For over 20 years Katatonia have evolved so much since their debut Dance of December Souls it is hard to believe that they are the same band. Right around the time of their third album Discouraged Ones, Katatonia begun to shape their sound as we now hear it. Each album after the next we see them reaching for new heights and experimenting with their sound all the while keeping their music dark. With their new album Dead End Kings, Katatonia are in full force with a unique sound they can call their own after 20 years experimenting. However Katatonia are not done evolving and will continue on for future albums to come.
Watching Katatonia live is always an experience in itself. I have had the privilege of seeing Katatonia twice already, the first time with Swallow the Sun and Orphaned Land a few years past and more recently last autumn when they played with Opeth. I have had the privilege again of seeing Katatonia, this time with Devin Townsend Project and Paradise Lost, very recently on their Epic Kings & Idols tour in their stop in Tempe, AZ. Katatonia were the last band to come out and after the craziness of Devin Townsend, they provided a more relaxing atmosphere. After he played his set the lights dimmed again with a creepy intro and then Katatonia come on with their first single for Dead End Kings, Dead Letters. Continuing on with their set Katatonia playing songs off of The Great Cold Disantce then two more off of Dead End Kings. They touched upon albums as early as Discouraged Ones and the only album they did not play from was Tonight’s Decisions. Overall the performance was excellent and couldn’t have ended the night any better.
We had a chance to speak with guitarist and one of the founding members of Katatonia, Anders “Blakkheim” Nyström on their stop here in Tempe, Arizona. We talked about the Epic Kings and Idols tour, their fans, the recording of their new album Dead End Kings, the meaning behind the album title, how they met with Frank Default, their attraction to the darkness in their lyrics, their inspiration in making music, the status of Bloodbath, looking back their 20+ years of being a band, and the future for Katatonia. Check out our video interview below.