know! [Chuckles softly] It's true actually, what's funny about this album also, all of the other albums you know when you first record them, you love them. I still love the albums a lot but, after a couple of months, you don't listen to them anymore because you heard it so much and you play the songs live. But this album, I can still listen to it and I think it's good; I mean I listen to it every once and a while. Maybe I don't listen to the whole album but I don't know, it just sticks in there!

FourteenG.net: Who do you feel (besides yourselves) have impacted the metal landscape with images of Viking lore have given the subject matter justice, in your eyes?

Johan: For my part, one of the major bands in that area is probably BATHORY. Those are at least the first one metal-wise that I listen to that actually wrote about Vikings in a both historical and a mythological sense sort of like we do, even though I mean we are not similar in that way though. Still, they were way before us. They influenced a lot of bands probably but they were not really the reason we started singing about Vikings. They are definitely in the back, probably as some kind of inspiration though.

FourteenG.net: Having said that, Viking Metal or singing about the subject matter is on an upswing. How do you feel about other bands trying to cash in on this craze, does it anger you or no?

Johan: Not really, I mean I don't really care what other bands are doing really. If they want to do it, do it, you know. I can't say, "You can't do that!" If they are interested in it and if they feel they have something to say about it, and they get an idea about it, sure! I don't think that Viking mythology per se is specific for just Scandinavians because it is a nature[-based] religion and all nature religions are similar. Even the Native Americans have a thunder god. And so like if you go to different nature cultures of the world, they sort of have the same gods, like gods of fertility, sun god and all that stuff.

Read the entire interview at www.fourteeng.net.

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