Avatar's Johannes Eckerström was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program. The singer discussed the band's new album, Hunter Gatherer (out Aug. 7 on eOne), and the reasons behind the group's departure from conceptual albums.
The singer spoke about the connection back to humanity's more primitive days and how, while the record does not embrace a unified concept, there are many related themes running throughout the 10 tracks. There's also a brand new look that comes with the album as the Swedes swap regal attire from the last album cycle for fetishist farmers.
Also, as the coronavirus pandemic grips the world, Eckerström stressed that this has happened before in human history and that we are now better equipped than ever to deal with a pandemic, although political issues are interfering with an optimized response to combat the virus.
Hunter Gatherer addresses humanity hurtling toward an unknown future. How does the album now have greater meaning in a coronavirus world?
I wonder if it does. The hopes and aspirations are one big idea that I am presenting. There is some stuff I read while we were working on this album — the idea that things in the world are turning bad right now environmentally — there's a big chunk of people who seemed to hope for or want us to go back to something the way it was before — preindustrial and to have us scaled back. Sadly, I don't believe in the solution being there. I don't believe we can ever, ever go back to a better way than what lies ahead of us, if that makes sense.
I'm all for some kind of Star Trek acceleration into the future and finding our saving grace beyond that horizon somewhere. The problem is acceleration, whether good or bad, it's just going faster and faster.
Viruses come and go and pandemics come and go in humanity's history. In a way, we're probably better suited than ever to tackle it in terms of what scientific backbone this is all resting on and communication-wise and resource-wise. It's good. It's not medieval times, but I don't know, there seems to be a lot of politics getting in the way for us to really deal with this in an optimized manner, and so maybe it reflects that.
I find us in this very intense crossroads, the fork in the road right now, if you will, and the pandemic and the handling of the pandemic more specifically seems to be just another example of that.
Avatar, Hunter Gatherer Album Cover