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OPETH INTERVIEW | Harm.us - Death, Black, Doom and Gothic Metal WebZine, bandlist, cd reviews, interviews, mp3 and forum

Sibilla: Hi, How are you?

Peter Lindgren: Good, and you?

S: Great. Where are you?

P: Home, in Stockholm Sweden.

S: Ok, so how old were you when you started playing guitar?

P: Fifteen maybe

S: How old are you now?

P: 28, getting older. So I’ve been playing for like thirteen years.

S: Why did you decided to play?

P: I was very much into Metallica, and Kirk Hammet was my sort of Idol, in the beginning. After a while I realized that he wasn't very god at playing actually. In the beginning Metallica was my big great idol and since Kirk Hammet was the solo guitarist he was my idol, but then again when I look back at that band, James Hettfield is probably the greatest guitarist in that band. But when you are young you always fancy fast guitar playing. When I was young I wanted to play really fast and everything but now I realize you have to practice allot for years to be able to play that fast and I don't want to spend that much time doing that kind of stuff because there’s always people that’s going to be faster than you. I think nowadays I prefer guitar players that can hit one note, you know, and it sound good, that single note rather than playing a hundred notes and It doesn't sound good at all, you know? Im not impressed by fast guitarists anymore.

S: Well, you are pretty fast.

P: Um, it’s like I’m ok, you know, but there's always,every time we play on stage and we play with other bands, there is always three guitar players that are very fast, but they cant do three good chords in a row, you know, they only play fast. I think there’s more to music than playing fast and fast solos. It’s better to spend more time in the song writing process. A good song is more important than a great guitar solo.

S: I saw you guys in Paris,

P: last year?

S: yeah

P: ok

S: So, you guys don't seem to really care about the makeup and outfits that you wear onstage.

P: We’ve been a band for so long. When we released the first album it was in the middle of this black metal boom, and it was a hard time for us back then because we didn't have any makeup or anything, we were just ordinary guys. We always have been concentrating on the music only, and it turned out that you know, we didn't put pictures of ourselves on the sleeves of the album so there was sort of a mystique aura around the band, no one knew exactly who we were, so that’s the only thing that is image of us, you know, people maybe don't know how we look like and stuff, but nowadays there seem to be pictures of us all over the place, so we are not mystical anymore. We don't have any image at all, it’s just us. Of course we wouldn't play in blue jeans and a white t shirt maybe, we wear the things that we wear when we go to a party maybe, stuff like that, that’s what we wear. I would wear makeup and stuff just to make people more interested in you, because if you do that I think it’s pretty obvious that whenever the bandwagon turns in another direction people are going to leave you and jump on the next bandwagon. The people that listen to us, they don't listen to us because we look cool or we seem cool, they are into us just because of the music. I prefer to have a few good fans that a million that are going to leave you as soon as something more interesting comes up.

S: I agree. So, What do you like most about music? What satisfies you the most?

P:You can listen to music and it doesn't matter what kind of mood you are in, because there is music that can follow every mood, and I think it’s like, if you are in a certain mood for example if you are sad, and you don't want to be sad, you want to do something else, then you can put on some happy music that suits that and you can change, but if you want to be more sad you can play sad music, so can always use the music to change your mood, you know, make it stronger. Music, is a thing that, I think it just makes life more interesting actually. Music is part of life.

S: So, did you always want to be a famous musician, or did it just happened?

P: It happened, more or less. Music has always been an interest of mine, but Im interested in other kinds of stuff you know, I like reading books and I like sports, so, I wasn't that good at ice hockey or anything, but I played actually when I was a kid, but if I was better at that maybe I would be an Ice Hockey player , in miami right now (im in miami). It’s a coincidence I think, I could have not chosen to play the guitar, and maybe be a drummer, and I would have been a lousy drummer and you wouldn't be doing this interview right now. It’s a coincidence, but since I am interested in music and I have been for a long time. It has of course been a dream of mine, to be like a musician and sort of famous for doing it but, I started to play guitar not to be famous, it was just interesting to see if I could do the same things that Kirk Hammet or those guys could do, but I couldn't apparently. I find that you can do so much things with a guitar, even though there are so many records recorded there’s always hope, you always have an opportunity to do something that has never been done before, and that’s really interesting because you can always create something that is really new .

