In 2017, Swedish progressive metal pioneers MESHUGGAH will be entering their 30th year of existence, defying expectations on record as to the limitations of metal, and then proving their virtuosic prowess by taking their cathedral-complex compositions to stages all over the world – this leg of the tour being only part of a lengthy world tour – for which they are well known.
It all began with 1991’s Contradictions Collapse, but the MESHUGGAH legend was established through the likes of 1995’s groundbreaking Destroy Erase Improve and the band’s third record, 1998’s Chaosphere. In 2002, MESHUGGAH issued Nothing, which sold over 110,000 copies in the US and garnered the band an arena tour slot with TOOL, high validation from the biggest and most discerning progressive metal band on the planet at the turn of the decade. Catch Thirtythree, obZen and 2012’s immense Koloss solidified the band’s reputation as creative mavericks raising the reputation of what metal could be, resulting in status as the creators and godfathers of an entire progressive music style known as djent – even if the band has a somewhat ambivalent relationship with that tag or tags of any sort.
The Violent Sleep of Reason, the band’s eighth full-length studio album, finds MESHUGGAH building upon their legacy for fearless metal sculpting within the context of extreme metal, but also recapturing some of the magic and excitement specifically within the aspect of performance, finding flow and groove that would be a challenge for any lesser band to locate, given such technical geometric madness at mischievous hand.
They are bringing that legacy to Australia and New Zealand and visiting iconic venues such as The Powerstation in Auckland, The Tivoli in Brisbane, The Enmore Theatre in Sydney, 170 Russell in Melbourne and Metropolis in Fremantle.
Meshuggah’s drummer Tomas Haake says that they are keen to make sure that when they come down under, their erudite and intelligent fan base “get something that they don’t really hear in any other bands. On the first album you still hear a lot of METALLICA and ANTHRAX and Bay Area kind of thrash metal influence. We knew that we sounded a bit like that, but we were aiming for something we hadn’t heard in any other band. And that’s still the main fuel. We’re not trying to write your average metal song. We’re not trying to write catchy songs. We’re not trying to write hit songs (laughs). We’re just trying to write something that is cool, that we haven’t heard before, and hopefully our fans haven’t heard before. And that gets harder and harder, because by now, there are so many fucking awesome musicians and so much great music out there. But it would seem like the followers that we do have, the people that have kept buying our albums and stayed with us for a lot of years, are not typical metal fans. The crowd we have is diverse. We have a lot of geeks and nerds and weirdos, and they are beautiful ones, you know? We have a lot of people with talent, and a lot of people that are interested in music as art, and not just an event.”