OPETH Frontman MIKAEL ÅKERFELDT - "I've Lost Interest In Making Up New Genres To Describe What We Do"

November 23, 2017, a year ago

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OPETH Frontman MIKAEL ÅKERFELDT - "I've Lost Interest In Making Up New Genres To Describe What We Do"

Overdrive recently caught up with Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt, whi discussed the band's stylistic changes over the years. An excerpt is available below.

Overdrive: Here you are with album number 12 (Sorceress) and finally having your very own label (Moderbolaget Records) to work under. Did this give you a sense of creative freedom in any way mentally or was it just business as usual?

Mikael: "Yes, I agree for sure. That’s another aspect of the need to adopt new sounds. I bet Rob Halford (Judas Priest) is thinking 'Fuck, why did I do some much high-range singing back in the day?' (laughing) I can only guess that it’s not easy to do the older you get. I’m fortunate enough that I can still do the screams when I need too and I enjoy doing them when it’s right for the music. My biggest concern is that I’m going to get bored with music you know? My dream, when I was a young child, was to do this for the rest of my life and the last thing I want to do is ruin it by playing it safe? Hell no!"

Overdrive: It’s widely reported that you are a fan of the '60s, '70s bands due to the experimental element of the music back then. Do you find that the entire business has become homogenized and ultimately bland to a degree?

Mikael: "I think people back in the day were complaining about categories being slapped on them more than they are today. I personally used to like the philosophy of categories and used to have so much fun with it back in the day with fanzines interviews. I used to invent completely fabricated genres such as 'Forest Metal' or 'we play dark medieval metal' (laughing). I have a lot of problems with music today and how people consume it. There is no value left anymore and very little appreciation for the creativity and time process involved in creating music. The fact that you can just shuffle through an album in the wrong sequence of tracks that were carefully picked in that order just amazes me. Would you watch the end of a new movie the first time and skip the beginning? It’s the same thing in my opinion. When people ask us these days what kind of band Opeth is, I just say we are a rock band (laughing). I’ve lost interest in making up new genres to describe what we do."

Read the complete interview here.

Opeth guitarist Fredrik Akesson was interviewed on November 19th at Rock City in Nottingham, England. The complete chat can be viewed below; an excerpt has been transcribed as follows:

What's the plan after this tour? Are you in the process of making news music?

"In a way, yes, I would say. This is the last run we do (in support of Soreceress), and then we have a break. We might play some festivals during the summer, but before that, there's no gigs. So it's a bit of a break, but also starting to write for a new album, absolutely. So we'll see how that goes. But nothing is… no direction is settled yet or anything like that."

Is there always writing going on?

"For me personally, I sit around and play a lot of guitar during the day, and sometimes you come up with a little melody or a little riff or something, and I just record it in my voice memory in the phone. So small stuff like that. But it's not… working on a song kind of thing rarely happens on the road. Especially for Mikael (Akerfeldt - vocalist / guitarist), I know he needs to be in his bubble, you know. So that's why we wanna take a break now as well, because for him, also, it's important to don't have to think about the shows or anything like that, just focus on coming up with new material."

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