Maniacs Japan earlier in the year conducted an interview with Mikael Åkerfeldt (guitar, vocals) and Fredrik Åkesson (guitar) of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On OPETH celebrating its 25th anniversary this year:
Mikael: “I feel like I am 25 years old, not the band, so it makes me feel a bit old. But it’s great. I mean, being around for 25 years, that’s an achievement, especially knowing what I know about the band and everything we’ve gone through to keep it together. And we haven’t kept it together; there’s been people coming and going in the band. I’m the only constant member since the beginning, you could say. So it feels weird; that number feels weird: 25 years. But I’m happy. I mean, the band is, I would say, stronger… this lineup is stronger than ever. It’s tighter. We’re good friends. We have fun. We do some good music, we think. And [we’re] still active. There’s still a demand for us. We can still go out and play and tour and work with something that we love doing, so that’s fantastic, you know. I cannot complain, apart from the fact that it’s been so damn long, you know. 25 years — I mean, that’s crazy.”
On the musical direction of OPETH’s next album:
Mikael: “We don’t really know. That’s the beauty of it. Even if it sounds negative, it’s not meant to come across like that, but I see each record as a possible last record. But I think it’s a healthy thing, to not look into the future too much, for me. I’ve never been one of those guys; I just live in the now, kind of. So I can’t really see where we’re gonna take it musically. I think there’s another [OPETH] record [in the future], that we’re gonna put out more records. So I’m excited about that. But when I think about the future, the thing that excites me the most is the fact that I don’t know what’s gonna happen — to keep it fresh and exciting for us too. So we don’t have a plan for the future, but we hope that there is a future.”
OPETH’s eleventh studio album, “Pale Communion”, sold around 13,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 19 on The Billboard 200 chart.
“Pale Communion” was released on August 26, 2014 via Roadrunner Records. The cover artwork was once again created by Travis Smith — with art direction by guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt. The CD was produced by Åkerfeldt and mixed by longtime collaborator and PORCUPINE TREE frontman/guitarist Steven Wilson.