Swedish theatrical rockers Avatar actually went all in on their seventh album, Avatar Country, which eOne launched earlier in 2018. The band described its second consecutive idea album as “a love letter to all the things metallic” after we spoke to frontman Johannes Eckerstrom in January. And whereas Avatar has launched three movies from the album directed by longtime collaborator Johan Carlen, it had greater plans: delivering a movie that additional fleshes out the idea: “A narrative in regards to the battle for Avatar Country's survival, the prophecy of the forming of the band and the legend of the resurrection of the king,” in accordance with Eckerstrom.
The band established a Kickstarter marketing campaign with a lofty aim of $50,000 to make the “featurette” Avatar Country. It reached that aim in simply 90 minutes, in accordance with eOne. At press time, Avatar has greater than tripled its aim and there are nonetheless three days left within the marketing campaign. We reached out to Eckerstrom to debate crowdfunding, the featurette, the band’s imaginative and prescient and the way Avatar will develop the challenge now that it has far surpassed its authentic Kickstarter aim.
When you final spoke to Billboard, you mentioned the band’s imaginative and prescient. When did Avatar get the thought to develop Avatar Country from a number of movies to a movie?
The thought got here alongside as early as through the writing of the music, and the primary therapy was completed earlier than we even began to combine the album. It was all depending on what we thought was potential when it comes to time wanted and finances. The dream was the featurette, however the hard-set aim was the multiple-video strategy. But the step between these two issues aren’t as large as one would assume. It remains to be a music movie, simply with a bit extra glue between the elements and meat on its bones.
Were you assured that you'd meet your Kickstarter aim?
Yes and no. We wouldn’t have launched the marketing campaign if we didn’t assume we might make it, however all confidence left my physique the second we posted it. I felt very weak the primary couple of hours. It is tough to elucidate, however there was a number of second guessing [about] what asking individuals to pledge cash actually meant. It is extremely necessary to me to be trustworthy to our viewers and true to my very own values, and each choice involving different individuals's cash requires some wholesome self-doubt.
You funded considerably greater than your aim. In what methods has the manufacturing expanded from the preliminary $50,000?
Fifty thousand was the protected minimal quantity for us to know that, by some means, we might pull this off. As we now have exceeded that quantity, we at the moment are relaxation assured that we received't must compromise with something. Any shortcomings left are to be blamed on our personal lack of capability. One of my favourite issues is that the movies already made will get a little bit of a George Lucas therapy (WHAT DOES THIS MEAN) for his or her inclusion within the movie. We will after all not contact the variations already on-line although.
How lengthy was it earlier than the most costly and limited-edition premiums have been stuffed?
I believe possibly three days. Those simply make my head spin. It is so laborious to worth something in cash. It all depends upon what an individual makes, the place they're in life and what's necessary to them. Just the truth that individuals pay to come back and see us play generally baffles me. This is one thing I can't put into phrases.
Were there any discussions with the label about funding the movie earlier than you opted to crowdfund it?
No, not likely. They had executed their half with the primary run of movies. This additionally leaves us in whole management, which is the one factor I worth probably the most in the case of this band.
How concerned was Johan Carlen in fleshing out the plan for the movie?
Johan’s expertise have grown alongside ours. We have additionally developed a standard language through the years the place it has develop into very straightforward for us to speak our imaginative and prescient and have him assist us put it in movement. He has develop into an extension of the band in a manner. Through the years, it has different rather a lot between whether or not he or considered one of us has been the principle scriptwriter. This time, as soon as the story and narrative have been selected, he received to do the heavy lifting, and that could be a belief we don’t give somebody calmly.
Can you give a short synopsis of the movie?
It’s a narrative in regards to the battle for Avatar Country's survival, the prophecy of the forming of the band and the legend of the resurrection of the king. Avatar Country is a fabled land thought by many to be a fable. The oppressed metalheads of the world whisper about it, however few dare to hunt it out. Avatar Country additionally has enemies. A home music-loving ruling class who harvest the power of metalheads fights laborious to maintain their slaves in chains.
Will the movie be screened theatrically, put out as a standalone launch or added to a deluxe model of the Avatar Country album?
We are taking a look at totally different choices. The first precedence is to ensure that all of the backers who helped make this potential will get their palms on it as shortly as potential.
This is your second consecutive idea album. Will the story of Avatar Country carry over to the following album?
We by no means supposed to make two idea albums in a row. Granted, [they are] as totally different from one another as they are often, [but] we all the time make some extent out of transferring on to new challenges. I believe an artist ought to restrict the time she or he will get on a sure challenge earlier than they've to maneuver on. The essence of an thought could be misplaced whether it is executed over a too-long time frame.
With bands typically promoting fewer albums throughout the board as streaming grows stronger, do you envision crowdfunding as an alternate manner for followers to point out their allegiance to a band?
It already is for some. I don't know the way I really feel in regards to the thought of creating a crowdfunded album. We worth change, freedom and to finally solely reply to our personal expectations. Legend ofAvatar Country felt like a good factor to crowdfund since we may very well be very upfront with what the top result's meant to be, particularly because the music is out already. We have sufficient to point out individuals in order that expectations in all probability will considerably match actuality. I don't know if I'm keen to offer the identical type of guarantees in the case of the music, and I additionally assume individuals get that. If I've discovered one factor about our followers, it’s that they like us for being us, they usually like us for being free thinkers.