I’m too damn old to be jealous about anything. – an interview with Jonny Hedlund of Unleashed


(photo credit Jens Rydén)

As Swedish Death metal legends Unleashed released their 14th album I took the oportunity to ask singer Jonny Hedlund some questions:

There must be as much battles from the viking eras as from all the other wars to write about. Even if Vikings are our legacy, its not as known.

Oh I bet there was. But perhaps they are not as well formulated in the history books as the ones closer to modern times and that is perhaps a more “real” thing to people nowadays. I suppose. The Viking era was and is very real to me though. And it will be real to many people also in the future. That is our task ahead.

How did you come up with the Viking theme?

Well I didn’t. My ancestors did. And it is my choice and task to make sure the Viking traditions and values keep being a potent and real thing also in the future.

Amon Amarth and Unleashed sings almost about the same era. Do you feel the same and do you feel jealous towards them for their success?

Haha, no I’m too damn old to be jealous about anything.

On the other hand/ you have Sabaton singing about wars and them being under fire because of that. Vikings “came first” but ain’t close to being accused over lyrics about that as they are by songs about war. Can it be because Wars is closer than the Viking era?

Well I don’t know really. I guess all bands have their share of bad critics once in a while. And I don’t mind really. If the “wrong” people dislikes us, it just means we are doing something that matters.

The new record appears to pick up where Unleashed last left off thematically, continuing the original epic concept authored by vocalist/bassist Johnny Hedlund, which has stretched across every album dating back to 2010’s As Yggdrasil Trembles.

True. We kept on writing about “ the world of Odalheim” once again. We all felt it makes sense still and also since the storyline continues.

In my opinion ”Here at the end of the world” is kind of where the story is more obvious. Agree?

It is the end of the chapter, but not the end of the actual storyline if that is what you mean.

Even if you came out of the classic early 90s Swedish death metal scene I think there are not much similiarites actually. Well maybe Early Entombed…

The key vision for Unleashed is to keep to the roots yet develop the style of Viking Death Metal. That means literally for new inspirations to NOT be dominant, yet add something to sort of refresh things. But to still keep to the bands DNA so to speak.

Do you follow “the scene” today and if so what bands do you recommend?

I do to the extent that I have the time for it, but it is not easy to follow every new band that releases an album. I pass on recommending something for now.

Since I am living in the once legendary (for brutal music) city of Fagersta I just had to ask if you ever played in Fagersta back in the day?

Not with Unleashed no. But we partied up there when I was young. I saw Morbid Angel there a very long time ago, if my memory is not failing me here. (They played Bergslagsrocken in Fagersta June 2nd 1990).

Speaking of back in the day. Do you still got contact with former members and other musicians from ”the stockholm death metal scene?” (a question i was asked to ask you from a friend)

Oh we are still good friends all of us I’d say. Although we perhaps mostly meet up at festivals and such. I don’t live nearby any of them at the present either. But it is always a very good time when ever we meet up at a show or the like.

What makes a band like Unleashed that someone must hear in 2021?

Because we are the guarantee for keeping the Viking Death Metal alive and potent also in the future. And if you are interested in, or being close to the Viking Traditions and Values then Unleashed are the never ending source and war machine promoting that too.

Is Death metal for those who can not stand growl a fair description?

I have no idea, but perhaps its like a person who can’t stand water, yet sometimes you must wash your body. Or you will be terribly alone in this world.

Ever considered doing a full album from start to finish on a tour – to celebrate a certain album?

No I suppose we really don’t do much creative material on tour or festivals really.

During the pandemic. What kept you going both personal and as a musician

It was no problem really. Things went on like normal only we couldn’t play live and well, the obvious of avoiding crowded places washing hands like crazy etc.

 

I’m too damn old to be jealous about anything. – an interview with Jonny Hedlund of Unleashed

February 9, 2022

(photo credit Jens Rydén) As Swedish Death metal legends Unleashed released their 14th album I took the oportunity to ask singer Jonny Hedlund some questions: There must be as much battles from the viking eras as from all the other wars to write about. Even if Vikings are our legacy, its not as known. Oh I bet there was. But perhaps they are not as well formulated in the history books as the ones closer to modern times and that is perhaps a more “real” thing to people nowadays. I suppose. The Viking era was and is very real to me though. And it will be real to many people also in the future. That is our task ahead. How did you come up with the Viking theme? Well I didn’t. My ancestors did. And it is my choice and task to make sure the Viking traditions and values keep being a potent and real thing also in the future. Amon Amarth and Unleashed sings almost about the same era. Do you feel the same and do you feel jealous towards them for their success? Haha, no I’m too damn old to be jealous about anything. On the other hand/…

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