From the Official Opeth Website (http://w1.891.telia.com/~u89100955/Opeth/):
I reckon that the first columns of Opeth were created due to Anders and
myself forming Eruption. We had been friends since we were about 5
years old or so, so we were, and still are, the best of friends. During the
early and mid-eighties my interests leaned more towards sports than to
music, and the same for Anders. But my good taste had developed on an
really early stage. I bought my first record when I was 8 years old, a metal
record, namely "The number of the beast"/Iron Maiden. Since then I
guess it was destined that I would end up in some band of any kind. In
1986 I got my first electric guitar and started immediately practice them
"Smoke on the water" licks. The guitar was a pretty cool Les Paul copy in a
black finish, actually very similar to the one Peter plays today even though
his is the real thing. Anders big-brother had been in a metal band earlier,
playing drums, so Anders and me eventually started jamming somewhat
in his cellar in Srskogen where we lived at the time.
I think the time for it all was end of 1987 or something when the "Eruption" name was found. In the beginning we did mostly death metal covers like Bathory,
Death and other bands whose music was simple enough for us to handle. 1988 we had developed into a full line-up, a 4 piece as we are today. Myself on
guitar/vocals, Anders on drums, Nick Dring on guitars, and a guy called Jocke Horney on bass guitars( even though he couldn't play at all). The latter, was
soon enough replaced with a guy who could play somewhat better, called Stephan Claesberg. Eruption were going strong for a couple of years
actually...1987-1990. We never made any gigs, no demos, no nothing. Well, I've got a couple of reh-tapes actually. Some titles were: "Abandon life" (The first
track I ever wrote), "Walls of dwell"(Quite bad english, huh?), "Obedient souls", "Condemned to hell", "Procreation of maledictions", "Sarcastic reign". Apart
from these tracks we had several more, and we also used to cover bands such as the Misfits, Black Sabbath and other thrash/death bands. At the end of our
short-lived "career" we actually were a 3-piece band, and we had to carry all our stuff a rather long way through a tiny forest to get to the rehearsal place,
including a fucking heavyweight PA system that had belonged to Swedish punk legends Ebba Grn! Not that we cared that much as we were fucking metal!
I met David Isberg sometime during the same time I did Eruption. We were into this skateboard thing, you know? All of us were having a fucking skateboard.
Anyway, he was really into extreme music as well, and I guess I owe it to him that I like this music so much. He really sparked my interest when he loaned me
the Mefisto demotape called "The puzzle"! I was awestruck! They had cool solos, grim vocals, acoustic guitars, everything! I thought they were way better than
most Death metal records I had bought. Together with Morbid Angel, Death Bathory, and Voivod, Mefisto became a big influence for all my future
compositions. During the same time Eruption died, Opeth started to live.
David had formed the band together with some bums from Tby. The name was taken from a book by author Wilbur Smith, and was originally spelled Opet
without the "h" at the end. The meaning was unknown for me until I quite recently found the book myself, and got the knowledge that Opeth is the city of the
moon. Eruption was dead, and I wanted to get into some other band. David had earlier showed me the Opeth logo, the old one with the inverted cross, and I
was really impressed with that logo, so I guess I got somewhat interested in the band since I had seen it. He approached me one day asking if I wanted to play
bass with them. I thought I could try it out, so one evening we went to their reh-place in Tby. The thing was that none of the other guys in the band knew that I
was coming, and they didn't really want to kick out the bassplayer they already had. The climax was when the other bassplayer appeared as well. It was fucking
embarrassing! They started arguing about the matter, and the very same night, Opeth was history, at least for the Tby guys. They renamed themselves
"Crowley" and released a terrible demotape called "The gate" in 1991.
However, me and David wanted to do something together with Opeth. We "reformed"
Opeth as a 2-man band. I remember at the time that we said that Opeth was destined
to be the most evil band in the world!! As you might understand I was more or less
influenced by the occult back then, although in no serious manner. Music wise I was
really into the twisted, dark, and evil-sounding riffs. The lyrics written by both me and
David were pure Satanic chantings! The two songs we I first wrote was "Requiem of lost
souls" and "Mystique of the Baphomet" (later "Mark of the damned" and later "Forest of
October"). However, we needed to complete the line-up. We asked Anders to join the
band which he did. We also asked Nick to join as a bassplayer. A second guitarist was
found in Anderas Dimeo. It didn't take long until David had fixed us a slot on one of
those various death metal gigs that were arranged in Stockholm during the same time.
We rehearsed in a elementary school at the time, only using old 60?s equipment that
we found there. The gig was in February of 1991 together with Therion, Excruciate and
Authorise. We had practised 3 songs of which only 2 was played on that show. I reckon
it was probably the worst appearance one can have witnessed. We were so fucking
nervous that we all wanted to cancel the fucking gig and just go back home.
