Drummerszone.com recently conducted an interview with OPETH drummer Martin Axenrot (NIFELHEIM, SATANIC SLAUGHTER, WITCHERY). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Drummerszone.com: In 2004 you joined the all-star line-up of BLOODBATH, replacing Dan Swanö who switched to guitar. And now you're on tour with OPETH, replacing their regular sticksman Martin Lopez. How has that happened?
Martin Axenrot: "During OPETH's tour in the U.S., Martin Lopez got ill. The band temporarily used the services of Gene Hoglan [who is also featured in OPETH's video for the song 'The Grand Conjuration'] but needed someone else for their European trek. While they were still in the U.S., I received a phone call from singer Michael Åkerfeldt whom I already knew from our mutual project BLOODBATH. Soon after we all met in OPETH's rehearsal studio in Stockholm and here I am today."
Drummerszone.com: I presume it's quite a challenge to play complex structured songs that clock over ten minutes...
Martin Axenrot: "Well, at first I made notes for myself to get to know the structures of the songs. Now the biggest challenge is to put a personal stamp on the music and not just playing what's on the record. Since I know the songs, I've started to play more freely, with bits of improvisation. Though it's important to follow bassist Martin Mendez as well, he controls the tempo and rhythm pretty much."
Drummerszone.com: Any news about WITCHERY? Does that band/project still exist?
Martin Axenrot: "In the summer of 2004 I recorded a new album with WITCHERY entitled 'Don't Fear The Reaper'. It has not been released yet because WITCHERY was dropped by our record label, but it is set for release in February 2006 by our new label Century Media. WITCHERY is a real band, giving all members the freedom to do stuff they cannot do in the other bands. We don't practice often, but especially when guitarists Patrik [also in THE HAUNTED] and Richard [also in SEANCE] are off duty, we happen to play and jam ten hours a day for a month. After the OPETH tour, in January 2006, we'll try to rehearse with WITCHERY and maybe even record a new CD. The last album hasn't even been released yet, but it doesn't harm to work ahead."
Read the entire interview at Drummerszone.com.