OPETH's MIKAEL ÅKERFELDT: 'I Love' JOE BONAMASSA's Guitar Playing, But 'I Wouldn't Be Able To Pick Him Out Of A Hundred Players'

OPETH's MIKAEL ÅKERFELDT: 'I Love' JOE BONAMASSA's Guitar Playing, But 'I Wouldn't Be Able To Pick Him Out Of A Hundred Players'

In a recent interview with Premier Guitar, OPETH frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt was asked which guitarists inspire his playing today. He responded: "It's the same guys from back in the day. There's some newer players that I think are really good, but many sound the same to me. It goes with metal music in general. I think it's very samey. Some of those players are fucking great. I just can't hear that it's them. It's not like [David] Gilmour. You instantly hear it's him. Ritchie Blackmore, you hear it's him. Jimmy Page, Michael Schenker, Uli Roth … you hear it's them.

"Even if I love his guitar playing … like Joe Bonamassa. I'm not sure how he sounds. I think he's a product of his influences. So I wouldn't be able to pick him out of a hundred players. He's just fucking skilled and has a great tone, great emotion, and all that stuff. He's also got his influences on his sleeve. He can emulate his idols to the point where he plays their stuff much better than they can. But what does Joe Bonamassa sound like? I wouldn't know.

"Then the acoustic players that I really like…. I discovered Tommy Emmanuel maybe 10 years ago. He's fucking fantastic. When you hear him play, it's like, 'Wow, I wish I could play like that.' I also love Bert Jansch and Nick Drake. Joni Mitchell is very underrated. Then there's rhythm players, like James Hetfield, Malcolm Young, Dave Mustaine, and those guys.

"And I still love Yngwie [Malmsteen]! He's got his sound and you can hear it right away. Unfortunately, you're going to hear he wrote the song, too. If he's reading this, I'm sorry. I love him. I have the utmost respect for him, but he could up his game a lot."

OPETH's latest album, "In Cauda Venenum", landed at No. 13 on the U.K. chart and No. 5 on the German chart. The band's previous LP, 2016's "Sorceress", peaked at No. 11 on the U.K. chart, while 2014's "Pale Communion" entered the list at No. 14 and 2011's "Heritage" landed at No. 22.

"In Cauda Venenum" was released on September 27 via Moderbolaget / Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Recorded last year at Stockholm's Park Studios, the effort was made available in two versions, in both Swedish and English languages.


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