Interviews : The Project Hate
The Project Hate
With Lord K. Philipson
"Our hate cuts through the flesh like fire The carnage is a work of art Proudly we stand, watching in silence The remains of christian souls torn apart"
If there is a heavier, more sinister death metal album in 2005 please let me know; I've yet to find a fucker as furious as Armageddon March Eternal. This is The Project Hate's finest hour yet something tells me this is only the beginning of amazing things to come for this Swedish band.
The man behind The Project Hate, Lord K. Philipson was kind enough to attend to my questions in a way no past interviewee has done before; with some of the most thorough and fastest replies which speaks of K's professionalism as a musician and as a human being. If there is one death metal album you pick up in 2005, make it Armageddon March Eternal, you won't regret it! Now off to the interview. Enjoy!
From the band's humble beginnings until now, "Armageddon March Eternal" sounds like an album you have been striving to make for a long time. There is an immense musical progression and maturity that - forgive me for saying this - overshadows anything The Project Hate has done before. Was this your goal, to keep the vintage TPH sound but to completely surpass your musical achievements of the past?
Well… "AME" is definitely the album I have been wanting to do for a very fucken long time but it didn't happen until right now. The album is perfect, and it feels weird to have been able to record an album that feels just that, perfect. There's not a single flaw on the whole damn thing and the countless hours that went into mixing and recording really paid off in the end. Me and Dan Swanö worked so fucken hard with the album and it really shows. It all came together on this one. The way we recorded it, not having any deadlines, trying out millions of things etc..., definitely pushed ourselves to the limits of what we knew we were capable of. I love all the albums we have recorded but "AME" is something else, to say the least. Funny thing is that we will top this one next time around. That's just how it has to be done.
"Armageddon March Eternal" is the heaviest TPH has ever sounded. Yet, while it reeks with anger and unbridled fury it also possesses a very depressive aura. What influenced your mood during the recordings of "Armageddon…"? How, if any, has the death of your long time friend Mieszko Talarczyk influence your mood for this recording?
I agree on this album being our most heavy effort yet, but at the same time there's so much melody and melancholy throughout it which can't be denied. I can't say there are many happy tones on it, haha... As far as influences goes, it's the same shit as always. It's just there, it just comes. I can't pin-point any exact bands or anything that inspired the writing for this one. What comes out, comes out, you know? This is what we sound like in 2005. I have no idea why it came out as brutal as it did but those riffs and arrangements are what we are today. This is definitely how I want TPH to sound. It took us 4 albums before we reached our goal, but here we are now. Perfected and more awesome than ever. Mieszko's been present very much in though during this recording and when me and Dan drew up the guidelines for the album we said "let's do this record for Mieszko". As stated in the booklet, every single word and tone on this album is for Mieszko. We weren't close friends or anything, but we knew each other a bit since I have recorded for him for quite some time. He is missed, that's for sure. He was one talented guy. At least his musical legacy lives on. I hope he's tearing up shit wherever he is.
One of the main elements that enhances the depressive nature of the new compositions are Jo's vocals. With Jo stepping into the band right before the recording of "Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate" what has her presence meant to TPH? Do you consider her a permanent member or just a guest musician?
Jo is a fucken full fledged member, she always was. She's meant a lot to our sound since she's so full of ideas and is a genuine sweetheart. Some of the stuff on the new album is so insane. I have no idea where she comes up with that shit but it gives me the fucken creeps how talented she really is. When we recorded "HDCE" she had hardly met all of us in the band even, but she came there and did a great job. With this album she knows us and she's been having lots of time to work on the material before recording, and it really shows. I don't have to tell Jo anything about how to construct her vocal-lines, she knows exactly what I wanna hear and delivers it to me. Jo worked with a vocal-coach on "AME" and that really brought out unknown parts of her. I remember clearly when she looked at me and the vocal-coach and said "I didn't know I could sound this good". Robban (vocal-coach) really worked with her and used different angles of her to bring out the best of her, and they worked beautifully in the studio together. I definitely wanna use him and his studio for her vocals the next time around as well. If you read this wrong it sounds like a fucken porn-novel, haha… Jo never seizes to amaze me with her voice and ideas. I love the fucken bitch.
