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OPETH: waiting for the next 13 minutes

OPETH: waiting for the next 13 minutes
BANDS : Opeth

Two weeks ago I was writing that the Nevermore press conference was the longest and most pleasant from the ones that were to come and that the Opeth one was just pleasant, but not long. Now it's time for me to talk once more about Opeth. It's hard to find the right words to describe the sharpness of Mikael Akerfeldt's mind or the jokes that he's making almost unnoticed during the discussion, with exactly the same voice and intonation like the rest of the sentence. If you're not paying enough attention, you might not even notice them, becoming the next reason for his inner amusement. When he knows that he caught you, you can immediately see a joyful twinkle in his eyes and a vague smile on his lips.

In comparison to last year, this time Mikael was accompanied by Peter Lindgren. I already knew that Mikael is the kind of person with whom you'd endlessly talk, now we've found out that his band mates are the same. Unfortunately, the tiredness of the touring interfered once more, so the organizers asked us not to keep them talking for too long. We were just two journalists there anyway, our Italian colleague and me, and I had already known the "philosophical" things about the music, the band and the lyrics. The meeting, now more like an interview than like a press conference (that's also the reason why I haven’t' adapted the text in any way), was short indeed. Only 13 minutes... Maybe next year we'll get to talk another 13 minutes and then so on, until we get that hours of talking and we'll finally get bored.


Mikael Akerfeldt and Peter Lindgren


Italian guy: I was watching a couple of hours ago Gorefest playing and I was thinking that in the early 90s a lot of death metal bands tried to do something different, incorporating different sounds. A lot of them simply didn't make it and all the other who were smashed by the press for example Tiamat sold a lot. Why did you make it in a way to incorporate something different, more than death metal? Have you ever thought about that?
Peter: No, but I think it took us a pretty long time to actually go somewhere because we were different. We didn't have any tours, we didn't sell any albums, didn't do any shows for years. And just recently it was that things started to happen.
Mikael: I think that if you tour, that's probably the best way to get some sort of success and as soon as we started touring things started moving. It took us a long time to get there. It's not the receipt for success to do long songs.
Peter: It depends on what you want to do. If you want to be a musical band or if you want to be a commercially successful, which image based band, it's two different styles. We have always concentrated on music and when you do that, in the world music scene you have to pay the price. The price is that you don't get anywhere. But now we have the acceptance of not only the metal scene, but I think the rock and hard rock scene as well are really looking into what we're doing and think that what we're doing which I think that all of us thought we are interesting all the time. It took some time for the people to realize that.

Italian guy: So now the audience is ready and ten years ago it was not?
I think there's probably a little bit everything for all the people in our music and I think you have to listen to us with patience, you have to sit down, not just listen while eating or driving, you have to concentrate a little bit. And there were few people at that time that were ready to actually do take the time, but I think most people just haven't heard about us at that time and now there's more people. They hear about us and some people check us and like us. Some people probably check us and don't like us.
Mikael: I don't think there's much of those. Everybody likes us now.

Metalfan: I wanted to ask you about Martin Lopez. How does he feel? Is he ok?
Well, we haven't talked with him for quite some time. He's in Uruguay as far as I know. Last time we talked he was doing quite well but he wasn't fit to play, he still needs to eat a lot. So he's doing better but none of us has talked to him in a few months so right now we don't really know.


Mikael Akerfeldt and Peter Lindgren


Metalfan: And how did Martin Axenrot fit in the band?
Oh, he's great, you know… he's a great character, he's a very good drummer and…
Mikael: He's funny
Peter: Yeah. Everything just clicked because you're always worried if you have to bring in a new guy. Not only musically does he have to fit, but also personally. We tour always and we're always living pretty close to each other and if someone's an asshole, it's not going to work. He's not, he's just a great guy
Mikael: He's got so much energy in him and sometimes the rest of us might feel jaded. He plays for a long time but his bands never had the same opportunity to work as much as we do so I think… I hope he's not started yet to get tired of it all. Initially it was the same as it was for us back in the days, like a dream come true, to work with this band. That's why we started to write good music and to dream of touring, to go abroad and tour and play in countries all over the world, it always been a dream of ours. And now it's the only thing we do.

Metalfan: So have you started to work on some new material? Any new album coming soon?
It's going to happen I guess but it's only a few riffs, a few arrangements that I've done. It's impossible for me to write on tour, you know... it's other interests and you have to take care of them, like drinking, smoking, watching TV and playing video games. But there's really no privacy to write on tour and a lot of bands are doing that and I'm kind of jealous on bands who can do that.... but we're not one of those bands. We're gonna take a break in the new year and first couple of months just chilling and hanging with our friends and families and resting I guess and then we're gonna start concentrating on the next record.

