MESHUGGAH Interview with Marten Hagstrom Page 3
By Greg Nalbandian
SW: It must make it hard when you play your older material...
MH: No, when we play the old material, we're gonna play the ordinary seven-strings, then we're gonna do the eight-string stuff on the new material. I expect that what happens in the live situation is a lot of guitar switching. But, you know, apart from that, I don't think it's going to mess it up all too much. I think it's going to work out.
SW: When you were recording your latest album, "Nothing," I heard you guys were pulling all-nighters to meet the release date?
MH: Yeah, all-nighters for three months. What happened was, after "Chaosphere," which was released in late '98, we toured for a while and we went back and were supposed to do a new full-length album with totally new tracks, instead we did the "Rare Tracks" album. And that took a lot longer than we expected. We thought that it would take like a couple of weeks but, it turned out to be five months to get the CD-ROM stuff compilated and stuff like that. So, we were greatly put behind schedule because of that, and at the same time, we decided to buy a studio together with some friends of ours, in a band in Stockholm called Clawfinger. So, we share a studio now. To set that up took so much time, so we actually didn't start writing material properly until January. So, it's been like four years. This album was very stressful just for the simple fact that everything needed to work. And we needed to work pretty much around the clock to be able to hit the deadline. I mean we flew out, I think on a Monday or Tuesday for the Ozzfest and it was mastered on Friday. You know, so we were barely making it.
SW: So when you were writing the new material, was there a focus or strategy? Did you try to get the most out of that eighth string?
MH: We never play any power chords on the "Nothing" album. And we thought that was very refreshing 'cause that got us away a lot from what we used to be and put us more towards where we ant to be. We didn't want to rehash the "Chaosphere" album. You know, that was an experiment in aggression for us and we love that album but we never wanted to do it again. That album is like a once in a lifetime thing. You know, it just turns out that way. It wasn't as much of a together album as I think "Nothing" is because we had more of a plan with this one.
SW: I was a bit surprised to see that you didn't include lyrics on the insert of the "Nothing" album.
MH: No. They're on the CD in the form of a CD-ROM. This album is not a concept album in any way. But we wanted this album to sound like, look like, and feel like to us as a band. On the "Destroy, Erase, Improve" album, and pretty much on the "Chaosphere" album, we've been pretty elaborate. You know, it's been a lot of pictures, a lot of long lyrics, the thanks list...we had so much stuff on the album. So, we felt that this time around, we'd let the music speak for itself and therefore, we called the album "Nothing". It's stripped down, it doesn't say anything on there but you've got music, you know? We still didn't want to leave the fans out of the opportunity to actually check stuff out. So the credits and the lyrics and all that stuff is on the CD-ROM.
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