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Opeth Kick Off Asia Tour in India

It’s been a long day of relentless interviews for Opeth frontman Mikael Ã…kerfeldt but if he’s tired, he’s very good at not showing it. “I’m leaving for NAMM in a few hours so there’s a lot of interviews to wrap up, but it’s all good,” he says cheerfully on the phone, occasionally punctuating conversation with, […]

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Deepti Unni Feb 03, 2012
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It’s been a long day of relentless interviews for Opeth frontman Mikael Ã…kerfeldt but if he’s tired, he’s very good at not showing it. “I’m leaving for NAMM in a few hours so there’s a lot of interviews to wrap up, but it’s all good,” he says cheerfully on the phone, occasionally punctuating conversation with, “Mirjam!” as he admonishes his youngest daughter who’s chattering away in the background. It’s the band members’ last few days at home before they begin touring in support of their latest album Heritage – a tour they kick off in Bengaluru on February 5th at the Summerstorm Festival. This will be the band’s second trip to the country, having played IIT Chennai’s festival Saarang in 2009. This will also be the second iteration of the Summerstorm festival, which was headlined by Virginia, U.S. metallers Lamb of God in 2010.

“Well, we always thought that we would love to come back and play whenever. We were talking about playing Goa and things like that, but they didn’t work out,” says Ã…kerfeldt. “But we’re extremely happy that we could come back. We’ve been talking a lot about where can we expand ”“ it’s almost like a board meeting sometimes, even if it’s supposed to be like rock & roll ”“ and India seems to be one of those places we’re actually going to put a little more focus on, from now on. And it seems like everybody in the business is talking about expanding to countries like India.” The Asian leg of the tour will take the band to a whole host of countries they haven’t covered before, in fact, to places to that few metal bands have travelled to, like the Maldives. “We’re doing shows in territories that we’ve never done before so India, then Maldives which we’ve never been to, China, Taiwan and South Korea and Singapore; so it’s a lot of new countries for us on this tour.”

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Since this is only their second time here, the band’s setlist will include a mix of songs from their latest album but with a focus on their older albums and fan favorites as well, says Ã…kerfeldt. “On this tour we’re going to some places we’ve never been to before, so it’s not necessarily about us promoting the new record; we’re promoting the band as a whole. So I think it’s going to be more mixed-up.” Do the band have any expectations the second time around? “I don’t expect to be bullied by Nokia,” retorts Ã…kerfeldt, laughing. “No, I don’t know. Last time was a massive experience for us. None of us had ever been to India before so it was like having our India cherry popped, and now we’re looking to go back and see more of the country.”

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