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Amon Amarth - The Hordes are Coming

Discussion in 'Metal Interviews' started by Opeth17, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Opeth17

    Opeth17 Member

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    [IMGLEFT]http://www.russell.ultimatemetal.com/Interview/amon-amarth.jpg[/IMGLEFT]By Josh Phillips

    Few bands in the metal arena work as hard as Amon Amarth. Perpetually on the road, storming nation after nation, it is Amon Amarth's wish to indoctrinate you all in the ways of well done melodic metal. I was able to catch up with guitarist Olavi Mikkonen after their set in Denver and here, for your viewing pleasure, is his insight into life in Amon Amarth.

    Do you notice a lot of big personality differences between crowds in different parts of the world such as Sweden, the U.S., Germany, etc. and out of all of the places you’ve toured, or from viewing the number of records sold, where are you most surprised to see that the band has a large following?

    No, I’m not really surprised, I’m more surprised it took such a long time. We’ve been doing this for awhile now. Crowdwise, to me, they’re all metalheads. But of course, the European crowd is more into singing along, American is more for the mosh pit, so that’s probably the biggest thing.

    You guys have been touring real hard now to support each record’s release. Do you get tired of life on the road, or does it re-energize you every time you step out on stage?

    Of course you miss home you know. You miss your girlfriends, families and all of that. Still, being on the road, that’s what we’ve been wanting to do for such a long time. This is the first part of the tour for the new album, so it’s fun to play the new stuff and see the reactions. It’s 50/50 you know, when you’re home, you miss the road, when your on the road, you miss home.

    You’ve toured in many places and been across a good portion of the world. I recall reading in an older interview that you’d really like to get out to Japan. Is that still a goal and out of the places you’ve already been, which had the most special meaning to you to play at?

    I don’t know what’s been the most special. I guess our biggest crowd is Germany, so it’s very nice to play there because there’s a lot of people and they’re all into it. Iceland, for instance, is also very cool for us. There’s nice nature and they still have the Viking thing going on there. But, I like to play everywhere.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The new album is being praised by fans new and old alike. A lot of bands who have been around long enough to release this many records tend to lose the support of their initial fanbase. What do you think Amon Amarth is doing to continue to produce the music you want and still gain more and more fans while not losing the old?

    Basically because we stick to our sound. We have never tried to include any clean vocals or anything like that. Since we recorded Once Sent From the Golden Hall, we’re still doing the same style, but I hope the fans think it’s better songwriting and we’re better at playing it, but we still consider it the same style.

    How old were you when you first got into extreme metal and what bands have helped influence you to create the type of music you do?

    The extreme ones were definitely Sepultura's Morbid Visions and Schizophrenia and also Death's Scream Bloody Gore, but I think Death’s Leprosy was the one that really hit me. I must’ve been 14 or something like that back in ’86 or ’87.

    I’ve heard the band originally formed under the name Scum. Did you have a different musical direction planned for the band, or was the name irrelevant to what direction you’d take?

    I would say, that was more hardcore, but not the hardcore these days. I’m talking about the older hardcore, Cryptic Slaughter, Accused, probably D.R.I, bands like that. I was listening to a lot of that back then as well, but also a lot of metal.

    Maybe like Napalm Death?

    Yeah, I love Napalm Death. The name was Scum, it was spelled in Swedish, but pronounced the same and so we changed the name after Napalm Death’s Scum album came out.

    Have you ever thought about doing an album with lyrics in Swedish?

    No, there are a lot of bands doing it today.

    You could also reach a larger audience with English lyrics, is that one reason?

    Yeah, definitely and I think it would be weird to sing in Swedish.

    [​IMG]

    Did they ever teach you some of these Viking legends, history and stories of the Norse Gods in school, or did you have to do all of your research independently?

    Of course, we learned a little, but not that much. That’s more something you have to pick up after school.

    I know most artists don’t like to choose, but if you could, is there at least one song you’ve created that you think stands above the rest, or embodies your sound and message?

    I think "Death in Fire" has it all.

    Amon Amarth was one of the earliest and is still one of the only bands to use viking imagery and pagan lyrics with a death metal sound. There have been a lot of bands using a black metal aesthetic paired with pagan imagery though. Why do think there aren’t as many bands playing with a more death metal oriented sound and do you listen to or keep up with that pagan black metal scene?

    I don’t really know why there’s not more bands like us. I really don’t know. But no, I don’t really keep track of the black metal bands. I mean, I like a lot of Viking metal bands like Enslaved of course. If I see a new album that has something to do with Vikings, of course I check it out, but it’s not a big priority.

    One of the things about Amon Amarth that has always struck me is how emotional and melodic the music is, without making a move toward acoustics, clean vocals or minimalism in the atmosphere. The lyrics convey a lot of feeling because of the subject matter and all of the instruments gel together very well. Do you have a certain theme or emotion you want to appeal to when you begin to create a song, or does it start to form more and more after the initial lyrics or riffs are written?

