"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Interview

Peter Dolving Talks Writing And Recording Solo Projects And Leaving The Haunted

The Haunted fell prey to a string of member losses this year, including the departure of vocalist Peter Dolving, who has now released a new solo album titled "Thieves and Liars," in addition to working on other projects Rosvo and Science. Describing the end of his time with The Haunted, he commented "...the band started dying in 2006. Not because we sucked. Because we were good at doing something that didn't click with the business, the market, and the consumers. Simple as that."

With The Haunted in the rear view mirror and other musical outlets ahead, Peter shared with us what's happening in his world lately and his desire to create music that pleases him, regardless of genre classifications.

Peter also has some very strong words for the metal scene and the music industry in general, swearing off record labels to support his solo material and explaining his Rosvo project by stating, "Traditional metalheads and morons who actually are stupid enough to 'think' feces like Waitan or Burzum is music will hate it, and of course, that's the point." Check out the full interview below, along with a stream of "Thieves and Liars."

xFiruath: Your solo album obviously is going to explore different areas than what was going on with The Haunted. What specific musical themes and ideas are you working with here that didn’t or couldn’t happen with The Haunted?

Peter: Here's the deal with The Haunted. It's not there anymore. Whether one could have done this or that is just speculation, and speculation never leads anywhere good. We really tried as group to expand and experiment within our capacities, and I actually think we succeeded to do what we wanted, but we really didn't sell any records and the band started dying in 2006. Not because we sucked. Because we were good at doing something that didn't click with the business, the market, and the consumers. Simple as that. It happens.

So whatever I do from here on out as an artist is simply this: music that pleases me, under conditions I can enjoy. Working with record labels, unless there's a real, mutually beneficial and levelheaded business agreement going on, is not for me. I know we will most likely release the Science-album trough a label, but I won't be signing no contracts ever again unless I can see proof of skill, capacity, strategy, and marketing. Idiots like Digby Pearson, Leif Jensen, or Per Kviman, have come across my path once too many. And the metal labels in general are just not realistic if you have any self-respect as an artist. The reasoning in most metal and HC-labels is no different than the HipHop/RnB-scene. Total cynicism and complete lack of realistic commitment to anything but the label. Artists are not humans to people at record labels, we are meat. And there's plenty of it. So fuck us all... They will all say "That's not so!" they'll come out to shake your hand, make small talk and try to "hang" But really? Come on. Why the fuck would anyone want whoever is supposed to be out there selling the fuck out of your mutual investment of time, love and life, swiggin beer on the expense account and acting all polite? Get back to fucking work mutherfucker!? No? Rather waste my time and money on hanging with all those cool people and get wasted? Just kill yourself. Please.

Hey, it's a capitalist world. I don't much fucking like capitalism, but I know how it works. Dead meat and slackness needs no further attention. Scrape that shit off, and move on. It's rough, but the other way of doing it takes the position that all us artists are replaceable meat for the grinders, cheap chuff for the media and nothing more really than fuel. That, and the idea that the consumers are total retards who will buy whatever the hell they are presented with as long as it's presented and described as something they believe they want. Not much fun to actually give your body and soul to that... Since I know that's not the way for me, I will do things differently. I am glad to be able to say that I am not feeling the animosity I used to towards the business, but I won't do it on someone else’s terms anymore. That would be too ignorant.

xFiruath: When did you write this material and how does your writing process work?

Peter: I record. It used to be that I'd sit and figure out cool melodies and recorded everything on a little cassette-recorder, you know like people do for interviews or you see pathologists do in CSI or something like that. It got extremely tedious and as time has gone by, I've started working directly with my digital studio. So it's all very, get up eat breakfast, sit down get the programs up, and grab the guitar an start trying stuff out. I like it. I am meticulous, sometimes I think it's obsessive. But to me, every piece of music needs a certain kind of playing. I was never happy with what we did with The Haunted because it's clinical. Too "on the grid". And with Mary Beats Jane the recording-sessions were just sloppy, we were too naive and trusted assholes. Sure the attitude was there, but really attitude is not enough.

