Hypocrisy To Ravage The States On Worship Tour 2022
Hypocrisy To Ravage The States On Worship Tour 2022
It’s been eight long years, but the mighty Hypocrisy has returned with an all-out vengeance – unleashing their latest magnum opus entitled Worship upon this vast and dying planet via Nuclear Blast Records. Fronted by the legendary Peter Tägtgren, Hypocrisy has unleashed their own compelling brand of melodic death metal for over 30 years. Now about to tour the States with a local stop at the notorious 1720 in Downtown LA on May 15th, Hypocrisy is primed and ready to ravage North America in nothing short of an epic way! Highwire Daze recently interviewed the one and only Peter Tägtgren to discuss the making of the almighty Worship, the highlights of a brilliant career in metal, their upcoming North America tour, and more…
What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming tour here in the States?
Just to go out and play some new songs for everybody. We released an album it feels like thousands of years ago, but when you don’t go out and play these songs, it feels really weird. We’re not only going to play new songs. But first of all, just to go out, meet all the people, and play in front of them. We’re working on a really good setlist as well. We really totally rearranged a lot of shit, because I think we’ve been too comfortable for the last 10 years with the songs we’ve been playing. So now, we’re actually rearranging a lot of stuff. Of course, there’s a few songs we have to play because they’re hits and stuff like that, but other than that, we’re really going crazy with the songs now for this tour.
When was the last time Hypocrisy played here in the Los Angeles area, and what was the experience like?
2019 I think in March. It was really good. It was packed! I can’t remember the venues name, but it was the last time we did a headline tour in North America.
It’s been 8 years since the last Hypocrisy album. How frustrating was it to wait that long? I’m sure the pandemic didn’t help.
Yeah, exactly! That may have also been like “Okay, what’s the point?” Maybe it’s very egocentric, but it just didn’t motivate you at all to do anything, to be honest. I mean we started recording and writing songs in 2018 and was just sitting and waiting for it to be done. When we actually started getting all the songs together, then the pandemic came in in 2020, and it kind of put everything on hold. And record companies and people were like, “Don’t release anything now. It’s going to be suicide.” So, we were kind of sitting and waiting. All the songs were written and mainly recorded in 2019. I didn’t start mixing until the end of 2020 I think, when it felt like “Come on, it’s time now.”
The new album is called Worship. Is there any story or concept behind that title? That album cover art is awesome!
It is about worshipping. I mean, that’s what the whole world is all about nowadays. If you don’t look at the cover, Worship is a really universal thing. You’ve gotta worship like bloggers or politicians or athletes in sports or musicians – everything is about worshipping, you know? There’s nothing normal anymore – either you love it or you hate it. But for the cover itself, humanity is going away and coming back to Earth. People think it’s the aliens coming back, but it’s actually the humans coming back after years and years away. I just had this idea from the beginning with pyramids, and also using our crosses as some kind of vehicle or spaceship – or whatever you want to call it. The same is in the 70’s when Boston or Electric Light Orchestra did that stuff with their logos. I thought it was a really cool idea. Here it’s about worshipping people who put us on the planet from the beginning who actually breeded us – or whatever you want to call it. They’re coming back to collect.
Let’s talk about a few of the songs on the new album. Give me a little background on the song Children Of The Gray.
It also goes a little but with the cover. It’s mainly when we’ve been screwing up the Earth enough. When we finally screwed it up so much, they’re going to come back and take it back, so to speak. They are the ancestors – the ancient gods, so to speak. It basically means when all the hopes are gone and all the bullshit, we’ve done wrong – when it’s over and done, they are going to come back and take it over and wipe us out pretty much.
Chemical Whore – let’s talk about that.
It’s about the pharmaceutical industry – how powerful they are and have always been since many, many, many years. Instead of solving problems with psychologists or whatever, it’s always better to take a pill – you know? It’s easier for them to make you be all numbed down, and they make a lot of money – so it’s a win/win situation for them – in a short-term meaning of the whole thing.
And Greedy Bastards…
It’s about politicians – as you can see on the news all of the time – how they pocket money for themselves – say they work for the people – they never do. Genuinely it’s about these bastards sitting and running the countries. It doesn’t matter which country we’re talking about – they’re all fucking polluted – let’s put it that way. There’s no “I work for the people.” It’s “I work for myself and my future.” And I see that a lot with politicians – where they end up after being done – either a Prime Minister or a President or whatever – you see what they’ve been doing during that time. Because suddenly they’re so wealthy and they have all these prime-time jobs after – so they’re not working for us, they’re working for themselves.
Mikael Hedlund has been with Hypocrisy pretty much every step of the way. What do you think makes you and Mikael work so well together?
That’s a good question. I don’t know. He’s very easy to work with. In the past, me and him were writing a lot of songs. I was writing the song and he came with the riff, and we’d put it in there or vice versa – things like that. And it’s been going on for a long time. And then he moved to Germany like 16 years ago and then it kind of really slowed down with him. He had his own things to take care of so to speak – so music came a little bit less. But I try to keep the engine going for Hypocrisy. The last album he didn’t write anything unfortunately, but he wrote two good riffs on this album – for Children Of The Gray and also Chemical Whore. So, I hope he’s back now.
