Opeth exclusive interview!

Exclusive interview for MetalDays with OPETH - Fredrik Åkesson (guitar  -backing vocals) in Paris on 2016, November 20th

“The surroundings are very beautiful, with all these lovely mountains. It is very green everywhere!”

First of all, I would like to know how do you feel before 2 days of gigs here in Paris?

Well, it’s the end of the tour basically, and we start to realize that we have four shows left now. When the tour is down, we have done 39 shows, on ‘Sorceress’ tour so far. So, it is quite convenient to play the same venue twice in a raw! So we figure out we will switch some songs on the setlist for tomorrow, something like three or four songs. May be some people go to both shows, so… it is better to change the set list for them. 


It is a very nice venue here, so may be you will have time to hang out tomorrow morning or early afternoon? 

Yeah! We arrived last night actually, so we already had dinner here in Paris. And yes, it is very nice! I walked down to Notre Dame Cathedral, and it was so beautiful. 


Back to MetalDays topics, I think it will be your second time at MetalDays, am I right?

Yes, you are right! Last time was 2 years ago if I remember well.


So, what do you think about this Slovenian Festival?

Oh it’s a cool vibe I think. I remember it seemed to be really big. And the surroundings are very beautiful, with all these lovely mountains. It is very green everywhere. It is a really nice environment for a festival. So yeah we are looking forward to it! I remember the last we played, friends were there also, I am talking about GRAVE band mates, and we had a good time! So yeah, it’s a great festival!



Did you swim in the river close to the festival? 

Oh no I haven’t done that! Forget about it (laughs)!


Would you please tell me what do you think about MetalDays bill so far?

I am looking forward to see DORO. Yeah she has very cool voice, I like her voice. And BLOODBATH are friends of us, of course! You know, our guitar tech plays in BLOODBATH, and of course our drummer. So those guys will have a very busy week!  


When you are not playing with OPETH, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies and if yes, which ones?

Oh yeah, as I am a guitar player, I like to seat at home and play guitar…and spend some time with my family of course… I have a daughter of three years old now, so… it’s a lot of family business when you go back home from the road. It’s a completely different life. About hobbies, I try to exercise a little bit, I go to shows, I am recording stuff also. I have a bunch of ideas, so… I will present my ideas for OPETH first. But, some of the stuff are different, so I should try to do something with that. It’s one project which might happen.


You have been playing with OPETH for 10 years now. Isn’t it frustrating for a musician to not write music in the band? I know that you have co-written 1 song with Mikael in « Sorceress » album, but… you don’t need more?

No, it’s not really frustrating because it has always been like that in OPETH. And Mikael is a great song writer, you know, and I always record ideas, and I present to him some ideas. I mean I had five ideas for the new record, one of them we start to work together actually. And we have written a few songs together, so it happens you know, so it is definitively not frustrating. It’s a luxury to have a person like Mikael within the band. You know, he is the pilot of the band, he likes giving his opinion about stuff, that’s the way it is. Also, I started to write a song but it was not ready for ‘Sorceress’…so we keep it for the future! It is a bit more heavier idea. So we’ll see you know!


How « Sorceress » has been received by the fans?

I think when we play the new songs, the crowd really knows them. And they look exited when we play these songs. So it’s great feeling you know. And I it was a good idea to release our lyrics videos before the release of the album because people get familiar with it. About sales, I think it is one of the best…

Number 1 in Germany, it’s fantastic! I haven’t red all the reviews but…when we meet fans, it seems like they love it. They appreciate the new album a lot.


What are your main plans for the next months?

Mainly I will get back to the daily routine in December. Sleep longer, wake up late! So that’s the first thing to do (laughs). And the it’s Christmas and family

vacation. In February, we go to Australia and New Zealand, so we will have almost two months break, and back to the road again. And then, we will play Festivals! 


Do you have one last word for MetalDays fans?

Yes, we hope to see you at MetalDays, and we are really looking forward to come back and play, up the beautiful mountains, so… See you there!


Interview and pics by KEUF

Many thanks to Valérie Reux from Nuclear Blast and Roger Wessier from Replica Promotion