Mikael Åkerfeldt, frontman to Swedish prog metal masters Opeth has lashed out at fans for questioning the abilities of the groups new drummer Martin Axenrot (BLOODBATH, WITCHERY, NIFELHEIM) when compared to previous drummer Martin Lopez.
Lopez left Opeth in May of 2006 due to illness and Åkerfeldt said this at time “However sad I and the rest of the band feel in light of Lopez‘s departure, I want to thank him for his incredible work with OPETH and immense dedication to the band. We recorded some classic stuff together and he obviously had an enormous impact on our sound. I now feel very excited to hear the material of his own band. In the meantime, OPETH fans can rest assured that we’ll continue jamming it out with Axe and we all have high expectations about our coming musical ventures.”
In response to a new discussion on the bands official forum regarding Axenrot‘s more “straightforward” playing technique compared to the “jazzy” style of his predecessor, Åkerfeldt wrote in a January 4, 2007 online posting, “Wow, looks like we got ourselves a new breed of idiot OPETH ‘fans’ on our tail, huh? Mindblowing guys…really!” He then added, “It makes me happy that you’re all fans of Lopez cause he deserves the credit and don’t forget I brought him in the band as well. Peter [Lindgren, guitar] didn’t even want him to begin with and I said, ‘Let’s give this guy a chance’ as I’d heard he had something. I fucking know the guy and have basically lived together with him for almost 10 years so don’t come lamenting his leaving to me! What the fuck do you think I felt?
“Now, that era, ‘Lopeth’ or whatever, is over. Axe is in the band now and we all fucking love playing with him.
“When somebody picks on his drumming I can’t help but to feel that that person is a deaf moron who knows nothing about music or drumming. I get defensive not only because I brought him in the band, but mainly because he’s a fucking fantastic drummer!
“For me this band is my life. I don’t make decisions on who’s getting recruited while I’m taking a shit. Don’t question my judgment for a band I’ve been running, writing for, living with and bleeding for during the last 16 years, OK?
“Now, after saying that I certainly hope the next album will be good!!”