sTEvEN wIL­sON ON MIKAEL ÅK­ER­fELdT

Prog - - Limelight - DEV

“I first came across Opeth when I was be­ing in­ter­viewed by a French jour­nal­ist in the late 90s. He gave me a copy of Still life, say­ing, ‘You might like it.’ It was spec­tac­u­larly pow­er­ful but re­ally nu­anced. I re­alised there was a real artist at work.

Mikael and I have worked to­gether many times over the years. We’re both mu­sic nerds, but what we re­alised early on was that we both have no con­cept of mu­si­cal boundaries. We egg each other on to be­come more and more ex­per­i­men­tal in what we do.

When Mikael says he’s a medi­ocre singer or gui­tarist, I un­der­stand what he’s say­ing – I say the same thing. But he’s a great mu­si­cian – and that has got noth­ing to do with abil­ity. Great mu­si­cians are peo­ple who are bril­liant mu­si­cal thinkers. Brian eno is one – he can’t play any­thing, but he thinks about mu­sic in a bril­liant way. roger Wa­ters, ar­guably the worst mu­si­cian in Pink Floyd, is an­other – he’s re­spon­si­ble for most of their ground­break­ing mu­sic. Mikael is in the same cat­e­gory.

I’d like see him make a record that re­ally fo­cuses on his song­writ­ing, be­cause he’s a fan­tas­tic song­writer. I’ve just made a record where I’ve stripped away a lot of the more con­cep­tual ele­ments and fo­cused on my song­writ­ing. I’d like to see him do the same, be­cause I think he is re­ally un­der­rated as a melod­i­cist, a song­writer and ar­ranger. I think that would be a chal­lenge for him but one he’d ab­so­lutely rise to.”

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