S: You guys have actually done something that has never been done before.

P: Oh,we try at least.

S: Ok, So how has this album been doing commercially?

P: Blackwater park?

S: Yes

P: It’s been doing great for us, way more than I ever expected, I think its sort of a breakthrough for us. We recently got nominated for a Swedish grammy which is the biggest musical award in Sweden, that was insane, because there always famous people in those nominations, and all of a sudden we were there, and we fell that we didn't belong and people didn't know who we were but apparently they did because we were nominated but it was strange. So it’s been doing great.

S: I know allot of people that appreciated heavy metal only after listening to your band.

P: I think that to hear that people that’s not into heavy metal or death metal could all of a sudden start listening to us, I think that’s a compliment. We’ve always been trying to do something more than just Death metal. All of us in the band have this different tastes that not always fit together, but there is always elements in everything that you listen to that you can blend into your own music. On each album we try to expand and broaden our music, and the mind of the listener too. There is always something for everyone, for example when we have a new record I play the death metal songs to my mother I play the soft songs, and she’s like “Oh this sounds good”, and then all of a sudden she has a different approach to the music and then I can play the hard stuff, and she’s like “mm, this is to hard for me but I like the other parts”, you know she’s interested in that, but she apparently wouldn't if I play the other stuff, or, of course if I wasn't her son.

S: So I heard you guys were writing some new stuff.

P: Yes, we are writing it right now, we haven't booked a studio yet, and we haven't decided when to record, but its probably going to take a couple of months to right the whole thing because we are trying to put out too cd’s at the same time, we are going to make a hard one and a soft one, that’s the initial plan at least, we have to see what’s going to happen with that. I’m curious about seeing how they do, one of them is apparently going to sell better than the other, Im not sure which one, but that’s going to be fun.

S: The songs you write never seem to follow a pattern, and there is definitely no sign of the typical verse chorus verse, they seem to have a of their own.

P: It was the seventies bands, progressive stuff. They taught us that a song doesn't necessarily have to have, you know, verse and chorus and verse and chorus, it could be like an adventure, you start somewhere, and end somewhere else, and in between start and end there is always something going on and the different parts don't necessarily have to repeat themselves. We try to make the theme apparent, people may not know what is going to come, but when you listen to the song several times you see that the parts do fit well together. So, its just a different way of approaching a song. It’s more adventurous to listen to a song that you are not sure what's going to happen. It just adds something to the music.

S: What about Harvest?

P: Like I have said we’ve been experimenting throughout career with song structures, and we've been trying to broaden our mind more with each album. In the second morningrise album we did a ballad and after that we knew that we could always include a ballad on the album. Harvest is actually a verse and chorus song, and, we thought, well, we have never done that before, so why not do that. We thought it sounded good, so we just put it on. Harvest is an ordinary song written in a ordinary way. We experiment in song writing.

S: I think it’s a really good song.

P: Thank you.

S: Do you enjoy touring?

P: I do sometimes, there’s always good and bad moments on a tour. In general I think tours are a but too long. I think three or four weeks would be perfect. It tales a while for you to get into it, and after a while you get really fed up with, because everything is always the same everyday. The first three weeks are always pretty ok. I think touring is really fun, for a while, but there should be some breaks in between. I do prefer playing live than being in the studio.

S: So , I read that you recently graduated from college?

P: Yes, A year ago, I got a degree in Engineering physics. I like to study, I got a degree in literature too.

S:Really? I’m doing that also

P: Really?

S: Yeah, well Im still in school.

P: Ok, good.

After this, my tape recorder got stuck, and I could not record the last twenty minutes of the interview. We talked some more about college, part time jobs and the upcoming tour.

I still wonder how I got this interview, I didint write for anyone at the time, and well, I just wanted to talk to Peter. Lucky me.

September 16, 2002
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