Twenty five years on and Meshuggah are still at the forefront of extreme metal. Originating from Umea, they have had an unbeatable journey so far, with seven studio albums including the newly released Koloss under their belts and having played multiple shows worldwide it's no wonder they're as reputable as the genre itself.
I caught up with Marten Hagstrom before they headlined Concorde 2 in Brighton, to find out more about these Metal veterans, and the key to their long lasting success.

R13: So, tonight is the first show of the tour, how do you think it'll go?
MH: I don't know, I think this is the 6th show of the tour so far but I think we played here twice before this.

R13: You formed in 1987, does that feel like a life time ago now and what's the secret to your long lasting success?
MH: I don't know, when we formed in '87 we still weren't properly a band, that was just messing around we didn't really have our goals set; just local gigs and stuff, and that really went on till 1992. I guess the bands real starting point was in the 90's when the first album was released. I guess me and Thomas we grew up together, we've known each other since we were six years old or something like that and f and d knew each other since twelve, and then we all hooked up along the way. I guess like minded people just met, we've been doing this for so long we don't think about it, and this is the band we are. So I guess we've been lucky.

R13: Yeah, because there's been two of you in the line up who've stayed since you started out hasn't there?
MH: Yeah there's been me and Thomas and we had one band and they had Meshuggah, it wasn't called Meshuggah back then, and then we kind of all met up.

R13:I'm sure you get asked this a lot but how did you form the band name?
MH: Well the thing is, when the band was formed they messed around with a lot of name, so the thing is the name was kind of theirs who came up with name. I think we were running through a slang dictionary or an American slang dictionary as we really didn't want something too obvious, like our music is kind of obscure in certain ways, especially back then it was really obscure and we wanted something to kind of fit the way we sounded, and that just happened to be Meshuggah sounding weird meaning crazy, good match. Nowadays people are like, are you guys Jewish? No (laughs)

R13: You just released your seventh album Koloss would you say your music has changed a lot since your first album?
MH: I hope so (laughs)

R13: How would you say; is it more mature?
MH: Yeah probably, to some extent we've always tried to keep the Meshuggah sound or what ever you want to call it but we try and shine enough of a new light on it every time we do each album so as to keep it interesting for us, so that its fully creative. We've always tried to do what we've always been doing so we just kind of tweak the same stuff but adding a bit of new stuff all the time. Even though it's pretty similar the way it comes about, it's still a different beast to how it was back in the day. I mean back in the day there was a lot more youthful age, we did a lot retarded stuff, like stuff we wouldn't opt to go for now, but we know more about what we want out of ourselves now, so that's the biggest difference.

R13:So, the album has only been out a month now, has it got the response you were after?
MH: Way better. I mean every time we release a new album its kind of been a thing were you see half our fans don't like it, half our fans like it and then you get an additional group of new fans, and that's always been the case. But with this one, it was like we felt really good about it, so we were thinking it's not going to do so good, because when we feel really really good about something that's when it doesn't really work out the way we thought it would, but this has been mind blowing. We played some fucked up stuff and we hit the billboard in the US on 17 and we were like how's this happening? We're happy with it.

R13: Which do you feel has been the most successful album?
MH: This one will be because it's obliterating all our other albums right now. But up until today I would say the most successful was obZen, but our favourite was probably Catch Thirtythree after this new one.

R13: Obviously you are on tour now, which of your shows are you looking forward to the most?
MH: Ooo, London's going to be good, that's tomorrow, I think it's sold out. I mean it's a different beast playing this sort of thing compared to two and half thousand people. This is probably the first time I can say this in years, but I'm looking forward to all the shows. We have a way more dense set list this time, we're running for an hour forty and were doing stuff that, apart from playing five new tracks, we're playing a bunch of tracks from our back catalogue that we've never played before. So every night is very interesting as well as very much being a challenge, it's a long set.

R13: Although you've been around for a while now do you still get nervous before you go on tour and do your shows?
MH: Not before going on tour, like every time no matter where you're at or how big it is or whatever you do. The moment you know you've got ten minutes to go and you're putting your guitar on and getting the feel of it, something happens; there is some kind of thing. Its not like when you're a kid and the first couple of shows you're nervous you're like "damn, I don't want to do this, I don't want to do this", but like there is an anticipation a good anxiety, you can feel you're gearing up for the show, which is a good thing, Like if I was standing around looking at the other guys and we're all hands on back of heads stretched out then its time to quit. You need to have some kind of build up.

R13: You're playing quiet a few festivals over summer, are there any festivals you want to play but haven't had chance to yet?
MH: I'd have to think about that, like we've done all the old classics that we all really wanted to do that aren't around any more I think we already did. Actually, Wacken in Germany, its one of the biggest metal festivals as it gets, we've never played there. I'm not that keen to check out the festival as we've been to so many anyway, but just because its one of the oldest that's still around, that would be cool.

R13: Where do you feel fans are most appreciative of your music?
MH: Nowadays everywhere. Back in the day America and Australia was good, and Britain was good in certain places. I mean London is not something you can really count as its such a big fucking city, and people travel up for there. But Britain had been really good, and so has Holland and Italy and as I said Australia and America. But now it doesn't really matter where we go these days we get good shows.

R13: You're currently signed to Nuclear Blast, was that the record label you had your hearts set on?
MH: When we were starting out that was the label that happened to pick us up and we decided to sign a long contract with them so by the time we rolled out of that contract we had a bunch of offers, but at the end of the day we thought these guys we've been working with them for a long time, we knew exactly what we were getting and they had the best offer by far, so yeah were feeling really good about being there.

R13: How do you rate awards? Have you won any as a group? Do you want to win them or are you not too fussed?
MH: If someone hands you an award and says "hey you won this for what ever" I guess that's cool it can't be a bad thing. I mean I know people who say "fuck awards" well if someone thought you did something worth recognising that's a good things period, I don't care what people say. But it doesn't really mean anything, it's not like you wake up and go "Oh man we just won that award in France" you just don't think about it, it's just something that happens that's pretty cool when it does.

R13: Ok, do you feel as a band you've achieved everything you wanted to? Or do you feel there is more?
MH: Yeah we want to top everyone. It's a privilege for us to do what we do, we've never been exactly 'hit' material, we things are different today, but back in the day you went to an extreme metal festival we were the outlaws, so it didn't really matter where we were. We were the odd ones out, which means that the more we realised people were getting into what we were actually about, we thought well what's next then , not as in how many albums you sell, but as in how well do you get your point across. So I think we have a lot left to do.

R13: What is Meshuggah's ultimate goal?
MH: We don't have an ultimate goal, our ultimate goal, is doing exactly what were doing, the goal is the journey itself sort of. Having the band with like minded people and having a shit load of fun trying to create a cool as thing together, feeling good about it. That's the reward of doing it. The goal is do good.

R13: Lastly, if you weren't making music what would you be doing?
MH: I would probably be homeless (laughs) I cant do anything else. What I would like to do is play ice hockey, that's kind of a religion in Sweden.

R13:So has music always been the career you've wanted? You didn't have any other career paths?
MH: No, here's the funny thing, there is one thing that is the common denominator for us in this band, all five of us have never been able to do anything else, and that's kind of funny as none of us ever wanted to be rock stars. When we grew up we never sat round drinking beer and saying lets get on tour and play all this cool shit, we never thought about it, we were like lets rehearse and make songs that's what everything was about, so to the point of cut your hair and get a job type of thing. I think that when I realised I could write stuff on the guitar at thirteen years of age that was it, this was something that I cannot not do.