Guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH has issued the following update:
"Just got back from the little trek-trippie-trip to Japan and Australia. Had a WONDERFUL time! Japan was awesome!
"We only played two shows, Tokyo and Osaka and both were real nice. We were so jetlagged it was insane; I can't remember ever being that tired.
"Burrn! magazine wanted to have a brief photo session with us right before we stepped onstage in Tokyo. I saw one of those photos and they were quite possibly the worst we've ever looked. Ever! Five faces that just looked like, 'Fuck off, lemme sleep you fucking BITCH!' Insanely funny. To the point where our soundman wanted it signed. I think he's gonna frame it and put it up on his toilet wall. I was also given a prize presented to me by Burrn! magazine as the readers had voted me as the 'Best songwriter of 2008'. Normally I don't care for these type of things, but I couldn't help being happy about that. I actually give a fuck when people like my songs, yes I do.
"Again...a massive 'LOVE YA!' from me to you!
"Japan is such a wonderful, 'strange' place to be.
"I defied my jetlag immediately after landing and went straight out record-shopping with my buddy Koji from Roadrunner Japan. Recofan and Disc Union in Shibuya. Spent...not too much, actually. Turns out the dude who works at Recofan was a fan of the band. So he gave me some records for free even. Got the first, super-rare QUIET RIOT LP (with Randy Rhoads) that was only released in Japan from him.
"Japanese food is my favourite now, I think.
"We went out with the Roadrunner office as well as the promoters, Creative Man, for some nice Japanese cousine and some sake...of course. Lovely! Hope to go back soon! I've become a tuna sashimi junkie!
"Is it unethical to eat ALL tuna or is the purple fen one that's 'out of bounds?' I wanna be good to my planet....! Yet it tastes so fucking good!!!
"Australia is my favourite country in the world next to Sweden. I could live there!
"We only had three shows this time around, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. All of which went great, especially Sydney was magical! We tried the famous 'seabug' in Brisbane. Tasted a bit like alligator. I'd say. Was amazing!
"After the Sydney show, we were rushed out to go back to the hotel and disappointed a number of fans who wanted pics and autographs. Always feel like shit when that happens. Some of the fans were showing us their 'thumbs down' which hurt, but fuck, I hope we can make it up to you guys next time. There was simply too many people there to take care of everyone and we had other obligations too. Yet I understand you're disappointed....what can I say...sorry?
"I can only be amazed when I think about OPETH and Oz. It's been a love story since the very first time we went there. We've never had to 'work' the country. We've been loved since day one there, and the feeling is mutual, I hope you know!?
"We'll never stop come back and blast your faces off with our metal MIGHT! Haha!
"A little MANOWAR hairball there....
"In Melbourne, Roadrunner had arranged for me to go record shopping and be interviewed doing it....on their expense! They GAVE me money to BUY records for my OWN collection! It happened before once actually and I can't complain. Went to Rare Records in St. Gilda and shopped for around 250 Oz dollars. Found some gems and I'm actually listening to the stuff right now as I'm typing away here....
"I'm in and out of panic attacks here. I think it's because the tour is almost over. We only have two more shows in Greece (Athens and Thessaloniki) and that's it for this year! It's scary, to be honest!
"We're off 'till late March when we'll start a string of shows celebrating 20 years. Will give you the dates on those [as soon as possible], but they will be fucking limited and fucking special, so don't fucking slack when we release them tix. Six shows across the world and that will be IT!"