GuitarWorld.com has posted a major interview with Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt, in which he discusses the change in the band's sound on their brand-new CD Heritage, the other bandmembers' contributions to the music, and much more.

Regarding the progressive, sometimes even jazzy sound on Heritage, Åkerfeldt says, "The initial idea was actually to do a modern-sounding... almost like a continuation of Watershed. I wanted to do three-part harmony vocals all the time, like some type of metal version of the Byrds. [laughs] But it didn't really work out. I wrote a couple of songs but I didn't feel that it was interesting enough for me.

"So I scrapped a couple of songs that I had been working on and started from scratch, writing a song that became 'The Lines in My Hand' on the new record. Which was a really odd song in comparison to anything else I've ever done before.

"I got more freedom to do whatever I wanted after writing that song. I kind of new pretty early on that it was going to be an odd album, and at the time I wasn't particularly interested in the most extreme, heavy type of metal, I was more into something else. So I knew pretty early on that it wasn't going to be a super, super extreme metal record."

Åkerfeldt singles out guitarist Fredrik Åkesson for praise, saying, "Fredrik is a very good guitar player when it comes to improvisation. I think he did like ten takes of each solo and all of them were different. It was very difficult for me, as I was just listening for the best interest of the song, and it was very difficult for me to choose which one fit the song best, because they were all good. But in the end we both kind of decided on a solo with the best vibe.

"A lot of guitar players just focus their guitar solo. It doesn't matter what the song is, they just want to shred. And I want it to be tasteful and nice, and in that way it's really easy for me to work with Fredrik because he understands what we're going for.

Read the whole interview at this link.

Opeth are on the road right now supporting Heritage; visit our tour page to find a show near you!