Interview By Alison Booth
Swedish death metal legends HYPOCRISY are celebrating their 30th anniversary – and what better way to celebrate than by releasing their highly anticipated new album “Worship”! The band’s thirteenth album, the first in eight years, is due for release on November 26th via Nuclear Blast.
Metal Shock Finland’s Alison Booth caught up with Peter Tägtgren for the Halloween edition of her radio show Blackdiamond’s Metal Mayhem, which is broadcast every Tuesday from 6PM GMT on UK station TotalRock. The show with Peter can be heard here.
Of course the chat centred around the forthcoming album, but also some other subjects and Peter had plenty of interesting things to say! You can listen to the interview on the audio player and read some excerpts below:
On the positive feedback to the new singles already release, Peter expressed:
“You never know what to expect, I mean generations come and generation goes. But you know, it seems like people stuck to us which I am very grateful to and yeah, it’s amazing I would say, it’s more than we thought.“
Discussing the first single ‘Chemical Whore’, Peter explained:
“Yeah it’s kind of ironic I would say. Because I mean, when you see a few comments going ‘Oh is this an anti-vaxx song?’ I’m like ‘Come on man!’ We did the video in September 2019 so there’s no way.
It’s definitely about how I see doctors and the pharma industries are in cahoots. You know like ‘if you force pills down the throat, we will give you some percentage’, so to say, you know just in a wider simple aspect. So, doctors don’t really need to prescribe you these pills, but if they do, they will make a couple of bucks more, so they’d rather do that – some of them. I’m not saying everybody, I’m just saying, you know sometimes instead of taking a pill, maybe it’s better to go to a psychologist to talk about it, you know.
I mean, the whole reason why I wrote this song from the beginning was actually I have a lot of friends that I’ve seen going down on pills. You know, this Benzyl that’s in the pills, that’s really addictive. Yeah, it becomes a very bad circle of needs so to speak, so I just felt I needed to open up about it.”
“I would say my whole idea of this album or writing this, is mainly just to write better Hypocrisy songs and a fatter production, that is the goal. And I think it has all the elements you need in there – there’s a lot of sad songs, a lot of slow songs, a lot of mid tempo songs, a lot of epic songs, you know like you float away on it. So, I hope people will be happy with it. To be honest, I really never know what Hypocrisy fans want from Hypocrisy [laughs]. ‘Cause I mean in the past, there’s been so many different kinda styles of albums, but you still have this feeling of Hypocrisy in it. So I guess it’s in my DNA when I write music, I think in a certain way and yeah, it becomes Hypocrisy no matter what. But I definitely feel it’s closer to maybe the end of the nineties albums, you know in the way of the style of songs so to speak, I would say. But still, it’s Hypocrisy today. It’s nothing I wanted to clone myself or anything with the songs, it’s just what comes up in my mind.
Mikael and Horgh, they contribute with a couple of riffs each as well. So I mean it’s important to write with your heart I think and not look around and see what’s popular and what is not,. You know it’s this is Hypocrisy and this is how it always will sound, so take it or leave it.”
Discussing the album cover art:
“Yeah, it was actually an idea that I came up with when I was in a hotel in 2017 in LA. I was just laying in bed and got an epiphany or whatever you wanna call it, like ‘wow’ and I just start finding paper to write on. I was drawing on a piece of napkin and shit, you know with the pyramids and the cross, it looked like hell ’cause I’m not a good drawer. Then I took a picture and sent it over to Nuclear Blast, the CEO, I was like ‘I got this great idea about this shit you know and if he can help me develop it with someone that knows what to do’. And that’s what Blake did and he did a fantastic job.
So, the album cover was done before the album was written and the videos were done before all the album was done, I mean all the songs on the album were done. So we did pretty much everything backwards than we normally do. We did photo session in April in 2019, we did a video in LA that’s not out yet and then we did Chemical Whore in September 2019, so everything was done before actually all the material was done. Which is good though, ’cause otherwise we’d have had to wait a little longer, because normally you only focus on writing good songs and record it and boom! Then the company goes ‘You have any photo?’ ‘No.’ ‘Do you have any videos?’ ‘No’. [laughs] ‘Later maybe later’.
So it was good to have this kind of set up for once. You know, these things that you don’t think about, that will come eventually and becomes very important, is done before you’re done with the album.”
On the tour situation, Peter revealed:
“I’m afraid it’s gonna be another wait. Actually, we had a tour for October/November this year, but we never announced it because we were just watching how things were going bad during the summer. Because actually, the album was I think supposed to come out at the end of the summer so we would have a month before the tour start. But the pandemic, it made it hard to get all the vinyls and things because the factories doing vinyls were under the Covid thing, so not everybody could work and things like that. So you know, to get a vinyl in three months actually became seven months, then eight months and nine months waiting because of this whole pandemic stuff. So yeah, what can you do and so suddenly now we’re here in November for the release. So yeah, I was glad we didn’t announce it at all.
So right now we pretty much have a new European tour done for September/October next year and I can tell you there’s some UK shows, not only one, only go to London of course that everybody do, but we’re gonna do a couple more I think, that’s what they’re working on.”
To pre-save the album and for more details, visit the official HYPOCRISY website here.
Peter Tägtgren | Vocals, Guitars
Mikael Hedlund | Bass
Reidar Horghagen | Drums
Thomas Elofsson | Session Guitarist