Peter T?gtgren of PAIN
Interview & Live Pictures by Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Annele Hencz at Stockholm Records for help with the interview.
Promo pictures provided by Stockholm Records, shot by Jonas Lund.
Peter T?gtgren had the kindness to answer my questions regarding his new album with Pain called DANCING WITH THE DEAD. He’s currently out on the road and a few weeks later I took the opportunity to ask him about the new album, about himself, and about things in general in this short interview.
Hi, Peter. First I have to ask if Pain is a band or a project?
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Pain is definitely a band, though it is only me in the studio.
What do you think of the three previous albums with Pain?
I like them, but I always feel that there are things that could be improved when listening back to them. I think the new one is best now, but when it’s time for the next album, there will probably be so many things I want to try out production-wise.
How were those albums greeted by the media and fans?
In Sweden, I’ve never been a media darling. The albums have sold quite well so people seem to like what I’m doing. I never made any music so some journalist could sit somewhere and like it. I just want to be true to myself – as long as I like what I’m doing, that’s all that counts.
The new album, “DANCING WITH THE DEAD”, is the fourth album with Pain, how has Pain developed musically through the years do you think?
Heavier, more guitar-driven, better songs and better production. Less of the techno-influences I experimented with in the beginning.
Pain’s music sounds quite different from your band Hypocrisy. What do the Hypocrisy fans think of Pain?
Most of the people I meet seem to like both bands, though of course not every hypo-fan loves the Pain stuff, and the same way for the Pain-fans.
How does it feel that Pain is so much more commercially succesful than Hypocrisy will ever be?, I mean Pain is played on the national radio and Hypocrisy are more “underground” for the average radio listener.
It’s two different types of things, and I would never ever choose between them. I do both things, and I love them equally.
Which is best to work with – Pain or Hypocrisy? Can you compare those two?
No, they are completely different – one is a band with four guys and one is just me in the studio. I love them both.
The first Pain single “SAME OLD SONG” have been on several charts here in Sweden. Has it been on any charts in the rest of the world?
Yeah, in Scandinavia it’s doing really well. It is #5 on the finnish charts! Spinefarm did a great job there. As the album is out later in Europe (March 21), the single will be out later as well.
Are there any plans on when the next single is going to be released? If so, which one and are you going to make a video to it?
The new single is called Bye/Die, and we shot a video with director Jerker Josefsson. It’s like a kick in the face.
How long did it take to write “DANCING WITH THE DEAD”?
Writing and producing this record has taken more or less 2 years.
Are the lyrics about anything in particular?
Some of them deal with my heart stopping a year back or so, some deal with the music industry and some deal with the darker side of things.
Have you done everything by yourself on this album, like you done on all the other three album, or have had help from someone?
Apart from Jonas Nystr?m who helped me with some loops and samples, it’s only me on the record.
Why the title “DANCING WITH THE DEAD”?
Why not? Obviously it refers to my near-death experience, but it also is a good title I think. If it hadn’t been DWTD, it might have been “Life Is Overrated.”
Are you content with your label Stockholm Records?
Stockholm Records are great, they’re a small label who are part of Universal. I would never have stayed with them if I didn’t like them. They let me do my shit and are really supportive. The rest of Universal though have been a fucking mess – but I must say they are changing with this album. We are getting a full release, and people really seem to like it, so we’ll see how that goes.
At the end of last year you toured through Europe, how did that go and did you play any songs from the new album?
That was brilliant! Touring with Tiamat is ALWAYS a great experience. Also Theatre of Tragedy and Sirenia were great. We played a couple of new songs, and the crowds seemed to like them a lot!
You kicked of the Swedish tour the day after the release of the new album, do you have any plans on doing another tour throughout Sweden this year when the fans have heard the album and know the songs better?
We are looking at which tours there are and what we can do. I’d love to tour more in Sweden right now.
You did your first Swedish show on the tour in Malm? where Swedish radio taped it, if you know that you’re being recorded do you think you perform better than on an ordinary show?
Not really – you always try to do your best, it doesn’t really matter if there’s a radio show or not.
If I say that you are one of the biggest names in Swedish metal, and a legend…how do you comment on that?
Eeeeeeeh… I don’t know what to say. I don’t wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and think “A legend!” There are so many great musicians and people within the Swedish metal scene, so I don’t consider myself as that. I’ve been doing this for a long time – I’ll give you that.
What are the plans for Pain (and for you) for the rest of -05?
More touring, more recording, new Hypocrisy album, more touring etc etc!
Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of metal-rules.com?
Have a great year – thanks for the support! It means everything to me.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Thanks to you Anders.
More info on the band: www.pain.cd