Lords of somber, gloom stuffed steel Katatonia have made probably the most of their return from their self-imposed hiatus in 2018 with a pair of emotional gut-punch information in 2020’s Metropolis Burials and their all new assortment of dread-anthems Sky Void of Stars.
Sitting down with Steel Injection, founding member, frontman/guitarist Jonas Renkse (who pulls double-duty with Swedish loss of life steel supergroup Massacre), dove deep into the brand new album, and the way 2023 could possibly be one in all their busiest years up to now.
“We’re doing stuff with Bloodbath, our other band sort of which, I mean, it hasn’t got the same emotional investment as Katatonia. And as you say, when I’m doing so much with Katatonia of late, of course it gets very dear to you. And it’s like nurturing a baby just before it’s learning to walk or something. You know, you have to sort of make sure everything is as good as possible. And so definitely, yeah, it’s a lot of feelings,” Renkse begins, delving into his contrasting roles in each bands.
“I imply, I like writing for each, however as I mentioned earlier, Katatonia, it is what’s near my coronary heart. And yeah, it is nearly like a life-style, you realize, it is one thing that I have been doing for thus lengthy. And with Massacre, we began off simply paying tribute to a music type that we beloved and that we grew up with and we kind of tried to imitate what was the usual process of these bands and the subjects of the lyrics and all the things.
“It’s very different, but I love both because to take time off the whole Katatonia thing and do Bloodbath, it’s very nice because I don’t have to think too hard about stuff, especially lyrically. It’s much more easy and it’s more fun in a way as well. So it’s definitely different from each other, but it seems I need both of them in my life at the moment.”
Sky Void of Stars, as Chad Bowar notes in our current assessment, holds a formidable “emotional connection and resonance in their songs,” due in no small half to Renkse‘s near the vest lyrical method that cuts deep into the listener, which was maybe not directly impacted by the continued pandemic.
“I think for me, this record and the writing process of it was, you know, my way of handling the whole pandemic and the way that it affected the industry and everything,” he admits. “I can not actually say if the pandemic itself has influenced my writing, however as soon as we kind of realized that this factor is severe and it should have an effect on our careers at this second, to me that was like an indication to begin writing music once more, though we had simply launched a brand new album at the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020.
“So I just thought maybe I should just concentrate on what I like to do and what I think I do best. So it definitely helped me through. If I was just to sit around on a couch and waiting for things to happen, I would be probably much more mentally unstable than what I am now because I think the writing was something that I could rely on and sort of turn to on a daily basis to just keep myself sane.”
Forging forward whereas reserving a nod and a wink to the previous, Katatonia celebrates the 30th anniversary of their genre-bending debut album Dance of December Souls, a report Renkse acknowledges – whereas a world totally different from the music the band produces at the moment – nonetheless holds advantage given the guts and fervour of all palms concerned.
“If I listen to it now I can hear a young band that’s aiming to do something that’s well thought out. I mean, I’m not saying it’s performed exactly the way maybe we were hoping for, but you also have to think about the fact that a lot of the songs on that album were written when we were like 17 or 18 years old. I can hear a vision, a strong vision, which I still admire because it’s also the foundation of what we’re doing today,” Renkse shares.
“I mean, mine and Anders‘ vision that we had back then is something that we still build on. So we do owe a lot to our younger selves for being visionaries in our own kind, I would say that. It’s fun to listen back to it. It’s not something I do a lot. But it happens that I hear a song somewhere here and there and it doesn’t bother me at all. I can still hear exactly what we wanted to do. I can still sort of remember the thoughts we had when we were writing the music. So it’s nice to have it there, but it’s, of course, vastly different from what we’re doing now.”
Renkse will divide time between touring with Katatonia and Massacre all through 2023, signaling a welcome signal that one in all steel’s most prolific poets has no intent to decelerate anytime quickly.
“A lot of things are happening, but I mean it’s pretty much what we wanted when we were just sitting around during the pandemic. And you know, I always say this … we’re not getting younger. So I feel like I’d rather be busy now than in five years getting a lot of gig offers and I have to say no because I feel like, well, I’m not fit to do it, I’m feeling too old. So it’s a good thing to be back both on the road with the pandemic restrictions lifted, but also having two albums with my bands that I love to be part of. It’s a good seat for me right now. I’m very grateful.”
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