The fact that the frontman is Till Lindemann, the big guy singer from Rammstein, even it’s still in dry dock, makes this record one of the most anticipated metal albums of the year; hence he appears as the only lure regarding the name of the project, which debut, ‘Skills in Pills’, will be released on 23th June. But anyone familiar with the career of the musician and producer Peter Tägtgren, will know that the leader of Hypocrisy and Pain, has been, at least, equally decisive in the final result. Juan Destroyer faces both at the same time and comes out alive to tell the story.
If it’s a joint musical adventure, why is only one of the surnames listed?
(P) “Because nobody knows how to pronounce mine (laughs). For more than a year, we were looking for something that hadn’t been used, something original, but we could not think of anything, and time was pressing, so we decided to use his last name.”
The story of how you had met seems to be taken from “Sons of anarchy”; Rammstein was in a bikers bar in Sweden with some girls and one of them was the ex of a jealous member. Fortunately, Peter was there, he was his mate and all turned out to be just a big fright. I am sort of big, but I have had Till in front of me and at his side I looked like a hobbit, so I have no doubt that in order to intimidate him, there had to be several bikers involved in the brawl.
(T) “Actually it was with Flake (editor note: Rammstein’s keyboardist), with whom they engaged first, I got into the fight to help him, throwing beer mugs. Luckily Peter and his brother arrived and saved our asses”. (laughs)
On the other hand, I also read that in the summit of your drinking sprees, you joked to find who would hold longer while burning his arm with a candle. You should have been really drunk, eh?
(T): “Fifteen years ago, it was even worse, but as you know, in Sweden alcohol is very expensive, and to drink liquors you have to go to shops that are owned by the state. They are named bolaget, you have to take a number, wait in a queue longer than the employment office’s and show your passport to get only one cognac bottle. So people make homemade schnapps (editor note: that’s how moonshine is called in Northern Europe), bottled it in flasks, take them clandestinely to bars and only ask for a coke to mix. That stuff is a time bomb, it gets to your head right away, you do weird things and become insensitive to pain.”
Who was in charge of composing the songs?
(P) “I made the riffs, but everything else is the result of joint work. Sometimes Till would send me a recording with vocal melodies and I would build a theme around it, and other times I would send him some riffs and he would write the lyrics. It was a very fluid and natural way of composing, it surprised us both, because we have never worked this way before.”
In my opinion your music is a mixture of the power of Rammstein and the ornamentation of Pain. Do you agree?
(P) “Yes, but pointing out that that the album as a whole has details that make it different from the albums of our respective bands.”
Were you the boss at the studio or was Till in charge of the process too?
(P) “I was responsible for the sound of the instruments, but otherwise the work was 50% each. Till always had good suggestions adding or removing details and helped me when I was in a dead-end.”
Till, was it difficult for you to write the lyrics in English?
(T) “Yes, but I put great effort, because I wanted Peter to understand what I wanted to transmit with each song, it shouldn’t occur that I would tell a sad story and he would compose a cheerful and happy melody. I had to study a lot (laughs). Fortunately, Peter has a lot of experience singing in English and he helped me a lot, both in grammar and pronunciation.”
Your sexual ventures are famous among the fans. Is “Golden Shower” based on a real incident?
(T) “Yes, completely. You Spaniards are crazy (laughs).”
Were you offering your pee or receiving it?
(T) “I leave that to each one imagination” (more laughs)
The song “Skills in Pills” talks about drugs, doesn’t it?
(T) “Today there is so much designed or synthetic drugs that can get you high… they have become fashionable with the “Breaking Bad” series and it seems everyone wants to make their own drug at home. They use any chemical substance that crosses their mind, and like alchemists, they experiment in the basement with lethal cocktails. The result: they end destroyed physically and mentally in a few years, it’s crazy! On the other hand, it’s ironic that even heroin comes from natural sources, as is the poppy in its case.”
Regarding “Fat”, if obesity is as sexy as you say, why do rock stars couples are usually skinny?
(T) “I’m sexually attracted to fat women with big tits and asses, and this theme is an
encouragement for them, they don’t have to be ashamed when it comes to show their charms, they should have more self-confidence. If someone laughs at them, I’ll smash his face in.”
