Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt was recently interviewed by Ultimate-Guitar.com. He talks in some depth about the recording of the band's latest album, Pale Communion, and about the state of contemporary rock and metal.
The band recorded at Rockfield Studios in the UK, and finished the album in two weeks. Says Mikael, "We recorded onto Pro Tools but through the console. They still have tape machines there that are rarely used. I think we could have used tapes. I have recorded many records on tape and even if I love the sounds, it's so time consuming. We didn't have time really but we actually recorded much faster than we ever have. It was only 13 days to record this album...That's very fast for us. When we have recorded onto tape even if we've been well-rehearsed, we spend a month or six weeks. Which I didn't want to do this time. I wanted for it to be fast, spontaneous and fun...I think this new album is still clinging to the '70s sound, which is a warm, natural sound but the technology was updated and more advanced. So it sounds like '70s but better in a way. If you know what I mean? I guess that's what we wanted. I don't like modern-sounding heavy records. I think many of them sound just not human. You also get tired and your ears get tired listening to new metal records. While some of those records I mentioned still sound fresh and never sounded old."
He also dismisses discussion of a solo album, saying, "There's no need for me to do that because I'm really comfortable writing for Opeth. I can put pretty much anything into Opeth and there's no need for me to create some type of solo project in order to fulfill my dreams as a musician because I put everything into Opeth. I said that a few years ago because I was interested in doing a singer/songwriter record because I loved that so much. Which obviously would need a full band. But it was also something I wanted to do just to see if I could produce a record from scratch on my own in my own studio. It was a bit of an experiment and to be honest not something I yearned for. I had a big mouth and then people thought it was actually gonna happen. 'When is it coming' and I was like, 'Well, it's talk. Just talk.' But who knows? If I end up with a bunch of songs like that maybe I'll put it out."
Read the whole thing—it's quite long, but well worth it.