Lord K – mastermind/guitarist etc.
The Project Hate MCMXCIX
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
First Promo picture is taken by: Peter Herneheim & Ruby Rogue
Thanks to Henrik at Sound Pollution for providing the second promo pictures courtesy of Season of Mist
The evil genius behind The Project Hate MCMXCIX Lord K is now back to attack with the album BLEEDING THE NEW APOCALYPSE CUM VICTRICIIS IN MANIBUS ARMIS that came at the end of last year. Lord K had a lot to say about the new album as well as the new line-up the band now has. The subject of Dan Swano also came up as well as the The TPH Donation Experiment and what Lord K thinks of the current situation in the music industry and labels. The mastermind has begun the work on the next TPH album and you can follow the work on the TPH website.
Hi Lord K, are you ready for another long interview with me and metal-rules.com? We sure have looking forward to speak to one of the greatest minds within the extreme metal community…
Yeah, I’m ready for another essay. You guys always come up with good questions and put in some effort into the interviews, so it’s a pleasure to be featured at your site once again. Bring it on. I’ll make your site shine once again.
The new album from The Project Hate is called BLEEDING THE NEW APOCALYPSE (CUM VICTRICIIS IN MANIBUS ARMIS) and was released early last year how long took it to write and record the album?
I can’t really remember how long it took to write everything, but I work on and off with the material for the next album from the moment the current album is recorded and completed. I always write, I always have ideas for what I wanna do with TPH. And if it’s not TPH one week, then I do music for Torture Division. Everything about me is involving music in one way or the other. I know I spent a shitload of time working with the material that ended up on "BTNA", but compared to what I am doing now with the coming masterpiece – "BTNA" was a walk in the park to compose, ha ha… I have brought this shit to another level this time around. Again. I don’t even know how the fuck I manage to do this.
Have you written all of the music and lyrics also this time?
Nowadays when I am the only guitarist I do all the music myself, yes. When we have had other guitarists in the band we have written some stuff together (riffs, that is… the orchestras, putting it all together and whatnot is my forte, always was), but it’s always me arranging and fixing it all in the end, so you have some complete tunes to listen to when it’s time to record. I usually do all of the lyrics for Jörgen (a few exceptions in the past have occurred) and work together with our female vocalissa for her parts, making them all work together and build the puzzle I have in mind.
How was it to write lyrics with Roque? Is it hard to incorporate someone else in the writing process with thought of she is new in the band?
Very easy. She writes her stuff based on mine and if needed I will tell her to change a word or two. She’s doing great and really understands the dark atmosphere I am after. She’s been nothing but a true pro since day one. I love that kid, she’s amazing. Just wait until you get to hear what she’ll do on this coming album… She’ll have to work her ass off, that’s for sure.
What comes first when you write, the music or the lyrics? What are the lyrics about this time?
I always write music first. Always. When it comes to lyrics, it’s the same as it’s always been – a manual for ending religion in general and Christianity in particular. There’s no end in sight when it comes to inspiration for this. I chose this path a long time ago and I am sticking to it like a whore to cock, crack and money.
You’re a fan of having really long titles on your albums, why?
There’s always a deeper meaning with our titles, both song titles and actual album titles. They need to ring true with me, they need to have a message. Sometimes they are long (most of the times, perhaps), and sometimes they are shorter. It depends on what I have to say at the time of completing the lyrics. It’s no rule or whatever to have long titles. It just happens if that’s what I think is needed for the song or album in question.
Does the title BLEEDING THE NEW APOCALYPSE (CUM VICTRICIIS IN MANIBUS ARMIS) have any special meaning to you or to the band?
As I said above, there’s always a deeper meaning with the titles. It’s not just words. They mean a lot to me. "Bleeding the new apocalypse" explains a lot if you know what the Latin subtitle means. No, I’m not telling you. To me it’s crystal clear. And that’s all that counts. Too many bands have no message. In the process they end up with no identity. And if you have no identity you might as well be dead. And being dead obviously fucking sucks since it’s kind of hard to create music in that state, I reckon.
