Ten Years and Still Humble
CoC chats with Peter Tagtgren of Hypocrisy/Pain
by: Paul Schwarz
When Hypocrisy began as a death metal band fronted by the demonically deep-voiced Masse Broberg (currently better known under the name "Emperor Magus Caligula" for his work with Dark Funeral) they were just one among many new hopefuls of the second wave of Swedish death metal. Hypocrisy's major difference from most was an odd one: instead of sounding Swedish, here was a Swedish death metal band whose direct intention was, contrastingly, to sound American. Thankfully, Hypocrisy managed to dodge the obvious stumbling block of such an approach: sounding too derivative. Even their _Penetralia_ debut had flecks of a personal stamp clinging to it, while their 1993 follow-up, _Osculum Obscenum_, showcased a sound so demonically brutal in its intent that it set it apart even from the likes of Suffocation -- Hypocrisy weren't -better-, but they were different, obscure. However, following their rather lacklustre -- but nonetheless rather popular, especially in Germany -- third album, _The Fourth Dimension_, Hypocrisy moved into a new "bracket": their attitude never changed, according to Peter Tagtgren -- and the evidence seems on his side -- but their prospects did. By the time 1996's _Abducted_ [CoC #7] had been released, Peter had his Abyss studio up and running -- using it to record Hypocrisy's fourth album. The sterling sound of _Abducted_ only added to Tagtgren's already growing reputation as a producer, while the sheer quality of the material established Hypocrisy not only as a band capable of transcending the underground realms from which they had come, but potentially of coming to dominate them. I never quite saw Hypocrisy as being -- or as -likely- to become -- a -dominating- force in the underground myself, but their "special" status for many -- the vast majority not in Britain, but on the continent -- cannot be ignored by appealing to personal aesthetic judgements. Hypocrisy's next album, _The Final Chapter_ [CoC #26], benefited much from the elevated status _Abducted_ had bestowed upon the band. It was rightfully critically acclaimed, and it seemed for a while like Hypocrisy might really crack the "next level" -- equal the sales, popularity and press attention paid to the likes of Fear Factory or Machine Head, for example. But it was not to be. The band split; the album's title -had- been symbolic. Though Hypocrisy had dissolved, Peter Tagtgren's ascendancy in the metal scene was not to be slowed. He went on to produce many of the finest and most successful bands in Scandinavian metal -- including Dawn and Immortal -- in the year and a bit before Hypocrisy got back together and recorded their sixth, self-titled album [CoC #40 & #41]. Some were sceptical of the motives; others were simply blown away by the results. Whatever your opinion though, you had to admit one thing: Hypocrisy were back. But still the breakthrough didn't come -- or at least, it didn't come for -Hypocrisy-. Interestingly, Peter Tagtgren's Pain "project" -- after delivering a crudely composed, Fear Factory-esque self-titled debut in 1996 -- -did- make the popular charts ahead of Nine Inch Nails (in Sweden, at least) with the release of their second album, _Rebirth_ [CoC #48]. But nonetheless Tagtgren remained committed to Hypocrisy -- who released their seventh album, the back-to-the-roots-ish _Into the Abyss_ [CoC #48] that same year. Last year the band was silent -- though Tagtgren produced what he considers to be some of the finest albums of his career with bands such as Immortal [CoC #58], Dark Funeral and Wolf. However, this year Hypocrisy are making their bid for the big leagues... by releasing a record which is cathartic, angry and, lyrically, a backlash against the persona which has been made of Tagtgren, for the most part. _Catch 22_ is a mixed return to a number of the bands previous stages of development, and a substantial attempt to step into the future. With the album still to be released, I chatted with Peter Tagtgren about its content, Hypocrisy's hopes for the future, their previous seven albums and Peter's own producing work at Abyss, among other things, in January of this year.

CoC: I read an interview where you commented that what had happened to you over the last year really contributed to what came together in _Catch 22_. In your own words, what major events or things caused that?