    I think it’s a combination. When we start building a song, we don’t have the whole concept, usually we have a few ideas, both music and lyric wise and then together we build it. It’s like we’re creating a movie. To me, in all of our songs, the music is a soundtrack to the movie and the lyrics are the real movie. So when we rehearse, we sit down and talk about it, rehearse, play, sit down and talk just to create this emotional piece. Because the music and the lyrics have to go hand in hand you know.

    How intertwined are the lyric writing and music writing processes? Give us an outline of what you start with when you begin to create a song and how things are built up from there if you could.

    I don’t want to say we have one typical way. But with the songs I wrote, I have the main riff and usually make that first as it’s the real hook and then I try to build verses and bridges to that main riff and if we aren’t rehearsing, I send messages to Johan and send the song to him and he gets some ideas and we start bouncing ideas around and when I get more lyrics, I can write more. Then we go to the rehearsal place and get everyone involved.

    [​IMG]

    In America, religion plays a big role. Most people are Christians and the religion seeps into a lot of daily interactions with people and into the government. Sweden seems to have less of a problem with this, but there are probably still instances when it occurs. As your lyrics deal a lot with the old ways and taking the land back, making things the way they were suppose to be; Are you ever inspired to write a new lyric after a certain news item or interaction with strangers, or does most of your inspiration come from the past more than the present?

    I would say the inspiration from the songs is often taken from our daily lives, but they are written to fit our band theme. For instance, Fate of Norns, that song is Johan’s real emotions when he lost somebody, but it’s written in a historical context. Also, all this hate usually comes from people. The music industry is not a nice industry, there’s a lot of assholes and you get ripped off a lot if you don’t know what you’re doing. But that’s also inspiration. It draws from everything.

    You’ve got six full-length albums and a DVD under your belt now and have toured and accomplished quite a lot over the last 10 years. Do you see the band still going another decade from now or is it too far away to tell?

    It’s way too far to tell, but for every album we’ve released, we’ve grown as a band and we’re definitely not going to give up now. We have a very good position in Europe. We’re playing bigger venues than this on our own and selling everything out, so we have a great following there and what we want to do now is have that in America as well.

    Thanks for the interview, any final comments you’d like to add?

    Come out and check us live, we’re a live band. And buy the DVD!

    Official Amon Amarth Website
    Official Metal Blade Records Website
     
  2. ~ED~

    ~ED~ the silent one

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    great interview, they've only got better with time :)
     
  3. CaGeD iN

    CaGeD iN Wandering on Ypres Rd.

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    absolutely wondeful band, one of my favorite death metal bands
     
  4. CaGeD iN

    CaGeD iN Wandering on Ypres Rd.

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    Location:
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    absolutely wondeful band, one of my favorite death metal bands
     
  5. Crazy-For-Metal

    Crazy-For-Metal Metalzzz

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    Awesome Interview!

    I had no Idea that Fate of Norns was based on Johan's life.
     
  6. wolf

    wolf seeker of the esoteric

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    I hope they play America soon.
     
  7. xmidihcx

    xmidihcx off topic user

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    wow, i love these guys
     
  8. Shadowsaint

    Shadowsaint Member

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    "Save us, oh Lord, from the wrath of the Norsemen!"

    These guys kick some serious ass. Definately don't want to fuck with me in the gym when I'm listening to these guys.:devil:
     
  9. Runespawn

    Runespawn Trainee

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    Saw them in Dublin last night. Wowee fuckin' wow, did they rock. That's four times I've seen them and I'll see them again at Graspop and maybe Summerbreeze (time off work, y'see, and Wacken's two weeks before). But they ruled and it's great to have them here at long last. :headbang:
     
  10. quilmesdave

    quilmesdave New Metal Member

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    Hahha. Great thet are coming this summer with the Sounds of the underground tour....
    I don't wanna see a lot of those bands, but I hope they can headline a couple of dates on their own..:headbang: :headbang:
     
  11. Boorad

    Boorad Viking

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    Right now, i gotta say Amon are the best viking band around. It would be insane if Quorthon were still alive, Then we could be living in a life time with the very best viking bands. Bathory made the genre, and Amon are carrying the torch right now, no doubt in my mind.
     
  12. (>^^)>amarth<(^^<)

    (>^^)>amarth<(^^<) New Metal Member

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    amarth rock but blind guardian are bather!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. mwarlock

    mwarlock New Metal Member

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    Honestly Amon Amarth are VIKING METAL..there is no band in the viking scene who kicks as much ass..i mean todays metal is so screwed up..cept for stuff like lamb of god and all...but seriously most of the bands out there are so u know...redundant all their stuffs been done before and amon amarth provides a fresh outlook...which is really cool...
     