Does the rest of the band have any saying when it comes to the material or are you the boss?
TPH is my ego trip. My chance to work with the best fucking musicians I know. I am truly blessed to be able to have these people with me, doing exactly what I have in mind to satisfy my vision of perfect music. So it’s safe to say I run this thing, yes.
The last TPH album came back in 2009 why has it taken you so long to follow up that album?
Long?! 2 years? Man, I should slap you for that one. You have no idea how much time goes into writing for TPH obviously, ha ha… TPH is nothing you can rush. But to say 2 years is a long time when it comes to music such as TPH’s is fucking retarded. I spend more time on one song than most bands do on their entire albums.
What’s the biggest differences between the previous album and the new one when it comes to music and lyrics?
From album to album we have always stepped up composing wise. It’s just more of everything, every single time. It’s getting more and more perfect with every release. Our performances tops our previous ones and the material is even more astonishing than it ever was before. I am insanely picky when it comes to TPH. I don’t think anyone will ever fucking understand what it takes to compose for a band like this.
Who has done the amazing cover art-work to the new album and are you happy with it?
Since album number 3 it’s always been the amazing Marko Saarelainen (www.markosaarelainen.net) who’s responsible for the incredible cover. It’s a fucking joke this guy isn’t making a living off his artwork and stuff, because he’s truly phenomenal. Apart from me, there’s no one in this world who understands TPH’s vision as well as he does. I absolutely fucking love all the covers he’s done for us. He’s a fucking genius and we’d be half the band without him. Marko is one of the very few people who’s got my full respect.
A lot of well known people makes guest appearances on the new disc like Mike Wead and Christian Älvestam as well as the iconic Leif Edling the Candlemass boss, how did they end up on the disc?
Real simple – I asked them. I always want excellent people involved with what I do, people who can contribute something special. All of the guys who’ve ever been on a recording of ours have been included because they are absolutely ace. I can never thank them enough for giving a shit, helping out completing my vision.
Before the release you put out the song “Summoning Majestic War” available for free download at Seasons Of Mist what response have you had on the song from fans? Were there many that downloaded it?
There were thousands and thousands of downloads, yes. Not that it reflected the sales, as is standard these days. I don’t think people really knew what to expect with the change of vocalissa and all, and I think people got blown away, taken aback about the superiority of that song and the execution of it. If you thought you’d get soothing female vocals like in the past – I guess you were shocked. But this is exactly what I needed to come closer to perfecting our formula. The inclusion of Ruby was crucial to enhance our sound. I hope this is the final line-up, because all of these guys truly are phenomenons. If you don’t like what we are doing now – there are several amazing albums in our discography that you can listen to. Go listen to them.
The album includes 6 songs and have a total playtime on 66 minutes, in other words the fans are getting a lot of music for their money. Was it intentional of you to write so long songs?
I always did. When it comes to TPH we are working more with symphonies instead of regular songs. They are not 3 minute tunes for a reason. I want this music to be an experience. Absolutely everything in TPH is intentional. Every. Single. Thing.
Have you read any reviews in media about the album? Do you care about what critics have to say about your work?
If people seriously don’t understand the domination that is TPH, what can I do about it? You can’t use us as background music. To understand what we do you really have to pay attention to everything. There are so many layers, so many facets… I guarantee you that you will always notice new things in our music, things you didn’t catch the first 100 times you heard it. That’s the beauty of it all. I don’t make music for regular people. If you have an ear for qualitative musical endeavors – you will understand TPH and praise it. If you don’t – well, I couldn’t give much of a shit. The music is written for me. Not for you. I don’t care if you are media or not. I am the one I need to satisfy. If anyone else understands it – good for them. They finally got something more than your usual shit band to listen to. Once you fully grasp TPH, you are mightily rewarded.
