France's Duke TV recently conducted an interview with AMON AMARTH guitarist Olavi Mikkonen. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about AMON AMARTH's decision to record its upcoming album, "Berserker", in Los Angeles, Olavi said: "After [2016's] 'Jomsviking', we said that we wanted to make a change. We'd been recording in Sweden, and then we did two albums with [producer] Andy Sneap in England. And it was always raining and shitty weather. So we said, 'Let's go somewhere nice,' since we are in a position that we can pretty much do whatever we want. When we started to look for producers, we kind of asked people who we knew that really wanted to work with AMON AMARTH. We decided to go with Jay [Ruston]. And Jay is an American, and he prefers to record in L.A. You have all the Sunset Strip and all the cool bars — MÖTLEY CRÜE history from the '80s and all that; that kind of stuff that we grew up with. To be able to be there was a cool thing. So, yeah, we said, 'Fuck it. Let's do it and do something different.' We had a beautiful house that had bedrooms for everybody and we had a huge pool and all that. When you go on vacation, you go to a resort, all inclusive. That's what we did — we did a recording all inclusive."
Mikkonen also discussed the "Berserker" lyrical concept, saying: "Basically the story of the 'Berserker' is kind of towards the end of the Viking era, when the Vikings were still invading England. And this is kind of like one of the final battles. The Vikings had to retreat, and they retreated over a river. And over that river was a bridge called Stamford Bridge. So the Vikings, they left one guy to hold the bridge against the whole army. That guy, that was like their best fighter they had, like a berkerker. So he actually held the English line for, like… nobody really knows exactly, but he could have killed more than 70 people until they could kill him. And the only reason they could kill him was that they sent people out on the river and they stabbed him underneath with spears. That's kind of a cool story itself. And the best part is that it's not coming from the Viking folklores; it's actually the English that had written the story down. So it's actually the enemy that wrote about this unique story."
"Berserker" will be released on May 3 via Metal Blade Records. The disc was recorded at Sphere Studios in North Hollywood, California with Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, STEEL PANTHER, URIAH HEEP and STONE SOUR.
"Jomsviking" debuted at No. 19 on The Billboard 200 chart in March 2016. The disc was released via Metal Blade in North America and Sony Music internationally.
AMON AMARTH enlisted a session drummer, Tobias Gustafsson (VOMITORY, CUT UP), during the recording sessions for "Jomsviking", following the departure of longtime drummer Fredrik Andersson. The band tapped OCTOBER TIDE drummer Jocke Wallgren as Andersson's permanent replacement three years ago.