Painby METALSITES.net @ January 30th, 2005 | Updated by METALSITES.net @ September 25th, 2005
Pain is back with the brand new single Same Old Song, taken from the forthcoming album Dancing With The Dead, which will hit the stores in January 2005.
And if there was ever an occasion where the word comeback is accurate, this is the time. Pain mastermind Peter Tägtgren has, literally, come back from the dead.
"I was standing in this bar and had downed two Rum & Cokes after having worked long hours in the studio", Peter remembers. "All of a sudden there was a humming sound in my head and I fell to the floor. After a while I regained consciousness and stood up. A couple of seconds later, I was gone again and there was no pulse. It lasted for quite a while, but my friends managed to bring me back".
Do you know what happened?
"No. But they had this theory that I had worked under a lot of stress for a very long time, and when I started to relax my body took it a bit too far, so to speak".
Were you afraid to die?
"No. I obviously don't want to die, but I'm not afraid of dying".
There is even a song on the new Pain albm titled Not Afraid To Die.
"It would be a pity if my son lost his father at such a young age", he clarifies, "but if you let something like this get to you, it will affect your life in other ways".
This is why Peter's lifestyle didn't change. Whether stupid or brave, Peter could even be found in another bar the following night.
"I couldn't quit smoking either, because I had already done that a year earlier. I just came to the conclusion that it was unnecessary, and with all these No Smoking signs it's become harder and harder to find somewhere to smoke anyway. But I can't say that I feel better for not smoking. There's been no improvement in my general condition nor my singing voice", Peter smiles.
It's probably safe to say that he will never be the poster boy for Health Magazine.
He works too hard, uses too much "snus" (the kind of nicotine Swedes place under their upper lip), eats lots of junk food...and when he drinks, he drinks like a man.
However, his biggest vice is something entirely different: he is unbelievably stubborn.
He obviously is in posession of both talent, craft and a scary ability to create moods (something that comes in handy when you have a death metal band). But his infamous stubbornness is probably the main key to why a young kid from Dalarna in the Swedish countryside could become an internationally respected name, leading metal bands from all over the world to regularly make their pilgrimage to his studio The Abyss to get produced by him. He also has a band of his own, Hypocrisy .
It's the same single-mindedness that results in 24 hour long studio sessions and makes him remix stuff until the last minute, to - if possible - get a little closer to his vision.
"It's a lot easier to producer others. You can feel when somebody else has nothing more to give, when you have reached the limit for how much there is to left squeeze out of somebody. I can't feel that limit in myself".
He is utterly convinced that his stubbornness leads to better results in the end. Judging from the new Pain album, he's right. Everything has reached a new level: Melodies, riffs, lyrics, production and groove.
Or, as he sings in one of the albums' most relentless tracks, Don't Count Me Out. A statement as good as any, and one of the pieces of production that actually fell into place immediately.
Peter started Pain as a hobby project, the idea being to fuse techno influences with metal. Seeing Pain as an album project, he never envisioned Pain ending up having hit singles. He was wrong.
"Since I immediately had a hit single, I am grateful that both End Of The Line, Shut Your Mouth and On And On ended up becoming hits. That way, I avoided the one hit wonder tag!"
And when the singles have disappeared from the singles charts, there are still the albums.
"I would rather see Pain as one of the bands whose records keep on shifting a healthy number of albums each year, than constructed hit acts that are forgotten as quickly as they made it".
Peter agrees that Pain's melodies and riffs are stronger throughout the new album.
"I have concentrated more on the actual songwriting - strong melodies, good riffs - as well as making sure the programming is less straight-ahead and grooves more".
He reveals that he actually started writing straight after the last Pain album.
"When you're on the case, it's easy to just keep going. If I lose momentum, I tend to get self-critical and get less motivated", he explains.
However, during the writing, international record company hassles temporarily prevented Pain's career from moving forward, causing a lot of frustration on Peter's part. In the meantime, he took time out from Pain to concentrate on other activities, such as Hypocrisy and external production work. His irritation also caused him to write what was to become Pain's new single, Same Old Song, which fuses holy anger with an infectuous sense of melody.
"The line "they come and they go" refers to the starry-eyed artists who enter the music business with open hearts and enthusiasm, only to become disillusioned".
How does Peter feel about his earlier Pain albums?
"I look upon them as experiments".
The original concept for Pain was to let the sequencers and programming lead the way. But this time guitars form the foundation on which the rest is built. Would it be fair to say that he has used Pain to infiltrate the charts and airwaves, this way creating a broader platform for him to return to his initial style of music, metal?"