If you are not that familiar with AVATARIUM it might seem like the lastest band from wiz guru Leif Edling but look closer and you’ll see that there is more than meets the eye. Anawers by Marcus Jiddel. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl
What was the plan from the start with Avatarium?
-Me and Leif had a plan to make an album together with music influenced by the bands we loved, we wanted to make an album we could listen to and feel proud and happy about without trying to satisfy anybody else then ourselves actually. The plan was to find an obscure record label and release 1000 vinyls and then go back to normal life. A lot more happened of course.
You have a new album to promote now. Do you feel that you have found an even more fitting Avatarium stamp on the music?
-I guess the big difference on the new album is that the band is becoming more confident and has been able to develop it’s sound. Avatarium is supposed to be a band without boundaries,
and it’s very important for me that we keep our minds open and never loose our hunger for creating new stuff and to break new grounds. I read some review the other day with a guy complaining about we are using percussion live, that guy don’t feel at all what Avatarium is about and I know there’s a lot of people who never dares to try new things in music because of these kind of reactions from journalists and other smart asses, the audience totally understand what we are aiming for though and that’s what keeps me going.
When you plan a new album do you think about how certain songs work with each other?
-Yes of course. We always think album and actually vinyl. It’s like: first song on the second side should be this song and the second song of the first side should be a heavy one, .. you know these kind of thoughts. An album is a piece of art and we really try to treat it that way.
How involved are each member in the crestion of the songs?
-Leif usually writes the basic ( me and Jennie-Ann wrote Deep Well on the last EP and will probably write more stuff on the next album) and then me and Jennie-Ann arranges the stuff and also actually changes quite much. Lars and Carl comes in with some arrangement ideas as well.
Something I often wonder is when does the music stop, when have you used up all possible chord combinations?
-Haha…. I used to think like that when I was a kid actually.
I guess music has been around since man started to walk the earth and of course there’s a lot of stuff that is being repeated and used over and over again. I guess the thing that makes a song interesting is if you find a new angle of the already very used chord structures and lyric storys etc. To write a piece of music is most of the times like solving a riddle or laying a puzzle. Sometimes you have to kind of walk around the song and look at it from different angles and then hopefully all of a sudden you see how it’s supposed to end up. At times very frustrating, but also extremely rewarding when you finally have a great song.
Back in the days you didn’t have the same amount of sources to listen to music on. Do you feel that people today are as huge fans as We used to be when all we had were records to listen to?
-Impossible for the to say. I live in my own world where music still counts a lot and when I’m touring I meet so many people that share this feeling with me. It also seems like people like to help their bands with buying merchandise and albums at the shows which is very important since that’s the only thing that makes the tour go around these days. Hopefully the business keeps on going in this direction since there are so many bands that can’t afford doing this anymore and musicians spend 10-20 years touring and ending up with nothing.
When Avatarium first entered the music scene what kind of reception did you receive? What were people’s reactions?
-We have been very well received from the start I guess and that makes me very happy. There’s still a long way to go though to make Avatarium work on the level I want to be. Since we are on tour right now I feel that people are really so much in to our music and are extremely supportive in a way I never seen before with other bands. We just played a totally packed headline show in Essen and the band is tighter then ever.
When you play in a band that hardly receive any bad reviews does it make you doubt the collective opinion of the press? How paranoid are you as muscians, that there is a conspiracy against you and that they in reality think you suck big time?
-We have a lot of positive press but also there’s been a lot of journalists specially in Sweden that doesn’t give a shit about us and sometimes that’s worse than getting a bad review in my book. Now when we released our second album they are starting to get it though. Since we really put our heart in our music we are super stoked about the great response both from our audience and the press. It’s an amazing thing to build up a following for Avatarium and our relation ship with our audience is what’s most important anyway.
Every now and then we get to experience bad things at gigs. Like Paris recently. The Dimebag shooting. The Bucarest fire. Is that something that lingers in your head as you go on stage? How do you protect yourself from it?
-I can’t think of these things when I go on stage but of course there’s a lot of thoughts in between. We talked about not going on tour after the Paris terrorist act but we all felt that then we let the bad guys win you know. For me it’s a very important thing to not be scared and live in fear. These immoral and destructive people are hitting us in one of the main citys in Europe and for me that’s extremely shameful how they try to pull our culture backwards. They are helping the right wing extremists to get even more popular in Europe and we had the Nazis, Communists and Fascists fucking up Europe not long ago. That’s the last thing we need. We need to be more loving, open and to move forward as human beings and not the opposite.
Where will the future take you?
-We are ready for the next step, hope you are to!