This week, Sweden’s Avatar return to Idaho for two shows, first in Post Falls on Wednesday and at X Fest on Friday, August 26th. The band is touring in support of its new concept album, Feather’s & Flesh. While waiting to take the stage in Post Falls, frontman Johannes Eckerström checked in with Idaho Music Scene to chat a bit about the new record, and the band’s connection to the Boise music scene.
Welcome back to the US and to Idaho. You are playing Post Falls today, and X Fest in Boise on Friday. Boise was one of the first US cities that really embraced Avatar when you released the Black Waltz right?
Johannes Eckerström: “Yes, I have strong memories of that show still. It was the first time will felt a bit big time in our own name over here. It was our very first tour and we were opening for Sevendust and Lacuna Coil for most of it. Then near the last week we started to do some headliner shows. It must have been really close to the end that we were up here in the North West. It was special. Boise and Spokane were right after each other, and still strong in our minds.”
When we first spoke in 2012 on the Black Waltz tour, you stated the band had been at something of a crossroads prior to recording the album. Do you think that gave you some freedom to just follow your gut on that record and see where it would take you?
Johannes Eckerström: “At the time of Black Waltz ,we reached the point of; we’re not millionaires, quarter-life crisis—in short we thought, screw it, we’ll do whatever we want, however we want it this time. If no one’s going to listen, let’s make sure it’s something we totally want to hear. That method of being creative seems to have done the trick for the world who was listening. Then we stayed on that track. Number one, we use that as a precedent when we talk to office people, the grown-ups in the music business. Like, ‘Hey, we kind of suck at doing what we’re told, but we’re really good at doing what we want. So let us do that and everybody wins.’ We have totally kept that going. It’s the best chance we have of creating something worthwhile, and we have to follow that.”
You can check out the full conversation below, as well as going back and checking out our first face to face with Johannes at The Knitting Factory in 2013 on the Black Waltz tour and our previous interviews with Avatar.