Are there any differences in how you’re treated by the native and the foreign press?
There’s no accounting for taste. I know what we do is absolutely phenomenal. Obviously I am not making money on this, obviously bands don’t sell records anymore. The press is now obsolete.
What does the fans think of BLEEDING THE NEW APOCALYPSE (CUM VICTRICIIS IN MANIBUS ARMIS)?
If you were ever into TPH and do not understand that "BTNA" is on another level compared to our previous albums (which are all fantastic, but still…), I don’t really know what to say. It seems like most Haters treasure it as much as they should though. But there’s always people who will claim "the older" stuff was better, bla bla bla… And maybe it was – to them. But again, this is done for myself and I can clearly see the evolution from album to album. Few bands push the limits for what they can do as much as we do with each and every release. You have to really understand what "BTNA" is before you can truly enjoy it. There’s just so much you don’t know yet…
How come Wead is doing the most guitar solos on the album and not you?
Easy – Mike Wead is one of the best fucking guitarists in this world and I can’t play solos for shit. Rhythm guitars is one thing, I can do that perfectly fine, but solos… I know my limitations, ha ha… The fact that Mike has been helping me out with this for quite a few years is just insane. I could never dream of a better lead guitarist for my music. And I can never thank him enough for taking the time to do this over and over again. If he wasn’t so fucking awesome he wouldn’t have to, but now he simply has no choice.
When I spoke to you last time you said that the album THE LUSTRATE PROCESS was the best album ever with TPH do you stick to that statement today?
If you spoke to me when "The lustrate process" was the last album we recorded – then it was definitely the best one in our discography at that exact time. Last year, "Bleeding" was released and was our best recording to date. Now, in 2012, this new album will be unleashed and is the best fucking thing we have ever done. We always worked like that. Just listen to the albums we have done – we are better and better with each and every album. We are also one of the extremely few bands who manage to pull that off instead of just claiming it to be the case.
Is it hard to come up with new and improved ideas regarding music and lyrics?
No. The inspiration for this is endless it seems. It is my life, it is what I do and what I am here for. I was destined to spread the gospel of blasphemy with my music. It’s a good thing I do it so well or we’d all be fucked.
Do you think that the band have gone through any changes music-wise on this album if you compare to the last one?
I’ll be referring to the coming album when I speak now. On this one we have really stepped up yet another notch. You’ll hear stuff on this album that you haven’t really experienced with TPH before. Considering the fact that we have no boundaries within our music it feels really great to see how we even manage to surprise ourselves with what we are creating for this coming beast. I have never played better, composed better or been more satisfied with anything I have ever written. in 2012 you will see what I am talking about. You will worship it. I’m not pulling a Morbid Angel on you though, so relax.
When I listen to the album I think the entire disc sound harder and much more darker than your previous releases, is that something you can agree with me on?
"Bleeding the new apocalypse" is one extremely dark album, just like I wanted it. I needed to get that out of me. Some stuff on there still gives me the creeps. I love it. It’s a grand testament of darkness and beauty. Is it our darkest record yet? Yes, it is. I have stated it before, but it feels like I wasn’t alone in creating it. And I’m not talking about my fellow musicians, if you know what I mean. The atmosphere on "BTNA" is fierce and very, very diabolical.
I’ve read the following statement in the info sheet that followed this disc “This epic masterpiece of razor sharp Swedish death metal with experimental and electronic elements and highly varied vocals”…does that describes the essence of the new album?
The only description that I think fits TPH is "death metal and beyond". There’s no band around that sounds like us, but us. I take a lot of pride in that. The description you mentioned is OK, I guess. The label needs to put something out there for people to lay their eyes on, you know.
I think that the new singer Ruby Rogue does an outstanding job, what do you think and what’s the difference vocal wise between Rogue and your previous singer Jonna Enckell?
