Thursday, August 26, 2010

INTERVIEW WITH JOHAN HEGG OF AMON AMARTH, Part Five

Johan Hegg in Chicago - April 19, 2010
Olavi Mikkonen in Chicago - April 19, 2010
KS - “Varyags of Miklagaard” is a song you wrote about the Varangian Guard in Constantinople. Why did you use the term “Varyag”?

JH - We wanted to use the Swedish word, but we realized that people were just not going to understand it. We found that “Varyags” is another term - an English term - that you can use as Varangian. “The Varangians” was really difficult to say. Ha! We chose the simpler version for fans. Ha!

KS - Is “Prediction of Warfare” about Olaf the First in Ireland?

JH - That’s not historically correct, technically. It’s inspired by Olaf the First, of course, by his journey to Scotland and Ireland.

KS - Like in the last line, when he throws his sword.

Johan Söderberg in Chicago - April 19, 2010
JH - Yeah. I wanted just to write a story, more or less, inspired by their trips to England and Ireland. It’s not historically correct. There’s a lot of stuff in my lyrics that are not either historically or mythologically correct. Sometimes I just want to write a story.

Ted Lundström in Chicago - April 19, 2010
KS - You’re still more “correct” than Manowar. Have you heard Gods of War?

JH - Ha! Unfortunately, I have.

KS - There are current folk metal bands - like Heidevolk and Folkearth - that incorporate traditional acoustic instruments such as jaw harps and ram horns into their music. Is Amon Amarth ever going to go down the folk path?

Johan Hegg in Chicago - April 19, 2010
JH - That’s not our thing. Sure, we could incorporate elements of it into a song. I mean, you should never say “never.” But it has to be a really good idea, and we’re not going to do it as an entire thing, then, for an entire album. That’s not going to happen. As I said, for us, the music that we want to write is the music that we play now, and it’s always been about the music first, for us. The lyrical concept has always come second, somehow. I think it’s been very important for us to stress that. I think it’s something that I hope will separate us from a lot of other bands in this genre. Not that I dislike the fact that the pagan thing has become very popular, but, like all trends, it’s important to stick out, to be something special. Otherwise, when the trend fades out, you’re going to fade out, if you don’t stick out somehow, you know.

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