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Global Domination | Interviews | Amaran - Ronny Backlund

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Amaran - Ronny Backlund

10/07/04  ||  Lord K Philipson

Amaran logo Amaran are from Stockholm. They play brutal death metal (is there any other form of death metal?) with an excellent growler named Steve. Amaran’s been releasing 17 records thru Singapore’s Pulvirized Records, neither of them clocking in over 15 minutes. They have tons of blastbeats and absolutely no keyboards nor guitar-solos. Or not. Check out some tracks, and their video, at and make up yer own mind about their sound. Interviewee is Ronny Backlund. A fuck-o I have known for some years for reasons I don’t even know, or wanna know. He’s actually a sweet, but skinny, guy who never gets laid and never gets drunk. He’ll have to prove I’m wrong at this years Decibel-festival as both Amaran and God Among Insects are playing there. I can easily say that The Insects are heavier than Amaran, and we hold less guitar-solos, thank Fuck. Since Ronny has fallen down The Ugly Tree and hit every branch on the way down, I have decided to spare you his face and instead put a pic of their vocalissa Johanna. I’d do her.

Have at it, retards!

Lord K: You can now thank me for this interview, put in yer last words and tell us how much you love The Project Hate.

Ronny: Well it feels like I actually might have to lick your famous ass now to compensate for the fact that my answers got a bit delayed. However, I must really say I had a lot of fun doing this interview!! So many sick questions but still very informative! You rule!!

I know. Congrats on the “Pristine in bondage” album fucker. It’s a huge step forward compared to the debut which wasn’t exactly a masterpiece in any way shape or form you know. What bugged me most about it, except for the poor material, were the vocals by the chick in yer band. It sounded pretty fucken uninspired and lame. Then this new album comes out and she sings with a whole new attitude, and the vocals are great. What happened? She finally got laid?

Well, I guess we have progressed a lot since the debut album, both as a band and as musicians. Concerning Johanna, this can be heard a lot in her singing as she has got so much more confidence in her self and in her voice now.

What kind of a fucken name is Amaran by the way? Ever feared to be mistaken for Amon Amarth? Say both names when you are piss-drunk and you’ll see the similarities.

Amaran is a word I found in a Hindi-dictionary. It means something “undying” or “everlasting”. We wanted a short name but since every English word is already used as a band name, we chose Amaran. I’ve only heard comments about the similarity to Amon Amarth from you and Olli (guitarist of Amon Amarth)… but this might have something to do with the fact that you’re the two persons having the greatest potential in getting piss-drunk!? (Sorry for the accusation Olli, haha)

Another thing that really picked up on the new album is the guitar-masturbation de-luxe thingie. Anyone who listens definitely gets the point… “Look at me, I’m so fucken good at showing off some licks and solos”. So, you can play yer guitar without a problem, but is it really necessary to show it in every goddamned song though? How long have you been playing and what guitars do you play?

I don’t really see it as showing off. We both think that playing a lot is great fun, perhaps Kari likes it even more than me, and since he has written all the music for this album I guess it shows. I’ve been playing for about 13-14 years now and Kari has been playing for some years more than me. For the moment I’m mostly playing a blue guitar and a dark red one (endorse me and I’ll gladly market what brand they are)

You recently changed a member of the band. Ok, fuck it, it’s not that recently but to the point… What lead to this and who’s the new faggot? Is he about to be fired anytime soon?

Our first bassist, Micke, found out that he didn’t think it was as fun playing the bass as it had used to be. And since he didn’t feel that motivated he decided to quit. As a new bassist we hired Ronnie Bergerståhl, who’s also handling the drums in Julie Laughs No More and Centinex. This new Ronnie-guy is definitely going to be fired soon. Because:

1 – It’s so annoying having two Ronnie B in the same band….and I was here first!
2 – Since we noticed how handsome Lord K looks with his corpsepaint-thingy playing session-bass with other famous Stockholm bands, we’ve felt that this is a better option.

I would never join you, you guys would actually turn evil and excellent if I did. You recorded a video to a song off the new disc as well. It doesn’t look that bad really, but how does it feel to do a video that’s never going to be shown anywhere?

