with Drummer Daniel Liljekvist
Interview by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
As masters of melancholy, Katatonia have been a little bit like a perpetual raincloud on the musical weather map, since they appeared on the scene in 1991. Within these darker thunderclouds though, is a fascinating portrayal of humanity and the sadness that touches us all at times. With each album Katatonia develop and deepen their sound, and latest offering Dead End Kings is no different. Stilling the rain for a moment, drummer Daniel Liljekvist gives us a fleeting insight into Katatonia’s world…
So we’re talking shortly after the release of album number nine Dead End Kings – after all this time do you still feel the same excitement at seeing the album out there in the market?
Daniel Liljekvist (DL) – Well of course! I guess I would be more excited if people actually bought the albums too. Internet killed the rockstar you know.
It’s quite a poignant and reflective album – does that reflect your frame of mind at the time?
DL – I think so. I didn’t participate at the actual song writing process but I’d think you’d have to be in a certain state of mind when you write. At least the lyrics.
The album artwork to Dead End Kings is very striking – do you feel it encapsulates the album’s sound?
DL – It does. The artwork is already being planned as the songs are coming out. Anders and Jonas have a clear picture of how the artwork is going to look like when they write. The songs are also being affected by the artwork in a sense.
Dead End Kings is the recording debut of guitarist Per Eriksson and bassist Niklas Sandin – did that bring a different dynamic to the studio?
DL – Yes! They play very differently from Mattias and Fredrik. I don’t think we’ve never sounded this good, on album and on stage. They’re fantastic musicians and dedicated guitar/bass players.
You’ve literally just started your American ‘Epic Kings & Idols’ tour – are you feeling pretty pumped?
DL – Hell yes! We had a blast! One of the easiest and most fun tours. And quick but that’s because it was so fun and smooth.
How do you feel about playing with Devin Townsend Project and Paradise Lost – those are all some pretty big names!
DL – Yeah, it definitely makes you step up the game. But they are such sweet guys and down to earth. Even Nick, the singer in Paradise Lost.
You’re then heading off on a pretty hefty ‘Dead Ends of Europe’ tour at the end of this year – will this follow along the same lines as the American tour, or will you change things up a bit?
DL - We’ll change some things and keep some. But I can’t tell you what here though
Will you be visiting any new places?
DL – I don’t think so. Not on the Euro leg anyway. Maybe later this year we’ll go somewhere we’ve never been before.
The final date is just a few days before Christmas – will you be breaking out the Santa hats and carols?
DL – Hahahaha!! Who knows…
On a different sideline, Katatonia has its own iPhone/iPad app – do you find technology is increasingly important to you as a band?
DL – Absolutely. You have to keep up with all the social medias. It’s out on Android now too.
Whilst it’s perhaps remiss to look ahead when you’ve just released a new album, but with what comes next album number ten for Katatonia do you see there will be big cause for celebration at that time?
DL – It’s always cause for celebration! But on a more serious note, I have no idea what album number 10 will sound like. But I’m sure it will sound a bit like Katatonia.