INTERVIEW: The Haunted
Trashed, Lost, and Strung Out (Century Media)
By: Mike SOS
One of the most prolific metal bands from Sweden have welcomed a familiar face back to its fold, as vocalist Peter Dolving's return to The Haunted is commemorated with the sonically brutal REVOLVER. The recently released scorching 13-track Century Media venture has been on many critic's Top Ten lists for 2004, and for good reason. When speaking to Dolving via email, we asked about his triumphant return, what he was doing in the interim, and his take on the death of Dimebag Darrell, who The Haunted was on tour with at the time of the tragic murder. Never at a loss for words or shy on wit, Dolving opens up his heart and mind and unleashes an interesting read for metal fans worldwide.
MIKE SOS: So, why did you leave the band in the first place and then return?
PETER: Well how about this: Shitty company. Shitty record deal. ADD. Manic depression. No money. Love and self-hatred, etc. But I've told that so many times now it's getting old. So now, I'm thinking maybe it's because I had to hide from the Russian mob or getting mixed by complete fluke with secret agents and a soap factory in the former republic of Czechoslovakia. Or perhaps it had something to do with getting fugitives out of China... I don't know, which story do you prefer?
MIKE SOS: What were you doing during your time away (musically, personally, etc.)?
PETER: Actually I've done loads of stuff. I've produced some indie bands. I've done guest vocals and co-written stuff with friends of mine in a sXe-band called Set My Path and crust demons Total J?vla M?rker(, which means Complete Fucking Darkness. Inge, the bass player from The International Noise Conspiracy is one of their vocalists. Also I've made three full albums with my own band. Initially, we called it the Peter Dolving Band, but we've changed that to Bring The War Home (because the Weathermen were the fucking shit). Also, been part of the songwriting and recording process for an anarchist reggae-band called Gusto. We've done two albums featuring Yellowman and U Brown. And of course, there's the legal and advisory work I've gotten into through the musicians union because of my interest in the music business.
MIKE SOS: Describe the recording process for REVOLVER: how long it took, the struggles endured in the studio, working with the producer and with Lou from Sick of it All.
PETER: I'll be painfully honest: we have this attitude towards recording that pretty much reflects on The Haunted as a band. It's not like this with anyone else I've worked with. We get there at eight in the morning. We leave at five in the afternoon. No one gets exited. Ever. We simply put the tracks down the way we've arranged them in the rehearsal room. No one talks more than necessary (except for me), and nothing is left to coincidence or divine inspiration. The album took 20 days to record, and about a week to mix it. How about that? Sounds about as fun as driving a nail through your hand, or watching paint dry. And it is too. But the results are good so we must be doing something right. As far as Lou goes - we asked him and he liked the idea. SOIA were on tour and when they played Gothenburg he came by the studio. A few awkward hellos, mostly us feeling a bit embarrassed, then he did his vocals in about an hour and that was that. The man rocks! That's a fact.
MIKE SOS: What was the easiest song to record? The toughest? The one that came out the best (in your opinion).
PETER: My favorites are "Smut King" and "Out of Reach". Coincidently, they're not on the album except as bonus tracks in some territories. I don't think any of the songs are harder or easier. We have one standard, and it has always pretty much a challenge to what we previously achieved and learned on the way to the next record.
MIKE SOS: How did your time away from the band inspire your role on REVOLVER?
PETER: I've let go any illusions of fitting in to any norm. I know I'm an oddball and being away from the band has only further proved that. Pat Lachman from Damageplan told me I was the sanest insane man he's ever met, and Nicke from The Hellacopters is always going on about how I'm too much, too much. I don't know. I stay pretty much on my own. My interests are a bit quirky and VERY contradictory I guess. I'm into social issues, politics, indie rock, really twisted pornography, martial arts, and art. Pretentious as fuck, I know.
MIKE SOS: When did you feel fully welcomed back into the group?
PETER: In the Haunted you never really know. That's just how this band works. Some would call us strange. Some would call us VERY strange. I guess Jensen is the most normal guy in the band, being the "rocker" of us. Surrounding himself with all these tall very "metal" beautiful women and playing AC/DC, King Diamond and early Scorpions on full blast in the tour bus. Me, I'll be sitting around trying to figure out if it's being unfaithful to my wife to spank the punk rock chick in the school girl outfit while drinking LOTS of coffee. But you never know if you're in or out - not in this band.
MIKE SOS: What's the best and worst part about being part of this band?
PETER: Well, the best part is also the worst: the fact that we are five completely different people with fairly damaged communicative skills. Honestly, we have nothing in common but The Haunted, early Deep Purple, Slayer, Black Sabbath and Autopsy. But that should be enough to keep any group of people together, right?
