Meshuggah recently announced they'd be canceling all festival dates (ones that might happen, anyway) in favor of working on a new album. Now in an interview with Knotfest, drummer Tomas Haake revealed the band has most of the new material done and are shooting for a late 2021 release date.
Haake also added that writing new material this late in Meshuggah's career has proven difficult, as the band is not trying to repeat themselves.
"I think we have most of the material for the new album. It takes a long time for us between each album, and this time, due to COVID as well, it's gonna be longer than usual, I think. Right now, we're aiming at a release in late '21. Then the question mark right now is, is touring even gonna happen at that point? And if not, do you release the album or do you hold off with it and try to make money some other ways, like doing live shows on the Internet or whatever? So, yeah, it's time-consuming, for sure. We tend to scrutinize everything we do a lot, too, so… I think, to some degree, you just turn kind of insane over time when you try to do this thing because we always try to challenge ourselves and we always try to find something that [we] haven't done before.
"But we've done this for 30 years now, so it's harder and harder to find what's special with this — like, 'This riff, is it cool enough? Or what's going on?' So you tend to kind of overly scrutinize things. And sometimes you just kind of paint yourself into a corner with that kind of thinking. And sometimes you even realize, 'I can't even listen to this. Why would we release anything like this? It doesn't even make sense.' So you have to find kind of a balance. What's a good balance of a song or an album as far as technical aspects? And what do people wanna hear? What do we wanna hear? And hopefully, we can get to some kind of good level of mix in that. But that's always an aspect too. And definitely with the years that we've put into it, we definitely feel like we're more and more locked. It just gets more and more narrow. With each album, you're just kind of in a tighter and tighter space."