  14. (>^^)>amarth<(^^<)

    (>^^)>amarth<(^^<) New Metal Member

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    i have all song of amon amarth best of it is AMON AMARTH:p
     
  15. (>^^)>amarth<(^^<)

    (>^^)>amarth<(^^<) New Metal Member

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    Location:
    on the metal tower cross the river
    A storm rolls in from the sea
    Covering the land with black thunder clouds
    Rain whips the ground at their feet
    As they come ashore in this foreign land

    Thunder brakes the silence Of five hundred men assembled on shore
    Gazing through the misty rain
    At the mountain not a mile away
    So dark and silent it stands there
    The mighty AMON AMRATH
    Reaching for the cloudcloked skies
    So grim and fearful in might

    With the wind in their backs they start walking
    Decisive men of the north
    They strive through this darkend land
    With only mount doom in their sight
    The closer they get to the mountain
    The clearer their eyes can see
    A forest of one thousand spears awaiting
    Awaiting the battle that will be

    A cry of war emerges
    Echoes over the field
    Boldley charging the enemy lines

    With weapons so fearsome and sharp in their hands
    And shields of oakwood and steel
    They slit open stomachs and split sculls to the jaw
    Intestants cover the field

    The defenders are weak in this brutal war
    The northmen have power and guts
    A bloodshed like no one has seen here before
    None can escape their cuts

    Arrows with fire fly through the air
    Touching houses and shields
    The vikings can feel victory is near
    As the enemy headlessly flees

    A gust of wind blows in from the north
    Clearing the clouds away
    As twilight falls and the stars come forth
    And the seawolves return to the bay

    Corpses lie scattered all over the field
    For the ravens to eat as they please
    The mountain is now left there behind
    As they sail with the first morning breeze

    the best their song!!
     
  16. colie22

    colie22 New Metal Member

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    awsome band, go to their shows this summer!

    Date Artist Location Venue Details
    07/06/2007 Amon Amarth Dallas, Texas Palladium Ballroom
    07/07/2007 Amon Amarth Corpus Christi, Texas Concrete St. Amphitheatre
    07/08/2007 Amon Amarth Houston, Texas Verizon Wireless Theatre
    07/10/2007 Amon Amarth Orlando, Florida UCF Arena
    07/11/2007 Amon Amarth Myrtle Beach, South Carolina House of Blues
    07/12/2007 Amon Amarth Baltimore, Maryland Ottobar
    07/13/2007 Amon Amarth Worcester, Massachusetts Palladium
    07/14/2007 Amon Amarth Sayreville, New Jersey Starland Ballroom
    07/15/2007 Amon Amarth Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Electric Factory
    07/16/2007 Amon Amarth Winston-Salem, North Carolina Millennium Center
    07/18/2007 Amon Amarth Toronto, Ontario, Canada Koolhaus Complex
    07/19/2007 Amon Amarth Detroit, Michigan State Theatre
    07/20/2007 Amon Amarth Milwaukee, Wisconsin The Eagles Complex
    07/21/2007 Amon Amarth Cleveland, Ohio Time Warner Cable Amphit
    07/22/2007 Amon Amarth Columbus, Ohio Lifestyle Communities Pa
    07/23/2007 Amon Amarth Chicago, Illinois Congress Theatre
    07/24/2007 Amon Amarth St. Paul, Minnesota MYTH
    07/27/2007 Amon Amarth Calgary, Alberta, Canada Macewan Hall
    07/28/2007 Amon Amarth Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Shaw Conference Center
    07/30/2007 Amon Amarth Portland, Oregon Expo Center
    07/31/2007 Amon Amarth Boise, Idaho Big Easy Concert House
    08/01/2007 Amon Amarth Magna, Utah The Great Salt Air
    08/03/2007 Amon Amarth San Jose, California Events Center @ San Jose
    08/04/2007 Amon Amarth Irvine, California Verizon Wireless Amphith
    08/05/2007 Amon Amarth Mesa, Arizona Mesa Amphitheatre
    08/06/2007 Amon Amarth Las Vegas, Nevada House of Blues
    08/08/2007 Amon Amarth Denver, Colorado The Fillmore Auditorium
    08/10/2007 Amon Amarth Sauget, Illinois Pop's
    08/11/2007 Amon Amarth Louisville, Kentucky Waverly Hills
     
  17. The Painless89

    The Painless89 New Metal Member

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    Check out this MusicPlusTV interview with Amon Amarth @ Sounds Of The Underground 2007 !



    <a href="http://musicplustv.com/59291/">Amon Amarth Interview</a>
     
  18. Masters_Apprentice

    Masters_Apprentice Human Killing Human

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    I really enjoy these guys and I hope to see them one day and I hope they keep it up
     
  19. HerynGalueth

    HerynGalueth New Metal Member

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    Time: Thursday, 31 May 2007
    Place: Greece, Athens, club Gagarin
    Crime: Amon Amarth on stage!!!!!!

    These guys are just perfect on stage!
    If you like Amon Amarth and you haven't seen them on stage yet....
    BELIEVE me, you don;t know them at all!
    Their explosive energy, their ancient Viking spirit, their astonishing performance......oh God you'll never stop headbanging!!!!!!
    They are just calling back the spirits of the great Celts!!!!!

    Guys can you hear me?Come back to Greece, we all love you here!!!:headbang:
     
  20. VikingQueen

    VikingQueen New Metal Member

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    My absolutely favorite band...And i dunno why in German Metal Hammer, they critisised the- Fate of Norns - Its a great album afterall...and i LOVE FREDRIK ANDERSSON :cry: OH YEEEAHHH the best drummer eveeeer:headbang:
     

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