Peter Tagtgren: Yeah, it's been fucking two years of hectic things and like... painting myself into a corner, y'know? Without even realising it. And that's my own fault.

CoC: You mean in terms of the Abyss studio?

PT: That also: I do love everything I've done in the studio. There's nothing I regret and I've been very fortunate to have done all these great bands. So it's not that, it's just like... This year I'm definitely gonna be equal -- and really put all the cards on myself. And actually, this summer, I'm going to be outside! <he chuckles>. Isn't -that- unbelievable? I'm going to be able to see a summer! <said with an undertone of sarcasm>

CoC: So you think partially it was just overwork?

PT: Yeah, for sure.

CoC: Nervous exhaustion and things like that?

PT: Yeah, no shit!

CoC: OK. The other thing I got from the lyrics: you've been doing Abyss studio since around '95 with the first Dark Funeral EP?

PT: Yeah.

CoC: Since then it's become this huge studio that a lot of top black metal bands and other bands have gone to. And the impression that the lyrics to "Don't Judge Me" and "Destroyed" give me is that you're kind of irritated with the public persona that's been made out of you?

PT: Yeah.

CoC: I think that's partially through your producing and partially possibly through the very quick success of Pain on the second album.

PT: Yeahnotreally: Pain has not so much to do with it. I think it's just the business around the shit, y'know?

CoC: Right.

PT: Around the producing, and the trademark, and the selling point of my name and stuff like that. And it's nothing, really, that I wanted: I'm still as underground-thinking as I've always been, y'know?

CoC: Yeah, exactly, that was what I was thinking. I was thinking how Abyss became almost like a trend that people would then go like: oh no, that's -fashionable-...

PT: And then you start getting pressure that you have to do... like... really amazing stuff, y'know?

CoC: Yeah, exactly.

PT: And then you're going: how the hell am I supposed to do that? How can you bake 2000 different cakes with the same ingredients? And it becomes really frustrating, 'cause when I do things I really wanna do 'em 100% -- and I do! But, y'know, sometimes it's like impossible.

CoC: I've always got the impression that you've kept a very underground spirit in yourself in the sense of not just doing stuff because you do it...

PT: Yeah.

CoC: But because you like to do it...

PT: Yeah.

CoC: And 'cause you wanna do it, not because it's money or it's trend or whatever. So I can see where lyrics like, "So sick of tired of people telling me, who I am and what to be" come from. Would you say that _Catch 22_ is part of this as well because one of the things that seems to have happened in certain people's eyes is that because Hypocrisy broke up [soon after 1997's _The Final Chapter_ -- Paul] near the time that Abyss really, really took off, people have marginalised Hypocrisy because of your producing work? Hypocrisy is like, "The band that Peter Tagtgren (who's really a producer) does", to some people.

PT: <dispiritedly> Yeah.

CoC: Did that come into your thinking at all when you wrote a lot of the lyrics to _Catch 22_?

PT: Yeah, I mean, it's very hard to explain but it's like I just... for once I opened my heart and started writing lyrics about what I was thinking. It's kind of, "What the hell did I do? Why did I do it?" And I was only doing it for the pleasure, y'know. And also I was caught up in this business that I -didn't- wanna be involved with -- OK, it's nice to have money and shit, but it's not only that. It should be pure pleasure or else everything is gone.

CoC: I see what you mean; with the album, it sounds a lot more, sort of, -true-, in one sense, or -spiritual- than other Hypocrisy albums of late.

PT: Yeah...

CoC: I think that's partially to do with your whole thing of writing straight.

PT: Yeah.

CoC: When you were first writing Hypocrisy it was very much Satanic. It had a very Satanic bent. I think based around your love at the time for American death metal.

PT: Yeah. Right.

CoC: The _Abducted_ stuff is a lot of alien landing stuff; personally, I didn't really get into those lyrics. This album I really like because you really feel like you're saying something and it's kind of pumping up the music.

