Moving on to the four remaining tracks, the three covers and the one song that you wrote with Per. You left off the Per track because you didn’t feel that it flowed together?
Mikael: I love that song. I think it’s one of the most original sounding songs that we’ve recorded actually. But it doesn’t fit together with the other songs. As far as sequencing I think is perfect now. Anything extra or less would kind of ruin. But that song was left off because of that fact. It didn’t feel like it belonged.
Are you planning on releasing them, one album, then a special edition out at the same time?
Mikael: Yeah I think it’s going to be at the same time.
So I don’t have to buy it three times?
Mikael: (laughs) We get a lot of shit for that. Record labels are struggling, you know, they have to make money somehow. For me I don’t really care, you know. I don’t see it as a rip-off, because people don’t have to buy it and most people don’t buy it anyway. I didn’t say anything about a special edition or if it’s going to be released at the same time or anything, but they said they’re going to put it out at the same time.
Why did you choose Alice In Chains, Robin Trower…
Mikael: Always loved Robin Trower. Same with Alice In Chains. Dirt is the first CD I bought. I bought Dirt, Blind Melon, the debut record, and some other album I can’t remember. But always loved that album, I think it’s a masterpiece that album, all the songs are fantastic. We just started talking about doing covers. Talked about King Crimson.
Fredrik: I wanted to do Ozzy.
Mikael: “Diary Of A Madman,” we were going to do that one. We just decided on doing these three songs. Basically we chose the songs because they’re great songs, not that we want to try and get some fucking extra fame. We love Robin Trower, love Alice In Chains, and when the news got out that we were doing Alice In Chains songs everybody’s like, ‘Oh dude, I want to hear that.’
My girlfriend is terrified.
Mikael: It’s not bad.
Fredrik: It’s hard to pull off that song, but you did a great job with the vocals.
Mikael: It’s pretty close to the original I think, I can’t say it’s as good. But it’s a good cover I think. You think the lead guitar is too loud but I like it, it makes it a little bit different, because otherwise it sounds exactly the same (laughs). We did some harmony vocals on the verses, but they were with myself. I think it sounds good.
Fredrik: We did something different with the last chorus, it kind of disappeared accidentally (laughs). Because I accidentally played a longer guitar solo and they ended up skipping the chorus and we left it. So there probably will be some upset people about that.
Mikael: It’s not 100 percent serious anyway. My favorite is the Robin Trower song. That really came out fucking awesome. That’s the last song I did and my voice was really raspy at the time, so I sounded like Peter Criss singing “Black Diamond.” It’s a different way of singing than I ever did before. Same thing with Alice In Chains song, it’s very raspy vocals. Then we did the Roxette’s singer, Mary Fredriksson song. She did a couple of solo albums and one of them is a very dark and moody record that I’ve always loved, so we did a song from that which is just an acoustic with vocals. It reminds me of Stockholm.
Well it’s not the first time you guys have done covers, you did the Celtic Frost cover.
Fredrik: “Soldier Of Fortune.”
Mikael: The Iron Maiden song we did sucks.
Fredrik: I haven’t heard that.
Mikael: Good for you.
Fredrik: Which song?
Mikael: “Remember Tomorrow.” That was the first recording we did with Lopez. I don’t think he ever played a 4/4 at the time, so we did “Remember Tomorrow” and he was struggling. It originally came out on a tribute record. They were so popular in the mid-‘90s. But, it’s bad. It’s probably the worst recording we’ve ever done, the Iron Maiden cover. The Celtic Frost one is okay actually.
I like the Celtic Frost one. Your vocals on “Remember Tomorrow…”
Mikael: I’m ashamed of that.
Fredrik: Trying to sound like Bruce?
Mikael: That’s Paul DiAnno singing.
Fredrik: Oh yeah! Of course it is.
Mikael: But no, I couldn’t sing that, you know. It’s just bad, just bad. Horrible.