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Peter Tägtgren: “It is probably in our DNA to be self-destructive and selfish. That does not really help our evolution. There will be an evolution to a certain point and then I don’t know what is going to happen.”

Bezige bij Peter Tägtgren heeft zich gelukkig weer eens afgezonderd om een aantal nieuwe songs te schrijven voor Hypocrisy, de consistente melodieuze death metal band die al bestaat sinds 1991 en nu klaar is met de opvolger voor ‘End Of Disclosure’ uit 2013. ‘Worship’ is een knaller, want we worden op onze wenken bediend met een logische opvolger die de tijden van ‘Roswell 47’ laat herleven. Niks evolutie of experiment, wij willen ‘the real thing’ en dat blijkt uit de elf sterke nieuwe songs! Daarover praatten we met duivel-doet-al Peter Tägtgren op een zonnige, maar koude namiddag.
Vera Matthijssens Ι 9 december 2021

I know that you have always been busy, but for Hypocrisy last time we spoken was in 2013, for previous album ‘End Of Disclosure’. When did you actually feel the vibe to write something for Hypocrisy again?
I guess it was right after my son and I did the ‘father & son’ thing in 2017. That made me hungry again. I don’t want to write music when I don’t have the vibe. I cannot write music just because I have to, because that’s going to turn out shit. That is why I was waiting for this vibe in my body.

I found out that your son was a real source of inspiration, at least for one song ‘Dead World’…
We did a lot of songs together, me and him, in the demo versions. Just write a bunch of metal riffs, putting them together and doing demos. That really got me hungry again for Hypocrisy.

Why did you choose exactly that track, ‘Dead World’ to put into the Hypocrisy constellation?
Because that was one of the songs we did for that father & son demo. It had a cool vibe. I like the energy in it, I like the riffing and everything around it. So I asked him if it was okay that I could use it and he said yeah, no problem.

In general, can we see this album ‘Worship’ as a kind of protest against society?
No, it is like I always do. These are my stories, my thoughts, my fantasies. I read a lot of things, I do a lot of research about a lot of things and this is what I see and I make my own story around it. It was the same thing in 2013 on ‘End Of Disclosure’, if you read these lyrics, they are very much focused on what’s going on as well. ‘The Eye’ is about depopulating the earth, same of the new album in a certain way explaining stories how I see it and how I feel it. It is nothing new, since 1994 I started to write what people call ‘weird lyrics’. It is just my way of expressing myself.

Well, it is more interesting than a love song…
Well some people prefer to make love songs, it is just not for me.

One of the themes which is always present in your works, is the fascination for the universe and aliens. What do you thing of people like Elon Musk who says that we should travel through space and find a new planet to make our home there?
Well, let us see if they will let us travel in space, as I think we are a very self-destructive species, I don’t know if they are going to let us travel outside our own world to be honest. And that reflects also the cover of the album. It is more they are coming back to collect, we are planted here as a seed two hundred thousand years ago and I also believe that the last 150 years, someone altered our DNA because we got so much smarter all of a sudden. Now I think they regret it (laughs).

Carl Sagan once said that every civilization destroys itself in the long run…
Yes, we are very self-destructive, the human race. It is probably in our DNA to be self-destructive and selfish. That does not really help our evolution. There will be an evolution to a certain point and then I don’t know what is going to happen.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not into conspiracy theories, but I leave every possibility open…
Yeah that is how I write my music. I read about a lot of conspiracy theories, left and right, all kinds of shit. Anything from politicians to science fiction to technology and medication. All these things, you got to filter a lot of shit away, because there is so much bullshit out there and you have to stick with what you believe in these stories, which ones do you believe that can actually be true and not just swallow everything that people put out about conspiracies. Sometimes conspiracies are there to make more conspiracy. They become a cult.

But these governments become a cult at itself these days…
Oh they are very good in fucking up everything. That comes from higher places. From big bangs and even from higher big bangs, you know. There are a few families that rule the world.

Yes  the Bildenberg Group and the Hungarian George Soros…
Oh that fucking asshole! He was set on the planet just to fuck it up. The problem is, he is not the only one. He has kids and they are fucked up in their heads as well, so it will not stop. When he disappears, it does not stop. It has been going on through many hundred years, through generations.

