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Amon Amarth frontman Hegg on Bloodstock 2017 headline slot

Exclusive: Amon Amarth frontman Johan Hegg can't wait to return to Bloodstock festival – the birthplace of fans' "epic Viking rowing" ritual

Amon Amarth frontman Johan Hegg says the band can't wait to headline Bloodstock next year and return to the birthplace of the "epic Viking rowing" ritual favoured by their fans.

During Amon Amarth's 2009 set at Bloodstock, a number of fans sat down in a rowing formation and invented a much safer – and funnier – form of crowd participation than moshing, circle pits or the notorious 'wall of death.' A video of the rowing stunt from can be viewed below.

And after being announced as Friday night headliners for Bloodstock 2017, Hegg tells Metal Hammer he is counting down the days until his Catton Park return.

Hegg says: “It’s great that we’re going to be back at Bloodstock. I love it there, it’s a fun festival to play. We always had a great time there, always had a great crowd.

"And of course that is where the ‘epic Viking rowing’ was invented, so that will always have a special place in our hearts."

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The singer says he is also impressed with Bloodstock's rise from a relatively small event to a Mecca for metalheads.

He adds: "I also really think it’s cool to see how that festival has developed from that small indoor festival to what is actually a really big festival.

"And its great to be headlining for the first time, that’s going to be great. We’re going to bring a lot of fun stuff too. We’re aiming for a bigger stage show, we brought a lot of stuff last time but its going to be something a little bit more – that's the plan.”

Amon Amarth released their 10th album Jomsviking this year.

Bloodstock 2017 takes place from August 10 to 13 at Catton Park, Walton On Trent, England.

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