Continuing on that subject, too many bands with female singers complain on how difficult to work with a woman. How about Jo?
Jo is so excellent to work with. She never nags about anything and just delivers instead. She's a full-on pro and really knows what I wanna hear. She's never brought up a bad idea and presented it to me. If she creates something she likes she knows I will fucken like it as well. She's very easy to have in the band. I wouldn't wanna trade her for anything. I don't think working with woman should be any harder than working with a fucken guy. Either they know how to do shit or they don't. I don't think having a penis or a fucken vagina is the problem.
As it so often happens with musicians when they get older they mellow down. Yet you are even more pissed than before both musically and lyrically. What are some of the things that still keep the venom spewing?
Yeah, it seems that we've turned heavier with age and I don't know why, haha... It's just what we wanna do right now. I mean, if I felt like doing a doom album next time around, that's what I would do, but it's not likely to happen. I'm very satisfied with how we have progressed and what direction our music has taken lately. You can always tell it's TPH thanks to the unique sound we have but we sure have gotten more brutal lately. I have no idea how we are going to sound on the next album but I'm very chuffed with what we are on to. As far as inspiration goes... No specific things really, it's just there. I guess Satan's blessed us with talent. And we take good care of it to say the least.
While TPH incorporates an amalgam of different musical instruments, I still want to call you a "riff" band – tying everything together by one powerful guitar riff. Would you agree?
Hmm... Yes and no. This varies... Half of the time a song is being created from a keyboard and half of the time it's being created from a guitar-riff. We have fantastic riffs all over the place, but that goes for keyboards as well. What comes up first, comes up first. I don't care as long as the end-result is a fucken killer-tune. Naturally, me being a guitarist and the same goes for Mazza [Petter S. Freed - guitars] we put a lot of time into writing catchy riffs and try out a lot of different variations with them. Usually I make all the stuff myself here and when I'm drawing a ucken blank for a certain section I just send the part to Mazza and tell him to create something there. Some 10 minutes later I get the riff back and it sounds ace. That's how we work. I do the heavy work and Mazza delivers insane riffage when needed. I really play with the fucken elite. These guys make my vision real.
Continuing with the subject of guitar riffs, you solely use Jackson guitars and if I am not mistaken there is a chance of them endorsing you. Obviously this could only happen outside of the United States, but what kind of shit do/did you have to go through for them to even consider you? Did you have to, for lack of a better word, apply for it?
I have played nothing but Jackson since 1992 or so, and those guitars are everything I want. I actually e-mailed them and told them I fucken deserve a deal with them since I have been promoting the fuck out of them guitars for over a decade. They wanted me to send in some promo-package with all kinds of shit and even sent me guidelines for what to send. Fuck the guidelines, I sent them shit my own way, if it's not good enough for them, fuck them. I don't have any real albums to send them and shit and it's not like I'm going out to buy albums for them. They have to do with what I sent. If they don't like it, tough. Fuck it. I never thought a deal would come through anyways so it's not that important. It's not like I have any money to buy a new guitar anyway so I don't mind if the deal won't happen. It's more a fun thing to have them at least consider doing something with me. Fuck knows they need at least one decent musician on their fucken roster, and it might as well be fucken me.
How does your average TPH song come to life? Do you have to be in a certain mood to write for TPH? As a main songwriter and a co-founding member, how much seniority do you maintain during a songwriting process?
I covered this a little above I think. I just sit here and come up with something and then it eventually leads into something else and before we know it we have a new 9 minute track, and no one understood how the fuck it happened. I do most of the music, Mazza helps out sometimes with riffs and arrangements but the main-part is created by me. Countless are the hours that I sit down and work with the programming and whatnot. That's the fun part... It's great to have a structure of the song ready and then start to go into details. People would think I'm fucken insane if they only knew how many hours goes into programming etc... I do so much stuff within the songs it's almost silly. A lot of it you won't hear but I know it's there and that's why there’s so many new things to discover with each and every listen. When it comes to mood... Well, I don't sit around waiting for a certain mood or anything, I just write when I feel I have something to get out from me. Some times a song takes a few hours to complete, sometimes it takes a few days. No matter the time, the end result is always killer, haha...
