Meshuggah – Combustible.Beings.Create

Thursday, 28th March 2013 How frequent of an occurrence is it to get all five of you in a room together?

Marten: Never. Well, almost never. The thing with us, we’re perceived to be instrumentally-driven people, but we’re really only about writing the songs. I know it may sound strange, but we’re always doing something where “Here’s an idea, here’s a song.” When we come off a tour, the focus is never “Let’s go and rehearse.” The focus is where can we find the inspiration to come up something that feels like we can be excited about.

The focus is so much on that, the songwriting process, being what it is. Having that said, we’ve been discussing working in a different manner next time. Maybe write a few songs together, stop, discuss them and work on them. We might get more of a feel for them and arrange them and give the songs a bit more time to come into their own and absorb them better. Meshuggah has never been one of those bands to fall prey to the traditional album-tour-album schedule. Do you think that has a lot to do with our creative output being what it is?

Marten: The touring process, we do everything ourselves, we’re self-managed so there is a lot to do that doesn’t pertain to the actual playing of the music. We can work together for a tremendous period of time, but I would say that the time we release an album and tour, we’re in each other’s faces constantly, for like a year and a half and we can deal with that, luckily. We have to have that tiny spark of inspiration and that takes a while. We can’t come off the road and write an album, there has to be an inspiration. I saw you on your first North American tour with Slayer back in the Spring of ’99. In relation to where you are today, how do you remember that tour?

Marten: It was really cool. First off all, going out with Slayer was a great thing and we knew Slayer wasn’t the easiest band to open for. We didn’t know what to expect and that was good and I think that helped. For the first couple days of the tour we would have people telling us to expect some shit from the Slayer fans, but we never saw any of that. That was cool in itself, and we were overwhelmed with the reaction we were getting from the crowd and we were expecting less people to know us. It was the perfect tour for us to do; we got into the right way. You’re going to be touring during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Do you have your hockey jerseys picked out?

Marten: (laughs) We didn’t know the finalized schedule until a few days ago, so I’m just about the go on the Internet and check out the availability for TV when we have days off. I can’t wear the jerseys anymore. I have to wear t-shirts. The new guitars, they’re so heavy that when I have a hockey jersey on, I cut myself on the neck from the strap, so I’m bleeding off the shoulder every time I wear one (laughs).

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