The Viking Death Metal Icons AMON AMARTH set halls on fire on their Berserker-Tour. On December 3rd they played in the Jahrhunderthalle/Frankfurt with Arch Enemy and Hypocrisy. Before their gig AMON AMARTH guitarist Johan Söderberg joined an interview with Lydia and Michael from Metalogy.de and talked about his favorite things, his hobby, his former job, his kids, his dogs and much more. Read now part 2 of two parts of the english version.
We have some standard questions we would like to ask you. Is that ok?
Johan: Yes, of course.
What is your favorite animal?
What is your favorite movie?
What is your favorite book?
Johan: I usually don’t read books.
Your all-time favorite CD?
Johan: Iron Maiden – Piece Of Mind
Your favorite food?
Johan: It’s hard to say. I like lots of food. A good steak.
Your favorite drink?
Johan: For food – red wine. I also like beer. I like booze. I like all kind of drinks.
What is your hobby beside music?
Any specific objects?
Do you show them somewhere?
Johan: Yes. On my Instagram page. I show more my photos than band related stuff. The name is @amonsoderberg. I started for real three and a half year ago with more professional equipment.
Do you take pictures during the tour?
Johan: Oh yes. Pretty much every day, when I walk around. For example yesterday, there was this big furnace, like a blast furnace. I took some pictures of that. (Johan showed us some really great pictures on his smartphone) Here the furnace is reflecting on the water. This was in Luxemburg. (He shows another picture with a seemingly flying red skull.) I’m trying to do photos with fast shutters. This is the drummer of Arch Enemy. (He shows a picture with lines of car lights.) This was taken with long shutters. I’m also taking pictures with normal light. Tourist stuff. I try everything. (He shows a picture of the moon.)
Did you learn it by yourself or did you take lessons?
Johan: I learned by myself. (He shows a picture of a dog.)
Is this your dog?
Do you have dogs?
Do you have kids?
Johan: Two daughters. Three and six years old.
Do you see them during the tour sometimes?
Johan: No, I will see them, when we play in Stockholm. I will have time to go home during the day. Sometimes they come out to the shows, but not on this tour. And they leave the dogs at home.
Do your daughters like music?
Johan: Yes. My daughter is very musical. She is singing and dancing in musicals.
Did you try to teach them playing guitar?
Johan: I tried to teach them drums. She started and she was very good, but then she lost her interest. She is more into singing and dancing.
What is your favorite destination for traveling?
Johan: Some place that is warm. Like Florida.
Is there something you are not good in?
Johan: Oh yes. Lots of stuff. I’m not good in working in a normal job. Having a boss who is tell you that you have to stand here with this machine and you have to do this for the next eight hours. I need a job where I can be creative.
Have you had a job like that?
Johan: Yes. In the past. The band is my full-time job for twelve or thirteen years now. Before that we all had like normal day jobs on the side. At that time I was working at a post office. I ran a big machine that printed bills and stuff like that. That was really boring.
When you took the decision to quit the job for the band, was that a key driver for this decision?
Johan: Yes, I didn’t like my job. And the decision was not for the financial aspect. You need an income because you have to pay your bills. That’s the only scary thing when you leave a normal job like this. Because you don’t know, if the band is making enough to pay your bills.
Did it work out for you very quick after you quit your job?
Johan: That was around the time the band is starting to earn more money by playing shows. So we could actually start to take out a salary. And luckily for us from then it started to grow enough. And now it’s like having a steady job, but it is our own business.
Could you imagine going back into your job again?
Johan: No, I will probably never do this.
What is your greatest fear?
Johan: To go back to a normal steady job. (Laughs)
What do you really hate?
Johan: I hate suffering. Human suffering or animal suffering. Everything that goes bad for animals or people that’s something I hate.
What do you love most?
Johan: My wife and my daughters and my dogs. And: To be on stage.
What is your greatest wish for yourself?
Johan: To be able to continue doing this for as long as possible. And that the band grows further and expands even more. It’s like a childhood dream. When I was a kid and watched IRON MAIDEN it blew my mind. They had this big stage production and great songs. I wanted to do that when I grow up. Hopefully, I can continue to expand it even more.
What is your greatest wish the world?
Johan: To end the bad things. This is not possible, because the world is about bad things happening and suffering and stuff like that. It can be hard to change, I think. The world is what it is.
What do you want to tell your fans?
Johan: I hope they come out to our shows and enjoy what we are doing.
And what do you want to tell the world?
Johan: The whole world can come to our shows. We can expand for an extra week or so (Laughs).
Coming back to your album, who had the idea for the “Berserker” theme?
Johan: I think it came from one of the lyrics that Johan wrote. The Berserker stands for an actual story that plays in history. And that were the first lyric ideas that we had for the new album.
When you started to play guitar, did you have lessons?
Johan: Not for guitar. But I did go to like a music school for two years. To learn more about like the studio technology, some piano and music theory.
Do you still play piano?
Johan: Sometimes. Not often.
When did you start listening to metal?
Johan: When I was around eleven years old. There was actually a German TV show from the Westfalenhalle. They had bands like JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, OZZY OSBOURNE and the SCORPIONS. A lot of bands. It was a big festival. And they broadcasted that on Swedish national TV for three hours straight. At that time Sweden had only two TV channels with usually boring program. Some friends from school also watched that TV show and on the day after that everyone at school was talking about it. So, we started to buy patches, albums and stuff like that.
To which kind of music did you listen before that?
Johan: More to regular pop music like Kim Wilde or ABBA.
On the current tour AMON AMARTH is playing together ARCH ENEMY and HYPOCRISY in some kind of All-Sweden package. Was it planned this way?
Johan: Yes, that was planned. I don’t know why, but we thought it was a cool idea to have a Sweden-only package. Also on the US part of the tour we had only Swedish bands.
Thank you very much for the nice interview.
Read here part 1 of the english version of our interview with JOHAN SÖDERBERG, guitar player from AMON AMARTH.
See here our pictures of the gig in Frankfurter Jahrhunderthalle after the interview:
FOTOSTRECKE und kurzer NACHBERICHT: AMON AMARTH, ARCH ENEMY und HYPOCRISY in der Jahrhunderthalle Frankfurt
Lydia Dr. Polwin-Plass
Promovierte Journalistin und Texterin, spezialisiert auf die Themen Kultur, Wirtschaft, Marketing, Vertrieb, Bildung, Karriere, Arbeitsmarkt, Naturheilkunde und Alternativmedizin. Mehr über Dr. Lydia Polwin-Plass auf ihrer Website: http://www.text-und-journalismus.de