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PAIN: Reset, Hollywood divorce and a new love from Germany

With the approaching release of the new Pain album, Psalms Of Extinction, Stalker met up with the ambassador of Pain himself, Peter Tägtgren. With new prospects for both the band and the man himself it was about time to check up with him. So what´s up?

Hey! How are you?
I’m okay. Long time since we met last time.
Wow, yes that’s true. Was it in Poland?

No, we met also at Summer Breeze where you had to stay sober the whole time, because you had to leave to Hannover again.
Uh yes, hell yes.

You´re new album, Psalms Of Extinction, sounds like a little journey through all previous PAIN albums plus some extra.
Yes, I guess you could say so.

This time there are some well-known guest musicians on the album. Could you tell us who and in which songs they play?
I have Mikkey Dee, Peter Evers from In Flames and Alexi Laiho playing. Alexi plays guitar on “Just Think Again” and Peter plays bass on “Nailed To The Ground” and “Save Your Prayers”. Mikkey Dee plays drums on “Zombie Slam”.

You changed the live line-up. Why did you replace Andrea Odendahl (guitar) and Alla Fedynitch (bass)?
It was just really stressy when they live in Germany and I live in Sweden. It was just an organizing problem.

Who is in your new line-up?
André Skaug, the Clawfinger bass player, David Wallin still on the drums and then there is Michael Bohlin, who used to play in 8th Sin. We are going on tour this year!

I read that you did a video for Psalms Of Extinction with Ralf Strathmann…
Yeah it turned out really good! We went up to this lake in Los Angeles. We drove like six hours out to do this shoot. It was a kind of lake where it’s so salty that everything died. I don’t actually know if it was salt or sulphur. There’s something fucked up with the lake, so there is nothing growing there and it looks like on the moon. All the rocks look really weird. We also went out to Hollywood Hills in a house and did one scene thereand then we had a limosine and did a scene there too… There are diverse different scenes in that video, but it looks really cool.

Is there a story in the video?
Yes, the story is that I make people old.

By drinking?
(laughs) No!

How did you come up taking Alexi as a guest musician?
This song definatly needed more than a regular solo and a real guitar hero. He was the only guitar hero I know. (laughs) The only one who can pull the shit out of it. So I called him up and asked him and he said “no problem!”. That was really cool.

I really like “Zombie Slam”…
Cool! There’s a little bit of a Gothic kinda feeling to it. I mean Pain is a mix of Goth and I don’t know… Metal. It´s always been that Industrial Gothic.. and all that shit. (laughs)
I forgot to use that kind of voice. I did that on the Rebirth album and I was kinda like “hey, maybe I should bring it back again”.

Can you tell me a little bit more about the lyrics of Psalms Of Extinction?
The song is about the way life is nowadays in general, with all the bullshit in it. I mean in some years we probably won’t have any drinking water left and when you walk outside, you get burned by the sun and get cancer and shit. It’s all fucked up. That is the only song which is about that kind of things. The reason why I named the album Psalms Of Extinction, is because it’s twelve songs of extinction. Weather it’s my own extinction digging my own grave or whatever.

When we talked the last time, Pain was still under Universal Records and you talked about the problems you have had there. Your new label is Roadrunner Records…
Yes, we couldn’t solve the problems with Universal. I didn’t get any priority at Universal. It was always like the. They have so many big bands and shit, so it was just not working out there and it was time to find something else. With Roadrunner, I can say “so far so good”. I’ll see what happens. I got back from France yesterday and it was amazing. Million times better than before! There was a lot of pushing and stuff. That’s really good, so I’m curious to see what Germany is going to do, but I’m sure they gonna do well.

Is the coverartwork the final one?
No, it’s only the “meantime” one. The skull is a kind of a new Pain symbol and will appear also on the final cover. Joachim Luetke did it. He is the guy who did the last two Dimmu Borgir booklets. He is a very good artist. I think he did Rage also and maybe… if I’m not mistaken… Kreator or something like that. He is from Austria.

