Opeth interview (01/2009)
|With:||Martin Mendez [Bass]|
|Conducted by:||FreakyMarge, Jeff (in person)|
Marge : - Hello Martin ! We were at Hellfest and Milano this summer what did you do since that day?
Martin: Well we've been in a lot of festivals this summer and we've been in Australia, Japan and United States. We toured a lot…
Jeff: - How it's going on so far?
Jeff: - And you met a lot of people I suppose…
Ho yeah a lot!
Marge: - When you started to record Watershed, what did you feel? What did you feel at the beginning of the recording?
Well the recordings are always stressful, this not the best part in a career I think. But this time we had time to rehearse and play the new songs. We had like a month between the recording to rehearse with the whole band and try different things and learn the songs. So this time it was more easy in some way to record this one.
Marge: - Did you have a precise image of the final product when you started it?
No not really… Well this one was more clear maybe because Mike makes demos before and we knew what to do before that we start the recording. We usually go to the studio when the songs are not finished but this time it was ready before so…
Marge: - During your whole career, what surprised you most and what didn't you expect?
Hoo it's hard to say! [laughs] But you know, we're just here and we play in front of a lot of people, that's probably the most surprising thing for me...
Marge: - And what represents the fact on being on stage for you?
Hoo that's the best part I think. Because on stage you forget everything else, you really enjoy being there. The rest is just pain in the ass… Well you know that's why we are here!
Marge: - And what do you think of the audience? Do you think that we all have something in common in all the countries?
Hum, that's pretty all the same everywhere and that's good thing I think! Maybe that it was stronger in some countries before, but now it's like heaven everywhere, that's good sign really.
Marge: - What is the biggest price you need to pay to be a musician?
Well the biggest price… Well we all have families you know, with children and that's probably the worst to be far away of them. You miss your family, your home and you don't have a lot of time with them…
Jeff: - Well Leo of Pain Of Salvation…
Ho yeah the drummer, I know him!
Jeff: - Well he told us the other day that it's not easy to live outside of his home country without old friends etc…
Hoo yeah this is not the best change... It's a different country, a different language a different culture it's not easy definitely... It takes time and you have to be strong. I was pretty close a lot of time to say "fuck this thing, I will come back to my country" but you know, you have to believe and love in what you do and with time it just comes. But Sweden is really different especially for someone like me who comes from South America...
Jeff: - Do you go there a lot?
Well something like 3 times a year... I try to go there as much as I can but it's a long trip...
Marge: - What do you think of the Metal scene nowadays? Do you feel close of some bands or far from most of them?
Well I met a lot of bands during touring and festivals and it's pretty cool! But for the music I'm not so interested by the new scene because I think that there are not so many good bands like in the past... But still, people are cool and try to do good music so it's cool...
Marge: - Give us the best qualities of the musicians of your band!
Hoo of our band? Well you know they're all good musicians and they love music. I think that many bands have lost "friendship" because of star system but we're not really like that. I really like these guys and their music and they're all becoming better and better. I'm really proud to play with these guys.
Jeff: - I think that Opeth is more and more Progressive if I can use this word to describe your music. Do you all wish to follow this way and something even more complex in the future?
Well I don't think that we see music in that way. We don't try to think about it, it's just like that. We don't want to be more extreme or Progressive we just want every time to do something different. And now that's sound good for us! We're not a band who wants to show something. But we try to be different yes.
Jeff: - Do you already have maybe some future songs in your mind?
No not really yet...
Jeff: - So you're just touring and focusing on that?
Yes absolutely. And we will see what will happen later.
Jeff: - And so, how does Mikael works? Can he write songs on tour too or just at home then?
Yes he just works at home. You know it's a kind of stressful life on tour. So it's not easy for him…
Jeff: - But what about you? Because we all know that he writes the songs but what about you? Don't you have ideas, riffs etc?
Well no, Mikael is the one who write the music and it does it alone. Of course when we rehearse we can all come with ideas but it comes to write the songs that's his business!
Jeff: - Wouldn't you write your own songs one day and have your own project?
Well why not of course! But about Mikael we all have a lot of respect toward him because he created the band. But you know Fred came with some melodies for Watershed… If one day I find something great I will bring it to the band of course but for now I'm just in the band and keep my place.
Jeff: - About your label, what are the differences to work with a giant like Roadrunner Records?
They're doing a good job with the promotion but that's the only thing they do. For other things we work with our manager. But it's a big and good label which does good work really so it helps a lot the band.
Jeff: - And I suppose that they help a lot to "conquer" the US market right?
Yeah true! And that's really good! Of course the label helps us there in some way. But we had the chance to be "strong" there since the first day that we came to play in USA. It seems that a lot of people there were interested by our music. The band has a good fanbase there since the beginning.
Jeff: - And so what are the differences now? You probably sell more CDs...
Yeah probably but about the label beside helping us to do good promotion, and it works because we're on a lot of printed magazines there, they don't do a lot of other things.
Marge: - When you play the new songs, do you feel something different than when you play the old ones?
Not really because if you wanna play old songs you have to rehearse and if you don't have time to do that it's always hard to play it. It's the same than with new songs. Now it's coming because we played them a lot but you have to work. Though the new stuff are hard to play because they're more technical but I think that when it becomes like a routine it just means that you get it and you don't feel shaky anymore!
Marge: - To finish, do you have a question that you would like us to ask you? Or maybe a question that you don't want to hear?
It was really noisy and Martin didn't hear correctly the question
What person I would like to hear? Michael Jackson!!! [laughs]
Marge: - No [laughs] Not a person but a question... But that's a good question too... [laughs]
Jeff: - With what artists would you want to play?
Marge: - Well probably Michael Jackson [laughs]
Yes! Michael Jackson is a perfect answer [laughs].
Marge: - But so, what about the question?
I don't know... maybe something about the symbolic of the music for me... but hey you did a good job anyway! [laughs].
Jeff & Marge: - Thx for your answers Martin and have fun tonight!
Thanks guys! It will be great for sure!
Thanks to Martin, Opeth and Charlotte of RR France for this interview
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