“Ladyboy” talks about the lack of sexual inhibition of gays, they fuck more than heterosexuals. Do gays waste their time and money when they get married and adopt the traditional family lifestyle? I ask it because of the overwhelmed father of a numerous lineage that you describe in “Praise Abort”
(T) “As all us heterosexuals know, one has to spend money and invest time if he wants to get laid, and that if he is lucky. Gays only have to exchange a glance and “Let’s fuck”! In that respect I envy them a lot. If one wants to hook up, he should go to a gay bar, I speak with full knowledge”
Then, is the true goal of a rock star to “Fish On” the greatest number of females possible?
(T) “Exactly, fuck moves the world” (laughs)
What inspired you for the lyrics of the song “Yukon”? (Editor’s note: a river of 3000 km that flows in the USA and Canada) You make industrial metal, being a nature lover does not fit you.
(T) “Last year, I went kayaking for three days with a friend on that river, where it passes through Alaska, and I assure you the landscapes are majestic. It was great to be in direct contact with Mother Nature. Both of us are two ordinary human beings. We don’t live the rock stars lives and pretend to live in the dark, day and night. It’s important to have a private life far away from your condition as musician. I need a refuge beyond recording studios and stages, to be alone or with family and friends, it can be my home or a cabin in the woods of Alaska”.
Is it hard being a famous musician?
(T) “In a way is a job too, although not comparable to being, for example, a company accountant. Being in a band allows you to travel a lot, know other places, other people, other kind of food… and in general, have new experiences. At least, when I am on tour, I try always to go sightseeing if I’ve got enough time”.
You are lucky, as you sing with a deep voice you don’t need to look after it as much as a traditional heavy metal singer, don’t you?
(T) “Yes, but even so it’s difficult to go to a heavy or gothic club without being recognized, unless I wear sunglasses and a hat”. (laughs)
I would say that with Rammstein you don’t use to write lyrics as serious as “Home Sweet Home”, about the death from cancer of a relative, or “Children of the Sun”, that reminds us of the unbearable lightness of being.
(T) “It’s good having different textures, both lyrically and musically, in the context of a tough record, serves as a break, from so much hardness. Besides Peter has never before composed a ballad, he has deflowered himself, and for being the first time, he didn’t do it too bad at all.
Are you going on tour with this record?
(T) “That will depend of the degree of acceptance of the record and that the promoters show interest. It is true we do not have a fixed plan regarding this, in fact we haven’t even thought about which musicians we would count with on the hypothetical case of going on tour.”
What do you tell about Rammstein?
(T) “I already know about the rumor about disbanding, but they are nothing but nonsense. We will meet again in September or October with renewed strength to see if we feel like returning to the road or go to the studio, but whatever happens, Rammstein will go on.”
Richard has his project, Emigrate, and you are now with Peter. What about the rest of the band?
(T) “Flake just finished writing his autobiography. The others are involved in production stuff and take the opportunity to spend more time with their families.”
And you, Peter, with what have you been busy lately?
(P) Even though I have a pair of records to produce, one of them of a huge band, with which I never had worked before and which name I can’t reveal, I want a flexible schedule so that I can promote this project, since we would like to take it to the road. To make an Hipocrisy or Pain record I need inspiration, so I will wait for the muses to arrive.” (Laughs)
With which record did you got hooked in rock?
(T) “It was “Stormbringer” of Deep Purple. Before Berlin wall’s fall it was very hard to get rock records, since they were prohibited for being “depraved” in East-Germany. One would have to assemble an entire secret operation so that somebody brought him secretly a vinyl from the west, or you would get in the in black market, at a huge cost in both cases. But when one brought a forbidden record to school it was an event, almost a party, I invited my friends to my home to listen it together and that was like a religious ceremony. If you could see how we took care of them, we had them cleaner than our own rooms and we spoiled them as if they were babies (laughs). I keep so many good memories from my vinyl days that I am thinking seriously about collecting them again.”
(P)”Thanks to my older brother I listened to a lot of music at home, and since little, the first record that impressed me was “Alive” from Kiss. On the other hand, my parents would always tune to Luxemburg Radio in the car, so thanks to them I listened to plenty of rock when we were going on a road trip.”
Original Source: La Heavy Magazine
Photo: Tomaso Baldessarini
Translation: Maya & Snake (Affenknecht)
Editing: Maya Aster