Metal Wani’s Editor In Chief Owais ‘Vitek’ Nabi had a chat with OPETH frontman and mastermind Mikael Akerfeldt.
Below are the excerpts from the Interview:
One thing I still find funny is how some of these Opeth fans who didn’t like the last three albums, now after all these years, I see the same set of people online calling these three records a masterpiece because it has grown over the period of time…
“I can’t tell people, I can’t dictate the rules of what type of music is good or what type of music you people should listen to, but you have to also put it in reverse.
“Even if we got fans, like a specific record or a specific string of albums that we’ve done, they cannot, in turn, dictate the rules to us of what we should do because we just do what we want to do.
“I’m not the same guy that I was when I was 19. I’ve gone through emotions with my own consummation of music and I’ve developed a wide taste in music and it would be strange if I didn’t let that infiltrate the sound of the music that I write.
“So, in retrospect, I think some of these albums that we put out that got a lot of criticism, bad criticism, like [2011’s] ‘Heritage’ [Opeth’s first prog-rock record] for instance, with time – when we play songs from there, now it’s different to what it was when we played it back then [when the album was released].
“When we played ‘The Devil’s Orchard,’ when the album came out, some of the people were like, ‘What the hell is this?’. And now, it’s just a song that they like.
“I discovered classical music and jazz music, and when I write music, it doesn’t matter what genre it is. I want to be in a band, in a musical environment that pushes for musical expression regardless of the genre – that’s how I perceive things.
“And ultimately, for me as a musician, I am the best judge of what I should do.”
In a recent interview with Fredrik [Akesson, guitar], you said you guys have already written some songs, that you’re writing three more songs – so that probably goes to 15 songs, which is quite a number. Is that something you always planned? To write a number of songs and then take out the best?
“It’s different from time to time. Usually, we have a deadline to work around – you have to be in the studio at this and that date, and you have to deliver the album at this and that date, but for this album, I have been very vague.
“People are asking like, ‘When can you record?’. I’m saying, ‘I don’t know.’ ‘When can you deliver an album?’. I’m saying, ‘I don’t know.’ I don’t want to rush things. I want to make sure that the music that we have is fantastic – that we collectively think is fantastic – once we feel that, ‘Okay this is a great album’, then we’ll record it.
“And then we’ll also record the songs that we feel are not as great, or maybe they’re great but they don’t fit on the album, we’re gonna record everything.”
Have you anything planned in terms of recording, or is it still in the writing mode?
“Like I said to the manager – I don’t know.”
Are there any instruments which you would consider incorporating into Opeth’s music?
“So far, no. The songs are written, it’s been nothing really outrageous, I think other than a lute, actually, and that lute basically sounds like an acoustic guitar.
“It could be an acoustic guitar, but it is actually a lute, and it’s not because ‘Hey this part needs a lute you could go there.’ I tried, I thought it sounded nice, I recorded a little bit, a little section with that thing, but other than that, it’s normal instruments.”