Italian guy: When you face a live situation like this... I mean the people are not all here for you and they are preparing to get 15 minutes long songs. I was at the Gods of Metal and not one has said that a 10 minutes song is such a long time.
Well I think there's probably the same for every band, but hopefully there's a few fans also so we can feel that someone appreciates it but also it's a good opportunity to play not only to your own fans but also try to appeal to people who are not fans, who might have heard about us and want to check us out. If just one out of ten likes us, than that's ok for us.
Mikael: I think it's inevitable for us, we're gonna stick out in a festival bill, people will see, they might mot like us, but they will remember us because we don't pretty sound like any other bands. We're always gonna stick out and than it's up to the individual person to decide if they like us or not, but everybody's gonna remember who we were.


Peter Lindgren


Metalfan: Regarding the duration of the songs, many have the impression that you play a short set. I mean the show at Sziget last year... it just passed so quickly!
Yeah, but that was a big mistake. We were supposed to... they told us that we're gonna play 40-45 minutes and once we got there we got like an hour. It was set in the bill that we have an hour and 20 minutes. We were like ... oh... we just had a new drummer and the songs that we were gonna play was all he knew at that time.
Peter: Nobody told us that we're gonna have a long set.
Mikael: That was a short set. Normally when we do our gigs we play two hours plus.
Metalfan: How long will you play here?
Peter: 75 minutes I think.
Mikael: Yes.
Peter: That means like 7 songs.
Metalfan: Too few...
Peter: Yeah... well if you have an hour to play, most bands can play 10 songs or maybe 12 songs, but for us it's only 5 songs. But it's still an hour.

Italian guy: Where do you think you can go with your music? You explore something new on every record. Is it possible to see a full progressive record?
Well we already tried on Damnation album which is not at all a metal album. I don't know... looking back 10 years from now I'd be surprised if I saw where we are right now. Musically we have done Damnation which is progressive.
Mikael: We're not trying to be spokespersons for progressive metal and trying to bring it out in the world, that's not our intention at all. As he said before, we're concentrating on writing good songs and then it's up to anybody else, like media, record label, agents, all that kind of stuff, how big they want to make us. You can make a fucking retard big if you really want to. It all comes down to cash and unfortunately we're not one of those bands that the people with the money... they don't see that big of a future in Opeth. All the things that we have gained and all the success that we have had so far has a lot to do with us. It's not something super hype from the record label. There's always somebody that makes more money and let's face it, that's all that the record labels want, they want to make money. Now we're doing ok but I don't think they have goals set for us... having Metallica as a support band.

Metalfan: I read something on Blabbermouth a few weeks ago about a fan of yours who is very upset that you talk too much on stage. I thought it was very funny...
Yeah, it is funny, people always want to complain about something and it's true... I do talk a lot of shit on stage but at that time it's our stage, you know?
Peter: Think about it, too... It's just five songs, so it's just 4 in between the songs. If you have 10 songs, you slice it up into 10 breaks so there's not much left to talk.
Mikael: We need a break as well between the songs, to tune guitars and drink something. I also think I was pretty much inspired by Devin Townsend in between songs talk because I think he’s funny as hell. And I think it's refreshing to hear somebody who ... I can't stand when I go to a gig and I hear like "show me your fucking hands", "scream for me"... it's been done, you know?  I'm not interested in doing that and I couldn't do that. I couldn't do that and keep a straight face because I don't have that rock star mentality. Just yet. But what I can do is say things like cock, pussy and fuck [laughs]. A lot of people think that is tedious but some people think it's fun.

Metalfan: One last question for me. Last year when you played at Sziget it was also a rainy day, just like today. Do you think Opeth brings the rain?
I think so. Yesterday when we played at Earthshaker Festival it started rained just when we arrived.
Mikael: It was storm! We're evil.
Peter: We brought the rain in Slovenia.
Metalfan: That's a good thing because we had some really hot days here. Rain is just so perfect now.
Italian guy: Actually at the Gods of Metal one month ago, it was the only moment of the day when it was starting to rain. [everybody laughs] I have been there for four days and that was the only moment when it rained!
Mikael: It's been happening to us for quite some time now. I don't know if it's an omen.

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Vezi galeriile trupelor: Opeth

   August 16, 2006  | 0 Comments  | 12512 Views « BACK

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