Mikael Akerfeldt Hasn’t Worked on Any Opeth Material During the Pandemic
But that's because he's spent that time scoring music for an upcoming Netflix crime drama called Clark that stars It actor Bill Skarsgard as Swedish criminal Clark Olofsson. Akerfeldt hasn't been shy about sharing his progress on the series' music in the past, and he talked more about the score and how it might inform future Opeth material in a July 24 video interview with Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess.
Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post.
"Not for Opeth," Akerfeldt responded when asked if he's had the chance to work on any new music for the band during the pandemic.
The Opeth bandleader continued, "In a way, I don't wanna come across as insensitive, but the pandemic hit at a good time for me, work-wise, because I've been offered to do a film score, basically, for a series. The director is Jonas Akerlund, who's mostly known for making music videos for Madonna and Lady Gaga. He has a past in heavy metal. He was in a band called Bathory years ago. And he's a friend of mine."
Akerfeldt added, "He asked if I would be interested in scoring music for a TV series that's coming out on Netflix about a guy called Clark Olofsson, who was a famous, infamous robber, basically. So it's almost like a biopic. So I'm writing music that's supposed to fit in from the [the 1940s] and onwards. So that's been fun. So I've been doing that. I'm still kind of working on that."
But will it sound like Opeth? Maybe a bit, going by the frontman's perspective on the in-progress incidentals.
"In the beginning, I didn't wanna do much vocals, but I've [subsequently] done some vocals," Akerfedlt further explained of his solo Clark soundtrack work. "[Akerlund] sent me the script, and I read through [it]. But he basically told me, 'Just write music like you normally do.' And that's what I did, only shorter pieces — like three-minute pieces. You don't wanna spend time working on a 20-minute piece and then he goes, 'That sucks.' So I'm just doing shorter things."
Still, the process has "been really fun," the Opeth mastermind said. "And I think I've learned a lot. I had to kind of school myself in music, how it sounded in different decades and so forth. … Some stuff is kind of Opeth-y sounding, I guess, and some stuff is definitely not Opethy-y sounding. … And some I think are really nice things I'm almost hoping [are] not gonna be used, so I could take it for Opeth."