Anders Nystrom Of Katatonia On The Audience
Band Photo: Katatonia (?)
Katatonia has been tearing up stages the world over for twenty years now. They’ve built a big fanbase in Europe through lots of touring and festival slots, and are working hard to make American metalheads just as loyal, if so many aren’t already. Currently touring with Opeth while playing headlining shows on off-dates, I talked with founding member guitarist Anders Nystrom about the 20th Anniversary celebration, getting close to the fans, and a new album.
Buick McKane: How are you doing today?
Anders Nystrom: I’m good. A little bit tried, but, yeah, still excited. Here we are, out on the road, lot of friends, lot of good times going on. So cool.
Buick: That’s great. It sucks that y’all had to cancel the New Orleans show. Is everything okay now?
Anders: Sure, everything is back on track. Jonas especially needed some vocal rest. I mean, we have been going non-stop for, I think it was, sixteen days in a row. Some of the shows just took a toll on his vocal cords. He really needed a little break, just shut up for a day and, you know, he sounding great again. Unfortunately, we’re not going to reschedule [that show] on this tour. But we will definitely make up for it the next time we come over, and make a really special treat just for New Orleans, and really make that setlist special for them. It’s definitely worth waiting for.
Buick: Good to hear. And that show was a part of your 20th Anniversary headlining series. How did those other shows go?
Anders: They’ve been going great. They’ve actually been, in some ways, more fun than the Opeth shows because…yeah, you know, it’s always cool to get so intimate with your fans. We play the smaller venues and the people will come really up close. There’s no, what do you call it, the barrier? There’s no barrier for those shows and people come close. It’s such a more…the energy, you can feel the energy in the room. We play a lot longer, we play a lot different songs, and it just feels like a celebration, you know. It’s more private and more intimate. I think it’s more fun in a way because the bigger venue you play the more further away you get from the crowd. I don’t like that; it’s like you cannot even see the faces in the third row. You want to have some kind of interaction going on with those people because they’re there to see you. The more energy they give, the more energy you get back. So it’s all part of the show. That’s not saying that Opeth’s shows are bad or anything, it’s just different. It’s really different.
Buick: Great. You recently announced that you were going to reissue “For Funerals to Come.” When is that going to be available?
Anders: It’s out early November. It’s something that they just need to press, basically. There’s not going to be, like, a month trial of promotion or anything like that. So it’s going to be out in a month, and it’s going to be released on an lp first, followed by a cd. The purpose of doing that was solely to give the fans a special treat. It’s a really old release, it’s a really short one, and it’s just a little ep. We threw some bonus tracks on there, but everything else is kept pretty much as the original was. Layout-wise, it’s the same cover; we’re not changing anything. Just something cool for the fans, you know
Buick: Are there any plans for a new, full album yet?
Anders: Indeed so. When we left on this tour, we were actually already in the writing phase of the new album. We have a couple of songs done. When this tour is over, we’ll get right back home, we’ll finish it up, wrap up the whole thing and probably hit the studio in January.
Buick: Great. And I’m sure you’re going to do more touring after that, so you’re going to stay pretty busy.
Anders: Yeah, oh yeah. We’re always busy. I think, you know, the touring cycle for the last album is finally coming to an end now by entering the studio for a new one, but as soon as the new one comes out which will be sometime in 2012, I still don’t know if it will be before summer or after summer, as soon as it’s out, another three year cycle of touring starts. Always busy.
Buick: Do you think you’re going to be able to play some festivals that summer?
Anders: Sure. We love playing festivals, so we always tell our management and booking agency that whatever festivals come our way, throw them at us because I love summer fest. You can’t beat them. It’s great.
Buick: Yeah, and you also released something that’s really different; the iPhone app. What does the app do?
Anders: Yeah, that was something I just told our label that a lot of bands are doing that, you know, why shouldn’t we? I just told them, like, investigate what you can do for us, hook up with some company and make an app and they did. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s definitely on the way and I’m hoping for the future to do a lot of exclusives out of that because, basically, today, everybody’s got, well more or less, they got a phone and lots of people got an iPhone. It’s definitely cool to have an app for that which is going to expand, and we’re going to see where we can go with it.
Buick: I don’t know how many people that like metal actually have iPads, but of course, it’s available on that too.
Anders: Yeah, that’s true. I think it’s a growing thing. I don’t even own an iPad myself, but it seems to be really popular.
Buick: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Anders: Basically that were just stoked to be back here. I mean, it’s our agenda to be back here as much as possible because we really feel that…we compare what we’ve done in Europe so far in these last twenty years compared to what we’ve done in America, what we have achieved, we have a long way to go over here. We just want to go back here as much as possible, and meet our fans, and have a good time. We’re definitely doing that right now. Thanks everybody for coming out.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.