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Akerfeldt on the first three albums

Discussion in 'Opeth (Archived)' started by Wolff, Oct 27, 2001.

  1. Wolff

    Wolff New Metal Member

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    Conceptually, can you describe for us the essence of each album?

    I have to admit that some moments on Orchid confuse me totally. Lyric wise, I just wrote without giving a simple thought on what came out. But you could say it’s more or less about being a servant to powers beyond the reach of humans. Not necessary satanic, but maybe close. The title suggests beauty mixed with darkness, thus the pink orchid with the black background. That’s somewhat the essence of our music. With Morningrise I was in a depressed state actually, and the lyrics came out the way they did. My grandfather had died, and The Night and the Silent Water was dedicated to his memory. To Bid You Farewell was written after I broke up with my girlfriend after 3 years. She fucked another guy and it made me very angry and depressed, and inspired to do something about it. The remaining part was about some reflections of the afterlife if it exists. I simply wrote about what I thought would happen after death, this goes mostly for Advent. Black Rose is a track that we first wrote back in 1991, and I’m very pleased by having it on an album, finally. It’s a short story touching the same themes as I fully wrote about on MAYH. Nectar is about nightmares, can you believe? The latest album is my first concept album, of which I am truly satisfied. It’s basically about dying and becoming a ghost or spirit trapped in the form of mist on earth, and being confronted with the reactions of those being close. It reaches throughout one earthly year, and during this time, the character tries to affect people and subjects, but without much success. It results only in the character scaring his loved ones to death, thus he plunges into a wicked state of mind, and wants to bring his beloved with him to the other side. Once confronted with this impossible task, the mood builds into terror (Demon of the Fall), but soon goes into depression after realising the way it has to be (Credence). However, Karma and Epilogue is telling the final rest, the ghost being at peace and finally being able to cross the line to the other side. The subject chosen can maybe be looked upon as naive, but I think death is a great subject to write about as nobody can tell you that you’re wrong. You can make up own stories on what you think happens.
     
  2. Wolff

    Wolff New Metal Member

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    Thanks to Lamentation of the Flame Princess...
     
  3. Villain

    Villain Doctor BenQuillity

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    Yeah, this was great reading - I came across it first time a year or so ago and it really opened Morningrise for me. I had already figured out MAYH, but Morningrise was a lot harder for me. Of course there has to be enough room for ones own interpretations, but knowing what the artist thought is sometimes very enlighting.

    -Villain
     
  4. Wolff

    Wolff New Metal Member

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    My Arms, Your Hearse... Why are there some songs with lyrics but no vocals?

    I wanted it to be a flowing concept, with lyrics to every minute of music basically. The instrumental tracks are enhancing the mood of the lyrics unsung. It’s like a mute narration, really!

    I'm wondering if you've seen the movie Ghost, with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore? This work seems to be a bastardization of it. The man dies, comes back, but instead of this emotional climax, in this album, the love was a lie all along and this man who by force of love for this woman was able to manifest as a ghost, now has to exist in this state knowing she'd lied and betrayed him. How close am I to the story?

    You’re basically telling it! It’s a ghost story, but with no connection to the movie. In fact, it dawned upon me now, that the movie is based on a similar story. The character dies, becoming a ghost upon earth. His funeral being described in the prologue. He comes to spiritual life in Apri” and the rest of the album covers the struggle for recognition of his foggy state. He gets to see the days of the ones left behind. He tries to affect people in any way possible. The woman is not necessarily betraying him physically, but her grief is not enough for his ego. He expected her to suffer his demise for ages. When this is not the case, frustration creeps in making him an invisible stalker, and eventually a spiritual mare thrown unto the faces of the ones left on earth.

    The way everything goes in a circle, it reminds me of this one ghost story I once read, I forget the title and the author, but it begins "So this is death." Its about a man who hangs himself, but his awareness never leaves the room. He can see himself hanging there, he sees his wife and her lover walk in on the body, he can see when the police inspectors come, and he's horrified by all of it, because he decides he doesn't want her to see him dead after all, but its too late. But every sunrise, history repeats. He can see himself come into the room, prepare the noose, and he wants to stop himself, but he can't. He relives his death and the aftermath over and over every day. The last words of the story are "So this is death..."

    His ability to observe is the same, but as far as the ”circle” goes, I more or less gave a hint to put the album back on. My character doesn’t relive his death; in fact, it’s never told exactly how he died. However, he lives on in mind, his soul lives on, and he experiences the days in a similar way to the living. Although being a ghost has its advantages, being able to appear in several shapes and so on.

    As the titles form a continuing circle, might the spirit in question also be doomed to repeat the cycle forever? But losing memory of the year each time, so the betrayal is fresh each time out?

    The story itself isn’t repeated, but the fate of the character might happen to others. I wasn’t so interesting in having a good reason for the circle-connection. I made the concept click, and it looked cool in the booklet. That’s it!

    How would a spirit break this cycle?

    The only way to break such a circle is to be given the opportunity to walk into the afterglow. Ghosts are basically restless spirits, but eventually this rest might set in, and access to the other side may be granted.

    What killed the principle in the story to begin with? Just something that happened, or was it the result of something the woman did?

    It’s not important, so I didn’t bother to tell. I don’t know really, but his death has to be anything else but natural. I wanted the character to be suspicious and restless, so that’s why he’s sneaking up on his beloved ones.

