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Interviews : “It seems like people are really pumped to see this stuff” – An interview with Peter Tägtgren (PAIN)

By on May 12, 2018

PAIN – Peter Tägtgren

As a heavy metal fan and appreciator, you can surely bet that even if you are yet to hear Peter Tägtgren’s music via PAIN, Hypocrisy or Lindemann you have certainly heard his production via albums from artists as diverse as Immortal, Destruction, Amorphis, Sabaton and Celtic Frost. It is the last band in that list that intrigues the writer the most, as Tägtgren had a lot to say about how the groups epic final ever album, Monothiest (’06), reached out of speakers and sonically assaulted the listener.

But we aren’t here just to talk about Tägtgren’s production career and Celtic Frost. A few weeks out from his solo vehicle, PAIN, touring Australia for the first time ever, it also happens to be Tägtgren’s inaugural performance in any band across our land that is girt by sea.

“I was actually here, when was that? 2015 with Lindemann to do a promotion. (But) I never played in Australia. We are all very excited.”

As a touring artist traversing many thousands of kilometres from his base in Sweden, luxuries need to be spared as the band focuses on delivering a blistering set for fans that have certainly waited a long time to see the legend on stage.

“It’s a little stripped down, but we go on (with) full stage clothes and do our shit. I don’t even know what kind of places we are playing down there. Drums of course, we can’t fly with us but everything else we bring with us. It all depends, all the lights and everything and what is in the venue and so on. But we’ll definitely do our best and hopefully, this will do good. It seems like it’s been a pretty good response so far. We’ve sent out some stuff on Facebook only for Australia and it seems like people are really pumped to see this stuff.”

Interviews with Tägtgren are not all that common, so the opportunity to chat about his recollection of time spent in-studio with Celtic Frost is irresistible. Tägtgren is one of a very select few that can lay claim to have contributed to the bands often overwhelming legacy.

“I was really happy to be a part of (Monotheist) because I grew up on Celtic Frost and Hellhammer… ’82 ’83 ’84, I can’t remember exactly when but somewhere around there when I was growing up. It was great to actually produce an album with them in later years.

The same with Destruction, it was really fun to have them in my studio. It’s something that I was brought up on and formed as a metal fan and also as a writer. All these bands that came in the 80’s, they are very big influences on the way I write even if I don’t play the same kind of music, but in there somewhere it rubbed off on me. Then to be able to sit and produce these bands it’s a dream come true.”

Monotheist was an album that confused a lot of fans upon release because the tuning was so low, however, it’s an album that starts where the classic Into the Pandemonium (’87) finished.

“It’s so deep that album, it has so many different points of views in musical directions. It’s almost like a theatre piece. It’s got so many different elements so it’s more than just a metal album. It has so much weird stuff in there and it’s a journey to listen to that album. It’s something else, that is for sure. It was hard fucking work to do, it was really hard work. We were all about to explode when we were working on it because all of us knew that this is a comeback album and it’s very important. They can’t fuck up anything because then it’s over before it started again. We’re all under real pressure. We pressured ourselves, we pressured each other to reach the best we could do at the moment and of course, it’s been many fucking years between the last album and this one, and people change over 20 years. You don’t think the same anymore, you maybe don’t write the same way anymore. There are a lot of things you have to go back to, to try to find these roots where they come from.

Listen to the conversation in full here

Catch PAIN on their upcoming Australian tour. Tickets on sale via Hardline Media.


Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith