R13: How's the tour going?
Peter Lindgren: We've just flown in from Stockholm but we're on world tour, we've been on tour since June and everything up to now has been very good
R13: You toured Britain in September, why have you come back so soon?
PL: We wanted to play key gigs around Europe in the smaller venues to try and get them sold out quickly so there will be a demand for the next tour. We're playing the Forum in London for example, which is a bigger venue. However we didn't play Nottingham last time so it's a mix between playing the same cities twice but in bigger venues and covering places we didn't play last time.
R13: Are the venues you play in Britain smaller than the ones you play in Europe, specifically Scandinavia?
PL: Scandinavia's not too good, but in general Britain is better than the rest of Europe. Holland is great for some reason, however Germany isn't so good.
R13: Do you think the next time you come round you'll be playing bigger venues?
PL: We always want to play bigger venues but then again, it's better to sell out a smaller venue then only half fill a large place.
R13: Do you prefer the small intimate shows?
PL: I don't mind the big venues if they're sold out, with the crowd you get the intimacy but you get that more at the smaller shows, but then again if it's too small the sound is bad, you don't have monitors and you can't move around the stage.
R13: How are the sales of the new album?
PL: It's selling faster than any of the previous albums we've done.
R13: Do you think this is because you've signed to Road Runner?
PL: They have some part of it, but we toured for eighteen months for Damnation and Deliverance, so we played to a lot more people who I think wanted to check out the new album, but I think Road Runner played a big part in it.
R13: Why did you choose Road Runner because they tend to sign media happy nu-metal acts?
PL: When I was growing up, Road runner was big, they had all the great metal bands, deicide and king diamond and all that, but we decided to sign with them despite the fact they sign a lot of nu-metal. It doesn't matter if Slipknot release a new album, it doesn't have anything to do with us. On the whole I think Road Runner are very good at selling albums.
R13: I've watched 'The Great Conjuration' video on television, is that the first video Opeth have made?
PL: Yes, eight albums, the first video. Normally the songs are too long.
R13: Were Road Runner an influence on that?
PL: We talked about it with Music for the Nations for a long time but nothing happened, Road Runner were better at actually DOING it. I don't like the video, it was made in such a rush on the sounds of the underground tour and we didn't really know what was going on so we just went in and played. It's a very metal video, it has a snake and a chick in it.
R13: Is it painful to hear one of your songs cut down to five minutes for a video?
PL: I hate that, when we did Blackwater Park, the record label did an edit without asking us and we heard it thought 'what the fucks this?' We figured they (Road Runner) are going to do it anyway so we decided to agree on doing it but this time we wanted to be a part of the mix.
R13: With the success of The Ghost Reveries, have you seen an increase in the sales of previous albums?
PL: I'm not sure, up to The Ghost Reveries, Blackwater Park was the biggest selling album.
R13: Do you think Blackwater Park is your break through album?
PL: It is in America mainly because all the other albums could only be bought on import. In Europe I think the sales have increased for every album but I don't think it was a break though album, but it's a break through album in the sense that it is a good album.
R13: Do you have a personal Favourite Opeth album, I know Steve Harris from Iron Maiden has a soft spot for Piece of Mind?
PL: That's mine too. I think my personal favourite album is My Arms, Your Hearse. It's not a musical thing, it was all the things going on at the time, especially the recording, we didn't know if we would be able to finish it. It was a new direction for us and I think everything we do nowadays goes back to that album.
R13: How much of the writing process are you involved in?
PL: Mikael writes the most because he's a better song writer than everybody else, he's good at putting it all together. If anyone has a riff or an idea then we just give it to him and he mixes it with the rest. For the new album we actually rehearsed, and in rehearsal we would arrange the songs to make them sound better so I think everyone has had more of an input on this album which hasn't been the case before.
R13: Opeth have a very distinct sound, do you think you've achieved what you set out for in the first place?
PL: It's hard to say, I don't think we ever had a master plan or a goal when we started, we just wanted to be the best band in the world and it took us a long time to realise it wasn't going to be like that. I am very proud of what we've done so far and I've enjoyed the sound of the last few records, especially The Ghost Reveries, which, I think, is the best sounding album we've done.
R13: The Ghost Reveries is a progressive sounding album, it's still Opeth but there are more time changes and dare I say 'quiet bits'. Is that something which evolved when you were writing?
PL: It is part of the writing process and I think we've matured, but I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that we rehearsed. It wasn't as stressed, in the past we had ideas but didn't have time to experiment on them.
R13: How long have you been playing the guitar?
PL: I started when I was fourteen, I am now 32 so that's 18 years, goodness me!
R13: Are you endorsed by anyone?
PL: We're endorsed by Laney for our amps, and PRS guitars. I use a Boss GT6 for the sound process.
R13: What are you tuned to?
PL: Up to the latest album it's always been regular tuning and on a couple of songs, drop D. We experimented with open tuning this time which is D A D F B E, and when you strum it, it sounds like a minor chord.
R13: Have you ever been tempted to down tune to B?
PL: No, I know some bands use it to sound heavy but I think it makes it sound blurry. I also like the fact you can make heavy music with the regular tuning.
R13: What is your highest point of Opeth so far?
PL: One of the things is being able to play in many parts of the world and have people turn up to the shows. Musically, the new album is one of my highlights.
R13: The new album was recorded in June, so obviously you were writing months before that, have you started work on the follow up yet?
PL: We don't write on tour, there's so much touring we don't have any time to write any new ideas. We need to have a break to write a new album, but when we're home it can be a pretty quick process.
R13: Who came up with the awesome last three minutes of deliverance?
PL: That was Mikael, he was fiddling around with his drum machine and he came up with a beat (at this point Peter plays the beat on his knees) and put a riff over it.
R13: Is there anything Opeth would have done differently if you had to do it all over again?
PL: Maybe we would have waited a bit longer to sign our first record deal, but getting a record deal in the first place was great, but we signed a shitty deal.
R13: Are you saying Opeth got signed too soon?
PL: Not signed too soon, but it was the first offer we got so we took it, it wasn't a bad deal but we should have played it more cool.
R13: Bands like Burst and Novembers Doom sound similar in style to Opeth, did you ever think you'd such an influential act?
PL: I don't know, when we started in Stockholm we were a small ass band, we didn't play any show either and we didn't know how a band should be. But with the amount of touring we do, you expect to have some influence on people.
R13: Who were your influences when you were growing up?
PL: The new wave of British heavy metal, plus older bands such as Black Sabbath.
R13: Do you listen to any new music?
PL: When I was younger I was into everything but now I have no clue at all.
R13: How's the tour going?