The following in an excerpt taken from the September 2012 issue of Guitar World. For the full story, as well as features on Steve Vai and Tosin Abasi, Rush, Periphery and more, pick up the issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.
The scene at the House of Blues backstage lounge is not unlike a typical Saturday afternoon in many living rooms across the States. The band members are casually sprawled across the immense couches to watch the final moments of Game 3 of the Western Conference NBA quarterfinals. Kidman, who appears to be fighting a head cold, quietly sips on a cup of tea and taps away on his laptop, while Hagström, Lövgren, Haake and Thordendal munch on nachos and cheer as the Los Angeles Clippers narrowly clinch a one-point victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
When the game ends, the discussion turns to Koloss and a theory that’s been making its way around the internet. Though the new album contains 54 minutes of eight-string chugging, otherworldly solos and hypnotic grooves, it is still relatively restrained compared to previous Meshuggah albums. Online critics and bloggers have surmised that Meshuggah took this direction on Koloss after experiencing the difficulty of replicating obZen’s extremely technical tracks onstage. The band members are quick to dispel any such conjecture.
“Actually, I’d say that the songs on Koloss are as challenging as anything off obZen,” Thordendal says without hesitation. “They might sound easier, but they aren’t. They’re just hard…in a different way.”
“ ‘Bleed’ and ‘Dancers to a Discordant System’ are the most challenging [tracks on obZen], but we can still play them,” Hagström adds. “But going into Koloss, we didn’t think about that. Even though we might say to ourselves, ‘It would be nice if we’d write some songs that we can actually play live,’ it doesn’t come into effect when we’re writing; it’s just about creating cool s---.”
For the full story on Meshuggah's crushing new album, Koloss, pick up the September 2012 issue of Guitar World now in our online store.