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Hypocrisy – Never again beeing sober on festivals!

In times, where a considerable amount of bands change their musical direction to more commercial trends, Hypocrisy stood and still stand tall. Hardly any other death metal outfit managed to keep up their traditional style without repeating themselves like Hypocrisy did during their almost 15 years spanning career (maybe with the exception of 2002’s, well call it experimental, “Catch 22”). Their latest release “Virus” is no exception in this tradition.

Once more, one neck breaking headbanger follows another and Peter Tägtgrens haunting voice is more than recognizable. So, nothing new from “Roswell”? No way. Taking a little closer look some changes in Sweden’s metal factory reveal. An obviously tired but more than satisfied Peter Tätgtgren provides some information on the phone.

Peter you seem to be tired.
Oh yes, I am. But I am really glad the tough work’s done. I was surprised to see Hypocrisy appear as a four piece instead of the classic three-piece line up. Tell us about the changes there.
I actually don’t think it’s very strange. At the very beginning we used to be five people in the band with Masse (Blomberg aka Emperor Magnus Caligula, first singer of Hypocrisy and now in Dark Funeral). And Horgh’s in the band not only since yesterday. I’ve been playing together with him in “Pain” for a long time and he also jumped onto the boat when Lars left the band to play live with us. The same with Andreas Holma. So, I thought it was only fair to offer them a constant membership.

How did the “new” members integrate into the band?
They did great. Andreas already participated in the songwriting for “Virus”. He really rocks. And even Horgh wrote some riffs. His way of playing drums is very unique and so very refreshing for us. He plays more like a guitarist than a drummer, finding the best beats for the riffs.

Another difference I noticed were the lyrical topics you dealt with on “Virus”: No more aliens but more reality orientated.
Well, you know. I didn’t want it to shove it down people’s throat. I wanted to do a real death metal album so I just needed the right lyrics.

Tell a little more about the lyrics.
Well, actually I’m writing more of little stories at the moment. I get inspired by a lot of things. “War Path” for example deals with Armageddon while “Scrutinized” is about this permanent surveillance we are exposed to almost everywhere in public spaces. “A Thousand Lies” is about a heroine addict but from an outside view.

As we’re talking about drugs. I heard that you recently quit drinking or at least reduced it to as minimum.
O yes. I didn’t touch any alcohol for two months now and totally quit smoking. I just noticed that all this stuff really slowed me down in my work and especially on tour it got bezerk. Now I’m much more focused with everything I do.

Anyway this year’s Summer Breeze Festival must have been an experience of the third kind…
It was indeed. It was the very first time I’ve ever been totally sober on a festival and I tell you I’ll never do that again. You feel totally alienated while everyone else is just getting totally pissed and enjoying himself.

Was this new “sobriety” also the reason you resumed working as a producer which you didn’t do apart from your own bands even you said before you didn’t want to do it?
I never said that I never ever wanted to produce other bands. I just reduced producing other people’s albums. Before I did like 15 to 20 productions every year. This year it was only three which I did with mainly friends of mine like Dimmu Borgir and Destruction

I assume the third one might have been a special pleasure for you. How did you get to produce the reunion album of Celtic Frost?
It actually wasn’t that spectacular. While we were touring the US in March this year their manager came up to one of our shows and asked me whether I would be interesting in doing the album. Stupid question. (laughs)

What was it like to work with the godfathers of Black Metal?
It was a very cool production as Celtic Frost are a very special band. Although it wasn’t a very easy album to do. I thought I knew what the band wanted but every time it was the exact opposite.

So what can we expect?
Expect the unexpected! It is totally different than anything Celtic Frost have ever done before.

Finally, give as a brief summary off what we can expect from you in the near future.
Well, right now I’m working in the Pain cover album were I’m doing some pop classics the Pain way. In November and December we are going on the Christmas-Metal-Tour and in January we’ll be touring the US with Nile. There will also be some Pain gigs in Russia which well be really interesting as we’ve never been there before.

How about the song selection on the Hypocrisy tour? I guess you’ll be playing a lot of the new album.
Of course. We’ll do between three to five songs from “Virus”. Apart from those inescapable classics we will be playing some older songs from the very first album we’ve never played live before. Altogether I guess we will be on stage for about one and a half hours, so every fan will be satisfied.

Author: Sebastian - Konz - Konopka, Photos: Diana Nitschke & Christian Zachris
Date: 2005-11-04

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