Interview with Jonas from Manegarm

17th July 2013 0 By Mark Booth


Mark Booth poses 10 Questions to Jonas Almkvist, guitarist for the Swedish Vikings, Manegarm.


I know you must have been asked this question loads of times already,  but why did you change to mainly English lyrics on Legions of the North?  Was it to reach out to fans who might not have heard of you because of the  previous albums being in Swedish?

No actually not. It was simply because our former lyricist quit the band (well had to go), and Erik and I had to take up the pen instead. For us the lyrics turned out in English this time. But Jakob our drummer wrote the last  song in Swedish and it turned out great. I guess he will be the father of  more Swedish songs on the next album. I have personally no problem writing  in Swedish. So for you out there who thinks this was a bad turn for Manegarm  don’t be sad. Next album will probably have more Swedish lyrics again.

You progress your sound with each album is that something we will see on the follow up to Legions of the North or are you going to continue in  the same vein?

Thank you very much for that! Yes our aim is to evolve and make better and  better albums along the way. So far personally I think we have succeeded. We
have started to write some music and chatted a little about which way the  next album should take. We are maybe going to deliver a little more ‘folky’ touch on the next one. But we’ll see. It’s however going to be Månegarm full throttle and no wimping out.

I’ll be honest I hadn’t heard of Manegarm until I reviewed Legions of  the North and what an album may I say. To me it was just great music as I  don’t like categorising, however for the review I said you were Viking/folk metal. Is that a good description for Manegarm or do you view yourself as something different?

I usually say we play metal or just rock´n roll. Were not very keen to categorize ourselves either. But if it helps people get some kind of idea  what were up to so be it. So I guess Viking/folk metal is ok for us.

Where has been the best place you have played? Or visited because of Manegarm due to touring?

Jonas: That’s a tricky one. But the only thing that comes to mind right now is  laying in a hot Jacuzzi bubble bath drinking a screwdriver when we were at a nice hotel visiting the States. Also the beautiful nature and surroundings at the Kaltenbach festival in Austria up in the mountains is a good place.  And the gigs at Summer Breeze festival have always been really good, superb organization and nice audience.

I know you haven’t played the UK yet but is that something you are looking at doing in the future?

Yes I really hope so. We have been on the way a couple of times at tours but for some reason it has always been taken away from the schedule when the tour started. But we’re glad to come. We just need a UK organizer to bring  us over. Anyone?


Are there any bands that you would like to tour with who you haven’t had the pleasure of doing so yet?

Jonas: Well Iron Maiden seems like nice guys I wouldn’t have anything against touring with.

What is a Manegarm live show like? Looking on the internet at some live videos you haven’t bought into the wearing of armour etc like some Viking Metal bands do, is this something you agree with the theatrical element of some bands? From what I’ve seen you just get out there and let the music do the talking!

Yeah that’s spot on! We let the music do the talking and try to have fun on stage and hopefully the audience notice it and have a good time too.

Are there any artists/bands that are a guilty pleasure which people wouldn’t believe you listen to?

Well I like listening to Kraftwerk and some other old synth bands. But that is all I give you. I have some other special interests too but I think I keep them to myself…

If you could only listen to 3 albums for the rest of your life which would you choose and why?

I just take the three first that comes to mind: hmm.1. Pink Floyd: The  Wall 2. Therion: Sirius b/lemuria 3. Rigor Mortis: (self titled album rigor mortis). I also had Sex Pistols: The Great Rock´n Roll swindle in mind but there could only be three.  Now I got about a hundred albums popping up. Haha thanks for that one grrr

Scandinavians are known as big drinkers, so what are you filling your Norse Drinking Horns with?

Well on daily basis a couple of good beers and some fine wine make the spirit rise. But I’m a sucker for scotch single malt whiskey. And the best ones come from Islay of course like Laphroaig, Bowmore and Lagavulin for example. Right now I’m drinking the Einar edition from Highland Park…

Jonas Almqvist




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