HEY GUYS THIS IS SHAUNA O’DONNELL AND YOU ARE LISTENING TO MUEN TALK BROUGHT TO YOU BY MUEN MAGAZINE AND THE GAUNTLET.COM. WE HAVE JONAS THE VOCALIST OF KATATONIA ON THE PHONE TODAY.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: HI JONAS, HOW ARE YOU? Jonas: I'm fine, thank you very much.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: YOU GUYS ARE ON THE ROAD IN SUPPORT OF YOUR LATEST RELEASE NIGHT IS THE NEW DAY. YOUR ALBUM IS DOING WELL HERE IN THE STATES, DO YOU ANTICIPATE THE TOUR WILL DO THE SAME? Jonas: We had high hopes coming over here. Some of the shows so far have been really, really good, even better than we expected. Everyone in the band is really keen on being here and we are very happy at the moment.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: YOU ARE OUT WITH SWALLOW THE SUN. ARE THEY FRIENDS OF YOURS? Jonas: Yeah, we are friends and we have done a couple tours with them in the past. We have always had a good time with them.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: DO YOU FEEL THE TOUR GOES SMOOTHER IF ALL THE BANDS GET ALONG? Jonas: Oh yeah, absolutely, I would say it's necessary to keep a friendly atmosphere when you are sharing a bus. You have to show each other respect and not tread too much on the personal side of things. If you're not friends with the band or there is some kind of tension then the thrill goes away and only bad things take over. That's not what you want to do on the road.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: WILL THE SET LIST BE COMPRISED OF OLDER MATERIAL AS WELL AS NEW? WHAT IS THE RATIO? Jonas: I would say it's mostly new material. It's some songs from the new album, but we threw in a couple of older songs. Not back into the growling days like on the Discouraged Ones album. We try to keep the whole show as interesting as possible for people that show up. We want to play their favorite songs.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: OTHER THAN HOME, WHERE DO YOU SEEM TO GET THE BEST RESPONSE TO YOUR MUSIC? Jonas: It depends; on this tour we are seeing some really cool attendance in Canada. New York was sold out, which was amazing for us. In Europe we have quite a bit of support and in Finland especially, our home country. That is probably the best place for us to play, but also places like Greece and Ireland. It's everywhere, it's fun.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: DO YOU PREFER PLAYING FESTIVALS OR DIFFERENT VENUES EVERY NIGHT? Jonas: I personally like the club tours and playing in more intimate places. Festivals are cool, but they are kind of stressful and there is usually a huge gap between the crowd and the band, which is kind of weird to see. I like the sweatier, smaller and intimate clubs. With festivals, it's not the personal touch with the audience; I like to have them more up front.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: YOU GUYS ARE ON STAGE FOR APPROXIMATELY AN HOUR A NIGHT. THE REST OF THE DAY IS PROBABLY SPENT MOSTLY DRIVING, SLEEPING AND EATING, BUT OTHER THAN THAT WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT YOU DO TO HELP PASS THE TIME ON TOUR? DO YOU READ A LOT OR DO YOU WATCH MOVIES? Jonas: Yeah, I think that's it pretty much. There is also chilling with the other guys on the bus, drinking and trying to have fun. We are used to it and it's kind of fun.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: AS FAR AS AUDIENCE GOES, DO YOU FEEL YOUR MUSIC APPEALS TO A WIDE RANGE OF PEOPLE OR DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO BE A METAL FAN TO ENJOY YOUR MUSIC? Jonas: I definitely don’t think you have to be a metal fan and that has been showing on the last few tours we have done. We are seeing a lot more people that do not seem to be the ordinary metal people. For me, it is a perfect mix because I think our music appeals to all kinds of people who are interested in interesting music. To me it doesn’t matter if there are a lot of metal heads or not at a show as long as people like it.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: THERE IS A SPECIAL EDITION OF NIGHT IS THE NEW DAY THAT IS COINCIDING WITH THE TOUR. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PUT OUT A SPECIAL EDITION AND WHAT DOES IT CONSIST OF? Jonas: I'm not really sure about that, it's pretty much a label thing. We want to sell CD's at the shows and we thought that we should do something a little different. If they haven't picked up the album already and they pick it up on tour they will have something different, which is fun for them. I think there is a bonus track on there, which is not on the normal album and there are more pictures.