In a recent online radio interview with Andrew Haug, Opeth frontman Mikael Akerfeldt reached the subject of metal giants Metallica and their willingness to experiment and change their music. When asked whether he has more respect for Metallica for wanting to change their sound, the frontman started by saying that "you can't stay the same."
"It would be impossible for Metallica to write another 'Master Of Puppets'; I don't think they want to, either. Metallica is very interesting to me, because they shaped a whole new form of metal music with at least the first five records. They keep doing records... I mean, they did 'Load', they did 'Reload', and those records were f--ing hated. I'm not sure if they were hated because of the actual music or if it was hated because of their image, or whatever it was. And then they tried to kind of get back into playing faster with 'St. Anger' and 'Death Magnetic', but I guess that didn't really do it for their fans either; it didn't really do it for me, to be honest. But they're really interesting."
Akerfeldt added that he thinks Metallica is bigger than ever these days, calling his own band "a fart in the wind" compared to them. He did however find interesting that Metallica doesn't play much of the new material live, giving a more thorough explanation of his opinion.
"I've been wondering about this for quite some time: Why don't they play more new stuff live? Why do they go out and do the 'Master Of Puppets' or whatever other records that they are doing? Why don't they focus on new material? Aren't they proud of the new stuff that they do or do they just wanna please the fans? Either way, I think it's fine and it's none of my business, whatever choices they make, but I just find it interesting. Because the way we see it, obviously, we're just a fart in the wind compared to Metallica, but when we put out a new record, that's what we love the most and that's what we wanna promote and that's what we wanna play. But I remember seeing them just after 'St. Anger' came out and they had, like, a two-and-a-half-hour show, or whatever it was, and they played only one new song. And I didn't understand it. I didn't really like 'St. Anger', and I personally didn't wanna hear more songs than just a song or two from the new album, but I just found it interesting that they don't seem to stand behind their own material when they are actually on stage touring for this new album."
The frontman also reached the subject of new extreme metal, calling it dull and getting a lot of reactions from the music world community. With the full transcript of the interview now available via Blabbermouth, we can see the whole statement and a more detailed insight of his thoughts.
"'Heritage' is a record I particularly love. I think in our catalog, it's probably my favorite record. Basically, I've been getting closer to the music I listen to. I don't listen to new extreme metal. I think it's dull, I think it's s--t most of it. And I can't get impressed with bands that are fast, that play... Brutality, for me, does nothing. I've been into the whole death metal scene for ages, so it's not happening that I'm gonna be impressed by brutal music anymore. And I think metal has a new meaning to me than it did before."
"I think 'Heritage' is metal - I think it's rebellious, anyway. But a lot of people, obviously, would disagree. To a lot of people, metal is screaming vocals, double-bass drums, pretty much a computerized recording that sounds inhuman, and I think we just reacted towards that, I guess. To me, it's maybe a bold statement or whatever you call it, but in our catalog, I think, 'Heritage' is the most metal record."