Experimenting With Myself


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Peter Tägtgren, musician and producer, the mind behind Pain and Hypocrisy and also a half of the Lindemann project, created together with the Rammstein frontman, is going to Russia this year with a big tour that will start in Siberia and cross the whole country towards St. Petersburg and Moscow. It is the second full-scale Russian tour in the history of Pain, and, undoubtedly, a long-awaited one. Headbanger decided to talk to Peter about his impressions of Russia and his creative plans for the future, namely new releases of both Hypocrisy and Lindemann. We met with the musician straight after Pain’s gig in Tampere, Finland, during their Scandinavian tour.

Let’s start with the Russian tour, which you are going to do in April. It’s the first time in ten years or about so when you are doing the whole tour in our country…


And some of the included cities I guess you have never visited at all…

Let me think. Yeah, there are a few I think I’ve never been to before, so I am very excited.

Do you remember anything from the last time?

Yeah! It was one of the best times ever! I even told the other guys (musicians from Pain – ed.) because none of them were in the band 10 years ago: “This is the best tour you will ever do!” Sit on the train – and just go!

Are you gonna take the train?

(enthusiastically) Oh yeeah!


Yeah, I love it! Well, we’re gonna fly from Moscow to Irkutsk. But that’s it. Then it will be train all the way back.

It sounds cool!

Yeah, it is “do it the old way” approach! The old-fashioned way, no fancy shit. You know, just feel the country! That’s what I like about Russia. And I love Russia.

What’s your best and worst memories about your previous Russian tour?

There were never any worst ones! It was just good every day I think. I remember upon coming to Novosibirsk I was like: wow! It was unbelievable. And then we were going to all places up there and then down there, and up again. I remember we were to Irkutsk and then back again to Novosibirsk. It was just wow, everything was great!

And back then you did more than just a Trans-Siberian route.

Yeah, we flew from Moscow to Perm. And then from Perm we were going zig-zagging and then the Trans-Siberian route. It was so great. I am really looking forward to this upcoming Russian tour. Like, this is the most exciting thing for me this year, definitely! I don’t care about anything else. (laughs) It’s like: “Russia? We are going!”

Oh it’s really nice to hear!

No, it’s true! I don’t lie!

So it is advertised as a very special exclusive occasion – because it is – I mean, obviously you haven’t been to many of these places for a long-long time, and some of these cities are less popular destinations for musicians unfortunately. Do you know already what your programme would be? Is it usual or you are going to do something else?

Yeah, it seems we already played gigs in St. Petersburg and Moscow, so we are not gonna play the same setlist, which means we have to change it a little bit, you know.

But it has changed already since then.

Yeah, it has changed a little bit. We try to change it every time we go on tour. And now when we go to Russia we don’t want to do the same programme as we did the last time. So we pretty much gonna do what we did tonight. But a little bit different, you know. So whoever went to our Moscow gig the last time will hear some different songs - I mean, not the old setlist. And the same goes for St. Petersburg.

I wanted to ask also about the Hypocrisy. I listened to your recent interviews and you said in one of them that you had already written some songs for Hypocrisy and that you planned to do the album. Is that true that you are going to do it?

Yeah, we are going to go to America I think in September-October for like five weeks and then to Europe…

With the new album?

No. And then after the tour, in the beginning of 2019 we will release an album. And then we’re gonna go to… everywhere! Including Russia of course!

And when you say that you wrote a few songs does that mean…

The album would be out in February I think, next year – 2019.

Is it going to be the usual Hypocrisy theme?

It’s gonna be more about “Ancient Aliens” stuff. Maya people versus “Ancient Aliens”. Because Maya people are a kind of fascinating and weird thing. Also, I mean, they disappeared, you know. Where did they go? Home, maybe? I don’t know! So I will study a lot about this topic. I know a little bit, but I want to study what different people think about it and then I will make my own history of it and my own story.

Do you usually surf the Internet for such studies?

Yeah, I will definitely go on the Internet to look for what people are saying, find different opinions on how they think the things were and I will just try to get as much information as possible and then make my own stories. I don’t know if the whole album will be about it but I know a lot of songs will.

A bit off-topic, but while we are into conspiracy theories and since you are going to Russia soon, are you familiar with the Dyatlov Pass incident?

The what?

You will be in the area of Ural Mountains, in Yekaterinburg, for example. And Dayatolv Pass is the place in these mountains. Do you know the story? It’s like one of the most famous conspiracy theories in Russia nowadays!

Really? Is that like Area 51 kind of thing?

What is Area 51?

It’s about this military secret base that they say does not exist… Wait, were you talking about this story when in 1908 the big explosion happened? You know which one I am talking about?

Yes, you are talking about the Tunguska meteorite. But no, the case with Dyatolv group took place not that far in Siberia, that’s in the mountains…

Ah, Urals, which divide “east” and “west”.

Yep. It is a famous scary story from Soviet times, from late 1950s.This part of mountains is a difficult area for hikers, and you need to be professional to go there. So there was that group of people who went hiking and then they disappeared and were found dead a few days later.

(enthusiastically) Aaah! Now I actually remember that story! Yeah-yeah! So it was there? Oh that’s cool!

