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Peter Tägtgren talks thirty years of Hypocrisy with new album ‘Worship’

Posted by on November 8, 2021

 

The wait is finally over as Hypocrisy’s first album in eight years, Worship, is scheduled to arrive on November 26th via Nuclear Blast Records (pre-order here). We caught up with mastermind Peter Tägtgren to discuss the album, thirty years of Hypocrisy, aliens, and more. 

 

It’s difficult to believe Worship was written before the pandemic.Looking back, what inspired or influenced you to write the new album?

Yeah, it’s just things I see in society, news and everywhere else, in media and things. And it makes me think, and I start to put one and one together and that’s what you get from me. It’s my thoughts and my ideas and how I see how the world is fucked, so to say. It’s nothing political, it’s just what I feel and what I see.

 

I completely agree with you, and it doesn’t have to involve politics.

No, not really.

 

Speaking of, it was definitely a strong way to introduce the album with “Chemical Whore.” I believe you also filmed this before the pandemic as well. What was the experience like making this cinematic video? 

Yeah, I know. It was the first time we ever worked with Agata. It was some contacts through my management and stuff. And we were actually on our way to do a Russian tour in September 2019 with Hypocrisy. We had like five gigs. So we actually stopped by a couple of days before to do this video, and I thought she had a lot of great ideas. And it was pretty much up the alley of the lyrics for me. So I was happy with the result, really.

 

 

Can you talk more about the songs “Dead World” and “Another Day?”

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, I mean, “Dead World,” It’s like the zombie apocalypse shit. It was actually a song that my son wrote the music to, “Dead World.” It was supposed to be on this thing that me and him were doing like four or five years ago, but we had our ideas to do a metal project, but it never saw the light of day, or the lyrics were never put on there. We did like 11 songs or something like that, and then we said, “Fuck it.” So we came halfway, and when I was starting to think about the new Hypocrisy, I asked him, “Can we use this song? Because I really love it. Dead World.” And as you know, with the lyrics, it’s not a happy one.

 

 

No, I mean, this album isn’t happy, but it’s very real.

Yeah. I don’t know if there’s any fantasies in there. Maybe my imagination spins me away, but I think I’m still sticking to what we see today, even if it’s two, three years, four years ago for some lyrics. I mean, the song Worship we actually recorded before we did our headline tour in America with Fleshgod Apocalypse. I think it was like in April 2019, we did the video for that one. So that one will come out later as well, so a lot of things. We started in 2018, I would say, to work on this, but still I had another Lindemann album coming out and a tour and things like that, so it was hard to fit everything together.

 

You’ve definitely been busy. And What about the song Another Day?

Actually, that was one of the songs that I like less. This one and Another Day, and also Brotherhood of the Serpents were like my two songs that I wouldn’t mind making them as bonus tracks. But then in the end, people waited all of these years, so we said, “Fuck the bonus tracks. Let’s put all 11 songs on there. People waited long enough.”

 

I actually enjoyed Another Day. I was going to ask about another track, and then Another Day came on, and it had an aggressive energy. The lyrics just spoke to me along the lines of another day, another nightmare or something like that.

Yeah, I mean, now I remember what the song is about. It’s like you feel mistreated in the world. You see all the other people making it, and you’re not. Like I say, it’s a triumph for the rich, another day, another nightmare. So I mean, we all have our ups and downs, and sometimes you feel like your whole life is working against you somehow, and I’m sure a lot of the people feel the same thing. And it feels like the system is pulling you down in a weird way. So I mean, that one is really about not being able to make it a little bit in today’s society because of certain ways, how things are.

 

Yeah, I know, it’s definitely a challenging time. For fun, using imagination and how this whole pandemic has been, Hypocrisy always has alien or UFO themes. WIth that being said, during this pandemic, have you ever had thoughts that this was the perfect time where aliens and UFOs would openly reveal themselves to us ‘Earthlings?’

There’s a lot of talk about that. Some people predict that something will happen before the end of this year. I mean, I heard this shit for 40 years. I’ve been into this for a long fucking time. And for me, there’s two sides to it. One side is people talking about it and becoming almost like prophets, they release books that make money. They go out on all these conventions and talk and blah, blah, blah. It’s a lot of fucking bullshit in my world with some of these people. Some of these people are really brilliant people that really try to get the message out, what the hell is going on. If you ask me if there will be a disclosure and shit or not, I don’t know.

I mean, you saw these Tic Tac things. They’re all the way back to 2004. It’s old shit. I’ve seen it a thousand times before. And all of a sudden, 2017, they came up, “Oh, look at this, blah, blah, blah.” And there’s a gray fucking picture. It doesn’t really look like that from the cockpit or anywhere else, but of course, they have to make it more mystical, mysticum.. And it is just a lot of, in the end there’s a lot of money to make on these things, and it kind of pisses me off.

