On October 11, guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH was interviewed by UK's Metal Hammer at Roundhouse in London, England. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked how OPETH went about choosing which songs to perform live on the current tour, Mikael said: "It can be difficult with setlists. We sat down [this time], and I think we were drinking a lot of wine, so nobody had any perception on how many songs we were writing down, basically. And we have eleven records now; if we go on a tour for a record, we wanna promote that record a little bit more than the other records. So we just wrote down songs, and we ended up with a list of 40 songs or something, which is impossible to cover in a show unless you're playing for a day. So we had to narrow it down. I'm pretty headstrong too, and I kind of mixed up my own integrity as a musician with the, so to speak, showmanship of this band. Like, when we play a show, we wanna please the crowd, basically. And we did a tour in support of the last record, 'Heritage', where we played a lot of new stuff, and we didn't play any of the really heavy stuff, which left a lot of people not so happy with the show, which, in retrospect, I thought was a mistake on my behalf. But now, we put together songs that, first, we want to play them, and we think that we can play them quite well, and most importantly, we think that it would please the fans. So integrity, I try and keep that to the creative side of things, and the live side of things will be more, like, crowd-pleasing things, whoring out a little bit. But we also love playing those songs, and that's not a problem for us."
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 Mikael Åkerfeldt. The CD was produced by Åkerfeldt and mixed by longtime collaborator and PORCUPINE TREE frontman/guitarist Steven Wilson.