    I can't figure out whether the first recognized meeting of the ghost and his former lover were in April Ethereal or Demon of the Fall. Demon of the Fall clearly states "She turned around and faced me for the first time", yet in April Ethereal, "Within ghostlike rapture... she faced me in awe." Was it that the ghost had seen her for the first time in April Ethereal, but she didn't yet see him back? Clear this one up for me...

    April is his reincarnation so to speak. She faces him, but looks right through him, unaware of his presence, yet she feels great sadness, as his death came to soon, unwilling to accept his death. The line ”ghostlike rapture” is his own feeling, seeing his bride. In Demon there is a first meeting. She’s being confronted with his spirit, by this time being in rage due to frustration.

    Wait a second. If the woman did not love the ghost, why is she in mourning in April Ethereal?

    She did indeed love him. Anything saying she didn’t comes from the thoughts of the main character, as he’s being so lost into negative feelings about most things.

    And then in When, "The gilded faces grin...", presumably we're to assume that she and someone else (a secret lover on the side?) are happy about the death. How can both the grieving and the joy be correct?

    It’s not totally right. He never has any proof of her being an infidel, he only suspects her to be. The gilded faces are a description of statues coming alive in the mansion in which he used to live. Her grieving is complete, but not to his satisfaction. He hears voices from somebody else than her. Unable to figure out if it’s imagination or not, he expects the worst, and the story unfolds.

    Perhaps the entire epic is a misunderstanding on the ghost's part? All of his post-death grief and anguish are for nothing because he misinterpreted a situation. She DID love him after all? It is a brief encounter in When that sets the stage for all of the shit going down. Did the ghost get it wrong?

    Exactly, he only suspects her to be doing all these things. Actually the whole story only deals with his own understandings and misunderstandings. She doesn’t really take part in any important events concerning his state of mind. He is restless in the very sense of the word, and he feels that every one is against him. But there’s really nothing for the living to be against; he’s not there anymore in body. The problem is, as he’s a ghost trapped on earth, he does take part in all the events happening, but the remaining people doesn’t take part in him in any way. Apart from his woman, they don’t even know he’s there.

    Can this entire thing not also be a real life analogy? Experience a life changing situation, wanting to share it with your loved one, and having them reject your change. Could that not also be the story? How "open" was this in your mind when you wrote it?

    I am still alive, and I’ve most certainly had my share of shit from people already. But for the album I wanted to be able to write a made-up story as well. I can personally only relate to being alive. What happens when you die is not within your grasp to experience. Hence, I can write whatever I want concerning death and what happens when you’re gone.

    ...
     
  5. Jim LotFP

    Jim LotFP The Keeper of Metal

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    By going to http://lotfp.cjb.net, you can all read the complete transcripts of three Opeth interviews... in the Interviews section if you couldn't figure it out! :)

    And after the recent news, I'm attempting to get another interview as we speak... so... I have a phone call to make. ;)
     
  6. Wolff

    Wolff New Metal Member

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    Maybe I can send you some questions.

    Coming to think of that it would be cool if Akerfeldt answers some questions from the board...
     
  7. Russell

    Russell __

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    Cool, who did the interview? They really gave Mikael a run for his money :D
     
  8. TravestyOfMan

    TravestyOfMan What year is this?!?

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    This is massive! I'm kinda suprised that he gave so much of his time for these interviews. Great stuff.
     
  9. Wolff

    Wolff New Metal Member

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    MAYH makes a lot more sense now. And you can just get a glimpse of how Akerfeldt's brain works.
     
  10. D Mullholand

    D Mullholand [project closed]

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    I hope Mikael will confirm the double-album news in the new LotFP interview... I still don't know if it's 100% true and correct.

    BTW, LotFP has by far the best interviews around ! Jim Raggi, you have an incredible talent !

    D Mullholand
    ---------------------
    NP: Death in June - Burial
     
  11. mysweetdeath

    mysweetdeath Easy Mac > Difficult Mac

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    *BUMP!*


    For all of those who have recently joined.
     
  12. Kaberonie

    Kaberonie PimpDaddyKABZ

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    thanks for the bump
     
  13. unknown

    unknown fuck ftagn

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    wow...really good stuff
     
  14. Control_Denied

    Control_Denied New Metal Member

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    Nice...i knew about "The Night and The Silent Water", but its sweet to know the rest.
     
  15. Rose Immortal

    Rose Immortal Spirit of Hope

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    Thanks for these interviews...MAYH may well be my favorite Opeth album, and it was quite interesting to see how my interpretations lined up with what he intended. Of course, no two people will ever see it exactly the same way--but I was pleased to see (for example) that my suspicions about the spirit's death being a violent one may be correct.

    I'm also curious, has he said anything else about what he thinks, about if there is continued existence after death?
     
  16. deliverance

    deliverance ecnareviled

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    Wow, a very enthralling and informative read. Thanks for the bump mysweetdeath.
     
  17. [KOTNO]Narrot

    [KOTNO]Narrot Eats and spits corpses...

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    i agree with the majority here...t'was a good idea to bump it...
     
  18. Pessimism

    Pessimism Endemic Vagabond

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    cannot find server!
    god dammit!
     
  19. sweet majestic darkness

    sweet majestic darkness The Metal Mama

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