Interview With Amon Amarth - 28th October 2009
Photo Of Amon Amarth © Copyright Amon AmarthRob caught up with Amon Amarth to talk about their Viking obsession, their latest album, their current European tour and much more.

Hello and thank you for taking time out to do this interview

Can you give us a brief history of your time in the music industry so far such as how you came together as a band and came up with the name Amon Amarth?
We have been playing for 17 years, we started playing in the local youth club where we grew up, its been a long road to get to where we are now, it's been fun and interesting we have learned a lot, caulder came up from another band called scum which was olviers first band and they split up and then the rest of us joined and we created Amon Amarth it was not our first choice for a name as someone else had occupied our first choice but it was me who came up with the name and logo.

You have been signed to Metal Blade Records for over ten years now, you must enjoy working with each other to have kept such a long relationship with the label?
Yeah it's a matter of trust in the beginning you are happy to get any contract at all, and we got the opportunity to sign for them at the time it was the best label we could get, it's not the biggest but they've been around for a long time and then once you started working with people you realise whether it's a label you can trust or not, we always felt good, that they supported us and we supported them, we stayed with them over the years and there is no point in fixing something if it isn't broken.

The majority of your songs are themed on Vikings, where did your obsession from Vikings come about and is it hard to still think of new ways to write songs about Vikings after you have released so many albums?
In the beginning when we started the band, the normal death metal Gore and bloody lyrics and also black metal was coming through strong, those were the big subjects that all the bands were writing about, first of all we thought it was not really our style, we wanted to try something different and johan writes all the lyrics, and we are all big fans of northern mythology, so we thought lets go this direction but once you do something you can't change direction because the fans expect you to do the next album the same. With the mythology there is not so much to write about, it's difficult to come up with new ideas that still deals with the Viking theme, Johan does a good job with taking their everyday issues and put them in a Viking way.

Your last album ‘Twilight Of The Thunder God’ was released back in September 2008, has the album done as well as you expected and what reactions have you had from both your fans and the press?
The album did as good as we expected, in certain places it did better than expected, we had high expectations for this album, because the last album did really good, we were really happy with the album when we recorded it, response from the fans and media was really really awesome, we didn't really have a bad review at all, that was a good thing, we appreciate that when you work hard and get your album out, then people slate it, then you feel really really bad. It's been amazing so it's going to be tough for us to top this album.

You are currently just over half way through your headline tour of the UK, how has the tour been so far?
The tour has been going very good, this tour is divided into three parts, the Scandinavian part then the current part which is in the UK, so far all the shows had been amazing and Entombed is a great band to have on tour with us, the places seem packed every night, so far it's been very good, except for the tragic death of the Evile bass player, the we didn't even get to know the guys from Evile, it takes a few shows to get to know the guys then the guy passes away, it was quite a shock.

You are playing Manchester Academy on Halloween, do you have any plans to dress up or play a spooky themed show that night?
Actually I didn't know it was Halloween, I'm not really into the Halloween thing, but maybe we should think about that at least.

We understand Perttu Kivilaakso from Apocalyptica will be joining you on stage for a few songs at your show at the Koko in London, this is going to be one special Amon Amarth experience, how did the idea come about?
Since the apocalyptica played on one song on the album for us, then we became friends, we wanted him to play when we were in Finland in his home town, because it would be easy for him to play there, we played a few shows there and we liked it a lot, and we were looking for a place where we could do it again since he was travelling anyway it wouldn't be a long detour to him to take to go by London, So we decided to do a couple of more songs, in feel and I think we only did two songs so now were going to do about five songs, it's going to be cool and give the songs more atmosphere,br>
What do you guys have planned once your UK tour is over?
We have a short break and go back to Sweden, and have a break for about a week, then we head off to south Europe part of the tour then we go to Australia then Asia.

You have built up a steady fan base pretty much all across the world now, where would you say you like to play the most and how do the fans compare from country to country?
Its difficult to say really, all parts of the world have different kinds of fans that like you in different ways, fans in the south of Italy and Spain they like to sing along, in South America it's like a football crowd and they sing inbetween in the songs, but then you have the crazy crowd at that likes to mosh, but that's also call to see as well, but sometimes it are places that don't get many metal shows, the fans in these places are firstly in the like to go berserk, like one of the shows we played in Israel, the club was crazy and packed full of people, we have to stop the show three or four times because the owner wanted the crowd to calm down because they are tearing down his club so those kind shows are probably the best ones.

You are from Stockholm in Sweden, how is the music scene out there these days and are there any bands that you would recommend us to listen to?
Well the scene at the moment is pretty good we get to play many shows but the problem is were mostly up north, but the tours cost too much to get up there, so we don't get up there much. The local bands are full of talented guys, I'm not sure if I have any new bands to recommend

What do you think about the current state of the music scene?
Downloading music, no one knows at the moment where it's going to end up, at the moment we seem to be in between going from CDs to more or less downloading, at the moment it seems to be going more and more into downloading stuff, it's up to the bands at the moment is to make sure that when they're writing a record contract to make sure that they have those electronic downloads and to make sure that they get their fair share of the royalties from it. Downloads used to be a small part of it but now it's getting bigger

One random question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a Zebra and Giraffe which one would you be and why?
I think I would be a giraffe, it's a very nice to be tall when you go to a show, so you get a good view of the bands

Is there any message you would like to leave to your fans reading this?
Continue to support the metal scene as you always have and to make sure that you carry on doing that. See you on the Road

Interview by Robert Lawrence
 Band Members

Johan Hegg
Johan Söderberg
Olavi Mikkonen
Ted Lundström
Fredrik Andersson
 Latest Releases
Amon Amarth - Twilight Of The Thunder God
Release Date - September 2008
Disc 1
1. Twilight Of The Thunder God
2. Free Will Sacrifice
3. Guardians Of Asgaard
4. Where Is Your God?
5. Varyags Of Miklagaard
6. Tattered Banners And Bloody Flags
7. No Fear For The Setting Sun
8. The Hero
9. Live For The Kill
10. Embrace The Endless

Disc 2 - Live At Summer Breeze 2007
1. Intro
2. Valhall Awaits Me
3. Runes To My Memory
4. Cry Of The Black Birds
5. Asator
6. Pursuit Of Vikings
7. Fate Of Norns
8. Without Fear
9. With Oden On Our Side
10. Where Silent Gods Stand Guard
11. An Ancient Sign Of Coming Storm
12. Victorious March
13. Death In Fire

 Band Related Links
Amon Amarth Myspace