The fact that music channels EXCLUSIVELY broadcasts commercial music sucks big time! I mean, some of the channels actually have a show labelled as “Hard Rock-show”, but they’re only playing crappy rapmetal a´la Linkin Park at those hours. Our video was very inexpensive to make so we did it mostly for fun. It’s available through our homepage and hopefully there are at least some local TV stations somewhere that might broadcast it sometime.

No bullshit now, how many albums have you sold so far? My guess is not one copy over 1500 for the debut and the new one probably did around 2000 so far. That’s not exactly getting you any royalties you know, but in case you ever got a royalty-check, how much was it for and what did you buy for it?

I believe the first album has made the 3000-mark something. I don’t have a clue about the new one yet. If I ever get a royalty-check I’ll buy you an ice cream. I guess that’s about what I get for the money then.

You also do some extra-work as a sound-engineer when bands play live. Except for The Project Hate, what bands have you helped out and more importantly; did you ever manage to get the band a good sound? What are the worst and the best gigs you’ve done so far? How much would it cost to hire you if anyone would be insane enough to actually do that? Considering the amount of guitar-jerking off I think people should be careful to use yer services.

I’ve toured mostly with metal bands, like Entombed, Opeth, Katatonia etc. but I’ve also worked with pop, stoner and hiphop bands. I’ve really had a good time working with all these bands, especially since most of them are old time favourites! Some of the worst gigs I’ve ever done must actually be those The Project Hate gigs in Stockholm(Club Aggression) and Örebro (Sombrero). But I guess I’m not to blame since you always tend to play at venues with under-dimensioned karaoke PA’s! The best gigs…I don’t know really. But I really enjoyed doing Katatonia at Tavastia (Helsinki, Finland) early this year. This venue has probably one of the most well sounding PA systems in Europe (for this capacity).
Concerning what it would cost to hire me, it depends a lot on the situation. But you, TPH guys, seem to know how to get a fair deal!

Haha, yeah, you could say that. You guys were supposed to go out on tour a while back and when I think about it, I think you actually did. One thing though… You weren’t with the guys for this journey as you broke yer arm or whatever. How did that feel and what happened when you caused this injury? Were you happy not to be able to join for a tour full of guitar-solos and female vocals, or did it actually bother you a bit?

Haha. I fractured my arm five days before we were supposed to go on that tour. I was in a hurry to catch a train and ran down a slope made of pure ice. At the end of the slope I had a speed of around 180km/h (at least it felt so) and there was no grip so I slipped and fell towards a wall (too bad it wasn’t filmed… It would have been a great Jackass stunt). You can imagine how angry I was with myself. But I’m glad the band could still do this tour (with Esa of Finnish band Dreamtale replacing me) and I’m really glad that I at least didn’t have to work for about six weeks!

I hate you, can you teach me some guitarsolos?

No, you’re too old!

And I look too good to be playing guitar-solos. Would you know a Swedish NHL-player with this number on his jersey? Do you actually care about the NHL? If so, what’s yer team? Put together yer own all-star NHL-team consisting of solo-guitarists only.

When I was younger I was actually quite interested in hockey, but nowadays I don’t have a clue about which guys are playing. Back then I liked New Jersey Devils, and I think Tommy Albelin had nr 3(or was it 2) in that team? Can I get a bonuspoint for that? ( Sure, when I get a Jackson endorsement-deal I’ll hand out some bonuspoints for ya – Lord K )
My all-star team would consist of the following: Yngwie J. Malmsteen would definitely be the goalie since he’s fattest and fills up the goal most. As defenders I would chose Amaran-Kari (‘cause it would be so much fun seeing him on ice in a pair of skates) and John Norum (of the same reason plus the fact that it would great fun to see a pissdrunk guy on ice). As forwards I would chose the Amott-brothers. If they have the same techniques, speed and teamwork as they have on stage they will do a great job. Finally, as a centre I’d pick Micke Åkerfeldt. I believe he would fit the conductor role and he has a nice and soft flow.

Who’s better, you or your other guitarist (whose name I don’t even care to look up)?

Kari is the name of the other guitarist, and he’s also the better one of us.

Who’s fatter, you or the other fucker in the band playing guitar?

Haha. I guess I have to answer Kari on his question as well. Personally I have a very athletic and slim body. Mmmm.

