Karma E. Omowale of FourteenG.net webzine recently conducted an interview with THE HAUNTED frontman Peter Dolving. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
FourteenG.net: Most of your lyrics revolve around some deep understanding of self. How vulnerable do you feel when declaring your steams of consciousness?
Peter: I am vulnerable like any human being, you know. Some people might think they're above vulnerability but that's a joke! [Laughs heartily] There is no one that is that! [Chuckles] If you're a psychopath, you're really far away from any kind of emotional knowing or feeling anyway. I don't think I'm more vulnerable than anyone else. I'm lucky in that way that I [pauses] have a fairly easy understanding of some of the stuff that goes on inside me and how I react, you know. I guess that's a good thing, when I was kid it was horrible. You know you have people say, "Oh, you're so sensitive Peter!" To me, that was a horrendous thing! Sensitive? I'm a guy; I'm not supposed to be sensitive. But as I've gotten older and slowly becoming some kind of man, I guess I'm realizing that, that's a really, really good thing! That's really a gift.
FourteenG.net: Well that's one hell of a story, with the release of "The Dead Eye", the band has produced a much more mature [using air quotes] HAUNTED sound. What do you attribute to this strong progression as musicians?
Peter: Touring really heavily and actually I think that the chemistry between the five of us in the band, that are now in the band, is really really good. I mean it was always really good between us but with Per [M. Jensen] also in the band and with me coming back. We're pretty easy going, really open people and you know, there's no "pull some kind of mask" to each other. We are who we are and we have a lot of love and respect for each other, you know. And that just comes from wanting to do this! Having that very common ground to stand on and it's made us have to take a good look at ourselves as a band. That really has changed how we go about making the music. It's not just like…we're not trying to outdo each other; we're trying to do something together so everyone kind of contributes instead of trying to better than anyone else because the band is not about ego. It's about five people doing something that we feel really strongly about, all five of us, you know. So it's a group thing.
FourteenG.net: How important really is it that you're accepted and admired by your peers in the industry, if at all?
Peter: No! Well, I'll give a double answer. The vain side of us, of course, we're human beings just like that rooster kind of mentality but that's a pretty fickle thing. When it comes down to it, we live with these songs and we play them over and over and over again. So for us when it comes down to it, it's more important that we make music that we enjoy; that we can enjoy playing 'cause then it doesn't matter if it's five hundred people or fifty people or five thousand people. What is important is that it's enjoyable and it gives us [enjoyment] to do it, you know. You can have a lot of opinions about the music business, it's got its good sides, it's got its down sides. It's really nice to be able to do this for as long as we have because you kind of get to learn the bad sides so you can steer away from them. "Yup, I see 'em!" I don't want to go there; I'm not gonna to go there. It's one of those things where why put yourself through things you don't like. Subject yourself to you know, certain people or certain kind of places if you don't have to, and we don't have to. There's a choice and that feels really cool!
FourteenG.net: Now that's awesome! Regardless of the albums you have under your belt, do you feel you have to prove yourself with each release due to the climate in metal right now?
Peter: No, I don't think we have to prove ourselves; we do have to satisfy ourselves. As I said, we're this band and we tour and it's also a business, but it's our livelihood. But the way we look at it, we're having a good time and the music is enjoyable for us. We believe very much that… you know, we believe in people. We have a pretty high amount of trust in people as far as being human. And if we can enjoy it [pauses] we're not that different from other folks. If we can enjoy it, someone else is probably going to enjoy it. It's really weird if you're going to go the other way around and try to look at what other bands are doing. It's like, no! What are we like, what do we enjoy!
FourteenG.net: Logically, when creating a song, do you have to stay within certain confines of "THE HAUNTED standard" and when is it best to explore outside bands to exercise your musical freedom? How encouraged is it?
Peter: I think we gotten more experimental, not in a wider kind of subject, but for us. We're pretty rigid, pretty orthodox dudes when it comes down to music. We like melody, and good hooks and that's something that appeals to all of us. But I think we have more and more started enjoying a little quirkier ways of doing [things], at least for us. I mean, we're not THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN and we'll never be that. But we do like it when we find stuff that's, "kinda weird." Stuff that's weird and cool, that's got a different twist on it. And we do have a great deal of common love for SLAYER but bands like KING CRIMSON or YES, or that kind of stuff. And for us, we realize there's a lot of '70s music in the stuff that we do and for some reason, it's always been there! It has to deal with melody and it has to deal with… you know and you know even if we make it more structured kind of song, it really goes back to melody. It really goes back to something that can build up a certain emotional kind of construction to withhold that and hopefully, lead to something as well within the creation of the song. You know, within the limits of each song. In many ways, I guess we've had a pretty European way of looking at the drama of a song, you know.
FourteenG.net: What's the one thing that people wouldn't know about you that you wouldn't mind sharing…asides from your blogs and whatnot?
Peter: [Ponders] Some people know a lot about me and then again, people don't know jack shit about me! I'm a REALLY easy, down-to-earth, very soft dude. Contrary to what some people might think that I really am; and I like it that way! [Snickers] I really like it that way! Yeah, I see no reason for tough guy attitudes and you know that kind of stuff; it's pretty lame! [Laughs] You are who you are…some people do the whole sensitive act and you've met them! You've met 'em and they'll be all about your feelings and it's all Bullshit! Because it's not about anything real, it's all about trying to get into someone's panties or into their heads or their wallets. And that's something that's very much…I don't expect anything from anyone. And anything that comes out of meeting people or doing things comes as a bonus for me and that's something I don't think a lot of people know about me. [Chuckles]
Read the entire interview at FourteenG.net.