Interview: Katatonia discuss new album ‘Sky Void of Stars’

Posted by on February 27, 2023

Photo Credit: Mathias Blom


Katatonia have been prominent in the metal scene since their inception in 1991. Their sound has evolved and matured like a fine wine, embracing dark expressions with profound musical executions. Their 12th album, Sky Void of Stars, released on January 20th, 2023, via Napalm Records, continues taking listeners to the depths of one illuminating emotional journey. We caught up with guitarist Roger Öjersson and vocalist Jonas Renkse to discuss more on the album. 


What was the process like recording the new album, Sky Void of Stars?

Roger: After having spent some time with the songs, Mojjos drums were recorded by Jacob Hansen down in Hansen Studios. Then we recorded the guitars at Studio 21:an in Stockholm and the bass guitar in my own Shrimpmonkey Studios by Lawrence McRory. The vocals were recorded at City of Glass. Everybody comes well prepared making it smooth sailing.


City Burials was released towards the beginning of the pandemic, and now the new record is out after three years of uncertainty. From presenting a livestream of City Burials, to now being able to perform Sky Void of Stars live in person, how were these two experiences like for you?

Roger: Yeah, the timing of City Burials was truly unfortunate. We only got to do four gigs on that album before the whole world went to shit. The live streaming was an interesting experience, though. Really weird performing without a visible crowd in front of you, whilst knowing a really big audience is watching from all over the world. We did finally get to do a North Tour on it a couple of months ago. Sadly, that was the only real tour it got.


What songs were more challenging to write? 

Jonas: I think they were all equally challenging, or not challenging, it was all created in a wave of creativity which didn’t really have a pause, and now that I look back I can’t really remember what it looked like. 


Can you talk more about the songs “Colossal Shade” and “Drab Moon?”

Jonas: ”Colossal Shade” was one of the first songs I worked on for this album. It’s loosely based on the riffing on the Kiss album “Lick It Up”. “Drab Moon” was written mainly using synths, very atmospheric. 




What was your experience creating the video for “Opaline?”

Roger: That video was created by Niklas Sandin with footage from the latest US tour that we did together with The Ocean Collective and Cellar Darling. He brought his photo gear on the road and filmed everything himself, apart from the live footage, of course, which was handled by Mattias using Niklas’ gear. Then Niklas edited it to what you see in the video. He knows his stuff. I saw it myself just before we went out on the European tour we’re on now, and it gave me such a good vibe about the then upcoming tour.


This year marks the thirtieth anniversary for Katatonia’s first full-length album, Dance of December Souls, can you talk about any fun memories from creating this record?

Jonas: It’s so long ago, I don’t really have any detailed memories, but it was a very nice time being young, hungry and determined to create what we thought of as the greatest music ever! Being in a studio for the second time, and for five whole days too, that was a dream. 


Do you have any plans for this year you can share with us?

Roger: Right now we’re out on a European tour. After that we’ve got a Latin American tour coming up in March, and then it’s pretty much festival season, I guess.






Categorised in: Interviews