Opeth surprised by Wil Malone collaboration

Mikael Akerfeldt
Mikael Akerfeldt (Image credit: Getty)

Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt says he invited composer Wil Malone to work with them on their 12th album Sorceress – because he wanted an excuse to reach out to him.

Malone has worked with several artists throughout his career, featuring on Black Sabbath albums Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage and Never Say Die in the 70s and Iron Maiden’s 1980 self-titled debut album, among many others.

Akerfeldt made his spur-of-the-moment decision while filling out a contact form on the composer’s website, after he discovered Malone was still active. Akerfeldt admits he originally intended to ask about Malone’s earlier solo work, but says he’d have felt “a bit stupid.”

He tells Prog Sphere: “I’ve been a fan of his for a couple of years. He’s quite an obscure artist, not a lot of people know about him. But he did some records, like solo records in the early 1970s. He did one album that’s difficult to find, but I managed to track down a copy of that one.

“I was just fooling around, seeing if he was still active, and so I searched on the Internet after him. He had a web page and there was like a contact thing, so I could email him, which I did.

“The intention was, in the beginning, to ask him about his solo records, basically. But I felt a bit stupid doing that, so I threw it in if he would be interested in scoring strings for a song. And at the time I didn’t even have the song, I was just wondering if he would be interested in working with us. And he said yes.”

Malone, who scores a string section on song The Seventh Sojourn, has also been invited to Opeth’s Wembley show on November 19, Akerfeldt says.

He adds: “He didn’t really answer my questions about his solo record at all, to be honest. I still have to ask him about that, but he did say yes to working with us and he did a great job. So that was great.

“I actually invited him to the Wembley show that we are doing later in this year, so I’ll get to ask him about his music then.”

Opeth are currently touring North America, before heading to Europe next month.

Opeth tour dates 2016⁄2017

Oct 25: Seattle Moore Theater, WA
Oct 26: Vancouver Orpheum, Canada
Nov 05: Stockholm Annexet, Sweden
Nov 06: Oslo Konserthus, Norway
Nov 07: Copenhagen DR Koncerthuset, Denmark
Nov 08: Hamburg Docks, Germany
Nov 10: Vienna Arena, Austria
Nov 11: Stuttgart LKA Longhorn, Germany
Nov 12: Munich Theaterfabrik, Germany
Nov 13: Zurich Volkshaus, Switzerland
Nov 14: Milan Alcatraz, Italy
Nov 16: Cologne E-Werk, Germany
Nov 18: Tilburg 013, Netherlands
Nov 19: London SSE Wembley Arena, UK
Nov 21: Paris Le Trianon, France
Nov 23: Luxembourg Den Atelier, Luxembourg
Nov 24: Berlin Astra Kulturhaus, Germany
Feb 06: Sydney Opera House, Australia

Opeth discuss their prog influences

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.