Sunday, May 5, 2013

Interview: Katatonia

I guess even though my entry point for these guys was "Viva Emptiness" I consider myself a long time fan since it's been well... a decade and most of you kids were listening to bad myspace emo then. I caught up Drummer Daniel when they came into town and here's what he had to say.

Wil-So the new album Dead End Kings , is much more open and spacious than the darker contrast of Night is the New Day. How did this progression come about?

Daniel-It was easier now after the past three or four album. It was pretty natural and more like a sequel than not, though I didn't write any of the music.

Wil-How is it as a drummer playing around all the other layers that have been gradually introduced , particularly the more electronic elements?

Daniel-Pretty easy, at least live where its just another show. Everything is on a computer back there as a backing tracking and I can listen to it but more often than not I mute it.

Wil-And what about in the Studio?

Daniel-I play around Jonas and the guitar. Try to come up with fills, Jonas was the drummer from the beginning , so I go in and interpret the beats he has on the demo and he comes to me with the ideas of what he perhaps couldn't pull off.

 Wil-How's it touring with Opeth again?

Daniel- Its the same as the last tour. Bunch of friends hanging out and playing music, they are the easiest band to tour with because we know each other so there is no drama.

Wil-Last year you guys went out with Alcest and Junius how was that?

Daniel-Junis was right up my alley musically. They are pretty cool guys as well, one of them is my drum tech now so that should tell you how well we got along.

Wil-Well I can see the common ground with Junius as both of you are more sonic when it comes to being heavy rather than being heavy as in  metal.

Daniel-That sums it up, dynamics and melodies are more our focus.

Wil- I know for me you guys were a perfect fit on Viva Emptiness which was my entry point to the band , as I grew up a metal head but was also always into goth like  the Cure and Bauhaus, so do you see old school goth as an  influence?

Daniel- Not an influence on my end, I was always more of a rock guy. I never listened to like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest but listened to stuff along the lines of Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine and the Foo-Fighters. Perhaps it is more on Jonas' end.

Wil- Nine albums later whats the vibe like in terms of the songs you are drawing from live?

Daniel-It's more difficult to decide. We like to keep it as fresh as possible with newer stuff,but when we headline we go back as far as Discouraged Ones. We like to swap songs out maybe add one that was harder to pull off in the studio to keep ourselves focused.

Wil- Going back to influences, what about progressive rock because I have noticed an increased  emphasis on some of the more technical nuances to your playing?

Daniel-When Jonas gives me the programmed drums, I just try to come up with smart fills and make it not so repetitive, it sometimes ends becoming difficult to play live but thats a problem I guess I create for myself. I have never been a drum fan, I don't have a favorite drummer, I have never gone to drum clinics and I could care less about drum gear.

Wil-So you are just more focused on songs?

Daniel-That's correct.

Wil-So this week Jeff Hanneman from Slayer died. Do you have a favorite Slayer album?

Daniel-I never really listened to them, but the one song I like is Angel of Death which I think he wrote.

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