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That Time Mikael Akerfeldt Made A Swedish Rap Demo With Jonas From Katatonia

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Some weeks ago, I got to interview Opeth frontman Mikael Akerfeldt for Revolver, which was awesome because a) I’m a longtime Opeth fan, and b) Akerfeldt was an excellent interview — smart, funny, thoughtful, and possessing a voice like black silk.

One especially awesome moment was when I suggested that although Opeth had many influences, they’d probably never use hip-hop in their music, and Akerfeldt admitted that he and Jonas Renkse of Katatonia had once made a rap demo together. Which seemed to me to be the most hilarious thing in the world, because imagine two sober Swedish metalheads rapping in Swedish.

A lo and behold, this morning I discovered that The PRP has found this equally hilarious, and has printed Akerfeldt’s shameful admission in all its glory:

“I haven’t spoken about this a lot in interviews, but I have done demos with a rap band I had with Jonas, the singer from Katatonia. We were poor, we had no money, we had shitloads of spare time because our bands weren’t going anywhere—so we made these demos, and one of them was a rap group we had. So I have done some rap—in Swedish.

When asked if these demos would ever see the light of day, Mikael said the following:

“Well, they’re shit. They’re absolute shit! We can’t have been too old, doing something like that. All we did was smoke cigarettes, drink coffee and record these stupid fucking side projects. We had a country band, a rap band… we had one band where the music was just farts. And it was named Heinz, after Heinz beans. I’m not sure I’d want them to blow up on the internet, but it might be fun to sit down with someone I really respect and say, ‘Listen to this!’”

This feels kind of weird, writing a blog post about a website post about an interview I did for another magazine. It’s like M.C. Escher set to metal journalism (Don’t flatter yourself with the term ‘journalism’, respond the hamsters in the comments section).

But anyway, I think the more important point here is, let’s hear the demo! Come on, Mikael, you know that somewhere in your closet there’s a box with a tape labeled ‘ILL RIM MED JONAS’. The world wants to hear your spit tepid fire! Do it for the fans!

We’ll let you know if we ever get our hands on this Holy Grail of demo tapes. For now, you’ll just have to listen to Opeth’s latest, Sorceress, right here.

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