If I am not mistaken, "Armageddon March Eternal" is the first record where you had someone else play bass guitar. May I say that results are marvelous as Michael Hakansson (Evergrey) adds a nice touch on the new compositions. But why and how did Michael join the band? TPH is quite a jump in style from the progressive and much mellower Evergrey.
I have known Michael for a while now and we always bump into each other at festivals and shit. Michael's one awesome fucker and getting him to play on the album feels awesome as he's a real bassist. I'm not. He thinks completely different compared to me and that was what I was aiming for. Instead of having the bass just go along most of the time, he creates actually interesting stuff, and I love it. We came to using him as he started dating a friend of mine and I just got the idea. He's now a ful member of the band and as far as I know he's really chuffed doing this band with us as it's completely different compared to what he's usually doing. He's really expressed his feelings about the material and I know he's chuffed as fuck being with us. So are we. Michael is fucken awesome and he's one of the nicest persons I fucken know.
"Armageddon March Eternal" sports the band's best production to date. The sound is clear yet every instrument is pushed to the max which sounds incredible heavy! You produced the album with Dan Swano whom you have previously worked with in Odyssey. But why him? He is obviously a big time name but do you think you could have gotten the same production from someone else and for less money? Enlighten us please.
Less money? I don't think so. This recording was very cheap, but it sounds expensive as fuck. And that's the whole point. I have known Dan for so fucken long and when the Tsunami changed the plans of recording with Mieszko we had to look into other options. Dan was at my place one day and for some reason we just started talking about recording together again. And it's seriously the best thing we ever did, to record this album the way we did. Dan really put his heart and soul into the recording and it really shows. I am so satisfied with the production and believe me when I say it's not easy to make everything within our music hearable. It's a bitch to mix it, without a doubt, but Dan did one excellent job, and then some. I definitely want to record with Dan again and if I get to decide, we will with the next album.
From your online studio reports, the writing and recording process for "Armageddon..." was a grueling one. How long did it take you as a whole to write and record the new album? How do you feel now knowing your new album is complete and being enjoyed by [hopefully many] metalheads out there?
We have never spent so much time on a recording before actually. I think we recorded from Feb to May. Thing is that we didn't have any time-limits so we just recorded when we felt like it. This really improved the material as we could try out so many things during the process. I don't know for how long we wrote the material for "AME" but it took some time for sure. In the end it doesn't matter for shit since the result of it all is perfect. That's all that counts. The recording was actually very easy, very calm and very smooth. We didn't run into any problems or anything during the whole process, which is weird. Oh well, Michael had some computer problems but fuck it, it turned out killer in the end. I think he traveled all over Sweden to sort his problems when he recorded the bass, haha... But he didn't give up. That's determination.
Were the 8 songs appearing on "Armageddon..." the only ones recorded or did a few others not make a cut / saved for a Japanese bonus?
Why the fuck should Japan have a bonus for? Fuck that. I just heard that the US markets want some fucken special shit on their CD's. That pisses me off. What the fuck for? I want all of them to have the same product. Fuck them, spoiled cunts. Fuck it, we should include fucken photos of our cocks as a bonus. Anyways, we recorded all the tunes we had, all that were planned. We don't create stuff and save it for later or anything. We set up a goal and make sure to complete that goal. "AME" was planned to have 8 tracks and that's what its got. We did plan to record a cover, just for fun, but never got to it. You could say we didn't fucken care too much.
There are so many moments that stand out on Armageddon…While I love every single song, if I had to choose one specific part, I would pick the (0:43-0:47) of "The Bleeding Part of a Breeding Whore." There is something about that part, when Jo's vocals come in that I cannot get out of my head. What's your favorite song/moment on the new album?
This is so hard, so I'll name a few parts from every song.