Not long after that, David had fixed us another gig, down in Gothenbourg. Since the last gig both Nick and Andreas had quit the band due to obvious reasons.
For this 2nd gig we contacted 2 guys who played in a sleazy metal band called Crimson Cat, if they could help us out for the gig. One was Kim Pettersson and
the other was Johan DeFarfalla (Yes, the very same)!! They were glad to, thinking that Playing death metal would be the easiest thing in the world. I tell you,
they had serious problems learning our tracks who had by then become quite complex. The gig was fucking cool! Other bands playing were At the gates(they
had just started playing), Therion, Desecrator, Megaslaughter and Sarcazm. We went down pretty well, and afterwards we stayed at Adrians (ATG) place. All
but Johan, who immediately drove back to Stockholm to his girlfriend, and that was also the last we would see of him in Opeth, at least for a while. Kim
actually stuck with us for yet another gig.
One was booked together with Asphyx and Desultory, in late 1991 or something like that. By now I had written a track called Poise into Celeano who turned out
more different than the other tracks. No blast beats, no ultra doomy parts. This track had acoustic parts, harmonies, and lots of double bass drumming! Some
parts of this track ended up in "Advent" on the 2nd album. Anyhow, for this third gig we needed a bassplayer. I had met Peter earlier due to my girlfriend at the
time, being a good friend of his girl friend, you know how it is! He was originally a guitar player, but his band, Sylt i krysset, was just a mere joke band, and he
wanted to do something more serious, so he accepted our offer. The gig was pretty cool as well!
A short time after this gig, Kim left the band, so Peter changed gears and became the second guitarist instead. David also left the band in early 1992 in favour of
Liers in wait. Honestly, at the time, I thought it was good for the band, as he no longer seemed as interested as the rest of us. Since I had been the vocalist in
Eruption, I became the new vocalist. Me and Peter started writing material immediately, as we really felt that we had found a real original way of playing. There
were at the time almost no other band using that many harmonies as we did. Songs like "Forest of October" and "Black rose immortal" started to take form. We
rehearsed as a 3-piece for more than a year, but eventually we found a new bassplayer in Stefan Guteklint who played with us for a year or so. We actually gave
him the boot when we received the contract from Candlelight records. We recorded Orchid in 1994 with Johan as a session bassplayer. He eventually became a
full- time member.
The first volume was hugely delayed, and we were really anxious to do a couple of
gigs. Lee of Candlelight brought us over the the UK in the Spring of 1995, and we
did a couple of gigs there. One was a rather big event held at the London Astoria
together with Impaled nazarene, Ved buens ende, Hecate enthroned and some more
band When we got back home we rehearsed frequently as we had already booked
Unisound for the follow-up CD. Morningrise was recorded in March/April of 1996,
and the record that granted us somewhat of a big status amongst all people involved
in the metal scene. Before its release we were offered to do a couple of gigs together
with Morbid Angel and The blood divine in the UK. We couldn't refuse of course, and
even though my old heroes were a bit too arrogant, I think we had a great time
playing with them! For this album, we also did our first European tour, this one
together with UK vampires Cradle of Filth. It was a 26 date tour reaching from
Scandinavia to Spain/Italy. It was fucking marvellous to be honest! The reception we
got in Rome was far fucking out! They were fucking crazy those nutters! We loved it
Going back home from the tour was really boring actually, although the Christmas seasons were close. We had during this tour felt that Johan didn't really fit in
the band on the personal level, so we decided to boot him too. At the time of this dismissal, Anders had gone to Brazil on vacation, so the decision to kick out
Johan was only mine and Peter?s choice. But when Anders eventually called me up from Brazil, I was eager to tell him these news, as well as that we had
booked Fredman studios for the third record. He had even bigger news: "I'm moving to Brazil...I'm quitting the band"!! I was honestly in tears, as he and I had
started this whole thing, and there actually was a short period of time when Opeth was no more. However, I changed my mind as the new material we had was
so fucking exciting! We started advertising for drummers/bassists, and we almost immediately got contacted by Martin Lopez, a huge Opeth fan! We tried him
out, and he seemed to be a competent drummer, so we took it one step further, and tried him out in the studio as well. His first Opeth recording is Remember
tomorrow which was recorded in 1997. Later on, his friend, Martin Mendez, completed the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle by becoming the new basist. We
didn't have time to try him out before the recordings of the third album, so I decided to put the basslines down myself on the record. My arms your hearse was
recorded at Fredman in August/September of 1997, and it is probably our best work yet! In December 1997, we returned to the UK for a couple of successful
gigs. One of which was together with Cradle of Filth at the LA2 in London.