In a new interview with, drummer Tomas Haake of the extreme, technical Swedish band MESHUGGAH shares some insight into the expansion of the band’s sound and what they did differently for their eighth studio album, KOLOSS: ObZen felt like a combination of everything Meshuggah had done prior to that, but the new album feels like you’ve deliberately tried to expand your sound even more. Was this the case? Tomas Haake: We definitely pushed ourselves hard with ObZen too, but as you said maybe that one feels even more like a flirtatious thing with the stuff we were doing earlier on and the stuff we grew up with. I still feel there’s some of that on this one too, with the different tunings, and a couple of the songs are actually written for six-string guitar and not all of them being really down-tuned eight-stringed stuff. That’s definitely to get that old-school thrash vibe in there, even though the music is different of course. There’s definitely a little bit of that going on this album too. But apart from that we basically tried to create something that we find intriguing. We always try to find new ways of writing our own music so to speak, to see if there’s an additional lateral movement, a sideways step that we can take for ourselves to feel that we did something new with this one and that we pushed ourselves into doing something that came out cool and refreshing. That’s kind of what we always aim for, and this time it came out like this. [W]hen it came to writing and recording the album, was there anything else you did differently from ObZen? Haake: We didn’t mix this one ourselves, and we didn’t spend as much time in the studio because for ObZen we almost killed ourselves. We did things in a weird way, we spent too much time on vocals and stuff like that instead of going in and trying to get through the songs, have some good takes and not be too anal about everything from the get-go. I guess those are mistakes that we’ve learned over the years. It still ended up being a tall task to pull this one out of the hat, regardless, but it was definitely a smoother ride in the studio this time around than it was with ObZen. Of course with this album we contacted Daniel Bergstrand for the whole mixing of the album, and having him do that took some weight off the shoulders of a couple of the band members that are usually the ones that have to do that. He really brought out the organic sound of the drums too in a cool way. The focus was less on the technicality of playing the drums, for example. It was pretty much the same amount of takes on this album as ObZen, probably an average of ten to 12, 15 takes for each song, and pretty much the same for the guitars too. There was definitely a certain amount of work put into it, for sure. Read the entire interview here. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow. KOLOSS will be released in North America on March 27th. MESHUGGAH will be headlining “The Ophidian Trek” tour with BARONESS & DECAPITATED, which launches April 29th. Confirmed dates are: 4/29/12 House of Blues - Houston, TX 4/30/12 House of Blues - Dallas, TX 5/01/12 Emo’s - Austin, TX 5/03/12 Marquee Theatre - Tempe, AZ 5/04/12 House of Blues - Anaheim, CA 5/05/12 House of Blues - Hollywood, CA 5/06/12 The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA 5/08/12 Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, B.C. - CANADA 5/09/12 Showbox Sodo - Seattle, WA 5/11/12 Odgen Theatre - Denver, CO 5/13/12 First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN 5/15/12 House of Blues - Chicago, IL 5/16/12 St. Andrews Hall - Detroit, MI 5/17/12 Sound Academy - Toronto, ON - CANADA 5/18/12 Theatre of the Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA 5/19/12 Palladium - Worcester, MA 5/20/12 Olympia de Montreal - Montreal, QUE - CANADA 5/22/12 The Fillmore - Silver Springs, MD 5/23/12 Terminal 5