KATATONIA guitarist Anders Nyström, bassist Niklas Sandin and guitarist Roger Öjersson recently spoke with The Metal Tris. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the group’s return from their self-imposed year-long hiatus:
Anders: “We always wanted to come back. It’s never been a question of wanting to get away, but sometimes taking a break is actually needed in order to gather everything that creates a band. You’ve got to stay motivated in this industry. If you’re not motivated, you’re not happy going out on tour or anything like that. You need sometimes to get the reflection and the distance from things, and ponder and let time pass. We thought that the perfect moment to see if we could get back together again and pick up where we left off was to celebrate the [tenth] anniversary of ‘Night Is The New Day’.”
On memories of recording the album:
Anders: “The only memory I have of that is wasting an entire summer down in a basement. We never saw the sun — hence the title. At that time, we were still recording at Ghost Ward. It was in a little shithole. We called it ‘The Rat Hole,’ because it was a little hole in the wall. You got in there, locked the door behind you [and] forgot about the outside world [and] just did your thing. It was in a really sketchy place. What went on above us actually turned into headlines in the newspapers — some really, really devious, murky stuff going on.”
On playing the album live:
Anders: “We love the fact that this album has been rewarded as a fan favorite and it’s going down so well each night. Almost every gig has been sold-out, so we are stoked about the feedback we are receiving. For the band, it’s been really interesting discovering this album again — really diving back into it. There’s a couple of songs we never touched before as well, so that was really interesting for us. I enjoy going up and playing this album out there each night, personally. It’s like a little adventure, going through it.”
Niklas: “It’s fun, because for me, it’s almost like a 10-year anniversary for me in the band. I wasn’t in the band when the album was recorded, but when the Norrman brothers left just moments after recording, they needed someone to step in and play bass, so that was my first shows supporting this album. It’s kind of nostalgic for me.”
On whether KATATONIA is an “album band”:
Anders: “We try to be. We want the albums to be timeless and enjoyed as much as possible in its entirety. That’s what we aim for when we write the album and record the album, produce the album. Of course, there will be some songs that stand out and hopefully turn into classics [and] fan favorites, and people will demand those songs to be played live. Some songs aren’t really made with the intention of being played live, but if you do it in the right circumstance, they can actually be magic. There’s a song on this album called ‘Inheritance’. We had no intention of ever playing it live, but now, when we play it, I love it. In the right circumstances, it’s beautiful.”
On the band’s continued appeal:
Anders: “It’s probably because they can relate to the whole concept [of] what we stand behind musically [and] lyrically. It’s always been about life — the struggles in life which you have to face on a daily basis. I think we take it a little bit beyond, also — the boredom of reality. We kind of put the music in a place where people would want to be. It’s funny — at most metal concerts, people like to mosh out at some extent. [There’s] some kind of headbanging thing going on, but we have these ‘dreamers,’ we call them. Most of them are standing there listening with their eyes closed. They’re not even looking at the band — they’re just taking it in. I think those people, they can relate to the message in the music and the lyrics that we’ve been having now for two decades.”
On the group’s future plans:
Anders: “I think we really have found a good sound now. We have a great sound — we know exactly where we do good both on record and on stage, and I wouldn’t do a 180-degree thing here [and] go away from that for the sake of being different. I want to maintain the sound we have, but I also want to put new elements in there, keep it fresh. I’m personally a huge fan of mixing contemporary, modern productions with vintage sounds… This year, it’s all about celebrating the ‘Night Is The New Day’ anniversary. We’re starting from there. We’re enjoying it very much, which is a great sign, and hopefully down the road, we’ll be looking at some good news about our next album. It’s way too early to go into any details of that, but people should keep their fingers crossed and give us their prayers.”
KATATONIA went on a “short-term hiatus” in 2018 following the completion of the touring cycle in support of their 2016 album “The Fall Of Hearts”. The group announced its return in February, along with a tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of its acclaimed eighth album, “Night Is The New Day”.