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HATESPHERE – English Version

Danes have lust for murder.

This week, our guest is one of the best bands within the thrash/death metal scene: HATESPHERE. We had a nice chat with Peter “Pepe” Lyse Hansen about HATESPHERE and their last release “Murderlust”. Enjoy!

Hi Pepe, thanks for accepting the interview. Hope everything’s good over there. Let’s begin.

“Murderlust” was released at the end of September. I personally loved the album. Just loved it. I think some of your best songs are on it. So how do you see “Murdelust” compared to the previous albums;? HATESPHERE have a characteristic sound and don’t experiment that much, but what are the main differences that you can tell us?

We are very pleased with the album. I think Murderlust is very diverse. As you mention yourself then we have our own sound, and the diversity and variation that our music needs is the little details in every song that makes this single song stand out from the rest. We put in different sounding parts in lots of our songs, may it be doom, death metal, hard rock etc. But we stay true to our basic sound, because otherwise we would obviously not be HateSphere anymore ;-) This new album is a bit more rock-ish than some of our other stuff, both productionwise and song writing wise. There are a lot of great melodies in there but we surely dont forget our brutal roots as well. On top of that we have done some pretty atmospherical stuff on the album as well – songs like “Fear Me” and “In Process”.

How do you like the general reaction to the album? Did the metal press and the fans like it as you’ve expected them to? As an experienced musician, how much do you care about the album reviews?

The reactions have been quite positive so far, and we expected that as well. But having made 8 albums we also know that we cant make everybody satisfied. Somebody like the old stuff more, some like the old members, some like the old artwork, or would have wanted us to go in a different direction but in the end most of our fans seem to like this new album a lot. I of course look on reviews and stuff, and I would lie, if I said that these dont affect me. But I trust myself and my judgement more. So if I like the music we make, I also trust that it’s good no matter what people say. I make music to make myself happy first – and if fans and press like it as well, that is just a very great bonus. I would never make music just to live up to peoples expectations – and certainly not if those expectations werent my own.

Lots of bands complain about how the music industry doesn’t have mercy for the bands and lots of bands either call it quits or have to come up with different ideas to stand on their feet. You’ve been playing in HATESPHERE since 2001, so how did HATESPHERE treat you since then, economically? Did you have tough times to keep the band together, or wasn’t it a problem for you?

Money arent big in metal that’s for sure, so many bands do it for the pleasure alone and not the economy. But at some point you need to bring some money home in order to justify that you use that much time on it. And the older you get the more you need these money (to pay for the mortgage etc etc.). We have had our ups and downs like every other band but I think we have found way to do it nowadays.

Speaking of keeping the band together, you guys aren’t the most luckiest band in terms of line-up changes. Since 2001 you had many, many musicians going in and out. What are the main reasons behind all those changes, and especially after ” Serpent Smiles and Killer Eyes”?

I actually dont think that we are that different from any other band out there. Take a look at a lot of your favourite bands, and see how many members they have had in their 12-13 year career. It is quite natural that bands change members, especially when you get older and get other priorities. It’s the same old story every time. People cant take time off from work to tour, maybe they dont want to take time off from work because they dont wanna tour that much any more, they need more money, they cant stay away from their families for that long etc. etc. That’s quite simply the reasons why many people decide to leave bands that they actually like. They just cant fit the band into their lives anymore.

I really like your riffing style. It’s so venomous and sinister and actually I think HATESPHERE has some of the best riffs in the thrash/death metal scene. What can you say about your playing? Who were your main influences and which guitar players of today write the most kick ass riffs?

Thank you very much! I find it quite hard to describe my playing but I think I always try to make my riffs stand out in that sense that I dont want to make something that I have heard before. If that happens, I will change the riff. Starting out I listened a lot to hard rock, so players like Steve Clark, Nuno Bettencourt, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai were some of my main influences – not that I play like them at all but they were what I listened to to begin with. At the same time I listened a lot to Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax, and this interest in the bit more fast music made me move on to more brutal stuff as well. So I think I quite like a wide spectrum of the metal music out there – except from Metal core, crap core and all that “modern” shit… I hate it! Today a player like Jeff Loomis still is one of the best in combining his technique with supreme song writing skills! I dont like guitar players that are focused only on playing solos, I want guitar players that are able to write songs!

Trevor Strnad from THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER did guest vocals on the song “Iconoclast”. Did you guys know each other? How did this collaboration came to life?

