Meshuggah Find Their Influence on Djent to Be "Really Gratifying"

Guitarist Mårten Hagström has dismissed the Swedish band's reported "hate" of the hyper-rhythmic style

Photo: Edvard Hansson & Brendan Baldwin

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Mar 31, 2022

Meshuggah will unleash ninth studio album Immutable on the world tomorrow (April 1), and ahead of its arrival, the band's Mårten Hagström has dismissed the notion that the Swedish group actively dislike the style of heavy metal they helped pioneer. 

In conversation with Loudwire, guitarist Hagström expressed excitement and appreciation at the leagues of bands writing and recording djent — onomatopoeia for the palm-muted, hyper-rhythmic guitar style that defines the progressive metal subgenre — who count Meshuggah among their influences.

"Some bands have popped up that are getting bigger, that are into us. That's really cool and that's really gratifying. We really love the fact that people cite us as inspiration," Hagström explained. "I know I've gotten the question, 'You guys hate the djent movement and you guys hate this and that.' It's like, 'No, dude. That's not true at all. The simple fact is that we're old, lazy Swedish dudes who've been doing this stuff for a very long time. So when we do a new album, I don't listen to new music at all."

It's a different tune for Hagström, who shared in a 2018 interview with metal YouTube channel Rauta [via MetalSucks], "First of all, we're very sorry for creating that genre; we didn't intend to — our bad." 

He shared with Loudwire, "Whoever you are and whatever you want to do that has any creative nerve or any creative side to it… don't you want to be a person who inspires others the way you were inspired by something? That's the greatest compliment, regardless of what they sound like."

Hagström also spoke to the publication about the return of fellow axeman Frederik Thordendal, sharing that while his playing appears on Immutable, he was not involved with the writing process.

"[Fredrik's writing credits on Immutable are] pretty much the same as for The Violent Sleep of Reason … so nothing," Hagström explained. "For Koloss, he said, 'Guys, I'm not gonna write as much for this album … and he didn't. He basically wrote one song and then collaborated with the rest of us on other bits and pieces here and there. For Violent Sleep of Reason, he said outright, 'I'm not going to write a single note for this one.'"

Thordendal took time out from playing with Meshuggah beginning in 2017 to build a recording studio and work on a new solo LP, which would mark his first release since 1997's Sol Niger Within as Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects. Hagström noted that welcoming him back into the fold was a no-brainer.

"We were like, 'Man, we have a bunch of tracks that need Fredrik Thordendal leads,'" Hagström recalled. "It wouldn't be a true Meshuggah album if he didn't play leads on it. For the four tracks that Fredrik played leads for, we sent the stems to him at Studio 33 and he recorded it there."

Read Exclaim!'s review of Immutable. The album arrives tomorrow via Atomic Fire Records.

Latest Coverage