I started playing, going to and participating in live music when I was 9 years old and until now I have never felt comfortable in a studio environment. Not so much from a tech point of view, but the attitude studio people so often carry with them. They tend to be skilled but fairly square. I'd say Tue Madsen and Fredrik Reinedahl are a rare breed, they're great socially, empathic, incredibly technically skilled and they actually love music as much as I do. But quite frankly, these I'd rather just work, as in record, alone. There's something about the whole "social" interaction thing that gets in the way of the creative flow.

I can't be arsed to be polite when I'm literally turning my brain and self inside out. Really, it's just too private. Having other people there inhibits me. The end result on the other hand, well there it's all gone through the wringer. I've distilled it. Re-recorded, and perfected, you actually have to learn to play the pieces and then basically do everything all over. Usually several times to get the right feeling. And sometimes just the first takes of something. Anyway, some folks talk about bullshit like inspiration and they have all kinds of fluffy dreamscapes and weird fucking delusions about creating art. For me it's all disciplined work. I need a warm place, my gear and time to work, undisturbed at my own pace. It works. There's nothing cool or romantic about it. It's a very mad professor-like dude, in sweatpants, on a diet of way to much coffee, aspirin on completely bizarre hours endlessly working away. ‘Thieves and Liars’ was written just like that during late summer and fall of 2011, then Per Möller Jensen did pretty much the same thing and added drums it at Anders Lundemarks Starstruck in Copenhagen winter 2012. Fredrik Reinedahl works a lot like myself with his mixes and did his part during spring 2012 after which Tue Madsen finally mastered. We're complete music geeks. I know. We could probably find work as songwriters and engineers for Rhianna or Pink like some of our friends do. But seriously, when you've played every ditch, nook and shitcan in the world and find you still passionately love weird rock music, what else is there to do?

xFiruath: What sort of lyrical themes are going on with the album?

Peter: I think my writing over the last three years has changed into a form which is way less tangible, in general I think it reads like abstracts and emotional images and literal reactions to things in my immediate surroundings. I used to be very defined in how I wrote, but I started trying out writing more and more in the studio over the years. Not because I am lazy, but it's become my instrument, and since I can do it now in my home, it's more comfortable and that in turn makes it more creative. The idea that suffering leads to greatness is just a fucking excuse for masochists and assholes who are cheap and don't want to pay artists for their work. In general I think that is a problem with the metal scene in general. Too much amateur enthusiasm and not enough actual art.

xFiruath: Will you be taking these songs out on the road and touring to support the album?

Peter: Yes. To which extent this will happen I have no clue yet. I have done something that used to be completely taboo in the music business, I talk openly about what goes on. It would have been commercial suicide. But it's a new layout, the business is really changing. If an artist makes it or not is no longer in the hands of a few big guns. Yes, they are still doing the dinosaur thing, efficiently blocking the way. But now the way the block is by sheer gangster methodology, i.e. a place like Spotify.

You will get paid about 10 cents per click if you ink a digital distribution deal with Warner etc. But if you make your own Spotify-publishing, you get 0.5 cents. This they do through the clout their publishing gives them. And who owns most of Spotify? The majors. The dirty word for that is malfeasance, and screwing with market conditions. They will eventually stand up against legal restrictions because something like Spotify, great as it is in some ways, it destroys any chance at "sound competition." But until that happens they will go full steam ahead trying to save their asses and make as much money as possible before ordinary people actually understands that they are actually killing rock n roll with every single mp3 stream they listen to. Then again... Maybe it needs to die to make room for something new? The thing is, in the end it's all up to the people who listen to music. Do we want just anything, or do we want something great. It's all up to us.

xFiruath: I noticed on your Facebook page you seem to have a distaste for labeling bands in specific genres or sub-genres. What leads you to that position, and do you see any value at all in distinguishing between black metal, death metal, thrash, etc.?

