Metal Injection correspondent Robert Pasbani sat down with guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt and guitarist Fredrik Åkesson of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH to discuss the band's upcoming album, their views on religion and what they consider "heavy" to mean nowadays. You can watch the chat below.
On whether the new OPETH album can be considered "heavy":
Mikael: "I don't think it's traditional heaviness, like when you talk about heavy and metal music. I kind of re-evaluated what I think is heavy in the last couple of years. Turning up the distortion and tuning down and triggering the drums doesn't make it heavy to me anymore. It just sounds like nothing. So we went the other way. We never tuned down, for instance, and we just kind of lost distortion and tried to opt for a more normal type of drum sound, like a real drum sound. I think it made it sound heavier. Some of those parts that are really slow and doomy sound just heavier than I think we would have sounded if we had just done it the traditional metal way of 2014. But it's also, I think, emotionally, a heavy record."
On OPETH's views on religion:
Mikael: "I would say that we're atheists. Like many other metal bands, when we started out, we were into satanism and stuff like that. Growing up in Stockholm, and forming a band in the late '80s, it comes with the territory, I guess. But it was a gimmick in those days, just like it is today with the satanic bands. But we never had any religious beliefs ourselves. I think it's still interesting with the occult. I always had a fascination for it. But it's not something I want to push on to [others]."