He said: “It’s easier, to be honest. If it hadn’t been for us filming that show I would have been more calm than playing a pub – they are the worst kind of shows. I remember we played two nights, to make it even more horrible, in a tiny jazz club called Nefertiti down in Gothenburg where I had somebody’s face a couple of inches away from my guitar. They were just staring at my fingers when I was playing. The room held maybe about 150-200 people and it was so daunting. I was so nervous.
“On a bigger stage, when you are away from a crowd and it’s just one big mass of people, for some reason it just calms me down, even if those shows, on paper, are more important because there’s so many more people there. Like festivals: we’ve played Wacken and people are freaking out but I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s a piece of cake, try a jazz club!’ Ha ha ha!”
Asked if he have made any progress on new OPETH album, Mikael responded: “I have, actually. I told myself I’d be taking a break, maybe even a sabbatical or something, after the last tour but I think I lasted until after Xmas. I was definitely in the studio before New Year’s. I started writing in December last year and I’ve got a lot of music – I think I’ve got about an hour and a half’s worth of material, but I’m going to take it easy. I’m going to be very methodical and listen to a lot of stuff I’ve done and just make sure there’s no gaps of any kind on the next album. That feels important to me.”