Skip to main content

Inquirer: Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt

What inspired you to play guitar?
All the rock and metal guitarists I listened to while growing up: guys like Ritchie Blackmore, Yngwie Malmsteen, K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton, Adrian Smith and Dave Murray, Matthias Jabs and Tony Iommi.

What was your first guitar?
I had a Levin classical guitar that I got from my grandmother, but I smashed it up. My first electric was a black Les Paul copy, which was awesome. I sold it to a friend for £25. A bad deal? Yes. For me!

Do you remember your first gig?
Indeed. It was horrible. I was terrified and actually considered leaving without telling anyone. I had to play with my back to the audience as our drummer didn't know the songs and I had to signal to him when we changed the riffs. The singer's mic got stolen by some punk in the crowd, and he got in a fight during the set. Plus we improvised a grindcore tune, and that's never a good idea.

What was your most embarrassing onstage moment?
I split my bellbottoms once as I was walking onstage and my underwear was florescent colored! The drummer split his pants too walking on that same stage. Aside from that, I've mostly just said very stupid things between songs.

What's your favorite piece of gear?
My blue Eighties PRS Custom 24, which is guitar I mainly use. It's so nice.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Guitar World Staff
Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.