Interview conducted January 15 2011
Interview published January 17 2011
Swedish thrash metal pioneers The
Haunted are soon releasing their seventh studio-album "Unseen".
With this one, they want to step away from the need to play in a certain
genre, and the thrash is a chapter now over. So says vocalist Peter
Dolving in this interview.
Olof: Hi, how are you doing?
If you would describe the new album, how would you do that? How does it
Peter: How does it sound? That´s a hard
I would say it´s the most "easy-listening"
we´ve done. Many people get surprised when they listen to it
the first time, thinking "what is this?", but after a while
they can hear that it sounds different, but it´s still The Haunted.
Once they´ve given it a bit of thought they understand it. We
actually started thinking about this already when we were finishing
"Versus" about two years ago, and we felt we wanted to do
an album you could just disappear into, you know? We´ve done
so much sharp and hard music over the years and after a while it gets
frustrating to listen to, and you get tired of all the brutality.
Also playing it makes it even worse. This has been more of a disadvantage
than an advantage, so we wanted to try and find a way to focus more
on the songwriting. We´ve had elements of this on previous albums,
but we wanted to focus on making an entire album like that, and not
having to think of fitting into a genre. We also wanted to put more
focus on the drums. Per is an amazing drummer, and we wanted to give
him space, which actually brings a whole new dimension to the music.
The rest of the band was nagging me as well to really use all of my
vocal capacity and range. We just wanted to fuck the pressure of being
placed in a genre, so there is no more "here comes The Haunted,
thrash metal band". We´ve left the thrash behind. The influences
are still there, and we still play metal, but it´s just
We know that we are good at playing the music we play, and it does
not really matter what kind of song we play, because it´s still
us. We started writing two years ago with an open mind that anything
could happen, and after a while we had some 40 songs, that we then
chiseled down and worked with until, 18 months late, we had an album
that we felt was really good. Then we just rushed through the studio.
There is no point to stay in there longer than you need. The whole
thing of using the studio as an instrument, we do that before we enter,
at the demo-stage. The recording was really fast, and the mixing took
a week, so there was no time wasted. This is a revolutionary album,
both for us, but also in general I would believe. I think it´s
definitely the most powerful one we´ve done.
Olof: You recorded this album in Denmark
with Tue Madsen. Considering your songs were so finished when you entered,
what was he able to bring to the album?
Peter: We have worked with Tue a lot, and he
is a guy with a lot of love to the music, and who has been in the
game for so long. His experience is great. Just him being there makes
you calm and comfortable. You know, the thing about The Haunted is
we have been everywhere. We´ve been driving through deserts
in South Africa, playing at Indian camps in America, South America,
Asia, everywhere, except for China, but I feel that will come soon.
I don´t know how much you have traveled, but when you do this,
all these places become real in some way. Tokyo is real for us, so
are the shanty towns in Brazil, and the American south IS the most
depressive and disgusting place on earth, but everywhere you find
these extremely nice people. Some assholes as well of course, but
most of the people you meet are actually extremely nice, and you´re
like "holy shit!", these people want the same things as
we and our friends do. They ARE our friends.
How would you say the band has developed the last years, both personally
Peter: It´s pretty obvious that when
you lock five guys up in a tin can on wheels and drive them around
the world for 15 years, it affects them, as I said before. You taste
in music gets wider as well of course.
Olof: On your DVD "Road Kill",
you paint a picture of life on tour as being very bad and rough. Have
you done anything to change that life for the future?
Peter: Well, it does not really matter if you
are The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, or crappy The Haunted; you WILL
be shipped like cattle all over the world anyhow. That´s never
going to change until the teleport is invented. Promotion and arrangers
can do stuff to make it better for the artists, but they don´t
really. It´s all very romanticized in all these documentaries
of band, making it up like they are just playing and partying all
the time. "Hey, look at us, we´re constantly drunk!"
It´s some kind of Leni Riefenstahl "übermench"
thing going on. If we would do that, we would be dead soon. It drains
energy just to travel. When we were in South America, we flew into
a new country basically every day. Get up at five in the morning,
get to the airport, wait for the plane, take the flight, land, get
to the hotel, check in, get to the venue, soundcheck, interviews,
get BACK to the hotel, eat, get to the venue, play a gig for 1½
hours (with the music we´re playing), hang around a bit, get
back to the hotel, before getting about three or four hours of sleep.
Then up at five to do the whole thing again. We did this for 21 days
straight, and it is as hard as it sounds. But it´s our life
and we love it. We´ve spent our lives doing this, so if we did
not like it, there would be no reason to do it.
Olof: I heard that you request information
about local AA and NA meetings when you are on tour tour. Is this true?
Peter: Yes, that´s my request. As I said,
you can´t go around drinking and taking drugs all the time,
it will destroy you. Just look at Dimebag Darrel for example. Before
he was shot, he was a great guy, a great guy! But you could hardly
understand what he was saying, because the drugs had destroyed him
so bad. He was going "hurrhuhgruheuhugur". He could not
get out of bed in the morning without drinking. It´s so depressing
when you see your heroes become so wrecked, so you don´t want
it to happen to yourself. So I´ve been working hard to stay
clean from that shit, and it is hard work. I´ve been clean for
five years now, and when I´m on tour and it is hard, I have
the NA and AA to go to, so they can help me get through it, and it
helps a lot! You have all the right in the world to come to our gigs,
get pissed and have a blast, but don´t expect us to party. It´s
disrespectful towards you, who pay to see us, to stand on stage being
drunk and not able to do our best. It´s not what you´ve
Is there any gig that stands out when you´re looking back? Any gig
that was absolutely phenomenally BAD, or good, for that matter?
.we played in Pennsylvania
once, in an old church. I lost my voice that night, for the first
time. It was so painful to have to swallow that pride of always being
able to sing. You know, it was out of my reach, and I could do absolutely
nothing about it. We performed the gig anyway, and I guess it went
OK, during the circumstances. We have probably done some shitty gigs
along the way to, from the fact that you sometimes overestimate your
own abilities. If you play in Tokyo one night, fly to Detroit, play,
fly to New York, play, and the fly to Roskilde to play, it is too
much for you to cope with. About great gigs we did a gig in an Indian
camp in Colorado. The venue was a joke, and the stage was about 2
inches high, the room was right next to some bar, the place looked
like it was falling apart and the PA was some homemade shit with two
channels working. The sound guy was mongoloid and deaf
not kidding; he was mongoloid and deaf, for real! His assistant was
there trying to help him, but the thing is; he was so stoned, so he
had no idea about anything. Anyway, we used the two microphones for
vocals and bass drum, and though, "what the hell". And out
of the blue comes this audience of badass Indians, Mexicans, white
trash, and all the other people, and they are so drunk and they have
like the best party ever! Such a surprise. Another surprise was when
we played in Oxford (a bit odd), and I had my only Iggy Pop moment.
The audience was going nuts and dancing and all, so I threw myself
into the crowd, feeling like Iggy. Four girls started tearing my clothes
of, haha! And then they, you know
began to sexually work with
my body. Almost harassment.
Olof: What is your favorite song by The
Haunted, and why?
Olof: Ok, last, but not least: What does
the future look like for The Haunted?
Peter: That is a very hard question
absurd. No one knows what will happen tomorrow, you know? We think
we know, and we think we can plan for the future, but in reality,
we have no control what so ever and unpredicted things happen all
the time. Right now, it feels great to be in The Haunted, and the
last years of playing have been the closest you can get to a religious
experience. We hope, of course, that this will go on for a long time,
but you never know about the future.
Olof: Ok Peter, thanks for your time.
also: review of the