1. At the Entrance to Hell's Unholy Fire: 2:52 - 3:35 - I love Jo's lines here and Mazza's guitar that's backing her up is so awesome. When the guitars disappear here and only bass and electronica is backing up Jo, I'm calling it a day. Listen to the low harmony that Jo's doing in that part. Awesome. Listen closely, it's not that evident, on purpose. 6:17 - 7:00 - "We are the salt in the eyes of Christ." I love J [Jörgen Sandström - vocals] on this. I love J on fucken everything. That guy is fucken art when it comes to growling. Mazza's solo is neat as fucken hell as well.
2. The Bleeding Eyes of a Breeding Whore: 2:38 - 3:09 - Michael's 3 layers of bass here is phenomenal. And Jo's vocals are so awesome. 7:46 - 8:30 - I fucken love what Jo did with this part. I also remember so clearly when I did the guitars for this track and came up with the pretty fast guitar-thing backing Jo up on the "Return for hell" lines... This part escalades into one awesome and emotional solo by Mazza and this whole thing gives me a fucken boner.
3. I See Nothing But Flesh: 2:54 - 3:53 - Coming off of J's "To us you are nothing but flesh" into this part really makes me understand what we do is fucken unique. Me and Mazza are geniuses, haha... I love the electronic shit here and especially the "floating" sound that is in this part. Jo is doing nothing short of breath-taking stuff, as always. 5:28 - 6:55 - "What have I done? Father, what have I become?" This kills me completely. The desperation, the emotion... I could marry Jo for this. And when J enters with "The stench of wings burnt to dust" I'm ready to call it a day again. The "solo" thing is sweet as fuck as well. Even though I don't consider myself able to play solos, this is probably quite close to what Mazza would say is a solo. Or something. Or maybe not. The electronic break once again displays the beauty that is Jo...
4. Resurrected for Massive Torture: 1:27 - 2:03 - I love the verse of this one. Jo's vocals are so fucken phenomenal. 2:21 - 2:40 - When J enters those fuck-low vocals I get tears in my fucken eyes. I so remember him saying after doing those "Can't I sing like this all the time, it's way easier." Hahaha... 3:53 - 5:06 - I love when the choirs enter the picture. And when Ms. Bench's [Jo Bench - Bolt Thrower does a guest appearance on this track - Mike] voice enters I'm at fucken climax. I love that accent. I love how she pronounce the words just like I wanted her to. I fucken love both of them Jo's. What Ms. Enckell is doing after Ms. Bench's speech is so eerie and desperate... I fucken adore it. 6:21 - 7:34 - This part is so awesome and when Mazza's solo comes in I'm fucken done. This one is good for a videotrack (though in a very edited version).
5. We Couldn't be Further From the Truce: 2:00 - 2:33 - I completely love Jo's vocals here, especially the harmony in the background that she's doing. Very simple riff but yet so fucken beautiful. The piano is also something I'm very fond of. As is Michael's awesome bassplaying here. Simple and very effective. I love the second time this part appears, even more thanx to the neat break in it to vary things a bit from the first time. 3:24 - 3:40 - I love how this fucken small electronic part in the beginning builds up to the climax that is J's fucken vocals screaming "Tear down the walls of heaven." The second riff that comes in is also fucken devastating. And one of my fave-lines of the album; "We should never have been cast out from the carnage in your heaven. There's no stopping the slaughter to come, we'll return stronger than ever." I fucken love it. 5:45 - 6:57 - J's "666" is ringing out so nicely and the fucken electronic break with all the shit that's in it gives me goosebumps. Jo on this part doesn't make things worse. "You are the one, you said... You lied..."
6. Godslaughtering Murder Machine: 2:39 - 3:35 - I completely love the fucken guitar "solo" thing I came up with, one of those things that weren't planned for shit. And when the choirs enter with the very dramatic strings, I'm fully chuffed. Fucken J's vocals summoning "Et-Zai-Tet" also does the fucken trick for me. 4:12 - 6:03 - The electronic break in this one gives me the chills and me listening to DJ Shadow really shows in this part. I would never have used those drum-loops if it weren't for him. Jo's vocal-lines after that part is so beautiful. And the little nod to old Metallica that comes after this is very well thought-out. Michael's bassplaying here is sweet as fuck and Mazza's guitar-solo reeks of feeling. Also, at 7:00 one fucken eerie part enters. I love the feeling in this part. It gives me the creeps.
