Guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH has issued the following update:

"We're holed up in a sterile 'dressing room' somewhere in Poland. Five shows into the Progressive Nation 2009 tour with DREAM THEATER, us, BIGELF and UNEXPECT.

"Things are going well; we've played well, I think, pretty much every night. The first days of chaos has settled down and now everyone is in the regular touring mode.

"The band's rejuvinated, after some rough times. We're more on fire than in quite some time, I think. We've pulled out a bunch of songs we've never played and/or haven't played in a long time. 'Harlequin Forest' is going down well, as is 'Hex Omega'. Tonight we'll pull out 'April Ethereal' for the first time in years. Do I remember the lyrics? Yes! Why? How is it possible?

"[Mikael's daughters] Melinda, Mirjam and my wife came out to the Stockholm show together with my mum and my sister with her kids. Was lovely to see them, and they liked the show, although Mirjam passed out in the middle of our set. She'd gone insane trying to rush the stage and she also tried to pull a few cords on stage.

"There's really not that much for us to do on this tour apart from the show. We've spent the days watching films and having a few beers.

"Yesterday we saw the amazing Klaus Kinski documentary 'My Best Fiend' that Werner Herzog made about him. Warmly recommended. Makes 'rock star' behaviour look like fuzzy bunny behaviour. What a psycho genius he was. Afterwards, I went to bed, but Axe [OPETH drummer Martin Axenrot] and Per [Wiberg, OPETH keyboardist] sat up drinking a few. Axe fell asleep in the bus toilet with his feet in the sink. I didn't think it was possible....

"The DREAM THEATER guys are cool as always. [John] Myung [DREAM THEATER bassist] came up and said that he thinks [OPETH's] 'Watershed' is a 'masterpiece' and that he listens to it pretty much every day! Nice chap. [Mike] Portnoy [DREAM THEATER drummer], as always, is running around being the perfect host. The other guys are practicing most of the time, but they're all ace peeps! BIGELF too, great nice, down-to-earth people and a fantastic band. I've loved them ever since the 'Closer To Doom' CD and they do not disappoint. Damon Fox looks a bit like Paul McCartney around 'Let It Be' but with longer hair. The UNEXPECT people seem nice too although I haven't talked much to them yet."


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