The obvious difference is power. Jo never had any power, she had this awesome, soothing voice that was a perfect fit at the time for what I had in mind. For "BTNA" I felt the material needed something else. And I found Ruby, this amazing, amazing girl from Portugal who just blew me the fuck away with her vocal skills and manners. I fucking adore that chick. She’s got more balls than most guys when it comes to singing. And she proved that on "BTNA". Now you know she can do powerful stuff, on this new album you will hear her explore other areas as well, just as I planned it all along.
The new drummer Tobben Gustafsson is a rock behind the drums, how was it to work with Gustafsson in TPH?
Tobben is one of my closest friends as well as one of the best musicians I know. It’s just weird he didn’t join TPH sooner, that’s what we all think, ha ha… Unfortunately he won’t be able to play on the new album, that pleasure goes to Dirk Verbeuren this time. You can read all about this at: http://www.theprojecthate.net/news/breaking-news-from-the-hate-camp
To work with Tobben is nothing but painless and awesome. I hope he and I play together in bands for the rest of my musical life. Same goes for Jörgen and Ruby.
What has Gustafsson got that the previous drummer Ohlsson didn’t have?
I just wanted Tobben in there, simple as that. Ohlsson had to go for that to happen. Tobben is the drummer I want in TPH. Fuck, Tobben is the drummer I want for everything I do with music.
When you announced the line-up changes wasn’t Sandstrom supposed to play bass? But now is you handling the bass, why?
Jörgen was never going to play bass, you got that wrong. When Michael Håkansson mysteriously vanished I decided to do the bass myself, as I have done before. I love putting down bass so it’s a pure pleasure for me to do so.
Are you going to continue handling the bass or are you going to take in a bass player?
There will be no other bassist nor guitarist in TPH. I will handle all of that. Except for those fucking solos, I’ll let other people do those. Preferably Mike Wead.
Besides handling the bass and guitar you also take care of programming, keyboards and vocals, isn’t it hard to do everything and keep track of all the things?
Sure it is, but that’s the whole point. It’s a challenge that I fucking love. I rather do it all myself and get it exactly as I want it. My vision is my vision. Who better to complete it but me? And yes, the other guys, whom I can’t do this shit without, haha…
Is the current line-up a solid one?
I have no fucking idea and I don’t worry about it. Life’s too fucking short to go around and worry about shit you can’t do nothing about. I sure hope these guys are with me until the end, but I have no fucking idea.
How has the fans responded on the new line-up?
Some wants Jonna back. Some wants Mia back. I don’t want either of them back, so who gives a fuck?
Have you or Sandstrom have any contact with the old members today?
Sure I do. Anders and Petter (guitars) are still close friends though I don’t see them as often as I’d like. That’s what happens when people get kids and all that useless shit. If you’re wondering if I speak to Mia or Jonna – can’t say I do. Can’t say I care either. They are both lovely individuals in their own special ways, but I got other shit to take care of.
A number of studios was used to record each members parts, was it hard for you to combine all pieces into a full album?
Not really. With today’s technology it’s a fucking walk in the park to arrange shit like this. Trust me when I say I prefer the method of working today over what we had just 7-8 years ago.
Is this way to work the obvious choice for TPH? Don’t you lose some of the live feeling in the studio if you record each part separate?
Like I give a fuck about live feeling? You want live feeling, go see Slipknot. I want perfection.
Do you make demos with the music on and send out to the other members to play after or how does it work?
Of course I do. And they get all the sections as for where vocals are to be done and so forth. If I have anything specific in mind for a certain section they get instructions for those as well. Then I let those guys go fucking nuts and floor me with their performances. When it comes to J for instance.. I have no idea how the fuck he does it – but he tops himself every single fucking time he sings on a TPH album. He’s already the best fucking grunter in the world, so the fact he is even better with every release is just insane. How the fuck does he do that shit?
Do you have any plans on producing any other acts in the future?
