Johan Hegg on What to Expect From Amon Amarth’s 25 Year Anniversary Documentary
For 25 years, Amon Amarth have been raiding and pillaging the world on the back of their signature brand of melodic death metal. A new documentary, The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm, was released late last year, taking a look back at the band's history from their early days to their dominance as the world's leading Viking metal group. Frontman Johan Hegg, who was featured as the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program, spoke about it all.
Let's talk about The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm. It tells the story of Amon Amarth. What will people learn about the band for the very first time when they watch this documentary?
I think our mindset when we did this was that we wanted to kind of tell them the story of how the band formed and evolved, and who the people in this band are and how we evolved as well. [We wanted] to give people a little bit more background from like where we stand to the progression of Amon Amarth but maybe not necessarily like telling our story as in painting a picture. We wanted it to be honest and straightforward but just try to show people who we are and what Amon Amarth are about so to speak.
There have been a lot of movies and documentaries made about bands. In what ways did you make The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm different from other band movies?
Oh, wow. That's difficult to say. One thing that's kind of different from a lot of documentaries is that we're very much an active band, we're on good terms with each other. I'm not sure if it's that much different, it's just our story and it's about trying to be — like I said, not painting a picture or glorifying anything or making us look better, it's just trying to be honest about who we are and who the band is and I think that's important.
I think if you try to fool fans into thinking that you're something you're not, it's going to come across if you're not being honest about stuff, but I'm not sure if it's very different from other documentaries.
Amon Amarth are a band from a small town in Sweden. What's the most surreal thing about seeing your story as a full-featured documentary?
The most real stuff is actually that it's been 25. It's hard to imagine that it's been a quarter of a century. When you see the old pictures of yourself and the old band stuff and how things have progressed from like the really, really old club shows where basically you're just thrashing around like you're drunk and the progression to where we are today and it's hard almost sometimes to imagine it's the same people in the same band, but it is. That's kind of a surreal feeling really to see that.
You performed on a track on the latest Saxon album and you also appeared in the new video for the song. What was that experience like for you?
It was so much fun. Saxon are like one of my old heroes from when I was a kid, definitely one of those bands that you listen to a lot. Just for them to ask me to be on the album in the first place, I felt really honored that they wanted to have me doing that. I think the song was really cool and I think the video is also great. It was an honor to be invited to do that with the guys, it was great.
Thanks to Johan Hegg for the interview. Get your copy of 'The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm' here and follow Amon Amarth on Facebook to stay up to date with everything they're doing. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show here.
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