Interviews with Mikael Åkerfeldt are hard to come by this September. Even for labels and management, the Opeth boss has not been within reach for a long time. But God and the world would like to talk to the singer/guitarist about the new album "Sorceress". "Write it quietly, it's a cool story," says nature fan Åkerfeldt laughing at the question of whether he has once again hidden from the public in the forest. A quite significant statement. And once you have the 42-year-old father of two children wrapped, you can be happy about an extremely eloquent, witty, friendly and above all very talkative interview partner. He then likes to ignore agreed talk times once in a while and overdraws them. In addition, Åkerfeldt once again shows himself to eclipsed as an enthusiastic progfan and fanatical vinyl collector. The own album moves thereby fast times into the background.
eclipsed: If you want to get a hint on how a new Opeth album might sound, a look at the latest additions to your vinyl collection can be a hint.
Mikael Åkerfeldt: My taste in music has expanded considerably in recent years. I started listening to jazz and bought numerous [John-]Coltrane records, among others. I never thought I'd like Coltrane because I actually prefer quiet, cozy jazz. So this is currently the only new source of inspiration for me. Apart from that I listen to and buy music as usual: Prog, Symphonic Rock, Singer-Songwriter, Metal, Hardrock.
eclipsed: You're known for always digging up obscure prog secrets. What can you currently recommend?
Åkerfeldt: I'm in love with the Italians Il Paese Dei Balocchi right now. They made their only album in 1972 which is inhumanly good and contains everything I love about progressive rock. It's so wonderful with orchestra and so epic. The strings are grandiose, everything is dark and sadly staged. I don't understand why the band didn't make any more albums.
eclipsed: How do you get the information yourself?
Åkerfeldt: I can recommend two books: one is "The Tapestry Of Delight", which is very helpful in my search for British beat, progressive and psychedelic bands. On the other hand, "Record Collector Dreams", which is very nicely categorized by countries. I find it totally exciting to dive into the peculiarities of special country scenes. At the moment I am very fixated on Czech artists. Here I can recommend the fusion band Energit, which made two really cool albums in the mid seventies. But often I also buy albums because I just like the cover. But I've already fallen on my nose a few times with it. (laughs)