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Feel The Pain: And Exclusive Interview With PETER TAGTGREN Of PAIN

By Brian Davis, The Velcro Merkin
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 11:37 AM


"Everybody has their own story about what’s out there and I think only time will tell how it really is."

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You’d be hard pressed to find someone in the Metal industry who works harder or more constantly than the legendary Peter Tägtgren. Besides founding one of the most influential Death Metal bands of all-time – HYPOCRISY – as well as the long-standing PAIN (both being exceptionally active projects) and participating in numerous collaborations with other Metal legends such as Till Lindemann of RAMMSTEIN, Peter is also a prolific record producer with his Abyss Studios having produced over 100 albums from legendary bands the likes of AMON AMARTH, DIMMU BORGIR, IMMORTAL, GRAVE, OVERKILL and many more. On top of all that he’s also the Mayor of the small Swedish hamlet of Parlby. To call the man a workaholic would be a drastic understatement, and yet in his decades of influence and involvement in the global Metal scene he has yet to show any signs of slowing down. In fact, he even manages to find time to write music with his son and indulge in some extraterrestrial contemplation somewhere in the midst of all that chaos, and with a new album in the works for Tägtgren Sr. & Jr. there’s no telling where this creative juggernaut will carry us next.

KNAC.COM: Thanks for taking the time to do this, I appreciate it.

TÄGTGREN: Sure, no problem.

KNAC.COM: So you’re touring right now with PAIN, you’re on the road with ORPHANED LAND – how’s that going?

TÄGTGREN: It’s going great.

KNAC.COM: How far into the tour are you?

TÄGTGREN: We’re at the ending this is the 3rd from the last one, it was a short tour but it was a good start. Now we’re gonna start looking around for new ones.

KNAC.COM: So you’re going to be out supporting PAIN some more?

TÄGTGREN: Yeah in America. We have one European tour, a short one as well, and after the New Year we have Scandinavia to take care of, but then the goal is to come back here.

KNAC.COM: So you’re gonna stay on the PAIN train for a while?

TÄGTGREN: Yeah for a while. I would say up until like April, somewhere around there; and if there’s something coming up for America we’re jumping on it, we just gotta find something that makes sense. Meanwhile on the days off I’m gonna start thinking about a little bit of HYPOCRISY stuff. Me and my kid have a band, I want to finish that off first then I can move onto the next thing, I don’t want to have too many balls up in the air because then it usually ends up being shitty. It’s better to be able to fully concentrate on one thing.

KNAC.COM: That’s kind of what I’ve wondered with you, I mean you’re consistently one of the hardest working guys in Metal. With HYPOCRISY and PAIN - with 8 albums PAIN is definitely not a side band by any means -you’ve got the producing you do with your Abyss studio and then LINDEMANN with Till [Lindemann] from RAMMSTEIN, I can see how you’ve got to balance that.

TÄGTGREN: Yeah exactly.

KNAC.COM: I’m sure it keeps you busy.

TÄGTGREN: Yeah it sure does, time goes too fast unfortunately.

KNAC.COM: So you mentioned your son Sebastian, he’s touring with you drumming for PAIN right now, right?

TÄGTGREN: Yeah he is.

KNAC.COM: That’s gotta be a pretty cool feeling, right?

TÄGTGREN: Yeah, the first tour of the new PAIN album he jumped in and played, that was October of last year. So yeah, in the beginning it was a weird experience to look back and it’s not [original drummer] David [Wallin], it’s my son. He’s really good.

KNAC.COM: He’s holding his own then.

TÄGTGREN: Oh fuck yeah.

KNAC.COM: You mentioned that you and Sebastian had a bunch of songs put together but it’s not HYPOCRISY, it’s not PAIN...

TÄGTGREN: Yeah a little bit more modern I would say. He’s a young kid, you know, he wrote a Lot of stuff in it.

KNAC.COM: What’s he influenced by?

TÄGTGREN: MESHUGGAH, KORN, that kind of bag – ANIMALS VS LEADERS, things like that and a bit more jazzy stuff.

KNAC.COM: Have you hammered out other details – like are you going to do the vocals?

TÄGTGREN: (laughs) We don’t know yet who’s going to do the vocals. I mean if he can do it then he should do it I think.

KNAC.COM: And is it just going to be the two of you? Are you going to build a band around it?

TÄGTGREN: We’ll start with doing this. We have like 20 songs but we have about 5 songs that are complete. So we’re going to start sending out stuff when we get home as soon as we put some vocals on them, which is all that’s left for these 5 songs. While we’re doing that – hunting for a contract – we’ll be finishing up the rest so we have a full album, we’ll take the best of the 15 songs that’s left.

KNAC.COM: And are you hoping to run with that, to maybe do some touring on that project as well?

TÄGTGREN: Eh, we just go step by step and see what happens, but I think it’s going to be pretty good.

KNAC.COM: Great, looking forward to that. You mentioned LINDEMANN, Skills In Pills is great stuff, how did you meet Till? How did the project come about?

TÄGTGREN: Oh I’ve known Till since like 1999 or something like that, so it goes way back. We always said, “We should do something together” but it never happened until finally in 2013 RAMMSTEIN was playing a festival in Sweden and he said, “Hey, why don’t you come over and bring your family?” And then he said, “Yeah we have 2 gigs left then we’re going to have 2 years off, let’s try to do something”. So I said, “Ok let’s do it.”

