Interview: Peter Tägtgren

Nico has the honours of interviewing PAIN’s mainman, Peter Tägtgren, about the upcoming We Come In Peace DVD, the band’s music, aliens and a possible headline UK tour.

Nico: Hi Peter, how you doing?

Peter: Good, good, thanks. Yourself?

N:  Good, thanks. So, PAIN has a new DVD coming out soon called We Come In Peace, which begs the question and one I have to ask, who is coming peace. Is it PAIN or the aliens?

P: Definitely PAIN. It’s more to be ironic when it comes to us, wherever we play, things break.

N: Since it’s the bands second DVD, what can we expect with it?

P: I wouldn’t call it the second one, I’d actually call it the first one because the other one [Live Is Overrated] was not really a good DVD at all. It [We Come In Peace] doesn’t just represent PAIN as a band from the last five years but as a different band as well, which is important to me, so people can see we’re a different band nowadays, so the way we build up the stage, the way we play and all that shit. You know, you can’t really compare it to the past. So, it’s good to show people that this is what it’s all about nowadays.

N: Regarding the band’s name “PAIN”, were you trying to paint an image or portray a certain concept with the name?

P: No, not really. From the beginning, it was just me sitting with a computer, a guitar, a drum machine and shit like that. I really didn’t know what I was doing at all, to be honest, because I was used to producing black metal and death metal and thrash metal but I really liked electronic stuff as well, so as a producer it was really a way to broaden my experience with producing different stuff and not just metal. The name was just like ‘okay, let’s come up with something that’s simple and short and easy to remember’ and PAIN hit me and I was like ‘that’s pretty simple’ and it’s not a name that you can easily forget and it can have many different meanings – It can be good pain, bad pain, it all depends what kind of pain it is.

N: Aside from PAIN, and Hypocrisy as well, what other projects are you involved with?

P: It’s only those two nowadays. I really don’t have much time for anything else, except my producing. Like right now, I’m working on the new Amorphis album, producing them. But other than that, I try not get involved in anything. I guess I will do guest vocals here and there, if someone asks me and if I have time but other than that, I don’t have any plans right now or really feel that I have time to do an album with someone, like I did with Bloodbath or something.

N: As you’re the main songwriter for PAIN, where do you draw influence and inspiration from? Both lyrically and musically?

P: I don’t know. I mean the lyrics are just basic life, and you twist it around a little bit, and make it ironic there as well and put a little humour in the whole shit as well. But also, there is some serious shit as well. And music wise? I don’t know, I just like to mix everything, anything from AC/DC straight beats to a lot of keyboard influenced melodies. It’s just putting all kinds of shit together and it becomes whatever it becomes.

N: Speaking of writing, You Only Live Twice was only released last year, so my question is, are you writing any new material at the moment?

P: No, no, nothing at all. I’ve been so busy touring and producing bands and shit that I really didn’t have any time and I’m also writing for the new Hypocrisy album, so I’m letting it grow in my gut and then I’ll just get it out.

N: Speaking of touring, you’re coming over next month, to the UK with PAIN, as support for Nightwish. Are you looking forward to that?

P: Yeah, that’s gonna be fun again! It will be like reunion, you know, so that’s really great. We had a good time the last two times we toured together, so I’m sure it will be fun this time as well. We’re also working on getting us a headline tour for the UK in February. With us all working together so well, we gotta stand on our own feet now. We’ve toured the UK three times already, so we wanna come back to the UK and establish ourselves as well.

N: Going back to what we were discussing earlier, when you first started PAIN, what inspired you to fuse electro and techno music with metal?

P: I don’t know. It was just mainly to start working on computers and stuff. So this was like the mid-nineties and the computer world was starting to come to the studios and stuff like that, you know, I felt like I was a little bit behind so I just really wanted a band where I could get the knowledge and learn shit about it and there was nothing really around, so I just had to create my own band to do this, I guess.

N: If you could replace the soundtrack to any movie with your own music, which one would it be and why?

P: Fuck. That’s a good one! I have no fucking clue. Right now, I have no clue to be honest. That’s a really hard question! Nope, nothing that hits me.

N: Alright then. What would you say has been the highlight of your career?

P: I don’t know. I think the highlight is still to come! But it’s been good, some funny years with both Hypocrisy and PAIN. Yeah, sometimes you do an album that not everyone is happy about but there’s always the next one. For me, I always try write what I feel like, you win some, you lose some but you know, mainly stay true to yourself, I think that’s the most important thing. With Hypocrisy and PAIN, it slowly goes up, it never goes down.  I mean, if you look at other death metal bands that started out in the nineties, where are they now? Hypocrisy is still going strong and pretty much stronger than before. I think the most important thing is to listen to your own heart, and of course, listen to your fans.

N: What would you say is the song that defines PAIN as a whole?

P: Which song? I don’t know. I would say Great Pretender or Same Old Song. It’s hard, you know, it’s basic old straight rock with a lot of industrial elements in it and a lot of catchy melodies and keyboards, I guess.

N: You’ve got years of experience as a musician, both with PAIN and Hypocrisy, is there any advice or wisdom you’d like to share with any of the young bands out there?

P: I would just say follow your heart and just keep on going. That’s what I did. You will get rejected a lot of the time, but if you give up, then you will never know if it could happen. I never gave up, so I guess that’s my strongest card. And really believe in yourself!

N: Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers before we finish up?

P: Yeah, I hope to see everybody in the UK! We’re looking forward to that like hell! Also, I’m hoping to get this headline tour in February going on in the UK as well.

N: I hope the tour goes ahead as well. Thanks for your time Peter, have a nice night.

P: Thank you, man. Hopefully, we’ll see you as well in the UK.

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