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Interview: Peter Dolving (The Haunted)

Pure metal...interviews

How does it make you feel knowing that even though you had a whole hour to Ďinterrogateí Peter Dolving, the frontman of The Haunted, all your efforts had gone to waste? I though that the awful recording of my telephone interview with this unique frontman would be the only chance I had to talk about the bandís recent release 'Revolver', and that I had blown it! Well, it seems that there are some musicians that still manage to have their feet on the ground after all. Peter was kind enough to e-mail me the answers to the questions that I had originally prepared for him, and even though the result is not exactly the same, this is what the crazy Swede had to confess.

Hi Peter, itís really nice to see that youíre back in your natural place - being the frontman of The Haunted that is. Tell us, how are things with the band these days?

Peter: Good. Feeling like a team of Navy Seals with big guns and hard-ons the size of Gibraltar.

How does it feel to be back in the band? Which are the main differences that you have managed to detect in comparison with 1998 and why did you choose to leave The Haunted back then?

Peter: Back then - suicidal, now - homocidal. Notice the degree in approach...

The Haunted

Do you believe that you will have a problem approaching the fans that were introduced to the Haunted by albums such as 'The Haunted Made me Do It' and 'One Kill Wonder'? Which in your opinion are the common things and which the main differences between you and the bandís previous singer Marco Aro?

Peter: No I think not. The thing with the Haunted is that our band is not about ego. Itís about music. Our fans know this, of thereís always someone out there who for some reason think everything is a competition, but theyíll die poor, lonely and paranoid and we wonít miss `em nor feel sorry for `em.

In less than a month we will witness the release of the bandís new album 'rEVOLVEr'. You have once again managed to come with a very clever name for an album. What is the meaning behind the name that you chose this time?

Peter: Allrightee, obviously itís the gun thing, and itís got the little 'evolve' thing going. So since Iím the ADD-diagnosed and semi daft boy in the band we decided not to confuse anyone hence the capital letters pointing out the obvious. Really itís just a cool word with its two extremes in one group of letters... Yes itís cheesyÖ but what the hell itís rock n roll, we can do these things...

'rEVOLVEr' is going to be released through Century Media records. What made you decide to change camp? Were you not satisfied with Earache anymore, and how did Century Media manage to become the 'chosen one'?

Peter: Earache are no longer with us. And most likely they will be out of business before long... Century Media seem like a real record label. Theyíre about selling records, and promoting cool music. Theyíre not this estranged group of socially dysfunctional people obviously harassed by a deeply disturbed 'patriarch" like Earache, instead CM are open, communicative, realistic and carry a positive attitude all over. I mean why not? If you have a choice in life, to enjoy or be miserable - what would you choose?

What is it that the band believes that they can offer to Metal music with this new album? How different is it to the previous releases, and especially the first album that you were also doing the vocals for? Is there something like a 'standard platform' that the members of the band build their songs upon?

Peter: No standards, just a rocking bunch of songs about anxiety, neurosis, fear, hatred, loathing and deception. We are the Ramones of metal, no wait - the Pink Floyd of metal. No thatís still not right? The AC/DC of generation Donkey Kong? I donít know what to say really. Weíre the Haunted?

You have once again chosen to use Studio Fredman and the assistance of Fredrik Nordstrom for the recordings of this album. Why is that? Arenít you afraid that thereís always the possibility of not allowing your sound to evolve by using the same studios and the same producer in every album?

Peter: We are NOT afraid. We have no fear. Like death defying Kamikaze we plunge into the void of Fredmanism striving for new glory. Actually, we donít worry about things. We write our stuff and then we record it. As boring and un-dramatic as it may seem itís not a very exiting process for anyone but us. Fredrik is a good friend of ours and a good engineer, so we tell him what we want, he turns the knobs then he gets the f**k out of our way. It works great.

How important was Fredrikís contribution to the creation of the album, and how would you evaluate him as a producer?

Peter: I guess the previous answer says a bit... Heís a good producer, but for us heís just someone who keeps us all in a good mood. Really, his input as far as music goes... well, letís say our tastes differ. But having done so much stuff together we all really love working together, and why not?

How much time did you spend in the studio recording this new album? Do you find things to be much easier now that you have such a big experience from all your previous efforts?

