is a melodic death metal band from Sweden, it was founded in 2001. Their
first EP ‘4 Reasons to Die’ was released in 2004 and in 2006 they
released their debut album ‘Thoughts of No Tomorrow’ at the young age of
eighteen. Their second album ‘Schlacht’ was released in 2007 and their
big break came in the same year that Avatar was picked by In Flames to
support them on their sold-out Scandinavian tour.
Within a couple of weeks the band will release their third and
self-titled album. They have developed a new, more mature and melodic
sound on this album which was mixed by Tobias Lindell (Europe). Avatar
recently toured Europe with Hardcore Superstar, more European tours are
planned for the winter and spring of 2010.
It appears there is much to talk about, so we tracked down
(Vocals) to answer some questions. Here you can read what he had to say
to the readers of Metal-Experience.com
A couple of years ago we talked about your previous album
‘Schlacht’, can you give us a little update of what’s been happening
since that release?
Well, with ‘Schlacht’ we did lots of shows in Sweden and
Europe and we also went berserk in Texas supporting it. It has been all
fun and games, giving shit loads of blood sweat and tears, as always.
Late 2007 and the whole of 2008 was all in the name of ‘Schlacht’ and it
was a hell of ride, in many perspectives. We ended up pretty exhausted.
Those songs are damn hard to play, HAHA!
How did you launch into writing material for your new
album, ‘Avatar’ and how much time did you spend on composing the songs?
We’re always writing with different levels of intensity, which means
that there always are some songs to work with when it’s time. For this
album we started just like that, but ended up throwing 99.9% of the
things written after ‘Schlacht’ away. We made a clean start again on
January 1st, extremely hung over. In order to evolve in an
interesting direction we needed to totally redefine what Avatar stands
for. We simply want to entertain, but we want to do so with fucking
amazing music. This led to more focus being laid on the songs as a
whole. This demanded more work than we have put into the band ever
before, which means a lot coming from us. We didn’t sleep for days
Which approach did you choose to create this album, did
you go for a more raw exposition.. or something more reminiscent of your
previous other works, or something all together different?
Most of it is different, or at least redefined. This meant studying
every single part of the song, making it optimal for where we wanted the
whole album to go. We wanted to put a lot more rock’n’roll into the
songs combined with more straightforward metal than we’ve been writing
before. The melodies were first priority as always, but this time it was
on a whole new level.
How can we imagine you work on new songs, what's the
typical writing process like for Avatar?
It’s like bondage sex. It weird, painful and dark and the climax is
amazing. One or two guys in the band will have a fragment of a song and
they develop it. We all get involved adding our personal spices to it,
we mess it up a thousand times and then voilá! The best song you’ve ever
What were the goals you had in mind when you started to
record ‘Avatar’, any elements you definitely wanted to include on the
More rock’n’roll, more real grooves, more melodies in the vocals and
more naked feelings. Music made for a live situation that would fit well
with our newly bought light effects!
Why did you choose to name your new album ‘Avatar’, can
we regard this as a new start?
Oh yeah, it’s definitely a new start. This music feels fresh and it
motivates us as artists and showmen in a way we’ve never felt before.
Can you give us a little background information on the
songs, is there a story behind them?
There’s a separate story
to each song spanning from tributes to Starcraft 2, Bonnie and Clyde and
Booze to stuff from our own lives and heads. The main theme is
alienation and retribution.
Where do you get your inspiration for writing lyrics and
can you tell me more about them?
As stated above, inspiration is all around. I pretty much use whatever
interesting I see and filter it through my mindset at the time. I use
angles in a story that I can relate to. It mostly turns out quite dark…
How important is it to you that people pay attention to
your lyrics apart from listening to your music?
Everyone has their own way of enjoying their oreos, man! I appreciate
the ones who do get into it, though. It’s a really cool thing when
people tell me about how they relate to what I’ve written. But hey, if
you just want to enjoy the music as music, it’s okay. It’s all good!
How did the recording process proceed, did you work
differently this time than you did with your previous albums? How much
time did you spend in the studio?
The writing and recording of this ‘Avatar’ held us hostages in the
studio between January and July. I totally forgot what clouds looked
What do you think are the main differences between your
debut album and your latest ‘Avatar’?
That is a really tough question. Everything has changed and everything
feels better. Even though there are a couple of tracks on ‘Thoughts’
that will stand the test of time, the arrangements and sounds on the new
one makes it incomprehensible.
The new album was mixed by Tobias Lindell, what made him
the perfect man for Avatar?
We had heard good things from him and also about him. He has a great
craft plus loads of inspiration in him and he went far beyond the call
of duty on this one. He didn’t ask for permission when trying crazy
things out. He just did it and showed it to us and we loved it!
In which elements on the new album can one clearly hear
his vision and ideas?
The large sound came from him. It’s as huge as the sound and it’s made
to play loud! He also put in lots of cool samples and little synthesizer
things we hadn’t thought of, e.g. the chain saw stuff and some of the
organs and strings in the background.
Have you received any feedback on the album yet?
People love it 99% of
the time, honestly and the live sets have become even stronger than
before thanks to this new material, so the crowds are pleased.
Overall, are you pleased with the outcome of the songs or
would you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective?
This album couldn’t
become better than it is. We gave it everything we had at the time.
There’s nothing to regret. Changes come with new albums…
With a couple of albums and EP’s under your belt, how far
has Avatar surpassed your original dreams and what would you say is the
most rewarding part of being in the band?
The dream always grows
and we are never finished but still we feel greatly rewarded every day
we get up to go to the studio. The fun we have and the things we get to
create together are our main driving force. Every day is Christmas in
the world of Avatar.
What have been the highlights and low points throughout
There are no low points, even if there might have been times when hard
lessons had to be learnt. On the other hand, there have been a lot of
highlights along the way. The shows with Megadeth, Stone Sour, In
Flames, Obituary to name a few, the festivals and the simple joy of
nailing a track are all great highlights in our careers and in our
different from the other metal bands out there?
We simply work, play and
dream harder than all the other new bands out there. We want it all to
be great, the songs, the shows and the parties. We make it visual
without being just another gimmick band and we work our asses off on the
songs without forgetting the fun of it all.
What can we expect from Avatar in the near future, any
live shows or festivals this summer?
It’s all being booked at the moment. I strongly recommend
people to stayed tuned on what we’re up to on myspace.com/avataronline,
avatar.net and twitter.com/avatarswe.
Is there anything that has been left unmentioned?
Eugene is a kick ass name! One of my favorite pro wrestlers, hehehe…
Thanks for your time!
Thank you, dude! Cheers! / Johannes Eckerström
Johannes Eckerström - Vocals
John Alfredsson - Drums
Jonas Jarlsby - Guitar
Simon Andersson - Guitar
Henrik Sandelin - Bass guitar
(2004) 4 Reasons to Die (EP)
(2006) Thoughts of No Tomorrow