Opeth Interview

This interview was made in Lyon the 12th of december 2005.
Manu and Trolly have met Per.

You've been touring in Europe for a few months now. How has it been so far?

It's been good. This is the 2nd time we're doing Europe this fall. We did 3 weeks in september, which was really good but we didn't have the time to go to all the countries you know. So this time we go to a couple of other countries like Spain, more shows in France as well, 'cause we only did Paris in September. And we go to Italy, Hungary, Czech Republik... It's a lot of fun to go to new places you know, it's cool.

What do you think about France and the french audience?
I've been surprise that how good it's been. The show in Paris has been fantastic. We're also going to do one more show in Toulouse and, well I've never been in Lyon before but I know the guys have played here before (Per has been in the band for only 2 years) and... they played the bar stage right?

So... since they moved us into the big hall, I guess there's a few more people coming now, so thats going to be good.

Martin Lopez has been sick for such a long time...

Do you know how he his now?
He's better, but he's still not fit to play. Obviously we've been on tour for a couple of weeks or more or less the all fall, but everybody is talking to him now. We haven't talk to him in like to weeks now, and he 's been doing better.So we gonna finish this european tour with Axe, who's been helping us out since this summer, and then we gonna see what happens you know... he has to let us know how he feels, so everything is ok.

I've read that Gene Hoglan (Death,..., Strapping Young Lad) replaced him during some dates in the US this summer...

How was it like to play with this guy who's a sort of death metal legend?
Yeah he is, and he's an extremely good musician and extremely nice guy. He's fantastic. We were lucky that we were doing sort of a festival tour with lots of other bands and he was there with his band Strapping Young Lad. When Lopez got sick and went back home to Sweden, he told us that : "I can do it", you know... And actually he's been doing with us long gig before like 2 and a half years ago in Canada as well. So he reahearsed all the songs in one night, and then the first time he played those songs live was at the gig because he rehearsed at the back of the bus with mike, playing drums on pillows. (Laughs)

Let's talk about your last album : "Ghost Reveries". I've read that you rehearsed a little bit more before getting into the studio than the other guys did for "Damnation" and "Deliverance". Was that because they didn't want the recording of "Ghost reveries" to be the same nightmare?
Yes, I guess a little bit. I think it's been well documented that the guys are lazy bastards you know, that never rehearse before the albums. So this time it took almost 4 weeks to rehearse and to get the basic structures of the songs finished before going into the studio, which, I think, was a good thing. A lot of cool stuff can happen if you don't rehearse and just go into the studio as well, but I think it was good this time around, 'cause it gave us a lot more time to, you know, fittle around with sounds and details instead of having to come up with the whole album while you're in the studio.

The album was engineered and mixed by Jens Bogren. He isn't really known for the moment. Can you tell me a little bit about him?
He's a fairly young guy, a swedish guy. He's been doing lots of stuff, but not that much metal and hard rock, but he's very good at what he's doing and he's very serious.
He's also a musician, a guitar player. Apparently he's been a fan of Opeth for many years. So he knew what the band was before going into the studio. He's been working for Katatonia before, and he also did the last Bloodbath album.

Wow ok.
I mean he knows this metal, you know, anyway, even though he hasn't done a lot of famous bands... But he's very good.

Has the fact that you produced the album yourselves made that each member of the band has been more involved in the creation process?
Yes a little bit. But I think the fact that we did rehearse for this album also made everyone more involved. Because then you have the time to come up with your own ideas, and you maybe have the time to try some different stuffs.

We all know that Mike (Akerfeldt) "is" Opeth, and that he writes something like 90% of the music. Is it easy for you to work with him?
Yes...Yes I would say...I'm not mad at him! (Laugh). Not yet! I guess I've been in the band for just a short period of time anyway, but I mean, when he asked me to play with them live... I mean I know what the deal is because I've known the guys before I started playing with them. So I knew how this band has their own way of working. It seems to be... it's been good so far i mean, I don't have any complaint ...

To what degree have you been active in the songwritting?
I wrote a couple of riffs, and then there's a lot of team work going on when you arrange like keyboards parts. I mean usually Mike writes the basic ideas and then he just asks if it is possible to do this or do that. Then we sit together and work on these stuffs.

In which way do you think you've influenced Opeth?
Well I guess, since there's a new instrument in the band...I know that Mike really wanted to write for keyboards as well. So I guess that's the influence, that you have a new instrument in the band... Personally, I have no idea! (Laugh). You have to ask the other guys about that.

