The 3rd LP by the Swedish doom metal band AVATARIUM, that features the mastermind of Leif Edling (CANDLEMASS, KRUX, THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM), is on its way to the record stores! We interviewed their talented singer Jennie Anne Smith about it and here’s what she told us.
The new AVATARIUM album, “Hurricanes & Halos”, will be released in the 26th of May. How do you feel about it now that is done? (The interview conducted before the release of the album)
The music on this album is the outcome of very intensive group collaboration. It is the labor of very hard work. I feel very happy and excited about it! It’s a bit strange that we lived with this album for quite some time now and it’s hard to get our mind off it but people haven’t heard it yet and we are already so into it!
What are the differences from the previous album (“The Girl With The Raven Mask”)?
You have heard “Into the Fire/Into the Storm” until now and I think that track is a good reference of what the album will sound like. The new album will be a bit more up-tempo and straightforward. We still have our feet in the Doom Metal tradition but this one sounds more energetic and raw. I am really happy with this step that we have taken.
What was the response you received by the fans for the first song you released (“Into the Fire/Into the Storm”)?
I have received good feedback and that gives me a good hope for the whole record of course but I ‘ve been more focused on first making and producing this album and afterward comes this all this work on the promotion. It’s an intense period of time.
Which is currently your most favorite song on the new album and why?
I don’t think I can pick just one song because it’s a really strong album and it has eight great tracks! They are all very well written songs; they all have great melodies, great arrangements and great craftsmanship from the entire band. The whole album is interesting!
The songs are composed mostly by Mr Leif Edling but he stated in an interview I read that you composed a song on your own this time? Which one is that?
Well, Leif has written six tracks and Marcus Jidell and I have written the other two. It feels like a nice and necessary step for me to be involved in the song writing.
Are the lyrics on “Hurricanes & Halos” based on specific themes or are they mostly absurd poetry?
I think that what has been like a red thread from the beginning is that we deal with big existential questions in our lyrics, we deal with themes like Life and Death and the meaning of existence and we still do. I wrote the lyrics to a song on this album called “When Breath Turns To Air”. It involves reflections of what it’s like to take your last breath and going to the unknown, plus the grief and the pain that the loss and the losing causes.
One of my most favorite songs by AVATARIUM is “All I Want”. Is there any danceable rock song like that one in the new album?
Yes! If you liked “All I Want” you will be quite pleased with the new ones! The whole album has some great grooves! I like that song too but I’m not sure that Leif does (laughs). I think it’s a great song!
Which one of the songs do you think would be most suitable to have a videoclip and why?
I won’t tell you what the next single will be you will soon find out…
Why not? C’mon, let’s make some news here!
(laughs) You will soon find out and there will be a video for this song as well! I’ll leave it as a surprise for you.
After 4 years of singing for heavy metal & hard rock audiences what are your thoughts about it? Do you prefer them more than a jazz or a pop audience?
I think there are many similarities between the hard rock and the jazz scene. The audiences of those kinds of music focus on what is important, the music itself! You really feel the appreciation for good compositions by both of them. Ever since we started with AVATARIUM I felt very welcomed by the Heavy Metal scene. Its people have been very open-minded and loving and it has been a great journey for me.
A great singer like you is always welcomed in the Metal scene!
Do you consider AVATARIUM as a part of the 70’s hard rock revival scene?
I haven’t thought about it that way. The five of us in the band have a huge library of references that contains everything from classical music to pop, hard rock music and so on. Of course, some super great music was released in the 60s and the 70s and that has made impression on us but our aim is to make contemporary music. Music for now! There is no other intension for us than to make music that we find interesting and that we like ourselves.
Which do you believe is the biggest highlight for your band in the five years of its existence?
What year is it? (laughs) We released our first EP back in 2013, we released two albums and two more EPs since then. It’s been four intense years actually and there have been numerous live shows and fans we have met so it would be hard to pick one. I know that you are from Greece. We had a very fine moment in Athens were we played, I remember that very well and I do hope we will revisit you soon because we have a bunch of new songs to play for you that we hope that you will like.
You are most welcome to come in Greece any time you want and I’ll be glad to watch your show next time you‘ll be here. Have you made plans for a tour for promoting the release of “Hurricanes And Halos”?
Yes! Actually today we closed a deal around a tour schedule in September and we have an upcoming sneak-preview little gig here in Stockholm. We couldn’t stop ourselves playing a new song after another while we did the sound check for that one, we are super excited!
I wish every success to you and your band, have you got something else you would like to add?
I certainly hope people there will like this album as much as we do and I hope we will visit again your beautiful Greek country soon!