Mikael Akerfeldt: Frankenstein Speaks
Mikael Akerfeldt IS Frankenstein. He is beautiful and intense. He WILL put a spell on you. I wanted this interview for hundred years-I swear to god…and Chipster PR let me have him. I love Opeth. I love Mikael Akerfeldt. You should love Opeth. You should love Mikael Akerfelt. The power of MusicIncider compels you….oh, and here is what he had to say:
MI: What’s your birthday?
Mikael: April 17th.
MI: Tell me about your new DVD Lamentations.
Mikael: I always thought DVDs from other bands looked very unprofessional and not so interesting. My friend always wanted to do a documentary, so we did a live gig and had the documentary on there also.
MI: You mentioned you were working on a new project, when will that be done?
Mikael: It’s too early to say when it’s going to be recorded and release or what it’s going to sound like.
MI: What did you think about last night’s show in Atlanta as compared to last years?
Mikael: To be honest I had kind of forgotten how good it was in Atlanta. We always had a good crowd there in Atlanta.
MI: Tell us about the most memorable show you played live.
Mikael: A festival in Belgium called Fields of Rock, which was a big festival.
MI: Is the keyboard player on tour going to be permanent?
Mikael: He’s probably going to be.
MI: How did the band get together?
Mikael: Opeth was a band before any of us joined. My friend was the singer and had me come audition. The other guys in the band at the time didn’t seem to like me very much and the band split up. After that, the singer and I formed the band and that’s really when Opeth was born.
MI: Where did you get the name for the band?
Mikael: It’s from a book called The Sunbird, it was written by Wilbur Smith.
MI: Have you ever inhaled?
Mikael: Yes, of course. I tried marijuana; it’s not for me.
MI: What are your thoughts on legalizing drugs?
Mikael: I’m pretty much against drugs.
MI: Where do you get the inspiration for your music?
Mikael: I grew up to the 60’s and 70’s stuff as well as classic hair metal, hard rock, and death metal. I listen to so many different kinds of music that it’s hard to say which inspired me.
MI: Where were you when 9-11 happened and how did it affect you?
Mikael: I was actually watching the second plane live on TV. I thought it was a movie or something.
MI: If you could design a memorial for the victims of 9-11 what would it be?
Mikael: I don’t know at all.
MI: What do you think of Bush?
Mikael: When the election was on I was more into Al Gore. I don’t like Bush really. I think he’s done some weird things.
MI: Tell me how you think the band has grown from Blackwater Park, to Damnation, to Deliverance.
Mikael: It’s been a steady normal evolution within the band. We try not to think too much when we record, we just record whatever we’ve got. We don’t rehearse anymore; we haven’t done that for the last four albums. We have no idea what it’s going to sound like before we hear the finished product.
MI: Tell me a joke.
Mikael: I only have very bad jokes. What’s the best thing about fucking twenty-eight year old girls? There are twenty of them.
MI: How has the music business treated you over the years?
Mikael: I’ve had some rough times but all in all it’s been pretty good. The music business is pretty shitty as it is. Today we make a pretty decent living from the music and that’s nice.
MI: What advice would you give a young band ready to sign a record deal?
Mikael: Something bad is always going to happen so there’s no real advice I can give. The only thing I would say is to only care about the music, everything else is bullshit. Image and marketing is not your job, concentrate on the music and you’ll be fine.
MI: What are your thoughts about Ozzfest and Lollapalooza and all these big festivals that are going on out there?
Mikael: Ozzfest is a big scam pretty much. They charge the band several thousand dollars just to be on the bill, which is a shamble. I think its greed from Osbourne. That festival sickens me.
MI: What do you think about MTV?
Mikael: I like it. I watch it sometimes but it’s always the same stuff. All of these hip-hop bands jumping around and every video is pretty much the same. I can’t understand why some of these guys don’t want an original idea for a video.
MI: Who do you think the best composer is?
