Swedish doom metal band, Avatarium, recently released their third record with Nuclear Blast Records and it is an intense modern take on classic rock n roll. Their album consists of 8 tracks, 6 of which were composed by Leif Edling of Candlemass, with creative visions by Jennie-Ann Smith and direction by Marcus Jidell and the band; Lars Skold and Mats Rydstrom. We had the chance of talking to Marcus Jidell, guitarist and producer of this album, here is his insight:
Hostile Jo- “Thank you for taking the time to chat with us and give us some feedback about your new album, Hurricanes and Halos, which was released on May 27th, Via Nuclear Blast.
You have released a great album, and Leif Edling from Candlemass composed 6 out of 8 songs in this album, did you give him direction or a style you wanted to reach with this record?”
Marcus Jidell- “Of course we had something in mind and Leif Edling created his own sound, which we love, he always has his finger prints in our work. We discuss things as a band once we are recording, but I produced the album and made sure we had the same vision. This is not a one man show, we all collaborate I am the one who makes it stay on the right path.”
HJ- “What areas did you and Jennie-Ann Smith contribute in the creative process?”
MJ- “We both worked on some lyrics, she is really unique, her way of making songs her own is amazing. She sets the mood of the person depicting the story, and very good with blending in with the emotions that come with each song. She becomes the character, she embodies the person’s side and project this energy that is quite unique.”
HJ- “Do you write music with the end result being better than the previous one?”
MJ- “We always try to do better, I like all the albums we have composed, we always have new ideas and things to try. It is a learning process, we can do the things we realized we missed in previous albums on the new one. You can listen to the old albums, and hear what it became, then you can hear what we could done and make a new album with those new visions.
See the Thing for me is I do not like to work too long on one album. it is a process, you change the experiences. If I start today, a year later I might want to do different things with it. So I personally believe half a year is long enough to keep that vision. The longer you work on it, the more changes you will do. “
HJ- “You stated that “The Starless Sleep” is your favorite track do to its unique sound, what bands do you say influence this sound?”
MJ- “This song’s sound in particular has a very 60’s rock tone. I have been listening to a lot of Jimmy Hendrix, and the song “All Along The Watchtower” inspired me to work on this track. We are a band with dark tones and dark flavors, you can definitely hear those rock n roll riffs. It is important for us to have more than one style, it gets boring if we only focus on one sound. For instance, looking back at classic movies like The Godfather, how they use different lights and the tones to create a mood, that is what we do with our music. We use all elements to create the vision we have.
Some Deep Purple is definitely the inspiration too. Leif created the riff, we wanted to have a lot of energy and we ended recording a lot of the songs live, with tension and a lot of electricity.”
HJ- “What was your experience during the recording of the video to “The Starless Sleep”?”
MJ- “We have worked with Johan Baath, he is a very talented guy. We told him about the lyrics, he listened to us, and to the song and he created the video concept. He was very creative, the work is all his. We knew we wanted to work with him on this album.”
HJ-“You guys have been voted album of the month in multiple European magazines, how do you think that impacts you as a musician?”
MJ- “It is important to get positive attention, it will make us want to record more albums. It takes a lot of work to record therefore it is very important we need to know our music have an effect on people. Some music has changed my life around, therefore I try to make music in a way that will affect our fans when you feel this is bigger than anything.”
HJ- “With the impact being a topic here, a lot of singers who compose amazing songs, they tend to have some deeper issues or even more philosophical message in their lyrics. What do you think about the harshest issues, we see more and more artist committing self inflicted pain, like the most recent passing of Chester Bennington of Linking Park and Chris Cornell?
MJ- “A lot of great musicians, singers what can be very fragile. They connect with the lyrics, they express more emotion and are more sensitive. It is very sad when that happens. To be such a great singer you need to be very sensitive and embody those lyrics.”
HJ- “Do you write music to simply release another album or as a creative artist do you have a different approach to recording beside giving the fans what they need?”
MJ- “Well for us it is about being creative, it is interesting to make an album it takes a lot of work to make music. For me is dealing with different energies. The more contact the better the work is, I want to have an impact with my music. It is a long process, you need to make good songs, when you have enough songs you record an album. The hardest hard of writing music is the recording process. You have to plan the dates, find a recording studio, bring all the different colors, emotions. You can bring different visions, but once you are there you realize it does not work, you will never know until you are there in the recording studio. I create to have an impact on the followers with my visions.”
HJ- “Are you planning on touring the USA in support of Hurricanes and Halos?”
MJ- “We would like to do it, we have not toured the US yet, we have done 70000 Tons of Metal but never toured. We would ideally like to tour with some Swedish bands like Opeth, Ghost and US Mastodon, I like their work.”
Thank you, for taking the time to give us the insight on your creative vision, we are looking forward to seeing you tour the States.
Interview by: Hostile Jo
Purchase your copy of Hurricanes and Halos here!
Here is the video by Avatarium- “The Starless Sleep”- Hurricanes and Halos