Mikael Åkerfeldt Has Been Focusing on Netflix Mini-Series Score, Not New Opeth Music
For over a year now, Opeth mainman Mikael Åkerfeldt has been working on a score for Clark, a six-part Netflix miniseries that will tell “the true story behind Sweden’s most notorious gangster, Clark Olofsson, whose infamous crimes gave rise to the term ‘Stockholm syndrome.’” The mini-series is directed by Jonas Åkerlund, the former Bathory drummer turned director of the Lords of Chaos movie and multiple Metallica videos (amongst many other credits).
That much we Opeth fans already knew. But what about new Opeth music? It’s been over a year since news of the film score first broke.
Not happening at the moment, says Åkerfeldt in a new interview.
Speaking to Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess in a live interview on the latter’s YouTube channel, Åkerfeldt said that his focus during the whole quarantine period has been the film score, and that he’s “been keeping busy working almost every day” on it… but no new Opeth.
“Not [working on new music] for Opeth. In a way, I don’t wanna come across as insensitive, but the pandemic hit at a good time for me, work-wise, because I’ve been offered to do a film score, basically, or for a series. The director is Jonas Åkerlund, who’s mostly known for making music videos for Madonna and Lady Gaga. He has a past in heavy metal. He was in a band called Bathory years ago. And he’s a friend of mine. And he asked if I would be interested in scoring music for a TV series that’s coming out on Netflix about a guy called Clark Olofsson, who was a famous, infamous robber, basically. So it’s almost like a biopic. So I’m writing music that’s supposed to fit in from the ’40s and onwards. So that’s been fun. So I’ve been doing that. I’m still kind of working on that.”
But there might be some hope for Opeth fans after all: Åkerfeldt says that some of the music he’s working on is “kind of Opeth-y sounding,” and if it doesn’t make it into the film he’ll re-purpose it for the band:
“In the beginning, I didn’t wanna do much vocals, but I’ve done some vocals. He sent me the script, and I read through [it]. But he basically told me, ‘Just write music like you normally do.’ And that’s what I did, only shorter pieces — like three-minute pieces. You don’t wanna spend time working on a 20-minute piece and then he goes, ‘That sucks.’ So I’m just doing shorter things.
“But it’s been really fun. And I think I’ve learned a lot. I had to kind of school myself in music, how it sounded in different decades and so forth… Some stuff is kind of Opeth-y sounding, I guess, and some stuff is definitely not Opeth-y sounding. But it’s been really fun. And some what I think are really nice things I’m almost hoping it’s not gonna be used, so I could take it for Opeth.”
Maybe this past year-plus will be beneficial for Opeth fans after all. But in the meantime, all’s quiet; the closest live performances Opeth have on the books right now won’t take place until June 2022.
You can watch Mikael’s interview with Rudess below.