PT: Yeah, and it's a serious album. It's what's going on in my life and plus the attitude in the riffs of the songs and the production makes it really real.

CoC: Totally. I mean, I haven't heard the band sound this -hungry- since _Abducted_, or possibly the first album...

PT: Yeah.

CoC: I mean, I went back and listened to every album after I started enjoying this one...

PT: Oh really?! That's cool.

CoC: Except for _The Fourth Dimension_ which I never really got into.

PT: Yeah.

CoC: It's really hungry.

PT: It is.

CoC: Just the way "Don't Judge Me' starts out: it's pounding!

PT: Yeah, it's like a fist in the face. I mean, like I said, the whole attitude in the album is really like, "Get this serious", y'know?

CoC: Yeah, totally. It's very furious and very angry at a lot of times, but it also sounds kind of -- not relaxed, but it sounds very -comfortable-. You sound like you guys have finally kind of...

PT: Maybe we're finding our style, I dunno...

CoC: Maybe. I think it's definitely one of the first really mature-sounding Hypocrisy albums. I mean, for me personally _Hypocrisy_ [CoC #41] and what I heard of _Into the Abyss_ [CoC #48] -- which I've got to admit wasn't that much -- sounded a little forced. I find this one really -vibrant-, in comparison, and I really, really like that.

PT: That's cool man.

CoC: I think that's really good. But you have managed to incorporate all the different elements; you haven't done a "back to the roots" album -- which would have been a bit lame: if you'd just started playing like _Penetralia_.

PT: Yeah. No, I mean, that's not really what it's all about anymore.

CoC: Exactly.

PT: And not because it wouldn't sell or whatever -- maybe it would. I don't know, but it's just like, we always have to go forward, and it's very important for us to develop, and adapt.

CoC: How did you find the songwriting went this time? Did you find that you thought a lot about it or did you find you just wrote it from your head and it just came out?

PT: Yeah, actually it just came out. The only thing I wanted was to have more -chugging- on the guitar. I wanted to make it more chugging, and the production I wanted to do something that I'd never done with any band before.

CoC: What's that?

PT: A more American style of production: more dry and in your face, y'know? And yeah, it felt natural to do that and it fitted very good to the riffs. And then I just went totally 180 degrees on the choruses, made them very catchy.

CoC: Exactly: "Don't Judge Me" starts off with this huge pounding...

PT: <gleefully> Yeah...

CoC: But the chorus is very kind of... for want of a better word, it's quite classically Swedish.

PT: Yeah, yeah.

CoC: You can really sing along to it but it's still heavy...

PT: Yeah.

CoC: ...in that really basic, nice way.

PT: Exactly.

CoC: It's definitely a very well-rounded album in that sense. Why did you decide to call it _Catch 22_? Was that a reflection of the situation you were in?

PT: Yeah, exactly. You know the saying, right?

CoC: "Catch 22" from the book by Joseph Heller?

PT: Nonono, the English saying for...

CoC: A "Catch 22" situation?

PT: Yeah.

CoC: You know where it's from?

PT: No, not really.

CoC: It's from the book, "Catch 22", by Joseph Heller.

PT: Oh, really?

CoC: Joseph Heller wrote this book called "Catch 22". It's set in wartime and a specific situation involving the supply of airplane pilots is coined as being "Catch 22".

PT: We called this album _Catch 22_ because every time we were sitting and talking to people about how this Hypocrisy album has a very good opportunity to become a very successful album -- if we work it and promote it, because we never do -- they'd go, "Well if you close down your studio because you wanna go on tour with Hypocrisy and make it successful then you're not going to be able to afford eating", y'know? But if we don't go out on tour and make it successful, how the hell can we ever become successful? So it's a "Catch 22".

CoC: It's a "Catch 22" situation, indeed.

[I agreed at the time, but on reflection I don't believe Hypocrisy's predicament is a true "Catch 22"; I don't believe its conditions match those of the defining "Catch 22" described in Heller's book -- Paul]

PT: It's like eating your cookie and still having it.

