Katatonia’s ANDERS NYSTROM: 20th Anniversary Headlining Shows More Fun than the Opeth Shows
Katatonia has been tearing up stages the world over for twenty years now. They’ve built a big fanbase in Europe through lots of touring and festival slots, and are working hard to make American metalheads just as loyal, if so many aren’t already. Currently touring with Opeth while playing headlining shows on off-dates, I talked with founding member guitarist Anders Nystrom about the 20th Anniversary celebration, getting close to the fans, and a new album.
Buick McKane: How are you doing today?
Anders Nystrom: I’m good. A little bit tired, but, yeah, still excited. Here we are, out on the road, lot of friends, lot of good times going on. So cool.
Buick: That’s great. It sucks that y’all had to cancel the New Orleans show. Is everything okay now?
Anders: Sure, everything is back on track. Jonas especially needed some vocal rest. I mean, we have been going non-stop for, I think it was, sixteen days in a row. Some of the shows just took a toll on his vocal cords. He really needed a little break, just shut up for a day and, you know, he sounding great again. Unfortunately, we’re not going to reschedule [that show] on this tour. But we will definitely make up for it the next time we come over, and make a really special treat just for New Orleans, and really make that setlist special for them. It’s definitely worth waiting for.
Buick: Good to hear. And that show was a part of your 20th Anniversary headlining series. How did those other shows go?
Anders: They’ve been going great. They’ve actually been, in some ways, more fun than the Opeth shows because…yeah, you know, it’s always cool to get so intimate with your fans. We play the smaller venues and the people will come really up close. There’s no, what do you call it, the barrier? There’s no barrier for those shows and people come close. It’s such a more…the energy, you can feel the energy in the room. We play a lot longer, we play a lot different songs, and it just feels like a celebration, you know. It’s more private and more intimate. I think it’s more fun in a way because the bigger venue you play the more further away you get from the crowd. I don’t like that; it’s like you cannot even see the faces in the third row. You want to have some kind of interaction going on with those people because they’re there to see you. The more energy they give, the more energy you get back. So it’s all part of the show. That’s not saying that Opeth’s shows are bad or anything, it’s just different. It’s really different.
Buick: Great. You recently announced that you were going to reissue “For Funerals to Come.” When is that going to be available?
Anders: It’s out early November. It’s something that they just need to press, basically. There’s not going to be, like, a month trial of promotion or anything like that. So it’s going to be out in a month, and it’s going to be released on an lp first, followed by a cd. The purpose of doing that was solely to give the fans a special treat. It’s a really old release, it’s a really short one, and it’s just a little ep. We threw some bonus tracks on there, but everything else is kept pretty much as the original was. Layout-wise, it’s the same cover; we’re not changing anything. Just something cool for the fans, you know
Buick: Are there any plans for a new, full album yet?
Anders: Indeed so. When we left on this tour, we were actually already in the writing phase of the new album. We have a couple of songs done. When this tour is over, we’ll get right back home, we’ll finish it up, wrap up the whole thing and probably hit the studio in January.
Buick: Great. And I’m sure you’re going to do more touring after that, so you’re going to stay pretty busy.
Anders: Yeah, oh yeah. We’re always busy. I think, you know, the touring cycle for the last album is finally coming to an end now by entering the studio for a new one, but as soon as the new one comes out which will be sometime in 2012, I still don’t know if it will be before summer or after summer, as soon as it’s out, another three year cycle of touring starts. Always busy.