7. Symphony of the Deceived: 4:06 - 5:03 - J's ultra-insane "I walk among you" part fucken kills shit. His vocals are fucken insane, and then some. What I love is the sadness about the fucken riff and how I'm "bending" the tones. This one goes into a fucken black metal riff courtesy of fucken Mazza. I so love this fucken riff. Finally we managed to incorporate a black metal riff into TPH and it sounds killer.
8. Loveless, Godless, Flawless: 3:01 - 3:53 - I absolutely love how Jo's lines and voice kinda paints a picture of hope entering the heavens... How can you sing "Dawn... Hear our roar" with such a beautful voice? Shouldn't a "roar" be sung by J instead? It works so well. I get the fucken chills from this part. The violins after her vocals aren't shit either, haha... I also love the low voice of Jo doing the album-title as a mantra in the end... I'm not sure you guys noticed... It's not too loud, on purpose.
That's a little run-through for ya.
Does it upset you at all or feel incomplete that you are unable to showcase such a powerful collection of songs in a live setting on a permanent basis? Is that where God Among Insects comes in to fill the void of not being able to play live?
It doesn't bother me for shit that we have decided not to play live anymore. Who knows, maybe we will one day but I don't see this happen any time soon. I'm not even sure we could create the songs from "AME" live since there are so much fucken stuff in them as far as guitars and shit goes. We'll just concentrate on doing insane albums instead. The Insects is definitely a very good outlet for me when it comes to playing live. I don't miss doing it with TPH. If we'll ever play live again there's going to take some insane amount of work to make it like I want it to be.
A large part of TPH sound are the crazy jungle/techno beats. How exactly did the idea of incorporating these elements come to life? Are you going to include more of these elements of forthcoming TPH albums?
I think we have managed to incorporate it to the extent that I wanna hear it within our music. I have no idea if we’ll use more of it, I think the mix is phenomenal as it is actually. I just fucken love jungle-stuff and weird techno-sounds, and it brings in a new dimension to the material itself. I have no idea when I actually came up with the idea of using this within the music but I think me fooling around with keyboards back in the mid 90's played a part in some way. I blame LG of Entombed for getting me into techno though. Deicide blames god, I blame LG. Or more like it, I thank LG for getting me into techno. I would prolly have encountered the beauty of electronica sooner or later, but LG made it happen quite early.
I think many people out there would like to find out more about Lord K. Philipson as a person. As it often so happens with metal musicians, some preach a message of complete annihilation of Christianity and look grim in pictures yet still live with parents and drink eggnog with their Christmas dinner... You're obviously a no nonsense person, or so it seems. On one hand, you are quick-witted and often abrasive but on the other you are very professional and a perfectionist as seen through your dedication to your bands and Global Domination. So who is the real Lord K?
The one you just described. It's not harder than that. I take pride in what I do. I always give my sincere opinion on shit. Some can take it, some can't. Fuck it, if you don't wanna know my opinion on your band f.e, don't hand me yer fucken album for reviewing. I'm in 2 of the best bands in the world, we run the best fucken metal-site around and I look fucken awesome. I mean, hey, it's not easy to be modest when you are me, haha...
If I am not mistaken, you should by now be finished with your culinary school degree and working as a chef. Let me ask you a few questions about that.... What is your signature dish to make?
I don't fucken care, really. I cook with what's available. I'm just a chef since having an education is obviously a good thing. I can cook, sure, but it's just a job. It's not like I long to cook or anything, I'm a fucken musician and that's where I'm at. But being a death metal musician isn't exactly paying the bills. Fuck it all, I need to food-poison someone for the hell of it.
Let's pretend and say you’re on a date with a hot Swedish chick and you really want to impress her. If you can choose any ingredients out there, what is a meal you would make to win her over?
