THE PROJECT HATE MCMXCIX – Part 1: More Of Everything…
Past. Present. More hate. More music. More death. Lord K. Philipson replies.
Let us not dwell too much with the past, but still I think it would be interesting to hear how you regard your "children", and how it is to see them grow up, getting older and older?
It all comes down to this new album. This is the most vicious, beautiful, ugly, gorgeous, disgusting and repulsive offering from TPH this far. It all led to this point, all the albums we did before "Bleeding The New Apocalypse" were all tools to be able to finally stand tall with this monster of an album in front of us. It is an abomination and a diabolical blessing, all in a majestic shape and form. We are here now. It took quite a few years, with some absolutely amazing albums made in the process – but finally it is all complete. This is the album I have been wanting to do all my life, and I did it with the best fucken people around. J, T and Ruby helped me achieve it and I sincerely hope we are the 4 people who will record everything with TPH in the future. My dream team is gathered and with "BTNA" we raise the bar for what we can and will do in the future.
Aside from the new baby, what’s your favourite release thus far?
Well, after the last album I thought to myself "how the FUCK are we supposed to beat this?", and then I didn’t care too much about starting to write the next opus. I knew that the day would come where it all fell into place, when the puzzle was ready to be solved. And then it just happened. "BTNA" just dawned on me and pretty much wrote itself with help from entities I have always cherished and respected. Looking at the signs, there are obviously not only humans involved with this album and the writing of it. I think you can, by looking at this reply, safely state that "BTNA" is, by far, my favourite piece of TPH domination.
You have finally penned a contact with one of the best labels ever, Season Of Mist. Now, you’re not afraid of being just one of many quality bands instead of the most important band? Seriously, how do you manage to fulfil a contract when you’re not touring and not doing much except recording music and releasing it?
Well, it’s been a known fact that we don’t play live anymore. Haven’t done that for some 7 or 8 years. It’s not my duty to inform anyone about it anymore since it’s been clearly stated in interviews and on our websites for years and years. And even if we wanted to play live now (which we definitely don’t) – we can’t, simply becoz we made a very clear decision to enhance everything so much within the music it’d be impossible to re-create it live without tons and tons of guest musicians and backing tracks. And I don’t wanna work it like that.
I agree with SOM being one of the finest labels around by just looking at their roster. They have so many fucken awesome bands – it’s insane. And now they added another one. I think they should be as happy about having us as we are by being at their label. I have never seen such professionalism from a label as I have from SOM. They really seem to know how to run this shit. I guess we’ll know if my assumptions are correct in a few months, but up until now they have been really professional and I wish for them to sell tons of copies of this album so they get something back for being so fucken cool to sign us since we are not really your normal band. And doing this in times when downloading is killing the industry is just remarkable. I applaud them for having the guts and wish them nothing but the best.
I’ve read comments on that The Project Hate sound a tad too similar from album to album. How is the development of the sound and atmosphere viewed from inside the creator’s head, namely your owns? On the subject, how do you develop the sound and how do you work to find the sound you think is necessary to give your ideas justification?
Yeah, isn’t it weird that a band actually has a style that is recognizable? What kind of fucken idiots state this crap anyways? Seriously? We have a unique style and we stick to it, which means that sticking to a unique style is in the end making us sound like ourselves. I fucken hope so. That’s kind of the point. Wow, that’s some real Einstein shit right there, to put it mildly. I have seen that a few people think we have changed on this new album. Lemme see here… I still write the music and I pretty fucken well know how I want TPH to sound, how I expect TPH to sound. Yeah, we got better, we improved by changing a few members – bringing in the cream of the crop to replace them and now we all of a sudden have a new style? I. Don’t. Fucken. Think. So. The female vocals are different than what we used in the past? Really? That was kind of the point, you know. I felt that TPH needed to step it up on this new album. I wanted it to be more… More vicious, more powerful, more wicked, more beautiful, more dark. I wanted more of everything. These changes had to be made to achieve that, to perfect my vision of TPH in 2011 and to prevent eventual stagnation (which I wouldn’t allow to happen to us, but hey – it sounded good).
