Prog - - Limelight - DEV

“T he first time I heard Mikael’s stuff was on Damna­tion. I knew of Opeth, but I’m not a death metal guy – I’m a 60s/70s guy. But on Damna­tion, he was singing rather than growl­ing. I heard his voice and I loved it.

I asked him to sing on Ayreon’s The Hu­man equa­tion sim­ply be­cause I love his voice so much. He’s got a re­ally melan­cholic feel. If a voice sings beau­ti­ful melodies, that’s it for me. It’s like David Gil­mour – he’s not an amaz­ing singer, he’s just got a warm voice. Mikael is the same.

He’s such a nice guy to be around. When he came to the stu­dio, he was jok­ing around all the time, play­ing on my old syn­the­siser. The guy is hi­lar­i­ous, and it’s be­cause he’s real – there’s noth­ing fake about the guy. He’s not try­ing to be funny, he is funny.

We sat down one evening and we were play­ing mu­sic to each other – not just prog, but also stuff like 16 Horse­power and Woven­hand and Simon & Gar­funkel and Whites­nake. I’ve got all these old vinyl lPs, these col­lec­tors al­bums. I said, ‘Take any­thing you want.’ He was like a kid in a candy shop. He went home with about 10 or 20 of these al­bums.

I’d love to work with him again. I ask him, but he’s such a busy guy. I asked him for the Ayreon uni­verse shows I did re­cently. He knew I was do­ing the­atri­cal things, and he said: ‘Do I have to dance?’ ‘no, Mikael, no danc­ing.’ un­for­tu­nately, he couldn’t do it. But we will work to­gether again one day.”

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