And then looking back, you and Mikael were both in a band called WAR and put out some really crazy music. Looking back, what do you think of WAR and that particular music you did?
Oh god! I don’t know. I was just drumming. It was mainly because I was recording Ophthalmia with It, and also did some albums with Dark Funeral where Blackmoon was in. We would sit afterwards and talk and “Hey, let’s do something together!” They actually started writing some songs and shit, and I was like “Yeah, sure. I can play some drums.” Because I did the Abyss drumming from this black metal project we had in the past. So, I said, “Yeah, why not! I’ll do something.” So, it was just basically me behind there going “Okay what is the riff?” and “Let’s do it!” It was fun for the time. Then they started coming up with weird lyrics, and I was like “I don’t know, man.” I kind of skipped it, and I think Lars Szöke (former Hypocrisy drummer) jumped in playing drums on the next album or something like that. I was like “Okay, this is just too much for me…”
I just think it was interesting that you and Mikael were involved in that band so early on…
Yeah, it was because we both worked in the studio. Mikael used to work with me in the studio for a while in the past. It was mainly they had some ideas, and I think Mikael played bass on it, plus was recording it at the same time. And I jumped in and played drums. And I think on the next album, Lars Szöke also jumped in and played drums on that. It was a long time ago, but everybody was like “Let’s just play!” You didn’t give a shit – just play and record – it was a great time! You didn’t think what you were doing – you were just banging it out!
Your drummer on the Worship album is Reidar Horghagen aka Horgh for Immortal. How did he become involved with Hypocrisy?
I think it came from when I started recording Immortal’s At The Heart Of Winter album – and so we became good friends. And when Immortal quit in 2003-2004 – Lars really wasn’t holding up his drumming anymore, so we asked Horgh if he wanted to jump in since I knew him very well since I recorded 3-4 albums with him before. And plus, he actually jumped in playing drums for PAIN in Europe when we were on tour. So, I knew him very well – and he’s very easy going and he’s very organized – you can always trust him. So, we said “Let’s ask him if he wants to do that.” The first song I wrote was Warpath after I knew he was going to be in the band, because it influenced me so. And he just kept going with that. And I guess now with the long break, different priorities in life – it was bound to happen! So, we went different ways now. But we have a new drummer that’s going to jump in for the American tour of course – and also for the rest of the year – so that will be cool.
Exactly 30 years ago you recorded your first Hypocrisy album Penetralia. Looking back, what do you think of that album now in retrospect?
I would say I wrote all the songs and got a contract and had to pull in a bunch of people from the neighborhood into the band – so we could have a band and release an album. It was kind of a hasty job and whatever Lars couldn’t do on drums, I had to do the drums. So, I think I played 8 or 9 songs on that album – drums. So, it was kind of a chaotic state of mind when we were recording it, but overall, I think the songs are great. Maybe the production is not the best, but I think the songs are really cool. This was something I was influenced by at the time – anything from Morbid Angel, Deicide, Entombed – stuff like that. I didn’t set out to be a complex playing band – it was more of the Swedish simpleness of the death metal of riffing combined by the American attitude I would say in the end of the 80’s. It was learning by doing for sure.
Now let’s go back exactly 20 years ago when you released an album called Catch 22. What do you think about that album and that time in Hypocrisy?
Oh, I was a pissed man! (Laughs) I hated everything and everybody. I even wrote a nice song like Don’t Judge Me to all the reviewers and people who are in the media – and basically a big finger in their face! And I’m telling them to fuck off – because I was tired of everything – and that was 20 years ago, so imagine how it is today! (Much laughter) So this album because more punky and more strange – and a lot of people had a problem with it in the beginning when it came out – but nowadays it seemed like people really liked it. For us, it was important to get it out of the system – I guess to ventilate and then come back again to normal. I think a lot of bands that have a career over 20 years, they do a very different album in their career – and then jump back to what they are supposed to do, so to speak. I mean, Metallica with their Lulu stuff – it’s a more ventilation thing – and then you come back to business-as-usual kind of thing. I think it’s very important for the artists to do this ventilation and just to get it out of your system.
There have been a few singles recently released from your other band PAIN. Any chance of an album soon?
Yes, actually I just walked in from the studio. I’m sitting scratching my head and building songs together right now as we speak. I don’t have too many right now – now that the Hypocrisy album has been out, I could now actually relax a little bit and start dabbling around the studio with some PAIN stuff.
Do you have any messages for your fans here in the States and here in the Los Angeles area?
Yeah, can’t wait to come back to your country and just kick your fuckin’ ass all the way. And the good part is I know you will kick my ass and that’s fucking great! With the LA show, it really took me by surprise, because I didn’t know what to expect. I hear people say it must be different between the East Coast and West Coast – and I guess in the past the East Coast was kind of more punkish – more rowdy. But when we were in LA last time – I mean holy shit! They fucking kicked our asses and it was great!
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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