I couldn’t produce a turd if I had to. I know nothing about that shit. Then again, producing and mixing is 2 completely different things… Not that I can get a good sound in a studio, but hey… I am just interested in playing and composing. I’ll leave the rest of the stuff to masters like Dan Swanö.
How long took it to finish the album?
I suppose we worked on it from start to finish for about a year to a year and a half or so. "BTNA", that is.
How was it to work with Dan Swano this time and how come you have chosen to work with Swano for so many years now?
Working with Dan is just perfect. He knows my musical vision so well these days so I need not give much of a fuck about that. I just tell him what to change and so forth and he fixes it. Dan is the muthafucken man. He’s helped me so much over the years, I can never thank him enough. Same goes for Johan Berglund. Those guys have made The Dungeon’s recording equipment what it is – my place for perfection and dominance.
Are you going continue to work with him in the future?
If Dan lets me – absolutely. If not, I’ll have to fucking murder him. He’s like a fucking secret member of TPH anyways. I fucking love Dan and I treasure his friendship and knowledge about music and producing/engineering so much.
I know that you have left Vic records, why?
Man, we left Vic Records a few years ago and released an album through Season Of Mist after that. And now we have no label whatsoever since you simply do not sell enough albums at this level anymore. Read all about The TPH Donation Experiment over at www.theprojecthate.net.
And how come you signed on for Seasons Of Mist?
As said, we’re not signed by them anymore. But we released an album on their label since they were willing to take a chance in these times of illegal downloading. It didn’t work out. It’s a shame because that label is a really strong one and the deserve to sell albums, especially TPH’s.
What’s the difference between working with Vic records and SOM?
SOM is a bigger label with more people involved and more paper work. If they had the passion that Vic does, they’d be even better. Both labels are awesome at what they do and I wish them all the luck in the world. They sure as fuck will need it.
The album is released in Europe and North America but has it been released in Asia or South America yet?
As always, I haven’t seen the fucking albums anywhere. I have given up on this issue long ago. Again – I refer to The TPH Donation Experiment. Google it. Welcome the future. Fear it.
Is it possible to download the disc?
No. Our albums are the only ones who are actually not available to download. The music is too awesome to be downloaded so you can’t convert t into 0′s and 1′s and put it on the net.
What do you feel when you think back of the history that TPH has got with various record labels?
They obviously do not know what to do with us. They got this amazing fucking band on board and still don’t understand how to work it. It’s frustrating, and it’s nice to not be a part of that industry anymore. Record labels are becoming obsolete by the second. Thanks, Internet.
If you read on the website you got it gives the impression that you have ended the deal with SOM is that right?
I get a feeling of that you don’t like working with record labels is that correct?
I don’t like working with labels that do not do their job and at least try to get the album some recognition. Nothing sells itself. I do my part, they should do theirs.
Do you have any plans on re-releasing the old albums by TPH?
When I can throw a piano 200 yards straight up into the sky – absolutely. It might take a while, so you know.
You have started the TPH Donation Experiment was is that and why have you chosen to form that?
All the information you need about this can be found here : http://www.theprojecthate.net/news/pay-attention-haters-now-is-the-time
How much money have you gathered so far and is the experiment going to end when you have raised enough money?
And that can be read here: http://www.theprojecthate.net/news/we-fucken-did-it-people
Are you going to print the album or “only” release it as MP3 or download?
I advise you to use the same links as above.
If I’d like to donate money how do I do?
You PayPal it to email@example.com. If you want the new album, that’s what you need to do.
What do you think of the music industry today if you compare how it was 10-15 years ago?
The industry is dead. I could go on for hours and hours about this whole "downloading kills the industry thing", but everyone already knows that’s the fact. People today obviously thinks music should be free on the Internet. "Sharing is caring". Sure it is, but stealing is not caring. Stealing is killing us. We sell one fifth today compared to 10 years ago, and that speaks volumes about how it works today. It’s sad. It’s sad for the labels and it’s sad for the bands. And ultimately it’ll be fucking sad for everyone else.
