Next AVATAR Album Could Arrive In Late 2025, Says JOHANNES ECKERSTRÖM

April 17, 2024

In a new interview with Mexico's Summa Inferno, AVATAR frontman Johannes Eckerström was asked if it's "too soon" to think about new music from the band, seeing as AVATAR released its latest album, "Dance Devil Dance", in February 2023. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Oh, no, not at all. We've been writing since last year. We are always writing. The ambition is to — in less than a year, we hope to be in a studio recording new great songs. So it's always ongoing, because remember, when we put out an album, it's already old to us in a way, so at some point, it's time to move on and start looking forward. And that lives together with the touring and everything else. So all of that is kind of happening all at once. But no, it's not too soon, but the exact details of it, how it's gonna [be] released and stuff… Well, I can tell you that second half of 2025, we sure can imagine that an AVATAR album could and should come out. Then we'll see if we live up to that. But we intend to."

Johannes was also asked about the supposedly mixed fan reaction to "Dance Devil Dance", considering that AVATAR once again experimented with its sound. He said: "Well, I think we are experimenting as much as we always do, because we always want to change. Every album is based on wherever we were at that given time, so we will never — whatever we did in the past…. I mean, okay, AVATAR will always be a metal band, but beyond that, we kind of never really worry about what we have already done. We do go for the next great thing. And I think our fans are used to this — they're used to that 'Avatar Country' can happen and then 'Hunter Gatherer' can happen immediately after that, and so on."

He continued: "And as far as reception, I do believe that this is our best-received album so far, in terms of that more people liked it than disliked it. But you can't anyway please everyone. So I can't worry about that. As a matter of fact, I always prepare myself for even worse results every time an album is done. I listen to it one last time for myself and ask myself, 'Okay, if everyone hates it, is that okay?' Well, yes, because I like it and everyone else can just forget about this and go and listen to something else. But we have to live with this. So I answer that question every time. So I'm always ready for way worse reception, but instead this is the biggest thing we have ever made. So, I think it went pretty well."

"Dance Devil Dance" was recorded in the Swedish wilderness, far away from all the perceived glamor of the big city and modern studios. Jay Ruston (ANTHRAX, MR. BUNGLE, CROBOT, STONE SOUR, AMON AMARTH, URIAH HEEP) returned as producer. He first worked with AVATAR when he mixed "Hail The Apocalypse", a role he reprised on "Feathers & Flesh" before taking the wheel as producer on "Avatar Country" and "Hunter Gatherer".

"Dance Devil Dance" featured a guest appearance by Lzzy Hale of HALESTORM on the song "Violence No Matter What". The record also included the single "The Dirt I'm Buried In", which hit No. 1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Airplay chart.

Johannes formed AVATAR in 2001. The band's lineup has remained virtually the same ever since, save for guitarist Tim Öhrström, who entered the fray just over a decade later. AVATAR also includes guitarist Jonas Jarlsby, bassist Henrik Sandelin and drummer John Alfredsson.

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