CoC: You can't eat your cake and have it.

PT: Yeah, exactly.

CoC: Indeed. It's an interesting one. It's one of those difficult things. You've had a very strange sort of career in the sense that a lot of Swedish musicians have sort of started off very big -- like Entombed and that sort of thing -- and a lot of the second-tier bands disappeared, they kind of faded away. And Hypocrisy were really growing -up-...

PT: Yeah, yeah.

CoC: Getting there.

PT: Yeah, yeah.

CoC: With _Abducted_, for example. And then Abyss took off -- and suddenly Hypocrisy kind of became a bit marginalised in a strange way -- because Hypocrisy are still really popular.

PT: Yeah, I mean actually, if you look at sales and stuff like that, I think the last album -- if it wasn't the most successful it was very close. So it's just kept on going, all the time from the beginning -- which is good, and we have a good platform to stand on without being a newcomer and just all suddenly blow up and lose our heads and shit, y'know?

CoC: Absolutely, but did you ever feel that with Hypocrisy you weren't really challenged, because one of the things I've found, in the underground at least, is that people just expect the new Hypocrisy album to be good.

PT: Yeah.

CoC: I mean, ever since _Abducted_, Hypocrisy has been "good".

PT: Yeah. I don't know... <half laughs>

CoC: It's like, I remember Emperor saying this when they were making _Prometheus..._. Ihsahn just said, "Well, I don't really feel challenged anymore, 'cause if anyone gets an Emperor album, they're going to say it's a good album."

PT: Yeah... hmm, that's very self-confident.

CoC: It is, but it's also a reflection of the way people, I find, are very reverent of some bands...

PT: ... No, I'm always wondering: how the hell are people gonna take this album?

CoC: Right right.

PT: And I really have no clue what's gonna happen with it until it's out and a couple of months later.

CoC: I'll be really interested as well.

PT: It's always fucking terror before the month is over so you knowf i it went good or bad. But usually... It's always been going. good So maybe this time it will go all to hell: I don't know .

CoC: But I think this time Hypocrisy are in a very good situation in terms of the kind of band they are and the kind of climate that they're being pushed into. I mean, when I first got into Hypocrisy, I got into _Osculum Obscenum_. And I just loved how completely visceral and ripping it was. And however much there were debts to other bands, this was -so- full on death metal. And when I got into _Abducted_ it was very different, but this album has definitely got the Hypocrisy trademark, the trademark that you get with _Abducted_ -- the rich guitars. It's very well arranged and put together. I find Hypocrisy always sound professional...

PT: Oh, cool!

CoC: Even if... I didn't enjoy _Hypocrisy_ the album that much because I found personally that it was a kind of "put together"; that there was one song like this and one song like that. But it always sounds good. This albums is interesting because it's a lot more in-your-face and aggressive. Coming onto probably the song you've been asked about more than any others, "Turn the Page"...

PT: Yeah.

CoC: It does start off with a riff that -could- -- if maybe they were better <under my breath> -- have been penned by a nu metal band.

PT: Yeah.

CoC: You could imagine a nu metal song starting out like this -- but you couldn't really imagine "Turn the Page" being a nu metal song.

PT: Yeah.

CoC: Not in totality. Did you find that that was a conscious influence or did you find you wrote it and then people went, "Hey, that sounds like... Slipknot!" or something?

PT: Yeah. I mean, I'm going to see Slipknot tomorrow so... No, I mean, I was just like... It was one of those bands that really kicked my ass for a long time, y'know? And maybe I got influenced by it -- I have no clue, y'know, because that's probably the only nu metal band that I really like.

CoC: Interesting. Is it the music, or is it also the whole ethos and image?

PT: No, I think it's the aggression in the music; I wouldn't care if they had masks or not, y'know? It's just the music and the drummer and the vocalist and PHEW! It's almost like: Glen Benton, step aside!

CoC: It's interesting, isn't it, because I'm not personally the hugest fan of Slipknot, but I've gotta agree that they're definitely really aggressive.

