Nocturnal Euphony International

Katatonia

 

 

Interview w/ Jonas Renkse

Band Members:

Jonas Renkse - Vocals
Anders Nyström - Guitar
Daniel Liljekvist - Drums

 

Per Eriksson - Guitar (live)

Niklas Sandin - Bass (live)

Country of Origin: Sweden

www.katatonia.com

www.myspace.com/katatonia

http://www.facebook.com/katatonia

 


Dance of December Souls (1993)

 Brave Murder Day (1996)

Discouraged Ones (1998)

Tonights Decision (1999)

 Last Fair Deal Gone Down (2001)

 Viva Emptiness (2003)

 Brave Yesterdays (2004)

 The Black Sessions (2005)

 The Great Cold Distance (2006)

Live Consternation (2007)

 Night is the New Day (2009)

 

1. Tonight I have the pleasure to be speaking with the phenomenal and highly influential Katatonia. Welcome to our site my friends, and thanks for your time. Before we get to the latest news, I would like to look back at a few highlighted moments from the bands history. 1991 was the year two friends gathered to begin this journey. What was the idea at that point in 91-92, did you have a definite musical path you wanted to pursue?

 

- Well it's hard to say. Back then we were like 16 years old and I don't think at that age you have a real agenda, rather than just want to try to come up with something that resembles the stuff that you love. So back then we wanted to sound like Paradise Lost etc. After a few years we started developing our own style and we have kept doing so ever since.

2. In 1993 we see "Dance of December Souls", the album was very well received by both listeners and critics. It also saw the departure of the earlier metallic sound and was replaced by the now trademark Melancholic and melodious approach. What led the music in this new and dynamic direction?

 

- Nothing deliberate, just a musical adventure for us, trying to see what kind of stuff suited us best. We were always into the melancholic stuff so that was a natural way to go.

3. Moving forward to 1996 we see what some would call the bands first true milestone the incredible album "Brave Murder Day". There was a lot going on at this time. What do you remember most about this time in the band?

 

- I remember finding a formula that Katatonia would use as a foundation for many years. A specific sound, which was cool. Also exploring more minimalistic styles in both music and lyrics started out with BMD.

4. What would you say was the biggest challenge behind creating "Brave Murder Day"?

 

- To get the album done, as we didn't have any real songs when we entered the studio. So it was really creative but also frustrating at times.

5. 1998 brings us the album "Discouraged Ones", followed by "Tonight's Decision" in 1999. The band was really building momentum by now. Did you still have a vision for what you wanted Katatonia to become or was it just a natural progression?

 

- I think we could see where we were heading. We were about writing songs. Takeing the minimalistic approach from BMD but trying new ways and how to alter that style into something different. The biggest change was the vocals of course, which brought a different dimension to work with.

6. 2001, and 2003 brought two more outstanding additions to Katatonia's catalog in 01's "Last Fair Deal Gone Down", and "Viva Emptiness". in 03. At this point did you feel there was a certain album that defined Katatonia's sound most completely?

 

- Yeah, "Last Fair Deal..." was in our eyes the total accomplishment so far. The songwriting just clicked and the sound was huge. We were so happy with that album. "Viva Emptiness" was different again, probably because we didn't want to repeat ourselves. Today I feel VE could have been better, especially in the sound department. The songs are good but the production don't do them justice. And some of the lyrics are weird.

7. In 2006 I sat eagerly awaiting the release date for the new Katatonia album. Then it finally came "The Great Cold Distance". From the first listen I was truly mesmerized. This was one of those albums that immediately becomes a classic. When the recording for this masterpiece was complete did you realize just what you had made? This for me was a really powerful and flawless album.

 

- Yes, we were very confident already at the writing stage. We wanted to blow VE out of the water and we did. We have never been as picky as we were when we did TGCD. I think it contains both the special Katatonia magic and new elements in terms of production and arrangements.

8. The latest album "Night is the New Day" once again a brilliant album. Did you feel any pressure creating this work with the previous success of "The Great Cold Distance"?

 

- In the beginning, yes. When we still had no music written. But once we started writing the flow came just naturally and we knew that we would never release anything that (in our ears) wasn't as good as TGCD. Of course we wented to top it and I think we did!

9. I think it's safe to say, that Katatonia have certainly carved out a special place within the world of music. Is there anything that you have not yet incorporated into the Katatonia sound that you would like to?

 

- Not that I know of but there will be new elements coming along for sure. That's how we work. And I think that's what keeps us unique. We always strive to find new ways within our own sound. It's the challenge that keeps us going.

10. Over the years you have no doubt played some special, and memorable shows, but you recently played in Mumbai, India. Tell us about this unique opportunity.

 

- It was nice to play a place (or even continent) that we had never played before. Different indeed but when it comes down to music we are all the same, so being on stage in India was no different from anywhere else really. I'm happy that we made it over there.

11. We are fresh into 2011 at this point. What is coming up for Katatonia this year?

 

- Some more touring for NITND, I guess a number of festivals during the summer but inbetween all the gigs we are going to look at new music as well. Keeping busy, and creative. Couldn't ask for more really!

12. In closing, please leave our readers with any final thoughts or comments, and thanks for your time?

 

- Thank you very much!

 

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