I'll take her out to some fucken pizza-place, get it over with and go home and fuck. Then I'd kill her and cook a nice stew with her as the ingredients.
From culinary arts to Satanism. Are you an "avid" adherer of Satanism? So many bands out there have a different perception on what Satanism is: some have a very skewed and almost lunatic perception of Satanism (Dissection) while some see it as something larger than life and the power to go on (Inquisition). What does it mean to you? How big of a part does it play in your life?
I'm not a Satanist. I never was. Strongly anti-christian, yes. Definitely. That's where my heart is at. Annihilation of all that is considered holy. My thoughts are in the lyrics. You can make out where I'm, coming from with those. Especially on "AME."
Do other members of TPH share your ideas? Is it a prerequisite to be a member of TPH?
To some extent they do. But they are more extreme than I am. They sacrifice kids, goats, virgins and shit 24/7. I am too lazy to do that, though it sounds like fucken fun. Let's just say it wouldn't really work out to have someone not understanding the beliefs of TPH in the band.
You also happen to be "the man" behind Global Domination a webzine known for its many provocative reviews and comments that tend to bother a few fans and bands alike. Yet, you never shy from letting them know who you are. Have you had [m]any live confrontations with fans / bands that did not appreciate your reviews? Do you think some people take it too seriously and miss the entire point of your reviews?
Miss the point? Not likely. I think they understand perfectly how fucken much I hate some of the bands, hence the lovemails we get. People need to fucken understand that we tell it like it is. We don't sugar-coat shit. They have sent their stuff for us to get our opinion. They get it, believe me. Some can't cope with it, some can really cope with it. The best thing is when I bash a band and I get a mail saying thanx for the review and it's a shame I didn't like it but they had a good laugh from it. I love people who can actually take it like that. At least they have some fucken spine. Not everyone likes what we do musically, it's not like I write them e-mails telling them they suck becoz they don't. Fuck it.
You are also a big hockey and especially a Peter Forsberg fan. Why him?
Because of the penalty shot in the Olympics in 1994 [Forsberg won the game with a penalty shot in the Olympic final against Canada - Mike]. NHL is fucken King. Forsberg is Satan. Fucken weird to start rooting for Philly now after a decade or something of being an Av’s fan, but hey, I'm where Peter's at.
While I wish him luck in Flyers uniform, none of these teams stand a chance against our local team and current world champions Tampa Bay Lightning. Even EA Sports recognized it by putting Vincent Lecavalier on the cover of NHL 2006. What do you say about that?
Tampa fucken sucks, that's what I have to say about that. It hurts me to se a second-grade player on the cover of NHL 2006. They could at least have chosen Modin, haha... I'm as surprised as anyone that Tampa took the cup. Pure fucken luck and it will never happen again. I need to fucken spray-paint my cover of my game. Fucken Lecavalier. What a joke. Forsberg should be there on the cover, and you know it.
All pun aside, are you excited about NHL being back? What do you feel are the Lightning's chances at repeat? How well do you think the Flyers will do this season?
The Lightning's chances are as slim as my cock, so... Not too good, nope. I fucken love that the NHL is back. I think this might be a very weird season and I think all the new rules and stuff is for the better. I have no idea how Philly will do, seriously. They have better chance than ever now with Forsberg on the team, but one player can't do it all, you know. I just want Forsberg to reach 150 points this season. That would be the fucken day. I seriously have no fucken idea who will take the cup, but my guess is on Philly or Detroit. Or Colorado. Not the fucken Tampa-crap, though. Not a chance.
As you may know, writing interviews is a daunting task because most of the shit has already been asked no matter how inventive you are trying to be. What are some of the things that you have not been asked and want to address?
I appreciate the time you have put into this one and seeing there's some effort put into the questions really makes it more fun to answer. I don't have much shit to add actually. I would have been pissed if you didn't ask any NHL questions, but you did so... You have covered this damn well man.
That about covers it, man. Thanks for taking your time to answer these questions. Any final comments?
Tampa Bay sucks ass when it comes to hockey. Forsberg is number 1. I love the NHL.