 

Yeah, no. It is annoying when you just want to expose the truth, and the truth ends up with a very hefty price tag that doesn’t come out at all.

Yeah, exactly. And I mean, back to the Another Day, it’s like your soul ain’t worth shit, and you can fight it all you want, but they don’t give a shit. They won’t give you the time or the room if you have something to say against the system that supposedly is in the correct system. If you go outside that system, you’ll be fucked.

 

Yep. That’s pretty much where things are headed these days.

Oh, yeah, definitely.

 

There’s a lot of symbolism in the artwork for this album. And I was curious about how the idea behind this ties to the concept of the album.

I think I came up with the idea in 2017 or ’18 when I was in LA. I used to fly into LA for a couple of weeks, like three or four times a year. And then I went to the studio and would write music that my friend, Peter Stormare, has a buddy of his, that has his studio that I could use. 

So when I was laying in the hotel, I started fantasizing about the album cover, because I had a few songs done already. And I kind of drew it on a napkin, and I sent it over to Gerardo at Nuclear Blast and asked him if he could help me find someone that can get my ideas on a piece of paper like I wanted. And this is pretty much my thought from the napkin up to now, “It’s perfect.” And that song, I mean, Worship, the song is about the cover itself, that someone, whoever put us on this Earth will come back and beat the fuck out of us because we’re so stupid. They’re coming back to collect.

 

 

Yes. I think that’s probably why I like this album so much.

Yeah. I mean, half of the album is really about reality, what the hell is going on, and the other half is my thoughts on that, we’re not alone, and a little bit like how we became what we are on Earth.

 

Yeah. And it probably is time for aliens or some force to come here and be like, “Hey, you guys screwed up enough.”

Yeah. But sometimes also, do you even want to get involved in this? It’s like, let them play it out until they’re dead, all of them, as long as Mother Earth is still intact.

 

Mother Earth has been showing her face for quite some time to us.

Yeah. But that’s natural, you know? Also remember how it’s polarizing. I mean, if it moves a little bit to the left, a little bit to the right, you will have big issues with the Earth, if it gets off its axle a little bit. And that’s what I think you see in some of the weather phenomena. You have so much tension on the plate as well. No wonder it starts moving around. I mean, the Earth inside is a living thing. The crusts start moving against each other, and you have the earthquakes, you had that for thousands and thousands and millions of years. And the only difference now is we are aware of it. It’s been happening for so long.

I mean, it’s nothing new with all this shit. When you have thunder showers and then you have, yeah, you name it, all this shit. And they’re talking about like, “Oh, the Earth is warming up, global warming, blah, blah, blah,” scare everybody, get some more money from taxes so you can scare them up, like, “Oh, you have to pay more taxes, that’s going to solve all the fucking problems we have, as long as you show us the money.” Which is bullshit. It’s not going to change anything, you know?

 

I think nature has its own answers for us.

Yeah. It goes in circles. Sometimes it goes, “Okay, time to start from the beginning, let’s get a new ice age or let’s do like this or let’s do like that.” And they thought that one of the reasons why Atlanta disappeared is because Earth moved on its axle, so the North Pole was not in the North, South Pole was not in South. The axle moved around a little bit, and that flooded different places and melted other places. So it’s a natural cause in my book. And of course, we’re not nice to the environment with all the plastic and pollution and shit like that. It’s insane.

 

We’re destroying it every day.

Oh, yeah. We’re helping it change itself. It’s like a dog with a bunch of fleas on it. It shakes it off, you know?

 

Speaking of destruction, with shows actually either happening, they’re on or off these days, do you guys have any plans to hit the road anytime soon?

No, not really. We’re waiting. I have some tours with Pain in February, to the beginning of March. But then the Hypocrisy stuff starts in the spring, and hopefully we’ll hit North America first with that and then some festivals. I mean, it all depends. Everything can change from day to day. You see bands having concerts now in America and festivals in Europe, they have thousands and thousands of people. So I mean, by now, we would’ve seen a peak of the explosion of the virus, but I don’t know if we’ve seen it yet or if it’s going to come later. And it seems like this Delta variant, it’s easier to catch, but it’s less dangerous for you. So I don’t know. It’s really hard. It’s like going to the stock market, you don’t know.

 

Bands are still struggling. They’re either booking a tour or just canceling their touring plans or trying to survive. I think with KoRn, at least two members had COVID, so they had to postpone shows, get a last minute replacement. It’s definitely a crazy time.

It is. And financially it’s like suicide kind of because you have no guarantees. I doubt there’s any insurance companies that really want to ensure the tours nowadays. I mean, with Lindemann and stuff, we insured the tours. And if something goes to hell, at least you get the money back that you spend on anything from putting effort and time into there, to nightliners, to loss of income and stuff like that. But today with this COVID, I don’t know if any insurance company wants to get involved in that, because they know it’s a really bad, bad, bad business for them.