PT: Yeah, it's like: holy shit! It was the same shit when I heard Deicide the first time, I had the same feeling, y'know and...

CoC: Interesting.

PT: It's really fucked up, y'know, because it's so intense it's...

CoC: Are you surprised that a band like Slipknot became so popular?

PT: Yeah. Yeah, because you know, anyone who says it's commercialised and shit like that: listen to the album, you'll really know what's going on. It's fucking violent music.

CoC: With closing Abyss, are you gonna completely abstain from production duties or are you just gonna see how Hypocrisy goes and see how you can fit in touring and then work it around that? Are you kinda sick of the production stuff?

PT: Not sick but it's -- like I said, you know, it's very hard to bake a different cake.

CoC: Yeah.

PT: And I -know- if I stay away from it for a year and start recording again it's gonna sound different; you know, it's gonna influence me a lot and make me even more hungry. And maybe I get some more influence when it comes to productions and sounds and stuff like that.

CoC: Definitely.

PT: I think it's very important for me also career-wise to take a break now -- if I wanna keep on going or if I wanna be a Morrisound or, you know, one of the other ones.

CoC: Absolutely. I think since you did _Hypocrisy_, the self-titled album, you've been working exceptionally hard. You've done an album every year, you've done many albums at Abyss, and it probably does stifle your creativity after a while...

PT: Yeah, exactly.

CoC: ... because you can't produce that much stuff, y'know, you can't have that many ideas, and that sort of thing. Was _Catch 22_ done at Abyss?

PT: Yeah-yeah, it is.

CoC: So would this be one of the last ones?

PT: For a while, until the next Hypocrisy, I think. Actually, over the last year when I did the Dark Funeral album and the Wolf album and the Immortal album and Destruction: the shit that I did last year actually got their own sound.

CoC: I was gonna say: Immortal sounds absolutely brilliant.

PT: Yeah, and I mean every album sounds different from each other considering its been done over the same year. I'm really starting to find the difference between the bands and renew myself, I think.

CoC: Yeah.

PT: And then it's also good to stop. I can think about it even more. cI an keep on going that way and maybe find some other stuff that could influence me and make it even more different.

CoC: Definitely. I think taking a break definitely is a good idea.

PT: I think I proved myself.

CoC: Yeah! I think you've -definitely- done that.

PT: And the funny thing is, Abbath from Immortal he goes, "Peter, you can't produce every band in the world, you know: slow down!"

CoC: He's got a lot of sensible suggestions, Abbath.

PT: Yeah. Yeah, you're right. But what can I do? It's... it's a routine, kind of, you know, it's... and then also I have started thinking like, "Shit, it's becoming fast food."

CoC: Right, yeah. Do you find that the bands would come in and just want the "Abyss sound" and not want you to do much with it?

PT: Yeah, but still there is nothing like the "Abyss sound"; there is no button there that I press. It's just, as soon as I'm involved I have my kind of tastes, you know, and it just becomes like that and I always ask the band, "Do you like this?" and they go "Yeah". Or "No", you know, and then we change it a little bit until everybody is happy. But like I said, year 2001, I think I have the most diverse sound from all these six bands that I did, you know?

CoC: Yeah, I think that's definitely right [I had no grounds to say this, since I have -only- the Immortal album of the above listed, but I was in the flow of conversation -- and the Immortal album blew me away -- so I just said what I said, that's all I can say... -- Paul]. I mean, certainly as Immortal goes. I thought _At the Heart of Winter_ [CoC #39] was great and _Damned in Black_ [CoC #47] I didn't like so much but the sound -- not mentioning the music -- on _Sons of Northern Darkness_ [CoC #58] is really incredible.

PT: Yeah, but also I'm a freak of trying to get -- the only thing that's been a challenge for me really, I mean like a -true- challenge over the last couple of years or from the beginning is not to use too much triggering.

CoC: Right.

