with Anders Nyström (guitar)
Interview by Anna Dumpe
Just few days before Swedish metallers Katatonia roll into the city of London to play their acoustic show at The Union Chapel as a part of their Unplugged & Reworked tour, Metal-Rules.com UK team had a wonderful opportunity to catch up with Anders Nyström (guitar) and talk through their latest and critically acclaimed release Dethroned and Uncrowned and the acoustic tour itself.
It was basically as simple as you described it really. We wanted to strip the album bare of the heavy elements, such as drums and distorted guitars and give way to all the lush background stuff and portray the album from a different perspective. All the songs are the same, they just don’t sound like it, which is the evidence of how many more colours actually do lurk in the spectrum beneath the vibrant surface. Our prime focus was to have both Jonas’ lead and harmony vocals take the limelight accompanied by acoustic guitars with the ambience of the keyboards fill the rest of the void. Because nothing is drowning in conflicting frequencies, the album sounds more airy than ever.
Dethroned and Uncrowned has been out for a while now. What’s the feedback been like and, most importantly, how do fans find it?
The ones who embraced it for what it was set out to be pledged for it and the ones who understood it was a one-off experiment rather than a new album because it’s not, really enjoyed it! We have felt a lot of love gravitating around this title ever since we started the campaign for it. There was clearly a demand out there seeing it was funded so quickly. It’s rewarding to see magnitude of pulling off diverse things like this; to take a dive into the unexpected and come up with something that makes perfect sense in the end. Now people can be confident – Katatonia can release music that is dead heavy or plain mellow without sounding less Katatonic! What musicians did you work with when recording Dethroned and Uncrowned, as we can hear a great variety of different acoustic and symphonic instruments on the record?
It was the same line-up as on the original album Dead End Kings that also worked on Dethroned & Uncrowned. We replaced all the electric guitars with acoustic guitars, re-did the bass and added more keys. Anything else is just the same that what was lurking beneath the wall of sound on Dead End Kings.
Metal-Rules.com UK team are going to see you guys play The Union Chapel in London, which is a remarkable venue and should make the show very special. Tell us what can we expect from the show?
Well, since we’re representing a stripped down sound on this tour, we’re obviously heading for the same atmosphere. We will set the vibe dark and emotionally charged and let the songs do the rest of the talking in the gleam of low lights. We welcome the audience to contribute as our sacred choir.
You’ve done some shows on this Unplugged & Reworked acoustic tour already. Tell us what’s been the highlight of the tour so far and how do these shows differ from ‘the usual’ Katatonia shows?
Well, we’re doing this run seated! That’s quite a change from the running around while headbanging and rocking out kinda stuff we normally do! Each show is magic in its own right, but some of these venues have actually been proper old churches and it’s really hard for normal music venues to compete with such atmosphere and aesthetics. Christuskirche in Bochum and Passionskirche in Berlin were both amazing abodes to let our passion out.
How are you guys getting along after the departure of your drummer Daniel Liljekvist? How has this affected you as a group and have you started looking for a new permanent drummer yet?
Well it is what it is. There’s obviously nothing we can do to change it, so we simply have to move on, keep our heads up and try to see what opportunities there are to benefit the band in this transition. We haven’t started looking for a new permanent drummer yet, because Daniel’s resignation is still too fresh. We have to collect our minds on what we want and how we want to go about talking to new potential drummers, so we’ll be using a session drummer for our commitments in the near future and take it from there for now.
What’s next for you after Unplugged & Reworked tour is over? Are you guys working on some new material and preparing for some summer festivals?
Yeah we’ll be preparing for a couple of summer festivals with another line-up of session musicians than the one we’re out with right now. On the tail of that there will probably be some last touring runs in two other continents before finally going home to dive back into the rest of the fall focusing solely on writing a new album.
Thanks for taking the time to chat to us and we’re really looking forward to the show!