 

Bands have already lost tons of money from the beginning of the pandemic where they had to cancel all of their plans and lost a ton of money. Some launched a GoFundMe where fans literally saved bands.

Yeah. And imagine not only bands, but crew, that maybe doesn’t have anything else. They can’t stay at home and make money in advance for a new album or whatever. They are really fucked. And also all the PA companies, the light companies, and all the venues, and yeah, you name it. It’s like a domino effect.

 

It is, it’s awful.

And it’s bad for our minds to sit isolated. We go crazy, and you can see how angry the world is. You see all day long people fighting on planes, people are fighting everywhere and fucking going insane. It’s like, if you wouldn’t think about it, it’s like, do they put something in the-

 

Atmosphere…yeah.

Yeah. I don’t know what it is. Is it in the food? Is it in the vaccine? Or is it just that people can’t take it anymore? They lost their minds.

 

Everybody’s angry, even if you comment on something on social media and then you offend somebody because you said a word, it’s a very, very crazy time. It’s sad.

It is. And unfortunately, it’s not over for a while, I think. And with the politicians doing cheap shots with people to scare them even more and to try to milk everybody out of money because of the pandemic and because of the environment and all that shit, it’s just insane. It’s pure evil in my world.

 

It is. And I guess speaking about your world, Worship also marks the overall celebration of Hypocrisy’s 30th anniversary, and I’m sure there’s plenty, but do you have any specific moments or highlights you’d like to share between the beginning of Hypocrisy to now?

Oh, I mean, it’s been a rollercoaster. I’m really happy that we’re not gone, and I’m really happy that we stuck to what we believed in. We didn’t change our music style because the music style changed. Death metal hasn’t been in for a long time, put it that way. I would say the beginning of ’90s, it was the biggest, ’89, ’90, ’91, it was really big. And then it hasn’t really come back. Everything comes in circles, I believe. In the ’80s, you had a lot of black metal with Venom and, yeah, Celtic Frost and all this, and then it died off. And then in the end of ’90s with Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, a new kind of black metal came out. So it’s like, it’s just renewing. And it’s just for the newer generation, how they think. And it’s a natural cause, I think, of metal in general, how it develops. 

So, I mean, we haven’t been in it for a long time in what’s hip and what is not, but I never cared about it, and we still stayed strong. We never went down on a dip, it’s constantly baby steps, just growing. And I’m happy when you don’t explode and become super big and shit like that, you lose your mind and you lose your way of trying to get your career built up from the ground. It’s like just all suddenly you’re famous. And a year later, nobody gives a fuck about you. And that’s how you see with bands that really explode. They disappear pretty much as fast as they come up.

 

That is so true. And when you change your ways for other people, you lose your own creativity.

Yeah, definitely. I mean, all bands have one of these albums that are not exactly what the fans were waiting for. I mean, you see that with all the bands in the world. And I guess our catch-22 was a little ahead of time, and people just couldn’t take it at the moment. Nowadays, people who hated it then really love the album. So it’s strange how it is. You can see Metallica with their Load and Reload, people just hated that shit. But there are actually some good songs on there if you think about it nowadays. But when it came out, I was like, “What the fuck? Stop smoking grass, man.” And Slayer did one or two albums also that was a little bit, “Huh?” with tuned-down guitars and shit. They tried to get into today, so to speak. I mean, if you look at all bands that’s been in the 30 years or more, they had some creativity explosions that they needed to get out of their system to come back again to where you are and where you’re from.

 

It’s good to explore, but there’s always a risk.

Oh, it is. But I mean, as an artist or a creative person, you just have to do all this shit. I’m happy that I have PAIN also that I can do a lot of risks on. And Pain fans, they know they don’t know what they’re going to get on the next album, because all the fucking eight albums, they sound so different from each other. And it’s just my ego trip. I’m just trying things, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. And there’s no boundaries, but with Hypocrisy, I want to stay in the metal kind of frame. I don’t want to overdo it and fuck it up because I have some ego problems.

 

Well, please stay where you are with this. Hypocrisy has been pretty much consistent, and Worship is an awesome album. Is there anything else you want to say or add about the record?

Well, I really hope people will enjoy it. This is the best I could come up with this time. And of course, Mikael and Horgh contribute a couple of riffs as well, but this is what it is right now, and I hope people can enjoy it. And nowadays, it’s not being famous or trying to make more money or whatever. It’s just to get your passion out. And if people like it, it’s fucking great. That’s a bonus. If people don’t, then, oh, well, at least I got to ventilate. It’s like going to a therapist for a couple of years when you do an album.

 

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