Meshuggah guitarist Marten Hagstrom was recently interviewed by Ultimate Guitar’s Steven Rosen and shared the exact reason why did they chose a Jewish band name.
“A question I always wanted to ask was about the name of the band: Meshuggah is a Yiddish word spoken by Jewish people that means ‘crazy.’ Is that where you got it from?”
“Actually, it’s a lot less sexy than it should be. None of us are Jewish in any way, unfortunately. We’re just a bunch of fucked-up Swedes from the north.
Actually, I wasn’t around for this and neither was Tomas Haake – when the band formed ages and ages and ages ago. If you had a heavy metal band, they’re either named something in English or Latin.”
“How did you end up with a Yiddish name?”
“I know that Jens [Kidman] was sitting around trying to come up with something that was fitting to the awkward side of metal that the band was playing and also something that would sound neat.
Jens was sitting around with an American street slang dictionary and he saw the name ‘Meshuggah’ and thought, ‘That’s so fuckin’ cool.’ He was, like, ‘What does it mean?’. It meant ‘crazy’ or ‘screwed up’ and he thought, ‘Oh, perfect.’ So that was it.”
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Back in 2017, Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine had an interview with KATT Rock and revealed his thoughts about Meshuggah. Here is what he said:
“They’re really exciting. It’s not even because the drumming is so complicated – really it’s just 4/4 timing the majority of the time. But the way the songs are and how unique they are, they take on a characteristic of their own.
You could so easily get lost trying to follow. What do they call that – algebra metal or something like that?”
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