PAIN Mainman: 'I Have Never Done Anything Which Was 100% Perfect'

Holland's Lords of Metal e-zine recently conducted an interview with PAIN/HYPOCRISY mainman Peter Tägtgren. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

Lords of Metal: You said about [PAIN's last] album ["Dancing with the Dead"], "This was the first PAIN album I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted more energy, more guitar-based sound," and it was a killer album. This new album has a somewhat different vibe to it or am I mistaken? It's even more diverse than the "Dancing" album.

Peter: Yeah, the tracks are more diverse, there is a broader range of styles in there. The production is more interesting, because it's no longer a 45-minute wall of sound, you know. There're a lot more twists and turns to be found. Also the vocals are more diverse. On one track they're held back, on the other it's full-throttle PAIN style. I used different approaches.

Lords of Metal: In a way it works a little less personal to me. It seems to deal more with life in general and the state of the world. Is that the case?

Peter: It's always personal, because I write stuff from a personal point of view. Universal tried to keep me in line… sort of… hahaha. "Psalms of Extinction" is about the fact that these days you can't go out into the sun without worrying about getting sunburn, cancer and die. It's my personal opinion and views on things. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to preach, I just give it to you straight. It's how it is.

Lords of Metal: "Nailed to the Ground" is about those problems with Universal?

Peter: Yeah, but it's also important that people can relate to the lyrics on a more personal level. For example, you have a fucked-up job and you have to do it anyway, because you have to bring home the bacon each day, you know? You can interpret those lyrics in different ways.

Lords of Metal: Another thing that caught my attention is the feeling that PAIN is more and more developing into a more metal-oriented band over the course of the albums. Do you feel the same?

Peter: Hmm, well, it's a mix of a lot of things really. I mean, there're also orchestra parts on there, but I guess you're right, it's a bit more metal, but some of the tracks are more techno-metal. In a lot of ways, this new album is just more diverse.

Lords of Metal: The album is about to be released. If you got the chance to go back into the studio and change just one thing about it, what would that be or do you feel it's the perfect PAIN album?

Peter: Well, one has to be critical about your own work, because if you're not you stop developing. I have never done anything which was 100% perfect, there's always room for improvement. When I wasn't in the studio the last couple of years, I listened to the stuff I did before and tried to improve myself constantly. But now it's mastered, I'm not going to listen to it for a while. After that period I'm sure that when I listen to it, I'm going to hear stuff which I should have done differently.

Lords of Metal: Reviewers and metal heads all over the world will pass verdict on the album in the weeks and months to come. Does that affect you? Or couldn't you care less what is written and said?

Peter: Of course it affects me. I'm the one responsible for this piece of work and I hardly had any help from the outside. But it's not the end of the world, when they blow me out of the water. I remember at the beginning of my career when someone wrote something bad about a HYPOCRISY album, I went like, "I'm going to FUCKING KILL HIM!" Hahahaha. These days, I can handle things a bit better.

Lords of Metal: Another track that will raise an eyebrow or two is "Play Dead"; a cover of the BJÖRK hit. Why did you pick that specific song to do a cover?

Peter: It's probably one of the best tracks I've heard in a long, long time. Back in 1993 it really blew me away. And to get out of the contract with Universal I wanted to do a covers album. "Play Dead" was one of the tracks on my shortlist of tracks I wanted to do. I didn't want to change it that much; only play it more dark, raunchy and heavier. It was kind of difficult to get the violins to sound like the original thing and to fit in the heavy guitar sound at the same time.

Read the entire interview at www.lordsofmetal.nl.

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