We know each other since we toured together in the US in the spring of 2010. Since that time we have met them a couple of times while they have toured Europe, and when they played here in January 2013, we got to talk to them about our new album. They mentioned themselves that they would love to do some guest appearances, so when we recorded the album in May, we mailed the files to the US and Trevor and Ryan Knight recorded their parts and mailed them back to us – yehaaa for modern technology ;-) And it worked out perfectly. Both their parts fit our songs great!

Let’s keep on going with “Murderlust”. Why the MUSE cover? Were you planning to do it for some time? Did you pick MUSE to show people how you can turn around a non-metal song?

We all love Muse, so when we agreed on doing a cover song, they were an obvious choice. On top of that they are, as you say, a non-metal band and they write some pretty crazy stuff, so it was a challenge for us, and we like that fact as well. When we do a cover song, we dont just wanna play the song like the original – what’s the point of that? I mean, the original always sounds the best anyway, so it makes no sense for us just to play it again. So, when we choose our cover songs, we wanna turn the song into a HateSphere song, like we did with the Ozzy Osbourne cover “Bark at the moon” on our “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something black” EP from 2003. And I guess we succeeded in that with the Muse song as well, as some people actually dont know that it’s a cover song – they think it’s just another HateSphere song.

Do you write all the music in HATESPHERE or is it a collaboration between you and Jakob? If the latter one, can you name which songs you wrote from “Murderlust”?

I write most of the music, as I have done always but both Jakob and Esse have contributed on the last two albums as well. “The Violent Act” is written by Esse and me, “In Process” is written by Jakob and me, and “Darkest of Forces” is written by Jakob. The rest of the songs are written by me. But all songs are arranged by the band all together. I have brought in riffs and song structures, and then we have all worked on the songs in the rehearsal room, getting them put together on the exact right ways.

Have you started writing stuff for the next album yet? Should we expect any experimentation or anything different than the HATESPHERE that we are used to?

We havent started writing yet, as “Murderlust” is only just released. So we’ll wait a bit with that. But as always I am pretty sure that HateSphere will have the sound that you know from us – but we will also, as we always try to do, experiment in the exact right doses, so the songs turn out as strong as possible… and as catchy as possible. We experiment in the band but we dont wanna ruin the HateSphere sound by doing it. On the last couple of albums we have experimented a bit with hard rock and some slow atmospheric songs, and on the new album we even have a pretty long instrumental song (In Process). Variation has always been a big part of HateSphere, and it will most likely continue to be on the next album as well ;-)

Speaking of experimentation, what was the story behind “In Process”? It’s not a standard HATESPHERE song by any means, yet it it’s a great example of what the band is capable of other than playing badass thrash songs. Are you planning to do more songs like it in the future?

Sure, we might do more of these songs in the future, if the right idea pops up. The main idea was Jakobs for this song. He made the clean part and the melody line and to begin with we thought this would be more of an intro-song. When we worked on the arrangements a bit more, we found out that this song should be longer – and be more of a regular song, just without the vocals. It ended up super cool!!

Esse has some really nice ideas throughout the albums. I especially like some little details that some people might not put that much value on. He’s in the band since the last two albums, so how much freedom does he have in terms of vocal lines, lyrics and stuff like that?

He is the singer, and we trust that he knows best in terms of how and when to sing. Of course we have some inputs as well, but he is a brilliant singer, and to interfere in his work too much would not do the songs any good.

Which songs are among the favorites during the shows? Which ones make the crowd go nuts more than others?

If you mean the newer songs then we really like to play “Murderlust”, “Iconoclast”, “The Violent Act” and “Punishable By Death”. Not that we dont like the other songs, quite the contrary, but we just havent played them yet.

Can you name some of your favorites from the Danish metal scene? Also any newcomers that you would suggest us to keep an eye on?

I dont have many newcomers I can tell you about that I like. The scene is healthy, meaning many bands and bands that release albums, but we miss the bands that really makes a difference, I think. It’s still the “old” bands like ourselves and Illdisposed, Raunchy and Mercenary that set the tone in the scene. If you count in Volbeat of course then we have a huge band but they are in a league of their own.

This is our last question that we ask all the bands that we interview. We want you to tell us the headline of this interview. :)

Let’s call it “Danes have lust for murder”, hehe…

That was all, thanks again for your time and music. Hope to see you in Turkey again!

Take care and cheers.

Ahmet Saraçoğlu

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