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UNLEASHED won’t back off for anything!

UNLEASHED won’t back off for anything!
BANDS : Unleashed


What else is there to add to this statement? Not much. Johnny Hedlund is a man of few words, he cuts to the chase, just like his music does. New record and new label, Unleashed doesn’t show any sign of running out of energy and Johnny seems more determined than ever: “Death metal, no compromise!”, he roars.





Metalfan: Hello and welcome back to Last time you answered our questions, you were promoting Sworn Allegiance. What have you been doing since?

Johnny: Hello again! Very cool you guys are still around!… Unleashed have been working with the new album of course and been pretty busy doing touring and lots of summer festivals.


Metalfan: You have a new album coming out this October, Midvinterblot, that you refered as "one of the most memorable records in the history of death metal". Tell us about the creation of this album, what was different from the way you worked before that enabled you to get such an amazing result?

Johnny: We worked for two years with this one. Ever since we released Sworn Allegiance, basically. Our hope is that the songs are so strong they will be remembered as classics but of course… that remains to be seen and I’m sure others will be the judge of whether or not we have succeeded.


Metalfan: What do you like the most about this new album?

Johnny: The fact that the songs are even stronger than on our previous one which wasn’t very easy to accomplish. Also the production is just a little bit more harsh than last time around. This was also lots of work but I think we got to where we said we’d get.


Metalfan: Your drummer, Anders, has been reported to have suffered health problems earlier this year, did this situation affect the recording of the album?

Johnny: Not the recording… only a few festivals where we had to use a stand-in drummer. But Anders is doing better now… hopefully it [the illness] doesn’t come back again, he’s really looking forward to touring now…


Metalfan: What is the meaning of the word Midvinterblot (midwinterblood in english, if my translation is correct), what is the message it sends out to the listeners?

Johnny: It’s got nothing to do with blood. Midvinterblot is basically the wintersolstice… about the 21st of December, which is the shortest day and the longest night of the year… natures new year. An ancient tradition where we celebrate Yuletime… raise a glass for our dead ones and for the coming year… a time for great feasting with family and friends.





Metalfan: I've listened to the promo, and my favourite song so far is We Must Join with Him, it has a killer riff. How did you come up with this fantastic ideea?

Johnny: Actually Fredrik made this song, and I don’t know his first hours of the creation process but I agree… I was totally thrilled when he played me this song.


Metalfan: Another question about this song, concerning the lyrics. You seem to be fans of Tolkiens works, as the one that the song demands us to join with is Lord of the Ring's Sauron.

Johnny: Very much so.


Metalfan: Why Sauron, why the orcs, why Saruman? Why did you chose to glorify the bad guys, why not, let' say, Aragorn or Gimly?

Johnny: Well, they are just so much more Death Metal…. don’t you agree? The atmosphere is totally death metal in my mind that’s for sure. Aragorn… naaaaaah! hahaha


Metalfan: You have one song called I have Sworn Allegiance, that's very similar with the title of your previous album, Sworn Allegiance. What's the ideea behind this, some sort of a connection between the two albums?

Johnny: Yes in a way there is… but this song was made way after the last album was out. It’s a song of total dedication to our faithful warriors all over the world. Seventeen years of loyalty… that says it all right there.



Metalfan: You have given more attention to the guitar solos this time around, many of them are melodic, alomst heavy metal solos. Where did this concern for melody came from? Maybe you wanted to rally some Iron Maiden fans to your ranks of warriors?

Johnny: Haha… naaah I agree we have more solos… and that’s intentional… I don’t think they sound to heavy metalish though… but of course there are influences.


Metalfan: Midvinterblot is the first album released by your new label, SPV. How come you parted ways with Century Media, your long-time partner in crime? Oddly, this break occured after the release of Sworn Allegiange, a successfull album.

Johnny: Yes indeed. But we felt it was time for a change after our contract with Century Media ended last year… Many record companies wanted this new album and we needed to find out if they were as hungry for the future of death metal and Unleashed as we are. SPV was indeed the right choice, it seems. Things are working out just fantastic right now. They are very professional and cool people to work with. And they know their craft very well.





Metalfan: Earlier this year you announced plans to release a Live DVD, but no release date has been announced yet. When is it going to come out and what's going to be on it?

