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Peter Dolving Interview

by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs

At the start of 2012 Peter Dolving left The Haunted for a second time, now near the end of that same year he is preparing to release his new solo album Thieves And Liars. In fact the split seems to have opened up a whole new creative well for Peter, and one where we’re keen to see what each bucket drawn will yield. Touching on The Haunted, but focusing on his creative process and the new material, one thing you can be sure of in Peter’s chat with is his unflinching honesty…

Obviously the elephant in the room that everyone is still talking about is your departure from The Haunted – did you expect it to stir up such interest?

Peter Dolving (PD)
– I didn’t really know there was much of a stir up. Is there? Not anymore, right? I mean news in 2012 dies in matter of seconds don’t it?

Having left the band in the past before though, did you know in your own mind that your return was always going to be a short-term thing?

PD – I wouldn’t describe ten years as a short-term thing.

It’s only recently that you’ve spoken out about your reasons for leaving The Haunted – why did you take that time? Do you still stand by what you said?

PD – It was eating me, and what was eating me wasn’t mine to begin with, but actions and attitudes of others. So fuck it, dust off my sleeve.


Looking at the present then, later this year you are to release your solo album Thieves And Liars – can you briefly talk us through that process?

PDThieves and Liars has been a joy and a nightmare. But a good kind of nightmare for some reason. Thing is it’s a very very primitively created album. I am not some studio-wiz-kid, I’m a dude with a head full of ideas and continuous creative flow. What you are listening to is a guy with a bunch of cool ideas, an extremely rudimentary audio-editing tool on his computer, a preamp, a couple of stompboxes and a borrowed bass and guitar. Really. That’s how basic this is. It sounds incredible.

But the outcome of the record is very much thanks to Per Möller Jensen’s inventive drumming and Fredrik really understanding the soundscape of the songs. We are both total fanatics when it comes to rock-music. It’s ridiculous really, but it’s ours, music has been the stuff that made anything possible, and anything endurable, for the both of us. I am aware that we’re not alone. Sure, some will turn to drugs or whatever else when life is harsh in different ways, but us as kids and young adults it was always the music. It’s been our little world outside the world. A place to make the ungraspable seem completely understandable. Because music does that, it’s this near magical space where the mind moves freely and visions of past, present and future melds, where dreams come to life, hope is born or rekindled and that damn near spiritual surge that none of us really knows what it is can lunge. Well obviously, you get it; Making music means life to me and so it was mostly a really cool experience to finally have the skill to put my thoughts and ideas to life.  

Was there any particular theme behind the writing of the album?

PD – I think suicide thoughts, and free will is central to the album, and I believe the record is almost like a statement in itself. I won’t be doing this any other way than mine anymore. And quite frankly, I think that is for the best. Whether people like or understand is not important anymore. I know the work is good and that’s enough for me. I’d say one person in every thousand have the brains and balls to elevate themselves from a baboon or a 12-year old’s level of thinking or understanding anyway. So whether folks understand or agree really misses the point. I don’t have the time, energy or interest to be holding hands and speaking slowly or describing every single detail as if I was speaking to child. Really.

Musically Thieves And Liars makes it clear that this is not The Haunted – was this a style you’d always wanted to explore?

– Honestly, this album and the three I’ve finished in parallel have grown completely spontaneously. Style or genre is idiotic if it’s used for anything else than a mere exercise in discipline. Music is music, life is life, fashion does not apply. It’s bullshit, fun and all, but still; Bullshit.


The album artwork for Thieves And Liars is very striking, and I have to say brighter than people may be used to from you, what was the thinking behind it?

– I wanted to make a bright album cover, what can I say? Something that signals life, contrast, strength and something vivid. I am a great fan of Peter Saville’s artwork and decided to do something similar to his style of work.

This isn’t the only the project you’ve been working on if I’m correct, with the House Of Dolving being another – how are these other threads going?

– House of Dolving is just a tag-line, like “The Desert Sessions”. The different projects I am involved in are my own solo-project. The there is Rosvo, which is hardcore-punk-rock of some sort, <O> that I’m doing with Scott Reeder, Peter Asp and Fredrik Reinedahl is heavy rock with all kinds of influences, and Science. Science is pretty ambitious in form. It’s groovy 70s inspired rock, it will have you thinking in terms of David Bowie, NIN, Led Zeppelin and Peter Gabriel all at once. I’ve been a busy boy.

Do you feel you have much more creative freedom and space now to explore and develop?

PD – Well, yes. For many reasons, not just leaving that band.

Would there ever be an opportunity for you to revisit other works you have done in the past like Mary Beats Jane? I know you’ve said no in the past but was such an awesome band!

PD – We are rehearsing a couple of songs from I think almost every band I’ve worked with and written for over the years and it’s melding together surprisingly well. I am really happy to say I am seeing a clear line throughout which makes it really easy to do. But people should be prepared that what I’m preparing is not a metal-show. The songs are too much fun to ruin with staccato guitars and sheer abrasiveness. This will be an all out rock performance, so anyone who enjoys Radiohead, Tool, or Queens Of The Stoneage will certainly enjoy this more than someone who comes expecting clenched fist Exodus-riffing.

There’s obviously plenty I could pick out in your music and lyrics but one thing that has always rung true is the honesty in what you say – yet it seems this same honesty is what divides some people in their thinking of you?

PD – I’m hoping that honesty will keep the idiots away.


Are you feeling fairly positive towards the future at the moment? What is the philosophy you stand by at the moment?

PD – I intend to enjoy my life. With as little compromise as necessary. In all honesty, I don’t expect much from people. I used to. My philosophy? Does anyone care? I am a humanist libertarian socialist adapting with great care to a capitalist world. Anything else is moronic, verging on psychopathic. If you doubt me, wait ten more years and get back to me… “  

With today’s wider public information, and consumer-driven ideas like PledgeMusic do you think that fans are wising up and in turn leaving less room for fakery and bullshit in the music industry, the thieves and liars if you will?

PD – I think “fans” in general are monkeys. If they somehow manage to stop throwing poo in the cage and start doing positive, creative, intelligent things I am all for it. But after having watched the “fans” for 20 years, as they do their thing, I don’t get my hopes up. The old music-business is dead, a new one is rising, what it will be? We are building it, and since none of us have a map, it could and will be all kinds of weird. Good and bad.