AMON AMARTH Guitarist On Downside Of Touring: 'There's Nothing Fun In Traveling'

August 22, 2022

In a new interview with "The Rockman Power Hour", guitarist Olavi Mikkonen of Swedish melodic death metallers AMON AMARTH spoke about the struggles of the touring lifestyle, particularly as it relates to his family life. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It is what it is, and there's no way to change that. The only way to change that is to stop playing in a band. And I think it is what it is; I think that's the easiest way to put it. I mean, obviously there's downsides to it. 'Cause I'm traveling so much with my work, I don't really like to travel privately. And I hate that I miss stuff that happens. If something's gonna get broken at home, it always breaks down when you left. It happens on the fucking cab ride to the airport. That's when the water pipes, or whatever, are gonna start leaking. And I fucking hate that. But it is what it is. And luckily I have a good woman that understands that it is what it is. And whenever I'm home, I'm trying my best to do what needs to be done. But if I'm not home, I'm not home. And that's the life we have."

Asked if he still gets excited about touring and going back on the road after spending a lot of time at home, Olavi said: "Oh yeah. I mean, playing live is the reason you actually make music — no doubt about that. But then, of course, there's nothing fun in traveling. There's no fun in sleeping in new beds every fucking night. I mean, the older you get… It was easy 20 years ago when you were totally hammered, you could fucking sleep on whatever couch or sofa or whatever, but now, when you get older, if you sleep in hotels every night, the bed is different [and] it's difficult to get used to it, like pillows and whatnot. And, you know — it is what it is."

AMON AMARTH has just released its twelfth studio album, "The Great Heathen Army", via Metal Blade Records. The LP was recorded with acclaimed British producer Andy Sneap, who previously worked with the band on 2013's "Deceiver Of The Gods" and 2016's "Jomsviking" albums.

This past February, AMON AMARTH released a standalone single, "Put Your Back Into The Oar", an ode to the epic Viking row. The track was recorded and mixed in January 2021 at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden with producer Jens Bogren and was made available via the band's own label Victorious Music.

The "Put Your Back Into The Oar" video was shot in England over three days in October 2021. The atmospheric, cinematic clip was produced by Twin V and directed by Ryan MackFall at Crashburn Media.

AMON AMARTH will team up with MACHINE HEAD for the "Vikings And Lionhearts" co-headlining European arena tour in September and October. A North American tour with CARCASS, OBITUARY and CATTLE DECAPITATION will follow in November and December.

AMON AMARTH stands tall and unassailable: 30 years into a career that has seen them evolve from humble origins in the dark, dank rehearsal rooms of their native Tumba to their current status as explosive festival headliners and one of the metal world's most widely adored bands.

Formed in 1992, AMON AMARTH became modern metal greats the hard way. Ruthlessly dedicated to creating new music and taking it out on the road, the Swedes steadily built a formidable reputation as a ferocious live band and, as the years passed, were increasingly recognized for their recorded achievements too. Since the dawn of the millennium, AMON AMARTH has been unstoppable.

Breakthrough releases like 2006's "With Oden On Our Side" and its now-legendary follow-up, 2008's "Twilight Of The Thunder God" further cemented their popularity throughout the metal world, while the band's stage show evolved with each successive tour, transforming into one of modern metal's truly great spectacles. "Berserker" brought with it an epic, history-making trek across North America with fellow Swedes ARCH ENEMY, AT THE GATES and GRAND MAGUS and saw multiple sell-outs.

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