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By Martin Popoff

Are you surprised people are getting into it? That they can handle music this extreme and intelligent and frankly quite impermeable?

"Yes and no. I try not to think of people as being unintelligent and not understanding music. I think people are more intelligent about it than people think. It's really important what kind of band you are. If you go up on stage with jump-around metal, it's going to look very impressive, because you can really move around on stage. If you go on stage with our shit, people are going to say 'This is not commercial.' And it's not, but still, our album has been out a week now and our record label told us yesterday that our record hit 165 on the Billboard charts. And that's not much, 165, but it does mean we're on the Billboard with this kind of f**ked-up music; I mean, that's victory to us alone. So I think that yes, America is very ready for it. People have asked me that question before, 'Have you noticed a backlash? Have the nu-metal kids had any animosity towards your type of music?' I think it's pretty much the other way around, because there are a lot of f**king people coming up to us and saying, 'I'm so glad that you aren't at all about this nu-metal shit because there's enough to go around anyway.' They want to have something a little more refreshing. And that's why we're here. We're here to offer an alternative to those who don't want to buy the number one selling album, who don't want to buy the mainstream product. Because when I grew up, that's what I wanted to have; I wanted to have the alternative, freedom to choose. I hope that we fill that slot for some people anyway."

As Marten mentions, a very memorable high profile tour Meshuggah has landed has been their celebrated jaunt with Tool. I asked him how things went with the mysterious prog metal musos.

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