Guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH was interviewed on the October 3-5 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the Podbean widget below.
To see a full list of stations carrying the program and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com.
Asked what the biggest misconception people have about what makes music heavy and what makes OPETH's new album, "Pale Communion", heavy to him, Mikael said: "Well, I think the misconceptions are many. It's such a taste thing, I think, in the end, at least for me. I'm sort of lost about metal, especially since I've done some interviews where I've just said what I thought, and people get upset, because they have different opinions on what metal really is. And, for me, I think I might be too old, to be honest, to understand [laughs] what the younger generation thinks that metal really is these days."
He continued: "I grew up with the '70s and '80s hard rock and metal bands, so those bands, to me, were very diverse and [they had] lots of things going on in their music, and they were metal bands in my book, but I'm not sure if they would come across as a metal band in the climate of today, basically. But I think metal, to me, has become a bit of an attitude as well — a question of attitude — and I think we have still that attitude intact. Like, we're a bit, for lack of a better word, rebellious. [laughs]"
Mikael also spoke about what typically influences OPETH's musical direction when he starts working on a new album. "I think a lot of it has to do with stuff that I am listening to at the time," he said. "A lot of the stuff I am listening to, it has, like, a constant… Like, the bands that constantly are on my, so to speak, playlist, are those types of bands I grew up with — bands like [JUDAS] PRIEST, [IRON] MAIDEN, the SCORPIONS, DEEP PURPLE, LED ZEPPELIN, [BLACK] SABBATH — those types of bands — as well as the progressive and rock stuff that I collect. But, generally, it might be a few more artists that are a bit important than others, when I'm writing for a new record. Like, for this record, I was listening a lot to, you know… I'm kind of bracing myself before saying this, but I was listening a lot to David Crosby, and CROSBY STILLS NASH & YOUNG, which explains a little bit of the vocal harmonies on the record, because I'm a big fan of Crosby's vocal harmonies. So I listened a lot to that, but also a lot to obscure Italian progressive rock, early '70s stuff that I collect, because it's bombastic, bordering on pretentious, and 'more is more,' which I like. So, a lot of that stuff. I'm a big Scott Walker [American singer-songwriter, composer and record producer] fan; I always listen to Scott Walker. Yeah, everything. I take some stuff in, but I try not to, kind of,with the exception of the song 'Goblin', I try not to be directly inspired by something that makes me write a song that is kind of gimmicking that inspiration, if you know what I mean."
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 via Roadrunner Records. The cover artwork was once again created by Travis Smith — with art direction by Åkerfeldt.