PT: You know? To get the -acoustic- sound of the drums and I think, if you listen to the Immortal album and it's all acoustic: I would like to hear another studio do that without any triggering, you know?

CoC: Absolutely.

PT: So that was also a challenge and it feels like, "Oh, I don't know if I can do better than that..."

CoC: Definitely.

PT: And then I just finished up the new Susperia album.

CoC: Ah!

PT: And that one sounds killer also because then I went the other way: I triggered the whole drumset but I still kept the acoustic sound also and I mixed it together and it's like a kind of futuristic sound in it, you know? And that also came out really different from what is "normal" from Abyss. So that was really cool.

CoC: _Catch 22_ included, what is your favourite Hypocrisy album? Would you say at the moment this one, probably?

PT: Yeah.

CoC: After that, which album were you most happy with? Was there any album you kind of -based- this one on, at all?

PT: Hmmm, not really. Like I said, this one became more a -statement-. Like, "-fuck you!-", you know? And that's I think what the whole attitude is in the songs and the production also. And it's very dry and very dirty but still very powerful, you know?

CoC: Absolutely, but it also gets very kind of melodic, especially towards the end of the album with "Seeds of the Chosen One" and "All Turns Black".

PT: Yeah.

CoC: I mean, it's very seeped in melody and a lot of emotion, I think.

PT: Yeah.

CoC: A different kind of emotion 'cause the earlier stuff is very angry.

PT: Yeah.

CoC: I mean, what were the kind of feelings and the lyrical ideas behind "Seeds of the Chosen One" and especially "All Turns Black"?

PT: Yeah. I mean, actually "Seeds of the Chosen One" is probably the only science -- no, not science fiction, but it's about making the perfect person, y'know?

CoC: Right. Cloning, right?

PT: Yeah, but that's already happened so it's -not- science fiction, you know?

CoC: Sure.

PT: But I think it's not a good idea, and so basically everything is what I feel, you know. "All Turns Black" was the last song I wrote lyrics on and I was totally empty and, like I said you know, my life hasn't been the best over the last year for one or another reason and I just, you know, basically wrote that. You know, when you have this kind of period when nothing goes your way?

CoC: Absolutely, yeah. That feeling of emptiness.

PT: Yeah.

CoC: That sort of thing. Would you mind remarking on the other Hypocrisy albums?


CoC: Just say what first comes to your mind about what you think of them starting with: _Penetralia_?

PT: Ummm, very influenced by Morbid [Angel], Deicide and also Entombed.

CoC: How original would you say it was?

PT: Not at all.

CoC: How much do you enjoy it nowadays?

PT: I think it's still cool. The only thing I have a problem with, I guess, is the production and how lousy musicians we were. You know, what the hell can you do?

CoC: I still really enjoy it. It's got a nice...

PT: It's got a charm, I guess.

CoC: Yeah, I know what you mean.

PT: But I still like the songs, you know, and every time we play it live it feels really very good.

CoC: _Osculum Obscenum_?

PT: Uh, "OK, let's do the fucking most brutal album ever."

CoC: <I laugh>

PT: That was the only thing we were thinking about.

CoC: <I continue to laugh>

PT: Definitely, you know.

CoC: The production went a bit funny on that one, right?

PT: Yeah, it's weird, but that was cool because it became a little bit of an original kind of sound. I don't know if there's any other band who had that kind of guitar sound or drum sound or whatever, you know?

CoC: Definitely. It very much stood out at the time.

PT: Yeah.

CoC: The only thing that was a bit weird about it was there was some weird error in one of the songs.

PT: Yeah, exactly! We did discover that when it was printed and I was like, "Uhh, well, what the hell was that?!".

CoC: <laughs> Yeah, exactly, it's like, "What the fuck?!".

PT: Yeah. We were listening to it when we got it and we were like, "Why didn't anyone tell us that?"

CoC: Frustrating. Going on to _The Fourth Dimension_, which is kind of a big step...

