Meshuggah are back – properly this time with all five members. "Things are happening," the band said in a new statement. "As some of you figured out, we have entered Sweetspot Studios in Halmstad, Sweden and have begun recording a new album. Spoiler: there will be distortion and kicks. Also, we have other news. We are releasing [touring guitarist] Per Nilsson back into the wild to roam free in any way he sees fit.
"It has been a true privilege and honour to share the stage with Per and even more importantly we have made a great friend through our travels," the band added. "Per, We thank you. You are a formidable human being!!"
Scar Symmetry guitarist Nilssen had been covering the lead guitar spot in the band for live shows since June 2017. So that must mean…
"So why are we releasing Per back into a more stable habitat you ask?" the band's statement continues. "The answer is simple. Fredrik [Thordendal] will be back for lead work on the album as well as touring going forward. In other words. The band is back together. In full effect."
All polyrhythmic systems go then, following the band spending pandemic downtime writing the follow-up to 2016's The Violent Sleep Of Reason. And writing remotely hasn't posed them too many problems, though it's much slower, as drummer Tomas Haake explained to Knotfest.com.
"By now, Internet is so fast, even huge files — like gigabyte files — you can just send 'em back and forth; it's not really a big problem," Haake explained. "So we've been able to keep working. But it's still at a fifth or a tenth of the pace that you normally would have when you're working together [in person]… Just changing one riff… Every single little thing you're trying to do or adjust within a song or an idea takes days instead of maybe hours when you're sitting together at the studio.
"If you're a band that kind of jam up stuff or you kind of write together as a band in the rehearsal space or whatever, it would obviously be very different, if you can't do that," Haake added. "We're not really that type of band, and we haven't really been that type of band since the early '90s, mid-'90s. So for us, it's not that big of a deal. We write separately a lot of stuff. And Mårten [Hagström, guitar], he lives up north — he works at home on his stuff. Me and Dick, the bass player, we work on stuff here, usually together. Jens works separately from us and so on.
"Since we program drums — that's kind of how we do demos nowadays. We don't go into the studio and record demos, like we used to. So for us, programming drums and recording into the computer and doing it that way, that's kind of how we've been doing it for so long now. So, fortunately, I would say, this hasn't really hampered us that much, other than just the time aspect of things."