MESHUGGAH drummer Tomas Haake spoke to Valentino Petrarca of the WSOU radio station about the band’s upcoming ninth studio album, “Immutable”. Due on April 1 via Atomic Fire, the follow-up to 2016’s “The Violent Sleep Of Reason” was recorded at Sweetspot Studios in Halmstad, Sweden; mixed by Rickard Bengtsson and Staffan Karlsson; and mastered by multiple Grammy Award winner Vlado Meller (METALLICA, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, SYSTEM OF A DOWN). Visionary artist Luminokaya once again created the stunning cover artwork.
“We’re pretty stoked how it came out,” Tomas said. “We definitely took our time with this one. And compared to most other albums we’ve done, those have always kind of been very stressful — ‘It needs to be done by now’ — and we always kind of delivered masters at whatever time period was planned, which, a lot of times, meant it was gonna be stressful. So this time we weren’t gonna have that, so we definitely took our time, both writing it but especially as far as the recording process itself.
“I think our first deadline for this album, it was supposed to be July 1st [of 2021],” he continued. “I think we delivered it in, like, October or something, so it was, like, four months later — something like that. We had to kind of go back and forth in the mixing process, and it added time. But we’re stoked how it came out. We like both the production and also as far as the tracks themselves and how it all turned out. So we’re definitely proud of it.”
Regarding the musical direction of the new MESHUGGAH material, Tomas said: “Some of the things that maybe make this album maybe a little more approachable — I don’t know — is not only production-wise… It’s kind of a little harsh to me, personally; it’s a little warmer sounding than some of the albums we’ve released previous. But also something that wasn’t really deliberate, but the whole album has back beat on the snare. So we don’t really kind of go into the clockworks or ‘Nostrum’ type of things that we did for ‘The Violent Sleep Of Reason’, where you had a lot of snare hits that were kind of on certain notes in the riffing, and that riffing goes over the barline and it would throw people off. This is more back beat and kind of swinging a little bit more, I think.”
Asked if the “darkness of the last two years” has “bled into the lyrics” on “Immutable”, Tomas said: “I think it’s impossible to keep it out, actually, obviously. We don’t have a lyric that particularly talks about the COVID pandemic or anything, but just the darkness of it, of course it’s gonna bleeed into the lyrics. Our lyrics have always been dark but maybe even more so on this album. Some of them are just more off and some of them are more just a social commentary on what’s going on around us and stuff like that.”
The most inventive and creative metal band of the last 30 years and one of the most widely revered, MESHUGGAH has been standard bearers for forward-thinking creativity in heavy music throughout their illustrious careers. Over the course of more than 30 years and eight studio albums, Sweden’s widely worshipped progressive mavens have consistently redefined what it means to be heavy, while exhibiting a ferocious intelligence that belies the crushing weight of their riffs. From the ground-breaking savagery of 1995’s “Destroy Erase Improve” to the psychedelic tech-splorations of “CatchyThirtyThree”, and on to the streamlined grotesquery of “ObZen” and “Koloss”, MESHUGGAH has always been way ahead of the game and plainly without peer.
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