Good evening Peter. How are you doing?
Very good! Just a bit stressful, because we are getting ready for going on tour in Finland tomorrow morning.
Yes, indeed. I saw that you have the first gig tomorrow in Helsinki. But I was thinking you were already in Finland, because you were working at the new Amorphis record…
Yes exactly, but I have been home in Sweden for a week, mixing it. We have a few more songs to finish, so after the tour I will stay there.
You had a DVD with Pain in 2006 called 'Live Is Overrated' and of course you have made three albums since then, but I think this is also the first DVD with the new line-up live, isn't it? What were the reasons for a next DVD?
Yeah the line-up and also, the other one was no good. I would not recommend it to anyone, you know. That was something that Universal and that Polish company did. Nothing was really good on that. Maybe the biography was okay, but I mean, the show itself was really bad I thought.
Why exactly did you pick up the gigs that ended up on the DVD this time?
The show in Stockholm was the last gig of the whole tour, the 'Only Live Twice' tour. We are working so hard with the stage set and the lights and things, we thought we should really document this instead of some silly pictures on YouTube. So I asked my friend Ville to film it. When we were done it was actually a Sunday. It has gotten a Sunday feel over it, it is kind of cosy. But this was not enough, so we started looking for another gig at festivals. We found Masters of Rock festival in Czech Republic. This time we were lucky. They have a proper film crew and they gave us the whole thing. That was really nice from them. Now it is more complete: you have a club show, you have a festival and we put lots of crazy stuff in between.
I agree, the parts in between are funny…
Yeah, also the photo gallery and the video clips… Now it feels more like a good package. Like I said, the former one came out and that's it. I had nothing to do with it and I was not really happy with it. Now it is professional. I wanted something I could control from the beginning till the end, not just someone else putting it together and bring it out.
In May you did a South American tour with hardrock bands Gotthard and Unisonic, another style than Pain. What about this experience?
Yeah, but that was only one gig. We did one gig together. We had the same promoter in Mexico and instead of doing two different shows at one evening in Mexico, he put them together. It was kind of odd. The crowd was really good for all three bands, because it is definitely a different mix, but it was fun and we had a good time.
Did you manage to see something from the countries in South America?
I have been there a few times and I have seen a lot of stuff. It is always interesting and it is fun as well. The fans are really dedicated which is really cool.
As we said, tomorrow you go on tour in Finland, but it is with Turmion Kätilöt. Never heard of them. What band is that?
It is more industrial. It is a kind of extreme stage show, really insane. They opened up for us in Europe half of the tour and we had a really good time together. So we said, let us do the opposite now in their home towns. That is why they are headlining in Finland.
So they are really popular in Finland?
Yes. And most of their albums are in Finnish, it is only on their later albums that they started singing in English a few songs here and there.
What about your cooperation with a French girl called Cecile Siméone?
It is just a fun thing to do. It was through a mutual friend I guess we met. He said she wanted to do something different, because she was more a singer songwriter with acoustic guitar. I said I had some ideas. We put it together for her to give her something different. It was fun to do.
Are you already thinking about writing new songs for Pain?
I am thinking about it, but it is still a long way to go I would say.
The title 'We Come In Peace' reminds me of your interest in outer space and aliens…
Yes, but the funny thing is that it can be reflected on the band as well. We always have good intentions, but some things happen on the road.
Like the funny drunken documentary on the DVD. Is it still that harsh after all these years? Heavy drinking?
Oh yeah it gets worse and worse every year.
I heard that bassist Johan Husgafvel could not make it on the European leg of the tour… how come?
He had some personal reasons to do that. We had another bass player to jump in, Andreas Skaug from Clawfinger, that was with us before Johan joined us. That was no problem anyhow. Things like that happen and you have to respect that, you know.
Yes, I remember that the drummer once stayed home for his child…
Exactly. Sometimes that happens. Usually we have good friends that come in to help us out; so that people do not hear the difference, that's for sure. We take the most professional guys we can get.
If you can say something about the new Amorphis… what is your impression until now?
Oh it is very good I think, you know. To be honest, before that, I have not listened to them that much to the later albums. So I cannot say what the difference is, compared to their latest albums. It is hard to say for me how different it is from the new one. I really do not know. We have been good friends since 1995 and we have always been saying that we should work together on an album. It took a long time (laughs), but finally it happened. We definitely trying to do the best we can.
The guitarist, Esa Holopainen, said through Nuclear Blast that he wanted a heavier approach for the new one…
Well, I think it is very catchy, but when it is heavy, it is really heavy. I think that is a good mix. Right now we have recorded fourteen songs and maybe only ten songs will be on the album. Right now we do not know what's going to be where and how and we have still four songs to sing on.
Why is the tour with Nightwish only covering the UK?
Well, because they just got back from the States – today I think. Before that, we did not want to tour more in Europe. That is kind of odd. But four shows in the UK is fine, because we have not been there so much. These will be the first ones since 2009 over there.
Then comes the Into Darkness tour in November with Moonspell, Swallow The Sun, Lake Of Tears and Scar Of The Sun. That's a strong package!
Yeah that is going to be fun! It takes us through Europe till the end of November.
Then we are close to December, when the end of the world is near according to the Maya calendar. Do you believe that? What do you think of it?
No, it is just the start of a new era. And also, the calendar stops there and that can be for many different reasons. First question: how long can you make a calendar? There are so many theories, we will only find out. We will see what happens.
Which albums did you produce or mix this year?
I produced the new Sabaton album. I did an unknown band from Denmark (thinks) I cannot remember, I did so many things. I really don't know. (laughs) It has been on the road and back in the studio, a lot of things.
In September even on the same festival with Pain and Hypocrisy…
Yeah! That was a cruise. The boat went to Finland and back to Stockholm. They do that for many years. The first time I did it must have been fifteen years ago or so.
What are the plans with Hypocrisy?
Right now, we are working on the new album and hoping it will be done very soon.
There should be a band called 8th Sin in which your guitarist and bassist are involved and I think you too, or not?
No, I just helped them out with one song they wanted me to sing on. It is a cover song.
You used to have a whole village in Sweden, Pärlby, with the studio and apartments. Is that still the case?
Yes, definitely, the studio is fifty metres from my house.
One of the things we see on the DVD is that your son is playing drums on one of the tracks. You must be happy that he is interested in music…
Yeah! He has a gig this weekend and unfortunately I could not be there. He has his own band Inferstation. He is fourteen years old now.
Is he also interested in recording techniques?
No, not yet, it is more guitars and drums right now.
What are the plans after the Into Darkness tour?
It looks like we are going to Japan and Australia with Hypocrisy in January and then of course the album will come out with Hypocrisy around March and so on.