Yeah, you are the Real Deal Kate Moss. You do know it’s possible to incorporate female vocals and melodies and still succeed with being brutal as all hell? What’s with this cheesy riffing all the time? Listen to The Project Hate and learn, brother. I do know you used our vocalist J for some backing vocals on the album, and he adds some brutality to yer shit, which is needed, I’m just thinking; wouldn’t it be a good idea to actually try to get some more brutality into yer music?

We asked Jörgen to do some growling for the album since we thought it was a cool thing…and as a surprise for the listeners. However, it feels like there are a lot of bands doing this “male growling meets innocent little singing girl”-thingy already.

Did anyone in the band fuck your vocalissa? Did you ever want to? It’s not like you get laid too often you know. I know this coz you told me.

Haha. Well, everyone of us are trying all the time, but no one is successful. Johanna is still a virgin and will remain so until marriage!

Did I ask if there’s anything you would like to add?


Ok then, lemme hear yer opinions on the following female-fronted bands.

The Gathering: Have some good songs, but they make me sleepy.
Lacuna Coil: I’ve only heard one song.
Theatre of Tragedy: I actually liked their “Aegis” when it came, mostly ‘cause of Liv-Kristines vocals. But I don’t think I would enjoy listening to them nowadays.
Arch Enemy: I like their shit. Very competent musicians!
Leif Edling: Haha…what??
Evanescence: I like her voice, and they have really strong vocal-lines. But I would appreciate if they could get rid of that guy singing/rapping or whatever he’s trying to do.

He did that for one song fucker, and he’s not a member of the band. Fuck-o. Seriously now Runken. How much of that Auto-tuner thing was used on the chicks vocals in the studio? When it comes to putting the stuff down for the album, who sucks the most with nailing his respective parts?

Well, I believe the vocals went through Auto-tune (Pro-tools) in some way but I don’t know how much. But I can guarantee we used it a lot more on the debut album! Micke (or former bassist) was definitely best on nailing his parts and I’m definitely the worst!

Not only are you skinny, you suck at nailing shit, both songs and chicks. 11 more questions, are you up for it? You can ask me anything you like to make this go faster.

On this question I would like to quote a Swedish national hero, Jugge Nohall (from Nalles show): “Kör på ba’…KÖR PÅ BARA!!!”

I think yer new album is really good actually, as you can see throughout the interview. But I want a new one now coz I’ve listened to it enough already. When will you record a follow-up to this crap? Do you want me to write some riffs? Fuck knows you really need it, coz those solos ain’t taken you nowhere, mama!

If we can decide we’ll enter the studio again late this year, but I don’t think our label wants to release a new album that soon. We’ll see what happens. But, if you feel you have something to add to our music…record it and convince us it’s good!

Convince us? I fucken dominate and I have the albums to prove it, unlike you. Number 21. What comes to yer mind right away when you see this number? Hint: Peter Forsberg, Peter Forsberg, Peter Forsberg. Do you have a fave-number by the way?

Hmmm…I’m thinking of Black Jack. If I have to choose a fave-number it would be 16.

Explain one thing to me. Swedish Euro-disco superstar E-type has a real drummer (Mikkey Dee), a guitarist (cocksucker), and a bassist (cocksucker) when he performs live. He also performs a lot of headbanging onstage… Is this reasonable seeing there’s;

1. No real drums in his songs.
2. No guitars in his songs.
3. No way you should headbang to dance-music.

If he wants to show off a band instead of pre-recorded techno-stuff backed up by a metal-looking band, shouldn’t he just start just that, a metal band?

Haha…I’ve also thought about this. The answer to the question is probably that this techno-dance kind of music is the only thing he can write. But he’s really eager to be metal!

Describe Amaran with 5 words to someone who never heard you guys (aka “everyone”). Do not include “metal”, “melodies”, “heavy at times”, “female vocals”, “guitarsolos” or “Leif Edling” in the explanation.

Dynamic, well played, built on contrasts, handsome people, not E-type!?

That was 10 words, pissant. I can imagine that was quite a task to answer… What’s yer take on the Iraq-crisis? Kidding fucker, who cares about that? What I wanna know is; are you sure you never fucked your vocalissa? I do know you have a tendency to get shitfaced at times, not remembering the morning after what the hell you did.

