Interview: AVATAR
Title: In all sincerity

Under the theatrically dark title „Black Waltz“ these Swedish thieves of souls invite now with new engaging songs to their fatal psycho-fest.

The opulent arranged and atmospheric casted Melodic Death Metal of the Quintet pushes currently with massive Industrial nuances into the ears tubes. Previously brought to the markets in Scandinavia and the United States with a lot of attention, the „Black Waltz“ gets discharged now in more legs.

This fourth longplay insanity clearly is so far the most mature and at the same time amazingly versatile album performance of these astonishing convertible mood-freaks. I speak with drummer John Alfredsson.

Hey John, with which expectation(s) have you begun the composing of the songs for these new album release?

„No expectations at all! This is our fourth album, we were pretty close to call it quits after the third album when we felt we couldn’t reach much longer on a commercial level. With that in mind, we just wanted to write an album without any restrictions. 0 % commercial, 100 % true were the key words when writing. We just wanted to write the music we loved for ourselves and didn’t care what people would think of it, since we thought it possibly would be our last album we wanted to do something we could be personally proud of for all future. It turned out pretty well...“

Which noteworthy differences to the previous Avatar songs are waiting now for the listeners?

„Our new songs are much darker than most of the songs we written before. They are all based on very true feelings we have and had. My personal favourite album of Avatar except Black Waltz are our debut ,Thoughts Of No Tomorrow‘ (2006), and there are some similarities. Then, in 2006, we wrote from the heart of a 17-year old... Now we are older but have made art of our true feelings, which we totally failed with on ,Avatar‘ (2010). ,Black Waltz‘ is more dynamic than any previous album, and in my opinion a very unique piece of art which is hard to compare to any other band. There is a lot of shit out on the market today...“

Please describe the main character of the new album!

„Well, I guess I’ve already did a bit.. It’s dark, industrial and without exceptions always metal, in the same time it’s a lot of influences from everything from Tom Waits and Johnny Cash to waltz music and old school US country. It includes the roots, the present and the future.“

Where you`ve got all the new ideas for your music? „From everywhere and anything. Writing music is like painting. You start off with a blank sheet, you don’t know how it will end up but you know it will end up somewhere. Inspiration can be found where you least expect it.“

And: when they came at best in your minds?

„After 3 pints of Guinness at ,7:ans Ölhall‘ in Gothenburg. Maybe not at best, but a lot of ideas have came at that place... Some good, many bad but at least ideas! An album is a collection of maybe 1.000 great ideas, to get there you need to come up with maybe 10.000 ideas. That requires a lot of Gunness.“

You've reached it well to keep up the style of Avatar also this time. Did it come totally naturally anytime?

„Well, Avatar is Avatar and will forever be Avatar. But in my opinion a lot have changed during the years, especially between album 2-3 and 3-4. Nothing comes naturally, we just wanted to write the best music we could.“

How ran the works for these new album mainly?

„It was very hard. When is a song finished? When is an album complete? We usually start off with a 1 year period, working our asses off for nothing. Ideas and songs that we can’t get anywhere with. After this initially 1 year period we usually take what we have and press delete, then we start off again. It was the same this time, but when we pressed delete things happened fast and we wrote what became Black Waltz in maybe 6 months. But, yea, it’s hard work! We maybe did like 16 hours/day, 7 days/week just writing and recording.“

It‘s allowed to ask about special musical influences inside your newest art? 

„Of course it is allowed, but I will not be able to answer it. Then you would need to sit up with me for a long time haha.. Pretty much everything except metal core or what they call it. Stupid music... To name particular bands, we wanted to create a mix between Alice Cooper and Rammstein. That pretty much nails what Black Waltz is about – a mix between the classics and the modern, between industrial and old-school.“

Please report about the main content of the new lyrics of „Black Waltz“.

„It's a good long look inside darker rooms of one's mind. It's stories about abuse of power, self harm, entrapment and loss of self. In the end of the tunnel we see the reclaiming of what was lost and the crawl back to the surface.“

© Markus Eck, 24.11.2012

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