Peter: The only reason for labeling music, initially, was to make simple descriptions, in order to reach friends and peers. We would all describe things to make it clear what it was. But then the neo-liberal coup happened starting in 96-2001, and it has changed reality as we know it. Hypercapitalism has forced what used be a sound "fringe" side of the music business to harshen up, to "get real" in Dr. Phil-speech, to adapt to the New Capitalism or simply roll over and die. The tremendous rise in signings of artists, and lowering what they get paid has lead to a clear inflation in quality. There has been an enormous amount of self-sabotaging, as a result of idiots and incompetents rising in the music business.

People can get ahead by sheer ruthlessness and the amount of weird motherfuckers amongst agents, label representatives etc. is just insane. I could start dropping names, but I'd probably end up being sued. But In Sweden only I can point out at least 10 people in the business who should all be in jail for reckless financial behavior, not to speak of the psychopaths, actual criminals, mythomaniacs and general cynical assholes. They are just sad. To them music is just a step on the ladder. Another notch. Still, why should I allow that to affect whether I do what I do, and whether I do it or not?

The conclusion I've drawn is that I still trust good music will find a way and I've completely changed who I work with, why and how. Good music takes skilled musicians, and really skilled musicians really need to pull together and start setting the levels, placing the bar. We're not going to get away with anything else, because the options are so terrible that there really is no other choice. ‘Thieves and Liars’ is very much a product of coming to terms with these things.

xFiruath: What albums are you listening to these days, and is there anything coming up you are really excited about?

Peter: I thought the new Deftones album was going to be good, but I was miserably disappointed, it's like an artsy AC/DC album. Just more of a form we have come to accept as "identity." Ask me again in six month and hopefully I will have changed my mind. It gives me the impression that they don't give a shit, and just needed to put out another album so they can continue touring. But the Soundgarden-album on the other hand is really a grower. Initially I just thought "nah, it's just kinda too Soundgardenish, but a little tireder..." But then it's been growing on me and still does, it really is a great record and I'm glad I still give music time. I remember the first couple of times I listened to "Downward Spiral" by NIN and I fucking hated it. Two years later felt so ashamed that I literally wrote a letter to apologize to Trent Reznor. He probably never got it, but I still hold the album as one of the foremost albums of the -90's.

xFiruath: Are you involved with any other musical projects right now besides your solo album?

Peter: Science. We're putting an album called "Weird Science" out in the beginning of 2013. How to describe it? Just rock I think. Led Zeppelin meets Monstermagnet meets "Shock the monkey" era Peter Gabriel and disco/soul-Bowie? It's a record to fuck, do cool moves and enjoy things to. There's the new Rosvo album which is becoming something of an almost perversely intense thing. Amphetamine Reptile inspired noise, HC, punkrock. It's very accusatory and uncomfortable. It's the kind of music one makes instead of doing voodoo. Hateful. Traditional metalheads and morons who actually are stupid enough to "think" feces like Waitan or Burzum is music will hate it, and of course, that's the point. We're treehuggers man. Hippies with a militant agenda, sorry but that's what you get when you play "Tough guys rule" too long. Then of course there's . Scott's doing bass tracks for it, it's taking a bit of time since he's got so much other stuff but it is coming out beautifully. It's really heavy, really catchy and really weird. That's pretty much the only way I can describe it. Definitely in the world of bands like Kyuss or really doped out Helmet. And I just finished vocals for Danish Sub Rosa, a song for the next Project Hate record and something called Salomon Ape. Yeah, I keep busy...

xFiruath: What’s happening in your local music scene lately?

Peter: I honestly have no idea. I am too busy working and trying to have a life. I have two beautiful kids, amazing girlfriend and I am pretty much an all around positive dude reacting to a bizarre environment. Really.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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