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Peter Tägtgren has always been a very busy man. He got famous as producer in his own Abyss Studios, he is the moving spirit of Hypocrisy, but since 1996 he also takes care about a second band, called Pain. That band has a catchier – you may call it more commercial – approach of music. In the meantime they have finished their seventh studio album. 'You Only Live Twice' comes out on the 3rd of June via Nuclear Blast and consequently we got a very good-humoured Peter on the phone.

By: Vera | Archive under industrial / ebm

It was a while ago since we heard news coming from Pain, next to Hypocrisy the band from producer Peter Tägtgren. But end October 2010 we found out what happened on the Pain front by reading the following update on their website:

“What the hell is going on?! Well… It's been a while since the last update and we thought it was about time to let you in on a couple of things. The last couple of months every one of us has been pretty busy with anything but PAIN. As you may know Peter has been concentrating on Hypocrisy this year and recently came home from a successful tour in South America. David, who just got signed up with Zildjian, is working for Unique Pyrotechnic along with doing a lot of different stand-in club shows in Sweden. Johan became a dad in August (best wishes from us all), and the more time spent away from PAIN means the more time spent with his family. Michael is working with different side projects along with his work for Digidesign.

Now, the following months will be dedicated to PAIN and to finish the new songs. Up till today 8 songs are more or less ready to go, and at least 3 or 4 more are needed before we can start recording. Our plans are to start the recordings in late 2010 or early 2011, and have the album ready for a world wide release sometime in May 2011. After that we're about to hit the road and do as many of the summer festivals as we can. Of course there will be a headline tour as well, and if everything works out we'll even break new grounds. Work has also begun with designing a new stage set that will be something out of the average. As you may understand we're more eager than ever to record this album, make it the best, and play it for you live. So stay tuned and visit our websites for continuous information, studio reports, album details, and the first show dates for 2011.”

In May 2011 we finally spoke to Peter on a lovely sunny evening, since the record will soon be out.

Is it in Sweden also very nice weather?
Yes, it is very sunny, not a cloud in the sky! It is a relief after this strange winter. All the ice and snow is gone from the lakes. That's good! I live two and a half hours from Stockholm, between Oslo and Stockholm, but a little bit way up north.

We all know that there are periods that you concentrate on Pain and other times when Hypocrisy happens to be your priority. At what time did you decade to write some stuff for Pain again?
I constantly write, so there is never free time of not writing, you know. I started right after 'Cynic Paradise' (previous Pain album – Vera) to write a bit and collecting ideas. The more time goes by, the more ideas I get until I feel being ready for a whole album.

Early April you played at the Bandit Awards gala in Stockholm. What about this experience?
We only played three songs. It was more an opportunity to present the new single. We played two old songs and 'Dirty Woman'. It is fun to be back on stage. Kind of rough, but it only gets better.

Is it still in the same line-up?
Yes, no women anymore.

I guess that is easier to tour…
(laughs) You say that, I didn't.

Or is your experience differently?
Well, there are some good female musicians as well. I think it is equal. I just think they are less in numbers. It is no big deal to get on tour, as long as you respect each other, because you live in a bus during the tours.

'Dirty Woman' is the single and you have made a video for it. Can you tell about the making of that video?
It is pretty good. I came up with the idea for the video half a year ago when I was in Costa Rico. I told it to the guys and they all agreed. Let's do it! It is pretty cool. It has been out for three days now and already watched over 15.000 times. We get good and bad reviews and that's very good. It starts something, you know. People start talking about it, that is the most important thing.

And what did you do in Costa Rica at that time?
I was there with Hypocrisy on a tour in South America.

Can you look back with pleasure on the resurrection of Hypocrisy and all the things that came across with that?
Well, I don't see a resurrection, I mean, we released an album last year and we did some touring for it. It was great, it was really cool.

But isn't it sometimes difficult to decide what you are going to use for which band?
No, I instantly feel what's right. I just follow my heart.

Yes, of course there is a proper difference between the sound of Hypocrisy or Pain, although I have the feeling that it is a bit fewer on this Pain album, or am I wrong?
No, the new Pain album is more brutal, for sure. It still has some fetching melodies, but I think the attitude is more in your face this time. It is darker and includes more fast stuff. It is cool to expand the horizons with Pain, because there is not a formula for Pain. There are so many things.

Thus in a way we can conclude that Hypocrisy has a distinct sound and the rest goes to Pain?
We do not want to change Hypocrisy. With Pain I am very flexible; I follow my heart and create what I like to hear myself. The new Pain has more a live feeling. We wanted to capture that, because everybody says: “Pain is so brutal live, we like that.” That's why I tried to capture that on this album.