You now have a big discography. Isn't it too difficult to make a setlist that satisfies everyone?
Yes, that's very difficult, and it's even difficult to have a setlist that everyone in the band is happy with, as well. We try to change the setlist for each tour, but this time around has been a little bit special just because Axe doesn't know all the songs. It's not just like :"Let's play this one", you know, and he doesn't know it. So we have to decide before the tour what we gonna play, so he gets the time to rehearse. But I think we've done a pretty good job. We've done different setlists on the festivals this summer, compared to the first european tour and compared to the US tour and the stuff that we're playing tonight. And on this tour it's very different from what we did in the US.

A lot of fans are waiting for you to play some songs from "Orchid" and "Morningrise"...
Which we do...

Are you going to play some songs from those albums tonight?
Yes, we'll play one song from orchid, but none from morningrise. Hopefully that's gonna be on the next tour. I think it's been a couple of years since they played anything from orchid, and tonight we gonna do a pretty obscure track, "Under the weeping moon". And I think they've never played that song live before. It's a fun song to play. Obviously we'd like to play at least one song from each album, but since the songs are so long, it's hard to fit it in. And also, everybody wants to play new songs.

Which is your favorite Opeth album?
I would say "My Arms Your Hearse".

Let's talk about you. What have you been listening to recently?
Everyone in this band listen to variety and old stuff, and if you mix'em all up, you would pretty much have like the whole music history (Laugh). If you're talking about metal,
I've been listening a lot to a band called Confessor, they reformed. They were around in the late 80's early 90's. It's like a sort of doomy... they have their very own style, very doomy and like technical stuff, if that's the term. Well, they reformed now, and made a new album, which is really good, called "Unrebelled". It's a really good band. I've been aslo listening a lot to a punk band called " Bell Gardens ", a punk-rock band from Los Angeles, really cool stuff. It sounds like Black Flag and stuff like that...
Clutch latest album is really good as well... So a lot of different stuff.

What do you think of the actual metal scene?
There are so many bands going. I mean, I think there's lots of good bands, but maybe you have to look a little bit harder now, because there are so many bands compared
how it was like 10 or 15 years ago. Everybody can make an album now, because you can have your own studio at home you kknow. You don't have to go somewhere to make an album. Which is good, I think. But you have to look a little bit harder because there are so many bands. I would say it's good, I mean, if you don't like something then don't listen to it you know. It's pretty easy for me.

Which aspect of beeing in a band do you prefer? Recording in the studio or playing live?
Playing live, definately.

What is Opeth's future going to be like?
It's gonna be more touring. We pretty much have the whole next year schedule for touring. We gonna go back to the USA in february, we gonna have january off. And then after the US, we get to a couple of countries that we haven't have the time to go to yet. Turkey, Greece, then it's Australia and then it's summer. Hopefully that means festivals, which is always fun I think. You meet a lot of cool people and you see a lot of cool bands. Then it's South America in September, and maybe another european tour in october... pretty busy.

After "Damnation" and "Deliverance", Mike was supposed to have a break, but then he didn't really have one. Does he plan to have one after the tour, or has he totally forgotten this idea?
We had a all year off, after the touring of "Damnation" and "Deliverance". The last show we did was the Sweden Rock festival, and before that show we didn't do anything... So we almost had a year off. I think that was enough. You know everybody wants to be at home, having free times. It takes like 2 months; and then everybody wants to play again.

You're introduced in the media as a wise and intello death metal band. I've even read in a magazine that Opeth are the nice guys that your grand mother would be delighted to meet. What do you think about it? Does it get on your nerves? Does it really represent what you are?

Well, I don't know if metal is supposed to be that way. It's like, how intellectual does it look when you stand on the stage and shake your head like a maniac... it doesn't seem very thinking metal to me. I don't know about that term, it just seems stupid, because that means like that you're better than other people, whaterver. And that's really not the case. We may be even more stupid than other people (Laugh). You know, I guess that terms pops up just because we got long songs or whatever, you know, and the mix of mellow stuff and heavy stuff I don't know. I think it's just stupid. We're just a band with death metal roots.

Questonaire of pivot :

Which is your favorite word? Yes.
Which word do you hate the most? No.
What makes you creative? Life.
What pisses you off? Complaiment.
What is your favorite insult? Fuck.
What sound or noise do you like? Electric guitar.
What sound or noise do you hate? Traffic.
If you weren't a musician, what profession would you like to have? Graphic designer.
hate? Factory worker.
If god exists, what would you want him to tell you when you arrive in heaven?
"Welcome!" (Laugh).

Okay, it's now finished. Thank you very much for that interview, and see you for the show.
OK cool, I hope you will enjoy.

Interview Manu et Trolly
Traduction Manu


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