Johnny: I know we thought about doing this earlier this year. Then came the change of label and we wanted the new album out first. I think March 2007 would be the aim for the DVD…


Metalfan: Jonnhy, thinking of Entombed, you were in their original line-up, before they made it big, but you left to set up your own band, Unleashed. This might sound funny to you, but it reminds me of Dave Mustaine leaving Metallica to come back with Megadeth. Many years have passed, has there been some sort of competition between Unleashed and Entombed? Do you think you have proved them wrong, that they should have not let you go?

Johnny: That is about the lousiest comparison I have ever heard haha!... yeah well. First off I have never played in Entombed. I was in Nihilist. Second… Unleashed is a pretty wellknown band these days… If you think the gap between Entombed and Unleashed is that big… ehhh check out the Masters of Death tour in November when we play together and see for your self!!!! And don’t get me wrong here… Entombed is one of my favourite bands… fucking cool dudes and good friends of mine.


Metalfan: Being a death metal legend it earns you alot of respect, but how does it do for you on the financial side of life? Do you make a living out of your music?

Johnny: I make ok with Unlesahed. I also work part time as a finance director. Which gives a nice income too as you might understand.


Metalfan: Are your families supportive of your sustained activity as a band? I imagine it is not easy being so much away on tours,  promoting, practicing, recording...

Johnny: Yes they are. Actually we all have had this lifestyle since the 80’ies so our wives and girlfriends are pretty understanding. Unleashed won’t back off for anything. Not even a very beautiful woman, hehehe


Metalfan: Let's talk about your live activity, there's one European Tour and one US Tour in front of you, can you tell us more about them?

Johnny: We will go out to crush!!!… We are really looking forward to both of them. We have been waiting a long time since last US tour for example so it’ll be very very cool tour I’m sure.


Metalfan: Not so many European bands get to tour the US, do you think it is just because of the distance, or is it because the American public just not really interested in European Metal?

Johnny: I think it costs lots of money with visa, flights, crew and so on…..





Metalfan: You've been playing death metal for more than fifteen years now. Didn't you ever feel the need to try something else, like, let's say, blues or folk music?

Johnny: Side projects is one thing. Unleashed is the only thing that really gets me going. And the only thing I have time for in the long run… it’s life. And still there is so much to explore within death metal music.


Metalfan: You seem to maintain a special relationship with your fans, the warriors, as you call them. How do you express your loyalty to them, and what do you expect from them in return?

Johnny: See our live show and you’ll know what I mean. They give back by screaming along in the choruses… and giving us a lifetime of dedication. It doesn’t get bigger than that.


Metalfan: We, too, like to listen to what our readers have to say and since they wanted to ask you guys a few questions, there they are:

One of the readers of our forum, Morrison would like to know why did you chose the name Unleashed for your band.

Johnny: Good question right there… Unleashed means letting something loose… or letting something out. Unleashing the beast inside of you or the inside aggression and hatered to be aimed at something… just check our liveshow and you’ll get my point here. It’s basically about not keeping shit inside… but to unleash it!!!


Metalfan: Talking about the lyrics, another reader, Tom noticed that one of the recurring themes in your lyrics is the profanation of christian symbols. Can one not be a valiant viking without fighting christianity?

Johnny: I can’t see how. Viking tradition is the opposite of the Christian church practice, lifestyle and believes. Christianity even put their churches on top of our Odin temples once. Vengeance will be terrible in due time.


Metalfan: JudasRising is curious to know what metal bands have impressed you lately?

Johnny: Grand Magus for example. Killer doom band from Stockholm.


Metalfan: Thank you for this interview, please don't forget to answer our quick quiz!

Johnny: Thank you very much too… cheers and hail Odin!!!









Quick quiz Johnny Hedlund


When and were was the last time you:


... wore a viking horned helm?

I never do! haha… there never was a horned Viking helmet… you watch to much TV!!!


... wore a suit and a tie?

…You got me….I get paid for it damnit!!!


... talked to a priest?

Never, we have nothing to talk about.


... played very very bad on stage?

Well, I don’t normaly do many fuck ups…at least not very very bad ones.


... drank milk?

Last night.


... took your wife/girlfriend to the movies?

Never did.


... read a heavy-metal related magazine?



... entered a police station?

Baahh, 10 years ago or so…


... signed an autograph?

Haha… Hellflame Festival 3rd September.


... got stupefied and excited by a chemical substance, let's say, alcohol?

Well, it was actually at the Hellflame Festival too… but we didn’t really drink toooo much though.
Autor: Klawz
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Unleashed

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