PT: Yeah. Ummmm, we start discovering keyboards and stuff and melodies and all of a sudden we started writing these -slow- songs and stuff. And uh, still from a musician point of view it was very bad.

CoC: Uh-huh.

PT: And production-wise it was terrible. It was the -worst- production -ever- in our history. And that was the only time where we went to another studio -- and a big studio in Stockholm called "Parks" studio. A lot of big bands recorded there and it's not a matter of the studio, it's a matter of who sits behind it, you know?

CoC: Yeah, totally.

PT: And, I guess they convinced us, "This is cool?", you know, and we were like, "Oh yeah, cool, you know." And then it cost like -- I don't know, 20,000 dollars to make it, for two weeks or something like that.

CoC: Woah! That must have been a bit of an eye-opener. I mean, did that kind of influence you to really beef up Abyss?

PT: Yeah, 'cause the two first albums I recorded in this studio, my friend's studio, and he wanted to sell it, after we did _TFD_, for a very cheap price, you know? And I was like, "Yeah, sure, I'll buy it." -No-one- believed me that I could make it, you know. They were like, "You're crazy." And I got this kind of help from the government to start my own business and stuff like that and everybody's like, "Fuck that! It's not going to happen!" And I just started to work on it.

CoC: And I mean, with _Abducted_ you probably got quite a good result. How do you feel about _Abducted_ these days?

PT: It's a very good production if you listen to it. It really sticks out, you know?

CoC: Absolutely.

PT: I mean, if you compare the difference between _Fourth Dimension_ and that one, it's like night and day, you know?

CoC: Absolutely.

PT: And also that was an album that we recorded like three or four times, and threw away songs all the time. I think we had like -- pssshh, I don't know, twenty-five songs for that album.

CoC: Wow!

PT: And in the beginning we had nine songs and we listened to it and the production wasn't good and we were gonna re-record it. Then we started writing new songs and threw away four or five of them. And then we did the same thing one more time and we started throwing away new songs and writing new songs and, you know, at the end, it came out this way. And it took a long time to record it, you know, but I think it was worth it.

CoC: Absolutely.

PT: And it was a learning process for me as a studio owner and producer because that was really one of the first ones that I really worked very, very hard on. The other albums were always like one-and-a-half or two weeks recording and mixing, you know, and that's why: you had to live with the budget that you got, you know.

CoC: Yeah: that's the advantage of doing it in your own studio.

PT: Yeah, but then, you know, with Hypocrisy we got a big advance, you know, so we could keep on going as long as we wanted almost. The other guys, you know, could take off work and we still can make money out of it, you know?

CoC: That's cool.

PT: To live on it while we recorded and did it in our time.

CoC: Absolutely. That's great.

PT: Yeah.

CoC: Then: _The Final Chapter_?

PT: Yeah, _The Final Chapter_ it was... uh, I think, then we started to think about writing -- I don't know: still keep the fast stuff. Maybe it was a little bit afraid of moving away even further.

CoC: Right. Progressing too fast?

PT: Yeah. We wanted to do these two kind of different things like do one of these slow, Pink Floyd songs -but- in a metal way, you know? But then also really try to save the -death metal- stuff, you know?

CoC: The aggression.

PT: Yeah, and with the production we wanted to go the opposite way and make it dirtier than the previous album, not so produced.

CoC: Ah, I see what you mean. Yeah, it does have a slightly rawer edge.

PT: Yeah.

CoC: It's emphasised on that Razor cover that you did, "Evil Invaders".

PT: Yeah.

CoC: Then: _Hypocrisy_ -- right after you'd dissolved the band and reformed it.

PT: Yeah, and then we said, "Umm, maybe we should do a little bit more heavier songs", because we didn't feel that the fast songs were so good on the previous album. And we said, "You know, maybe we're better -heavy- songwriters." You know, like -gothic-... -death-, err, writers, you know? So we started doing that and we only did like two fast songs because we... Actually, we did like five or six fast songs, but they weren't so good anymore. Maybe we didn't have the fire in us to make good fast songs. You know, we concentrate more on the slow songs -- and I think the slow songs are really, really cool in a way, because they're depressive and stuff, you know?

