Hi there. Congratulations to your great new album. I love it. Please describe the reactions to the CD so far.
Honestly, I don't know. I haven't checked any reviews so it's yet too early to tell. We kept a pretty low profile and it's just now we have dived back into the limelight again.
After all these years, do you care for the opinion of your fans, the press and people in general? Or is it just you and your music?
I do care, maybe too much because some statements easily offend me or hurt my feelings, but ultimately if you reasonably think about it and throw some distance on it all, at the end of the day, is just me and my music, and that's what it all comes down to. I should remind myself of that more often.
Was there a moment in history when you realized that Katatonia would become something special?
Yeah, I felt something in that vein right from the beginning with the release of our first demo tape.
How would you rank the status of your band in rock business today?
Underrated and indefinable.
Let's get back to "The great cold distance". Compared to "Viva emptiness" I would say that it sounds a bit harder, and the groove kicks even more asses. Do you agree, and what other differences can you point out?
Yeah to me it feels like TGCD is really a continuation where we left off with VE. It has some of the most aggressive material we ever done in our entire career, but it also has some really atmospheric and moody moments, so comparing it to VE I think the main difference is TGCD having more dynamics and definately a heavier and more professional production.
What are the reasons for these differences?
Because this is where we stand today and what we find representing our minds.
The first single will be "My twin". Can you tell us something about this song and it's history?
We've just shot a video clip for this song as well. Considering it being our first and directed by someone who didn't know Katatonia, I think the result was great in terms of our concept and dignity, so I'm definitely happy with the outcome. Even before we recorded the album, or actually even we wrote it, we said this song is gonna be the single. We had a working name for it all along as the "single song" you know. I guess it has all the incredients you'd expect from Katatonia. It's a pretty safe song. Melodic hooks and a nice flow.
What about "July"?
It's about the recording of the album last summer, July was our most toughest month in the studio, so we had to... or maybe not???
Which one is YOUR favorite song of the album and why?
Right now it's probably 'Follower' because that song has given me scenarios of being in a cold temperatured abandoned morgue with sterile black chromed walls and I find myself very drawn into that surrounding. I guess that location and situation doesn't come by too often though, would you know anything about that?
How and why did you choose the album cover?
Travis Smith, our dear friend and designer brainstormed away after we gave him the low down on the vibes of the album. It's just magic you know. We describe a feeling, and he nails it into an image. We're a team beyond all standards.
What is "The great cold distance" that you describe with your new album?
”A distance necessary to journey through the corridors of human vexation. While embracing this album one must know that it will only help to increase the coldness between us. It's a devious life. And this is a soundtrack to it" - Jonas Renkse 2006
Are there some song lyrics that are special to you? Tell us something about them.
All the lyrics are special, they're all sprung from the heart and mind with the same effort and dedication among them. But, this is really something you've to find out for yourselves. There's a charm in leaving the lyrics and concepts unexplained. Our lyrics and concepts are just sitting there for you to dive into. It's the best way to find out what it ultimately means to you...
Against all differences to it's predecessors, "The great cold distance" has all Katatonia trademarks of recent years. Though you have always changed your style a bit, the last four albums fit together perfectly. What do you think: How long and how far can you develop this kind of music?
It's impossible for me to predict into the future about this, sorry.
So let me ask directly: How will Katatonia sound in let us say five years? Do you think there will come a time to break out and do something completely different? And is there a masterplan?
The moment Katatonia stray away from being dark, that's when we've sold out. We can go how soft or heavy as we want, but we can never go away from the darkness.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
Everything between the heaven and hell of reality.
What about the recording process of your new album? Any stories or curiosities to report?
Not really, we wasted a whole swedish summer in a barn. That's really all there is to it.
How would you describe your own music?
Dark and heavy.
Please tell us something about your process of songwriting.
I believe the composing alone was done over the spring months last year. Basically, I and Jonas put this album together here at our home studio. First, we went through our demos with tons riffs and lose ideas, picked out the best and categorized them into different types of styles. Then we started the arrangements built on what we wanted to come across for each song. Material would be built up, shifted around in the song until we got a good structure of intent. Our mission was to create and deliver a very heavy and aggressive album layered on susurrus depth of atmosphere. We carried on tons of dark and cold visions and with our minds set on that, we felt obliged to transform that vibe with razor-sharp precision into music.
What are your musical influences in your opinion?
I guess I'm influenced by everything I listen to and my music taste is open minded and wide. Here's a hint of what my collection consist of; The Cure, Fields of the Nephilim, Jeff Buckley, Red House Painters, Tori Amos, Chris Isaac, Slowdive, Ben Christophers, Kent, Lisa Miskovsky, Ed Alleyne-Johnson, October Project, Tool, A Perfect Circle, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Paradise Lost, Morbid Angel, Entombed, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Emperor, Unanimated, Immortal, W.A.S.P, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Skid row and the list goes on and on and on…
Please name some lately released CDs that you like to listen to at home.
Right now I listen to:
Fields of the Nephilim - 'Mourning Sun' 2005
Jorn Lande - 'The Duke' 2006
Madder Mortem - 'Desiderata' 2006
Daylight Dies - 'Dismantling Devotion' 2006
John 5 - 'Songs for Sanity' 2005
Are there some bands that you think are something like "brothers in mind"? And if so, what is the difference between Katatonia and those bands?
I bet the media would wanna throw some bands together in that aspect, but we don't. There are better and worse bands than us, but yet there's no one like Katatonia,.
We'd like to know something about the underground in your hometown. Are you still in touch? And if so: Where do you hang out? Are there some yet unknown bands that you like?
There's an upcoming band from Stockholm called Mynjun and if they get signed and start to tour, they might have a very bright future career. It's a killer band for sure to be reckoned with.
How important is it for you to play live on stage?
I personally love it and even have an urge for it. I'd wanna play a lot more concerts than what's currently on the table. We have a new agency now, so hopefully things will change for the better this year and ahead.
Are there some bands that you would still die to play with?
Oh yeah, some of the bands I mentioned in an earlier question,definately.
Please tell us something about further Live activities.
We're planning on heading out two times this year touring Europe. One will definately be a headliner tour. We'll also participate on some of the summer festivals. So look out for announcements. We're gonna come your way!!!
Still three questions to go. What do you think about Metal web magazins?
Is there something that you have never been asked but always have been eager to say?
You should ask me what a "virgin zip" is all about...
Well, it's when your first beer of the night loses its virginity from your first zip. Hilarious, isn't it?
Well, yeah! We are looking forward seeing you in Germany. Best whishes to you all. Any last words?
Thanks for the support. See you on tour in 2006 alright! Cheerz (virgin zip)!!!