The best thing with being shitfaced is that you can’t fuck anyone at all! At those times you have what we in Swedish call “vindolme”.

Let’s hear you bash some Stockholm bands now, if you have the guts. Rate the following fuckers from 1-10. 1 is naturally ass and 10 is naturally better than ass.

Amon Amarth: 7. Caterpillar-metal with good melodies

Dark Funeral: 6. I really liked “Secrets Of TBA” but didn’t think the second album was that great. Haven’t heard their new stuff.

Leif Edling: The old Candelmass-stuff are real classics! For that I’ll give him an 8. But I don’t now what he’s up to now.

Unleashed: ??? I don’t know what they sound like. But Tomas is a great guy who’ve actually printed the Amaran-shirts were selling! (Wow, you think you are special? He printed the new TPH shirts as well . That’s what he does for a living you know as Unleashed aren’t exactly selling shit)

Morbid Angel: 5. Stockholm?

Entombed with Nicke on drums: 8. Entombed are among the first deathmetal bands I started listening to. They will always be close at heart.

Entombed without Nicke on drums: 8. Nicke was a great loss as a songwriter…but I like Peter’s drumming.

Entombed without Jörgen: Haven’t seen them perform with Nico. But losing Jörgen must be a great loss since he was the one with most attitude live.

Mörk Gryning: 4. I liked their debut “Tusen År Har Gått”. But I wouldn’t buy their later records.

Meldrum: 2. Did they get their record-deal ‘cause the guitarist is getting laid with John Norum or ‘cause of the singers titties!??

Katatonia: 10! Together with Opeth, Katatonia is my absolute favourite band! I LOVE the thing they’re doing!

I noticed you have only posted the good reviews you have gotten on yer new album. Is that fair you think? There’s just no way all the reviews you have gotten so far are good. Have you ever written someone who bashed yer shit and told him to go fuck himself? Some bands just don’t understand that it’s impossible to satisfy everyone with their music you know… As you can see, I’m running out of questions and made this one piss-poor on purpose. I rule.

Hehe… Well, we’ve actually posted all the reviews we have got emailed from magazines/e-zines. There are probably a lot of bad reviews as well but those guys haven’t bothered sending us them….and I don’t think Fredrik Strage have reviewed us yet so there’s no need to tell anyone to go fuck himself.

For yer information, Fredrik Strage is a kind of known journalist in Sweden and he even reviewed the latest TPH album and actually wrote one of the funniest and best reviews I have ever seen. What would be yer favourite end of the world by the way? Thought I’d bring that up to ease up the atmosphere coz you seem very hostile…

Hmmm…I think I would prefer a happy ending. Maybe we all can drown in an ocean of flowers in happy colours!?

No wonder you never get laid… Talking about being on the road…If you can stay away from breaking your arm all the time when a tour is about to happen, what bands would you pick to go out with? Pick 4, not including yours or Amon Amarth. And more importantly, explain why you’d choose these particular bands. Becoz they look good, becoz you play more solos than they do etc etc… Just giving you a few ideas as of how this should work you know.

Four bands??

1. Black Sabbath. The Original! Must be great fun to be on the road with those old legends. And you would probably laugh your ass of at Ozzy.

2. Opeth. Great guys and I love their music.

3. Arvingarna. I actually don’t know if they still exist as a band. But it would be a chocking experience going on tour with a band like this. Like being a month on a Finnish ferry with all the characteristic pissdrunk dirty middle-aged people.

4. Britney Spears. Having a million screaming teen-girls in the audience can’t be wrong!?

So, let’s see now… Are you sure you don’t have anything to add, we are getting nearer then end of this fuck-fest you know…

Well, I’m actually getting quite hungry…do you have something I could eat?

I can drop my pants and you can look for yourself? ZING! I rule. What are you fuckers currently up to, and do you really see a future of yer band, considering the amount of guitar-solos and whatnot you have in yer music? I love you.

We have some festivals booked for the summer. First out is 2000 Decibel (God Among Insects headlines this festival) in May. Then we’re going to Finland in August and Progpower (Holland) in October. Hopefully we’ll record a new album during the end of this year.

Thanx biatch. See ya soon, and you buy the beer.