How Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg Learned to Scream
The viking metal band just released their 12th studio album, The Great Heathen Army, marking 30 years since Amon Amarth formed in Tumba, Sweden. Amon Amarth came to be shortly after the popularization of the death growl in underground metal, so Hegg actually didn’t hear the brutal vocal technique until he was 18.
It was Hegg’s friend’s band Scum that introduced him to death metal as a whole, leading him to becoming a fan of Swedish death metal acts like Dismember. When Scum broke up, Hegg actually offered to be their new singer as a joke, but after the Scum guys heard Hegg growling along to Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” they invited him to audition.
As for cupping the mic, it’s a big no-no for Hegg. “Cupping the mic is just creating extra distortion and it just sounds awful,” Hegg says. “I don’t like it. Everybody who cups the mic all kind of sound the same.”
With 30 years of experience as Amon Amarth’s vocalist, Hegg has learned plenty of essential ways to keep his voice healthy. “One of the first things I realized I had to do was skip hard liquor. It’s not a good thing to drink too much on the road as a singer,” Hegg says. “Before every show, I’m going [with] a one hour physical and vocal warmup. I do a 20-30 minute yoga, which helps me warm up the body without having to work out really hard … I do massaging the neck muscles and stretches around the neck and the face, then certain vocal warmups.”
Find out how Johan Hegg learned to scream in the video below. To grab a copy of The Great Heathen Army, click here. Amon Amarth will embark on a massive tour with Carcass, Obituary and Cattle Decapitation in late 2022. For the full list of dates, click here.