Keeping Metal Simple
CoC interviews Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth
by: Adrian Bromley
Swedish death metal quintet Amon Amarth are a little disgruntled right now at the metal music scene. At least singer Johan Hegg is. "There is a lot of metal music out there that is trying to go along this path of being all intricate and using a lot of keyboards and samples, and we don't want or need that in what we do", he says in reference to his band's latest offering _The Avenger_ [CoC #44]. "We didn't have a plan going into this record, but we did know that we wanted to make it a lot more simple for us to play. We wanted the music more straightforward and a much angrier and more aggressive attitude. I think we achieved both."

Talking more about the metal scene, Hegg says: "I think it's been rather boring, especially for death metal music like ours. Black metal has been the big thing over the last few years. The scene exploded for them, releasing a bunch of crap and drowning out the really good bands. That made the scene totally uninteresting. A lot of people who loved the music from the start really got sick of all the crap. Sure bands like Marduk, Dark Funeral and Emperor survived this scene explosion, but the general level of black music went down to this very low standard, unfortunately."

"As for now, I think the death metal scene is growing and that is cool", he adds. "We're just glad to be a part of it and the response has been very good for us, even better than the last record." Unlike the band's debut for Metal Blade last year (_Once Sent From the Golden Hall_ [CoC #29]), their new disc _The Avenger_, while a bit more simplistic in its approach, definitely shows a much stronger and more finely-tuned band. The band (rounded out by guitarists Johan Soderberg and Olavi Mikkonen, drummer Fredrik Anderson and bassist Ted Lundstrom) has definitely grown accustomed to the whole recording process. "In a sense I think the songs are a lot more professional this time out", notes Hegg, who writes all of the band's lyrics. "There isn't a lot of unnecessary stuff on this record. I think a lot of the lyrics and the riffs we chose for the particular songs work well off one another."

"When we are working on material for the record we find ourselves highly influenced by things that are happening around us and not focusing on what bands who are selling records are doing, as some may think. We don't follow trends. We just focus on things in our lives to inspire the material we write."

"When we started out, we were into bands like Mercyful Fate, Megadeth, Slayer and D.R.I., but when you put on our music you don't hear any of those influences. We don't rip off our influences, rather we take the passion that those bands had back then and see where it takes us."

One thing that seems to have gone right this time is their studio time. Hegg explains: "We were much better prepared this time around when we arrived at the studio. We had recorded the previous album at Sunlight Studios, but it turned out to be a big mess. Nothing sounded right. We were not going to release the first record. We managed to get in touch with Peter Tagtgren at the Abyss studios and he squeezed us in for three weeks. The record came out good. When it was time for this record, we decided not to mess around and recorded at the Abyss studios, because we know Peter and are very comfortable with the space there. We produced the new record. He just added a really strong sound -- something he is very, very good at doing."

And why does Johan play metal music? "I play this music because of the aggression", says Hegg. "We like to play the music we enjoy listening to. Not to say that we only listen to death metal, but it just turns out that we are all into metal and that makes it even more enjoyable. When you are really into doing something it's bound to turn out good."

(article submitted 15/1/2000)

4/28/2003 C Flaaten Amon Amarth: At War With the World
8/12/2001 D Rocher Amon Amarth: The Avengers' Crushing Comeback
3/28/2011 J Carbon 6 Amon Amarth - Surtur Rising
10/8/2008 A Erickson 8 Amon Amarth - Twilight of the Thunder God
10/5/2006 J Smit 6 Amon Amarth - With Oden on Our Side
11/19/2004 P Azevedo 8 Amon Amarth - Fate of Norns
4/11/2003 P Azevedo 8.5 Amon Amarth - Versus the World
8/12/2001 D Rocher 8 Amon Amarth - The Crusher
12/9/1999 P Schwarz 8 Amon Amarth - The Avenger
3/10/1998 D Schinzel 7 Amon Amarth - Once Sent from the Golden Hall
7/17/1996 B Meloon 6 Amon Amarth - Sorrow Throughout the Nine Worlds
3/30/2009 Z Zf Amon Amarth / Obituary / Legion of the Damned / Keep of Kalessin An Awesome But Imperfect Monday Outing...
5/13/2001 M Noll Marduk / Mortician / Vader / God Dethroned / Amon Amarth / Mystic Circle / Sinister / ...And Oceans / Bal Sagoth Baptized by Fire and Beer
3/5/2000 M Noll Morbid Angel / Gorgoroth / God Dethroned / Amon Amarth / Krisiun / Occult Formulas Fatal to Gorgoroth
RSS Feed RSS   Facebook Facebook   Twitter Twitter  ::  Mobile : Text  ::  HTML : CSS  ::  Sitemap

All contents copyright 1995-2024 their individual creators.  All rights reserved.  Do not reproduce without permission.

All opinions expressed in Chronicles of Chaos are opinions held at the time of writing by the individuals expressing them.
They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else, past or present.