Saturday, August 14, 2010

OPETH Keyboardist Discusses Band's 20th Anniversary recently conducted an interview with keyboardist Per Wiberg of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH. An excerpt from the chat follows below. You guys have been around for 20 years yourselves now, How do you feel about being considered a legendary act in your own right?

Per: Legendary is maybe a bit too much. Call us a band that's been around for 20 years. (laughs) I don't know... I think there's a few bands from our generation who have been around for a long time and I guess people enjoy continuity because it means everyone is enjoying what they are doing if they do it for a long time. Music is everything to everyone in this band so I hope that has something to do with it. You can only write and play the music you do; you can never count on people coming to the shows and buying the albums. How was playing the Royal Albert Hall?

Per: It was different but very cool, also a classic venue as well. We've seen loads of live DVDs filmed there and the venue showcased on Swedish TV so its kind of mindblowing to walk into that venue during the day when none of the audience were there, but then it's a busy day so you forget it and get into the groove. The show is being released on DVD as OPETH live at the Royal Albert Hall. When you put that package together did you at all discuss releasing all the other shows from the mini tour on DVD?

Per: It's a cost thing, especially if you are going to film every show, depending on what type of filming you want. This was filmed like all our other DVDs so that's pretty costly. I don't think it was ever considered but we have recordings of every show, but since it's a "Live At The Albert Hall" DVD that's what's being released now. I don't know if, or how, any of the other stuff is ever going to be released. The "Evolution XX" shows you did worldwide to celebrate the anniversary of the band and release of "Blackwater Park" were a special treat for the fans. How did the idea for those shows come about?

Per: Firstly, Mikael [Åkerfeldt, guitar/vocals] said last year, "We turn 20 years next year. What should we do?" Maybe we could go to a pub in Stockholm somewhere and bring some gear and if any of our friends wanna play a song or two they can and we'll drink beer. (Laughs) And it escalated from there to "Let's do a show at Royal Albert Hall." And then it was, "Well, let's do more shows in L.A. and New York if we can fit them in as well. When we had the Royal Albert Hall date confirmed. we booked the rest."