To go back a little to your question (yeah, I drift away a bit sometimes. I tend to do that when I get asked interesting questions. That was a compliment. You won’t get many, so embrace it, haha); I always have some kind of idea as for how I want a song to sound, and after that is clear to me it’s just a matter of working towards it until I feel I have achieved what I want. Sometimes this can go pretty fast but most of the time it takes a lot of work. And I like to fucken work to achieve what I visualize. I have a hard time believing many musicians work as fucken hard as I do when it comes to composing for this band. If you could only fathom how many hours go into writing a TPH album, how many hours go into the work I do with all the small details that the majority of listeners will never fucken ever even notice. I probably put more work into the programmed drums I use for the demos than most bands spend on writing their albums. And these programmed drums aren’t even being used on the eventual record. It’s full-on insanity. But that’s how I want it. I bleed for this. I live for this. I crave this. The fact that quite a bunch of people understand what we are doing is a bonus, and a pretty fucken hefty one at that. I can’t thank the Haters enough for being so incredibly loyal and supportive. The TPH Donation Experiment that I started (and ended shortly thereafter thanx to SOM signing us) is a testament of loyalty. As said, I can never thank these people enough.
The soundscapes of Hell, perhaps. Then again, Hell exists in Norway, in Trøndelag. But I don’t know the sounds of the Norwegian Hell. An imaginary Hell on the other hand, has many soundscapes. But few as brutal as that of The Project Hate. And Hate should correspond with Hell… Now, where did your Hate grow from and how did it turn out to be something that had to be tuned into sounding like Hell?
What I always wanted to bring into TPH is a diabolical atmosphere. Sometimes very subtle and sometimes very up-front. I want the actual hate to show thru but at the same time I want it to boil in the background, taking the shape of a serpent waiting to strike with deadly outcome. There are tons of bands out there who are more "brutal" than we are, but to me it’s not about that. To me it’s more important to achieve this balance of atmospheres. I am not a person who walks around all misanthropic and shit, hating every second I spend on this Earth. But hate towards religion in general and Christianity in particular is definitely fuel when I write music – absolutely. I have chosen to walk a certain path where certain convictions play a huge part of my being. But it’s not the only fuel that carries me forward, making me able to create what I create. But without all this, I wouldn’t be me. And talking about hell… We launched the soundtrack to it on February 14th, 2011. It is victory.
Some may raise their eyebrows, wrinkle their noses and wipe it off when they hear the techno sections and the numerous keyboard effects and even the female vocals. You know, some stay put in 1999… I on the other hand welcome differences and I wonder, when you create music do you focus mostly on dynamics, variation and how a song mustn’t be shorter than 6,66 minutes? As in, how do you work to make a The Project Hate song?
We are obviously the fact that proves you can do more with music than most dare to. I have always had a clear vision of how I want TPH to sound and we have perfected it album after album. Lots of factors play part in how I create for TPH. I focus on writing huge-ass songs, material that will puzzle you and take you on a journey if you listen to it as they should be experienced. Do not listen to us without full concentration, there is so much you will miss. Try to see the big picture we have painted – it is worth the extra time it might take. That’s what I am striving for when I write, to have a song full of all the stuff I wanna hear in music. Stuff that will make you go "WTF was that?", making you rewind and check if your ears played tricks on you or not. I don’t want this to happen all the time, that would kill the effect. But trust me when I say that if you listen to us closely it will be very rewarding, not to mention challenging.
I have no determined formula as for how to start composing for TPH. It happens as it happens, and it happens for a reason. Be it a riff, a piano thing, a drum’n’bass beat or some soft strings – they are all means to make vision into audio reality. I write everything as it comes. First I do rough sketches of what I have in mind – the bigger work comes after that. If it’s a challenge listening to TPH – try to fucken compose it. It is the epitome of what I am and what I represent in this world. And thanx to my 3 incredible band colleagues and all the guests we use – it can be made immortalized.
On the side, but when you listen to other brutal music, do you manage to listen to the music in itself or do you somehow come up with ideas on your own? I mean, with your skills and equipment, it seems that you use way more to make the upfront music as well as the many layers that reveal themselves after multiple spins…
You are one of those who actually pay attention to what I was just talking about detail-wise, and that’s the real reward for me as a musician. I listen to tons of music, all the time and of course I very often hear stuff that makes me go "I would have done it like that or that or that", and at times stuff that I hear can make me pick up the guitar and write something based on that little thing I heard, having me eventually end up with something that sounds nothing like what inspired me to pick up the guitar in the first place. I guess that’s how a musician’s mind works – it hardly ever turns off the inspirational and creative switch. I guess when that happens is the day when you call it quits. I haven’t even thought about flicking that switch.
But of course I listen to music for the sole reason of listening to something. It’s not like I put on the Swedish Radio to hear shit that could inspire me. At times it’s just nice to have something going in the background. Just make sure it’s not TPH, that won’t work.