CoC: Yeah, I think they really stick out as being by far the best material on that record.

PT: Yeah. But then, you know, people were expecting us to keep on developing the gothic side of us and then we said, "If we go even further with this gothic, then we're gonna change our style into like -- I don't know: early Paradise Lost and stuff."

CoC: Rightrightright.

PT: And we were like, "Shit, man! We're a death metal band! What the hell?"

CoC: <I laugh>

PT: So we reversed 180 and did the most brutal album we could do at the time. You know, since _Osculum Obscenum_? And that was _Into the Abyss_.

CoC: Did that have any reference to The Abyss, the band that you used to do?

PT: Uh, no, not at all.

CoC: OK, just curious. So this new album is kind of a reconciling of the two, in a way?

PT: Yeah.

CoC: I mean, there's a lot of thrash and death metal lying around but there's also, you know, the pianos that begin "Edge of Darkness" and things like that.

PT: Yeah.

CoC: It's all come together, I think.

PT: Yeah, I think so. It's just like a bunch of different song-styles from the past but also a lot of new stuff in there as well that I think is also very important, you know, for us as developing songwriters.

CoC: Absolutely. When are you intending to tour the album? This album seems like something that's very good for live play.

PT: Yeah.

CoC: It sounds like the kind of stuff that you're really gonna come out well with.

PT: Exactly.

CoC: So are you doing full tours for this one?

PT: Yeah, we're doing like -- I don't know: four weeks in Europe, every fucking country, you know.

CoC: Cool.

PT: And we're also coming to England. But we were also supposed to try to get to England a week before and try to do like five or six gigs but I guess it didn't happen so...

CoC: Damn.

PT: Yeah. In certain territories we really want to work this album.

CoC: Absolutely.

PT: Because you -always- work it in Germany, you know?

CoC: Exactly, yeah.

PT: It's because we've been so lazy: we just went on these Nuclear Blast festivals. You know: it's easy to set up, it's well paid and we don't have to worry too much.

CoC: Right.

PT: But this time we definitely wanna go to the territories...

CoC: ... and do the clubs?

PT: Yeah, and really work the countries, you know?

CoC: Yeah, that'd be great.

PT: And I think it has very big potential in England, this album.

CoC: Absolutely, I think so.

PT: Much more than it ever had before, you know?

CoC: Yeah, I think so.

(article submitted 1/9/2002)

8/12/2005 J Smit Hypocrisy: Spreading the Disease
7/7/1999 D Rocher Hypocrisy: The Hypocrite's Arising Realm
1/1/1998 A Bromley Hypocrisy: It Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Lady Sings
3/14/1996 G Filicetti Hypocrisy: Hanging With the Hypocrites
7/23/2005 J Smit 8.5 Hypocrisy - Virus
1/25/2004 J Smit 7 Hypocrisy - The Arrival
4/12/2002 A McKay 10 Hypocrisy - 10 Years of Chaos and Confusion
8/12/2000 D Rocher 8 Hypocrisy - Into the Abyss
7/7/1999 D Rocher 10 Hypocrisy - Hypocrisy
6/15/1999 A Bromley 9 Hypocrisy - Hypocrisy
5/19/1999 A Bromley 9 Hypocrisy - Hypocrisy Destroys Wacken
11/17/1997 P Azevedo 9 Hypocrisy - The Final Chapter
5/10/1996 A Wasylyk 4 Hypocrisy - Carved Up
2/9/1996 G Filicetti 8 Hypocrisy - Abducted
10/20/2003 J Smit Dimmu Borgir / Hypocrisy / Norther One Step Closer to Armageddon
7/3/2002 P Schwarz Immortal / Hypocrisy Northern Darkness Descends
7/3/2002 P Azevedo Immortal / Hypocrisy / Holocausto Canibal The Night After the Night Before
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