Ex-AMON AMARTH drummer Fredrik Andersson says that his playing has "evolved more" in the years after he left the band than during his tenure with the group.
Andersson was fired from AMON AMARTH in March 2015, just as the band was preparing to enter the studio to begin work on its latest album, 2016's "Jomsviking". AMON AMARTH opted to enlist a session drummer, Tobias Gustafsson (VOMITORY, CUT UP), during the recording sessions for the disc, but hired Jocke Wallgren to join them on the road. Wallgren was named a permanent member of AMON AMARTH in September 2016.
Asked in a new interview with Greece's The Gallery about the circumstances that led to his departure from AMON AMARTH, Fredrik said: "There had been some friction between me and the other members for quite some time. It seemed to me like they were ganging up on me, even if they never really truly let me in to be 'one of them,' not even in the early years. But at least back then we could hang out together and we called each other friends. In later years, and I can only guess, but perhaps they started to feel that since we were splitting all money equally, either I should be more grateful and do what they told me to or they simply started to think it was wrong that I should get equally paid. I don't know. But in the end, whatever I did or say — it was wrong."
He continued: "I specifically remember one of the last times I played in Greece. It was the last day of the tour, and we were flying home the next day. While I was warming up for the show, Olli [Olavi Mikkonen, guitar] came up to me and said my snare hits were not consistent enough. He said I played too soft during soundcheck and too loud during the show, or more specifically, he said the individual hits were either low or loud. Since I know for a fact this is bullshit, I got really pissed off. I might not be the most technical drummer, but if something, at least I'm consistent. I thought it was really untactical to come with these complaints five minutes before show, and it ruined the whole show for me. And there were lots of other occasions like this where they would just say I'm wrong about something, that my opinion were wrong or simply silly. It got very frustrating, and it built up to really strong friction."
Asked how he sees him evolving from album to album during his time with AMON AMARTH, Fredrik said: "Sadly, I feel that I have actually evolved more in the years after AMON AMARTH than all the years I did in the band. Well, I think I still evolved, especially since I at least practiced my instrument. But I got also very locked and comfortable. And although we spent so much time in the practice room actually writing songs, I never really got any time to practice and evolve my playing. A typical songwriting session in the rehearsal room would look like: meet up at 9 and gear up, guitar players jamming some riff trying to find a note or something. At this time, my job was to just sit around, silently and without playing, until they needed to try something out on drums when they told me to play. We did this for eight hours a day, five days a week. So I basically spent the whole day waiting by the drum kit, not being allowed to play. After a full day in the rehearsal room, I didn't exactly feel like staying another couple of hours alone to practice."
In a 2016 interview with Brazil's "Wikimetal" podcast, Mikkonen stated about AMON AMARTH's split with Andersson: "I don't really wanna go into details regarding Fredrik, but, basically, we just separated. It's kind of like a marriage that doesn't work, and you get divorced. And that's kind of what happened to our band."
AMON AMARTH bassist Ted Lundström described Wallgren as "a super-solid drummer" who is "very professional" and "very on-the-spot all the time." He added: "It is much easier to play if you have a drummer who is [tight]. It makes our lives easier."