AVATAR's Johannes Eckerström: "Avatar Country Is a Very Magical Place, and I Dare Say a Very Metal Place."
Step into Avatar Country! The dukes of Swedish groove metal are poised to throw down their metal manual of sorts, serving up an immersive and candid glimpse into the Avatar Kingdom and their benevolent patriarch, by way of their seventh studio album.
Yes, it's as epic as it sounds.
"Avatar Country is a monarchy led by our king, our king that is so great that he has seven guitar solos in the first heavy track (on the album)," says band-member and vocalist of Avatar Johannes Eckerström.
Metal Injection asked Eckerström for a crash course on Avatar Country itself. To get to the heart of the followup to their sixth record Feathers & Flesh, it is essential to first understand exactly what Avatar Country is, and isn't.
"It’s a monarchy, but if you think and if you look through history, the modern equivalent of the monarchy would usually be considered a dictatorship. I just need to clarify that with Avatar Country, that is not the case. The reason we don’t have elections in Avatar Country is to not waste people’s time, really. You have to understand that our king is a mythological being that goes so beyond with us mere mortals and his presence. He is just the perfect leader. Why bother having an election when you just know it would end up being 100 per cent voting for the king? Avatar Country is also a nation, but it’s a nation that is free of the shackles of geography. Avatar Country, as a geography, as a nation, as a place, is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. It’s definitely a place that can come to exist wherever the king makes states visits. Also with being a nation state, it’s also a state of mind. Avatar Country is indeed a very magical, and dare I say, metal place."
A metal place indeed! The album itself is described by Eckerström as an information pamphlet of sorts, which not only outlines the who, the what and the why of the Avatar kingdom, but runs down the mighty deeds of their glorious king. It's no more a concept album than it is pro-propaganda.
"People are ready now to handle the whole truth about what is Avatar Country," says Eckerström. "We felt with us being the only nation with such a shredder as our commander and chief, it was the way that made the most sense to do this, through music. It’s a collection of stories and legends and reports on the king’s doings and awesomeness. Also there’s a brand new recording, rendition and arrangement of our Avatar Country national anthem, "Glory to Our King"."
Avatar have already rolled out their most immersive and full-on cavalcade of awesome North American tour. They hope to indoctrinate a host of new disciples along the way. And yes, they do accept duel citizenship.
"This tour is more than a tour of concerts," says Eckerström. "We consider it to be a tour of state visits. As we bring our king, we want to bring a show worthy of a king. And good news, we are bringing our throne, his throne, and everything that goes along with it.This is our world’s fair. When you enter the venue, we want you to enter Avatar Country. We want to give you a taste of what citizenship can be for you. The king wants you, the king loves you, and the king wants you as a citizen of Avatar Country. We do accept duel citizenship."
For tour dates and more visit avatarmetal.com Avatar Country is available worldwide on January 12th.