What did you think when the USA announced that there are more UFO’s than they said?
They just want to distract us with those things, so we don’t focus so much on the covid-19 thing, where it comes from and what it is and how it is…

Indeed, that is another story, because the investigation for the origin of the virus in China is very corrupted…
Yes, I leave it up to people to decide about that. I mean, I wrote all the lyrics for the album before the covid-19 pandemic. People are asking me now if I am an antivax person, come on, seriously, I even didn’t know about the covid-19 when I wrote these lyrics. We did the ‘Chemical Whore’ video in September 2019 for example, in Saint Petersburg. We went to L.A in April 2019 for photo sessions for this album ‘Worship’. The cover was done a couple of years before the album was out. The album was 90% done when the covid-19 shit happened and then I saw a good opportunity to recharge my batteries for half a year. So I didn’t do anything and then after half a year of that shit, I started to clean up the album and started mixing it. That’s how it is…

In 2019 you toured a lot and in August you played at the Alcatraz festival…
Yes, I toured intensively in 2019 and at Alcatraz it was nice to come out again.

Weren’t you restless when you could not tour?
Yes, I was very restless. Everybody was restless, I mean, but like I said, the first half year I was happy to have some time off, because it had been very busy with all these bands, touring and making albums over the last eight years. It has been a lot of shit. It is necessary to recharge your batteries to come back hungry.

Why did you choose Saint Petersburg to shoot the video?
Because my management is from Russia. They have some good connections and we also wanted to save time while we were on the road, to make everything that’s necessary for the album. It doesn’t work to be ready with an album and then: oh we need a new video. We really try to make the best out of everything. It was the same thing when we were in the USA in April 2019, like I said, when we did the headline tour in the US. We did photo sessions and tried to take the opportunity, not only stand on stage and play when you are on a tour, but actually work around the next album.

Sometimes it must be difficult to keep it secret, when you have a baby in hands, but it is not coming out for so long…
Yes, exactly, but I think we did a good job on that.

Musically you do not focus on maximum velocity, but build up tension…
Yeah I try to keep it dynamic, get some good feeling in it, like with the slow songs, trying to make them very epic so you can really get in them and just fly away with it.

Was there a certain reason why you finally choose ‘Worship’ as title?
After coming up with the idea of the cover itself, I just saw it in front of me. This is all about worship. Just look at the world now, everybody is worshipping something. It is either YouTube they worship or sport’s hero worshipping, music, religion, there is so many things about this worshipping that people become fanatic.

And that is reflected in the artwork as well…
Yes, I got this idea. I drew it on a napkin really bad and I sent it over to Nuclear Blast in America for them, to help them figure out what I really wanted. Finally we got this guy Blake Armstrong who did a really good job on my vision. I couldn’t be happier.

Hypocrisy has been around for thirty years. Congratulations.
Thank you, yeah, crazy! Shall we congratulate or shall we condolence (laughs)? Well, I mean it has been a hell of a ride, that’s for sure.

What are the plans for the near future?
We are working on a tour for next year. This year I don’t think anything will happen, because there are still some decisions and rules in different countries and you never know if they are going to spike again and they are going to close everything down, so we are working on for next year instead. We had a tour actually this year, for October and November, but in August we said ‘fuck it, it doesn’t make sense’. If you go to the south of Germany, you have to sit. If you go way up north in Germany, it is totally different. So every country has also different rules in the regions, in different parts of the country. It is too tricky to do anything. I really hope that we can control this stupid virus and get the people’s freedom back a little bit. It was a good opportunity for all these stupid politics to enhance their power with the restrictions left and right. It is always like that. First you scare the shit out of the population and then you can control them much better. In fear they think they need them. In Sweden they even did not understand, so they are total idiots.

Indeed you had no lockdowns…
Yeah because they are so stupid. We had one of the higher cases per capita in Sweden, because they didn’t know how to inform to work with elderly people and things like that, how to protect themselves and how to protect the elderly people. A lot of people died for nothing. It is fucking hippie mentality.

Will there be more videos?
There will be more, yes, definitely. There will be a few more singles I think before the album release. It is still six or seven weeks before the album is coming out, so we are ahead again with everything. I just hope we are not too much ahead.

What is ‘Bug In The Net’ about?
It is about one of the first known abducting cases in the world. It is from 1961. It is about Barnie and Betty Hill who claimed that they got abducted and they said they were in trance and couldn’t do anything. It felt as if they were a bug in the net, he could not get away. In a cyber net so to say.

Are there other stories you want to share?
Every song has its own story, yes, but for me it is interesting, I don’t know how interesting it is for anybody else. ‘Greedy Bastards’ is what you are reading about right now, this Pandora’s box from Panama where they find all these people hiding money. So bingo, there goes another one. And they will get away with it, Good for them, the elite, for not for us, working people.

Electricity and gas are twice as expensive as last year in Belgium…
The whole planet, they make every citizen broke, so that they cannot afford to own anything or do anything and then they will get their fucking lunch money from the government. And if they are not nice enough, they will not get any lunch money. And that is the whole plan. So they can control them in that way, it is super simple.

Let us round off with a positive note…
Everybody be careful and I hope that everybody enjoys the new album and I hope to see everybody out on the road next year.