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Interview von: arne mit Johannes, am: 09.04.2010 ]

Schon die ersten Takte des dritten, selbstbetitelten Werkes von AVATAR verraten eindrücklich, warum die Schweden in ihrer Heimat so erfolgreich sind. Wer dachte, dem Thema Melodic-Death Metal sei nichts mehr hinzuzufügen, irrte gewaltig. Freunde melodiösen Metals mit harter Kante – modern und dennoch irgendwie retro – können hier tatsächlich Großes entdecken. Es sollte mit dem Teufel zugehen, würden AVATAR nicht immense Erfolge auch außerhalb ihrer Heimat einfahren können.


Musicscan: You guys have been around for some time now. What is behind bands longevity? What fuels the fire and keeps you guys interested in the music you create?

Avatar: I guess it’s a combination of our development and all the fun we have. We have a strong bound between us and we always manage to surprise ourselves and each other in the challenges we take on.

Musicscan: Do you still remember when you wrote your first song with Avatar and what it felt like and how it feels like now when you finish a song? How has your relationship to music changed over years, tours and releases?

Avatar: Yes, we wrote some stuff way back that didn’t really do anything for us. The real fire starter was War Song. We still get the same feelings when we manage to do something as excitig as that song was for us back then. The releases are more fun, simply because we feel that we are getting better with each one of them. The tours have gone from exciting to fun in a very pleasant way. Playing in Avatar has never been a bigger blast than it is now. That’s why we stick together.

Musicscan: It seems that your sound is continually changing, while other bands are stagnant. Is it just me, or is there any truth to this?

Avatar: Thats right, totally. It’s the only way we know how to do it. We can’t repeat ourselves. We wouldn’t like it and therefor it would suck.

Musicscan: What are you looking for in a song? Have you ever achieved something like a perfect song in your opinion? How would you define such a perfect song?

Avatar: There’s no such thing as a single perfect song. A perfect song is a song that fills it purpose perfectly and there are tons of those. Both ’Stairway to Heaven’ and ’Heartreak Hotel’ are perfect songs in their on ways. We have ten songs like that on our latest album.

Musicscan: Do you think modern information technology will inevitably change not only the way music is listened to but also how it is written? Many bands nowadays only seem to focus on strong single tracks…

Avatar: That is what most bands have done since the birth of rock’n’roll. Everyone is doing schlagers. On the other hands you have more weird stuff out there than ever, so it goes both way. Don’t worry. The weird and long songs will always be around for us who care, hahaha!

Musicscan: Do you think it is reasonable to assume that the concept of an album will soon be a thing of the past and people will solely listen to certain songs? Will the songwriting and the music change as well because of that?

Avatar: I honestly don’t know. Again, people have been doing like that all the time and certain artists have always been very single oriented. The album as a real concept only came to existence in the sixties anyway, so it’s not like it’s been around forever. I still think that a full lengths album is the best way to put out our type of music even if it might turn digital all through in the future.

Musicscan: Where do you guys see the line drawn between progressing on what you do well, and completely offering a new direction or sound – especially in the context of Avatar?

Avatar: Everything that feels honest and which is done by us as a group is what I would call healthy progression. We are never better than the songs we make in all honesty.

Musicscan: Do you think there are still genuinely new sounds to be discovered or can modern metal music basically be said to be a recombination of already existing forms and elements?

Avatar: Yes I do, but mostly it’s a slow natural progress and even if some stuff seems like revolutionary in the media there’s usually a whole underground scene where that stuff has dwelled and evolved. But most of the time it has always been about blending existing styles and taking it one step further. Most of the time people sadly tend to forget the part about moving forward.

Musicscan: Right now, the harder music scene seems to go even more extreme than ever before. Bands are pushing the boundaries as far as complexity, technical approach and extreme arrangements are concerned. On the other hand there are bands that are focussing on the homogenous flow, melodies and the emotional intensity of their tracks. How do you feel about Avatars position in this mix, and how did you go about writing your third and selftitled album?

Avatar: I agree with extreme music becoming more technical in a way, but the really shocking and impressing stuff seem to be behind us. The same goes for the really evil stuff. Remember when thrash, death and black metal respectively scared people? Anyway, we as a band have put most of the technical insanity behind us, at least for the moment. The song as a whole is what counts for us. So yeah, the feelings come first, I guess.

Musicscan: Every band has a vision of how their album should sound like after the recording. Listening to your latest album right now. Would you say that this was a successful mission or would you even say that the band was able to surprise itself? If this is the case – in how far?

Avatar: A pleasant surprise is the right word for it, yes. When we do music it’s always like some kind of an adventure and we add things along the way so that we never can predict the end result on the first day. I we could it would have been a failure.

Musicscan: Musically, and especially lyrically, Avatar seems like a band fueled by raw emotion which is at the same time tempered by a “reflected” vibe. What are the motives behind writing in this style, what reactions are you seeking to evoke in your audience?

Avatar: I want people to feel the way I feel. The songs are about alienation at retribution set in different stories which circles around themes such as Starcraft 2, Bonnie and Clyde, sex, violence and lots more.

Musicscan: Have you been surprised by the fact, that listeners from different musical tastes are getting Avatar? And is this something that matters to you?

Avatar: Not really since the music kind of is the best of two worlds. It has got the grooves, the attitude, the menace and the intensity. All this with melodies that goes beyond genre borders.

Platte der Woche:

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