Mikael: The best song in my opinion is Sgt. Pepper – A Day In The Life, which is a Lennon/McCartney, mostly Lennon. I think the two of them are the greatest songwriters of all time.
MI: If you had your CD player on right now what would be playing?
Mikael: Martha My Dear by The Beatles.
MI: Where do you get your vocal influence?
Mikael: David Vincent from Morbid Angel pretty much.
MI: If you were stuck on a desert island and could take 2 people, 2 books, 2 CDs, and a lifetime supply of booze, what would they be?
Mikael: My wife and my cat. For the books I would take some porn. CDs would be The Beatles White Album and Scott Walker.
MI: What pisses you off most in the world today?
Mikael: The war pisses me off. I try to keep out of politics. My guitar player pisses me off (laughter in the background) and the Sound Manager also pisses me off (more laughter). Really it’s mostly fake music that pisses me off. Like the Emo music scene where all the songs are about their father not supporting them and they alternate like we do with some screams and clean vocals. It’s pathetic and very juvenile. I’m not jealous of the bands success but I am like “Why the hell are people doing this music?”
MI: If you were God for a week what would you change?
Mikael: I would probably just do fucking everything like the movie with Jim Carey…. Bruce Almighty.
MI: Do you believe in psychics?
MI: Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Mikael: No, but I’ve heard about stuff like that and I’m very interested in that stuff.
MI: Do you believe in reincarnation?
Mikael: I would want to, but I don’t.
MI: If you did believe in reincarnation and could come back as anybody who would it be?
Mikael: Myself. I don’t want to be anybody else. Everybody has got shit going on.
MI: If you could bring back anybody from the dead to have lunch with who would it be?
Mikael: My Grandmother or Grandfather.
MI: Name groups in the 60’s or later that you feel were important to the revolution of music.
Mikael: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, and Opeth.
MI: Growing up who did you consider to be your heroes?
Mikael: It’s pretty much the same people. David Coverdale, Ronnie Dio, and Ozzy Osbourne, even though he has become a cunt.
MI: What do you think of the Osbourne’s show?
Mikael: I do like it, I like to watch it, and I just don’t like the idea of him being portrayed as some old guy who doesn’t have any control living like a retard. That show does his image no good.
MI: What are your thoughts on the European Union?
Mikael: It didn’t change anything for me. I haven’t seen any change so far.
MI: What do you think the best thing to ever happen to Rock ‘n’ Roll was?
Mikael: It must have been The Beatles. They pretty much came up with psychedelic music.
MI: Tell me about an average day in your life when you’re not on the road.
Mikael: I’m basically sitting at home resting playing play station, watching Ebay, talking with my best friend on the phone, spending time with my wife, eating, playing with my cat, listening to a few albums, and more play station.
MI: How do you feel about Courtney Love releasing….
Mikael: (interrupts) I don’t give a fuck about her. I think she is some freeloading cunt and a bitch. She’s obviously taken advantage of her husband’s death and to be honest I think there are a lot of people who would do the same thing. She has not contributed anything to the music scene.
MI: What was the worst job you have ever had?
Mikael: My worst job was not so long ago. I changed tired on cars. I can change your tires!
MI: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Mikael: The last 2 albums we did. That was a great achievement because it was so much hard work.
MI: If you had a million dollars to donate to charity what charity would it be?
MI: How many cats do you have?
Mikael: I have 3 at the time but 1 is going to my mom.
MI: If you could be a superhero who would you be?
MI: If there was a movie about your life who would play you and what would the theme song be?
Mikael: The lead role would be one of my favorite actors, even though he looks nothing like me, Benicio Del Toro. The theme song would be River Man by Nick Drake.
MI: What message would you like to send to your fans?
Mikael: I love them.
MI: What’s your favorite quote?
Mikael: Let’s get fucked up.
MI: What is the band’s web site?
Thanks Mikael. I can’t wait to for another hundred years to talk to you again though. Let me know what you are doing, sooooooon.
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