Mikael Akerfeldt, the front man of progressive metallers, OPETH, appears on the cover of the latest issue of the Decibel Magazine. The article takes an in-depth look at the band and the latest album, which you can read AT THIS LOCATION. There is also an interview with bassist Martin Mendez on the AU website and below are some extracts from that interview:
The AU: I listened to [the new OPETH album] “Heritage” today and there’s a lot of ’60s and ’70s sounds on it — a bit of THE DOORS, a bit of URIAH HEEP, a bit of JETHRO TULL as well. It’s been hinted at through previous records but why did the band decide to embrace that sound fully on this album?
Martin: Well, we’ve always been into these sounds. We always listened to lots of rock music from the ’70s. We always had these albums in our record collections. We wanted to experiment with these sounds like we have done over the years more on this album, I think.
The AU: You joined the band about 12 years ago now. What drew you to OPETH and what makes you stay?
Martin: Well, I still love to play music. I think the problem with these past members is that they stop wanting to play music. I still love it and that’s why I’m still here. I love playing it. I think it becomes difficult for many people because this lifestyle is not for everybody. The touring is pretty hard — it’s long. Sometimes you tour for up to a year and then you release another album and you start again. I think that’s a big part of it, for some people. Maybe. They just want to be home. I can understand that.
The AU: Do you think if OPETH hadn’t become a worldwide touring band, the band would not have enjoyed its success, to a certain extent?
Martin: Yes. I mean, we survive on touring, as a band. Making records and things, you don’t see any money from that. For us, to keep the band alive and to survive, you have to tour. I think we do good for a lot of people, to play live. We put on a good show — we don’t put on a big [spectacle] like metal bands used to. We don’t have any bombs, we don’t have any fire, we don’t have any image to [uphold], we don’t wear weird clothes, or whatever. We just set up and play.
The AU: Writers and fans call OPETH a progressive death metal band and have been for a long time. How would you describe the music that you play if you were going to describe yourselves at all?
Martin: Well, that’s a difficult thing, you know. I don’t know how you would talk about it. I mean, there are so many journalists in music today. People call us death metal but I think we just play rock or heavy metal, but in a different way, you know. In the past, you had heavy metal but now you have all these different kinds. But now you have a name for every band and what they play. It’s difficult to just make one up.
The AU: Talking about Mikael [