Well not exactly there, but Ekaterinburg is probably the biggest city relatively close to that. That story became really popular in recent years.

That’s interesting! What was it called again?

It’s called the Dyatlov Pass. Yeah and there are hundreds of theories about what has happened but not a single answer. Anyway, coming back to Hypocrisy. Was that turn planned long ago or you just changed your mind? Because I remember you were saying that you were not really motivated to do any of Hypocrisy anymore.

Yeah, you know, after a lot of people going “aww nya nya nya” I actually felt: ouch, now is the time! So I started writing some songs. And suddenly I was like: this actually sounds cool. I became motivated and I got them going and suddenly I had five songs! I will keep on writing. I hope Mikael (Hedlund, bass) will come up with some stuff too. You know, the last time he did not come up with anything, because he had some personal problems. I hope he can contribute now to put the colors the Hypocrisy needs, which come from all of us.

And those five songs are written by you alone, he’s not involved in them, right?

No, those that I wrote now are the ones I wrote myself. But we’ll see. Whatever he contributes to, we’ll make it into the song, for sure. That’s how he always did. You know, he comes up with some ideas and we form them together and make them into songs.

And how is your project with your son doing?

We’re still working on it! (laughs)

But I remember in the summer it was almost done!

I know! But it is so much to do! And now he is doing some hip-hop!

Oh I see. So your mutual project is on hold now.


And you were also mentioning that you were writing songs in LA recently…

Yeah, I wrote four songs. Something that really does not fit me! Not Hypocrisy or Pain, it’s… I don’t know what it is. It’s just writing is a good ventilation, you know. The process itself. Let’s see who I give it to – I don’t know yet. The songs are done and everything, but I need to clean them up a little bit and many things depend on who is gonna sing and who is gonna take them – it all influences how you gonna make the sound and things… We’ll find out.

Did you find LA a good place for you? Cos I know you’ve been living in the States before but it was somewhere around Miami if I am not mistaken…

Yeah, I mean, I’ve never been really to the West Coast that much. But somehow I got hooked into it now. I really like the people there that I am surrounded by and things like that. And there is a good atmosphere – it’s easy-going, you know, it feels like vacations even though you actually work. And it’s good to change. Everything that I ever wrote comes from Pärlby (an area in Sweden where Peter resides, works and has his own studio, The Abyss – ed.). Since 1994! Everything from 1994 till today, everything I ever put on the album or whatever always came from Pärlby! So it was good to go outside, somewhere else and try to get an impression of things. You know, you hear songs when you are on the taxi or whatever, and just the atmosphere makes you think a little bit different. So… I am experimenting with myself right now!

Okay. I also wanted to ask about Lindemann. I know that the ticket sales for the theatre play Hänsel & Gretel in Hamburg have started already. And it seems that we will be able to hear some music from both of you in this play. Is that the new music?

Yeah! Brand new.

Specifically written for the theatre?

Only written for the theatre, yep.

Wow, really?

Till was at my place on Sunday and we were doing some songs. So it’s very for real.

Writing some songs? Wait, do you mean that they were not connected with the theatre thing?

Well I can’t say too much! For the theatre we gave them 5 songs that they can use. They were written for the theatre. It sounds like Lindemann for sure.

Have you ever done something for the theatre before?

No. Never.

Is that anyhow different?

It’s complex, you know. Because directors are thinking different than musicians. They think with their eyes, while we think with our ears. So it’s tricky. But in the long run it works.

And how did it come about?

Till’s daughter, Nelle, is involved in this project. She is like one of the chiefs for it. So he wants to support her. And he said to me like, “Hey! You’re supporting your son, now you have to help me with my daughter”. So we wrote some stuff together.

Is it the same as before: you write the music and Till writes the lyrics?


And now you are doing something else as well?

Yeah. I think we are trying to complete them out… today! But it’s not gonna be called Lindemann though.


Yeah. It will go with the theater thing. But this is a year ahead right now. It’s not gonna happen till next year – after Rammstein release an album. But the theatre has a premiere, I think, about April 15, 2018. So 5 songs will be there.

Well, these are, definitely, interesting news!

It’s kind of complex to talk about. But you know – something is happening, for sure. Plus they are making the Rammstein album right now, you know. Getting into the fine-tuning of the last parts before they enter the studio and stuff. So it’s exciting!

And then it means Till will be free pretty soon as well.

Yeah, but I mean of course they gonna tour and stuff like that as well. But when they are done and he feels ready then we do another Lindemann album.

Cool. Okay so the last question. What is happening with Pain after summer?

Uuugh! Vacation! Because of Hypocrisy. And plus I think we have done 2 years of touring with this album so it is time to think about the new album.

Exactly, that’s what my question was actually about – a new Pain album.

So… Maybe 2020? I don’t know! (laughs)

That’s really advance thinking!

Yeah, first I have to finish the Hypocrisy album! So we could release it in February next year.

But as Pain you don’t think about anything, right?

No. If a good gig offer comes up, then we take it. If it does not, we are not gonna do anything. And music-wise I am just gonna ventilate my brain and see whatever comes in. I never know what I will write. Maybe it’s gonna be more industrial this time – I don’t know. We’ll find out!

Pain on the Internet:

Olga Stebleva
Photos courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records
February 1, 2018

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