EXCLUSIVE: Amon Amarth front man Johan Hegg has spoken about the band’s upcoming European tour with Testament and Grand Magus, calling it a “killer tour”. Speaking exclusively to eonmusic at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards, which were held in London on 13th June, the singer also paid tribute to late Motörhead frontman Ian Kilmister, who was remembered with a special ‘Salute To Lemmy’ live spectacle at the event.
Opening the awards with a three song set that included a thunderous ‘The Persuit Of Vikings’, Hegg said that the band had enjoyed playing for the Hammersmith audience. Said the Amon Amarth singer: “It was hot man, it was a fucking fire burning! It was amazing, and a few songs, but you give it all”.
Going on to talk about their recently announced ‘Viking Crusade’ shows with Testament and Grand Magus, which begin in Manchester on 31st October, Jonan said that he was very excited to be bringing the package to Europe. Said the Swede: “It’s going to be a killer tour. I mean Testament obviously, are like legends, so to have them on the tour is brilliant”.
Asked if it felt strange to be headlining above such a lauded act, he admitted that it did: Said Hegg: “Yeah, a little bit [strange], a little bit, but it feels good though. We know the guys, and they’re great guys. It’s a great package and I think all the bands are going to contribute something different. I mean, I love Grand Magus as well - that’s one of my favourite bands of the moment, so I think it’s going to be a really good show to come and witness”.
Moving on to talk about what Lemmy, who passed away in December 2015 meant to him, the death metal star was forthcoming: “He was a legend in his own time, and for me as a kid, literally when I saw ‘Killed By Death’; him driving through the wall on that fucking Harley man, how cool can you get, you know? That’s still to this day, my favourite Motörhead song”.
Singling out 1995 release ‘Sacrifice’ as his favourite album by the band, Hegg pointed to the addition of drummer Mikkey Dee to the Motörhead line-up as the key to its brilliance. Said Hegg: “Everybody has their own favourites, you know? I don’t dislike their older stuff, but I think the ‘Sacrifice’ album was one of the first with Mikkey Dee, and his drumming just fucking brought something to the sound that’s just amazing, and that album, the songs are great, and the drumming is great and the production is awesome, so for me, it’s one of my favourites”.
When prompted that he could probably tell Dee – who attended the ceremony himself – if he bumped into him, Hegg joked: “Nah, nah, nah, he’ll have to buy me a beer first!”
Amon Amarth’s Autumn ‘Viking Crusade’ hits the U.K. and Ireland from October. A full list of dates can be viewed below.
Amon Amarth with Testament and Grand Magus U.K. and Ireland 2016 Dates.
31 Oct – Manchester, Academy
1 Nov – Glasgow, O2 ABC
2 Nov – Dublin, Vicar Street
4 Nov – London, Roundhouse
5 Nov – Birmingham, O2 Academy