KNAC.COM: With both of your crazy schedules were you able to promote that album on stage?

TÄGTGREN: No, no there was not enough time there unfortunately because RAMMSTEIN was starting up again.

KNAC.COM: And was that project a one-time thing?

TÄGTGREN: Nah, I think we can do it again, we just have to wait now for RAMMSTEIN to be done with their album and also go out and tour the album and so on so they can have a break again. That’s when we’ll jump into another record if everything goes as planned.

KNAC.COM: I was reading that in 2008 PAIN was in Leipzing, Germany and you were assaulted?

TÄGTGREN: Yeah yeah, it was on a...I don’t know it was just hooligans on the street and we were shitfaced so I really don’t remember anything, I woke up with 10 stitches on my eye.

KNAC.COM: And it said your drummer got his nose broken?

TÄGTGREN: The bass player got his nose broken, the drummer got a wine bottle broken against the back of his head so he had some stitches too.

KNAC.COM: And it was just random malice? Just guys starting shit?

TÄGTGREN: Yeah, yeah.

KNAC.COM: Do you encounter that a lot? I mean you go all over the world and tour constantly, is that common?

TÄGTGREN: Nah. No, it’s pretty unusual.

KNAC.COM: I wanted to ask – I’m sure you’ve heard about all the stuff that recently went down with DECAPITATED being charged with rape a few hours from here in Spokane, WA.

TÄGTGREN: Yeah! I heard that, I can’t believe this shit, I think it’s a setup. I mean I’ve known [guitarist] Vogg for many fucking years, we toured together for 11. I mean he’s the only guy who’s still in the band since we toured together but I doubt the other guys would rape someone either, you know?

KNAC.COM: The circumstances sound vague, they know they went onto the bus willingly but...

TÄGTGREN: Yeah I really have no fucking clue what’s going on, this just feels like science fiction.

KNAC.COM: It’s unfortunate because Metal music and Metalheads just get branded by the public and people tend to automatically assume we’re the bad guys.

TÄGTGREN: Yeah, but like I said I really doubt they did it – I think it’s a setup somehow, some woman is jealous or has some chromosomal problems or something, I don’t know. It’s just too fishy for me.

KNAC.COM: You’ve had this long lasting obsession with aliens and extraterrestrial stuff, it feeds into PAIN and HYPOCRISY quite a bit, so I was just curious – obviously from the songs "Roswell ‘47" and "Fire In The Sky" you’re familiar with the Roswell incident and Travis Walton’s encounter, are you familiar with a guy named Stan Romanek?

TÄGTGREN: Yeah.

KNAC.COM: So there’s a documentary about him called Extraterrestrial: The Stan Romanek Story, he’s had over 150+ documented encounters.

TÄGTGREN: Yeah, I mean there are so many people coming out and also with whistleblowers and stuff like that you’ve gotta keep your mind open, you know? A lot of people are doing it for the money and pushing their new book or whatever they’re doing so they say a lot of crazy stuff. So I mean, in my world I still want proof, you know? And there’s a lot of people talking and talking and talking about this and that and blue aliens, you name it, but show me some proof. Lately it just became like a science fiction story, someone is telling a really cool fascinating story – if things are true then it’s amazing, but I think some of these things are just people losing their mind, their imagination just keeps on going and they can’t even keep track of what they’re saying, of what is true and what is not. A lot if it is their own fantasy or what they want it to be, so you’ve gotta take it with a grain of salt.

KNAC.COM: You mentioned whistleblowers, I’m sure you know of Dr. Stephen Greer...

TÄGTGREN: Yeah.

KNAC.COM: He’s done some stuff here in the US bringing out some high ranking people.

TÄGTGREN: Yeah, yeah of course, in 2001 he got a lot of people to sit in front of Congress telling their stories, which was very impressive, but I think at the same time there was also 9/11 so it got blown away and people forgot about it, they had other things to concentrate on. So Stephen Greer...I don’t know, there’s a lot of this uh, how do you call it – a more philosophic vibe, a more hippie vibe, so I don’t know, I’m not too much of a hippie. It’s really hard to say what’s true and what’s not true, we all have a different imagination of how things should be and blah, blah, blah so I just rest my case and don’t say anything.

KNAC.COM: Sure. You mentioned the hippie vibe and his slant is a big international conspiracy with small groups in governments controlling all of this top secret stuff.

TÄGTGREN: Oh I don’t doubt it, I don’t doubt it! One thing is for sure – the presidents and governments in every country who runs this fucking boat you know? It’s the federal reserves and stuff and it’s been like that for a long time, it’s no news. For me – the average Joe has no fucking clue, but that’s how it’s been. If you own the bank you own the people and we’ve had no choice, they started running this a long fucking time ago. They started in south Germany then got kicked out and went to England and so on, it’s something else that’s for sure. And it’s not science fiction but when you tell people they think it is.

KNAC.COM: Which is probably part of the point in their scheme.

TÄGTGREN: Yeah, yeah and they had some treaties with the so-called aliens that it’s ok to abduct people if we can get technology from them and blah, blah, blah and somehow they kind of painted themselves into a corner and the aliens or whatever ran over the whole shit. Everybody has their own story about what’s out there and I think only time will tell how it really is.


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