The second Opeth started releasing singles from its 2011 album Heritage, fans immediately had strong opinions on the band's new material. The arguments haven't died down since then, and frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt tells Prog that things haven't been a walk in the park with crowds either.
According to Åkerfeldt, people would complain and actually leave the show that they paid to be at knowing full well what the new stuff sounded like. In 2011, one guy decided he hated the new stuff so much that he actually challenged Åkerfeldt to a fights… or fights, but he just uses this one guy as an example.
The album had barely even hit the shelves, but Åkerfeldt decided that he was going to “force-feed” the new songs to the crowd, acoustic passages and all. Not surprisingly, this new Bob Dylan-in-reverse direction didn’t go down too well with the knuckle-dragging element of their audience.
“We were hitting places where they were a bit loud in voicing in their opinions in the middle of the show,” he says. “People started complaining and screaming and leaving during the show. And people started to challenge me to fights onstage. At this one show, this guy threw down his glove. He was challenging me to a duel.”
Did you take him up on it?
“No,” says Åkerfeldt with a laugh. “I had him thrown out.”
Look, there are quite a few albums I'd rather not see some of my favorite artists touch live, or have released at all. However, they're the artist and I'm not. Also, y'all realize you can just not buy records, right? Like if you hated Heritage you could just not purchase it? This way you wouldn't have to listen to it.
Anyway, please don't fight people over music. That's ridiculous.