As most of you know by now, the 4 of us see the recordings of "Deliverance" and "Damnation" as the toughest test of our history. We wrapped everything up in the studio in the early fall of 2002. Andy Sneap and Backstage productions had been booked for mixing and mastering. Peter and myself went down there just days after we came back home. I remember being so tired that I virtually just came in there, gave Andy the hard drive that contained the album, said something like: "Mix it!" and then went to sleep on the couch. I was in a terrible state...all of us was tired, but I was the only one who'd been working basically 24/7. The other guys in the band had been able to take some time off, go home etc. Sneap started mixing and everything went fine. He's credited as a "saviour" in the sleeve as he surely saved much of the recording. "Deliverance" was so badly recorded, without any organisation whatsoever... some sounds we're dirty, and some instruments, like the hi-hat, didn't have a microphone of it's ow at all.
He had to get it out of the overhead microphones. Anyway, he probably did loads of tricks we don't even know about, basically I don't wanna know. Everything came out fine in the end, and we've now put it behind us.
Music for nations we're eager to start promoting the album, so they'd arranged for a few journalists to come down to listen to some rough mixes, and photo sessions had been arranged at location in Ripley just outside Nottingham. Since only Peter and myself we're there, the band pictures are, obviously, not complete. They told us the pictures we're for some guitar magazines only, but they we're used as promo pictures anyway. Regrettable since... well Opeth is not a duo! Anyway, when we came back from the photo session, the journalists we're there to listen to the tracks. In the middle of the session I got a phone call from my sister saying that my grandmother had been hit by a car and was most likely to die very soon.
I was obviously very shocked, didn't know what to say, but I guess I couldn't understand. I went outside for a "cigarette", but it was really to weep. I tried to get myself together and go back in to listen to the tracks with the journalists, but you know Opeth, at the time, wasn't really a priority in my train of thoughts.
Early next morning, my sister called again to say that my grandmother had passed away. She was very close to me, and is actually responsible for me starting playing the guitar in the first place, and that's why I dedicated both D1 and D2 to her memory.
When we came back home we had a one-off gig scheduled in the center of Stockholm. It felt like such an ordeal as all I wanted to do was to rest and not think about music for a while. We had another photo session scheduled during the day of the gig. I drove the band + Mick Hutson (who took the shots) up to my childhood's surroundings in Sörskogen where we took all the "real" promo shots... the ones you've seen where I have a brown cardigan (got loads of shit for that cardigan!!). The gig later that day went fine... people we're screaming for new songs but didn't get them.
A few weeks later I was scheduled on a plane back to the UK to finish of the vocals for the "Damnation" album. I think these sessions are responsible for me judging "Damnation" with different eyes compared "Deliverance". It was a great time hanging out with Steve Wilson + recording the vocals. I got a hotel in central London, so Steve had to pick me up every day to go to the studio which was located in his boy-room at his parents house.
The legendary No mans land studio is really a small wardrobe size room right next to the toilet. Anyway, it went great, and the album came out better than I'd dare to expect.