Are you happy with what you and TPH have achieved so far? What are the future plans for TPH?
I am extremely satisfied with what we have accomplished. Not too many bands succeed in creating something unique. We have done just that, and there’s no denying it. My future plans are as always – create music. Preferably with TPH since this music is the most excellent music I have ever heard. And I like my music to be excellent.
Does the fuss with record labels takes away the joy of making music you think?
If that was the case I would have quit this music thing years and years ago. It affects me exactly zero shits.
TPH is quite unique when it comes to make this kind of music, how does it feel to be a part of creating something groundbreaking?
It sure feels better than to be your daily run of the mill shit band, that much is certain.
The band has a very vital website as well as MySpace and Facebook pages, who runs the sites?
When it comes to Facebook – I have no idea. Someone was smart enough to make Facebook work with our official site, so what I update at the site automatically ends up on Facebook. That is fantastic since I wouldn’t go near Facebook if you paid me. I fucking hate that service. Same goes for MySpace which absolutely sucks on all accounts. Even more so now when it tries to be Facebook Mini. Those mediums only exist for promotional purposes when it comes to TPH. The official site is another beast though. That one I run with pride. Thanks to Marko Saarelainen who’s managing it, making it look beautiful.
It is possible to write and ask you questions via your website do you enjoy interact with the fans worldwide?
If you have anything you wanna ask us/me – head over to our forums. I take huge pride in giving a shit about Haters who wants to communicate and try to do that as often as possible. I think few people believe this is as important as I do.
What does your fans think about the fact that TPH doesn’t like to play live?
I guess all 5 of them think it sucks. And I seriously don’t give a shit. We played live some 9 years ago. We blew and gave up on that idea. TPH is not meant to be performed on a stage.
Do you think it’s harder for TPH to get attention due to the fact that you doesn’t play much live?
In the sense that you cannot download our gigs – yes. We should be getting tons of attention for the absolutely incredible music we play, nothing else.
I know that you recently moved to a new house do you have plans on expanding your studio The Dungeon now?
I already did. But I will not expand it to the point where I can record actual bands or anything. I want The Dungeon to be perfect for TPH and Torture Division. And it is. I have no grand plans on becoming a producer or anything. I don’t want people here.
You have got a really great blog that I have read for a long time now but you recently shut it down, why? I miss it..
That blog was amazing, yes. The reason I put it out of its misery was because I don’t give a fuck about it anymore. When it takes a month in between updates, you know it’s time to kill it. It was fun for a year or two, but instead of letting be updated with shitty posts I decided to pull the plug. I just became bored with it. And I fucking hate uninspired things, so it had to go.
Have you begin to write material to the next TPH album yet? If so what are the plans for the next album? According to the website you’re going to record the album during this year, when can we expect a new opus from TPH?
I’m right in the middle of creating this absolute masterpiece. And yes, it should be finished in 2012. If you wanna hear it, you better donate because that’s the only way you’ll be getting it from us. You can’t even begin to understand what we are doing this time around… Just wait.
Could you give the readers three great reasons why they should buy BLEEDING THE NEW APOCALYPSE (CUM VICTRICIIS IN MANIBUS ARMIS)?
No, I’ll give you one: because it’s some of the finest music ever recorded.
What are the plans for you and for TPH during 2012?
To create the finest album of our career, which is what I am doing right now. After that I will create the best album of our career. Again.
Well, that was all for me and metal-rules.com for now, besides for world domination do you have any final words of wisdom to share with the fans and readers?
Thanks again for yet another excellent interview and sorry for taking some time with it, but hey – you sent over a fucking essay, you know. I want you to know that I truly appreciate the support you have been giving us through t the years. But if you ever say (again) that we are taking a long time in between albums I will murder your ass.
Support great music. Support TPH. Fuck the world.