January 2, 2017

In a recent interview with Barbara Caserta of Italy's Linea Rock, OPETH mainman Mikael Åkerfeldt was asked about the possibility of a second album from STORM CORROSION, his collaboration with PORCUPINE TREE's Steven Wilson. He said: "There might be a second album, but it's one of those things… That was a labor of love, you could say. Me and Steve, we had talked about writing music together. Because we had worked together quite a few times — I've been on his records and he's been on our records, of course, but we never actually wrote music together. So that's why STORM CORROSION even exists — because both me and him wanted to write together. And it was really fun; it was a fun record to make, and it was so 'real time' that it was scary. We just sat down and I came up with something and he came up with something, and we recorded it, and that was a song. It was done like that."

Despite the fact that the 2012's "Storm Corrosion" album was a largely spontaneous affair, Mikael is confident that the songwriting chemistry between him and Wilson is strong enough to produce a follow-up effort. "I know that it can happen again," he said. "It's just that it's not the priority. It's something that we did it for fun, basically, and for the love of music. So if we do it again, it will be when we completely… Like, the schedules are empty and there's nothing happening, we have lots of time. And then we're not afraid of failure either. Like, if we try and it doesn't work, it doesn't really matter."

Mikael also once again cleared up rumors that former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy was initially asked to be part of STORM CORROSION, only to be dismissed from the project once Åkerfeldt and Wilson started collaborating on musical ideas.

"Mike and I, he's also a good friend of mine, and we talked several times about doing something together," Mikael explained. "And he heard about me and Steven doing this, and he said, 'I wanna play drums,' figuring there's gonna be drums on there. But what happened was that there's not a lot drums on there. There's just a beat sometimes, like on the ride cymbal. And one song, instead of drums, I was keeping the beat with a string on a guitar — the last song on the album. There is drums on one song — there is a little bit of drums on some songs — which was played by Gavin Harrison [PORCUPINE TREE] at the end of the day. But Gavin came in like a session musician — he just did it, and he has no kind of connection with the project other than that he was brought in to do that. But the idea, like, if you bring in a guy like Mike, it becomes a band situation, and Mike's a workaholic too. And you don't bring in Mike Portnoy to play the ride cymbal. He's a great drummer, and I'd love to do something with him sometime, but that wasn't a drum record, so he would probably be a bit upset if that was all he was gonna do."

Asked if STORM CORROSION was a musical escape for him or just another way for him to express himself, Mikael said: "Well, for me or Steven, there was no need to express… He's a friend, and every now and then, I go over to the U.K. and we go out record shopping, have dinner and talk shit. STORM CORROSION is the result of us playing. Like, kids play with Lego [toy building blocks] or with 'Star Wars' figures or whatever. Me and Steven, we hang out and we write music together. So that's what it was. I don't think we had anything in particular to say that we couldn't get out in our respective bands. It was just fun, basically. But the thing that happened with STORM CORROSION is that the result was so odd to anything especially I had done before that it became something bigger than just a result of a good… having fun. It became — as far as I'm concerned — a fairly new genre of music. I know a lot of music, and I listen to a lot of different styles of music, and the music scene that [is the] closest thing that could come close to STORM CORROSION would be some Krautrock scene, like POPOL VUH, for instance, which is a German band that both me and Steve like. And that's basically what we were after. But we also have vocals in there. So it kind of [ended] up being something I think was unheard of until that record came out, and since."

The self-titled debut album from STORM CORROSION sold 9,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 47 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD also landed at No. 45 on the official U.K. chart.


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