MIKE SOS: Describe your take on the Dimebag Darrell situation. What was it like to be part of the tour that night, and can you give us any firsthand insight to the tragedy?
PETER: I get so much shit in the U.S. for my opinion on this. Anyway, number one, what happened was a fucking tragedy. The details you can read about elsewhere. But the tragedy is not only on a personal level for the family, friends and fans of Dime. It's a tragedy on a national level in the United States. The fact that handguns are so easy to access across the United States is killing thousands of people every year. I don't hate guns. I don't feel uncomfortable around guns. I like guns. They're fun. I've had access to guns, rifles and automatic weapons all my life. I've killed animals hunting and working as a butcher. I'm also not a pacifist. But nevertheless, guns are fucking dangerous. You fucking die if someone points it at you and fires. If for some reason you don't die, that's sheer coincidence, and if God exists, take my word for it, he's not gonna give you a second chance, Now I'm aware it says that every man should have the right to bear arms in the constitution. Sure, but the constitution is fucking old, ok? The guy who shot Dime was a NUTCASE! I figure it's just not a good thing that any idiot or Marines dropout can just buy a gun. Does this make sense to you? I've seen guns and liquor drive thru stores in Colorado. Now tell me, in a country where the domestic violence and crime entailing handguns are as high as they are in the USA, what is the good thing about not having gun control? Instead, we have people arguing that instead of gun control, we should have more death penalties. Would you be a happier person if the love of your life got killed, and the person who did it got the chair? Would that get your baby back? Enough! This whole issue just pisses me off and makes me sad.
MIKE SOS: Which audiences are better, U.S. or Europe and why?
PETER: Americans! Because, for some reason,they rock more and harder. It's only in the U.K. and at festivals and hardcore shows in Europe that the kids are really moshing it up, but it is getting better. Satanic black metal kids are the worst, like fucking mannequins standing around looking like Marilyn Manson on Quaaludes or glue, being severe and worrying about their makeup and piercings. Lame. Go sacrifice a cat or something!
MIKE SOS: What are the plans for the band for 2005?
MIKE SOS: What do you like to do during your down time at home? When on the road?
PETER: At home, I spend as much time as I can with my wife and kids. I spend a lot of time running and working out (but for some reason I still look fat even though I run seven miles every second day). Besides that, it's all rehearsing with The Haunted and Bring The War Home. On the road, I sleep a lot. Look for cool books and weird porn. Go to gay discos or coffee shops and sit in a corner and laugh at the how strange and funny people are. I'm thinking on trying to do this interview book with different porn actors, but we'll see what happens with that.
MIKE SOS: What bands are you currently into? Any music you like that the fans of The Haunted would be surprised with?
PETER: I'm still pretty hooked on Mars Volta's "Deloused..." and Perfect Circles "13 Steps". Also, I've been rediscovering the Misfits lately. Glenn Danzig used to be so fucking cool before he got into the whole "Evil Elvis"-thing. Besides that, I'm still waiting for Henry Rollins to come up with something really good soon because it has been a while And in my dreams, Phil Anselmo works out some of his demons and gets it into his heart and mind that we all love him and does some incredible work.
MIKE SOS: How do you feel about the current state of heavy music?
PETER: I don't think of it. I never have. I like what I like and that's that. Very Forrest Gump, or Colonel Kurtz, I guess- you choose.
MIKE SOS: What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
PETER: Learn your shit. Devote yourself to the craft religiously. Body and soul. Sell your soul to Satan and get down with the beauty of the rock.
MIKE SOS: What defines metal to you?
PETER: Nothing. It's just a word to describe this vastly wide pool of music that the so-called mainstream won't touch. Metal can be anything but the watered out, neo-blaxploitation, shallow shampoo and hair gel crap they sell on daytime MTV, VH1 and etc.
MIKE SOS: What bands would you like to tour with that you haven't yet?
PETER: Limp Bizkit. Tool. System of a Down. Cypress Hill. Metallica. The South Parkapalooza. And of course, Fugazi, but pretend you didn't even hear that because that's never going to happen, unless of course--
MIKE SOS: How do you take care of your voice? Any secrets you'd like to let us in on?
PETER: It wouldn't be a secret if I did... would it? But yes, Satan is involved!
MIKE SOS: What's your prediction for The Haunted in 2005?
PETER: That we will tour, tour, and tour some more. I know it's that one really dry answer I shouldn't be giving, but I really have no expectations and I'm too jaded to pretend I'm not. Only time will tell. I know we'll have a good time and anyone who comes along for the ride will too. See you all out there!