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: THIS SPRING YOU RELEASED AN EP TITLED THE LONGEST YEAR. IT HAS FOUR SONGS AND TWO VIDEOS ON IT. "THE LONGEST YEAR" IS A SONG OFF NIGHT IS THE NEW DAY. ARE THE OTHER SONGS ONES THAT DID NOT MAKE IT ON THE ALBUM, BUT YOU STILL WANTED RELEASED? Jonas: There is a song that is unreleased and then there are two mixes of songs that are already on the album. There is one unreleased song and it's a demo version of the song that didn’t make it to the album that I thought was kind of interesting. I thought it would be interesting for people to see what a song sounds like when it's not ready and not played by the whole band. It's a fun thing to give people. I think it's important to do something valuable to people to make them actually pick up the album. It's difficult to get album sales nowadays. I think you have to put everything into the packaging and what's on the album or EP. A good thing to do when album sales are going down may be instead of putting out too many albums, do something different next time.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: I WAS THINKING YOUR MUSIC WOULD BE GREAT IN MOVIES. IS THAT SOMETHING YOU HAVE CONSIDERED? Jonas: We have considered it of course because we have big movie fans in the band. I would love to have our music featured in a movie. I hope that one day we can see that happen, but so far we haven’t really had any chance to get in touch with any movie makers. We will see in the future.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: MAYBE EVEN GUITAR HERO. Jonas: Yeah
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: THE VIDEO FOR “THE LONGEST YEAR” SEEMS TO HAVE A POWERFUL MESSAGE BEHIND IT. WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO GET ACROSS TO THE VIEWERS? Jonas: It was the director that came up with the script, but I think it's very reflective of how the album sounds in a visual way. I think anyone who sees the video who hasn't heard Katatonia already will get a good picture of what the music sounds like. I think the video is beautiful. It was shot in Stockholm where I live, so it pretty much represents the band and myself in a good way.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: YOU HAVE SOME DATES IN AUSTRALIA BOOKED AT THE END OF THE YEAR. HAVE YOU PLAYED THERE BEFORE? Jonas: No, never
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: HOW EXCITING THEN, PLUS YOU’LL BE WITH MEGADETH. Jonas: Yeah, it's super exciting. I have wanted to go there for a long, long time, but it’s difficult and it’s really expensive to fly there so it’s not a place that you travel to a lot. Now that we have the chance we will make as much as possible out of it. We will try to see things and it will be great to meet the Australian audience for the first time. Everyone is happy about that.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: ARE THERE ANY OTHER PLACES THAT YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED YET THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TOO? Jonas: We haven't played in South America yet. We played in Mexico once, but that is as far as we have gone. South America is going to be the next place that we are going to explore and I am looking forward to that as well.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: YOU RECENTLY HAD A CHANGE IN LINE-UP. HOW IS EVERYTHING GOING WITH THAT AND HAVE THE FANS BEEN ACCEPTING OF THE NEW MEMBERS? Jonas: It's going well, even better than we had hoped. The new members are bringing extra energy to the band, which was well needed I think. I miss the other guys, but musically there is no difference and the fans have been very welcoming to the new members. Everyone is happy. We are happy in the band and the fans are happy as well. Everything sounds great on stage, so it’s perfect.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: GREAT, WELL I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AND I WANTED TO SAY THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INTERVIEW. IT WAS AWESOME TALKING WITH YOU. Jonas: Yeah, thank you as well.
SHAUNA O'DONNELL: BEFORE I LET YOU GO WAS THERE ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO ADD OR SAY? Jonas: I'm happy to be in the U.S. again and I hope people come out to see our shows.