After your DVD from last year, are you planning to do a new one soon? Maybe with more stuff, like some backstage material?
Yes, if we have the possibility to do it bigger and better, I would want to do it again. It wasn’t the best DVD I saw in my entire life, to be honest, but there was a lot of stuff on it, so it was okay… but yes, it wasn’t like I wanted it to be.

Love, divorce and Pain

I will play my ass off with Pain this year. Now it makes sense to go out on tour with Pain, because now there will be an album out in the stores. Earlier there was no issue. I mean we could have done tours with other bands and stuff, but it wouldn’t have made any sense because there was no lable who wanted to do anything anyhow. So it would have been just a waste of time. That is the reason why I concentrated so much on Hyprocisy the last two years. I’ll try to do as many festivals as possible. The problem was that the album came out so late now, so it’s hard to get on festivals and stuff.

What happened in your life beside music since our last interview?
I’m almost over and done with this “Hollywood divorce”. It’s just bad and chaos and going on since one year and a half. Everything from fucking trials and other stupid shit. That’s what I mean with Hollywood. But it’s getting better now…

Is there a new love?
Yeah! (laughs)

Who is she?
She is German. I met her four or five years ago, but it was just talking and talking and stuff like that. But when I did the divorce, I … I actually had the divorce the same time I was working with Celtic Frost. Well, then we met up for real.

Is she from the music business?
Yes, a little…

So, who is she?
(laughs) Stalker! Well she isn’t a promoter or anything like that, but she used to work at Nuclear Blast. That’s it for now! I’m sure you’ll stalk me about this next time… (laughs)
You´ll get the chance, as we’ll play after the summer a couple of tours in Europe, so we’ll be around. We’re opening for bigger bands to support stuff, to build up because, I mean, with the lack of support and not a good label… now I have all of that. Now I have a good booking agency, I got a good label and a good manager now. So it’s good to start all over from the beginning again.

Anything happening in Pärby?
No, not really. I’m thinking about selling it. For peace and quiet. When you have a studio, this place, two bands and you have a kid – that is too much. It’s hard to get anything done.

Can you tell me something more about your new bandmates you´re going on tour with?
They are really cool. André is the same kind of partyanimal as I am, or even crazier… (laughs) Wow, that’s gonna be crazy! We played two shows in Sweden and they were really great on stage. They were flying everywhere… both of them! I never knew what was happening, because they were everywhere on stage. Guitar and bass, across the stage and jumping in the crowd… it was crazy. Michael is more a cool guy, but when he looks at André he start to compeed with him. They just go crazy. Hopefully it´s…I mean they are very good musicians, so that’s not a problem.

Gibberish with Björk?

Hopefully people will like the album, because it’s the widest I did so far singingwise and musicwise. There is a little bit of everything in there. There is some growling, some screaming, some soft singing and then the typical Pain-singing… it’s the same with the music. It’s a little bit of this, and that and this. I think there’s a good mix on this album.

Do you have a favourite song on Psalms Of Extinction?
It totally depends on my mood. If I want some heavy shit, I really like “Nailed To The Ground”, or “Walking On Glass”. Every song is personal and has a story behind it. When I write a lyric, it comes from my heart, from what I feel, my point of view of life… it’s like a diary of my feelings in every song.

But “Play Dead” is a cover song. How come?
Yeah, “Play Dead” is a Björk cover. I just really love that song and I was surprised she never did a video for that. It’s an almost 15 years old song and it’s definatly the best song she did. I´ve always liked Björk.

Did you ever meet her?
No, but it would be great. She seems like a crazy woman.

Yes, and unbelievable how young she looks… I mean, she looks like she could be 15 or something…
How old is she?

I don’t really know, but I´m guessing somewhere around 45.
That old? Maybe a good collaboration.
Yes, that would be cool.

So, have a nice interview marathon this week!
Talk to you soon!

Author: Samira Alinto, photos: hfr.
Date: 2007-04-08

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