JJ Koczan of The Obelisk recently conducted an interview with KATATONIA frontman Jonas Renkse about the band's new album, "Night is the New Day". A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Obelisk: Do you ever have trouble, either writing or recording, putting yourself in the emotional mindset of the songs?
Renkse: Not really, and that's something I'm really happy about, because I think it would be easy to get distracted if I wasn't able to put myself in the right mood and mindset, I would easily get distracted by other things and I think a lot of time in the studio would be destroyed, so to speak. If I come to the studio to sing and all of a sudden I'm not in the mood to sing and I have to wait until the next day to see if I'm in the right mood. I try to adapt to the situation and make the best out of it. I try to put the lights out and light up some cozy lights and try to get the feeling of the song as fast as possible and sing as much as possible and see where it ends up.
The Obelisk: You personally and the band, are you aware of fan expectations? Is there pressure to live up to the last record?
Renkse: Yeah, I think that's something we felt before the writing process started. Rightfully, people have high expectations, because I think "The Great Cold Distance" was a great album for KATATONIA. We put some pressure on ourselves, of course, but seeing what other people expect is healthy in a way, because it makes you have to really concentrate and do your best. Of course, that's something you want to do all the time, but I think it's even better to have the pressure from outside as well. I think if we felt we wouldn't be able to top the last album, we would still be writing these songs. But when we eventually started writing for this album, I think we immediately felt we had something going that would be on par with "The Great Cold Distance", or even better. Now when I listen back to the new album, I think it's better than "The Great Cold Distance", but I have to say that is a favorite album for me. I think that's a great KATATONIA record.
The Obelisk: Is it strange for you thinking of this as the eighth KATATONIA album? Do you ever stop and think about what you've accomplished in your career and where you are at this point?
Renkse: I don't think we really thought in that way. For us, it was just important to start working on some new music and that was the main focus. If we were to think too much about where we are in the moment, that would make things more difficult than they already are (laughs). Also, focusing on the music for this album, once the ball started rolling, it was a creative journey. Maybe that wasn't the answer to your question (laughs). No, we didn't really think about those more profound things.
The Obelisk: Do you have plans for touring yet? Are you coming back to the U.S.?
Renkse: We're planning a headlining tour of Europe in early spring, and as it looks now — this is not definite — I think we're going to North America straight after the Europe tour, in April or something like that. Right now we're going to support PORCUPINE TREE on a Scandinavian tour, then we're going to England to support PARADISE LOST on their U.K. leg of their European tour. It will be a lot of rehearsals for us and try to find songs we haven't played from the back catalog, then early spring we will be ready to do both Europe and North America. It's busy times ahead, which I really like.
Read the entire interview from The Obelisk.