Metal Army recently conducted an interview with vocalist/guitarist Mikael kerfeldt of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Army: How has it been dealing with fans' devotion to the band with this touring cycle, taking into account some people's refusal to accept change?
Mikael: Well, everything is pretty much as normal for us. Being on this tour, the only thing that's been not business as usual is having this set list which fits in with our newer songs off "Heritage". Some fans are disappointed by the fact that I'm not screaming on this album and tour, yet some seem to like it. Our fans, by this time, are kind of ready for this kind of thing. We've been around for a while, so for us to do this sort of thing is not outrageous to me. It makes perfect sense.
Metal Army: Same here. This was the album and tour I was hoping you'd do. To me, if someone doesn't understand this side of OPETH, than they truly don't understand the band.
Mikael: Yeah, it's funny as we're talking right now about how you love "Heritage", and I was just responding to a fan letter in a magazine where the guy absolutely HATED it. He was saying we should split up, that this album "isn't OPETH" and blah blah. In a way, I want everyone to love it, of course, but in a way I'm glad that it's causing such divisive emotions. Some people are really getting into it, and some hate it with a passion.
Metal Army: At the end of the day, do you feel it's a matter of bands doing what they want to do? I mean, with a band like OPETH, you would think fans would embrace this sort of change.
Mikael: I thought that we made it pretty clear early on that we like change, and that we're not going to stay in the same spot for all eternity. I'm surprised when people especially if they've been with us a long time are surprised by a direction we've taken. I expect more from my fans, and that's one of the reasons why we did this album; we felt this was as much of an "OPETH record" as any other, and I'm hoping it will be that way for the fans, too. I'm hoping they have more of an open mind than most metal fans.
Metal Army: How early in advance did you feel that Heritage was going to be different, and moving in this direction?
Mikael: I knew even before I started writing, because I felt a bit concerned about our future, because we were somewhere on the outskirts of metal. I felt like I didn't want to do a contemporary sounding metal record, that we didn't belong there, or anywhere else, really. This gave me some concern, because I didn't' really know what I wanted to do; I just knew that whatever music was coming out of me next was going to be different.
Read the entire interview from Metal Army.