Peter: 20 days I think. No evenings or weekends. But thatís how Fred runs the place, regular business-hours. Itís really nice, and it gets rid of all the f**king prestigious paranoid crap that can creep into your head when you work too close to something.

Do you have any funny incidents to share with us from your days in the studio? Who is the easiest to work with, and which of the members of the band is the most difficult person to work with?

Peter: Iím the problem child of the band. Always was, probably always will be. I get too emotional around s**t. Itís my ADD. But itís easier these days since I get medication for it now. But you know we are one hell of a soft group of people. A bit like old school Sicilians or something. But I guess itís unavoidable - we are from Gothenburg - itís a sh*t town in a sh*t country, and weíve all toured since we were kids, I donít think weíd lift an eyebrow if you brought in ten kilos of prime Colombian cocaine, fourteen naked oversexed hard body metal-chicks on E and a bag of chocolate donuts with cream. Weíd start discussing the pros and cons of the situation and probably at least a couple would pro bably come up with more fun things to do.

Letís talk about the songs of the album. Here we have eleven compositions, and I believe that this is the first time that we have so many different styles co-exist in one The Hunted album. Which of the songs of the album were your contributions and what influenced you into writing these songs?

Peter: We do it together, I write lyrics. But except for that it all a very communal thing - weíre like the Borg of Star Trek. Resistance is futile...

The Haunted

After listening to 'rEVOLVEr' for the first time, I realised that this is the most straight-forward album that the band has ever produced. It seems like fast riffs and power drumming is no longer THE top priority for the members of the band, and I believe that this is the sign that the band has matured a lot in these six years since the release of your debut album. Do you agree with me?

Peter: HA! Right you are, itís one of those records that are great to play live, because weíve kind of hid the complexities and it really is pretty straight up metal. But maturity feels almost scary to even say.

I am pretty sure that many people out there will believe that the fact that youíre no longer writing riffs that run with 100mph will make the sound of the band weaker that before. I personally donít agree with that approach, but as a matter of interest, what do you have to say to the people who will come up with such an argument?

Peter: 'Listen to something else and donít bother us with comments?"

The song that I personally found the most satisfying in this album is 'Abysmal', maybe because it bares in my opinion strong references to one of my very favourite bands, Judas Priest. Which song would you believe is the most representative of todayís Haunted?

Peter: 99 - no doubt the fat of the land.

Why did you choose 'All Against All' as the single for the album? Are you also planning of making a video for this song, as it normally happens with most of the singles nowadays? What would be the ideal subject for a video in your opinion?

Peter: A hardcore snuff film with porn elements? I donít know, everything I think of when it comes to videos has either already been done or falls on the fact that itís gonna be way to expensive realizing my ideas.

Tell me a few things about the lyrics of the album. In one of your recent statements before the release of the album, I remember you saying that the new album will have fewer references to Serial Killers and things like that. What are the lyrics of the album then all about?

Peter: More about the life in general, the human condition, being alive in a neo-liberal capitalist semi-fascist society.

Any person who has seen the band live has probably realised that this is one of the strongest points that The Haunted has. Now with the new album on the way, what are your plans for touring? Will you have an equally busy schedule as the one for 'One Kill Wonder', and when shall we expect you to visit the United Kingdom?

Peter: Weíll tour out the ass. We come to London the 17th of December for some show, but we hit the UK properly in the end of February 2005.

The Haunted

The name of The Haunted has become synonymous to success. The band is enjoying a world-wide recognition and has also won many different awards. Which are the new targets that you have set with this new release?

Peter: 1. To have more fun than ever. 2. To slip acid in Rupert Murdochís afternoon tea. 3. Have sex with a profoundly catholic Eurovision Song contest winner in the Eiffel tower. 4. To run naked across Haight Ashbury without being molested. 5. To take "artistic" photos of George W. Bush and Tony Blair in a lube-pit at the Box (London) with Osama Bin-Laden.

Is The Haunted the only band that you are involved musically? What about the other projects that you have participated in during the period of your absence from the band?

Peter: I sing, play guitar and write the songs for a band called "bringthewarhome" AKA The Peter Dolving Band.

Peter, I want to thank you for your time. What do you want to say to the subscribers of Get Ready to Rock?

Peter: Love the rock. If you donít - the rock will hunt you down and love you `till you submit in a pleasantly amiable fashion. Best regards - Peter Dolving

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Interview © 2004 John Stefanis

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