Meshuggah's Mårten Hagström on Performing Sans Vocalist, and Being "Harm-Friendly" Psychedelic
This week, Swedish progressive metal band Meshuggah have been performing alongside a cardboard cutout of their singer, Jens Kidman, whose fearsome voice was completely annihilated by the flu. (Don't worry, he's recovering.) Whether he'll join his bandmates onstage tonight at the Roseland Ballroom remains to be seen, but rhythm guitarist Mårten Hagström spoke to us about the experience of playing sans vocalist. Other topics discussed include the ridonkulous complexity of Meshuggah's music and what they have in common with Pink Floyd.
How does not having a vocalist change the performance experience for you?
The way it sounds is not that different...but it's more the way you feel walking up onstage, not seeing the entire band, because we've never done this before. You're used to being that five-piece unit, walking up and doing this together...but there's no use complaining about it. The only thing we can do is try to make the most out of it. We travelled over here now. A lot of places we play on this tour we haven't really played for a long time, so canceling is not really an option.