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MESHUGGAH's MÅRTEN HAGSTRÖM Explains The Drunken Origins Of Djent, Why Isolation Was Key To Their Sound

We think it may have been the sauce talking.


It's not often that a band spawns an entire sub-genre just by doing what comes to them naturally, or if their environment is conducive to invention. There are a few examples, like Tom Morello's scratching solos that stood out as a part of Rage Against the Machine, and even Head and Munky of Korn's downtuned guitars that were a staple of their sound. We can also bestow this honor on Sweden's Meshuggah, who have been also credited with creating a particular style of metal: (wait for it)… Djent.

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Yes, the oft debated—sometimes heatedly—sound of djent has been a hot topic; and no one contests its origins in Meshuggah. But in a new interview with guitarist Mårten Hagström in Guitar, the origins of the contested genre are revealed.

"I can tell you where it's from," Hagström told Guitar. "There was this guy called Tim Stevenson. He had a forum called Tandjent Forum. He was an old-school fan. Me and Fredrik [Thordendal, Meshuggah guitarist] were really drunk after a show, and we were talking to Tim. Fredrik was trying to explain his guitar tone. Tim asked, 'Where do you get that chug from? What is it that makes it so special?' Fredrik said, 'You gotta make it go DJENT! DJENT! DJENT!' He was slurring and spitting all over the place."

The band formed in Umeå, Sweden in 1987, and Hagström also spoke about how being quasi-isolated from Sweden's larger cities made for a completely uninterrupted and creative environment for Meshuggah.

“What was happening down in Gothenburg and Stockholm didn’t affect us at all. [In Umeå], there weren’t that many bands trying to do stuff that was extreme. And, if you’re isolated, if you’re an inquisitive and experimental person, and you meet up with other people who have the same passion, it forces its own bubble. We didn’t get exposed to whatever cool band played at the pub the other night.”

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Meshuggah will be hitting the road this September with special guests Converge, In Flames, and Torche. You can check all dates listed below.

w/ Converge & Torche

9/16 Worcester, MA – Palladium
9/17 Philadelphia, PA – Franklin Music Hall
9/18 New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom
9/20 Silver Springs, MD – The Fillmore
9/21 Norfolk, VA – The NorVa
9/23 Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life (Meshuggah only)
9/24 Cleveland, OH – Agora Theatre
9/25 Columbus, OH – Express Live
9/27 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
9/28 Detroit, MI – Royal Oak Theatre
9/29 Chicago, IL – Radius
9/30 Minneapolis, MN – Myth Live

w/ In Flames & Torche

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10/2 Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
10/4 San Francisco, CA – The Warfield Theatre
10/7 Sacramento, CA – Aftershock Festival
10/8 Riverside, CA – Riverside Municipal Auditorium
10/9 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
10/10 Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre
10/12 Dallas, TX – The Factory in Deep Ellum
10/13 Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
10/15 Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live
10/16 Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theatre

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