Renowned as one of the heaviest and most technical bands around today, Sweden’s Meshuggah have carved a long and successful career for themselves. On the eve of their trip down under for Soundwave, Killyourstereo caught up with guitarist Marten Hagström to talk all things music.
Could you please state your name, and role in the band?
Marten Hagström, Guitar.
When one thinks of Sweden, they commonly make reference to Abba and blonde haired girls yet the country has produced some of the best metal acts of the past two/three decades. Why do you think the nation has had such great longevity in producing world-class metal bands?
Impossible to say…I guess Sweden has a long tradition when it comes to music and a social climate that has helped, Even though things have changed in that department.
Meshuggah recently released the concert film ‘Alive (CD/DVD)’. Have you always planned to release a DVD, and what has been the fans response to it?
People have been asking for it and we felt that maybe it was about time. So far the reactions have been awesome.
The band is renowned for its use of polyrhythm’s and technical elements in the composition of songs. Has that always come naturally to the band? Or rather, is it something more deliberate that is planned when writing the songs?
Its just something that has come naturally. The technical elements are a natural side-effect (of) the way we write and never deliberate.
2008’s acclaimed ‘ObZen’ was a shift back to earlier efforts. Do you ever plan on making an album like ‘Catch Thirtythree’ again? One that in essence was one continuous song, and intended as an experimental piece.
No, but that doesn’t mean that we’ll never do a project like that again though.
Meshuggah has been around for the best part of two decades plus. What do you think is the reason for the enduring nature of the band?
Hard to tell….I guess we’ve grown to be a real tight family and as long as we feel inspired and able to evolve musically we’ll stick together.
You are heading here for the annual Soundwave festival. What, in your opinion is the most appealing aspect of getting to play in an outdoor festival environment in Australia?
It is always nice to check out a new circuit. But sitting in freezing Sweden I’d say the weather. Australia was awesome the last time, so we’re hoping for a killer experience.
What bands are you most looking forward to seeing perform as part of Soundwave?
Anthrax…Faith no more…we’ll be checking out a little bit of everything I guess.
The beauty of large festivals is that you get a bunch kids in the one setting that normally would not be exposed to a band like Meshuggah. What’s a main reason why one should check you guys out at Soundwave?
Swing by and you’ll know why he,he.
What was your favourite album of last year? In addition, which one are you most looking forward to this year?
No clue. I haven’t been listening to new music for a while and I don’t know what’s coming out this year either.
What plans do you have for the rest of the year? More touring? Writing/recording new material?
After this run we’ll head back into writing mode and start working on a new album.
Any final words?
Yeah. Come check us out.
Thanks for the interview.