I found out that in June 2010, you did shows with Pain as well as with Hypocrisy on Tuska festival in Finland. Wasn't that very exhausting?
No, Pain was the next day. It was fun. We did not do shows with Pain for a while, so it was kind of fresh. As soon as we got on stage, we got into it again.

band image

What can we see as main topics on the lyrical front for the new Pain album?
It is like a rollercoaster: one song about this, one song about that. For instance 'Season Of The Reaper' is about when death comes and get you. And 'Monster' is about this guy who really needs his pill from the doctor to stay sane. There are so many different topics. 'You Only Live Twice' is about envy and jealousy in life from people to other people. Some people have success and others are jealous. It is about every day life things.

And what about is 'The Great Pretender'?
A guy who tries to be a hero, but he always fucks it up.

In 'Dirty Woman' you start like Monster Magnet and a bit later you scream like AC/DC…
Yeah (laughs) It should be unpredictable, you know. I don't like to write songs that people know what's going to happen. You always have to think twice, with many turns.

And in the seventh song 'Leave Me Alone' I hear some Paradise Lost tinges…
I don't know, I haven't listened to Paradise Lost for a long time to be honest. So I really don't know.

Were you a fan of Paradise Lost?
Well, in the few first albums I think they were very good. Later it got a bit too dramatic for me, although I like Depeche Mode as well. But the songs just did not seem to come out right I think. But that is just my opinion, you know.

I have the impression that you do more production work again…
Not so much, just here and there, but I will definitely do a lot more next year again I think. I did Legion Of The Damned album, I mixed the Septicflesh album, Belphegor, Kampfar and Immortal, but that was longer ago.

I heard some rumours that you work on designing a new stage set…
Yes, we are working very hard now for this October tour in Europe that we are doing. We will definitely try to bring something really special. Hopefully there will be a lot more than people expect. Screens, special lights and so on.

Is the mascot playing a role in that as well?
We have not decided about that yet but be sure it will be something special! Graspop is a kind of warm up for the October tour. You cannot drive a huge truck with stage props to festivals. The new stage set is for autumn when we are doing headline shows.

Your life focused on music brings you in a lot of foreign places. Do you like to travel?
Yes I do. With the latest Hypocrisy tour we were in Costa Rica for the first time, San Salvador, there were a few places we did for the first time and that's pretty cool.

San Salvador… wasn't it dangerous?
(laughs) Well, dangerous is my middle name. No, no, it is fun to see other cultures.

Where did you record the video for 'Dirty Woman'?
We went to a big hangar in Stockholm where they make movies and videos for TV productions.

Pain is catchier than Hypocrisy. Does it mean you get more attention in common, traditional media as well?
Yes, it is, a little bit. You can see Pain in different media, more than Hypocrisy, because Hypocrisy is still pretty harsh I think. But I don't mind at all. I only see it when I do interviews for different papers.

The Pain tour in 2009 was done with a stand in drummer, Tomas Lindgren. What happened?
David's baby was born at that time and he decided to stay home, which is a smart thing to do I think. But the show must go on, so we contacted Tomas. He is a very good drummer as well. It wasn't a problem, everything can always be fixed you know, the show must go on.

What are the new challenges for Pain, things to break new ground?
The stage is going to be bigger, or better, I would say and now we are just hoping for the people to get the tickets. We are eager to find out how much we can do with the whole thing.

The artwork has a kind of Tim Burton feel. Is it your idea or just the creation of the artist, Heile?
In the beginning I told him to do something with the painhead, you know. A mix between a 'Night Before Christmas' kind of feeling meets 'Alice In Wonderland'. Things which are not so real. And he just came up with that thing. I thought it was really cool.

The painhead, your mascot, makes me think of aliens; another interest of yours. Don't you think it is strange that we never met aliens, in terms of having real evidence?
Well, I think we were planted here anyhow thousands of years ago. I don't think we grew out of water and then started crawling and then started walking. I think someone planted us here to watch what we make of it. We are probably under observation of a higher being. But I think they are not guiding us, just laughing and see how we are making fools out of ourselves.

'Cynic Paradise' was the first CD that was released in the United Statesas well, with a bonus CD. What came out of that?
I think it was like one year too late, everybody already downloaded it. The timing was stupid. It is more interesting what's going to happen with 'You Only Live Twice' in the States, since the releases will happen simultaneously now. We are going to release the album on vinyl as well.

To occlude, what are the plans for Hypocrisy?
Right now we are just taking it easy. Horgh is doing some gigs with Immortal and I think they will start writing a new album soon. That will come out first. We did not schedule any timing for Hypocrisy yet. We'll just see.

Well, let's finish with some last words from you…
Check out the Pain album and I hope to see you all at Graspop and at the European tour in the fall. We will play nearly two hours, it is going to be great!

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